Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Who I am

Well. Some would say that I have failed. And there have been a few moments where I have felt the same way. Blogging for 31 days. Didn't happen. But trust me- Ive learned alot of things about myself and the people around me this month. And once again, alot of them are just too darn personal for sharing.

I've learned that Im not an every day blogger. I cant just sit down at a computer every day and make myself write something thats going to mean something to someone. Mine come in waves. I write most days in my journal. But Im learning that not everyone wants to hear how hard things are every day. And alot of days- its hard to post positive, exciting, fun things. Broc and I are in a CRAZY season... A season thats lasted a couple of years and taken some crazy twists.

I have learned that my whole life has changed and I havent really sat down and let it sink in. Im no longer a stay at home mom and Im no longer a youth pastors wife.  All of my life.. from my very youngest teenage years- I knew I wanted to be a youth pastors wife and a stay at home mom. Thats all. But no one ever told me how hard ministry would be. And no one ever told us what to do if/when it came to an end.  Us in the ministry- we are realllllly good at slapping a big ol' smile on our faces at all times. We are really good at pretending that everything is ok- and that our home lives are not falling apart. We are really good at pretending that we are having this rocking relationship with Christ and that we arent having any doubts or questions. I was really good at it... until it became too much.

So here I am. 28, mother to a special needs child, a wife to a husband who is trying to find his way outside of ministry in a business world that doesnt care what he's done in his "job life" because he was "only a pastor", a more than full time working woman who worries about bills constantly, and doesnt recognize herself in the mirror most days.

So what do you do when the life you dreamed of changes? Im not who I was. We arent who we were. Its heart wrenching watching my husband who has been doing ministry for 15 plus years find himself outside of all that. Your identity gets so wrapped up in that role. He has struggled. He's been lonely. All of the sudden the people who were closer than family and were spiritual helpers havent even called to check on you or just make sure you're ok as a man. He has put God on the back burner at times. But I am so proud of who he is today and the man he's striving to be tomorrow. He's no longer defined as a youth pastor, the youth pastor I was dreaming of marrying- He's finding himself and we are growing together into something totally new.

We have stopped making Izaiah take naps during the day. Sigh. I didnt realize how much I was missing his naps until we made him lay down the other day, because he was so cranky he couldnt function after lunch and therapy. Broc left to pick up furniture and I sat down on the couch alone and just started crying. I didnt know why I was crying at first, then it hit me. Im no longer a stay at home momma. Im an exhausted working momma. One that works more than full time. I work when Izaiah goes to sleep. I work in the mornings and most of the day. I feel out of control most days and miss having my days with just Izaiah and I hanging out at home. My crying turned into asking God for the strength and clarity of mind to make a schedule that allows me time to still be a stay at home momma with my special boy.

I commend you working mommas. Its a hard, hard task. Trying to decide whats more important when work isnt demanding your attention. Washing bed sheets that havent been washed in 3 weeks or getting in the floor to run cars with a blue eyed boy whos patiently been eyeing me while I sit at my computer marketing our furniture and answering questions. Guilt. Lots and lots of guilt.

So thats been my prayer and what Im learning about myself  in the last 31 days. Asking Jesus to take the guilt and helping me to play with my baby with a guilt free heart. It hasnt been about weight loss after all. But, I am happy to say, I am losing weight and feeling great! But the weight of guilt is really what Im learning to shed.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 3: Who I Used To Be

So many times a week I get into an awkward funk. And so many times a week I am reminded of who I used to be. Who I was. Who I lost. How different I am. The stark contrast in my personality back then and now.

I found a dusty tub of pictures the other day. Pictures of myself in high school. Pictures of Broc and I dating. I flipped through them, and then wept. I miss me. What most people dont understand.. I didnt use to be this. I havent known "fat" all of my life. Oh sure, I thought I was "fat" in high school. Hated my thighs but still loved me. I genuinely loved myself. Cocky? No. I just loved the life I lived, the friends I kept, the church I got to be a part of, and the home life God gave me. I was a happy teen.

I remember the first thing I went through in my life that started to change my personality. My senior year of high school I met a guy.  I went to college where he was (not because thats where he was.. we met while I was visiting there). I got involved in a pretty serious relationship with this man and was emotionally and verbally abused. He would ask me to dress nicer when I would go out in public. Ask me if I was really going to wear THAT? Wanted to know where I was and who I was with. I was so "in love" I wasnt a good friend to the friends God placed in my life at college. That will forever be one of my biggest regrets is not having all the memories my friends have.  And when I finally built up the courage to leave his sorry...butt... He threw my things (no, I didnt live with him.. but you know how that goes. A sweat shirt, stuffed animal, etc etc.) out on the lawn for me to gather up by myself before I drove 3 hours home and wept the whole way. He stole alot of myself from me. Damaged me. Thats the point I can look back on and know that I had changed some. God restored alot of that damage and brought Broc into my life very soon after that. I am forever thankful for Gods timing with Broc. He showed me how a real godly man treats a woman.

But thinking about those pictures of the old me- it saddens my heart so deeply. I went from class president to avoiding people so I dont have to talk. Striking up conversations with strangers for the heck of it to wanting to throw up because I cant think of a danged thing to say to someone I dont know.

I dont know how to be over weight and still love life to the fullest. Through these 31 days, Im praying that God will teach me to love me again. Not the high school me... the awkward, anxious, many sizes bigger, momma who needs wisdom and fails alot, me. Because under neath this weight- there is still someone worth loving.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 2: Sigh

Nothing exciting to blog about tonight. It was a rough day all around. But I am forcing myself to write SOMETHING before I get in bed. Hopefully a better blog to come tomorrow.. Continue praying for me on my journey! I need it! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 1: Pretending

I know I need You
I need to love You
I love to see You, but it's been so long
I long to feel You
I feel this need for You
And I need to hear You, is that so wrong?
Now You pull me near You
When we're close, I fear You
Still I'm afraid to tell You, all that I've done
Are You done forgiving? 

10th Avenue North- Times

This song hit me like a hurricane yesterday morning. You know how you know a song and kinda mumble the words that you catch on to and you dont really hear what your saying or what the song has to offer? I was getting ready, putting my makeup on yesterday morning and being prayerful about accepting the blog challenge... This song came on my Charlie Hall Pandora station and a few lines hit me right in the gut. 
Oh can You look past my pretending?
Lord, I'm so tired of defending, what I've become
What have I become? 

I sat wiping tears and letting my true feelings about myself come to the surface. Long enough to be real about them and real enough to let the tears wash them away. 

I, we, are so good at pretending. We pretend and then we defend. I notice when I pretend that things are together and things are groovy as gravy and that I am a sad victim of my weight- I have a defensive attitude. I have a million reasons as to why the number on the scale is what it is in the mornings and most of them have nothing to do with me taking any ownership.  But the truth of the matter is, Im tired of pretending that number is ok and defending why it should be able to stay. Im tired of living in fear and anxiety every moment. An anxious, fearful, moody, and defeated person is what I have become. Its time to get real with myself. With yourself. What have you become? What are you defending and pretending? 

As the tears fell yesterday, He was quick to swoop in and minister to my vulnerable and breaking heart....
"My love is over. It's underneath.
It's inside. It's in between.

The times you doubt Me, when you can't feel.
The times that you question, 'Is this for real? '
The times you're broken.
The times that you mend.
The times that you hate Me, and the times that you bend.
Well, My love is over, it's underneath.
It's inside, it's in between.
These times you're healing, and when your heart breaks.
The times that you feel like you're falling from grace.
The times you're hurting.
The times that you heal.
The times you go hungry, and are tempted to steal.
The times of confusion, in chaos and pain.
I'm there in your sorrow, under the weight of your shame.
I'm there through your heartache.

I'm there in the storm.
My love I will keep you, by My pow'r alone.
I don't care where you fall, where you have been.
I'll never forsake you, My love never ends.
It never ends."

So thankful for this song. At that very moment and every moment since. Its ministered to me so much.Here is a link to the song with the lyrics. Would you take 5 minutes? Get in a quiet place by yourself. Listen to it and read the lyrics, then play it again and just close your eyes and let it soak in. You wont be disappointed. 

Love you all! 


Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days

"They triumphed over him
                                                        by the blood of the Lamb    
                               and by the word of their testimony..."
                                          Revelations 12:11

Long time... No write. :) Its been a while since I have taken the time and energy to put my thoughts onto "paper"... publicly atleast. I have been journaling alot. But the things that have poured out from my heart onto paper have not been things that are for the public eye- but for Christ. 

Its been a very rough couple of months for myself and my family. Financially, we had about a month and a half that was very slow in business. We have gone through a very trying time with Izaiah. A very stretching time in our marriage. And its just been straight up tough. In that time, I put back on about 25 pounds. (Here comes the honesty and transparency.) 

I have this issue you see. Called emotional eating. And through all of those trials, my emotions have been WACK. So I have eaten. When my life is spiraling out of control, I usually cope by eating. And thats what has lead me to this post. 

I am at a place where nothing really fits. And that puts me in a funk first thing in the morning. Lovely way to start the day off. Fighting that reminder of failure that i have to wear around all day. So. I have come to a place where I have just had enough. God has been nudging at me and Ive been reluctant and using every excuse I can find. Until today. I got on a site just browsing around today, a secret group of painting friends, and I saw that one of my gals posted about The Nester (whom I want to be like when I grow up. ;)) hosting a 31 day challenge for bloggers to get creative juices flowing. Blog about a broad topic for 31 days. Challenge yourself to write. Most chose to write about decorating their home, prayer, being a good mom... And all kinds of crafty spiritual things. I thought about it all morning.. and decided to accept the challenge. If not even 1 person reads anything I write- I still need to write. Its therapy for me. I need some therapy, and talking therapy lying on a couch aint free or cheap! But I can write. And thats what Im going to do.

Leading up to this morning, God had been pulling at my heart about my birthday. (Today is my 28th birthday.) Today is MY New Years. Today marks a new year for me. I realized, I have had 8 years of carrying this literal weight around. And I'm ready to get it off of me. Off of my body, off of my heart, off of my MIND. Ready. Im done carrying it. In every way. Unless you have been majorly over weight (to the point that it inhibits your daily activities) you cant understand the mental anguish one lives with. The restraints of things you cant do, the obsession over should I eat that should I not eat that, the guilt of eating that, the hope for a new day only to be dashed by "not enough willpower" by 10 am. Its a constant, minute by minute weight. And I want to be free. So thats why Im sharing. They triumphed over the BOLD word of their testimony. This is my testimony. I was never a girl strung out on drugs, caught up in the party world. Im just a girl who allowed herself to be overcome as an adult. A girl that virtually closed her eyes and slept for 8 years of her life. And is ready to live and enjoy her life to the fullest. 

So here's to my 31 days. "31 Days of Gaining Whats Lost, And Losing Whats Gained". If you think about me and my journey on these next 31 days, will you say a prayer? Send a note? A text? I would greatly appreciate it. Im changing my life, and I need all the help I can get! Follow along and share my posts if you feel like someone could benefit. <3

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Hands Free Day

Woke up this morning and did my usual routine. Grab for my phone and with one eye still squinted closed because I am trying to wake up- I start scrolling through facebook. What are people saying this morning? What is that girl who hated me in high school thinking about this morning? What about that lady I dont even know but I added anyways, what is she up to today? I scroll and scroll. And a text message interrupts my scrolling. Its my best friend and she is sending me a link to read. So I mosey over to it, and little did I know it would change my whole day, my whole life.

"How To Miss A Childhood"

Just reading that and seeing a picture of a phone, I got a knot in my stomach. God was shoving me. He has been nudging gently for the past month, but now, it was a full on shove. And I fell hard- surprisingly into his merciful arms.

Here is the blog post that is changing my life.

Hands Free Momma (Clickable to read)

I literally felt like I needed to throw up after I read it. Tears streaming down my face. I knew I had to change. My son is screaming for my attention and Im too busy and preoccupied to hear it. Oh, I take him to the park alright. But Im so preoccupied to really be in the moment with him. He brings my phone to me if I leave it in another room "like its a breathing apparatus". Our society is declining and our children are screaming for us to parent them with love, attention- full undivided attention, and time. I pray this blog will make your heart ache and you will allow Jesus to wreck you and then put you back together.

I challenge you. I have taken facebook notifications off of my phone. I wont get them in text messages anymore. And I am limiting my time for being on facebook. It will only be when I am alone, after I have allowed Jesus to show me what He has for me that day. I beg you, ask Him what your days should look like with your precious babies He has entrusted to you.

Im going to take it a step further. This was placed on my heart today. I believe if we fail to give our children our priority in attention, we will stand before Christ one day, and we will NOT hear "well done my good and faithful servant." Youch. Our home, our children are our FIRST priority and MINISTRY. Minister well and be fully present in the moment!

Happy Mothers Day!! <3 Here is our first Hands Free Day in pictures! It was hands free....... Except for the picture taking. ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Messy Post

Be forewarned, this will be ugly and messy. Its just where I'm at tonight.

Laying in bed, can't sleep. Heart as heavy as a 50 pound weight. Death. Cancer. It ticks me off. Makes me angry. Makes my heart break into a million questioning pieces. Laying in bed tonight sobbing... Broc begins to pray for Gray. A little boy who has been sent home with no hope and no options for overcoming cancer. Broc prays and pleads for God to move a mountain and give precious little Gray a miracle. As he is praying, Im sobbing and I can feel it rise up in my heart... the raw, honest, angry words: "HE WON'T! STOP ASKING HIM! HE ISN'T GOING TO DO IT." I told you this is going to be an ugly and messy one. 

I have grown so weary of "believing for a miracle" only to attend a funeral. Religious people are REALLY going to hate this post. But I have to get this off my chest and out of my heart. We all have these moments, but most of us are too afraid to admit it. 

The past couple of years, I have taken a front row seat to view death. I have never really been exposed to all of its ugly facets until the last couple of years. I have mourned the death of one of the godliest, yet relatable and loving women I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Kaye Kerley was the real deal. I can count on one hand, and not take up all of my fingers how many of those I have met. Her death bewilders me and leaves me mourning to this day. 

I have witnessed a mother being ripped away in the night by death from her sleeping babies. A dream of watching her hearts grow up and accomplish great things be snuffed out. Oh how I remember that time. I remember holding Harper, her crying, me bawling, begging her take a bottle because she couldn't eat from the only source she had known- her mothers breast. I remember driving one night after leaving her home and her little baby- I was screaming...Im talking, dont have a voice the next day screaming at God. Hitting the steering wheel. Telling Him I don't trust Him. I don't trust Him not to take Izaiah away from me or vice versa. How could He? Where was He? To tell you the truth, I still feel that pang in my heart from losing Christi every now and then. The pang of not wanting to trust Him.

And then there's Gray. I'm not going to pretend to be super close to the family and all. I grew up knowing his parents in the same church, but I am not a close friend. But, being a momma is quite the equalizer. It's my mommas heart that is angry and sobbing tonight. My mommas heart that has lead me into Izaiah's room tonight several times just to touch him and reassure myself that he is ok. The book "You Are Captivating- Celebrating A Mothers Heart" by Staci Eldredge (A MUST READ! VERY SHORT BOOK) says that children are our hearts (mothers hearts) out roaming this scary world. We feel everything that they feel. Knowing that to be true, my heart feels like it could explode tonight thinking about Grays momma Jill. 

So here I am. In all my questioning, angry mess. I love Christ. But my heart is hurting. The only thing good I can dwell on tonight is the sermon I heard Easter Sunday at my amazing church. Josh Kouri said, we were not created with death in mind. Death was not suppose to happen for us. Sin brought on death, disease and aging. There will NEVER be anything right or ok about going to a funeral to bury a child. Its not right and its not ok. It grieves God as well. But because of sin, we must face death. Not comforting at this moment. But its the only truth I have to hold on to tonight. 

Please, no churchy cliches. :) I cant handle them tonight and I pretty much know them all. Sometimes, the only thing that helps on nights like tonight is being silent with God. Just let my heart and my tears do the communicating. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. 

P.S. There are several other deaths I have walked through or watched people close to me walk through, but these are the ones weighing on me tonight. 

Please go over and read precious Grays story and commit to praying for this family.

Here is the book I was talking about. PLEASE GIVE IT TO EVERY MOTHER YOU KNOW FOR MOTHERS DAY. It only takes about 30 minutes to read, and its cheap. But its amazing.