Listening To My Body

My mind told me to get up, but my body told me to rest.  This morning, I listened to my body.  I had a strenuous weekend that exhausted me beyond words.  My mother volunteered to host her family reunion, so she led a small group of us as she planned and prepared food and entertainment for what turned out to be an awesome reunion.  We pushed our bodies beyond the limit and none of us took time to eat correctly to give our bodies the fuel needed to work the long and hard hours necessary to make the reunion happen. We worked on fumes and adrenalin and there was no time to rest. The family enjoyed the reunion and gave rave reviews and endless compliments, yet the hard work took a toll. 
 My older sister and I talked about how some women live this type of strenuous lifestyle week after week.  This may be the reason heart disease is the number one killer for women.  Being mentally stressed is just one of the many factors of heart disease.  A lifestyle of constant busyness invites mental stress. Our minds say keep going, but our bodies beg us to stop and renew. We often listen to our mind thinking we are so important, we must keep going.  Well, if we don’t stop, we won’t be able to keep going. It may appear glamorous and some women even feel validated having such a full schedule, but why?  Do I have a free day this week? Yes, and it will remain free – free to renew my mind and body. Every day of the week doesn’t need an event or appointment.  The labor of the reunion is over and I welcome my weekly schedule with Mom's Taxi. Thank you!
Women are amazing. We are able to multi-task and do what we do well. We were created to produce and deliver – not just babies. Remembering to renew ourselves is critical – to our Self, our family, and everyone else depending on us.  Listen to your body!

Slow To Yell

Rural roads with signs warning of cattle crossing is where I found myself Sunday while driving home from another basketball tournament.  Firstborn programmed the GPS and instead of the main highway, we were on country roads. I was furious because I was past tired.  Hubby wasn’t with us this time, so I was forced to pay attention to directions.  I asked Firstborn if he did everything correctly and of course he said he did, but this was supposedly a quicker route. Excuse me? I was fuming. No, I was pissed.  I felt like crying each time the agitating GPS voice told me to turn left or right onto some unknown back road.  I wanted to fuss and yell at Firstborn, but he already endured this during the tournament, so I granted him mercy.  I was so tired, I couldn’t think straight to pray.  The only scripture that came to mind was the one I didn’t want to remember - be slow to anger. Sigh….
I finally reached a place, mentally, to think reasonably and pray, but looked at the gas tank showing less than a quarter tank. No gas stations were on any of these roads, but we did see two donkeys and a deer.  I felt anger stirring again, but this time I prayed for peace. I knew Firstborn was only trying to get us home quicker and my yelling would only make him feel worse. My peace didn’t come immediately, but focusing on God and trusting Him to save me from the back roads and my anger invited peace. Anger is a monster waiting to be awakened by a simple word, action, or thought. I knew my anger wouldn’t help the situation, so I shut up and continued following the agitating GPS voice. An hour later, we met the highway and a gas station.  Firstborn sighed with relief and went to sleep without being yelled at.
Did the rural route save time? No, but I learned that anger gives absolutely no direction!

My Pain

I was awakened at midnight with stomach cramps – not because of something I ate, but because I’m a woman. Yes, monthly cramps. I wondered why, at 48 years old, was I still entertaining Aunt Flo.  Give me a break! Because I was so disturbed and agitated, I thought about every other type of pain women endure.  Childbirth is another.  Woman was chosen to bear the children – in pain.  Even after the children are born, we endure further pain from our children as we continue to carry their pain in our hearts. Emotional pain is another. Woman was created with extra layers of emotions – we love hard and we hurt hard.  Spiritual pain is another. Church-goers or not, women passionately cry out to God as we seek help and guidance in keeping our home in tact and our family united. Think about it, how often do you see men cry out to God in public? Whether in church, a hospital, or in court, women aren’t afraid to cry out to our Heavenly Father for help and strength.
If pain, in fact, empowers us, we should be some extraordinary, empowered species. We are extraordinarily empowered! In order to withstand all the physical, spiritual, and emotional pain we experience, we have to be extraordinary and to put it plainly, man couldn’t handle the pain we shoulder.  The way they act with a simple cold is amusing. We may be the weaker vessel physically, but we sure are the stronger vessel in every other aspect – just my opinion.
By 1 a.m., my stomach pain subsided and I had a Monday Meditation to share. Pain empowers in ways we don’t expect! Instead of always asking for healing or deliverance from my pain, I should be asking what God wants me to learn from it or how I can be empowered through it. The popular saying is true – no pain, no gain! Pain strengthens, gives courage, and empowers - if we allow it to.

Out of Control

The stands were full of passionate fans, the players were physical, the score was close, and emotions were intense. I’ve watched Firstborn play many basketball games, but the energy from this game was like no other. The team and parents traveled three hours for a weekend tournament and this game determined if we played the championship game or not. I found myself feeding off the energy in the crowds. Miss Flesh was stirring strongly within me and having her way. I was yelling, waving my arms, correcting referees, and coaching from the stands like a mad woman.   I was out. of. Control.
A quiet voice inconspicuously ushered me out of the stands to sit near the entrance of the gym – alone. I was put in time out to regroup, refocus, and gain some self-control. I was also reminded by that quiet voice of how my surroundings influence me – I must always be aware. If I’m amidst gossip, I’m prone to gossip. If I’m amidst complacency, I’m prone to complacency. If I’m amidst mess, I’m prone to be messy. If I’m amidst out of control fans, I’m prone to be out of control. While sitting in my spiritual time out, I prayed as I watched the game. I wasn’t as fanatical and cheered like a mama with some sense. God didn’t want me to embarrass myself, Firstborn, or Him. We won the game, but lost the championship game. I was mentally exhausted, but thankful for my life lesson, which was timely for all the many activities filling the summer months. I must always be aware of my environment and my emotions – remembering who and whose I am. When school begins, football season starts and this mama is already excited, but because I don’t want to be in another time out, I will enjoy the game, yet practice self-control. Go Team!