Sunday, January 3, 2016

What You Can Learn in a Week...

  Last week, was such a mumble jumbled, upside down, inside out kind of week.  And I guess for that reason without even realizing it, I ended up experimenting (in a way) in how I operate or do things in this thing we call life.  Whether out of desire or need (or maybe a combination of both), I tried new things (or old things in new ways), I stepped through fears and I discovered once again that my relationships with God and people are constantly evolving.
  For instance, I've been reading a book on boundaries and this week I actually put into practice something I learned in reading it... that is the art of saying "No".  I've never been good at saying "No", whether out of fear of disappointing people and being rejected or fear that I'll lose the sense of value to someone or something.  Yet I realized this week, even when people don't respond well to your boundaries... even when they fight back and kick and scream cause you're not being the doormat they expect you to be.... you still get to keep your value and their disappointment/rejection isn't forever.
  Then I had a few doctors appointments where I heard all sorts of statistics associated with big scary words that made my head spin and I felt the weight of a burden too heavy for me to bare alone crushing down on me, and I did something I have programed myself not to do....that is to reach out for help.  What I learned is that while not everyone is capable of caring my burdens with me, some people are.  I expected, based on my own experiences of the past year, that my friends would tell me to get over it, that I am on my own because they have their own lives to deal with and I'm freaking out over nothing.  Instead I found a listening ear that was unphased by my middle of the night call where I was crying and venting all my fears.  In fact instead of giving me all those nice sounding but completely unhelpful placated responses we all tend to give in situations like this,  I received a listening ear that cried with me and let the suckiness of it all seep into us both while carrying me to Jesus on her knees. 
  I also took the advice of someone who told me not to rip up my whole puzzle just because I couldn't make one piece fit where and how I wanted it to, which finally caused me to take my fingers out of my own ears long enough to hear God whisper in the wind "I am here".  In fact there is a portion of Psalm 139 where David ponders "Where can I go from your spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?" and I was reminded that what was true for him is true for me, whether I go up to the heavens or find myself in the depths, God is there.  I may want things neat and orderly, but God can handle my mess.  I may want all the answers and have to know why things are the way they are, but God is okay with my questions.  I may feel like I am lost at sea with no land in sight, but God is the wave of the ocean holding my head above the water.  I can rest in that.
  So, while last week wasn't an easy week... while it left me drop kicked and screaming... it also taught me some knew things and gave me new experiences and I guess that's a pretty good way to finish up one year and start another.  At least that's how I feel for today.

Friday, January 1, 2016

When Life Puts You in Time Out...

  Happy New year everyone!  Remember when you were little and you thought that by 2016 we would all be floating around in space cars like the Jetsons?  No?  Oh, well, maybe that was just me then.  Anyway, as I wrote yesterday, heading into 2016 I feel different than I have in the past.  Instead of creating goals and trying to figure out how I want the next year to go, I kind of feel like I have no idea about anything.  In some ways that's absolutely terrifying.... but in other ways, like I realized late last night (after quite a bit of wine, so maybe I should take this all with a grain of salt), maybe it should also be exciting.  Truth is, I don' know what this year holds or how it will all turn out.  I don't know what to look forward to or what to plan or not plan for, but one thing seems pretty certain and that is that this will most likely be a year of self-discovery.  It has to be.... (you can't get any lower than "I don't know" can you?!?!)
  I don't think that I've really spent all that much time investing in myself these past few years.  Actually, I don't think I've really put too much focus on myself at all since the year I lost 130lbs!  Before this new year started thought (so like, over the past several weeks and months), it's seemed like life keeps throwing me into the corner and putting me in time out.  It's like it's telling me, slow down, take a minute, think about what's going on.  Personally I have a hard time stopping to smell the roses.  I like to plow through life, going from one task to another, feeling like I am doing something but not really taking the time to really enjoy what I am doing.  Maybe life's trying to do me a favor.  Maybe what feels like I forced punishment is really a loving parents telling me I need to rest.  Maybe all of this will be for the best.  I guess we shall see....if anything, it will be interesting.  So here we go...Day 1 (Feel free K-Love or Fish listeners to start singing "It's day one of the rest of my life" by Matthew West here as we fade out!)