We all love our families. Unless you are in a bad marriage or have demon children, I am betting you would say there is not anything you would not do for your family. I bet you would even say you would lay down your life for your spouse and children. But, would you? I mean would you really? I am sure you have thoughts going through your mind ranging from donating a kidney for your loved one to stepping in front of a bullet for them and you are probably still saying "Yes!!" You may be even saying, "Has she lost her mind? Of course I would!! Is she implying she would not?" Before you start unfriending me on facebook and walking on the other side of the hall when you see me, I need to say that I would do all these for my family, no questions asked. Of course I love my family! I am so blessed to have them! So what AM I saying? Stick with me until the end...
My husband's company has a "use it or lose it" policy with his vacation time. Many of the workers, him included, take of time around Christmas and New Years to use up that time and be home for the holidays. Each year, it varies how much we are blessed to have him home. Some years we have him for 3 wonderful weeks! What does this have to do with the paragraph above? Well, with him home I get to have some alone time. I get to "think". I get to have him cook meals and break up kid's fighting. It is glorious... GLORIOUS! This year, in my "thinking", I stumbled on a silent message I was sending my family and I wanted to share it with all of you. After all, don't we tell our kids our actions speak louder than our words?
I often tell my husband how, while I do not wish to rush life, I do look forward to him retiring and being home all the time. Yes, you read that right, I am one of those weird people who does NOT look forward to her husband returning to work at the end of each of his vacations. I used to work with him, at the same company, cubes in the same aisle AND we carpooled! 24/7 we were together and honestly I miss him when he is gone. My first days home with our daughter and him at work were HARD for me. Don't get me wrong we do have time apart and I don't sit in a corner rocking back and forth waiting for his return but, I do honestly love the time with him and I do look forward to our adventures when he retires.
I also tell my children how I hope to be a "fun" Grandma. One that plays with the grandkids and runs around (as much as possible) with them. I tell them how I hope we can all go camping and hiking together as a giant family. I tell them how much I look forward to our fun adventures even in the upcoming years that I am still blessed to have them home with me (even though there are days that the school building down the road seems tempting to me).
But, I am silently telling them that these words that leave my mouth do not matter. I am telling them just the opposite with my actions. For those of you who know me, you might be wondering what I am talking about. You see it, but you might not be thinking of it. I am currently 80 pounds over weight. Yes, you know I am overweight, we all know that. But, I realized while my husband was home on break that I was telling him and my children that "I love you but not enough to stop eating things I KNOW I should not." "I love you but not enough to make sure I walk around more or even get one the treadmill for 20 minutes 3 times a week." Seriously, my current health is such that this is what I am telling them with my actions. Do you think I am jumping off the deep end? Well look at it this way...
For all my children, I had to be induced due to high blood pressure (my last one resulted in preeclampsia and the doctor telling me not to have more children...). Part of the issue was that the weight gain made my blood pressure increase. I now weigh 15 pounds more than I did at my heaviest with any pregnancy and guess what? I have been on blood pressure meds for a year now. I told the cardiologist I would lose the weight so I could get off these meds. I have only managed to put on a few more pounds since then. I have a history of diabetes and cancer in my family and being obese only increases my risks. Yet, I still tell myself it is ok to eat cookies, candy and pop whenever I want and in whatever quantities I want. After all it is the holidays, isn't that what we are supposed to do?
But, what happens after the holidays? The fact is that I don't really ever have a time to just put my foot down and say "no". I mean I do, but I choose not to. I silently tell my family I love them but not enough to give up my addiction to sweets and other things to try to improve my health so I can be mobile as we all age. I have TERRIBLE knees. I inherited them. In high school, when I was a whopping 125 at 5'9" (and of course I thought I was FAT) I had to stop running track due to the pain in my knees and I was getting cortisone shots in them! Now, while I was thin I had knee problems, but honestly the extra weight I carry is not HELPING them!! So, I am noticing it is hard to get up off the floor, out of a chair, etc. They are sore some days and while I know the underlying cause may not make the soreness go away I notice my mobility decreasing already. The doctors have told me I will probably need replacements but that I want to try to push that off as long as possible. But carrying around 80 extra pounds is not helping that, it is making it worse.
So, for the last couple weeks I have found myself kicking myself after I eat sweets. I find myself saying I just told my husband that I don't want to spend retirement traveling and hiking. That I really want to spend it using a cane and barely walking at all. This is not the message I want to send. I don't want to send a message that food is more important to me than him! So, I have to start to think with each piece of food I grab, "What am I saying to my family?" "Are my actions matching my words?"
I am not a New Years Resolution kind of girl. Any time I have tried one, well if I make it a day or two I am lucky. What I want to do is just change my life to put my family before my addictions. And, if I am REALLY honest with myself, I have to go a step further and think of what I am telling Jesus, who I profess is my savior. I know he wants me to be healthy so he can use me for his plans. But, as I let my body, his temple, deteriorate, I am telling him "I love you but not enough to stay healthy". It is really convicting when you think of things in that perspective!
Am I saying I will never have a cookie again? No, I know I am too weak for that. But, while a Christmas cookie would not hurt, sneaking into the kitchen to repeatedly eat them is. I don't need dessert every day. Birthday cake would be acceptable if I did not have desserts as many times as possible in between those days. I want to be healthy. And, you know what? When I had cut sugar out of my diet before, when I first added it back, I found it made me nauseous. I really would not mind going back to that. That made me not eat huge sundaes and keep it to just a taste every once in a while. But as I continued to push through the nausea I got my body back to being used to it and well now my body craves it, it begs for it, it lives for it. I want to live for my Savior and my family not for my next "fix" of sugar.
So what is in your blank? What do you quietly tell your family "I love you but not enough to_____?"