Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Have Been There

I got a phone call from a dear friend of mine. She feels like her whole world is falling apart. She is scared. She doesn't know what to do. She is in a valley. She came to me for help and advice because she knows that I can relate.

I have four words for her: I HAVE BEEN THERE.

I've been there when you feel like your whole world is crashing down.
I've been there when you don't know where or who to turn to.
I've been there when you are angry at God.
I've been there when you feel like you have lost all faith in God.
I've been there when it takes everything you have to get out of bed in the morning.
I've been there when you cry yourself to sleep.
I've been there when you feel like you have lost everything.
I've been there when you feel like you have no friends.
I've been there when you don't want to leave the house.
I've been there when you just want silence.
I've been there when silence is lonely.
I've been there when you want to hide.
I've been there when you want to keep the shades drawn.
I've been there when you don't want to hear "God has a plan."

It is true, the valley sucks. It is difficult. I'm not going to lie and say that it is easy. It's not. It is horrible.

The Good News is that Jesus has been there too. The Good News is that there is sun/Son in the valley. God is still on His throne.

I will be there for you, dear friend, in the valley and on the mountaintop!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ironic Life of Swimming

Athletics were a big part of my life while I was growing up. I swam competitively for 13 years, ran track for 4 years, and played other various sports like soccer and volleyball in between. I had the constant aroma of chlorine on my skin, and when I wasn't dripping with pool water, I was dripping with sweat from other sports. I helped to coach swimming and also taught private swim lessons for kids.

I felt more comfortable in the water than on land.

I remember getting up in what seemed like the middle of the night to get to early morning swim practice before school started. The sky was dark and I had to brush the snow off my little Honda Accord.

I remember walking outside after long evening swim practices, the sky was dark and snow would be on the ground. My hair literally froze.

I remember getting tan lines on my back during summer swim.

I also remember my crazy eating habits. Unfortunately, this is not what you might think. I didn't consume extra calories to make up for the amount that I would burn off. In fact, I don't know how my body survived and how I could literally walk and stand up. I wasn't anorexic or bulimic but I was concerned about my body.

This was my daily menu:
Maybe one granola bar in the morning
Two granola bars at lunch

What?! Three granola bars?! How could I even swim?

I didn't want to eat an orange because it "felt heavy" in my hand so I thought that I would gain the weight of the orange.


Sometimes on Fridays, I would join some friends for lunch and hit up the local bakery and eat a plain bagel, but that was just because it was Friday. Other days I would join my friends at restaurants for lunch but just eat my two granola bars.

I had some sort of messed up idea of nutrition (despite what my parents told me and what my health class taught me).

So, what is the moral of the story? This was bad. Don't do this. It isn't healthy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Emotional Struggle

While writing out my story, I was forced to think of various seasons of my life from childhood until present. A reoccurring theme seemed to be an emotional struggle, even from an early age.
Why? I don't know. It just was.

I remember when I was in second grade, I laid on the dining room floor and wrote out with pencil on sheets of white lined paper "I hate myself" over a hundred times.

Why do I remember this? I can recall this moment as clear as I can recall family vacations to Mexico and trips to Disney World.

Sometimes memories have a purpose. Now I just have to figure out why I remember this and how to turn it into something beautiful.

Beauty from ashes.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Welcome Home

I came home exhausted from a long day, and as I pulled into the driveway, I saw the girls scurry into position.

Upon entering our porch, I saw the girls sitting on the tile floor by a vase of beautiful pink flowers and a card that was made out to "Mom."

The card read:

"Thinking of you,
believing in you,
standing by you,
praying for you...
...not just now,
but always."

Mariah wrote: We Love you! and we are Proud of you!

Then Jerry wrote a message about how proud he is of me and his appreciation for my hard work and dedication to our family and to my new job.

I teared up. I love my family!