Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Cor 6: 18 – 20)
I have read these words dozens of times. I have prayed over them, cried over them, and pleaded with the Lord over them. For most of my life, I have not felt my body is a temple. In fact, I have felt the opposite. Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 22, my life was turned upside down. Suddenly, foods I had been able to eat all my life, I could no longer have. My body was weakened, strained, and exhausted. I looked at my life before me, so different from the one I had planned, so different from the one I had known, and fell into despair. Then, two years after being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, my gallbladder inexplicably stopped working. When the surgeon removed it, he took my appendix as well, as he felt it was too risky for me to keep. Additionally, I developed preeclampsia during both pregnancies and was put on bedrest for my second because I developed pancreatitis, had three Crohn’s flareups, and was hospitalized. In that same timeframe I was also diagnosed with a pain disorder that can make walking, running, and moving very painful if not treated properly.
When I looked in the mirror, I saw a body that was damaged. I focused on the way I felt my body should look in comparison to others and the frustration I felt when my body limited me from doing more, rather than caring for and celebrating the body God gave me. And the more women I talked with about this, the more I realized I am not alone in struggling with the body I have been given and the desire to care for my body the way God desires.
So, I am teaming up with my dear friend Aprille from Beautiful In His Time to help moms pursue faithful fitness that works within our busy schedules, our bodies’ limits, and celebrates the bodies God gave us. Aprille is the wife of a combat veteran and the mother of a high-energy son. She has Fibromyalgia, food allergies, and struggles with chronic fatigue. Together, we believe there is a way to achieve faithful fitness – through pure and genuine encouragement of one another.
We believe fitness is not about the perfect body, it is about caring for the body God gave us. It is about encouraging and celebrating one another when we achieve goals. It is about working together to find healthy solutions for ourselves and for our families. It is about uniting together as women, rather than dividing into categories of fit and not fit, in-shape and out-of-shape, better than and lesser than.
All of our bodies have limitations, but all of them also tell a story. All of them are designed according to a Creator who not only loves and treasures us but fashioned our beings from the depths of the earth, who knit each and every one of us uniquely and beautifully according to His design. (Psalm 139)
Every Friday for the next few months, Aprille and I will share with you a variety of workouts; meals that are healthy, simple and adaptable to your families needs; and, above all, we will encourage one another along this faithful fitness journey.
Will you join us? Be sure to check in here each Friday and follow our Faithful Fitness Fridays board on Pinterest for great workouts, exercises, health and nutrition tips, and more!