It has been 8 months since I have posted. That was not intentional. Life got busy. I actually forgot about my blog. I started reading Jon Acuff's book "Start" today and in it he referred to his blog. Oh. My. Gosh. My blog!
Well, a lot has gone on in the last 32 weeks. And by a lot, I mean nothing. A lot AND nothing. Isn't that how life is? So, I am still learning lessons, struggling with insecurities, and putting one foot in front of the other. I have now lost 40 pounds. 40 and sticking. I have been at this plateau for months. My eating is pretty much the same, mostly veggies, fruit and lean meats. I have had a few multi week long bouts of eating whatever I wanted. And by that I mean chocolate, chips, chocolate, cookies,and some chocolate. Yes, that effected my depression/anxiety. Ick. I don't stay in it as long, that in and of itself is progress. I baked about 12 dozen oatmeal cookies this week. Yeah. There is a reason I haven't baked them in a long time. They are WAY to freaking good. I can not stay out of them.
I have some sitting here at my desk right now. I brought them for someone at work. I told him yesterday I would bring them. He isn't here...and now I am thinking...mmmmmmm.....cookies.
So, yah. I'm still doing it. Still working toward a healthy weight and a healthy body. It is more of a lifestyle for me now than a diet. It's not hard to eat the right food. It does take planning ahead, and that isn't always easy, only because life is busy. My hours at work have increased to full time, and I am married with one son still at home. I also volunteer for a non profit start up. Lucky for me I can do a lot of that work while I am at my paying job. (Yes, I have the blessing of my employers on that) But it is doable. I don't enjoy the alarm going off before 5am four or five days a week, but I do love pushing myself physically and seeing the people I work out with in the mornings. Walking in, hearing the music, saying good morning to my workout buddies, and being greeted by name and with a smile is good for my soul. I feel connected. And I feel like me there. It really is the first place I have had in 20 years, that I am just Chris. People don't know me in relation to me being a mother or a wife. I am just Chris. That has been very different. Most of the friendships I have made in the last few decades have been kid centric. I became friends with people who where within the sphere of my sons' lives. In the neighborhood, in church, in scouts, in school. For the first time a few months ago, I introduced my husband and sons to a couple of my friends, instead of the other way around. I really enjoyed that.
So that being said, I am back to writing about this process. I have learned so much along the way. I have come to really understand how important it is for us to keep our hearts open. I have learned so much about the way God made me. And though it has been a VERY slow process, I am coming to appreciate how he made me. I actually like who I am for the first time in a LONG LONG time. I have learned that who I saw myself as is not necessarily how others saw me. And more importantly, not how God created me. The first time I shared with my husband and son that I was ashamed of a character trait I had took a LOT of courage. (I felt like I was completely overbearing and too loud) I risked being vulnerable and told them that I was extremely embarrassed and shamed by that part of my personality. They both looked at me like I was crazy, and told me that isn't how they see me AT ALL. As a matter of fact, they would not use those words to describe me. At all. Wait, what? Really? These guys know me better than ANYONE else. I searched their eyes, I mean SEARCHED their eyes for assurance....that they really meant what they had just said. I was overwhelmed and teared up (not out of character for me). Is it possible that my perception of myself is THAT distorted? Have I really been feeling ashamed and embarrassed by character traits that I don't even have? What kind of crazy bondage is that? Somewhere along the way, I accepted that as being true about me. There have been a lot of things that I accepted as truth about me that are absolutely false. People may have spoken those words about me, but that does not mean that they are accurate. I am not too much, or hard to take, or overbearing. I am actually lovable, funny and tenderhearted. Having a heart open to teaching and risking is so important. I would never have known the real truth without it. What we tell ourselves about who we are is important. It needs to be grounded in REAL truth. What do you tell yourself?
What we tell others about themselves is important too. How do you speak about and to the people in your life? Do you "joke" about their shortcomings, make fun of their struggles or weaknesses? Do you use them as the butt of a joke when the opportunity arises? I was inspired by a woman at my church years ago who made a comment that she would not make a disparaging comment about her family, not even in jest. That really struck me. I grew up in a family who consistently will poke fun. (and consistently wound). I thought about that. When my boys thought about their mother, how did I want them to feel about the words they had heard me speak over and about them during their life? The answer was easy, and I made the commitment to myself and to God that day, that people would not hear disparaging words from me. I have fallen short, but my commitment remains. I will use my words to build up and not tear down. Proverbs 12:18 says, The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Who in your life needs words of affirmation from you today?