Monday, July 22, 2013


I am realizing more and more how big of a role shame plays in my life.  I am writing often in my personal journal and I am compiling those writings into what I someday pray is a book.  Then I will share the story of my A to B....until then, there are some things I feel compelled to share because they are so heavy on my heart. 

Life is hard, we all know that.  I am battling right now to learn to love myself, and I have blogged about that very topic recently.  I decided on a whim yesterday (more of a Holy Spirit whim I believe) to gift myself with 30 days of being kind to myself.  Life is out of control and as always, I'm not in control of life.  I am however, the manager of my life and I do have choices to make beauty out of the hands dealt. 

My nice thing to myself yesterday (day one) was to pick fresh veggies and herbs from my garden.  We had ripe red tomatoes, beautiful white Casper eggplants and narrow Ping ting lang (or something) purple eggplants; there were green bell peppers, and red sweet peppers.  After photographing the gorgeous colors, I chopped, chopped, chopped my worries away.  John came into the kitchen and asked to help.  He has a big relator heart and likes to do things side by side, though as he enters pre adolescence he becomes too cool to join in these activities at times.  That said, I was thrilled to have his sweet presence in that moment.  I added an onion and fresh garlic and John opened cans of tomato sauce.  I watched him sauté the veggies in a bit of olive oil and then I let him pour the hot veggies into the tomato sauce.  Lastly, I went out into the pouring rain just to pick fresh basil, thyme and oregano.  I am glad I did, if only to see the delight on John's face while he inhaled the fragrance of each herb as he added them to the sauce.  We poured it all into the crockpot, simmered it all day so the house smelled intoxicatingly delicious and tonight we enjoyed the sauce with spaghetti and meatballs.  So much of this meal had nourished my heart before I ever tasted it.  So there...that was my number one kindness to myself.

A nice thing that happened to me yesterday is that I was surrounded in a safe place with love, hope, prayers, tears and heart medicine.  I was in a place where it was okay to be vulnerable, okay to be afraid and encouraged through my tears.

Day  two is today, I woke up and my first thought was 'Oh no, I have to do something nice for me today and I really don't have time.'  I decided to place it in God's hands and see where I needed to be kind to myself today.  And the gift I gave me was not quite as easy as yesterday's kindness.  At three o'clock today, I walked into Weight Watchers.  It felt like the billionth time, the billionth failure.  The minute I stepped on the scale I told the clerk that I did not want to know my weight.  I told her briefly about my current stress, I was desperate to seek my way out of shame and of needing to be here again.  Needing to be here again means I am engaged in the same struggle not just of being overweight but of being stressed, shamed, disappointed and undeserving.  She was kind to me.  She told me my point amount for each day and I knew that was way higher than I wanted.  The minute I got in the car, I looked at the number on the scale and I felt sad.   I was not going to tell anyone that I had joined again, I was just going to try in secret.  In my secret shame.  And then I thought about the impact of the Brene Brown books I am reading and decided to do different and speak of my shame.  Maybe that really will help some of it's power diminish.

After work, I actually attended the Weight Watchers meeting.  I walked in with an attitude of 'here I go again' and my self defeating tapes began to play.  I stayed pretty disengaged until close to the end of the meeting and the leader (who I thought had very kind eyes) asked what we were going to do different this week.  I am sure she meant something like 'drink more water', 'track meals', 'exercise', and so I did as I do and gave the unique answer.  I held back my tears the best I could as I said that I could not believe I was here again.  I spoke of my shame and of my embarrassment.  Several people turned and looked at me and I did not see judgment, I saw compassion. 

Then, the lovely thing that happened to me today....After the meeting, a very sweet woman and her daughter came to introduce themselves.  The woman asked me if I struggled loving myself and she said that she had struggled for years to love herself.  She had tears in her eyes and hugged me tight.  And I knew I was in the right place and that I had everything I needed in that moment.  Several people told me that I was beautiful.  That was hard for me to hear.  I know my spirit is beautiful but my self image right now is that I am pretty icky.  It is my goal to learn to not just love my heart but to love my body as is.  I still want to lose these ugly pounds but with them I want to lose the ugly self hatred I have because it holds me back in my confidence.

So....I have been well loved and the love I have received has been found in the most surprising of places.  I am hurting.  I am thankful and I have a glimmer of hope mixed in with my sadness.  God is good to us.

Peace and blessings to you.....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Little girl lost

Vulnerable.  Raw.  Intentional.  Real.  Clarified.  Pure.  Inspirational.  Life giving.  Joyful.  Feeling.  Truthful.  Peaceful.  Confident.  Radiant.  Glory giving.  Loving.  Gracious.  Thankful.  Delightful.

These are some of the things I long to be.  I long to live out of my heart and I yearn to be recognized as different and beautiful in my uniqueness. 

I adore sunflowers, zinnias, peonies, wild flowers....they are just little God kisses to me.  The colors, shapes, the way they open to greet the morning sun and the way they hang their sweet heads for a rest when then sun goes down....lessons in the flowers.  God's artwork.  I love them so. I want to learn myself every bit as much.  I want to see the good, deep and soulful beauty in me and I want to bring a smile to my own face the way the sunflowers do.  Mostly right now, I look in the mirror and I hate what I see on the outside.  I know the inside of me is growing and stretching and it's a painful time.  .  I want to be congruent with who God created me to be.  I want to go deep with him and jump into his arms with open heart and NO abandon.  Wild and free, moving with the wind that is God.  Leaning into the storms and standing tall in the sun.

God keeps on bringing us lessons until we get it....that's what I believe anyway.  Not to be mean, not to taunt us - rather to prepare us for the next level.  The beautiful sunflower stands noble in the light.  It stands taller than me and shows off it's many yellow hues with the soft brown of the seeds contrasting in extraordinary ways.  I remember the day John, Stella and I planted those little bitty seeds in the garden boxes Nathan and Ethan built us.  I was so excited to see what would come of them, I had no idea they would be so glorious.  I hope God sees his glory when he sees me.  Actually, I believe he does.  I just want to see the same and kind of I want the world to see the same.  I want to stand tall.  I want to write.  I want to touch people's hearts through my writing.  I dream of being a published writer.  I journal.  I blog.  These are my seeds.  I look in the mirror and even when I see ugly, I recognize there is a light hiding in my eyes and I cherish that....another seed.  Tonight I was  And in that place my little girl me and I reconnected.  She's special.  I'm special.  So many times in this big ole' world I lose sight of her - but always she is here waiting for me to love her.  To love her Now.  In spite of what is or what is not.  That's my recurring theme.  Learning to love myself.

I read this yesterday..."Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is he bravest thing that we will ever do."  -  Brene Brown, 'Gifts of Imperfection'  I thought I owned my story but I'm wondering how much of my story owns me?  Loving myself though the process of owning my story....that is what I am committed to learning to do.  After all, I am a brave, worthy, loved by God, truly happy, whimsical, whole and surrendered woman basking in the warmth of God's sunshine and an engaged and trusting Momma.  I have bought into the lie again that when life is so painful as it sometimes is, I am no longer that person.  I will learn to love myself as God loves me...through the process.  Little girl me will not forever be lost.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Hidden Rainbows

Life is a journey, not a destination....and lately it has been a tough sort of journey.  I am looking for the rainbows every day, because they are there.  I am also acknowledging the fears, the hurts, the sorrows and the pain.  I must, for if I did not recognize those things how would I know that the rainbow is truly a rainbow?

I went for my every 6 month cardiology appointment on Monday.  Strange and new adventure for me amongst the familiar.  I did not have the crazy anxiety I have always had weeks before, at least not in the forefront.  I had a 'flat' sort of  mood the days before, kind of a drawn into myself fussy mood.  That probably wasn't any better than the familiar anxiety but I honestly am trying to be at a peaceful place.  Maybe I've come to realize God really does have this (my life) and I can let go.  The BUT is once I realize this as my truth, I attempt to take control of something other than my own life.  Ahhh....growth is only hard, right? 

 I laid on that cold table for my EKG and considered how although times have changed they are still the same.  There is no scrubbing of the skin with sandpaper and there are no huge amounts of goo that linger on your skin for days after.  The EKG takes only minutes.  There is no huge machine brought in the room where I can hear the reading of my heart rhythms going on, there is a little laptop that neatly prints out little paper with my big results.  There is the uber quiet technician that I have never met before and try desperately to engage in conversation as invades my personal space with her many little sticky patches on my body.  There is the recognition of the always cold table I am laying still on.  There is the intense self awareness of my own invincibility as I lay quietly, so not in control of my surroundings or outcome. 

My favorite are (not) the niceties as the Dr. comes in and asks the routine questions that make my tummy cringe and my skin crawl.  Any shortness of breath?  Any chest pain?  Fainting spells?  Dizziness? Swelling?  No, no, no, no and no! 

But hey house is in crazy chaos and we are about to go through arbitration with the company we have been struggling with for nearly a year.  And, hey Dr., Alzheimer's is invading every inch of my Daddy and I am losing him.  Also Dr., my Momma is so sad and so strong and I hate that I really can do nothing to stop her pain and bring my Daddy back and make my Granny well.  Oh, and I think I have gained a lot of weight and I can't seem to focus on accomplishing anything fully at home and I say horribly ugly things to myself when I look in the mirror.  So, dear Dr......can you hear me screaming inside?  I didn't think so.  Okay...we'll just stick to the subject at hand and I will walk out of here feeling as exhausted as I am and we'll call it good.

I know someone will wonder (or at least I would) so I'm going to throw this in.  My heart healthy looks great.  There are no changes in the EKG and my Dr.  (truly a wonderful cardiologist) says that after my visit in the fall we will probably go back to annual visits rather than  bi annual.  Lastly, he didn't see the need to do any of the tests I HATE right now (although I am thankful for the knowledge they provide).  Dr. says that we can go back to only doing those every 2 or three years.  For all of these things, I am beyond grateful.  I have to promise to call if anything feels weird of course, and I promised.  I am the queen of feeling weird, but I think I understand what he means. what did I leave the dr. office with?  Lots of gratitude for a good report and lots of praise for my God.  Lots of sorrow for my parents and still grieving for what was and what 'should've/could've' been.  Betrayed feelings over our house situation and of course, a good dose of shame and self hatred for how I've let myself go. 

The rainbows....A great report from the Dr.!  (although my first great report was the lack of huge anxiety and the peace about it was not 100% but it was very different for me).  I have my Mom and I have my Dad; I have their love for me and my love for them.  My husband and my is a hard time in our marriage, stress abounds.  However, the love I feel in my little family pushes and pulls me through this life.  Friends, nephews, nieces, furry friends, a HOME that cannot be taken by anyone b/c it is in our hearts, shelter, food, clothing, a career I really do enjoy, my garden, the hum of the fan, being not hurt in a car wreck this week (no one was hurt = thankfulness),  my nephew Ethan gets to go SKY DIVING today, and the list goes on. 

My heart aches.  My heart rejoices.  Ebbs and flows.  This is life.  Thankfulness in the happy, gratitude in the sorrow and we keep on going..................

Find your rainbows and hang on tight.