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The Inconvience Factor

Inconviences can suck. They steal away time and chip away at my comfort. I had an afternoon of inconviences, so many little things piled onto each other that at one point some unholy words emerged from my mouth. What I wanted was kept out of reach for me and I did not like it. Often times I can become upset with things and most often it is not for any other reason than that I am not getting what I want at that moment.

It can bring the worst out of me. But I have learned the most from being inconvienced in my life. Even that day where it felt as if ALL the things went wrong. In some ways they did, and in other ways they went right. I had to remind myself that what I was dealing with was temporary.

But sometimes the inconviences do have long lasting effects. Some are good as I have learned and been challenged in my life. Learning from these kinds of moments has lead to the biggest breakthroughs for me. By asking myself the questions behind why am I so upset? Why is it so important for this to happen now?

Sometimes I know what that answer is, and other times it takes some digging to reveal it. Following Jesus is full of inconviences. I have been stretched to reach past what I know and go into the unknown. I remember the first time I was asked to lead a Bible study, it was scary. Being responsible for helping others follow Jesus when one isn’t 100% confident is difficult.

Leading a group can be inconvenient as anything. It means setting aside time to study up for the week, follow up with group members and spending time conveying information to them. Caring for people is inconvenient isn’t it though? It means having to stop what you had planned to do in order to care for them.

Jesus isn’t about convenience, following him doesn’t fall into a neat slot on the schedule. The lessons that stemmed from being inconvenienced have helped me to grow in my faith. Molding me into the person I am today and the person I will be ten years from now.

Life if full of inconveniences, varying in degrees. Some are small such as I experienced on that day. Others are larger, which I have also experienced in my life. They have made me slow down in the moment and think about what is happening behind it all. It’s not the inconveniences that matter themselves, but what I can learn from them. To look at them as opportunites rather than not.

The Social Media Conundrum

Social media has become a vaccuum of opinions and unfriendliness. It has sucked me in and took over my mind and soul for a while. Especially with the election this past year and the eventful first days of our new President. Having this constant stream of news and opinion without much time to digest is not healthy for me. So much is coming at me so fast that I find myself feeling shaken and torn.

Social media can be wonderful, don’t get me wrong. It is a great way to peek into the lives of those we care about, like a photo or learn some news. In fact for my birthday party next month I created a Facebook event since it’s the easier way to keep up with people able to come or not. I have learned so much about this world, expanding my view on social issues and opposing views from mine.

However these platforms have become a place full of half truths about our lives. Posting photos that reveal part of our lives but belie our struggles. There have been times when I have hesitated to post something because I simply don’t want to deal with the fight in the comment section. At least on my personal FB account, Twitter is where I get more politcal. I feel free to do so since I don’t have as many followers and have yet to encounter any pushback on my tweets. I’m sure that day will come, but for now it’s what works for me.

Using social media also takes so much energy from me. Engaging in this way, especially if it is of a political nature. It takes energy to read through comments or finding myself getting angry at what someone has posted and so on. I have wasted so  much time scrolling through multiple platforms when I could of been reading or (ahem) writing. It becomes the great time suck ( I’m looking at you Pinterest!) that hours can go by and I wonder what the heck did I accomplish today?

The reality is I often look to using social media for a bit of distraction from my own life. I admit to posting things and then checking obsessively to see how many likes or comments were made on it. When it didn’t garner the attention I had hoped for, there is disappointment. Afterall it can feel like a popularity contest. For me it has often feed into the lie that I’m not cared about. It can be so easy to do when you see posts of your friends out without you. It can lead to assumptions and often bitterness about feeling this way. I have to remind myself that a post only shows a portion of the whole picture.

Never before has humanity have so much information at our fingertips. From our phones we can see what others are up to, peek into the lives of those we admire. For me though, I need to step back a bit. To not engage quite as much and be more intentful about how I spend my time. I have many goals for this year and I believe less time spent on all of them the better it is for me.

 

A Birthday Reflection

Today I turn thirty seven. Yep, that’s a 3 and a 7. Officially on the other side of thirty-five and not far from forty. I don’t feel like I’m an adult yet. But here I am, an adult.

Some years call for large parties and great fun. Others are more quiet .[Tweet “Some years call for large parties and great fun. Others are more quiet .”]

One isn’t better than another, it simply means celebrating comes in different sizes. I’ve had those parties and I hope to have more in years to come. But right I crave the quiet celebration. I celebrated with family and friends this past weekend. That was just lovely for me and where I am in my life right now.

Failure

This year marks four years since I lost weight. My body changed so quickly as I lost weight. So much so that it took the rest of me to catch up. When my body began to change once again, it was slower. Noticing only when I needed to go up in sizes in my clothes. Still, as slow as it was, this too has taken me to time to come to terms with.

My lifestyle is different, the amount of time I dedicated to working out is far less. Back then I was doing two work outs nearly six days a week. These days I do about thirty minutes four to five days per week.

The kinds of food I eat then and now are similar. However, these days I am more apt to go through a drive through. Dig into several helpings of ice cream. That tomorrow I will do better or I worked out so it’s alright.

But it’s not. Not because I’m no longer skinny but because I’m setting myself up for failure with each choice. My family has a host of health issues. Many of which can be avoided with good health.

Part of it is being busy. Another part is just wanting to have to not be so careful. Having to count every calorie that I eat. After I initially lost weight, I traded in binge eating for calorie counting. No middle ground from one to the other. In some sense I feared what would happen if I would gain weight.

But I have gained weight.I am a failure. I’ve failed, again and again I have made the bad choice. The lazy choice. 

[Tweet “But I have gained weight.I am a failure. I’ve failed, again and again”]

But not the easy choice,it’s never the easy choice. It’s sometimes the convenient one. Or falling back into old coping mechanisms.

But I keep going. I keep trying because I understand the greater reward. Failure happens but it doesn’t mean I need to stay there. 

 

 

 

Mid Week Motivator: Protecting Your Time

Being consistent with goals is important.

To the point of saying no when I need to.

Such as did a few weeks ago. It was a last minute invite and I was tempted to accept.

However, if  had accepted then nothing else would of gotten done. That is sometimes more important as I work towards my goals.

Real and true friends will understand. Explain what you are trying to do and you will find the support you need.

Mid Week Motivator: It Isn’t Easy

You see that person, jogging down the road and it strikes you how easy it comes to them. And perhaps why it does not for you. Why can’t you be like that jogger who looks so graceful?

While it can look like it is far easier for them, it may not be at all. Perhaps it was a battle just to get out there. Perhaps not.

It takes work to get to the point of looking effortless. What you don’t see is all the work and time that people have put in.  Put in the time and effort. Get out there, push yourself to get to that point too. You are capable of becoming that effortless looking runner too.

Story Monday: Reading Habits

Reading is a passion for me. However, I feel a bit guilty. I have not read nearly as much people suppose I do. This has been a year of Netflix viewing I admit. Binge watching my way through several series and movies. There is no one else to blame but myself, I made time for things I wanted to do.

It’s something that I’ve missed in my life. Getting lost in another world. It’s something I need in my life, books. The perspective of others. A playground for my imagination. To stir the pot so speak as I work on my own writing.

I need story. My Kindle and bookshelves beckon me to read them. I look forward to diving in. Below is a list of the books I did read this past year.

My 2015 Reading List

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

This autobiographical tale of a free man being sold into slavery was gripping and tough to read. The hope he had in being reunited with his family is felt throughout the work. I reccomend this book to educate and remember our history.

Pride & prejudice by Jane Austen 

This was my fifth time rereading it. Each time I rejoin the Elizabeth and Darcy I learn something new. Perhaps it is part of  getting  older but I find Mrs. Bennett a more sympathic character than I did before.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

This is my slow read. I began reading it over a year ago. From time to time I read chapters, savoring the words and this world. I do not foresee finishing it this coming year either and that is just fine.

Searching For Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

This book was eye opening and for anyone grasping with what the Church can be and the reality of where it is. I enjoyed her previous book A Year of Biblical Womanhood.

Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

A friend introduced me to this series and I have yet to stop! The first season of the show is faithful to the first book to a T. I enjoy the romantic aspects and adventures of Claire and Jaime through time. I am currently finishing Drums of Autumn.  

Zombie Christian by Sabrena Klausman

This sat on my bookshelf for over a year I must admit and only just finished it (but hey it still counts as a 2015 read!). This book examines lethargy that had settled not only within the Church but in the body of the church.

Do Over by Jon Acuff

This was my first book I read by Jon Acuff. This is a great, clarifying book on how to assess where one is at in their career and the steps we need to take to move forward.

 

 

 


 

 

Mid Week Motivator: Quick Work Out

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Some days a quick, full body work out is what you need. I enjoy these kinds of work outs because they can be done anywhere and without needing equipment.

Mid Week Motivator: Short but Intense

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Some days there is plenty of time for a workout. On other days not as much. Perhaps time is short or there just seems a lot going on. Do a shorter but intense work out or focus on one area.

A great go to for me is the squat/ push up combo. Start off with 5 push ups, then 25 squats. Upping the squats by 5 until reaching 25. Decrease push ups by 5 until you reach 5.

Short but intense.

Birthdays, Memories & Perspective

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The Mechanical Man (2013)

Today is my 36th birthday. This means I am now officially on the other side of 35. That much closer to forty. This cannot be! But I surely am. A child of the eighties, teenager of the nineties and young adult of the 00’s. I can recall a time before the internet, playing outside until it got dark. A time when Mtv actually played music videos and when Nirvana first came onto the musical scene. Ah recalling all that makes me feel ancient.

The thing is I don’t feel like I’m 36. For most of my life I have drifted, starting but not finishing college. Going from one dead end job to another, with no real goals in mind. Simply just trying to get from one day to the next. Feeling relieved as I made it through another day.

All the while I was writing. Journals, starting short stories, attempts at novels. Ever since I learned to read, books became my constant companion. The makings of becoming who and what I was created to do, Write

The quote at the top of this post reverberates within me. I have always marvelled at people who seemed to know what they wanted in life and just went after it. As if they had some insider information on how to achieve their goals. I have encountered so many young adults who seem to have a better grasp on how to be an adult than I still do. Finding myself stuck on the how as much now as I have in the past.

The difference now is I don’t allow the fear to hold me back. I may pause, or take a moment to do what I need to do. But I do it. Perhaps not always well or as gracefully as others. These days I try, as opposed to not doing anything at all.

I have more hope these days than I ever did when I was in my twenties. I’ve embraced being a late bloomer, ceasing to compare my life to those around me. By doing so, I found myself freed from so much regret. My past is what has helped formed me to become the person I am becoming today.

I do not know what to expect for my thirty-sixth year. I am open to the opportunities and challenges it will surely hold. I still feel a bit lost from time to time. I have learned that being a bit lost means also eventually finding your way. That is part of the adventure of life isn’t it?