Wednesday, August 31

today's bike ride ~ INTERRUPTED

I actually like to bike, once I get on the thing (helmet on, water bottle in basket, and my phone in case I need to call in an emergency or stop to take a picture!)  My husband and I laugh because he teased me about us looking like "circus bears" on our bikes.  I think I am more the circus bear. Let me tell you, getting on a bike after more years OFF a bike was scary and I still do not have my confidence!  I have fallen a couple times, drawing blood each time!
ANYHOW back to today.  I knew I needed to bike.  I have been struggling lately - REALLY REALLY struggling with fatigue.  Fatigue like I have not experienced in a long long time!

I have not done a lot of biking this year - mostly because my tire needed a new tube.  My husband got one for me, and got it up and running again.  He is such a sweet man!! And he is such an encourager. He knows that with my fibromyalgia, I need to keep moving.  He also knows that I am much happier when I exercise!  GO FIGURE!!

Today I woke up more tired than before, but I knew that a bike ride would be life giving.  I rode a little farther than usual, thinking of many things with each revolution of the wheels.  On the way back, I came past a place that I always pass.  It has intrigued me.  It is a building and lot that is for sale.  It belongs to our neighbour lady, Ellen.  It used to be their "cottage" and they would use it in summer.  It is an interesting idea, as it is only a few minutes away from where she grew up and still lives which is right by us.   This house is small and old.  There are no shingles left on the roof, just ridges where they used to be!  The outside is barn board.  Windows are still mostly in tact.  However, a couple years ago, there was a house party close by, and they were having a campfire, and ran out of wood to burn, and they thought that ripping apart an old building was an okay thing to do.  Our neighbour was not happy as now it became an eyesore, even if the building wasn't worth anything monetarily- now it looked sad.

I stopped at the place, and took a drink of water, and then I began to hear God speaking to me.
I grabbed my camera and took some pictures, and just listened to what He was saying.
God knows I have been in a funk again.  A funk that has affected the way I eat, the way I don't eat, the way I feel, and definitely the way I get into a slump in my journey to get healthy.   I know, as I have often posted on a different blog, that my struggle with my weight has been a struggle more or less all my life, but especially in the past while.  A tooth and nail struggle.  A struggle that involves self worth, or a lack of it.   It is bigger than what I eat - bigger than calories - bigger than the scale.
It has been a journey of working with God on the healing of my self worth.  Funny, I didn't realize this was an issue, but it is.  It was hard to separate my weight and the fight to lose weight, from my self worth and acceptance.  It was especially since being at school in Colorado Springs back in November 2013 that God blew it out of the water for me, and I began inviting Him into the complicated part of the journey.  I know God is sovereign and I know that He is the One that gives me my worth, but I also know I am human, and it is easier said than done, even WITH God.
O He has taught me so much over the past three years! It has been such a journey, and a tough one!  
It is getting easier.  

Anyhow today, I took my camera as He talking.  Now if I had been at home, I would have quickly grabbed a pen and written down as I heard him, but I was biking!!  So this is the gest of what God said.
"Joy you are intrigued by the house, you always seem to look at in, take it in, with wonder and intrigue wondering what all has happened in the place, imagining it filled with life.  Take a look at it.  It is worn, and old but it is beautiful.


However, it has seen the harshness of life, the weather, and lately it has fallen prey to vandalism.  Originally the house had everything it needed.  It was built complete.  But now it stands, with a portion ripped off and burned.  
The door is missing.  You can look into it and imagine what it was like in its prime.  Insulation is still in some of the walls.

It looks like it isn't worth anything, and yet to your neighbour it is worth the world.  To her, it is still beautiful.  To you, it is beautiful, that is why it makes you always stop and look, and today, it has made you take pictures.  Joy - this is my lesson for you.  You have been fearfully and wonderfully made.  You were made complete.  You have withstood hardships of life, along with the most beautiful joys.  Rain has fallen.  The sun has beat down upon you.  And you have perhaps allowed things in your life to compromise what you have.  I know your struggle with weight.  I know you keep giving it to me and then just giving into temptations that are not helpful in your weight struggle.  However Joy, you are complete and your are beautiful.  No age, no weather, no situations have changed that.  
When I see you, I see you complete because of me.  I see you beautiful.  I love you, do you not get that?  I see your beauty.  I alone will give you your worth.  Seek me first Joy."

Like I said, I did not write it down, but that is how I remember the time that I stood there ...
somehow it felt like time stood still.  I am sure the cars that whizzed by wondered what in the world I was doing.  But it was me and God ...

After about five minutes, I got back on my bike, and drove the rest of the way home thinking about how God interrupted my bike ride, and I am so glad He did. 
Like the most loving parent, He used a teachable moment in my life, to remind me again of my worth, and how much He loves me.

Bike ride interrupted ....
Lord, please do that any time you need to get my attention.  
and Lord ... thanks, I needed this today.

Monday, August 29

The end of the month already?

Today is the 29th of August.  Once again I am startled at the way time has a way of passing so quickly.  I know, I know.  Everyone says that.  And it is so true.

One time I was complaining about not having enough time to get things done.  To this, my brother in law Ray looked at me and said, "you have the same amount of time that everyone has."  I have thought of that often.  He was teasing me as only Ray can.  However, what he said is so true.  We all have the same amount of time don't we.   I have to admit that these days, it feels like I just want to sleep.  I am often so tired. *sigh

This past weekend, I had a mom with her three adult daughters.  Her and I chatted a bit, as she was up earlier than her girls.  That made sense to the both of us.  They were young moms - with busy households.  As we stood chatting in the kitchen, over her freshly brewed cup of coffee, she shared with me about living with cancer, and what she had already gone through, and knowing that the cancer was still in her body, although currently in remission.  She shared her journey with me, different aspects of it, over the course of the time they spent retreating.  I was honored to be able to hear her story.  I realized that as I had prayed for the four of them, I had no knowledge of what was happening in any of their lives.  

There were a few things that she said that impacted me greatly.  One was how she felt jipped when she did not get taken to heaven, as the veil between her and heaven seemed to have gotten very thin.  
But she realized that God was not done with her yet, here on earth.  However the fear about death was not there.  I saw a brave christian woman who was embracing all that God had for her still to do in this life.  That spoke to me.  The other thing that she mentioned was that she realized the need to live fully in each moment TODAY.  Oh man, I really got that, as I have realized in life that too often I have felt like "... when I do this, then ..." and sometimes I have postponed joy because of something I was looking ahead to.  LIVE EACH DAY AS IF IT IS THE LAST.  
I have seen that quote often.  And I have also realized with sadness, that I have really squandered time.  

Time is the same for each one of us.  24 hours.  7 days in a week.  12 months in a  year.
We don't know the days that God has ordained for us before even one of them came to be (from my favorite Psalm 139).  We do know however that God gives us each day as a gift.  And we have so much to live for - and so much joy can come from each day we have.  I think this mom just underlined that once again for me.  

I want to live fully - to live all out for HIM.  I want to see him all over my day.  I want to make each day count for Jesus.  I want to live like this day is my last.  
This post isn't long, but it is just a little bit of my heart today.  In the very early hours of the 29th day of this 8th month of 2016.

Lord, I want to live for you - fully.  I want to quit putting off what I know you want me to do today.  To do now.  I have squandered too much time - waiting for tomorrow.  I want to live fully in the gift of today, and I thank you for that.  I thank you for people who enter into my life who teach me in quiet moments of conversation.  O LORD I want to live fully for you.  Help me to do that Lord.  Amen.