Thursday, January 29, 2009

Identity and Worth

I wrote this last week, and expected to refine it a bit before posting, but I don’t know that I have anything else or anything different to say. I shared some of this at a ministry meeting and had some friends pray for me in this area. I feel like I’m being healed a bit, but still have a ways to go to understand who I am and why it matters.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately to understand in my spirit (as opposed to in my mind) who I am as a child of God - to understand who I am and where my worth and value come from. I’ve always been pretty good at a lot of things and found my sense of self-worth in what I was good at and how well I performed. So when I’ve had things that I haven’t done well, it makes me question who I am. I start asking, “What’s wrong with me that I can’t do this?” I recognize that this stems from a kind of pride – a belief that it’s all about me and it’s all because of me. I understand in my mind that my true value comes from being a child of God, adopted by him. My identity flows from him and that there’s nothing I can do that will make me more or less worthwhile. In my neighborhood and in my church context, so many people who meet Jesus are so relieved that they are finally good enough. They have been told for so long that they are worthless and no good, and here comes someone who tells them that they are valuable and loveable just because of Him, because he loves them and because they are his. For me it’s the opposite, but it’s the same underlying issue - attaching my value to what I do and how well I do it - it’s just positive value instead of negative.

I don’t think I realized what I was doing until I started being in situations where I’m NOT good at things, where my skills and abilities are NOT displayed. That’s pretty much where I’ve been for about two years. I didn’t realize I was attributing my worth to my ability, skill and performance until I began attributing my lack of worth to my lack of ability, skill and performance. It’s been a place of brokenness but discovery, and I hope that I can come out of it transformed in who I am. However, I’m still hesitant to give up the belief that I’m no good because I didn’t do well, since that means I also have to give up the belief that I am good because I DID do well. It’s one and the same.

The other part of it is that I am overly concerned about what other people think of me, stemming directly from how I assign my self-worth. When I do a poor or only mediocre job at something, I’m afraid the people around me will think that I’m no good. I could never figure out why I was so concerned about what other people thought, but I’m finally starting to put all these pieces together.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Goals for 2009

I’ve been thinking through some goals for this year. I feel like the last two months have been less than ideal and I’m struggling to get back on track in so many ways. I’m still waiting for that energy resurgence I keep hearing about after the first trimester, but I’m trying to get my life back in order even at the current reduced levels. I feel like life has been happening to me instead of me living in an intentional way. So here it goes:

1) Exercise at least 3 times a week
2) Have a healthy pregnancy and natural delivery
3) Spend 15 minutes cleaning/decluttering 3 times a week
4) Real time in prayer and Bible study every day
5) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
6) Have people over at least once a month
7) Read one book to learn from each month
8) Hike in the woods once a month
9) Go camping once per season
10) Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts at least once each month (Dave got us a membership for Christmas. If anyone wants to come with me sometime, let me know!)
11) Continue developing some good routines in my days and weeks

I feel silly even saying some of these, because they seem so small and I should be doing them anyway, but I’ve definitely learned that I need to make incremental changes in order to be effective. I’m thinking of making a sticker chart for each of these things each week. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s something that really works for me. I know that if I don’t do it, I’ll have an empty spot, and that motivates me to do it when the intrinsic motivation is not flowing.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Baby FAQs

How far along are you?
11 weeks

When are you due?
August 1, 2009

When did you find out?
Right after Thanksgiving. We waited until Christmas to tell our parents and then started sharing after that.

How have you been feeling?
A little sick, but mostly very tired.

Was this planned?
I can’t believe how many people ask this question, but if you really want to know, yes, we were ready.

Are you going to find out what you’re having?
Um, a baby. You mean are we going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl (and not for 2 more months, by the way)? Probably not, but we might change our mind.

Have you thought about names?
A little, and we won’t tell anybody until baby’s here anyway, so don’t even ask! ☺

Are you going to tie the baby on your back like in Africa?
You betcha, though probably on the front until baby’s a little bigger.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Preview of Coming Attractions

Here is a preview of the newest little Halter! The real thing should arrive some time around August 1, 2009, and we are as thrilled as can be!
We would appreciate your prayers for us as we prepare to be parents and for this little one as he or she grows and develops.