What a whirlwind the past few days have been! Forgive me in advance for what will likely be a long and rambing post.
I've been so overwhelmed lately...in a good way...with JOY that is just beyond my understanding. For those of you who know Him, do you ever feel him so near you that it seems that if you could just turn your head fast enough, you'd physically SEE him standing right next to you? I love that. I love HIM. I love feeling him with such certainty and joy.
Of course, me being who I am, I always worry just a tad. Is he showing himself in a powerful way because he's trying to prepare me for something painful? I KNOW...what a worry-wart I am! I'm trying to just enjoy this time and "be still".
Actually, when I look back on the past couple of weeks, I think he's been so near me and protecting my heart because of some of the people he's sent my way. I've been having such amazing discussions with people who are not Christians. Normally, I'd be filled with doubt and fear while I consider their beliefs ("have I fallen for a lie?"). But this time? There's not a hint of doubt even way down deep in my heart. He has truly proven himself to be my rock...my protection...my provider in these past few weeks. Oh man, how can I love someone so much who I can't even see?!
I also have so much in my life that I'm thoroughly enjoying and having fun with...good friends, my amazing husband, my wonderful kids, photo shooting and editing, holiday card design, a good book to read....it goes on! It seems like every time I turn around I'm excited to do what's next on my list. It's a nice place to be :-)
For those of you who have been praying for my Grandma...an update. She's actually LEAVING hospice care, and going back to assisted living! What a tough little bird she is! She's said many times "Why am I still here?", "Why won't the Lord just take me home?", "I'm no good for anything anymore."
I hope that when she someday looks back on her life from her comfy chair in Heaven, that she can see just how much she's taught me in these past few "useless" years of her life.
In the mean time...Grandma's going HOME! Yippee!
I've made a change in my life that seems small and insignificant, but that's really contributed to happier days for me. I've rejected my bathroom scale. Yep. I just refuse to step on the darn thing! I've felt so frustrated and angry with myself for not doing a better job of staying in shape. And I've been...confused. I guess I always figured weight loss should be straight-forward. Calories in vs. calories out, right? Eat less, exercise more. Yeah...and then there's real life where I LOVE food and HATE exercise. I try and try, but just can't seem to make that darn number on the scale budge.
I finally got to the point where I was just beyond myself and my abilities. I prayed (why do I not START with prayer more often??). "Lord, I don't know how to do this! Help!"
From that point forward, I decided that the scale doesn't mean a darn thing. And I was letting it have far too much control over how I felt about myself. There were days when I felt great...I'd step on the scale and suddenly feel lousy because I was up a pound. There were days when I felt like a walking marshmallow...I'd step on the scale and suddenly feel like a super-star since I was down a pound.
Really? A number on a scale has that much control over my perceived self worth? Unacceptable!
So I stopped weighing myself. I started praying more. And that part of me that wants to cruise the kitchen for a pick-me-up when I'm feeling bored/frustrated/lonely/celebratory/happy/whatever....that part of me is suddenly satisfied with HIM.
I've done a Bible study on the "Names of God". The God who provides, the God who protects, the God who IS, the God who saves, etc. I wonder...did I skip the chapter on "the God who satisfies chocolate cravings" and "the God who enables me to do 'banana rolls' without trying to jump in the TV to punch Tony Horton in the nose"? :-)
And the kicker? I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in weeks, and I was down 5 pounds!
Do you want to choke me yet? Sometimes it can be hard to listen to someone rattle on and on about how wonderful life is.
Isn't it interesting how it can be easier to listen to someone complain? Why is that? Probably because we can all relate to struggles and trials in life. We bond in our common suffering. We (as people in general) should try to bond in our common joys...focus on the joy instead of the pain, don't you think?
For me lately, life IS wonderful. It's all because of him...and I just can't not share.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.