All around me
Running through me
Oh, your love is a melody
Running to me
It's been so long since I've been here, I scare remember how to do this. To say that my life has "changed in so many ways" would be a gross understatement. I haven't done this since December. To say that I took my last blog post seriously would also be an understatement. Shortly after it's completion, I did ask myself about my regrets and what I've been doing wrong. Was I the person I wanted to be? The answer, simply, was...no. I wasn't. I can't sugar coat that. I was living day to day in a state of boredom and the act of putting one foot in front of the other. Complacency, the most dangerous state of mind that can ever be achieved.
It's strange how when you get older, certain things begin "clicking." What is that all about? All those "I told you so" moments passed down from the generations before you start making sense. I am still under the strong impression that you should begin life the smartest you'll ever be, and every year after that you should progressively lose intelligence. But, since that isn't the way life works...we have to wait for the "clicks."
For example, take advantage of life while you are young. I was constantly looking for excuses. Well, I have to work. I have to get some sleep. I can't do that, I'm too tired. I'm not motivated enough to get out of bed in the morning and do xyz. Before you know it, the excuses start becoming your life. I don't want my life to be an excuse.
Don't get me wrong, I can't complain about much. My life has been a miraculous blessing and I've experienced some wonderful and exhilarating things. However, I came to the point in life where I asked myself, "Do I want to have moments of awesome? Or would I rather live my life awesomely?"
Fast forward to June of this year. A change began to take place.
I'm looking at the goal list on the right side of this page right now. Some of these things have been achieved. Some of them I laugh about, long story short...some of these goals need to be modified. We'll breakdown what's been going on in categories. Let's start with the most obvious.
FITNESS AND CLEAN EATING:
As the Facebook world is perfectly aware, I've been on this journey for about approximately 5ish months.
I work out 4+ times a week, vigorously.
I have completely stopped drinking alcohol (more on this later).
I've ran a 5K in 26 minutes (I still hate running).
I've accomplished a hand-stand push up (I get to about 6 in a row).
I have completely stopped drinking soda (Seriously, flame retardant in Diet Mtn Dew, gross).
I've lost 13 pounds since June.
For the first time in my life, I know my body is far more capable than I ever gave it credit for. My entire view on health and fitness has drastically changed over the course of this year. I started out believing I knew everything, and actually knowing nothing (much like the entirety of my life). I look forward to the feeling after a good work out. I know that the scale doesn't determine your health and shouldn't determine how you feel about your body. I've learned that my body will keep going, long after my mind has failed. I know there are no excuses for not getting out there and doing something with my health. Those useless moments spent on social networking, TV, blah, blah, blah. Those moments add up, and those moments can change your life.
I still have a long way to go. I'm still working diligently to make a change. You can too! Who's with me?
Of course you guys can't see the changes in my marriage (maybe you can?). The point is, I love my husband immensely. He is a treasure among men. He works HARD, provides for our needs, keeps me laughing and is perfectly made for our marriage.
However, no marriage is without difficulty. Especially when you live 300+ miles from each other and are constantly stressed by the demands of independent, though together, lives. With that said, I (maybe not so much him) constantly tried to make my marriage fit into a mold of what the world expected. I've been very preoccupied with the thoughts and suggestions of what others thought OUR life together should be. I found myself getting really upset and worked up about what my friends and family members thought of our decisions and our love for each other. These snippets and insertions into our lives constantly ate at me, and often still do.
I'm here to tell you that I finally realized that the opinions and molds of others, (though some advice is welcomed and appreciated) will no longer be a principle that my marriage and our future depends on. I'm sorry I'm not sorry?
Through God and God alone, I'm learning what real love and real marriage is. It's relinquishing control and submitting yourself and your marriage to a plan that is more devine than your own (or the plans of others). Sometimes that means that I have to submit (bad word, eh?) my plans and surmised leadership to Timmy. I strive daily to consider what his thoughts are, and put them ahead of my own. Through the changes in our lives, I've fallen in love with him even more. Second to God, he is my heart's desire. Where he leads, I will follow (though, often begrudgingly).
So to those that attempt to: tell us when and where and how we should have children, where we should move, what our bills need to look like, where we should spend our time and energy, treat us like children when we make bad decisions...or good ones...I say, "We got this. With God on our side, we got this. We will go wherever we are led, and we'll depend on God and each other to see it through. I appreciate your concern, but we've got a life to live and a marriage to get on with over here. We've got a life to live and faith to place. I hope you love us anyway, because we love you."
Don't get this advice confused with the "clicks" I was talking about earlier. Because I did get a "click" in this instance, too. It came from faith and hope in God and the love and trust of my husband.
To my husband: I can't imagine my life without you. You are every dream I've ever had, come true. No matter what, we'll make it. No matter how, we got this. I will strive daily to place more trust in your encouragement and support. I love you more than all the sand in the desert and all the stars in the sky.
FAITH (the most important):
Here we go, she's going to talk about God. Yep, you're right.
"4. I regret that I've been such a cynic. I have definitely developed myself into a "I have to see, touch, smell, hear and taste it before I believe it" person. I regret letting slip the faith I once had...in people, in family, in friends and in God. Some people may not want to hear it, and that's fine...we all have our own prerogatives. However, I honestly felt I was a better person when I put more trust in people and in spirituality. Life gets pretty old when you're constantly questioning the intentions and validity of everything. While knowledge is power, faith is fulfilling. This, is something I've slowly and painfully come to understand."
These were my words. The were MY words on my last blog post. I grieve the fact that I reached this point. Grieved it. In February, we started going back to church. Before that I constantly looked for excuses. God was lukewarm in my heart.
With that said, God and I are still working with each other. I have had a lot of "click" moments on this walk. I have them daily. I can't fathom why I blamed God for so much of what was wrong in the world, the inadequacies in myself and in others. God is entirely good. How can I even begin to understand perfect love and grace in a broken world? How can I even begin to explain it?
It started like this: I got in the Word and started having moments of gut/heart-wrenching awareness of God's presence. I believe it's because I was searching for it. Often I would go to God like He was a magic genie and only when I wanted His input. I would only listen when He was giving me what I wanted.
People often ask my how I know that God is real. Here's how: I've FELT him. I knew He was real when I was about 14 years old. When His presence literally brought me to my knees. I don't know what happened after that. I had a fire for a few weeks, then it died. I didn't nurture that relationship. I fought it because it wasn't worldly pleasing. It wasn't cool. I went to college, and become completely and hopelessly cynical. I'm ashamed to say there were years where I didn't even believe that He was real anymore. It was much easier to blame God for every bad thing in this world. After all, he has devine authority. How does He allow all this hate? How does He allow all this war and turmoil and strife and heartache and death and so on and so forth. Why are Christians the WORST people ever?
Then it "clicked." This stuff isn't GOD, this stuff is purely human. God is wholly good, entirely love. We succumb to worldliness, we hate, we break our own hearts, we start wars over religion or otherwise, we hate people who aren't like us, we blame, we regress, we stray so far away that we blame the only thing that loves us regardless of what we have done. We are not perfect. We will never be.
It hit me out of no where. I was on a run, earphones in, breathing hard, almost to the 3 mile mark...He hit me. The next thing I know, I was crying. Yes, imagine that sight. In a moment of weakness, BAM, strength out of no where. The overwhelming weight and lightness of knowing God is there with you. Then, things began changing.
From that moment onward I have been actively seeking the face of God. Through church, quiet time, Psalm reading, prayer journaling, etc. I have experienced several more moments of overwhelming presence, the reminder of things not seen. However, I'm content with knowing He is always here. Even when I can't see Him or feel that overwhelming presence, I know without a doubt, He is here with me.
I still struggle. I still worry. I still say things that are completely hurtful and ugly. But, everyday, I get a little closer and often I take three steps back. My deepest prayer is to be more like Christ in my interactions. No matter what you believe, Jesus is love. Wether you believe He is the Savior or not, I cannot think of one story where Jesus wasn't fully and completely love. No matter what people did, or thought, or acted on...He showed them nothing but love. Though He was tortured, beaten and murdered He prayed for His accusers. Always love. It all comes down to love.
How has this changed my life:
I've stopped drinking, it makes me into something I hate.
I work hard in all things.
I attempt to see patients, more patiently.
I love my friends and family with a fervor that I've never experienced.
I'm better able to let things roll off my shoulder.
I worry less.
I sleep better (I'm sure the exercise helps).
I'm not ashamed to talk about God to anyone.
I know there are better things to come.
I will grow where I am planted.
I am loved, fully and unequivocally by a holy Creator who lives within me. I rest in that.
TOMATO, THE HUBS.We've already touched on my marriage. So let me update you on things Tomato.
He is still living in NC. Still commuting every weekend to be closer to me and the dogs. He's enjoying life right now. Constantly in the woods. He's still not made a kill with that bow, or the rifle. But, he's trying, haha.
PCS orders will be coming up soon. I'm not sure there is anyway that we'll be able to stay in Lexington. We've gotten to the point where we are OK with that. We know that God is in this and won't lead us somewhere we can't flourish.
The boys are the boys. They keep my laughing and are an example of unconditional love. Alpha will pee in the house out of spite. Zero, loves on me when no one else is there to do it.
I really hope that one day I'll be the person my dogs think I am.
Song of the Day:
Your Love is a Song by Switchfoot