Monday, January 19, 2015

Addition by Subtraction

I am a loser. 

[Some of you are saying, "Yeah.  We already knew that."]

Back in December I knew something wasn't quite right.  For about a week I had this weird, sugary taste in my mouth, I couldn't stop going to the bathroom [I know...TMI], and I was soooo thirsty.  I asked the school nurse to check my blood sugar.  It was 191 as a fasting blood sugar.  [I know that isn't super high but it is if don't have blood sugar issues at all.]  I had gestational diabetes with three of my litter so that plus my weight and lifestyle does put me at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Time for changes.  

I'm not sure why it took the blood sugar spike to make me do this but thankfully it wasn't something worse. [I'm a little A LOT hardheaded.]

Craig and I decided that we were going to make some serious changes. 

We were both heavy drinkers....of soft drinks. [Gotcha.]
We were both lazy.
We both like to eat burgers and fries and chips and cake.

Craig works at the Y doing field maintenance [yes, we have like 16 jobs between the two of us] so we have a free Y membership. We actually became members LAST [as in 2013] November but used it like once [excuses were our biggest obstacle]

We began New Year's day [cliché I know] by coming up with a plan.  [Just a side note:  If you know Craig then you know he is all about planning and organization.  He is a type A personality. Me?  I'm like a type Z.  Like I plan nothing.  Craig plans to make a plan. Missy hopes to leave the house with her pants on.  It works for us.]  

We've stuck to the plan and it is working.

We make a detailed grocery list every week.  We plan every single meal, down to breakfast options. We've been eating salad with EVERY meal.  [Our children like salad.  Thank goodness.] We've been eating only chicken and fish [I don't eat fish.  I gave it a try but no.] with the occasional ground turkey addition. We've tried to cut out unnecessary carbs [and I'm finding out that lots of things have carbs and I didn't know it] and really eat healthy.  We are drinking water, water, WATER.  At least 5 nights a week we go to the Y.  

So why didn't we do this a year ago?  We are stupid.

So far, since my visit to the doctor right before Christmas, I've lost 15 pounds. [*insert HUGE yee haw*].  And honestly, for the first time, in about two years I feel really good about myself.  

I feel empowered.
I feel a sense of accomplishment.
I feel like I can lose weight.

Craig and I both have so much to live for and we have to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, as parents, we get complacent not because we are lazy and don't want to but because our lives get so crazy.  Sports seasons are tough because our schedules are all crazy.  Just trying to have four kids and work full time [and 28 other jobs] is tough.  

But we don't have a choice.  God only gave us one body and he expects us to take care of it.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
I Corinthians 6: 19-20

When I look at it like this, from a Biblical standpoint, I'm actually going against God when I don't take care of myself and my body.  

We were saved from eternal death when Jesus paid the ultimate price and I was shoveling french fries down my throat and chasing it with fountain Coke? I wasn't glorifying God with my body but turning my back on Him.  

Thankfully, we began to listen to God instead of focusing on us.  We aren't doing any of this without His help.  Personally, I just handed over the self-image worries and just said, "Help me Lord."

And, as always, He has been right beside me.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Running with Scissors

A couple of weeks ago someone told me that I shouldn't write the way I write because I hurt their feelings.

I hurt their feelings by telling the truth about my own reaction.

I was also told by this person that they felt like I did something, on purpose, just to be mean.

So much was said about me [most of it negative] yet when it came time to have a conversation I wasn't allowed to talk.  

Since it happened, none of this has made any sense to me. At all.

Today, the weight of this "issue" [really, pretty much a petty non-issue if you ask me but no one did] just came lifting off of me.


This isn't my problem.

I control my reaction to situations and people.  No. One. Else. 

I have taken a step back when it comes to some folks in my life.  That was my choice.  I get to decide who is and isn't allowed into my life.  I am quite smart enough to decide who I let in.  I choose to guard my heart, not to keep it from hurting [because that is inevitable if you have kids], but I honestly don't want to be around people who are selfish, self-consumed, and only want what benefits them. Seriously, if every conversation has to revolve around who does and doesn't like you then how do you have any real friends?  I guess, as an adult, I am way past the who likes me stuff.    


"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything flows from it." Proverbs 4:23

As an adult, I am learning that if I don't agree with something that is OK.  If I choose not to participate [be it Facebook, parties, or whatever] that is MY choice.  I am the one that lives with my choices. Furthermore, I don't feel the need to explain every personal choice to others.  

What I haven't been able to get past these last few weeks is why this particular [PETTY] situation that caused so much turmoil?  And why would you kick the hornet's nest and then get mad because you get stung?

I am dealing with people that are self-consumed.  You cannot reason with people who think everything [and when I say everything I mean everything...Facebook, Twitter, the world pretty much] revolves around them. Why would I even have a side to this story when the other side is all that anyone is willing to hear?  In our house we call them "Me Monsters".  

I have to remind myself, my favorite coach, and my children that the world doesn't revolve around us. We don't always get it right.  As humans, we all have to remind ourselves of that and get back to what is really important: Allowing God's light to shine through us.

I spent way too much time worrying about people that honestly, in the big picture, have zero affect on me and who I am.  More importantly, if they choose to only see [and dwell on] the negative and what isn't being done for them then I can't control that at all...so why worry? I'm not willing to shoulder the burden of "Me Monsters" any more. 

Our pastor made a statement this morning that really resonated with me.  He has such a unique way of taking tiny parts of scripture and making them so BIG. This morning his message came from I Peter 1:1-2 and he was teaching us about who we are in Christ.  His second point was that in Christ we are strangers who are wandering this world.  


"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is...his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

I don't want to be of this world.  I don't want to worry about who likes me or if I impress others or if I'm making everyone happy but only by feeding egos. 

As always, life as a Short couldn't be better [and a whole lot lighter].

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

Good Gravy...Somebody Slap Me

Save the drama for yo momma.

First things first...I apologize for the overly dramatic, I-sounded-like-I-was-dying post from a few days ago.  Holy cow Batman. [I mean I could take it down but it's still there so might as well own up to it.]

I'm over it. 
All of it.

I mean, really, God has bigger plans for my life.  
For your life.  
He certainly doesn't want you [or me] to waste time reading [or writing] about drama.  

I am still reading Jen Hatmaker's book, Interrupted, and God is continuing to speak volumes to me. [I'm finally learning to listen.] 

Last Sunday night I hit my knees and I asked God to take all of "this" away...the anxiety, the worry, the things that keep me from Him. 

Why didn't I [with sincerity] ask for this sooner?  Seriously. 

I could kick my own self sometimes. [No, I'm not taking volunteers to do this for me, but thanks.] 

I love Jesus. 
I love, without ANY regrets, these crazy folks I call the Shorties. 
I love that no matter what life throws at me that I can always count on my favorite coach to be standing there, holding my hand.
I love my life.

#MakeMovesOrMakeExcuses

We love Christian rap at our house.  One of our faves is Andy Mineo.  His song, You Can't Stop Me, has played in my head for a while now: 
Well, if I listen to you, and everything you put in my ear
I'll be living like woulda, shoulda, coulda, I'll be paralyzed by fear

Huh, ain't that the truth, if I quit the only way I lose
I got two choices when I do this - make moves or make excuses
Huh, if you know who I'm talking about, then you got me
My biggest enemy is me - and even I can't stop me
As always, being a Short is quite awesome....
Romans 8:31 "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" 
You can't stop me. 
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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Walking Away

My daddy and I had a rather heated conversation in the parking lot at Crest High School over the whole situation in the stands.  In a nutshell, my daddy implored with me to just learn to ignore folks that are being ugly.  

He is usually always correct when it comes to these things.  Sometimes it takes someone, outside of me, to point out that its just not worth the worry and heartache.

[Just a side note but Craig and I just had a conversation about this.  He asked me was he anything like my daddy and if so, is that what I was looking for when we started dating. He he is a lot like my dad in that his character is evident. Like my dad, he will tell you where he stands but he is respectful and willing to see your side.  He can often see things rationally when I can't...just like my dad.]

I will be honest [as I always try to be]...I am walking in some new territory here and I am frightened.

Worse than that, I am sad for this wonderful man I am married to and he didn't ask to be put in this predicament. 

I love writing this blog. [Seriously, there are tears in my eyes as I type this tonight.]  
I love sharing my heart and my pitfalls [there are so many].  
Most of all, I love sharing my family.   


I love writing when it feels like the very breath I am trying to inhale is hard to find.

Yes. I will share when I feel mistreated or I am angry.  [Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong with this next statement.]  


I take ownership for my words and their recoil. 

I'm not ashamed to be honest and open.  Many times, after I begin writing and revising, and re-reading, I can see bits of snippy so I do my best to provide context. [Perhaps that doesn't make it any less snippy but at least the reader might understand how I'm feeling and why.  That certainly doesn't mean they have to agree or like it.  Again, to each their own.]

I love sharing my faith and what God is doing in my life. 

And honestly, for the first time in so many months of anxiety and despair, I am so excited about this fire, this Holy passion, that is moving under me.  As Hillsong sings, I want to shout it from the Rooftops.

Yet it only takes one moment of petty insecurity to knock the breath right out of a person.  

And suddenly, sharing my heart and my life, intertwined with scriptures and struggles and funny colored brackets [and sometimes words that only mean something to me] seems like a horrible idea.  
  
Beyond writing and sharing my life, I love my husband and my family.  
With reckless abandon.
With no regrets.
With all of my heart.

So I walk away from this blog that has become so much more to me that just words.

Maybe not forever. 

But for now.



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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Assumptions

Got a good swift kick in the gut earlier tonight.

Still laying here.  
Kind of stunned.  
Kind of humored.

I've worked so hard to let petty go. 

Today it punched me squarely in the jaw. And it stung.

And it all started [or ended] with Facebook.  [And adults. Holy cow.]

I've combed back through my Facebook AND Twitter posts because the statement was made that I have made references to this particular person in my posts.

Huh?  I'll be the first to tell you that I don't do things like that at all.  I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed and I can say too much [usually to the chagrin of my poor children] BUT I dang sure know that I'm not talking about people on social media like a 14 year old.  Absolutely zero truth to that statement.    

  • Have I disagreed with folks?  Sure have.  Am I embarassed or ashamed about that?  Not in the least.  
  • Have I shared my despair and issues that I struggle with because I am a real person?  Absolutely. 
  • Do I like to tell silly stories about my family [that mean way more to me than to any of you] via social media?  Yes!!!! [Those are my favorites.]
  • Have I pulled against a certain local high school on a recent Friday night [or several recent Friday nights]?  Yes. And I will probably continue in the future. It's not Team Jesus Football. 
  • Did I make fun of country music at some point, either on Facebook, Twitter, or here?  Why yes I did. 
  • Have I shared my faith and my heart and what God was [and is] doing in my life?  These are the things I've tried to do the most. 
[Let's flip the tables here...]

  • Have I ever read a status on Facebook or seen a tweet that made me want to punch a chicken?  Yes.
  • Have I ever disagreed with something that was posted on social media?  Yes.
  • Is it necessary for me to like or approve or look at everything that comes across my news feed and twitter log?  Not only is it unnecessary...who cares?
But have I EVER been just blatantly 8th grade girl mean? No. I can say that in complete confidence.

Yet, somehow, I get sucked into the dark, dreary, unpleasant underworld of

MAKING ASSUMPTIONS.

And then, like a 7th grade this-mullet-was-in-style picture [or is that just me?] hits you years later, I get hit in the face with all the unpleasantries of a bad episode of Toddlers and Tiaras.  

All ASSUMED to have been inflicted, with all the malicious intent I could muster,
to show my non-support by..............
 [*insert serious, gut-wrenching music*]
removing my name from a tagged post on Facebook.


My reaction exactly. 

I don't peg myself as particularly naïve about things but this one really made me question my sanity. 

I received a text message and Craig a phone call.
  
All of a sudden, instead of something that was just meant to keep me from getting 1003 unwanted notifications, I became this person who just wants to see the world burn.

I really, honestly and truly, just wanted the notifications to stop.  That's it. I promise. 

Newsflash!!!
I ain't perfect and I've done a lot of stupid things in my life.  I'm weird and quirky when it comes to sharing my feelings verbally [that is why I write because the words come very easily].  I haven't always made the right decisions. I can be difficult and obstinate [ask Craig and my dad] when I think I'm correct.  I'm not overly social in a lot of situations, even when I know people.

[These are things that keep me up at night but it is so worth it. The silence and the time of reflection and meditation often brings me clarity and peace when I am anxious and worried.  God's just kind of awesome like that.]

After it was all said and done, I had a long talk with Craig.  We discussed moving forward and forgiveness; working harder and being more in tune. [Remember that prayer...God raise up in me a holy passion.  He is calling on Craig and I to listen in the little things.] He reminded me of something that I said to him earlier in the summer: You can't tell God you trust Him and that you've let it go, then hang on to it.  That shows you don't really trust Him enough to give it up.  

[Shameless plug for that man of mine but if it hadn't been for him, diffusing the situation, then I'm not sure what might have happened on my end of the equation. He was gracious, kind, and open to suggestions on moving forward.]

I have a lot to work on in my own life without trying to intentionally tear down someone else. 

James 3:2: We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.


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Friday, January 2, 2015

A Holy Passion

I am reading Jen Hatmaker's book, Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity. [Please click on the links and visit her website. She is awesome!]

Wow.

I ordered it back a few months ago.  It's actually a revised and expanded version that she wrote back in 2012.  I began reading it as soon as I got it but I wasn't ready to be "all in".  I was too busy wallowing in my own self pity to worry about really focusing on what the words were saying to me.

Forty hit me like a ton of bricks. [No doubt I created most, if not all of them, and allowed them to be hurled at me].  High blood pressure, weight gain, depression, increased anxiety, recent problems with blood sugar, a stress test and visit to the cardiologist and constant issues with my stomach - and this crap [yes, I used the word crap] all started the day I turned 40 - swear. It's like my body said, "Hey you idiot!" 

To make it worse, it felt like [and still feels like sometimes] so many other people women were and are growing old gracefully.  

I feel like old hit me, knocked me down, then stood up, doing the Cam Newton Superman over the top of me. #Truth

I have some things I want to focus on this year. But I can't do those things until I put some time into myself:
  • Eating healthier.
  • Getting in shape.
  • Sleeping.
  • Organizing everything - my time, my priorities, my house, my schedule.


My life is complicated but by my own doing. [You now it's bad when I tell you what I'm about to you.] I even asked Craig to help me get organized. [I call him the budget Nazi.  And the schedule Nazi.  I make fun of his need to always know what we are doing.  I fly by the seat of my pants and it drives him crazy.] #CurrentlyEatingCrow

I can't do any of those things without doing this:
Giving it to God.

My sweet, Godly husband bought me a prayer journal.  He writes in his as he studies God's word.  I mean, seriously girls, what a lucky woman I am!!  [Just a little soapbox moment here:  If you aren't married then you should be looking for a man that wants to read his Bible more than he wants to read you...if you get my drift. Find a man that makes his walk with Christ a priority.] He reads and studies his Bible, DAILY, because he knows that God is calling him to be holy and that he cannot do that without knowing God. 

It's not that through all of this "stuff" that I haven't prayed or studied my Bible. I have but with half a heart most of the time.  [*Insert ashamed face here*] In fact, with most things the last two years, I've been half hearted....

  • Running and exercising.
  • Getting healthy and getting sleep. 
  • Being organized.
  • Teaching. [I will be honest in saying that I am disillusioned and I'm not sure what to do about this dilemma.  I will ask for prayers about this one.]
  • Stepping up to help others. [This one bothers me the most.]

I've spent a lot of my break just re-focusing.  [If you've seen me out in public this has meant that I haven't really worried too much about wearing make-up or fixing my hair or really dressing like I didn't just crawl out of bed.  Everybody re-energizes in their own way. Judge me. I don't care.]  We are cleaning out our house and de-cluttering [still have a ways to go...Craig married a hoarder]. I've laughed - a lot. I've stayed up late and watched movies. [And discovered that Blue Bloods is on Netflix.  I want to be a Reagan.] Gabe and I spent most of yesterday in our pajamas, taking turns giving each other back massages. Emma and I played America Girl dolls. We've played Life. [Which is a very fun game by the way.  Emma had so many kids she had to get an extra car.  Good stuff.]

Back to the book...

In the first chapter, Jen is talking about her angst with what she was doing to spread the gospel.  She states that in the midst of the noise of her children in the car that she prayed a simple one line prayer: "God, raise up in me a holy passion." (page 11).  Just before the prayer she also wrote, "And I strongly advise against this prayer unless you are quite ready for God to take you seriously and wreck your life."  

She continues on and shares how God took her seriously and led her John 21, where Peter declares his love for Jesus three times after His resurrection.  She says it was like God removed Peter's name and inserted her name.


When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” 

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.   
John 21:15-17

She says that she's read these words many times but never in the way she did after asking God to work in her life.  

Blown away.  God's timing is perfect.  


Raise up in me a holy passion.

I truly believe know that God's mercy is perfect. His grace is abundant. And enough.  

I also know that James 2:26 says, "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." 

I feel these tugs [and have for a while] from God. Jen Hatmaker's words, spoken through her by God, have resonated with me and pushed me to run towards these tugs.  I am overwhelmed by His presence.  

For the first time, in two years, I am excited about getting in shape and eating better and getting organized because God's plan is so much better than mine. I'm no longer just looking for a way out but looking for a way in...to feed His sheep.

Overwhelmed.
   
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