Friday, August 15, 2014

Carrying stuff I don't need

Good Morning everyone! I hope you are all feeling peaceful and happy today. I took a couple of vacation days this week (yesterday and today) and am heading out today on a  “Girl’s Day-trip” to a State Park  about 80 north of here. The park has several hiking/walking trails through the oldest white pine forest in the state. I’ve never been there, but I’m anticipating a wonderful, relaxed day with my new friend, Marcia (the woman who does my Graphic Design work and photos) and her daughters. One never knows what kind of adventure this might be but part of the fun will be in discovering new and wonderful things along the way….perhaps a garage sale (or two); maybe a thrift store; maybe some ‘hidden marvel” of God’s creation. I’m approaching this ‘day-trip’ in the same way as I approach my journey to wellness: with the mentality that I will look for new and wonderful things along the way and rejoice in the process of “getting there” as much as the destination. Enjoy the journey for God is present all along the way, not just when we get to our goal.
Yesterday I took a different road trip to a DNR fish hatchery up near Honor, Michigan. My friend had been there years ago and he thought I might like to see it. It was pretty cool, and although it wasn’t operating at full capacity this time of year, it was a nice ride on a very lovely day and the company was pleasant. Northern Michigan in the summer time certainly is beautiful. Three years ago I would never have even considered taking a road-trip; certainly not anything like this week that involved walking. It was just too difficult at 400 pounds and I would have spent any “day-off” lying around and medicating myself with food…but not anymore! I am abundantly blessed.

I’ve been thinking this morning about what I need to pack for my journey and adventure today. Because I’ve never been to my intended destination, I’m not sure what I will need, but I’ll pack a change of clothes and the basics I need for a picnic and a day spent outdoors. Without a doubt, I’ll be bringing “way more stuff than I need” because that’s my nature. Taking along unnecessary baggage is an area of my life that I need to work on; I can’t ever take a weekend trip without at least 10 pair of shoes and more clothing than I could possibly wear, as well as a plethora of stuff “just in case. WHY, Theresa, WHY?  Just in case of what???  Today will likely be no different…..and yet…. I really know that I don’t need to carry around things that are not necessary. Hmmm…. I think there is a lesson here to be learned; this sounds very much like my journey to wellness. Sigh….

I took a little break from this post to reflect on that last statement about my need to carry around stuff I likely won’t need and I ultimately ended up back at the same lesson that God has been speaking to me about for several weeks: I really don’t need to hang on to the ‘emotional” stuff that only weighs me down. Things like resentment; disappointment; past failure; lingering sadness; unworthiness; and needless worry are only going to weigh me down and make my journey more difficult. I  certainly don’t “need” those things in order to be peaceful and happy and even if I just “leave them packed away in the closet of my mind” they are still there and will have to be picked up and moved eventually if I need to find something I really need some day.  Isn’t it time to get rid of them once and for all?  Hmm…. This will be my silent prayer today as I walk amidst God’s creation: to surrender….truly surrender….those thoughts, feelings, doubts, and hurts and LEAVE THEM behind. I may take them with me on this “day-trip” but I hope to leave them behind today for good.

 I once heard that we need to put our burdens, concerns, and needs in God’s hands and leave them there….not picking them back up and trying to handle/fix/deal with them ourselves. This reminded me of the many times (yes, more than once) that I put stuff out at the curb  at night for the trash man, only to change my mind and go get it the next morning before it was picked up. Or worse yet, I donated several bags of clothing to the St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store and went and bought some of my own stuff back the next week! Yikes, girl...Let it go!

And so AGAIN today, I will be reflecting on those things that I am carrying around that might be hindering my journey or at least making it harder and asking for God’s grace to totally surrender them so that I might be truly free. As I’ve said before, this seems to be a theme these past weeks, so I’m guessing it’s something I really need to work on. How about you?  Are you still carrying around unnecessary pain and hurt?  Are you still doubting that you CAN and you WILL change your life and that THIS TIME you will be successful?  Are you still listening to that voice in your head that says, “You can’t do this…you’re not going to EVER reach your goal….you’ve tried before and failed….You’re not worth it…..and many others?”  Are you still harboring resentment and/or unforgiveness?  If so, I encourage you today to join me in my attempt to surrender and get rid of these unnecessary burdens. I know that carrying them around will only slow down my own progress and make the journey more taxing. Let’s pledge to get rid of the emotional weight as well as the physical weight today!

I hope you enjoy whatever you have planned today and make good choices. I’m packing a cooler full of healthy food so that I’m tempted to hit a drive-thru or eat junk throughout the day. Make a plan to stay on track and have a wonderful day.  Please keep one of our group members, Richard, in your prayers this weekend. His mother is in the end stages of her life and Richard has been her care-giver for many years. This is an extremely difficult time for him. We have others in the group that are carrying heavy burdens of illness and pain as well.

Keep smiling….be peaceful….and know that I’ll be taking you along with me in thought as I venture into the woods today.