The Road to Awesome is Paved With Success AND Failure

Well, here is a just a bit of transparency for your Wednesday.  

Being a fifty-two year old mom of toddlers has been a wake up call for me in a lot of ways, but especially in the area of my health.

I mean, I've always planned to live a good long time, but I don't think I ever felt the PRESSURE to live to a ripe old age.  But I have young children now.  They need me to be around, you know?

So in December of 2012, I started a journey to good health.  I changed a lot of my bad eating habits. (Not all of them, clearly judging from this, and this, and this.)  But as a general rule, 

  • I eat much cleaner, healthier foods  
  • I get more exercise, typically working out 4-6 times a week
  • I take a Sabbath
  • I stress less about the small stuff

I'm still not as good as I should be about resting, relaxing, or de-stressing, but I'm working on it. :)

Anyway, as part of my journey to good health, I had to take a look at myself in the mirror and realize I had a lot of weight to lose.  The avatars you see at the top are my starting weight (on the left), and my goal weight (on the right).  Keep in mind, these avatars are like a 25 year old version of me. (Meaning, I'm not nearly this smooth skinned or firm . . . like I said, a bit of transparency here today).

To be a healthy weight for my age and height I was shocked to learn I needed to lose 51 pounds! So I set myself a goal to lose the weight in one year (an average of 1 pound a week). I didn't gain all that weight overnight, and I wasn't going to lose it overnight.

                  As of TODAY, I have lost 26 pounds.  
              Halfway to my goal!

At my heaviest (I still look okay,
but looks can be deceiving, as I
was 51 pounds overweight here!) 
And today, 2 sizes smaller and 26 pounds lighter!

I feel successful, even though I have definitely had some rough weeks in there (I gained 4 pounds one week from ONE MEAL!  And at a pound a week, that took a month to get rid of! Then I plateaued for 6 weeks, desperately wanting to give up . . . but I didn't)

But I also feel successful because I'm not stressed out about the ups and downs I experience on the scale.  My goal is in the distance, and the successes and failures along the way are just part of the process.  

I think that's true of everything in life.

The journey of our lives include successes and failures. They are just part of the process.  

All that to say, I'm on the path that leads to awesome (notice I didn't say skinny! . . . but if skinny is involved, I guess I'm okay with that too!)

Our Battle Is NOT With Flesh and Blood

I went to church tonight, which if you keep up with my life, is no small thing.  (Not because I'm not a church goer, but because I went to my old church, where I used to work . . . it's complicated.)

While I was there, the Pastor was talking about being "in the battle."  And I couldn't help but think that the battle is all around us.  How often do we as believers feel at odds or even persecuted by other believers and treat them as though they are on the "opposing team?'

Far too often I would venture to guess.

I know it's true of me.

While I was there, I thought about the people who had hurt me, or talked bad about me, or blah, blah, blah fill in the blank, and in the midst of those emotions, I had a very superior feeling of righteousness.

Trust me when I tell you, though, open your heart to God in the middle of HIS church, and He's not going to let you feel very superior OR righteous for long, because there is nothing righteous about those feelings.

Those feelings are born solely of unforgiveness.

And I must see the unforgiveness in myself, and forgive.  I cannot be responsible for someone else's unforgiveness.  I can (and should) attempt to be reconciled to them (if they are open to it), but holding a grudge, harboring judgement or unforgiveness . . . simply not an option.

What I should have been thinking about was the people I have hurt, or talked bad about, or treated unfairly, or judged and prayed for forgiveness.

I am not on the opposing team.  They are not on the opposing team.  For the love of Jesus, we are brothers and sisters.  We play for the same team.  There is no glory for God when we, His children, who are called by His name, are content to live at odds with one another.

As I would say to my toddlers, "That is NOT okay."

All that to say, I am grateful that God makes me painfully aware of my sin, my self-righteousness, my unforgiveness.  Grateful because it keeps me from fooling myself into believing that I am healed when I am not.  I like to think I'm good at fooling myself.  God's got my number though.  Thank God.

In Honor of My Birthday

If we aren't very careful, I think it is very easy to live a topsy-turvey, life-upside-down kind of life, spending time on pursuits that don't matter at the sake of the things in our lives that do.

Perhaps I am just being philosophical because it is my birthday, but I have come to realize that the ability to waste your life is something that comes far too easily for most of us, while LIVING your life, the full, abundant life we are called to live, takes incredible effort.

I made  a list of the things that have wasted my life (and discarded it ceremoniously).  

These are the things that are worth living for:

My deep faith that challenges me, rescues me, protects me and sustains me;

My husband and children, who are the best part of me;

My family that loves me unconditionally, and 

My treasured friends (they know who they are, I don't have to name them) who have weathered life's storms alongside me and still call me friend.

In honor of my birthday, I say to you


All that to say, that is all.  Carry on.