Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Daily prayer

Over the last 5 years of my life
I've slowly lost my looks.
Not starting to lose them mind you.
I mean they are lost....gone.

When I look in the mirror I see
Purple bags under my eyes
and blotchy, dry skin.

No matter how much sleep I get,
I always manage to look tired.

I've got thinning hair that for some reason
I've decided to style like a Librarian
or the Dutch Boy on the paint can.
And I hate it.
My hair that is, not the Librarians or Dutch boys.

I no longer wear make up and for the life of me,
I can't think of a good enough reason to ever put it back on.
Plus my skin is so dry that it looks patchy
and mascara make my eyes itch something fierce.

I see an overweight 51 year old woman
Who is past her prime. And it makes me sad.
When did I get old??

I promise myself that I will exercise more and eat better
And then I break that promise to myself
every single morning.

I tell myself that today I won't complain
or nag the sad man or open my mouth
and say something insulting to one of my kids,
that I won't yell at my 4 year old grandson
for waking up his 1 year old sister...again!

I fail miserably at this on a daily basis.

I see disgust and blame and shame
in the green eyes that look back at me
each morning in that bathroom mirror.

My soul tells me that I am not what I see in the mirror.
I am not dry skin, puffy eyes, 51, washed up and overweight.
But I don't know how to write from my soul.

God tells me that I'm not any of those things either.
But I don't know how to write for God.
Some days I think I know how.
Other days this blog sounds very whiny
especially to my own ears.

On this blog I spout thankfulness and gratefulness,
Lessons and Blessings.
Truth be told...I don't ever offer those things
to myself.

Forgiveness and redemption are offered freely to others.
I am much harder on myself.

Even typing out this post has taken me the better part of 6 days.
That alone has the ability to shame me.
Why does it take me so long to type, edit, publish?

All along I have thought all these other bloggers
Sat down, quickly typed out their posts,
hit publish and Viola!
Perfect post.....
Everybody responding with "just what I needed to hear, Thank you for posting".

Yesterday I found out that this just wasn't true.
Emily told me.
Who knew?!
I thought it was just me who processed this way.

I was bowled over. Utter disbelief!
I truly thought that I was the only one
who took this long to get a post up.
And instead of being accepting of myself,
that this is just the way I am,
I made myself, let myself, allowed myself to feel bad about it.

I have allowed shame to dictate to me that I should feel like a failure.
I have allowed shame to tell me that I was not doing it perfect like the other bloggers.
I allowed shame into my life and I let it tell me
that a was a failure because I was no longer a size 6,
that my skin was dry, my hair was too thin, my face was blotchy and ugly.

So if I was wrong about the blogging thing....
Maybe I'm wrong about the all the other stuff too?

Perhaps it's time for me to change that daily prayer of mine.
Maybe whenever I look in the mirror
instead of praying that God could see the good in me,
Maybe I should pray that see the good in me!

Maybe it is time for me to let go of the things
that I think are wrong with me and learn to accept myself

Shame is a bully and Grace is a shield. ... Ann Voskamp.

I realize that I am bullying myself.
And I realize that it is time to stop this behavior.
Now. Today.

Replace that shame I feel with God's grace.
God's Amazing Grace.
Grace as a shield.

Dear God,
I'm turning around. Thank You for Your grace.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's aw-right Granny

My 4 year old grandson is at a stage in his young life where he eats nothing.
Whatever is offered gets a quick dismissal.

"No tanks" he says. That's not a typo.

Feeling frustrated yesterday at my inability to get him to eat
I offer him what's left of a bag of shredded cheddar cheese.

"Okay" he says.

I upend about a 1/4 cup into a tiny red bowl
and insert his favorite Sponge Bob spoon.

Heading to the living room to watch cartoons while he eats
(no judging...I'm Grandma)
I need to step over the baby gate
that separates the kitchen from the TV room.

Left leg over, no prob. Right leg......
What I do with my right leg is accidentally kick that tiny red bowl
filled with the last bit of the shredded cheese
and his Sponge Bob spoon
right outta his tiny four year old hands.
He had been climbing over the gate right behind me.
I knew this, I am aware he is close behind me
but still....I have no idea how I manage to accomplish this feat.

Cheese is everywhere.
Looks like a helluva lot more than a 1/4 cup
when it is strewn all over the floor.

And his face.....
How do I tell you what his beautiful face looks like?
Of the horror I see in his eyes?
Of his little bottom lip starting to tremble....
And I wonder what he is thinking
as he sees his "wunch" scattered across my hard wood floor.

I immediately apologize, I hug him, tell him I am so sorry.
I wonder if I can sweep it up and still serve it to him
(No judging!! I am now a very desperate Grandma)
But, no. I will not sweep it up and serve it to him.
I will sweep it up and throw it in the garbage.

I feel terrible for him and for myself if I'm being honest.

And he says to me "It's aw-right Gwanny".

Bawl! Heave! Sob!
He forgives me instantly.
He's dashing the tears from his eyes with his little fists
all the while reassuring me that it's alright.

"It's aw-right's aw-right".

I'm stunned for a moment. Immovable.
Love for this kid pouring out of my every pore.

Get your boots and coat on Sweetie, I tell him.
We're going to the store to buy some more cheese.

We are? he says as his face lights up with anticipated delight.
Yes, sweetie, we are.

At the store I let him pick out and then carry
the biggest bag of shredded cheese
to the cash register.
On our way to checkout we pass the bakery section.
We pause to peruse the selections.
His nose is pressed up against the glass case.
He sees butter cookies with chocolate sprinkles.
I tell the woman behind the counter I'll take 4.
4 of them.
For no other reason than I am still trying to apologize, I pick out a half dozen more;
one of each color.
Red, pink, green, blue, yellow, multi colored.

He gets to carry this tiny bakery box too.
The cashier puts both into a plastic grocery sack
and hands it to him.
He skips back out to the car.

He's happy. I'm happy.
He's happy. I'm relieved.
He's happy. I can forgive myself.

At home again, he opens the bakery box, turns to me and says:
"Gwanny? Where's my cookies?"


Whaddya mean? They're right here I say as I point to
the chocolate sprinkled butter cookies.
"I didn't want these ones...I wanted the other ones".
What other ones??
Those are the ones you wanted I tell him.
"No they aren't, I wanted the other ones" he repeats back to me.


I have no clue which ones he's talking about.
The cookies I bought are the ones I thought he was staring at!
The cookies I bought are the ones I KNOW he was staring at!!

Try it I say. They're good. Take one bite.
He takes one little-tiny-barely-able-to-tell-he's-taken-a-bite-nibble
and declares them icky.

Tsk. Well shit.

So, here we are.
Him eating a red bowl of shredded cheese.
Me eating chocolate sprinkled butter cookies.

He gets to eat the cheese and I get to eat the cookies.
We both get to be forgiven for the errors of our ways.

And it ends up being 'aw-right' after all.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Jesus Feminist

I'm not a critic but I can be critical.
With that being said...
Last week I was reading Sarah Bessey's book
Jesus Feminist.
And God help me! I tried to like it.
First of all...the fact that it took me a week to read it
says something about the nature of that book.
It usually takes me 3 days, tops! to read a good book.
Less if it really captures my interest.
That didn't happen here.
I'd pick it up, read a bit, then put it down.
It was uninteresting and dry and, and, and.....
I don't know what.
I'd read a page or two and feel myself start to nod off.
I kept trying to like it.
Just get to the next chapter, I'd tell myself.
And the next chapter wasn't any better.
I kept waiting for her words to excite me.
I wanted it to knock me for a loop.
I wanted it be Jesus-y and heartfelt and amazing.
I wanted her words to show me what it was like
for us women to be on fire for our Lord.
It was boring...technical...dusty evangelical preaching.
And no one is more surprised by this than me!
I love Sarah Bessey.
Love, love, love her to bits!
Her blog is one of the first ones I want to read on any given day.
She makes me feel strong and righteous in my faith.
Like I am a true Jesus Feminist!
But her book bored me to tears and I am so sorry for that.
I returned it to the library before I even finished it.
That's like breaking a law for me.
I must finish every book I start!
But this one? No way.
I apologize to you Sarah. I just couldn't get into it.
That won't stop me from reading and falling in love
with every blog post you write.
And it won't make me want to stop becoming more of a Jesus Feminist.
Glad that I didn't shell out any money for this book.
And I'm glad that your blog is available to us all free of charge.
I want you to know that your words have saved me
on more than one occasion. And I thank you for that.
I am aware my opinion and thoughts mean diddly to you.
I'm ok with that.

I'm truly sorry I didn't like your book.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Carpe that F-ing Diem

Went to another wake last night.
This one for my childhood neighbor.
No longer a child, either one of us.
He died from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).
54 years old.
Had just been blessed with his first grandchild.

Also there is another high school friend with cancer.
This one has a brain tumor...already at stage 4.

Life is so incredibly short
Sometimes it is shortened up a bit more
depending upon medical diagnosis's.

Sort of feels like I need to light a fire under my ass
I feel tense, like I need to move
Like I am tired of waiting.

With 2 untimely deaths within a few weeks of each other-
my friend the pharmacist and now my neighbor
I'm asking myself what it is that I am waiting for.....

I have stacks of books that I want to read.
Never seem to find the time to crack one open.
(That doesn't stop me from adding to the pile though.)

So I grabbed the stack and started going through them.
First one I picked up was a clunker.
Dry, stupid, boring.
The dust jacket was better than the book.

Found the receipt tucked inside and decided to return it.

Bought me a cook book instead.  Cost $25.00!!!
It makes me feel wonderful to own that cook book.
I had checked it out at the library earlier last week
and had fallen in love with it.
Can a body fall in love with a book? A cookbook?
Why Yes. Yes they can.
Cannot hardly wait to try some of these recipes.

And why should I wait?
Again...What am I waiting for??
The time to live is now.

I need to make a massive shift in this stale life of mine.

Use the fancy dishes, make the recipes, take the trips, read the books!

Yesterday I was chasing my grandson around the living room
Him riding his bike and wearing Minion jammies
Giggling and screaming and peddling with all his might
Riding hell bent for leather trying to outrun me.
While 1 year old Fiona stood in her playpen watching,
Laughing at us in between showing off her Indian war whoops.

I scooped her up and shook my hair in her face
Which made her laugh all the more
Which made ME really laugh loud and long and true.

I felt or heard or sensed a prompt-
Live, Lolly, Live.

Forget about that weight problem you think you have.
Why do you care what other people think of you?
Sing in church...loud! Raise your hands in praise!
Love your Lord Jesus, your husband, your kids and grandkids.
Use that cookbook til the pages are falling out.
Laugh, eat, pray, sleep.

Release, let go and Live!

Let go of the shoulda, woulda, coulda's and live.