Saturday, April 30, 2011

Accepting The Facts

Everyone has read "that" blog - the one where the blogger goes on a long rant about some real or perceived character flaw or facet, on and on andonandon... and then ends the post one of two ways: they either 1) declare "That's just the way I am!" and thus stubbornly refuses to initiate any sort of change, or 2) renews her determination to change at whatever cost neccessary, including her marriage (if married), her children (if she has any), or her sanity.

I think both approaches are wrong. I think that if you see a flaw in yourself, and make no move towards fixing it or improving it, you're cheating yourself out of becoming a person you'll like better, and that marvelous experience of growth. Growth is sometimes painful, sometimes uncomfortable, but the end result is always worth it. Conversely, I think that if you spend your life wrapped up in your perceived flaws, you're cheating yourself out of seeing yourself as God sees you - as His creation. Flawed? Yes! Precious? Priceless? Being made Perfect in Him? Yes Yes YES!

I've realized lately that part of the learning you get when you grow up is learning what to accept and what to leave. What matters and what doesn't. What you CAN change - and should - and what you can't, and will only break yourself against in the trying.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's all in the little things...

Summer is on its way - all the signs are here:

  • Most nights now, a cool shower, rather than a hot-as-you-can-get-it bath, feels like the perfect prelude to bedtime.

  • Come Saturday morning, I can't wait to get out to the farmer's market to see what produce looks good. And for the rest of the week, I'm dog-earing issues of Rachel Ray Every Day in search of incredible ways to cook said produce.

  • Speaking of which - I have figured out how to eat pasta well, finally. In my "old life" pasta was something you gorged on, and even after doing WW for months, if I wanted pasta, I saved up all my weeklies and blew them on a dish of pasta on my night out. Or pulled out a Lean Cusine meal (which are good, in their own right, but... not real food. Not really). So, tonight I made one carefully measured portion of pasta, and loaded it with veggies to make it go further - zucchini, squash, asparagus (oh, asparagus, I think it may be my fav veggie of all time) - added no-added-sugar tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of fat free mozzarella. And it was incredible.

  • I have tasted watermelon for the first time this year. Not great watermelon, mind you, as it's really truly too early for good melon, but watermelon nonetheless.

  • Maggie and I were in the truck together today and for some reason we started talking about fruit, and the thought popped into my head and out through my lips that "fruit tastes like sunshine." Which, now that I've said it out loud, it does, in my opinion. Maggie looked at me funny for a second, thought about it, shrugged, and said, "Yeah." We then launched into a deep discussion about which fruit tastes most like sunshine. My money is either on a really ripe, beautiful, unblemished peach, and her pick was a lemon. Which I have to admit I don't get AT ALL, but to each their own.

  • Inspired by the fact that I apparently had no warm-weather shirts, I pulled down all my clothing bins and brought out all my summer clothes. I've worn a tank top already (granted, it was under a springish cardigan, but still lol).

  • While I was sorting clothes I pulled every piece of clothing that I owned out and tried it on. And I'm amazed and humbled in a grateful sort of way that everything I own fits in one of three categories: Fits, Fits for now (start looking for a replacement because in another 5 pounds, you're outta luck), and Too Big. There's no more "too tight, but I could layer something over it to hide it" clothes, no more "Maybe someday I'll be able to wear that again" clothes. It's all either Now or Then. And when I was done I sat between the two piles and thought about putting the Then pile back into rubbermaid bins just in case, and instead I shoved it all into trash bags and took it to the thrift store. Because keeping it because I liked the style, even if it no longer fit, is only taking up space, and there will be cuter clothes (much cuter clothes!) to buy in smaller sizes. Because keeping it because I'm afraid I'll fail means that part of me still hold on to failure as a viable option.

  • My windowsill is lined with pots of flowers, herbs, and veggie plants, all thriving and growing and reaching for the sky. This is a small miracle. Two years ago I wanted desperately to learn to grow plants, and I couldn't keep any plant alive longer than two weeks. Two years later, more of my seedlings thrive than die. Granted, learning to grow plants is of no moral consequence whatsoever. But there were a bunch of "seeds" planted in my life around the same time that my plants were committing suicide all around me, and whenever I see my windowsill of plants, it reminds me that more is growing than just plants.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Page From My Journal

This morning I stopped in at Starbucks to quench my insatiable craving for a caramel macchiato (iced and skinny of coursE :)), and sitting by himself at a table - no Kindle, no newspaper, no journal or computer in sight - was an unmistakeably Italian gentleman, who could have passed as Andrea Bocelli's thinner brother. His brown hair was longish and brushed around his ears, and he had a full, thick, but neatly trimmed beard covering his face. He looked completely content just sitting quietly with himself, thinking.

I have long loved Bocelli, and I'm a soft touch for beards, so I was watching him out of the corner of my eye as I got in line in front of a young mom and her daughter, who was just about Abigail's age. The little girl wanted a carton of chocolate milk, but was too shy to come near me to get one. I smiled at her and moved aside, she smiled back and came forward bashfully, retrieved her milk, and retreated to her mommy's side.

I was still smiling when I turned around, and he caught my eye - he was smiling, too, glancing from me to the little girl, then back again to me. He dropped his gaze to the floor and continued to wait patiently in line, and a moment later he smiled again - a different smile - and I followed his gaze and realized he was looking at my shoes - my "power shoes" - the ones that have random ladies stopping me on the street asking where I bought my shoes, and are they comfortable (they are).

These shoes apparently are fascinating to guys - most of my guy friends have commented on them, everything from "Wow, those are some shoes!" to "How do you walk in them?" Several weeks ago, a guyfriend came up to me and said "I saw YOUR SHOES in a music video!!!" :)

I placed my order and followed the curve of the counter around to the wall, where I could watch the back of the Italian's head while awaiting my drink. His hair - which had probably been washed that morning - had dried in alternating stiff and fluffy patches. I wondered if he had added a styling product halfheartedly - it would account for the patches - but I had to admit that unless a stranger were surreptitiously stalking him, as I was, no one was likely to notice. Besides that, his hair added an easygoing vibe to his appearance - suave enough to make an effort at styling his hair, but manly enough not to devote any real time to it, especially on a morning when his main activity was sitting in a coffeehouse, thinking.

In a perfect world, we might have struck up a conversation - he might have commented on those shoes, or notice my vintage owl pendant (another piece guaranteed to get me stopped on the street for fashion inquiries). I might have had the time to linger over my macchiato, and might have snagged the table next to him. Any man who can spend a morning lost in his own thoughts is worth knowing, in my experience.

But the world isn't perfect, so a moment later when the barista called my drink, I claimed it with a smile, walking towards the door in my powerful shoes, and slipped out into the beautiful, imperfect world.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ways to spend a Sunday afternoon

1. Working on the computer - right now I'm getting ready to get the VBS skits up and rolling.
2) Journaling/writing - did you know that April is National Poetry Month?

3) Sleeping - this is always a pretty popular choice around here, lol. Someone is always sleeping on Sunday afternoons (in fact, most of the time it's ME!). What is it that's so luxurious about an afternoon nap?

4) Reading - this is probably the next most popular choice; lots of Bible studying goes on around here, plus there's plenty of fiction and non-fiction to be read.

5) Watching old Westerns - not sure what this is, possibly The Virginian?

6) Taking a jog on the newly-fixed treadmill - no picture, probably not something you wanted to see me do anyway. :) Dad fixed the treadmill this weekend, and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it (when it was fixed, lol). I took my first jog in MONTHS today, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was - even though I haven't been doing any running at all, I've been faithful to my yoga, and I can definitely feel the change in my legs. Nice!

I love Sunday afternoons - getting geared up for the new week, doing little non-arduous chores (like cleaning out my little fridge and making up a grocery list for this week), and resting, physically and mentally.

I hope your weekend has been restful and beautiful. I've been blessed, and I look forward to seeing those blessings continue!