Admission

Have you ever watched TV’s The Biggest Loser? I will admit, that until this season, I’ve only ever watched an episode here and there. Mostly because I couldn’t handle it.

Why, you may ask? Well, it’s people being brutally honest about themselves, their bodies, their lifestyle, and the choices they make that have them end up on the show. I was no where near ready to be honest enough to even watch it.

I used excuses like “I could never be one of those girls because of what they make them wear” Honestly, the reason they wear those “skimpy” outfits is not for fun, but for more brutal honesty. You can’t get more obvious than the outfits they wear as to what their bodies really do look like.

But I get ahead of myself. The title of this post is Admission and admission you will get.

I am overweight. Not by a little… but by a lot.

Now don’t go gettin’ all sarcastic on me. I’m not being silly. I’m being real here. Honest, brutally honest.

I could never handle watching The Biggest Loser because I could never be brought to the admission that I should be on that show. This season all of the women, yes all, at the beginning of the season were still smaller than I am now. Yep, it’s true.

I am an emotional eater. I eat for all emotions, and I do mean ALL.  This last year has me up almost thirty pounds since my wedding. In case you missed that… I said 30.

Some of you tender-hearts might be thinking “well of course! It was a hard year, you’ll get it off and be ok.” And I would love you for it, but truth is… 30 pounds is killer for me. I think in terms of literal when I say that. You see… at my wedding I was already 246 pounds.

I stand 5’3″ at 271 pounds (I’ve taken a couple pounds off ) and if you have watched the show all the numbers they gave to those women… must certainly be abundantly worse for me. And I start to panic.

Will I live to see my youngest, now 2, reach 30? Or even 20 for that matter? Will I get to experience life to the longest I can? The answer comes back as a resounding: NO! Family history has taught me that much.

If you were to be a fly on the wall of our home you would see me on my butt for the majority of the time. Playing on the computer, reading, watching tv or something while sitting down. And when my kids ask for something they never get it immediately, I have to build up the energy to go get them something. I have become so stagnant that it’s amazing my house stays in any kind of order at all.

I’m telling you all this, not because I love beating myself up… but because I know I need to do something about this body and lifestyle that I am in, and if I do not confess my idleness/ laziness, I will never change.  I need to move, to play, to clean, to have this body in motion. And I need to eat less.

I need to be held accountable…

I told the world in 2009 that I would never be in this position again.. and here I am, even heavier than I was when I started then. It’s really kinda pathetic. Sad and pathetic.

It’s not that I want to be a skinny model (I will never be one of those) or that I am doing it for looks at all. Really, all I want is to have energy to play with my kids. To have fun in the great outdoors and not be totally exhausted when I finish. I want to live to see my kids graduate college, get married, and have my grandbabies (If God so wills any of those for them.) And I want to celebrate as many anniversaries as possible. I want to be there for my kids and husband as much as I can be.

If I cannot change my body, my lifestyle and my habits… I will most certainly fall into the Smith health issues. And I cannot accept that as okay.  I know it will not change everything… but losing weight will change my health.

This week I have been haunted by these thoughts. So as a result I have made some changes, aka my house is cleaner, my kids get things faster and I’ve been playing a lot more. Bonus, the menu has changed too. Family is not quite sure what to do with all this 😉

My friends… I need this. I also need you. I’m planning on keeping you up to date on this journey… the same journey that I’ve been on soooo many times before. I want this to be the last time, because I actually make it this time.

Will you pray for me, and for my family as I move forward?

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School

I’m nervous. It’s been a long time since I was in school… hard to believe but December of 2011 was a while ago.

I haven’t had a real conversation in ASL since then… and I have only three short months before school starts again and I have to not only understand but be able to respond in ASL for classes. It really is amazing how much you can forget, just by not using the language.

I knew I was going to have to start practicing and going through the books to remember the signs, but it’s hard to drum up enthusiasm for book study. I didn’t even know what I needed… but God did 🙂

About a week ago a friend asked for my help. She wants and needs to learn ASL and is intent on being a good student… and has asked me to be her teacher. An answer to a prayer I didn’t know to pray. A real reason to practice, an even better reason to book study. And everyone knows that the best way to instill something into your heart and mind is to teach.

So here I am with a pressing reason to study and no reasons to procrastinate…

Our Heavenly Father knows me so well…

 

Vacation

So a few months ago Philip said to me that he wanted to take me away, where we could pretend to be a newlywed couple with no kids and enjoy ourselves.  So he set about planning this adventure and we called in the troops (family that could take care of the kids that is 🙂 )

We left February 2 on a flight to Florida and left on a cruise ship bigger than a lot of small cities. It was 14 floors above the ocean and at least 2 football fields in length. (I know technical measurements right?) It had a ton of restaurants, bars and such and entertainment of every kind.

We had a lot of fun just playing on the ship, not to mention a few excursions to visit (very touristy) locations along the way. Cozumel, Belize, Island Roatan-Honduras, Costa Maya.

I’ve come to this conclusion… I don’t like being a tourist. I like traveling to countries and experiencing the culture and people. And cruise  ships do not allow such time. But for what it is, it can be a lot of fun.

We explored a couple of beaches, tourist shops and just enjoyed being with one another. The time away was precious, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I love having a husband, best friend, play mate (we love to play games and be competitive with each other) and partner who takes care of me and mine so very well. He is such a blessing in my life!

Here are a couple of pics to show our fun 🙂

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Accident

So the accident of January 25, 2013 was one for the record books. I’ve never been in an accident like that before. Fender benders that total a car because of it’s lack of value, sure, but nothing compared to this.

We have driven in bad snow many times before, and we were being as cautious as we could be. A little scared because truly this was our first drive in the snow since last winter. As Indiana doesn’t really have much winter at all.

We were driving up 131 to the Belmont exit to go pick up Tyler from his mom’s so that he could spend the weekend with us and one mile short of that exit a car spun out getting off the on-ramp and caused everyone to slam brakes. When we slammed ours we hit a patch of ice and not knowing there was the first car spinning we left our lane (to avoid collision) for the shoulder… the shoulder is where the first car was waiting and collision was impossible to avoid.

A head on collision and everyone walked away with only bruises. My lower stomach was literally black for about three weeks, but the pain only stayed for about one and a half weeks. The kids got seat-belt burns, but otherwise fine. And Philip was braced well, but sore for a few days. Honestly, it was the hand of God that kept us safe and in one piece.

All the airbags went off, and we were in the middle lane by the time everything stopped. And the fact that we didn’t get hit again seemed to be a miracle in itself.

People stopped and helped us. And even though it was difficult we were able to get a rental car for the weekend and for the way home. (A big thanks to my aunt who helped us out with that, since we don’t have a credit card.)

Anyway… the van was declared totaled and within a week our insurance company had closed the case and given us the check for the van. It was crazy how fast and nice the insurance company was. I guess it helped that even the cop decided we could not have avoided that accident and were not at fault.

Even in this mess, God’s hand was apparent. Protection, provision and care. Not to mention we still had a somewhat nice time hanging together as a family – despite our aches and pains that weekend.

Take a look at the ugly mess that was our van. 🙂 Praise God with us that we all walked away fine 🙂

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Anders

Anders, a sweet, lovable, handsome boy. With a future only God can tell. I love him.

It is because I love him, that I have let him go.

I don’t know how many people I have judged, and harshly, for saying those very same words. But here I am broken, crying, and knowing that it truly is because I love him, that I have let him go.

Many weeks ago, months now, my aunt approached me with the thought/ plan of action that finally brought peace to my heart. It was one that I believe (with all my heart) was born in God’s own heart.

I have cried, prayed, cried, and prayed some more that God would give us direction, answers and peace in regards to Anders. This sweet boy who deserved answers. He didn’t want me. He was angry here, he was hurt here. There was no place for healing here. But if here wasn’t where he belonged, and if I couldn’t be the one to help him embrace healing and peace, then who was? I have been on this road of questioning for longer than I care to admit. I have been at the throne of the Almighty Father with begging and tears more than I can transcribe. And it wasn’t until January that the answer came.

My cousin and her husband. Fabulous people. God fearing and God listening people. People who I trust. Who I admire. Whom I would place my life (yes I’m serious) because of their love of God. Have stepped into the role of Anders’ parents.

It’s a long story, but I guess there is no better time to tell it… if you will but bear with me…

I told you about our last year of struggle (and more if truth be told) and I told you how God opened the door for my aunt to take him for a break. She kept him, fell more in love with him. And I through bittersweet tears saw him change. He was no longer angry all the time. He grew like a rocket and was funny and smart and happy. I ended up seeing a version of Anders that I had never seen. One that I wished I could have in my home. But the bitter came when both he and I realized it was because he wasn’t in my home.

He and I never were able to connect. Not in a way that a mother and son should. I wanted to, but he knew all my buttons, and quite frankly they are too easily pushed. And though I loved him… it was not enough.

In December it was brought to the forefront that maybe he would never come home… maybe that he would be adopted by someone else. This was a big source of wrestling for me. I had to fight pride, and selfishness, and anger.

Pride because I was never supposed to be in this situation, look at how many people I had judged for being in this very spot!

Selfishness because I loved him. I wanted him to be in this home. I wanted to be the one he ran to for hope and healing and everything he deserves.

Anger because this was apparently all part of God’s plan and I didn’t like it.

Christmas was the most bitter tasting of any holiday I’ve ever lived through… because I knew it would never be the same again.

Once it came to a point… a very ugly and emotional and hard point. I finally let go. Saying “God if this is really your plan, then would you please make the next step so obvious that all involved see your hand and I can let go in peace of this boy I love so much.”

Apparently, while I was dealing with all this emotional stuff, my cousin and her husband (I am going to give them fake names for now) we shall call them Hope and Peace ;), got to spend a lot of time with Anders. Various situations where Anders even got to go to their house that they are building and play. They were falling in love, and were taken aback at the desire for him. So they started praying.

Knowing that there were a lot of issues and knowing further that he was never going to come back to my home, they were drawn in. So that January day, out of nowhere, it was brought to my attention that Anders had found a couple who loved him, and desired to be his parents. Parents that could be the answer for hope, healing, peace and joy in his life.

As soon as I heard the request, I felt the presence of God and his hand of peace in my heart, and I promise, flowing from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I felt the ability to let go… for the very first time.

It has not come without more tears and more bittersweet feelings. But it has come with God’s hand all over it. All the details (which are not all my story to tell) prove over and over God’s presence.

Anders is home.

Though this is not the end I thought would come. And though I still feel a failure… I feel God’s peace too. Sometimes it takes being a failure to see God’s glory shine the best.

Life Caught Up

If you were one who believed that I might be able to keep a running blog everyday, I’m sorry to have let you down. But as happened last year, when things got difficult these last couple of months, I got quiet. There is much that has happened and much to write about. There is also many things to bring conflict and judgement.

My last post was when AJ broke his arm and there have apparently been 6 weeks of life between now and then.

I don’t even know where to start. There is so much. I will do this, if you, my friends, will allow it. I will reference an item of importance on this post and then write the full post those things deserve in another post- in other words, there is a lot to tell and pictures too.

In the following week or so after AJ’s fall, life was a little crazy here. Mostly because things changed dramatically in regards to Anders and my emotional state was roller-coasterish. (Read “Anders”)

Two weeks after his accident we went to Michigan for a visit, or what was supposed to be a visit. I wanted to meet my new nephew that I’ve never held or kissed or congratulated my brother and sis in person. I also wanted to see my friends and get my hair done by the best hairdresser in the world (Miss Cayla Wysocki). But instead we ended up in a severe accident on the night of our arrival. Plans changed and our life at that time flipped upside down.  Please don’t worry, no one was seriously hurt. (Read “Accident”)

We came home and the following week Philip took me on a cruise (Carnival isn’t all bad people 🙂 ) and we saw a bunch of things and had a blast being just the two of us.  It was very much needed and a trip that I’ve never thought I would do… (Read “Vacation”)

Upon returning home, the kids were happy (Many thanks to my in-laws for such great care for the kids) and life returned to somewhat normal. Except for dealing with high emotions and kids unable to express what’s really going on in their hearts and minds. I have felt somewhat smothered by kids who need constant attention and cuddles and assurance that things are ok. (If you know me well, you know I don’t do well with being smothered… and poor Philip has been smothered by me looking to seep some of his strength)

We always seem to be at a place of craziness. Just when things should be settling down, they go nuts again. I know, this is the pattern of my life. It has almost always been like this. But for some strange reason, I thought that when I got  married and there were more things normal about my life that that pattern would disappear. Apparently not.

I know that God is always teaching, always moving and that he never changes. He’s only working out changes in me. I have to say this, before being married I had considered myself broken and understanding of difficulty. And as that might have been true for where I was, it is nothing compared to the journey that has been this last year.

Truly broken. Truly humbled. Truly empty.

I am hoping that what comes of it all is a greater understanding of the beauty of the Lord’s work in our lives. A bigger hunger for his hope and peace and presence in our hearts.  And a house filled with people that bring glory to him, despite our weakness, brokenness and failure.