Friday, February 26, 2010

i lost the baby

well, not really. she's right here. what i lost was the equivalent of the baby. i lost what she weighs. i picked her up this morning, stepped on the scale, and it read the number it read the day i started my weight loss journey. she was fully dressed and hadn't had her morning diaper change yet either - bonus points.

it is my goal to eventually lose all my children but one. one at a time, i will pick them up and stand on my scale and see that number pop up. when i lose my oldest son, i will be at a truly healthy weight for me. i don't think i'll be able to pick him up and stand on the scale though. i doubt he'll still weigh a hundred pounds by the time i lose it.

i can't lose my eldest daughter. she's taller than me. someday i'll weigh less than her.

i feel thinner. sometimes i feel like there's less of me. my face looks different. i can breathe in my skinny jeans. even though right now i'm sick and am operating on less air, it is still easier to move around.

i'm not needing food as much now. emotionally. i've been visiting with my crackberry. there is peace to be found in the Word of God that i can't find anywhere else.

i delight in Him. that's all.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

abiding . . . and my new phone

okay, first of all, the word abide - not a word we use in any context other than john 15. what does it mean? live, dwell. niv uses remain. continue. Jesus uses the context of plant life. not connected, dead. connected alive and bearing fruit. if we are connected, we bear much fruit, we can do anything. if we are not connected, we are good for nothing but to be burned up, and can do nothing.

now, about my phone. i have a new phone. it's a blackberry curve. a "crackberry". purple.

i am connected to the internet, to my e-mail, to my friends and family via the miracle of texting. i can take a picture and send it, check any stupid thing posted on facebook - i am connected. i am, um, abiding.

i can't be the first to have considered this. abiding, connected. i attend to my phone because it dings at me all the time. Jesus doesn't ding. well, not in the same way. there are, arguably, little dings that can draw me to Him. pain. hunger. need. for my mom (who is, admittedly, a little weird) a paper clip or a piece of glitter remind her of Jesus.

brother lawrence was a cook in a monestery who "practiced the presence" of the Lord. he knew Jesus was with him all the time, and that he generally wasn't aware of it (see also, Jacob). so he deliberately worked on being aware of the presence of God.

so here is my desire:
to be more connected to my Jesus than i am to my phone.

whew! there, i said it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

joy in the journey

i have a cycle i go through

my weight loss battles usually end here
in the throes of a horrible cough
lack of oxygen
and will
i don't feel good
i will eat
and eat
and eat more

not this time
i will trust in my Redeemer
i will not forsake You my Father
i'll set my gaze upon no other

forgetting what lies behind
and reaching forward to what lies ahead
i press on toward the mark
of the prize
of the high calling of God
in Christ Jesus

apart from Him i can do nothing
but i can do all things through Christ
Who gives me strength

they that wait upon the Lord
they will mount up with wings as eagles
they will run and not grow weary
they will walk and not faint

ruth's vow

where you go, i will go
where you stay, i will stay
your people will be my people
your God will be my God . . .

your problems will be my problems
people who mistreat you, they mistreat me
the prejudiced treatment you receive, it will be mine also
places you can't go, i won't go
places you aren't welcome, i will abandon
movies that hurt you, i won't watch
books that inflict damage to you, i won't keep

i will learn with you to hide in the Shadow of the Almighty
together we will take our pain, our rejection, our weaknesses to Him and find healing
together we will learn to lean on the One who knows our pain

to adopt a child of another ethnicity
is to take on all the racial issues that ethnicity deals with
it is to choose to identify with the way that people group feels
the struggles they face
the obstacles they encounter
the prejudice their world might have against them

if i adopt you
a beautiful brown skinned baby
a baby God chose to make
even though no one wanted you to be made
but i did
i wanted you
if i am given this chance
to welcome you into my world
with my arms
my love
my heart
i am not just bringing you into my world
i am consciously entering yours
i am deliberately leaving my little white privileged world
and (even if it doesn't want me) entering a world
that has known so much heartache
i'm taking on all the enemies
the people with brown skin
known as African-Americans
have known and will yet know

where you go, i will go
where you stay, i will stay
your people will be my people
and my God will be your God

i am certain of His faithfulness
there is nothing He cannot do
He delights in you
as do i

Saturday, February 13, 2010

what we should have done

walking with some friends in the loop tonight, we encountered, were approached by, a man who was asking for money. he gave the usual reasons for needing it, and i was probably the most hard-hearted of our group, walking away while he was still speaking. i walked away because my children needed me to come home, because i wasn't going to give him money, because i'm still a little perturbed at the last begger who gave me a line but was yanking my chain and she knew it and i knew it (someone with whom we have history), because we have these encounters a little more often than some and because i didn't believe his story. to be honest, as a friend of mine said once, i'd just rather have you ask me for money so you can go get a tall-boy and go drink it.
but we gave, (not me - we), a buck here, two there, and walked away. the kids were waiting, it was cold, blah, blah, blah.
here's what we should have done. we should have prayed with Him. if we were going to give him money, especially when he played the Christian card, we should have stopped right there and taken the time to pray about all those things he talked about when he was making his case for our cash.
people expressing a need are often open to prayer. and people using Jesus' Name to beg are absolutely obligated to let us pray for them, or else they ought not use His Name. and if there's anything we could have done for that guy that could have really made a difference, it's calling on that Name.
that's what we should have done. i've seen it before. you're going through the motions of 'helping' someone and you say, can i pray for you, and you do, and as you open the door to Heaven, their heart opens, not to you, but to Him, and then they're weeping. our prayers are not to open sky, but to the One Who created them, numbered their hairs, orders their destiny.
Jesus, i pray that You'd reach that guy tonight. keep him warm, help him spend those dollars wisely, give him dreams and visions of You. show Him Your beauty and help him find a place to be, a task to do, and a way to live that honors You. amen.
and help us, next time, to pursue the eternal value in our encounters with the ones You love.

Monday, February 01, 2010

the freedom experiment

here is my experiment. i know that casting off restraint (denying God) in the name of a "free" day or meal really leads to bondage and addiction to the very things from which He set me free. so for my "free" meal this weekend, i ate a normal supper and then made a batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, with freshly milled whole wheat flour and old fashioned oats, but real sugar and butter. i wasn't trying to conserve calories, but neither did i eat "as many as i wanted". i had 3 or 4 (i think probably 4) and had a spoonful of cookie dough - same as i gave all the kids, and did lick my fingers off a little. but i didn't abandon everything i have learned and know.

i think that works for me. we'll see how it goes. super bowl weekend coming up. at someone else's house maybe. that's hard. do i take my own snacks? give myself a limit? eat whatever i want only for an hour (reminds me of the laverne and shirley episode where they win a cart of free groceries. i can imagine myself sitting at the table, not talking, not watching the game, just eating brownies)?

God give me wisdom to know how to be healthy at someone else's house.