KARBRUCE  
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Blog Goes Biblical

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Man, is religion ever a divisive topic. I hesitated even writing this because I knew some people would judge before reading, some would judge without reading at all and some would form opinions about me – good and bad, true or untrue- just because I happen to go to church regularly. I truly did not want to wade through that murky stream, but the words in my head just didn’t go away- so here I am.

It’s been a rough couple of months for me - no surprise to anyone who has “met” me through Spark. I am staying on track with my lifestyle goals, but just do not have the energy to do much more than go to work, and then go back to “work” at home to try to keep the basics of life afloat. This is not unique to me, I know, many of you do the same thing day in and day out. Many of you still have the energy to post and motivate and be active in our crazy on-line world- and I used to too. Anyway, right now I don’t and that’s why I have not been around.

But back to the Bible….. (Must you? I hear you questioning.) A couple of weeks ago, the text that was used for the sermon my Minister gave was the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. For those who aren’t familiar with it: 10 virgins had to wait for a guest; half of them brought more oil for their lamps then they needed, the other half bought just enough, assuming they knew how much time they had to wait. The guest turned out to be late and the “foolish” ones had to go home for more oil because they had run out- and then they missed the guest’s arrival altogether and were shut out of the celebration. It’s a fairly common text and usually the message is something like “Be prepared always and live your life mindfully because you never know.” And don’t get me wrong, that is a good message. However, the minister at our church went a different way that particular morning and I took great comfort from it so I thought I would share.

Basically the way our minister put it is that if we are prepared and mindful all the time, we may only chose to be mindful of the parts of us that we think are the best or most worthy parts. In fact in direct quote:

"Because we could bring with us, carry with us, only what we think we’ll need to be in God’s presence. Only what we like best about ourselves. Or what we think God will like best. Or the bits that aren’t hurting or scared or uncertain. Only the happy bits, the good memories, the right decisions, the generous actions. We might think those are enough, they’re all we’ll need, they’ll carry us through.

But maybe really being ready means being wise enough to realize that what God wants to see in us – in this present moment, or this one, or this one – is actually even more than that. The sad bits of ourselves, the hurt places, the not so happy memories that even if they’re not pleasant they did contribute to making us who we are. Because it’s almost like God is saying through this parable Go Big or Go Home – The kingdom of God is like this: you’re going to need all of you. Not just some. Because the best part of you that you think is enough? It’s not enough. Because it’s the fullness of who you are that I want to meet, says God, whenever we meet. That’s what really ready means."

And in this same vein and on reflection on the words above I brought the idea forward to the vastly original thought that “anything can happen” in life. Good, bad or indifferent. Things happen, mistakes happen, learning happens. People can be foolish and then wise and then foolish again. It happens. People are imperfect. You are imperfect. That’s how you were made, and that’s OK.

That sermon that day somehow made me see for a brief moment, and for other moments after when I reflected upon the words, how exceptionally hard on ourselves we can be. And really, how that is not OK. Now I know that isn’t “stop the presses” news. But wouldn’t you agree that there is a difference in knowing and KNOWING really deep down in your gut? When I heard the message spoken on that Sunday it was like a weight had been lifted off me (for an oh-so-brief-moment, but it was there!). I think at that moment I KNEW it’s not OK to be meanly critical to yourself. It’s not OK to put yourself dead last on the priority list. It’s not OK to think you deserve the worst. It’s not OK to treat yourself worse that you would ever consider treating anyone else. You hear me Spark Nation? It’s NOT OK. It’s especially not OK to feel bad or guilty or stupid if you have done any of the above. Because you know what? I bet we all have at one point or another in our lives.

So since that Sunday I have been idly letting these thoughts and others percolate away in my subconscious. And I think I am ready to start thinking about considering that I just might KNOW that I already have value in my imperfection. Hey, it’s a start.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IHATESALAD 4/25/2011 4:57PM

  Way to go! Thanks for the encouragement. Our journey is not just physical!

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CATIATM 2/15/2011 9:52AM

    That is a really original and insightful way of interpreting that passage. Thanks for sharing, and I hope it helps you as you get back on your feet. emoticon

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HOPEFUL2DAY! 2/12/2011 3:06PM

    I have never thought of that story like that. That's an awesome way to look at it and so true, right? It's also something I really needed to hear. I'm going through a lot of tough stuff myself. It's been a really rough few months (longer really, but it's been sort of concentrated the last few months).

Don't worry about going biblical. That's one thing I love about SP, we accept each other for who we are. I have yet to see anyone "flamed" for their beliefs. (Of course, I guess that doesn't mean it hasn't happened, I just haven't seen it.).

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KISSMYHIPSBYBY 2/10/2011 3:48PM

    How true.

There is an eighties song entitled "This the Time to Remember" It carries the same theme. It goes... "you've given me the best of you, but now I need the REST of you"

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JRIMM4 2/10/2011 1:57PM

    It's such a sad thing that we allow religion to create division. Truth is present in so many places whether it's biblical or tied to another belief system or even no 'religious' belief system at all - so often we can find messages which are similar if not the same. Shunning an idea based on the fact that it's presented from a biblical perspective or shunning it because it is NOT presented from a biblical perspective - these are equally ignorant and harmful reactions.

I love your thoughts and the points made. They are so very true. To sunder one aspect of who you are from the rest, not only destroys what was unwanted but leaves a scar upon what was desired as well.

I hope that your life comes into balance and I'm glad to hear you are doing ok.

JR

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CITYGIRL27 2/10/2011 11:05AM

    It's nice to hear from you! You've been in my thoughts and I was sure hoping you are keeping your head above water.

While religion is not a part of my life, it sounds like for you it leads you to thoughtful reflection and ultimately peaceful conclusions. I hope that nobody can find a negative in that!

Thanks for the reminder:
"It’s not OK to put yourself dead last on the priority list. It’s not OK to think you deserve the worst. It’s not OK to treat yourself worse that you would ever consider treating anyone else. You hear me Spark Nation? It’s NOT OK."

SO TRUE!

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Comment edited on: 2/10/2011 11:06:41 AM

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CORKY982 2/10/2011 10:30AM

  I love this. And yes - religion can be a devisive topic, but as a firm believer and a pastor's daughter, it always warms my heart to see a post from another member regarding the Bible or God, and the impact they can have on our lives.

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Who's the new girl?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hola Spark Nation! And Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Happy New Year and all that jazz.

I have been away for awhile- and I have felt the missing spark in my life.

Let me recap: Both my husband and I got three-alarm chest infections/pneumonia. The cat got really sick with an illness that made her incontinent. (Yay! Cat pee! Everywhere!) Then the medication I had to give her twice a day- EVERYDAY -turned into a trauma for both of us. There was blood (from me) and sweat (also from me) and tears (yep- still me) and lots an’ lots of drool and dirty looks (from the cat). Then the car got a flat tire (just before a doctor’s appointment that we were already late for - I may add). I was stressed out, occasionally flipped out, worn out, out for the count and over and out.

In short December sucked.

Then the longer I was away the harder it seemed to log on- you know? I was just too exhausted. I didn’t have the energy to explain why I was away. Little things were making me cry all month- and I am not normally a cry-er. I just think that I had been carrying too much for too long (especially with my husband’s disability) and life in general got to be too much. So I checked out for a bit. Really - it was all I could do to go to work, come home, get food on the table and go to bed. Then repeat it all the next day. (Friends were saying to each other: “Remember Karla?” “Yeah” they would respond wistfully “she was nice.”)

I will confess to having a bit of a pity party for myself, nay, I think I worked myself up to a Pity Gala; complete with streamers, balloons an ice sculpture and skywriters. “It’s not fair!” I thought. “Life sucks” I thought some more. “Why me?” I might have mused on occasion.

But here’s the thing- I did not gain weight.

How about that? So even though I was not logging in I somehow had enough of SP imprinted on me that I did not dive into nachos for solace.

Mind you, I didn’t lose weight either - but considering everything I still feel amazed that I did not eat my body weight in Turtles (The delicious pecan-chocolaty goodness, not the reptiles of course).

I even hauled my poor battered emotional self to workouts and stuff.

I somehow kept going.

And now I am back. I started reading the Spark book that I just knew I had to save until I really needed it. I am taking it slow as all of that positivity makes me queasy (kidding- sort of). But it has been very thought provoking and challenging to read. I’ll keep you posted with any changes or goals that get made.

In closing, I hope there are still people reading this blog and that you haven’t given up on me!

And finally to all the people who joined my team that I (ulp!) co-lead, and to my co-leaders named and unnamed, I thank you for being there when I wasn’t. I hope I haven’t let you down too badly.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATIATM 1/24/2011 2:49PM

    I'm sorry December was so icky, and it doesn't sound like January was great, but YAY for not gaining! I hope to see you on Spark more often as you get back into things. emoticon

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HOPEFUL2DAY! 1/16/2011 9:11PM

    Wow girlfriend, that sucks. I'm so sorry you've been going through so much.
You didn't let us down, you took care of yourself - that's what being "sparky" is all about. You did what you needed to do.
I'm so proud of you. You've done so well!
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REBECCAMA 1/13/2011 3:26PM

  Hey... you worked out, you put one foot in front of the other, and you got through it without gaining... way to go !!!

And welcome back!

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JRIMM4 1/13/2011 3:05PM

    Welcome back!!! Heres hoping for a better January!

JR

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JESPAH 1/13/2011 1:04PM

    Ice sculptures. Excellent.

Thanks for checking back IN.

Is that not what matters, cheri? :)

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SASSACAIA 1/12/2011 7:25PM

    Yay!! I'm glad you're back and doing all right! Rough months suck, but you got through it with flying colors!

Welcome back!!

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KISSMYHIPSBYBY 1/12/2011 4:08PM

    Good for you for not gaining, and for resisting temptation and working out @ Christmas!!!
And welcome back. I am new to SP, but it sounds like you were missed! :0)

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SUNDROP71 1/12/2011 11:56AM

  I am sorry you had such a rough go of it the last month i kinds know how it is sometimes!

I am soooooooooooooooooooooo happy you are here

i am totally here and reading!

fitxforty just did not work for me emoticon



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Comment edited on: 1/12/2011 11:57:56 AM

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CITYGIRL27 1/12/2011 11:52AM

    So glad to see you're back!! I missed you, and I was keeping my fingers crossed that everything was okay with you and that you would re-join us soon. Sounds like a rough month, but you did GREAT! I give you so much credit for maintaining your weight during such a rough patch. WELCOME BACK!!
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Thanking Thanksgiving....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy US Thanksgiving Spark Nation!

It's been a week since I blogged ( I Know! Right?) and I thought I should post a bit about the week in the life. ("Woke up, got outta bed, dragged a comb across my head....")

It's been busy busy busy as usual. My parents were in town to do some seasonal shopping, hit a couple craft fairs and to see a concert- so I have been busy either taking part or planning for any and all of this. You know how it is.

In the middle of it all, my husband has hit an unreasonable patch. This I can usually ignore, but it is a bit more awkward when we have company in the house. I can't wait until we see a neurological psychiatrist specialist. (We're on the list). What I need to find out it how much of his behavior is being driven by his brain injury and how much is just because he is orney git!! Lord knows I got pretty close to losing my $h*t this week. The thing is, if I know what to expect, then I can be a bit more firm with the unnecessary unreasonableness. Right now, when there is unacceptable behavior and I call him on it, he plays the "brain damage" card. As of right now, I have nothing in my hand with which to trump. Rumour has it that this specialist can help with that. So I wait in hope!

In any case, I kept it together and kept on track and maybe hit the punching bag at the gym a little harder than usual- and here we are. emoticon

Hmmm, I didn't mean for this to be a negative post, because in general things are pretty good. In fact I am going to list all the things that have happened today to make me thankful:
1. I woke up and got ready for work without any challenges or hesitation because my body is whole and my health is good.
2. I have electricity, running water and plenty of healthy food to eat in my house.
3. I got hugs from my Mom and Dad when they left this morning. I also got a lick from my elderly kitty.
4. I got my favorite place to read on the bus
5. I read a book that was kindly loaned to me by a friend
6. I got to work early which makes me feel organized and ready to face the day.
7. I love my job.
8. I have received e-mails from friends and relatives sharing a joke, or sharing a challenge and I was able to feel connected to them.
9. Sparkpeople (Duh!)
10. I had a tasty, healthy, satisfying lunch that I did not have to make (Left overs from last nights supper!)
11. I was able to go for a walk on my lunch.
12. A co-worker dropped off a diet coke just because.
13. Another co-worker making a Tim's run wanted to know if I wanted anything. Her treat!
14. Although I thanked her for her offer - I didn't get anything, not even a tea, but especially not a chocolate dip!

That's all for now- but man, it is only 2:00. Am I lucky or what?

Enjoy your long weekend neighbours to the south, and as for the rest of us - we are one day closer to the weekend! emoticon

Make it a good one everyone!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATIATM 11/29/2010 8:07AM

    YAY for you for keeping it all together and remaining focused and positive amidst all those stressors and distractions. Your DH's fascinates me. Are we unique because we each have a unique soul, or are we merely a collection of genes and chemicals. That he can be so different because of neurological issues must be so difficult for you. emoticon

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JESPAH 11/26/2010 8:42AM

    Excellent list! :)

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Checkin' in Chickas! (oh! And dudes of course....)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hola Spark Nation!!

I am beginning to feel better. The slide has been arrested and I am clawing my way back out of the funky (and not in a good way) blues. I can't even begin to tell you what a relief that is.

I even got on the scale this morning (although I "officially" weigh on the weekend). It wasn't good- but I knew it wouldn't be- the clothes don't lie you know!! But at the same time it wasn't epic either. So now I am newly determined to drink my water, stick to my exercise and eat until I am full and I am sure I will see that number drop. If not this week- then the next and the next after that (and so on, and so on and so on).

I should note that this week of crumminess makes me realize how important exercise buddies are. I mean, I knew they were important but man they are really really super important! I firmly believe that working out this week has been a help. But I just as firmly believe that had I not had someone counting on me to meet up with them, I would have completely blown off my exercise. Interesting isn't it? Why is it so easy to let yourself down when it is so hard to let someone else down? I should be at least as important as someone I am running with right? Hmmm something to ponder chickas (and dudes).

Anyway poppets. I hope everyone is keeping the faith and not letting this change of season derail them! We can do it Sparkers!! This I know for sure (to coin a phrase.... heh).

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARBRUCE 11/24/2010 9:19AM

    I do think the weather played a role- I think it does fo a lot of people.

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CATIATM 11/23/2010 5:43AM

    So true! Why are we more interested in being there for others than ourselves? I'm so glad you're back - and just in time for the holidays. Stay strong!

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JESPAH 11/21/2010 8:41AM

    W00p -- progress!

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HOPEFUL2DAY! 11/19/2010 6:22PM

    Just curious, do you think the weather changes (season) had something to do with your "funkiness"? I'm just curious. It can do that to me from time to time.

Glad to see you are kickin' it to the curb.
And you're totally right! What's up with us not caring about ourselves more than others? Frustrating, but hey, whatever works, right?

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KARBRUCE 11/19/2010 4:04PM

    "Poppet" for me came from Dame Edna- but not everyone knows her. emoticon

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UHYEAHABOUTTHAT 11/19/2010 10:01AM

    ...I'm trying to remember where "poppet" came from....Was it Pirates of the Carribean?

Glad to see you're back on the up and up. You're awesome. :)

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WALKAWAY 11/18/2010 11:17PM

    Glad to hear you feel more upbeat. We're here if you need us. emoticon

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NAOMIEVA 11/18/2010 5:58PM

    It's funny how that works out, but I totally agree... the guilt is much worse if you're letting someone else down. It sounds like regardless of the motivating factor tho, you are back on the right track. KEEP IT UP!

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YICHE12 11/18/2010 5:48PM

    Keep up the great work! It's great having a support system.

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SASSACAIA 11/18/2010 12:16PM

    Keep on keeping on - it's the best any of us can do! I think we all experience what you're going through... you can't be upbeat all of the time! But glad to hear things are starting to turn around for you - you are a Super Sparker!

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TREASURINGLIFE 11/18/2010 12:15PM

    Woo-whoo!!! Keep on keeping on girlfriend! YOU ARE WORTH THE FIGHT!!!!!!!!!

- Michelle

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CITYGIRL27 11/18/2010 12:01PM

    Glad to hear your on the up-swing!

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Am I Bluuuuuuuue?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I was of two minds whether I was going to post today or not. But I figured, if I post only when I am all "Rah Rah" then people will begin to get annoyed by me. emoticon And we can't have that!

Anyway I am officially in the dumps.
My mood is funky.
My motivation has hit the road.
Blah is my middle name.
My direction is down.
I'm a Melancholy Mama.
I am a resident of the doldrums.
I have an overcast outlook.

Who knows why. There could be a million reasons and none.

Anyway, the good news is that I am hanging on (just like JRIMM4's tree) and I have a gym date after work that I can't break - so I may see some light soon.

Send some good vibes my way Spark Nation, I need 'em.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UHYEAHABOUTTHAT 11/19/2010 9:58AM

    Despite how down you are, you still came up with a good blog about it. The way you interject humor in your posts make them so fun. I'm sorry you're down...but at least when you're down, you've got the option of going back up ...and you WILL go back up!
:)

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NOTMILK 11/17/2010 10:19AM

    emoticon
HEEEE-YAH! THere you go I just gave you a swift kick in the petunia.
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Hoping I knocked the blue right out of you!

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SBW1027 11/17/2010 7:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATIATM 11/17/2010 4:26AM

    Miss Kar Blah Bruce, it is these difficult days when we discover how truly strong we are. I think everyone has a touch of the blues sometimes. It could be hormones, lack of sleep, poor eating, stress, the weather - lots of things. Hang in there, don't lose sight of your goals, and I hope you're feeling sunny again soon! emoticon

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GATORJOY 11/16/2010 5:07PM

    Exercise always lifts the mood, cause you know you are acheiving Spark goals. Wishing you the best. emoticon

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CITYGIRL27 11/16/2010 4:22PM

    Feeling the same way! I think it's something in the air. Hang in there. I bet a good workout will make you feel better. I need to try that too!

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ELEANORABEMATHY 11/16/2010 4:06PM

    Good vibes )))))))))))))))))) emoticon

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WALKAWAY 11/16/2010 3:31PM

    Sending uplifting vibes your way. Can you feel them? Here they come. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JRIMM4 11/16/2010 3:21PM

    If that little tree can do it... so can you!!!

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Hope you get to feeling better. I have go watch Veggie Tales Madame Blueberry now.... your title has the song stuck in my head!

"I'm so blue-hoo-hoo, blue-hoo-hoo, blue-hoo-hoo whoooooo,
I'm so blue I don't know what to dooooooo!"

JR

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