Rolling Up the Quinoa, Rolling up My Sleeves
I’m awake, refreshed and coherent-BEFORE my alarm goes off. I quietly sneak downstairs, a plan has already formulated in my thoughts for Bible Study-which isn’t for another 3 hours. This blog is sitting on my shoulder and demanding to be written.
I can’t recall a time when I didn’t as much get out of bed but fall out of it, dragging myself to the nearest coffee pot. Planning through the morass of thoughts/insecurities/fears/pain was more like trying to run through a wall of cobwebs-sticky and binding. Writing was an abstract, a luxury, a passion I had to steal from my other ‘worthier’ causes to spend time creating.
Why the drastic 180 degree change? Did I suddenly find the will power my mother and others have always said was the only reason I was fat and unsuccessful? Did I suddenly discover a pill to take away all the stresses, strains, pains and peeves which kept me under their thumbs?
Nope. I simply started to eat real food.
Seriously, I’m a clean eater.
This blog is based on the premise of “Eat Less. Pray More. Love Abundantly.” A topic I rarely explore is eating. The reason? It’s hard to write about addressing your drug of choice and secret shame. It’s an invitation for judgement when you say you are eating well and then reach for a cookie at an event. It’s hard, disciplined work with moments of failure on display for all to see in your too-slowly changing sizes.
I wish I could say I had an epiphany towards health and eating. I would love to have one of those inspirational stories where I suddenly realized I was worth it (cue instrumental music and images of people running through ocean surf). I didn’t have one of those. Instead it was more mini-moments of clarity which strung themselves together into one of those rope bridges across a cavern. I simply chose to walk across the bridge and deal with the height, the wind blowing the ropes, and the churning waters beneath me.
I didn’t tell anybody except those I knew who were solidly in my corner. I just shopped differently one week. I cooked differently. I ate differently.
10 pounds later (coincidentally the weight of spinach I’ve eaten AND the amount of weight the scale has gone down) I sit, in the early morning writing this blog.
When I hit publish, I’ll go and make special Sunday breakfast. I’ll roll up quinoa and sausage in a lower fat, higher nutrition version of breakfast. I’ll roll up my sleeves and package up a week’s worth of breakfast/lunches and dinners all made with mostly clean, whole ingredients. I’ll bake with the apple sauce I made yesterday in my crock pot (I felt like a modern day Pioneer Woman).
Another thing I’ll do? I’ll write.
Today, what will you do? What’s one minor or momentous thing you can do to take step towards health and wholeness? Share with me. Together we can take this journey to eat less. Maybe share a recipe or two.
Why did I stop writing for so long?
Did this project eat less, pray more, love abundantly suddenly disappear?
Would you be wrong to think it?
I don’t think you would be wrong, do you?
What kept me out?
Was it a worthy cause so big it sucked the oxygen from my lungs and the strength from my imagination?
Was it a challenge which some days cost me dearly in time and tears?
Was it a commitment which brought more miracles in the midst of the messy than I ever could have anticipated?
Is it now something I am suddenly thankful for and wax eloquently on how I became a super human as a result?
Don’t you think life is a little more complicated than that?
Would you believe it is my 6 year old funshine who gave me the strength to write again?
Do you think there was ever a better teacher than his?
What is the one question my dearest, funny, tenderhearted boy would ask God?
How did my Pappy get cancer?
How did my father, the one solid rock for so many, get cancer?
Why him and why now?
Wouldn’t you think 50 days is enough to put the breath back in my body, strength in my bones?
Are the connections to children and spouse too thin to rebuild?
Is the armor I’ve encased myself in too thick to ever be removed?
Why did I ever stop writing?
I’m glad I’m starting again, are you?
Finding a Tribe of My Own
I found a tribe. They are quirky, blue monkeys in a brown monkey world. This would be their chosen birthday cake.
So many are living my dream. A dream of writing and publishing a book. The most recent was LaDonna Cole. Tornados play a prominent role in her book, “Torn”. She sent me this.
Clutching the book to my heart as her heartfelt, handwritten dedication took root, I stood crying in my kitchen. I was so proud. So proud because I knew some of the tornadoes she braved to bring the book to life. My heart swelled too because I know her. I really know her. Though I have only met her twice, I’m in her tribe and she is in mine.
Today there was an oddly shaped package in the pile of online purchased holiday surprises. Sent by Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt, author of WOA, Warrior of the Ages.
I clutched this package to my heart too. For it spoke to my deepest desire and made me giggle. The contents are a silly, awesome, quirky addition which will surprise and delight all my family. She sent it, priority mail, because I am in her tribe and she is in mine. We’ve only met twice.
Most of my life I have felt like an orphan. To be sure I was blessed with a mother and father, yet I remained rootless in my heart. Restlessness was a paper cut to my heart, shallow enough not to be lethal, deep enough to hurt.
Quietly, surprisingly, I have found a tribe of my own. They are authors, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. Not all are published, still many are writers. Some are older, wiser mensches whose pearls of wisdom are precious. Some are my age, old enough to know better and young enough to sometimes not care. I could be the mother of one, and she never reminds me. Not all are writing, they, like me, have worthy causes which pull them from their words. Yet they find moments to text or FB or to send silly surprises.
Tonight I am thankful for this wordy tribe who has found me. I can rest my tired heart on their shoulders and wrap my hopes around their successes. They make me feel less like an orphan and more like a whole person who can live abundantly.
I’m thankful you are in my virtual tribe by reading this blog. Who is in your tribe? I’d like to know.
The Spin Stops Never
On the way to the bus, my 5 year old screamed, “Mom! Look at this!”
In grass bejeweled by the morning dew, lay a gossamer miracle. A spider spent the night spinning a web held aloft by grass columns. The craftspider was nowhere to be found, no doubt passed out from exhaustion beneath the mammoth structure.
It was beautiful and by the afternoon, it was gone.
A few mornings later, this is what we saw as we waited for the bus.
There it was again.
The spider did what a spider does. She spun a web. (In my head all spiders are the gloriously bulbous, wisdom spouting greatness of Charlotte or Miss Spider of Sunny Patch fame.)
As I take this journey to eat less, pray more and love abundantly, there have been many questions which have been presented to me. The spider web brought up some more.
The spider created something beautiful in the middle of harsh stones. It relied upon fragile blades of grass to keep it elevated. What am I creating in the middle of the sharp stones of my own life? The fragility of faith, friendship and finances-are they keeping me from creating anything?
The spider did what she does best-spin webs. What do I do best?
It’s been raining and cold for many days here, so we haven’t seen if the intrepid spider remains. I wouldn’t be surprised when the sun shines again, to find the spin stopped never. I also will not be surprised to spin a few webs of my own.
So, what are you creating? Is it time for you to emerge from the crags of your life and spin? What do you do best? Perhaps we can spin a tale or two together.