When You’re Finally OK With Who You Are

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Y’all (all the people I love who read this blog)…  It. Is. Cold.

I’m sitting in my living room with layered thermals and scarf, the sun is shining down, the power is on and the plug-in oil heater is running full blast and pulled right up next to me.  And my laptop is like ice and my teeth are chattering.  There’s just no way around it. Sometimes life here in the beautiful Indian mountains is just not that comfortable. 

Recently I spent several weeks at home in America and I really struggled.  I wrestled over the disparity between good people doing great things… and one lives in a warm beautiful house with their days set on “Easy button” and the other lives in a glorified garage in a remote village. Now, there are those who live in extreme wealth or slums strategically, and for both I can say, “That’s the life God has given them a passion and call to live.” But for all of us in the vast chasm of the middle, its hard for me not to compare what she gets that I can’t (more than 2 bedrooms), the choices he has that I don’t (good hospital, a big grocery store). These things probably sound petty, but I’m just me being real, and this was the biggest eyesore in the midst of my swirling thoughts for nearly a month. The kind of thoughts that made me want to move to the midwest America for central heat and a yard.

Then one day I meditated on Paul’s words in Philippians 4, that “I have learned to be content with little and with much”.

And later we ran into an acquaintance we never see, who asked to pray for us.  And he prayed for us the passage I had been reading over and over that week from Jeremiah 17, that we would be “like a tree planted by the water … It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green… even in drought it never fails to bear fruit”.

And God didn’t give me a simple answer to my heart’s earnest struggle with comparison and contentment.  But He proved to me again (and again and again) that he knows where I’m at, that He loves and accepts me, and that through Him I will always “bear fruit”.  And that was the peace I needed to come home.

So the first five days was a shock. The bathroom is colder than outside and no one wants to shower. The wifi and 3G weren’t working till yesterday and I felt that familiar feeling of isolation

But I woke up every morning this week to the sun, rising hot pink across the 10,000 ft peaks right outside my living room window. And I sat down and wrote in my journal, “If I can watch the sun rise on these mountains every morning, then I can do anything.

This perfect sunrise (mine is better than yours!! 😉 ) is God’s gift to me every day. It’s exquisite and peace-giving and to breathe slow and sip coffee as the sky bleeds pink and shifting clouds… well this is the meditative moment that bring me back to perspective.

Despite jumping into events, reopening the café after winter, having lots of friends over and catching up, I have been struck each day by the fact that I feel… healthy.  Peace-filled. Happy. Positive. Balanced. All the things that I did not have one ounce of a year ago today.

I was lost. I didn’t know if I was going to make it. I had been given this wonderful upbringing and good truths poured into me, and I couldn’t make sense of anything.

But God was so good that He taught my husband and I how to build healthy habits into our life.  He taught me through counselors, friends, mentors, strangers. He taught me through scripture and books and through silence. And He taught me through experience.

If I were to put my finger on the things that keep me emotionally healthy, these would be them. This list is not exhaustive. But you’ve got to start somewhere! My list of healthy habits. 🙂

  1. Become OK with who I am.  I’m normal, human and flawed. And that’s ok!  That I can major on my good areas and ask for help (or grace) in the others.  And this, since it reflects how my Almighty God feels about me (He approves!), seems to be the most important.
  2. Authenticity. I have to know I’m hiding nothing. I can find those who are trustworthy and be vulnerable–all the time.
  3. Community. Relying on those around me and asking for help even when it’s embarrassing.
  4. Professional counseling. A huge, mind-shifting, Jesus-centered, refocusing… or I’d still be stuck today.
  5. Sleep. As our Indian- Tibetan friend Sheru said the other night, “Sleep it off. If it’s not better in the morning, then do something about.”
  6. Routine. Giving up trying to be cool and going to bed at 8pm with the kids, taking nap time to stay in and be quiet, knowing the next day’s schedule and not just flying by the seat of my pants.
  7. The ONE THING Principle.  I cannot get paperwork done while making my kids think I’m paying attention when they’re asking for it. I cannot make their breakfast and get them ready at the same time. I end up angry. By trying to multitask I end up getting half of a lot of things done… but in the end, nothing is completed! I have to say it out loud every day: “Do one thing at a time!” If I do less, I do it better, and I enjoy it more. 
  8. Spiritual Disciplines. I’ve been studying the practices of men and women who followed Jesus hundreds of years ago. Silence, solitude, meditation, lectio divina… Practices that have brought me in touch with my real need for God, and experience of His presence.
  9. Aesthetic beauty.  I.e. Sunrises. Indian handicrafts. Going for a glass of sparkling water in a 5 Star restaurant when we just need a moment.
  10. Eat Well and Take Walks.  Less Sugar. Take brisk walks up rocky paths and take it all in. Get chased home by a band of monkeys and then you’re just grateful you’re alive, inside, and can have a hot cup of chai (with cum chinni of course)!

 


  • Danielle

    Love reading your blog Rebecca!! Feels like I hanging out with you! Completely agree with all of it. Counseling-YES, sleep YES!!!!, being okay with ones self, yes! Love you and someone we will catch up again! You guys are in our thoughts!

    Reply

  • Katie

    Ah! This is sooo good! Thanks for sharing Rebecca!! I can totally relate and appreciate all the things that keep you healthy! I need these in my life too!!!

    Reply

  • Jacqueline Nahuel

    Thanks Rebecca. You are not alone and I appreciate your honest and faith building updates. I needed this for me right now. God is faithful.
    Love you

    Reply

  • Heidi

    You came to mind the minute I opened my eyes this morning, soi did the only thing I knew to do-pray. And then I see this a few hours later. God is good and He has an incredible way of bringing us together for support and encouragement half a world away.

    Reply

  • Becky

    Thank you for sharing your heart and authenticity. 🙂

    Reply

  • Divyansh Gupta

    Loved the blog Rebecca!! I am adopting your list of Healthy Habits, from right now! Oh and about the ONE THING Principle, I came across this a couple of weeks ago : Our brains are designed to do ONE THING at a time, multi-tasking is probably great for only computers. I heard this from brain researchers but you, you were smart enough to figure it out. You are doing just awesome Rebecca! 😀

    Reply

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