Sunday, May 13, 2012
A REMEMBERING MOMMA STORY:
About a month ago we went to a Quinciniera (a 15th birthday celebration for a young lady in our village), and as we were sitting and visiting with a young couple from our village, their little girl came running up to her mother's side...and then shied away when she saw me. This little girl is cute as a button, but not usually a very happy little girl, a bit suspicious of everyone, and generally VERY hard to win over. (I've blown her kisses before, and she reacted as if I'd pinched her!) She had her fingernails painted, and I told her how beautiful they were. "Did your momma paint them?" I asked. She warmed up just a tad and nodded (big, wide, sad eyes on this extremely shy little girl). I told her I wanted to have pretty nails like that, but I didn't have my momma to paint my nails, so I couldn't. What happened next was something like a miracle. She just silently gazed into my eyes with her sad eyes; I could see she was processing things. After the LONGEST silence, her eyes looking sadder by the moment, she rose the full height of her tippy toes and planted a long, sweet kiss on my cheek. That sweet little girl had just figured out how terribly sad it must be to NOT have your momma! She melted my heart!
So . . . to those of you who, like me, no longer have your momma on this earth to share all those precious mother/daughter things together, in my heart I'm just standing on my tippy-toes and planting a kiss on your cheek today. How wonderful that we had mothers that we still long for and miss! Let those memories kiss you with her love today.
[The rest of the story: Coming from my ultra-conservative background, I vividly remember getting a spanking from my mother when I got home from kindergarten one day, because my friend, Brenda, had painted my fingernails with her mother's Avon samplers! In her later years, Mother let go of some of the more legalistic things she'd held onto and actually had HER fingernails tastefully painted! Somehow it came full-circle for me to have this little girl kiss me, because my momma couldn't paint my nails! A disguised kiss sent from heaven by Momma? Probably not, but a sweet thought!]
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I can remember when I thought food tracking was a restraint--something that holds you back. It certainly can feel that way, and when we begin a new, healthier eating lifestyle, it is natural to feel restrained and want to break free of the new restraints. In reality is the previous unbridled living (in whatever sense--sometimes called "gluttony") that actually holds us back from achieving our God-given potential and dreams.
It is for this reason God often asks us to give some things up--not for the purpose of giving them up or as a punishment, but because He created us and knows what is BEST for us. He asks us to give things up in order to have the ABUNDANT LIFE He chose and designed for each of us specifically. A race car driver will never win the prize by recklessly ignoring the discipline of car maintenance and improvement. Why, then, do we somehow think we will win the prizes of our lives when we are ignoring maintenance and improvement of our greatest tool-- our bodies?! That is not freedom; it's bondage!
Today I'm renewing my mind with that point of view. It's time to loosen those bands and break free of the habits which have placed me in bondage and robbed me from racing forward, full throttle, at my best speed INTO the VICTORY and achievements God has had for me all along!
Monday, January 09, 2012
Do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink. Is not life more than food? See ye first His Kingdom. Matthew 6:25-33
Why does it not surprise me that once again the Bible takes me to the heart of the issue? We must first get past "living to eat" and move towards "eating to live." Until we do that, healthy eating becomes a struggle of trying to find healthy alternatives that are mimicking the unhealthy foods we used to eat. I had a WW leader once who was always telling us how to eat huge quantities of food within out daily points target. "I mean, " she'd say, "That's what its all about, right? Eating as much as you can!" Well, that never quite set well with me. It's like looking for the loopholes--a kind of rebellion that is the opposite of discipline and is sure to backfire! Its manipulating food to allow us to still live out of control.
Early on in every attempt to lose weight, I find myself with a paradox. This quote indicates that I'm not to be "anxious" about what I eat and drink. It can mean not to worry about where the provision is coming from for the next meal. In my case it has more to do with not becoming obsessed about what I eat. When I am consumed in eating whatever feels good, I am thinking about food too much. Isn't it a strange paradox that the minute I start concentrating on what and how much I eat, I often am thinking about food MORE than I ever did when I wasn't trying to eat healthy? Typically, when I'm absorbed in a task or project, I often "forget" to eat. I know that takes me into a danger zone for when I DO eat, so I have to make sure I eat evenly spaced throughout the day. It takes way more time to plan meals, or re-study the nutritional contents, try new recipes, etc.
So, how can I make this lifestyle change and NOT be "anxious" about what I eat or drink. Here are some thoughts I think might help:
1) First, seek His Kingdom first. For me that means asking God to reveal to me the important things of the day . . . and direct my steps accordingly. I ask Him to reveal things about my eating patterns and habits that I've not realized before. I find that when I concentrate on His purposes for the day, I am more fulfilled, less frustrated, and less obsessed.
2) I am going to plan menus ahead, including some quick throw-together options for when we get home late. (We live in a remote village; no "fast food" (healthy or otherwise) to fall back on. Being OVER hungry always spells disaster for me; it's when I give in to fix whatever my husband wants and don't have enough energy to prepare myself an alternative. I'm also going to try to have some "snack" options available for him that don't require me to stop and think about food, when HE'S the one wanting to eat.
3) I'm going to try at least one new recipe each week and gradually build up meals that my husband accepts and that are also healthier for me. If this is going to last, I cannot always continue preparing different foods for myself. I can relax and let this happen naturally and cover it in much prayer.
4) In one of the Daily Spark articles, the author's tip for beginners was to "Aim for better every day, not perfect right away!" Wow! That is impacting! I think it's my new theme. It helps us forgive ourselves when we could have done it better and helps us keep from obsessing. Was it better today than yesterday? If "yes," then I have succeeded and am taking steps in the right direction!
5) I will focus on investing in others. The nature of our job as missionaries IS to do this, but the more I think and plan about what we do, the less time I will have to obsess on eating to live.
Indeed, life IS more than food!
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Perspective has so much to do with our self image, and I've been thinking about the things that influence our perspective. Some of us just want to find our beautiful, younger, thinner self (that would be me! LOL!) and others find ourselves yearning to look like a certain person, or model, or TV personality (and sometimes that's me, too). Whether we do it for health or looks, most of us have an image we're hoping for, and I think most times that image is detrimental.
My great Aunt Kate . . . oh, my goodness! Just saying the words bathes me in love and warmth and happiness. Her image in my memory is SO SWEET! I think as a child I always thought I wanted to be like Aunt Kate when I was old. My grandmother had passed away, so Aunt Kate was my image of a grandmother. She was gentle, loving, happy, busy, and baked the most wonderful German creations one could imagine! And . . . she was "round"--jolly round. Picture a pretty Mrs. Santa with a heavy German accent, and that's my Aunt Kate. Family was everything to her.
So when exactly (and how) did my picture of what I should be at her age change? I'm a short jaunt away from my 60's, and somehow I want to be that sleek college gal of my youth. Interesting! I think of the beam I see on my grandson's face when he sees me. I think of the jolly memories we've made together. And . . . I have a feeling it would seem very strange to him if that sleek college gal showed up! THAT certainly would NOT be his Nana, right? Perhaps he even has some "Aunt Kate" feelings when he sees me.
Health is the big issue here--becoming more active and healthier so that we can be around for our families for a long time AND more fully enjoy our earthly life. Beyond that, it involves becoming our best . . . "our" best! Being WHO we are, WHAT we are, and looking LIKE ourselves.. . not someone else--even a younger self! Yes, I WILL look younger (sweeeet!) as weight comes off, but it will still be age appropriate, and that's not a bad thing.
Perspective! Embrace yourself! Grow to love yourself! If I do that, maybe ... just maybe I'll discover that when I look in the mirror that I love myself something like I loved my Aunt Kate. And . . . if the worst thing that happens to me is that I resemble my dear Aunt Kate, I think I shall be a woman (and a child still within) MOST BLESSED!
Scripture that inspired this thought process: "Food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do." I Cor. 8:8
Saturday, January 07, 2012
Well, I've really been having a hard time believing to what extent my weight peaked. I'm just grateful I didn't reach my highest weight again. I've been back at it a week and a half now, and I am seeing some visible changes.
Some of these are things I forget about:
1) More energy;
2) Less chin (SO grateful!);
3) Diminishing dark circles under my eyes;
4) Brightness in my eyes;
5) Clothes fitting better than scales reflect.
These things happen, because allowing sugars back into my diet simply are not good for me, and so quickly my body responds when I am nice to it. Isn't it AMAZING the way God created our bodies?
Am reminded of a previous thought I treasure: "God is the lover of my soul, the designer of my body, and the One Who purchased my liberty." I believe He purchased my spiritual liberty, but I also believe He purchased my liberty in the earthly things that impede the abundant life He chose for me. ABUNDANT life! Not a "just-getting-by" life or a "not-so-shabby" life or a "good-by-everyone else's standards" life . . . and ABUNDANT LIFE--specifically designed for me. He purchased that for me, and I'm going to work harder at hearing His voice in the daily things, so I don't miss what He has for me! There are some things that need to change; some are within me; some are within my life circle. Today I'm reminding Him of His promises and looking to Him, and THAT puts a lilt in my step.
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