a farm-filled christmas and a much-needed update

I've been a little distant from the blogging world over the past couple weeks. And that can be mostly attributed to the jumble of thoughts which comprise my brain. It is already rather chaotic in there, but here of late, it's been on overdrive. Like sleepless nights kind of overdrive.

Merry Christmas from the McMurphy crew
the cousins
First of all, let me say ... Merry Christmas. I know I am a few days late, but I'm really the type that would go around saying it all year long just for fun. As I so often stated this time last year, Christmas is my {most} favorite time of the year. This year was no exception. I was surrounded by family, love, and laughter. If only the abundance of laughter had been enough to burn off all the calories that I consumed amidst this holiday season.

You may ask, "what exactly did you laugh so much about?" The better question is what didn't we laugh about. Gage's giggles. Jordan's stories. Ant hills. Hay bales. Pinterest humor. and Elf Yourself videos. One thing you can be sure of is that our holidays will never be short of laughter when we are all together. This year was even less about the presents than it ever has been. That is something I love most about my family. I am the broke grad school student who is currently unemployed until May {donations accepted ... haha! just kidding}, and my miniscule gifts were just as accepted as all the other ones. Being in my grandparent's home surrounded by those I love and filled with such joy and peace with the celebration of Jesus' birth, how could I not feel like this was one of the best Christmases ever. I am one amazingly blessed girl.

the boys riding the tractor with Papa
a little Christmas Eve chicken barn adventure
my precious Granny
Gage's hiding place
Next, let me note that the whole calorie overload the past week was no joke, and I feel the payback my body is about to give me in the gym tomorrow. I seriously never stop amazing myself. I really thought that maybe I had made progress on this whole food-mind game that I've had going for years, but it reared its ugly head this past week. Every slip, every indulgence, every little cheating bite made me feel even worse about myself. There is some disconnect between my brain and my body. For example, I haven't eaten very healthy whatsoever for the past 5 or so days. Instead of allowing myself some grace and just jumping back on track (let's say tomorrow), I beat myself up and my {inner} vision balloons back into my old self. The same arms, face, legs, etc that looked smaller just last week now look 10x larger. It's irrational how much grief I give myself over eating food on a holiday rather than just pick myself up off the floor and keep moving forward. I'm not done with this journey, and I refuse to let my old mentality take back over. This is God's battle to fight for me, and the longer I try to do this on my own or condemn myself for every shortcoming, the harder life is going to be. Tomorrow (a.k.a. today, December 27,2012) is a new day. It's  day for me to start new and fresh. It is my opportunity to lay all of my struggles and sorrows back at the feet of Jesus.
Okay. Ready. Set. Go.

my attempt at fighting temptation with healthy PB brownies
One last thing I wanted to just throw out there. This is going to sound so strange and in complete contradiction to my mental battle with my weight loss {mentioned above}, but I've had a strange revelation here recently. I've noticed that people are starting to look at me instead of through me. I have always felt invisible. I mean ... seriously ... I wouldn't have seen me either surrounded by such {outwardly} beautiful, skinny people. I do feel different now that I've made progress on my journey to being healthy. Honestly, I've never felt better in my entire life. For the first time ever, I feel like people are actually seeing me for me. I have hidden behind my weight and food for so long just hoping that no one would take notice of poor, overweight Jenna. I don't want to hide anymore from my problems, from my feelings, from my reality. This is the way God created me, and {contrary to what I've thought my whole life}, He made no mistakes on me.

This post came out of nowhere and is more random than I intended, but I felt like God wanted me to share just a little of what is going on with me. It's not easy being honest and open with my wounds and scars, but God always uses my pain to help others going through the same thing.

Stay tuned for future posts ... a very overdue update on my 5K debut and status, some {spiritual} heart issues God has been repairing, new year's resolutions, Passion 2013 just next week, and the beginning of the end {a.k.a. my last semester of grad school and my frightening entrance into the SLP medical world}.

my countdown is getting ever smaller
So long comfort zone. I'm heading out into the big girl world.

Learning to be the Light,