A Struggle

I just posted earlier about how I am really excited about running again.

I must be honest with you.

I am not as truly excited as I made it out to be.

I am, in one way….but not so in another.

You see I have been battling body image for most of my teenage years.

Every day I struggle with worrying if I have an acceptable body. If I am at an acceptable weight.

Some days, like with any struggle, are better than others.

But these past couple months have been a huge battle.

I ran a marathon this summer and I loved how the training shaped my body. I could eat pretty much anything I wanted without gaining weight. So naturally after that marathon I had to keep this good feeling up. I signed up for another marathon.

But God had other plans. I developed tendonitis in the top of my foot and I had to stop training for that marathon.

I am so thankful that God gave me that injury. Through the past couple months God has retrained me. I went through a really tough time. Not all of it was related to body image per se but God used this time to remind me that the knowledge that I am accepted by Him should shape everything I do.

I haven’t been a very good student.

I still struggle with many things.

These past couple months have been like I went for a deep dark swim where I could not feel solid ground at all. I was in so deep that the pressure of the waters crushed me. Now I think I can feel the bottom under my feet. It’s not a firm stand yet. Its like I am swimming back from the raft at camp and can barely touch the bottom with my toes. In spite of that slim reassurance I know that the ground is still there. I will get better. I will keep pushing against those deep dark waters and find my firm footing. I know I will get to that dock where I can get a breather.

Sometimes I get swallowed up by the waters again. I feel like I am going back down to the deep but it never is for long. God keeps bringing me toward shore.

So I have mixed feelings about getting into this running thing again.

I find myself turning toward so many things other than God for acceptance.

I find so much joy and rely so much on running for my happiness should I really start again?  Do I just want to run so I know I have a way to control my body weight?

The way I felt after this run today confirmed my fears. I felt like I could eat more cause I had run today. I knew it wouldn’t be long before my body was what I call “acceptable” again.

So now as I write this I find that I need to rethink this running thing.

I know I want this tendonitis to be healed….I know it’s getting better..but I need to know where to draw the line before it becomes idolatry. I think it already has.

I know I have some definite thinking to do.

I need to stretch out to God and ask Him to take away the lies I have been believing about myself and the world around me.

I need to ask God to take away my idols.

I know its gonna be an uphill process…and I know that I am going to buck like a sour horse…cause remember? I am not a very good student.

But I know that with God all things are possible.

I know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

And I know that His grace is sufficient for me.

( This necklace is from the Adoptshoppe. Where all the proceeds go towards funding adoption)

 

Advertisements

I ran today!!

That is what I posted on my Facebook status hardly 30 minutes after really running for the first time in weeks.

My tendonitis seems to be healing. The pain is still there reminding me to try to take it easy but I can tell it seems to be getting better.

Hallelujah!!! Praise the Lord!

I have missed running soooooo much!

So much so that on the last couple yards of the fourth mile I put my hands up in the air and danced….

well as much as my no rhythm body could.

Now I am looking forward to bringing running back into my regular routine.

So excited!!

~Jess

hmmm..

I have a problem

I love fabric way to much

I think it’s become an obsession.

Cause I can’t resist bring fabric home even though I don’t have time to sew it up!

It’s just so pretty to look at though I don’t know if I have the heart to cut it up!

Like the charm packs I brought home yesterday.

I don’t have a purpose for them.

Yet.

But I am coming up with ideas for these lovelies!!!

If I only had the time!!!

I need to keep working on the Amazon Star.

I did make some progress 🙂

I keep telling myself that I can’t touch other stuff until this big one is done…

Bummer.

Well I guess you know where I am gonna be today..

Can you hear my sewing machine humming?

Hmm..I can’t either…to bad it doesn’t run by itself..

Thanks for reading!!!

~Jess

Working Together for Good

“All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose”*, I keep telling myself.

Especially today

In the mail today I received my race confirmation for the Twin Cities marathon.

A race I hoped to run.

But as I carry out my every day life, I know there is no way I could run it.

Every day my tendinitis in my ankle still flares up even though I stopped running to help it heal.

I don’t know what I am doing wrong. Maybe I am pushing it to hard. Why can’t I run???? Why???

Even as I ask those questions I remind myself with promises and answers.

Every day I struggle with a skewed body image and when I ran the Minneapolis Marathon earlier this summer, I trusted in my intense running schedule to keep my body at a fitness level that my brain deemed as “perfect” and “skinny enough”

Please  don’t get me wrong, I love running but I end up idolizing it and trusting it instead of God.

I don’t know exactly why I can’t run right now. I don’t know why that my ankle keeps bothering me, but I know that without running I have to rely on God to take care of my body. I have to trust that God will still love me if my running muscles aren’t as strong as I think they should be.  Without running God is teaching me to trust that He accepts me unconditionally. I don’t have to do anything! There is nothing that I can do that will make him love me cause he already does to the utmost!!!

The problem is that I know these truths in my head but I needed this injury to help me get them cemented in my head.

Will I always remember that God loves me? No!

Will I never idolize my body after my ankle heals? Probably not.

But I know that through this time God is working all thing together for good.

I may not see it fully yet but God will never let me down.

I know He will never leave me nor forsake me.

Thanks for reading

~Jess

*Romans 8:28

Spontaneous

Last night as I was finishing some last minute things at work, I started thinking about a class that was happening the following night.

Then I started going through in my head all the women that I knew who were gonna be there. As I did that I started to think about all the fun I could have and all the laughter that was bound to occur.

So on a spontaneous spur of the moment, I decided to stay at the quilt shop after work and sew on my Amazon Star.

We did have a lot of laughter. It has been a little awkward for me at first though when I go to sew at stuff like this because I really start to feel my age.

Or should I say lack of it.

When I am just working the floor, I don’t even think about my age compared to all the customers I help. But when I sit and sew with them and they get to talking I suddenly realize how different their stage of life is from mine. I find myself hearing them talk about their daughter or granddaughter who is just going off to college or graduating from high-school.

And I think, “Wow, I am the same age as their granddaughter. I wonder what they think of me, just a young pup and quilting with them!”

So I find myself focusing on my quilting and not really socializing. Maybe its cause I don’t go to these types of things very often. But I know I want to!! I got so much sewing done tonight!

I got all the strips pieced for the star point. (bag #2 is slowly getting there!)

I just had to lay it out for picture. When I did I found that I had made an oops and will have to rip out. Ick!  (I dare you to find it!)

Needless to say that ended my sewing for tonight. When it gets late and I make a mistake I have learned to quit before I either make more mistakes or get so frustrated that I want to chuck the project.

A fellow quilter told me to mark the pile that I need to rip.

Here’s my oops pile.

Looks like I have some ripping to do tomorrow. *Sigh*

~thanks for reading!!

~Jess

Inch by Inch…Bag by Bag

I had another day off from work today.(woo hoo!!!)

So for part of the day I worked on my Amazon Star.

Its coming along!

Bag #1 is complete!!

And this is what bag #1 looks like laid out.

Looking at this makes me excited to see the whole quilt!

But I have to finish 9 other bags before that can become reality.

I barely got into bag #2 today……but I will get there….its just gonna take awhile….

inch by inch

seam by seam

bag by bag

will make a whole quilt!

Thanks for reading

~Jess

Ordinary People

As I drove into the parking lot at work this morning, I saw the UPS truck parked outside our building.

It was delivering boxes to the Pearl Vision next door.

As I parked my car and got out, I saw Dennis, our favorite UPS driver carrying a tall stack of small boxes into the store.

“Wow those are small boxes,” I though

“I wonder if he has anything for us today.”

As Dennis carried the boxes into the store,I walked to the door of the quilt shop and let myself in.

Sure enough five minutes later Dennis was outside the door with three boxes.

Big ones.

But as I walked back out of the shop to run an errand, it wasn’t the prospective fabric that was on my mind.

It was Dennis.

Here is this man who is a simple UPS driver. He isn’t a big executive at a major corporation. I bet he doesn’t even have an office.

He is simply a driver.

That’s what you or I would see if we saw him driving down the highway or in a neighborhood making deliveries.

But what we see on the highway just puts Dennis into a group. A group that collectively isn’t thought about very often. In our society UPS drivers aren’t highly esteemed or valued.

What a shame.

Dennis is so much more.

Here is a guy that is cheerful and friendly.

I rarely ever see him without a smile on his face and he usually asks me how I am doing.

That smile and friendly attitude is worth so much more than a huge corporate job.

So many people strive for that perfect career. Our world gives us the impression that your importance is based on your job.

That is such a lie.

You will be remembered more for your smile than how important your job is.

I pray that you and I will remember Dennis as we come up to tasks that the world think as menial.

I hope that we remember Dennis is special not because of what job he has but because he doesn’t care and works with a smile no matter what the occasion.

Thanks for reading

~Jess