Friday, October 9, 2015

Why I'm Taking a Vacation From Exercising

I had been on my nutrition/lifestyle plan for all of five hours and I was already the expert.

I gave my husband a "chill out" look, and he shot me back an "are you serious", and it became clear that after we had dealt with the children before us, we would need a game plan on how to handle our new lifestyle changes.

Let me back up. I have rheumatoid arthritis. You may know this already. Shortly after it presented 9 1/2 years ago I realized that I was in good company. Or at least plenty of company.

I can tell you of a host of treatments that worked temporarily, but the list is long and that is not the point. Somewhere along the line I realized I was tired. Tired of pills. Tired of health companies. Tired of pain. And I'm not knocking the good people out there who manufacture and distribute things to make people feel well, but I think what I was tired of most of all was the feeling that I was owned. If my life wasn't totally dictated by the pain, then I was owned by those things that take the pain away.

So through a series of "random" events beginning with our sweet church in River Falls calling my husband (again) to be their pastor, I came across a man who pointed me to a woman who could help. Himself a medical professional, he gave me the tools to visit a woman who has treated thousands of clients with RA and seen amazing results. Her tools- foods. That. is. it. I already eat food. This could be a game changer.

Two weeks ago, I watched Karen Hurd's DVD, learned back almost everything I forgot in high school chemistry, biology, and physics, while being quite entertained by her theatrical examples of blood pressure, adrenaline spikes, and the like. You'd understand if you watched it. My husband and I watched bit by bit (it is a lot of information for our after-bedtime minds to absorb, and while watching it with fully functioning minds would be ideal, we have four kids who injure each other at the slightest hint of boredom). I asked him his thoughts. "She's kooky, but what she says makes sense".

Before it was half through I was internally apologizing to my adrenal glands. I'm sorry little adrenal glands. I won't beat you into labor anymore. I will stop jolting you with sugar and caffeine. C'mon adrenies, we'll do it together. You can trust me. We'll be friends. I told you I was tired.

The next day I decided to sneak peek the end while Heidy took a nap. So I folded my laundry and multitasked as usual. That's when she hit me with a curveball out of nowhere.

Her 18-24 month program to heal RA was not entirely food related.

Get this, she wanted me to rest.

Not take a nap every once in a while. We're talking minimize stress, and no formal exercise. None.
So, naturally, I cried.

To understand my tears I should tell you that where we live there are hundreds of non-profits, hippie grocery stores, holistic practitioners, gyms, coffee shops, music, theater, and art scenes, trails and state parks. On top of that, I have become so immersed in the desire to reach out into the community and join along other brothers and sisters, I have been on philanthropic sensory overload. And that's not even counting what is available to my kids. "I'm ready for something different, Lord. I'm ready for the next big adventure. Just point me in the right direction. What do you want me to do?"

His answer? Rest. She confirmed that answer when I met with her last week.

I haven't rested much. I am not allowed. You are allowed. I will give anyone else permission to rest, but me? Well, take a snooze when you get the laundry done. Rest when your flare-up doesn't give you the ability to be productive anyway. I alone put the pressure on.

And God says, that's enough.

In light of this first week I've noticed some things. 1. I really need to be patient and turn the "knowing" looks toward my husband off. Nobody likes a know-it-all. 2. I let too many things bug me. 3. Making a big influence with Jesus is nice, but it will not be accomplished by finding my own lane in the rat race. Things here have been functioning without me for some time and they will continue to do so. I need to pace myself. 4. We do too much. Then we feel like crap, take a pill or a drink, and keep going at the pace that is hurting us in the first place.

Then there is this: I have a lot to learn and a more than capable Teacher, if I will sit still long enough to listen and heal. 

Forget working out. We are working in.

We run such a tight ship in our lives, communities, churches, that we do not leave any room to sit and be still and know that He is God. For ten minutes in the morning? Fifteen, tops? For how long on Sunday? I pray we are beyond watching the clock. Are we taking, making, the time to recognize His presence every day?

So this gift of rest, I really don't think it is just for me. I think it is for you too. You can certainly tell people, "I'd love to, but no thank you. I need some time to heal." They'll give you funny looks, but who is going to say, "Heal? You don't need to heal!" (If they do say that, I recommend walking away and not punching them in the face.) Sabbath it up! Or if you are filled to the brim with life and need a tiny Sabbath, you can just come here, because my lack of running and exercise should give me some serious time to observe and report. I'll try to make it somewhat entertaining as well.

Or, if you are one of those folks who gets this whole Sabbath deal and takes the time and has some words of wisdom for me, share. Please. Share. I'll take all the wisdom I can get. And now apparently I will be able to sit and listen to it. Whatcha think?