“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
~Ephesians 2:8-9~

The past two days have been dedicated to Christmas recovery time. I spent half of yesterday resting, reading, sleeping, and catching up on the phone with my aunt and my parents. After blessedly sleeping through the night I came out into the living room with a pillow, blanket, and pile of my stuff. My Bible, my books, my journal, a computer. I still do not have a morning routine.

At least not one I could define and say, “Here is exactly what I do everyday…” This morning I did a 30 minute stretching video by a woman who’s been a dancer since childhood. This particular one focused on hip flexors and hamstrings. It was one of my goals by the time I turned 40 to be in the best shape I’d ever been in my life. That seems laughable to me now, in the most extreme way.

I really am just glad to be functioning, to have felt generally good through these busier days. I don’t know how it shows up in men, but there sure seems to be a repeatedly real phenomenon where women reach this point where their health breaks down in a life-altering way. Your life must be reorganized. There is no choice and change isn’t optional. The old way of life can no longer go on.

I know that isn’t every woman’s experience, but I’d seen it enough times that I tried to prevent it. I thought I was taking care of myself. Doing the self-care, getting alone time, eating decently and exercising my body. But it was not enough to counteract the negative, the destructive patterns in my life. Part of my needed changes included bringing others into what I couldn’t do alone.

It is very hard to change, whether we choose it ourselves or the circumstances of life inevitably force change upon us. Sometimes I feel we try too soon to find spiritual meanings in our afflictions, whether it’s Christian people or unbelievers. And yet testimony after testimony reports a God who works everything together for our good, his word agrees clearly. By his grace I can accept that.

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