What is your story?
It seems like every day I hear the story of a woman who is longing to thrive and to serve her family... but she is sick. She doesn't know why, she doesn't know how to fix it, and she feels overwhelmed by the weight of the burden.
It is a story I have heard more times than I can count... and a story which I have lived. It is the tale of motherhood in which openness to life and the vocation of service requires the stretching of mind, body, and soul beyond what we believe we can do.
We do what we need to do. We suck it up. We learn to live with less sleep. We gain some weight. We lose some strength. We eat cold chicken nuggets so they don't go to waste and guzzle coffee to keep up with life...
We learn about our hidden strengths and that our limits expand when we push against them.
We learn that it feels good to stretch in service of Truth and Beauty and that our deepest joy is found in that service.
But we also learn...
That there are physical laws which govern our existence in addition to the spiritual ones... and that there are limits which cannot be breached without harm. We are grateful, joyful, trusting, and prayerful. We learn to push through "survival mode" to get to the other side. But then we learn the very hard truth about our earthly existence....
Our bodies have limits. And some of us are breaking.
My own story is repeated back to me so many times through the words of other Catholic women: "I got away with poor nutrition, patchy fitness, and toxic physical environment for years... decades; but now my body is broken and I can't function. I'm in pain. I'm exhausted every day. I'm depressed. I've hit bottom."
I get it... and I've got a message for all of you mamas: Wine and Starbucks will only take you so far.
They deaden pain and they mimic energy but they do not heal or nourish. There is a way to RISE to a place that isn't perpetual survival mode. As a friend of mine said: "There are some of us who will be called to unique suffering... even a few who God allows to be victim souls... but not most of us. For most of us, we will be called to heal and to thrive in His service."
I am the mother of a young adult and a baby... And there are a million miles to travel and 8 other souls in between (including myself and my husband) to care for. There are unexpected events and crisis. So many people to be loved. And sometimes, I've got nothing left in the tank. Except hope, support, and a plan.
I'm prioritizing my health so that I can serve my family for the rest of my life and continue to raise children for the next 20 years. When I struggle against the thought that this is a selfish and imbalanced goal, I quickly remember...
I have no choice.
I refuse to spend the rest of my motherhood fighting illness and it's accompanying depression if I don't have to. I refuse to carry burdens that aren't of God, that I have placed upon my own shoulders through bad or sloppy choices.
This renewal will not be found in wine and coffee. For me, it will be found in radical lifestyle change. I have already begun it but am far from finished. It is a gift to me and my gift back to God.
On these pages, I will be focusing on three primary areas (always with the understanding that the spiritual life will take priority above all):
Not sure you want to get on board? Here's a thought experiment...
If you found out tomorrow that you have cancer, you would likely devote a disproportionate amount of time to appointments, internet research, reading, and perhaps focus more on faith and family. This wellness journey is somewhat comparable in that it is initiated through great need.
Just because you may not have a life threatening illness does not mean that you should ignore your health.
This is not a gloomy journey. Not a deprivation journey. Not a journey of loss. It is a journey of JOY and stretching to uncover a little more of what beauty God has chosen for your life! I am a living testimony that our small choices can become great miracles... and I'm actively walking, crawling, running the journey with you. Let's begin!