Thursday, January 17, 2013
I always love the near year. It just feels so fresh and inviting. Like clean sheets. An unmarked slate ready to be written upon.
I'm totally not about resolutions. It's just too much pressure, and since statistics say that most people fail at keeping their resolutions until even the end of January, I would just assume not be a statistic. So more or less I just refocus. I ask Jesus what He wants for the year. I try to evaluate the last year and what has gone well and what needs to be improved. In me. In homeschool. In teaching. In marriage. In parenting. In life.
So I guess here's my list:
We needed a new schedule for homeschool. With me teaching two days a week we thought we could do afternoons only but I just feel like that wasn't working for the kids very well. They needed more structure. So now we are are doing school every day and daddy is doing mostly review while I'm teaching. I've also incorporated a couple of awesome websites into our school day that I think will be great for the long haul. (spellingcity.com and readingeggs.com if you're interested.)
Transparency alert: this is very hard for me. Not for the reason you think. I think for many people, maintaining their weight/arriving at a healthy weight is a challenge. This is true of me too, but it is much more than that.
I have no ovaries. I have no estrogen in my body because I have no ovaries. Except fat has estrogen in it. So my body likes to store fat. This makes it VERY hard to lose weight or even just not gain weight. I have particularly struggled with my weight since I was diagnosed with cancer (which is also when my ovaries were shut down and then subsequently removed).
So I get easily discouraged. I have figured out this journey is one of a MARATHON not a sprint. When I try to do crazy things (like the hcg diet, or work out too hard, or get really restrictive with my diet) then I may lose a *little* weight temporarily but I cannot stay with it long term so I gain back. Yo-yo diets are BAD. So Jesus and me are walking this thing out together. I need a routine I can stick with. I need to stop eating when I'm full (well, before I'm full). I need to slow down while eating. I need to move more, but that doesn't mean I have to kill myself trying to get this blasted weight off...
And the biggest thing? "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). The Lord keeps saying this to me over and over and OVER again. I know He is concerned with my heart. He doesn't hate me when I take bites of food. He doesn't hate me when I don't exercise. He isn't disappointed when I can't fit into a size 8. He doesn't stand me next to my vegan friend and say "Look at HER. Why can't you be like HER?!" He doesn't look at me in the mirror and say, "You're fat! You're ugly! Everyone thinks you're a glutton!"
Jesus DOES NOT see me that way.
Oh but Satan does. Man if you could get inside my head and hear what the enemy whispers (yells!) to me when I look in the mirror or see pictures of myself. It is an all-out war friends. And I stink at fighting this one. I either let him beat me down and start believing him, or I resort to all-in-the-flesh tactics which results in yo-yo diets and exhaustion.
And Jesus says, "I am pleased with you. I love your heart. I love how you love me. I. LOVE. YOU." And I want to believe Him. I need to believe Him.
So the crux of it is that I am asking Him to walk with me, lead me, and help me on this journey. Me and Him. No one else's expectations or judgments or ideas or fads. Just me and Jesus. So please don't advise me. Just pray for me.
I am leading a women's small group at church this semester. It really has nothing to do with me being a great leader or thinking I have something to impart or anything like that because I absolutely don't. I got nothing, man. But I'm longing for Him. And I'm longing for joy. And I'm longing for accountability (the healthy kind--with love!).
After reading this amazing book and gleaning so much from it, and then prayerfully consider the above study, I really feel like it will be a great thing to walk with women in community, pursuing joy in the daily grind. I'm excited about it. If you want to participate with us, please comment and let me know.
We are also starting a new small group with our old small group leaders. This was the first small group where we experienced true, Acts 2 community. This couple have literally been spiritual parents to us. I am so, so excited that God has allowed us to walk with them through another season. And this is a marriage focused small group which I know will be awesome. Always needing to be challenged in this area.
I know that me managing my time better is also critical. I have a laundry schedule now (two loads a day Monday-Friday and then weekends off, or catch up if needed for some reason). I have a homeschool schedule (what subjects we do each day, not hour by hour). I'm working on a "Me" schedule. I have a 90 minute gap on campus now between classes which will help IMMENSELY with grading, planning, etc for my college classes. That can be so hard to do at home when there are other people/things pulling for my time.
I feel like a key thing Jesus is saying is, "Be present." He wants me to be present in what I'm doing in the moment. Less Facebook, more time in the floor with the kids. Less distraction, more focus on Him.
So, these are my goals. The culmination of my evaluations of the last year. I want to begin this year with the end of the year in mind. I want to be further along on this journey in December than I am today. Even if it is in baby steps. Mostly I just want to please Him in the way I do all things. That's all that really matters anyway.