Saturday, January 8, 2022

Scars

Merriam-Webster has a couple of definitions for the word scar- " a mark remaining (as on the skin) after injured tissue has healed" and "a lasting moral or emotional injury"

I have several major scars on my body- the big ones are from a surgery in 2009 and a hysterectomy in 2019.  But the one that catches my eye daily is one that is small, so small that if you weren't looking for it- you would just pass right over it. Each of my scars is part of my story. The 2009 surgery made life easier, exercise manageable, and helped ease weight off my back. The hysterectomy showed I had major problems that needed to be dealt with immediately- and after that surgery I said multiple times that I didn't realize how bad I felt until I didn't feel bad anymore.  


But that small scar- every time I see it- I say a prayer. That scar is the one. on the inside of my wrist from my heart catheterization. That heart cath is what showed the doctors what was wrong. It showed them that overall my heart was healthy until they reached the part where the artery tore. It gave them them the information they needed to help me heal. Each time I catch a glimpse of that scar it's a reminder that God's not finished with me yet. It's a visual reminder of healing and the power of prayer.

But what about those scars that aren't visual? The ones that wreck the heart- the loss of a loved one, a word or action that cuts deep, betrayal from a friend or even family. This is where the kintsugi coming- here's this heart wrecked, shattered, and nothing left to do except surrender to the one who loved me enough to die for me- whose body bore my sin- whose wounds and scars are there to remind me of His heart, His healing. He takes that heart, pours His love into those cracks filling them up with the gold dust- that precious gold dust that holds the heart together. It creates the scar, and is a reminder of healing.

When I was googling I came across this blog post from last August that Kaitlyn Bouchillon (who in a God-incidence, came across my FB feed this past week with some posts that hit home- and I wasn't following her prior to this either- she was brand new to my feed) and this quote jumped out at me. That last line- "You're still here". 

Yes, I have scars-some physical, others emotional but each time that scar catches my eye it's a reminder to stop, take a breath, say thank you and then, "okay God, use me- use my scar for your good. Help my purpose come out of the deepest hurts."














Sunday, January 2, 2022

Kintsugi- An art highlighting imperfections


I had someone ask me about my picture yesterday (not here- but on FB). They asked if it was kintsugi- I replied in the affirmative but thought I would take a brief moment to explain why I went with this graphic. 


When I was originally planning out my graphic for my word I planned on using a stained glass window. The idea of how all the parts of the window are separate and yet come together to make a full picture was where my original idea took me. But, then I started thinking of things that need restored- and how that typically means they are broken or damaged. My mind then took me back to my Launch Leadership training with Revelation Wellness™ and one of the weeks that Heather talked about Kintsugi. 

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery. One Website puts it like this

"Kintsugi, the art of resilience...

This ancient technique, discovered in the fifteenth century in Japan, invites us to repair a broken object by enhancing its scars with real gold powder, instead of trying to hide them."


Wikipedia says: "As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.


Focus on the Family had this on their blog back in November 2020 (on a side note, if you 
click on the link and read that post- it's good!)

"Kintsugi is the art of repairing something that has been broken with gold, with the understanding that the object is more beautiful because it has been broken. Like the art of kintsugi, God repairs the brokenness in our lives and makes us more beautiful through the process."


This is why I chose the photo of the the Kintsugi bowl to display my word Restore and all of the broken pieces of my life that need restored

    -Physical- covid, parosmia, heart attack, overweight, joint issues, arthritis, etc

    -Mental- Covid did a number on me, I started to find myself sinking into despair, and   becoming someone I did not even know. The loneliness sent me places in my mind.

     -Spiritual- This goes along with the mental. At times, I dig deep into the word but then sometimes I pull away and it takes me days, weeks, even months to get back

    -Dreams- as I mentioned, over the last several years, my dreams took some pretty big hits. I lost those dreams and now- I don't even know what my dreams are anymore. I just know there has to be more than "this".  


I also found this quote at the end of a Joni and Friends blog from 2017

"I’m sure you’ve picked up on the obvious lesson here. Because God does ‘kintsugi’ on his people all the time. When our lives are shattered by terrible trial, He’s going to put us back together in a way that is far more beautiful, more spectacular than before the trial. Rather than conceal the damage, he accentuates his grace through the broken pieces of our life. It’s one way, perhaps the best way, that He performs Romans 8:28 in us – fitting the broken pieces together for our good and His glory."




Saturday, January 1, 2022

Restore- 2022

 


2021 was not the year I (or probably any of us) thought it would be. I had such high hopes for 2021 after 2020. Such high hopes that my word for 2021 was Forward- and in many ways I did move forward, but there were also times when I felt like I had fallen backward, or was even just stuck. 


2020 ended with a bout of Covid, March 2021 began the journey with Parosmia (distorted smell and Dysgeusia (distorted taste). October 2021 stopped me in my tracks with a mild heart attack (it was a SCAD heart attack) more than likely due to stress (and 2 weeks before the heart attack, a deer ran right into my car while I was on my way to work).


There were silver linings- I have lost about 50 lbs since March (not the way I planned but it is what it is). I was able to go visit TN for the first time in 3 years and saw a bear in person. I started running again and even taught my Rev classes in March and April. The heart attack made me slow down and take a good hard look at my life and the stressors in it. I knew some things needed to change and they are slowly getting there. 


With that in mind I went back to my word from 2020 (restoration) and tweaked it a bit. My word for 2022 is restore. And the graphic shows what I want to restore- mental, physical, and spiritual along with my dreams. My dreams died a bit and I feel this stirring to figure out where God is leading me and what He is calling me to. 


The word restore means to bring back to- to return to an original state after depletion or loss. Some of the synonyms are renew, recharge, regenerate and rebuild.  My verse for 2020 was 1 Peter 5:10 and while it is still relevant, the verses I am clinging close to this year are Joel 2:25- trusting that He WILL restore what the "locusts" have stolen 


and Psalm 23:3.  

In my back pocket I am keeping Psalm 41:3 and Jeremiah 30:17 to also keep close.



One of my goals for 2022 is to restore my blog- to bring it back to where it was- as my place for sharing, the ups and downs, the dreams and the journey through life. It may not be every day, but it will be as God places it on my heart to share. Have a blessed day and Happy New Year!











Monday, June 15, 2020

Epiphany and Vulnerabilty

It's been a LONG time- well over a year- and I don't even know who will read this or even if anyone will read this BUT, I feel like God is prompting me to share this so I am just trying to obey...

Epiphany time: For the last few weeks- okay, months- I have been talking with my health coach at the school clinic about why I struggle so much with tracking my food, getting stuck and not progressing, and several other items. A couple of weeks ago I realized that part of it was a shame thing. I let myself live in the shame of weight gain- that I had messed up because I began obsessing over it and didn't enjoy food anymore. I became "that" friend- the one I never wanted to become- the one that judged- often without words- what other people were putting in their mouths. I began not enjoying dinners or celebrations. I developed that self-righteous attitude. BUT, then I got sick, several times over, and my food/diet and exercise took a hit and the weight piled on. I look back at what I looked and felt like then and now and I realize it's the same- never enough, shame.
I am re-reading with the Rev family- The Wellness Revelation. In chapter one, Alisa says something that every single time gets me, "desperation and disgust are powerful motivators for change, but they do not lead to lasting results and increasing joy." In Chapter 2 she says, "Idolatry is when we think if only (fill in the blank with your greatest desire apart from God), then I will be happy. Of course, these things never truly satisfy, and worshiping them leads us further away from God and deeper into depravity and despair." (p. 31-32)
My "if only" came to the forefront today while answer the questions in the back of chapter two and can I tell you what I discovered that hit me so hard in the heart that I literally sat here with tears in my eyes? An epiphany so strong that I stopped the forward motion of continued reading to come back and sit in it for a while?
8 years ago I began a journey- and I ended up making calorie counting, food, and even exercise an idol. I let it consume me. I let it potentially destroy relationships. And when my mind, body and willpower failed me, I began to live in the shame of failure of not placing the value where it should have been. My "if only" statement? If only I lost the weight, if only I ate just this food, if only I burnt off this many calories, THEN I would be happy, then I would be loved, then I would be seen- but, I wasn't.
Fast-forward 7 to 8 years and here I sit- heavier than I was before, ashamed of what I have done physically to my body but even more ashamed of the lack of the true heart work I have done.
So, what does that mean for me now? It means it's time to not just draw the line in the sand. It means it's time to put the weight of shame down- it's time to leave it right here on June 15, 2020, and live out Hebrews 12:1- to cast aside that weight of shame and sin, which clings to me with every lb. and run my race with endurance- the race that is in front of me- not behind- but in front AND, most important look to Jesus. It's time to Reclaim my Joy and Love my Journey.



Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Holy = Whole? Part 2

When I left yesterday's post I mentioned that my dad ended with five things to put us in our right mind and now I want to apply them to my journey to health that I am still on.  The underlined part will be his thoughts and the non-underlined parts are mine.

1.) Recognize the presence of sin in our flesh.  I like food- a lot- different kinds of food- and sometimes, I eat way more than I should or do not eat in a way that is honoring God.  When I overindulge, when I eat that which I know I should not then I am allowing myself to give in to the flesh. That's not to say I shouldn't enjoy my food or that I can't ever stray from my plan, but I need to recognize it's place in my life and make sure #2 is on target.

2.) Have a heart fixed on God.  When my heart is focused and in tune, when I am walking in complete obedience, then it makes it easier to not stray.  When I realize that all I eat or drink is to be done to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31) it makes a little easier to say no (but still can be a struggle for sure!)

3.) Meditate on God's word.  For me, this is going to look like verses taped on my cupboards, in my car, on my fridge, behind my desk at school, etc., wherever I find temptation.  I need to have His word in front of me to fight it!

4.) Communicate regularly with God in prayer.  Again, this will look a lot like number 3.  I need to truly ask myself some hard questions when I am faced with the temptations of food, drink or even just skipping a workout and then pray my way through it.

5.) Be obedient.  My dad reminded me of this truth- God wants my complete obedience, not a partial obedience, not a "when I feel like it" obedience but a full surrender obedience.  A "this is hard but it's where you have led me" obedience. A "it's a do the next right, yet hard," step of obedience.

Am I there yet? No
Am I going to strive to get there- You bet!
Is it going to be easy? No
Will it be worth it? More than ANYTHING!

To end today I am going to post another of my favorite songs that reminds me where my focus needs to be- this one ends up on repeat a lot!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Holy=Whole?

Last week I picked up a book.  The book is called The Wellness Revelation and it was written by Alisa Keeton who is also the founder of the ministry Revelation Wellness (where I got my group fitness certification through in 2017).  The last time I read the book it was for my training.  This time I am reading it because I know the content and I know that it's what my heart and mind need to take in at this time.  I need to get back to a right relationship with food and let go of how it has become an "idol" in my life.

Anyway- chapter 1 had this quote- "When we are holy, then we are whole."  I journaled a simple (yet hard) question- in terms of a healthy, physical lifestyle and habits- what does it mean to be holy?  The Bible says- "Be holy for I am holy.." How do I apply that to my healthy without it becoming a wrong kind of obsession?  Is there such a thing in the pursuit of holiness and wholeness?

That was all written on Saturday and then the following was journaled on Sunday night after my dad's sermon and church service (warning- this may get a bit long so I may cut it off and make a second post):  As I continued to ponder this today my dad preached on Romans 8 and talked about the difference between sanctification and holy.  I learned that sanctification is being set apart for God's purpose and holy means to be set apart from that which is unholy.  When I look at the above quote from TWR with that lens it begins to make sense.

When we are holy (set apart from the unholy) then we are whole (unbroken)- because, as we walk in grace and truth AND live out love then we are becoming more like Jesus, who was holy, and therefore whole (even as his physical body was broken).  But, because of sin- because of my flesh - because of exactly what Paul wrote about in Romans 7:15, "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."  I wander, I lose focus, I live according to the flesh.

My dad ended with 5 things of living a life in the right mind.  I want to apply those same 5 things to my musings here in my journey to health but I think this has gone on long enough for today so I will follow up with those five things tomorrow.  I am going to leave you with this Casting Crowns song- Only Jesus because it is quickly becoming a new favorite!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

It's been a while

A LONG while- I'm refurbishing/renaming the blog (but the link will stay the same).  I debated shutting this one down and starting all over but so much of my story is on this one that I decided to "rebrand".  I have a friend working on a blog header so hoping to get that up soon- until then..

I also have a post in the works that came about from some reading I did last night and then my dad's sermon this morning that went along with it.  Just need to finish gathering my thoughts on it.