Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The View From Up Here

In October Hubby and I had a little weekend getaway to Eureka Springs Arkansas.

We had never been there and we enjoyed every minute.

On our last day, we left the town and drove around the surrounding countryside.

I have never been to that part of Arkansas was surprised by the beauty and also the farmland.

Because of the rolling hills we could look down and see the farms all plotted out like a quilt.

Everything was just so neat and tidy and beautiful. I was awed by the loveliness.

As I was drinking in the country side and thinking how lovely it must be to be an Arkansas farmer,

and maybe I could be one too, Dear Hubby said, "boy it sure must be hard to farm that land!".

Well, I was so surprised at that thought. . .that something in the middle of all that beauty could be 

I asked, why he thought so.

He began talking about how rocky the soil was and being hillside and the such.

I just sat there beside him thinking two distinct thoughts:

1) this conversation pretty much sums up how we each see the world (one of us the eternal optimist and dreamer the other well . . . his nickname is Eeyore for a reason.)

2) Isn't that how we often tend to judge each others lives.  We look down as we're just cruising by,

whether it's on social media or stories swirling around us, and only see the high powered jobs or 

amazing trips, the super star kids and perfect marriages.

But, we don't see what it's really like up close.  We don't see the hard stuff they've worked through or 

the dark valleys they might be going through or the flood that's washing them away piece by piece.

We can get so busy comparing our lives to theirs, even when we don't have an up close view, that we 

begin to become unsatisfied and ungrateful for our own lives, jobs, even our own people.

And what damage that can do.  

Never mistake your hilltop view of someones life to an up close reality of what it is really like on the 


I've never once met a perfect person, met a perfect couple, heard of a job that wasn't difficult or knew

perfect kids.

Now, I have known people who have walked through the valley's and come out on the other side 

changed and marked for life.

But, you and I, we have got to tend to our own soil, in our own little patches of land that we've been

given to tend.

Let's make a promise to ourselves and to our Dear People, not to compare them or the lives we are 

living  to those we're just cruising by with only a snapshot into their lives.

Let's be a people who are thankful and content, grateful to God for every gift.

Love your people today, even the difficult ones, thank God for all He's given you, even the hard stuff.

It will change lives, beginning with yours.

Grace and Peace,

Saturday, January 9, 2016

What a Difference a Year Makes

January 7, 2015 I found myself sitting my endocrinologist office for my bi-yearly check up.

I don't know what I was expecting, but what I heard shook me to my core.

I tipped the scales at a little over 300 pounds.

I was embarrassed, angry, shamed.  All I wanted to do was hide.

She'd never given me a lecture before, but I got one that day.

I either needed to lose weight or pursue weight loss surgery.

Something had to change.

New Years Eve 2015
There are no full body pictures, because I wouldn't have posed

I was the speaker at an event for single moms in October of 2014
I am at my heaviest here.
And completely loved.
No one in my life ever made me feel anything other than beautiful.

I was having heart palpitations, my blood pressure was beginning to skyrocket,  my knees where painful to the point where I was facing surgery on one.  I was exhausted ALL THE TIME.

But, I was also loved and cared for and often the funniest one in the room -even when I didn't want to be.

God was growing my ministry and sphere of influence, but in the middle of the night when I was still and being completely honest, I was so miserable and embarrassed -for myself and for husband and kids (Who let me be VERY CLEAR have never NOT ONCE said one thing to me about my size).

Well, I left her office and cried.
And cried some more.

Didn't she know I couldn't do it?
I'd been heavy most of my life, I have Thyroid Disease -which makes everything harder, I'm over 40-everyone knows it's to hard for women over 40 to lose weight.  
So, I cried some more.

I looked into the surgery.  (I should tell you, I've  had some scary reactions,  life treating reactions  to anesthesia.) And came to the conclusion that it wasn't an option.

So, on January 8, 2015 I basically threw my hands in the air and said 'FINE'.
My goal that this point was to prove I COULDN'T do it.

Then the first 25 pounds came off, then 50 . . .

In July, I was back in the Dr office.
This time she's the one who got all teary.  She talked about how she often has to tell people the hard things and they get mad at her or don't listen.  She thanked me. I cried and thanked her.

Along this journey, I've come face to face with the sin of gluttony in my life.

I confessed this sin to God and my Dear Husband.

A year into this journey, I've learned many lessons.  Some of them painful.

Things like, not everyone wants you to change.
People get mad or hurt or offended.

I've been told I talk about my journey, on social media, to much and not enough.

I've been told I'm an inspiration and that I've hurt feelings by tackling my weight.

One year later, I can say I've learned much about myself, my God and my friends and those who
became detractors.   

I'm also down 121 pounds and 8 ounces.  I'm at a BMI of 31 (with the goal of 25)-in July it was 37- I don 't know what it was when I began because I could never look at those numbers.

When I began I was wearing a 24/26 or 3x/4x.
I'm now wearing a 12/14 on top and 14 on bottom or a Large.

When I was back in the Dr office this week  my blood pressure was 118/70 and my pulse was 60.

I no longer experience heart palpitations and have NO knee pain whatsoever.

The Dr didn't tear up this time, she cheered my on to finish this race well.  

I have 30 more pounds to to get to my goal.

I will do it.

Not because I've got it all together now or have all the answers but because God has brought me to far now for me to quit.

I can keep up with my kids.  I'm physically so much stronger.  I'm happier.
I actually feel good.

(and for a girl who loves fashion the shopping has been fun-just keeping it real)

Here I am exactly one year later.

I saved one pair of jeans so I will never forget.
Also, excuse my puppy in the background.

I love my shirt in these pictures. It also makes me chuckle, because in the beginning I did not believe I could.  I set out to prove I couldn't and yet, by God's Amazing Grace, here I am, almost half the girl I used to be.

To every person who's prayed for me, loved me, supported me and cheered me on--

Thank you.  You'll just never know.  I wish I could tell you, but I don't have enough words to tell you how much it has meant to me.

What difference does a day make? A  year?  Well, it can make all the difference in the world.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13-14 (ESV)

Grace and Peace Along the Journey,