Wednesday, November 23, 2011

To err is human

Lately, I have been in this place of retrospection. Let me be the first to tell you that to take a good hard look at yourself (though a great blessing in the end) is very difficult. Many of us see ourselves quite differently than we really are.
God is loving and merciful, and gracious, but He is also just and a hater of sin. David boldly said "Lord cleanse me with hyssop.....he also lamented create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me....he went further to tell the Lord , if there be any wicked way found in me remove it..." These are all very bold assertions that often times are taken lightly - I know I have. I have cried as David oh Lord show me what is wrong with me, what you need to fix.....and God in his faithfulness has answered those request (in most instances more readily than the ones when I am begging Him to make something easier. It is a painful thing to see just how dirty,helpless, and sinful you truly are. Looking at yourself as you are without God is downright depressing. It is during these times of "oh Lord (I am feeling crazy,) show me myself" that the ability to grow is the greatest. I am once again reminded that I can not live, move or breathe with out Christ and that without His blood I would be sentenced to hell. The kicker in all of this is that I deserved hell, but Jesus. God knows that we cannot meet His standard and because He did not desire to be separated from  me (us), because He loves me  (us) He did something that none of us would do. He gave His Son to subdue His own wrath He gave Himself and allowed  me (us) to do what we do best (be sinful - and kill Him), but He is God the maker and creator of ALL things, He rose from the dead and His blood covers all my (your) black sin. So painful as it is, it is good to ask to see yourself (because often times we forget just how wretched we truly are) The Lord is glorified and I am strengthened when I am made low.
God is- there was none before Him and there will be none after. He is Alpha and Omega, the Love He has for us is great. Jesus reaches out to all of us - His hand is waiting for yours. Believe me when you fall  He is still there holding His hand out waiting to pull you back up.
Though it be painful God has allowed me to see myself and it has never been clearer that I need a Savior and that only He can save me. I thank God for saving me and beginning to show me what I look like in His mirror. The pain is worth it. No pain - no gain.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I am not my really I am not my hair

"I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am not your expectations...nooo." India Arie. Growing up my mother always told me there will always be someone smarter, prettier, or better at something. She did not say this to break my spirit or discourage me, but instead to help me gain perspective on how I view myself. Understandably I completely missed this as a child - adolescent - teenager - heck young adult - okay so like I just recently started getting this. Real talk.
One year and three months ago I "went natural", I cut all of the perm chemicals out of my hair and have allowed it to grow like God created it . Honestly the initial shock of seeing myself without the hair I had grown accustomed to seeing was to say the least overwhelming , and in short it brought tears to my eyes and they were not joyful. There is something to be said about stripping away those things that we think make us who we are.......I have slowly been growing into myself and the reality is my hair is the very least of that growth.
Today my girls (who have never had any chemical processing in their hair) were in a program where they had to dress up so they were taken to the hair stylist. While at the shop they saw first hand how others will question your decision to be yourself -  because they deem it different or less attractive.
This discussion with my girls is what sparked the penning of this blog. After talking to them I am brought back to what my mom said and the understanding of it. I am (you are) who God created you to be, the hair that grows out of your head is the hair He created to grow out of your head, your  eye color is specific to you, but none of this is what really makes you who you are, not really. These are just physical descriptors. Who I am  (who you are) is bound up in our experiences, our thoughts about ourselves, our beliefs it transcends mere outward appearance. "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."(Prov. 31:30)
 I have found the gym to be a great mirror into how I view and feel about myself. At the gym it is you some equipment, determination, and a bunch of mirrors. This atmosphere draws emotions out of you that you may or may not want to address. I am choosing to address my issues. "I am not my hair......I am the soul that lives within." - India Arie
Rocking me, because who God created is fabulous.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Real Talk

Real Talk:
"You can't see the forest for the trees" is a saying I'm sure most of us are familiar with. The author penned this quote to remind us that we can not see how far we have come for looking at how far we have yet to go or you can't see what is in front of you for trying to look ahead to what you don't yet have. 
Three weeks ago I found renewed motivation (through a lot of prayer) at the gym to press towards a goal that was begun prior to becoming pregnant with our fifth and fabulous baby boy. Bottom line what I want to accomplish would seem crazy to most considering my age and that fact that my body has been blessed to produce five fabulous babies, but since when has crazy been impossible for God - um never!
Anytime you begin something new, or your resolve has been renewed you should expect resistance. I think most times we wait for the resistance to be outward (enemies, family, friends, random people on the street, you know), but I feel the worse kind of resistance is that which takes place within. We do more to talk ourselves out of, discourage, and smash our own hopes and dreams than any man. Listening to satan is an automatic setup for failure. 
Last night I hit the wall, I felt it coming a few days prior, but did nothing to prepare myself for it. I had been consciously working on my diet and systematically working at the gym. I could see changes (well sort of) or better yet I could feel them. While at the gym last night (for the second time that day) I looked at my body and thought how on earth do you think you will get this done, while riding the bike I could "feel" (got to watch those things we call feelings) every ounce of fat on my legs moving, it made me sicker with every turn of the pedal. I could feel myself spiraling; the more I thought about how much further I had to go the more discouraged I felt. I arrived home feeling defeated and tired. 
This morning broke with new opportunities and perspective (rest is soo necessary on this journey). Remembering that this journey - this goal is not for me or about me in its' entirety (I’m just blessed with the benefits thereof). You can’t lose if you will at least try. God told me NOTHING is impossible with Him - NOTHING and I believe that. NOTHING. So my goals and my dreams are lofty, but my God is higher and the drive and determination He has placed inside of me stronger. 
I pen this to say there will be setbacks - days you feel like you are not accomplishing a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g, but I want to remind you as I was reminded that you will. Keep pressing forward and don't lose hope. Allow yourself dork days - we all need them :0) but remember you can, no matter how long it takes, no matter the resistance - you can, no matter how you feel - you can.
Nothing is impossible - NOTHING!
This tired mommy is going to go rest her muscles and get prepped for what's next - because NOTHING is impossible - I CAN. - Phil. 4:13
You CAN too.