Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tender Adjustments

Too good and too true not to repost....

Have you ever seen a cashew in its shell? Me neither. It turns out that a cashew has caustic oil between the nut’s inner and outer shells. To rid this delectable treat of its acerbic element, the outer shell is burned or roasted off, and then the nut is boiled or roasted again to remove the inner shell.
Life’s hardships often feel as though someone has turned up the heat on us, and we wonder if we’ll survive. Yet I find when I’ve been “roasted” long enough in life’s difficulties, my outer casing of bad attitudes, preconceived notions, and high-mindedness is burned off. I’m left meeker, less defensive, more pliable, and less caustic.
Jesus died for every “nut” in the land . . . even the hardest one. And for that, I’m particularly grateful

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Facing MY Giants

Those who know me, know that I get pumped and totally inspired when it comes to sports.  I like watching movies like We are Marshall, Remember the Titans, Facing the Giants,Invincible, The Blind Side and the list goes on... I enjoy watching the Olympics and hearing how specific athletes have persevered through trials to get where they are now. And of course, got to watch my Bulls, Bears and Cubs!

The movie that I have gotten a lot out of though is Facing the Giants.  An inspirational movie that shows not only how a high school football team deals with facing their Giants-another football team but their personal giants...the things in their life that hang over them and stop them from doing their best, giving their best and being their best.

The other night when I couldn't sleep I was flipping through the channels and found this movie on and it happened to be at my favorite scene ( which, I am posting at the end of my blog ) I started to think about what my giants were and what I need to do to face them.

On a side note...I have to say, I have been totally blessed with a handful  of friends who know me..I mean really know me.  They know my struggles, fears and the things that intimidate me and call me out on it all the time.  I love these women!  They have helped to bring to the surface the things in my life I need to deal with and have done so with words filled with love and grace.

A word picture that totally describes what these women have done for me is the heating process to purify gold.  Gold is heated to boiling temperatures to allow all the impurities to come to the surface and be skimmed off.  This is done several times till a person can see their reflection in the melted gold.
These women have gotten me to my boiling point many times..but only for my good.. to skim off the top all the things that do not need to be in my life anymore.

So why bring this up?  Cause they are helping me in facing my giants. They are helping me to realize, as we all need to sooner or later, that the giants really are not as big as we think they are, and no matter our size we can defeat them.

It is hard sometimes to be totally honest in this blog, I know many have read it but don't know who.  Some live in Alaska, some here in La Crosse...but there are still 50 plus people who I have no clue who they are! But I guess part of facing my giants is admitting that I have them and maybe what I am going through can help someone else. And I can be a little bit of light in their darkness.....

So  here it goes...I have major fears of letting people down.  I'm a first born perfectionist (which is a whole other blog posting to come!) and fear not being perfect at my job,raising my girls and being organized. And though a very superficial statement...I am very insecure in my looks... so all this culminated in my life brings me face to face with a giant.  A giant that seems to rear its ugly head constantly in my life and in many day to day situations.

Now let me say, I know the truth.  I know I will let people down. I know I am not perfect. But the problem is knowing it in my head is not knowing it in my heart.  The difference between wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is good but it needs to be applied to ones life. That's wisdom. And that is what I need to work on, applying what I know...

I wish I could say that I have faced my giants they are all defeated and I am stronger because of it.  But unfortunately that hasn't happened.  However, I have made some great strides. I've realized that I just need to do my best and do my best for me not others.  I also realized that to some extent I need to have blinders on and can't look at what others are doing or have done but stay the course I'm on. I  have learned to except compliments on the job I do with a simple thank you and not think how I don't deserve such a compliment because I could have done much better. I've realized too, that I don't want to change who I am to get accepted by others, I want to change because for too long I've been living my life for others..... I have to do my best, be my best and give my best daily and I won't  walk around with a defeated attitude.

Facing my giants will be a fight, but I think I'm finally ready for it. Will I fall and fail sometimes?  yes.  Will I be strong and succeed sometimes? yes..but in the end, the impurities will be skimmed off and the reflection I see will be one that has been worth the fight and worth facing my giants and defeating them....

Monday, September 5, 2011

I will do anything, except......

Stuffed Green Peppers...Mmmmm, how I love them!  One of my favorite comfort foods.

Last week I made them and put them in the crock pot.  But, I set the temp on high not low and though not totally burnt by the time I got home...there was quite a bit stuck to the sides that I couldn't get off. 

As with any dish that is rather difficult to clean, I filled it with hot soapy water and let it soak. But I forgot about it that night and the next morning wrote a note to my girls to do the dishes and some other chores and went  off to work.  When I came home the crock pot was still sitting there full of water.. No one touched it. This happened two more days in a row, note was written with daily chores, always at the top was do the dishes and every evening when I came home..the dish filled with water was still sitting there.

Now any other week I would have made a fuss and had it done but this was a rather busy week for me..A wedding to plan, three weddings to prepare for, a schedule to get done, school clothes to buy...

So it sat there till today....

Now, most of you women are making faces, you know what a stinky mess I had on my hands..and yes you are right...I wasn't pleased and hurriedly cleaned it to avoid the stench and mess. But as I cleaned the dish I was thinking about all the things we avoid, all the things we would rather do than something else. All the times we say and think we would do anything but there is always an exception.. Now as a mom, my list of things I would never do gets shorter and shorter..when I realized that taking care of another human being is going to and does stretch me. 

Don't get me wrong, there are still many things I try to avoid or put off till the last moment, like sorting and folding socks ( seems useless and never ending), pulling weeds ( I really hate dirt under my nails), dusting ( it's seems like it comes back the next day), and putting gas in my car ( especially in the winter!)  but usually with a heavy sigh I roll up my sleeves and do the thing I really don't want to...

And it made me think ... what if Jesus had said He would do anything except die for my sins...He would give sight to the blind and heal the leper, He would provide food for the multitudes and calm the storms but..He wouldn't do the one thing, the one thing I needed most to die for my sins and give me eternal life....I can't fathom it, I can't even begin to think what my life would be like...Without His grace and mercy, without His forgiveness...Without Him period....

So Lord, thank you. Thank you for your willingness to do anything, to have no exceptions. To be yet again, a great example for me and help me to persevere....even if it is sorting and folding socks.. =)