Sun Rise Sun Set

It has been about 2 months since the Veritas “Conquering Trip.” For those of you who are not familiar with our Veritas terms, our youth program is divided into 3 milestones (Awakening, Forging, & Conquering) over the course of one year.

    As our final hurrah, the Conquering trip is designed to have more complex meal preparations, more challenging hikes, and deeper spiritual discussions. But, after building a foundation of healthy habits, strengthening stronger muscles and drawing closer to the Lord in the year of the Veritas program, it can still be temptingly easy to fall back into excessive rest and bad habits!
    Have you ever experienced this? It can happen after accomplishing any goal. Maybe for you it looked like giving yourself a break after reaching a weight-loss goal from a heathy diet, running a half marathon, or reading a significant portion of the Bible. After so much training and structure, you think, “I’ll just give myself a few days to rest!” But then all of a sudden you realize its been a few months!
    This is what has happened to me. It has been a couple of months since the Conquering trip. For me this looks like staying in to watch an unhealthy amount of Netflix instead of going to a yoga class or forgetting to schedule in time to talk with God. Or, it looks like eating biscuits and gravy instead of eggs and fruit for breakfast! Its like.. Ashley, it’s not a “cheat meal” anymore if you ate it yesterday too… yeah. And then, I’m left feeling sluggish and unmotivated and guilty.
    Sound familiar? If its happened to you too, you’re probably finding that its nearly just as hard to continue your healthy habits as it was to begin them in the first place!
    We see this natural tendency in the history of humanity. For example: The Israelites. For 40 years, just after leaving captivity and escaping slavery in Egypt, after the Lord literally parted a sea to save their lives, they grumbled and tired away from Him. Then they trusted Him again. Then they didn’t. Then they turned back. Then they turned away. Then back again. We live life on a roller coaster. Highs and lows over and over again. This is what we do. This is our nature.
    So, how do we get back to it? In the past weeks and over my 26 years of being a typical roller coaster human, when I see that I’m falling into the trap of this mentality, I’ve realized that taking a step back and allowing myself to be inspired does wonders. Things that inspire me are reading in my hammock, diffusing lavender oil, cuddling Ingrid, my puppy, and planting tiny succulents in pretty little pots.
    I know these things may sound silly and frivolous but, to me, they play an important role. I believe it’s important to find the Lord in the small things. He has given us the small things. The sound of puppy yawns and the smell of lavender and the strange textures of succulents are all gifts from the Lord. He created the world around us. And, he gave you unique little passions to inspire you.
    What small things do you love? What inspires you? Take some time this week to let yourself enjoy something you love. Be inspired.
    Then, starting small, work your healthy habits back into your routine. Get back to the grind of things. Realize that the Lord made humanity (you and me) this way. We need him. We can’t do it on our own. I believe that this is why every day the sun rises and sets in incredible beauty; because we, His creations, thrive on daily inspiration from our creative Creator.