I spent all day today jumping from one negative emotion to the next: boredom, annoyance, impatience, anger, sadness… You get the idea. Well, Dave and I finally got home, and as I sat down to read, it dawned on me that this whole day has been a successful attempt on the part of my Enemy to distract me from the joy of Christmas.

I’m not the kind of person who sees a demon hiding in every bush, but this was an obvious spiritual attack–one that I should have seen sooner. But even if this revelation came late in the day, I’m still glad it came. I’m glad that I saw and acknowledged it before going into Christmas day. I would hate to have spent my Christmas bound up in an emotional ball of negativity.

The truth really is freeing. Thank you for opening my eyes, Holy Spirit.

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Lame.

December 24, 2009

I decided to look up detox diets/methods online tonight. I found one that I could easily and immediately try, so I did. All you do is add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bathwater, soak for 15-20 minutes, and use a loofah/washcloth to massage your skin afterward. It’s supposed to remove toxins from your skin, but I’m pretty sure all it does is make you dry and itchy. I feel like all the moisture has been sucked out of my skin–so, basically, not pleasant at all.

Beth’s Review: two thumbs down

There are a lot of things that need changing in my life. A short list, on the spot, compiled in thirty seconds or less–GO!

  1. I need to actually use the elliptical that we bought two months ago.
  2. I need to stop eating junk.
  3. I need to read my Bible diligently.
  4. I need to pray.
  5. I need to get away from people and noise on a regular basis.
  6. I need to do laundry more often.

Okay, I’ll leave it at that for now. But you do see my problem, don’t you? I am lazy. It’s an ugly word that no one wants to apply to themselves, but in my case it’s true. I would rather find the easiest way to do things or just not do them at all. It seems to be working to my advantage until my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health all go down the crapper. And that’s the point I’ve reached now.

I’ve got to muster up the resolve to do what’s right for me. I always felt a little weird about the anti-drugs, anti-promiscuous sex, anti-junk food campaign that youth groups and Christian school have waged with the “your-body-is-the-temple-of-the-Holy-Spirit” spiel. However, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is a valid point, even if it’s overused.

If the Holy Spirit makes his home in me, then it is in our best interests that I take care of myself. Our “home life” will be chaotic, discordant, and just plain lacking if I don’t. [Interjectory note: I feel silly using italics constantly for emphasis.] But if I am careful to attend to my health (in all areas), then I be able to enjoy communion and union with God in a much deeper way.

That richer life in “the Vine” has been calling loudly to me all day. The question is: do I want it bad enough to stop being lazy?

Something about counseling gets me in this weird, hyper self-aware mood. It’s interesting, and I certainly enjoy being able to better understand myself than the week before, but there’s also a part of me that dislikes it. No, that’s not strong enough–I hate it. I may walk away with a new little piece of the puzzle, but that makes it all the more frustrating to be left so “unfinished”.

I am the kind of person that hates to leave things unresolved. In any relational conflict, I am always quick to discuss things, solve the problem, and move forward. This can be very good thing, but it has also been a key supporter of my captor, Shame. Out of my extreme need to resolve every issue, Shame has kept me bound to itself when others won’t allow me that resolution.

I have few particular people in mind, but for the sake of making this easier to comprehend, I’ll call this collective Sara. In the past, I seriously wronged Sara. I betrayed her in an intimate way, and we parted ways on very bad terms. She has never forgiven me, and that is not surprising, considering what I did. I have struggled with intense grief and unrelenting shame over the way I treated Sara but was asked never to speak to her again. Out of respect for that wish, I have not tried to make contact. However, I feel bound to Shame until she forgives me. Since she is the one I wronged, I feel that she should be the only one to set me free.

My counselor believes that God has purposely allowed me to run into the brick wall of Sara’s unforgiveness/the “unresolvedness” of the situation in order to bring me face-to-face with my need for him to set me free from Shame. No one and nothing else can do that for me, not even Sara’s forgiveness.

When I left my counselor’s office, I felt anxious and frustrated by the fact that even my session has been left unresolved. Not only that, but she didn’t give me any “homework”. I know that she did this in order to make me face and accept the fact that things will not be fixed and neatly tied together at the end of each session. There are no quick fixes. I can’t read a chapter of a book or journal about a topic and have my problem instantly solved. I must learn to wait and face down these things in my life that are not yet resolved. I must trust that God is working on them and me even when I can’t see progress.

Ugh. I think you need to pray for me, because this seriously sucks.

Get Away

December 21, 2009

Father,

I don’t even know what to say except I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being so self-centered and for not spending time with you. I waste time on things that don’t matter. I neglect prayer. I avoid solitude. And I am left so empty and dry.

There’s nothing I can even ask you for, because I know what needs to happen. I don’t want to waste time making up prayers that attempt to put the ball back in your court. I just need to step out and away from the things that I preoccupy myself with. I need to get alone with you.

All I’ll ask of you is that you’d meet me there when I come.

Prompted

December 20, 2009

Well, apparently I’m not allowed to slack off or Jess will call me out on it. Geez. Tough love is not my favorite.

Still, I guess I’ll respond to her writing prompt: What is the area you’ve grown the most in your relationship with God in 2009?

This question is extremely hard for me to answer because I feel like I haven’t improved at all as a Christian. My faith was so much stronger when I was pregnant, but it has gradually become less and less real. My belief that God loves me and takes care of me has become something I know in my head but not my heart. It just seems like this year was a giant leap backwards in some ways.

In other ways, I know I have learned a lot about God and myself. But unless I’ve made visible improvement, I don’t allow it to count. I know that I should be thrilled about seeing more of God and understanding myself better, but it just makes me sad that I haven’t made more progress.

I want to see things differently, though. I want to be excited about what I’ve learned this year, even if no one else can see any upward movement in my life. I want to trust that these small changes in my mindset and outlook are monumental in my walk with God.

Father, help me not to rush what you’re doing in me.

B-b-b-boring

December 19, 2009

Some days I just feel like I don’t have anything interesting to say. Today is one of those days.

Pain to Beauty

December 18, 2009

Today has been a rather hard day. Everywhere I go, I see friends with babies, and it makes me want to scream and cry at the same time. It just seems so terribly unfair that everyone should have what I “had” to give away. I know that it was the right decision, but it still sucks. No mother should ever have to part with her child. It’s just not the way things were meant to be.

Oh, Jesus, please turn this pain into something beautiful that points to you.

A Blessing for Baby

December 17, 2009

The one thing about this blog is that it prevents me from just going to bed when I’m tired. Inevitably, I have forgotten to write earlier in the day and am forced to  come up with something coherent for you all to read. Still, I am glad that I made this commitment. I think it’s good for me to take a few minutes to reflect and glean what I can from my day.

Today I met with a new friend from church who could potentially be my boss. She and her husband want to find someone to watch their son three days a week, so we met up for a couple of hours today. As girls tend to do, we got into a rather serious (but good) conversation about having children. Before she and her husband started trying to get pregnant, she began to pray that God would only give her a baby if he was going to bless him/her. She knew that her desire was to have a baby, but she was determined to wait patiently for the Lord’s blessing.

I cannot explain to you the kind of conviction coupled with admiration that I felt when she told me that. As much as it scares me to pray such a thing, I feel very strongly that I should. It seriously terrifies me to think about waiting for an indefinite amount of time for God to bless my future child and me and Dave as parents. Deep down, though, I know I must make her prayer my own.

Pray that God would silence my irrational fears and trust him. I know experientially that he is good and he wants to bless me. Pray that he would daily remind and assure me of that. And, as always, thank you for your support that ties us together even if we’ve never met.

I’m expecting.

December 16, 2009

God, that is. I’m making room for him just by expecting him to show up. I believe that he will, and I’m watching and waiting.  I don’t know what my life will look like when he comes, but I’ll take anything as long as he’s in it.

I wish I had more to offer you, friends, but I don’t. All I can say is to be on the lookout. Really. He’ll show up, and when he does all the eager expectation will culminate in love and joy.