Just Drink The Water
Updated: Sep 17, 2022
A Sweet Reminder That Small Steps Matter
I know they say, “slow and steady wins the race,” but for as long as I can remember, I have been an all-or-nothing type of person. I don’t dabble; I jump headfirst. So also, for as long as I can remember, I have struggled with sticking things out.
When you jump headfirst before learning to swim, it should be no surprise when you find yourself quickly drowning.
An example of this in my life has been my health. I’m either eating whatever I want, gorging into the late hours of the night, and adopting a full-on couch-potato lifestyle; or I’m super restrictive, cutting out entire food groups, skipping meals, working out, tracking my food, drinking all my water, and taking supplements.
All. The. Things.
I have been doing deep personal work to heal from needing to be a certain size to find value.
But recently, I felt the temptation to jump headfirst back into diet and fitness. The desire no longer centered around my weight. I just haven't been feeling good, and I have a series of events coming up that I want to feel strong and energized for!
So, I did what I always do. I started making my “Monday morning plan.”
You know the one I’m talking about.
The “Starting Over” promise we make to ourselves, with the belief that this time it will actually finally stick! Or that this book is finally going to get written. Or that this relationship is finally going to get fixed. Whatever the goal may be.
It usually means that we over-commit because we want to see results as fast as possible, so we hope by doing everything all at once, we can create some sort of shortcut for ourselves.
For me and my health, it usually looks something like this. Wake up at 5 am with lemon water, work out by 6 am, stick to my pre-planned healthy menu, get all my steps in, drink all my water, stretch, don’t eat past 7 pm, foam roll, and meditate.
Are all these things good for you? Yes! Is there anything wrong with doing them? Not at all.
In fact, I really do want my life to look like this someday!
However, it might not make the most sense to jump headfirst into all of them all at once after months of waking up at noon, having coffee for breakfast, and cheese puffs for dinner while sitting on the couch scrolling Instagram.
Because inevitably, in a week, maybe two, or three at tops, this new resolve all starts falling apart. Especially depending on where I am in my hormone cycle and then I will be left feeling like an utter failure who will never do anything of value in life.
I tell you this story because something remarkable happened this time as I began to write out my next perfect plan to start everything over again.
As I was writing, I heard that voice that I have learned to trust, which is not my own, say, “Drink the water.”
So, of course, I tried to ignore it.
I was in the zone. After all, this was the time I was finally going to stick to a healthy lifestyle! All I had to do was write the plans a little clearer and start with a little more resolve! Especially since my motives were right. It was for my health, not my physical appearance. It would have to be different this time!
I continued writing down my workout goal. Again, I heard, “Drink the Water.”
I added my meal plan. “Drink the water.”
I added my vitamin tracker, “Drink the water,”
I re-downloaded my meditation app. "Drink the water."
I wrote out my perfect weekly schedule. "Drink the water."
Over and over, I just kept hearing this message, “Drink the water. Drink the water. Drink the water.”
Finally, in frustration, I asked, “What in the heck do you mean?! Don’t you see I’m trying to change my life?”
His calm reply, “So am I. Just drink the water.”
Suddenly there was a whole other type of water flowing from my eyes. Call it as you will; for me, it is the Holy Spirit. It was as if He gently took the planner from my hands. He relieved me of the heavy weight I was putting back on myself and asked me to start with just drinking the water.
It reminds me of Jesus and the woman at the well. He didn’t give her an extensive list of things she must do to change her life. Yes, if she were to become a true follower of Jesus, there would be a lot of changes in her future, but they didn’t need to be done all right then, all at once.
No, it was just an offering for her to drink His living water.
God was reminding me it is good to start small, to start with Him, to build on a sturdy foundation, and not go leaping ahead, down my own path, with a pace I can’t sustain.
I have been learning this in my writing, I have been learning this in our journey to starting a family, and now in an area I have struggled the most deeply with, God so graciously reminded me of this truth once again.
Janelle, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It’s not going to happen overnight. Perseverance is key. So, let’s start with one small step. Trust Me, just drink the water.
What project are you working on right now? Is there any place where you might need to take a step back and just commit to one small step that is sustainable over time?