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Monday, March 17, 2014

Green and Great Is Our God

Well, for the first time in my life, I'm wearing more green. I've never been one to pick out green. I've always past it by to pick out purple, blue, pink or the good old standby black. My weight got up to 300 lbs. so black was always safe, well, maybe we should call it "Tent and Awning" LOL. I always called my clothes that. People are sure funny because they (or at least this is what I observed when I was at a really high weight) would say, "If that person only knew what to eat" or "that person doesn't know that that isn't good for them" or "that person needs to exercise" or "don't they know that they are eating themselves to death". They would say that right in front of me, someone who weigh less than most of these people who it was being said about but it could have easily been said about me. Why this turned to weight, I don't know...oh, ya..black. Still one of my favorite colors because I'm cheap about clothes, it goes with everything and I still have body image issues although I fully know my Father in Heaven loves me regardless although it does say that we are to treat our bodies as temples. Or as Proverbs 23:20-21 (ESV) says: Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. And 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV): Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. With that said, nothing in the Bible helped me. Until I started reading it. When I was at my heaviest, I wasn’t regularly praying or reading the Bible. I’ve learned that God is such a merciful and gracious God but also that I have to ask for help from Him, every day. I have to lean in to Him every day. It’s not that He doesn’t know but He wants us to Lean On Him so that we don’t lean on anything else. No one else. He is always right there. So many times early in my Christian walk, I would hear people, “God left me.” I didn’t feel worthy enough to say, “He is right there. He has been right there. All you have to do, all anyone has to do is let him in. He will help you through anything.” I want to get back to my point though. The truth as I see it, it is not that overweight people, people who fight overeating, obese/morbidly people, etc. don't know what they are eating...THEY KNOW! We know! I felt and feel guilty the second I'm about to finish that cinnamon roll (extra-large with icing dripping from it...had to get extra back in the day). It is comfort. Comfort from abuse, depression, anxiety, harassment. It is comfort from anything negative going on in our lives. Then, after the negative trigger is gone, it is simply a habit or addiction. It could be that we were brought up to finish everything on our plate and more or that we love food. I think I'm getting hungry typing this...LOL. For me? It's a combination of all the above. 5 years ago, I was at the beach and I noticed, for the first time that I was sort of wedged (that's the nicest of describing it) in the wooden beach chair. My fat was sticking out below the armrests, underneath the canvas back and probably from onlookers (which there are a lot of at the beach, if we are honest with ourselves), I was wearing the chair instead of the other way around and frankly it felt that way when I got in and out of it, which was attempted with as much grace as possible. It was in that moment that the Holy Spirit (and my beautiful daughter who snapped the perfect shot with her phone) said, "Lisa, you've had enough." Seriously, that is the best way to explain it. How else did I stop all carbs, no sugar, no dessert, just fish, veggies and salad with oil and vinegar or a subway 6 inch for 6 months and lost 100 pounds? It wasn't me. To the two verses above, God does expect us to treat our bodies like a temple, His temple. He made us. I wonder what He thinks when he sees us now. In closing, I simply and lovingly ask of those who have not ever had an eating issue or a body image issue to just "Love Thy Neighbor." Whenever I see someone grossly overweight, I have so much mercy and compassion for that person.

I was divorced in 1999 (no, I'm not going to sing the Prince song) because getting divorced is not like a party, no matter what side you're on, in my opinion. We have two children who, unbeknownst to us "at the time" FELT what was going on. I tried bible studies, counseling but no matter what, divorce is hard on all parties, but especially the children. Their father and I were and are a team when it came to parenting and agreeing which made it easier. So, I tried the dating thing which I really disliked, wasn't good at and guess what? Nothing had changed except there was more baggage on both sides of the fence. What I quickly learned was that it took about the third date for the baggage to come out. I have this oddity in that if I'm ready to go or done with a situation, it's like Dorothy with her red slippers (yes, this was in a previous post) and I want to be home in my comfy clothes. I can't explain it. This happened on bad dates all the time. If I knew it wasn't going to work (which I knew quickly), the Dorothy syndrome would come out and I was fidgety, miserable and well, not a good person to be around. See how random I am? Those of you awesome people out there, see? We all are...ok, back on track...the kids and I took a year off everything...just work and schools were the priority. I made a huge decision (which I'm still not sure was right because I didn't pray about it but it's over and I do think it got me off God's Path and a few loop de loop's before I was back on) to leave SBC, now AT& T, however, this decision gave me 2 precious years home with my children that they still remember to this day. Fast forward to February, 2003, I'm miserable, sitting there in front of my computer and I tell God that I'm done dating and if I have to be single for the rest of my life, so be it but that if HE wants me to be with someone, it's going to have to be so Obvious, Special (with no Dorothy Syndrome but I didn't say that because it would have sounded really dumb) and just Knock me Over. Ya know, one of those really "Listen to me God Prayers", one that I should have prayed long before then. In April, a friend that I had known for years offered to take me to a Harley rally in Tyler Texas. He had always promised to take me to one but that weekend; both of my kids had soccer tournaments which meant a lot of driving. My best friend said, "Lisa, you have to go. I don't know why, you just have to go. I'll take them." She and I went back and forth and I finally agreed...I listened. So, we showed up May 15, 2003 in Tyler and my friend was a HOG member so he had to work Registration so I walked around for a while and finally sat down on the peripheral amongst a lot of black leather. You could say I stood out. Blond hair, blue jeans, Payless black boots, lime green halter. Across the parking lot walks this very tall built tan guy in blue jeans, Harley chaps, Harley boots, Harley sunglasses and a Harley baseball hat. My heart fluttered (don't tell him) and he looked down and asked me if anyone was sitting beside me. (uh-no, and even if they were...they weren't anymore...lol) He sat down and took off his glasses and I looked in his blue eyes and I didn't have a Dorothy moment at all. We talked about both speaking French, loving beach weddings, everything. He was from Amarillo (where's that?). I couldn't spend a lot of time with him because I was with someone else but I knew this was special. God special. 3 weeks later, he asked if he could take me to dinner. I said, "How far is Amarillo from Garland?" He said, "About 6 hours." I said, "You mean you want to drive 6 hours just to take me to dinner?" This year we celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary together and I'm more in love with him this moment than I was a moment ago. We are a blended family but God has cleansed our past and blessed our present and God has great plans for our future. I'm so glad I listened and stopped dating. He was showing me that I needed to wait on Him, that He had someone picked out for me, someone who would surpass anyone that I could imagine. Speaking of that, my favorite verse ever is one that hopefully is still hanging on the wall in a church in Plano, Texas. Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. How much greater is can anyone be than our God? And Jesus went to be His Father so the Holy Spirit could reside in each one of us and work within us. It wasn't me that reached out and brought my husband to me, but the Holy Spirit. I give Him all the credit. We both do. And on that day, on the beach, just as we said on that bench on May 15, 2003, we had our beach wedding and married family to family.

In closing, I've humbly learned, through much trial (yes, I can be a wee controlling...lol) that if something doesn't work, stop...listen, give it to God and Listen, Wait, Be Still. Allow the Holy Spirit to do the Work within Us. He definitely will come up with the Perfect Solution instead of us going on a wild goose chase like I did with dating or eating so many donuts and pizza that we are wedged in our favorite cabana chairs on the beach. Isn't his answer better?