Friday, July 6, 2012

Not perfect...still loved...

I love the written word.
Whether its the Bible, a blog, or a card from a friend, words that are written down are a great way to heal, to encourage and to learn.  That's why recently in our marriage David and I began writing down things in a journal that we share.  It's an intimate way to communicate in our lives that sometimes gives way to no privacy or time together...or at least too little time.  It's so nice because even if we have only seen each other a minute here or there, we still feel connected by the time we can finally settle down next to each other.  Most of the time, the words are spiritually centered: Bible verses, prayers, and praises to God, but sometimes they are practical things like to-do lists and our schedules for the next couple days.  I think it is a great habit, I encourage all of my married friends to start a journal of sorts with your spouse too.
Anyways, here is the point I'm really getting at...this morning in our journal David had written some words that were so beautiful.  He wrote,
"I'm glad I do not have to be perfect to be loved."
That phrase settled deep in my heart.  It made me smile because David and I are pretty good at forgiving each other.  I actually love forgiving him, because I know when I offer David forgiveness, it helps him understand God's love better.  And he's been so gracious with me recently as I'm going through a tough emotional time with some issues out of my control.  He's been encouraging and forgiving and at times when he could have stormed off mad, he held me.  He comforted me.  Because I don't have to be perfect to be loved either.
This love is not limited to my husband either.  First off, it began with a God in Heaven, who loves us even thought we are sinners.  "But demonstrated his own love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for our sins."  Romans 5:8  I'm thankful for the all powerful, eternal love of salvation!
Lately, I've been struggling with feeling love other places though.  Like even though I have lots of friends, most of the time I just don't fit anywhere.  It sounds weird even writing it because I know I have lots and lots of friends...loyal people, who help me and do wonderful things with and for me, but I guess I realized that I don't have a "group" I belong to.  I have my friends Adriane and Robin (edit: I also think my friend Lareina falls into this category of always making me fit, but unfortunately we live several hours apart and only see each other a few times a year..) who always make me feel like I fit, and of course my mom, but at just about any social event lately (especially if they are not there), I've felt so out of place.  Where do I belong?  And even then, I need to remind myself that I do not have to "fit."  Also, in the last year, I've been officially "kicked out" of two groups because of my imperfections...both of them online groups, but still groups that were dear to my heart. I just need to rest assured of my standing with Christ and praise Him for my husband, my mom (and dad too!) and my sister-friends who always have a place for me.  And I guess by not really fitting into a group, I get to know a lot more people right?  See, there are blessings even in feeling sort of like an outcast.  Even if you feel like you are a well like outcast, it's still hard for a social person to feel like they are on the outside looking in.
I think most of this outcast feeling has started occurring because lately I've felt like I'm a smudge on certain people's lives.  I hate feeling like this.  I'm a people-pleaser.  But, I can only do so much.  Feeling like a black sheep or the rebel (even though I'm not trying to be one...) is not a natural feeling to me, and I've been losing sleep and I'm sure developing an ulcer over worrying about this situation.  I'm trying to remind myself of Scripture, of God's truth, and that the need for human approval should not be my motivation.
I will keep reminding myself, "I do not have to be perfect to be loved."  And because of that I will just keep going...keep loving...keep forgiving...keep hoping...and trying to live by example, despite my own numerous imperfections.
And to wrap things up: another thing that is beautiful about the written word...perspective.  As I've written this, I really am already feeling much better about not fitting anywhere.   Really, it does provide me the opportunity to get to know a lot more people, many more perspectives, and gives me the chance to appreciate every single friendship on a personal level.  And seriously, God has given me the most amazing friends...even if none of them belong to the same group...and even if that means I'm the one floating around at church or a party or picnic...that ok!!! :) God is just so good!
So, I guess I will just need to keep writing too!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Evening Update

This evening I'm experiencing something I do not feel very often.  
Peace.  Calmness.  And a feeling that this week will not "kick me in the butt."  (Sorry, I hope no one minded that I used the word butt!)
I can not remember the last time that a Sunday evening felt so calm.  Normally, I'm bordering on an anxiety attack.  I guess that is what happens when you actually take time for yourself.

Over the last four days, my children were in the care of my dear friend Adriane and then in the care of my parents.  I spent four days with my husband.  We prayed.  We read.  We did devotions together.  I slept.  We dated.  We double dated.  We hung out with friends.  We played video games.  We watched TV.  We ate.  And then we ate some more (this was not a good weekend for my diet!) I exercised.  We laughed.  We even talked about big family decisions.  Essentially, we were man and wife.  And it was amazing.

I'm working on trimming my schedule down bit by bit.  But, for now I have things that I do not want to bail on because I have not yet completed them.  So, to get four days off from work, without children, and without obligations to anyone else...well, you can see what a blessing that was!

Seven years later, I'm still a giddy, smiling bride....I kept telling David over and over how glad I am to be married to him!

Switching gears a little bit, I wanted to tell you all a little bit more about the exercising end of my life.  I think I may have mentioned about joining the YMCA in Edinboro to you all one time before.  And I will admit, it took me a couple weeks to figure out my schedules and how to acclimate myself to the Y, it's classes, and all that it offers, but I'm really starting to love it!!!  

I'm so excited about it.  You all know I'm a people person, so getting to workout with other people is fun, albeit intimidating.  I'm writing a blog specifically devoted to that called "The Great Y Experiment" which someday I'll figure out how to link for you, so you can read too if you would like!

On another note, I haven't weighed myself since the end of bootcamp.  I'm pretty sure I'm up some.  I'm not sure how much, but I'm afraid of the psychological issues that will arise as a result of the number.  I'm not sure if it will be a motivator or a hindrance.  I know I can decide for myself, but I haven't been feeling the strongest lately.  Anyone have any thoughts or encouragement in this area?  

Well, I just wanted to check in with my beloved readers!  Hope you all are doing well!