I Told You So

Last Friday, as the dad and I were discussing the soon to be end of harvest 2019, I asked if now was a good time to tell him “I told you so”?

He sheepishly turned away, and said absolutely not!  As he grinned from ear to ear.

For those of you unaware, the 2019 farming year has been among the most crazy, and ridiculous.  And will definitely be going down in the record books.

The farming year began with rain.  And then some more rain.  And then even more rain.  And, oh yes, more rain.  Though not the latest year things have been planted (according to my historian, the dad), it was definitely late.

Late to the point that most farmers I knew were ready to apply for Prevent Plant, and let insurance pay the bills for this year.  I mean, this is why we have crop insurance.

Toward the end of June, every single farmer was stressed.  Even the dad, who is by far the most chill farmer I have ever met my entire life, was beginning to show signs of stress.  One Friday evening, he was concerned about what to do, because though it had finally stopped raining, the fields weren’t drying.

So I prayed.

And God answered, in a big way.

The following day, fields started drying, and drying more quickly than they had ever dried before.  A little over a week later, fields were planted.  And everyone took a deep breath.

Ok, so the fields got planted…but no one, and I mean no one, expected yields to be anything close to what we might call decent.

Except me.

All along, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my brain, and in my gut.  God was telling me that we were being faithful, and that He would come through for us.  That we would be able to get everything planted, and on top of just getting everything planted, yields were going to be far greater than what anyone expected they would be.

For a long time, I kept my mouth shut, because I know the farmers in my family.  And I know that until they actually see numbers, no matter how much they may pray and trust God, until they see the numbers, stomachs will be in knots.

Once, just once, I said something to my dad.  And he kind of shrugged it off, and said that he wasn’t going to be overly hopeful.  He was just thankful that things got planted.

So I kept my mouth shut.  But, as always, I kept praying.

And then…harvest began.  Later than usual, but that was to be expected.

And then it rained some.

And harvest wasn’t over.  But it was ok.  It wasn’t that much rain.

Harvest continued.

And then it snowed.

And harvest still wasn’t over.

So when things realistically look like this…

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…farmers keep on worrying.

But all along, yields were exactly where I expected them to be.

Far better than anyone expected.

So last Friday, when the end of harvest was expected the following day, and the dad told me what yields were…I got to tell him I told you so.

I honestly don’t know one single farmer who isn’t a believer.  Without question, it is the one profession that above anything else, must rely on God.  And reading through the Bible, farming is talked about quite often.

So yes, we do a lot of hard work.

But God does the heavy lifting.

Once again, thank you God for the things that you do.

Progress Report #1

4 days into my life, post banishing my scale, and I’m not gonna lie…this is hard.  (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go read Be Gone, Evil Thing!)

Have you ever been addicted to anything?  I’m not even talking about smoking, or alcohol or things worse than that.  You can be addicted to just about anything. So, then, breaking that addiction can be a challenge.  

That’s basically what this feels like.  Like I’m feening to weigh myself.

I haven’t.  But I kind of want to.  

I have handed this struggle over to God, but I’m not so sure I can handle not being in control.

Why, as humans, as Christians, do we insist on turning something over to God…Jesus take the wheel…and then picking it right back up.  Ok, sometimes we yank it back from God’s hands. And hold it close. Like we’re a toddler unwilling to share a toy.

This happens all the time.  I know I do it way too often.  One moment, I’m completely trusting God to handle something, because lord knows I’m not strong enough to handle it on my own.  But then I keep worrying about it. And I pick it back up. Because worrying about it is obviously going to make me feel so much better about the situation.  And my worrying about it is obviously going to solve the problem.

I’m sorry, can I roll my eyes any louder?

When you hand something over to God, wouldn’t it be fantastic if He gave us this big, flashing neon sign with the answer?  

Of course it would.

Have you ever actually gotten such a sign from God?

No.  

God does, in fact, speak to us.  But sometimes we have to pay very close attention to the world around us, because God isn’t going to use a big, flashing neon sign.  Nope, he’s going to use what is happening in the world around us to answer our prayers.

Now is this going to look exactly like what we want it to?

Probably not.

So it can be frustrating when God is speaking to us, but we’re not using the right tools to hear him.  We aren’t using the correct ruler to measure the progress on how God is handling the situation.

So how does this all fit in with banishing my scale?

Stick with me, I can explain.

When I banished my scale, I did so purposefully.  Because I was using my scale, and the number on it, to determine my self-worth.  The number on the scale was telling me something that deep down, I just know isn’t true.  That number was telling me that I wasn’t good enough, not strong enough, not worthy enough.

When whatever ruler you are using to measure your self-worth is telling you such negative things, BANISH IT!!

As I originally stated, I would still keep track of my nutrition, more as a tool to keep myself in check, and avoid gluttony.  Not going to lie, I have a tendency to binge eat, on occasion. So keeping track of calories helps keep me in check.

And I have been doing that.  In fact, my nutrition has been on point this week.  

It also helps that the weather has finally decided to stay above freezing, and I have been able to get out and exercise (ie, let my dog Cheese take me for a walk) every day.  Between being sick, and the weather, an overwhelming laziness came over me. And that isn’t me. At all. So I am taking full advantage of the weather.

So between eating right.  And exercising. And despite a cold.  I feel great!

Of course, because I feel so great, I’m curious about what that number on the scale is going to say.  

IF…and I do say IF…I would decide to break down, and allow my scale to return from exile, 1 of 2 things would happen.  The first option would be that it would confirm my feeling good, and the number would have gone down. But then, I’ve been exercising, and even though there are other factors in play (loss of fat, gain of muscle, etc).  So the second possibility is that the number has gone up. Which even despite the fact that I may have lost fat and gained muscle, would crush my soul. I would be devastated. The feeling fantastic would immediately turn into depression, all because of a stupid number on a scale.

So let me ask you this question, why, oh why, oh why are we not satisfied with how we feel?  

Right now, the ruler based solely on how I feel is amazing.  And I guarantee, the moment I step on a scale, that feeling is going to change.  

That, that right there is what has stopped me from breaking the exile.  

I.  Feel.  Good.

Nothing else matters.

So even though I’m curious, I am staying strong.

Actually, no.  No I’m not. I am not strong.  God is strong. God is giving me the strength to do this.

4 days down.  At least 38 to go.  

The Detour

Disclaimer:  This is not something I enjoy writing.  Or talking about. Not that I’m embarrassed.  But talking about this makes me feel vulnerable.  And often people don’t know how to react, so then it just gets all weird and awkward.

If it were up to me, this post would never get written.  Ever.

But for the past year, I have felt called to share my story.  And though I have started talking about it, I have known that writing about it is what I am supposed to do.  And I have delayed, and procrastinated, and put it off. And God just kept coming back around tapping me on the shoulder saying…ahem…you have some writing to do.

So here I am.  Baring my soul.

I am a survivor.  A survivor of domestic violence.

I know what it is like to be thrown into a wall.

I know what it feels like to be picked up by my hair and thrown across a room.

I know what it feels like to get black eyes.

I know the shame and guilt that comes with trying to cover up a black eye.  And trying to explain away how I came to have a black eye.

I know what it feels like to be told that I should go ahead and call the police, because he welcomed it.  I was in his house, and what had happened was my fault. So I would be the one arrested.

I know what it feels like to be so afraid to leave my house because I was terrified he was going to show up at my house.  To be afraid every time a car drove by.

But the story doesn’t end there.

I got away.  But more than that, I have moved ahead.  Moved forward. I wouldn’t quite say I have recovered, completely.  Because I haven’t. I’m not sure I ever will.

But I also know that right now, I am no longer afraid to leave my house.

It took a long time to get past the things that had been done to me.  To get to where I am right now. And it has been a long and difficult journey.  Because I felt alone.

Aside from the actual physical abuse, the guy that did all of this, well, he did all of this under the guise of being a Christian.

Now, if you want to annoy me, the thing that gets me the most is to claim to be a Christian, while clearly, and willingly doing things that are not Christian.  Now, please don’t confuse this with sin.  Because I understand that we are all imperfect, and as a Christian I have received grace and mercy far above and beyond what I deserve.  But to deliberately do things that go so far against the Bible bothers me. A lot. And beyond that, to try to use the Bible as part of the abuse, by trying to tell me that I was wrong, and that was part of my punishment, because I defied the man.

So, to say the least, God and I had to find our way back to each other.  Ok, strike that, I had to find my way back to God, and he might have drug me along, kicking and screaming.  But I am extraordinarily grateful that he never gave up on me.

Through all of the hardship, and struggle, I have found that I can use my past to improve my own future.  I wake up every day lucky to be alive. Because there were days I was knew he was going to kill me. There were days I wished he would so the torture would end.

I also know that God works in mysterious ways.  And that, though I’ve been through some really sucky things in my life, He wouldn’t have allowed it to happen if I wasn’t strong enough to handle it.  I am tough. I forget that sometimes. But I am tough. And I also know that if I don’t use my experiences to help other people, then everything that I have went through is for nothing.

So I started talking about it.  I started talking about this to some of my friends.  To some of the girls that I work with at church. I want to help them recognize the signs that I accepted because I thought that’s just how it had to be to have a relationship.  Because I want to prevent other women from going through the same thing.

I started talking about it.  In manageable bites. There are things that I experienced that I will likely never speak of to anyone ever again.

God blessed me with a very good friend.  A second mother at times. Who had been through many of the same things I had.  Because it wasn’t until I told her how closed off I was about my experiences did I understand that was perfectly normal for my situation.

So I will talk about it, some of it.

I will shock the staff of my Drs. office because they now have to ask if I have ever been a victim of abuse.  I casually said yes. The girl asking me all of the personal questions looked up with a horrified look on her face.  My response was very much…what? It’s not currently going on.

I’m quite certain she almost had a heart attack.

But the one thing, one thing above all else, that I hope you noticed at the beginning of this post.

I refuse to call myself a victim.  To me, victim has a negative connotation.  And one that I do not believe fits me. At all.

I. Am. A. SURVIVOR!!!

I am alive.  And not only am I alive.  I live.

So while my life is far from perfect.  Though I am still single. Though my social life often just involves my parents or my dog…I am happy!

So whatever your current situation.  Whatever life has thrown at you. Do not be afraid.  God is with you. God is for you. God is beside you every single day.

So let me wrap up this evening by saying this…if you are currently in a situation where you are being damaged, physically, mentally, emotionally…you are not alone.  You are not so stuck in your situation that you cannot get out.

You.  Can. Do.  This.

Also, I understand that this is a detour from my normal writing.  And though I know that I have been called to talk about this…my normal humor, mixed with sass and sarcasm will be there too.  Because life in general is amazing and fun. And I’m kind of a klutz, mixed with a less than sane profession. So let’s not always take life so seriously.

I Pity the Fool

Compassion: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortune of others.

Feel compassion, because you never know what the other person is going through.

This is a line that has been said to me many times in my life.  Many. And I would like to think that I try to be a compassionate person.  I realize and understand that the behavior that other people have towards me is not my fault, and that it is merely a reaction to their own life circumstances.

I get it.

That doesn’t mean that I have to enjoy it.

Because I don’t.

I struggle.

There, I said it.  I don’t like to admit it.  But I do. A lot. People suck sometimes.  And I work in a building full of teenagers, who often suck every ounce of compassion, kindness and patience that I have.  So when an adult exhibits behavior worse than that of those teenagers, I am frustrated. Frustrated because they should know better.  Frustrated because they shouldn’t be so selfish. Frustrated because before my day can even begin, they have sucked the compassion and kindness and patience right out of me.

So I have had a rough(ish) week dealing with an adult who tested my limits.

This woman, a co-worker, has tested my patience daily since I started working here.  A know-it-all, who, given the opportunity, will take the information I give her, repeat it back to me as if she just had this profound, life-altering moment of clarity, and will repeat what I just said.  Except this time, of course, she came up with this all on her own.

Those people frustrate me.

A lot.

Please don’t be that person.

Well a week ago, we had a minor confrontation.  I politely stood up for myself. I did not yell.  I did not belittle. But I stood firm. And that might have made her mad.  So mad that she began muttering under her breath, and then refused to acknowledge my existence.

One week later, and my presence has still not been acknowledged.

I honestly do not know what has happened in her life to make her such an unhappy person.  Because before the incident last week, I was already on her bad side. And not because I’m a horrible person that treated her badly.

I am nice, and friendly, and outgoing.  And the students I work with talk to me.  About their life. About their day. About anything.

I don’t treat people badly. At least I try not to.

I’m also happy, and upbeat, and friendly.

Unfortunately, that seems to irritate people that are already unhappy with their life.  So I am not surprised, even though I still don’t understand it.

I don’t understand, because I am not the person that I am because I have an easy and fabulous life, where I have never had one ounce of hardship.

No, no, no.

I am the person that I am, in spite of the struggles and hardships I have been through.  In spite of the struggles and hardships I still go through.

So while I am capable and willing to feel compassion for others, I often struggle because I do not feel the same level of compassion from other people.

But that’s ok.

No, really.  It is.

Because, Mr. T. reference aside, I do not want your pity.  I actually don’t even like the word pity. Especially not in reference to myself.  I don’t want your pity, nor do I need it. And while we should always be compassionate towards others, I really don’t even need that from you.

Why?

Well, let’s take a look at Isaiah 30:18…

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

He will show me compassion!  Whoohoo!

So if you are like me, and struggle with those people in your life who don’t show you any compassion, don’t stoop to their level.  Rise above! Do what the Bible instructs us to do, which is to love other people.

Be the light when there is darkness and negativity all around you.  Shine the light brightly!

Don’t just choose joy, be the joy!

It.  Will.  Spread.