Monday, June 30, 2008

Ahhhh Guilt…

I really didn't understand the power of guilt until I became a mom. Then everything I do or don't do can cause the feeling of guilt. Did I discipline correctly? Did I move the baby from the bassinet to the crib too soon? If they aren't sleeping at night and my friend's kids are, did I do something wrong or did they? Will anyone have a lasting scar from that choice I made to do the dishes instead of keep a promise to play Candyland?

Then there is another layer of guilt that comes with taking care of yourself as a mom. Will I really go insane if I don't get a break? Will they have lousy eating habits if they have fast food once a week or more? If I take the time to do what I want, what other important things will get put off?

All of these questions roll through my head fairly often. I have a wonderful husband who is an excellent father. He often reminds me that everyone will survive. Do I think I have too much power? Most days I feel like I don't have enough. Negociating with my boys for toy clean up and trips to the potty, when I am sure that most mothers out there just tell their kids to do something and they just do it.

The trouble with guilt is that the enemy (satan) has taken the truth of Holy Spirit conviction and added a twist. With the conviction that I did not follow through with my promise to play Candyland comes the awareness that I am setting the example of following through (or not) with commitments. The enemy's twist on that is my children will be heartbroken because I selfishly decided that they were not important enough to me to sit down for 15 minutes and play with them. On the surface, it seems ridiculous to believe the latter, and yet, often I am following that line of thought for a few minutes or even hours before I realize I have wasted time and energy on feeling guilty. Having asked the Lord to remind me if I am indulging in such ridiculous thoughts I have become more aware of responding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, asking for forgiveness for my unwise choice (both to the Lord and my children - those are great teachable moments) and then moving on with life.

My current struggle that has had me in tears is weaning my youngest just before he is six months old. The guilt of not giving him all he needs of my milk, seperating myself from him that way so early, and forcing him to adjust to the bottle of stuff he acts like will kill him is breaking my heart. The truth of the matter is that I have been praying for years about my weight and what the Lord would have me do about it. He has finally answered my prayers and is providing for me the time, opportunity, and healthy products to take the step of breaking down a stronghold in my life that is easily 15 years old. I KNOW this is my time. He has clearly told me and confirmed it. SO - part of that process is weaning what will likely be my last child earlier than I ever would have thought. BUT, if the Creator of the universe can provide for me, surely He is well aware of the needs of my children! I must trust Him to meet their needs in spite of my failings as a mom anyway, why not in the area of weaning too?

I also took another major change a little hard last night. I started back on the birth control pill. For some of you that would not be a big deal. However, I have not taken the pill since December of 1992. Since that time I have spent years trying to have babies and trying to have some sort of normal cycle. My whole world has been about having babies. Now I have 3 and it is time to move on. Again, I know it is the Lord calling me to make the change-even going back on the pill (He knows I can't handle a permanent solution at the moment)-and focus on what is next - becoming an energetic, healthy, fit woman who is a mother of 3 sons, wife of my beloved husband and minister of the Gospel. I can't completely explain what this transition will be like - I don't dread it. I am just very aware that the many changes my Lord is calling me to is for His glory and for the benefit of my family.

So, as usual, please keep me in your prayers and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I am thankful for your time in joining me along this journey.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Challenges and Changes...

Well, I have sucessfully managed to survive the first few days of my "diet". My children are happy and doing well and so is my husband. Only by the grace of God and this amazing product He led me to. If you want to know more about the business I started and what I am taking you are welcome to ask via e-mail. I just don't want this to be an advertizement. This is about my process.

The Lord has shown me in the past few days how habitually I go to food for just about everything. Exhaustion, reward, friendship, etc. He has also shown me that my being overweight is incredibly selfish. My lack of energy, my lack of fitness, my overall emotional and mental outlook are overwhelmingly affected by my weight. Not to mention my family. My husband adores me but I know he would love it if I was more confident in my self and how I look and he would love it if I was smaller to do more stuff with him. I know my boys would love to have me run and play with them more. Even though I know they aren't aware of anything different - I am.

Everytime I have been hungry ( I am still finishing up nursing my youngest) and everytime I have wanted to reach for a snack I have asked the Lord to remind me of His provision for all my needs. Not just for food, but for the things I get from food that aren't nutritionally related. I am so thankful for a God of grace who never changes and can see the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning.

He is so good to let me walk through breaking down the walls of self protection and self preservation with food. He is revealing how much damage was done when I was in a relationship over 18 years ago that was all about " you'd look better if..." and a childhood friend that kept trying to make me into her. UGH! It is amazing how big some of this baggage is and yet it is even more amazing how much BIGGER our God is. I used to have the feeling that every bit of healing God does is intense, painful, and exposing my sin is critical. That is not true. God can heal without any twisting or turning of my guts, He can heal wether I am paying attention to my wounds or not. He can heal when I sleep and when I am awake. There are never any limitations on Him other than the ones I try to pin on Him and fail to see the work He is doing in my life.

Dear friends, I have been on this diet for 3 days and though I have lost just over 7 pounds, I feel like I have gained so much more. Besides the time I am spending on the treadmill reading the Word and building up my physical body, I am learning how to walk more and more in the power and strength God has already placed in me instead of using food as my source. The vitamins and whole foods that make up the stuff I am taking is infusing me with the health God created me for and He is infusing me with the faith to walk out the life He created for me. In response, I am often in a state of worship in my spirit, knowing He is restoring me in every way. I am repenting for my sins of seeking my own self sustenance and pride of spiritual over-focus while my temple is in ruins.

Our pastor said that it is often our greatest weakness God uses for His greatest good work in us and for others. I am wondering what God will use my weakness in this area for... no doubt for His own Glory!!
Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The journey begins today...

Today I am starting a major life change and knew I would never make it if I didn't journal it where others could walk through it with me. My writing is my expression and it gets pretty real. So don't say I didn't warn you!

Today I started a weight loss plan and a new business. I am convinced that this is God's timing to deal with an issue (my weight and food in general) in my life that is an old friend, comfort, and reward. I have been cranky, but I am not sure if it is the lack of calories or the lack of dependence on the familiar. Probably both. My close friends are cheering me on, my husband is waiting to see results before he gets too excited, and I know that my God is looking on with delight at my submission to His current plan for me.

I will post some entries from my journal today as well. I am trying to focus on life as an adventure and not as a crisis to be managed. Let's face it, sometimes there is a crisis to be managed, hopefully not daily, but sometimes, like in my raising 3 little busy boys, crisis is a mindset that can easily make you feel victimized by your circumstances instead of laughing at the antics of your little people.

So, off with the victim mentality that makes me feel hopeless and helpless and on with the power of a living God breathing life, humor, and hopefully providing an extra large package of wipes to clean up the messes my little guys create.

Who am I?

My photo
I have been married to my best friend for over 26 years and our children are 14, 13 and 10 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost dear friends to tragic death. I have a personal relationship with Jesus which is essential to surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by my heart and words. Thank you for being here..