Note to Self

So here it is – Day 3 of the working girl’s dream … a 3-day weekend!  There were just two things I wanted to make sure I “got in” this Labor Day weekend – catching some sun on these final days of the pool season at my condo complex, and some significant exercise – I’m talking a plan (well okay, maybe a thought) for 5 mile walks each day.

Now here I sit in my green chair, morning coffee right beside me, with a microwaveable heat compress on my lower back to warm & work out the stiffness that comes quite naturally from not stretching or doing core strengthening exercises, staring out in disbelief at a completely overcast,  not-a-break-in-the solid gray sky.  Aside from walking with a friend for an hour on Sat. morning, I pretty much have a big L across my forehead – LOSER!

What is it that Paul says in Romans about not understanding himself, “for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it … I want to do what is good, but I don’t”?  I’m with you, bro!  And now, there is no possibility of catching some rays – I should have claimed my spot in the sun on a chaise lounge poolside yesterday or the day before when skies were blue & the sun shone so brightly you needed sunglasses to see … a far cry from the need to flip the light switch this morning to illuminate my time with God in the green chair.  Darn it!  And with our Biggest Loser Team Competition final weigh-in at work on Thursday, my failure to exercise is gonna cost me … and my team!  Double darn it!  If only regret could burn calories!  I’m not even sure what happened, how I spent my time the last few days – like Paul, I don’t really understand myself.

Pretty hard to come up with my next move.  Hmmm … I could pray boldly for God to do what I know He can do – command the sun to crash through the cloud covering to give me the sunny day I want today, the one I’m ready for now, the one that I turned my back on yesterday because of something I presumably wanted more.  I could still take that 5 mile walk today, but what if the clouds unleashed rain when I was too far from home?  I could do a Leslie Sansone Walk-at-Home DVD right here in my living room, even without getting out of my nightgown, but I don’t really want to – I want to lay in the sun at the pool!

Not a dramatic spiritual awakening to be sure, but here’s what ran through my head in the midst of my mini-tantrum – Snap out of it! (for full effect, you really must click on this link)

Note to self: There are some things I can control in life, and some things I cannot.  I have control over whether or not I exercise today.  I can choose when, what type of exercise I will do, how long I will exercise, if I will blow it off  – God has given me control over that area of my life, to choose wisely, or to sabotage myself.  Control over the sun belongs to my Creator and I would do well to – as my son once told me, “stay in your box” … how’s that for a boundary buster?  Funny how we often try to take control over things we have no business trying to control, but fail to take control over those things God has given us responsibility for.

What about you?  Anything going on with you these days that could use a little Moonstruck slap?

Forever Kiss

I got a tattoo yesterday.  Following aftercare instructions to leave my forearm wrapped overnight, I removed the covering and cleaned up the ink that had come to the surface this morning.  I kept staring at my forearm, taking in the beauty of the artisan text, wanting to hold onto it as though I was admiring a new haircut or a new outfit fitted to my size smaller body after losing weight, until it occurred to me – it isn’t going away, it won’t grow out or morph to a bigger size, …. it’s permanent!

How many things in our earthly life are permanent?  I remember the sweet good-byes at my son’s preschool on the last day before we moved from MA to NJ, and a silly little 4-year old girl in his “Chipmunks” class boldly kissed him on the cheek. As Josh brought his hand to his cheek to wipe off the cooties, the little chipmunk was quick to add “It’s a forever kiss!”  I’ve never forgotten that moment, that line “It’s a forever kiss!”, even though it happened 24 years ago last week.

Isn’t that what any of us wants, to be loved forever, to be marked as beloved in a permanent way?  Yes, my tattoo is permanent, but so are the promises that lay beneath the words on my arm.  I wanted to be branded as belonging to God, and so the forever kiss on my arms identifies what fruit the Spirit produces in me when I will give myself over to His forever love.  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, & Self-Control.  Definitely the fruit of a forever kiss!