Monday, May 21, 2012

have some fun

I have been asked plenty over the years what I like to do for fun--the answers have been wide ranged, including saying nothing. For a girl who loves to have fun, fun is something that doesn't always come easily to me. Not the good kind of fun anyway.

So, I've challenged myself over the past few months to pay attention to the fun side of life. What do I like to do? What can I do? What would be fun? And here's what I've come up with:

Having a day off. A WHOLE day off. A day that I do whatever I want to do and nothing that I don't want to do. I have not done this in the past, not on a consistent basis, because it seemed so selfish to me and we parents know there's no room for selfish when you're raising future adults...especially if your a single parent.

Well, here's the deal, when I take that day off (which is on Monday's by the way) I am more productive in my work, calmer as a parent, and better able to handle the curve balls life continuously hurls at me. The lie that "I can't afford to take a day off" is exactly that--a lie. You don't think you can because you never do therefore you have no idea if you can or cannot.

Some things I DO on my day Matlock (because it's not trashy, requires no thinking on my part, and we have limited tv channels), play on Pinterest (I'm actually glad I caved, there's really cool stuff on there), read a book (fiction), sit outside (doing nothing, just sit out there and soak in the fresh air).

Some things I DON'T do on my day off....anything that I feel is a must throughout the week, like laundry or cooking or cleaning or mowing the yard. I do them ONLY if I want to, otherwise the kids know it's fend for yourself all day long.

I don't feel guilty about my day off because as I said, I'm better the rest of the week. I don't let others try to make me feel guilty (the famous "it must be nice to have a day off") after all you choose to not take time off. And I don't stop being a Christ follower on my day off.

The lesson learned: God was on to something when He made the Sabbath a commandment.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Five Years

I remember reading a blog that marked a one year anniversary for a woman I did not know, but we shared a common experience. The blog for her was a victory. For me it was overwhelming.

"One year! I can't do a whole year of this! I'm not going to survive a whole year!" those were words I gasped into the phone through tears as I tried to explain to my sister I didn't see this blog as anything good for me.

Today my blog post is five years. This day is my five year anniversary of an experience that forever changed my life, changed me. Satan hurled himself at me and I must admit, he nearly won.

But he didn't win.

So, in honor of my five year anniversary I'm going to share with you 5 lessons I've my way to remind Satan (and myself) that not only did he not win, I'm actually BETTER than I've ever been!

1. Even when you can't feel God, God is there.
2. Some wounds linger way too long. 
3. Only when you stop fighting can you be saved.
4. Counseling sucks. For a long time. And then doesn't.
5. Being a survivor of rape is not my identity, it's just a part of my story.

It's been a long five years, filled with tears, questions, and yes filled with fear. But it's also been a wonderful five years filled with accomplishments, laughter, and amazement. So, on this five year anniversary I am on the radio talking to LOTS of people about the victories that have come from that one event, victories that will last into eternity which is totally awesome when you consider Satan just had the one night and God has ALL nights to come. I am happy, I am healthy and I am OK.

Here's to five more years, may they just get better and bigger and bolder.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Taking naps

What do you do when you're stressed? What's the first thing you turn to when life gets that "out of control" feeling? Anything short of turning to God isn't good for us. Whatever it is that you turn to, that's the thing you must over come. For me...sleeping. I LOVE to take naps. Why? Because I stop thinking. I'm snuggled in my bed, the heaviness of the blankets on top of me, the coolness of the pillow under my head...I love sleeping.

This week I've been doing a lot of self reflection. That can be good. It is good. But it's also grounds for needing to escape sleep. Right now, in this very moment, I want to take a nap. The battle within myself is this:
Just an hour, what will that hurt? you can't nap right now, you have work to do.
But I'm so sleepy and I would feel much better if I just took a nap. stop being lazy.
FINE! the truth is I'm tired of thinking about all of this and I'm tired of reading and I'm tired of putting in effort. Please just let me shut down!

Whatever we are focusing on is what screams the loudest. When you spend your whole day saying "I'm not going to eat that cake that's in the kitchen" what are you doing? Focusing on the cake in the kitchen. And then what happens? You cave, eat the cake then spend the rest of the evening feeling guilty and telling yourself tomorrow you'll do way better.

Some will say "You just have to fight it. Have stronger will power". Sheer will power. I hate that phrase. It's deceiving and sets you up to feel like a failure. When you go on "sheer will power" you will eventually get tired and then you'll go completely overboard on whatever it is you're willing against. Because we're not designed to do anything on "sheer will power"! If we were we wouldn't need Jesus. I certainly need Jesus...on my own, well I take lots of naps.

Right now, in this very moment stop trying to do it on your own or working up enough will power. Right now admit your weakness (that thing you turn to) and then...go do something else, like, um, listen to Christian music, or go for a walk, or write a poem, or call a friend or--gasp--pray and tell God how much you need Him.

I'm refusing to take a nap today. Not because I'm strong. But because I want to be strong in Jesus more than I want to be brain dead in my bed.

Monday, May 7, 2012

we're THAT kind of family

Several weeks ago Erica brought home a plant. Ok, it was dirt but she swore there was a seed in there and it would turn into a plant. She dumped the dirt into a plastic cup and splashed it a few times with water. Over the next several days she would pour a few drops of water into the dirt. One day I found her in the bathroom, cup in one hand, and an obvious seed with sprouts in the other.

Me: What are you doing?!
Erica: Looking at my plant.
Me: Sis, you can't dig it up like that, you'll kill it.
Erica: Too late.

About a week ago I noticed a sprout coming up from the dirt. We had an obvious plant on our hands! She did it! She was growing a plant! I was so excited! As soon as she came home from school I met her at the door with the cup in hand:

Me: Look sis! Your plant is growing!
Erica: That's not my plant.
Me: Um, yes. Yes it is. See, it's right here.
Erica: No, my plant died.
Me: Then what is this?
Erica: That's a tree.

Apparently after Erica realized her plant was not going to survive her digging and reburial she decided to get a seed from outside to see if she could grow it.

Me: A tree huh. Why are we growing a tree?
Erica: Cause we're that kind of family Mom.

*I should inform you that this week I'll be spending time outside digging up trees that are growing in unwanted places, like along the fence. But by golly we're growing one in the plastic cup!  Irony at its best.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I will control

Sometimes I go to bed at night explaining to God that I KNOW He can make me skinny, that I can wake up in the morning and be skinny and it'd be a miracle and I would run around telling everyone about my "skinny miracle" just like people did when Jesus healed them. I go to bed smiling at the thought of waking up to my miracle. Then, I wake up and weigh myself and I've gained a pound.

Someone once told me they lay in bed with their arms stretched out saying "I am rich". This person felt that by doing that exercise you're "telling the universe you're open to money". This person is still far from rich.

Throughout our day we are reminded that we are not in control. Of anything. Which can bring a feeling of hopelessness. If we're not in control of anything then what's the point? Why even try?


I wake up having gained a pound because I ate cookie dough and pizza the day before. Yes, God could make me skinny. He most certainly could override my pizza and cookie dough episode. He could. And sometimes He works like that, giving us awesome miracles. But most of the time He says "I'll give you the strength to workout so you can lose the weight and the endurance to hang in there when you would rather sit down with a tub of cookie dough". We choose our behavior, our actions, our words...we choose. We try desperately to control our time and our kids and our email and our spouse and the lives of those around us. We all say "I'm a control freak", as if that makes it ok. We also admit our controlling things doesn't work out very well. Then we throw our hands up and storm off.


I control what I eat and how much. I control whether or not I exercise or sit on the couch. I control how I spend my money. I control what I say, how I respond, whether or not I will give in to the mood looming over me. God graciously gave us free will...that can be the end of us or the beginning and each day we choose what that control will look like.