I’ve always been fascinated with astronomy. I can’t wait for my daughter to be old enough to learn the constellations with me and to have one of those HUGE telescopes positioned in our living room (or better yet, on our covered porch/deck) so that we can look and learn and explore together…

Maybe it’s super second grade of me, but along the same lines, I’ve also always had an interest in our solar system and the orbiting nature of planets around the sun, and the moons around planets. It’s just all really poetic in a way.

As strange as it may seem, I sometimes like to think of my life in the same way. What I mean is that I try to be aware of what I am letting my life, and more specifically the different facets of my life, revolve around. And I have to constantly ask myself and evaluate, “What’s at the center?” What’s the reason behind everything that I do, and how does each facet align itself with that?

Here’s where this analogy falls apart, however. In reality, what we hold at our center, is rarely one thing, and I think more often than not, it’s more of a principle.

And for me, the principle that I try to center myself around is this: Is what I am doing or pursuing honoring to God, meeting the needs of my family, and is it beneficial to my own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being?

It’s a tall order, I realize…

But there’s more to consider here. There is a responsibility on our part to make sure that the facets of our lives meet that checklist. We have to ask ourselves, “Okay, if such and such in my life isn’t upholding my guiding principles, then what can I do to fix that?” If the answer is that you simply can’t, then it’s time to say “Adios!” to some things…

But sometimes, all we really need is to evaluate our intentions and our priorities, and a little reordering on our own solar systems may just do the trick…

I think that our health and wellness is one of those things that often needs a little re-orienting…

The way that a lot of the fitness industry has positioned itself in terms of marketing and product offerings, has honestly left me a little downhearted at times…

Because I see people that I love and care about either promoting or buying into this idea that the way their body looks is what health is all about...which is actually completely asinine. No offense.

Being fit looks different on every person, and the level of fitness or even strength that one person wants to achieve may be very different from that which the person next to them desires to achieve. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

As much as I do make it a priority to workout most days and be mindful of the things that I put into my body and the bodies of my family members, I also believe that if these things become obsessions and/or get in the way of a person’s ability to see their own worth, and to experience the joy that they deserve, then it’s 100% okay to put them on the back burner.

When someone wakes up and, despite feeling like they really should get their workout in, makes the choice not to because it’s honestly just going to make their lives more stressful for the day...there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

I can tell you that if I made that decision (and I really do sometimes), I am not neglecting to a) honor God, b) meet my family’s needs, and c) benefit my own well-being. I am taking the rest that is very much needed in that moment. I am still well within my guiding principles.

But I can also tell you that the same can be said for someone who does experience those feelings, and chooses to workout any way.

Mom’s don’t suddenly become superstars because they workout every day, or eat healthy every day, or always put their children’s needs ahead of their own, or whatever it is. In fact, I don’t think moms ever really become superstars. Because I think we already are. Every one of us who endures the stress of parenthood, whether that’s one child or multiple children, spends each and every day fighting to do our best for our families. And if that is not a battle of epic and heroic proportions, I don’t know what is!

That got a little sideways, I suppose, so I’ll do my best to bring it back around ;)

We are focused on health and wellness this month, and that has a lot to do with working out and eating healthfully. But that is not what drives us. That is still just one of the outer-lying aspects of our lives. Sure, it may look more like Jupiter than Mars on some days, but it still requires that constant evaluation same as any other part of our lives…

Am I honoring God? Am I meeting the needs of my family? Am I benefiting my own physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being?

If not, what do I need to do in my health and wellness routine to realign it with my “center”, my purpose.

Both Heather and I know what it looks like to have our physical health be the “center” of our lives, and if you’ve read our stories, you’ll know that that didn’t lead to anything good.

And all the issues that we have had to overcome in developing truly healthy routines and practices for ourselves have made that journey of learning ten times harder than it had to be...fraught with failures and frustration.

But finally, at 25 years of age and more than 13 years of searching (and probably hugely due to becoming mothers and wives and suddenly being responsible for more than just ourselves), I feel really good about the place that both of us are at.

And I think it’s because we’ve finally come to realize that we have to actively engage with our purpose as we approach every aspect of our lives, health and wellness included, and question what it is that we are letting our lives revolve around each and every day. We realize that it is our personal responsibility to maintain that balance, for the sake of our own well-being as well as that of our families. But we also realize that some days that balance is just going to be out of whack and there’s nothing we are going to be able to do about it, other than take a deep breath, say a little prayer, go to bed, and let the rising sun unveil a glorious new day, a new opportunity to focus on the things that matter most.

And after reading through this again, I realize that both of our posts this week are intriguingly along the same train of thought...that's what you get for being twins :p