Our family has been settling into our new life in North Carolina for four weeks now. This move has opened our eyes to some new sights, new temperatures (hot!), new people, a new culture, and all other forms of newness a move brings a person’s way.
We expected all of that, but would you like to hear what I didn’t expect to see?
Everywhere I look there are moms in the best shape I’ve ever seen a mom to be. Moms with muscular legs and toned arms. Moms in workout wear around every corner in every store. Moms who seem to live and breathe for their next chance to exercise. Moms who look like they’ve never given birth to the three kids they’re out and about with. It’s kind of blowing my mind.
I think I notice them mostly because I know that exercise is what my life is severely lacking at this point. Getting my body moving is one of the things I think about every single day. It’s kind of like when you’re pregnant, or desire to be pregnant and you begin to see pregnant ladies everywhere. You can’t miss them.
All of this in-shape mama people-watching has gotten me thinking. Are all these moms just on their A-game when it comes to taking care of their bodies in a healthy way, living a healthy lifestyle? Or are they caught up in the pressure to be gorgeous with a gorgeous body to boot, willing to do anything to make it happen?
I can’t figure it out.
The reason doesn’t really matter — either way, I know my reaction to it hasn’t been real healthy. Even when it’s 95 degrees I’ve wanted to hide, cover my arms, and steer clear of shorts rather than take charge of my own health like these women have.
Then I tell myself to get a grip. My life isn’t a carbon copy of theirs (far from it!) and my body has been through a lot, so I shouldn’t compare. And my health, for the most part, is a result of my choices. The good and also the poor ones.
Here’s the thing: I always want to make sure I’m seeing myself in light of the gospel truth. We are fully loved and fully known, with a temple (body) we’ve been entrusted to take good care of. But sometimes we forget, don’t we?
We forget how fully loved and fully known we are in Christ.
Sometimes I don’t think I deserve to be loved for how my body looks, and I most certainly don’t always want to be fully known (hello, swimsuit season).
In those times, I’ve got it completely backwards and I know it. Don’t we usually know it? We know it, but we don’t know how to get outside the mindset that we need and want to be like HER. Act like her. Treat our family like her. Workout like her. Have a severe lack of cellulite like her.
We get stuck in that trap again and again. But here’s the other thing: we shouldn’t strive to be like her when God is asking us to be like HIM.
We get sidetracked so easily fixing our eyes on the temporary, while temporarily ignoring what we know to be true.
Yep, that’s us. Even though we’re fickle and we get it wrong, HE. LOVES. US.
It might sound cliché and we hear about God’s love all the time, but it’s true.
HE LOVES YOU. You are so important to God that He offered His one and only Son Jesus as the One who would receive the death we all deserve. When God looks at us, He sees Jesus.
I don’t know of a greater love than that.