Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The ABC's of Zits

I'm excited to share my first writing assignment with you.  I've been waiting almost two weeks to share it with you.  It's an A-Z assignment, and if you pay close attention, you'll notice each sentence begins with the letters of the alphabet from A-Z!  I had fun writing it!  I hope you enjoy reading it!

As I gaze into the mirror, I shake my head, slightly exasperated.  Beneath the surface of my skin, a sore area is beginning to bubble up.  Cover up, foundation and lotion just do not seem to be doing the trick to shrink the blemish nor boost my confidence.  Desperation is seriously beginning to reign here.  Every person that I see will notice it, no doubt about it.  Forget about hiding it.  Gosh darn it!  How come I can’t keep my fingers off of it?  I keep touching it, squeezing it, pushing it down, wishing that it would just go away.  Jolts of pain hit that spot in my face over and over.  “Keep your hands off of it,” I repeat to myself endlessly.
 Less than a minute later, I am touching it again. Memories of high school flood my mind as I feel the hard, sore bump underneath my index finger.  Never once in my teenage years did I have anyone outside of my head mock me for a less than perfect complexion, yet with clarity I can hear the dark self talk that often filled my  young thoughts.  Often times, we are our worst critic, and no doubt this was the case then and is the case today. 
“Please, get it together,” I beg of my adult self, who just happens to reliving all my past insecurities all because of one little pimple.  “Quit acting like you are fourteen and behave like a grown-up!” I chastise myself.  Remembering that my mom always tell me how pretty my smile is, I form my lips into an upward curve in a desperate last attempt to salvage my morning, only to have my dimples push the sore spot up and create more pain. 

So much for my smile.  There goes my only hope of prettiness today.  Undressing myself, I climb back into bed, and tuck myself into the covers.  Verbal assaults tumble through my head, as I realize how ridiculous my behavior is.  Well, some days, it’s just too much to face the world as a grown up with a big old pimple right in the middle of my face.  Xena Warrior Princess would climb back into bed.  You would too, so stop judging.  Zits suck.

Wednesday WAG

"I guess someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning."  

Well, when I opened my eyes this morning, I was sleeping in my normal spot on my queen sized bed.  My pillows were arranged as they normally are at 6:50am, and I was the right temperature underneath my two quilts, even if the air in our home was only 58 degrees.  So, I can't blame my bed or its so called wrong side for my bad attitude.  

I guess I can only blame me.

I'm having a rough day.  

As my life tempo has slowed down, it feels like everyone else's had sped up.  As my work schedule has eased up, my pockets have become empty.  As hard as I've worked to hit my 50 pound mark, the scale climbs.  As hard as hundreds of people prayed for a young woman to be healed from cancer, she died two days ago, leaving six children and a loving husband behind, not to mention many friends grieving. 

I know what the Bible says about considering the trials and temptations pure joy, and I know that all these situations have hidden blessings tucked inside the hardships, heartaches, and loneliness.

I know what the Bible says.  I believe what the Bible says.  I trust what the Bible says.  

But, I'm also trusting God for the grace to have a bad day.  I know God allows us time to lament the death of a young soul, to cry for her close friends who are close friends of mine.  God is big enough for me to feel frustration and sadness and grief, whether it is over something huge like the loss of another human being or something small like the gaining of a pound or two of water weight.  

So, even though I'm not feeling my happy, smiley self today, I still want to make sure I praise God for the simple ways I've seen Him work today.  The way David hugged and prayed for me, as it was obviously early today that this was going to be a rough day.  I praise God that even though I've been feeling lonely lately, that He provided an opportunity to walk with a friend yesterday, and that I have a group of ladies I am privileged to be able to meet with this afternoon to practice writing.  But, most of all I'm thankful to serve a God who knows how to work all these sad and frustrating things into something beautiful. (Romans 8:28)

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Saga of the Tiny Tricycle

The fall air was moving at just the right speed, with a perfect amount of sunny warmth in it this afternoon to pull me out side to watch my two children play with the neighbor kids.  The last few weeks have been ideal for many hours outside after school, soaking up every last minute of left-over summer weather.  As often happens when children spend many hours together, the squabbles have increased between the children---the girls specifically.

Today's particular disagreement was centered around a tiny red tricycle.  The trike is too small for any of the three girls hoping for a turn.  Nevertheless, they would precariously balance one child on the seat to pedal, and another girl would set herself down on her bum where the feet should go of someone hitching a ride.  The girls liked the challenge, and the oldest girl, who is eight, really enjoyed being in charge of this "daring carnival ride."  She was often in the "driver's seat" and enjoyed the high honors that came with being in control.

My daughter, Lydia, who is four, also desires control.  She loves being in charge and is willing to assert that independence towards anyone, no matter if that person is twice her age or not!  So, eventually, Lydia's need to lead seemed to overcome her and when the neighbor girl dismounted, Lydia jumped at the chance to be the captain of the tricycle.  As Lydia hopped on, her speed was a little much, her  pedaling a little too vigorous, and her balance was off just enough that somehow she tipped over that tricycle.

As I watched in horror as this little incident took place, I heard the eight year old say, "Hahaha!  You deserved that."

 The tears were flowing from Lydia's eyes, as she was hurt from the fall, and wounded by the words of a friend.  But, I knew she was in the wrong for being so hasty and deceitful about gaining leadership of the tiny red trike.  My heart hurt in the way only a Mommy's hurt for the wrong done BY Lydia, but also the wrong done TO Lydia.

I felt I handled it the best I could.  Making sure Lydia was okay physically, I asked her to dismount the tricycle and surrender her newly gained control.  Honor gained dishonorly has no place in our family.  I want her to make sure she remembers that lesson her entire life.  I asked her to apologize.  She did.  Sincerely.

Then, I did something that sometimes I do not take the time to do, or something I sadly even don't allow Lydia to do at times.  I let her share her hurt with me.  It hurt that her friend rejoiced in her pain.  I let her share that with me.  She flopped her little sweaty head on my shoulder.  I watched as three little tears rolled over the crest of her cheek, down over the sad lines of her tiny, pouting mouth.  

At that moment, I had a parent epiphany.  Something that I said there in the moment that I know was a gift to me from the Holy Spirit.  I told her, "Lydia, sometimes people are going to hurt you.  I know in the past I've told you not to tattle, but Mommy feels that from now on as long as you are telling Mommy to help your heart heal, and not telling to try to get another person in trouble, that you can tell me anything you want."  I realized so often that I was stopping Lydia from tattling when all she really wanted was me to care for her injured spirit.  

As her mom, I'm happy to do that.  After all, I feel like God does that with me all the time.  I continually make mistakes that cause harm, and then when I have consequences of those mistakes come back to haunt me, I cry to my Heavenly Father.  I know I deserve my punishment and plight, but I just want God to hear how I'm feeling.

The neighbor girl, who is as sweet as pie normally, apologized a little later on, and playtime continued happily.  Until Micah threw up his snack.  But, well, you win one battle just to move on to the next in mothering!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Posting this picture on my blog is probably the bravest thing I've done...maybe not in my whole life, but definitely in a long time.

This picture showed me at my heaviest.  360 pounds.  I look at this picture and shame still lingers.  Not even so much because of what I weighed but because of who I was then.  I was a person and a mom that I didn't like very much.  Looking back, I was rather lazy.  I rarely cooked dinner, I would only brush my hair when going places, I slept more than I was awake.  It was next to impossible for me to play with Micah at that point (he was one when I took this picture).  That summer was a low point in my life.  I was starting to isolate myself.  This picture proves it.  The only reason I was outside that particular August evening is because David asked me to walk with him.  I changed into my jeans, yet there I am, still wearing my green pajama shirt.  I have no idea why in the world I would have let a camera in David's hands that day, but there I am...pajama shirt and all.  This was a week before my weight loss journey started.  I was miserable.  Depressed.  Imprisioned.

I was about to be set free!

Here it is 6 years later.  I weigh 312.8 as of this morning.  The weight does not come off easy for me, but I've been persistent.  If I stop trying, it's not for long.  I play with my kids.  I smile.  And most days I change out of my pajamas!  I cook dinner for my family---and sometimes even for other people!  I'm no longer ashamed of the junk I eat, because I'm feeding myself nutritious, delicious food.  I'm making a difference in the world by volunteering with MOPS and at my church, and I'm no longer isolating myself, rather I'm opening a window into my world by allowing friendships to blossom and my story to be read on my blog.

I refuse to give up.  I will never stop fighting.  I will see my success, no matter how slow, as victory.  I will praise God for standing next to me each step of the way.  I will thank Him for all the friends and support He has showered me with.  I will live as a living sacrifice, learning to treat my body the way God intended for me to treat it...with care and respect.

And that's really all I wanted to say about that today! :0)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Progress and Peace

Peace and progress.
I'm seeking both.

As this new school year has started, I've zeroed back in on my weight loss journey.  Really, over the course of the summer, I made wonderful progress.  I lost 15 pounds over the summer, however I had kind of left exercise in the dust.  As my focus on weight loss has become almost laser-like, I've really anticipated tangible progress.  And I bet you know what I mean...the scale.

However, despite eating spot on for nearly two weeks, and despite adding exercise to my daily routine, that scale is not being nice to me.  Not one bit.  Infact, last week, I was anticipating a 3 pound loss, and wouldn't you know, the scale said I GAINED two!  It was heart breaking.  Angering.  Frustrating.

But, sometimes, even in the midst of those negative emotions provoked by the scale, I remember the truth.  I'm seeking both peace and progress.  I feel peace about what I'm feeding my body.  I don't feel guilt after a meal.  I know that I'm giving my body nutrients and that if anyone looked at my food journal they would find a very well balanced eating plan.  Not to mention that I'm staying well within my parameters for caloric intake.

And, when I'm using self talk to get me through that moment of temptation, whether it would be a big slice of chocolate cake, or simply getting off the couch when I exercise, I remember that progress is a lot more than just a number on a metal box.

This weekend, David, Micah and I joined our church family for a trip to the Creation Museum.  While I was there, I walked for over 5 hours.  That in and of its self is progress.  But, I think back just to last May when walking would cause my legs to cramp and I would be miserable for days.  Now, I'm trekking all over museums, walking my kids to school, and I'm doing it all without leg cramping or even foot pain.  That's progress.

I have so much more energy.  Even this morning, I rose before my alarm clock.  I spent time reading God's word.  I spent time just sitting in quiet with the Lord.  Asking Him for an obedient heart.  That's progress.

I'm not giving up.  I want to hit my 50 pounds lost so badly.  I refuse to quit.  And after that, I want to push through and keep losing.  I would have loved to hit 60 pounds lost by my doctors appointment, and as my weight loss stalls, it does not look like that will happen.  However, I know that I'm making progress.  And that gives me peace.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Being Home and Being Still

Mmmm...cinnamon is in the air.
I read today that today is the beginning of meteorological autumn.  And while most people go crazy for pumpkin spiced drinks and desserts during fall, I love cinnamon!
Right now, I'm simmering two pans of pears to make cinnamon pear sauce!

It's been a very nice weekend.  I have not driven since 3:30p.m. on Friday.  I've been at my home, homemaking, do things I love to do.  Reading the Bible with my children.  Playing UNO and Farkle with family.   Yesterday Aunt Terry and Uncle David came over, with ten year old Lexi.  We enjoyed a nice dinner on the deck (freshly painted!) with them, along with some nice time in prayer.  Worshiping the Lord with my church family, which as of late has included my parents too! Afterwards, my parents came over for a Sunday dinner, and when they left I took a heavenly nap.

It's been a long time since I've just relaxed.  It was just what I needed.

Last night, as bedtime grew closer, my anxiety grew.  So, I opened up my Bible and a devotional.  I read these amazing words from Psalm 46:10.  "Be still and know that I'm God."  
I sat there, with my eyes closed, and just asked God to help me be still and believe and have faith.  
I slept very well last night, thanks to the Lord Almighty.

Tomorrow morning, I hope to rise a bit earlier than my family and go sit on my porch swing and embrace that stillness some more.

I'm learning that stillness requires much more discipline than busyness.