Saturday, August 13, 2016

May 13, 2015:

I had a pretty discouraging dream last night that was clearly an attack of the evil one. When I woke, I remembered it and just started saying over and over to myself that Jesus defeated you Satan. I was reassured through this act of faith that months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to use. I wouldn’t have been able to use them not because I was not strong but because I lacked the tools of spiritual warfare. Through joining this small group and actively being in the word daily and in prayer, I feel stronger now than ever I have. Come what may, Christ is with me throughout and around what I will have to endure. I knew I was going to overcome it at one point but it was very encouraging to know that I am able to overcome the temptations of that spirit in this world. I am continuing to work out daily. I exercise different muscles every day. One day, I’ll concentrate on biceps and shoulders, the next, I’ll do triceps and back. Etc… In my support group the other night, a fellow survivor asked me how much weight I had lost since becoming a vegetarian. Really, I have not even been keeping track. I will buy a scale today for me to weigh in. The last time I weighed in, I was still eating McDonald’s and KFC and other stuff. I gained so much weight because I quit smoking. But I weighed in at 235 lbs. I know some of that will have turned into muscle. But, I will keep you posted, journal, on my current weight when I check. Whatever the case may be, I feel ten times healthier and more energetic. And I am actively eating better. No more Kraft Dinner and prepared meals. I cook pasta and vegetables. Actually, I do have cheat days just to encourage myself. But for the most part, I am treating my body like a creature that deserves health. Having a ficus bonsai to take care of has taught me a lot over the past year or so. It requires a lot of care and attention. Especially in its younger periods, I find, it needs a lot of love. Very much like a human being, I think. But learning to care for this tree has taught me a lot about how I treat myself as well. Just like the tree needs water, sun and occasional repotting and fertilization, my body needs and deserves love and attention. It is only with this love and attention that both my body and the tree, as beautiful as it was prior, can truly become beautiful. I went golfing yesterday with a friend. She started off a little shaky but by the end of the round, she was hitting the golf ball amazingly well. It was only her second time on the golf course. On the eleventh hole, it was a par three, she hit her drive and when we got up to the green, it was right next to the hole. She got a par. I played alright. It was a fun game though and nice to see her. Later last night, I streamed a prayer night that was happening at my church on my computer. And spent some time in prayer myself. The funny thing is that I wasn’t aware of this prayer night otherwise I would have gone. They probably mentioned it but because I serve as a greeter, I missed the announcement. Keeping faith. Feeling strong and healthy today in my faith. Praise God! Continuation: I am becoming more adept at resting my identity in Christ. And my perceptions are beginning to solidify with regards to the fact that I can really, in the state I am in now, only worry about how I feel about myself. It just gets so difficult after having been told over and over again in my developmental years, through word or action, how little I mattered. Just a minute ago, I walked past an older man asking for money on the street. I walked past and didn’t look at him because I had no money. But, all the while, something was tugging on my heart to come back and help him in some way. We were in front of a Shopper’s Drug Mart so I went inside, went to an ATM and bought a loaf of bread, peanut butter and some fibrous cereal and a chocolate bar and brought it out to him. I offered it to him and then gave him a twenty dollar bill. He was very grateful and said “God bless you sir.” I said the same. There is something so magical, so refreshing and so humbling in the act of giving. I cannot describe the amazing feeling I get from helping someone who in most cases, would never be able to help me in the same way. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll need a hand and one of these fine people will be able to offer me assistance. But that is certainly not the reason I do it. This definitely encourages me to remember that sometimes when we’re feeling at our worst, an act of generosity can help make us feel better by taking the focus off of ourselves and placing it onto others. Thank you Jesus for putting it on my heart to help this man. I pray that he is able to help someone else or share what I gave him with others. I had my harmonica lesson today. In it, we practiced improvisation on a minor scale. As much as I love playing and learning with the teacher, often I feel overwhelmed by the amount of material. Regardless, I intend on continuing. In addition, I plan to start taking art classes. As much practice as I feel I have had, I feel as though my abilities could definitely improve with formal training. And my style could improve a lot. I am going to the art store right now. Tonight, I will go to the grocery store and paint an oil painting of mallard ducks. Today, I am thankful for the ability to help others. Because, it reminds me that in so many powerful ways, we all need each other. I just wish that people would see that sometimes when people do bad things, it is not always with malicious intent. Don’t take things personally. Most of all have compassion and do not judge, anything. You can never fully understand why a person was reduced to doing some of the things they do. You can never really empathize with the pain they were experiencing. Also, you can never really understand how much work and faith it takes a person to get to where they are. And to survive to the place they are. Keep faith. Have patience. For at the right time, it will be revealed to you; what has to be revealed.

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