Life is Hard…But I Want Easy

I was thinking about this on the way in to work the other morning. I brought my gym bag to work again…for the bazillionath time, I might add, but the odds of my actually working out are slim to none, if we’re judging by my workout schedule of late. What has my workout schedule been of late, you ask? Well…pretty nonexistent.

So as I was walking in to the building I was thinking about going to the gym sometime during the day and I felt that little pang of excitement you sometimes get at the prospect of something new…do you know what I’m talking about? Anyway, I had that little burst of excitement and then almost in the exact same instant I felt fear and anxiety and said to myself, “it’s going to be really hard to do a workout today.”

Hard. It’s a pretty small word – but it’s so powerful, isn’t it? As soon as the thought crossed my mind I lost all sense of excitement about working out. Why do we do that, I wonder? And why do we let our minds psych us out so easily? And is it just me?

I look at other people and I wish I could be as motivated or as determined as them. We watched the movie “Moana” the other night (for the fifth or so time), and I found myself wondering what it would be like to jump on a little canoe sailboat thing and just take off. Ok, well not that necessarily, because I don’t know how to sail, I get motion sick, and I have a slight fear of open water…but what about just learning a new skill or hobby? Or taking a new assignment at work doing something I’m not familiar with? Or something much easier, like just getting back into the routine of going to the gym?

All my life I’ve taken the easy route…every time I’ve been faced with something potentially hard I quit. I had the opportunity in college to study abroad in Germany – I put in the application and was getting ready to go, but at the last minute some of the requirements changed and the cost went up. Instead of knuckling down and figuring things out, I backed out and never studied abroad.

I’ve been good at a lot of things – but I never had the desire to study just one thing hard enough to be great at it. I could have graduated college with honors, but it was too hard to study every night and so I simply just graduated. I have a talent for learning foreign languages but I didn’t want to put in the maximum effort required to actually strive towards fluency in those languages. I love to write – I adore it, really – and I think I’m pretty good at it…but because it’s “too hard” to make time to write and I’d rather sleep than stay up late or wake up early, I just tend to whine about not having time to write.

The thing is – life got pretty hard for my husband and me shortly after we got married…and honestly, it hasn’t really stopped. Every time I think we might be pulling ourselves out of a stressful situation, something else seems to hit us and knock us back down. We’ve dealt with it – but I wouldn’t say successfully. We manage. We survive, but we don’t thrive. And despite us having talked about this multiple times over the past few years, I don’t know what it would take for us to thrive. Life is hard…but I want it to be easy. I want to not have anything to worry about. I want to not have to work so hard. To quote Bing Crosy in Holiday Inn…”I want to be lazy”.

I know that’s not the answer. Lazy is boring when you do it for too long. The trouble is, I don’t know what the answer is. I’ve been praying about it – praying for direction, praying for guidance, praying for motivation…and once I thought about it for a bit, I realized that’s the best thing I can be doing. And I realized I can’t be the only person who struggles with this. So will you join me? Will you get down on your knees before God and pray for the desire to accept the hard? To not wish away life while you’re dreaming of easy?

“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NCV)

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Whole30 Day 22 – Love Your Enemies

But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Matthew 5:44-48 (New Century Version)

I have to admit, I have a really hard time loving my enemies. Who doesn’t, right? When someone does something wrong against us, or does something to hurt us, we want to retaliate. We want to fight back. We throw our fists in the air and cry out to God for justice. But it gets worse! Jesus tells us in the verses preceding this, “But I tell you, don’t stand up against an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other cheek also. If someone wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. If someone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles. If a person asks you for something, give it to him. Don’t refuse to give to someone who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38-42, NCV)

enemies

If you’re at all human, I’m sure you’ve asked (or are asking) yourself, “wait…what?” Not only am I supposed to love my enemies and pray for them, but I’m supposed to stand there and take it while they hurt me or treat me bad or say nasty things to me or take something from me? The answer is: Yes. Yes, we are. Even when it really sucks to do so. I’m reminded of the phrase that became hugely popular while I was in High School – WWJD – What Would Jesus Do. I know for a fact Jesus wouldn’t turn around and pray for justice against someone who did him wrong. I know He wouldn’t fight back against someone who is treating him badly or purposely being nasty to Him. You know why I know this? Because when people turned on Jesus and mocked Him and spat on Him and beat Him and sentenced Him to death…He went willingly to the cross to be crucified. Crucified. What Kevin and I are dealing with right now is seriously small potatoes compared to what Jesus went through, and I’ve been having a hard time getting through it without anger and prayers for smiting and nasty thoughts of how to fight back. It makes me feel like a pretty small person.

So I’ve been praying for my enemies. I’ve been praying for God to soften their hearts and change their lives, and I’ve been praying for the strength to not fight back when I feel I’m being wronged. And you know what? I felt as if a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Not carrying around that anger and rage and frustration has been pretty liberating! I may not yet be at the point of loving my enemies, but I’m praying for that, too. Amen.

My Day Twenty-Two Eats

Breakfast, 0730: I packed an easy breakfast to take to work with me today – a slice of grilled meatloaf and two hard boiled eggs.

Lunch, 1130: Lunch was pretty easy as well. I sliced up a grilled chicken breast and ate it with some guacamole, served with applesauce on the side. I also packed some raw vegetables but didn’t end up eating them.

Dinner, 1800: Dinner was a smorgasbord in our house tonight! I pulled out all the leftovers from the fridge and we went to town – I ended up eating pork ribs with blueberry BBQ sauce and sauteed brussels sprouts from Wednesday night, and Kevin cut up some turkey sage meatloaf into bite sized pieces and ate it covered in Whole30 approved spaghetti sauce. Both meals were equally delicious, and I even packed the last of the meatloaf up for work tomorrow. It’s pretty much like meatballs and sauce, which I love. I took a picture of it but it came out looking like a bowl full of spaghetti sauce, so I’ll spare you that.

eatwriterunrepeat.com | whole30 pork ribs and brussels sprouts

Here’s to a great weekend!

Things I’ve Learned Lately

1. I like kimchee. Kevin and I recently went to a Korean restaurant and he ordered it as an appetizer. I, of course, made a variety of faces when he asked me to try it, basing my opinion entirely on what I’ve heard from people and the idea that it was “spicy”…forgetting that I now have a much higher tolerance for spice and despite the face that Kevin said it wasn’t bad. I complained some more, took a hesitant taste, and then proceeded to steal the dish and stuff my selfish face with delicious kimchee. Who knew?

2. The dryer has a “Fluff-No Heat” setting. This utterly confuses me. What’s the point of a dryer if you setting it to “no heat”? This is spoken by the woman who only acknowledges one setting on the dryer and that is “cottons – high heat”. The only reason I even learned of this mysterious fluff setting is because I couldn’t figure out why my clothes were still wet and cold despite being rolled around a dryer for 80+ minutes. Only then did it occur to me to look at the settings, which is why I immediately shouted down the stairs, “Why the heck is the dryer set to “Fluff-No Heat?”” To which my husband replied, “I tossed my jacket in the dryer the other day.”

I still have no idea what the purpose of that was.

3. My husband probably deserves to be sainted for putting up with me.

4. I hate having to go to the main branch of my company. It’s like a high school reunion where the only people who show up are people you don’t want to talk to or don’t ever want to see again. And then you’re left running down the hallway in the opposite direction in a suit and high heel boots, trying in vain not to spill coffee on yourself in an attempt to get away.

5. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is a lot harder than I realized. Broken down, that’s 1,667 words per day – which is A LOT. (You’d thing this one would be common sense, but clearly it is not.)

6. And another thing – in the weeks leading up to the month where you are supposed to write 50,000 words you will have ideas galore – only to find that when you sit down to write any of those 50,000 words…you got nothing. (Case in point: I wrote this blog post while I was supposed to be writing some of my 50,000 words.)

7. Agreeing to host Thanksgiving for 12 people at your house is one thing. Actually planning and preparing for it is quite another. While I’m super excited to be hosting my family this year…I’m also scared to death. We’ll probably end up eating turkey at a Chinese restaurant.

8. It’s never a good idea to eat roasted garlic the morning of a briefing for an Executive Board. Again – common sense? Apparently not for me.

9. Taking leftover Halloween candy to work so you won’t have it at home to eat does NO GOOD if you squirrel away a bag of your favorites and hide them in your desk drawer.

10. It is much easier to stop eating healthy and working out than it is to start.