Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year, New.....

.....things to look forward to.

I love a new year, it is like you get this clean slate and can start over. Nothing really changes but the calendar hanging on the wall, yet it seems as if everything changes. I always feel like I can conquer anything that needs conquered in the first part of the year, now if I can manage to keep that attitude all year long then I will have truly accomplished something.

There is much to be excited about.

I am very focused on getting healthy (it's that whole new year thing) and hopefully losing some weight but truly I just want to feel better on a whole. Along with this comes the always exciting new season of Biggest Loser. If only I had my own personal Gillian Michaels...I keep reminding myself that I have Jesus and the Holy Spirit living on the inside of me, but I have a hard time seeing them the way I see Gillian. I know that God is my biggest cheerleader, but the whole yelling and getting in my face thing, not so much. Anyways, my goal for the year is simple, go into 2010 weighing less than I did on January 1, 2009. I met my goal for 2008, having lost 15 pounds. When you look simply at the number it seems insignificant, but in the grand scheme of things for me I see that if I lose 15-20 pounds a year for 5 years then I will be close to 100 pounds lighter in 5 years. This is SIGNIFICANT!!

Significance, this is a word that has always HOUNDED me. Self esteem has always eluded me. This is something I choose to grow in this year. I am so thankful for a Pastor who hears from God and shares with us what He's heard. I am SIGNIFICANT! Even if I am the pinky toe in the Body of Christ I matter. Without the pinky toe how would the body balance? It matters. God made us all members of His body, to work together, to matter, to be missed if we are missing. Imagine working a 1000 piece puzzle, you work diligently for days or weeks and you ge to the end and there is ONE piece missing. Is that puzzle complete? Is there a way to make it work without that piece? I have never seen myself as significant, but God sees me as quite relevant and I am so very thankful that He is showing me the truth in this area of my life. I have taken all the little surveys and qustionairre's regarding "gifts". I always fall in the middle of this or that and this in itself was a bit disheartening. Where did I fit if I didn't have one of these "gifts" that is so highly sought after? I did not know.

"Father, thank You for creating me in your image, creating me the way you wanted me, giving me the abilities and talents that you knew I could grow in. I am in awe of your ability and your faithfulness to meet us where we are and to make a change in us when we aren't even aware that we needed the change. I am thankful that you set us apart in a small local body with a pastor and staff that sees my significance and I am grateful that you have opened my eyes to see and understand that truth. Lord help me grow, help me to keep my eyes on you and to continue to see that you made me SIGNIFICANT to the puzzle you have put together in Byram and to walk out the purpose for my life. In Jesus name, AMEN."

Next exciting thing, CROP CONNECTION is in 7 days. We are so excited about this event, I have dreamed of going for 5 years and finally we have registered and will be attending. There are 6 in our little group and all of us are very excited for a girls cropping weekend with lots of fun, happies, contests and surprises...not to mention shopping!!

Next is the granddaddy of all things to be excited about.....our 3rd cruise to the Carribean on the Carnival Conquest sailing out of Galveston, TX. Rocky and I are sad that our dearest friends won't be joining us this year, but happy for them to be taking their children on a cruise later in the year. But we look forward to future cruisin' with out best buds. We love the open sea even by ourselves but there is nothing like a good game of phase 10 dice on deck with a cold drink, sounds of the ocean and your best friends! We are going to be visiting Grand Cayman, Montego Bay and our last stop will be in Cozumel. I am pretty certain that we will be going on another 4 wheeler excursion. We loved the one we did in Cozumel in 2007, so this time we will be exploring the jungle and seeing Montego Bay from the top of the mountain. Can't wait!

We return on March 1st which is just a few days before my 40th birthday, honestly, I'm not real sure how I feel about it. I'm trying hard not to allow the "number" to be a downer. I know just like the "new year" the only thing that really changes is the "number" but for me there is so much more involved in my feelings on this birthday.

*Disclaimer: Before reading this next part, please know that I am walking in God's grace, mercy and peace regarding our childless status.

Now, with that said, my brain has always seen "40" as the year that would be the end of my pursuit. I do not know why this was such a thought in my head, but it has been as long as I can remember. I honestly have never been one to put God on a time schedule, but for some reason it almost gave me a form of peace to know that at "40" I could move on and just let it go. God has something else in mind......

I am so very thankful that in October 2006 God healed my heart to a point that I spent 2 years walking in His never ending grace and mercy and was no longer at war with my infertility. He was faithful to show me life was good, my husband is awesome and the love we have for each other was something to celebrate. It was time for us to live our life and not continue to wallow in despair, discontent and disappointment. We had always had a great marriage, he was always supportive and strong for me thru this process but this healing made everything even better. I was able to appreciate him and not take him for granted, I was able to see life outside of the bubble I lived in. Most of all, I was able to be truly and completely happy for friends who were pregnant and having babies. It was like being born again...again. I was constantly thankful for the "peace" I was walking in. Thru this time I was so happy not to be crying all the time that I also got a bit lax about my walk. I was so busy living the life that I had put on hold for so long because of the "what if i get pregnant" syndrome, that I was also a bit stagnant in seeking Him first. Not to be interpretted as I wasn't going to church or that I was out partying or acting like a heathen, but I was not reading and praying as I should.

I look back now and can see that it was as if I was avoiding something else going on. Fast forward to the fall of 2008. Virtuous Women's ministry was starting a new Bible Study, called "Kissed or Dissed". Subject matter: rejection. In all honesty, I never would have looked at myself and consider myself to be somebody who had issues that were related to rejection. Yet, God began to move on my heart that I really needed to attend these meetings and apparently He wanted to be sure that I was listening because our Pastor's wife also made sure that I knew I needed to be there. I had no idea what I was in for. I had no clue how many things and issues in my daily life stemmed back to my feeling rejected at some point in my life.

Before the very first session was over I came to a very dark stark realization of something I did not want to face. I tried to sugar coat it, I tried to ignore it, but in the end what I did was suddenly have a 300 pound weight of GUILT on my shoulders. I didn't want to go back, I didn't want to dig deeper, I did not want to rock the boat, I was enjoying the "peace" that I was walking in. Thank God for His grace and His mercy and that it is new every morning. He gently guided me to face head on the biggest rejection issue I had ever hidden from........ The "peace" I had walked in was a farce, it was His grace and His mercy that allowed me to move on, allowed me to live the life I had put on hold for so long. Do not get me wrong I am beyond grateful for grace and mercy, they were my lifeline, but they were just the beginning. God knew me so well and loves me so much that He met me where I was and allowed me to move forward even though He knew that my heart was not truly completely healed. So, the big secret, the one I've not really even shared or discussed except with a very select few was simple.....I moved on because I had accepted that I had been REJECTED by GOD as a mother. Can you imagine the shame and guilt that came with that realization? I have been a Christian for 18 years and for the last 10.5 of those years have come to know that my God is a good God, yet I allowed the devil to put such a horrible thing into my heart and did not recognize it for what it was...a LIE from the pit of hell. God sent His Son to die for me and I know that I know that He would have done it if I had been the only one to accept Him. I know all the right things, I know the word, I know the truth, I accept it as real in my life, yet I was still so easily decieved. But, God, oh my, so forgiving and loving, again my salvation, my strong tower in my time of trouble, He brought me through it and walked it with me. I worked thru the bible study, went to the meetings, was beginning to see my significance and that God had not rejected me, would never reject me and that He loved me, I am His favorite. Yet, even though all of this was being worked out in my life and thought process there was still the guilt from accepting the lie. I didn't know how to get rid of it. I had asked forgiveness over and over, I had made it clear to God that I knew who He was and how He loves with all that He is, but still I was not able to get away from the dark cloud of guilt. Again, my hero knew and loved me enough to meet me where I was. One Sunday morning out of nowhere Pastor had a word of knowledge that somebody had a great spirit of guilt and that God wanted to remove it. I stood there for a moment and was unable to make my feet move forward, it was only 4 steps, hello we are on the front row. I did finally make way to that line and when he laid his hands on me, I knew that what I had to do was FORGIVE MYSELF. It was the missing piece of the puzzle. That analogy stands true for so many things, I had all the other pieces, but that one thing kept my puzzle from WORKING to its full ability.

Now, I truly know what it is to walk in God's peace in this area of my life. I believe the desire for a child will be something that is always present, but I am so thankful that it does not control, consume or bring me grief any longer. I am free from the bondage of disappointment and despair.

Yet, I sit here wondering about turning 40, maybe because at this point in my life even though the desire is still there, the need is not and when I started this post my thoughts were uncertain But, now that I've opened up and shared my heart and put it all in words, I feel like I can face 40 head on and look forward to a whole new phase of my life, one where I look forward to living, loving and making a difference.

Thank you all for living, loving and making a difference in my life! I never would have made it where I am without all of your support.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy 2009!

It's a new year and I've been lax about posting the last part of the old year, maybe I'll do better we'll see.

New years always make me feel like I can accomplish anything I put my head to, and usually I do great for about 3 months. But, I can report that I did manage to go into 2009 with a 15 pound weight loss in 2008. That may not seem like much, but my thought is that 15 pounds is 15 pounds. If I can manage to lose and maintain at least some loss every year, it is progress!

Considering the topic is weight loss I must admit that now that the holidays are over and the eating marathons are done, I am looking to start the year out and lose some weight before our cruise at the end of February. Cruising at that time of year is great motivation to work towards weight loss right after the holidays.

We had a great Holiday season, Christmas is my most favorite time of the year. Though the house is back to normal I was blessed with lots of scrapbook goodies as gifts and can't wait to use them throughout this whole new year.

Well, that's all for now, but I will likely be posting more often to keep myself accountable with...

"The Battle of the Bulge: Crash Cruise Course"