Thursday, December 30, 2010

My last blog was too grim for my daughter. I've pondered her reaction, of course, because that's who I am, and because I love her so much. This blog is my reply.

Honey, I'm not like you. You're a sanguine go-getter and I love you for it. No matter how hard I try, I cannot be sanguine. I'm just not funny, and I don't see life the way sanguines do. Fun for me isn't seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. My glasses are like telescopes. I test and evaluate, dissect and study. I want to know why and how, when and where; how it affects others; how it affects my life and what I can learn from it.

This isn't negative to me. It's how my mind works; how I view the world. That's probably why I like writing stories about people. Sometimes I have to be very careful or all of my characters think just like me.

I love going into the hows and whys of life. I love talking to people heart to heart--getting down into the depths of what makes us as people tick.

Here's one of my ponderings:
One of the great things about God is that he doesn't judge us on the outside. He looks at the heart. Without knowing, or think we know, what's in a person's heart, we can't make judgements.

I've been misjudged many times in my life by people who really don't know me. Those judgements hurt and when they happened, I turned to God and found that He knew what was in my heart. He assured me he saw that I was doing the best I could with where I was. I believe most people do that--the best they can with what they have to work with and where they are in life.

You may ask, "What about a person who does evil?"
I don't know. Only God knows. We have to leave all that to Him. I'm talking about us--the every day us.

Learning this wasn't negative or dark to me. I thought about it and talked to God about it for a long time before I finally came to these conclusions.

I don't live in this introspective place all the time. I like laughing, playing games and just being with friends. I used to love to dance. Now I have to watch others dance but my toes tap and my spirit jumps with joy when the music plays.

I hope this suffices as an explanation of why I write the way I do. I'd like to read what you write because I love hearing you tell stories and seeing you smile or make those funny faces no matter what's going on around you.

I love you and know you're going to be unhappy that I blogged this to you, but at least I didn't use your name. (:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

He is Mighty to Save

My daughter complained that I haven't written a blog in a long time. She's right. I haven't.

Sometimes I feel I have so much inside me I want to express, but the words just aren't there. Maybe those words are not complete, or maybe they are just too precious to share. Or maybe there isn't anything there after all. So I'll begin and see what comes out.

This year has been different from any I've spent in my life. Having major surgery and trying to get my energy back has given me a whole different perspective. The weather,low systems in particular, affect my joints. I don't want to say I have arthritis so I just say "my joints ache." The feeling is unlike any I've ever felt so it's hard to explain exactly how it feels or how it suddenly comes on.

The new perspective is this: I am no longer in control of my body. (As though I ever was.) I am nearer death and that thought bothers me. I don't mind going to Heaven. What I do mind is not being here any longer.

When my mother was close to her death, we talked about it. Her comment was, "I just don't want to leave you." I'm sure I gave her some dumb response like "We'll see each other again." We will, but that wasn't the point. Now I know what she meant. I don't like thinking that I won't be around when my great-granddaughter grows up, goes to college, gets married, has children. I won't be able to stand beside my grandson and watch all this happen. Right now, thinking about it, I already miss it.

What will it be like to be gone? To no longer be on this earth and in this life? My daughters and grandchildren and a few other relatives will remember me, but after that I'll be nothing but a---what? I'm not even sure. I won't be remembered like Abraham Lincoln or Princess Diana. How will I be remembered and is that even important?

I never met my grandmother's father. All I ever knew of him was a big photograph in her upstairs bedroom. The picture made him look austere and harsh. My cousin and I were scared to sleep in that bedroom because of Grandpa Nichols.

Will I be remembered like that? Just a picture that one of my great-great-grandchildren may accidently find in their parent's box of family photos? And if so, does it even matter?

What I'd like for my children and grandchildren to remember is that I loved God with all my heart and I lived my life in a way that everyone knew it.

Surgery at 74 isn't like surgery at 42, the age I was the last time I went under the knife. I kind of knew I'd come out of the anesthetic this time, but there was that slight doubt. All during the night before I had a song going through my mind: "Saviour, He can move the mountains, He is mighty to save, mighty to save." Friends and family were in the pre-op room when the anesthesiologist gave me the shot to make me forget. Later my grandson, who was there with his dad, told me I started singing this song. The others in the room sang with me, he said. The shot had done its work and let me express what was in my heart and spirit.

I didn't die. In fact, I learned a great deal during recovery and rehab. I've expressed that before on this blog. God went out ahead of us and made our way straight.

One good thing about dying. Once it happens to you, you don't worry about what you left behind. I'm getting there. I do know this--God is with me here and there. He is mighty to save under all circumstances.

Monday, December 6, 2010

. . .and all these things. . .

I've fought with being overweight all my life. However, most of my life I wasn't but saw myself as fat. Now I really am. (We become what we look at the most.)

In 1973 I almost quit eating because of stress. I got very thin and loved it, but hated the stress that went with it. When I look back at pictures of myself during that time, I see how gaunt I really looked--not just thin but prisoner-thin. That's exactly what I was: a prisoner of the stress.

Fast forward to the 80s. I was happy in life, began eating lots of sugar products and gained 30 pounds. No matter what I tried I couldn't lose the excess weight.

In a book store one day I saw the title of a book by Neva Coyle: "There's More to Being Thin Than Just Being Thin." What that book was telling me was that losing weight wasn't about looking good (which was my motive and has always been.) The moral of the book was "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added unto you."
I've got those words down pat in the KJ version.

I did what Neva told me and started counting calories. Every month I lost 5 pounds until I had lost 20 pounds. I was satisfied with this becauseI knew this was a good weight for me.

FF again to the 90s. My health practioner discovered I had a real problem with eating carbs, starches, sugar. When I ate them, my system went into flight or fight mode and didn't slow down which caused me to be unable to sleep. I went on a strict sugar/starch-free diet and lost weight again.
I stayed on that diet until this past year but steadily gained weight--a few pounds at a time. I felt fat and saw myself as fat although, when I look back, I was a good weight for my age.

I started drinking white oak bark tea and my body began to tolerate sugar/carbs/starches. My knee went out and I had to walk with a cane; we sold our house and had no place to live while the rental we planned to move
into was being rennovated; we moved into a furnished apartment for a month and spent that month choosing colors/flooring/etc. for the rental. The stress took its toll and the only way I could bring it under control was to eat--and eat, I did.

During one month I gained 40 pounds and it's is still on my body. I'm like Job in that "the thing I feared the most has come upon me."

I talk to God about it all the time--and continue to eat. I like being able to eat things I couldn't for so many years. These foods are still toxic to my body and still cause sleeplessness unless I take a drug that makes me go to sleep. Some nights even that doesn't help.

I'm reading a book ("Sun Stand Still") about praying impossible prayers. I've been praying that God will make the impossible possible for me--and that's to stop the eating, walk more and lose weight. But there's a problem--my motive.

This morning I read from the Living Bible the same words that turned me around so many years ago. The thought is the same but the words are much different. The message begins: "Don't worry about whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear, for life consists of far more than food and clothes. . .All mankind scratches for its daily bread, but your heavenly Father knows your needs. He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. . .Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be." Luke 12:22-34

Where is my treasure? Is it in being thin or is it in being disciplined? Is it in looking good or trusting God with my life? How do I change my motive and go after the real treasure? I've asked God to help me turn in the right direction--again. And He will answer--again. That much I know.