Thursday, November 1, 2012

Finding the thankful

I almost wrote yesterday, and the day before that, and the week before that, and some weeks before that, too. I didn't. Want the excuses? No? Good; me, either.

I had to video myself giving a presentation this week. Talk about a humbling experience. I talk all day long, and present tons - but this was a different ballgame. There were stakes involved, I know the person who will be evaluating it, and I am in a season of being attacked for my inadequacy.  Complicated, much? Ha! The good news - I got the video done and submitted it before I recorded it again; the bad news - it took me 14 takes.  FOURTEEN. Um...Perfectionist meet Becca. Wowzers.

I admit, I love social media. I have had the chance to reconnect with some great friends that I would have otherwise lost touch with. I have also been able to stay connected to some people I may have never stayed connected to. But social media beats me up. Every day. Some days it is just a little shove into a wall, evoking nothing more than an internal wince. Other days it is a full blown shove me down the stairs, kick me in the ribs event of such proportions that I fully expect to feel the soreness and see physical bruises on my body the next morning. Such is the cycle of a perfectionist. Beth Moore makes an excellent point in "So Long Insecurity" - she says that insecurity wears an extravagant mask of perfectionism.  No truer sentence has ever been written about me. (Well, ok, except for everything in the Bible, but you get my point.)

A woman I greatly admire is Angie Smith - such an incredible writer and beautiful soul. If I ever get the chance to meet her, I am going to give her the biggest hug and thank you ever (and hopefully not creep her out!).  All of her writing touches my heart - I have been following her blog for a while now.  Yesterday, she posted an article on (in)Courage titled "The New Pretty".  In it she talks about the pictures we create of our lives on social media - and the effects it has on others. I'll admit - there have been many times I went to post a picture or update or share a link to an article, and didn't because I didn't think it was exciting enough, funny enough, pretty enough, etc. As if there are not enough battles to fight in this lifetime, you know being born into sin and all - now I have piled on the extra layer of comparing myself to the world through social media. (In addition to the other eleventy thousand places I compare myself to other people every other minute of my life!)

I put on a few pounds in the past three months - nine to be exact. It is humbling. And upsetting. My prayers have started to turn selfish in the past few weeks/months. It is humbling. And upsetting.  Work is hard. My heart longs for things that God has not (yet?) brought to my life. My goals and dreams sometimes feel so far away. Friendships take work. Family dynamics take work. God is gently reminding me that it's not about me or my own plans.

So today I write.  I want November to be very intentional - in my prayers, in my spending, in my relationships, in my health, and in my pursuit of my goals. All this happens to coincide with the month many Americans set aside to meditate on what they are thankful for.

Today I write - to find the thankful. Today I am thankful. I am thankful for a God who can heal the wounds that no one else can see. Who picks me up when I feel like I have been battered by my own comparison, and gently whispers in my ear "You are EXACTLY who I want you to be and where I want you to be, and it is impossible for me to love you more." 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A change three years in the making

What a difference three years can make! Yes, I am fully aware that the saying is 'what a difference a day makes' - but I have seen this on a MUCH larger scale. Yesterday marked the three year anniversary of my RNY Gastric-Bypass surgery (known commonly as 'weight loss surgery'). I am overwhelmed and incredibly grateful when I think about the past three years, and the changes that have occurred in my life. God has done amazing things, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that He used the surgery and aftermath to transform my life.

I want to recount all of the amazing things that have happened over the past three years, and I'm kicking myself for not keeping a good account of them.  SO...I am going to start over....kind of. I am going to spend some time recapping some major milestones/events, and then I'll go back and provide as many details as I can remember on some of them. But, I am going to do that while adding in accounts of what I am doing and experiencing now. It is so easy in this time of my life to think that nothing is happening or that what is happening is not of significance, but that is not the case. I am learning to see each day as significant, and each situation as important and life altering. 

So the easiest way to tell a story is by pictures, right? Well, the captions speak for themselves, but here is a pictorial transformation three years in the making. 

Easter 2009 (1 month before surgery)
Mother's Day 2012 (three years after surgery)

Some highlights of the transformation:
- 100 pounds lost (still 20-25 more to go....but its a slow process!)
- Moved from Kansas City to Dallas
- Found a church that I LOVE
- Found an amazing Home Group of girls I love dearly
- Cut ties with some heavy strong influences in my life
- Learned to forgive myself and move on
- Rediscovered my absolute love for golf (which probably borders on an addiction)
- Set goals for myself that I failed miserably because God had bigger/better plans....and I loved every minute of it
- Traveled to some fun places (Chicago/Indiana, Boston, New York City, Jacksonville, San Diego) - and have a cruise planned for July
- Learned what people mean when they say 'find out who you really are' (I thought that was some new-agey crap people made up!)
- LIVED! and Loved every minute of it

What the pictures don't tell you or show you, is the complete transformation on the inside as well.  It will take numerous blog posts to explain all of that, and it hasn't been all that easy. I have learned that I am stubborn.  Ok, ok, I knew that all along, but what I really learned is that I am stubborn with God.  I have heard his voice so clearly in the past year and a half, yet still wrestled with Him and what He has told me at times.  But overall.....overall, I would say the beginning of this journey, Mother's Day 2008 started a complete transformation that I am forever grateful and forever overwhelmed by. God has been so good to me - even when I want to whine and complain that He hasn't given me what I want - in the grand scheme of all of, He has been amazing!
I can't wait to share more of the journey....