On Changes and Eggs

I love to get a good deal. It’s almost a hobby. I say almost, because the truth is, I’m only obsessive about it sometimes and then I get bored. I guess I’m like that in a lot of areas, but I digress. One deal I recently ran into allowed me to get several new magazine subscriptions for free! Big smile!  FREE!!!!  (Mental picture of me standing on my dining room table screaming “Freedom” William Wallace style…don’t worry I didn’t really do that). I snagged some magazines for my hubby and a few that I’d never read but seemed relatively intriguing. I totally dig reading and sometimes crave the randomness found in a magazine so I was thrilled.

The crazy thing that I’m realizing though is that as I peruse through the articles before me, I find myself inspired in so many different ways. I’m instantly ready to try something new. Not earth shattering, morality, changing kind of stuff of course. As everyone who knows me can tell you I’m stubborn and opinionated about virtually everything of importance. Rather, I’m ready to try new things in the mundane areas of my life. I’m willing to completely reinvent my hairdo on a whim or change my wardrobe just to experiment. I’ll want to redecorate my house for no reason, other than maybe the kids left a mess so rather than just clean it, I’ll redo it ALL.

Maybe I should find some crazy art deco piece at a garage sale and paint the house to match or use it to inspire a new outfit or cut up an old outfit and sew it back together with remnants from other outfits to catch the spirit of the piece that so uniquely expresses me…or who I want to be.

I realize this sounds incredibly crazy. But the beauty of it is found in the fact that I am allowed to be who I am. I am free to be ME and I guess a part of me is still unburying who that really is from under my former life. I try not to talk too much about my past, but the truth is, here on the other side looking back I gain so much perspective and appreciation for where I am now.

I had an epiphany last week while stealing eggs from my husband. I cannot make that sentence make sense without a little bit of back-story, so indulge me.

My ex husband was extremely controlling (understatement alert). I wasn’t allowed to eat certain foods because he didn’t like them. That even sounds weird to me as I type it, but it was my life. Rather than fight and suffer the consequences of arguing with him, I ate my eggs scrambled for TEN years! (There were a myriad of other issues far more extreme than this that led to our divorce – disclaimer – I didn’t divorce over eggs…moving on). After the wedding, so many things that were uniquely me were forced into isolation. I had to hide who I was in so many areas for so long that I cannot describe the freedom that comes with being able to breathe again.

My daughter once told me that when I started dating my husband, there were things she thought were an act for his benefit that she later realized were actually the real me who she’d never known. A sad and scary sentence but it is so true. I am now a completely free woman who is married to her hero and best friend and who can eat her eggs any way she likes, which brings me full circle.

Last week, James was eating his breakfast and I stole a bite of his eggs (cooked over medium) and remembered that my entire life, minus ten ridiculous years, I ate my eggs over medium and now I am free to eat them that way again.

I can also wear clothes that I like. I can keep my hair short, long, medium, wavy, straight or in a bun. I can sing as loudly as I want in my own home. I can rearrange the furniture or paint the kitchen or cook for hours. I can work or clean or write or read or play my guitar without repercussions. I am FREE!!!

I’ve also learned that allowing myself to hide from who I am is insulting to me and to God who made me just like this and who cares about my silly thoughts. He loves me for me. My husband loves me for me. I am happy.

Challenge

I’m a sucker for a good challenge until it hurts too much.

I recently gave into an old obsession and bought yet another workout DVD because it looked SO pretty. We all need a little variety from time to time right? I was so excited to pop the sucker in and transform my body in one hour. I knew as soon as it was through I’d be rushing with endorphins and ready to overtake the tri-state area (yes, I have kids and watch way too much Phineas and Ferb). With one swift flash of my Reebok I’d forever destroy the evil forces of Cellulite and his marshmallow minions.

Unfortunately, my dreams of heroism were dashed within the first twenty minutes of hellish torment inflicted upon me by power lunges and the land of ten thousand squats. Even the perfectly perky muscled out trainer people on the tape were in tears with quivering legs unable to sustain any more torment. It was somewhere in between my tears and the tears of the poor and pitiful buff girl on the tape that I decided I may have been a little too ambitious. I decided to come back to this particular DVD in a few years when I’d changed my name to “Jaimie, body-builder extraordinaire”.

For some reason today I decided to get it back out and I happened to notice there was a shorter workout on the same DVD that I hadn’t seen the first time. So I figured I’d give it a shot. Worst case scenario, I could just give up and have a good laugh at the insanity that drove me to try again.

I made it all the way through!  There were definitely a few moments when I was convinced that I would fail. I lost my balance a few times and had to readjust and get back in the right position. But I did it and I feel like a warrior…maybe not quite a superhero yet, but a warrior nonetheless.

I think that’s the way it should be with the challenges before us. Usually the things worth fighting for don’t come easy or cheap. I will not offer on the altar that which costs me nothing comes to mind. (2 Samuel 24:24) Sometimes it will feel like the earth will open underneath us and swallow us whole if we keep standing here. Sometimes it will feel like we aren’t nearly strong enough to keep standing in that position for another second. The cool thing is that in the end, we are a lot stronger than we think we are. We are capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to believe and on top of that, when we aren’t strong enough we have a comforter who is. “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

I’m beginning to believe that if the task I’m setting out to accomplish is perfectly comfortable for me, then it may not be the task God is setting before me. I think he expects us to tackle the big things. I think he wants us to realize we can do more than we have been doing and that he has big, incredibly good, plans for us that exceed what we conceive in our limited understanding. I’m determined to accept the challenges that come my way with determination and passion. I’m determined to not freak out when I lose my balance and fall down, but rather to get up and go again.

I’m going to be one fit mama by the time I’m done both physically and spiritually.  “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.  But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:6-8

 

 

Anchor

Restless waves stirred by force beyond control crashing beneath the weary ones who ache to stand unhindered

Wind to drive the salty air, stinging the eyes, carrying voices to the bellowing deep.

The sea in full fury, bobbing up and down like Jack springing from his metal box with a suddenness and force so unexpected that screams escape unwillingly as if breath were suggested and impulse merely second nature.

Too weighty we are to reach the harbor

Too tossed by circumstance to avoid the rock and crag of the waiting shore.

Forerunner, save us. Go before us and bring our anchor. Set it firm until we can draw near. Behind the veil, you are waiting. Presence of divine hope embodied in your peace.

The waves will pass but you remain. Draw us safely near you. We’ll wait right here.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast and which enters the Presence behind the veil where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus having become the high priest forever” Hebrews 6:19-20