Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dave!

2012 March 19

Happy Birthday, Dave!  Don't know if you'll read this or not, but I wanted to tell you that I hope your birthday is special. I wish there was some way you could join us in Arkansas. We have reservations at Crater of Diamonds State Park this Wednesday, following your birthday. Knowing how much you enjoy treasure hunting, and remembering "who took my diamonds", makes me think that you would enjoy this part of our journey.  Maybe we will get to travel there again sometime and you could come, too.

Thinking about you and feeling just the tiniest bit homesick. Only, homesick doesn't really seem like the right word, now that R & Greyla & me are traveling in our home. I think you and Vinny and I would have a blast at Crater of Diamonds. Ray's only really going to humor me :) 

Someone mentioned something about a place in North Carolina where you can search for gem stones, but they didn't remember much about it. I'm going to do some research. Maybe that would be someplace that we can meet up while Ray & I are on the road.

Well, number 4, baby brother, I do hope you have a great birthday. Maybe someone will remember that you like cheesecake and get you some. 


Saturday, March 10, 2012

A ReBirthday

2012 March 10

While staying at Sunset Isle Park, in Cedar Key, Florida, we met a man named Art Townsend. He wrote a book called, "Time's Up, the Story of My Death and Learning What It Means to Live". Every now and again, someone comes into my life whom I feel certain was placed there by God's hand. Art is one of those people.

His book tells the story of his literal death, and the measures taken to bring him back into this life. He touches on so much that affects us in this modern life we lead. One thing that jumped out at me, was the need many of us have to clean up our eating. In particular, Art speaks of the unhealthy relationship some of us have with food. If you are one of those who use food as a comfort, as a reward, as a weapon, as anything other than what God intended it to be, I'm sure you will recognize what Art is talking about. I am one of these people. Art is not the first person God has placed in my path regarding this particular issue. He is simply the latest and the one that felt like a smack upside my head.

I am grateful for a God who cares enough about His sinful creation to intervene. I pray to be the kind of creature who responds in a loving way to this intervention. At the moment, I'm still trying to sort out the food angle of my life, but I know it's not about the food. Before I became obsessive about food, I was obsessive about sex.  

When R and I married, it was important to me that I be faithful and sexually exclusive in our marriage. Perhaps this is oversimplification, but one way for me to be "unattractive" and to feel nonsexual, was to gain weight.  There was a sexual assault by someone close to both R and me, which added fuel to my depression and yet more pounds to my frame. Add to that the struggles we had with infertility, which increased my depressive tendencies and also increased my weight. My fat became my safety blanket. I hated it, but I needed it to feel safe, since I didn't trust myself nor anyone else. So, I continued to gain weight, hoping to insulate myself even further.

In the nearly two weeks since we met Art, and I read his book, I have done some psyche searching. Perhaps I don't have answers yet, but at least I'm asking what I hope are the right questions. I'm sure now that neither food, nor sex are the deepest issue. The next layer of this emotional onion will be peeled and the next, until I get to the core of this issue. But, for now, I am glad to start. And glad that I didn't have to die, like Art did.

I am grateful that God decided to hit me with that two by four disguised as Art Townsend. I am certain that it was what I like to call a Godincidence (instead of coincidence) that Art gave us his book on the morning of my birthday, when the gifts I had just received were all sugar laden food items. 

This has been a time of reflection and the beginning of recognizing patterns of behavior that need to be changed for something better. It reminds me that we are all works in progress. Making changes in lifestyle choices isn't always easy, but if it leads to a closer relationship with the God who loves us, then it is good.