Thursday, August 28, 2008

Change

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but the light bulb has to really want to change.

I struggle with anorexia. Still. I thought I was over it. Well, as over it as I was ever going to get. Do I still look in the mirror and think I'm fat? Yes. But usually I also believe that I have other characteristics that are more important.

For some reason God has decided that I have more to work through and has brought back to the surface so many of the buried emotions.

My problem is that right now, to be totally honest, I don't want to change.

Why?

You see, I'm now in my 30's and my body doesn't look much like it did when I was 16. Or even 18 or 21. My wedding dress was a size 2. I haven't seen my body in a size 2 anything in quite awhile. I'd love to get back to that.

But there's more. There's this lie, that when I am thin enough then I am pretty enough, perfect enough, likable enough. Then. I. Would. Be. Happy.

My brain knows the truth. But my heart doesn't. How do I get my heart to believe that I'm really okay and that thinner isn't necessarily better. Nor would it make me happier.

I know that in my walk with God I move ever forward. Sometimes kicking and screaming. But still, ever forward. He is not going to give up on me. Just like He didn't give up on me before.

And truly, I've been happy. I've been content. And, I've been confident in my self. Even just a few short weeks ago. Remembering makes me want to get back to that point.

A decade ago, when I started working my way through the mess that was my self-image, I didn't know what I was working toward. Now I know. I know what it feels like to be healthy. Both physically and emotionally. It's like an addiction - only working toward good. In fact, it's more like two addictions working against each other. But, now that I know what healthy feels like I can't give it up.

Yes, I would beg, borrow and steal to get back to feeling good - just like an addiction. Fortunately (since I don't like to beg, borrow or steal) God has better plans for me. Plans to walk with me through a recovery that is complete. The scars will always be there, but the healing will happen.

Just maybe after I drop a few pounds....I kid, I kid! Well, mostly.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fun at Mud Mountain Dam Playground

Our weather is starting to turn more Fall-like. When today promised 80 degree weather we took full advantage of it.

I had been wanting to check out the pool at the Mud Mountain Playground, we just hadn't gotten around to it yet. Since my husband had a class to attend, today seemed like a perfect opportunity to head out.

Brian was super surprised to see the fountain and had a ton of fun. Though the water was COLD! Probably thanks to the 60 degree weather we had this last week.

It took a bit of encouragement to get Brian to go through the water, but once he did it was all I could do to drag him shivering and blue back to the car when it was time to go.





We did take a break and do some hiking. I figured Brian could use some warming up and the dog could use a good run.

I'm trying to get Brian on board with my photography habit. He used to just look at me with no posing at all. Now, this is what I get...



All in all, it was a great adventure.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

JJ Heller

Don't forget that for a limited time you can download the new JJ Heller CD FREE! Go! scroll down for the link.

Here is one of my favorite songs from her album The Pretty & The Plain

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ex-boyfriends And Other Tools of God.

I've been awfully quiet in the blogosphere these last few weeks. I find that when God works on my heart I tend to introvert for awhile. Part of what has been going on is about my perfectionism tendency. But most of it is about fear.

I'm realizing that so much of what I do is based on fear. Mostly fear of rejection, but really fear of anything bad (I gave up a free trip to Germany several years back because I was afraid to fly over the ocean **smacks head**).

In the past I have been described as a snob. Which, at the time, surprised me. I think of snobs as those that think others are somehow lower or less. I, on the other hand, think of myself as less. Which causes me to withdraw. Plus I am really good at hiding my emotions. Thus creating the idea that I am a snob.

It's not that I don't want to get to know you, it's that I think you will reject me.

When I look back on my life, the things I regret are the things I either did or didn't do out of fear. Take, for example, an ex-boyfriend I recently found (thanks, Facebook). Boy did it bring back those awkward teenage years! But, it fit right into the theme God is weaving in my life. You see, when I broke up with him it wasn't because I was ready to move on, it was because I was so sure he would break up with me. I know, I know, so teenage angst-ish. And so cliche. But I've always regretted it.

I never moved on from that teenage fear of rejection. If I could do it over I would have seen it through and let him break up with me. Not because I think it would have lasted nor do I wish it had. I am totally in love and happily married. But, I could have handled it so much more maturely and grown from it instead of running in fear. Oh the things my 32 year old self could teach my teenage self...

I don't want my life to be marked by fear. Nor do I want to pass that on to my kids. I want them to be confident and take chances. I truly believe (now) that you must take chances and make mistakes in order to really live. It has taken quite a bit of living and a lot of nudging from God to get me to this point.

I also believe that if I live my life and base my decisions on fear then my kids will too. I so wish I could parent by telling my children what to do instead of patterning it for them. How much easier would that be?!

As I've learned before and been reminded of this last week, only in my heartbreak does God really have a pliable heart to work with. That's when I'm able to hear Him and desire changing. It's a bit on the painful side, but better in the long run.

I want to put aside my fears and step forward into life boldly and with confidence.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Music

My husband and I started off at musically different ends of the spectrum. Over the last decade we have found some music that we both enjoy. While you won't find me listening to his Death Cab For Cutie nor will you find a country station preset in his car, you might find either one (or both) of us listening to this artist.

My favorite CD of hers so far is The Pretty And The Plain. You can download her current CD free on the web site. If you like it then you can leave a donation. Check it out!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Modesty

Saturday my husband and I headed out on Lake Washington in a pair of kayaks to spend some time together and celebrate his birthday. It was a hot day in Washington (in the mid-high 90's ugh). My plan was to wear a pair of jean shorts and my bathing suit top. Certainly nothing scandalous.

Before I left the house my son took one look at me and said, "Mama, you are not ready. You need a shirt". To which I replied, "It's okay. Maybe I will go swimming".

He looked at me (and in his best imitation of my mother!) said, "You will be cold. You need a shirt".

This coming from the boy who would wear his swim trunks throughout the entire winter if I would let him!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Perfectionism

I've got it.

In the past I've admitted to my "vice" rather smugly. When I do a project, it comes out perfectly right down to the last detail. If it isn't perfect then I am not satisfied with it. I admit, I've always pitied those who are not perfectionists. Those that can do something not quite perfect and still be satisfied.

UnFortunately, God likes to teach me new ways in which I am not perfect. Perfectionism. That's what he has been working on lately. Oops.

I've always taken pride in my projects. And, I've always thought that was a good thing. And it is. I think. My problem is the guilt that comes when I'm not perfect.

I've also blamed the guilt on other people. When I fail to get dinner on the table (oh, say, because my son climbed into the refrigerator to get a gallon of apple juice, which ended up on the floor) I feel like my husband is disappointed in me. He isn't, but I put my baggage feelings on him. I was then able to blame him instead of me.

I didn't realize that I was doing this. I know. How could I not realize it? Well I didn't. Until now.

Thanks, God.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not Talking The Same (English) Language

I grew up in Texas. I think that is all the explanation needed.
Here is a conversation I had today...
Me: I need a good red wine to go with steak. What do you recommend?
Wine Lady: Are you Bar-B-Qing?
Me: No, we are grilling.
WL: Right, BBQ.
Me: No, grilling.
WL: Um, okay how about this one?
She was still looking at me funny as I walked away.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

If Mama Ain't Happy

I've learned an interesting lesson this week. There is a flip side to the saying "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy".

I've always taken it to mean, if you make Mama mad then she will make your life miserable. While I believe that is true, there is another part to it.

This week has brought a bit of PMS to our home. By the way, in my house resides my husband, our son and our (male) dog. Take a wild guess, who do you think has PMS?

So, all I've wanted this week was to be left alone with nobody in my personal space. Here is where I had an epiphany. When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Why? Why can't they be happy without me to be the cheerleader? Is every family this way?

???

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Combat Fishing

There is something in Alaska known as "combat fishing". Generally it's just shoving 10-20 fishermen fisherwomen fisherpeople in where only 1 should be.

Case in point:


This was our trip to the Kenai River. Notice that people aren't fishing with poles. In Alaska, residents can dipnet for salmon in certain rivers.

Here is my brother-in-law showing off his dip net.

First there are several things to do. We drove from Anchorage to the Kenai River and parked the RV about a mile from the fishing. Then loaded up the ATVs...
And drove down the beach.

Now some people will actually drive their cars and trucks on the beach. Some even make it out without getting stuck. Some.

Once you are set up to fish you just hang out in the mouth of the river hoping a dumb fish salmon will swim in. Like here...


My father-in-law caught one. Here is his girlfriend holding up. -I told her to look like she just caught a fish ;-)


Then you conk it over the head and throw it in the cooler. Or if you are lucky you have someone right there on the beach to clean it for you. I loved this lady. She was there with a group of her family. They would catch a fish and she would clean it. You can see the ulu knife there on her cutting board. The Ulu is used by native Alaskans (and tourists). Actually I have one that I really like. It works well for chopping herbs and nuts. And I guess fish, but I have a hard time cutting large things straight.


Here is a better shot of the ulu (again I'm saving you from the gore)...


Then you just hang out and wait. And wait. And wait. It can be pretty boring if you aren't fishing (or have a camera - I got lots of strange stares as I took photos). Obviously it can get pretty boring even if you are fishing.


Here is one of the kids finding something to do.

It was a pretty fun experience and very, very Alaskan. Certainly not on the typical sight seeing tours.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Field Trip

Last week Brian went on a field trip with his preschool class to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Here are a couple of pictures...



I will try to get more pictures up later today. For some reason my energy level plummeted yesterday and I'm trying to recover today.

Friday, August 1, 2008

No Cavity Club

Today is a shout out to my son. He went to the dentist this morning and did really, really well. No cavities. No crying. Plenty of space for all his teeth. And, all his permanent teeth are there (this was debatable since only 3 of the bottom middle baby teeth came in).

Whoo Hoo!

He actually had a ton of fun seeing the "pictures" of his teeth, and also having the sweet dental assistant brush his teeth and make them "sparkly". She was really great with him and walked him through the whole process before she did anything. The best was teaching him about the little water sucker thing - Mr. Thirsty (what is that really called?). She let Brian give Mr. Thirsty a drink from a cup of water, then she had him give Mr. Thirsty a kiss. It worked like a charm and Brian had no fear of the thing (I was always convinced it would suck my face off if I wasn't careful).

Hopefully my son will do better with dentists than I have. Recently I went over a decade without a dental visit. It's like when I see a spider. I don't want my son to have the same fears that I have, so I'm all, "look what a great spider. Let me take him in my bare hands and put him back outside where he can live a happy spider life." - all the while smiling like this is the most normal thing ever.

"Look at the great dentist. Let me allow him and his scary death inducing painful wonderful tools to clean my teeth. Oh, the fun we have."