for my birthday.


In two short months I will be 37. Aging doesn’t bother me so much. I’ve been known to be awkward and I’m still hoping to grow out of it. Smiley face.

But I do feel sad about some things. Like the fact that even though I promise myself that this year will be the year I’m finally free, I have spent all of my adult life handcuffed to my body and how I feel about it. Lately, I’ve found myself settling for that lesser freedom. I just don’t feel like doing the hard work. Sure. I guess that is liberty. But. The way that I limit myself because of how I feel about my figure is not freedom. I want that greater freedom.

As I’ve been studying Galatians, I’ve been reading so much about being free. At the root of that little word I found this definition: true freedom is not living as you please. True freedom is living as you ought to. All the things God dreamed up for you? That is true freedom. Walking in who you are because of what the gospel says about Him and you? True freedom. Continuing to walk in frustration and insecurity and fear of what others think of you and guilt because it’s too hard or you just don’t care or you want what you want? Sham freedom.

I want to live free. True freedom. So I’m going to focus on that. I had some crazy dream of pounds lost by my 37th year but instead I’m going to focus on living free. And it means some hard work. And probably a plan. So, here’s mine:

– A healthy bedtime of 9 pm on a regular basis.

-Wash my face every night. I’m woefully bad at this because I stay up until I’m too tired to even think about it. I’m reaching the age where my skin is not so forgiving. I just want to take care of it.

-Do hard work. I signed up for a 5K next month so I’m back to running. There’s a teensy weight room at my husband’s work that is just enough to do a bit of muscle work. Three runs a week. Three cross trainings a week (weights).

-Eat healthy, clean and whole for the majority of the week. Enjoy an exception or two on the weekend. I mean really enjoy without guilt that snowballs into a slide into brownie batter.

-Focus on my identity in Christ. This should be the first thing on my list. No looking around. No comparing. Just accepting my little handful of life and thanking Him for the smooth and rough spots.

I don’t know. It’s probably too vague and generic but it’s where I’m starting because what I really want for my birthday is a good dose of freedom.

What would it look like for you to live free?

P.S. Please read Jessi’s beautiful post from Tuesday.

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7 thoughts on “for my birthday.

  1. I like your focus, Ellen. I pray you’ll continue to see little improvements as you focus on the important things.

    P.S. You’re a beautiful girl. I can call you a girl since you’ll only be 37. That’s young!

  2. Lovely, lovely post! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom :) “All the things God dreamed up for you? That is true freedom” <- Yes. I'm trying to learn that, with boundaries and obedience and creative routines; freedom within a sweetspot, creativity within an aim. Was just reading in Morning & Evening this a.m. that we are free "to" the Word's promises and life-giving ways, not free "from" obedience or boundaries.

  3. I so needed this today Ellen! I have “fallen off the wagon” if you will of my getting healthy initiative that I started last April and I have been beating myself up about it! I struggle with feeling like being lazy and eating whatever is freedom! You are right its not, I am actually enslaved to those things, and the hard things bring freedom! Thanks for this wisdom!

  4. i just love everything about this. also, do you know where the “living where you ought to” is from? is it directly from your bible? or a study you have read? thanks, and i am right there with ya sister. freedom from SO much. OXO

  5. “Live as people who are free…” God is speaking to me through 1 Peter, I really like your post! In your discouragement, isn’t it encouraging that there’s hope in Jesus and that ALL things are possible through Him? Thanks for sitting with me for a few moments today!

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