Tuesday, May 17, 2011

that thing i sit on

update to last post: i did not submit anything to the poetry contest. just wasn't feeling it, and i feel fine that i did not submit --at peace about it, actually.

but this post is about something altogether different. this post is about my butt. yes, that thing that i sit on. you see, for all of last year and then some, i was feeling bad in one strange way or another, and when i feel bad (and i'm not talking mild bad, i'm talking really damn, painful bad) i am no good, debilitated, and all i can do is sit on my butt. so, as you can imagine, a year + of sitting on my butt has resulted in not only a larger butt, but (ha) the rest of me is ever-so-soft and out of shape. i am not happy about this, and am trying to be kind to myself (and my butt) and realize my un-shapely-soft-ness is not due to laziness or neglect, as it was, for the most part, beyond my control. that's what i keep reminding myself, because i can be ever-so-good at berating myself. maybe you can relate?

so since i have been feeling better, i decided to give the whole getting-into-shape thing a try. not that i ever was in-shape. when i was younger i had a tighter, slimmer body and more energy, but i never worked-out or dieted. of course, i did go to a lot of night clubs and did lots of dancing, and i also had a vegetarian diet, but that was it. my friends that exercised could easily out dance me, out walk me, and out run...wait, i don't think i ran. no, there was no running. maybe brisk walking during an emergency.

anyway, i have gone back on the good ol' Atkins diet, and lost approx. 14 lbs so far, but for a couple of weeks the weight loss has stopped. so i have implemented exercise, which means daily i go for a rather short and yet tedious walk on the treadmill. i walk until my body says, oh please, just stop! STOP! and i do. so far, my knees and lower back hurt, and i feel really freakin' old, but i am determined.

why am i determined? would you believe my 20th high school reunion is this summer? i already feel old, but this makes me feel older. i don't want to care, you know? i don't want to care "how i will look" at my reunion and be that shallow, but Lord help me, i do!

i don't want to be crazy and try to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight --which i think i only visited for a short month post-pregnancy-- but i'd like to be reasonably thinner, AND i'd also like to be a bit in-shape because traveling requires movement and a bit of strength, like when running through the airport, lifting bags, hurrying to the next train, sitting down and standing up, and lots and lots of walking!

i have actually been trying to involve God in this slow-but-hopefully-steady fitness program of mine, because i want my heart to be in the right place: not only do i want to lose weight for my reunion, but being out of shape effects my moods, and i am limited as to what i can physically do on a daily basis. i'd like to be able to have a stronger back so i can do chores w/out having pain for days afterward, and i'd love to be able to go for walks on the beach this summer with my husband and son without getting winded. i believe God desires these good results for me too, and so far, i see Him helping me (and my butt) and i am thankful.

Monday, May 9, 2011

to enter or not to enter...

in about 30 minutes a poetry contest is going to close, and i have been going back-and-forth all night about whether or not i should enter. even now i am struggling, though i am leaning towards not entering. my main concern about entering is that i do not want to be searching for worth/value by having my work acknowledged, and i do not want to feel worthLESS if my work is rejected.

i truly want my sense of worth to come from knowing that i am God's creation, and loved fully by Him. but i waver in that knowledge, as i believe all of His children do to some degree. these days, i recognize that i waver less, and perhaps that is evidence that am growing --ever-so-slowly of course, but growing none-the-less.

it would be lovely to write poetry again, and to do photography and art as well. i just don't want to being to travel down the creative path again until i am certain i am being lead there by His Spirit. when i was going on my own creative path without His guidance, i was doing it for me, and that selfishness lead to other selfish desires, which always leads to emotional emptiness and agony --and i don't want to even lean in that direction again.

the poems i was thinking about submitting are actually about my spiritual life and thoughts, which is a new approach for me. and one i really like. these two poems feel very alive and even though they are not light-hearted, they are positive, because they end with hope.

if i shared them in this contest, i would simply be allowing God to choose to use them or not. i do believe He controls all things, even which poems in a contest win or not. so in that sense, if they are chosen, or not, i do not have to worry about being accepted/rejected by man. He knows best.

hmmmm...what to do, what to do.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

pious naysayers and my ugly heart

i've got a dilemma here, i really do. my heart is angry and bitter. this is something i have struggled w/ for as long as i can remember, even before my life was focused on Jesus, and here's the deal: i cannot stand know-it-all, pious, legalistic Christians (sometimes knowns as pharisees) and this is not good, i know this, and i pray about it all the time, because i believe i ought to love my enemies and bless those who persecute me.

the irony is, i am nearly certain that to Christians who i see as pious pharisees, i am probably just as infuriating. this is humorous to me --which is good, because the laugh ability of it reminds me of the bigger picture, and helps me to be less offended. but that's less offended --not not offended.

there are many reasons why i can't stand pious pharisees, and one is because i feel like they constantly judge unbelievers with a "they should just know better and stop pissing-off God before they die and burn-in-hell forever" attitude. see, i was once a very good sinner, and lived a wild and sometimes perverse lifestyle, but i didn't "know better" even though i had once, slightly understood the gospel of Jesus...it became lost in the pain of growing up and being human and i went about life as best i could...and the only people who represented Christ to me were the people on the 700 club...and they didn't help, they only helped fuel my anger --and i still don't like them, to be honest. so i know where "the lost" are coming from, and i have compassion for them, not condemnation.

the only reason i became a christian was because 1) my Dad's salvation which brought visible change to his life (mainly a peace in him i had not ever seen before) and 2) i experienced the mind/body/soul-drenching love of God. it was so overwhelming that i wept and rejoiced at the same time.

LOVE drew me in. not the "turn or burn" message, which i do not believe ever (i'll say it again) EVER results in true conversion.

but this does not sway the naysayers who love love love to preach about the judgment of God. my prayer is that i can see these pious naysayers as they truly are, which is as frightened children who have been abused and controlled with awful hell and damnation teaching. these fearful children, who seem to be adults, really don't know God as their loving father, and they believe (or hope) that their good deeds will please Him and keep His frightening hand of punishment and pain far from their lives. they do not dare question anything in the bible, what a preacher says, and they certainly NEVER get angry with God, and this is sad, because they do not feel the freedom to have a real relationship with Him --because at the heart of it all: they doubt His love for them.

i need to see them this way Father, and not feel such anger and hatred towards them, nor do i want to continue to look down upon them and think they are stupid. i'm sorry for feeling this way. please help, cause i can't stop feeling this way on my own. any good changes that happen in me always seem to be as a result of your grace and love. you're cool like, and i'm so grateful.