Monday, January 30, 2012

Time

Today God has revealed an important truth to me: I am a hoarder of time. I am selfish with my time, to the point that I don't spend any time with Him. Unless I have to, so I spend the obligatory amount of time reading a verse or so, or even a couple if I'm feeling generous. I would almost liken my time with God to a drive-thru window:  you go through because you're hungry and you need food fast, but you don't want to take the time to actually sit in the restaurant to eat.

It clearly says in Scripture "Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more." (Luke 12:48). I like how this is stated in the Message "Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities".  I always just kinda figured that meant money.  When you think about it, though, that goes for anything that you've been given, and for me that goes for time as well. I've been given loads of time, but it's always slipped like sand between my fingers, because I've never wanted to grasp what God's been trying to tell me: you expect time from me.  Having a relationship with God requires sacrifice of self, and sacrifice of the things that mean so much to us, but it's for our own good. I think often on something I heard a long time ago: what if I tried to have a relationship with my husband but only intended on spending 10 minutes or so with him a day? And what if during that time all I did was give him a quick run-down of my day, then asked him to do a few things around the house for me, and never got around to listening to him? If we spent time in our relationships like we tend to spend time with God, the relationship wouldn't last because we wouldn't be giving it the time or effort it needs to sustain it.

I always have what-ifs running through my mind, like what if I don't get the house clean? What if I don't work out? What if....times a thousand. I just allow my mind to be totally bullied by all the what-ifs. So much so that the peace and solice, mental calmness, the energy, the organization, the drive and the joy that I so desperately seek by keeping the house clean, organized, by body fit, my kids on schedule...all of the peace, etc eludes me time and time again. Time is the most precious thing to me because I feel I have too much to do. I'm giving God what is most precious to me because I trust Him to take care of me.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Plague of Insecurity

Does everything I do come from a base of insecurity? Is that why I'm having such a hard time "loving my shape"? I am so self-conscious that going out or just existing when I feel "big", whether it's all in my head or not, is really tough. I feel like everyone is judging me for what I look like. Or they're saying, "she's not very pretty anymore" or something to that effect. I have read that this is part of insecurity- you feel like a big red X marks you and everyone's attention is on you.

 I feel desperate to try and keep the shape I had, which was perfect at a certain weight and not one single pound more, and now that I weigh more than that, even though it's only by a few pounds, I feel like I'll do anything to make it perfect again.  Even if that means cutting out entire food groups from my diet, or exercising 2 or 3 times a day. I look at beautiful people, especially like Kim Kardashian, and think that if she can be not a size 0/2 and still be absolutely gorgeous, then maybe I can pull it off too. But then I immediately doubt that, because I don't dress that sharp everyday, or wear make-up everyday, or do my hair everyday, so it's not possible.

It's dangerous to compare yourself to others, yet I do nearly everyday. 2 Corinthians says is dangerous, too "However, when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely."  Why in my head does thin= pretty, and that's it? Doesn't personality equal pretty? Or style? What about what God does when I allow Him to shine through in my life? Why is it only thin? This is a chronic problem, one that I'm drowning in. I can't fix it. I'll never be able to enjoy another bite, take a vacation from exercise, or a combo of both if I don't allow God to do some serious healing in my heart. Every time I think I've gained some ground, I've taken 2 steps forward...then I take 1 step back and it feels like I'm at square one.

The question is how long will I hold onto this anxiety before it takes a permanent toll on me, or on my relationships? It would be foolish for me to think that my daughter isn't watching my habits carefully. And I'd be fooling myself if I said I didn't think about her eating habits, healthful and otherwise, or if I ignored weight issues amongst our youth. Is a huge issue, although not one for her right now. I have reasoned with myself "I want her to have healthy habits, so is what I do so bad?"...but it's not my eating habits (although cutting out entire food groups isn't a healthy way to go), it's my extreme habits that will have an affect on her, and probably already do. It's my self-conscious and insecurity that will teach her first, and the fact that I don't ever have to say a word is scary. I don't ever say "do I look ______?",  I don't say anything. But my habits imply that very thing without having to say it.

Unfortunately I am not finding peace in scripture that says I am Gods beautiful masterpiece.  I want to believe that, but my heart just doesn't. I need Him to do some serious, intensive healing so I can believe His Promises that I am significant, I was made with a purpose (Ephesians 1:11) and I am His crown jewel (Isaiah 62:3), the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8).  It would do us all good to meditate on those verses a little more, but sometimes my head is so full of anxious thoughts (i.e. How many calories have I burned vs. How many have I eaten and what kind), that nothing else fits up there.  Did you know that one of the reasons people have poor memories is because of worry and anxiety? I've got plenty of that, and it's only one subject! My head is so full of worry and anxiety that sometimes I can think of nothing else!

Heres what I do know, and I hang onto this truth tightly: God is the only way to peace, He's the only way to security, and His path is truth. If I just continue looking to Him, even in the midst of the anxiety, the worry, and the insecurity, then He will be there for me. He will heal me because I've learned that all I have to do is ask him to. He will never let me down never let me go, (The Lord God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you Deuteronomy 31:6) and what He has waiting on the other side of this insecurity is a freedom that can never be taken away.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Secure as a Rock?

I've just read some of Beth Moore's book "So Long Insecurity...", (which I've already read once and promptly forgotten).  Only in chapter one, things are hitting home like I have never thought about them before. Which I have, but I guess there is argueably some truth that repetition helps you remember things. The one topic I am focusing on today is insecurity, and how we so often try to become secure in ourselves. My own personal insecurities lie in the area of appearance but people have many different strongholds. When I look at how I spend my time (working out), my money (gym, workout clothes, and my newest obsession, P90X!), and my thoughts (how to cut back on eating/eat healthier to lose weight, my never-ending quest), I think it's pretty obvious where my insecurities lie. I feel the most secure when I feel like I look my best.

But Beth Moore says something interesting in her book, something I've never thought of before.  She talks about her quest to become so secure she is like a rock, immoveable and unaffected by life. But is that a good thing? She writes that no, it isn't, because, she reasons "I have a feeling we can never get so secure in ourselves that we cannot be moved. Can a rock ever move forward?"

I want to move forward. I've wasted too much precious time and mental energy that I could have been spending on my family or with God (or on other-dare I say fun??-things) trying to figure out how to lose weight and become "prettier". How many of us have looked at an ad for skincare, or lingerie, and thought, if only I looked like that, I'd feel better about myself...
Well, as a person who currently struggles with that very thing, it's no fun. It doesn't seem like it will ever come. It's just within sight but too far to reach, partly because we were never meant to focus on those things. Out security comes from God, and God alone.