Off Day

Ever had an off day? A day that from the start just seems wrong?

I woke up before 7am and could tell that I was already in the throws of a nasty migraine. My head was pounding and my eyes were fuzzy. I let out the dog and gladly made my way back to the comfort of my bed. I turned off my alarm and decided I would try to sleep off the headache. Mentally, preparing myself for another hour or so of sleep. For the next three hours I slept in drips and drags. I couldn’t shake the thoughts that haunted my mind and the quality sleep from my body. I kept thinking and dreaming of the morning I was wasting. Guilt lingered like the storm clouds outside. I couldn’t shake those feelings, by 10:15 – I got up for the day. I rushed to the shower – thinking that a shower always makes things look a little brighter. The irony was that I hadn’t washed my hair in three days. For anyone that suffers from migraines or headaches – you know that when you’re head hurts the last thing you want to do is touch it – let alone comb out three days of snarls and product. Dread. It was actually far less painful than I anticipated. Thankful. For a few moments I pondered putting on clean pajamas for the day, but still feeling guilty – thought regular clothes could try to convince me this wouldn’t last all day and that I’m actually doing something today. Clothes verses pajamas have that effect for me some days. Jeans can help me distinguish a productive day verses a lazy day. Call me crazy – I know it’s totally in my own head. It’s the after effect of years of sick days. After all, pajamas are one of the many perks to working from home, right?
Looking back over yesterday – I am not sure why guilt ruled my day. I was justifiably sick with a migraine. I guess since being diagnosed officially with migraines – I hate using that as an “excuse” to have a sick day. I hated the thought of wasting a day. Somedays I think that I can bulldoze my way through the headache and function regardless. And somedays I can, but I should have given myself more of a break yesterday. The migraine didn’t ease up. It lasted all day. That’s rare for me – usually they only last 4-5 hours. The other thing is I don’t take medication for my migraines anymore. None of them were helping anymore and the side effects could be worse that the actual headache.
I guess I’ll just mark yesterday as an off day. We all have them, right? A day that from the start just seems wrong? I don’t think I’d want a “redo” on yesterday, but I hope to react to things differently in the future.
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My Journey Through Lent

{I just found this entry from 4.4.2010 that never got published and has been hanging out in the drafts folder. Gave me lots of momentum today! (1.20.2011)}

The Journey/Process

Yesterday was officially my final day of Lent. I’ve never officially taken part in the practice of Lent until this season. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was faithful to my commitment. Traditionally, the span of Lent is 40 days (omitting Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to Easter. I chose to try to practice “give up” something for the 46 days instead of just 40. I’m so shocked to say that I was 93% successful. I did miss a total of three days (two for the flu, and I can’t remember the other one). Seriously, I’m humbled by God’s goodness. I am not a consistent person, but I do succeed in procrastinating!

So, for the past 43 of 46 days I gave up my usual morning schedule in exchange for something much, much more rewarding, humbling and lasting. My routine was to wake up (7:30 – 8), make coffee and wake up and drink the coffee and keep trying to wake up while drinking the coffee. Mornings have always been somewhat of a challenge for me. My joints ache, my back aches, my bones ache, etc. I function like a robot for the first hour I am out of bed in the morning. Much to my chagrin I have indulged in mind numbing television until my coffee and first meds kick in for the morning. Since day one I have hated and dreaded this routine. Sometimes it has been necessary, but man does it make me feel like a loser. I have never been a morning person, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t start my mornings off with Him.

I woke up on Ash Wednesday and without hesitation grabbed my Bible, journal, a pen and my iPod (cross reference Scripture-youversion.com-and for worship music) and with a cup of coffee started this adventure. Every journal entry is started off with: “Lent – Day __ – Date.” I was AMAZED as the days started racing by and the day number increased. I was in awe when I reached 10, then 15, TWENTY-FIVE!!, 35, 40 – what?, and finally 43?! I say this with the most humility – ever. Seriously, this is not by my power. Like I said – I am proficient in the language of procrastination and so very inconsistent! I am not my own.

Lent, to me, was giving up something and replacing that something with Jesus. I chose to give up a wasteful routine in my own life and replace that time with Him. I have been in Bible studies for awhile now with daily homework, but I have known for sometime that my sporadic, less than enthusiastic attempts at prayer/reading the Word were not sufficient. I was just “getting by.” I wanted more. I wanted to be deeper in the Word and I wanted to develop into a prayer warrior. I wanted to live by and practice the Word of God. (Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Colossians 4:2)

He’s been so good to me. Though I LOVED the time I invested in Him the past 43 days – there were many days that I felt frustration. Growing pains. Like I’d hit a brick wall. These phrases (and so much more) can be found sprinkled throughout the pages of my journal during this time. It had been so long since I had truly been in fellowship with Jesus, daily. I went through a few years at being really angry with Him. About six months ago I finally felt those feeling waning and the realization that “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

I read through Matthew and Mark – soaking up Jesus’ life, ministry, character and demeanor. I also read through 1, 2 John and 1, 2 Peter, Hebrews and Philemon. I bounced around in the Psalms daily and Proverbs weekly. I rediscovered Scripture that I had fallen in love with through past triumphs or trials and unearthed new nuggets of Truth in His Word.

I vowed years ago to never say “I’m praying for you” etc, without actually following through. It’s so easy to say, “thinking of you and praying for you.” But, I so desire to be a faithful pray-er for family/friends. Within the first week, I wrote out a list of all the people in my life that I wanted to pray for and then a list of my own personal requests. I can’t wait to see how/when God will answer those prayers. It was fun to faithfully be in prayer for friends/family for the past 43 days. (I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record! I’m sorry for that, but the importance of DAILY interaction with the Lord has never been more important and apparent to me. My prayer life has been radically changed.

Good Friday and Easter
Another purpose of Lent is to prepare for Easter. It was so amazing to be studying about Jesus journey along the same time frame as Passion week. Because of this I felt much more prepared to accept and celebrate what Jesus did for me and you. This year every part of Easter was much more personal for me. I still can not begin to comprehend why He loves me so much to die a horrifically painful death on a cross, but He did. For me. For my sins and for the sin of the world.

I’ve been listening to this song sung by David Crowder Band for a few months now, but the impact of the words and love of Jesus touched my heart so deeply when we worshipped Jesus with this song at the Good Friday service.

How He Loves
He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are, 
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh 
Oh how He loves us, 
How He loves us all

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, 
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy. 
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, 
And I realize just how beautiful You are, 
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh, 
Oh how He loves us, 
How He loves us all 

He loves us, Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves.

And we are His portion and He is our prize, 
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes, 
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. 
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, 
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest, 
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets, 
When I think about, the way… 



That He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves. 
Yeah, He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves. 

Yeah, He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves us, 
Oh how He loves.

Tomorrow
From Day One of my Lent endeavor I begged the Lord that I would not lose this momentum with Him. That through these 43 days of solidarity in Him I would be locked in – desperately desiring and needing time with Him daily and without it feeling that something was lacking.

Things that I learned
Just because I have this new, daily (hopefully!!) routine doesn’t mean that I isolate my time with Jesus to mornings – I want to practice His presence throughout the day.