Baggage that I Put Down

I usually work into most posts that I’m a work in progress but think I need to start this one in that way.




I don’t always do this perfectly but I have certainly come a long way!  The more I practice what I’m about to “preach,” the better I feel.

Let me say that I love the forties.  Not the 1940’s era.  The being in the 40’s age group.

Don’t get me wrong.  There are a few things that I would like from my 20’s.  I wish my middle section was toned and would like to tighten up that five baby stretched out skin on my tummy.  Who am I kidding?  I would like to buy the entire line of Rodan and Fields to take ten years off of my crows feet and jowls.  A few less varicose and spider veins on the calves would be nice.

Ahh….I digress.  I was about to tell you why I love being the age that I am.

Even with the marks and stretches and lines in the wrongs places, I love this season of life.  With it comes a freedom.

There are some bags that I carried for so long and I have learned/ am learning to put them down.  With each one, my load is lighter and I have been given so much freedom!  I want to shout it at the 20 somethings so that they don’t carry it around for 20 more years unnecessarily.

Here are a few of the things that I have taken out of my bag and I feel so much lighter for it:

  1. The ability to let other people’s opinion drive me.  WOW!  That’s a big one to unpack.  My phases went like this:  I spent a lot of time worrying about what other people thought of me, came to the realization that people don’t even think about me as much as I thought they did, and then decided not to care.  If I start to feel that burden hopping back into my bag, I remind myself of who I am in Christ.   A little side note is that I have a handful of great friends who I trust to give honest, Christlike feedback and I listen closely to their counsel.
  2. The need for perfection.  This has permeated most areas of my life ( work in progress.)  I haven’t and won’t be a perfect friend, parent, spouse, daughter, aunt. teacher, housekeeper, decorator.  Any of it.  I can’t even say that I’ve done my best for all of my life.  But I do try to improve daily.  A few years ago I began saying it would be “just right.”  One of my friends had burned something that she was cooking and I said “Oh it will be just right.”  From then on, that became our phrase for it’ll be ok if it’s not perfect.  It has been used over and over and over.  Guess what?  It’s always worked out ok.  Because that small stuff really isn’t worth sweating over after all.   The next time you are stressing because it’s not working out just perfectly, try telling yourself it’s “just right.”
  3. The guilt of my past.  Man, that’s a big one.  I shoula’, coulda’, woulda’ but I did or didn’t.   This freedom has come from Christ and Christ alone.  I can look back at regrets from thirty years ago or even yesterday.  If I’m living intentionally (and I hope I am) then I am going to have to trust that God will work all things out for my good.  Satan is a deceiver and a liar.  When he brings up sins and failures that I’ve been forgiven for, I’m sending him right back where he came from.  I’m taking hold of those thoughts and living in the freedom that I now have.
  4. Fear and worry.  I’ve come so far. I come from a long line of worriers and that is a hard, hard cycle to break.  But I’m finally making progress.  Worrying about the present, the future (and #3 the past) takes SO much energy away from just living today.  Very little of what I could worry about could/can be changed.  So I pray.  I believe that God is for me.  I move on.

I’m sure my bag is lighter because of a million other things that I put out of my life.  Sometimes I have to put them out daily.  Sometimes it’s hourly.

However, I am so thankful that God has helped to settle my mind and allow me to unpack some things that have weighed me down.

Sometimes the struggle isn’t putting them down.  It’s leaving them there.

As always, I’m a work in progress.

 

Gaga Ball and Jesus- What’s the Connection?

The pledge of allegiance to the flag




The pledge to the Bible

A song from the hymnal – probably Stand up, Stand up for Jesus or Standing on the Promises.

Rotations through crafts which probably included some type of string art or finger-painting.

The preacher preached from the Bible

Prayer dismissed you and you took the 10 things you’d created with you and looked forward to coming back the next night.

 

I’m reminiscing about Vacation Bible School, now shortened to VBS.  Those good days in the summer when you went to church at strange times and all the little old ladies made as much kool-aid and as many cupcakes as you could possibly consume.

 

I dropped my children off tonight at our church’s version of VBS.  We have amazing leaders and volunteers who work very hard to make this happen.  There are HUNDREDS of kids who are coming to the church for this event.  The amount of work that is put into it is not to be taken lightly.  It’s a heroic effort.

However, I left sad.  I also left with a headache.  During the five minutes that it took for me to drop my kids into their respective color and number groups, the noise level was mind boggling. There were no less than fifty kids screaming just to be screaming.  There was NOTHING peaceful in this place at the moment.

Two and a half hours later, I picked them up.  One of my daughters has a bit of trouble processing things when she is overstimulated.  She was literally staring ahead and didn’t even seem to notice me when I went to her group.  I jokingly said “Hey…do you recognize me?” She teared up to cry.  She was obviously overwhelmed.

One of the three could tell me that there was  a short story given about Jacob.  No details, but Jacob was the subject.

The other two were sad that they had forgotten their crazy socks and wanted me to turn on the interior lights of the van so that they could read the flyer to see what was coming after crazy hair night.

Now, I know I’m not young.  But I am struggling just a little bit.

I feel like I might be promoting the idea that we might need to be loud, chaotic, wild and crazy to learn about Jesus.  I’m not saying there is anything “wrong” with that.  I’m just struggling a bit with it.

Be still.

Be still and know that I am God.

I think that the mission is to get children to enjoy coming to church so that they might want to return to hear about Jesus.  That’s a noble mission.

What about the children who are already coming?

I know that it is not the sole responsibility of the church to teach my children about God. I am thankful that I have that privilege.  However, I desire to have the support in a corporate setting.

Maybe that is my take away.  Maybe the church is there to initiate the conversation and then the work is mine.

Either way…..there’s a lot of Gagaball being played in the southern states this summer.

I’m going to trust that Jesus is in there too!

 

 

 

 

Only One Little Bite

I think this post may be my confession of sorts.  It’s my public recognition of weakness if you will.




I always say that I’m a work in progress and that has certainly been true this Father’s Day weekend.

I’ll put a picture next and you can guess what might have happened here.  If you read my earlier post about Trim Healthy Mama, you can clearly see that these are the direct opposite of “on plan.”

We had family over to celebrate this weekend.  My white cake and chocolate buttercream frosting is just amazing!  I don’t take compliments well but when people oooohh and aahhhh over it…there’s nothing to say to dismiss them because it is just SO good.

Enter my weak moment.  I decided Saturday night that I would just have 1/4 of a cupcake. I made a nice little cut with my steak knife and oh my stars!  It was divine!  So I had the other little 1/4 of the half that I had cut.  Sigh.  It sounds crazy but I don’t remember eating the last 1/2 but I did.

Today after church, we went to another family celebration and I had a slice of pie.

We came home to a rainy, lazy Sunday afternoon and I wasn’t prepared with any healthy snacks.  Sidenote: Does anyone else plan for a week, cook a ton of food for a gathering, and have nothing to eat once that one meal has been served?

So…..a few cupcakes were still on the tray.  Repeat the same scenario from last night (because that worked so well….insert eyeroll.)

I have spent the last few hours feeling SO drained and SO lazy.  I’m about to change into my tennis shoes and shorts and walk the neighborhood to make myself feel a little better.

So, what did I learn?

First, let me say that there is nothing wrong with having an occassional treat.  I do not plan to be so strict that I cannot enjoy my food.  Food is not my enemy. I just need to use good judgment and set limits.

But what I took away from this is:

Had I not taken the first bite, I wouldn’t be feeling awful.  Taking the first bite made the next one seem ok.  After I had eaten half, what’s the big deal. I’ll just finish it.  It’s just one cupcake.

What it did was create my desire for sugar again.  I have had very little sugar and that little bit made me crave more.

Somewhere I’m guessing there is an alcoholic with a similar story, a drug addict, someone who is an abuser and someone who gets abused who could probably figure out what their “first bite” was.

You may think that overeating doesn’t wreck your body like those “big offenses” but I am learning to disagree.

The lesson that I personally had revealed to me was that if I dabble in the things that bring me down, it makes going all in a little easier.

It is so much easier to stay away from the things that are my weakness.

Looking back over my life, and hopefully being a little wiser, it is easy to see where my weaknesses were and where satan knew to attack.

What did I learn?  Be prepared.

That doesn’t apply to only stocking healthy snacks.  It applies to my life.