Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dreams

The other night, my husband and I sat down by the fire and started talking about our life. One of those cozy nights where you just want to curl up under a blanket with a cup of some steaming tea, and you feel hopeful and cheery. The Christmas lights make everything seem magical and warm. It's the holidays and I love the holidays and I will enjoy them till New Years:) We talked about our life now, and what we want it to look like in the future. We shared our dreams, our hopes, our desires, and our goals. And for some reason, I realized that there are so many dreams and goals that we both have, that maybe the other one didn't really think about. Maybe it was something small of his, that was always in the back of my mind, but I didn't realize just how much he wanted this for our life or vice versa. We also talked about dreams that have always been mutual dreams of ours, but maybe we never settled a "yes" we are going to do this, God willing, and this is why it's important to us, and this is how we're going to fulfill this. And wow, it felt amazing to have these discussions.

I think it's so important to talk about the coming year, and the coming year(s). It's so important to be on the same page. I want to know his dreams and make them mine, and for mine to be his. I want to talk about our shared dreams and figure out how we're going to make them happen. I think it's really easy to have all these goals in the back of our minds, but harder to actually know how to accomplish them if you don't talk about it with one another. Or if you're single, if you don't wrestle with them yourself. Some of these dreams are small and easier to achieve. Some are big, and will take thought and special planning if they are ever going to happen. One of my goals is just to finish college (yet again). A couple years ago, I never envisioned myself to be changing my career and getting another degree, but here I am. Some are what we envision our family to look like some day. Some are precious and very personal. Of course, we don't know what turns and stumbles are going to happen to us in this life, and what different things God has planned for us. Maybe He will completely flip our life over and we'll be grasping just to keep our balance. We completely believe that His will is better than ours in all situations, even as hard as the road may be. But I also believe that we need to go for the things we want, and cannot just expect that they will fall into our laps without work or intentional living in the present.

I am a huge believer in being intentional in our lives. Having an awareness and being mindful. I want to chase my dreams and my purpose. Something that I believe we were made to do! But also something that I find increasingly difficult during long days of work and study. Sometimes (and most of the time this last semester) it took all of my energy to get through the day... much less think about goals I have for the future. Which is why when we have days of rest, it's so important to take advantage. Think, wonder, create goals for your life. I think we need this, we all do. We need to have hope for the future. We need to have dreams. We need to believe things will get better. And even though this stage of my life is not like ones past where I needed this with a desperate urgency, when my life was a lot more gray... we still need this hope no matter where we are at today.

This is something that I'm determined to think about regularly. To have these talks with my husband. I love to just sit and dream together about our lives, talk about things we want to do, our passions. Sometimes it really surprises me the things that he has been thinking about. That I had no clue, but then I get passionate about myself. I want his passions to become mine and mine, his. I want to become his partner in every sense of the word. I want to be passionate about this life of mine. I want to be optimistic and excited about the future. Maybe none of these things will happen. Maybe God will put us on a completely different road. But I at least want to know that I am doing my best in this life I was given. That I am allowing myself to be used for a greater good. I also realize, for some reason, I am more content with my life in the present when I have hopes for the future. When I have realistic goals and dreams for my life, I am much more able to just be present and enjoy the time I am in right now. I want to relish this. I will never get it back. This time, just me and my husband, living here, with the beautiful friends and family we have by our sides... we will never have life exactly like this again. I don't ever want to take my life at the present moment for granted. It is incredibly precious. But life changes, the future always comes, and I want it to be beautiful as well.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Making, Wanting, Feeling


Making: art projects and paintings with the kids today.
Cooking: avocado pasta

Drinking: water. Staying away from coffee for a bit. Why must you taunt me?
Reading: E.E. Cummings - Selected Poems
Wanting: August to be here, to be in Maine with my love.
Looking: at blue sunny skies and doggies on walks
Playing: all day long with the munchkins, lately making pretend grocery lists and pretending to grocery shop in the kitchen.
Wishing: for complete contentment 
Enjoying: the sound of Feist
Liking: being barefoot
Wondering: what I should be doing for others, what I am forgetting, getting caught in my own concerns
Loving: motorcycle rides
Hoping: for a beautiful summer
Marveling: at love and it's strength
Needing: more sleep. Much much more sleep.
Smelling: my perfume
Wearing: pink! Which is surprising.
Following: my God
Noticing: how relationships grow and mold over time, and there is always hope for restoration
Knowing: self-care is essential, adequate sleep, food...
Thinking: always and maybe too much
Bookmarking: ideas that stir my soul
Opening: letters from loved ones
Giggling: with good friends
Feeling: thankful

Monday, May 5, 2014

Almost but not yet.

I am hearing birds sing their faint familiar song outside my window. I'm able to sense the sunshine and the warmth that calms me, delights me, soothes me. I'm seeing rabbits, two of them, playing and doing their rabbity things. I am in anticipation of spring which is upon us, so close I can taste it, but not here completely. I have hope that it will come and that it will be soon because I can hear the signs, see it in the distance, smell it. Yet it's not fully here like it usually is at this time... At least not the glorious, warm, bright, blossoming, vibrant spring that I know. No, that is not here yet, but we know it's coming. After a winter that was so cold it hurt my bones, I am longing for it, aching for it. And there's something about it being so close but yet so far, it's lingering in the horizon that seems all the more taunting, all the more brutal to wait. It is all that we can think about.

There is also something in the distance for me. Close, but not here yet. Something so good, but still has not come. I am so ready. Ready to be with the one I love most each and every day. Engagement should be a fun time, but as I long for spring, I also long for this time to be completed and to be with my bestfriend for the rest of my life.

I am not a normal bride in some respects. I do not particular enjoy wedding planning, or dwell on and get excited by all the small details. I am so excited for our wedding, but just more so to be with this man who I love so much. I am ready for this season to be over and I am ready for the spring, the new, all our adventures that are waiting for us to experience together. Meanwhile, I must wait with a contentment. I must wait with the hope that the new season is soon! Spring is right around the corner and I am so ready. But let me love this time between and this moment I am in. Let me learn to be content in this season, for none of us will ever get it back. Live with an appreciation of the now and not just a longing for the future. Let me be grateful for the hope that I do have. For what is right within my grasp. Let me realize that this time too, although maybe not as bright and colorful as spring, is a joyful time too and something to take pleasure in. May we all find the way to live life in this very moment, to soak it all in before it's gone forever. May we not wish our lives away but take part in what is around us. We have hope that spring will come, it always does.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

beautiful daughter

Beautiful. Beautiful are you, oh daughter of the most High. Made in His image and sculpted with His mighty hands. He knows every fear, worry, love, and hope. He takes delight in hearing your laughter, loves the sound of your voice, your body gloriously designed by the painter.
Wrinkles, creases, lines in the face get more beautiful as time goes by and show a life that was well lived. A life that was full of fight and delight and not compromise. He knows every spider web of thoughts, He knows your truth.
He knows your beauty far better than any earthly creature could see. He knows how many breaths you’ve taken today, how many times you’ve wiggled your toes, or itched your nose. He knows how many times your heart has beat and what glorious things make it skip a beat. He knows what makes you giggle and what tangle of events made you cry. He knows the most intimate longings of your soul. Beautiful, are you, oh daughter of the most High.
The maker of the heavens and earth has chosen You. He knows you by name oh beloved one.
He knows your soul, your spirit, your laugh, the melody of the sound of your voice. The silent cries of your heart are never lost in the chaos. The deep battles within are not ignored, never abandoned. You are loved infinitely beyond measure. You are treasured greater than any earthly pleasure. The creator is not caught up in the mistakes of your past, the messes of your life, or the failures of your tomorrow. The creator does not care about the width of your hips, how small or how big your breasts, the number that little trap box says when you step on it. The creator does not measure you in these ways. No, the most High is not concerned with these matters.
You were bought at a price. You, oh daughter of the King, are worth far more than diamonds or pearls. You were beautifully and wonderfully made. You are His beloved and the Almighty has held you in His hands and said, “It is good and I love you.” For you, oh daughter, are His.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

releasing the shame

I have been through some interesting times in my 23 years. But then again, haven't we all? A lot of what I have been through, though, I have been ashamed of. I've kept it locked away, scared that if I think about it, it might all come back to haunt me again for some reason. Lately, I've been realizing this isn't the case. And that holding things inside not only prevents me from really moving on and healing, but I also don't think God wants us to keep our past locked away, like it was some bad dream we are trying to forget. I believe that we need to recognize our past, so we can really learn from it and move on to more of what God wants from us. I also believe that I am finally in a good place and far enough away from my dark place that I once was, so that I can be honest about it. Let it go, but in doing that, also be honest for others. I see other people who are where I once was, and I just want to hold them, tell them it will be okay, that they can change. I don't want to be ashamed of the girl I once was, but be grateful for the new life I have now.

In the year 20--, I developed an eating disorder. Honestly, there were many years of disordered eating and thoughts that led up to this year, many years of self-loathing. It was in this year, though, that I let everything go. I just didn't care about my life anymore. I gave in and did everything for my eating disorder, even if it would cost me everything. This went on for years. Calorie counting, obsessions, hurting myself, over-exercising, purging. It was the absence of everything good in my life. My life was consumed with my eating disorder and making "it" happy. I lost relationships during this time, ER visits, fainting spells, and life was dark. I kept thinking , once I get to "x" weight, I will stop and my life will get better. Then of course I would get there and it wouldn't. I had such a feeling of helplessness. I was sick of living with daily secrets, but there came a point when I just didn't know how to live any differently.

Eventually, I went to a rehab treatment center, Rogers Memorial Hospital. This place got me out of the cycle, nourished me physically and in many other ways, and gave me a support system that just started the process of healing for me in my life. It gave me hope and the motivation to fight. Although, I knew the fight in all actuality had just begun at that point. When I was released from Rogers 2 months later, I knew my life was going to be different, but that I had a long way to go, and a lot of things to work on. There were years leading up to and living with my eating disorder, and 2 months in a rehab center was just the beginning of the journey to freedom for me.

Now... now, I am in a very different place in my life. I know I cannot say that I am at the end of my journey, as I don't think I can ever truly say that. I always will have more to learn and grow. But I am finally in a good place in my life. I feel like I have slowly crawled out of the darkness, and have finally allowed myself to bask in the glorious sunlight.

I realized throughout my journey that self-love is an essential component to leading a happy and healthy life. I used to always dwell on selfless love, and that I should always only ever be thinking about others. I loved that concept, because it was easy for me to ignore myself in it. Now I see that my views were skewed. Selfless love is an awesome, important thing. Thinking about Christ and his love for others is what I want to emmulate. But self-love is also completely vital to life, and this is something that I have only begun to understand after much healing in my life. Without self-love, I cannot fully love others. Without loving myself first, I am encapable of truly being there for others and loving them back. Without self-love, I cannot give what Jesus wants from me. Without self-love, I am back to the insecure, not confident, eating disordered mind. I cannot be the creative, silly, loving, confident person that God created me to be.

I remember my first day at Rogers. My parents had just drove me to Wisconsin. I was sobbing with my parents, pleading for them to take me home, promising them that I would get better. They, thank God, didn't believe me. I could not believe that they would leave me at this God-forsaken place, with nurses poking and proding me, and was not even given a timeline when I could even think about coming home. I needed to work on me, not school, not how to be there for others, only me, and I just didn't know how to do it. I had gone so many years of torturing my body, how was I going to give it up? My eating disorder was screaming at me that I was nothing without it. I think Rogers was the place where I finally just asked myself, "when are you going to finally just live your life?" Because let me tell you, cycling between anorexia and bulimia is not living... only a living hell. I think I finally was waking up to the fact that if I didn't change my life now, when would I? And would it be too late? Now I see this time as the greatest blessing of my life. For it was at Rogers when I finally began to see the meaning of self-love, along with the love of amazing staff, doctors, nurses, therapists, and all the girls who were there with me who became my support circle. But it wasn't until even a greater time after this, that I finally was able to fully understand self-love. Now I don't obsess over my body. I am learning to LOVE it and everything it can do. Our bodies really are amazing things. My cells keep reproducing, when I cut my finger it heals within a couple days, I am able to taste wonderful delicious foods and I am not scared of how many calories they contain, and by golly, I have the ability to make a baby someday! Our bodies can give us a great source of pleasure, and I want to enjoy mine, be thankful for mine. I can run and move and dance and sing. Or I can just sit on the couch and eat chocolate and be okay with that. I am going to love me... all of me. My hips, my curves, my soul, my spirit. It all comes together to make up me, and I am going to love it well and treat it good.

So... please remember to love yourself first and foremost. Be kind to yourself. Lately I've been happier than I've ever been. And not because my life is just wonderful and easy, but because I am chosing to live in the light and love who I am. With all my quirks and faults. I am surrounded by such amazing friends and family, and even though times in my life are tough, and every once in awhile, I have seriously sucky days, I can move on and let it go. I have hope for a future, and I see my life as precious. I am God's own beautiful, unique creation, whom He loves greatly. And just because of that, I have infinite value. I don't see that as being vain, because I surely know all my many faults and ugliness. But this love just makes me want to give up all my insecurities, live freely, and love myself the way God loves me. I'm still on this journey and probably always will be, but it sure feels wonderful to be headed towards the light.

Well that's just some of my story. I don't feel the need to spill it all;) But I hope my story can also help others on their journey as well.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

decisions and anticipation

It's my last night at home before I leave for college. And not only leave for college, but leave for college for the last time in my life, after a significant period of time away from it. Tomorrow morning I head back to the city that I first moved to 5 years ago, my first time away from home as an 18 year old, not knowing at all what to expect. A city that I have truly grown up in, became independent in, explored, and formed a life of my own in. A city that's seen me through many difficult times, but also times of great growth and newness in my life. And now I realize that this will be the last time I will be heading back to this city after my Christmas break and joining this old familiar place and familiar faces.

I have so many different feelings of moving to this city again. It's strange when you've spent the last 4 months living in a different country, to all the sudden try and go back to this city where you feel like a different person than the last time you were there. When all the while, not having a clue what life is going to be like after this last semester of college. After graduation. It's scary not knowing where your life is headed. I've been a student for so long now, it's strange knowing that I won't be in classes next year. And honestly, if I thought I was, I'd probably be going insane right about now. But it's just a scary feeling not knowing where God is leading you. And trusting that he actually is leading you and he has a plan. Honestly, I am so ready to move on. I am ready for the next stage in my life. I just wish I knew what that was. I wish I had a plan.

Lately I've had to make some big decisions in my life. Decisions that concern my future and what I will be doing after college. Adult decisions. I feel at peace about the decisions I've made, yet there is still so much unknown. I can only wait now. Pray and wait. I don't even know where I will be living, much less anything else about my life after these last 4 months of my college career.
I began to get scared about the unknown. The what's next. I want to plan where I will be and know that I will be okay. Where the hell is life going to take me next?

But maybe this whole not knowing thing should be fun. Part of the journey. Maybe there's a whole new adventure for my life, that is bigger than anything I could have ever planned out for myself. Maybe I just need to trust. I said I didn't want my life to become comfortable. Well I have 4 more months to lead that relatively comfortable life of knowing what I am doing, and then the uncomfortableness will be there knocking. But maybe that is what I really need in life.

I don't want to miss out on life and the here and the now because I am too busy worried about the future. I don't want to miss what God is doing in my life today because I am worried about tomorrow.
I want to live my life with hope and great anticipation! To dwell in the fact that He has good things planned for me because He is good. To get lost in every day little things. To not dwell on my fears but put them to rest in my Father's hands. To know that his plan is greater and bigger than anything that we could ever imagine or dream for ourselves. I want to enjoy wearing my yellow pants (my happy pants if you will) and write and dream. I want to cherish these young free years of mine where I have so much time to live adventures, and explore the world, explore God's huge beautiful creation. Meet people, oh how I love meeting and learning about new people. Ahh... life is too short to worry, and why should we, when we have a God who is so big? He does have a plan for me, and he has one for you too.
So I'm going to spend the rest of this semester in this old city friend of mine, and keep living. Keep hoping. And I don't know if I will still be in this city after these next 4 months, or if I won't even be in this country. But I am going to live with wild anticipation and enjoy the here and now. And I hope you'll join me and smell the flowers along the way too.