these bones.

Last week on facebook and twitter, I asked this question: "Moms, if you exercise and spend quiet time alone with the Lord each day, how do you do it?". The conversation started on facebook was certainly encouraging to me, chock full of good practical advice, and it just felt like a blessing to know that this is a struggle for other moms and ALL WOMEN who love Jesus and also want to feel (and maybe look?!) their best. 






I'll tell you right off the bat, I've got no new wisdom here. No new nugget of good time-strategizing or heart-strategizing that shows I've got this issue under wraps. I don't know what your story is like but mine goes something like this


I've felt insecure about my body, and specifically my weight, since the first time I can remember thinking about anything. Literally. My earliest memories include feeling fat. Growing up in middle school and early high school, I was certainly no where near obese - but felt it. In late high school, I gained a good amount of weight and actually for once - didn't seem to care. I had just met Christ and discovered Christian community and Nick! and for awhile that trumped my obsession with my body. In early college, I should have started caring (in a healthy way) because during my freshman year, my weight climbed toward actual obesity. 






The first week of my summer vacation after freshman year, I weighed myself and sobbed for hours. In full disclosure, I was near 200 pounds. For someone who is 5'4, that's just not ok. I think at that point, I had a choice to lose weight and treat my body in a healthy manner or to just go nuts. I decided to just go nuts. Enter years of disordered eating, extreme exercise, obsession, and forming an idea that if I was thin, then I must be good, and then I must be a good Christian woman. If I was overweight, I was bad, and was an out of control, unproductive Christian. Lies. Lies. Lies. I know there is truth in the idea that if you love the Lord rightly, you'll want to maintain your body rightly to serve Him - but I skipped that section of truth completely. 




yada, yada, yada. You know what happened. I got married, I had three kids in three years. I couldn't keep up with my own unnatural expectations. I got a thyroid disease and maybe in His gracious providence, the Lord let me sit in that place - almost as heavy as I was at the end of my freshman year for a loooooong time until I was willing to exchange my lies for the truth of His love and grace. His love that would make me okay with my body only because He could use it, and would realize that essentially my problem was the worship and extreme desire for my acceptance because of my own beauty. 




And then I started getting healthy, not necessarily thin, but I started a slow long road to healthy. Eating healthier foods, moving my body in an attempt to make it stronger and help it feel better. Constantly redirecting my worship to Him, rather than my own beauty-based approval. A good deal of the weight has come off, but it still feels like a bigger (mental) battle than I expected it to be at this point in my life. I think there are things the Lord can (and will) truly heal you from, to the point where you can't even remember what it was like to struggle with it. He's done that for me in so many things. This is not one of them. Disordered eating feels always at my fingertips. It's more than easy to spiral into obsessive thought about my body, my eating, my looks for hours on end. Take running: This weekend, I'm running my first half-marathon and I'm OVERJOYED and OVERWHELMED that the Lord has enabled my non-running body to prepare for this and I'm also terrified of how I will look if Nick takes a picture at the finish line. Dying daily. Daily confession and repentance. Replacing my love and desire for my physical beauty with a love and desire for MORE OF JESUS. It's the only way to kill this sin that plagues me. 


So, that's where I'm at. Like I said, no new wisdom here. Just a mama struggling daily - not only to figure out when to find time to exercise and read about healthy living, but struggling to know when to stop reading and get on the floor to play with her babes. 






But I want to hear about ya'll. 
What's going on in your heart and what is the Lord teaching you about this? 
Do you struggle the same and have some good wisdom or has He blessed you with freedom in this area and you could be an encouragement to women who aren't so free?! 
I'm thankful for ya'll and can't wait to hear what you have to say! 


*This post is littered with pictures of my babes "running" because I love their freedom in this area. I pray the Lord keeps their little hearts safe from an obsession over their bodies. I love that they run because it's fun, the eat veggies because they want to be strong, and they have literally no idea what the word f-a-t means.