call it experienced…

rhyannday5

 

Is this not just the sweetest fetal position ever? 

So, like any woman who gives birth, one of our concerns is getting our bodies “back”. I’m not obsessive about my body or what I eat by any means but I’d be lying if I said I don’t look in the mirror and think “oh…… gawsh. I won’t ever be the same.”

I know that my girls being in the NICU has me distracted from a lot. Getting my body back being the top of the list. I can’t focus on my body when I’m spending my days with my girls – they’re more important than anything.

But, this morning, I got a bit of perspective that I appreciate more than life.

This morning, I was getting dressed in front of the mirror and I see all of the stretch marks that grace my sides and surround my belly button. While I was pregnant I didn’t mind because my belly was full and the stretch marks didn’t seem so bad. But now that there are no babies filling me, everything is much looser and kinda deflated. So, my marks seem more pronounced.

I literally said, “My body is ruined.”
Then, my very next thought was, “No, honey… it’s experienced.

I have had the glorious opportunity to experience a pregnancy… a pregnancy unassisted by medicine, one that wasn’t accompanied by the stress of “getting pregnant”, one that completely a surprise. Something that I didn’t think would ever happen. I’ve had to go through fertility treatments, I’ve had to deal with the disappointment of failed attempts month after month and it was devastating.

I had the opportunity to carry twins… to experience them grow… to feel them kick and squirm… to watch them breathe, hiccup, yawn, and move.

This pregnancy has allowed me to experience motherhood. Looking at my girls everyday reminds of how blessed we are, how faithful our God is, and how sweet life can be.

This pregnancy was something I thought I would ever experience and if it caused me to have a few stretch marks – so be it.

My body may or may not return to it’s pre-pregnancy size…. I don’t know how long my little pooch will be. But, it’s alright. It truly is okay. Would I like for my mid section to be nice and tight? To be flat? To not show that life even existed inside of me before? I don’t know.

What I do know is that there’s no need to rush the process of getting back into shape…. especially after carrying two! There’s no need to stress and add even more (self-induced) pressure. We’ll get there. I mean between my incredibly high blood pressure and waiting for my milk to come in, worrying about my body isn’t going to help anything.

As new moms, we are bombarded with so many images and perspectives that tell us what we should look like after having our children. Yes, I think it’s stinking awesome that many of my friends have amazing bounce back a month or two after having their babies. But, that isn’t everyone’s story for whatever reason. Obviously, the more children you carry, the more difficult it could be to come back. I’d encourage every new mama, including myself, to focus on being healthy first. Caring for yourself first. And, giving yourself time to heal, recover, and lose however much weight you gained over the last 8-10 months. Time. It’s alright to look like you had a baby/babies – you did!

Love yourself. Love your experience. Love the time it takes and don’t rush yourself. And, remind me to do the same! And, when we do get the all clear to work out – let’s be gentle with ourselves. Eating well is the first step in getting pre pregnancy self back…. so we can start that NOW. Can we start there? Together? Postpartum or not…….. you in? 🙂

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… God is great, God is good

(this picture is completely unrelated to anything written below, but I ran my very first 5k on Saturday…. I’m incredibly proud of myself and totally praise God for the opportunity and guts. *** yes, there’s a story there…. maybe later! ***)
colorrun

God is great. God is good…..
We know this. We’ve said it. We read it. We’ve recited year over too many breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack meals to count.

But, do we really grasp what God being great and God being good really means?

I, for one, did not. And, still have not fully grasped the depth and intensity of how good God is. I started to truly “get” his goodness through the struggles and heartaches of attempting to adopt….. but, I hope that I am forever in awe of these facts as I would hate to grow immune to their grip it has on the heartbeat of my soul and take it for granted.

Now, I’ve learned a lot about his during this chapter of infertility during the last couple of years but I am learning God in an entirely new way.

I’ve learned a while ago that God’s goodness is based solely on who He is. The part I struggled with is he remains good REGARDLESS of where I am in life. It’s not that I thought he began to be “bad” but more as if He almost quit being anything. I knew that He could never be bad, but I’m left in this horrible situation and it’s certainly seems as if He’s not doing anything good. Almost as if He was treating me as if I was an Isrealite before God freed them via Moses & Aaron…. He just quit listening to them and at some point He decided to turn a listening ear to them. Can you say that a God you KNOW is good is now bad because of this?

Does His state of goodness ever cease?

He is good because His mercies are never ending, He is good because His love unfailing… UNFAILING. He is good because He is with me always.

He is good because he chose me and is allowing me to impact my corner of the world for his Kingdom. An honor. My reasonable service.

He is good because he is perfecting me for His glory.

Most of all, because He is good and because we are made in His image, we have the ability, through the power of Jesus Christ who works inside of us, to be good, as well.

He is good and will always display His goodness to me because I am His child, and He is my Father in Heaven.

Matthew 7:11
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”

I wrote a piece for Style Magazine this past Tuesday about my views and hopes in raising “the good”.
I acknowledged that in order for my little wonders to be “the good”, I have to be and model the good.

I get my standards and characteristics of what “good” is from my Heavenly Father ….. For he is good.
Consistent…. Wise…. Forgiving…. Gracious…. Loving…. Merciful

I believe that the more I imitate God, the easier my children will come to know, trust, and love who He is. And, will more likely learn how to imitate Christ by way of modeling the goodness I portray to them. They will eventually learn on their own who God is and will move from imitating me to solely knowing and imitating Him directly.

Consider the contrary – how difficult would it be to understand that a person you cannot see, feel, or take in with any other sense, is good and loves you when those you can see, those who are responsible for you, are not good to you. Will you truly grasp forgiveness if its never been displayed to you? When you do, how long could it take? How much more difficult would it be to unlearn holding grudges, nastiness, and letting go of the past than it would be to never learn those detrimental characteristics in the first place?
From someone who’s been there…. it takes time. A few patient, good God imitating people, with a passion for Christ and helping others find freedom in Him to help you get there. It requires a willing spirit, long conversations, lots of self reflection/inventory, and understanding the real result of Christ’s decision to die on the cross to get it. It takes those good, God imitators to imitate, imitate, imitate and to be courageous enough to call you out when you’re wrong and are acting in anyway opposed to who Christ is. It takes them focusing more on Christ than your response to push you back to Him when you are so incredibly wrong. It requires you to be gripped by and understand the fact that Christ  took the penalty for our every sinful action, thought, word, and deed to understand that we have no reason to hold another hostage. Especially when we were and are forgiven so freely.

GOD IS GOOD.

I do not believe that as parents, aunts, anyone over or even alongside another, we have the luxury to desire to be anything other than imitators of the ultimate good. Why? Because we have a direct impact on the next generations of kingdom builders.

We are to raise little images of Christ. We are charged with the responsibility to raise these little people who will become believers to leave our homes to form their own Christ centered homes to raise another generation of believers who will live out loud and serve God big.

Have you ever wondered how drastic the your home, school, work place, community, church (yup.), and WORLD can be changed if we all decided to own the fact that by the grace and power of God, we can be the good. What if we truly acted out and portrayed the good that Christ shows us daily?

Ultimately.
I’ve realized that He is good always. Even when the Isrealites were enslaved…. God received (and,continues to receive) the utmost glory for the freedom of His people. They endured increasing pressure and hatred before the miracles and acts of God that led to their freedom. God would have never received AS MUCH glory if the degree of his percieved goodness equated to the intensity of the Isrealites’ comfort.

God’s glory and our comfort are typically inversely related. Things don’t typically turn around until later on in the chapter, as you continue to read a bit further into the book.  Then you notice patterns of struggle and heartache that preceed redemption and the peace of God…. sin will forever come before forgiveness, grace, and mercy. All of the events that lead up to God recieving the utmost glory are immensely difficult but definitely for our good. And, His glory.

So that pretty much means that we can count James 1:2 – 4 as true…. that we can absolutely consider struggles as pure joy….. the benefits of these hardships are good.

…. here’s to truly knowing and believing with your entire heart down to the depths of your very soul that God is GOOD… that He is FOR YOU… and, completely had you in mind before He created the foundations of the world.

… here’s not never being foresaken.

Amen.

 

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… I did it twice!


Woke up this morning and went to the gym. At 8:30a. Sans make up. Rocking a fresh face, a pony tail, & VitaWater flavored lip balm.

WHY NOT? had me getting outta bed when my alarm went off….
WHY NOT? had me at home relaxing and in the bed by 1a while Thomas was out hanging with our friends last night…. I wanted to go. But, when I asked myself WHY NOT go? WHY stay at home? … The only answers I had were so that I could get up and be ready to work out in the morning. Because working out is important to me. More important than hanging out and getting home at an unGodly hour. I had to prioritize. I had to choose disicipline.

Had a kick butt work out this morning then back doored a few hours later for my private training session…. and, had my body pushed even farther. I’m proud I didn’t complain or even think about stopping.

CURRENT STATS:
* weight: 124 lbs        * body fat: 25.5%

My goals are to tone, strengthen, and build muscle mass. I’m trying to lose 5.5/6% body fat. Which means lots of cardio combined with weight training. I’m excited!!! Really ready to work hard and see results. I know it will take a solidy 12-16 weeks for obvious results and about 4-8 for my friends and myself to see change. So! I’m up for the challenge and ready to go!

Tomorrow…. two classes back to back.
I remember telling Thomas that I don’t understand how in the world people love being at the gym and stay for hours. I see it now. I understand it now. They have goals and a drive you only understand when you want results. I never really wanted results bad enough- I was “fine” with how things were… even though I wasn’t satisified. I say I was “fine” and okay with my dissatisfaction because I wasn’t dissatisified enough to do anything about it.

It’s until you’re absolutely tired of something, you won’t move to change… and create a new routine. An incredibly high level of both disgust and desire will motivate you to do SOMETHING. I wasn’t disgusted – I have an insane desire to look a certain way.

…. here’s to being disgusted enough…. to being annoyed enough….. to being “tired of” long enough….. to being curious enough….. to wanting it bad enough…. to want change.
MOTIVATION.

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