Sewing leaves

figOk….this is the fourth attempt at starting this post. I know what I am trying to say but the words are just not coming out in any logical fashion. They are coming out like cheesy cliches – and that is NOT how I want to sound or what I ever want to share in this forum. I am weighed down this morning by a sadness that I can’t seem to express. Why do I read…hear…and almost believe the idea that its ok to be who I am – but can’t seem to actually own that reality and live it every day? Why am I unable to drown out the voices that incessantly chirp in my ear about my shortcomings? Why is the “bad” always easier to believe than the good? Who am I to think that I am ___________ (fill in the blank with anything…worthy, beautiful, okay, able, – you get the idea). I know that I am told that I have been “fearfully and wonderfully made.”  Psalm 139:14. I read that…I believe it because it is from God…but there are many days where I DO NOT live it. I know deep in my soul that God loves me. I feel his love carry me through dark times and joyfulness. When I am alone in my fears, I cling to His love to sustain me. I do. But I still have doubts at times about ME. I’m not sure how that makes any sense. Perhaps when I fall to the dangerous act of comparing myself to others – it is then that I feel “less than” worthy. Comparison kills confidence for sure. When I am asked to step out and be bold I shrink and hide behind my insecurities. I become like Adam and Eve in the garden – sewing fig leaves to hide their reality. Ashamed of who they were and what they had done, they attempted to hide themselves from God. What do I need to hide? What am I afraid of revealing to the world? (As I type these ramblings of questions – I truly am not sure I can even answer them. As I reread and edit – I am not sure this even makes any sense). I guess my take away from this time spent pondering is that I don’t have to hide from the God who created me. He knows what I am attempting to conceal from the world – my endless insecurities and fear of failure. He knows and yet he loves me anyway. It doesn’t matter what the world sees or thinks, or if they judge and hate. I am broken. But with God I am whole. I am afraid. But with God I have not a spirit of fear. I am insecure. But with God I can do all things. I am weak. But in my weakness I am strong through Christ. I need to stop sewing leaves to hide myself from the judgement of others and stand strong in who I am in God.

Advertisements

This is about me

When I first decided to try this whole blogging thing, I wanted it to be a way for me to express myself and my growth in faith and life. As I have begun to find my voice in all the areas of my life, I have realized that one word that has followed me through much of my recent past is “authentic”. In this blog – and in my everyday life – my goal is to be authentic. I want to be real. The real me God created me to be. With that authenticity must come transparency. I don’t only want to post about the great things in life, but also the trials and hardships that we face (I have done my share of that). But now that I’m struggling with something that’s pretty personal to me – now is when my resolve to be transparent is truly tested. But I’ve got to be real. Otherwise I shouldn’t be blogging. So…I have never been a fan of resolutions. Why? Because I’m a failure – and resolutions point that fact out to me every time I make them. Come on – don’t judge me – we are all failures at some thing.) This year, though, I knew it was time to make a change in my eating habits. I did not necessarily make a New Year’s resolution – I knew that I had a weight issue before the holidays – but also knew that trying to make a lifestyle change during Christmas was a great way to ensure failure. So here we are at the beginning of a new year, none of my very limited wardrobe fits, and I am heavier than I have ever been in my ENTIRE life (yes, even when I was pregnant). Something has to change. I have been so careless with the junk I have fed my body and I have NOT made exercise a priority and it has all caught up with me. I know this did not happen overnight, but the feeling of being completely out of control came over me at all once and for the last few days has nearly crippled me. So, a few thousand tears later, a few pity parties later, a few self-depricating fat jokes later, here I am…ready to be real about it all. I am miserable with my weight and size right now. I don’t really think of myself as being especially vain, and as I type this about how ashamed of my weight, I feel a little shallow and superficial. I know that God loves me for the person who I am. And I know that beautiful doesn’t mean skinny, and I know that my friends and family love me just the way I am…but this is about me. This is about the way I feel each and every day when I look in the mirror. This is about the lack of energy I have. This is about looking around the corner at 50 and thinking about the years I have left on this earth – and being healthy enough to enjoy those days with my husband. It’s time to get real. I believe that God wants us to be good stewards of not only the material blessings he has given us – but also of the earthly bodies that he has given us. Shamefully, I have been more concerned with the instant gratification that comes along with a butterscotch sundae than I have been with taking care of my body. I honestly believe that God is at work in all of this. I think that he has really allowed me to feel the weight of this struggle (that was an awful pun) and has let me sink this deep to get my attention. I have come to admit that I am powerless to control my life, and I am ready to turn this battle over to God. Is it wrong to seek His strength in even this area of my life? I don’t think so. I think he stands ready and waiting to help us overcome any and all of our hurts, hang-ups and habits. I can’t feel guilty for asking for his strength in my battle with my weight…I need him to see me through this! My will power is NOT enough, I need me some God power.

So…today, my brand new scale flashes 175 pounds. Here is where my journey starts…with God as my guide. I fully know that if I try to do this on my own I will fail. I need my family and friends to celebrate my successes with me, and to pick me up when I fall (and to knock me over if I pick up a butterscotch sundae). And I need my God to supply the will and the power when I don’t have enough on my own. It’s time to be real. It’s time to rely on God to help me in this, the way I claim to in every other area of my life. I can do this…WE can do this.

Teens

Ok, when I sat down to blog, I had a certain topic in mind…but when I opened my computer yahoo news popped up and a headline caught my eye. It was a news story about a high school senior in South Carolina. He was his school’s valedictorian and had just stepped up to the podium to address the graduation crowd with his “pre-approved” speech. What he did next was awesome. He ripped his speech up. Rather than give it, he began to recite the Lord’s Prayer. In the video you can hear people joining in and applauding. This young man was taking a stand against his school district that had recently voted to remove prayer from their graduation ceremonies. This young man took a stand and did what he thought was the right thing to do. It makes me hopeful and happy to see young people speak about their faith and stand up for God. I often wonder what gives teens the courage…because we all know that teens are so often driven by the need to fit in, or to be like the world. To stand up and speak up about faith is such a commendable act! About a year and a half ago, Brian and I were singing at a Toy Drive on a Friday night. Several teens came in and worshipped with us. They were truly worshipping. Standing, hands raised to God, singing and totally engaged in the moment. I was especially struck by this. Here it was a Friday night and they had chosen to spend it in that manner. Should that be such a big deal…? Perhaps not, but to me it was. Maybe its because I don’t see the same conviction in my teens – and I wish to? I love my teens with all of my heart…and I truly believe they are special, wonderful people with beautiful hearts and minds. I just pray that someday they will be convicted in their hearts to stand up for what they believe in. I hope and pray that someday when the opportunity presents itself that they will do what they know they ought to do – for themselves and for God.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. James 4:17

 

 

 

“why do i write?”

My senior capstone class at Miami University was a writing class. I would say it was one of the best classes I have ever taken. Our semester-long project was to create a writing portfolio that was loosely centered around one theme or subject. I chose “home” as my central idea. The pieces that came from this semester of writing are so different from each other but all relate to my definition of home. I have kept this writing portfolio to myself since that semester. I have shared some poems here and there with people in my life…but until yesterday had never thought about posting poetry on here (I read a great blog yesterday that spurred the idea!).

why do i write?

i write for me

to feel to grieve

to let go and to remember

i write for validation

from my soul

and from my mind

i write to say those things

that i will never

have the strength to speak aloud

i write to heal

to mend old wounds

and bandage fresh cuts

i write to make my world

meaningful, real, and

worth living in.