936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
When my family and I set off two years ago to overhaul our diet, we had no idea what we were in for. We had no idea how much learning, cooking, tasting, failure, and success the road ahead of us held. We really didn’t understand that the race we were embarking on had no finish line; we were setting off on a lifelong journey. I had some apprehensions. I didn’t know how to cook, after all, and vegetables had been foreign to my diet growing up. And as we took our initial baby steps into a more whole way of life, we really had no idea of how much we would enjoy every step of this journey!
Over the past two years, there were a lot of times I could have thrown in the towel. I’ve been thinking about this, and looking back over our journey so far. This reflection stemmed from an e-mail I recently received.
Last week I was contacted by the American Recall Center, and asked to participate in their Who Keeps You Healthy? Campaign. It’s simple, they told me, just write about your Health Hero– the primary person who motivates you to stay healthy.
A Health Hero is someone who knows you inside and out. They know what encourages you, what inspires you, what scares you. They know what your “wall” looks like, the one that threatens to trip you up and kill your momentum; the one you must scale before moving forward. They recognize hurdles in your path, sometimes even before you yourself see them; and they jump those hurdles alongside of you. They cheer for you, they fight for you, they push you beyond what you believe you are capable of. They know your goals, and they make it their own mission to see you realize those dreams.
So when I was asked, Who is your Health Hero? I didn’t have to think twice before knowing who I would write about.
All of the things that make up a health hero, they are my husband, and he is them. He is my Health Hero. If it wasn’t for his constant encouragement, inspiration, and occasional pestering for me to try cooking something new or to squeeze in an extra run, I’d have given up this pursuit long ago.
he hadn’t encouraged me to use a new fresh ingredient each week. I would have put down my knife and apron if he hadn’t made fresh, whole foods a priority in our budget, or if he hadn’t bought me a cast iron skillet for Mother’s Day. But he did. As I chopped garlic and onions, he stood by my side breaking down whole chickens. And most weeks he insists on accompanying me to the farmer’s market, helping me pick out the brightest peppers and freshest green onions while maneuvering our two young boys in our bus of a stroller amidst the crowd. Some nights he even offers to wash the mountain of dishes which is often the aftermath of my busy day creating in the kitchen.
he had not offered to watch the boys so I could go to the gym three times a week, or if he hadn’t insisted I buy a new pair of running shoes that wouldn’t hurt my feet. Or if he didn’t take us on regular family walks and hikes. But he does. And when I met a new milestone last month he took me to pick out some new gear I had been needing. I used to hate running, and I would have stopped before realizing just how much I actually love running if he hadn’t made me a deal at the beginning to keep me going: A foot rub after each run.
he hadn’t sat next to me watching food documentaries on Netflix, or passed on to me nutrition and health articles he found online. I would have stopped if he wouldn’t have allowed me to buy a new book on occasion (or often). But he did. And he listened to podcasts on running and nutrition while he was at work, suggested them to me, then came home and discussed them with me. If his eyes would have glazed over every time I mentioned the benefits of grass-fed butter, or the differences between Omega-3s and Omega-6s, I would have given up the conversation and moved on in life. But they didn’t. Instead he listened, asked questions, and found more material on the subjects for me to read.
he didn’t proof read every one of my blog posts (except this one; this one’s a surprise ;), and offered honest critique of even small details in communication and writing. Or if he hadn’t sat me down and convinced me that I am a writer. But he did. He is the one who came up with my most popular posts and blog series, the ones that have meant the most to me and my readers. Because of him, I have endless adventures to write of.
Almost five years ago this man promised to love me in sickness and in health. He has stayed true to that promise in both circumstances, and he is taking that vow a step farther by making certain we see more health than sickness.
Throughout this whole journey my husband has been right at my side, not only cheering me on every way he knows how to, but also running (sometimes literally) right alongside me. He inspires me. He enables me. He teaches me.
The truth is, I would have quit this wholesome living journey long ago if I didn’t have him to enjoy this adventure with. But I do have him. So I keep going.
Whether it’s your spouse, your best friend, your sister or brother, having someone alongside you in your journey to a more whole life can make all the difference. So what about you? Who motivates you to pursue a healthier, more whole life? Comment below!
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!