What Do I Crave?

I’ve found myself once again, on what feels like an unexpected journey, but as I walk through it, it feels oh so very familiar.  If you know me at all, you’d know that I’ve had a lifelong struggle with my weight.  Probably an obsessively over the top struggle but to me, it’s real, both on the inside and the out.  I’ve lost a lot of weight over the years… a lot.  Like a few people worth of weight.  But a few weeks ago, I found myself having a major meltdown reality check on where I am health wise.  This is more than weight in the end, as I live with chronic pain and fatigue from years of physical pain and stress. This meltdown reality check came literally as a result of seeing myself for who I was… a woman who was created by God to be in His image and a reflection to the world. I realized I was a woman saved by grace from a lot of stuff that should’ve happened to me, in spite of the knowledge of all the stuff that has happened to me.

And I realized that I needed to finally and fully see myself for the woman I was created to be, and that was someone content to be more than a struggler, but rather an overcomer.  Through the help of a couple of really talented, gracious truth-tellers, I’ve set myself ~ or rather God maybe forced my hand through his convicting spirit in me ~ on a course which I hope will finally result in me figuring out why I choose to keep seeing myself as less than, just because I have an issue with weight, and can’t seem to get it under good control.

All this to say, I put myself into an intervention of sorts, one that takes away the very things on which I’ve been dependent on to bring comfort rather than relying on the Only One who truly brings comfort.  I’m not ready to share many details as frankly, I’m still taking it day by day.  But it is a plan.  With people to support me both to delve into all the whys and whats of finally changing my lifestyle from the rollercoaster I’ve been on to contentment finally with who I am.

How’s that for transparency?

Part of this journey includes the thoughtful, heartfelt Biblical teaching of  Lysa Terkeurst.  Her book Made to Crave has literally been sitting on my bedside stand since may 2011.  I know that because that’s the first date I have written down when I started it the first time.  You see, I’ve tried.  And each time I’ve tried and gotten to a certain point where I have said, “no that couldn’t be what I need to give up” and shut the book and went back to what I have been doing for years.  I don’t know how I’m going to do this time, except to say, I have a one day at a time state of mind right now… determined, focused, the “want to” is there, and I covet your prayers, as I’ll pray for you, as I journey.

Peace.

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It’s in the Air

IMG_5867 The smell of May Day trees.

Burgers on the grill.

Apple trees in bloom.

Green grass and sun to be… just be.

Spring is coming. It’s in the air. I’m about to put all the coats and boots away from winter ~ not that we really needed them this year ~ and we got the water hoses and sprinklers out so it means we’ll probably get a big blizzard but nevertheless… Spring is coming.

It happens every year, thank goodness.  The long, dark days of winter stuck out of the cold, or trudging through the cold, whichever you prefer, slowly turn to long luxurious light filled evenings as Summer approaches here.  It’s slow, but you can feel it in the air.  Time marches on, Seasons change.

Thinking of Spring after a long Winter reflects how I feel about this last year.  It’s been a tough one, folks. I admit that.  A lot of days have been just getting through, with the heavy heart from grief.

A year ago at this time, we just returned from visiting my family in Missouri, and with last hugs around my father’s neck after a blessed Easter break together, I walked away in tears, wondering if that really could be the last time I would be with him on earth.

It was. Dad died quietly at night in early June, surrounded by my Mom and my siblings after fighting lung cancer with every last ounce of who he was. If I ever knew he was strong, it was seeing him fight so hard.

I last heard his voice less than two days before, a phone call as I sat in my car in the parking lot on Sunday, after leading kids’ worship before meeting my family for our usual lunch date.  I heard his strong voice ~ he must have mustered all sorts of strength to be able to speak the way he did ~ say ‘I love you’ and then listen as I told him good bye the final time.

It was dark, even in having the hope that I would see Him again in heaven, even knowing He was finally free from pain, the struggle over.  Grief was dark, and I missed him immediately. I often wonder if it was such grief because I lived away, and missed so much of living with him.  Missing all that makes the dying hard.

We spent three weeks ~ me and the kids ~ at home with my Mom after all being together to celebrate Dad’s life.  ALL… meaning my whole family, sharing memories, laughing, making memories, going through Dad’s stuff, remembering, enjoying the Missouri sun together, family.

And we came home to SUMMER in full bloom, school out. Busy. Wonderful.  Hot.  But I had a sad, heavy heart to face it, get through.  And we did.  We made the most of it, and oh so much love surrounds us.

But now, Spring is coming.  As Christians, we hope for the day when things are always bright and shiny as we celebrate life forever with our Savior.  We long for the day when all his promises come true…

I Will Wipe Away Every Tear…

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come…

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever…

No, grief isn’t over.  My heart is heavy as we approach the anniversary of Dad’s homegoing. My heart hurts for my Mom who faces her life without her beloved James. My kids and their cousins who won’t know their Poppy as well. Great-grands who’ll never get the joy of meeting him.  No, grief, it’s not over, but just like Winter ends…

Spring is coming… Have Hope.  And hang on.

Sometimes You’re the Bug.

images (4)Yesterday was an amazing day with visits and coffee with friends, a sunny afternoon with pups in the backyard, supper with my family, presents both thoughtfully selected and creatively homemade.  I am one blessed woman.  I loved turning another year older.

Today I got kids off to school, put a load of laundry in, got chicken in the crock pot and realized I couldn’t do it.  I postponed two appointments with important people and crawled under a blanket and took a nap. I was that smooshed bug on the windshield of life who, even though her heart wanted to, her body and mind said ‘nope’.

I’ve become a very firm believer that to every bad side there’s a good, and of course, vice versa.  For most everything in life there’s two sides… the bitter and the sweet.  I’ve wrestled with this for ages ~ and at my age I can actually say that and sound sorta like I have ~ because so many times we want purejoy experiences.  We want it to be all about the good feels and nothing to do with the way too often rotten side of living in a world that’s not only less than perfect, but undeniably fallen from the way the world was intended by our Creator.

Purejoy comes in moments that we have to catch between all the bittersweet.  One of my favorite people from way back when named Paul wrote this to a bunch of people in Rome who struggled with their circumstances in light of the world that they lived..

And we know  that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

He was basically saying, “C’mon peeps, you know this. Our reality changes because God’s in it with us.  Look for the Purejoy moments because you know that you know that God doesn’t do you that way.”

So what does that have to do with having excellent and crawl-under-a-blanket days?  Well… for me, it’s learning to accept that God is in them both. That one is not afflicted on me because God’s forgotten how hard I work for Him and my family,  and the other is just the other.

Nope.  I have to believe that God plants purejoy even in the crawl-under-a-blanket days.  I don’t have to like it, but I must recognize that if I believe God’s under the blanket with me, then the joy I feel when all is right in the world is still there when it’s dark and tunnelish. And we’re worn and can’t enjoy the sunny day.

And the key may be finding out what He is purposing in my life by inserting the crawl-under-a-blanket days into the middle of what I think I want for myself.  Part of it is figuring out how He’s working it together on the days I’m the bug.

Peace y’all.

Eventually, You Get Good At Starting Over… Again

IMG_0296Haven’t done this for awhile.
Yes, life goes on and the next thing you know it’s been at least five years since you’ve hit post.
Yes, life goes on and the next thing you know you’re staring 48 smack dab in the middle of the face and you can’t believe you’ve filled out the paperwork for your babygirl to go to junior high, and well, gained back almost all the weight you lost way back when.
Yes, life goes on and you can’t help but marvel that  wildsweetboy is still alive, and actually thriving and your family has expanded by two.  They’re furry but oharetheyjoy. Yes, life goes on.
This girl promised herself two days ago that on her 48th birthday she would do the work to start writing again.  I gave it up because the story became too hard to tell, because even though life goes on, there’s bumps, and dark places, and changes I’d rather not experience much less process through written word.  But then, there’s the good stuff too, love that lasts, kids that grow, hope that never, ever fails.
Well, #48 is here and I’m starting over.
I hope I don’t regret this.