Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Course

Yeah, so there's no real big revelation here.

Just a bit of settling, if you will.

I've blogged a little about this before.

I'm 41.  I have 3 "big" kids (not grown, but over halfway there).

I have a toddler.

I homeschool.

I have often found myself wrestling with the seemingly endless limitations on my life.

I see several of my close friends moving on to the next season of their own life journeys and I feel like I'm being left behind.

Let's be clear.  They're not making me feel left behind.  They're awesome.  They're fantastic.  I can't imagine life without them.

But I feel it nevertheless.

I just can't do the things they can do right now.  And it can be frustrating.  A little sad.

So, the Lord is saying to me... "Stay on YOUR course."  And, "I've got this."  And, "This is a GOOD journey."

And He's right, of course.

I'm on a good journey.  It's difficult and hard and exhausting... but oh so wonderful.

And look at what I get to be a part of along the way...

This beautiful inside and out girl

This fantastically brilliant boy

This wonderfully funny and charming boy

And this baby boy ball of life, energy and surprises

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I Learned

So, the Daniel Fast is over.  Officially.  We did it.  Well, we almost did it.  We ended up cutting it short by one day and one meal.  Everything was going fine and then Mark threw his back out on one of the busier days I've had in a long time and by the second day of his bed-ridden state, I was a little unnerved.

And a dear friend sent me a text offering to bring us dinner.

Of course I said yes.  And I felt great about that decision.

So we broke our fast with a large ham and pineapple pizza from Bellacino's.

Felt great about that, too.

Anyway, I learned some things through this almost 21 day experience.

Sugar isn't a necessary part of my every day.

Coffee gives me headaches (but I still LOVE it).

Physical therapy is my answer to chronic back pain and degenerative disc disease. (it's really working!)

Food doesn't fill me.  Not really.

Jesus fills me.  He really does.

I don't care for lentils.

Mark can't stand lentils.

I'm to stay the course (and my "course" doesn't look like most of those around me).

It was good.

And I'm glad it's done.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lent Day 7

Wow.  After today we'll have been on the Daniel Fast for one week.  It's gone by fast!

I'm encouraged.  I have been going to physical therapy for over two weeks now - three times a week, plus exercises at home two more days a week.  My pain is definitely down.  Definitely.  I haven't taken pain medication since last week!  This, my friends, is a miracle.

I have to be careful.  I know that.  I plan to be.  Don't want to do anything to jeopardize the progress I'm making.  

It is difficult, though.  I feel better and I want to respond to this by doing MORE.  I want to go walking and biking.  I want to garden.

But I can't.  Not ready yet.

Being limited is frustrating.  I've never been one to readily recognize my limitations.  I kind of just push through whatever to get done what I want to get done.

This works some of the time.  It certainly keeps my house clean.

But I find that pushing through pain is usually a bad idea.  I can't just put my head down and barrel through without paying a high price.

I have to be thoughtful.  Careful.  Smart.  I have to surrender what I think is important and listen to the truth about what is really important.

This is true for other kinds of pain in my life.  It doesn't work for me to just barrel through.  I've tried.

The result?  Depression.  More pain.

I want to respond to pain in my life with thoughtfulness, care, wisdom and most importantly, prayer.

When I turn to the Father and I'm willing to listen, He's quick to tell me what is really important - and it's rarely the same thing I was thinking.

Surrender.  It reduces my pain.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day One

Today is the first day of Lent.  Day one.  Numero Uno.

I only began observing Lent a few years ago.  I was raised Southern Baptist and it's not something traditionally observed in that denomination (or wasn't when I was growing up) so I thought this was something reserved for Catholics.  Our church community here widely embraces the practice and discipline of fasting and I have participated in some fashion off and on through the last few years.

I love the discipline of it.  I love that in doing without something for a period of time, I find myself craving more of God.

I DON'T love the doing without something I love.

This year Mark and I are fasting together.  We haven't done this often in our marriage and we both are excited about sharing the experience.

One of the books I am reading during this time encourages you to be intentional about determining the purpose of your fast.

For my part, I think Mark and I are wanting to cultivate new life in our marriage and in our home.

No, I don't mean another baby.

Lord, no.

But after 17 years of marriage, four children, years of hard work and sacrifice to build a strong foundation for our company and various other challenges that most of us face throughout our lifetimes, some new "life" would be nice.

Life in our relationship with one another.

Life in our relationships with our children.

Life in our day to day schedules.

Life in our family relationships.

Life in our friendships.

Life in our walk with our Father.

I also want to be intentional about a few things that I tend to set aside on a daily basis because I'm just too darn busy to get to them.  Like my quiet times.  Or my blogging times.  Or my writing just for the sake of writing times.  Or my "get on the floor and play with my children" times.

Gonna work on those.

Finally, this book poses the question:  If you could change three things about your life, what would they be?


First of all, there remains in me a sense of shame attached to a few areas of struggle or experiences in my life.  I would LOVE to be able to let those go.

Second, I would like to see a letting go, if you will, of the extreme importance I put on my daily "to do's" so that I have space for other, more important things.  Like my husband.  And my children.  And others that I love so dearly.

Third.  My health.  In general, I'm healthy.  But I'd love to see a change in the amount of pain I deal with on a day to day basis.  I know that this will require some work on my part and I'm doing that now - really doing it.  Exercise.  Change in eating habits.  But I also know that the Lord can meet me as I'm making changes and doing my exercises and help me along the way.  I'm praying for that.

So, that's my Day One.  Thirty-nine to go.