Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thoughtful Tuesday

Let me start today's post with a very deep, philosophical question (which I would love to hear your thoughts on): How do you know if you're in the middle of "spiritual persecution" or "God trying really hard to get your attention because you're not on the path He wants you on"? I feel like the term spiritual persecution is used rather freely by some. And as I think about the two options above, I really do think they could "look" quite similar to one another. I mean, look at some of the things God did to people in the Bible to get their attention! They might have felt like they were under spiritual persecution from the enemy...but it was God's hands causing their issues. He was upset and wanted them to change! The Bible tells us God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Therefore, I'm sure He still releases punishment on His wandering children. Can I hear an Amen?

So what about when the people He's trying to get the attention of,  just think it's the enemy doing it to them and they continue to go along fervently on the path they think God has them on? That's what I'm thinking about today. Has God ever gotten your attention in a way that could have also been called "spiritual persecution"? What are your thoughts on this topic? I'd really like to know, so feel free to leave a comment below if you have anything you'd like to share.

Now onto a much more fun topic in just a minute: weight loss. Last time I talked about how well you really feel, on a scale from 1-10. I gave you the "homework assignment" of reading some of the labels on your favorite foods/household products. I'm not quite ready to go back and talk about all of those things I listed in detail today. Just take this as a friendly reminder to do a little homework before my next post. I truly believe the best thing we can all do for our health and that of our families, is to get educated on what we're bringing into our home. Do some research into what's really healthy and safe. And don't unknowingly bring toxins into your home everytime you come home from the grocery store. It may seem like a no-brainer, but I bet you'd be surprised at what types of toxins are lurking in your bathrooms, laundry rooms, and cleaning supply closets.

OK, back to weight loss. I had the very fun surprise yesterday of fitting into a pant size I haven't worn since probably the 10th grade! My Mom had found some cute capris on a really great sale a few weeks ago, but they were only available in a size that I wasn't down to yet. I didn't even try them on when she first gave them to me, because I knew I was just comfortably in the size above that...and it had taken me several weeks to be able to be "comfortable" in that size. I figured it would be at least September before I could even think of squeezing myself into those new capris. Well, for whatever reason (probably from having a few good workouts on the weight equipment at Fitness 19), I thought I'd just give them a try yesterday. I couldn't believe it when they actually fit!! I don't 100% know the last time I wore that size, but I'm pretty sure it was 10th or 11th grade. I know I weigh less now than when I graduated from high school. And less than when we got married. I told Dave from here on out, he's looking at a woman he's never seen before!

I don't tell this story to just give myself a few pats on the back. I tell this story to encourage you. Maybe your issue is also food & weight related. Or even if it's something else like alcohol addiction or overspending or any host of other things we can struggle with. No matter where you're at, let me encourage you how great the small steps are. Oh, they might not feel like anything at first. And you might not see one iota of a difference for many weeks. But dear bloggy friend, let me promise you something - little successes add up to HUGE differences down the road. Huge!

I am FINALLY to the point of this weight loss journey, where people are noticing. I've lost almost 50 pounds! It took over 9 months of some pretty serious hard work and dedication to reach this point. Nine months!! Now I get to see some more tangible rewards of this weight loss. Wearing a pant size I haven't worn in almost 25 years is one pretty fun one. Seeing my smaller body when I look in the mirror every day is also fun...but one that I don't always recognize. Funny how years of being overweight can skew your ability to see clearly, isn't it? Thankfully, God is gracious and allows my brain to catch those glimpses of change.

The fact is, I'm only halfway done. I have a LOT of hard work ahead of me still. That can still feel overwhelming to me. A couple days ago the Proverbs 31 Ministries devotional was talking about "finishing the way you start".  It was a great reminder.

At the beginning of this journey, my head was so messed up with all these lies I'd been believing for most of my life, that I had to rely on God literally every minute as I worked to recognize those lies and re-train my brain. As time went on, my head got on more straight and I didn't have to depend on God quite so much. The food and exercise portion also got easier and more of a habit, so again I didn't have to have total reliance on God as I went through this journey. I thought I could handle it OK without Him I guess. Well, here's what I know: in order to continue on to total success in this journey (which, I'm calling when I hit the 100 pound weight loss mark), I need to get back to daily dependence on God. Gotta get back to where I started.

And you know what? Reminding myself that it's time to get back to that point, actually lifts a lot of weight off my shoulders. (No pun intended.) With God...ANYTHING is possible (and a WHOLE lot easier)!

Blessings to you today friends! Can't wait to hear your thoughts...