Friday, March 11, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Weekend

This is the third day of fasting for me, which is the most I've ever fasted in the past. Normally by now, I'm chomping at the bit, drooling constantly, and thinking, "If I put chicken and bacon in a blender, that's considered a liquid, right?" But yesterday was the worst day for that. Have you ever noticed... I mean, REALLY noticed... how many food commercials are on television? It's no wonder that America is obese! I think I gained five pounds just watching the Steak vs. Shrimp Ponderosa commercial! But I digress (and not just because I haven't eaten in three days and can't complete a sentence). The point I was trying to make is, today felt good.

I am looking forward to some rest and relaxation, and some meditation. I have reading to catch up on (always, it seems), and some much-needed one-on-one time with the big J.C. I've been praying a lot, but not listening as much as I should. It should be more of a give-and-take, I think. I get caught up in that cycle of listing everything I want and need to God as if it were a checklist (Did I give her provision for her family? Check. Did I take her headache away? Check. Did I give her that baby yet? Mmmm, nope, missed that one...) but I really should be praying about His will for me, and my acceptance of it. I need to pray about being more open and accepting to His plan for my life. About my inability to surrender on my own.

I'm really *not* hungry, if you can believe that. I've passed the crux-point, I think. I obviously can't fast for the 40 days of Lent, but I can make it for the amount of time I've planned (which I'm not telling you, so you can't taunt me for not making it if I don't. Tricky, aren't I?) I'm not fasting for weight loss, although it's not necessarily a bad by-product. I really want to see more clearly, have less to think/worry about, focus on my path. This is helping. It's a sacrifice I'm making, not that I feel I have to make, but that I want to make.

I feel more peaceful than I have in quite awhile, even when things are as chaotic as they were at work today. Fridays are so busy, and I'm especially tired after being there from open until close, but I'm not exhausted, and I'm not starving like I usually am right after work. I feel warm and content, actually. Part of that is the nice furnace register nearby, but another part of it is that I feel I'm achieving something I never have before. Most often, I've wanted to be closer to God, but never made an effort to do anything about it. Check that, I mean I've wanted to FEEL closer to God. He's never the one who's far away, it's me. I know I have so much to learn, so much growing to do, and that there's never really an end to this journey, but I feel at the same time as if I'm making progress, becoming a better version of myself all the time.

I spent so many years loathing everything about myself. My height, my weight, my nose, my hair, my personality, my lack of agility (this list extends for about four pages, so let's just say I named everything and get on with my paragraph). There's a difference, however, seeing myself the way I think the world sees me, and seeing myself the way I think God sees me. One of the things I love about my church is how often they bang into our heads that God loves you, you matter to God, no matter who you are, what you've done, or how you're acting right now in this moment, you are a treasure to God. I've never felt like a treasure to anyone. Not that everyone has made me feel worthless, I have some fantastic people in my life -- my family, my husband, my friends -- but knowing you're all right with a certain group of people still doesn't make one feel like a treasure.

But here He is, the God that created the entire Universe and everything in it... and He knows my name! He sees me all the time, hears my voice, watches me laugh, sleep, cry, clumsily dance, hug my kids, yell at the dogs, cuss like a sailor -- and He loves me, 100%.

That's a relief.

Wanna know the best part?

He feels the same way about YOU.

Stephanie Jean


  1. That is very reassuring...But making yourself fully believe that is another story. For those who do not fully love themselves for whatever reason, believing that anyone else, including God, can fully love them for every thing that are and everything that they are not...

  2. Don't get me wrong, I still can't stand myself. But I'm tired of trying to find self-worth from other people in the world, because I've finally figured out that it doesn't matter what they think. The kids that made my life Hell in high school making fun of me, the people that treat me like I'm dirt at work because I'm serving them coffee... they're not the ones to whom I'm beholden. God sees me with all my fears and flaws and failures, and He loves me. If He can and does, then I can a little bit more each day. Start with that, and just take little steps. If we try to start by fulling loving ourselves, the world will drag us down and we'll never get there.

  3. Mmmm,...Good point. I think it would be much easier if I could learn to look through others eyes, because they see me as something so much different than I do. I think starting today I will start borrowing small glances through their eyes.