Happy (very belated) New Year! It’s been quite the hiatus on my part, but I’ve had a bit of a mind shift and perspective change. Both were much needed and I’m so thankful for the head/heart-space I’m in right now.
This past fall has not been easy for me and at some point I really wasn’t sure that I would ever be anything other than an emotional mess, relational screw-up and just plain miserable. I find myself wanting to say that I don’t know what has changed, but I know that those closest to me have been praying their little hearts out with my lovely parents leading the pack. I too have been praying that something would change; pleading with God to give me some small amount of grace to work with and I cannot attribute the peace I’ve felt as of late to anyone other than Him.
It’s always the dark times that force us to engage in much self reflection. One thing I have recognized is my deep desire for happiness. Not a bad desire! I think most people desire to be truly happy, it’s just where we look for it that can be problematic. I have realized that I have quite high expectations that my relationships will bring me happiness. More specifically, romantic relationships. I’ve heard it said once or twice or you know, one hundred times that hind sight is 20/20. HA! Because it’s true! Obviously now I see how unfair it is to look to other people to bring us happiness. I need to be happy with myself and learn how to have a balanced perspective on life encompassing all it’s highs and lows. And it’s funny, because now that I’m not looking to others to bring me happiness, I’m finding it so much easier to come by. I actually feel happy sometimes for no particular reason.
This year my “resolution” (though I’m nervous to call it that because of the fact that resolutions seem to be forgotten by the time February rolls around…) is to appreciate each moment; each day for what it is and to remember to be thankful for all that I do have, which is so much.
It is summer. Therefore, I shall halfheartedly apologize for the my delinquency to blog.
Things to note about the summer thus far:
I have eaten a lot of hamburgers and ice cream
I have already had a week & a half of vacation
I went to Regina (of all places) to get out of the city
I have eaten a lot of pizza and m&m’s (the pretzel kind, the raspberry kind, the coconut kind, the regular kind……etc.)
My two Aunties from Toronto are in visiting and we have gotten waterlogged in the pool and sun tanned. We are going for fish and chips tomorrow (which is really today because it’s already tomorrow, get me?)
I had 8 inches lopped of my locks after years of growing it. It was sad and liberating. And no one noticed…well, okay, a couple people have, but…when you get like a foot cut off your hair it’s kind of a big deal. Ah well…
I have probably gained 10 lbs. No lie. And also, to be expected due to all the eating.
I was at work today and in my wandering around I kept catching glimpses of myself in whatever mirror or reflective surface I came upon. Most of my friends would laugh and find this completely typical of me as I’m a tiny bit over concerned that one hair on my head has changed position. Now you see, as per my list above I have gained weight. Summer, bathing suits, poolside living….yeah, not the best time to be adding ten pounds more. I have been very critical of myself, experienced a lot of self loathing and continued to eat those damn m&m’s!!!
Today, when I walked past the mirror I was worried about what my newly shorn hair looked like in a tiny little pony-tail. I thought to myself: “you know what, I don’t look half bad. I actually look pretty”. You know how people always say that if you say one negative thing about yourself you should follow it by like ten good things about yourself? Or whatever it is “those people” say. It’s something like that anyways. I decided to just keep telling myself that I’m pretty until I start to believe it. I’m just so tired of hating myself and picking myself apart. I don’t want to compare myself to other girls because those girls hate things about themselves too. Everyone seems too, even the ones we think are perfect.
So ladies, (if there are a few out there reading this blog) do yourself a favour and tell yourself you’re pretty. Find something you appreciate about your looks and compliment yourself. Do it as many times as you want until you really start to believe it. And don’t be cocky about it. A cocky girl is pretty on the outside but needs some adjusting on the inside. I’m learning the lesson of confidence slowly but surely.
A while back, in my blog perusing, I stumbled upon a video which introduced me to three things: peanut butter pie, Jose Gonzalez & Mikey. You can check out that blog HERE.
These three things lead me to this blog: In Jennie’s Kitchen, which I have since become a follower of. Jennie lost her husband, Mikey to a heart attack almost a year ago and though she is a foodie blogger, this past many months have followed her journey of grief and moving forward. Sometimes I cry when I read her blog posts, but mostly I feel so inspired by the way she has chosen to move forwards with such bravery and grace. I certainly don’t want to discount (not assuming she’d ever read my blog) the pain she has felt. She certainly doesn’t make it sound all sunshine and rainbows, but I appreciate her brutal honesty and desire to hold onto her husband in a way that honors his life and yet still allows her to move forward.
Anyways, I was re-reading this blog from back in November of 2011 and I can’t help but find it very inspirational. De-cluttering, spending less time in the virtual/technical world and instead, appreciating and enjoying the little moments and making sure to focus on loving those close to you well. I’ve been recently been toying with the idea of deleting my facebook. This is a difficult decision for me because of the amount of friends I have that are in a vast array of other countries. But I literally feel gross when I realize that I just wasted two hours looking a pictures of FRIENDS friends – people I don’t even know – in the Dominican Republic. HOW DID I GET HERE? WHY AM I LOOKING AT THESE? What the?! Enough!
We’ll see how this all plays out, but summer is here, it’s been (for the most part) gorgeous outside. I don’t want to waste it sitting around on my computer. I want to breath deeply, love big and laugh a lot.
I still believe that something needs to change. Joseph Kony is a very bad man. I still believe he needs to be stopped. I still believe that the people of Invisible Children mean well and have the right hearts. I cannot criticize people who have given so much of themselves and their lives because they desire change and justice. I desire that too. So for those of you who are interested in reading a well written criticism and not just one slamming the efforts of the Invisible Children (whom most people probably don’t know anything about), I encourage you to check out this article.
I was perusing Facebook when I noticed a post on my dear friend Allena’s wall that caught my attention and captured my heart. I’ve known Allena since 2006 (wait, WHAT!?!? 6 years already!?!? – sorry, I just realized this – crazy!) I walked with her for a tiny bit of her journey as she struggled to make sense of her attraction to women and her love of God. Because in a Christian world these two do not go hand in hand. I’m not saying that’s what I personally believe (I’m not taking a stand for or against being a gay Christian at the moment), it’s just a fact. Most of you who know me would (should/hopefully?) know that I am a Christian. Though I admit (with some sadness) that I have not had a lot to do with the Church in the past few years, I have not let go of my faith nor will I; I will white knuckle it till my time here is over. I understand that this may seem a strange post for those of you not raised with Christian beliefs, but I encourage you to read on because that said, you’re probably waiting for this post to head straight downhill. Instead, I believe that this should remind us of what the God I believe in is all about.
The following is Allena’s post:
If you have ever asked me or wanted to ask me how my family has reacted to me being a lesbian, read this. Now. Right now. This is my Moms wisdom which can be applied to almost all relationships. We both decided to stay in the room and that made the difference for everything.
Staying in the Room
“A few years ago I watched an interview of a man who had been married for over 50 years. His wife lay dying in a hospital room and he sat faithfully by her side. A nurse who was struck by his commitment asked him for the secret of his long marriage and he answered, “We stayed in the room.” As John and I celebrated our 32 anniversary this last summer his answer resonates with me. We have weathered changes in jobs, horrible arguments, too little money, too much drink….really things to depressing to list. But our marriage is alive because we stayed in the room. Sometimes we were in opposite corners with arms crossed ignoring each other but we didn’t walk out the door. Relationships are about commitment and unconditional love and I know God has called us to be in a relationship with each other.
I am just as confident the He has called me into a relationship with my four daughters. My daughter Allena proposed to her girlfriend Dana a few days ago and John and I chose to stay in the room. Was is easy? No. Was it comfortable? No. But when as a parent do I get to remove my support? Is it if she has sex outside of marriage? If she drinks and drives? If she has a child out of marriage? Divorces? Lies? Smokes? Where is the sin line that is so strong that God says I am not allowed to engage in her life? This is not to diminish my responsibility to clearly define my beliefs and I am sure both Allena and Dana know where I stand.
Whatever discomfort you may feel about the subject of lesbianism I assure you I have lived through those emotions and wrestled with the ramifications for my daughter, her girlfriend and our family. And I have prayed the desperate prayers only a parent who loves her child can understand and each time God has been clear. Love her. I love her.
I am guilty of gossip, gluttony, murder, fornication, lying and so much more and how grateful I am for those who loved me unconditionally in the midst of it all. As a Christian I reject the idea that the goal of my faith is to make others change their lives by rejecting them or judging them into repentance. What drew me to Christ and His broken, dysfunctional family was His unconditional love and the efforts of His children to show me His love.
For me the church is not an exclusive clique in high school where only the beautiful and athletic get in, it is a place where I can safely and honestly work through my struggles. As His children we have the challenge of standing firm in our journey to be more like Christ in a broken world surrounded by broken people that He adores.
I don’t have easy answers but I also am no longer confused about my response to my daughters no matter what they choose. I am called to stay in the room.”