Mighty Mamahood

SO DO NOT FEAR, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10


This arrived in my inbox today… and I just had to share it.

I relate – to both the ‘wanna-be-anywhere-else-woman’ and to the fact no matter what mamahood brings, I am convicted: I will not be broken.


Yes, I will cry. I will yell. I will fall short. I will nag. I will be overlooked, dismissed, and sometimes forgotten.

But… I will rise. I will breathe. I will stand tall in this womanly skin and I will do my best – with the strength and grace of God – to battle for my babies… and be a warrior they can count on.

I hope that today, in whatever battle you are fighting, and with whatever mamawork you find yourself in the midst of, you remember: YOU ARE MIGHTY.


“Skinny” and Other Dirty Words


“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up.

1 Corinthians 10:23


Our family has a list of ‘no-no’ words we don’t throw around lightly:

  • Hate.
  • Stupid.
  • Butt.
  • Fart.

I can’t stand them. They are ‘dirty words’ around here – and, I always tell my kids: you are way to smart and classy to need to use these cheap words to communicate an idea.

A couple other ‘dirty words’ in our house are “skinny” and “exercise”.

Skinny is a burdensome word. It’s shallow, and base, and empty. It drives me crazy to see commercials about ‘being skinny’ or ‘getting skinny’; I just about come out of my skin when I read blogs that focus on how to get a ‘hot, skinny bod’ or where women flash photos of their ‘skinny’ selves as the ‘standard’ that all of us other women need to strive for.

Skinny means nothing, okay? Nothing at all. Skinny does not mean healthy, happy, or confident. Skinny does not mean fit. Skinny does not mean ‘good mommy’, ‘hot woman’, or ‘successful lady’. No – skinny just means ‘skinny’… and I’ve seen my share of ‘skinny’ that looks frail, and weak, and gray.

What the real goal should be – and what I tell my girls all the time – is: forget skinny, focus on healthy!

  • Focus on how you eat and what you eat: Are you eating whole foods? Fruits? Fresh vegetables? Drinking lots of water?
  • Be aware of your body: Is it strong? Is it energized? Can you make it do what you want it to do, and can you wear what you want to wear? Is it sickly? Is it tired? Does your body burden you, or do feel like you have control? How do you feel after you eat certain things and/or certain portion sizes?
  • Watch your cravings: Are you in control, or do you eat mindlessly? Can you say no when you want to?

…Because the fact of the matter is this: our bodies are a reflection of our lifestyle. If we focus on a healthy lifestyle, obtaining a lean, fit body won’t be a burden and obsession – it will be a natural consequence.

The other dirty word is ‘exercise’. It’s loaded, and crushing, and heavy, and exhausts us before we even begin the day… and you will never hear me tell my kids to exercise.

I can just hear you now: What, Elisha? You don’t tell your kids to exercise?

No. Never. And I am directly opposed to all the ‘get up and move’ campaigns that are everywhere these days. Why?

Because I don’t want to raise kids that think they can out-exercise a bad food foundation. Period.

Every day in my house is a new day to impress upon my children if we eat out of boxes, wrappers, and fast food windows; if we eat mindlessly and indulge whenever we feel the urge; if we don’t understand how food impacts us physically; if we don’t cook and instead depend on corporations to nourish us – ‘exercise’ won’t do a thing for health.

What I also tell them is they should pay attention to the body they’ve been blessed with, and honor it. We must think – and choose. We must honor our body by using our body –  by making it stronger, feeding it well, resting it when it needs rest, pushing it’s limits, and listening to it when it gives signs like sickness, weight gain, and weakness. I encourage them not to ‘exercise’, but to do what they’ve been created with an ability to do: play, run, jump, kick, skateboard, dribble; stretch; move; take a walk; breathe fresh air.

And, on the flip side, I teach them what is not honoring…

  • It’s not honoring to our bodies to sit around all day playing technology…
  • It’s not honoring to our bodies to be lazy…
  • It’s not honoring to our bodies to make food choices that burden us with extra weight, and make us sick and tired…
  • It’s not honoring to our bodies to be mindless with our health, our physical being, our existence.

See, I don’t want my kids to grow up with ‘skinny’ as a goal, or ‘exercise’ as a burden, or victims of their physical bodies, or fearful of food. I DO want my kids to grow up understanding that a healthy, fit body is a free body – and a healthy, fit body naturally flows from choosing the right foods and choosing to honor the bodies they were uniquely created with.

My heart is for my kids to take joy in owning, using, and moving their bodies – and, yes, that may mean they find joy in weight training, or running, or zumba – all those things we term as ‘exercise’ these days. But, again, they will do it by choice and from a desire to push their physical limits – not out of blind allegiance to the buzz word of our time. I want my kids to grow up – particularly my girls – with confidence that, even during seasons where their bodies will change (through age, pregnancy, life), self-control is always theirs… always.

I’m raising my kids to see that truly healthy children – and truly healthy adults! – are healthy and fit in mind first They:

…intrinsically value themselves, and make choices that show it.

…understand how to be in the world without being overcome by the world.

…are honest with themselves and know their choices directly impact their overall well being.

…recognize they are strong.

…recognize they are powerful.

…recognize they are in control of what they become.

And, they, with wide eyes, see the mountain of life in front of them and can’t help but rise to the challenge, wield their body as a perfectly hewn tool, and climb.

Real Beauty

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Romans 12:2


I’ve watched this several times now, and I cry each time. I cry because… I hear the voices.

…the voice of the girl in 5th grade that said, “Why is your forehead so big?”

…the voice of the old boyfriend that said, “You know, there are lots of girls more beautiful than you.”

…the voice of the ballet teacher that said, “Your knees are way to big to ever dance well.”

…the voice of the world telling me all my life, “You know you’ll never measure up to that… to her… to ‘something wonderful’.”

I look at the women that went through this exercise, and… I relate. I feel their weight of their heart and their self-descriptive words. I see the girl in me: Insecure, critical, self-deprecating. And that girl – oh, my heart aches for that girl that I was (and can still be).

But thankfully, the Sweetest Voice I’ve ever heard breaks through all the noise. It’s a voice unlike any other – it’s small and quiet and whispers drips of Truth into my heart.

And the Truth is this – the Truth I wish I would have known before a I allowed all those other voices a place in my soul: We are not beautiful because of what we look like; our real value is not determined by our appearance.

Beauty isn’t the exterior. It doesn’t come from fixing up our hair and putting on makeup and letting it all hang out for ‘admiration’. (1 Peter 3:3-4). No. That’s the world’s definition – the definition that keeps us women hostage and broken and vulnerable.

The Sweet Voice told me (and continues to remind me every day) beauty is borne in gentleness, in sweetness, in a laugh, and a friendly wink, and soft words that build others up and not tear them down.

Beauty is confident and strong, yet humble; it is modest and captivating, bright and gracious.

Beauty is tenderness with my babies.

Beauty is a confident, lingering kiss with my man.

Beauty is my uncontrollable laughter with my girls that brings out every wrinkle around my eyes.

Beauty is my warm arms wrapped around a sister in need.

Beauty is heavy tears shed with a friend over loss, or heartache.

Beauty is thoughtfulness and unselfish presence and compassion.

Beauty is kindness to a stranger.

Real beauty emanates from me when His Spirit emanates from me… when His brightness overtakes the darkness that struggles to keep it’s hold on me. It’s when His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control trump my human tendencies to be anything but. (Galatians 5:22-23).

Real beauty isn’t dependent on what I look like… real beauty is Him living out through me.

So, today: LET’S BE REAL BEAUTIES – REBEL BEAUTIES. Let’s remember that we can’t make this dark world more beautiful with more lipgloss – we can only make it more beautiful when the fruits of His Spirit bloom on the trees of our lives. (Psalm 90:17).

Motherhood: It’s A Tough Gig Sometimes

Lisa Leonard Designs
Mom Necklace by Lisa Leonard Designs.

This morning was pretty typical around here.

I got up a little earlier than everyone… made lunches, made coffee, and folded the clothes I threw into the dryer before bed last night. I let everyone sleep a few extra minutes – but then I handed out morning back rubs and whispered “time to get up” room by room and slowly woke the house.

For some reason everyone needed a shower this morning. So, while each of my girls disappeared into a bathroom, I took a few minutes and did something I rarely do: I made their beds. My heart was simply to surprise them – give them one less thing to do this morning as they hurried to get ready for school.

I returned downstairs and, within a few minutes, the beckoning began. One needed pants; another needed a shirt; one needed an entire outfit. I dug through my freshly washed pile of clothes and delivered the favorites to each of them. And man: there is nothing like fresh clothes out of the dryer after a shower, right?

Soon the tribe filed down, one by one. They ate the breakfast I made with the food I shopped for. They grabbed the lunches I prepared with their favorites foods – and a requested treat of some jellybeans. They were each sharply dressed in their clean clothes I stayed up late and got up early to wash and fold for them. And, as for the fact I made their beds? Not one of them noticed… at least, not one of them mentioned it even if they did.

So, we said our goodbyes as shoes were put on and backpacks were slung and frustration was had because one ‘couldn’t find her ring’ and I ‘must have lost it’. And then – they were out the door.

Peace. Quiet. A dirty kitchen. Aloneness. That’s what they left me.

Why am I sharing all this? Because when mornings like this happen – mornings where my love is overlooked, dismissed, unappreciated – I am not angry, or depressed, or surprised. I am humbled.

I am humbled as I think, Father, do I do this to you? Do I wake up and overlook your kindness and your sweetness and your blessing?

He wakes me in my clean bed with my faithful man beside me and His beautiful sunrise outside… and I rush into the day.

I make the coffee, and breakfast, and lunches He graciously provides; I clean my big house, drive in my dependable car, wear my nice clothes…  all without a second thought.

He is so kind and so gracious and so merciful to give me another day to breathe and be present – and… do I notice these things? Do I stop and see Him? Do I feel His love and His thoughtfulness? Do I notice the little surprises He brings my way – not because I need them, but simply because He knows I love gifts and wants to thrill me beyond belief?

The truth is: I’ve been getting better and better about thanking Him with my every breath. Maybe it’s because now that I’m a parent I see what it’s like to be overlooked; I see what’s it like to be forgotten and dismissed; I see what it’s like to have my children upset with me for no reason; I see what it’s like to lay all that I am on the line – only to have my children say, “Great – I got it from here.”

Motherhood is a tough gig sometimes… but, because of it, I get it.

I see what’s it’s like and I know what it feels like – and that’s what pushes my heart even closer to my Father.

I get why He sticks it out with me.

I get why He he loves me in spite of me.

I get why He continues to show up and help me through the tough stuff… even though so often I’ve pushed Him away with “Great – I got it from here.”

I get why He constantly reminds me, “…I will be with you; I will not fail you or abandon you.”

I get why, even though I turn my back on Him, He loves me unconditionally.

I hope that today you get it, too. Because while mothering can be tough, we have a Faithful Friend to strengthen and love us through the journey.

PRAYER: Father, help us mamas to see the blessing in every breath we take today. Sometimes this mama gig is a tough one: we get overlooked, are often unappreciated, and more often then not, we are exhausted from service. But thank you that You offer us strength! Thank you that when we cling to You, we can be selfless as You are selfless; we can be strong as You are strong; we can love unconditionally as You love us unconditionally. Thank you for being a perfect example of what Love looks like… and thank you for loving us in spite of ourselves. May we serve with joy today – and may we not forget that our men and our babies need our warm arms, our sweet voices, our gentle spirits, and our encouraging words.  In Jesus Name, Amen.


The Queen of Leftovers and Lasts

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will [her]self be watered.

Proverbs 11:25


One thing most people probably don’t realize about us mamas is this: we are Queens of the Leftovers and the Lasts.

We thrive on the left behinds that no one else wants, like the the burnt toast, the black jellybeans, the half-eaten bananas. We typically care for ourselves last, which means we’ve learned to persevere with cold dinners and wrinkly clothes. And, we don’t skip a beat when we are the last to get a break, the last to take a shower, or the last to hit the pillow at the end of the day.

It’s called Mamahood… and there is no place for selfishness, whining, or feeble knees.

If we have the right perspective, however, not all the ‘lefttovers and lasts’ are a bummer. Take today, for example. I fed the kids, fed my man, made lunches, and got everyone out the door. When all was quiet, it was time for me to get a bite; and, as I surveyed my kitchen to spy what had to be salvaged so as not to waste, here’s what I was left with:

About a half cup of quinoa at the bottom of the pot

About a half cup of quinoa at the bottom of the pot
About a handful of edemame and half an alatufo mango
About a handful of edemame and half an ataulfo mango


Well, with these random barely-there ingredients, this Queen of Leftovers did this:

  • Put the 1/2 cup of precooked quinoa in a bowl.
  • Diced up the 1/2 of the ataulfo mango (aka ‘Manila mango, or champagne mango) and shelled the 1/2 cup of edemame.
  • Drizzled a bit of EVOO, squeezed a little fresh lime juice, and topped the whole thing with a sprinkling of Furikake, which is a Japanese ‘condiment’ of toasted sesame seeds and nori.
quinoa, edemame, mango salad
And lookie lookie: a beautiful, colorful quinoa, edemame, mango salad

Let me tell you: my ‘leftovers and lasts’ turned into something spectacular I probably never would have thought to throw together otherwise. It was beautiful. It was light. It was fresh and fragrant and exactly what I needed to start my day. Yum. Yum. Yum. (NOTE: This would be an AMAZING lunch for work, or even a side salad for a bbq.)

So, today, as we mamas do what we do best – serve, and love, and serve, and lay down all that we are for our little tribes – let’s do it with heads held high, joy in our hearts, and determination to be a bright light in our homes. Why? Because there is beauty in the leftovers and the lasts… the question is: are we creative enough to see it?

A Call to Rebuild

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately remembering… remembering my childhood, specifically.

For every good memory I have, there’s a jar of heartache that sits beside it. That’s what comes from growing up in a dysfunctional family: laughs and good times are never far from terror and tears.

Thankfully, my heartaches were covered years ago by a gracious God. Now, in my adulthood – in this place where I stand as a woman, wife, parent – I know without a doubt that those that walked me through my early years did the best they knew how. I take comfort in that – comfort in the fact that none of the heartache was maliciously inflicted… it simply came with the territory in a land of brokenness.

Now that I am farming my own land, however, it’s my past perspective that wakes me up to the bitter roots I need to diligently purge from my present ground: chaos, selfishness, envy, fear, pride, separation. These are the roots that shoot up through the toughest of concrete, destroy the path, and cause others to stumble along the way as they follow in my footsteps.

My goal is to be a rebuilder of the broken roads I walked, thereby giving my children steadier feet, brighter eyes, and wider wings than I was ever given. I want them to step boldly, confidently…

I’m sharing this today because I’m in a season where I’m face to face with a 12-year old young lady coming up behind. She is strong, she is beautiful, she is determined… and, for all my good intentions, I often fail at being the love she needs. When struggle ensues, I find old ways of relating well up in my chest: I harden… I get weary… I shut down.

I hate it. I hate feeling like I’m perpetuating the cycle of my past!

But, the good news I’ve learned – and the truth that keeps me going – is this: every moment is a gift and a chance to change. Every moment is an opportunity to be more patient, to love more, to have compassion, to offer kindness, to rebel from the the junk of my past that I swore I would never perpetuate. No matter what I was born into or ‘born to be’… I have a choice: I can continue to walk a broken path… OR, I can choose to rebuild.

I can ask for forgiveness.

I can exercise self-control.

I can be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

I can be love.

Brick by brick. Moment by moment. Word by word.

Rebel on,

Get to Work on the Trees…

You ever feel like you deserve ‘better’?

You ever find yourself wishing you could be healthier, or fitter, or more patient, or more friendly?

You ever look at your life and wish you read more, or loved better, or took more walks?

I do. Not a day goes by where one of these thoughts don’t pop through my mind. The funny thing, however, is that they pop in… but, then I push them out. How? By just taking one step in the direction I want to go in.

That’s it. One step.

That’s the thing about life. We can ‘want’ all we want… but, unless we are willing to put one foot in front of each other and do the work to really possess the life we’ve been given ‘wanting’ is all we’ll ever do.

Another thing I do when I face these thoughts is I remind myself of a great old testament story where the 12 tribes of Israel were being assigned their lots of the promise land. Joshua parceled out a particular area to the decedents of King Joseph, but they didn’t like their lot. Nope, as they looked around at what other people were getting, they complained to Joshua and basically said, “This? But, it isn’t fair! We are better than this! You gave us a bunch of land that requires too much effort to make it something: we have to cut down trees and fight enemies. But, we want the low country where it is beautiful and easy. We deserve it; we are great people and, therefore, we want the land that they have – but, not this.”

(Can you relate? It’s easy to think everyone else has it ‘better’ than us, isn’t it?)

You know what Joshua said?

He said, “Well, okay. You are right – you are great, and you do deserve better. But this is what you get – so, choose to go up and make use of what you’ve been given. Go up and cut the trees, defeat the enemies, and make something of the land you call ‘nothing’. (See Joshua 17:14-17 for the full context.)

What does that have to do with me today in 2013? It tells me simply: what I have is what I get. I get one body. I get one mind. I get THIS life – with this husband, and these babies, and all that comes with.  I can either complain and ‘want’ for more, or I can get to work on those trees that are blinding me from seeing the beauty of what I have – and that are holding me back from making the most of my lot in life.

That is the message I preach to my kids, too – my precious babies who are daily battling a culture that says what they have isn’t enough; that says they need ‘more’, and ‘better’, and ‘different’ to be happy.

Because here’s the thing: whether we like it or not, life is not fair. There will always be someone who travels more than us, who has better hair than us, who is taller, who is more petite, who has more friends, who can knit better, who can cook better, who is happier, who is healthier, who wins more, who laughs cuter, who has a ‘sweeter’ husband, who has nicer legs. Always.

Always. Always. Always.

So, instead of getting caught up in this cultural focus of what we don’t have and what we could use ‘more’ of, I try and always bring them back to what we do have; my message is always consistent and simple: Celebrate YOU and the blessing of YOUR life; your stature, your hair, your gifts, your talents, your laugh.  You have been assigned a lot in life – a lot that is beautiful, and abundant, and needs YOU to bring out the best in it. No one else can fill your shoes! Instead of looking at what other people have, figure out what lies in your possession! Do just one thing today that makes your lot more beautiful: cut down a tree, dig out a rock, plant something new. Do the work to make the most of what you’ve been given. 

It’s what I tell them… but, it’s also what I tell myself – all the time. It’s a constant reminder I feed into my spirit – the reminder that my lines have fallen in pleasant places… and, life only grows more beautiful when I’m actively working the land.

So, today, be encouraged… and do just one thing, just one!

Maybe you choose water instead of soda today.

Maybe you eat quinoa instead of pasta.

Maybe you choose a book before bed instead of watching TV.

Maybe you go for a walk instead of taking a nap.

Maybe you tell your man he’s lights up your life, instead of waiting for him to say it to you.

Whatever it is, keep walking, sister. Just keep walking… and then, tomorrow, get up and keep walking some more. One choice at a time.

Because what you have is beautiful… it’s just that sometimes what you’ve been searching for is  just beyond the trees.

Rebel on,

Children of the Rebel Grain

As you all know, my ‘big girl’ turned 12 recently. The ’12 years old’ of today is not the 12 I experienced. She is growing up in a culture of narcissism and instant gratification; a culture that is sick physically, as much as it is emotionally.

The fight for what is good and right and pure is a tough one.

I bring this up because, as much as I want her to eat intentionally, I want her to live intentionally. Just as I am training her to make the right choices for her physical body, I am training her to make the right choices for her spirit:

I want her to choose kindness.

I want her to choose humilty.

I want her to choose modesty.

I want her to respect authority, always recognize she has something to learn, and understand she was put on this earth for one purpose alone: to bring glory to her Creator through all that she is…. whatever she may choose that to be.

Be careful little eyes what you see…
Be careful little ears what you hear…
Be careful little mouth what you say…
Be careful little hands what you do…
Be careful little heart whom you trust…
Be careful little feet where you go…

I’m not naive. I know I will not always be with her when she’s at the food buffet with plate in her hand – just like I will not always be with her when she’s presented with life’s buffet of choices and temptations.

God will be with her, though. And, if I can train my girl up to keep her eyes on Him, then she’ll be able to rebel on through life with the supernatural humility and grace that we are hard pressed to find in today’s culture.

See, I don’t want my girl – or any of my kids! – to just blend into the sea of humanity. Not physically, not spiritually, not emotionally. I want them to stand out… to shine… to be set apart. I want them be bold – I want them to fight for good, for truth, for purity. I want them to be rebels that live against the grain of this world.

In the world, not of the world.

The Rebel Grain.

Rebel on,



The Delight of Home-Made Cookies

When we eat cookies, I prefer they be decadent as possible. Forget the packaged cookies that have been packed on a shelf for months. Forget the ‘treats’ that are low-fat, sugar free, calorie free. Yuck.

If my kids are gonna eat a cookie, I want it to be made with real everything and nothing but pure delight to the palate.

(Same thing applies to cakes, pies, scones, cobblers. If we’re gonna eat it, then I’m gonna make it. Why? Because I know when I make it it’s gonna be the best it can be.)

Take these peanut butter cookies my 11-year old wowed us with yesterday: real peanut butter, pure vanilla extract, a dash of baking soda and lots of pure cane sugar.

Lots of sugar? Yes. But, she took pleasure in the process – and all of us took pleasure in the enjoyment of warm cookies fresh out of the oven. We made several batches, which means we’ll all be nibbling on cookies for the next several days. BUT – when the cookies are gone, it may be awhile before another batch is produced.

That’s the thing about sugar: in moderation it’s perfectly fine, especially if it is contained in what we expect it to be contained in: candy, cakes, pies, treats.

Where I have a problem with sugar is that’s been added to everything these days. We are hard pressed to find anything without added sugars, including “healthy” things, like yogurt, energy bars, condiments, soups, bread. Just take a look!

And, it’s the ‘healthy’ places that sugar lurks that drives me crazy. Why? Because the ‘evil’ is unidentifiable to my kids.

Candy? Identifiable evil.

Fresh baked cookies where my girl has added the sugars firsthand? Identifiable evil.

I’d rather my kids be able to identify what needs to be eaten in moderation (candy, cookies, treats), then be duped into thinking ‘fat-free’, ‘low-calorie’, ‘whole-grain’, ‘gluten-free’, ‘heathy’ means a free for all. (And yes: there is junk food lurking under each of these labels…)

So, back to the issue at hand: home-made cookies.

Life needs a little sweetness, doesn’t it? So, let’s take the time to make cookies at home. Let’s enjoy them. Let’s dip them in cold milk and savor every fat filled, sugary gulp they provide.

But let’s not do it too often, let’s not overdue it when we do it, and let’s be sure that we keep the added sugars out of the rest of our food so we can eat home-made cookies (and other home-made treats) with pure pleasure, and little guilt.

Rebel on,



The Scale Is Not Your Friend

Yesterday my 11 year old daughter said, “Mom, we need a scale”.

“A scale,” I asked?

“Yeah – so and so has a scale and when I weighed myself I weighed more than I thought I would. I want a scale so I can keep track of what I weigh.”

“Honey,” I said, “what has you worried about how much you weigh? Do you feel good and strong?”

“Yes,” she says.

“Can you do what you want to with your body without struggle?”

“Yes,” she says.

“Then that’s all that matters. Having the scale’s opinion doesn’t help you feel better or perform stronger – it just gives you a number that means nothing for who you are.”


We don’t own a scale – and, although we have constant conversations about fitness, we don’t talk about weight in our home.

Weight doesn’t matter to me because it’s just one small piece of the puzzle. What does matter to me is that my kids understand their bodies are a reflection of what they are putting in.  I always tell them that our body gives us physical cues on whether or not we are making the right choices: if our bodies are saying something to us (like with clothes that are fitting to snug, or with sickness, or with fatigue and lack of strength), that’s when we know we aren’t doing something right.

Does the scale help us feel better? No. As I told my girl, the scale does nothing but give us a number that fits (or doesn’t fit) someone else’s arbitrary weight grid. The number doesn’t measure the quality of food we are intaking, how much muscle we have, or whether or not we are comfortable in our skin.

And that’s one of my foundational goals: to raise children that are 100% comfortable in their skin.

I want my children to love good food, love who they were created to be, and are empowered with the understanding their bodies are speaking to them every day. 

It’s not fat grams and calories we have to count, and/or the number on the scale we have to pay attention to… it’s simply making sure that we are in control of our bodies – and that our body isn’t in control of us.