When we have life events that we celebrate, we eat cake, and a lot of it. Birthdays, weddings, baby showers, you name it. We eat the cake. And in the name of health, we often shove it away or say, "No thanks, I'm watching what I'm eating."
I've recently started to take my health journey more seriously. With a family history of diabetes and heart disease, I realized how important it is to take care of myself. I've also started my own business with some incredible products and have been learning about the ways our bodies flourish when we eat better and take care of ourselves.
Health is important, yes. For too many years, I had focused all my energy on hating my body and hating my appearance. I'm so grateful for His redeeming works of love!
God gave me this body. This body is mine to cherish and to take care of. This is my temple, my own personal dwelling of the Holy Spirit.
One of the ways I've been doing this is by working out more. I've started to do a program called Couch to 5K, and it teaches you how to do just that: run a 5K.
I am not a runner. I'm not skinny. I am not the most physically fit person, by any standard. And I really have never been.
But learning to run has translated into my own walk with the Lord. This program intersperses walking with jogging. The first week starts off with a 5 minute warm-up, then alternates 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking.
As the weeks go by, it slowly increases to running more and walking less.
I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not "cute" when I workout. I get sweaty. I get out of breath. I feel like giving up a lot of the time.
Learning to run has taught me a lot about endurance and what my body can handle. I'm learning that running is just about as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical one: my body can handle more than my brain is convinced that I can.
In the same way, the Father has used running and treating my body like a temple to speak in such simple, beautiful ways.
When you work out, you get out of breath. You feel your heart pounding in your chest as you encourage yourself to take just one more step.
You are tired. You are thirsty.
In these moments, the Father reminds me how good He is--even in the midst of being tired.
When we are spiritually thirsty, He is the one who supplies us with an everlasting, ever-flowing river of water. When we are exhausted, He provides His arms for us to lean on.
I'm also learning that it's okay to eat the cake.
It is okay to enjoy food. To enjoy life. To celebrate and dance and go out to those late-night runs to Waffle House and enjoy dinner with friends.
It's okay to eat the cake.
That doesn't just have to be limited to food. It's okay to take that chance that you're scared to take. It's okay to dream. It's okay to try new things. Life is too short to allow fear to take first place in our lives.
Enjoy it. Savor it.
Eat the cake.