Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's a great day to be alive!

I am not really a country music fan save a few here and there (think Johnny Cash and Tim McGraw), but today I have had the line "It's a great day to be alive" running through my head again and again. I don't know why. There is nothing more spectacular about this day than yesterday or tomorrow, but I just woke up feeling a great weight lifted. And that makes it a wonderful, amazing, freeing, great day to be alive!

As I have been reading through "One Thousand Gifts" and talking with people about it, I feel like the discipline that I need to focus on this year is the discipline of thanfulness. I know I have said this before, but I for the first time I feel like it is going to be a thing that will bring real joy into my life. I have been looking at it as another thing that I will try and fail at. And the realization that that is a true statement, but God loves me anyway, and I can be thankful for that is a new thing that has come up in my little mind.

Ann Voskamp says, "We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our YES! to his grace. Thanksgiving is inherent to a true salvation experience; thanksgiving is necessary to live the well, whole, fullest life.”
I feel like I am starting to understand this and really desire to live this!

Pray for me as I delve into this deeper!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Losing the extra weight...

So as of the new year we have been eating better and exercising. And I think it might actually stick this time - not because we have some wonderful, pain-free way of doing it, but because we have good motivation...South Sudan is waiting on us, and we need to be in better shape by the time we get there!

After the first few days of my body having DTs from withdrawal of junk food after Christmas, it has not been too bad! I discovered a wonderful website that has great recipes that are easy to cook and have all the WW points listed (Skinnytaste.com) and have made several meals from this site over the last week or so. My family has loved it- and even have some new favorites. And we are were given some different exercise machinery from a friend, so we are now doing that each night in the basement while watching TV with the kids. This week I lost 6 pounds!

But I have been feeling so heavy and burdened, and I was reminded my my wonderful husband that even though I may be guarding my body better now, I have not been as vigilant about guarding my mind. And honestly, life has not been springing out of me so much as anger, cynicism, frustration, and agitation. I have not been a fun person to be around.

So I took some time today to get things in order again. Hot chocolate, my Bible, a journal, and the Spirit - it's amazing what this combination can do! At first it was that awkward, "I know I haven't spent much time with you lately..." thing, but God quickly put that to rest as I felt his arms wrap me in a big bear hug. And soon as I was reading and praying I felt God tell me that there was more weight I was carrying around that he wanted me to lose - and it was not in my stomach or butt.

My heart has been heavy with burdens of things that are not even mine to carry - worries of support raising, ruining my children, the future of these churches, health issues (because we STILL are not on health insurance - thanks NYS), and so many other things. And while my body has been going through the motions of all the things I know he wants me to do, my heart has become increasingly tired, grumpy, accusatory, and angry. I have not had compassion or real love for anyone, and have longed for a time when no one needed anything from me.

But let's face it - I'm a mom, wife, and woman in ministry - there is not going to be that completely free time in my life anytime soon!

And as I complained to Shawn about having nothing left to give, he reminded me that I had nothing to to give to start with if it was me giving from myself instead of what God is allowing to spring up within me.

Sigh - I am married to a smart man.

So now I am trying to lose more weight as I allow God to point these things out to me and I give them to him to carry. Too often I find myself slipping away and bingeing on worry and anxiety and self, but then he calls me back and I hand it over again.

I am so thankful for my weight bearer.