Today I listened to the daily audio bible as I was doing some of my yoga stretches.  I’m a bit dismayed by how my body feels these days.  It aches from the way I hold Rayna.  It feels beat up from a 5 Km run.  It’s tight, it feels weaker than I think it should, and it seems to be holding onto those last few pregnancy pounds with an extra tight grip.  But as I stretch my body, it responds.  And as I push my body athletically, it performs.  And as I look in the mirror, I know that my body is beautiful regardless of the extra pounds, because it is my physical house here on earth and a gift from God.  And so I embrace my body and marvel at its wonder this morning. 
I love, like really love, physical activity.  There is nothing like running and hiking and strengthening my body.  Sometimes it is really difficult.  Just on Sunday when I was running with Ryan and Rayna I was complaining about being hungry, about the run feeling so much harder than I thought it should, etc.  I complained for a full 10 minutes off and on before I realized what a whiny-pants I was.  Then on completion of the run I thought, “Wow, that was a good run!”  Good.  Good because it was done, for one; but, also good because I am so thankful for my physical vessel.  I am aware that some people’s bodies fail them early in life and so I am thankful for each step I can walk, each push-up I can do, each moment I can pick up my daughter and hold her soft skin close to my own.
We have fascinatingly beautiful bodies.  I have a degree in Biochemistry.  The chemistry of the body is absolutely mind-blowing, from the Krebs cycle* to the central dogma.  It is so intricate, it is so precise, it is so orderly.  Our God is the Creator, undoubtedly when you look at our bodies!  Furthermore, I have had the blessing of being pregnant with and delivering my daughter.  The miracle of pregnancy and child-birth are unparalleled.  Feeling Rayna kick me in the womb was ‘crazy’.  When I stopped to think about it and the growing child within me it was indescribable.  While I have believed in God for as long as I can remember, in this experience it was so evident that truly it is only possible for a child to develop within me by the hand of our God.  In addition, child birth was incredible.  Incredibly painful, yes; but, pushing my daughter out of my body with all my might was like no other experience.  When I crossed the finish line of my half-marathon last year, I was overwhelmed by the high and the accomplishment.  But that was nothing compared to child-birth.  When my daughter was born, I have never felt more proud of myself and I have never been so overwhelmed with such pure and complete satisfaction.  This body of mine is indeed amazing.
In I Corinthians 6:19-20 the bible tells us that our “bod[ies are] a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in [us], whom [we] have received from God.” A temple that is what my body is!  It is a gift and as a Christ-follower it houses the very spirit of God.  Furthermore, I Timothy 4:8 tells us that “while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”  Therefore, I conclude with resolve to embrace with thanksgiving every opportunity to train my body and strengthen this physical vessel and enjoy what it is able to do.  But, training of my body is not the final key to full satisfaction.  Only godliness gives satisfaction in every way.  And so I also have renewed commitment to continue my journey towards godliness. As I struggle to ‘unstick’ these last few pregnancy pounds and regain my fitness level, so too I strive to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles [me] (Hebrews 12:1, NIV) so I may be found spiritually fit on the day I find myself crossing the finish line of this life.       
*Indeed, when I was memorizing the Krebs cycle, as required for one of my first biochemistry classes, I really thought my mind might burst with all the details I was trying to pour into it; it really felt like it was too much detail that as I put one part of the cycle in, the rest wanted to fall out!