Ruts

Being in a rut sucks. The worst is when I think I am out of one and find out that I am in fact still in one.

I have heard it said that a rut is just a grave with ends missing. I have to say that I definitely feel like I am dying inside when I am stuck in a rut. How does one get out of a rut though? I thought that if I made different choices and did things differently that I would be able to free myself from the rut. That seemed like a simple logical course of action and I was sure it would work. I found out though that it is not that simple. I discovered that after all this change in the end I am still in the same old rut. Nothing is different. How can this be?

It is like a horror movie where you think the protagonist is free from the psycho killer and they pop back out from who knows where to terrorize everyone again. Why won’t that guy just die already?!

Four years ago I was going running every day or close to it. I hardly ever ate sugar, or carbs and I was almost down to my high school freshman year weight. I felt great and then it happened. I blew out both of my knees four weeks apart. I had to stop walking long distances and running was out of the question. I had to sit with my feet up a lot. For someone who was averaging 17,000 steps a day this was a nightmare. I was convinced I would gain all the weight back. I didn’t but I did gain some… much more than I would like.

Then as I was beginning to recover I met someone and began dating. I suddenly had no spare time. Soon I realized that I was not in a healthy relationship and things ended. They ended badly. I quickly found myself returning to old unhelpful habits to cope with the stress. I was also terrified to leave my house alone and not motivated in the least bit to do anything other than go to work and spend time with my mom or my close friends.

After the dust of that disaster settled I set my eyes on recovery and going running again. I did okay for a while and then I blew out my right knee, then after recovering from that I blew out my left. Then I pulled my Achilles’ tendon on my right leg. Then I did it all over again. Over and over. I was in a rut. How did this happen to me? How did this become my life? So for a while I gave up and baked a lot of cookies.

I started to hate myself and felt gross. I needed to do something but I wasn’t sure what. My roommate decided to try the Keto lifestyle and I committed to giving it my all. It was hard but I had a buddy, and I did well for about four and a half months and lost 25 pounds! Yay! I started to have a flicker of hope that I would get the last hundred pounds off. But guess what? That psycho killer popped back up! I began to have serious stomach issues to the point that I was unable to go to that bathroom for several days and when I finally could I was passing blood. I needed to eat fruit. So I went back to a less restrictive diet and gained about 20 pounds back. Unfortunately my tummy is still not quite back to normal all these months later. For just a minute I thought I was out of the rut but it turns out I am not.

So what do I do? The thing is I don’t know. I know there is an answer. I just haven’t found it yet. I know I can find my way to a healthy weight that won’t require me to have surgery. I am not saying gastric bypass surgery is bad it is just not the way I want to go. I am not going to give up. I know the answer is out there so I am still looking… and baking. 😜

I don’t have some magical answer to the question posed at the beginning of this post. You know what? That is okay!

I could beat myself up for still being in the rut, be miserable and hate myself but that would accomplish nothing. Self deprecation accomplishes nothing. Absolom from Alice In Wonderland says “Nothing was ever accomplished with tears.” I quite disagree. Healing is accomplished with tears. However at some point the weeping must end and forward motion needs to happen. Bludgeoning myself with my short comings will make it impossible for me to ever find any kind of breakthrough. It is wallowing in self pity that accomplishes nothing. If I need to cry then I cry! However at some point I have to wipe the tears off my face blow the crud out of my head and try again, and again, and again until I find the answer. In the words of a starship captain “Never give up. Never surrender.” I would however add that one should never give up, or surrender except to the Lord. Always surrender to the Lord.

©️Rachel Anne Redfield 2018

Do It Anyway

Life can be crazy and exhausting. For MANY years I was depressed and hated literally everything about myself and my life. I felt helpless and trapped. I wasn’t though. I wished, longed even — for death. Then I was faced with the possibility of cancer destroying my body and claiming my life. Strangely (considering I wanted to die) I did not rejoice.

I ended up dodging the bullet of cancer as the mass was benign. It was removed and I was declared cancer free. Thank the Lord. You would think that would be the worst thing and there is nothing good about it, however something like that is a great lens. Like the lens of a telescope it brings things into sharp focus. I began to realize some things. For one I did not in fact actually want to cease living. It became clear I just hated many aspects of my life and felt as though they would never change. Being faced with the possibility of death caused me to see that none of that was real.

The second thing I realized was that I wanted to live. That may sound like the first thing but it is not. Not wanting to die and wanting to live are different. I wanted to live. I wanted to go places and do things. I wanted to have friends. I wanted to leave my house and have adventures. I wanted to explore. I had lived in the same town my whole life and hadn’t even set foot in most of the parks. I had never explored Portland (the big city) at all. I had never driven myself to the beach even though it was only two hours away. I hadn’t been camping as an adult. I wanted to fly in an air plane. I wanted to go to Disneyland. I wanted watch the sun rise and set in the same day. I wanted to taste things that I wouldn’t normally taste. I wanted to live, to laugh, to love, to taste, to see, to breathe deep. I wanted to live.

The next thing that became clear was that I wanted to become a wife and a mother. I wanted to fall in love, to have someone fall in love with me and for us to be in love with each other at the same time together. I wanted to create a home for the man I loved. I wanted to craft a sanctuary filled with warmth and peace. I wanted deeply in my heart to raise children with my love that would always know the love of Jesus and how much they matter.

I wanted to change.

I have been working on that change for about eight years and I have to say I am pretty darn happy now. My life is by no means perfect. There are still things I am working on improving. There are still areas that I wish were farther along and “better”, but I kinda like my life and myself.

I have friends and have done a lot of the things I wanted to do that I thought were impossible. I lost over 200 pounds. I gained some back and then lost it… and then gained some back but hey two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward! 🎉 I went to Hawaii and zip lined across a valley 100 feet high! I have become quite familiar with all the parks around my residence. I even gave internet dating a try and acquired a crazy ex! (If aforementioned ex is reading this please don’t comment. I will delete it without reading it. No one knows who you are, and this is not about you.) I also went to Disneyland and many other amazing things I wanted to do. God is so good. He has blessed me with the best tribe of friends on the planet. NONE of the best things I have experienced since that life changing scare would have happened without the people who are in my life: I am not worthy. 😭 ❤️🙏🏼

As for the rest of it the real game changer was learning to do something even when I didn’t want to. NIKE was on to something all those years ago. The house is a mess and I feel like dodo and I don’t want to clean it. Do it anyway. I was a jerk and I don’t want to admit it and apologize. Do it anyway. I don’t want to go to work. Do it anyway. I don’t want to go for a walk. Do it anyway. I don’t want to eat salad again. DO IT ANYWAY! I don’t want to finish my laundry. Do it anyway. I don’t want to get out of bed. Do it anyway. I don’t want to read my bible. DO IT ANYWAY! I don’t want to turn off Netflix and go outside. Do it anyway.

No matter what it is if I need to do it, if it is good for me, if it is important – wanting is irrelevant. I must choose to just do it. Get up and do it anyway. Even if I am tired, even if I am sore, even if I don’t want to, even when I would rather not, I do it anyway.

Am I perfect in this? Heck to the no. Did I just consume and entire day’s worth of calories in one meal? Yes. Yes I did. I am not perfect. I am still figuring it out and fighting against the lazy parts of my personality. I am a work in progress. I still have weight to loose, adventures to have and a whole lot of other things. I still have a life to live.

I will be really honest. Sometimes I get stuck. I think about the things I have yet to do , and things that seem not to be, and I feel like giving up. If I let it, that ocean of depression I once called home will crash over me. Before I realize where my mind is headed I find myself entertaining those thoughts form the dark days when I just wanted to close my eyes and have it all be over. It is annoying how fast I can be there again. After all the things I have done to move past it — 💥bam.

The thing is I can’t dwell on it. Dwelling on it makes it worse. I cannot beat myself up. I have to just change my focus to all the things I have to be grateful for. I have to let go of those thoughts. I have to stand in the sun, breathe deep and choose gratitude. I have to pick up the phone and call my momma and tell her she is important to me. I have to get up and tell one of my friends how much they matter.

I may never have children. I may never be able to build a life with someone, and that home I dream of creating may never exist. I may always be over weight and have pain in my knees. I may always be living on a shoestring and never be able to go running again. If I don’t want to be filled with despair and hate my existence I have to learn to be content. The way to do that is to be grateful. Things aren’t the way the ‘should’ be, and I don’t see how I can be grateful. Do it anyway.

Life is fragile and short. I may not be here tomorrow so I am going to make sure that everyone knows that they matter to me and I am grateful for them. I don’t want to leave any doubt. Also I am going to choose to be grateful everyday. No matter how bad it is there is always something. Most of the time I could trip over the heap of things to be be grateful for. All I have to do is to have eyes to see the blessings in my life. One of them just interrupted me as I was writing this just to call and see how my week was. 😭❤️ I am so blessed.

I could have never imagined the life I have now eight years ago when I was pushing 500lbs basically had no friends and discovered a tumor in my right breast. I faced that trail (save for my momma and the Lord) alone. I have faced trails since and had support all the way through. It is much better that way. I have a completely different life now.

I just want to say to my tribe (you know who you are): you are everything. I am nothing with the Lord and you. All of you. I love you. Thank you for lighting up my life. You mean the world to me. ❤️

So if you are reading this and you want to change but you don’t think you can, do it anyway.

Remember you cal do ALL things through Christ.

❤️

-R.

©️Rachel Anne Redfield 2018

A Word of Advice From A Chubby Girl

I bet that title got your attention! Well hopefully what follows will merit you attention. 😜

I have been thinking about something lately.

Recently I was conversing with a friend about a situation he was in. He had noticed a friend of his wasn’t responding to him. I suggested that maybe she had a little crush on him and she was trying to figure something out. His response was genuine and raw. “God I hope not!” Followed by the sound you would make when you smell a fowl odor.

*heavy sigh*

Ouch.

You see, I am a chubby girl. I have been a chubby girl most of my life on earth. I am so also a living human with a pulse so I have had crushes. Somewhere in high school I just stopped telling guys when I was interested because of responses like that. Responses of horror and disgust. Let me just say rejection sucks but rejection mixed with horror and disgust is pretty soul crushing. Maybe that is why they are called crushes? After a while I learned to just shut certain parts of myself off so I would not be disappointed and demolished.

So I shall now count down ten things I would like you regular sized humans to know…

10. Yes I am going to eat that.

What I choose to shovel down my throat is none of your dang business. You do not need to comment on the volume or on what variety of food stuff I consume. You are not my physician so you need not concern yourself with the level sugar or cholesterol in my hemoglobin. Go eat a cookie, it will make you feel better about your life. Leave me in peace.

9. Yes I am aware that I am large.

I don’t know how many times I have been told I am big. As if you saying that would be some great revelation? Are you serious?

As if:

Person: “I can see that you are very heavy.”

Me (in shock): “What? Oh my lord! When did this happen? I never look at myself in a mirror so I was completely ignorant of my physical appearance! Thank you so much for telling me. I will begin eating broccoli and boiled chicken immediately. Phew!”

Seriously. Go acquire some manners.

And yes people actually utter verbal manure like that to me on the regular, and it is not always people under the age of ten.

8. I am not offended when you mention exercise and diet.

I have a friend who would say “No offense.” to me every time she would mention diet and exercise in a sentence. I am not offended when you talk about pursuing a healthy lifestyle, however singling me out in a group of people when ever you mention a healthy lifestyle is very insulting. Give me a break.

7. If I loose weight and you notice it is perfectly okay to tell me IF we are good friends.

If you don’t really know me shut up. Thanks. I am already hyper aware of my body and how it looks to others. Please for the love don’t make it worse. However if we are besties PLEASE tell me that all my hard work it visible to you.

6. Sometimes I need to make a salty remark about my enormous butt.

If it is funny laugh. Don’t say anything just freakin laugh.

5. If I say I am fat, or feel fat don’t tell me I am beautiful.

I didn’t say I was ugly I said I am fat. Reality is important. Let’s all agree to live in it and not enter the realm of schizophrenia.

4. When I share my story with you don’t be awkward.

I used to be heavier and I lost over 200 pounds. I am however still a planet… well maybe a dwarf planet (shout out to Pluto) but still a planet. Just let me say what I need to say and tell me thanks. Please for the love of all the cookies don’t tell me some story about perseverance. I. Will. Die. Just let me wallow and word vomit. I will get over it. Thanks for listening.

3. Invite me to do all the things!

My besties are amazing at this. When they go hiking they invite me to come even though I am slow and a little broken. They still invite me. They don’t assume I don’t want to go, they ask. They want me to come and they are willing to pay the price. They wait for me when I am slower. As much as I hate that I cannot keep pace with them it means the world to me that they want me to go on adventures with them. ❤️

2. If I don’t ask for your advice about my weight and eating please do not give it to me.

Through the years many well meaning people have given me all sorts of advice and insight into my journey with MY body that I didn’t ask for. Just because I complain about my chubby state does not mean I am open to your opinion about how I should handle my health. I don’t want to hear about your fat aunt Carla’s gastric bypass surgery, or your buddy who tired the hot dog diet. I am not them. Not all fat people are the same.

1. If I have/had a crush on you for the love of God treat me like a human being.

Don’t act like I am a disease. I am a person. I have feelings. My body is only one part of me. It is in a state of flux. I know what I look like and I feel like a tub of lard pretty much all the time. Please don’t confirm all the nightmares of my imagination and react as through someone asked you to pull a turd out of a clogged toilet with your bare hands when the very thought of me having feelings for you comes up. That crap hurts deep. It is a feeling I hope you NEVER experience. No one fat or thin should be worthy of that kind of response. Just say, “She is not my type.”, or “I don’t see her that way.”, not “Eeew! God that is disgusting!”

There are more things I could say but for now I will leave you with these ten things. Hopefully you are a more conscientious human then you were before you read this rambling slightly angry post.

Have a beautiful day.

Believe The Truth Challenge (day 9)

A few weeks ago a dear friend began a challenge. She called it: #believethetruthchallenge

This challenge requires her to daily admit a negative thing, lie, or a self-critical belief she held, and then attack it with the opposite truth, and to share this on social media.

Sometimes we Christ followers refer to such thoughts or beliefs such as ‘I’m lazy’ as lies. Rightly so, as they are lies or at least misplaced perspective towards oneself.

I decided to join her on this challenge. I became aware very early on that this was not going to be an easy thing. Hence the word challenge. 🙃 I knew it would stretch me but I had no idea all that would be stirred. I quickly became overwhelmed and considered throwing in the towel but I have decided to follow through.

I recently realized some of these things would require a bit more than a quick Instagram post, and that brings me to where I am today.

It is no secret to anyone with fully functioning eyes that I could stand to lose more than a few pounds. My roommate’s daughter told me just yesterday in fact “Rachel you should lose weight.”

*warning side rant*

Why on earth do thinner people think it is okay to say that to a chubby person? Like losing weight is just some easy thing to do like they are just saying ‘Go to the store.’ Or ‘Walk the dog.’ Seriously do you have ANY idea how incredibly difficult it is to lose weight? You are talking about a many-year commitment and an entirely new way of doing EVERYTHING. Losing weight is not an easy thing, so shut up! 🔥🔥💥 Unless you are my momma or my doctor, shut your cotton picking pie-hole and mind your own business. 😤  Thanks. 👌🏼

Any way…

I am by all sense of the definition fat. I am fat. I am a fat person. It’s okay, don’t cry. Oddly enough I also feel like a fat person. Being fat is not only a physical state of being, it is also (as every woman knows) a feeling. I imagine the feeling is a bit worse when you actually are fat, but I digress.

I struggle with this daily, sometimes hourly. I feel as though I am not a human person. I rail against my body. I even have on many occasions and levels hated it. I have been disgusted by my body, revolted even.

The thing is though that’s not fair. My body didn’t force me to eat all those calories. My body didn’t force me to eat double quarter-pounders with cheese, buckets of fries, six chocolate chip cookies, and a milkshake on the regular. My body didn’t force me to lay around the house for 8 to 10 hours a day watching movies. I did all those things to my body. If hating should happen my body should be hating me.

God gave me this beautiful gift and I cookie by cheeseburger desecrated it. Are there extenuating circumstances as to why I became so morbidly obese? Yes. Are there biological factors at play here? Yes. Did I lose over 200 pounds? Yes. However that is not an excuse and it does not negate the fact that I made hundreds of extremely unhealthy, poor decisions. I treated my body like the nations treat our oceans. I repent.

Without my body I would have no home for my spirit and soul. I would not be me. My body has afforded me the privilege of experiencing the earth in all its wonder. My body (even in its broken down state) is a marvel. My body is a God-designed masterpiece, despite my efforts to ruin it. It is strong and resilient. My body is a miracle in many ways.

I have decided to stop hating it. I have decided to be grateful for it now. I have decided to see the beauty and glory God has deposited in it now the way it is, and not wait until it is in “better shape” to love and appreciate my body. My body is not perfect but it is a gift and I am grateful.

©Rachel Anne Redfield 2017

Gossip

Gossip… it is such a small word… six letters, yet it can destroy the world. It may not literally cause the earth to explode in flaming doom but it sure can feel like the end of the world and it can lead to the end of a relationship.

I have struggled for many years to define gossip. I am inclined to understand things and usually the way I begin that process is to grasp completely the definition of something. I have not found this to be an easy task when it comes to gossip. The bible teaches that gossip is evil and not to be done. It is pretty clear that the Big Nacho Eater in the sky finds gossip to be a deplorable practice. Because I am a person who cares about doing things that make God’s heart happy I want to make sure not to be participating in gossip. I fail at this goal all the time. All. The. Time.

I hear others say things like ‘I am woman so I like to gossip.’ ‘It is just so hard not to!’ ‘I like it, it’s fun.’ Okay that last one nearly made me gag, but honestly I have heard people say it. Men and women by the way. Ladies get a bad wrap for tongue wagging but I have known men to be among some of the worst gossips on the planet. I would dare say that it is a even split. I think that I might be able to write a book on this topic and perhaps one day I will, but that day is not today.

I shall return to the beginning. What is gossip?

When I was a teen in youth group it was explained as talking about other people in a way that is not true. Spreading rumors in other words. So I tucked that away and made sure not to do that. I didn’t spread, or continue to spread rumors. If I heard something about someone I would go to that person and ask them about it. That is where the trouble started. I thought I was not gossiping. I didn’t think I was doing wrong yet I found myself hurting people that I cared about. I have come to learn though that, that is not a true or correct definition of gossip. In fact that is a definition of yet another no no from the bible, (man so many rules!) and it is slander. Spreading rumors and lies about someone is slander. It is also very poisonous and destructive, but not gossip.

So then what in the world is gossip and how do I not participate? Where is the line between talking with friends about life and gossip?

Websters defines it this way:

noun

idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others

Hmm. Well that wasn’t much help. Thanks for nothing you useless reptile. 😉

As I have traveled through life there have been many times that I have been talking with friends and as we were catching up the conversation would go to the topic of others and I began to feel unsettled in myself. For many years I ignored it as I did with all of my feelings. In the last few years I have been intentional about not ignoring my heart. I have not encountered this scenario very many times in the last few years but there are two times that stand out.

One of the times was about three years ago at the beginning of my non heart ignoring lifestyle. A friend was sharing with me some concern she had for a family situation and shared with me her thoughts and opinions and conversations surrounding it. Later I was talking with another close friend and member of the same family and the topic came up. This person was sharing their hurt and frustration and I told them something my other friend had told me and boy did it cause a problem. Not only did it make an already bad situation worse but it deeply hurt my friend. I was not thinking. I was trying to help. I didn’t think that what I had done was gossip but it was. I could have destroyed a precious friendship. My friend forgave me and chose to still trust me after that debacle. When I think of the risk that she took I am amazed at her strength and grace. I don’t know that I would have been able to give the gift she gave to me to someone who hurt me that way. I don’t deserve her.

Another happened recently and after many restless nights I am still licking my wounds. A while ago I was in a situation where I was catching up with a friend and the conversation went towards a mutual friend. She began to tell me things so and so had told so and so and I listened for much longer than I should have. I began to feel a little sick in my heart and I steered the conversation away from that topic. Later I wondered why I had felt that way. Was it because that was gossip? Recently the person whom the information concerned shared with me the same thing and when I respond with the words ‘I know.’  the pain it caused him was palpable. I might as well have stabbed him in the heart with a flaming sword. It took him a couple of days to let me know how much that hurt him, and what he thought of it all. His words were… painful to hear. In fact they burned through me and my entire body grew cold. He was not unkind, and what he said was truth. Still it sucks to hurt a friend and to know that they have lost respect for you.

I never thought how either of my friends would feel about what I listened to and what I said. I never thought about how any of the people I have listened to other people talk about would feel.

 I have come to realize that gossip is discussing anything about another person that does not edify, honor, or support them. True or not true is irrelevant. Talking about another persons failure, indiscretion, ruin, health, or personal business is gossip. The only person’s failure, indiscretion, ruin, health, or personal business you should be talking about is your own.

If you are about to talk about someone put yourself in their place. Ask yourself if I were them how would I feel about this topic being talked about? Would it hurt you? Would it make you feel uncomfortable, or bad? Don’t say it. Also ask your self if it edifies, honors, or supports the person. If it doesn’t then don’t say it. When someone asks you how a mutual acquaintance is doing make sure you only share things that honor the person. If you can’t think of anything then say ‘You should call them up and ask yourself.’ These questions would have helped me to avoid both of these situations and countless others that came before them.

I wish I could take back the hurt that I caused by my ignorance, I wish I had not failed my friends, but I have learned form both of those failures. I hope that I can be more sensitive in the future and live as a better friend.

©Rachel Anne Redfield 2017

Life.

Life. 

Life is beauty.

Life is wild. 

Life is pain. 

Life is healing. 

Life is love. 

Life is fear. 

Life is adventure. 

Life is dark. 

Life is fast. 

Life is still. 

Life is glory. 

Life is defeat. 

Life is birth. 

Life is lost. 

Life is found. 

Life is beginning. 

Life is ending. 

Life is winning. 

Life is risk. 

Life is feeling. 

Life is breathing. 

Life is joy. 

Life is lonely. 

Life is full. 

Life is empty.

Life is sweet.

Life is thrilling.

Life is hollow.

Life is abundance.

Life is desire.

Life is  bitter.

Life is a dream.

Life is grand.

Life is a moment.

Life is eternal.

Life is a nightmare.

Life is bliss.

Life is free.

Life is hard.

Life is a gift.

Life is a choice.

Life is a flicker.

Life is a flame.

Life is an ocean.

Life is a dessert.

Life is a supernova.

Life is a dance with the Divine.

Life is a journey.

Life is a destination.

Life is living.

Life is dying.

Life is giving.

Life is taking.

Life is loving.

Life is a symphonic masterpiece.

Life is art.

Life is learning.

Life is holding.

Life is letting go.

Life is…

©Rachel Anne Redfield 2017

Words.

I was talking with a dear friend about words. Words are powerful. Words are more than mere mutterings, and they are more than symbols on a page. They are so much more. Words carry a lot of power. With your words you can literally mold your future.

Now I know what you are thinking; ‘Oh great she has jumped into the pool of coocooness and gone off the deep end!’ , or maybe; ‘Well that sounds like a bunch of poop. I am going to stop reading if she doesn’t start making sense.’ Well hang on a minute bear with me.

I have read many accounts of people who have said very specific things that seemed absurd and those things happened. For example I read about a father on the east coast who had a daughter that lost her ability to walk due to a car accident. He would often say, “I would give my right arm for my daughter to walk again.” One day he and his daughter were traveling and were in another accident. After all was said and done his daughter somehow regained the feeling in her legs and walked again, and he had lost his right arm in the accident. Spooky. Also I read about how Jim Carey would sit at a look out point in the Hollywood hills and picture millions of dollars coming to him. He did this when he was broke and his car was practically falling apart. He nor his car are no longer broke, and he continues to be one of the highest paid actors in tinsel town. What is the point am I saying? Am I saying that if I sit and visualize living on the moon someday I will live have a vacation home there? Maybe. What I am really poking at though is that words are powerful. What ever you say is what you life will look like. “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” -Proverbs 23:7

Do you think to yourself ‘I can do this. I can do anything I put my mind to.’ Do you think, ‘I am a looser. No one likes me. I am not special, or talented.’ Do you think, ‘I am a failure. Things never work out for me.’ Do you think,’Everyone who meets me loves me. I am an amazing person.’ Whichever of these things you think you are right! Do you think you are the most freaking awesome person ever? You are right! Do you think you are the worst and no one really likes you? You are right! Do you know that happiness is a house you  and YOU alone can build?

Image result for happiness cartoon i made it myself

God gave us an amazing amount of power. When we join our life with His the amount of power is extravagant beyond human understanding, but all on our own with just the basic amount of pull He has endowed us all it is mind boggling. We have free will. He made us to be the master of our little pocket of the universe. That is what life is. When you were born you were given a small pocket of the universe to steward, shape and influence.

I don’t know about you but for most of my life I have been entirely oblivious to the glorious privilege that I have been given. Life is just… well life. I exist and I often take that for granted entirely. I never really thought about the amazing blessing that not only consciousness but life on earth actually is. Even when life is hard, even when life is pain, it is still devastatingly radiant. I have only lived about of a third of the time I will likely travel on this planet and it has already been one swirly, lovely, adrenaline laden, self expanding, mind bowing journey. I have been in some dark places in life, and I have also been in some overwhelmingly luminous ones. I have tasted, touched, heard, smelled and seen incredible things. I have loved, been loved, created, destroyed, traveled, been stationary, taken, given, hurt, healed, shrank, grown, sacrificed, risked, blessed, been blessed, read, learned, taught, listened, spoken, remained silent, roared, succeeded, failed, fallen, soared, climbed, slipped, fought, won, lost, breathed, and held my breath. I have made friends, and I have lost them. I have been present at the beginning of lives, and at the end lives. They are both filled with wonder. I think that as I stand here in the middle of my third decade spinning around the yellow star we call the sun my toes touch the threshold of an awareness that will forever change me.

God has given me many gifts. They are seemingly common. All people have them. I have the gift of words, time, choice, and life. I have for a time my own pocket of the universe to shape and influence. Within that pocket are all the people that love me and that I love. Also in the pocket are people that I know and know me to one depth or another. Every single thing I choose to say and do whether to myself or to them effects all of those people in some way or another. Even if I choose to stay in my house and never speak to anyone that effects people. I have realized that in life there is no such thing as a sure bet, or a safe one.

I have also realized that whatever story I tell myself is what I will live. If I tell myself I am no better than excrement and have nothing of value to offer than that is how I will live and everything I say will reflect that world view. If I hate myself everything I say and do will be mingled with that blackness. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” -Jesus

If however I learn to love, value and speak kindly to myself, and forgive easily my short comings that light and warmth will spill out of me as well. If I fill myself with the thoughts and love of my Maker how much more will I live? “I have come that you would have life, and life more abundant!” -Jesus

I have experienced abundant moments but I have yet to live an abundant life. I want that. I want abundant life. God has been showing me that all great change begins with small easy changes. For me the beginning of my trek towards abundant life looks like receiving the finished of the work of the cross, and changing my words. The Master of the universe gave me the life of His only son. It is not acceptable for me to say any destructive words about myself. It is not acceptable to hold myself hostage to any of my past sins. They are forgiven and that forgiveness is complete. It is not acceptable to tear and rip my self-worth apart every time I stumble or get stuck for a bit. It is not acceptable to pour poisonous words into my mind and heart about myself. All that God has for me is love, all He has for me is good. God is good. God is love. I want to be more like Him. He made me in His image and I need to be restored to a pure sate of that refection. Words are the beginning of that restoration.

I am a child of God. I am the child of the King of kings. I am loved. I am accepted in the Beloved. I am whole. I am filled with power. I am a child of God. I am not anything less.

Change your words, change your pocket of the universe.

©Rachel Anne Redfield 2017

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