Thursday, January 27, 2011

52 Days to Go and Takin' Advice from a 4-Year-Old

       "Mommy, mommy look what I learned in pre-school today!"  Elijah shouted as he started hopping on one foot (his newly acquired skill).  "I am so proud of myself!"
    I am so proud of myself, he grinned.  He couldn't have cared less if I was proud of him...he knew that what he was doing was awesome and it only mattered that he was proud.
    So, today I'm going to follow his lead.

I am so proud of myself!  I am proud that I have surrounded myself with such wonderful, caring, supportive, challenging, loving friends who love me exactly the way that I am.  I am proud that I have followed a program that is guiding me toward a healthier me.  I am proud that I am making choices that lead to life, not my own destruction.  I am proud that there are moments when I know deep within that God defines who I am, and not the number on the scale.  I am proud that when I'm not having one of those moemnts, I am blessed with the most amazing of husbands who shows me how wonderful I am.

Simply...I am so proud of myself.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

54 Days and Needing Some Help...

This is a plea for some encouragement, some 'atta girl's,' some 'you better not quit's..."  Because I'm feeling a wee bit discouraged; I'm certain I'm not going to make my goal...I've lost 47 (which is good), but still have 25 to lose before my birthday; that's 1 pound every two days (not gonna happen).  And I've had two really bad days over Isaac's birthday (the invention of frosting is pure evil.) and I'm just not wanting to continue on this damn journey that's never going to end until I'm scattered in the ocean.  So, look...I'm doing what they say you're supposed to do...I'm asking for help.  HELP ME!!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

63 Days to Go--Sermon Posted

It's been awhile since I've preached a sermon and not ended it with rolling my here's the latest.  A special thank you to lawyer-pastor-friend Brion, whose ,if I'm not mistaken, probably made it into more than just my sermon.  Thanks Brion!

I have a pastor friend who used to be a lawyer. And he says that the biggest differences between being a pastor and being a lawyer is how the game is played. Being a lawyer is all about winning and losing; you argue a case in front of a judge: someone wins and someone loses. You end up settling before something ever goes to trial: whoever gets the most money out of the deal wins. Knowing where you stand in the lawyering world is really easy—you’re either a winner or a loser. Being a pastor, he says, being in the kingdom world is exactly the opposite. In God’s world there is no winning and losing…there is simply living. There isn’t someone getting all the glory and someone ending up a failure, instead there’s all of us crazy people thrown together, living together in relationships with God and with each other. We’re not winning or losing, we’re simply called to play the game.

We certainly know a lot about calls in the church, don’t we. I remember the beginning of our’s. ..when I stood here in front of you answering all your questions, wondering what kind of people that you were, wondering what God in store for us. After our initial getting to know you period, remember all those grand hopes and expectations that we had.

I do…I was going to use my witty sermons, and my clever humor and your inexhaustible, tiredless serving…and this place was going to grow so big we’d have to add on. Remember how we were so excited that God was really going to do some wonderful things in this place?

And then after a few years our enthusiasm got a little tempered. A few too many seemingly failed programs, too many weeks of empty pews and this is me talking here…I start to get a wee bit discouraged, wondering what in the heck are we doing? And then you know what happened…God did. I read these words from Scripture, feeling like I wrote them, not some guy thousands of years ago…”I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and for vanity…”on things that just blow away in the wind. I have spent all this time and effort and energy and there is absolutely nothing to show for it. Yep…that’s about right I thought. And then…and whoever says Scripture is a dead language hasn’t read it lately, because then I read: “yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God.” And dang it…if I didn’t have one of those moments…it’s not about what I do; guys it’s not about what we do. God is the one in control.

It’s not about the programs that we put on, or the fabulous worship services that we have or don’t have, or about witty preaching and in-exhaustive service…it’s about a God who called us before we were even born, who protected us in the shadow of God’s hand, until we were ready to go out into the world. And here we are, nestled arrows in God, called, not to get more people in the pews, but called to be a light to the nations. Called to proclaim to the ends of the earth that there is a God who couldn’t care less about winning and losing, and who cares about nothing more than living in relationship with each and every person at the ends of the earth.

And you know how we do that? How we become lights to the nations? First and foremost—we abide in Jesus, we live in Jesus. When those first disciples met Jesus, they didn’t ask him tons of questions, and Jesus didn’t give them tons of answers…they simply wanted to be with him, to find out where he was staying….to abide in him, like branches live on the vine. They wanted to rest deeply within him, and become a part of who he was and discover what he was calling them to be. That’s our calling as well…to abide in Jesus….to sit with him, to learn from him, to read his stories, to breath deeply his breath, to eat his bread, and become one with him. And then, after living with Jesus we become his witnesses. And that’s the hard part…

Story Number two from said pastor/lawyer friend. Although there are many differences between lawyering and pastoring, there is one big similarity. When someone is going to be a witness at a trial, they’re all excited about it at first—ready to convict or to protect or do whatever they want their testimony to do. Until the actual court date arrives, and then, lawyer-pastor friend says “they turn into a pile of quivering jello.” What if they’re asked a question they don’t know the answer to? What if they don’t get the answers right? What if they make a mistake? And he always tells them. Simply, you don’t testify to what you don’t know. You don’t need to know why the chicken crossed the road, you simply testify to the fact that you saw him do it. You are only a witness to what you have seen.

Us Christians are exactly the same. We want to follow Jesus, we want to be a light to the nations, but when we get to that opportunity to be a witness, we turn into a bowl of quivering jello. What if I don’t know that answers to their questions? I don’t know anything about doctrines and dogma…how can I be a light to the nations. We really should let someone more qualified be this bearer of Jesus to the world. My friend’s answer to us would be the same as to his clients: Testify only to what you know…testify to where Jesus has intersected your life…share where you have lived with Jesus and what Jesus has given to you. I imagine a conversation might go something like this—There’s really so much I’d like to tell you about Jesus…about this guy who meets me time and time again, who loves me for who I am, who saves me from the world and from myself. But, honestly I really don’t have the words…so instead why don’t you “come and see.” Why don’t you come and see and live in Jesus too. Maybe you, me and all these other Jesus followers, can live with him together. And living in him, our light will shine, the nations will see, and we will become exactly what we were called to be. Come and See.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

68 Days to Go...An Actual Post inside!

I'm reading this book called A Course in Weight Loss, mirrored after a book A Course in Miracles (which I've never read).  It's of course, a self-help book, that was commissioned by it's kind of touchy-feely and bad theologically (which I refuse to critique), because right now it's something I need to be reading.  Because the farther I get on this journey, the more I realize this is more than just about weight loss; and right now my biggest fear is that I'm not doing something right, that this will be just another yo-yo diet, and I will gain it all back.  So, I'm going to share with you exericse number two:
    "Thin-You Meets Not-Thin-You"  A letter written to Not-Thin-Me:

Dear Miss Piggy,
    I know you've had that name a long time--ever since we were six-years-old, when Ryan and Eric decided that would be the greatest thing to call you.  You were just a baby at the time--you didn't know that they were dumb little boys trying to tease you.  You didn't know that words spoken by someone who doesn't love you mean nothing.  You were just a baby--but, the problem Miss Piggy is that five years of elementary school taunts, does not give you the right to take over 30 years of my life.  Here's the thing--I understand what you're doing.  I know that you're trying to protect me; that giving me these extra layers are your way of helping me survive those taunts, of helping me make it through all those time of unrealistic expectations and fear of failure and disappointment.  But, my darling, I don't need you anymore.  I am now a grown woman; I do not need you to protect me from failure or even to shield me from success.  I will be just fine without that coat you've given me; I will succeed, I will fail, I will move forward, I will make mistakes, but I know that deep within me, I am enough!  I know deep within me that God loves me, that Steve loves me, and that underneath you, I love me...and I love you.  Thank you Miss Piggy for being there for me all those years, but I'm ready to go it alone.  I'm ready to move faster, to be healthier, to live longer, and to be joyful with who we've become.  You will always hold a special place in my heart, but from now on, that's the only place you'll be--
    Gratefully...but no longer yours...
                Your Coatless Friend...  

Monday, January 10, 2011

70 Days to Go...

Just checking in...
Another fairly good day.  This is just a long, long, long journey.  Someday soon maybe I'll post something profound or at least witty.  Until tomorrow...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

71 Days to Go...

Two fabulous things happened today:
One:  I did not yell even once today at my children!  Not once!
Two:  I did not succumb to the temptation to take a free day; it was a really, really difficult thing, but I did it!
Oh and Three:  I'm fulfilling my promise to blog every day.

Thank you friends; see you tomorrow!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

72 days to go...

Hi!  First of all I would like to thank all of my friends for reminding me of my promise.  In my defense, my computer died...and although fbooking and emailing doable from an ipod, blogging is not!  So, I'm stealing Steve's and checking in. 
Let me tell you I've had one good week (as far as the program goes; ask me about my children, and the answer would be exactly the opposite).  But, I'm going to stay positive today.
So, I've absolutely stayed on this week.  And, guess what?  I cooked an actual dinner from scratch!  Like I used seasonings and everything!  And it was good!  Imagine that. AND...who knew it could get better?  I've done the couch to 5k thing, and am doing the running part at 5mph...that is fast for me (ask my brother Matt the nickname he gave me when I was 12--hint:  brother to Luigi, because of my ridiculous running)!  I've decided to do week one a number of times...just to give my feet a break...who says RA has to de-rail you?  Anyway...let me just say I'm proud of myself.  I'm going to accomplish this.  I'm going to have one area of this chaotic life of mine, that is under control and going in a positive direction!  And, I could not do this without each one of you--knowing that I have people praying and cheering for me keeps me from binging at 3:30 in the afternoon!
Now, if I could keep my kids from killing each would be pretty damn perfect! 
Until tomorrow...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

78 Days to Go...

Really all I need or want to say is "I'M HUNGRY!!!"  Okay, that's it; aren't you so glad you're a follower of such a verbose blogger?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pressing the Restart Button...

When I began this journey, I was keeping a journal; each night I would record how I did, how I felt, how many days had gone by and how many were left until my birthday.  It was exciting to see how far I was coming and to see how long I had left.  That worked for about 200 days.  Then I started to get freaked out...what if I didn't succeed?  what if I gained?  what if?  what if?  So, I did what any self-respecting person would do, I stopped journalling, stopped counting down the days, and stopped holding myself accountable.  Right now, this is simply about losing weight.  This is about finishing something that I started.  Will I make it to my goal?  I have absolutely no idea.  But, will I journal here in front of all of you, every single day?  Yes.  Will I turn 35 knowing that I tried, and failed, and wandered, and succeeded in this journey that will last me the rest of my life?  Hell yes! 
So, here I go.  286 days day; 79 to go.  Today I followed my program; and for those of you who really know me, it was Day 1 without a McD Diet Coke--there are a few other changes going on in our lives as well (damn you Dave Ramsey!).  More on that later...
So, until tomorrow...