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21 Days: Day 11

Despite how much I talk about it, I rarely see weight. That sounds silly, I know, but it comes from years of my mother's narrow focus on it. "Did you see so-and-so? Boy, did she put on weight!" and on and on and on. My brain evolved not to see it. Sometimes, I notice when people lose weight, but because of my neurotic tendency toward catastrophic thought, my immediate reaction is not that they look great or must be working out. No, I fear they have either a drug problem or terminal illness. To be fair, I've watched people in my life shrink and disappear from both of those things so it's not all in my head.

But it isn't just outsiders, I can't see it with myself or Brad or the kids. The only way I know is by the scale. I never look different to myself. Sometimes I feel different. Sometimes my clothes--and wedding ring--are tighter. When I was a little bit bigger of a nutbag, I used to get really freaked out about the wedding ring thinking it was an ominous sign. It was actually just a sign that I was 22 and 100 pounds when we got married. I don't want to be either of those things again. Still sometimes against my better judgment and the voice of reason screaming, "DON'T DO IT! NOTHING GOOD WILL COME OF THIS!" I still get on the scale and think, "Oh boy."

Thanks for indulging me. I needed to get that off my chest.

1. I was wide awake at 4:46--probably because I fell asleep at 9 p.m.--but the alertness that comes with waking up unaided when your body is fully rested makes for pleasant blessing counting. Of course I stayed in bed and counted until the alarm did go off.

2. Today, I happened upon a person from my past. "By happened upon," I mean that she came into my consciousness, and I googled her. It wasn't malicious; I just wondered what became of her. We were either reasons or seasons to each other, but I never figured it out. I think a lot about the reasons and seasons people. Mostly because I want to make sure to learn the lesson the first time so as not to repeat any painful ones.

That rabbit trail led me to forgiveness. I think, talk and write about forgiveness quite a bit. Although I have read and heard this many different times in a variety of ways, for whatever reason it seemed to click in my head today: Forgiveness doesn't absolve others; it allows you to move on.

Forgiveness is permission to let go of the hurts, slights, offenses, traumas, or whatever is taking up an unnecessary amount your psychic energy without producing anything positive. Forgiveness allows you to be free from ruminating over the pain and the people who caused it. Forgiveness is a gift to ourselves.

Forgiveness is not, however, a free pass. When we forgive a person we love so that we can move closer in a relationship, then we should absolutely forgive and forget. However, I get all idealistic and dreamy and decide to invite the wrong type of person back into my life or heart again. I probably don't need to tell you this is a bad idea. Guess what happens? They hurt me again, and I have to start forgiving them from scratch. Please learn from my example and spare yourself. Don't get all spiritually conceited and try to break bread with the jerks of your past. Just leave them in the past.
3. Today, in my Jesus journal, the devotion was about listening. I know that I talk a lot sometimes, but more often in real life, I listen. Actually, I am drawn to people who want to tell me their life stories and vice versa. It's a tiny defense mechanism, but it works out. People need a listener, and I often like to be anonymous since I'm so open and transparent here. Tangent. When I pray and then listen, I know who is getting thank you note. Today, I got a thank you for a thank you. How 'bout that little circle of love?
How are you guys doing? How are your fasts? I made some really good soup today. Here's my Daniel Fast board with all the recipes I have been yammering about. Did you make anything good today? What was your meaningful experience?
P.S. I wrote this at about 10 a.m., then when I started editing at 7:30, I messed up and deleted the whole darn thing and had to rewrite. I wasn't particularly grateful for that.


  1. This is great Mary , I struggle with forgiveness, you worded it perfectly. I'm looking to change my view on holding grudges, I'm a pro at it, my controlling mother calls forgiveness a sign of weakness, now that I'm raising my own family of 6 kids I'm trying to be nothing like my own mother. So in a way I guess you have made sense of it to me here. Thank you I love all your posts. Hope Smith

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Hope! I think your kids are very fortunate to have a mama who is trying so hard to do better and better :)


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