Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hope Floats

An incredibly inspiring woman in my Church, (since her story isn't really mine to tell, I'll call her V) died last week after several months battling cancer, despite her faith that she would be healed. From the instant V shared her diagnoses at Church she was full of life and hope, she believed God had shown her she would be healed, and that's how she lived, along with her friends and family, for the next several months, full of hope and positive thinking.
Her strength and joy were so inspiring, even though I only had one interaction with her, and it was after her diagnosis, she left me inspired that I could make it through even the darkest times with joy and peace. And I'm not the only one, I heard others tell they feel the same way, and I saw it in faces of the people around her each Sunday.
Now that she has passed away, unexpectedly to those of us who believed strongly with her that she would experience healing, it's a bit of a let down. Why was she given such faith for something that wasn't to be? That question hasn't lasted very long in my mind because this week has been full of testimonies of people who's lives she touched, many were a lot like me, who were especially impacted because of the way she lived in the darkest of days. Her faith during the most difficult days of her life blessed just about every person who encountered her in these last months.
There is no doubt healing happened. V is now completely healed, enjoying the presence of her Lord and making her presence known, no doubt. And I'm positive there are many healed hearts here on earth because V's faith was able to renew the faith, hope, joy and strength of those who were witness to hers. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who now aspires to be the kind of witness for Christ that V was.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place

tem·ple [tem-puhl] –noun "any place or object in which God dwells."

I have been trying to focus for about a year and a half now on viewing my body as a temple, trying to take my health seriously because God values my body, his creation. This has helped me make healthier choices but it still is a struggle. And with a pre-disposition to being overweight and a propensity for eating too much....heck, lets not mince words, it's a food addiction, it's not just quantity, it's quality, it's frequency, it's a problem! So yeah, even now that I'm getting better at keeping weight off, and even losing, there are times I stuff myself without a consideration for my body as God's dwelling place.

At first I thought, how do I treat my home, the place I have to dwell. I make it pretty, I keep it tidy and mostly clean, but even then, comfort takes precidence. It's not exactly the standards I should use for God's 'home away from home'. Then I just so happened to hear/read (I can't remember which...oh this age thing is sometimes not fun!) about some temple laws, the sacredness they demand be honored. For example, where visitors are required to remove any footware upon entry, keeping both hands folded together, certain clothing requirements/restrictions such as wearing head coverings, walking clock-wise, recitations, completing a cleanse, can not be inebriated or intoxicated, abiding by purity laws, etc. Anything else would defile and/or disrespect the Lord of the manor.

It really does make me think...why DON'T I think MORE about it? About what I let enter my body, how I treat my body. I don't think I respect my temple very much, and I wonder if that has as much impact externally as internally, after all I'm not really creating optimal conditions for my own worship and glorifying God when I pre-occupy my mind with food addiction and lazyness, and then guilt for not 'being able' to control my weight. It's a double-diss, dishonouring the physical wholeness he's tried to give me, and as a result my self-induced struggle has caused a block in my spiritual wholeness as well, dishonouring the relationship he's tried to give me as well.

There is a risk I could get legalistic with this, it sure would make it easier if I could just say I'm cutting out everything unhealthy forever instead of having to try and figure out in each moment if my choice is building or destroying my temple. Except for the fact I'm human and I am part of the fall that has made living completely by law impossible. I have to allow myself some grace or I will fail anyway. There is a time for everything, as Ecclesiastes 3 says....and it also says (v13) "That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God." So there will be times God is gifting me the satisfaction of enjoying food, I think the key is to remember it's a gift and not a right. I've been at this realization before, and I'm StILL failing, but if there is one thing I've learned from past mistakes it is this, I'm likely going to keep failing but if I continue to give myself the grace God's afforded me I can return to abiding in his truth a lot faster than before.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fruits of the Lori

Health. Well, with my emotional eating kicking in this last month I'm lucky that I haven't gained back weight but I have gained back 2% on the fat monitor. I do think I'm turning some of that junk food calories into muscle though because I at least have made the effort to keep exercising even though I just felt like sitting on the couch and munching, and how else did all that cake NOT make me gain 10 lbs! And now that my emotions are back under my control, I'm back to eating for fuel not feelings, and after all that sugar, home grown carrots and peas taste SO good, which I'm very glad for!

Self Discovery. I've discovered lately that I'm definitely human, a human who gets selfish and petty and can't practice what she preaches. I've discovered God will let me have my temper tantrums, but I've also discovered how quickly the peace that passes understanding leaves when you don't keep focus on what is praiseworthy. And I've discovered that I learn a lot quicker than I used to, one of the good things about aging is the wisdom that usually accompanies that.

Self Discipline. Part of feeling sorry for yourself is avoiding people and things that will tell you to snap out of it, including God, so in other words I was very disciplined in NOT reading my Bible. I've fallen quite a bit behind now because of that. However, I do give myself some credit because I'm still farther along than I have been in years, and I was avoiding for reasons other than disintrest in fact I've had a renewed interest lately and am looking forward to diving back into His Word.
I also didn't talk to Him very much, not only about my situation but I didn't feel like praying for other people's problems either. I attempted to start a prayer journal, as I mentioned last time I wanted to, but didn't get very far. Once again though I have friends who's need for prayer is greater than my need to be self-absorbed....and I think I'm over it on with it I get.
SD with food and sugar, ha. Nuf said.

Consideration. I'd consiously decided not to let my internal become external, I didn't want to burden anyone or have anyone get the wrong impression, an exercise of consideration in and of itself I guess. Of course I was also getting quite inconsiderate, in my mind only, of other people's problems and maybe missed some opportunities to be a considerate friend. Luckily no one has told me that's actually true, and those who have needed my friendship continue to come to me as a friend they can count on. Just so happens I finally get over myself and my prayers and advice are needed again, good timing to get my focus off myself again :)

I feel like I've done a 'one (or even two) steps back' this month but it's only made me that much more determined to gain that ground back and more!
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