As we head into what is commonly called “Holy Week” in the Christian world, I can’t help but remember my growing in Catholic school. There wasn’t much I could really say I walked away with when I graduated 8th grade and continued on to a public school. While the others continued their education through CCD and getting confirmed, I rebelled because I didn’t understand…but that is a whole other blog post. Anyway, if there was one thing that Catholics know how to do up right it is Holy Week and Easter. In fact, when I was led back to church and it was non-denominational Christian and there wasn’t much emphasis on this time, with the exception of Easter, I felt a little lost. There was a small part of me that wanted to steal away to mass and a Stations of the Cross. Now being so young and naive at the time in grade school I may have not understood why we celebrated or did these things but they have stuck with me; Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday….and sometimes I think wow how morbid to drag this out for a whole week. That though is just my nature to want it done now. Don’t mistake what I am saying as me running back to a Catholic church…oh goodness no, but I do cherish the sacredness of this week. The preparation that lead up to what really was our renewal.
Yes, you read that right OUR renewal; not His own, not God, not the other men on those trees…us. He did it for us. Who else do you know that would do something like that for you? Die for you? For your sins, for ultimate forgiveness. Yes, we all have loved ones that would die for us, would fight and stand by us through thick and thin…but His kind of love is the ultimate love, the ultimate price. Because of this we have a chance at renewal, at starting over. That thought stuns me quite honestly and it also saddens me to know that there are people out there that don’t have that hope in their hearts.
When we make major decisions in our lives they shouldn’t always be looked at like gloom and doom. Sometimes I think we can get hooked on “what if’s” before we even know what is going to happen. We don’t know really know what is on the other side of that decision. It could be the best thing we have ever done for ourselves. I am not going to lie 5 years ago when I made the final decision to file for divorce, I was scared, angry and had no clue what things would be like. I can look back now and know that was a pivotal renewal point of my life. I think right now I am going through another one or maybe even just an extension of that same one…not sure yet…..but there are certainly things within me that are changing again. So this time before the actual decisions are made, it is the preparation time, like holy week. The time to think and pray and even remember. Then comes the renewal just like God gave us…the second chance, the new version.
Sometimes in life you get signs showing you which way to go. No I’m not talking about the obvious ones like the STOP signs or the street signs we come in contact with everyday. The signs we “see” or “feel” telling us maybe which guys to date or which job to choose. Those types of signs. Sometimes I think the signs are clearer than others, or maybe it is that they become clearer faster than the others. Lately, I need a whole bunch of signs. As my therapist said last week I am in a decision-making period of my life. Which can be a good thing and a bad thing….because with decisions comes also choices and sometimes those can be hard. They can mean big change. They can mean leaving your safety zone, you know the one you have known for years with the people and the place you call “home”.
The thing is that place or those people can change and it is ok to accept that you are changing as well. With that acceptance though means that you need to take steps to decide what to do about it. You can become complacent, which I can admittedly be pretty good at, or you can decide to do something about it. Back to that thought about the signs being clearer…sometimes it can take time to see those signs, or more it can take time for the final sign to become clear enough to make the decision. I have been struggling with something for months. It is a pretty big decision and not one that I wanted to take lightly or make with haste. It was one though that was heavy on my heart. I even took a step back from being involved in this activity so I could try to get a better perspective. Sometimes, you are too wrapped up in the activity or environment and you need to take yourself out of it to better understand what is going on. Your thoughts and mindset can be jaded by being part of it. Taking a step back for me was the best thing I could do, first because I really just needed a break from the time I was putting in. I also just needed to be a “spectator” so to speak, to see and hear and feel for myself again. There really is only two ways this can go….either it is going to give you great clarity as to why you SHOULD be a part of whatever it is…..or it is going to give you great clarity as to why you SHOULDN’T. Sometimes it might take a certain event to put the nail in the coffin so to speak. This is basically what happened to me….funny generally when I make a decision this is usually what happens. There is some final “thing” that happens. Maybe I should think about making the decision before I get to that huh? That’s ok though, I think that ultimately God has a plan for everything and we learn from every single event and decision. He is really the one giving us all those signs…. it’s just us humans that choose to ignore them sometimes.
so as I read my post from yesterday and got some feed back it may have seemed as I was leaving it as an all or nothing kind of thing. While some of that may be true it wasn’t fully my intention. I left that post kind of already knowing the choice I was going to make….I know I was like a writer in a soap opera leaving you hanging!!
So I have decided that I need to up my game so to speak. The food has to get in line with the working out and well the working out has to be stepped up as well. While, I hate to admit it the one way I am going to get in line with the food is to track better. Luckily, we have sooooo many tools available out there that can work with my iphone & ipad!! That pleases the geek in me! I have heard and talked to a lot of people about the website My Fitness Pal, which is a FREE website where you can track food, exercise, etc. There is also an online community where you can chat with others and such. It takes your current info and your goals and tells you what your calories needs to be each day to do that. So I set everything up and have gotten started with my tracking. That is step 1!
Next step is upping the working out game. Going to continue working out with my trainer twice a week but then I need to add to it and I want to commit to 3 additional days on my own. I am excited because my gym added on an addition which included a studio for classes so I can do some of those. I have also decided in all of this to give myself an incentive. Something I have always wanted to do but have said I needed to wait…well I am tired of waiting. I don’t want to give away the incentive just yet. Let’s just say my 35th birthday is coming up in June and until then this weight & fitness thing is game on!
Sometimes you move along and you think you are doing ok with a goal. Maybe you kind of give this illusion to yourself that what you are doing is enough when deep down inside you know it’s not. That is where I am at right now with my health/weight, earlier in the year I had recommitted myself and started taking steps towards change. While those changes are still around, some of them have been stretched and I have been lax in others. So I had somewhat of an “a-ha” moment at the gym this past week with my trainer. We were in the middle of a my workout when another one of his clients walked by and he said hello and she said hey, she was excited because she was down 5lbs. She was similar to me in body; shorter and stocky and probably in her late 20′s, most likely like me has battled this her entire life. He said that was awesome but also asked her if she had made an appointment to get tested. She said yeah and would see him at their next workout. When she walked away, he turned and said I feel bad for her and I don’t know what to do. I said why? He said well she can’t lose weight. I laughed and said well she needs to join the club. He said no she’s working her ass off….doing weight watchers, sticking to 1700 cals a day and working out 6 days a week and she’s still not losing. So the test they were talking about was on her thyroid. Anyway…we went on with our workout and I couldn’t get that little conversation out of my head. You know why? First, because I felt bad that I had made that flip comment about joining the club about not being able to lose weight. Second, because I stood there and acted all high and mighty like I am working my ass off like her and not losing weight and I’m not. Oh sure I am working out maybe twice a week, but my food is still not in line and until those two things really line up I am basically cancelling each other out. It made me really think about what I wasn’t doing and it made me angry….at myself. I am so tired of talking about this…and not walking it. About thinking about “when I lose”….I am tired of the in between. So basically at this point I have two options. Either I kick this train in the ass or I just stop the insanity.
So what do I choose???…since that conversation I have been doing a lot of thinking. Of where I am and where I want to be. I know deep down some of the things that block me and I just need to get over it…..
this really isn’t my normal post but it is something that is going on in my world
I have had to think in the past couple of months about whether or not I want to stay in my apartment or move to a new place. I have officially been in my own little place a year and I really do like it. It has it’s minor drawbacks but all in all it has been perfect for me and Roscoe. Things were going great until this past December when the owner of the house sold it and we have gotten a new landlord. On the outside he seems to be a nice guy but he is going to be making some changes come April that I am not too sure about and the more I talk to him and learn about his personality I don’t quite get the best feeling. So I decided to put the feelers out for a new place, including possibly living with a roommate. I had a lot going against me….I had a pretty tight budget I wanted to stay in and I wanted to stay in the same area, plus I have the dog. I did look at a few places but nothing was really coming up and the roommate thing wasn’t working out. So the more I thought about it I decided to just stay put and hope that this new landlord is going to be ok.
So with that being said I continued on this weekend with some major cleaning and “nesting”. I finally, yes finally got a couch that I like!!! Everyone who knows me is literally screaming with joy that I will now stop whining about my couch. So this weekend consisted of moving my living room around and getting the new couch in. I have also been working in my kitchen to decorate the walls and such. I am still working on a window treatment and tablecloth which I hope to show off soon. Here are some pics of what I did (along with a ton of laundry and cleaning!!)
new little picture I bought…and I LOVE!! haha…yes pun intended! Just have one more small kiddo pic to hang to the right of it
New living room layout with new couch
Up close on the couch & my most favorite paintings by a very talented artist from The Orchard
Just bought the new little basket hanger and yellow vase (dang you Anthro for being so cute!)
So here is the story on this. This spot is above my sink cabinets and was this awkward space with a weird empty outlet of some sorts. It bothered me forever. So this frame with wire in it sat in my garage I guess from the previous owner and I was like hmmm what could I do with that. So one day I slapped some white paint on the frame and brought it upstairs but still couldn’t really decide what to do. When Kristen & I took at trip to Urban Farm Girl about a month ago I found those adorable letter cards and I made the banner and the rest of the idea just started forming. I just finished all of it up this weekend. I might add more as I find little stuff. Who knows!
This is the spot behind my stove…kind of awkward. And since I don’t cook all that often I kind of wanted to make it decorative. Found that lunch box at Urban Farm Girl and have just kind of rotated pieces around it but I am liking this combo best so far.
I don’t know if you remember these from a few months ago where I am hiding an ugly telephone jack and wire across the wall but I have updated them a bit and added the hanging basket.
So that is my tour right now I am having fun and one thing I am learning in decorating is to not rush. Sometimes it takes awhile to find that perfect something….whether it be a couch, a frame or a vase. You just gotta keep looking!
As we enter this season of Lent everyone usually talks about what they are giving up. Coming from a childhood where I grew up Catholic and this was somewhat forced upon you I have pretty much ran away from this tradition as an adult. It could be because I didn’t really understand it….give up chocolate why? Give up swearing for what reason? (yeah I know shouldn’t even be doing that one anyway) In my most simplest ways of looking at it you give something up at lent to prepare for Easter, some might say it also a way to purify yourself before being re-born. Wow…heavy stuff for just giving up chocolate huh? All kidding aside though, this is a discipline for learning self-control. To better identify with what Christ went through and His sufferings.
This year I have been thinking a lot about what is going on in my life and choices I am trying to make and the other day it hit me of what I need to practice self-control over. As my last post talked about I am working down a healthier road and I need to cut out sugar, which for the most part I have done….except for one very BIG spot….my Starbucks coffee. Most of you just outwardly gasped right there because you thought “oh she can’t be thinking that” Yes folks it is true, for the next 40 days I will not be having Starbucks coffee drinks. In fact I have already made it since Saturday There are several reasons why this is an area that I need to give up and I kind of look forward to looking back on this 40 days from now to see the results of those areas.
I am just going to jump right in….lately I have been working a lot on this thought of “worth” I know I have talked about this before. In the past few weeks I have re-dedicated myself to the exercise and health “game”. I know I shouldn’t call it that but for me that is what it seems to be. I play a game with myself, I do it for a little while usually throwing myself into it like 150% and then something happens and I fade from it. Making all sorts of excuses to others and to myself….I say excuses but really they are just lies. So has something changed this time? Not really….but there is more awareness of a feeling.
In the past I couldn’t really figure out why I would let myself get off track and make those “excuses” to myself. I am a pretty strong person and normally can stand up for myself on all other aspects. So why couldn’t I stand up for myself on this one? My own health? It comes down to one thing; I don’t feel worthy. My extra pounds are safe, they are the ones that I have relied on all these years. They are the pounds that were put on when someone told me I wasn’t good enough in their eyes. They have always been there for me. It may sound totally ridiculous but for someone who has dealt with this her whole life and has some pretty deep hurt it makes perfect sense. So now what?
It takes time to break these old patterns. Heck it took me a couple of years just figuring out this was the issue! So now I have to overcome that feeling….that I am worthy. Interestingly enough this weekend at church we are talking about self-image…and by the way if you think that this topic just randomly popped up you don’t know God’s sense of humor One thing that stuck out with me….Change the thinking from “What do Others think about You” to “What does GOD think about You”….see God doesn’t make junk. He knows we are all beautiful.
What’s funny is that I am able to preach this more than I believe it for my own self. There is someone at work who is so hard on herself. She calls herself an idiot, constantly apologizes for things when nothing is wrong. I tell her all the time you need to stop doing this to yourself it isn’t positive, you are being so mean to yourself. There is someone else that I know that lately is going through a really tough time, he is having a really hard time seeing anything past the pit he is in. So he is not exactly choosing the right paths. I send him a simple text though out the day sometimes.. “you are worth more” and I usually put in caps. This past week when I have been doing or saying these things to others it has hit me that while I am saying these things to others I am not saying them or thinking them for myself!
So going forward I have to challenge myself to listen to my own advice. I am worthy enough to get healthy! To lose these extra pounds that have basically just been hiding the hurt all these years. I am stronger than that hurt now, I am working past that hurt and it doesn’t need to control me anymore. I WANT to be healthy and live a different life. God sees me as worthy and beautiful.
first of all….Happy 100 Posts to my little blog here….that number really should be higher but hey…it is what it is.
So two weeks ago I had a HUGE a-ha moment at work. We had a meeting on a Monday afternoon and there were some emails flowing back and forth that night about the meeting and some other things going on. There were some things said in the email that just finally clicked with me. I don’t even really know for sure what it was, there were a couple of comments and words in particular that I didn’t like. See in 2013 the bosses really want me to step away from the operation side of things and move towards the marketing side almost 100%. In reality, we have been trying to make this happen for about the last 6 months but things kept coming up and well…I kept getting in the way. What I finally realized is that when it comes down to it I am fearful of this change. Why? Because I don’t know marketing like the back of my hand. I am still learning and there is going to be an element of unknown. I have to step way out of my comfort zone on some things and even work closer with people that I really have trouble working with. If you know me, you know that things being “out of control or unknown” scares the crap out of me. In talking to my BFF the other day about this she brought up a good point (as she usually does), she said “when you started in ops you didn’t know that either” Well hello isn’t that the truth! So I have to put aside this fear and just DO this thing…thank you Nike for coming up with the greatest slogan ever. I was reading another blog I follow and stumbled upon a post I am pretty sure should have been addressed “Dear Tracy” it was about What Future are You Living Into. Interesting concept huh? Well there was a part that stuck out to me:
If we look ahead with doubtful eyes and question what’s coming our way, always keeping one eye on what we’re leaving behind and not fully trusting in the perfect, Divine unfolding of our lives, we will feel crappy, helpless and stressed. Because of our human nature and survival instincts, this is the default.
If, on the other hand, we look ahead with faith and believe that it’s going to be great, that the future holds so much opportunity for us, that the life we truly desire is coming our way, that there is Grace in the changes we’re facing and that life is happening for us, we will feel good, empowered and excited. It’s a simple choice but it requires great awareness and consistent practice to stay present to the possibilities in moments of uncertainty.
If you want to read the whole post go HERE
I really couldn’t have said that any better though. Instead of being freaked out and keeping one foot in things I am supposed to be letting go of just for comfort, I need to leap forward and give myself some grace to learn and grow in this new role.
I write this with risk of ruffling feathers…but hey that has never stopped me before so here I go.
This is a topic that is how shall I say close to my heart? That actually sounds kind of weird because usually that means it is something that you care about a lot. Maybe I should describe it as something that just down right pisses me off and has mystified me at the same time. Yeah…I think that about covers it. So what is this that I am talking about? Cheating. Oh you got really uncomfortable right about now didn’t ya?
If you don’t know my story I will sum it up like this….after 7 years of marriage my (ex) husband cheated on me. It was the most horrifying experience in my life and for a long while I felt like I was living in some kind of messed up TV Drama series. That’s not really what I want to talk about though….in getting back into this dating world it has amazed (and completely saddened me) how frequently people cheat on each other. I have met many men who have had it done to them and even some who have been so bold to have wanted to cheat on someone with me. Kinda makes me laugh when I finally get the “real” story out of them and then I blast them back with my own story of being cheated on. The sad fact is that they won’t learn anything they will just move on to someone who won’t care and will allow them to cheat. I don’t just lump men into this category either because I have known a couple of women who have been the cheaters. The other day Twitter had a trending topic that was #CheatingIsOkIf ….really? Are there really times when it is ok?
You want to know what really bothers me though? The married couples that are actually doing things that could really be considered cheating but they think its harmless. I’ll never forget when I lived in Arizona I had a very good friend who told me her and her husband had a pact that neither of them was to drive in the car alone with someone of the opposite sex. At first, I thought wow that is totally ridiculous…but after learning about temptation between a man and a woman you realize it’s really not. Or let’s talk about wedding rings….this was always a hot topic between my ex and myself. Why? Because he would often “forget” to wear his. I would get so angry…because you know what that is an outward symbol to people that you are with someone else. And please don’t give me the crap about I don’t like jewelery, I gained/lost weight so it doesn’t fit, my job function will ruin it…you know what…figure it out. That ring on your finger is telling the world and frankly telling yourself that you are bound to someone else. Do you know what it feels like when your spouse doesn’t want to show that to people? Oh and ladies….taking your ring off to go out with the girls is WRONG…I don’t care how you look at it. Let’s also talk about going out with the girls, I realize that for some getting a night away for some girl bonding time is a much needed break…but that time away doesn’t mean that you get to openly flirt or even cross a line. You are still married and part of that relationship….it doesn’t end for the few hours that you are out. I know this applies to the guys as well but to be honest I see this issue with the ladies more.
So why do I write about this? Maybe because being a part of the dating game it actually gets thrown in your face more than you want. Yes, there are dating profiles out there with their status as Married & Available. Maybe it is because I am tired of married people taking advantage of the institution that used to be so sacred and that I long to be part of again. Maybe I am scared that it will happen to me again. Whatever it is…I just think we need to have our eyes open to it more. Especially to my married friends…protect your marriages with everything you have.
we all have those days where we look in the mirror and just really loathe the reflection we see….and sometimes it is the physical attributes we might see or maybe we see deeper to the other stuff too….the inside garbage we deal with. You know what I’m talking about…a bad choice you made, something you shouldn’t have said, whatever it may be we see it in that reflection. Lately, I see a lot of bad hair days!! Seriously though I have those mornings of seeing something “ugly” about myself. I have to try to remember to that each new day is a new start and we need to release those old uglies.
My bestie is starting out on a new eating plan…to lose weight and get healthy and I am very proud of her!! While talking about it she revealed that her biggest fear is failing…and oh boy did I know what she was talking about. As someone who has tried again and again at this healthier eating stuff, I knew exactly how she felt! With any new plan though, whether it be eating, exercise, spiritual, etc. you have to remember to give yourself some grace that each day is a new day. Some days are going to be hard and you may not do as well, as humans we fail all the time. If you are a believer you know that God forgives those failures…every time!! So why don’t we forgive ourselves? Why are we so hard on ourselves? I think it is because in our world that we are in there is so much hatred and unforgiveness…. things that go back hundreds of years even. So I feel like we see this and think to ourselves “why should I forgive myself?”
here is what I know…when you release yourself from those chains, those “uglies” you emotionally weigh less and this allows you to focus on what you want to achieve. I will be the first to admit….this is hard for me. I have those tapes in my head that seem to be on repeat but I have to work on recording over them and starting new each day.
We are starting a new series at church called “repurposed”. It’s sounds like it is going to be a great series talking about those things that we as humans struggle with and need to repurpose and changed up. Fits in perfectly with my choice word for 2013! One of my favorite songs was done as a part of worship this weekend and it reminds us that God makes beautiful things from anything. So the next time you look into the mirror and see anything but beautiful…remember that someone else thinks differently!
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You
Have a listen here: