Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lesson Learned.

First off, Merry Christmas. As I write this a few days early I already know this will be posting to you on a very special day - the day my Savior (and I hope yours) was born. What an incredible gift. What an incredibly special day. I hope that each of you enjoys this time for it's true meaning and value. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Today's prompt from Reverb (because I'm behind) is what lesson did I learn about myself this year. Great question and I hope you'll agree that I have a pretty great answer. This year I learned that I am tough. Mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. My life is truly blessed but it hasn't been an easy road to where I find myself writing to you today. This year is no exception...

I really saw and appreciated how tough I am this year. I stuck with my commitments, like reading 50 books this year. I met and exceed my goals - ie: I set a goal to lose 33 pounds for my best friends wedding and I lost 50. Then I set a goal to continue and I've already lost 10 more. To me, those show mental toughness. I can commit and I can conquer.

Beyond that, I had a tough year spiritually as I tried to leave some idols behind and keep fighting to place God first in my life. It's been a road with some rocks and it's been a road with some setbacks. I am still making mistakes and paying for old mistakes and living through consequences of past actions. But I have stayed strong in my commitment to pursue, pursue, pursue my relationship with the Lord. I have sought to know and follow hard after Him, and I have shown spiritual toughness as I fight through some battles.

You may thinking losing 60 pounds shows physical toughness but that pales in comparison to the hardest physical battles I've ever faced happening this year. 8 months of battling with my IBS has been intense. I've had to be extremely physically tough as I battle it out with my own body in search of what will work for me. It has been a battle but I think so far, I'm winning. Along with that I hurt my back (actually my rhomboid - in my the back of my right shoulder blade) and was in extreme pain with that...

Perhaps my most impressive physical toughness was my experience with getting my wisdom teeth removed this year. While in Baltimore working an All Pro Dad event my face felt like it was on fire. Come to find out my wisdom teeth were pushing on a nerve in my face. I determined to have them pulled 2 days later. Having already spoken for all my remaining days off in order to go home for a long Christmas I knew I couldn't miss work. I'd have to have them pulled and return to work the following day.

I took the last appointment, I instructed them that I could not go under (partly because it would irritate my stomach and partly because I had to make a 12 hour recovery). They looked at my like I was crazy but I literally said, 'look, I'm tough - do what you need to do, I'll stay calm - I promise'. The numbed me so I wouldn't feel them remove my teeth but let me tell you I was WIDE awake.

I'd taken the last appointment of the day so I got home that evening, watched a movie while I iced ( and assured each of my family members I was totally fine ). I chose not to cash in my vicodin prescription - I'm not much for meds. I popped 1 Tylenol that night just to be safe...

Woke up for work the next morning - no swelling, no bruising, not enough pain to need meds. Headed to work and worked a full 8 hour day. Now if that doesn't take some physical and mental toughness, I don't know what does.

The emotional toughness is a little harder to talk about. This year like all years in football families are tough. With Dad taking on new responsibilities there came a wave of media attention. Some good, some critical. As an Daddy's girl is, I'm very protective of my Dad and very defensive of any critical words. While I recognize that media will always be media and they will always say some tough things to hear despite a lack of truth on many occasions - it never gets easier. With a season that's contained some ups and downs with injuries, wins, loses, etc there has been a swirl of good and bad media attention. I have remained emotionally strong and managed to keep my mind on this - the only opinion that will ever matter is the Lord's.

I continue to swell with pride at the incredible man my Dad is. He has been faithful in his pursuit of the Lord first and football somewhere on down the list after my Mom and us girls. I continue to see the Lord bless and reward him for his faithfulness. What an incredible blessing this season of life is for all us. I have and will continue to defend him, be defensive of him, and cheer him on hard. I know more than ever that God is good, all the time.

In short, I am proud to report that this year I finally realize I am one tough cookie.

Merry Christmas to all.


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