and maybe its my lack of brain function? My niece's birthday was actually March 19th. I KNOW this. I do, really. But somehow I decided on the 17th it was on the 17th. I have no excuse. Forgive me Jozie bird! Aunt Lisa really does know when you're birthday is, I promise! Jozie is now officially two and I may be biased, but she's just a fantastically lovely and hilarious little person. I love how she is so just herself all the time in all the moments. I think that may be why I love being with little kids so much, they really are themselves without all these filters and walls and boundaries and rules we throw up as we get older. We need some of those, but let's be honest in that we could really do without quite a lot of the parameters we put on ourselves as "grown-ups."
In that spirit, I'll keep on blogging and throwing out there the stuff others may try to hide or hold back. I have a quote on my wall in my office that says, "People don't expect you to be perfect-they already know you aren't. What they want you to be is honest! So let them see your struggles, not just your successes. We usually grow as much from others' weaknesses as we do from their strengths." I read that in a devotion (possibly Purpose Driven Life) and immediately typed it up and put it on my wall. We sometimes try to hide all those things about ourselves but I've been much too open in my life to let that hold me back. Thankfully I married someone who has helped me to learn when I should hold back, unfortunately I don't always listen to him.
I've really been dealing so much with the ups and downs of my physicality and health and although I know I've grown so much in relying on God rather than myself, I still struggle with it. I can say honestly that I have never trusted God as fully as I do at this point in my life, everything really is in his hands. I know from the Bible that it all definitely is in his hands, but I know I have most certainly deluded myself for a lot of years into thinking I have some sort of control over things. BUT I DON'T and I am now in a place where I know that absolutely. I don't even know from day to day how my brain will be functioning, much less trying to micromanage everything around me.
I had a pretty rough day on Monday. I couldn't get out of my funk, I was just sad and defeated and IN A FUNK. I continued to get pulled down, more and more. I was down, tears fell, and I could feel myself infecting the rest of my family with my doldrums. I kept turning to things to try to distract myself, or somehow feel better and nothing seemed to be working. I finally sat down and picked up my Bible Study. And then one of my girls sat with me and picked up her Lenten devotions and read me a question from it, "What things in your life turned out easier than you expected?" First of all, I stopped short because I realized that the entire day I'd been searching in all the wrong places. I'd like to say that I turn to God first, but in reality I still turn to places I know won't help. But I am growing and can say that I turn to God a whole lot more now than in years past and I'm very thankful for that. The second thing that struck me when Abbie asked the question was how difficult I found it to actually answer the question. I could think of lots of things that were harder than I expected, those answers popped up right away; but thinking of things that were easier left me really searching.
It speaks to my focus and where I'm at. Some days its easy to answer that question, I can find tons of things that were easier than I thought they'd be and a great example would be my latest batch of testing. I'd expected to be there for much of the day and for things to take a long time and be a lot more difficult to get through. Instead, the nurses and doctor were fantastic and they had me in an out of there in just a few hours. It went much BETTER than I'd expected. Which again, speaks to where my focus is. I could argue that in expecting things to be tougher I am pleasantly surprised when they aren't, but in reality I know that if my focus is on the more negative aspects how can I expect myself to really be looking at my life through eyes of faith? Am I continually expecting to be disappointed by my circumstances, and in effect by God? Am I only positive on the good days? How can I be positive on the rough ones? Or at the very least have some better expectations?
Oh how I need to continue to cling to Jeremiah 29:11-14. BIG TIME. 11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” "