Tuesday, March 29, 2011

{whole me} :: facing the giants

I just need to share this. I need to share, because this moved me to tears...not just because of the subject matter, but because what she's doing is what I aspire to do. I don't have the confidence or the credentials...but, this is what it's all about. This is the life in my head. It's such an important path...and this reminded me that I have the power. Little housewife, mommy me...

...I have the power.

Monday, March 21, 2011

{whole me} :: being

I've been having a difficult few weeks. Internally...it's all internal. I struggle to be as genuine, here, as I can, because I like to entertain and be quippy when I write this blog. But, sometimes, I think it's important to share struggle.

Some of the greatest inspiration, the most profound healing, and the most genuine "I get that!" moments, when I read my favorite blogs, are when the writer lets go and just shares the "dirties" in their heart.

We're all in this together.

If we're not...we may as well just hang it up...right now.

Sometimes, I feel like a bad stage mom. Only...I'm not imposing my warped versions of myself onto a child...I'm projecting them onto me. The truth is, I've been in a bad mood for about 6 weeks.

I have reasons...lots of reasons. But...everyone has reasons.

The issues are not the problem. I have allowed them to control my response. I have neglected to spend time in the Word, sleep correctly, exercise, and be thankful. I have come to realize that my bad mood may not have lasted so long if I had handled myself correctly.

But, there was this belief...a belief that said I have the right to be as blah as I feel like being...because of my reasons.

Well, you know what...it affected everyone around me...but, most of all...my husband. Our marriage has taken a real hit these past few weeks. The fruits of my bad mood are ugly...verbal tear downs of my husband, rejection of my responsibilities as the caretaker of our home, and a feeling of deep discontentment with my life. In the light of the what's happening around our world...how disgusting is that?! Heck...in light of what's happening in the lives of some of the people I know, it's out of line.

I'm happy to report that after a good night's rest, followed by a good solid hour in the Word and in prayer, this morning...I feel well on my way to repair. However, I have a lot of work to do.

Now that I have gotten the confession out of the way...I don't want to beat down the experience with a bunch of oppressive guilt. There are actual reasons, here...let's explore.

Hormones - Hormones are a thorn in my side. They have been making life difficult for me since I was a very little girl. Explain to an eight year old why she needs to wear a bra 3 years before all her friends...and that when she's nine...she'll enter the fun world of menses. It wasn't fun then...and it's less fun when you are a 20-something woman who desperately wants to have children, and is unable to conceive. I will go further into hormones at some point...but, they are so in depth and complex that I may have to treat it as a research paper. For now...they are the source from which so many of my life's issues spring...and second only to sleep apnea...six weeks of irrational depression leads the pack.

Sleep Apnea - building on the aforementioned hormone problem, sleep apnea is literally killing me. I'm working hard to get weight off (also made difficult by the hormone monster). However, when you don't get oxygen most of the night, and you sleep like a dying fish...it's easy to see how proper choices and more productive self-soothing techniques can get lost in the fog. Not to mention the pain factor...When you wake up to every single joint in your body aching, all your muscles being completely rigid, and your heart racing 90 miles an hour, it's a tough sell to get up and go work out...even though that is actually the answer. Exhaustion doesn't even begin to cover the effects.

Feeling overwhelmed - when one struggles just to get their day started, it stands to reason that things will start to pile up. I don't know about other moms, but my list of things to do on a daily basis, doesn't lend itself to late starts and less-than-productive paces. When you are a full time student, fledgling farmer, mother, wife, housekeeper, lover, psychologist, guidance counselor, builder-upper, chef, writer, teacher, organizer, and handyman...with the added pressure of not feeling fully equipped to do ANY of them, much less ALL of them...and then add to the pile that you feel called to do all of them, with almost the same amount of vigor...well...how do you feel just reading it?

Inadequate spiritual feeding - not getting up in the morning to have time with God, allowing yourself to get out of the habit of going to fellowship and worship at church, not having time to spend with great women, not having time to pursue things you enjoy, and not having time to reflect...does not a joyful woman make. Thankfully, my husband was kind enough to make it very easy for me to go wandering, yesterday...bookstores, World Market, Bed Bath & Beyond (where I found a gorgeous, organic cotton shower curtain ON CLEARANCE! *thank You, Lord.) I came home feeling like I had a second wind. The fruits of that are showing all over today!

So, now...what's the answer to avoiding this issue in the future?

It's just what you think it is. It's something you already know. It's what's picking at the back of your brain...

It's returning to The Source...the One who called you to the life you lead. The One who equips you to fulfill each and every one of those callings. The One who completely heals old physical ailments. The One who blessed you with the husband and the children you have. The One who makes it possible for that husband to forgive you time and again, when you realize what you've been doing. The One who cares enough to do the tiniest, seemingly ridiculous little thing to let you know that He's thinking about you...like place the very last beautiful shower curtain, that adheres to your convictions about product manufacturing, in your face, and then make it half price so that you can afford it. The One who lovingly takes you in His arms, gently wipes the dirt from your face, and nourishes your aching body...heals your exhausted spirit...and then sends you back out to do the work you've been given.

It's realizing that you aren't a failure for not being loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled...because you alone cannot. You realize that your failure came from not maintaining your roots in Christ...from whom those fruits are a natural bi-product of closeness with Him.

It's finally going and falling at the feet of the Savior...and knowing that's how you do it all...by letting Him.

*I realize that not everyone who reads my blog is a believer in Christ. I'm not here to imperialize my heart onto anyone else, or God forbid, alienate anyone. I believe, however, that God reveals Himself to all who really want Him to. Whatever you do or believe...plug in, listen to your spirit, and find true healing.

{just for fun: my shower curtain from God:)}

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

{whole food} :: the rubber meets the road

Wow! What a whirlwind of a month was February?! Lots and lots has been going on around this place, and I am bound and determined to give you the highlights, without getting into the nitty gritty of the goings on in my head, the past few weeks...that's later. For now, I want to highlight the season we are in, right now...the grunt work it takes to realize a dream...

A year ago, we watched Food, Inc.

It changed the course of our lives, forever.

We watch lots of documentaries. We always get something from them. However, it's often something that touches us with some valuable information, and then we move on, change a couple of practices, and things look very much the same. But, this time...it stuck with us. It changed us at a cellular level. Suddenly, many things about our previous lifestyle were simply unacceptable...unthinkable. We would never be the same. I have documented our quest for real food, and in some ways...we ended up back where we started. But, in the most important ways...we are in another world.

We are at that point where the rubber meets the road. It's time to put up, or shut up. It's time to...well, you know. In short, we plant food, get animals, or we just get busy dyin' faster.

We opt for the former...howeeeevvverrrr...

Let me just say...all the daydreams about working the soil, and feeling the sun on my neck...so wonderful and peaceful...well, CRAP!

*Caveat Alert!!*
Turns out, I've been a city girl for 33 years, and for some reason, my poor back...timid after years of beatings by a pair of bully giganto-boobs...is not so chipper about joining the real food movement. It's one thing to get all passionate about growing food, and type about it all day...it's quite another to, you know...DO IT! Sheesh!!

Hoeing rows and planting food hurts. Shoveling compost...hurts. My husband and I both feel like we were the junk cars in a monster truck rally. If this were a workout program, I'd be waving my bloodied kerchief, dialing the chiro and figuring out how to let everyone in on the fact that all my talk is, once again, not going to materialize.

...I have him...and he does most of the work...

...and we have about 300 square feet of plant-able space for food...

...and so we planted 1/3 of that this past weekend...

...and I got one of the most valuable manicures of my life...

...and we have food...REAL. FOOD...in the ground...

...and my son loves this life...

...and a homestead is born. Our homestead.

So...the difference here is this...for us, this is a matter of life and death.

Back be darned...I'm doing this.

I'm gritting my teeth and barreling through.

My back will catch up to my resolve.

My resolve will not be shaken.


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