Friday, February 19, 2010

caution...process in progress

That is me...well, was me. Ok. It is me. I mean that is a picture of me. However, when I look at it, it makes me cringe a little...and sad, a lot. That was me in February 2008. My body issues run long and deep. Never having been thin, the concept is foreign. I should say, never having perceived myself as thin...esk. I look back at pictures and realize I was no where near the size I thought I was...the big girl in my head--is not the girl looking back at me. Was I model thin, no...but I also wasn't the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon I envisioned in my minds eye. I've honestly, never been the pretty girl. Don't mistake that to think I had horribly low self esteem. I just accepted things for what they were...I was funny and chunky, I hung out with the pretty girls.

In January of 2008 I was the mom of 4 kiddos. I would LOVE to be able to say I was post partum here and allow an excuse...but AE was 2 by this point. I was grossly overweight. I was not happy. I was in the land of eternal winter. I was sad.

Now I am so not one of those people that makes everything else the reason. I was fat because I ate too much. I ate the wrong things. I ate a lot of the wrong things.

and losing weight is hard.

But I started in 2008
and 2 years later I am not that girl any longer.

only I am.

I'm still the fat girl in my head.
I think I may always be the fat girl.
cause I've always been the fat girl. LOL

Body image is such a weird thing. It's something I haven't given and have given an extraordinary amount of thought to...

I was at Walmart the other day and the older gentleman checking my purchases made a comment. (a family walked by, both were larger --very large, and walking was an exercise...KWIM) The man commented, (and it wasn't in a mean tone at was simply an observation, I'm not saying it wasn't insensitive, I'm saying I don't think his motive was to be mean.)"I don't see how they get out of the house like that.''

Immediately I took every word he said and internalized it...just as if he were talking to me. Because the me standing there in the size 12 jeans, might as well have been back in the size 22's...

see, still the fat girl, inside.

I don't know how you get beyond that...

[then there is the whole post pregnancy with four kids, nursed four kids, pregnant 4 times in seven years, can you really get stretch marks everywhere on your body, oh look I should pose for the centerfold of national geographic dynamic too]

I don't struggle with thinking I'm funny.
I don't struggle with thinking I'm smart.
I don't' struggle with thinking I'm a good mom.
I don't struggle with thinking I am talented/creative.
I don't' struggle with thinking I am a good cook.

But wrapping my head around my true image is hard.
I suppose it's something all women deal with on some level.

I saw a picture from last summer-it's not a good picture. It's a shot of me from July 4th-slightly blurry and I'm not even looking at the camera, my face is contorted in some, ''what am I looking for/at'' pose.

but I saw the picture and had to look twice, who am I kidding I looked three...six, ten times.

It was me.

Only I didn't recognize her.

I like to think I'm in the home stretch. I want to lose another 40 lbs. I hope by my birthday in June. But I am also walking and toning and trying to do what I can with what I I want to get to know me, this me that I don't recognize, that I am not at all familiar with...

I want to be her friend.

summer me

been thinking...

I've been thinking...

on the Beatitudes, and yarn projects & unfinished yarn projects, and expectations, and words and the power of them...

{I've been wondering why we fight for something we don't really want prove...what...exactly???

about over protection...and insecurity.

not understanding things--but having an understanding of things
(think on that a minute!)

I've thought about how a little leaven, causes a lot of flour to rise...and a little sin causes a life to fall.}

Blessed are the peacemakers...
(think on that...)
Blessed are they that mourn...
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness...
Blessed are the meek...
Blessed are the merciful...
Blessed are the pure in heart...
Blessed are the persecuted...

There is a line of a song I love, "held'' by Natalie Grant. It goes, ''who told us we'd be rescued?''

Sometimes there is a thought, that the Christian life is a life of ease. That if you commit to Christ then it's all pie in the sky, good things, money rolling in and no worries. However, why, oh why, would scripture give us the Beatitudes if that were so...

We are not promised to be rescued...
We are promised to be SAVED.

This Lenten season, there are things I am curbing...sacrificing. But more than that I am gaining. I am gaining a glimpse of His righteousness. I am humbled to see my need for Him so desperately. I am shamed by the pride my heart has carried. I am seeking to die to me, my wants, my will, my desire and to SEE HIM and what He offers as truly what is the best. I am making physical and spiritual offerings this season, there is death, but there is a promise...

blessed are they that mourn
for they shall see God.

(brand new eyes!)

blessed weekend, my friends.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday...

It's Fat Tuesday...and really in my life, that means nothing. LOL

It's just fun to type. HEE!

Fat Tuesday proceeds Ash Wednesday, which means Lenten season.

As a Baptist, Lent has not been something I have regularly observed. However, as an adult, I have on my own taken to giving up things. The idea of giving up something, of making an offering, appeals to me. Pressing into Jesus, taking something seemingly small but important to me & giving it back to Him.

This year Lent looms near & my thoughts are moving toward my sacrifice.

Methinks an Internet break. There I said it. That's what keeps coming to mind. Maybe a FB break? I think I want to blog through the experience--maybe just a set amount of time on the net?

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth become strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.''
I want to run into Him this Lenten season. I want new vision. I want a pure heart. I want more of Him and far, far less of me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

the one where I get really excited that we are halfway through February...

It's February-mid February that means we are halfway through the long (albeit shortest month) cold month of love.

February represents winter for me. January is cold but you still have the momentum of having celebrated Christmas & all those resolutions motivating you. February hits and the steam is dying, it's grey & typically it's the coldest month around here.

Today though, we are halfway through February. Half.way.
almost done.

See over there, it's March peeking out around the corner. :)


I like to call today, Almost March...

and Almost March makes me happy and full of thoughts like...

--baby chicks
--flip flops (legally, at least...hee)
--fun, flirty, springy skirts
--digging in the dirt
--setting up the pool (ok, really this year has to be easier, no?)
--the smell of spring, followed by the smell of summer
--longer days
--warmer temps...hotter temps (yes!)

Winter takes it toil, but Almost March gives promise and hope--Spring is dancing before us...Summer is on the way...


simply summer to me

Saturday, February 13, 2010

happy gooey hearts day...

my mind feels full and tumbly...thoughts swirling, nothing really fantastic or maybe it is.

i always censor ...i have this internal censor that is set on super dee dooper mega HIGH. I analyze what I write/say/said, reanalyze and rethink it...

except sometimes I don't...

it's rare that I am comfortable enough to just BE--there are way to many flaws I need to point out...and so not censoring is not an option.

(p.s. i am not saying this is right or wrong, i am saying it is what it is)


i often am disappointed in myself (not in an angsty oh i am awful kind of way...), i often feel that I have this responsibility to BE all of this (and this is put on me, by myself, not someone else. I struggle with allowing myself to err. Because, I think if I do--then someone else will see that and think...''um, wow.'')



i struggle
i fall
i fail
i stumble

i do what i say i wont
and fight to do what I say i will
(remind you of Paul???)

I am a beautiful mess of dynamic proportions.

I am learning to accept all that...
to learn that it's ok to not be it all...

i am learning to offer myself grace
the same grace HE so freely extends

I am learning that amid disappointment, things that don't make sense and that seem unfair--that the growth...the lesson is in learning that HE is already there. He never ask us to walk alone. He is not a cosmic killjoy out to rob us of LIFE ABUNDANT--no, HE is there wanting that for us. What He doesn't want is me trying to accomplish it on my own. Those results...



what i love most about grace
is that it is a renewable resource...
presently active

just for me

there are things
i don't know if I will ever be able to change
but I know that HE holds me
and has enough GRACE
for me to make it.


love love! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mixed bag of stuffs (bullet

* just because you make a choice, doesn't mean you can't feel some sadness regarding it. to assume because YOU made the choice it's all cut and dried and you are blissfully rolling around in happy, isn't always the correct assumption.

*I have a baby blanket mocking me from my crochet basket. (MOCK.ING)

*God honors our obedience-always. honors our obedience, even when it's hard for us to obey. the reward is in DOING it anyway. (lather, rinse, repeat)

*I don't deal well with unplanned occurrences. (ha! major understatement!) Me, fight change? NO! LOL

*dear summer. I Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss You. (sings the really bad Climaxx song from the 80's)

*my boys are currently watching a documentary on Hitler on History Channel. Yes, technically it's school time, but I figure we can count that as part of History today. :)

*Mer comes home in 24 days! Yay!

*I believe anyone is capable of anything--anyone. anything. A wise man once said, ''pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." Anyone. Anything. So don't be surprised when people do things. It SO could be you (me!)

*along that same vein...somewhere it's lost in translation in Christendom..."Jesus loves you....only he doesn't love YOU, well not like you are, so if you'll just get RIGHT ...good enough so that you don't bother ME with your pesky sin issues, then i'm sure Jesus would consider loving you.'' Know What I mean??? I mean, see I believe God calls us to holiness. No doubt. I believe there should be change in us, if we call Him Lord. However, somewhere we lose our ability to demonstrate God's utter LOVE to others. It's as if we think if we let them know, we love them, right where they are, that somehow they will think God thinks living in sin is a good thing. People, God is a big, big God. He has the Holy Spirit on His side. He can SO handle drawing people and changing people. We need to do our simply meet people where they are, love them, show them Jesus and watch HIM DO THE WORK... /rant

*I really, really love the new song by Need To Breath Something Beautiful (whispers, a lot!)

*In the wise words of Dr. Tony Dickerson, "I have never regretted something I didn't say.'' [now YES, we hold plenty of regrets for things we do say...and we may regret not saying something we should have said...this statement is in the context of that issue of verbal diarrhea...where we spew way more than need be...KWIM (and lo, I have so spewed and so regretted...and almost spewed and been able to say, ''whew, well at least I didn't SAY that...'' LOL)

*the sun is shining today--the weather effects me now, it never has much before...but now, if there is a long run of grey or rain, yeah...UGH, my mood is the pits.

*I am amazed, honestly, truly, amazed by Jesus' love for me-and his tolerance for me and my crazy. LOL

*I am finally feeling better. 5 weeks of the cough that was almost TB and I am BETTER! (whispers...YAY!)

*losing weight...after several months on a plateau, I am back to seeing things in a downward pattern. That makes me happy, (very!)

*you cannot replace do well not to try...

*i have a mother load of laundry to do...

*I don't understand people that don't like Valentine's Day. I mean, really? Are you so angsty and jaded that you can't enjoy a Reese's Peanut Butter Heart? Really? FIND SOME HAPPY! ;)

*I am truly awed by my kiddos and about 7 days out of 10 I feel like I don't do them justice as their mom. (and that's just the truth)

*I bought "A League Of Their Own" from the cheap bin at Target the other day. I love that movie, as much now as I did the first time I saw it.

*Hard days, are hard...but they shape you, they whittle away stuff, they stretch you. They make you hurt, cry, regret, rethink...they make you better...

*they are calling for snow possibly on Friday--UH SNOW, NO! -- again, see point five!!!

*I say this often, ''the lazy man and the hasty man does the job twice.'' (just ask my kids)

*I think of Nattie, everyday, mostly because she was smart enough to leave me with this that I leave with you...

''Hope...sometimes it is blinding like the spring sunshine. Sometimes it is a gentle warmth that comes with kind words. Sometimes it washes over you like waves in the ocean and sometimes it just envelopes you slowly. Sometimes it is like water in a dry land, but it is there if you look for it.''

Monday, February 8, 2010

winter blooms

"And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin

Don't you wish life was risk free? Pain free?

To make all your decisions and choices knowing that they were the right ones...success was guaranteed.
Well of course we want that...
The only thing is, life isn't like just doesn't work that way.
This is probably my biggest struggle. I want to know. I want control. I want things laid out in order so that they make sense. I want the least amount of fallout possible. I want to avoid fallout. LOL
I was talking about this with my friend Meredith (who is a lot like me, btw, lol) and she said, ''but Cheri, if you control it all and you are safe then that's all you get...''
and then I thought about it for a long time.
I was walking yesterday, my usual laps around the church deal & thinking on our conversation.
She's right you know.
I can control everything, seemingly.
I can.
I can shelter myself into a safe square.
guess what...
all I get from that is the safety of that square.
Sure, it's a 'guaranteed existence'
but I'm not sure that's the goal, anymore.
I'm not talking crazy people, I not talking about making decisions willy nilly, disregarding common sense and Godly wisdom.
I'm just talking about living
instead of planning how life is going to go.
[and yes, I realize there is a balance in that, we DO need some planning!]
I'm talking about trusting God with the outcome. Trusting He is already there and that I have to step out of the square to be a part of it too.
God doesn't need me to organize how it all happens. Why? Because, well, see He is God and He kind of excels at that sort of thing. LOL
I'm talking about being honest with myself, raw and vulnerable, and putting that out there.
That means, I may be hurt.
I may get chinks in this armor I sport.
But it means, I will live, in the present.
I won't look out from the safety of a square and wish...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

i go blogging after midnight...

i wrote an email the other day, and included a line of lyrics from a song...the lyrics were not gramatically correct...the person I sent it to is a grammar nazi...i'm not sure they know the I think ''surely they don't think I meant it like that...''

LOL, that's what I think about at 1 a.m.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza (lc)

supper tonight...
low carb
buffalo chicken pizza


flushing the lines...

so we are having septic tank issues here at the house.

you know, fun stuff with funky smells and stuff oozing up in the yard...

a few weeks ago, a man came out and emptied the tank. he said that should fix it--but if it didn't, then the problem was further down, in the lines and they'd need to be flushed out.

don't you love when jesus gives you a parallel that involves a septic tank...


our lives, my life, often has septic tank issues...and I'll take a bit of time and empty the tank (mind)...but often times the issue is in the the heart.

flushing those's more work.

right now, there is a backhoe excavator digging up the back yard.
it's no small job.
whereas, when the man emptied the tank, he simply drove up with his 'honey dipper' truck, pulled out a long suction tube and emptied it ...
today there is bigger equipment
a much more tedious process
with lots and lots of digging
the backyard, shows signs of deconstruction...

then after all that work--the real job takes place, and they flush the lines.

on the surface, i can keep my mind ''emptied'' and honestly that is the first step in keeping your heart flushed and clean. but it's easy (for me at least) for me to let the lines get clogged. my flesh is susceptible, to be wooed by the things of the world. i am tempted to succumb. i fail and i have fallen.

then i realize, because of something oozing up in me, that my heart needs flushed.

the heart...
the Word speaks and declares that ,''the heart is desperately wicked who can know it.''
we are warned to, ''guard your heart for out of it springs the issues of life.''
we are told in Proverbs, ''to keep your heart with diligence.''


it's easy to keep the tank emptied but to avoid the deeper issue,
what's clogging the lines...
if our hearts are not flushed
then excavation is needed.
some deep digging, some deconstruction
but in the end
the lines are clear
our hearts... pure

create in me a pure heart, and renew a right spirit in me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

what i'm not saying...

there was a time, when my speech pattern contained the phrase, does that make sense, a lot.

I remember, because it was before I started blogging, but when I read blogs and thinking if I had one I would name it, ''does that make sense.'' ;)

I think everyone longs to be understood.

I think it's hard to feel misunderstood.

I think life is full of varied relationships. I don't think they are all the same (duh!) I was discussing this over the weekend with one of my very best friends. By nature I am not an open person. I am very outgoing. I am social. I am talkative. I am loud. I am fun and funny. But I am not one that connects with people beyond the surface, very easily.

I am not saying that is a good thing. I am just being honest. I struggle with being vulnerable. I struggle with exposing myself and allowing you the power to hurt me or use that vulnerability against me. (this can also be labeled as pride...which I suppose exposes the core issue, a sin issue of PRIDE...ugh)

I had someone tell me recently something that kind of took me aback. They said that I tend to see the negative. (!!!) That I could be told ten good things, but be told one thing that was not so good and I would focus on that ONE thing and over think it to death. (really?)

I've always thought of myself, more as a realist. I am not typically girly (I don't think, but again, who knows...) I deal better with just brutal honesty, than sugar coating stuff. I don't like vague, could mean, but may not mean, so don't make an assumption as to the meaning, statements. Just say what you need to say as John Mayer sings to us...

I've been caught up in a cycle of words verses actions. I've questioned myself regarding this a lot. I mean how often do we say something...and how often do we follow that up with actions? I want my words and actions to match. I don't want to say something, but appear another way. I also want to be careful how I listen, to be sure to filter all of what I hear. If it's true, if I tend to believe the negative, if I latch onto it...then why? Why would I do that? That's not fair to me, or to the person sharing with me.

I tell my kids often, ''assume a positive intent,'' I think I'd do well to remind myself of that motto...

starting now