I scroll social media and debate daily whether or not to delete it. How about you?
Most days I see 4 complaints before the first happy family picture or funny cat video; what has happened. Am I right?
You guys, there is so much happening out there. So much that yes we can complain about, voice our opinion about, cry about, worry about, stress about BUT if we look around there are also a lot of things wonderful happening.
I almost titled this blog, "Thanks Corona" and then I thought, "Well, people who know me will think I'm being sarcastic and people who don't will think I'm insensitive." (Too much scrolling will make you think too much.)
I hate Corona as much as the next guy. I hate racism. I hate stupidity. 2020 has been filled with all of the above at overdose level but for some reason, my God continues to bless me.
For years I have questioned God about why He shows up for me when things could easy have gone south. I've actually had real conversations, not crying out in prayer like I know some do, but like real calm, I talk and I wait to hear answers, conversations, about why on Earth He is blessing me when I am so very undeserving.
Sometimes he answers very clearly.
Ok, I know, you've read stories in the Bible about God speaking to folks but as a kid I was taught that God never changes so at a very young age, without question, I believed that if I spoke to God, he would hear me and if I was still enough, long enough, I would hear his answer. That has been true for me many times in my life.
Recently, I became unlike myself. Covid made me doubt myself in every way. I looked in the mirror and I had gained weight. I didn't want to work out. I didn't want to say no to the cheese dip. My survival mode became Netflix and chill. I was grouchy with my kids and everything Tim did was annoying. This was NOT his fault; this was on me. All of the sudden my life had been flipped upside down. No more camera to hide behind.
I felt naked and afraid (no TV reference I hate that show)
I had lied to myself for so long saying that I was too busy to take care of myself and get my head straight and then suddenly, one virus gave me all the time in the world. All the time I needed to take care of me. To get closer to my husband. To see my kids more. I mean, isn't that what we all claimed we needed?
We, as a society, had been saying for years that we move too fast. We want to simplify and then we were given that opportunity and instead of making good, it seemed, through the lens of social media and news outlets, that all we did was make things worse.
God allowed me to go through a hard patch this spring. Nothing like so many I know, but on the inside, it was sad. I was sad. I was fighting something all the time but I didn't know what it was. I was worried for the first time since I started my photography business that it wouldn't be enough. I looked at myself in the mirror and I looked my age for the first time perhaps in my life. I remember always thinking, not bad for 28 . . . oh 32 is my favorite . . .35, girl you look fine for a woman pregnant with kid #4, but then COVID.... Covid gave me the time to look harder in that mirror than I had looked in a while.
I wasn't rushing past anymore. I saw me.
I saw wrinkles. I saw rolls. I saw sad.
For me, my outside had finally looked like my inside felt.
Years ago when I was stressed, I wouldn't eat and handled my anxiety with moving all the time. My outside then was FAR from my inside. This time though was different.
I had stopped having my conversations with God. The back and forth that had gotten me through so much in my life. (More than I can get into with this blog). I had started using God like many seem to use social media, as a place to voice my opinion and complain.
I wasn't asking questions or waiting on answers. I was just talking.
I know God heard all that and in ways I am ashamed. There was still plenty to be thankful for. Some days I would force a thank you because I knew that was the right thing to say but not because I felt it.
I finally decided I couldn't live being a sad mom. Katie was dealing with anxiety from being here all the time and everything changing. Emma had lost soccer, dance in a regular way, and the end of elementary school. Gracie had lost the class and teacher she loved and any chance of playing basketball this summer. Cole, well, let's be honest, Cole was fine.
Maybe we needed that rough season.
We have been forced, like so many to pick ourselves up and reinvent the wheel as a family.
We're going back to homeschooling. Katie is getting a job to pay for her own car. Gracie will return to dance. Emma will take every class offered at Rhythms of Gracie and put that mask on with pleasure. We will take walks in Coal City more and drives to nowhere, almost everyday and back to weeknight sleepovers at Mimi's house.
I'm finding myself again. "Myself" is happiest when she's busy. NOT workaholic busy, but doing things for people, helping people and now I have another way to do that.
I've started something new. Fresh. It feels good.
I'm losing weight. It feels good.
I looked in the mirror last week and once again, after a long break, I thought, not bad for almost 38. That feels great.
Yesterday I picked out a car that I earned through the company I now promote and Tim and I rode home silently for a few minutes and I found myself once again having a conversation with God.
"Why are you so good to me?"
"Because you'll tell people."
I believe all I have is a blessing from God. I do.
I believe my kids, this opportunity to homeschool again, is a blessing. I believe this time with Katie at home before college is a blessing. I believe this house, that is no longer a single wide trailer, is a blessing. I believe this MAC BOOK is a blessing. I believe my photography business is a blessing. I believe my new opportunity to help other women find themselves again is a blessing. I believe the luxury car that I do not deserve is a blessing.
I will believe in my blessings. I will not live in fear that tomorrow they will be gone because this is 2020.
I will not doubt myself because let's be honest, none of this is of my own doing anyway.
I don't have to believe I have to do any of this or keep this up on my own because I'm not the one doing it, HE is. Believe that.
ALL OF THIS, all of my blessings, I believe are because of my conversations with God over the course of 37 years. I talk to Him about my hopes, my dreams, my crazy ideas and I end ALWAYS with "if it be your will." I'm telling you this because in times like this you HAVE to believe in more than yourself. In more than the negative you read. GOD isn't changing. He's still passing out blessings and when he does, tell people.