Renew

In the depths of this early morning, with moonlight streaming in through closed blinds, lights flickering on and off changing the angled shadows around my bedroom, recent turns and twists of experience played across my mind like an old movie theater projection. This blog, though often neglected as of late, was part of the ever-changing scenery. I recalled my last post, written in despair, as a cry of help in honesty, seeking understanding.

Late on Saturday night, I decided to fast. Fasting–to me–is abstaining from food or drink for a period of time (often two meals) as an act of faith to draw neared to God, to sacrifice something meaningful to me in pursuit of enlightenment or strength, and includes an offering to be given to those in need of what I would have spent on meals during that time (a “fast offering”). As I fasted through my Sabbath day (Sunday), I was given renewed courage and faith as I sought strength and healing. I was able to smile and laugh. Stories that others shared as I went through my day took on new meaning, as if those I loved shared them just for me. I felt known, loved, and joyful. My problems did not go away; however, I felt renewed, rejuvenated, revived, restored. I felt better than I was when I began fasting on Saturday evening.

Letter to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

Dear Thirteen-year-old Me,

Round out your shoulders. Straighten your back. Go for a run. You life is long ahead of you, and you need all the air you can breathe and all the momentum you can gain.

Stand tall in your shoes. Years from now, a twenty-something musician/salesman in the Apple store will make a tall joke while you are standing in platforms next to your gorgeous husband on your anniversary. You are beautiful. Own it.

You will learn to read faster. Keep trying. The dyslexia you fight with now will be overcome through diligent effort and practice. You can do it. Keep reading.

Study math, too…with a sprinkle of history. When your kiddos are your age, you will need to help them with homework. You may not be willing to study for yourself; still, study for them.

Feed your body with healthy foods–not just Cheez Doodles and chocolate. You really are what you eat.

While you think about feeding your body, remember to feed your spirit. A toddler running around won’t wait for you to find a chapter and verse of scripture to back you up one day. You need to have the word of God written in your heart…always.

Be a good friend. You never know when you might share the only smile a person sees in a day…or a week…or even longer. Whatever friendship you extend will come back to you. I promise.

God loves you for who you are…past, present, and future. Ask for help when you need it. He is there. He will send others who love you to help.

Speak kind words. Anyone can complain. Live higher than that. Look for the good in others–and in yourself, as well.

You are incredible! You will have amazing moments in life filled with joy and pain, laughter and tears, triumph and defeat. Embrace all of it, and you will be better for the living.

Love your body wherever it is on your journey. Your body will take many forms, but love your body through each stage. It houses your spirit and gives you power. Don’t fall prey to the media’s cruel deceptions. Your body is a creation of wonder.

Just keep going. You will be tempted to quit, to give up, to run away from everything. Don’t you dare do it. You have work and writing to do, moments of mothering and friendship to share. You will make it through whatever comes your way, and you will look back years from now and be amazed at what you have accomplished.

Keep dreaming. Your dreams will fuel your passion, goals, and actions. They will bring you energy to continue when life is hard. You really can (& will) do it!!!!

You are stronger than you ever dreamed you could be. Live. Love. Worry less. Feel more. Enjoy being who you are.

With love,

Your much older (and a little bit wiser) You
Karin
🙂

Living Proof

Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography
Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography

I understand that this idea is not a new one. I don’t claim it to be my own…and yet, in a way, it is entirely mine because it is my journey.

I have been watching myself lately–observing, reflecting–as if someone on the outside of my life was witnessing me live.

(Not like an out-of-body-experience, mind you, but a real, contemplative, on-purpose type of living and pondering my choices.)

I have been willfully trying to put God first in my life and watch what He can do with me…and I am amazed with what I see.

I have written more words per day than ever before in my life. I have been more grateful. I have been more positive. I have been less selfish. I have more love in my heart. I have thought more of others. I have been more alive.

I like myself better.

When I live according to the life that God has planned for me, I am happier. When I am able to be an instrument in His hands, together we make beautiful music.

Now, I still have pain. I’m still stressed (in moments). I still struggle. My house isn’t clean all the time. My kids eat cereal and grilled cheese for dinner more than I would like to admit. But my outlook is better. And my faith is stronger.

I am living proof that if we feed our spirits with His word and turn our lives over to Him, He will do more with us than we could ever accomplish ourselves. And that, my dears, is truly amazing.