Sunday, October 09, 2016

Showing Up...A progress report...

          "Change doesn't happen in the middle. 
          It only happens when we venture 
                  over to the edge and take
              one small step after another."         
                                                                     - Karen Sheridan           

Books have always fascinated me. I especially love old, well-worn books with underlinings and notes and marked pages where the corners are turned down. 

A reminder that some gem is there, waiting to be discovered...
again and again.

I love books by women who dare to tell their story, their courageous walk in this life. Women who don't just share the
"perfect moments" where they look good, but share the mess and the learnings.

I collect those books and look back and read such wisdom that it makes my eyes weep and my mind go spinning off into adventures and possibilities.

On almost every trip that Bert and I have ever taken, one of my greatest adventures is to read and read and read. These reading marathons give me such peace and joy. After all, I can soak in all that a book has to offer, has to teach me. On our last Hawaiian vacation I read 14 books. It was such a luxury to start a story that drew me and just take it all in with only a few sustenance or potty breaks.

Granted it didn't hurt that we were by the ocean, the sun was warm and the smells exotic.

Good books feed me the way a great and well-prepared meal gives me delight.

One such book that I have recently carried around and soaked up its gems, is I Am Her. Since I love "one liners" and use them all the time as teaching tools in my classroom, this book's simple reminders in one line (or maybe several) give me food for thought.

This is especially meaningful as I approach my 70th birthday... this next February 5th.

70! What adventures will this next decade hold?

In honor of that upcoming birthday, I have been working on life-changing goals in answer to the question in this tiny book...
      "At the end of your life, what will you wish you had done?"

I thought and prayed long and hard about my answer. What came up over and over again was to take better care of my body, the one God gave me for this precious journey of mine.

* To eat in a more healthy way.
* To get some exercise when it feels right to do so.
* To slowly but surely lose some weight that has snuck
   up on me in recent years.

In other words, simplify my life in ways that take care of me
and glorify Him.

So my adventure to wellness started this summer with
going to Weight Watchers, with my daughter Amy. Amy just had a baby and wanted to lose some of the pregnancy weight she had gained.

Going together and encouraging each other has made all of the difference.

This adventure was not about "dieting," it was about cooking and eating intentionally. Savoring and tasting every bite. Cooking with healthy in mind and creativity and flavors as the backdrop to my desire for real food, eaten because I was hungry.

I practiced "showing up" when it came to healthy eating, and that didn't mean leaving chocolate out of the equation. :)

Not only was I starting to simplify my life around food, I was wanting to simplify every nook and corner of our home. What was just renting space and needed to be discarded or sent to a new home?

The theme of  "taking one small step after another" has led to cleaning out and organizing closets and sharing my wardrobe with the folks at Goodwill. Now, when they see me pull up, they just smile and say "Hi Linda!"

And that book I spoke about, I Am Her, well almost every page and every quote has reminded me of who I really am and how I want to live my life.

You see it simply doesn't matter what decade you are in, you still get to decide that you will live your life by showing up...
again and again and again.

You will still decide, no matter the challenges, to be fully present for all of the lessons life has to offer.

Today, following the start of Weight Watchers this sumer, I have lost another 15 pounds. I feel lighter, and not just because of the weight loss.

Weight Watchers, and prayer and loving support are a mighty combination! Slowing down and feeling gratitude for this life I love and this body God gave me...well, it has awakened a new and dormant part of my spirit.

I can't help but imagine that God must be smiling and chuckling. I imagine He is thinking..."Well, finally she is getting it."

So today I send this profound question your way...
    "At the end of your life, what will you wish you had done?"

*May you cherish every day and choose joy in the journey now.
*May you find lessons in the challenges and a hope and peace that passes all understanding.
*May you know that God loves you, just as you are, and He is there with you in every good time and every hurt and challenge.

Have a blessed day!
Love, Linda


Jackie said...

So glad you were able to take those trips....and be able to enjoy the time together. You have certainly read a lot.
Congratulations on your weight loss, my friend.
And most of all, prayers of thanksgiving for all our Lord is!
He is with you. He always will be.
Love to you,

Vicky said...

I love to hear about others who decide to live intentionally! Plus, you shared with us what inspired and encouraged you. I'm excited to look into the book now! 15 pounds!! Rick has done the same thing and I'm so proud of both of you! He made some small changes in eating habits, plus he started going to the gym and it has paid off. "One small step after another," Amen!

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