Monday, February 19, 2007

"Puppy Prozac"

"Puppy Prozac". That was the title of a news segment on television just now. Not kidding.

The heart wrenching story of a depressed greyhound. According to his very earnest owner, he was very excitable and seemed sad. He would bark when someone rang the doorbell or when the phone rang. Huh. Very strange behavior from a dog.

So the vet prescribed Prozac. And now "he's like a whole new dog."

If Prozac seems a little extreme, there are other options. Like holistic medicine. Or accupuncture. No, I am not kidding. They showed footage of a dog getting accupuncture. The owner bragged that he was a very healthy dog. Guess what? So is my dog. And she eats dead animals and licks herself.

It just seemed too absurd. I had to comment. I'm sure there are spiritual lessons there. Like how broken our world is or how lonely people are. But right now, all I can do is shake my head in disbelief.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I Got People

As you saw in my last post, I struggle sometimes with insecurities. And it is a struggle. I think I post my struggles more than anything else. Why is that?

I don't struggle with it like I used to... I don't hate myself. I guess I'm beginning to see myself thru the eyes of the Gospel and I like what I see. I can accept myself because Christ has accepted me. I can love myself because Christ has loved me. And then He gives me family...

I hate to even clarify "church family" because I feel like some might dismiss it. Because my church family is unlike anything I have experienced this side of heaven. I know that to some, church people are nice folks who bring you food when someone dies or maybe say Hi in the grocery store. But mine is very different. My church family includes people in California, Georgia, Mississippi, London. Let's call them my 'people'. Like that tax commercial. "I got people." They are deeper than friends but have no actual blood relation. There is a mystical connection.

And we're not family because we have so much in common. We are, in fact, quite diverse. I have people who are very trendy and some who are anything but. I have people who are loud and witty and some who are shy and reserved. Very different. But they are my people. They belong to me and I to them. I have people in their 80s and people barely in their teens. And I talk and connect with them all. I guess that what I'm talking about is unity. Huh. Unity.

We had a potluck dinner after church today to say good-bye to the Carters, one of our own who have moved. Jon and Betty, Joanna and Emma. (Betty is a writer. Lovely books. You can find them on Amazon I think... Betty Smartt-Carter.) Anyways.... they are leaving us but only in geography.

As I looked around today, I was struck again at the beauty of the love of Christ. I could go sit at any and every table and be accepted and loved. They all know my faults and sins and struggles but as they have faults and sins and struggles of their own, they accept me as I am. They know that God is bigger than our pain and problems and they let love cover a multitude of sin.

For those who want a visual... I looked around at one point and this is what I saw:
Steve and Laura dancing while the Foushee's and Carter's looked on, laughing.
Jordan giving Brody a piece of chocolate cake.
Adam and Ms. Merrell deep in conversation.
Jessica and Connie eating together.
KimHill and Chris eating and laughing.
About a million kids at the other end of the gym, running and playing.
Jennifer Jensen and Laura Barnett walking towards me to talk.
I heard rather than saw Burt laughing.

Altogether, a shining moment of Shalom... the way things ought to be.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Know Thyself

There are certain things that I know about myself. Characteristics that are as much a part of me as my curly hair.

1. Some mornings I wake up with an excessive number of words in my brain just waiting to be used. I cannot make them go away or cease to exist. I talk. Sometimes too much. But God has blessed me with a husband who loves that about me. Once, when we were newly married, I realized that I had been talking and not letting Chris get a word in. So I stopped, looked at him and said, "Okay. Your turn." He looked at me, grinned and replied, "Uh-uh. Nope... that's why I married you. So I'd never have to talk again." He didn't mean it bad. He genuinely loves that about me.

2. I am clumsy. Painfully so. It takes a great deal of mental concentration to not hurt myself on a daily basis. I've learned how to do other things while I'm being aware of the steps I'm descending or the ground I'm walking over. But I've learned to concentrate a certain amount of energy to being aware of my clumsiness and compensate for it. Chris says that I'm so focused on where I'm going I don't pay attention to how I get there.

3. I lose things. I don't pay attention to what I'm doing... see previous paragraph... I lay things down and walk away. I've grown out of it a bit over the years. But papers still elude me. I cannot keep up with little scraps of paper. That's one reason I love computers. I've never once lost my CPU.

4. I will never be "the best" at anything. No matter what it is, someone in my sphere of aquaintances will be better at it than I am. I may be good at lots of things... but I'll never be the best. I've learned to accept that fact. It's okay.

These are the very things that made me hate myself growing up. I felt like an idiot or a freak. My family teased me or was annoyed by me. To this day, a lot of my extended family completely do not hear me when I speak.... they're just used to tuning me out I guess. I refuse to let Chris buy me nice jewelry. He tried once... I lost it. I still hate myself for that. I enjoy my CZ jewels.

I want to be perfect so badly. I hate feeling like a doof. I hate the sometimes lingering feeling that when I leave a room, someone rolls their eyes. Why is that?

I think that it is, in part, my spirit crying out for shalom... the way things ought to be. I was created for perfection. I was created for wholeness. But I do not live in a perfect, whole world. Therefore, I am out of place. If I know that I was created for something else, shouldn't I feel like a fish out of water? Isn't it okay for me to long for heaven, for the way things ought to be? And in the meantime, can I accept, by God's grace, who I am?

Chris is such a visual aid for God's grace. He loves that I talk a lot. He takes care of me when I hurt myself... never once teasing me. He has never lectured me when I've lost something. He tells me that I am the perfect woman for him. I experience these things with him and am pushed to accept the same love, only vastly deeper, from God.

God knows me. God loves me. He is not disappointed in me. He has never rolled his eyes or laughed at my expense. I am his bride and He gives His all to me. Literally.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I Am Fat... And It Is Good

I met my first weight loss goal tonight.

I have lost 10% of my body weight. Which, for me, means that I am no longer obese... I am only fat. So applaud me. Affirm me. Give me cheers. But before all that, praise God with me.

This has been such an exercise in grace. I am weak but he is strong. There have been so many epiphanies. I have been shown so many idols, so many wrong desires. I have learned that when I do wonderfully, I am proud. When I fail miserably, I am unbelieving. I have come to understand more fully that in my natural state, I am a failure. But in my redeemed state, I am beautiful and whole and loved and enjoyed.

I still have a long journey ahead of me... but I cannot give up. I cannot give in. God has brought me thru the valleys (or should I say the plateau?). He is all I have. He is all I need. He is all I want. He is all.