When it’s okay to rest

For the last week and a half I’ve been sick; sick with the scratchy sore throat, stuffy head, runny nose, and getting all my calories from cough drops, sort of sick.

It was frustrating, just as it is whenever sickness comes. But this time I was more disappointed, simply because I was finally getting some great habits in my life. I had worked out a schedule with friends to exercise a couple times a week and was pumped to get into a routine.

But when I got sick, I knew workouts were out for me until I was totally better. I’ve done sports enough growing up to know this about my body. I’ve worked out too many times when I was almost better, to know working out too soon only prolongs and worsens my sickness. So this time, even though I practically wanted to jump out of my skin and workout, I waited it out. I let myself rest. I slowed down.

Slowing down was what I needed.okay to restIsn’t it interesting how when life gets overwhelming, we often think the solution is to pick up speed, to power through, to sprint to the end, or to toughen up? We ignore our body or our hearts and believe if we just give it all we got it will work out. Nah, we don’t need to let something fall out of our life. Yes, we can continue doing everything, even if our condition is worsening. In fact, we almost wear it as a badge of honor that even with this activity, and this responsibility, and this life change, and this commitment, we still came through it while doing it all.

At least I know I’ve tried to wear that badge–the “Juggled it All” badge or the “Kept all the Plates Spinning” badge.

But, are we better off inside ourselves for pushing through the harsh conditions?

Sometimes we have no choice. Sometimes the time for decision has past and we have to power through. But more often than not, we could decide to say no; we could decide to slow down and re-coop enough to rejuvenate and calm our troubled waters.

“It is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.”- Dieter Uchtdorf

Life really isn’t a race. There will be no badge for the one who powered through life until they reached the point of utter exhaustion. There will be no grand prize for the ones who juggled the most responsibilities. But, I’m pretty sure there will be happiness and peace for those who simplified, gave their life grace, and slowed down to rest.

How do you remember to re-evaluate your life when you feel overwhelmed? How do you give yourself grace and love even when you feel your life isn’t as exciting or fast-paced as others? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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A sweet voice

Lately my son, Parker, has been learning a lot more words. It has been adorable and insightful to see more into his little mind. These precious kids have so much they are thinking about!

me with parker on my back on a hike.Yesterday Parker and I went on a killer hike, especially for me because I was carrying this 25-30 lb. talking ball of sweetness on my back. It was a 2 1/2 hour hike and his weight was really almost too much for me. I was nervous he was going to get really bored, but on the way up to the falls, behind my ear I heard his sweet voice saying:

“Hap-py, hap-py, hap-py, hap-py, hap-py…”

Wow! My heart practically burst hearing him repeat one of the few words he knows–happy. To me, he embodies the living definition of love, purity, and innocence.

Yesterday, in his sweet voice Parker reminded me happiness should be one of the main things we shoot for. Not the fleeting, circumstantial happiness. But the happiness that resonates from deep within our core; the happiness that transcends the sometimes menial things we do day-to-day.

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
― Martha Washington

What words or phrases do you little ones say that make your heart melt? How have they helped change your perspective or brighten your day?

Fight against gravity

A couple days ago I read a post by Three Boys and a Mom called “Fit Mom Friday“. In it she shared her journey of fitness and completely inspired me to refocus my goal on health, not just a great body. It seems I continually need to be reminded of this.

Since reading her post, I have started exercising more, because I’ve realized I don’t have to be an all-star athlete to do something beneficial for my body. I may look crazy and pathetic as I exercise, but it’s a whole lot better than quitting before I even start.

Yesterday, I tried PiYo for the second time. It is a workout series by Beach Body slightly similar to pilates and yoga. We (me and the four insanely fit people on my TV–are they even real??) did “Hardcore on the Floor.” As we were nearing the end of the workout in yet another precarious position, the fitness instructor said something that made me think.

If you feel like you’re always about to fall over,
You’re doing it right.
You are in the sweet spot of working the hardest,
because you are working against gravity–
Fight against the gravity!

A flexed arm muscle Isn’t that true for life? Just as a muscle can’t get stronger until it has resistance; just as our muscles have to tear before they can be stronger–so it is with us. Many times the good things we crave to do or the person we know we have the potential to become are preceded by doing downright, hard things–we sweat, we try again, we fall over, we give up momentarily, we try again. We give it our best and in the end, we’re stronger than when we started.

It is in the hard times that our soul gains strength.

So today I’m going to fight against gravity. I’m going to recommit to the good habits I want in my life, because I want the results of a better me.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”- English Proverb

How do you stay motivated to reach your goals? What are some of the goals that you are working toward in life right now? OR do you have an exercise program that you love? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Created to progress

This morning I woke up feeling lethargic. This whole moving ordeal seems to be eating up my energy. But, P and I have a routine and every morning we wake up, eat breakfast, and then pack up into our jogging stroller with multiple sippy cups, water bottles, and snacks, (just in case we find a park and want to play for a while).

So, despite feeling like a slug, we packed up and left. I decided I wanted a good view and a challenge, so we walked up the biggest hill nearby. Oh my. I haven’t got my heart pumping so hard in a while. I had to stop for breaks to breathe, while the 30 pound weight I brought along with me, happily chatted about the scenery.

little boy peaking through a stroller

My sweet 30 lb. weight, making me laugh as we walked.

As I was trudging up that hill, feeling the incline in my heart and quads, I started pondering about progression. I began thinking about challenging myself. How is it that the hardness of the exercise was actually fueling my spirit, instead of depleting me? How was I feeling re-charged and on top of the world, when in reality I was just a mom wearing an old exercise get-up, trudging up a hill?

I decided it is because we are eternal beings who were created for progress. Our souls thrive on becoming better each day. It is part of our genetic make up as children of God. Our souls love to conquer an obstacle that before was out of reach. We came to earth with the potential to become more like God and that takes progress. It takes climbing higher, stretching beyond our limits, and going out of our comfort zone.

mountain road with view of mountains in the distance

View on top, of the beautiful mountain range our home is nestled against.

The view on top! Lakes, mountains, and the cities below.

The view on top! Lakes, mountains, and the cities below.

That mountain was hard to climb up today, but the climb was just what I needed. The view–impeccable. The slug that I resembled earlier had disappeared and I came down after doing my best, feeling more alive.

How do you feel after challenging yourself either physically or spiritually? What is your favorite way to enjoy nature?