27 February 2015

Eye of the Beholder

I just realized how much I like beautiful handwriting.  There are few things that I like to just sit back and admire.  Handwriting is one of them.  I can't explain it.  I don't know where it comes from, but I remember learning to write.  I remember practicing to keep my writing neat and legible.  I remember some years later trying different types of handwritings.  I worked diligently to come up with beautiful characters to call my own.  I've changed my signature a couple times in my life.  I've actually helped people to create their autographs.  I invented my own alphabet.

Over time, I have learned that writing is becoming a lost art.  It does sadden me that hand writing is becoming obsolete.  Even still, there is a level of creative beauty that comes with the digital type. So many different font sets that mimic handwriting and calligraphy. It's about how you look at it, right?

What about life, in general?  How do we see it?  Some of us see it as precious.  Others see it as a kind of purgatory.  And still, there are other views on the purpose and meaning of life.

It boils down to the beholder.  You can choose to see the beauty in even ordinary things.  Or you can choose to overlook it and only see the sorrow.

What kind of eye do you have?  Or...what kind of eye would you like to have?  Would you be willing to work hard to change your perspective?

02 February 2015

Take It Bit By Bit And Rejoice

Here we are in February of 2015.  I bet gym attendance is beginning to fizzle out around now.  We set some lofty goals for ourselves, sometimes, without considering our actual commitment or ability.  I usually don't set a resolution for the new year.  I don't get all bent out of shape about it, but I just don't worry too much about creating some high expectations without considering the work I will have to put in to carry them out.

I'm prone to clutter.  I'm likely to become overwhelmed.  So I try to just take things as slow as I can.  One step at a time.  I do get impatient and sometimes excited to start something new.  Then I realize that I didn't properly analyze fitting new plans into my life. This of course is after I've committed myself to a boat load of tasks.

I totally didn't get through the Gratitude Challenge...or the Before You Say Amen Prayer Challenge.  I've had so much going on already...I hadn't made time for anything else.  I'm in the process of trying to buy a house.  I'm now obligated to pay child support to my ex-husband. And I'm feeling fat...not getting enough to eat....am hungry all the time...and still have tons of weight I need to lose (you can't lose weight being hungry all the time...not good for you!).  And of course there is more...

The hardest thing for me to do right now, is find a balance.  Well, that's actually usually the hardest thing to do at any time!  Now having to pay child support, my ability to pay for housing is cut down to $200 a month!  Which means, unless someone helps me, I won't be able to pay for my mortgage or afford rent anywhere.  Well, I couldn't afford rent in this area to begin with, which is why I'm looking to purchase a very low costing home.

God is still very good.  All the time.  Regardless of my ex-husband's financial ability (which always seems better than mine for some reason), I have to pay. When two parents remain together, regardless of whether one or both are working, they are both providing support for their children.  It's not always monetary in that support, but what else is a "non-custodial" parent to do to provide regular support to the children they rarely see?  The easiest solution is to send money.  There are horror stories of parents getting taken advantage of by the other "custodial" parent.  People use their children to make the other parent pay exorbitant amounts of money...only to keep going to court to take more and sometimes the children actually don't directly benefit from that extra income.

I can't tell you that I was overjoyed with this decision by the court, but what can I really do?  I don't get to make any decisions regarding my children (not the court's decision, but my ex and his wife).  I don't get to see them in their daily lives with school and their interactions with their extended family (again, not directly the court's decision).  The most I can do is pray for them and make the most of the time we do get to spend together or over Skype.  Really, that's not being a parent.  However, being a parent is doing the best you can for your children with what you've got.

As far as my health goes...I don't know what to do.  I am really hungry all the time, no matter how much I eat.  For this reason, I thought about doing one of those meal replacement diets.  They are very good about making sure you are filling up and getting the vitamins you need.  Also, I would be more mindful of the types of snacks I am consuming.  And it can be done for a short time.  I think that would give me time to reevaluate my eating habits, do a little more research in order to plan/prepare accordingly, and have a regular exercise routine established.

It took me more than 4 years to gain 40 lbs.  I think once I get some good habits established, I'll be alright.  I've become less and less active over these years. So, I need to get moving again!  Also, my cardiologist told me that my heart is working too hard.  I need to get in shape to get my ticker back in order.  I'm going to start P90x today.  I tried it for 2 weeks before and noticed changes then....but I fizzled out.  I'll try it again! It's only for 3 months.  I hope to be moved into my new house by then and in better shape to explore my new neighborhood on foot.

As far as the house goes...I'm watching amazing things happen.  In spite of financial turmoil (just kidding.  It's bad, but not the end of the world).  I have options.  I don't have to just become a homeless lady (which would be my last resort).  If I can't buy a single family home (I've already been pre-qualified, but I will need down payment help), then I'm going for a mobile home.  Mobile homes don't take as long to move into, once you have been approved by the park.  I saw one for $10,000 at the end of last year (what a mortgage that would be!).  Factor in ground rent and the cost of a mobile home would be manageable for me.  I really want to avoid ground rent, if I can help it though.

In spite of all that I have going on, God has been faithful.  I am being reminded constantly that just because things haven't turned out the way I think they should, doesn't mean that it isn't to my benefit.  I also have to remember that I can't just take the good from God (which I don't deserve) and reject the bad (Job 2:10).

Some amazingly good things are happening (along with some amazingly bad things, but that's life, right?).  I'm working on getting a home. I'll be trying to stay on top of exercising regularly.  I'm learning so much (thank God).  Who's also to say that I won't be married by the end of this year....?  I'll save that for another post, though. ;)