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.
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.
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.
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!
Make it a good one everyone!
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. 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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