I kind of hate exercise. I want to love it, I really do. I grew up with parents who love athletics of any kind, and more specifically, a dad who ran marathons. Training for and running a marathon takes a tremendous amount of discipline, will power and mental strength. While I always found it inspiring to watch my dad go through the process, I myself have generally subscribed to the “mental and physical torture for 20+ miles is not for me” mentality.

Over the years I have made attempts to get into an exercise routine, mostly because I want to know I am as healthy as I can be. And possibly so I can eat copious amounts of ice cream in good conscience, but definitely for the health benefits. My not-totally-consistent but genuine attempts were working out pretty well for me until I decided to record my second CD, tour like crazy and give birth all in the span of a year. Life got busy, I got morning sickness, and all bets were off.

10 months after our sweet baby girl Lorelei was born, I knew it was time. When my husband Jordan asked if I’d like to start running with him, I said yes (even if my face, body language and tone of voice said, “Uh, no thanks buddy.”). I dug my running shoes out of the closet, strapped Lorelei into her jogging stroller and prepared for the worst. And yet, a funny thing happened during that first run (er, jog). Instead of spending those few miles stopping to catch my breath every 30 seconds, telling Jordan I might throw up and generally asking, “WHY ME?!”, I felt the presence of God helping me through it. I’m not saying I was carried along on the wings of angels (I wish!) or anything crazy supernatural, but when it started to get hard I immediately thought of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me.” For most of the run, I repeated in my mind, “You can do more than you think you can!” and “I can do all things through Christ!” and, okay, “I gave birth to a human being with no drugs!” and by the end, I was impressed with what I’d accomplished. It wasn’t a lot, but it was more than I’d originally thought I could do and that felt really great.

I still kind of hate exercise, and a month later I still have no consistent routine. I’m working on it, but that’s really not the point. The point is that at 25 years old, I am learning to trust God with my whole life. Not just with my future or my child, but with my 20-minute run. With the little things in my day I let bother me and bring me down. I am learning to let each moment be an exercise in growth so that when the big things come at me, I am ready to trust God wholly and completely, because I know that by His strength, I can do it.

 

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