Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Don and I have only been married for 8 1/2 years now. He is such a stable part of my life. I have to sit back and count the many blessings God has brought to me and he is one. I still remember how he asked me to marry him: "Mary is God talking to you about us?" To be honest I didn't want to say anything, because God was talking to me, but I wanted him to say it first.
It took around 5 minutes of saying to him that you don't want to know what God is saying, until I said, "God said we are going to be husband and wife." He said right back, "That's what God is saying to me, so let's get married." It was Christmas day 1999. You remember Y2K? So Don said to me, "Hey wouldn't it be cool to get married on Y2K?"
O.K. I said back, but in my mind I thought he must be crazy. Goes from not even giving me a hint that God was talking to him to saying let's get married next week.
Thank God it took longer to work out the logistics of getting married in Tanzania. We had to get permission from the Embassy and post our intention to marry in a public place for 21 days. (That is just in case there is some Masaai man who claims he paid 10 cows for me.)
We got married by the pastor of the church we were going to. Then we went to Zanzibar for our first 3 weeks of married life. The first week was a honeymoon. The next 2 weeks were ministry work. Just happened to have a ministry outreach planed in January 2000. It was very hot and we only had a comfortable room the first week we were there. It was just a little crazy, but now we can laugh when we think about the time in Zanzibar.
I cried when I found out that Don had to stay with the trucks and wait for customs to clear them before he could come home. I was such a wreck for those 2 weeks we were apart.
Don is also one of my fitness cheerleaders. He has either made or bought everything I need to get fit. When I told him I wanted to lift weights, he made me a weight bench and machine very similar to the Bow flex (Chuck Norris). He has fixed and made things work that should have been buried. I wear out fitness machines. I wore out my eliptical machine and stair stepper. Don fixed the eliptical machine many times and finally it was replaced by a spin cycle. I love my spin cycle and don is happy to have something easier to fix.
Don loves me just as I am, but also knows that my goal to get fit is important to both of us.
We are called together to serve Tanzania. It becomes more and more clear why God put us together. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights. He gave me to Don. I am so happy he is coming home today!
Monday, July 28, 2008
This is a photo of my Dad, his wife Paulette, and 14 year old brother- Nick. That's right I have a brother who is 30 years younger than me. I also have a brother who is 13 years older than me. That means my dad has been fathering children for a long time.
Dad and I don't have the best of relationships, but I am working on it. He is a very cranky man and does try, but didn't really know how to show love to us. I thank God that he was able to kick alcohol addiction. He was not a pleasant man to be around.
He is a perfectionist. He was an athletic coach at our Catholic school when I was there. Trust me, you don't want your perfectionist father as the coach when you are trying to finally do something athletic.
My first experience under my father's coaching, was my last. I am super sensitive and when I was running a lap around the track my dad was calling me, "Thunder Thighs". I should have learned the gift of turning those digs into compliments. Yes, I have very muscular legs. Always have and always will. I will never have bird legs like my dad- that's what my mom called them.
The hardest thing I had to do with the relationship was to release the disappointment and resentments that I had against him. He will never be that Father Knows Best style person. I learned that his family growing up was not an affectionate type family. My oldest brother helped me by letting me know that Dad did the best with what he had.
I noticed a much more mellow version of my Dad this year. He didn't tell me to stop laughing at the dinner table and he actually showed what for him was affection. He gave me his old Bible from our days in Kansas City. That was around the time that the Charasmatic movement started in the 70's. He was trying to salvage the marriage to my mom and get off alcohol. He did one of the above.
I do love my dad. I love the Bible. It almost looks new. I know my perfectionist Dad would be mortified to see that I actually use my Bibles. No shelve sitting for it. It is a reminder of the turbulent, but memorable time of my life.
So there you have it. My Dad.
Friday, July 25, 2008
It was the beginning of 2003 that I really started to think about my weight more seriously. I would turn 40 that year. I started to eat differently and exercise.
I only saved 1 pair of my fat jeans. It is my belief that you should try not to hang on to the big sizes, or you will have something to go back to. One day I found my fat jeans and put them on. I was so surprized at how big they were. I thought about the fact that there used to be flesh filling up the jeans and now there was a bunch of air.
I still have a little ways to go before I am back to the weight in this photo, but I know I will get there. I am not quitting. I chose to press on and get the surgery weight off.
Thank you to all my friends who are here to help me along.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I just thought you might want to see what I looked like many years ago. It is amazing how much my body has changed in these last 5 years. Thank God I have 80 pounds less to carry around.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
My Great Reward, by Mary Bryant
He is my great reward. People spend their whole lives in pursuit of things. These things are fleeting. They pursue the love of others. They look for financial security. The pursuit of most people is that of pleasure, but without the foundation of Christ, they are only chasing shadows.
Genesis 15:1, “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, “Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
Ps. 43:4, “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy;
Deuteronomy 10:9, “Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised him.”
I would rather have the Lord as my inheritance than inherit the riches of mankind. The riches of this world are fading away. They are only temporary, but the inheritance of the Lord is eternal.
1 Peter 1:4, “to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you”
2 Peter 1:4, “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Matthew 6:19,20, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
1 Kings 3:5-15, Solomon asked the Lord for a hearing heart. He wanted discernment. That was why he was also granted riches. We are not to put the pursuit of other things above the pursuit of Him.
Psalm 84:10-12, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!
Matthew 6:25-33, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how thy grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all in glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, o you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying “What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Or “What shall we wear?” For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Luke 10:38-42, “Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “ Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is NEEDED, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
One thing is NEEDED: To sit at His feet. We must learn to receive from him. We need to learn to hear. So many of us ask the Lord to bless what we are doing. We need to first hear what the Lord is directing us to do.
Jesus never asks us to do something He didn’t do Himself. He was the perfect example.
John 8:28&29, “Then Jesus said to them, “When you life up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.
God spoke a word to me last week concerning worship. Worship means that we trust God to take care of us. Worry is not part of the equation. We must cast every care on Him in order to really worship. Worship and worry cannot mix. It is like water and oil. They are incompatible. Worship is an act of trust. He brings us to the revelation of His omnipotence. He reveals His love. We then know that it will all turn out for good, because God is good.
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