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Angela Light

Walking it out- the great, the messy & in between

Facelift or focus?

Posted by angela on March 27, 2014
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It may be time for a facelift. Oh yes, my face is showing the years in the mirror as I notice the sags and bags that didn’t seem to be so obvious in the past. But a facelift?
It’s not something I’ve considered for myself in the past but the face staring back in the mirror screams it needs something fresh! Then I go down the thought spiral that it’s not just the physical face I see that needs a tune-up, but I step back and see my whole body. WOW, does it need a bit of a clock rewind as well!

Before I get too far down that road, I try to grab hold of my thoughts–maybe I just need to step away from the mirror and ignore the whole thing, I mean, there isn’t too much I can do about it anyhow–oh, I can follow the healthy lifestyle habits of exercise and eating right but that most likely will not erase decades of life experience.

I’m sensing a humble reality in this-I shouldn’t look like I did years ago. I’m not the same person. None of us who live & breathe are the same people from moment to moment. Each moment we change-sometimes an improvement, sometimes nothing noticeable but sometimes a step in the wrong direction. It’s the wrong direction I find myself visiting too many times. Ever find yourself in this situation?

The wrong directions are detours in our journey. Maybe it’s not a major detour-but a detour in the wrong direction nonetheless. A harsh word, an angry outburst, screams to the kids or thoughts that should never be put into words.

The haggard look in my face may be a reflection of those bad decisions and reactions. I strain to see the laugh lines-oh they are there but I tend to focus on the tired and worn down look more than the evidence of laughter. Why would I do this? Why focus on the negative like sags and bags instead of the positive like proof of laughing?

I drag myself down this road of beating myself up-again. I look rough because of a life of rough times—many due to poor decisions but some dark places are just stops on the path I’ve walked. I tell myself perhaps a facelift is a good idea—to erase all the signs of strain, exhaustion, long & hard days. But will that really make me different? We all know it won’t. I may look different on the outside but really, it’s a ‘perspective lift’ I need more than a facelift.

I wholeheartedly thank the Father for my blessings. Having experienced some deep waters in life, I admit it has made me more thankful than I ever thought I could feel. I’m sure we’ve all been through some harrowing times. So how do I resolve this facelift concept and longing to not look so…well, bad?

I pray for perspective and one word swells up in my heart: focus. What do I focus on-what should I guide my thougths toward to combat this worn down face in the mirror?! Focus on the things that truly matter-the permanent look I’ll be facing in eternity.
My face is beautiful to the Father. The lines, bags and sags are old and ugly to me. To Him, perhaps these are precious souvenirs of my growth. Sort of a memory book to remember how I grew closer in that struggle, how I discovered His deep love or felt a pinch of the vastness of His wisdom in that instance. Of course, God doesn’t need a memory book but it’s a parallel that helps me to try to understand.

So I forget the facelift. I try to think of the evidence staring back at me as something to treasure and be thankful for. Oh, this will be a daily struggle I know! But to try to focus on the truth and the story behind those lines gives me a better perspective—one of hope, redemption and a future. Oh the face and body don’t look the same as they used to—but I’m not the same person I used to be either (and neither are you).

Thank you Father for not giving up on me during this journey and giving me a fresh & beautiful perspective-even if the face in the mirror doesn’t always show it.

Moving forward to pause?

Posted by angela on March 20, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 2 Comments

Really?! One more thing!? Lately life feels a bit overwhelming. I can name a zillion little things that make it feel that way but nothing earth shattering. I am amazingly blessed yet still have that overwhelmed and dissatisfied feeling. Have you ever been there?

I am annoyed with myself for feeling this way. So many people have so many huge life issues they are struggling with so I don’t feel I have the right to whimper about my stuff. I recall the scripture in Galatians about being long suffering so I tell myself to pick myself up, dust off those nagging complaints and keep moving forward.

That’s what we’re all doing anyhow, right? Moving forward—some PAUSE moments when we’re sidelined with issues, of course, but still breathing and still moving forward. I mean really, what is the alternative? To stop-stay in place and never move forward?

Some days feel like I’m doing just that: running on a treadmill and never moving forward with ANYTHING. I am gridlocked in a big way.
• Choked with a decision and I don’t know which way to turn.
• Trapped in a financial crisis.
• Confined with a health issue that won’t let me move forward physically.
• Stuck in a relationship conflict–spouse, child, sibling, parent, friend, coworker.

When these spinning pieces of life are swirling around, even a slight detail that isn’t on my personal radar is ONE MORE THING I don’t feel like I can handle. Ever been there? Are you there now?

So what can I do? I move forward. Oh, maybe not forward in a big way–it may just be existing another day. It may be just getting out of bed and doing the daily routines in a robot-like stance. Frustrating to crawl through these times–because I want to embrace each day as the gift it is but I seem to just hit a brick wall sometimes. It feels like everyone is moving and bustling forward and I’m standing in place. I sometimes fake being in a forward motion-when really I’m spinning in a circle.

But Wait-Could these days of the ‘daily grind’ be just that? A grinding of sorts to keep me upright-maybe not as productive as I’d like but upright in some way. A daily routine where the familiar is a huge blessing. Nothing catastrophic which in itself is a blessing? Moving forward to pause–could that possibly be a blessing as well?

I can strive to keep the daily grind going but to settle my heart to pause—even for just a second is a challenge sometimes. I remind myself to trust I’m on a path with a true destination. I may not feel like I’m moving forward all the time and little annoyances are ONE MORE THING I don’t want to deal with.

Maybe it’s the daily annoyances, the daily routines and moments of setbacks that really makes the difference in the end. I can’t see the end of the road but I have to trust the One who has my life in His hands-that He has it all together…working together for a good purpose and not a wasted moment.

WOW…this is truly trusting and not controlling it all. Thank you Father for moving me forward-even if to pause sometimes.

Life is Vacation? WHAT?

Posted by angela on March 13, 2014
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Live like I’m on vacation? WHAT?? How in the world can I do that? I want that!! My dear friend says her life is like being on permanent vacation. This is truly baffling to me. She has issues, problems, joy and sadness like everyone else I know. So how can she say her life is like being on vacation and HOW can I get in on this?

I listen more intently since I know some details about her life and from the worldly perspective, I wouldn’t rush to say she’s living a dream vacation life. Oh, she is immeasurably blessed but not generally by what the world defines as overly abundant.

She describes how going through some of the trials of her life have left her in some deep dark places. I know these are places many of us will never experience in our lives and would never want to. Yet there she is with a joyful look on her face and a peacefulness that is overwhelmingly contagious. HOW CAN I GET IN ON THIS?

Giving a glimpse of a few details of what she calls the ‘Lion’s Den’–some instances in life that would leave many of us in a broken state-she says this is where she found true joy. What?! In the deepest moments of despair and no sense of a way out-she found joy?! As with most situations, we don’t all see it as joy when we’re hanging on for dear life. But looking back, it is walking through these places where we often feel most alone & most desperate that we grow the closest to the Father.

At some point, many times it’s after we’ve survived the traumatic experiences, we see something new emerge in us: a deep, quiet joyfulness. Maybe its joy that we survived against all odds. Maybe it’s that we have a different perspective or a renewed sense of thankfulness. For me, many times its just joy that the whole mess is OVER and I’m still breathing.

Then it hits me: it IS like a vacation. A deep vacation of the heart. Not a vacation like laying on a sun drenched beach (that sounds great by the way) but a deeper sense of unexplainable joy of the heart. No one can take it away–it’s too deeply rooted. Oh, it doesn’t mean the details of life are magically stress or problem free. It just means WE are free. Free to truly experience the Father’s protection and power in every fire, stress, mess and detail of ICK we encounter. He shows us His depth of love by taking us by the hand through the trials and celebrating the joys.
Thank you for taking us to a place of true joy Father!

Help us to rest in Your embrace and recognize Your presence even in the fires. I want to live on vacation!

Ever feel like God has let you down?

Posted by angela on March 6, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 5 Comments

Ever feel like God has let you down?
I have felt He’s not listening, He isn’t in agreement with my prayers, and honestly I’m not too happy with Him at the moment. I know that isn’t something I should feel or say sometimes but that is real life for me. I had been praying and begging for situations to change, for solutions to major issues with no response. I kept asking for things to go away, for God to take this burden off my shoulders and free me from the trauma. Didn’t happen.
Now what? I did what I knew to do- so of course, I ask for others to pray for me. Surely I must have not prayed for the right things or asked in the proper way–so if others prayed for me, one of us would get it ‘right’ and the solution would appear. Didn’t happen.
Some may have wavering faith at this point-but I held fast. I have great faith and didn’t doubt in His existence or His involvement in everyday life. But I did feel let down. Where are you God? Don’t you even care? Why didn’t you fix this situation or intervene with that issue? I’m still here, still struggling and still praying but WHERE ARE YOU? I am waiting for You to swoop down and FIX THIS MESS!? But He didn’t fix the mess.
I had to come to terms with my feelings of anger and rejection. Yes, I felt rejected by God. I knew from all my time with Him and reading of His word that He wouldn’t dump me but it sure felt like it. Many tears and long crying fits with Him as the receiver of my screams still didn’t make the situations disappear. So I sat there wondering what to do next. As I was running through the zillion possibilities of how FIX the situations and the mess, I felt a tug of a whisper “Be Still”. Oh sure, be still when I have all this STUFF I have to handle and now I’m stuck trying to fix everything on my own because I sure didn’t feel God was going to fix anything at this point. “Be Still”. But I don’t WANT to be still…I want action and resolution and I want it NOW. I’m tired and pushed against the wall and need answers NOW.
Be Still
But I’m not a quiet or ‘still’ type person and God knows that so surely He wouldn’t tell ME to be still. It’s just not me—I’m an action girl. Be Still and Know I am God.
Well, I know that so this must just be my imagination or something—I know He is God. I already know He has plans and loves me and never leaves me. But maybe in this instance He’s just blowing me off since my situations haven’t changed. Be Still
So I paused…maybe, just maybe I should try it. Be still and quiet down (stop screaming & ranting to Him). I tried it…it didn’t work for the first 10 tries but eventually I pulled myself into a quiet state. I sat alone & tried to silence my thoughts for a moment. This is hard for me-maybe for you too.
After months and years of battling the same issues, I had to stop and get quiet finally. No, the situation hasn’t disappeared. But how I handle it has changed. I would love for it to go away and God to rescue me from it all—but that isn’t His plan. But I trust Him and He didn’t leave me but He is changing me. Slowly. It’s painful sometimes and I get frustrated with the results—but I love that He is working things out in me. Me—someone that He feels is worth the time and effort to slowly mold into someone better. Thank you Father for holding me through these tough situations and letting me scream. I know You still love me and won’t let me go.