Sunday, January 10, 2010
I have just been hit with a situation that has opened a lot of old wounds that I thought were healing and has raised a lot of trust and forgiveness questions.
Dealing with hurt can be a lifelong process. I am learning that every time I feel the hurt, I must forgive. Forgiveness is not a once and done thing I am finding. I can say I have forgiven, but when the hurt hits anew, I must forgive anew. Also, God may be using it to lead me into a deeper level of forgiveness than I experienced before.
The Bible warns us not to fail the grace God offers us, but to be careful least a root of bitterness spring up within us and trouble or defile us.
Today, I need to renew my acceptance of the grace of God and forgive once again. It is what he calls me to do. And "faithful is he who calleth you, who also will do it."
Lord, today I purpose to accept your grace. Remove any bitterness from my heart, heal me and fill with forgiveness. You have called me to this and you have promised that you will perform it in me.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
I am feeling so defeated, so blue, so disappointed in myself! I ate it all - every bite! And it wasn't even all that good! How disgusting!
So, to back up, today in going through my emails from a friend, I came across an email I had saved that I thought sounded like a cute idea - a cake in a mug baked in the microwave. Well, it so happens that right now my oven is on the blink (or at least I'm afraid to use it), but that's another story! So I saw this little recipe and thought that would be a sweet little treat for my husband who loves cupcakes. So this afternoon, I tested it.
I baked up that little cake and it looked rather cute, but I thought I should taste it before I serve it to my husband later when he comes home. So taste it I did. It was quite disappointing and more like a chocolate bread pudding consistency - very heavy and not quite sweet enough. So I cut a little bit more and thought it might be good with milk on it. Better. But by now, I know I can't serve this thing to my husband; but it has such good ingredients in it, I hate to pitch it. So I ate a little bit more, this time putting a little bit of sugar on it to make it sweeter. And a little bit more and a little bit more and suddenly, it was all gone.
I stood and looked at that coffee mug that held the treacherous cake and my stomach started rolling and my eyes filled with tears. In the nine months that I have been on this journey, I can't remember once that I felt like I absolutely binged like this - and even for something that I didn't like all that much.
I'm trying to sort through what bad choices I made this afternoon and what prompted me to make them. I haven't sorted yet, and I'm still feeling blue, but I have the rest of the evening to make good choices and tomorrow is another day. My perfectionist tendencies want to beat myself up, punish myself, make myself do penance; but this will do no good.
So the rational side of me is trying to evaluate and learn from the whole thing so that I don't repeat this again.
Better choices ahead!
Friday, January 01, 2010
New Year's resolutions don't hold much weight with me. Somehow, over the years, it seems every New Year's resolution I have made has turned to ashes in such a short time; and I've seen the same happening in the lives of others. So I've come to the conclusion that they are made to be broken.
Now, before you write me off - read on!
For several years, I have made no New Year's resolutions because I just didn't keep them. This led in a downward spiral of drifting and despair - a place where it seemed I just gave up and happen what will! This led to a lot of problems - my weight, my health, my relationships, my marriage, my social life, my home - all suffered because of my "I give up" attitude. I would look at my situations and they looked like mountains to climb for which I had no energy or inner strength.
Why didn't my New Year's resolutions work in the past, along with so many other people? In musing on this, I believe many of them are just too broad. Maybe the resolution is, "I'm going to lose weight this year," or "I'm going to get out of debt this year," or "I'm going to get my house picked up this year."
All of these are wonderful goals, but they lack something. They are so broad that instead of creating a road to travel, they present an insurmountable mountain. At the start of my weight loss journey, I had 157 pounds I wanted to lose. It surely, surely looked like a mountain. Wow - that's a whole person! How did I ever let it come to this? For so long, this quickly became a downward spiral of defeat. What I needed to do is start taking baby steps. In fact, although I didn't consciously make it so, "baby steps" has somewhat been my mantra in 2009. And when I began to take one day at a time, even one choice at a time, things began happening.
When I saw that I could make the choice just for today to walk 1 mile, that's all I had to do. I don't have to walk tomorrow or next year's miles today. All I ask of myself is 1 mile today. When I saw that I could make the choice just for today to say no to that second cookie, that's all I had to do. I don't have to limit tomorrow or next year's calories today. All I ask of myself is limit myself today. This is not to negate the importance of planning; planning is part of the baby steps and vitally important.
I would be remiss not to give honor where honor is due and thank God for the insights, the answered prayers, the daily strength and the courage that he has given me. He is my all!
As I saw the success that started coming when I took baby steps and made wise choices regarding my health, I realized that the same principle carries through in other areas of my life and I began applying the baby step principle to relationships, to my marriage, to my housekeeping; and I found that it works. It gives me the freedom to realize, as I posted in my "When You Come to a Standstill" blog, that I don't need to get discouraged because I haven't arrived at my ultimate goal. Since I'm taking one day at a time, one step at a time, it means that I am exactly where I am supposed to be on my journey.
This, I can do! I once heard the quote that nothing succeeds like success. And how true it is! Instead of a downward spiral, this begins an upward spiral that leads from one step up to another until, before you know it, you have learned to make wise choices and formed good habits. Do away with the "all or none" mentality and take a day at a time, a step at a time, a choice at a time!
Does this mean that I never have or never will make a bad choice, or misstep? Absolutely not. But the beauty is, when viewing life through a baby step mentality, it is only a step. I've not totally derailed my goals by one misstep.
So, for 2010, I'm not making resolutions; however, I'm not in despair as I was one year ago. When I look back over 2009, I am incredibly amazed at the progress I've made in so many areas, not just my weight loss. This progress was not made with a big resolution. This progress was made with many small resolutions, baby steps if you will, one choice at a time. This is what I want to continue doing in 2010. In fact, I've been musing what my personal motto should be for 2010 and as I've been writing this blog, I think I have settled on my 2010 motto: "Baby Steps - One Choice At a Time" and am going to change my spark page title accordingly.
For me, it's into 2010 with baby steps - one choice at a time!
Do you make New Year's resolutions? Do you keep them? If not, what would help you keep them? Do you have the all or none mentality, or do you believe in baby steps? What have you found works for you?
Friday, December 25, 2009
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
No room in the inn - this grips my heart today. It is so easy to let the clamoring of life take over and relinquish Jesus to the slots wher we can fit him in.
I am challenged to give place in my inn for the one who can make me whole. Just as I make time on a regular basis for eating, sleeping, showering, exercising - I need to carve out and protect my relationship with Jesus by prioritizing and nurturing it on a regular basis.
No room in the inn? I want to swing wide the door of my inn and make room for the Christ child, the crucified Savior, the resurrected Lord, and the coming King. He is my all.
Have you read the Christmas story today? Read and be blessed. If you look for a blessing, you will find it. Make room in your inn for Him.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I've been trying not to get discouraged. I knew this would happen and thought I was mentally prepared for it. But it's harder than I thought.
When I began this journey in April of this year, for several months, the weight slid off pretty easily. I set a goal of 1 pound a week for myself, knowing that with 157 pounds to lose, I'm in this for the long haul. This is a marathon, not a sprint and I need to make changes that I can live with the rest of my life. I wasn't interested in losing 50 pounds in 5 months, then deciding I can't do this and gaining it back. I wanted to make lifestyle changes that will stick for my lifetime. So I started with small steps and gave myself until January of 2012 to lose 157 pounds. Could I walk for 5 miles every day of the week? No, but I could walk for 30 minutes 3 times per week. Could I shrink my calorie intake to 1,000 calories per day? No, but I could shrink it to 1,500 - 1,800 calories and be satisfied if I eat healthful. Could I cut out all of my favorite junk food, like chips, cookies and candy? No, but I could measure out 1 ounce of chips, 1 cookie, 1 fun size candy bar or 1 Bit-O-Honey, eat it mindfully and be satisfied. Could I go to an all whole food diet? No, but I could switch to brown rice, whole grain cereals, more sweet potatoes, more veggies and consume less calories and feel more full. Like I said - I'm thinking marathon, not sprint!
So as the weight slid off much faster than my 1 pound per week, I began worrying about fast weight loss and the excess skin that won't have time to shrink along with my weight loss. But I kept on with my goals thinking that the day will come when my weight loss slows down and I will be glad for the early on slide. Well, I thought right, and the day has come.
My slow down hit about 5 months in. I lost 39 pounds the first 5 months. I've lost only 9 pounds in the last 3 1/2 months. Seems I'm so close to that 50 pound mark and want so badly to proclaim on Spark People that "I've lost 50 pounds with Spark People", but it's slow in coming these days. I've not been tempted to throw in the towel, but I have felt discouraged.
I feel like I'm also at a standstill in some other goals/projects in my life right now. Things that have been moving ahead, but due to things outside of my control, just seem to be at a standstill.
I've been pondering this and I have come up with a little saying that I have been telling myself when I get discouraged. When you come to a standstill, it's time to stand still and look how far you've come. And this is exactly what I have been trying to do. I even added a quote by Joyce Myer to my Sparkpage that describes this. " I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be."
How do I know I'm not where I used to be?
- I've lost a total sum of 34.5 inches in all the measurements I'm taking. Interestingly enough, it was when my weight loss slowed that people started noticing my weight loss. Even in the last 3 1/2 months where I've only lost 9 pounds, I've lost 9 inches on my measurements. So even though I'm not losing so fast, the inches are still going down. This is very encouraging. But I wouldn't have known this if I hadn't taken the time this morning to sit down and calculate exactly how many inches I have lost. See - I may be at a standstill with my weight, but it paid to take a few minutes, stand still and look back.
- I am walking about 6 miles per week. My goal is to walk 3 times per week. I sometimes do more, but like I said, this is a marathon, not a sprint. I can't do 6 miles a day, both time wise and body wise right now, but I can manage 6 miles per week. So, my weight may be at a standstill, but stand still and look back. When I started walking at 302 pounds, I only walked in 20 minute stints. Probably a maximum of 1.5 miles per week. Oh, I may still be way overweight, but I'm getting more fit, both inside and out. I would guess I could out walk some people I know who are at an ideal weight. So, stand still and look back.
- I have more energy. This summer, I handled the heat really well and I am now trying to work in a small extra project to catch up on all the years I've lost. Stand still and look back. Who knows, just maybe I'll have a small garden next summer.
- I am focusing on relationships. In the past, it seemed I was constantly so tired and sometimes depressed that it took all my energies to focus on me. But it seems that with the new found energy, I am able to look outward more, less focus on myself and reach out to work on the relationships with those I love. And it's working. Stand still and look back.
- I'm working on catching up on my housework that I have neglected. Again, small steps. I've joined Flylady.com and am shining my sink every day, hitting a 2 minute hot spot every day, and trying to spend 15 minutes a day de-cluttering (and believe me, I have a lot of de-cluttering to do). flylady.com/ I'm still in the 31 beginner steps, but it aligns with the concepts that I have been trying to institute for myself the past 4 months or so, and is just a tool to help me along the way. Again, we're talking marathon, not sprint, and I can do this. In the past, it was home from work, get dinner, do a load of laundry and the things I absolutely needed to do to get by and collapse. Stand still and look back.
Am I where I should be? No. Am I where I am going to be? No. Am I where I have been? No. Am I where I should be on the journey I have begun? I think I am. This is a road to be traveled. When I take a trip, I need to start from where I am. If I'm traveling 500 miles, I don't expect to arrive at my destination in 30 minutes. I expect that there will be some hills to climb along the way and some valleys to travel through. There will be some rest stops for a break. There may be some rain and fog as well as sunshine - even all in the same trip. There could even be a flat tire, but do I let it deter me from staying on my journey? No, I'm going to get out my spare, or make a repair and continue to my destination. If I've traveled for 4 hours and I'm not there yet, am I going to say, "Oh, I'll never get there," and turn around and head back home? Of course not! I have a goal, a destination. And looking back, I see that I am right where I am supposed to be for the place I am in my journey. I am so encouraged by this and thankful for this revelation that has been given to me to spur me on.
So, when you come to a standstill, stand still and look how far you've come.
How do you find encouragement when you feel that you are at a standstill in your life?
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