Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

Being You

How are your Christmas preparations going?  Have you hung the oats and ivy yet?  Get at it, yo.  It’s Christmas.  What??

I hope you know what that means.  I haven’t the foggiest.

You remember I’m All ABOUT CHRISTMAS this year right?  I’m making good on my declaration to make up for Christmas past, when illness had us by the…throat.  In honor of  Christmas fun,  Olivia and I posted ridiculous Christmas videos on my FB page over Thanksgiving.  Just some absurd “how to” videos that show you how to do nothing, actually.

I think my friends might sometimes think this:  Does Miki ever stop and ask herself why she’s the ONLY adult she knows participating in public nonsense?  The answer to that, my friend, is, yes.  Miki does ask myself, I mean, herself, (this third person, first person conversation is getting away from me) that question.

I say, “Miki, are you sure you’re okay with your kids remembering you as this crazy parent who participated in juvenile antics?”

I thought long and hard about that question, and while I am a little nervous about me, and I do admire and aspire to be more like people who are more mature, my answer is still this:

Yes.  Yes.  I’m okay with it.

I’m not okay with all of it because I think the way I am is good.  It’s not.  If I had a choice, I think I’d choose to inhabit the life form of some grand lady with tremendous organizational skills, and a knack for getting things right.  But, I’m not that grand lady.  I’m a silly lady.  That’s me. The me that takes no effort to conjure up; I wake up every morning, and there she is again; like a bad habit.  Silliness is my native tongue.

I lamented to Scott recently.  I told him he just has no idea how much of my brain space is dedicated to silliness. It’s astonishing.  He patted me on the head, because he feels sorry for me.  And, for himself.

I guess it isn’t the worst thing.  We know some good people who are getting their heads kicked in by life right now.   Have you noticed that there’s never really a shortage of sorrow in life? So, I say, let’s just have some laughs.  Let’s enjoy feeling lighter for one moment.  The sorrow will be right where we left it.

And there’s this other thing I’ve been thinking about: One of the many things I want our kids to walk away from their childhood lived in the home that Scott and I built together (figuratively),  is the ability to identify the person God made them to be in this world.  I want them to embrace that person.   It is my belief that God stamps us each in a unique way, for a purpose.  Kids (and adults) can waste so much time not liking themselves; trying to rework their hard wiring. That’s not a happy existence.  I want ALL kids to be happy and fulfilled, accepting who they are and using what comes naturally to them to serve others.

THAT’S my Christmas wish for the world, sonny boy.

I’m paving the way for you by posting utter nonsense.  What I won’t do for humanity.

All my Christmas shenanigans are going over in a decent fashion in our house.  Zeke and Olivia are like little Christmas elves. They’re game for anything Christmas.  Most of the time.  We went Black Friday shopping.  On the way home, I thought we could sing a jolly round of Christmas carols. My sister taped this sing-a-long, which I thought went over much better BEFORE I watched the tape.  I see now the kids were not impressed:

 

 

Express Blog and Inconsequential Findings

I think I’m posting blogs further apart these days.  It feels like I am.  Quiet moments are not presenting themselves this past month; I’m not good at blogging around noise, or in a crowd.  I prefer no distractions.

Thank the Good Lord for creating Mark Zuckerberg.  Facebook satiates my hunger to express myself.  If you want to bet my Facebook friends that I am their most frequently posting friend,  you’ll win that bet.  I post a lot.

Here’s the alarming part of my Facebook presence.  My FB activity is an example of me exhibiting self control.  What my FB friends don’t realize is all that stuff I’m saying on Facebook is only HALF of what I WANT to say.

What’s wrong with me?

I give myself little lectures.  I say, “Okay Miki, that’s enough.  People have had enough of your shenanigans.  You’re going to resist the urge to post what’s on your mind for the next week. Got it?  Got it.”

Five minutes later.  Reggie is snuggled in the blankets projecting such cuteness, it would be a sin NOT to post a picture of him. Plus, I need to mention how much I love him.  Because, that’s original, right?  I mean I REALLY love my dog; nobody’s thought of that.    Suddenly, slipping back down the slope.

Sometimes I’ll post something on FB, let it sit for a few minutes, then delete it.  Occasionally, I’ve had friends ask me where a post went.  I just tell them I’m sorry.  I had second thoughts.

What’s a girl with an addiction to writing words, and a head full of silly thoughts to do?

Thanks for the therapy sesh.  I’ve missed this between us.

Now, in the interest of time, I’m going to express blog the rest of my way through this. I thought I might highlight a few random tidbits occupying the space between my ears. This might be how I blog until I have time to go old school, long blog again.  Prepare for your life to be changed:

Bragging

When people say, “I don’t mean to brag”, they mean, “I do mean to brag, but I’d like to be excused for it”.  I generally don’t mind when people brag.  They should leave off the, “I don’t mean to brag” part though.   When I hear that I wonder if I SHOULD mind.

Fitbit

The verdict is in; I’m ready to share the results.   I’ve had my Fitbit for almost one year. It works.

I have a routine I follow each day to get my steps.  It is rare for me to change my routine.  I had a couple of extremely busy days last week.  Time did not allow for my normal routine.  I fell quite short of my step goal on those days.  I realized on those days that my default mode is inactive.  I am not your friend who will bustle around you, fluffing pillows and picking lint off your sweater, because I just can’t sit still.   I LOVE being still.  Love it.

For some reason, my mind believes it’s accountable to my Fitbit; I’m not telling my mind otherwise.

The Fitbit works for me.

Walking

Speaking of steps, my super good work friend and I walk at lunch.  We walk the same route each day.  One day, there was a man who was standing off the sidewalk, more towards the street.  The man was smoking, and yelling something.  He seemed angry. At first, I thought the man may be in charge of some construction in the area.  As we walked closer, we realized there was no construction in the area.

That day, my friend and I decided to change our walking route.

On a different day, I was walking alone.    I was startled when I heard a man yell something in my direction from behind me.  I looked, and I saw the same man who was yelling in the street. This time, he was sitting in a lawn chair, outside of an apartment.  He was a big man, with a big belly.  He was wearing tiny shorts.  Nothing else. It wasn’t  warm.

My good walking friend and I have discussed this man at length.  We have agreed that if he should ever pursue us, we will make every effort to push each other in his direction to save ourselves. I thought I might say “Take her.  She’s younger. She’s smart. She can do your taxes.”

Sometimes it’s just good to have your cards on the table with people.

Faith

Zeke and Olivia are in a church group called “Impact”.  The group is an off-shoot of normal youth group.  Impact is for kids who might be asking themselves, “Why are we doing  this again?”

Impact takes an up close look at the Bible. The kids discuss what they read, and ponder how it may apply to their lives right now.  The other day, Zeke happened upon this scripture in the Book of Romans.  He was excited about it:

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.  So nobody has a good excuse.

Zeke thought this scripture answered a lot of questions for him.  I agree.  God reveals himself to EVERYONE through creation.

I hear from God every morning.   I see the black sky dotted with white stars first, until the sky turns pink as the sun rises.  My eyes take it in, and I know: man did not create this.   I would know it, If I had never heard a single sermon in my life on Earth.   I see an eagle soaring over the river.  I look at my small hands.  No hands like mine put that eagle in the sky. I feel humble.  My heart knows a God like this should be worshiped.

Rebekkah picture

*Photo credit to my friend, Rebekah Brackett.  She is an artist. She captures beautiful pictures of her world, and shares them on Facebook.

One Complaint and our Happy Anniversary.

You know I don’t like to be mean, right? I hate hurt feelings. I avoid hurt feelings almost always.  Except sometimes.  Like now.  I can’t help it.  I just wanted to say this one thing, and then I’m done.  I’m sorry if it hurts feelings, but sometimes there are things begging to be said.

This one thing I wanted to say was about politics and Facebook.  Right, I know.  You’re already annoyed.  Just hold on a sec.  I’ll be quick about it.  I just wanted to gently point out that there a few things on the interwebs that aren’t actually true.  I’m sorry if you didn’t know it.

Be careful, okay?

There’s more.  The thing is this.  Sometimes, I see viral political posts with inflammatory titles.  Sometimes I click on these posts; usually for entertainment.  Once you are somewhat fluent in interweb-speak, you can identify real news from propaganda.  I worry for folks who can’t tell the difference.

The other day, there was this really outrageous political story posted; the poster was very mad about this political thing.  I looked up the website from where the story originated; it is a fake news website, and I don’t mean “The Onion” either.  Most people know “The Onion” is satirical.   I mean a website that was created to make you think it was a real news website. Only, it isn’t  It’s fake news, written by people who are fake reporters who have the job of coming up with fake stories.  Yep. Real job.

For further entertainment, I looked at the comments below the story.  People were really mad about this thing that never happened.  Some people devoted entire paragraphs loaded with misspelled words and grammatical errors, expressing their anger over this thing that never happened.  It made me feel sorry for humans.  We’re so easily manipulated.

I have to admit, some of the angriest posts with the poorest English had me clicking on the author to get a better look.  Outspoken, angry people with poor grammar intrigue me.  Those kind of people should teach classes on how to improve your self esteem.  I mean, good for them.  They’ve never spent a minute of their lives doubting themselves.

I’m done with that subject.

This week Scott and I celebrate 22 years of freakin’ wedded bliss, baby!  Every day is a honeymoon in our house.  Every day I’m surprised with another love sonnet, a bedroom covered in rose petals, or a lovely serenade.  Wait.  That isn’t what your marriage is like?  Gosh.  Sorry about that.   Maybe you should take some marriage classes or something.

Well.  I might be misrepresenting things just a little.  Things might possibly be a bit less romantic than I described.  But, still, pretty good.  I mean, Scott and I texted each other about a half dozen times this week.   All the texts were about our schedules, but, I think that counts.  AND…we both know our anniversary is this week.  That is also something kind of unusual. We usually remember our anniversary AFTER it happens.  That’s kind of dreamy, right?

Did I tell you that Reggie had surgery this week?  He did.  He had surgery, and he also had 4 teeth pulled.  Reggie has to wear the Elizabethan Collar for the next two weeks.  Otherwise known as the dog cone of shame.

cone of shame

One night this week, Scott mentioned how busy we’ve been; he said he might like to talk to me again some time this summer.  I told him I was thinking the same thing.  I miss him.  I feel like we are living parallel lives that rarely intersect.  We are using all of our mental and physical resources to manage our careers, children and home.  We wouldn’t dream of making ourselves, or our relationship a priority. That would be selfish, right?

Scott and I got into bed that night.   I strained my head to look at Scott over Reggie’s cone of shame as Reggie laid in the middle of the bed; I thought, I just don’t know what comes between us.  How does it happen?

I have been thinking that there are other married people with relatively happy marriages, and busy teenagers, who are like us.  Couples who take their obligations seriously, who are happy to devote their days to serving all the people in their lives. It wouldn’t occur to these couples to schedule their lives around their relationship with their spouse, because they know that is the one relationship that will always be there.  Because all marriages last forever, right?

Maybe some of us need to rethink how we do things?

I don’t know about rose petals, sonnets and serenades, but I’m going to try to turn this ship around.  Here’s my love poem to Scott.  Happy 22nd Anniversary, my love!

I Like You

I like your hair.  I like your eyes.

I like your jokes, and how you’re a cute guy.

I like the way you try your best.

I like the way you rarely rest.

I like knowing you cannot lie.

But when my butt looks big, I’d like you to try.

I like the gentle way you are a Dad.

I like knowing our kids’ pain makes you sad.

I like the way you never brag.

I like when you deny I look like an ol’ hag.

I like the way you like to have fun.

Baseball, ping pong, or going for a run.

I like that you are kind and not angry.

But, mostly, I like that you chose me.

And THAT, my friends, is how you make Emily Dickinson look like an amateur.

scott and miki

Talking too Much

Hmm…I feel like I am coming dangerously close to running out of things to say.  I didn’t know that could happen.  When you talk as much I do, you’re bound to eventually use up all the words you’ve been allotted in one lifetime though, right?  The well may soon run dry.

Lately, I’ve been trying to talk less.  Shy people think they have all the problems.  Talky people have problems too.  Words are awesome.  Words can give people confidence, and make people feel loved.  Words can make peace.

You know what else words can do?  Words can tear people down.  They can make people feel left out, and disrupt friendships and family bonds. You have to be careful with words.  Sometimes words you mean to come out right, come out wrong.  You have to be cautious with those kinds of words too.  You can’t be careless. Sometimes I am careless.  I’m sorry for that.

There are seven people in the family I was born into.  When we are in a group, three of those seven people do eighty percent of the talking.  I’m one of those three talking people.  One of my non talky sisters told me recently that when we were together she noticed the three talkers monopolizing the entire conversation. She wasn’t mad, or hurt.  She was just telling the truth.  She had some stuff to say, but she told herself she guessed it wasn’t meant to be said.

Shoot!  Did we really do that?  I didn’t even notice.  Actually, I did notice.  I noticed that the other two talkers were talking so much, I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to say.  Seriously, that’s what I was thinking.  That’s how easy it is to be wrong.

At first,  I wanted to deny what my sister told me; then I realized she just did something nice for me.  She gave me an opportunity to improve.   Sometimes when I think I’m helping shy people by keeping the conversation going, I’m really just being selfish.  I’m grabbing all the words, and keeping the conversation focused on myself.  GAHH!!!  I hate it when I do that.

Some people take more time to put their thoughts together.  They need a moment or two of silence to get the courage to offer their input.  It’s worth the wait though. While you’ve been yammering your head off non-stop for the last three hours, those non talkers have had a lot of time to think.  They are insightful.

So, that’s what I’ve learned.  I didn’t like learning it, but I learned it.  Now I have to do something about it.  When you see me with duct tape over my mouth, just give me the thumbs up.  We both know what’s happening.

If you point something out that I am doing wrong, I’m going to want to fix it.  That’s what most of us do, right?  That isn’t what some guy I came across on Facebook does.

This is mean, but I am going to admit something to you.  I can’t see this guy’s updates on Facebook any more.  I blocked him.  I did.  I’m sorry, I don’t like doing that, but it was either block him,  or kill him. Murder just seems like a lot of work.  I’ve never done one before, and I’m super busy.

This guy kept telling all his Facebook BFF’s about his favorite things: porn, drinking to excess, his sex habit, strip clubs and his drug habit.   He is your basic straight arrow.

I kept seeing this stuff and thinking, “Dude, I don’t want to know about all that crap. Keep it to yourself.”  My hand would hover over the block button.  Then, I’d think, “hey, little missy, you’ve got your own problems.  Who are you to judge?”

Then, the day came.  This guy posts that he feels so badly.  His teenagers are misbehaving.  He tells his FB friends that it doesn’t matter what he tells these kids. .  They just won’t listen to him, and they insist on making the same mistakes he has.  His friends, of course, feel real sorry for him.  They tell him that kids will be kids, and you just can only do so much.

Blocked.  You are officially blocked, buddy.  I don’t know why you were in my life to begin with, but you are now out of my life.  For good.  I don’t have the courage to tell you what I’m really thinking, but I do have the courage to block you.  I’m gutsy like that.

You know what wisdom is?  Wisdom is the opposite of  this guy.  This guy knows his choices are bad.  He said it.  He knows it.  He knows is his kids are making the same mistakes.

Once you know you have a problem, the obvious next step is doing something about it, right?  RIGHT?  Oh no, no.  Not for some people.  Some people want to pretend their current difficult circumstances are a coincidence.  Then, they want to do something else that makes me do rash and crazy things, like blocking people.  They want to feel sorry for themselves.  NOOOOO!!!!!

You canNOT feel sorry for yourself for suffering the consequences of the poor choices you have knowingly made.  No, you can’t.  Well, you can, but you shouldn’t.

You CAN try to fix it.  You CAN get help.  You CAN be straight up and honest about it, but you CANNOT feel sorry for yourself.    Don’t do it.   If you insist on feeling sorry for yourself, then I must insist on not listening to you.  So, there’s my rant on that. I have a mean side.

4th of July.  Was yours awesome?  Mine really was.  Wisconsin/Iowa weather = awesome!!!  I love my family and Scott’s family.  They make me laugh, and they are so fun.  We were able to see both sides of the family this year.

Scott was feeling extra jovial and festive.  We were in Sheboygan.  Most of the family enjoyed some delicious (expensive) ice cream from a trendy shop down by the lake.    Scott outsmarted that plan though.  On the way back to the house we pulled into McDonalds.  He said the ice cream was AS good at McDonalds, and a fraction of the cost of the trendy ice cream parlor ice cream.

Scott is always so responsible, except when he isn’t.  He ordered two chocolate dipped cones.  For himself.  I haven’t seen my husband do anything that irresponsible in years.  For real.  It made no sense.  One of the cones was melting a little before he was able to get to it.

I asked him what on Earth had gotten into him.  He said he just got carried away with all the festivities.   Sometimes you just do things and tell yourself you’ll worry about the consequences later.  So, that’s what he’s going to do.  And, when his kids get older and he sees them falling apart, ordering two cones for themselves on Independence day, he won’t feel sorry for himself.  He’ll say, “That’s on me.”

 

ice cream

 

I’m Addicted to Facebook

I’m usually a “I won’t be mastered by anything” type of gal.    I don’t eat too much (most days), drink too much, or shop too much.   Everything in moderation.  Except Facebook.  I Facebook too much.  I definitely Facebook too much.

Facebook addict

Recently, I had to give my Smartphone to Scott for a day.  He needed the GPS.  His rotary phone doesn’t have that app.  I offered my phone to him, because he was traveling with our sons.  I didn’t want them to get lost.   It was hard to give my phone up for a day.  I check Facebook from my phone.  I decided I didn’t want my family to get lost  more than I wanted to maintain my access to Facebook.  Barely.

I was with my parents and sisters the day I gave  up my phone.  They had some fun at my expense.   My family knows my Facebook dependence is hardcore. They said they’d be there for me when I hit rock bottom.  They’d wipe the sweat from my forehead, and hold my jittery hands as I fought through my compulsion to check on my Facebook friends.

For Gosh sakes, that was a long day.  Who knows how many naughty kitty sightings,  inspirational quotes and pictures of what’s for dinner I missed?  It is sad.  I’ll never get those moments with my Facebook friends back.

 

cat post

I made it through the day without being admitted into rehab.  We met Scott and the boys later that night.   I was so happy to see him again.  My phone, I mean.

I started thinking about this day without Facebook.  It started bugging me.  Once I get bugged, I have a hard time getting unbugged.  I thought there might be something I was supposed to be thinking about.  Something I might need to  learn.

Facebook is just a perfect fit for people like me.  I have always admired and been attracted to shy, humble, introverted people.  Many of my closest friends fit that description.  I married one of those people.

I like shy, humble, introverted people so much that I have wished I could be like them many times in my life.  Especially right after I do or say something I’d like to forget.   I love the idea of being private.  I want to measure my words and share information sparingly.  I want to be slow to trust, and have a small circle of friends.

People who do that seem so dignified and respectable, don’t they?  They don’t make fools of themselves.  They don’t have to retract their words, and apologize for saying too much.  And under no circumstances would it ever occur to any of those people to post silly/embarrassing  pictures of themselves  on Facebook, or spill their guts in a blog.  Those kind of people have nothing to regret.      I want to be like that.  But, really?  Who am I kidding?

wrestling moms 036

I have a small circle of trust too.  I have a strict rule about only sharing my personal thoughts with my 400 Facebook friends, and the thousand or so strangers who’ve stopped by my blog.   Other than that?  I’m a closed book.  You’re not getting a word out of me. I mean it.  Don’t even try.  I’m too shy.

I tell my kids that honesty is always our best option.   A good place to start is being honest with yourself about who you are, and how God made you.    Once you know who you are, you have to own it.  You have to fight your weaknesses and develop your strengths.

Honestly,  I’m not introverted or shy.  I guess you knew that. I like people.  I like a lot of people. I like to tell people I like them.  I like to share what’s in my head.

You know what else I like to do?  I like to listen.  It’s true.  I like to hear about people’s cats, their headaches and what they had for dinner.  And that’s why Facebook rules me.  Facebook was made for suckers like me.

Well, I won’t be ruled.  I decided to give up Facebook for 10 days.  I gave up blogging too.  My blog and Facebook are kind of package deal.  I don’t know how to do one without the other.

I said goodbye to all my virtual friends, and decided that for 10 whole days I would only communicate with people who I could talk to in person, or on the phone.  My dad told me I’d never make it.   That is  why I knew I would.

I wanted to see for myself what was wrong with Facebook.  I wanted to get answers to questions like these:

1. How much time am I REALLY spending on Facebook?

2. How much more productive can I be without Facebook?

3. Is Facebook detracting from my in-person relationships?

4. Does Facebook feed into my pride and ego?

5. Is my life better and more meaningful without Facebook?

It was a long 10 days.  I was out of sorts for the first few days.  Breaking a habit is hard.  After the first 3 or 4 days, I started to figure it out.  It got easier.

Here’s what I learned:

1. How much time am I spending on Facebook?

Answer: Too much.  I realized that for the most part I do not choose Facebook over other activities, but I always defer to Facebook.  I scroll through Facebook any time my mind has an opportunity to be silent.   Sometimes you can learn things from silence.

2. How much more productive can I be without Facebook?

Answer: Not that much.  I was disappointed by the results to this question.  I thought maybe I was on Facebook so much that I would free up hours to do things I’d been meaning to do.  I thought I could finally add that half hour of strength training to my morning routine, or have a cleaner house.  None of that happened.

I use Facebook as a distraction.  I check Facebook when I’m on hold, waiting for the dentist, or when I’m a passenger in the car.  I don’t check Facebook instead of making supper or watering the flowers.  Darn.  I really was hoping to find some lost hours in my day.  I could use them.

3. Is Facebook detracting from my in-person relationships?

Answer: Maybe. I don’t know.  I don’t think so.  I know a lot of awesome people.  I didn’t call any of them to meet for coffee during my 10 Facebook free days. I did really miss communicating with some of them on Facebook though.

4. Does Facebook feed into my pride and ego?

Answer: Yes.  For sure. This was another primary reason I wanted to stop Facebook for a while.  Humans are egocentric.  We are born that way.  Our instincts are to promote ourselves and our interests. Fighting that instinct is hard.  I think it’s worth fighting. I want to fight it.

Facebook is just  so “look-at me”.  How can we pretend it isn’t?  I hope you don’t think I have a good justification for this part of Facebook.  I don’t.

You post a picture of your family, or something you think is funny.  Then,  you go back because you want to see if anyone liked it?  What part of that scenario is about other people?  Yeah.  None of it.  What a bummer.

I know I really enjoy posts from my friends.  I like hearing what they’re up to, and what milestones they’re crossing.  I love a funny thought, or story.  I like cute pictures of pets.  I like to be inspired.

I just have to think about all that.  I have to figure out what is too much from me,  and when enough is enough.  I haven’t figured it out yet.

5. Is my life better and more meaningful with Facebook?

Answer: Yes. No. Yes and no.  Facebook gives me a an opportunity to develop my God given interests and abilities.  I love to communicate, listen and encourage.  I love getting to know people, and I really like to write.  Facebook is an ideal platform for all of that.  I’m grateful I’m alive in the era of Facebook.

We can always have too much of a good thing.   I missed Facebook when I didn’t have it.  I can see there are some valuable things that have resulted from my use of Facebook, but I also liked NOT being on Facebook.  It was relaxing.

Checking Facebook status every quiet moment had become a  fetish. Having a fetish is not like having a relaxing hobby.  Having a fetish is like having an irrepressible tic.  People take medication for that.

I really, really, really liked having more peaceful moments.  I felt more in control.  I don’t want to give that up.

The end result of this experiment is that  I know more than I knew before, but I still don’t really know anything at all.  I don’t think I’m supposed to give up Facebook or blogging right now.   I do think I’m supposed to keep my Facebook app off of my smart phone.  That app is dangerous for me.  Those little red numbers are the devil.  They tell you how many messages you have.  I find that number impossible to resist.   That Facebook app on my phone  to me is  like carrying around a bottle of  Gin is to an alcoholic.  Too convenient.

facebook-notifications

My new experiment is an attempt to use Facebook in moderation.  Is that possible?  I don’t know yet.  I hope it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God and Things that Don’t Make Sense

A Facebook friend of mine recently posted a blog that was titled, “God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.”

Here, here, my fellow blogger and friend! I concur. If you’ve traveled in Christian circles for a long time, then someone at some point has told you, “God WON’T give you more than you can handle.” We tell each other this, because it’s supposed to be comforting. My husband Scott and I have discussed this sentiment at length. We’re suspicious, very suspicious.

I’ve been pondering some deep things lately. I prefer pondering recipes, silly You Tube videos and puppies. But, here I am; I’m thinking about human beings, faith, what is true and what is not true. Blaach! I hate it when I do that.

If you have known me for a while, or are nice enough to read my blog, then you know faith is front and center in my life. I have mentioned that, right? At least I think I have. Why wouldn’t I mention that? I really meant to! How could I be so dumb? Oh, sorry. Are you still there? Stay focused, Miki. This is serious.

I’ve been thinking about faith, particularly my faith in Christ. I have some dear friends who don’t get me on this. I love these friends. They are part of the reason I have to stop and ask myself sometimes what really makes sense.

What I have learned is that there is a lot about God and His plan that makes no sense to me at all. For example, this whole, “He won’t give you more than you can handle,” business. What if you have pain and heartache so deep, that your mind fractures and you become permanently unstable? To me that seems like more than a person can handle.

That’s a really smart lady who wrote the blog post I mentioned above. She can quote you verses in the Bible that call in to question the whole, “He won’t give you more than you can handle” debate. I’m not that smart, and I’m not going to quote scripture. Not that I couldn’t, “Jesus Wept”! I know that verse by heart. But there I go again, intimidating you with my knowledge of the scripture. I don’t mean to do that. I promise, I’m a common person, just like you.

What I really wanted to do was think about my own life, and decide what has proven to be true and what has proven to be untrue.

What is TRUE is learning that life was never supposed to work out neatly. Figuring that out was a relief. Here I was going along thinking people were supposed to always be nice and stay healthy. Once I learned the truth, the shock of it all was more easily absorbed. Now you’re going to ask me, “But, why DOES God give us all the pain, Miki?”

And, my answer to you is, “Get in line with that question, sister! I’m asking the same thing.” Seems that God could have chosen to give us a problem free existence, right?

I know the Sunday School reply is that God gives us free will. Our nature is to choose sin. Sin messes up EVERYTHING!!!! I guess the more philosophical way to state that is, we live in a world that is jacked up by design. Then, you have part two of that answer: all these trials and troubles are helping us grow and to live by faith.

I guess, looking back, I would have to say that hardship has made me stronger, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have told God that I promise I’ll grow without all the troubles. We’re still in negotiations. I’ll let you know if I make any headway.

What has been UNTRUE for me is that I am capable of absorbing the pain of life without Faith. I need it. I need God. If I thought life was random, I would be well beyond the threshold of what I can tolerate. BUT….if there is a POINT, and if there is a place I can relinquish all my troubles, and if there is God who’s invested in and cares about my pain. I can do that.

I still have a lot of questions. I still feel sad and I mourn. I get weary. God knows it, because that’s what I keep telling Him. I won’t do life without Him though. I’m clinging to His leg, like my kids clung to mine when I used to try dropping them off in the nursery. I never was able to shake them. God can’t shake me either. I’m too attached to the peace that comes from being in his presence. My roots are too deep in a foundation of a life that is built on believing His plan is Good. Those deep roots are what keep me from breaking and protect my mind from a fracture.

I know now that I can simultaneously feel deep sadness and a sense of peace. If I thought life was random, I think I’d be left with just the sadness. I don’t want that. So, God definitely HAS given me more than I can handle…without faith.

I’m not here to settle anyone’s theological debates. I truly shudder at the thought of telling people what they should and should not be doing. I’m sorry. I know Christians are good at that. Maybe they want me to be good at it too. I am working on too many problems of my own right now; I could not begin to find the motivation for pointing out other people’s. What I CAN handle is talking about what I am learning. Sometimes people share what they’re learning with me too. I like it.

When I am having a day where I feel like I am absolutely at the end of myself, I’m tired of praying, and I am all out of answers, God puts music in my life to comfort my soul. This song spoke for me the other day. If you’re tired and weary today, you may like it too.

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