child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Monday, November 26, 2012

God in the ordinary

Yesterday at church, Pastor passed the microphone around for anyone to say what they are thankful for.  Person after person stood up and told tales of how God had moved mightily.  I never talk when they pass the microphone, but yesterday the tug at my soul was far too great.  I still wasn't going to speak but the microphone got handed right next to my head and I suddenly was reaching for it.

"I have nothing profound to say." I heard the strange echo of my own voice being broadcast to each person in the sanctuary.  "I am just thankful that I am at church with my whole family.  We've been battling the crud and missed the last five weeks of church while we each passed sickness to the next. I'm thankful today that my family is healthy enough, finally, that we could come to church today!"

I sat with the sick feeling in my stomach that comes when I talk in front of large groups.  But I didn't regret standing.  On the way home, I told Hubby I don't usually talk when they give the opportunity.  He said he was glad that I did this time.  And as I talked to him I knew exactly why I felt so drawn to share.

I was thankful for something small.  I was thankful for the fact that God showed up in an ordinary way in my life.  In comparison to the stories of miracles upon miracles, it was not worth celebrating.  But see that is the reason that I needed to celebrate.  Is it possible that we often miss God because we are looking for the wonderous not the ordinary?  Do we too often look over the ways that God says "I love you, Child" because we haven't seen glory surrounding it? 

I'm thankful for stories of brain surgeries that were successful against the odds.  I'm thankful for stories of job transfers that brought the person to a place where the owner had been praying for a godly man to fill the position and God directed both parties to each other.  I'm thankful for the prodigals who renewed relationships with their families and for the family finally able to adopt their special needs child after a long and hard road.  Those are amazing stories and well worth celebrating. 

But so are the little stories.  The stories that say my family is finally over thier colds, that someone who feels overwhelmed was able to wake up with a smile for the first time in weeks, that the rolls you made on Thanksgiving turned out well, that your favorite song came on the radio.  You get it.  There are a million ways God says He loves us and if we only wait to hear the big ones, we will miss out on so much of God.

Oddly enough, I was just sitting at my desk reading a book my dear friend gave me.  And I read these words,
"Isn't it here? The wonder?  Why do I spend so much of my living hours struggling to see it?  Do we truly stumble so blind that we must be afronted with blinding magnificence for our blurry soul-sight to recognize grandeur?  The very same surging magificence that cascades over our every day here.  Who has time or eyes to notice?"
That paragraph came from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  If you haven't read it, you should.  It is a beautiful book.  I just loved that the day after I told Hubby that we miss God in the day to day because we look for Him only in the extrodinary would be the day that I read in such poetic form the exact sentiment.
What are you thankful for today?  In the midst of pain there is still something beautiful.  In the midst of suffering God still says I love you.  How will you hear it today?  A song that soothes the soul, an email from an old friend, the falling of snowflakes on a quiet day, a cup of coffee in a favorite mug or shared with a friend.  Whatever it is, know that God is saying He loves us today, and we need only to hear it in our own languages. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

much better

I took my anxiety meds yesterday at work.  They helped.  I was able to breathe and make it through the rest of the staff meeting.  Unfortunately it made me pretty spacey for the rest of the day which is abnormal. 

Anyhoo, just wanted to tell you that I'm ok, that I survived yesterday and that today looks much brighter. 

I love you all and wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving filled with love, courage and not one single orange thought!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

group meals

take a deep breath, wipe the tears from my eyes, put on a big huge smile and then go back to staff meeting and pretend that i'm not dying inside. 

sigh..... i HATE group meals.  wonder if i'm being missed yet.  need to head back before they come to find me........

pray for grace and strength

Sunday, November 18, 2012

attack of the voices

not feeling well.  two of three kids are sick, like fevers and wicked cough kind of sick. struggling today.  my voices informed me that Hubby is a better mom than I have ever been.  he cleans and keeps up with the housework that I have never ever been able to.  there is no searching through piles of laundry to find school clothes anymore.  the longest the dishes have been behind was one day and that was due to sickness.  somehow he can do everything that I couldn't when I was the one home all day.  that was the last and most devastating of a string of attacking thoughts.  and now I'm going to go cry to bed and hope tomorrow sounds less painful in my head.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

bread, sex and other random thoughts

Random weekend thoughts......

I must bake bread.  My current emotional survival depends on rising dough, punching it down, kneading it and the smell of fresh baked bread filling my house!  I have flour and yeast.  I need the comfort that bread making brings.  Not really sure why, but I do.  Life has been going great and I have also felt the tug of depression.  I can't even begin to figure it out.  I'm on top of the world with tears hiding behind my eyes.  I wonder once it is made if I will eat the bread or gift it away like I usually do.  Maybe both? 

I had a moment of progress.  I was goofing around and made a sucked in face pose (how does one actually describe the face you make?????) and when I did my collar bone stuck out big time.  I instantly longed for that body again and just as quickly as I longed for it I thought how much fun sex is with a healthy body.  I actually ENJOY when my husband touches me now.  I actually desire and look forward to his touch again.  I can reach the peak of fulfillment again which I couldn't when I was sick. 

When I was sick, I dreaded his amorous attentions.  It hurt my bones to have his hands touching my body.  It didn't feel good at all.  It was a chore and made me understand why some refer to it as a wifely duty.  So while I was wanting that body again, I didn't want the pain again.  I really like sex and I really want to keep liking sex and I can't do that with an unhealthy body. 

Does that realization mean that I don't ever struggle?  No, unfortunately it doesn't take away the argument in my brain or the voices that demand that I be punished.  But it does put one more thing in the pro-healthy body category to help fight those voices. 

Happy weekend friends and here is a beautiful thought to end on....

Photo: Make your life a beautiful mosaic

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

politically incorrect

I'm going to say something that not everyone will like.  I wanted to say this on Facebook the other day but then realized that it would create a firestorm and I didn't want to deal with a firestorm.  So I'm going to say it here because this is MY space and I can say how I truly feel.  It isn't ed related.  And though some may take this as a political statement, it isn't.

I've been intentional sharing good things, things I'm thankful for, bright spots on Facebook.  On my dad's birthday I wanted to say this:  I'm grateful that 70 years ago abortion was illegal.  Because of that fact my dad is here and I'm grateful for him.

Realizing that it sounded really political and especially in an election year when nearly everyone on Facebook is up in a tizzy about their candidate, or better said attacking the opposing candidate and their supporters, I knew that Facebook was not the forum to share that thought.  It isn't political.  It is my reality.  I would not be here if abortion had been legal then.  My grandmother told my father when abortion was legalized that if it had been legal when she was pregnant with him she absolutely would have aborted.  She didn't  want to have a baby.  Her marriage was rocky, she had another child from a prior marriage already.  This was in the 40's when remarriage was not a popular thought and babies from different fathers was a sign of disgrace.

For me, the statement is simply that I am grateful and yet always amazed at how many people are affected by our lives.  I'm amazed that butterfly wings can set waves in motion.  I'm amazed that no matter how insignificant we may feel, our lives really do touch so many others.  And I'm grateful that my life exists because my grandmother didn't have the choice over her son's life.  I'm grateful for the thousands of people his life has touched.  And I'm grateful that I get to call him Daddy.

*** I know this won't be a popular post.  You don't have to agree with me, I know MANY don't.  Just no attackin please!***

Monday, November 12, 2012

balancing the f-bomb

FAT.  Yep, I said it, the f word. It has been a long time since I have really exercised.  I have long felt that my body deserves to be punished and usually when I exercise it is with the intention of punishing myself for something.  I listened to my doctor and to my husband and even to my body and reserved the exercise.  Unfortunately I haven't felt stable enough to trust myself to exercise alone so my exercise has been limited to using the eliptical occasionally while watching football with Hubby. 

I think I'm starting to come into a place where I want to work with my body.  I am starting to see a difference in my motivation to exercise, to be healthy not to punish myself.  This is a good thing and a nice shift.  I'm also a little afraid of the exercise program that Hubby and I are about to begin because though I genuinely desire health this time around, I'm also genuinely very discontent with my body.

Here are the steps I'm putting in place to help guard myself.  I am NOT weighing, measuring or taking before and after photos.  I'm only exercising with Hubby, no sneaking it in after he goes to bed.  That way I can stay accountable to him and he won't have to forbid me from exercise again because I was burning far more than I was consuming. 

I feel fat.  But more importantly, right now I don't feel healthy.  I feel like I have gone the other extreme of hurting myself by not fully taking care of myself.  Instead of hurting my body, I'm just ignoring it.  That's not healthy either.  There has to be a healthy balance, a balance that neither abuses my body nor neglects it.  And someday, I'm going to find that balance. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

live free or die trying

My day started yesterday with scripture going through my head.  Thank God that it did because I needed that to carry me through the rest of the day. (I'm just writing right now, not looking up the reference because I'm on a limited amount of time.)

"It is for freedom that Christ has set you free."

Hmmmmm, freedom.  What does it really mean to live free?  I pondered the question through the morning.  I looked up the definition of free in my lovely Webster's Dictionary on my desk. 
free: adj  1.not imprisioned or constrained 2. not under necessity or obligation .....
4a.not affected by a specified circumstance or condition......7a. not being occupied or used
freeing set at liberty 2. to release or rid 3. to untangle or clear
Free.  I'm not feeling very free right now.  How do I live in the freedom that Christ has given me?  How do I live not imprisioned to eating disorders?  What exactly does that look like?
Ok, now fast forward to later in the day.  I'm surrounded by people who have decided that mexican is the fare for the day.  Already struggling, this was a bit of a freaky choice for me but I was bound and determined to get over myself and enjoy the time together.  But then they talked about weight, hunger cues, body image, NUMBERS, and everyone had an opinion about eating disorders that they felt the need to share.  It isn't what you think it is.  It isn't about what you think it is about. 
Is it about weight and size?  Yes, but not in a vain sort of way, because it isn't actually about weight and size at all.  I don't care what the measurements say, what society says, what friends say, I am convinced that my hips are huge.  What I see when I look in the mirror, though not truth, is still what I see! It isn't really about society saying skinny is good, but it is about the fact that I feel like the less physical space I take up then the less people will see me.  I sometimes really do long to be invisible and let no one see the hurts inside of me.
I texted Hubby, I told him that I wanted to run and hide.  I told him that I wanted to curl up under the covers.  I told him that I just wanted to get drunk.  Yes, go ahead and hold that shocked face and wag your finger at me.  Good Christian girls sometimes just want to get drunk to escape their reality too!  I wanted to escape but there was no where to escape to. 
Did they know that the voices in my head were already loud?  Did they know that the conversation made the voices turn to screaming and demeaning?  The orange inside of my head hates that I still ate with them.  The orange inside of my head is telling me that I'm not worth taking care of.  The orange inside of my head is angry, really really angry.  And she is letting me know it.
And somehow in the midst of it all, I still find a little part of me that really wants freedom.  There is a little part that wants to not live affected by a specified condition.  There is a part of me that wants to live not under necessity or obligation.  That voice needs to start talking louder than the voice of slavery and quickly.  That seed of longing needs to produee something bigger than the seed of hatred that demands that I am not good enough and that I need to be punished.