Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taking Off the Mask

Its hard to be 'real' nowadays.  Always wanting to put up a good front, to be liked, to fit in with the rest of the group. Am I the only one this way?  Oh, I stick in just enough of the real me so as to not come across fake, but hold back enough so as to not come across as weird or loud or any of that other stuff people might not like.

This might get me well liked in a group, but what I am finding (as I read in the 'friends' section of my Make Over book today) is that only giving people the surface of me, gets me only surface friendships.  And when you only have surface friendships, you miss out on a lot.

Jen H. in her brilliance likens this to Jesus' relationship with Mary vs. His relationship with Martha.  While Mary took her time to get to know Jesus and spend time with Him, Martha spent her time hosting Him and doing the work.  So, when it got down to the nitty gritty (the death of their brother) and Jesus explaining things to them, you can really see the difference in the depths of His conversation with each woman based on the friendship He had with each of them. 

What a lesson!  #1:  I need to take more time for my friends.  In one of her questions at the bottom of a page she asked why we thought it was so hard to cultivate real, deep relationships.  My immediate response was, "We don't have enough time."  On the next page she asks, "What would you say to a woman who sees only incredibly busy women around her who couldn't possibly have time to be her friend?"  Ouch.  I'd say its time to stop making excuses and start making room.  Real friendships pay off way beyond their worth of time invested. 

I am one of those women with a TON of surface friends.  I can hang out with the best of them and a lot of them.  I am, sadly, one who doesn't have a lot of deep friendships.  I have 2 friends who have stuck by me since the age of 14.  They are amazing.  Their only downfall is that they live 100 and 4,000 miles away.  I am so grateful for phone calls!  I have two other friends close by that I would consider great friends as well, but so many others that I would love to be deeper friendships that I just haven't taken the time for.

Lesson #2:  Cultivate a friendship with Jesus, so that when it comes time to talk to Him, I can have a Mary conversation instead of a Martha one.  These conversations can take place everyday through my prayer time. 

Once again, there is that time factor.  So, in hindsight.  Take off the mask, be yourself and take the time to become real and deep.  It is only these types of friendships that really pay off in the end.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bear With Me

Disclaimer:  This is a pity post.  I have been in a funk for the last week and need to vent a little.  Mostly so that I can go back through it and realize how silly I am being after I write it.  There is no need to try and make me feel better or compliment me in any way.  That is not the reason for this posting.  This is simply a  me-pouting-and-fuming-through-my-keypad-to-get-it-out-of-my-system-and-hope-it-will-go-away post.  If you're not into that kind of thing, I suggest you just skip this one and join me tomorrow.

With that being said, I continue....

I have been in a funk this last week.  I ran the Lincoln Half Marathon last Sunday and really enjoyed myself as always.  I got to see a great friend I hadn't seen in over 6 months and chat/run with her for 10 miles.  My training buddy ran with us for 5 miles and then had to make a pit stop.  She sprinted to catch up with us, but went so fast she passed us and we never found each other again.  She finished in 2:01.  I finished in 2:08, 3 minutes over my goal time.  I think this is where my funk begins.  I have this little nagging inside of me wondering if I could have done better.  I felt great after I was done.  Didn't even take a nap in the afternoon (mostly because I had too much other stuff to do).  This tells me I could have done better.  I wish I would have done better, gone a little faster, pushed myself a little harder, made myself a little more tired.  I need to get over it.  I'll do it again next year and push harder then.  I just need to come to that realization.

Funk #2 is my scale.  It seems to be up a bit the last few months.  My strategy when I have a few pounds to lose?  Exercise more.  I am one of those weird people who actually likes exercise.  It makes me feel good and skinny.  I am not so good at the eating part.  Oh, I eat pretty healthy.  I love fruits and veggies and chicken and all that kind of stuff, but I have a very hard time saying no to sweets.  I am a chocoholic and crave it hourly.  Sadly, my exercise more and don't change your diet theory isn't working out so well this time.  Darn you 30's!  And try as I might, I am failing at the eating part still.  Once again, the half marathon comes to haunt me asI look at my pictures.  I look huge.  My husband tells me it is because my shorts were too big and they just make me look poufy.  Nice try sweetie.  My leg definition is missing (which when you have huge, manly legs to begin with it is not good not to have muscle definition or your legs are just huge) and there is definitely some extra poundage in the caboose.  Not to mention my always-been-flat tummy has developed a few rolls no matter how many bicycles, crunches and mountain climbers I sneak into a day.  Grrr!  I just can't seem to get it right.  And nothing depresses me more than feeling fat.

Funk #3 comes from re-reading a book that really inspired me when I read it around Christmas time and realizing that I didn't do anything about it.  I resolved to do so much better with my mommy skills and reverted right back to my grumpy, serious self.  I need to lighten up.  To have more fun.  To not take myself and my kids so seriously and I am failing.  Hopefully, reading the book again will help.  So far it is just making me mad at myself.

Funk #4 came from out of no where.  I got a bad cold turned into a sinus infection last week and lost my voice for quite a while, like more than a week.  I got to thinking "What if it never comes back?"  Then that turned into a hole other set of issues.  You see, I love to sing.  Absolutely love it.  I kinda freaked out a little bit for some odd reason.  Then that got me to thinking that it didn't really matter if it didn't come back since I am not that great at it.  Oh, I can carry a tune fairly well, but I am far from someone who will make you stop and listen the minute I open my mouth.  I have always wanted to be better, but have never taken the time or had anyone interested enough to help me.  I am never asked to do the solos but am good enough to get a small part here and there.  This bugs me.  Why does it bug me?  No clue, but it does.  I am such a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none.  I am pretty good at a ton of things.  People always ask me if there is anything I don't do.  Not really.  My issue is, I do it all, but I am not great at any of it.  Singing is one I wish I could really master.  It speaks to my soul.  But again, I come up short.

OK.  I think I am done. That made me feel a little better. I deleted Funk #5 because even I got tired of reading my whining. But, when I type things out it is kind of like thinking things through "out loud" and they just make more sense.  Thanks for sticking in there with me.  Yes, a total pity party and no, nothing is really wrong.  I have expectation issues and body/weight issues and all sorts of other issues.

I need to step back and rest in God.  To remember that He created me to be exactly who I am and to try to do my best to glorify Him.  But it has just been one of those weeks where I just don't want to hear that.  I just want to sit at the bottom of my pity pool and soak it all in.  Oh, I'll float to the top soon and laugh at myself and my issues once again.  Please tell me I am not the only one who does this.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Holy Rest

God's timing is perfect, isn't it?  After a week of nothing but planning, preparing and running for way too many things in a 5 day span, God perfectly planned for me to do my Bible Study on nothing other than rest.  In this 5 day span I had a teacher appreciation breakfast to help plan/cook for, appointment in Lincoln, program practice for my older kids, birthday party for my son with family of 20+ attendees, a half marathon, the spring kid's program at our church, our final MOPS meeting, a thank you luncheon for our Moppets workers, treats to take to my son's school, and my son's birthday party with a few classmates/friends.  I am barely still awake/walking. 

Welcome to a study on rest, girlie.  Now, before you are ready for a profound post, I must warn you this is going to be short and to the point because I am too pooped to do anything else and I plan to listen to what I learned. 

The main thing I got from this is that rest is holy.   It is not just something God wants us to do, or something that is beneficial or necessary for us to do.  It is something that God created to be holy.  It is not lazy or selfish (if done the way God intended), it is something God commands us to obey. 

Holy is defined as: specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated: dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion.  I never viewed rest in this way and I hope I can take it a little bit more seriously now that I do.

Rest is something God did Himself.  He does not need or require rest, but He does it anyway and expects us to do the same.  I love how my Study Bible defines why God took the 7th day to rest:  God rested on the 7th day, not because he was eary, but because nothing formless remained.  his creative work was completed -- and it was totally effectice, absolutely perfect, "very good".  It dd not have to be repeated, repaired or revised, andt ehCreator rested to commemorate it.

I think the work commemorate is perfect.  Do you ever take time to have some holy rest to commemorate the work that you have done?  If not, you should.  Join me!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Exact Opposites

Proud: having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, or superiority.
Humble: having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience;  low in rank, importance, status, quality.

Two very different words.  Antonyms actually.  One, God opposes.  The other He gives grace.  Where do you want to stand?

When it comes to being a Christian, it is very clear where we should all be.  This verse from Proverbs (3:23 God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble) is repeated two other times in scripture.  That alone tells you how highly God thinks of this concept.

What is it about pride that is so hard to control?  We all love those moments where we are given credit for a job well done.  It is how we handle them that counts.  Puff up your chest, smile and take all the credit and you fail in the eyes of God.  Say a simple "Thank you, God has really blessed me in this area" (or something equally appropriate to the situation) and you have a entirely different story. 

God deserves all the credit.  We are His hands and feet.  Simple.  That is all there it to it.

Hopefully, I can remember this next time I feel like I have done a great job, or the next time I want to do something super special or creative just because I want people to think highly of me (this is the area where my pride issues are attacked the most). 

James 4:10 hits it home, "Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up."  It is in the very end where the recognition really counts.  The only One we need to be proud of us is the One who enables us to do it in the first place.