Monday, December 28, 2009
It's early. I'm up. The day stands before me asking what I want from her. She wonders whether I'll choose to push through the massive and impossible number of "shoulds" on my to-do list and find balance between work and play. She wonders if I'll choose to spend her hours, minutes, and seconds in ways that advance my dreams or frustrate them, in ways that promote peace in my heart or drive it far away. She's on my side and she hopes I'll spend her wisely. She hopes I'll listen to God's voice in my heart about how much work is enough and how much is destructive. She wants good things for me. She knows that the good things are right there waiting to hop into open arms. She hopes I'll remember to spend some time with empty arms, to lay down the many projects stacked in them. You see, she keeps telling me that arms that are always full of busyness are arms that cannot be open to receive. I wish I knew her secret to balancing it all.
You see, I still have trouble letting "good enough" be good enough. Here's a shocker: Not everything needs to be done with excellence! Some things just need to be done! Good enough is good enough for many things. Excellence has been required of me my whole life and somewhere along the way I began to require excellence of myself, indiscriminately, in every area. (Talk about over-training!) The day came when I began to associate excellence with perfection. Now, THAT was a bad day. I've long since divorced perfectionism but that guy is annoyingly persistent. He still knocks on my door from time to time, asking to come back to me. Sometimes, in a moment of weakness, I let him move back in for awhile until I come to my senses again. Well, senses, here I come! Perfectionism, I've packed your bags....again. They're on the front lawn. Pick them up on your way out.
My gift to today will be to practice the law of "good enough". Today, I will remember that "good enough" is often an excellent choice.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Ah, Christmas. Because of my faith, it's a very special time for me. I also love the twinklikng lights and the decorations and giving special gifts. I have to admit, however, that I am struggling with all the food that surrounds me. I am out of the controlled environment of home. It's great to visit family but oh my goodness! It's like Temptation Island around here!
Every year, my precious mom asks what I want her to fix for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Every year we talk about not having so much "sweet" stuff. Every year, she caves in to tradition and does what she's always known. It's ok in that I don't want everyone else to have to do what I do, that's not fair, but I'm here to tell you that no one in the family "needs" all those goodies! I won't even describe them all since I don't want to make my mouth start watering all over the keyboard!
So, how will I deal? Well, I've already worked out and I've committed to my accountability partner to report in daily. That is helping. Who wants to waste a good workout??!!! I will have some treats but I'm concentrating on not eating past full. I can also workout again later today.
OMG! THE SMELLS AS I TYPE THIS ARE OVERWHELMING!! AHHHHH!
Ok. Sorry about that. I'm back now from my little cyber-panic. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to go get dressed and head out for a little shopping. (I'm done with my Christmas shopping; I just like to get in everyone else's way! Although, I did pack everything in the car EXCEPT the bag with all my personal items. I had to go buy unmentionables last night! teehee) At least I'll be away from house and the incredible aroma of the old-fashioned Apple Cake might dissipate a little! Maybe if I tell myself that apples are "healthy" it will make me not want to eat it..... Yeah, the paradoxical approach to weight loss, that's it. (Too bad my nose ain't buyin' it!)
Well, I'm going to sign off for now. This has been Sheila reporting from Temptation Island. Over and out (of the kitchen.)
Merry Christmas!! Remember the reason for the season!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Last night, there was yet another funeral for a young man who died too young. Chris was driving, without wearing his seatbelt, and was in a head-on collision. His body didn't survive. I say it that way b/c I believe that everything that is Chris, is still very much alive and with Jesus. His body didn't survive; his spirit is alive and well. Chris was one of those kids who was such a great example to his peers. He was a Christian athlete who loved life. He played golf and was captain of the tennis team. He was a senior, getting ready to graduate. We are all in shock.
As death always reminds me, life is precious. There's no time for pettiness and negativity. God help me be a positive, encouraging influence in the world. I want to play for the good side.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Wow. Life has been crazy- good but crazy- the past couple of months. I am so into my new job! It's as if everything I've ever done professionally and the struggles I've experienced personally have all been pointing to this work. So, you ask, "What in the world are you doing?" I'm so glad you are curious!
I am a counselor/teacher in a drop-out prevention program. I have a small caseload of 24 students (down from 350 as a freshmen counselor!) and I get to do more intensive counseling with them as well as help with their online courses. It is so rewarding! Three of my students had actually stopped coming to school, due to extreme life circumstances, but were able to come back and will now graduate in May b/c this program is available. One stopped coming when his family became homeless and had to live in their car. They have housing again and I get the privilege of helping him. He's working so hard. I looked at him the other day and said, "You are changing your life right now." He looked at me with the fire of determination in his eyes and said, "I know I am." God has blessed me with the great privilege of being there for the transformation. How fun is that??!!!!!
That's the good news. The annoying news is that I am working so hard and so much that my exercise routine has, um, suffered....gone awry....gotten off-kilter....taken a hit....well, you get the picture. I miss it. I miss that feeling of strength, not just physical strength but mental and emotional strength, that comes when you are doing something so fabulous for yourself. While I'm off work for these two weeks, I am doing the praying and planning needed to go where I want to go.
I've never been a "go with the crowd" kinda gal so I just couldn't bear to "wait until after the holidays" to "start". I'm not "starting"; I'm "coming home." I'm not waiting; there's not a thing wrong with today!" Christmas is about the birth of my Saviour, not the indulgences that are ever present. Why in the world would I wait when today beckons me to hop on board?
To all my spark friends, forgive me for being away so long. Life happened to me but I'm now taking back the reigns. :) Hope everyone is well. Have a blessed Christmas season.
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