A New Year?

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2017.

Just like that, the clock ticks, the bell chimes and the new year slips right in. Not with loud fan fair, or much celebration – but another moment in time. Another hour, another day, another year. Just when I was sweeping up the memories, both happy and sad, of 2016 – 2017 just waltzed right in.

How did that happen?

You might be ready to be rid of 2016. Perhaps it included loss, pain and  unfulfilled dreams – for you that door can’t close fast enough on the year, can it? I know. I know that sense of closure needed to move forward and beyond what was, hoping for what’s to come. I’ve had many years where I slammed that door shut myself.

So, here we stand, on the cusp of a year not yet lived. What do you long for in this year? I know what I do. I can speak it faster than you process your own thoughts. I’ve been kicking around stones on a new path, following it, even as it’s windy roads keep me in circles sometimes. I am ready. So ready – for 2017.

How about you?

Are ready to breathe in new life into your own? Are you ready to lay aside your pain, your anxiety and sense of hopelessness? Taking a hard look at who you are and how you live your life. Knowing with strength and certainty that you are worth each moment that this year will bring you.

If there is one truth to grab ahold of as you start this new year, it’s that you are worth every moment you give to yourself. Don’t doubt it. Don’t deny it. Don’t hesitate. Love. Love yourself. As you love yourself, or perhaps learn to love yourself, love springs from within you to share with others. If it seems trite to you, don’t take my word for it.

Jesus Christ was asked once,

“Which is most important of all the commandments?”

Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” (Mark 12:28b – 31  The Message)

Did you ever stop to realize that loving God means loving yourself?

Jesus asks us to love God with all our passion, prayer, intelligence and energy. Then He proceeds to instruct us to do the same to our very hearts. How often do you love yourself passionately? Really? Me neither.

It takes great effort to think about myself. I spend so much of my time thinking of others, of what needs have to be met, of what things have to be done – that somewhere along the way, I get lost. It’s not a new phenomenon, it’s a raw reality of my life. I’ve allowed myself to be loved less, and in the process, believed I am unlovable.

The greatest gift I hope to give myself in 2017, is love.

Loving myself. Accepting the desires that are within me as gifts from the Heavenly Father and live them in my daily life.  Some may profess that’s not a Christian attitude, well.. I use to believe that myself. God has had to teach me through years of suffering that loving myself is how I honor and love Him. It’s not what I do that makes me a follower of Jesus. It’s who I am, and who lives in me. God’s Spirit resides in me.

Read that again.

God’s Spirit lives in me! If you are a Christian reading this, then He lives in you too. Have I spent my time, wasting time, putting myself in a position I was never meant to be in? Am I putting down the Almighty God Himself when I reject His life within me? When I repeat long held negatively tucked deep away in my spirit. When I insist on focusing on what I do, rather than who He created me to be – I am choking the Spirit’s ability to reign fully in my heart and lead.

We must let go, and love, ourself.

So, as you kick off this New Year, I ask you to join me. Stand in the front of the mirror of your heart and listen to your soul and hear it’s cries. Listen. Don’t turn away. Don’t get busy. Be still. Get quiet. When the thoughts come of what you really love, find a way to use that passion for good, and for God. Allow the Holy Spirit to open your mind and your heart into a new direction, His. Don’t quench the Spirit of God, let Him love you. And in doing so, you love yourself.

2017, bring it on.

Just Another Step

Today marks another day in recovery for me. I had minor surgery a few days ago. Really, it’s minor.

Yet, somehow it doesn’t feel minor.

My health has been the main reason for this blog. To consider what has been going on with me and try to explore the realties of my  new life. These pulmonary embolisms have totally changed my life. I can’t even express how they have effected me and my entire family. But here’s the hard truth, the stark reality, I am so thankful I am still alive! More often then not you don’t survive a PE.

Since my third PE last fall, I’ve had  a medication change. I am now on Lovenox for life. Coumadin just wasn’t effective for me. I just couldn’t get therapautic. Lovenox is a low dose heparin that I inject into myself twice daily. It works differently within the body than Coumadin does. Each anticoagulant comes with their own risks and concerns. Nothing is ever fail proof. One of the risks of Lovenox is a higher chance of internal bleeding, as well as not being able to stop the bleeding once it starts.

It was the reason for my recent surgery.

It’s been about 10 months of internal bleeding now and I am ready for it to stop! So although the surgery was minor, it’s not minor to me at all, it’s major to me. For it can set me on a new road for recovery. If my internal bleeding finally gets under control, then perhaps the anemia will stop and the fatigue will subside.

I just have to be patient and take it one step at a time. And this?

It’s just another step.

Happy Anniversary!

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It was two years ago today. I heard the doctor tell me that I had a blood clot in my lungs. At first I wasn’t sure I heard him right. But make no mistake, it was a pulmonary embolism. The first of two I would suffer that week. Three total since that fateful day. There are some things in life you are just not prepared for. Here’s was one of mine.

Family immediately poured into my hospital room and support was all around me. Yet, there was no greater presence in my life than my husband, my girls, and Sam. They were there with me, in victories and in struggles. I meandered slowly around the hospital floor, they’d cheer from the waiting room.  They’d cluster on the window, giggling, taking photos on the laptop and hanging out.  Patiently waiting on me, and loving me in a hard time.

I remember feeling like a patient on “House” as they deliberated to figure out why this was happening. No matter the reason, there was nothing to change. They tell you how lucky you to be alive, yet rarely prepare you for the journey that lies ahead.

Recovery.

They say it’s hard to understand another’s journey unless you walk in your shoes. I dare say I wouldn’t want you to.

I can’t even begin to explain the changes this life experience has brought about. Much of it necessary and needed in my life. But you know what? I don’t need to explain. That is a wonderful byproduct of this difficult road. Learning to let go.

Freedom.

So much of my life I clung to what I knew, what I could do, what I believed in and what I accomplished to determine who I was. It was this deliberate, yet immediate, shutting down of my life as I knew it that caused this shift to my experiences and eventually to my heart.

Change is a part of life. We all have it. Circumstances that cause us to stop and ponder the view. To take stock of where we are at and  by chance where we are headed. Even with all the physical problems that have cropped up dealing with the pulmonary embolisms, I am thankful.

For it’s in these intense difficult moments that small nuggets emerge which crystalize your view. That scrape away the scales of doubt and fear from your eyes. Perhaps for the first time in yoru life, you really see.

Would I desire to change how things have developed and evolved? Sure, there’s plenty I would want to handle differently.  But since it allowed me to get to this place today, I embrace it. I grab ahold of it fiercely like never before. For what is emerging is truly a resurrection. Not of who I was, but who I am truly am, and who I truly need in my life. God.I am, a survivor, yes. Yet, I am His!

So, I close with His words, not my own.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:16-18