Archive for March, 2011
“It’ll get you high-school skinny”
That was a line in a commerical for a natural diet supplement I heard for the first time this morning. This is my question–why do 30-40-50 year old women still expect to be high school skinny? Why is that the goal for the majority of American women?
It makes me sad. Why? Because we set unrealistic weight expectations and then beat ourselves up when we do not acheive them. We look at airbrushed magazines or commericals of 20-somethings modeling 40-something clothes and feel like a failure because we are not them. I have news for us…we shouldn’t be.
We should be healthy. And sometimes healthy is not high school skinny. We should aim to be comfortable in our own skin. Our aim should be to not be obsessing about our weight. Our aim should be to give God glory.
This is probably a soap-box topic for me because I have always struggled with my weight. I am currently on the “scale is not moving” part of the Weight Watchers system and I’m only 8 weeks in. My past relationship with food has not been a healthly one. However, my past does indicate my future and each day I gain a greater, healthy respect of food.
Together let us aim for healthy–not high-school skinny.
Perfect Spouse or Prefect Husband? That was the question. The question stemmed from the movie The Adjustment Bureau, which I really enjoyed. Would you choose the perfect spouse over the perfect career. And by perfect we mean…
Spouse: Perfect for you. Not necessarily does everything right all of the time–but is the yin to your yang. The salt to your pepper, the chocolate to your milk, you get the point.
Career: Pursuing your passions and being extremely wealthy while doing so.
In The Adjustment Bureau, you couldn’t have both. You had to make a decision. Emily and Matt make choices and accept the outcome of their choices.
Honestly, I ask because I don’t know. But if I had to choose I think I’d go with spouse. I think I’d rather my home be full of love than a home full of money and notoriety. I think I’d rather live in obscurity with someone I love than with a lot of money. Yet, if I had money–I could give it away. I could help the poor, the widow and the orphan. I would be happy at work and since I’m happy at work I’d have to assume that would pour over into the friendships of my life, right?
Let’s ask again, knowing this definitions, would you choose love or money? The perfect spouse or the perfect career?
this weekend I’m headed to the Reach Your World conference in Charlotte, NC. I’m helping run the thing. I’m excited! At the previous RYW conference I met Brock Gill. That man has some stories! So I started following him on Twitter. He asked the following question.
“Perfect spouse or Perfect career? Which would you want?”
What do you think? Ready, set go!
I have a friend who had knee surgery last summer and every time she was making progress in the healing she would mention how much it hurt. Anyone who has been through physical therapy will tell you the same thing. They all have had the same sadistic Physical Therapist who pushes them to the limit. This person is equally loved and equally hated. There are tears of pain and eventual tears of joy as healing continues.
I don’t know about you, but tears are very healing for me. Cathartic even.
As we mature we begin to realize that all healing involves pain. We’d like it to be different, but it isn’t. If we did not have pain we would not know joy, and this two-sided coin sometimes haunts us. As time moves on, the scars never seem to fully go away. They serve as reminders.
Reminders of pain–but more importantly–reminders of healing. Reminders of overcoming. Reminders of victory.
My small group is reading through Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. This book will wreck you, but in a good way. Chapter 8 is about tainted trust. Brennan says
“Trust in God does not presume God will intervene”
I have to be honest, tears immediately fell from my eyes. I always trust that God will intervene. And maybe that’s why my trust is so shakey, tainted? Because when He doesn’t intervene I feel…forgotten? I feel…betrayed? My trust crumbles because the Creator God, the Elohim, the Adonai did not bend to my desires.
Instead He choose to act in ways that are mysterious to me.
In ways that cause me pain.
In ways that, in the right-now of the moment, seem to be anything but good.
This morning God showed me He is in the business of cleaning my trust. He’s in the business of making it clear without any tainting. And in doing so–He may not intervene.
That’s when I said, “ouch”. That’s when I realized my tears of hurt, misunderstanding and pain where bringing healing.
If you don’t know me well, you don’t know that I hate birds. Or rather, I hate birds that are near me and could fly in my face. I also am not a huge fan of cats. They’re alright but I am definitely a dog person.
Now for my story.
I moonlight as a dogsitter when I’m not at my 9-3 or writing. It’s not a bad gig. I get new creative venues every now and again and I get to love on my favorite four-legged friend from time to time. It’s a good gig! So last night I hear the dogs in and out of the room but think they are just a little restless, as per usual.
Then at 6:40:31 this morning I hear “cheap, cheap, cheeeeeppp..cheap cheap cheeeppp.” So from out of my dream of catching killers and starring as a leading lady in the next action comedy, I dart awake and listen intently. The dogs are actually in the room with me but where are the cats? Maybe they are just playing with a squeaker toy?
I gingerly get out of bed and start the morning routine and see all four animals and hear no chep-queaking. Oh good, problem solved, it WAS a squeaker toy. Stellar! I breathe a little easier and go about getting my morning cup o’ java.
About an hour later, after spending a lovely, albeit cloudy, morning outside I come in to see the cats slowly and steady making a beeline for a certain room of the house. Curious to see what they are looking for, I follow.
“cheeep, chep, CHEEEEEEPPPPPP!” It IS a bird!! Agh! I duck and run. I mean, the bird has wings after all! As I slowly peak my head around the corner I notice the cats are patiently stalking the bird and it hasn’t moved. So in my great wisdom, I decide to let them handle the bird and I will finish getting ready for the work day.
I come down the stairs and there are feathers in the room where once there was a bird. Yay cats!
In his letter to the Church at Ephesus, Paul reminds them that they were choosen in Christ before the foundations of the world. (2:20) I’ve heard (and given) many teachings on this verse. It is highly important to let the weight of this revelation seep into the deep places of your heart. It is highly motiviating to find your identity in truths such as this, rather than in your circumstances. Why?
Because cirmcstances change. If you find your identify in something that changes, you will fall apart when/if it does. The fact that you were choosen in Him before the foundation of the world, does not change. It is forever true. It is unshakeable.
This morning I was reading in the Gospel of John. Jesus is praying in the garden right before he is to be betrayed. He is praying for you and for me. He says
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (17:24 ESV)
I never realized that Paul was echoing Jesus’ words when he was writing to the Ephesians. I find it interesting that right before his death, Jesus remembers that He was loved before the foundation of the world.
We are loved before. Before, the foundations of the earth. Before, while we were sinners. Before we recognize our need of salvation. Before, we know there is only one truth. Before I get skinnier. Before I am married. Before I have my dream career. Before I buy that something new. Before my children grow up. Before I yelled at my husband. Before I…
What “before” do you need to remember today?
You are loved.
A little over nine months ago I went to the Proverbs 31 “She Speaks” conference in Charlotte, NC. At the time I was unemployed, but through the help of a couple of friends I was able to attend the conference, so I knew God wanted me there. What I didn’t know was how it would give me direction.
It was there that I learned that I sway when I speak. I did not know that about myself, although it does make sense. I can not stand still! I learned that blogs should have a focus, rather than be random entries and that you should write what you know. I learned not to be jealous of others who God is using through their writing or speaking. I cannot count how many times I have said “It’s just not your turn, be happy for them.” It gave me the tools needed to encourage my friends. It gave me courage to believe in myself.
Why do I tell you all of this? Because it’s time to start registering again. This year, I’m hoping to win this scholarship. My part-time job is great, but it won’t cover all of costs associated with the conference. Why go again? Because there are women I need to meet–who will encourage and teach me how to write/speak better. I need to remember that God calls ordinary women, like myself, to do extraordinary things. And more than that I need to find the women who need to hear encouragement from me. To find those women who need to know that they, too, have been equipped to correctly handle the written or spoken word.
With that I bid you farewell, for now. Wish me luck!
The first line of my devotion said “Make friends with the problems in your life”. As I read further it reminded me that God will redeem our problems. He will reuse them to encourage someone else in the same situation. How do you embrace the problem? By saying “thank you” for it.
My immediate thought after reading went something like “thank you Lord for my singleness”. Then I stopped and actually thought about what I was saying. Is my singleness really a problem? No. It is not. We’d like to think it is, but it isn’t. Maybe we think singleness is a problem because girls dream of being married from a young age, or because our parents start talking about boyfriends/girlfriends when we are 4-years-old, or because church sermons are more about famiilies than the single person.
We think if we are not married by ____age, there’s a problem. If you have made it to ____ age you have probably asked at least one of these questions:
What’s wrong with me?
Why am I still single?
Are my expectations too high?
Did I just miss him/her?
Am I too picky?
We easily lump being single in with having the plague or something.
Singleton– your singleness is not a problem. It’s a reality. And it’s not bad. It can actually be a good reality. The question you need to be asking yourself is: Where can I serve the Kingdom today? In whose life can I make a difference?
The maybe you’ll get to be apart of an answer to someone’s problem, their legitimate problem.
What are you doing this loverly Friday evening?
Me? Well, I’m headed to the movies with a group o’ friends. It’ll be my frist time in the “fancy” theater. You know, the new “D” Digital, blah blah theater. It’s my understanding that “There’s nothing like it! The seats are amazing!” I hope my expectations are reasonable!
In college you were really, really lame if you didn’t have plans on Friday AND Saturday nights. It was not cool to sit in your dorm room or go to bed before mid-night. This tradtion carries on into the life the after college. Then it finally happens. You get to the age where you realize staying home on a Friday night is a glorious event! You become okay with putting your pj’s on as you walk in the door from work, sitting down with dinner and catching up on the TiVo you missed all week long.
Of course, too many Friday nights in can lend itself toward self-loathing, but the occasional is just dandy!
So which are you choosing this evening? Are you excited?