Tis the season for productive hibernation
--or resolutions--

I'm not really the one to make a lot of resolutions, but I am a lover of goals. I've always been this way. I love setting them, coming up with benchmarks, developing plans and means to get there, and then reaching them or better yet surpassing them.

Over the last couple of months however, I've really been pressed to search my heart for its motivations and desires. I came to realize that part of my love of goals comes from an unhealthy love of control. And needless to say, this isn't a pure motivation.

I noticed this specifically in my motivations to run and work out. I didn't start running seriously until the fall of 2012. Lang and I had just gotten married and my dad was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Running felt like one of the only ways I could free my mind. And after his bones began breaking from the cancer, I felt even more inspired to run. I was so overwhelmed with gratefulness for a healthy and able body. It's such an incredible gift! This truth was so real to me during this time and so every morning, I would hop out of bed before dawn and hit the streets of Louisville.

Over time however, this rush began to fade and running and working out began to feel like a chore. I stopped for a while, then started again out of guilt and desiring physical changes--my mind getting stuck on numbers and sizes and fear of losing what endurance I had gained. I read this great article from Darling, Breaking Up With My Ideal Self, along with another book more recently, Crazy Busy, and starting seeing some of my unhealthy motivations.

So I began asking myself questions--checking the intentions of my heart. When asking myself why it was that I wanted to work out that day, the answer was most often one of the following:

-- I ate way too much yesterday. I need to go for a run today. (guilt)
-- I want to enjoy myself tonight. I'll feel better if I work out before (control)
-- If I don't get my work out in each morning, it messes my whole day up. (perfectionism + control)
-- I want to get back to my "ideal" weight and fitness level (perfectionism, proving myself/pride)

It's really insightful and convicting when you simply ask yourself "why?". Whether it's in regards to exercising, spending money, spending your time, or even posting something to facebook or instagram, searching your heart for its motivations is incredibly revealing of the fears your operating on or what the source of your worship is. In this day of age (I hate that I just said that), we live in such a public arena and it's so easy to find yourself living to appease the world and it's ideals--trying and create and/or project the best version of yourself. Those worldly ideals aren't truths and those motivations won't sustain you.

I'll close with this. In the fall of 2011, I spent a weekend in NYC. We stayed with this incredible family of two boys and a baby girl. One morning, the younger boy was throwing a fit because he wanted the toy that his older brother was playing with. His mother simply asked him, "Son, do you have a thankful heart or a coveting heart?" He lowered his head and softly replied, "a coveting heart," and waited his turn to play with the toy.

If a three year old can recognize the state of his heart, I surely hope that I can as well. We are blessed beyond measure and have been given abundant life! My resolution for 2014 is to live out of a thankful heart rather than a coveting heart; that my motivations come from the desire to care what what I've been given and to live life to the fullest.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the  Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? 
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:20


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