Monthly Archives: April 2018

Identity

Standard

I’ve been tempted today to lose sight of the beauty around me as I was struck first thing this morning with feelings of once again not measuring up. People can be careless with their words and judgements, especially in an email and having never actually met me. I vacillated between feelings of failure and rejection mixed with anger and frustration for a while this morning, yet I had a meeting which required my positivity and letting go of self absorption.

I’m so very thankful that someone else needed me to focus on them. My gratefulness increased even more as I watched the beautiful day unfold outside my office window. I could hardly wait to finish my work and get outside for a walk with the dog.

Perspective can be easily swayed at times by the words and actions of others. Yet, there is nothing quite like being in the midst of God’s creation to help bring the truth of whose I am back into view.

Feeling renewed after my walk (and time spent pretending I’m a nature photographer 😉), the unthoughtful words from that morning email were no longer impacting me.

Then evening came and another behind the scenes set of judgmental comments came to light. Again, these were aspersions cast by someone who has never taken the time to truly know me or my family and who has allowed others who don’t really know us to shape their thoughts and opinions of us.

This obviously troubled me and caused me great frustration, as well as self-doubt. How can fellow members of the Body of Christ sit back and determine they know peoples’ motives and intentions, placing judgment, holding others at arms length and preventing real relationships? It frustrates me the most because of the loss of opportunity for having real, in-depth, reciprocal relationships.

In my sadness and disappointment, I was reminded of Christ. So many misunderstood and misjudged Him, and still do. Matthew 23:37 says that Jesus longed to protect and love all the people of Jerusalem yet they were unwilling. How very sad…

However, for me, this brought back to mind that God understands all our heartaches, all our rejections and hurts because Jesus has felt them all and talks to His Father for us. He hurts with us.

This makes me all the more grateful for the grace given me through the beauty of God’s creation…it is a balm for my spirit that heals and strengthens me.

Advertisements

Living into the promise of the resurrection…

Standard

A different way of living each day has been emerging in my life.  I’ve been trying to live without giving in to the internal pressure I have placed upon myself for so long…pressure to perform, to strive to be more, to live up to expectations, to make others happy…etc.

I have had no desire to write in a long time. What’s up with that? I haven’t been avoiding it or meaning to do so and forgetting. I simply don’t feel inspired to share anything, not even now, but I told myself I had to write today, because I know it truly does help me to process and to share, to feel I’m a part of something bigger than myself and my little corner of Middletown, OH.

I think I’ve given up the fight to become more than I’ve been, and I’m simply trying to “be” each day, to simply live and live simply. Everyday living in our culture and this age of the world we know doesn’t make room very readily for just living life.  From childhood, we here in the US have been taught through the lens of the so-called “American Dream”.  That may be well and good for some people, and it does seem to happen in the lives of a few, but generally speaking, the “American Dream” leaves out many so that the few can achieve it, being based on becoming better than and avoiding being less than.

For the last several months, I’ve been trying to allow God to transform my thinking from all I’ve ever learned, to see, hear, and experience life as He intends for me.  I’m even reading the Bible through a different mindset, attempting to read it for what it was saying to those people, then, in their cultures and the age of the world in which they existed.  This isn’t easy.  I find I have to constantly ask the Spirit to switch off what I’ve always known, the way I was taught to interpret what the Bible says by my church growing up, by living in my hometown in WV and the larger culture of America, particularly, America’s version of Christianity.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m trying to truly allow God to change my mind, to be a Romans 12:1-2 Christ follower.  In so doing, sometimes I just don’t know how to be, what to think, what I need to be doing each day.  That may sound absurd to many, but until you start the process of learning to discern the truth of all that is from what you’ve been told and how you’ve always lived, you just don’t know how pervasive the false perceptions of your life have been.

All this being said, I’m brought back to the journey towards greater physical wellness that I began back in October, wanting this 50th year of my life to focus on needed physical changes.  I don’t feel I’ve been very successful with this, thus far, because, by the world’s measurements, my outward appearance hasn’t changed and my habits with exercise haven’t really improved.  However, I’m feeling better, having taken myself off a supplement that I think was causing me some problems, and my A1-C has come down as well as my glucose, being managed by a daily injection of Victoza.

I feel hopeful, with Spring’s arrival, that my mood will shift towards wanting to be outside exercising, which will include walking the dog, working in the yard, hiking when possible, etc.  I’ll stop watching so much TV because there will be more possibilities outdoors and because my energy level will naturally increase while depression decreases.  I know this because it’s my normal progression with my seasonal affective disorder.

Add all of this together, and I believe God is going to continue to transform me as a whole, even while I attempt to pay closer attention to my physical health.  As I notice the Bible study here beside me on my desk, I realize it’s the perfect example of what I’m feeling….I have the “hope of renewal” (from “All Things New” by John Eldredge)….not only for the life to come, but also for the here and now, and I’m trying to live into this hope, in all areas of my life, instead of trying to live life the way I’ve been told it should be….