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Saturday, June 28, 2008

The diet game

First off, thanks to everyone who's been stopping by and saying hi, giving me their congrats. It's been a funky few days, so I'm just catching up on blogging now.

Second, and the real purpose of today's post. I've been on a cleanse diet for about a week or so. Now before those of you who know me jump down my throat and say I don't need to go on a diet, let me explain. It's not a lose weight thing, but a clean out my system thing. Last year, I had tummy issues resulting in the removal of my gall bladder. This spring, the tummy troubles returned. The doctor couldn't find anything wrong with me. Based on a number of things, I think it's a result of buildup of junk in my body. I'm working with a nutritionist, and we decided that the best thing for me is a gentle cleanse. The basic principle is that I cut out all bad stuff, then cut out potential allergen and foods that are harder on the body. Once I've cut out all but the most cleansing foods, then I can add things back in and see how my body does. Basically, we're looking at gluten free, dairy free, only a few selected meats, and ABSOLUTELY no sugar or caffeine.

However, it's HARD.

I meant to start last Thursday. I was fine all day except for the fact that I was supposed to meet my girlfriends from work for drinks. Okay... so I had water, which is good. I tried, I really tried to abstain from the platter of appetizers. I had a nibble or two, so that spoiled the diet for that day.

Friday, we had a lunch for my friend's birthday. I'd skipped breakfast (I was busy, I forgot), and starving. Let's be blunt here. Nothing on my diet feels filling. More to the point, I have blood sugar issues, and that plate of bread in front of me was just too much. I caved. I ate a normal lunch. Then, we had a family dinner. I TRIED to order food on my diet, but the "safe" food had a little bad stuff on it. I know, I could've sent it back and asked for what I needed, but I hate doing that. It smacks a little too much of princess for me.

Saturday, I did okay, except I went to a gathering at a friend's house. And of course, they had food. I did pretty good, just had one taste and ate some snacks I brought. Sunday, despite being at a BBQ where they served all of my favorite foods, I stuck to the diet except for one bite of my daughter's cake. How can I resist? Monday through Thursday, I also did great. The truth is, I like a lot of the food on my diet and eat a lot of it anyway.

Then Friday came. Friday began the really strict part of the diet... I'm only supposed to eat rice, fruit, and vegetables. I succeeded for most of the day, but then I got lightheaded because I really need my protein. We went to Costco and I was confronted with my biggest food weakness. No, not the samples. I skipped most of them. Except... they had CHEESE. Not just plain old cheese, but cheeses from around the world. The GOOD stuff. The stuff I live for. I caved. Not hard core, again, just taking a bite of my daughter's sample piece. I have to admit, I felt guilty. I wondered if cheating meant I'd have to start over. I even Googled it. But I can't find anything specific to this cleanse. I can't stop obsessing over whether or not I should call my nutritionist. I admit, though, I felt much better after eating some chicken.

Today, I thought, I'll try again. I remember my lack of protein failure from the previous day and I pack a few nuts with my snack fruit. Did GREAT. I realize I technically shouldn't have nuts in this phase, but I also didn't have the blood sugar crashes I did like the previous day. Then we went to my neighbor's for a party. Wow... the food was INCREDIBLE. But all I ate was the fruit. Yes, I was good. Completely good. It was so hard to ignore the cheese calling my name. Even harder when my kiddo sat on my lap, eating it happily, and trying to get me to have a bite. It was also hard to say no to a very good hostess. I was raised that you don't offend by refusing hospitality. I didn't want to explain about my diet, because it freaks people out.

That said, I did come home and eat more chicken. As the afternoon wore on, I did have a couple of blood sugar issues, so I'm starting to accept that I really can't do the fruit, rice, and veggie thing. Which is okay. It's not like I'm taking any kind of drugs or something that'll mess me up if I don't stick to the diet.

Here's what I've learned in this week. First, this is the first diet I've ever been on. I tried something similar years ago, but couldn't even get going because it required too much of a lifestyle change. I think that's the problem with a lot of diets. They require a pretty drastic lifestyle change. This diet's been fairly easy for me, because I already eat (and LIKE) most of the foods I'm supposed to be eating. The challenge for me, for example, is meals like breakfast, where I don't usually do too bad, but my usual foods are off limits. That seems like it would be hard to maintain for a lot of people.

The next challenge is melding the diet with the world around me. I can't expect restaurants and friends to cook according to my diet. Which means having to have a lot of self control as well as tact in dealing with people who want you to eat things you can't. I've only been to two restaurants, but neither had anything that fit my diet without several modifications. To do the diet right, you really have to eat all of your meals and snacks at home.

And of course, there's temptation. I mentioned my weakness for cheese. I couldn't say no. Believe it or not, I've been fine with sugar. I even gave up my beloved tea. But cheese... *sigh*

That said, I also wanted to share my successes. The most important thing I'm doing is that I'm forgiving myself for my mistakes. With the cheese, for example, I didn't say, "well, since I blew it, I'm going to eat all the cheese I want." I had just a taste. And yes, I did limit myself to that little taste. In fact, every place I strayed from my diet, it was always just a small taste. Rather than giving up because I made a mistake, I continued to follow the diet. I kept going. I know a lot of people who stray from the diet a couple of times, then give up.

The next important thing I do is listen to my body. I knew the fruits and veggies weren't doing it for me. So I chose to keep a small amount of protein. I know it's important to follow a diet exactly, but it's also important to know your body. It's possible that if the foods you need aren't on the diet, maybe you're on the wrong one. Stay focused on what a diet SHOULD be: healthier eating habits and choices. As long as you're not substituting bad foods for the good ones on your diet, you're still doing good for your body.

Finally, be proud of yourself and celebrate your victories. Pat yourself on the back for the times you've succeeded. If you resist temptation, count it as a victory, even if you have to do it several times a day. The most important thing to remember about any diet is that you are choosing to do something good for yourself. Focus on your good choices. The good foods you're using to replace the bad. If you make a mistake, it's okay, just keep going. I know I will be!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #51: Things I did today (be impressed)

Thirteen Things I did today (be impressed)

1. Made the kids breakfast (usually they get their own)
2. Folded two loads of laundry
3. Did the bellydancing workout show.
4. Did the Gilad workout show. (It was on right after bellydancing, and I didn't feel like that one gave me much of a workout today)
5. Watched the Dan Ho show (while I folded laundry)
6. Unpacked three and a half boxes (and one was the size of two boxes!)
7. Did two loads of dishes (more to come, since I unpacked some china and it's gross)
8. Cleaned off the counter.
9. Cleaned up the area behind the couch.
10. Paid bills.
11. Washed all the wood furniture in my bedroom with wood soap.
12. Went grocery shopping.
13. Made a healthy, delicious meal from all natural fresh ingredients using new to me recipes. Quinoa is pretty good!

So give me a big round of applause. I'm going to need the encouragement to get up off the couch now. I'm tired and sore!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The coolest discovery EVER!!

Well, okay, it doesn't beat sliced bread, but come on! Who can top that? The point is, I'm super excited.

As some of you know, I've been working on some revisions. I finally got the critiques back, made the changes, and YES! I sent them. So give me a great big pat on the back. Anyway, now that I'm eagerly stalking my inbox to see what the verdict is (and yes, I know it's unrealistic for me to think that I'd get an answer this soon, but I'm a writer. I'm neurotic. Part of the job description), I had a thought.

Be afraid.

Rather than biting my nails, driving everyone crazy, or worse, cleaning my house, while I wait, I'm going to be productive. NO, I'm not writing another book. I already have five that could go to this place, and I'd rather figure out if they're viable before I write another. Okay, fine, I AM writing another. But that's not the point I was trying to make.

Here's my point:

I have great critique partners. They help me see the things I can't see in my own writing. And they gave some really good feedback. In fact, I'm going to give just a quick plug for one of them, Camy Tang, and her Story Sensei critique business. Yes, she'll charge you. BUT it's worth it. She hacked up my manuscript something fierce. And I believe that the story I just sent is a thousand times better because of it.

So, rather than working on a new book (resisting the temptation... resisting the temptation... did I mention it's an AWESOME story), I'm taking what I learned and applying it. I know, scary thought. I've got the comments from my lovely friends (and no, Camy's not the only one who chopped it to pieces, she's just the only one I can promote), and I'm going through my other stuff and seeing how I can apply it. GACK. The work I have just created for myself.

But it's going to make me a better writer, which means in the long run, I'll be a better writer. Which is the advice I just gave to a newbie writer in a contest entry I judged. The writing was beyond putrid. And yet, I could feel her passion for what she wrote just as clearly as I could see the red-highlighted words spell check said she missed. Bad writing can be fixed. But you have to be willing to learn the craft. To step out and say to someone you know is not going to be nice to you, "do your worst," and be willing to accept that criticism. Greg Johnson of Word Serve Literary recently spoke to our ACFW group and said that one thing that impresses him is an author telling him that s/he had several strangers read and critique the book and that s/he applied that criticism. Are you willing to step out and learn whatever it is you need to learn to become a better writer?

And I still haven't told you my discovery.

Because I'm committed to becoming a better writer, I'm going to apply what I learned to the other things I have in the hopper. However, I hate hate hate editing on screen. I get dizzy. So I do a lot on paper. Which is great, except we have wimpy printers. I usually just put it on a flash drive and head to Kinko's. And that's when I found out... I can do it all via Internet and then pick it up when it's printed. For twenty five dollars, my friends, I will have a printed version of the book I'm going to be editing. I just have to go pick it up. No more waiting at the store with whining children while it prints. Nope. It'll be ready when I get there.

Life is so good.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #50: Commericals I hate

Thirteen Things about commercials I hate

1. Viva Viagra. It’s number one because I absolutely detest this commercial. It has completely ruined what used to be a pretty good song.
2. All E.D. Commercials. What I really want to know is how much they have to pay these guys to stand up on national T.V. and tell the world they have E.D.
3. “I have genital herpes.” “And I don’t.” Let’s be frank here. Neither of you would have genital herpes if you were more careful in choosing your sex partners. More on that with the next one.
4. Gardasil. Back to my previous frank discussion. What the commercial doesn’t tell you is that HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. We’re spending an awful lot of money helping people not spread disease through medicine when if they just said no, they wouldn’t get the disease either. Now, to be fair, all you can control is you. A good friend of mine got HPV from her husband who got it from a college girlfriend and never knew he had it. But still… the commercial is only telling half the story, and rather than all these commercials with “fixes” for STDs, maybe we ought to think about commercials educating people on a little something called abstinence.
5. Political ads. I am considering not watching TV for the next four months. I’ve already seen a few for the Senate, I think. Ugh. I am so not interested in hearing a bunch of half-truths designed to prey on the emotions of the undereducated.
6. The Sarah McLachlan ASPCA ad. Kill me now. Not only is it ten times longer than the average commercial, but it’s depressing. Yes, abused animals make me sad. However, I’m not giving you a dime to help you continue showing that horrible ad.
7. Alcohol ads. Going to be general here, but I’m so sick of all these ads showing people drinking, having a good time, being irresponsible and then they have the little flash at the end: Please drink responsibly. And how, exactly, did your commercial demonstrate that?
8. Phillip Morris ads. If they’re so committed to helping people quit smoking and preventing teens from quitting, why do they still manufacture and sell cigarettes? Just wondering…
9. Lelli Kelly Shoes. The song is irritating as all get out. But worse, they try to sell you on these shoes that aren’t all that cute by promising lip gloss with the shoe. Ick. Although maybe some of my irritation stems from the fact that my daughter is somehow related to Imelda Marcos and can’t understand why I refuse to buy her $65 shoes.
10. Spike TV ads. “Who’s the hottest woman?” Vote on who’s blah blah blah. Because that’s what real men do. Gag.
11. The Caveman ads. I don’t even know the company… “it’s so simple a caveman can do it.” I’m sorry, why does that make me care about your product?
12. MySpace ads. Okay, these aren’t on TV. But seriously, every time I log into MySpace, I’m bombarded with ridiculous ads. Mostly for rich men in my area looking for wives. Apparently, they failed to notice that my profile clearly says I’m married. Plus, there has to be something wrong with a rich guy who has to advertise on MySpace for a wife.
13. Facebook Ads. They’re smaller than MySpace ads, which is good. They’ve caught on to the fact that I already have a husband, so they keep telling me about how I can lose weight. What I really hate about those ads is that they show women who are too skinny as the idea or women who are not fat as being overweight. Ugh.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dear Fat Cells,

I am writing to offer my most humble apologies for the abuse I heaped upon your poor tired existence this afternoon. You see, while I thought it might be a good idea to exchange some of you for some muscle, I had no idea what such an endeavor entailed. To be sure, oh precious fat cells, when my husband suggested a short bike ride, my idea of a short bike ride in no way intersected with his. I would have been content to stop when you first began to complain. However, to have continued as far as we did constitutes nothing less than torture. For that, my beloved fat cells, I must beg your forgiveness.

I realize, of course, that you, my most treasured fat cells, that as I offer this vain attempt at apologizing to you, I still contemplate my life with more muscle instead of fat. You must think me quite the hypocrite. But I am sure that you also know my brownie-loving heart. For as long as I am capable of preparing the luxurious deep chocolate creations sitting on my counter, there will always be room in my body for fat cells. One cannot exist without the other. Still, I feel I must replace you with something leaner and healthier, as I've been accused one too many times by too many people of being pregnant. I'm tired of snapping people's heads off as I inform them, "No, I'm just getting fat." Hardly the way to win friends and influence people. Although they're not doing themselves any favors by inquiring as to my reproductive status. Should such status ever fall upon our family again, I promise to wear a t-shirt proclaiming the uh, joyous news.

So, most adored fat cells, can we find some common ground? Is there a way we can peacefully coexist? Can we find a way to reduce the degree to which you protrude? Will you help me fit into my jeans again? More to the point, could you please cease complaining with your stabbing pains to my rear end? The fact of the matter is that my rear end is already troubled by the man and children in my life and I certainly need no further pain in my backside.

I appreciate your kind consideration in this most grievous matter. As a peace offering, I most gratefully offer you another fine specimen of chocolate.

Thank you ever so much,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Inspy... then I'm outtie...

As you can tell from my last post, I have great plans. Great, I tell you, great. But have you ever noticed how, when you commit to positive change, life throws stuff at you as if to say, "yeah right."

That was today.

Er, how about we scoot back to yesterday afternoon? I fell asleep on the couch watching a movie with kiddo, trying to entice her into a nap. Didn't work out so good. Apparently, while I was sleeping, kiddo tried to wake me, and I told her to go away. Don't remember. What I do remember is waking up to a flooded basement. Yup. Kiddo was trying to tell me that the basement toilet was overflowing. Oops. So we had a little talk about what EMERGENCY means and that mommy saying "go away" doesn't count during one. *sigh*

We spent the rest of the time leading up to older kiddo's soccer party cleaning up flooded basement. The good news is I think we managed to save everything. The bad news is I didn't get anything else (like the stuff on my list) accomplished.

Fast forward to 6:30 a.m. Aka time of "wake mommy and die." Yeah, you know what's coming. Actually, not vomit this time. But screaming, "mommy I have a headache," and 101 fever comes awfully close. And her tummy was upset, so I feared vomit. I spent the entire day with sick kiddo attached to me like stink on a warthog (I LOVE that line! So glad they make kiddo movies inspy for grownups).

I'd planned on writing. And I did get in 3 pages in between "mooooooooooooommmmmmyyy." I'd planned on doing a little exercise. And I think five minutes counts as a "little" exercise. I'd planned on doing some work site updates. And I finished them about ten minutes ago. I'd planned on reading a book. Well, maybe tomorrow.

Here's the inspy part of my lovely not so lovely messed up plans. I very easily could have thrown in the towel. Tomorrow, there will be several in the laundry, thanks to my new de-germing plan. But here's the thing... we let a lot of things stop us from reaching our goals. Flooded basements happen. Sick kiddos happen. But darn it, I have a book to write. Maybe I didn't meet the full goal, but I did make progress.

We have to learn to accept that the perfect circumstances for whatever it is we're trying to do may never happen. We just have to dig in and do it anyway. I think sometimes we're thrown challenges to find out if we're really serious about what we say we're going to do, or if we let every little thing stop us. And I feel like I can say that because I'll tell you honestly, I've been doing a lot of that lately. Well, this circumstance didn't work out right... Kiddo blew this up, so I had to fix a big mess... whine, whine, whine.

Today, I finally said, "that's enough." I can either sit and whine about how yet again, my perfect day got blown to bits, or I can try to piece together what I can to make progress. And maybe tomorrow, things will blow up again and I'll sulk in my tea for another day. But maybe, hopefully, I'll remember how great it felt to know that I accomplished something really good in spite of all the yuck, dig in, and do it again.

Thursday Thirteen #49: Staying Sane in Summer!

Thirteen Things about Staying Sane in Summer

Like so many mothers everywhere, with kiddos out of school for the summer, I tend to go a little crazy. I'm pretty sure their goal is to "Mom, I'm bored," me to death. This summer, however, I have a plan. And here are just a few ideas as to how to beat the boredom and stay sane this summer. Share some of your favorites!

1. Have a schedule! Kids are used to a school schedule and knowing what happens when. While I don't think it's a good idea to have it as tight as school, giving the kids a basic framework, like, on Monday, we have library; on Tuesday, we have Mom's writing group; on Wednesday, we do whatever; on Thursday, we have Mom's writing group; on Friday, we go on a field trip; etc. It's not rigid, but they know something is coming, and they can look forward to it.

2. Take advantage of the local library summer programs. They've got great summer reading incentives. At our house, Monday is library day, and the kids know it. We go to the library, pick out new books, and then have a picnic in the park adjacent to the library.

3. Take advantage of the "freebies." With the library program, we got all sorts of coupons for free or reduced cost entry to local attractions. Who can say no to a free trip to the amusement park or bowling?

4. Go park hopping. Explore the local parks and try something new. It's amazing how a dinky park your kids have never been to ends up being the coolest place on earth simply because it's something new.

5. Set goals with your kiddos. Summertime is exciting if they're working toward something. One of the girls wants some new Webkinz. The other wants more Disney Princesses and accessories. I gave each of them goals that when they achieve their goals, we'll go buy them. Of course, to reach their goals, it means putting forth consistent effort all summer. (And staying out of my hair!)

6. Make them work. We went to a local living history museum recently and the parents were stunned at all the chores young children had to do. Certainly, there's no coal to shovel at our house, but there's plenty of work to be done. It's amazing how much they'll do to get to go to the amusement park (and the tickets were FREE, courtesy of the library. Love it!).

7. Start a garden. Yes, they're a lot of work, but hey, you've got helpers. The kids love going out in the summer and eating the fresh tomatoes off the vine (and with the salmonella scare, homegrown is a great option). If you involve them in the process, it becomes a great (and FUN!) learning tool.

8. Arrange playdates. At least once a week, I get together with friends and their kiddos. That way, I get grownup time, and the kiddos get to beat up someone other than each other.

9. Take advantage of memberships. Years ago, I figured out that if we go to the zoo more than twice a year, it's better to have a membership. So we got one. Why let it go to waste? So we have regular zoo days.

10. Walk places. I know, most of my ideas involve GOING somewhere. Which is important to keep from going stir crazy. But with gas prices, I can understand being hesitant to do all that going. So... walk! Take the kiddos on "explores." See what things you can discover in your neighborhood. Is it a new park? Is it a shortcut to the nearest Dairy Queen? Find out! Not only does it get kids out of the house, but it helps mom's bathing suit fit a little better.

11. Check out the local tourist office or chamber of commerce. Or Google... "free kids activities in my area." See how many activities and sites on the tourist brochures you can check off. Many of the activities are free OR have great discount coupons in the brochure.

12. Summer sports activities, lessons, vacation Bible school. This year, we're doing riding lessons. However, the soccer club my daughter is in also has summer skill camps. And then of course, there's VBS... many churches use this as an outreach to the community, so even if your church isn't having one, chances are a nearby church will.

13. Don't get too rigid. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have to do a lot of stuff with the kiddos and keep them entertained. You don't have to be too elaborate or get too expensive. But with a little creativity, you also don't have to spend all summer listening to kiddos whining, "Mom, I'm bored," all day.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The sound of silence you hear...

Is me actually WORKING!!

Okay, so first I really must apologize for not blogging and getting back to folks sooner. I had a headache that started last week and is barely at bay today. There were a few days where the words on the screen were awfully blurry. So I kept computer time to a minimum.

However, it's put me really behind on other work I've needed to get done. The great thing about my job(s) is that for the most part, I can do it on my own schedule as long as I meet certain deadlines, accomplish certain tasks, etc. However, when you spend a week doing the bare minimum, you quickly realize that oops! the major plans you'd been working on haven't happened yet. So I'm playing catch-up. Which is extremely not fun with the remnants of a headache. Oh well. If I'd had a normal office job, I'd really be in trouble, since I'd have been skipping work altogether. Yep, I'm in that much pain. Actually, it's not so much the pain, but the blurred vision and inability to focus. Hate this!

Aren't you glad you read my blog today? To hear me whine about my head? The good news is, I should be getting better, since I went to the chiro and had a vertebrae in my neck REALLY out. He fixed me up, so once my body figures out that all is well, I'll be just fine.

In other news, I am working on getting into a summer rhythm, YAY me, so that's making me happy. And I've been having lots of really deep thoughts... maybe it's the headache talking, or maybe I'll have some cool things to share. Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #48: Anniversary Edition

Thirteen Things about Our anniversary

Today, That Man and I celebrated nine years of wedded insanity. :) Here's a special tribute, looking back on our relationship.

1. I refused to give him my phone number for a very long time. I thought he was a cheeseball trying to hit on me and I had sworn off men.
2. When we finally did start talking outside of church, he very quickly became my best friend.
3. We evolved into dating in a very strange way... basically, it was the only time he's ever really put his foot down with me. As in, that's it. We're dating.
4. I spent the first six months of our dating relationship trying to figure out how to break up with him and still be best friends. Since that didn't work out so well, I decided I had to marry him.
5. He proposed by giving me a beanie baby rhino with my ring around its horn.
6. He waited until the very last minute of "The Deadline" to propose.
7. We were married on a golf course because it was the only outdoor venue that hadn't been booked yet and I was determined to get married outside.
8. We went on a road trip for our honeymoon... took all the back roads, stopped at all the historical markers and points of interest. Very fun.
9. The most memorable anniversary gift he gave me was a spa weekend at a hot springs resort... by myself. I love him for that.
10. He is the first person in my life to have shown me unconditional love, the only person who knows everything about me, and he still thinks I am the most wonderful woman in the world.
11. He also thinks I am the most beautiful, sexiest woman in the world. Not bad after all these years!
12. He is my biggest cheerleader and does everything he can to help me achieve my dreams.
13. After all these years, and everything we've been through (which trust me, is a LOT), I'd do it all again.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Grace covering anger

The past few days, I've realized that I'm just angry. No particular reason, just angry. Maybe it's all the high fructose corn syrup I've cut out of my diet. A couple days ago, I screamed at my kids like a total shrew. And in the middle of it, I realized, I have absolutely no reason to be so angry at them. I apologized, shut my big fat mouth, and curled up on the couch with a blanket.

So today, I sat down at WFTJ, and my friend Robbie starts talking about how I've been on her mind lately, blah blah blah (actually, it was quite sweet, and I'll start crying if I talk about it, so we are NOT going there). And then she says something interesting about how I've grown. That when she first met me, she sensed a lot of repressed anger and frustration, but now she sees a lot of joy and peace in me.

Apparently, she wasn't in the house the other day when I screamed at my kids or last night when I yelled at the hubby and hung up on him. Yeah. Real proud moments.

We start talking and another friend comes up and says, "you're angry? Why are you so angry?" Which of course, leads to me tirading about the most idiotic things in the world that are absolutely no big deal and I have no real reason to be angry about them except that well, I'm just angry.

So I keep asking myself, why am I so angry? And where is this joy that my friend Robbie sees in me? (Robbie, by the way, is the ultimate in living joyfully. You should check out her blog, Joy Dance, and see what I mean.)

I did my thing, went to church, blah blah blah. Not really, but the full church topic has to be saved for another blog. Anyway, we were worshipping, and some of the things I'm angry about starting coming out. Things I'm holding in. Things I don't want to share because the things I'm angry about are selfish things and I don't want to be selfish. Things that hurt way deep down but I'm afraid to talk about them. No, that's not true. I've talked about them. I feel like I've talked about them ad nauseum for three years and nothing's changed. It still hurts. And honestly, I have to think that to some extent, people are sick of hearing it. So I shut it all up inside and don't talk about it any more. And there I am, crying my eyes out in the middle of church, trying to hide it because I know that if hubby sees, he'll want to know what's wrong and that'll just start another issue, and I'm tired of having issues.

And then it hit me... everything I've done today, everything I've heard, talked about, it all boils down to letting God handle my burdens. He does not care if I come crying to him a hundred times a day about all this stuff in my heart. He's not going to think I'm a bad person, a bad wife, a bad mother, a bad whatever it is I've decided I am. He's not going to send me to the corner reserved for the naughty little girls who still cannot get their act together.

One of the verses we talked about in WFTJ was Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Oh, how my soul needs rest. I am carrying so many burdens. And I'm doing it alone. Because I have some warped thought in my head that it has to be that way.

Tonight in church, Dave talked about grace. And while it wasn't specifically tonight's topic (though I suspect it will be another night), I realized the person I most need to give grace to is myself. To know that even if I unload all the burdens I carry around on His shoulders, it's not going to make me any less in God's eyes. Dave gave the great analogy of a scale, and that our way into heaven isn't dependent on the scale. In my head, I know this to be true... the ticket to heaven is grace. And yet, I am so wrapped up in my perfectionism and hating these human desires that I'm not laying it at the cross. It makes me wonder... have I really accepted grace? Or am I still stuck in some Pharisaical rut of believing lies and trying to perform my way into heaven?

The reality of who I am is that I'm a mess. I'm trying to clean it up, really I am. But it's pretty stupid to think that a mess is going to clean itself up. I've got kids. I should know better. But that's been my expectation. I'm angry because I'm not perfect. I'm angry because all the perfect things I planned for my life aren't happening in the perfect order I planned for them. I'm angry because I rely way too much on me and not enough on God. Nothing I do is going to cure this anger until I can step away and fully accept grace.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Communication Frustration

Communication has not been working for me. I'm a writer. I teach. I've been trained in public speaking. I get paid to chat with folks on the web. This should all translate to: Danica knows how to communicate, right?

Apparently not. Either that, or I can't seem to run into the folks who do.

Issue #1: Not telling me what you want. Especially if I give you the opportunity to do so. When I say, "what do you want," and you either say nothing or don't respond, why am I the bad guy for not giving you what you want? And yet, I've had several people be absolutely nasty to me over the past few days for that exact thing. I can't read minds, so why is it MY problem that you have a problem?

Issue #2: Going back on what you previously told me. This is really getting to be a hot button with me. If you say, "do this," and I do, don't be mad at me later for doing it. I have several new orifices after being torn into for doing exactly what I was told to do.

Issue #3: Not saying what you mean. Years ago, a Christian comedian did a routine about how when a person said, "bless his/her heart," they were really saying "you big idiot." That drives me nuts. If you mean the person is an idiot, then just say so. I'll respect you a lot more.

So there it is... my frustration with communication as of late. Please feel free to share your own frustrations. And do try, when communicating with me, to be clear and avoid making the mistakes above. It'll save all of us a big headache.