Posts

Showing posts from 2015

The Very Good Year

Image
It’s 1:20 am on December 31, 2015. In a little less than 22 hours I’ll be welcoming in 2016 with the rest of the Eastern Time Zone.
I actually haven’t written a blog in weeks and I felt like doing so on this last day of the year would be fitting.

Although the last day of a year often comes with reflection and renewed goals, I find that I have been reflecting on many things lately. I’ve been thinking about where my life has been and where it is headed. I’ve been thinking about the hardships and heartbreaks as 2015 was starting and how far things have come and changed.

Most of my reflections though have really come onto the scene with what feels like an overnight change in my life. It seems like just a few days ago, I felt like I was drowning. I quit working outside my house and started staying home to care for my kids. And it was hard. Really hard. I wasn’t really sure that first year that I was going to make it. But I did. And interestingly enough, although it took about a year to fi…

Fear: My Frenemy

Image
Have you ever had a Frenemy? I have. My frenemy is Fear. We’ve been friends for as long as I can remember. And for someone who is supposed to be a friend, no one has disarmed and crippled me quite like him.  I don’t know why I’m friends with him really. He whispers the promises of protection while in reality he leaves me shackled in chains. He pretends to have my best interest in mind, but the consequences of trusting him can be fatal to my heart.
He’ll call himself my friend, all the while he’ll lie to get his way. He tells me the worst will always happen. No matter what I say or do. He’ll even go as far as taunting me with memories of past hurts, having me believe that if I follow his direction, I can avoid future pain.

Some days I call him out. I expose him for the bully that he is. On good days, when I can see the truth clearly, I don’t believe the stories he tells me. On those days, his influence in my life is minimized and his attempts to intimidate me fail.
Then other days, bad…

The Beautiful Struggle

Image

Progress Report - The First 9 Weeks

Image
I woke up a little over 9 weeks ago and I knew something had to change.

I’d struggled with my weight and emotionally eating issues for far too long and I was tired of it. I had hit rock bottom and was desperate to change my heart, my actions, and my eating.

So for the past 9 weeks I have been working my fitness program of sorts. I’ve been eating healthy. I’ve been exercising 3 – 4 days a week. I’ve been checking in with my accountability partner and community. I’ve refrained from emotional eating. I’ve minimized “treats” and alcohol and “empty calories.” 
In fact, when I started all these changes, my husband told me to take “before” pictures. I balked at the idea. I didn’t like seeing the evidence of my out of control eating in the mirror. The last thing I wanted was formal proof of it. But I did it nonetheless, albeit begrudgingly.

So I took my photos, and I started doing the next right thing for me, day in and day out. In the beginning, pure will and drive were pushing me onward…

It's Ok

Image
It’d be fair to say I was off my game this week. Eating healthy felt like a drag. Exercising felt like hard work. I seemed to hit an unexplainable wall of resistance in my usual routine. I was bored. I felt apathetic. I did the things I needed to do. I just didn’t have any gusto when I did them. If I had to sum up my week in one word it’d be this: sloppy.
And some weeks are just like that. Some weeks we don’t do or say or stick with the things we want to stick with. Other weeks we do but it feels like discipline instead of pleasure. Some weeks our hearts hum with joy and peace, and other weeks they are full of dread and anxiety.
You know what? It’s OK.  It’s OK not to be OK.  
I don’t think we hear that enough, especially from ourselves. There are so many things we want to do. So many things we want to be. And there is so much pressure to do it all. Pressure to have it all. Pressure to do it “right.” Pressure not to fail. Sometimes all the pressure becomes the very weight that steals t…

Your Story Is Not Over

Image
Your story is not over.

These are five simple words that have changed my heart and perspective about difficult situations and brought the light of hope into an otherwise dark place.

I’ve had the privilege of surviving the roller coaster of discouragement and despair (aka grief).  In truth, I have no desire to ride it again. But I will. This seems to be an integral part of the human experience, and one God seems to use many times to teach me more about myself and Him. One of the biggest lessons I have learned through these experiences is: My story is not over.

I remember turning 27 and being single. Many friends had paired up and were engaged, married, and some began having babies. My heart longed for my own love story to fulfill my desires and expectations. Instead, I found myself lonely, disillusioned, and tired of hoping things would be different. Thankfully, my story was not over.

I remember having been married less than two years, finding my happily ever after wasn’t happy at all…

Channeling In To Expectations

Image
I have a confession to make. You know those questionnaires that ask how much TV your kids watch? The ones you take at the doctor’s office or some other assessment for your child.  I’ve lied on those. With frequent regularity. The first (and lowest option) was somewhere about the 1-2 hours a day. The second spot was about 2-4 hours a day. Then it was 5 -6 hours. Lastly it was about 7+. I always chose the second because it was closer to the truth. The truth was my kid watched closer to 6 hours of TV a day.

If I want to do anything right, I want to raise my kids “the right way.” And there are dozens of opinions and facts pointing to what the right way should be in my life. These suggestions take no account of my family dynamics, my children’s personalities and strengths, or my schedule. Most of the information comes from research and reports, and what has proven to be healthier and better for children in general.

Knowing that I was allowing my son to watch “too much TV” despite my desir…

The End of the Beginning

Image
Two weeks ago, as I was thinking of my upcoming school days and the end result of a potential career as an Interpreter, I had a deep sense that I had a different road ahead of me. It’s difficult to explain. One could say it was discernment or a preminition. In all cases, I had a deep sense that I had a different course ahead of me. I shared my feelings with my husband and shrugged it off. I considered it may perhaps be all the road blocks I had to overcome to get registered for my class. I wasn’t sure. But I didn’t know if this was a stirring to march forward and break barriers, or a gentle preparation from God that he has plans for me yet. And that his plans and my plans may not be the same.

The feeling ebbed away for a few days. And then unbidden, three days before my first class, I got the same feeling. It was even stronger than before. I told my husband, “I have this feeling that things are going to turn out differently than I planned. I am still pursuing school, I am still movin…

The Beginning of the End

Image
It's been 15 years since I attended a college course. I never did quite finish my degree or college education. Instead of completing my studies, I moved to Europe, volunteered, and traveled for 3-1/2 years. I returned from Europe, married, and started a family.

Eventually, my desire to complete my degree as a Sign Language Interpreter come bubbling back to the surface of my heart. Today, 4 years after realizing I wanted to return and complete that degree, I started my first day of school.

I'm excited and eagerly looking forward to begin this long road to complete my education. It's going to be slow at first. Only one class a semester, while simultaneously caring for my children. Also finding ways outside of the classroom to regain my lost [ASL] language skills. I have a plan, and so far I am on track, with a few adjustments along the way.

My husband asked me recently, if time and money were not an object, what would I want to do with my life or my time? I looked at him and…

Coming Into Focus

Image
I just ran. Outside and in the rain. And I loved it. Seriously, I enjoyed it. I don’t know if it’s the exhilaration of running in the rain, or the freedom from not being aware of how sweaty I am or how hot it is outside, but in all cases it was refreshing.

As I ran, my mind went to a bible verse that the Apostle Paul wrote: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behindand straining toward what is ahead,I press ontoward the goal to win the prizefor which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13b-14)

I’m notorious for being an on again, off again runner. Sometimes I run for months. Other times I can’t seem to keep it in gear. But when I am running, I get all sorts of feedback from different people. One of the most common remarks I get from non-runners is: “I could never run! I don’t know how you do it. I hate running.”

Yet that’s what I was thinking about on my run tonight. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…. For me, running is all about focus

The Party Is Over

Image
One day years from now, my children are going to run across some blogs and journals I’ve written throughout the years. I wonder what they will think.  Sometimes the pages or posts are filled with happy, funny, light toned blurbs. But some of them just outline that life is hard.

I think about David in the Bible. He’s known for pouring out his anguish in song and poems. I can relate to that. Sometimes I’m nervous that people will read my writings years from now and think I was unhappy with my life. I am not. But … life is still hard. And for as many times my heart has swelled with joy and excitement, it’s equally been filled with pain and fear.

I found myself in an emotional slump some weeks ago. After a long and trying year, my heart had about just enough of the stress I had been under. And I caved. I’d invited myself to a pity party weeks before and finally decided to show up. I wallowed. I ate. I drank. I sulked.  I checked out. I cried “woe is me… this stinks… I feel tired and lonely…

A New First Day of School Experience

Image
I still recall the first day of school with fondness. New books and Trapper Keeper loose leaf binders. Sharpened pencils and unused pens in my back pack ready to be used. Friends to reconnect with after the summer break. New slouch socks and LA Gear high tops with my denim skirt and t-shirt rolled at the sleeves.  Wait, I’m giving away my age with that last one. Suffice it to say, it was all exciting. The first day of school signaled a new beginning and a fresh start at earning good grades and remarks. I always found that first week quite exciting.

Years later, far beyond the days of my childhood school years, this school year brings a new kind of excitement. My firstborn will start his very first day of school! Aside from the fact that he’s been begging to go to school all year long, there are so many reasons to celebrate this momentous occasion.

First I’m curious to see how much of my home training will be taken to school with him each day. I’ve tried hard to see that he has learned…