Tuesday, 02 October 2012
My writing has been hit or miss lately, with more missing than hitting.
I have joined the Walmart Associate VisionWalk Challenge. The link I provided gives you an idea of what and why I am doing it. All I have to do is walk for the whole month of October and keep a log of how much I walk each day. Walmart donates based on number of hours walked the money. I already walk 30-45 minutes hit of miss several times a week. This was a way to get myself to walk more and be accountable to do it regularly. I use to walk very regular, then got side tracked with life. So now it is time to step it up and get back to walking. This time walking for a cause to help motivate me.
Tomorrow night is Delta. I love my recovery group. It is a great group of people. I love going to a place where I can be messy and share my messy heart with others. The grace I have found from the others in my group has been such a blessing. The grace of God has been shown to me through them so many times. I love going and participating and listening to others.
Back in September I went to a Women's Retreat my church had. It was a fabulous time with other ladies who love God. I made some new friends and was able to hang out with some friends I have had for a while. Our theme was "SHE......" It was a time to learn about: She is fun, She is giving, She is loved, She is sexy, She is redeemed. These are the topics that were talked on and discussed in our small groups. My friend Sara at Open Your Shutter took these amazing photos! The first one is of my favorite outfit I wore at the retreat. The second is when we dressed for our formal dinner........ She is Sexy. The third is just having some fun. Each team of had someone model for them as they made a "fashionable" outfit out of duct tape and toilet paper. I was the model for our team. I laughed and cried so much at the retreat. It was just a time to encounter God and form relationships with others.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
Cecilia you have gone to be with Jesus where you mind and body are healed whole again. You are with Bud again. It has been awhile since you were together. You both are with our Savior. I miss you and love you. Your funeral was full of love and laughter at the memories we shared. There were so many pictures of you smiling with your family. There were pictures at the nursing home of you hitting the balloon.
The story I could not help but laugh loudly at was the story of teaching Howard your version of Rock - Chawk - Jayhawk, from a MU Tiger fan.
I laughed and celebrated you and your love for your family. We all loved you so much and still do. Our tears are for us and missing you. Our laughter is a celebration of you. I look forward to the day when I am with you again, in heaven giving you and Bud a hug.
Thursday, 06 September 2012
Years and years ago, you reached out to me. You saw me upset and took the time to figure out what was in my heart. You asked me what was wrong. It was the anniversary of my Opa's death. You took time to look deeper inside my heart. You helped me release a balloon in memory of him at Lion's Lake.
It wasn't long after this that you asked me out on our first date. We went to Lion's Lake and had a picnic. We talked all afternoon. We took a walk around the lake. As I was doing a balancing beam act and started to fall, you took my hand and we finished walking around the lake.
My feelings have always confused me. I stuffed them deep inside back then. The first time you told me you loved me. Oh what a thrill and fear that shot through my heart. Thrilled that someone would love me. Fearful because I did not know what I felt in my heart and I was afraid you would leave. You stayed beside me and gave me time to figure out my heart. It was months before I decided I did love you. Patiently you waited for me.
Eventually you asked me to marry you in a fairy tale setting. We walked under trees where the branches interlaced, letting streams of sunlight through down the old dirt road. Turkeys were roosting in the trees gobbling at us as we disturbed them. Off the road you took me, into a pasture filled with wild flowers. As we walked to the lace covered table cloth the monarch butterflies that covered the field swarmed up around us flying in circles. I am so glad I said yes.
Over thirteen years later, you still take time to figure out what is going on deep inside me. You wait patiently until I figure it out and then tell you. You give me time and space and understanding. You love me. I love you. Thank you!
Linking in with others over at Faith Barista!
Thursday, 30 August 2012
We were asked in Delta, my recovery meeting, last Tuesday, "What are you celebrating as we close out almost a year?" Slowly tears started sliding down my face. I realized I wasn't celebrating anything. I couldn't think of one thing to share, so I remained silent, small trickles of tears sliding down my face.
Daily Burdens of Life
Terminal Illness of a Loved One
Chronic Illness of Another Loved One
Isolation of my Own Doing
A Dear Trusted Friend Moved Away
These were the things I thought of when the question was asked, "What I was celebrating?"
This last year has been a hard year. The feelings are so overwhelming that often it is hard to deal with all that is going on. Sometimes my feelings take the form of grief and sadness. Other times my feelings are anger and rage. Continued dealing with issues from my past of abuse, are often triggered by my current struggles.
Yet the more I listened to others in small group sharing their hearts and struggles and victories, I realized. I am celebrating the LOSSES. I am celebrating being able to grieve and feel the losses as they have happened to me. I cried as I shared this in small group. I felt the grief more than ever before. I felt the loss more than ever.
For those of you who don't know me, I am a recovering stuffer. I use to hide my feelings that I deemed "bad." I refused to acknowledge them. I put them away and refused to say anything was wrong. I put on a fake smile and let everyone think all was ok with me. I could answer any question put to me with a Bible verse. If I couldn't I would look one up and get back to the person. I would get so busy doing good things helping around the church, I would not take time for me and Jesus.
These last four or five years, I have been opening up to ALL the feeling God designed me with. I have learned to cry. I have learned to really laugh. And all the feelings in between.
God has been in the losses with me, crying with me. I see God making a way within me. I see God in the darkest parts of my heart with me, standing beside me with his arm around my shoulders.
This year as I have suffered all these different losses, I have felt them as they happened. I have grieved. I have yelled. I have cried. I am celebrating FEELING all of my feelings.
I am and have been reaching out to others to help me during this time. In my recovery group and a few others I trust totally, I share my heart and hurts. They are there to listen without judgement. They are there to lift me up with their own strength in God when I feel I have none. I am not alone. God is there making the dark, light, by just being with HIM.
How do you see God making a way for you?
What are you celebrating?
Joining Bonnie over at Faith Barista for the Jam Session.
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Sometimes I asks you for things. Sometimes I praise you. Sometimes I just wonder aloud to you in my writings. Today I am wondering. Why "REST?" You spoke this word to my heart as my one word to my heart back in January of 2011 and then again in January 2012. I have been wrestling with rest again this week thinking about it after they revisited the topic ONE THING in the sermon last Sunday. The congregation back in January had people pray and pick ONE THING to work on for the year. Since you had already laid on my heart REST, I chose that for my ONE THING. I have been thinking about rest all week and thinking back to this past year.
Little did I know that my world would crash after accepting that you were calling me to continue to learn to rest this year. My anxiety would start up again after Matt began having more heart issues again. I would have questions about marriage issues. I would be betrayed deeply. I would be falsely accused by someone. I lost my daycare teaching job because of the accusation. My anxiety would turn into a deep depression again. I have found a job, just to pay the bills, but it is still only part-time, so we still struggle to make end meet each month. Found out my Aunt has terminal cancer. It is only a matter of time.
It has been a struggle to even function let alone rest this year. I have had to re-learn to take care of myself and get help when needed. I have been taking my new medication. I have been talking and sharing my heart throughout the process. I am not isolating myself. I am sharing with trusted friends. I shared with a dear friend and counselor. I have shared at Delta, my recovery group openly with my struggles (and at Care 201 class).
Most of all I have shared my heart with you. I have yelled at you. I have cried with you. I have questioned you. You have been there and taken it all. You are faithful to me during my pain and crisis after crisis. I have read Job, The Psalms, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and then started the process of the Psalms again. I have cried myself to sleep. I have written page after page in my journal.
My friend, Ben, shared this quote with me from Gerald Sittser in A Grace Disguised, "My sister, Diane, told me that the quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run wet, chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise. I discovered in that moment that i had the power to choose the direction my life would head, even if the only choice open to me, at least initially, was either to run from the loss or to face it as best as I could. Since I knew that darkness was inevitable and unavoidable, I decided from that point on to walk into the darkness rather than to try to out run it, to let my experience of loss take me on a journey wherever it would lead, and to allow myself to be transformed by my suffering rather than to think I could somehow avoid it. I choose to turn toward the pain, however falteringly, and yield to the loss, though I had no idea at the time what it would mean." I still want to read A Grace Disguised, but with money being tight I am not buying anything extra right now.
I have been learning to walk into the darkness so I could find the sun and light of day. I have had no idea that the pain would be so overwhelming I would entertain thoughts of suicide. Yet my reaction this time to the thoughts wasn't to even consider acting on those thoughts. My thoughts this time, why am I thinking of this? I am thinking of this because I just want the pain to end. I just wanted to avoid the pain and loss. It was another way of running. I chose to turn from the thoughts, realizing they were valid, but not necessary.
I chose to turn to embrace the pain and share it with YOU and those trusted around me. In doing so I have experienced you more intimately than ever before. I have known you are there in the midst of the pain and suffering. As I walked into the darkness and faced the loss as best as I could, sometimes better than others, YOU were with me. I did not have to walk long in the dark before I realized you were with me, yet is still seemed like is was forever at the same time. I still remember something that my dear friend Ben, said to me, "I would rather walk in the darkness with Jesus, than the light without him." I have walked some dark places this year. I have known you intimately. You have meet me in the darkness and turned it to light.
Am I still faced with many of the same issues. Yes they have not changed. It is still a struggle to meet our bills. Yes I am still needing a full time job. Am I still dealing with the betrayal and loss. Yes.
The difference is that YOU have meet me in the midst of it all. You have come and sat with me. You have come and brought comfort and peace. Is this the rest you talk about in Matthew 11:28-30? "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
I still don't know what rest is? I still don't understand why this is the word you want me to focus on for my ONE THING. REST. I will just keep my focus on you instead of the word rest. That is where my focus needs to stay.
Joining others over at Faith Barista for the Faith Jam session!
What would you say if you wrote a letter to God?