Wellness for Expats
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
I am especially passionate about helping expat women figure out how to be healthy and well as they live in a place that is not home, not their norm, and not what they are used to. This passion has grown out of my own struggle with living healthy overseas.
When I was a young single woman living overseas, I faced new challenges in my health and wellness for the first time. I was living in a cold place where I wasn't able to exercise the way I had normally exercised--most of the year, it was so cold outside, and for that half of the year, I did not know what to do. During this season of life, it was the first time I was stripped from comforts of life that had me running to my little pantry closet, emotionally eating my way through foods I normally wouldn't even eat. I was struggling emotionally, didn't know how to make changes for my physical fitness, and at the root of it all was truly a spiritual and heart issue.
Fast forward a few years, and I found myself living overseas again, also in a cold place, but this time as a young wife and mom. I spent a lot of time pregnant, nursing, and raising up little ones. For me, I was still only 2 years into marriage and still trying to figure out how to cook and clean in general, and here I am in a new place with new foods. Half of the foods and recipes I learned my first few years of marriage are not even an option because I couldn't get the ingredients. I wasn't even wondering how to cook healthy meals--I was just wanting to get food on the table because I was sleep deprived, trying to learn a new language, desiring to be a good wife and mom, and wanting to do the work I moved here to do!
Keep fasting forward, and I was now 10 years into marriage and had a few overseas experiences under my belt. Life was quite crazy and overwhelming. Now, I was in a culture that I would describe as nearly opposite of my passport home! Even more, I spent my first 3 years in India pregnant or nursing, with a handful of toddlers. Running was my usual go to for exercise, and I now lived in a city where running outside wasn't very acceptable. Even when I did attempt it, I was stared at, chased by stray dogs, or it was a family affair for safety or logistics. I personally did not want to go to a gym because I did not want to be stared at by men or have to deal with the logistics of getting there--especially with all of my kids and my husband's rigorous travel schedule. I purchased a treadmill, but I do not like treadmills--my favorite thing about running is being outside in nature and just going. It took me a number of years to figure out how to live in a new context and be healthy and well.
As I learned new habits and ways I was seeing the benefits of eating healthy and getting into an exercise routine, it didn't take long for me to find myself starting to pursue and desire these things too strongly. We are so bent to make our good things in life into "god things." Eating healthy and exercising are very good things, but they can definitely take a wrong place in our lives if we focus too much on them.
Romans 8:5-8 says, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
Man, what convicting truth! I knew that health and wellness and caring for our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit were absolutely good. However, because I had gotten to a place where I was then thinking too much about the flesh, I knew I needed to be aware, and I started searching for a way to get this right.
The Lord was gracious to renew my mind simply by memorizing Romans 8:1-11. I am thankful that a few months later I was introduced to Revelation Wellness, and I have only continued to grow in truth and in freedom. This has all been part of my journey to this passion, and I love journeying along with all women, and especially expat women to help them figure out how to live healthy, whole, and free in their new places so they can love and care for the people they moved around the world to care for!