Tag Archives: God

The Spin

22 Feb

Today I was jealous of an old lady.

No, not because of her wisdom or even her lifelong loving relationships…

…it was because of her LEGS. They were absolutely not old-lady legs AT ALL. They were model legs. For real. I’ve never seen an older lady with such young, skinny, tone, tan model-legs before (honesty, is that even possible??) but I promise you, they were the greatest legs. So great that I am openly obsessing over them to you, bloggy world. They looked that good.

Okay, before you think I’m a huge creeper for staring at some lady’s legs, just know I was at the gym. Why do skinny people even GO to the gym? I mean, do they get paid by the gym owners or something to make their gym look good? You KNOW they were probably born that way, with great genetics that run in their beautiful family of skinny people – they dont NEED the gym. How dare they want to be physically fit and healthy. Those aspirations are for normal people with “slow metabolisms” and a love of fast food and desserts. Hmpf.

But anyways. The gym.

So there I was, thankful to reach the end of a tough spinning class. Have you ever been to a spinning class? It is the empitome of death and life (talk about your spiritual metaphors!) You feel like you’re going to die for an hour, but afterwards you feel accomplished and awesome like you could take on the world… after a quick nap of course. Okay so I’m no spinning superstar, but since I hate strongly dislike working out, I figure surviving something that intense once or twice a week should at least help me make SOME progress. Baby steps people.

At the end of the class the instructor makes sure everyone stretches out, using your stationary bike as a prop. You put your leg up on the seat and stretch, switch legs, cross one over, stretch the calves, etc etc… So I climb off the bike, thankful to be alive, and put one leg up on the bike. Of course, I can’t really reach my foot all the way up to the seat of the bike (like some over-achievers), so I stick with the middle of the bike, totally acceptable. As I am doing this, standing to the left of my bike with my leg/foot extended towards the right side of the room, I see my spinning neighbor to the right doing the same. That is, if by “the same” you mean stretching like a yoga master contortionist with her foot aaallll the way up on the HANDLE BARS and then squatting down and forward… practically doing a split standing up. Now, normally, I would just shake my head in disgust (in my mind, of course – I’m too tired to actually shake my head anyways) and look away, preferable towards one of the few guys in the class (men are horrible stretchers)… but that is when I noticed my spinning neighbor’s LEGS. Good Lord those were amazing legs. 

Which brings us back to the whole jealous of an old lady thing. Of course, I didn’t realize she was an older lady until she switched fancy yoga poses and I caught a glimpse of her face. WHAT?! Those legs do NOT, cannot, belong to her. I may have stared, but only out of disbelief and slight confusion, for everything I knew to be true about getting old were apparently lies. But seriously, I almost said something. As if I had to acknowledge the amazing legs. But how do you compliment someone on their legs?

“Uhh, hi, excuse me, sorry to interrupt your very important show-off, I mean stretching time, but I just wanted to let you know that you have the most beautiful legs, not that you dont already know, I mean, they are YOUR legs, but I just can’t stop looking at them, not that I’m staring or looking or even noticed really. I’m not a creeper, promise.”

After thinking through the possible outcomes of opening my mouth, I decided it best not to boost her ego, because you know, she probably hears that all the time. I forced myself to look away and tried to trick my brain into thinking that she got those legs from simply going to spinning class once or twice a week… so, my legs will totally look like that, probably by next class. Or something.

And this is just what we do, as women, as females. Compare ourselves to those around us. Never satisfied until …well … until never – just NEVER satisfied! We always want to lose more, no matter how good we may already look. Sure society is to blame, growing up in a country where thin is beautiful and overweight is ugly. There are few role models in the spotlight with a strong, healthy, confident self-image (and who aren’t teeny tiny sticks). However, there are some, and it gives me a huge smile when I hear them speak the truth in their own ways.

[Kelly] Clarkson strikes back against those who have criticized her waistline, saying: “When people talk about my weight, I’m like, ‘You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t. I’m fine!’  The 27-year-old ‘American Idol’ champion turned music supserstar says that like everyone else, her “happy weight changes,” and that “sometimes I eat more; sometimes I play more.” Clarkson says she’s not concerned with her image, and the only reason she exercises is for her “psyche.” She says she’s “much better when those endorphins are going. It’s a release. And I also love food, so there’s a payoff!” …”For me, it’s the times when I’m not paying attention that I end up losing weight. But I’m never trying to lose weight – or gain it. I’m just being!” Clarkson adds. (- http://www.popeater.com)

Kelly Clarkson has been constantly criticized for her weight gain since she arrived in the spotlight back in 2002, but it is refreshing to see her brush it off with such true words – THEY are the ones with the problem, not her. And if we were honest with ourselves, we may discover the same could be true of us. If only we did not care so much about looks, and cared a little more about the issues that truly matter.

And speaking of issues that matter, here is an excerpt of a “personal note” from Pink found on her website about her latest video for her song “F**kin’ Perfect”:

Cutting, and suicide, two very different symptoms of the same problem, are gaining on us. (the problem being; alienation and depression. the symptoms; cutting and suicide). I personally don’t know a single person who doesn’t know at least two of these victims personally. A lot of us have seen certain starlets showing off their latest scars on a red carpet somewhere, usually right before they head back to their favorite rehab.
Its a problem, and its something we should talk about.
We can choose to ignore the problem, and therefore ignore this video, but that won’t make it go away.
I don’t support or encourage suicide or cutting.
I support the kids out there that feel so desperate/numb/powerless, that feel unseen and unheard, and can’t see another way.. I want them to know I’m aware. I have been there. I see them.
Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Making this video was a very emotional experience for me, as was writing this song. I have a life inside of me, and I want her or him to know that I will accept him or her with open and loving and welcoming arms. And though I will prepare this little munchkin for a sometimes cruel world, I will also equip this kid to see all the beauty in it as well. There are good people in this world that are open-minded, and loving. There are those that accept us with all of our flaws. I do that with my fans/friends, and I will do that with my child, whoever they decide to be.

That’s right, even those who do not profess to be followers of Christ recognize the need to be happy and confident with who you are, the way you were made. That is because it is a REAL PROBLEM. In a world full of depression, hate, and alienation, how much more should we, His people, be spreading that message of hope and acceptance and sharing the love with one another? How much more should we be supporting the women around us, letting them know that they are beautifully and wonderfully made and encouraging them to be confident and hold their head up no matter what others say. Now I’m not saying we should all just sit around and be fat and lazy and it’s okay as long as we are “happy”. We can certainly help eachother lose the weight, cheering one another on to reach the goal of a smaller, healthier size – but being thin should NOT determine our level of happiness! True joy comes from the Lord and true self-worth and value comes from finding our identity in our relationship with Him! Our self-esteem affects us (and those around us) in so many ways, and we must not fool ourselves into believing that fixing things on the outer surface will also fix our deeper issues underneath. While it is certainly okay to want to be healthy and beautiful on the outside, it is important not to neglect our inner health and beauty. 

Find someone to encourage. Tell them they are beautiful. Bring to light their amazing inner qualities that they may be unable to see anymore. Be real. Be honest. Be love.

finding your inner “morning person”

17 Feb

I really wish I were a morning person.

Seriously, how do people DO that?! I just don’t understand it… mostly because I like LOVE to sleep! Perhaps it’s because my bed is so awesome? It’s super-comfortable. It has squishy pillows that are not too full and not too flat. It has an ah-maaazing comforter (because lets be serious—turning the air down when you sleep so you can be all snuggly and warm under your big fluffy comforter = HEAVEN).  Yep, it is quite a well-rounded bed of awesomeness. But surely there are plenty of morning people out there with beds almost as awesome as mine, right?

I don’t know what it is about sleep, I just love it. And it loves me. I’ve never had a problem with it. We never fight. Insomnia– what’s that? I could sleep anytime, anywhere, all day long, all night long, doesn’t matter. Naps are another story though.  Naps make me cranky because they are the lesser form of sleep. You have to wake up from naps, because you only had time for a nap, and that sucks. It’s the waking up that sucks. Or well, the waking up to an ALARM that sucks.

We non-morning people hate alarms. But the alarm, in itself, is not the true villain here (although I usually treat it as such). The true morning-enemy is the mind. The brain. The head-games. The first thought AFTER the alarm goes off. It’s the knowing you have to stop sleeping because you have other things you HAVE to do at this ridiculously early moment in time. It’s the being interrupted from an awesome dream that you will NEVER know the ending to (am I right??) It’s the reality that begins to sink in of to-do lists and deadlines and overwhelming feelings of overwhelmed-ness. It’s the start. The beginning. The first move. The hardest part.

And that is life, isn’t it?

The first step is always the hardest. The first movement in the right direction… it just takes SO MUCH ENERGY!

You can talk talk talk all you want about how you have decided to do this or that, but the toughest part is to actually advance with the next move, next step, next words. To actually DO what you have decided to do.

From a non-morning person view, I think it is much like setting your alarm before you go to bed. You make some decisions for tomorrow. You have all these grand ideas and great intentions about what the next day will hold, and you’ve calculated just the right time to set in order to achieve said goals. But when morning comes, reality sets in, and it is UG-LY (sometimes in more ways than one, if you know what I’m sayin). In the morning light, all those impressive plans for the day look more like obligations and impossible nauseating tasks. You practically forget that it was you yourself who thought this whole waking-up-early-thing was a good plan to begin with. What were you thinking?! An evil version of you must have taken over last night, because there is NO WAY you would have agreed to wake up to blaring alarm noises and 6:00AM blinking lights. What a horrible idea.

That is just the mindset of a non-morning person I guess.

But maybe we are all trapped in a mind-game with ourselves. We may have the best intentions, the greatest aspirations, the most worthy goals, and yet we are our own worst enemies – we drag ourselves down – we beat ourselves up – we keep ourselves from reaching our own objectives. We forget whose side we are on, and we begin to fight ourselves!  We have the desire to accomplish great things, and yet we also have the desire for comfort and ease. What a predicament.

I admire morning people. They are DO-ers. When they wake up, they immediately get up and begin the journey to do what they had planned to do.  And they are happy about it. They have a positive outlook on mornings, taking in the beauty of it all, while the rest of us couldn’t care less about seeing a sunrise… unless we happened to still be awake by then. They get things done – they mark at least 8 items off their list before noon! Their “do-ing” comes so naturally… with ease, with finesse, with a smile. Because they are morning people. It’s just who they are.

So maybe we can’t all be morning people, but perhaps we can have a “morning person” outlook on life. To be positive in the face of feeling overwhelmed. To have perseverance to fight against the desire to take the easy road. To appreciate the quiet, beautiful moments. To be defined by our consistency, optimism, and fresh perspectives on life and the days ahead. To be DO-ers.

Is it possible that we all have a little “morning person” in us somewhere?

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:19-25)

haunted?

26 Dec

Do you ever feel like you’re being haunted?

Not by ghosts or spooky-type-haunty-things, but by previous incidents, past experiences or people in your life that you wish you could forget or move on from? Memories that serve as constant reminders of the past, of how things were, that you cannot seem to escape? Have you ever felt like these “ghosts” are just freakin everywhere you turn??

Well, I don’t .

Just kidding. Its been happening to me all the time lately! Being “haunted” by the past… its like I can never truly escape it. Why can’t I stop thinking about these things? Pesky little ghosts.

Maybe your ghosts look like people, memories of someone who used to play a much larger role in your life. These ghosts may represent painful memories and/or broken relationships. You cannot seem to stop thinking about them, yet still these ghosts show up when you least expect them. Maybe they haunt you for years, sucking your thoughts back to a time you wish they would no longer recall. When these ghosts haunt you, they leave painful scars on your heart.

Maybe your ghosts look like past mistakes you’ve made, memories filled with regret and guilt. Have you ever been defined by your worst moment? You made a mistake, and eventually everyone found out. From that point on, they judged you and defined you by that one bad decision, by your worst moment, by your most painful memory.

Doesn’t that just feel awesome?

Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. You try to move on from the past and “learn from your mistakes” but this ghost (your past) just keeps coming back… it just pops up out of nowhere and grabs you and starts dragging you down. You don’t know how to fight… well, how do you fight a ghost? A memory? You can never actually kill it anyway, for it is already dead, it is the past afterall. Yet, how are you supposed to make any progress moving forward when you are constantly reminded of and haunted by how things could have, or should have, been? Relentlessly haunted.

LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY!

I do not want my thoughts to be consumed by these “ghosts” any longer! They are suffocating me. They are holding me hostage. I need some air. I need freedom from these ghosts.

But they seem to never go away, and the things or people they represent are never forgotten. These ghosts appear to never stop haunting you no matter how much time goes by or how much work you do to “fix” whatever situation after the fact (as if you could). You screwed up big time, everyone knows it, and now that is just who you are. That is your identity now.

Except it’s not.

Consider someone in the Bible who found himself in a similar situation:

One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, ‘Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?’ The man said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘What I did must have become known.’ When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian…” – Exodus 2:11-15

Yeah that’s right, Moses killed a guy. He MURDERED someone. He thought he got away with it too, until he found out everyone and their mom knew about it. Not cool. He ran away and time passed until one day God told Moses that He wanted him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was all “Excuuuse me? What? Uhh, no, I mean, I can’t… I’m like a murderer and a horrible person (in case You forgot) and I think You may have just mixed me up with someone else because I am no hero. I can’t do anything great because I am a major screw-up, just look at my past, look at what I’ve done –that’s who I am. You don’t want me. Seriously.”

But God was all like, “Listen here buddy, I know exactly who you are. Your future doesn’t have to be measured by your past mistakes. YOU are not defined by your past. I have something great planned for you. You do your part, and I’ll do mine.”

There is a phrase used a couple times throughout the book of Exodus that says: “This same Moses [fill-in-the-blank].” This same Moses who murdered the Egyptian, this same Moses who made a horrible mistake, this same Moses is the Moses that God is calling to do something great –to lead His people to freedom. God wanted to make it known that He did not define Moses the way other people did, or even the way Moses himself did. He wanted to define Moses’ life, his future, in a different way.

It’s kind of awesome.

I am the same Kadi that God wants to use and call to great things. YOU are the same [insert name here] that He wants to use and call to great things! No matter what you may have done in your past, He still has a plan for your life. He started at the beginning and is going to be faithful to complete it. He is going to do His part, He wants us to do ours.

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Phil 1:6

When we allow ourselves to be defined by our worst moment, whether it is by others or by ourselves, we are paralyzed, stuck, unable to move into the future God wants to bring to our lives. He wants you to define your future in a different way.

There will never be anyone like you. The only person that can be the best version of yourself is you. God wants to bring the very best to your life. Do not allow yourself to be defined by your past, by your broken relationships, by your mistakes, by what others have judged you for or labeled you as. Sometimes we know God wants to give us a second chance, but we don’t give ourselves a second chance. Sometimes we need to learn how to forgive ourselves.

So, I am giving my ghosts to Him. I cannot change my past. I cannot fix what someone else broke in my life. I have to let it go. I want to grab hold of the future that God is calling me to. The greatness He has in store for me. My identity is found in HIM, not in what I’ve done (whether good or bad). I want to allow God to use the pain of my past for something beautiful, as only He can. He will provide rest and relief from these ghosts.

Peace out, ghosties!

(props to Mosaic for inspiring this post)

“love is a violent flame not to be ignored” -AE

24 Dec

I heard the most horrible story the other day. I am hesitant to write it here because it is so sad, but I want to convey the reality of this painful situation… (or is it the painful situation that is reality?) I am currently working at an insurance company, and a lady called first thing in the morning – she was distraught, asking about accidental death coverage for her mother. She went on to explain that her mom passed away earlier in the week. Her mother had dementia and wandered out of her sisters house somewhere up north where she was staying, while they thought she was sleeping. When they realized she wasn’t there and couldn’t find her, they called the police. The police searched the house and one of them went to the back of the house where they heard someone gasping for air. There was a freezing cold creek behind the house that she had fallen into. They rushed her to the hospital, but it was too late and because she had been in the creek for a couple hours, she froze to death. The lady on the phone began to cry as she said the words. My heart was so so broken for her. There was so much hurt and sadness on the other end of that phone line.

Its crazy how this time of year, the holiday season, is supposed to be so joyful and full of hope, and yet there are people all around who are in tremendous pain. About a month ago I was out watching some friends play football for an annual Turkey Bowl game they always participate in around Thanksgiving time. I sat next to a lady who was watching her son play. We small-talked for a while, and I asked about her Thanksgiving plans and her family. When I asked if she had any more kids who would be home for the holiday, she choked up. She told me through held-back tears and a quivering voice that she used to have 2 sons, but one was killed in a car accident 1 year ago to the day, right before Thanksgiving on his way home from college. She had taken the day off from work because she knew she wouldn’t be in the right mind-set, and came to watch her other son play football and spend time with him. My heart sank. Brokenness and pain was sitting right next to me.

Those stories ruined me. Each time for the rest of the day and the days thereafter, I could think of nothing else. Their sorrow left an ache in my heart, and the soreness would not go away. I wanted to do something, to say something, to somehow make things better, but what could I do? What could anyone really do?

In darkness like that, there is only one source of Light. I honestly don’t know how people get through life without Jesus. He is my rock, my comforter in times of sorrow, my support, my healer, my helper, my salvation, and so much more. What is the meaning of life without Him? What is LIFE without Him?

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26

Hearing those stories prompts me to put my life back in perspective, remembering what and who is truly important and forgetting the rest. Their hurt reminds me to be kind to those around me, strangers or not, and constantly be showing and sharing His love in whichever ways I can. The holidays will never be the same for these ladies who have lost so much, as well as so many others with similar heart-aching stories. A little kindness can go a long way. Even a hug can go a long way. Even a listening ear and a caring heart can go a long way!

Don’t be so consumed in the holiday season that you walk all over those around you. In our American consumer-driven world, it is so easy to get caught up in what we need to get done, and who we need to buy gifts for, and who we are going to fight for the last Tickle-Me-Elmo doll (flashback!). Of course I am included in this, and just as guilty for making this season all about me and not about sharing the Love.

And so, with a heavy heart I challenge you (and me) to take a good look around. Be aware of those who are hurting, and extend your (fill-in-the-blank) in compassion and love. Make a positive difference in the life of someone who could use a little support. Thank your friends and family who have been that support for you.

Live your life for someone else for a change.  This is the message of Christmas.

Love is a powerful thing. Share it with someone.

“Love is a violent flame not to be ignored” – Andrew Ehrenzeller (musician)

So love, and do not stop.