What A Girl Needs
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ~
As women and wives, we have busy days full of never-ending "to do" lists. In the midst of those long days, when you feel like you need an IV of non-stop caffeine, we let our bodies slip. We don't sleep long enough. We skip our workouts. We opt for takeout on the drive home. We forsake our time in God's Word. We wear our bodies down to the point of exhaustion. But for what? Why in the world do we do this to ourselves? Yes... jobs are important. Yes... errands and chores are important. But how can we expect our bodies to continue to rev up when our tanks are constantly empty of fuel?
Leading a healthy lifestyle is essential for us and our families. Of course the results of living healthily can be rewarding; glowing skin, toned tummies, great hair, bright eyes, less wrinkles, etc,.. (Sidenote: if you fit the above description, I would love to meet you, ha!) but the most sincere reason for our healthy lives should not be for ourselves but for God. It is very clear that we are to admire our bodies as a temple from God. We should not view our bodies as our own but as a gift that is from Him. Wow! What an amazing and overwhelming concept to truly wrap our minds around! Our body is a temple from God. Our bodies were so uniquely designed by God. We are truly a vision of His work.
As we enter into the New Year, there are several of us gals that have probably made resolutions and goals for 2012. Let's make one of those goals to not just provide a healthy environment for our beloved families but to make a conscious effort, each and every day, to honor our bodies and to treat them as a gift from God. I cannot even begin to think how many times I have taken my health for granted. I pick at myself a lot! I mean, come on ladies... let's get real. We want to have Jennifer Aniston's arms or Carrie Underwood's legs. There are some beautiful women who grace the covers of magazines who make me a lil' green with envy. I'll go to the gym determined to have a "6 pack" in a week but I only seem to set myself up for disappointment. Not just because that goal is impossible in that short of time but because I'm doing it for the wrong reason. I don't usually grab my gym bag thinking, "Alright God, this workout is for you!" But what if we did have that mindset? What if that was our approach to working out, cooking meals, taking care of our hair, our skin? Each time we choose to just crawl into bed with that makeup still sitting on our tired faces, we're choosing to not rinse the worries of the day away. We're choosing to let the day's stresses stay with us overnight and we're not taking care of one of the most essential parts of our bodies.
I believe that each and every girl should have a few routines that they grow into and change, according to their lifestyle; a prayer routine, a reading routine, a sleep routine, a skin routine, a workout routine, and a meal routine. It's important to make room for these routines in your daily life.
1) Prayer Routine
2) Reading Routine
I combined my first two routines together because I usually spend time in prayer throughout my reading/devotion time. I think it is oh so important, as wives and women, to have that quiet, alone time with God as some point throughout our day. I try to do mine first thing in the mornings. Now that isn't going to work with everyone. You may have different job hours or kids to rush off to school but any time with God is time well spent! It is our duty, as wives, to pray for our husbands and our families daily and to continue to grow in our relationship with the Lord. I am so grateful for finding a couple of different devotions and Bible studies that have spoken to me and allowed me the opportunity to dive deeper into His Word. Find what works for you and just enjoy your time with God each day! It is such a blessing!
3) Sleep Routine
I'm pretty sure sleep is the first thing that gets overlooked when our lives grow hectic. Whether it's kids, work, or just spreading yourself too thin, we've all been there! I have learned over the past couple of years that sleep is essential in staying refreshed, alert, and healthy. There was a time when I was working three jobs all at once. I was finishing up one, starting another, and was working part time at a different place. Sleep was out the window! I was always tired, I wasn't eating well, I was grumpy, and I ran my body into the ground and literally made myself sick. Something had to give. I was trying to fit way too many things into a 24 hour day and please way too many people. I wasn't taking care of myself and making myself a priority. I'm sure we've all read or heard that 8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep but ultimately ladies, you know what your bodies need. You may crave less or you may crave more. Point is... sleep and enjoy it! Turn off those cell phones, TV's, computers and make your bed an oasis.
4) Skin Routine
If you're like me, your skin can always tell the world what kind of week you've had. Whether I'm stressed, tired, dehydrated, or completely healthy and refreshed, my skin is the first to either reap the rewards or the first to suffer. Somewhere between my busy college and post college years to now, I have developed a skin care routine that finally seems to work for me. It is so important for us to take care of our skin! It is a delicate and fragile gift from God and a part of our bodies that tends to get overlooked. Sure, there are crazy creams and ointments out there but there's really no need to spend a large amount of money on your skin. Find what works for you and your skin type and develop a morning and evening skin care routine that fits your schedule. Our bodies are a representation of God. Your skin is one of the first things that others notice about you and while no, one should never judge based on looks, we should take enough pride in our bodies and take care of our precious gift.
5) Workout Routine
Ah, exercise. You either love it or you hate it. I am certainly no expert in this department but I do know that hitting the gym or going for a jog has major benefits. Not only does it help us "tone it up" but it increases blood flow, keeps our heart strong, strengthens our mind, and keeps us disciplined by sticking to a regiment. We all have at least 30 minutes a day to do a little something, something... am I right? ;) We may need to peel our booties from the TV or shut down Facebook but hey, this sacrifice is a great way to honor and maintain the body that has been given to us. Personally, I'm not huge fan of working out and it wasn't something I really had to do until a few years ago. I grew up dancing 6-7 days a week, for hours at a time. Eventually, after college, my dance schedule lightened up and I had to find other ways to keep moving. I like to switch things up a bit and keep my body guessing. One day I may be on the treadmill and the next day doing crazy stretches on a yoga mat. There are so many options! Zumba, Pilates, Pure Barre... we can totally keep our workouts exciting. And... it's lots of fun to get your hubby in on the action! It's a great way to get out and about with your man!
6) Meal Routine
My final "routine" that ties all of this together is fueling your body with what it truly needs. I so wish we lived in a world where ice cream, pizza, and cheeseburgers were considered healthy but... we don't! While those things are fine, in moderation, it is up to us to provide yummy and nutritious meals for our families. We live such busy lives and sometimes it is a lot easier to order carryout from your local China Hut but we need to concentrate on what we can offer at home. Depending on your schedule, come up with a few nights a week where you can cook at home. Make meals ahead of time. Plan your meals... it's fun, easy, and makes your life a lot less stressful in the long run. Use a CrockPot. It's important to find a routine that works for you and to provide the proper fuel that you body craves.
Our God is such a mighty God and it is wonderfully overwhelming to think He created my body especially for me. He made every single part of me; my heart, my mind, my skin, my hair, my eyes. What a beautiful gift that we have been given! The only way that I can repay God for this outstanding gift is by praising Him daily and to make an effort to take care of this precious gift. When I think about the ultimate sacrifice that He made for us, the small amount of time that I spend on polishing my body is just a tiny way to say, "thank you, Lord"!
Happy New Year ladies and many, many blessings!