Category Archives: Goals

Humbled…


humble-heartHumbled seems to be the word of the year.  In every way, humbled.

I must humble myself to write this now, after taking so long away.  And this entire year has been…well, horrifying and amazing.  No other way to describe it.

But I won’t make this a summary.  I am just humbled to God for his care, guidance and love.  I praise and thank him for his answered prayers; and for the pure love and joy lifting my soul…a sensation only God can provide.  In a year full of uncertainty, hardship, and mental chaos, God did provide.  He provided for me, and for Ashton.  He provided for us in so many ways…even when I had nothing to give back but my heart.

My soul is on fire for the Spirit.  I know I am not worthy, but I also know that God is working through me and for me and for those I love.  It is an amazing place to be…particularly when your world has been turned upside down over and over.  I am so grateful for all of the opportunities this year to come to God and surrender.  Surrender is humbling, but also can be mind blowing.  It is amazing the plans God has for us compared to our own attempts of imagining and dreaming.  Make no mistake: You must be open to the blessings and God’s guidance.  But when you are, it is powerful and life changing…no words to describe.

This is one of those moments of thankfulness.  A privileged moment of insight and clarity.

I have been having troubles with Ashton.  He has hit puberty and turned into a monster almost overnight.  He is making a hobby out of testing boundaries and joyfully expressing defiance.  I literally found myself on my knees two weeks ago.  On my knees to God, praying for some sort of help.  Some sort of guidance.  I am so ill equipped for dealing with a 12 year old son hitting puberty.  I don’t even know what is normal…I prayed fiercely for an answer.

Then in less than two weeks, my prayers are answered in multiple ways by multiple people from across the United States.  Now, I don’t mean that Ashton is fixed, and the problem is gone.  That is not what God is all about.  God is about helping us get through the difficult times in life.  He has sent some Angels to interfere and guide.  Some of the people have been part of my life forever.  Some are brand new popping into our lives like magic…out of thin air.  Some are helping and guiding me.  Some are helping and guiding Ashton.  It is like we are all of a sudden surrounded by God’s Angels.  I know there is no magic potion that will help Ashton, but I do know that God is helping.  If God is helping, I know Ashton is going to be okay, and so will I.  I know our Great Father will provide for us, both directly and indirectly through others.  God’s presence strengthens me in the present and helps me vision tomorrow with peace.

For this, I am completely humbled, amazed, and in awe.

I needed some sunshine today


I needed some sunshine today!

It has been one of those mornings where nothing seems to have gone right.  I woke up late, so Ashton missed his bus, and then I had to chase Cupcake around the parking lots this morning. 

So, when I pulled in to work and saw the full parking lots, I realized I was going to have to walk in from the “back 40” and there was no chance of being on time.  It was like God was telling me, no forcing me, to be in His light for a morning meditation while absorbing the healing light of our earthly sun.  I needed to pump up my heart rate and create some natural energy.  I needed to find a moment of peace and calm before continuing my day.

He even provided what I needed.  I realized I had my big scarf on and could wrap it around my wet head for protection against the Winnie-the-Pooh-like blistery winds.  I glanced over to the passenger seat of the van and saw the bottle of water from last night that I had not finished.  It was nice and cold from being in the car overnight, and would help if I began choking halfway up the hill (This kind of weather likes to play with my bronchial asthma).

No excuses.  Just a morning walk in the sunshine.  I so needed that!

“Get good at failing”


Wise advice from a dear friend of mine.  And, no, it doesn’t mean “try” to fail.  It is much simpler and much deeper than that.

Getting good at failing – to me – means accepting that I am human and will make mistakes.  If there are consequences, we need to face them bravely and move on.

My definition of mistakes is VERY broad.  Any mistakes, people, we all make them.  From ignoring the truth of those around you to forgetting to get bread at the store.  Anything that “one” deems is a mistake, in their own perception of life, no matter how trivial it might be (as it probably leads to something much deeper).

Mistakes are an opportunity to see how things could have been done differently.  It is a chance to begin again.  How I deal with my own failures, no matter how big or small, must ultimately be acknowledged, accepted and left behind.  I guess in a poetic way, it would be fighting and defending for my own future.

My nephew’s sweet Halloween smile! So full of joy!

If I just pick my head up and move on, without getting caught up emotionally in the concept of failure..just get up and try again.  Deep inside, I know I am not built of failure or I would not be where I am.  I have survived and will continue to do so.

So, why not just get up and try again when I fall on my butt.  Which reminds me of my sweet baby nephew.  He is such a beautiful boy.  He is now running, but he went through a trial of falling and getting back up.  He did not allow the pure awesomeness of opportunites that walking would lead to.  He just knew he didn’t want to keep crawling for the rest of his life.  It is an innate part of us as humans.

Sometimes it can be that simple.

The outcomes in my life are bound to my much different then they have been.  What do you think?

Weightless


This is me today.  I am choosing to continue moving forward.  I am continuing to face and let go of my emotional baggage.  It is like having a moment of weightlessness, this whole “touchy feely therapy” stuff.  It seems like the more fears I face, which are very, very difficult, the more weightless I feel.

I have begun having conversations with people to discuss things that I have always been so afraid to just say.  I know it sounds easy, but it is not easy for me.  I may seem social, but when it comes to confrontation, even mild, I tend to shy away and internalize what I want to say or what I feel.  “Stifle yourself,” Archie Bunker would say.  Well, that is one way of dealing with stress.

All that seems to ever get me is so anxious (i.e. emotionally constipated) and overwhelmed at NOT facing the confrontation.

Of course, this new life changing way of thought has played a toll on me.  Evidently, I am an emotional eater (I suppose I have always lived in denial).  It seems like the more of this crap I have faced, the more I have relied on food to comfort me during the process.  However many pounds I have but back on (fluctuates between 10-18 pounds) are haunting me and making me feel like a failure.  I am realizing now the patterns involved in why I am eating, and I believe there is a more to learn.

Point is, this is a good song.  And I need to remember to forgive my own mistakes, and move forward.

Unreachable


Wow.  I survived.  By the sweet grace of God, I survived Thursday night.  I cannot even begin to explain.

I know that I woke up on Friday morning still grumpy, bags under my eyes, hating life in general.  I felt as if I had survived an exorcism.  I had just faced my life’s issues…my demons, if you will.  All of the parts of me that hide away, as well as how my decisions do effect and have effected my family, everyone around me, and myself.  How I truly feel like I had let everyone down.  Then couple that with a family counseling class that has forced me to look at my family on paper and notice patterns and blah blah blah.

Point is…I came to direct terms with the very real fact: I am broken.  We all are.  We are all victims of the behaviors of others, and we all take turns victimizing one another, whether we know it or not.  It is human nature.  It is inevitable.

God had given me all of these miraculous blessings in my life and I had hurt them all and was not as grateful as I could have been.  I took a lot of true blessings for granted.  I felt such shame and unworthiness.

Then, this song played…

The words spoke everything I was thinking and feeling.  The overwhelming sense of peace began to bring reassurance and comfort, love and protection.  All of my human fears vanished and once again I felt the truest of truth, I felt God within my soul.  I knew we would be okay if I just stayed focused on His guidance.  When I am weak, He will give me strength.

Not only did the blessings continue to pour down on us, but the awareness of God’s great and abundant love became ever so clear again.  I had been missing that sense of fullness and faith.

Yes, Uncle T., I heard your message, Let go and Let God.  It is easier said than done, AND it is necessary.  When you turn your life over to God and allow Him to work through you, He will provide for you.

It is simply amazing.

Broken


ImageAs I sit here, tears are falling down my face.  It seems as though all I have done lately is apologize for not being good enough, quick enough, right enough, smart enough, skinny enough, early enough.  It seems as though I cannot meet any goals or responsibilities or expectations.  I don’t even know if the expectations are my own or not.  All I know is that my head is swimming and I want to go to bed.

But I can’t.

I have to face all of the fears and failures, real or not, but I don’t know how.  I am trying all kinds of methods, but nothing “works fast enough.”

How do I grab all of the pieces of my life and put them together again?  How do I escape the daily dread of letting my family down or letting others down?  Of letting myself down?

I mean, anyone else’s life, and I would have no problem helping them come up with a plan of action and get organized, but when it is my own, I am clueless.  I don’t know where to begin.

How do I successfully mesh together a plan for financial stability and responsibility, for physical health and fitness, for educational growth and future opportunity and security, for successful work habits and development, AND find time to be a good mommy?  I am always letting someone down.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to go back for a Masters degree!  I must have been out of my ever-loving mind to think I could pull it off when I had yet to get in order the current issues of my life.

How do you move past the pain without first having to recognize it for what it is, and either accept it for fix it?  How do I face the hurt about certain situations, knowing there is no immediate solution?  How do I escape the deep sense of longing and loss?.

How do you move past the fear that paralyzes your every move?  Fear of what, you ask?  Just plain fear.  Fear of everything…failure, loss, pain, hurt, unintentionally hurting others, of not being loved, of not loving enough, of being alone, of not being enough.  Fear of actually living life.  Fear of being who I really am.  Fear of judgement.  Fear of being called crazy.  Fear of EVERYTHING!

How do I face the fullness of the consequences for my decisions in life, particularly over the past three years.  No, there is not a lot I would change, but the consequences are killing me!  I know I put myself here, and I know that it is nobody’s fault but my own.  REGARDLESS of how I got here, I am here, and I don’t know how to move forward.

I pray, don’t worry about that.  I do.  And even though I know my God is a kind and loving God, I still feel I don’t deserve the blessings He has graced in my life NOW, what makes me think I am worth more of His mercy and love?  I have messed up everything He has provided.  Over and over.

I am on my knees with tears in my eyes asking for guidance.  God, please fill my brokenness, because I don’t know how…

My Angels


I am blessed enough to be in a unique awareness.  I am very aware of people in my life having certain purpose for my life.  As if I was meant to know them.  As if God brought them into my life as a way of teaching me, comforting me, guiding me, or encouraging me.

I truly do not mean this to sound ego-centric, though I suppose technically it is.  It is just life.  It is how God speaks to us.  It is how God gives us the information that we need to process, contemplate, and regurgitate in our own lives.

These people in my life sometimes appear for a moment and some have been with me forever since.  Either way, they shape who I am.

At one point, I just started referring to them as my angels. Though most people usually just call them friends.  🙂

I was telling my friend about some ideas I had and this was her response. It moved me so deeply, that I now use it as an affirmation. Jen has been one of my angels…from out of nowhere. ❤

Sometimes, people enter my life for just a brief moment, as if the “fates align” and all chaos in my world grinds to a screeching halt – just for one specific moment with one specific person – for one specific, life-altering moment of time.  Maybe it is something they say to me…may just a gesture, but it is life changing!

Other times, my angel stays in my life for any period of time…even forever.

ALL of these people serve a purpose in my own life. It is how God works through each of us to comfort and love one another.  This weekend, at my Women’s Wellness Retreat, we called it a “Community of Women” or a “Circle of Friends.”

My angels inspire me, love me, nurture me.  At times, their presence in my life might be turbulent, angry or uncomfortable, but even those times ultimately bring to acceptance, or a different perspective…a deep, life-altering enlightenment.

I am so grateful for the angels that God has brought into my life.  I am grateful for the treasures of life, laughter, tears they have given me.  I am grateful for the love, motivation and comfort, as well as the challenges and diversity they have given me.

I also want to point out that God works through ALL of us – whether we want to or not.  Perhaps you have experienced this as well.  There are times in my deepest, darkest moments, when my struggles are burdening my heart from moment to moment in excruciating agony…when survival is my ultimate daily goal.  My head is too full of worry and uncertainty; of my own emotional, physical, and spiritual fears.  But then someone comes up to me and tells me that I have encouraged THEM!  (With absolutely no intent or knowledge on my part).

That is when I realize that God works through me to show love, grace and determination to those around me.  And I am humbled.

Praise God for the Gift of Community, Fellowship, and Life.

The beginning of Women’s Wellness


This past weekend, I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to volunteer for the Women’s Wellness Retreat at work.  There were several aspects of this retreat that were amazing this weekend, but honestly, I don’t have the energy to blog it all tonight…so I will just tell you the beginning.

The first night of the retreat (Friday) we had a yoga session after the opening.  The intent of course was to calm us and open us up to God’s sure presence in our lives.  Last year, the yoga was so awesome and powerful.  I had big expectations for that same calming effect this year.

However, the yoga was very difficult this time.  I was not physically comfortable.  And here is my super-confession – I have gained back 18 of the 80 pounds I lost since I took those pics in June.

And I feel it, and I see it, and sometimes it runs my thoughts – like while I am sitting in a chair trying to do yoga, and being focused on how my stomach feels bloated and my dress feels a bit tight around my middle.  I could NOT focus on entering the peace that is yoga.

All I could do was think about how I’ve failed at sticking to a consistent exercise regiment, and I have taken to drinking soda again and popping the occasional chocolate mini-muffin.  I’ve failed myself.

I could feel my legs as I lifted them for the yoga moves.  The sense of failure I had created in my head actually convinced me that my legs felt much heavier to lift than before.  My flexibility was not the same.  My breathing was labored, and I could not tell whether it was because I was so unfit, or because the anxiety was pressuring me to calm myself.

Before I knew it, the yoga was over.  I was secretly relieved.

I turned to the women sitting next to me – a return attendee to this retreat.  She smiled at me, obviously remembered me from the years past.  “Hi.  How are you doing.  You look like you’ve lost a lot of weight, have you?”  She became one of My Angels.

I then heard God’s comforting voice tell me to stop bashing myself and to remember where I have come from…remember how far I have come, and to be at peace with that.

Let me clarify…when I say that I heard God’s voice, I am not some crazy person who hears voices.  What I mean is that I had a feeling from deep within my soul…the place of true love and light…the place where God lives within me.  It is a feeling so sure that you could not imagine anything more true.  It is an amazing experience, possible for anyone.

Anyways, the first night of the retreat certainly calmed me and helped me to realize that  I am moving along the path that God has provided for me.  Thank you!

Repeated Failure OR Why I Eat


Cupcake contemplates Domino’s too. She loves those garlic knot thingies.

The thing about setting goals, is that there will always be failure.  over and over failure.  Especially when you are setting LIFE ALTERING goals.  Losing weight is not just the simple goal of ridding yourself of excess “stuff.”  It is a battle that can sometimes consume you (pardon the pun) moment to moment.

And because each moment takes sheer, life-altering strength, each moment also possesses potential for failure.

Each moment is a struggle that is physical, emotional, sometimes spiritual.  Oh please, have you never gotten in the guilt battle with your self because you are not treating your body like a temple to God:  It is His gift to me, and I have all of my fingers and toes and am very fortunate, but I don’t even show my appreciation to God by eating healthy?  It is even better when reinforced my “those who love you.”

Sometimes the struggle is about happiness.  I feel so miserable right now, but I know that garlic knot thingy from Domino’s will make me happy.  Even for just a moment.  Now, tell me how that CANNOT result in a massive battle between why you make food so important in your life, and why you cannot seem to be capable of making your own self happy.

Sometimes it is physical.  And by physical, I mean both perceived and real physical struggles.  Sometimes there is this deep hunger that is just that…feeling hungry.  No matter what you do or don’t do, the feeling never feels satiated.  You can eat yourself sick, and you still have hunger pangs.  What the hell is that?!  Seems kind of not fair.  But that is the way it is sometimes.  They feel very REAL, whether or not they are perceived.

THEN, you have everything else to still worry about on top of it.  Consistently being judged and criticized…by YOUR OWN SELF, by others, always feeling like you are failing everyone because your focus is always set on that internal hunger struggle.  It really can be consuming.

I just read back…guess I might be changing the title of this one, because I seem to have gotten sidetracked.  lol  typical me.  Love me for my rant, I suppose.

Back to the failures at hand…

Admitting failure is another internal struggle for me.  Avoiding admitting failure is more my style.  I have this wonderful website that helps me to track my weight loss goals, and food, and other statistics.  http://www.myfitnesspal.com in case you are interested.

I am GREAT at tracking everything, when  I am doing everything right, which is NOT very often.  (It is very hard to work on NOT eating, while ALSO working on getting your overly heavy bottom off the couch and moving it!  Those are two totally different beasts within).

Oops, speaking of failure…pizza is here.  Talk to you later!  🙂

Watch Me Unfold…The Root of My Transformation


Thank you, Pandora, for bringing me such enlightenment in the morning!  This song is an amazing interpretation of my thoughts.  It is the root of my transformation…truly.  My whole life, I have been so afraid of EVERYTHING!  I don’t know why, really, I just am.

By afraid, I mean that I over-think every situation, every decision, and every potential decision until I have overwhelmed myself with “what ifs” and “but then if this happens, that will happen, and so-and-so will be upset, which will lead to such-and-such”.

REALLY?  Who has time for all of that crap?!

I want to LIVE LIFE and just be grateful of each breathing moment God blesses to my loved ones and me.  I want to open my heart to Him and them.  After all, what else is there on this earth worth more than love?

Unfold By Marie Digby

what i can remember
is alot like water
trickling down a page
of the most beautiful colors
i can’t quite put my
finger down on the moment
that i became like … this

you see, i’m the bravest girl
you will ever come to meet
and yet i shrink down to nothing
at the thought of someone
really seeing me
i think my heart is wrapped around
and tangled up in winding weeds

but i don’t wanna go on living
being so afraid of showing
someone else my.. imperfections
even though my feet are trembling
and every word i say comes stumbling
i will bare it all.. watch me unfold
unfold

these hands that i hold
behind my back are
bound and broken by my own doing
and i can’t feel
anything, anymore
i need a touch to remind me
i’m still real..

my soul
it’s dying to be free
i can’t live the rest of my life
so guarded
it’s up to me to choose..
what kind of life i lead.

cause i don’t wanna go on living
being so afraid of showing
someone else my.. imperfections
even though my feet are trembling
and every word i say comes stumbling
i will bare it all.. watch me unfold
unfold

i will allow someone to love me
i will allow someone to love me…

love me.. love me…

Lyrics by Marie Digby