Integral Resilience

“She draws on her strength and reveals that her arms are strong.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31‬:‭17‬ ‭
If we have inherited a perception of pregnancy that it is an infirmity, the truth that it is an incredible expression of strength will be lost on us!

I believe that intentionally applying energy and mental effort to the goal of increasing strength is a Good Thing at all times, but pregnancy may be a hard time to establish such a lifestyle. This is because everything tends to feel a little tougher. Is this weakness, or is it testifying to the reality that motherhood is a work of itself and requires our diligent attention to mindset? 
33 weeks with Laurel, 2018

Between my second pregnancy and my third, I found a rhythm of expressing energy in a way that strengthened my body and mind, and for the first time I found what a blessing it was to render my body full of energy *by spending it*.

During this transformation I learned to discern the difference between fuel and other matter. This invited me to fuel for the way I wanted to feel, wanted to train. The integrity (or lack thereof) of what I consumed was very easily felt while training, and I did not like the feeling of trying to move without fuel.

After establishing for myself how much more life I could receive and experience by receiving true nourishment, of course I was conscious of fuel during pregnancy! I knew I wanted to continue training and additionally, a human being formed within my body was another really good reason to be sure that both of us could be built up by what we were receiving! I received many comments at the gym for the ability to continue training as before. This was because I did not perceive that pregnancy was an infirmity, but a strength, and intentionally pursued increase in capacity, as the discipline of motherhood demands such things! Integrity is remaining complete by The Word regardless of the situation or feelings we experience.

I think our experience in labor and birth can be very related to how our life is lived in all other areas. As a intensely challenging physiological process, it only reveals our deepest perception of the strength we have. Whether we are empowered or defeated is up to the spirit over us. Our own spirit is given to weakness, but the Holy Spirit is able to train us up beyond our desire to stay comfortable and increase us for the purpose of mothering with integrity.

We can get lost in a narcissistic ideal of “fit pregnancy”, or we can confess with our mouth that Yeshua is Master to the effect that we are not our own, we are bought with a price and therefore are compelled by an Authority and reason greater than our own to do what is excellent and honorable. Listening to Paul speak of training his body so that he might not be disqualified, I perceive that physical capacity is an effective component in the service of our Master. I listened to the ancient book of Jasher and I heard a line that fascinated me “…and Abram strengthened himself in the land”. A note was made that he did not lackadaisically expect that Yah was going to bless a lazy, atrophied man unwilling to lift a finger. Strength is a characteristic of our Father, and extended for our good. Should we expect that we are not to be inclined to pursue for the benefit of our own offspring?

If you are of a mind to guard well and even increase strength as a baby grows within you, knowing that a greater *need* for strength is coming, I have a few useful ideas from my own experiences to share:

Keep showing up.

Some days will be harder than others—it’s possible to acknowledge when it’s hard without complaining.

Increased blood capacity means that there is a greater potential for strength yield. I remember hitting PRs during my third pregnancy!

Adapt when needed. There comes a point when box jumps, sprints or the glute drive machine are no longer accessible! Learn to know the difference between *giving up* and *yielding*.

Fuel is essential. If Abraham could shepherd on Mount Sinai at age 90, he wasn’t sitting about or eating danishes for breakfast. Eat like Israel was taught by the Father—His nature of completeness and life are present in all that is good. Light is the inherent quality of a Good Thing and the more disintegrated a product becomes, the less light it can carry to your own cells and your baby. So receive Good Things.

Soreness lasts a little longer during pregnancy, so I take additional measures during pregnancy so my recovery time is not a five day spell after leg day!

•apply topical magnesium before the workout
•receive additional magnesium either through an epsom salt bath or a supplement post-workout
•8 oz tart cherry juice 30 min after workout, and then again at 1 hour post workout.
•Dry skin brushing can also help the acids move through the muscle tissues faster, as can a contrast shower.

Because remaining a mother of strength and valor is important to me, I do have a few habits that have been a part of my routine for years now, including my daily tonic, a gallon of water daily, and for a post-workout refuel, we really like this protein shake! These daily habits are joined by

Another daily habit established long ago, I also try to stretch my body before bed, every night. Deep psoas stretching is always good, but exceptional for this stage of life! I also try to incorporate inversions (I love my aerial silk for this!) often.

The value of and gratitude for this training is especially felt when Abba chooses to create a new life with His Word a mere 9 months after the baby before! ;) 

38 weeks with Oren, 2022
Please don’t hesitate to reach out, I love talking of my faith, and how it informs my fitness, nutrition and pregnancy! Having spent my last 12+years in this repeat cycle and learning over the years what works, I have found that for me, getting up before my children is the best way to start off with my feet under me. The hour at the gym is the one bit of the day that one small person or another is not in need of my attention and care, so I value that time very much and it is very worth it to me to rise early enough to receive it! Additionally, my husband has been joining me the last few months and has blessed me by challenging me beyond the various plateaus I had allowed myself to sit on! Recently I was able to score a PR for squat weight, about five months into my 6th pregnancy. It feels good to choose strength though the mind wants to sidestep the trial!

Receiving pregnancy gracefully is a benefit of living according to His Word. The byproduct of this has a yields diligence to lean into building the tenacity and grit that the season is so rich for! May His strength and blessing be upon your body, baby and integral well-being!