I’m on a mission to restore my body to what it was created to be. This journey to health has been led by God at the head of my life. Putting Him first doesn’t mean putting my health last. In fact, I am most effective for Him when I am physically and emotionally healthy. After 5 months of debilitating illness and finding out I was pregnant, I finally decided that I was all-in, willing to sacrifice temporary comfort for thriving longevity.
“Give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:1-2 NLT
We don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, eat what everyone else is eating, or do things just because they’re customary or fashionable. A life with God is a life of exhilarating, breathtaking adventure–and He shows us the way to abundant life day by day.
So here is what my day-to-day life during pregnancy (and most likely beyond) looks like:
5. Eat a big, colorful salad
The gift of colors allows us to do more than just enjoy God’s creation–it’s also a unique tool that lets us hone in on nutrient-dense foods. We are hard-wired to seek a variety of colors in our diet because this is the best way to get the full spectrum of nutrients we need. In general, the more robust the colors, the better. If eggs are coming from naturally-raised chickens, the yolks are orange, not yellow. Butter from pastured cows is golden, not white. Brighter produce is fresher and therefore more nutritional.
Unfortunately, artificial colors and processed foods tend to dominate and short-circuit our wiring, and we end up eating nutritionally empty foods (think: Cheetos, fruit snacks, Trix cereal). We should taste the rainbow, but skip the Skittles.
4. Sit on an exercise ball
I am a Class-A sloucher. My mom blames herself for not nagging me to sit up straight, but I doubt that would have helped. If I am not consciously working on my posture, I have bad posture. I am always crossing my legs, stooping my back, and reclining on whatever is behind me. But when I found out I was pregnant, I realized how important good posture is to a healthy pregnancy and baby positioning, especially since we are trying to do a completely natural birth. Knowing that I could not possibly be cognizant of my posture all the time, I bought the best tool I could find to help me: an exercise ball. This is now my office chair and where I do all my reading and writing from.
You simply can’t slouch on this thing. You can’t cross your legs. You can’t lean back. You can jitter and move and roll and bounce and do all the other things that are good for your core and baby. I’m hooked. I have this one in the 65cm size:
Nothing has transformed my faith more than daily journaling. It’s how I start each day, both lifting me up and grounding me. Of course I do pray out loud and in my head as well, but each morning I write a letter to God and record His responses. The linearity of written words untangles my jumbled thoughts, allowing God to draw one strand at a time for us to tackle together.
My past journals are some of my most precious possessions. In them you will find surrender followed by bereavement, pleading followed by blessing, suffering followed by joy. Page 1 of my current journal happens to be the first day I found out I was pregnant. The tear-stained pages quickly give way to gratitude for healing, to revisit whenever I wish.
A few years ago I decided to sew a journal cover so I can use composition books and reuse the cover rather than buying a new journal each time I fill one. I am considering selling these in limited quantities on Etsy, so let me know if this interests you!
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
I don’t love to hit the gym. I guess I used to, but since becoming a wife this desire has dwindled. I do love to exercise, but being inside a box with strangers on whirring machines is just not something I enjoy. I have also watched how easy it is to make my body into an idol, chiseling and obsessing, and ultimately worshipping.
Instead, God invites me each day to a different kind of exercise: a rhythmic ramble with Him through the woods. It’s the bird songs, the burning in my legs as I ascend and descend the peaks, the smell of the firs, the view from the top of the hill. All of it directs my eyes away from myself and toward Jesus, our Creator. Since getting healed I will never take the gift of exercise for granted again. Let me be the first to tell you: this opportunity is a gift not everyone is afforded. If your body is able, use that ability!
This is the simplest to grasp and the most complex to execute. I used to dedicate things to God: my day, my body, my words, my activities, my resources. Recently He asked me to replace that word “dedicate” with a new one: surrender. So now? I surrender each day to Him. I surrender my body, with all of its quirks and aches and mysteries. I surrender my activities, my time, my to-do list. I surrender this child, so I don’t have to bear the weight of being solely responsible for him or her. And I surrender my will, the way I think things ought to work. And in my letting go, He catches me.
When you are carried, you no longer have to cling. When you are held, you no longer have to hustle. When you are surrendered, you no longer have to be strong.
“That’s what kingdom living is. It’s about holding loosely.” – Shannan Martin, Falling Free