Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Very Vulnerable

Well, I am really going to put myself out there in this post, and it's for no other reason than accountability. I NEED some friends to really remind me of who I am in Christ and make sure I am staying true to who I really am in Him.
Here's the issue...and I will warn you that I am a little nervous about writing this, but along with accountability, journaling is also very therapeutic for me so there are added benefits. I have been struggling really bad for about 3 months with extremely low self-esteem. Like really low! As in I cannot look at myself in the mirror without thinking these words "ugly, fat, gross, scar laden, non-feminine, disgusting" and the list could go on. It's not something that I can easily control. I can't just look in the mirror and say "I am none of those things", because I truly feel that I am. And, it doesn't help the issue that a girl in my small group at church asked me the other night, "so how is it being overweight?" WHAT?!?! Yeah, she really said that and then continued on with a few more statements that were mind-numbingly ridiculous. Now granted, she has legs the size of a toothpick, but when I look at her, I think, "man, I wish I were a size 0 and my collarbones stuck out." Anyone else would probably think that she could stand to gain some pounds. But no, not me. And the problem is that even when I was a size 4 on my wedding day, I STILL thought I was enormous. It's crazy, I know.
So, what am I going to do about this? EVERYTHING that I can. I am working out with a trainer 3 days/week. I am on a very very healthy eating plan. I went to get fitted for prosthetics (against my desire, but following the advice of the counselor I have been seeing since the cancer), called about the ABC (after breast cancer) program at the YMCA,  and am trying to say positive statements about my physical self.  I am also trying to find scripture to help and praying through this. I just need a break-through. I want to make progress. I want to be confident and secure in who I am. I want accountability. So, what I need from you guys is encouragement either through Scripture you feel led to share with me, or just by praying for me.
So, the cat is out of the bag. Don't judge, please. And please don't tell me that I should just be happy to be alive. I AM!!! Believe me I am! Don't tell me "it's just boobs, they are a dime a dozen." Remember, I tried reconstruction and they were not a dime a dozen, or even thousands of dollars for 2. I can't be reconstructed and that's hard to deal with sometimes. I say this because I have been told these 2 irritating statements on numerous occasions. Oh, and there is the "it's just hair, it's over-rated and it will grow back eventually." Yeah, I really hated that ridiculous way of thinking even though I really didn't mind my bald self.
OK - enough. I must get sleep as 4:45 will come really soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Perspective

In my community group at church, we are studying the book of Philippians through a workbook/video series by Matt Chandler. He is the lead pastor at The Village Church in Dallas, TX. And I should say that in my book, he ranks right up there with Steven Furtick and Craig Groeschel. All wonderful mentors through their teachings and amazing examples of sold-out-for-Jesus men. Anyways, back to my topic. Two weeks ago we were talking about being discontent and that it is actually okay to not be fully content with your life...your spiritual life that is! It's true. Should we ever be happy with where we are in our relationship with Jesus? Nope...I don't believe so. I think we should always crave more of Him and seek Him out always. We should always want a better prayer life, more time with Christ, more time studying His Word, and more time hearing from Him. We referred to this as Holy Discontentment. Where in your life are you discontented? For me, it's my prayer life. I really really want a more effective and more consistent time in prayer not just talking to God, but also listening in silence to Him. I tend to start thinking about random things during my prayer time and I hate that. I do have a prayer journal that I keep though and that has helped this discontentment somewhat (again, I think I will always have holy discontentment). I have 4 categories...David, Kelly, Other Family, and Friends. I write down every single prayer need that I can think of or that people tell me about. That helps me focus and then at the end of each month, I highlight the ones that have been answered and re-write the ones that haven't for the next month.

Then there is the topic of Eternal Perspective. Boy do I need that!!! So many things can really get me worked up and anxious, irritated, upset, angry, etc... Things like my kids fighting, crazy people on the road, betrayal by friends, rudeness, etc... I think we all get worked up over things such as these. Heck, I even get a little irritated when my dear husband leaves his clothes scattered on the floor or doesn't put his cup in the dishwasher. I admit it, I am a clean freak. However, does any of this matter in the long run? I mean really. Nothing matters in life except that we seek to follow Jesus more and more each day. That I try to see everything from His eyes...the eternal perspective.
My community group decided this week to really try to see everything from the EP (yes, it's too much to type so it gets initials). It's pretty amazing what that can do for you. Today as I sat at Vanderbilt waiting on tests and the doctor, I was getting more and more anxious. While I love that place because of the wonderful cancer treatment I got, I also hate that place because of the bad memories that come along with it. Anyways, I just kept saying over and over to myself "eternal perspective." I know I had cancer in order to further the kingdom of God. I know that I was meant to minister to people and namely, Kate. From the eternal perspective, I was right where I should have been doing exactly what God called me to do. And while I didn't verbally minister to someone outright, I pray that my smile, kind words, and holding doors for people helped shine the light of Jesus. That makes the discomfort and anxiety worth it...as I am overcoming myself and pushing forward to Jesus.

Try it this week. Really try it. I think you will be amazed.
Phillipians 3:13 - No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, (14) I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Busy

Life has been so busy lately. We went to Texas for a week and since getting back several weeks ago, time has flown by and I feel like I am finally getting a chance to breathe again. I have nothing too exciting to blog about, but I will share some highlights. And then I plan on getting a plan together and finding time to blog again more regularly.

1. I have started taking piano lessons! I go every Tuesday and I absolutely love it. I took for 8 years as a child/teenager, but then quit because of getting busy with high-school. I decided a few months ago that I wanted to pick it back up again so I purchased a really awesome keyboard and have been playing ever since.
2. I made it through a difficult few Sundays. March 6th was the 1 year anniversary of my chemo buddy Kate's death. And March 13th was the memorial anniversary. Both of those days were melancholy days, but honestly as much as it hurts and as I much as I miss her, I wouldn't wish her back for anything because she is with Jesus now. Her husband is still having a hard time and I won't get into details, but if you are reading this, I would just ask for prayers for him. His name is Tim.
3. Soccer season has started for Chloe...my 4 year old. David is coaching her team which consists of 9 girls ages 4-5. So far so good. We have our first game this Saturday. Hopefully the Little Ponies will have fun and maybe even score a few goals!
4. Chloe's dance studio has performances planned for Rivers and Spires festival and Chloe's class of 3-4 year olds are scheduled to perform their tap dance routine at the festival on stage. Chloe has a decision to make...either miss the dance performance, or miss 2 soccer games for a mandatory dance practice and then the performance. She can't decide right now, keeps wavering, so I am thinking this is a pretty tough decision for a 4 year old girl. Wish that was my hardest decision!
5. My friend Kelly just adopted a beautiful little 2 year old girl from Ethiopia and they are settling in quite nicely to Tennessee. You need to check out her blog if you haven't yet or want to read an amazing God story (you can get to it by clicking on my Family Blog link and then scroll down to my blog list...she is Bullock Family). I'm not sure she has put every detail on there yet, but let's just say that she and her hubby obeyed God even when NOTHING made sense and He worked out every detail down to the final funds coming in the week before they went to pick up their daughter. EVERYTHING worked out perfectly...although sometimes there were super stressful moments that they had no choice but to trust God with.
6. And finally I have been quite immersed in Beth Moore's study "Breaking Free." WOW!!! I never knew how many strongholds I had until this study and how debilitating they can really be. Rest assured dear friends that I am breaking free from them and am working hard at it. I will be sure to blog some of the highlights from my experience with Beth and Jesus later on.

I have missed being on here and hope to be back regularly very very soon. Hugs to each and every one of you.