{found via pinterest from maisonsblanches}

personally i rather like this month of january. keane is not a big fan. he has gotten rather upset as we've taken down all of the christmas decorations over the past week or so. a few nights ago at dinner he was close to tears because he wanted christmas to come again "tomorrow." poor kid - it's the first year christmas has really stuck in his mind, and now he's realizing that all the festivities only last for a few weeks, not forever.

anyway, i like january. i like the cold. i like the freshness. i like the structure of getting back to our normal lives after the craziness of the holidays. but i absolutely hate, and i mean hate, going to the gym. 

don't get me wrong, i actually like going to the gym. i like getting my workouts in while my kids get to play. i love my yoga classes because i know i wouldn't {and didn't} do yoga nearly as often when i wasn't going to class. i enjoy my time watching soccer games or hgtv while i run. apparently a lot of people do not actually enjoy the gym, but i really do. {this isn't to say i don't enjoy working out outside, but that's a different discussion.}

but in january. january is the surge. january is the time when everyone and their mother comes back to the gym and joins the gym, and the parking lot is so parked up that it takes us ten minutes to walk from the back of the parking lot to the door while hauling two kids and three bags. it's the time when all the kids are going crazy because they aren't yet used to the schedule and structure again. it's the time when yoga class is so full that concentrating on breathing becomes secondary to making sure you don't accidentally smack the person next to you.

it's a good thing in a way. or it can be. it's a good thing that people want to get into better shape. the health of our nation as a whole would be a lot more promising if we worked less and exercised more. {maybe my ridiculous insurance premiums would go down a bit then. doubtful, but maybe.} but not everyone actually enjoys the gym. a lot of people really don't. for a lot of people it would be much better to take a walk every day at lunch, or ride their bike to work, or go for a run outside in the morning, or just try to walk 10,000+ steps every day. 

there are many ways to get healthy. the gym is not the only way, nor is it the best way {or enough} for a lot of people.

i think sometimes we lose ourselves a little bit when we're trying to be like everyone else. we think "everyone" goes to the gym, so that's the best way to get into shape. but we're not supposed to be like everyone else. if we were we would've been made exactly the same. we like to pretend we celebrate differences - and to a certain extent we do - but at the same time we expect people to more or less fall into line. it's an interesting paradox.

everyone wants to belong, but we often feel that the only way we can belong is to be just like everyone else. we all want to be normal, and we don't realize that in many ways there's no such thing.

or we don't realize that sometimes the way everyone else seems to do it is a really bad idea. all too often people are falling apart on the inside, but on the outside they look just fine. this is often true up until people reach their breaking point.

this isn't anything new, but it's so easy to forget. we're bombarded with images of people who seem to have it all together. it's not that they actually do, but they look the part. and it can seem so small and insignificant to fight back with the small voice inside of you that reminds us, "i am created in the image of God."

we don't have to be good enough for God. we can't be good enough for him on our own because we already mucked it up. and that's where Jesus comes in.

really at the end of the day i shouldn't be annoyed that there are no parking spaces at the gym. i should be thankful that people are trying to take care of their bodies. i should be thankful that i have the opportunity to walk farther and get in more steps. i have the opportunity to get stronger by lugging a million and a half things in the door. i should be thankful for the reminder that God hasn't given up on me. thankful that i don't have to be good enough as i am. and i should be thankful that God loves me exactly how i am, and he loves me enough to keep making me more like Jesus.



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