I can't live without water.
For real. One of my favorite highs happens 3/4 of the way through a workout. The moment where your muscles begin to really push themselves. It's mental, it's physical, it's a challenge. I love it.
Working out post-baby looks a bit different than pre-baby. I know my body on a whole new level. I know it's power, I know it's strength, I know how hard it can push itself and still survive. Regardless, it can't live without water. It rests amongst the essentials.
The essentials. The needs. The vitals. The list is short, but my lifeline is threaded amongst them. Raw and real. The things that keep me, well, me. The things that help me make it.
1. JESUS: The Beatles had it right, and I'm certain even they don't know how right they had it. All you need is Love (everybody now!). God is Love. The most scandalous human being to ever exist on the face of the planet—and my God, I need Him. I need Him more than I need oxygen. I need Him to invade my thoughts, my quiet spaces, my social conversions, my convictions, my parenting. Jesus invade the spaces I leave you out daily.
2. FAMILY: Sometimes a touchy subject, sometimes not. Like it or not, blood runs thick. Whether literally placed within, or divinely gifted, the familial ties are the steel beams, the supportive structures, the skeletal systems to our well-beings. Find your family. Find your people. Once you've got them, keep them. Let them refine you, let them rebuke you, let them love you, let them in. Let them, and gift them the same in return.
3. HEALTH: Why is this one so hard? Why do we treat our bodies like garbage cans? Eat right and exercise. Don't get me wrong, I get this one wrong too. As long as Twizzlers and Lindtt chile chocolate continue to smile back at me as I pass them in the grocery story, I will continue to get this one wrong on some level. But let's sit back and look at our physical beings for a second. I see two things. First, the best fuel for our body was given to us in a single breath: the plants and animals natural to the earth. Eat them, and eat them organically. Eat them how they were intended. Don't eat less, eat better. You'll be astounded at the results. Secondly, get your heart rate up. Our bodies are masterpieces, the most intricate castles set up to house the Lord. Strengthen your flesh, your muscles, your skeleton. Strengthen it, fortify it. It houses the most powerful force on the planet, and beyond. Letting it's walls run weak would be perhaps the greatest disservice we could lend ourselves to entertain.
4. CREATIVITY: Dragons, unicorns, Narnia and Batman for crying out loud were all birthed here. Creatures and characters so well-known they bring in millions in the box-office, and sit even more valuable to our mental space. Create. Regardless of what that looks like for you. Accountants, illustrators, and every occupation in between purpose a place of imagination. Where to start? Get alone, get outside, get a pen and some paper, some fresh ingredients and a skillet, whatever medium appeals to you. See what happens.
5. TRAVEL: Wanderlust. It's real, it's strong, and I've got it bad. Some Saturdays, we take our little tribe and drive 40 minutes down the highway just to see something new. Sometimes we book a week in the Rockies or the coastline of 30A. And we do it to entertain our deep cravings for seeing these new spaces, new objects, or perhaps simply seeing them in a new way. I think this is key in the whole "child-like" thing Jesus talks about. Babies are constantly wide-eyed to taking in the new. May we never lose this. No matter how much we know, no matter how much we see, there is always more. May we always be wide-eyed for the "more." If cliches are cliches for a reason then the world is my oyster and I won't miss a single inch.
6. COFFEE: If you have to ask, you'll never know. If you know, you need not ask. Cheers to you, Helena. If you need me, I'll be in the Room of Requirement.
Adapt them, shift them, give them a shot to slide into the uniqueness of your lifeline, your calling, your purpose. Write them down, pray deeply into and over them, activate them fully. You are made to prosper, to reign in hope now and forever. Come alive, beautiful, there's a whole wide world out there that needs your sparkle.