Goodnight Moon

When I was six months pregnant with our oldest child, my husband, Wade, and I went camping. We enjoy camping and fishing and most out-of-doors activities. We went camping and fishing a lot more often in our first five years of marriage, before this dynamic duo became a terrific trio, and now fantastic foursome. Anyway, we went to our “usual” place to camp and fish; Oliver Reservoir in Nebraska. 

We arrived and started setting up. A park ranger came to our site and warned us that there had been a few thefts reported the night before and for us to be aware and careful to lock all our belongings up. If we wanted we could leave and go back another time. We felt comfortable staying. We set up our tent and went fishing, then came back and cleaned up and settled into our tent for the night. I awakened in the middle of the night, as my pregnant self needed to use the restroom. I looked up to see a flashlight shining into our tent from outside. This round ball of bright, white light. It wasn’t even moving; just sitting there. I rolled over and woke Wade. He asked what was happening. Loudly. I tried to quietly tell him that there was someone with a flashlight outside shining it at our tent. He asked, “Baby, are you wearing your glasses?” I told him, rather irritated, “Of course I’m not! I was just sleeping!” He smiled at me and wrapped me up in his arms to calm me down and said, “Sugar, that’s the moon.” It is more funny now than it was that night. Trust me.

The point I am making is this: things aren’t always as they would seem at first glance. The things we see and experience in this life always have the potential to be jaded by several things. Our personal experiences, our fears, our predispositions, our beliefs (limiting or otherwise) can all change how we interpret the illusion of things in life. But our job is to find a way to see past what seems to be and realize what is.

When I started my weight loss journey, it SEEMED it would be a lot easier at times than what it has been. I saw people who were overweight drop weight either through diet and exercise or surgery or other programs that I had already tried. And it always seemed so easy. Like a duck on the water, we don’t always see the whole picture. We see the calm exterior of the duck moving along but we don’t see the feet under the surface kicking like mad to make that progress. We can’t always see the hard work and sacrifice of people who are making huge gains in their lives. Spiritual, emotional or physical. I know I always “oooooooo” and “awwwwww” when looking at pictures of people comparing their bodies before and after weight loss. But what I really never did, until now, is consider all the “behind the scenes” action that had to go on for that picture to happen. And in my mind, it always seemed easy. The people in these pictures appear one way and now, simply, they’re another. Easy, peasy, right? No. It’s not as easy as it seems. In my case, it has taken cutting out junk foods, drinking only black coffee, fasting daily, not eating carbs, starches or fruit after 2 pm, and walking almost 300 miles in the last year (I had to add up all the mileage in my tracker’s diary just now). It took grit and determination and sweat and tears. 

Almost every area of our lives can seem different from the reality that exists. Take this for example: I had a text conversation this week with “my girls” and it came up that some of our kids had been helping with preparing and cooking food during the day in their homes. I stated that my kids had been helping EAT the food that was prepared and cooked in our house. None of my friends were bragging on their kids. Nor were any of us trying to give an illusion about our lives that wasn’t real. Not at all. We were just sharing in a light and fun way. I said that I was really just working on portion control in my kids because they have a tendency to literally eat me into the red in my bank account. That sparked a comment from one of the girls that she thought she was the only one who had that problem. But . . . this started me thinking about how sometimes we let ourselves peruse the feed on our facebook accounts and get dismayed by the way things seem so perfect for others. I’ve posted these types of things. And I have been discouraged by these types of things. I have had a few posts during this quarantine time of my baking and the like. We post the absolute best parts of our lives on Facebook. Do I share the most frustrating parts or awful moments of parenting and marriage and my weight loss? Not at all. We share the good. And there is nothing wrong with that. When it becomes a problem for us is when it makes us feel inferior or worse off than other people. 

What my weight loss journey has given me over the last year is the willingness to look at all things with a new perspective. I look at things and no longer just take it at face value. There is almost always more to a situation than what it seems at first. I give thought to the things I never really considered before. I love watching videos of how things are made. But it never turns out to be the way I thought it was going to be. And in life, we can rest assured that there is always more going on in someone’s life than what appears at the surface. Things we don’t know. Things we can’t possibly know. This is why kindness and compassion are so important at all times. Think before we act. Think before we speak. 

We tell our kids all the time that they can do anything. They can be anyone. They can have the desires of their hearts. All through Christ, of course. They can chase their dreams and have their dream life. One of them asked me one time if my life was what I had dreamed it would be. That answer was a resounding NO. But I immediately followed that up by telling them that while my life isn’t what I thought it would be, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Just because I don’t have the dream house, and car, and bank account I always wanted, doesn’t mean that what I have right now is anything short of wonderful and blessed. No one has a perfect life but what we do have is perfect for us. And we can’t compare ourselves to other people in finances, weight loss, jobs, family. None of it. None of it matters if it’s not God-centered and what’s best for you. Just as the park ranger telling us about the thefts turned the moon into some criminal’s flashlight outside our tent, sometimes our perceptions of the world around us can make us feel like we aren’t worthy or loved or deserving. Sometimes, all it takes is putting on our glasses, letting ourselves receive the loving embrace of those around us and allowing them to put things in the right perspective. And just like that, what seems to be threatening and scary can turn into the miraculous and wonderful.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

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