Monday, April 25, 2011

Stepping Out

Yeah, this moose is just prancing on the top of the quickly melting lake ice.  This is actually a rare sight, as they typically have more sense than this.  Plus there's no food out there.  It's all around the safe shores. But isn't it fun?!  Daring...Exciting, even?!    
 I feel a little like stepping out.
OK, not exactly.  This was my "Easter Outfit."
Notice the rotting ice behind me.  A day or two before this shot and a day or two after the moose was out, I stepped out on the ice and heard a huge POP!  The ice cracked loudly.

The funny thing was, instead of stepping back onto the safe shores, I ran out onto the ice into the middle.    
You see, the ice is really thick in the middle and thinner around the edge.  
I find it really interesting that I chose this direction instead of the safe shore walk.  It would have been longer, but certainly safer.  (The only real danger was dipping a few inches - the ice is still feet thick!)

I feel a little like my life is very similar.  I feel like I just heard the POP and my next move is to jump out, not back.  I'm needing to run out to the middle where even though I know it's solid, my adrenaline is pumping!  I also know that when I get across, I'm going to have to trust that I can jump to safety again.  It also feels like it shouldn't make sense: like the moose, it doesn't feel like there's anything out here.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing, and there is certainly a burst of fear-ridden adrenaline, but ultimately I know I'll be safe.  

God does not ask us or push us out to places where we will sink.  He does put us in places where we will sink without Him.  He wants our complete dependence, complete trust, complete self.  I want to step out in complete reliance on my Savior who put Himself on a Cross for me.  There is nothing He will ask of me that will compare to what He did for me.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My "Eve" Complex

Evidenced from my lack of interest in blog-world, I've had a rough winter.

I think it's a combination of several things; lack of sunlight (Seasonal Affective Disorder), Vitamin D deficiency, not enough exercise, and some complacency of negative thinking.  I have happy lights and vitamins, but honestly, I'm having trouble with more exercise!  I'm hoping that with the brightening sunlight and melting snow, this will resolve itself in no time.  I'm also thinking the happy lights could go away til October.

The negative thinking has been a harder one to acknowledge and change.  I have done Bible studies on the topic, heard sermons, and even discussed the benefits of positive mental attitudes, but somehow this winter I just could not see past the things which I did not have.  A wise man (not my husband, this time) explained this as the "Eve Complex."  As wonderful of a life, perfect really, as Eve had it, she still could not see past the one thing (literally) that she could not have.  This has had a huge impact on me.  I have always looked down on Eve and could not understand why she did it.  I don't have quite the perfect life that Eve had, but I had focused too much on what I was missing, and not enjoying what I have, just like her.  This is an extremely simple version, but simple things are not always easy.

I've also discovered that I am a linear thinker.  Almost to a perfectionist level.  Instead of feeling as though things are good if they are "pretty good," I think of things as either bad or perfect.  You can see where this will set me up for disappointment.  I was challenged recently to consider being content with things if they are less than perfect.  Let me share how freeing this can be when practiced!  And practice it takes, at least for me, I've found.

After sharing some about my struggles, I have discovered I am not in a minority.  To avoid the "misery loves company" idea, I'd rather share to help others to avoid this little quick-sand-trap.  I also believe that this is not just a positive thinking idea, but rather a very Biblical model.  Philippians 4 talks about what we are to pursue with our minds.  David prays that God would search his thoughts to check him if he is heading in the wrong direction in Psalm 139:23-24.  Paul talks frequently about the power of our thoughts; among which how we ought to take each thought captive to the obedience of Christ in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians.

Knowing that I struggle with this specifically in the winter, I hope that I can remember the importance of placing my thoughts under the authority of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me.  I'll admit that I often chose to wallow, thinking I'd just get over it in a day or two, but allowing that little bit is dangerous.  Stepping into quicksand just a little is enough to get stuck.  And sink.  Just ask Eve.