Sunday, December 28, 2008

Where is My Worth?

This weekend I was overcome with this feeling of being hard to love - like there is something wrong with me that makes me high maintenance and unable to maintain relationships for a long period of time. I have a fear that I will end up alone, in a nursing home, as a widow with children who only visit me because they have to.

I remind myself that I have parents who love me abundantly; a boyfriend who loves me too; a best friend who listens and a surrogate nephew who thinks I'm "so cute" and gets excited to see me; friends from college to have funn with; brothers and sisters in Christ who will pray for me upon request; coworkers who come see me and listen to the drama of my life; and even a brother who lets me use his X-Box to play Rock Band. 

But somehow it doesn't feel like enough. My heart feels like a vacuum that cannot be filled. And I think, the fact that I comfort myself with reminders of the love of people shows that I am finding my worth in the wrong place. 

I am not valuable because of the amount of people I know or by the amount of Facebook messages I have or the amount of friends or family that love me or call me or email me. I am valuable because I am loved by a God who gave his Son to die for me so that He could have a relationship with me. God's love is the the substance of my worth and anything else from anyone else is the cherry on top.

Why, then, do I make God's love the cherry and people's love the substance? Mostly because I am human and it is way easier to see the tangible expressions from people when they hug and kiss and give presents and post on my Facebook wall and listen and talk. Also because I forget to remember God's abundant love and take the good news of the Gospel for granted because I have heard it so many times.

I know that God has created us for relationships. I believe that He uses the people in our lives to bless us and help us grow. Relationships are the way He demonstrates His love and lets us experience a taste of the the abundant way He loves us. 

But in the end, if I am alone in that nursing home (and even if I am surrounded by family and friends to the end), the only thing that is going to really matter is how well I know Jesus and the degree to which I believe and experience His love as the sustaining force in my life. So I pray that I could grow in knowledge and wisdom so that I may know Him better.

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know that love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
~Ephesians 3:18-19

"But now, this is what the LORD says -
he who created you, O [Jenny],
he who formed you, O [Jenny];
"Fear not for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine...

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life."
~Isaiah 43:1, 4

*my wise friend Sheri who went to seminary said it is theologically okay to put your name in where it says "Israel"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Irrational Fears and Aversions I Have

1). The seven minutes it take me to fall asleep - I love to sleep. Love it. Love it. Love it. I love my sheets and my bed and snuggling with my teddy bear. I love getting eight hours and feeling rested. I love waking up to Elliot in the Morning's maniacal laugh. 

However, I hate the seven minutes it takes me to fall asleep. Where everything is quiet and my brain has time to process the happenings of the day. It seems like irrational fears overtake me in this time and although I generally pass quickly through this phase into my dreams - I will do anything to avoid those seven minutes.  I have literally stayed up for 2 - 3 extra hours doing meaningless things to avoid those seven minutes. It is unhealthy. And weird. 

2). Running - Two years ago I was a runner. Last year at this time I had just finished the Marine Corps Marathon. And then somewhere along the way I started getting afraid that if I went running I wouldn't like it. 

Every time I would go running I would think, "I LOVE RUNNING. I feel awesome. This is great. Run Run Run!" and then afterwards I would think, "what if I don't like it next time" and I started avoiding it. And now I am not a runner. And I have this fear that if I go running I will feel my jiggles and wiggles all over the place and I will be too heavy to run. The irony is, if I went running I would get less wiggly and jiggly but I can't make myself get out there. It makes no sense. I don't know where this came from.  I think I need a running partner.

3). Falling or Tripping face forward and busting 
or chipping a tooth - Earlier this year I developed this fear that I would trip on cement or going up stairs, fall, and hit my tooth and chip it. I can imagine how it would feel to have my tooth knocked loose from my gums, hanging by a thread waiting to fall as blood gushes down my chin. It makes me cringe even now. So I bought an athletic mouth guard to wear when I go up and down stairs. 
Is it irrational? Yes. 
Does it help. Maybe. 
Am I embarrassed? No.

4). Left-Overs - I get afraid of left-overs if they have been in the refrigerator for more than three days. I get scared to smell them 
or see the consistency of them. I will not eat them. I just always assume they will smell bad and make me want to vomit. So I'll leave them in the fridge for weeks b/c I don't want to touch them. It is like, if i avoid it long enough, they will cease to exist. When I finally do empty them, they are as gross as I imagined and I gag and have to use rubber gloves to dispose of them. The irony is if I would just dispose of them the first day I think about it, it would be done and not that bad. It is a vicious cycle.

5). The Sound of Brushing Teeth - My roommate in college used to brush her teeth for two minutes without the water on. I would lay in my bed (we had a sink in our room) and think, "I can't take this. I can't take this. I am going to throw up." This happened every night and the thought still gives me chills.

6). Cruching/Chomping/Slurping/Chewing with Your Mouth Open - this is a new aversion thanks to my lovely boyfriend and his family. They are very against the aforementioned practices. If someone is making mouth noises, they will call you out in front of every
one. At first I thought this was needless and silly. Now, I notice every chomp, slurrp, and bite. My brother is slurping in the other room right now and I had to shut my door and turn on my music before I threw up. So, thank you Brian Armstrong. I appreciate this newfound awareness.  Sike.

Why my office is like The Office

I was going to write a post about why my office is like The Office but then I thought about it and realized that if anyone from HR read it, they may take it the wrong way and I would get in trouble. 

So I just thought I would tell you that I thought about doing that but decided not to. If you would like me to tell you why my office is like The Office, hit me up and I will let you know :o)