A while back I wrote a blog about failure. I was so overwhelmed with life and even more so about what I wasn't doing to improve life for my family that I just felt like a terrible failure. It was a horrible feeling and not in the motivating I want to do better way, but in the I don't know how to fix this way. Well months later I am please to report that with the help of the Lord, I'm fixing it.
My world at home has changed and my attitude for the way I live has too and it feels SO GOOD. I want to give a shout out to my dear friend Becca S. Without you this never would have happened!
Becca allowed me to invite myself to come to her house every morning and workout with her.
I stink at motivating myself and Becca has been a most excellent workout buddy. We started at the beginning of winter. We've tried to be as consistent as possible but there were mornings skipped, even a couple of weeks during Christmas. The important part though is we've always picked it up again when life has slowed down.
I never in my wildest dreams expected this, but daily exercise has turned out FAR more blessings than just making my body look/feel healthier. It's like a little seed was planted that isn't growing into just a tree, but a FRUIT tree! And let me just say - I LOVE fruit.
I always thought that reading scriptures and praying daily is key to change.
I still believe this but my experience with it has not been as simple as that. I do not like to read and have struggled with consistent scripture study my whole life. I have often prayed for the desire to read because I had none and couldn't seem to get myself to do it. I feel like that's been one of those prayers that has just hung out there in limbo and for a long time, years even, I have not been blessed with that desire. I've still tried, sometimes harder than others, but for the most part I have just kind of waited for the blessing. This no doubt has stunted my growth, but I can only move forward at this point.
Over this past winter, the more active I got with working out the better I felt. I have noticed changes in my body that have encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing. Soon enough I found myself doing things that I hadn't done in a long time... like washing the dishes every morning and keeping up on laundry WILLINGLY and not just because it needed to be done. I've even started to clean the bathroom regularly! My whole perspective has changed!
From a clean kitchen (and the food storage we bought) stemmed the ability to make dinner for my family. This I think is probably the second biggest change that's taken place. Almost 3 years into marriage and I still wasn't consistently and certainly NOT willingly taking care of dinners. Now I WANT to and I'm not scared that I won't follow through!! Before I knew it I was consistently doing all the things, I thought would be hard for me, easily. AND from that I've learned a little about myself.
Last summer was not a good summer for me. It wasn't terrible, I was happy enough but I couldn't seem to muster up the energy or desire to do anything beyond sitting outside and chatting with the other mom's on the playground. Lucky for our family Nate was home all summer and picked up A LOT of my slack. The part that made summer not good was: because I was slacking I had guilt and I felt like a lazy person to the extent that I surrendered myself to thinking that's who I am.
So one day, a couple of weeks ago, while mopping my floor (I do it on a regular basis now!) I was comparing this time last year to right now and thinking about how much has changed. This is what my life looked like a year ago: I was nursing and caring for a 3 month old baby, I had 60-80 documents a day (about 6-8 hours work), I was working on a wedding dress, and my husband was in classes all day and, working till 2:30 am on average every night. This is a typical day today: Get up at about 7:30, Nate gets up with Bud and they have daddy son time, exercise at 8:00, do morning chores after exercise, SHOWER (I did not feel I had time for that last year and therefore did not shower often so~ it's a BIG deal) I have only about 5-15 docs a day (1-2 hours work) spend the rest of the day working on a project with a break to make dinner, Nate goes to school for either classes or homework Mon - Fri and comes home to spend the evening with us. WOW!!! What a world of difference.
Considering these things it finally dawned on me. I had a mild case of postpartum last summer and can anyone wonder why?! I was SERIOUSLY over worked. I wanted to be super mom. I wanted to be able to do it all, but as soon as Nate quit his job and I no longer had obligations to others outside my home I almost completely SHUT DOWN. Then I felt guilt for not working or wanting to work and I thought that must mean I'm a lazy person. I was wrong all along! I may have been lazy, but I am NOT a lazy person. I was doing some serious decompressing. I'm using the word serious a lot I'm aware.... but SERIOUSLY (it really has been a refreshing revelation)!
Exercising has given me the recharge I needed. I enjoy it so much now, and it's become such a clutch that I'm to the point that I even work out alone if I can't get together with Becca! I see now that I am capable. My house is consistently clean (enough) dinner is on the table, I have time to do the things I enjoy, and to take Bud out to do things he enjoys. And I haven't even gotten to the BEST part....
After all these years my prayers have been answered. I have the DESIRE to read the scriptures. It feels so backwards that exercise would lead to house cleaning and scripture study rather than scripture study leading to house cleaning and exercise, but it is how it is and I am so grateful. We have been taught many times that our bodies are temples and we need to take care of them and I truly have a testimony of that. When we do a little "house cleaning" our spirits are refreshed and the Lord has greater opportunity to bless us and answer our prayers.
The tree doesn't stop growing there. When we learn how to be a blessing to our family opportunities are more easily and often seen for how we can be of service to others. I'm grateful for this experience and how it has helped to change me, though I know that I did not make these changes on my own. Everything that has changed, besides making the choice to exercise, has come from the blessing of DESIRE, and that was a gift from my Savior. I know he lives. I know he loves us. And I know that if we pray for the blessings that will help us to make righteous choices our prayers will be answered. I know that our Savior knows us each by name and he cares, and if we let him he will guide us safely through this life to the next.