Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scales - 1, Lori - 0

So, I have a problem that I need your help with. Do any of you have any idea where I can purchase a set of scales that actually work? I mean, that actually show me the truth – what I want to see – what I expect to see after DAYS of starvation? Scales that will tell me that I AM losing weight? I weigh in every single morning, just to see what the damage from the day before is, or if my efforts are going to be rewarded.

Here’s a typical morning in my bathroom:

“Good morning, scales!! How are you today? Good mood? Bad mood? I will have you know that what you are fixing to tell me will influence the type of day that every one I work with is going to have!!! So, be nice to me, okay? I was good yesterday….it has to show up in what you tell me, just has to.”

The scales almost mock me back. “Good day? Birthday cake? Come on, tub-o, you know better!”

And I step on the scales, hold my breath - do you hold your breath? Seriously, does that make you weigh less? I have no clue, but it makes me feel better, so I do it – close my eyes for a couple seconds waiting for the scales to register the tonnage, and open my eyes to see what kind of day I’m going to have.

It doesn’t matter what the scales say, I write it down. If they go down, I’m motivated, and ready for the day. If they show an increase, I look at them, kick them slightly, and write the number down, or try, because that’s usually when my pen doesn’t want to work, so I like have to dwell on the number and write it over and over until the pen decides to work. It’s like the entire system is mocking me……”Ah HAH !!!! You shouldn’t have had that piece of cornbread yesterday….good for the lips, bad for the hips!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!”

So, a mystery to me is how it takes 7 days, one full week, to loose two pounds, but takes only one day to gain 4? So, what I gain in a week, say 10 pounds – very easy to do, done it many times before – will take me 5 weeks to loose. Seriously. It also amazes me how skinny people are always skinny. I have a friend and she has two skinny daughters. I have both her girls out eat their dad, my husband, and my husband's best friend – all three – in one sitting. There isn’t a fat pocket on either body. Do you know people like that? Skinny no matter what they eat? I think the rest of us just need to hold them down and force feed them bread until they explode….I just don’t know if there’s enough bread in the world to do that!

So, how one person can eat anything they want and not gain weight is a mystery to me. How I can LOOK at chocolate cake and gain 2 pounds in an instant is a mystery to me…just baffles me. Each and every one of us is different though, different in many ways, with our metabolism being just one of them.

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Not true Forrest, I know exactly what I’m going to get – another week added on to my goal!

Since we’re talking about mysteries this morning, let’s talk about another one I struggle with. The memory.

Can you please explain to me how I can hear a song I haven’t heard in 30 years and recite every single word to it without even thinking about it? And yet, when you ask me what I had for lunch yesterday, I struggle. I can remember every detail of the day I got married, but can’t remember where I put my purse at night to grab it for church the next morning. I can remember exactly how I felt when the doctor told me my second daughter was going to be twins and my son was just four months old, but can’t remember how I got a huge bruise on my hip that just appeared out of no where.

I have often wondered if I could go back to school and further my education, but then I fear that I wouldn’t be able to stay awake long enough to read anything in a text book, let alone remember it. But when I take professional education classes to maintain my certified public accountants license, if the tests are in my area of expertise, I can take the tests and pass them without reading the material. So it just baffles me, this brain of mine, what it holds and what it lets go. I can remember every single address of where I’ve lived during my lifetime, but it took me three years to remember the address of where I currently work and still don’t remember the post office box number.

It does surprise me that I remember to weigh in every morning. I wonder if that is because when I do concentrate on my weight, it’s important to me and I make a concentrated effort to remember that? Surely not…..you think? Maybe? And if I really want to loose weight, I think more about what goes in that I normally do, and so the knowledge of that when the scales don’t say what I want them to say comes sweeping back over me. Surely not….you think? Hmmmm…..knowing that now maybe makes these things “less” of a mystery now, maybe. Hmmmm…..

Well, here’s another mystery for you…..

My relationship with God….Many of you can sit here today and state that you are a Baptist and have always been a Baptist, and you have a testimony. Some of the rest of you can say, “Well, I wasn’t always a Baptist, but I distinctly remember the day that I came to know Jesus and invited Him into my heart.” That’s always made me wonder about me……the word “TESTIMONY” has always bothered me since I’ve become a member of a Baptist church. Fortunately for me, no one has ever walked up to me and said, “Tell me your testimony, Lori.” If they had, I probably would have busted out cyring right there on the spot and left and never come back. See, I’ve not always been a Baptist.

If you were to give that one name, like they do the mixing of dogs – labradoodle… .labrador and poodle – chiwinny – chiwawa and weeny dog I mean how to you mix chiwawa and a dauschund!!! It’s a weeny dog, thus, chiwenny. So, if you were to give a name to what I’ve been in my spiritual life, you might say I’m a BaptiCathTerianOdist – Baptist – Catholic – Presbyterian – Methodist. Raised Catholic – Married Presbyterian, Tried Methodists, and have been Baptist since 1987.

Like the old Phil Collins song says, I’ve known Jesus all my life. But, see, that’s the mystery. How? How did I come know him?

I have no clue……and when there’s something that we don’t know, it’s a mystery to us, right? We know it happened, but we aren’t sure when or how…..

As I began to work on this story, God told me that he would reveal this mystery to me. I'd talk to a couple friends about a time in my life on different occassion lately. What that really was, was God, tapping me on the shoulder, and telling me..."Lori, this is it, this is your testimony. The most important story you will ever tell. It's the story of how you met me. So, share it. I am revealing to you the mystery."

When I was 7 years old, I woke up one morning to a whole new world. For four days, I got myself up, got myself dressed, and got myself to school, and then got myself home. The adults in my life pretty much ignored me and my four year old brother, as they went about doing what ever it was they were doing. It was three days before I got to see my mother in the hospital, cut up and bruised almost beyond recognition. She had been in a car accident. When I’d ask about my father, the subject would get changed quickly. No one wanted to talk to me about it. The doctors didn’t want me to see him. I guess that was a truth.

Until Thursday night, December 13, 1968. My grandmother pulled me aside and said, “Honey, do you know what an angel is?” Now, I was an avid reader growing up. I read anything I could get my hands on. I don’t know who gave it to me or when I got it, but I had a book of children’s Bible stories that I loved to read.
“Of course, Grandma. I’m seven years old. I know about God and His angels, “ I replied.

She looked at me, and I could read something in her eyes I hadn’t seen before. “Well, the angels came and got your Dad and took him to heaven because God needed his help in Heaven.”

I don’t remember crying at all. I don’t remember feeling anything really. I don’t know if my being all of 7 years old and believing I was so grown up made me think I shouldn’t cry, or if I just didn’t really understand what she was saying. I knew what she meant, but it was just not real.

I remember going to bed after my grandmother told me God needed my Dad and talking to God, out loud, for the first time in my life. We’d never really had occasion to talk before. My family didn’t go to church, except when we were with our grandparents in Ohio, and we went to Mass. I didn’t understand a word they said, I just followed when to stand, sit, kneel, sit, kneel and repeat whatever was being said when I was supposed to. I remember everyone getting in a line to get food, but I wasn’t allowed until I had First Dominian or something like that.

But that night, the conversation went something like this: “Okay, God, I guess I can’t blame you for needing my Dad up there in heaven. He’s a very strong man and I’m sure can do a lot for you up there. I really don’t understand, though, why you didn’t have other people up there, because I kind of need my Dad here, too, but I guess it’s okay. As long as you’ll stay here with me and be my Dad, ok? Don’t let me come home from school the wrong way and help me do good in school and be smart and help me know good people from bad people. Please.”

I’d never opened a real Bible in my life, and wouldn’t until I was well into adulthood, but I knew in my heart what was there. I knew, at the age of 7, that God really wasn’t a mystery and that His grace was extended to a 7 year old little girl that went to school and took herself off the rolls the next day, without an ounce of fear in her. She calmly explained that she was moving to Texas so her grandparents could take care of her until her mother was better. The principal drove her home that day, visibly upset, because there wasn’t an adult there help withdraw the child from school. She told me how brave I was, and I guess I was. I knew what needed to be done and I did it. Fear wasn’t an option.

So, I guess you would say at the age of 7, I knew Ephesians 17 "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, 19 and to know the love of Christ, which surpasseth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."

….I don’t know that I completely comprehended with all the saints what was going on in my bedroom that night, but I certainly knew the love of Christ as a child and trusted it with everything that I was. And I was filled with enough fullness of God that it helped me survive what would be the toughest year in my life that year, with the move to Texas, the rehabilitation of my mother, and the putting of my family back together. I matured about 10 years that year.

I’ve had a good friend tell me recently that to be afraid and be a Christian is almost an oxymoron. If you trust in the Lord like He tells us to, with all our might and all our strength, and lean not on our own understanding, fear shouldn’t be an option. And yet, with the powers of the world, it is. But in my little 7 year old head, I’d had the conversation of a lifetime, and at that point, fear wasn’t an option. It’s probably the most convicted I’d ever been in my life.

So, that’s where it started, my testimony. Ever since then, I won’t tell you the ride’s been an easy one, but I will tell you that my life has been blessed beyond what the little 7 year old would have ever dreamed possible! My favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 3:20 20Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
I just asked for Him to be my father, and He has done just that. I didn’t have to ask, or even think it, throughout my life. I just trusted that He would give me what I needed, and He has, and then some.

He's given me friends through my teenage years that have guided and directed, and most recently returned those friends to my life while adding new ones at the same time. He's provided for me financially and in a wonderful community. He's blessed me beyond what I ever knew growing up with a wonderful family. And the granddaughter. Oh my word, how He has blessed me with her, beyond anything I could have ever thought or imagined on my own! And I could go on and on for longer than you could read.

So, I wasn’t at vacation Bible school, I wasn’t at a revival, I wasn’t in a moving church service, when I came to know Jesus as my personal Father – I was in my bedroom – and I remember the night vividly, as if it were just last night – wait, what did I do last night? I don’t remember. But today is a good day because I’m pretty sure I lost weight this morning, but I really don’t remember…..I'll have to go look at my paper.

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