Friday, April 9, 2010

Welcome, April

I'm not quite sure where I disappeared to, since my last blog post on my birfday . . .I'm not gonna spend much time, here, analyzing WHY I haven't posted in so long. Many journal pages already have tons of footprints from the zigzagging journey of these past few weeks.


Suffice it to say that I am here, now. And here's a picture of me that I ended up quite liking. It was sort of a "before" picture for an assignment in an e-course I took. And when I saw it, I said to myself, "Self, look at those legs . . . look at their strength and curve . . . " I can't remember the last time I so thoroughly enjoyed the sight of myself in skin-tight clothing.


Another assignment in this e-course was to define ourselves through images and perhaps a word or two: again, I surprised myself by what I chose. It actually took a lot of oomph to "name" myself this so publicly. But hey, I think I am beginning, teeny step by teeny step, to allow myself to love the best of me.


Yet one more assignment in this e-course that I've just completed, was to have a photo that could serve as an advertisement for ourself. Instead of creating something new, I ended up taking a fresh look at a wall in my living area that, piece by piece, has accumulated over this winter, to end up being a pretty accurate depiction of me.




I'm conscious that this post, so far, might seem to be all me/me/me/me/me. And aren't we so cautioned about getting wrapped up in self? But here's the thing: this post doesn't reflect the all of me. Actually, I spend most of my active time helping others. During this month of being off-line with my blog, I've been with an elder relative every day during her two emergency room visits and ten days in the hospital. On behalf of a friend in deep need, I was awake all night and prayed, except for a brief hour+ nap. On a day when my own heart was hurting and felt in need of comfort, I went instead to another friend's bedside, took her flowers and loving thoughts.




I don't mention ANY of this to say "Woohoo, isn't Maureen wonderful." Those actions I told you about were just some of the ways that God uses me. They result from my surrendering myself to God and asking Him to guide me. They are ways that He stops me from being so sad over MY life, and has me reach out to others.



But another thing that God is doing in me, is causing me to realize, in very practical ways, that the only way to truly "love my neighbor as myself," is to love myself as well. And that means being just as joyous about Maureen, as I am about others.



So actually, the first paragraphs of this post, where I WAS talking about me/me/me, I guess that I really WAS saying, "Woohoo, isn't Maureen wonderful." [ARGH!!! that was so hard to type!!! Little itchy voices all through my head are screaming "you are SO stuck on yourself!]



Hey you guys . . . aren't we ALL wonderful??? Truly wonder-full?? Do we have to wait for someone else to say it about us??? Can't we gently, lovingly, joyfully, acknowledge that we are indeed, an asset to the world around us? How are the rest of you dealing with this? Are you able, in some public way (meaning not just in the silence of your thoughts, or on a private journal page), to say really nice things about yourself? I'd love to hear what you think on this.

9 comments:

Dawna said...

Dearest Maureen... You are such a wonderful and dear soul...

I have a response in my own blog to your post here; to you. It is a LARGE hug from me to you.

Our Deepest Fear...

aquamaureen said...

Hey Dawna--just got back from reading your post about me, and leaving YOU a response there.

I'm so glad we connected in this last e-course . . .

Sharon said...

Lovely royal purple background...I like it lots! Also love the collage that describes you. And you look terrific in your outfit. It's a good pic of the real perky you!

I think God shows us a balance of how to think about ourselves. For me, it is remembering that without Him, I am nothing, and that all I have and am is due to Him. There are some things I do that are a direct result of talents God has given me. Then there are other things I do that are totally inspired and enabled by God because I do not possess those talents but the "whatever" had to be done.

I don't know if what I am saying makes any sense, Maureen. I know that I live and breathe the Bible verse that says "His strength is made perfect in my weakness."

I guess the balance lies in giving the honor and glory to God. I am what I am because He gives me breath, talent, skills, opportunity, and inspiration. Kind of like remembering that the moon has no light of its own--just what is reflected from the sun. I want to be so close to Him, that His light shines through me.

Hopefully, I haven't muddled the waters too much...

aquamaureen said...

Sharon--I hear just what you are saying . . . whatever we have, we have because God gives it to us. Whatever glory shines in and through is, is His glory, reflected. Amen.

aquamaureen said...

that's "in and through US" :)

Elizabeth said...

Like!

My two...yen? We are God's workmanship, and I think we need to appreciate the beauty he has put in us and others around us, just like beautiful sunsets and other things he has created.

Easier said than done!!!!

Obviously, we don't want to turn ourselves into idols, but I doubt that most of us are close to that point!

BTW, you are fabulous and gorgeous, and I think I have those same glasses!

I liked Dawna's related post, too!

Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

You are Beautiful!

Liv @ Choosing Beauty said...

Maureen, thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I think it's wonderful that you're focusing on you/you/you! You can't take care of others without first taking care of yourself. You are radiant -embrace it and let your light shine!

aquamaureen said...

Tabitha, it always brings me joy to hear from you

And Liv, thank YOU for your sweet words, and your own commitment to cherishing beauty . . .