I’d like to introduce you to a new member of our family rhythm:

Her name is Bella.

Her name now is Bella.
I used to call her Beasty.
Admittedly sometimes even Witchy-poo…

Because she intimidated the pee out of me.
Sadly, I do mean this both figuratively
and literally.

And this little precious is Babe.

She’s Bella’s sister.
Both issue from the family Kettle.

Like a training bra, Babe was my first encounter into the clan Kettlebell.

Similarly, like a tween I wasn’t completely certain I wanted to wear a kettlebell, let alone swing one around like a Spring Fling dance partner.

Sweet as she looked, I was pretty confidant she’d pinch, bite and grab me unawares if I gave her any leave.

Frankly, she scared me.

And Bella?
Bella Girl came home on The Husband’s arm.
She struck terror in me as would a shark under my Boogie Board.

The first morning I stood on the mat in front of Babe I cried acrid tears of frustration. My legs trembled; I got a charley horse in my calf during my attempt to stretch away the shakes with leg extensions, and, for the first time since The Husband dragged me to a free CrossFit class three years ago, I feared that I wouldn’t be able to do something in the gym.

Now, before any newer reader misunderstand this statement with pride, allow me clarify. I’m not a jock, juicer or power lifter. I am, however, more often than not, too stupid to factor my very real, human limits in my attempts at fitness. Such judgement lapses have demanded Stupid Tax in precious salt and injury more times than I want to confess here.

So, for me to vow that I was uncertain that I was capable of the demands of a workout instead of reckless self-reliance gives you context for how much Witchy-Poo mocked my confidence.

And her little sister, Babe too.

Another comparison to CrossFit (aside from that workout also made me pee my pants),
is the Kettle ladies were The Husband’s initiative.
His kind of thing.
Just how he rolls, ya know.

I stood there across the mat as I watched The Husband toss Witchy-Poo around like she was a Swifer.

He was all glide and
“Pop your hips hard,”
and “Don’t let your heels come off the mat.”
Mind you, his sweet little Swifer weighed 45 pounds,
and he popped off 50 reps like it costs him nothing.

Once he hit 20, I knew that I won’t be able to do it.
I am not that strong.
My base strength notwithstanding,
this level of weight and intensity is not my kind of thing.
Not how I roll, ya know?

However, another way I don’t roll,
is I don’t let a piece of equipment be my no.
My yes is my yes,
and my no be my no,
and no Kettle gal gets to swing my man or make my call.

So, I pick up Babe that first morning, all awkward and goofy because she’s heavy and her bar is curved and I’m used to free weights. Somehow 35 pounds feels more solid the way Babe bears it like how different people store excess body fat differently.

My first 5 swings are so poor that I cry.
I simply can’t get the rhythm of the movement
all glide and
“Pop your hips hard,”
and “Don’t let your heels come off the mat.”

I barely got to 20 before I had to take a break.
It took me 3 more sets to get to goal, 75.
It was an ugly 75.
Poor form.
Tight muscles.
Locked hips.

I didn’t quit her, though I thought I wanted to at the time. We did our dance every day I worked out and Babe became a central piece of my workouts.

That was three months ago, about the time The Husband and I began to seriously investigate this transitional sabbatical.

Babe and I don’t dance anymore unless I take her on the road because she’s lighter and easier to transport.

Bella’s my dance partner now.
And I lead.
And I am so in love with her that our dances together are my favorite parts of each workout.

Bella is honest too like a judge that can’t be bought.
She weighs what she weighs.
She won’t swing unless I pick her up and swing her.
It’s always hard and sometimes she can still make me whistle pant,
but she’s honest as the scale.

Bella wasn’t in the range of my established strength when I first met her.

Heck, even her little sister, Babe wasn’t.

Three months ago, Babe and Bella remained exclusively in the category of my potential strength.

I wasn’t strong enough to do a set of 75, let alone 100 with either gal.

I had to work,
train,
pee,
cry,
swing,
over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over again
day after day
after day
after day
to grow my base strength
strong enough to heft either lady.

I relied on the established level of finess I had to enhance my performance to reach my potential strength with the Kettles.

I thought a lot about Bella in church yesterday. The Pastor of the church we shopped taught on Paul’s promise, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” (Ephsians, 4:13).

When I first connected with our church There, it was similar to my first encounters with Babe. I not only didn’t have the skills, but I relied on my own strength.

It was only when I met Love’s Face that I began to understand that I don’t have to attempt to do life reliant upon my own strength alone.

Thank God

In fact, who I was before I became His bride was similar to my physical condition when I stood before Babe on the mat.

Once I said, “I do,” to Him
he had to teach me,
and I had to work,
train,
pee,
cry,
swing,
over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over again
day after day
after day
after day
to grow my base Faith
strong enough to heft His call in my life
through Grace
His strength
and for His Glory.

Like Bella,
He’s a Gentleman,
He’s the perfect Judge
and He’ll never push.
He won’t make me pick Him up
or meet Him where I am
every day beyond
my willingness.
My heart must be available for His Lead,
I trust Him on the dance floor of my life.

This realization demands that I stop to imagine with wonder what is possible when I cooperate with God’s will through His strength. Surly, that’s the stuff that grants the richest treasury of His Glory. Paul asserts that we will be strengthened in full measure of His infinite Glory.

I want to be the kind of strong Timothy talks about in 2 Timothy 2:1, “(S)trong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

That’s how I want to be cut,
Grace cut.

He knows our base strength better than we as He made us perfectly and well.

He also delights in our potential strength through His supernatural Grace and Glory.

The Hope of His heart is our continual
growth,
training,
development,
movement,
and fullness.

He seeks communion with us
over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over again
day after day
after day
after day
to perfect our Faith
and Light our lives
like a lamp at our feet.

As for me,
right now
I can’t get me enought of Him
or Bella.

May it ever be so with me.

It’s not somebody who’s seen in the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!