Count It All Joy

This week was Thanksgiving. We all know how that ends up most of the time! Did I have too much to eat on Thanksgiving? Why, yes. Yes, I did. Did I suffer in silence afterward? That would be a yes, also. But, is that going to derail me? No, not in the least. I have been doing this “new eating/walking/exercising lifestyle” now for 2 years. I have shed over 150 pounds. I gained some back and have lost again. The important thing for me was the mindset shift that happened when I decided THIS time, THIS process, THIS method, THIS goal was going to be the one that changed my life. That mindset shift is what has brought me back from the moments of eating less than healthy, comforting myself with food and tracking back to old habits. That shift has allowed me to gain control over some of the most difficult parts of food addiction. I am not going to step on the scale tomorrow. Instead, I am going to put my head down and continue to do what has brought me to this point. Hard work, counting calories, and keeping my focus on the end goals. That’s the report for the week. Now onto more important things . . . 

I remember one particular night when the boys were little. Ben was 3; Franklin 4-5 months. Wade had gone to one of his usual bowling league nights. I was at home, with the boys (where it seemed I always was because I didn’t work outside the home when they were little) and it was just about time to get them in the bath. Franklin was teething and very cranky. He really never cried much as a baby, except when he was teething, as most babies will. He was generally fussy and uncomfortable and dissatisfied with most of the things I could usually employ to calm him down. (Even as an adult, I can relate to those feelings sometimes) I was doing the dishes with Franklin on my hip, where he was most content at the moment. I started a load of laundry with him there. I read a book to Ben while standing with him there. We’ve all been there, right? Ben asked if he could have some “beeps.” I asked him to repeat what he wanted because I wasn’t sure I had heard him right. He asked for beeps once again. I said, “Beeps?” He replied, “No. Beeps, mommy.” Again, most of us who are parents can relate to this. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what beeps were. I asked him if he meant a variety of other things. He kept coming back with, “No. Beeps.” Franklin was still on my hip, crying at this point while I was rubbing more anbesol on his gums and administering more tylenol. Ben was getting upset with me for not understanding what he was saying. I could feel my patience wearing thin rapidly. And Ben’s 3-year-old disposition was just about through with me. He started crying while Franklin moved from crying to screaming. And mommy? Well, mommy, not able to take it anymore, joined them. I walked from cupboard to cupboard pointing at things and finally asked BEN to point at what he wanted. He pointed to the refrigerator. I opened it. He pointed to a container holding the red grapes he had snacked on earlier in the day. Grapes; Beeps. To-MA-to; Ta-MAH-to. Whatever. I wiped Franklin’s tears and snot, Ben’s tears and snot and then tended to my face. Ben ate a handful of grapes and then we went for their bath. As they played in the tub, I glanced at the mirror on the back of the door as I sat on the floor next to the tub. I remember seeing my red, swollen eyes and thinking, I don’t think THIS is what I signed up for. I am definitely not the right person for this job nor am I meeting quality control standards. And, HOW IN THE WORLD can they go from screaming one minute to happily enjoying a bath the next?

With all the difficulties that 2020 has brought into our lives, I know I have said more than once, “I don’t think THIS is what I signed up for!” And I have meant every word. Let’s not kid ourselves. This year has felt like a crapshoot in many ways. No doubt, 2021 will have the same uncertainties surrounding it’s arrival. If there’s been one constant, it’s that we really have NO control over much of anything in life. And when given an honest look, is there ANYthing we can say with confidence that we can control outside ourselves? I don’t really think it’s possible. But one thing continues to be reinforced to me this year. I can control how I react and respond to this world and its people and goings-on. I can control what I do with it. I can control how I treat people. This has been a year of really turbulent times for our world, our country and ourselves. Personally, though, this year has been one of the most difficult I have travelled through. And I haven’t always had the right attitude. I haven’t always made the smartest choices and decisions. Even with my health. I haven’t always exercised. Granted, there were some times when physically I couldn’t, but I mean those times when I COULD and didn’t choose to go. As a result, I have flip flopped on the scale and have fallen back out of shape because of my inactivity. I am back in the saddle again, so to speak, and things are better. For now. So far, so good. But that hasn’t stopped me from complaining sometimes. 

This year has also found me saying, “I am definitely not the right person for this job nor am I meeting quality control standards.” I have often wondered why people would still ask me to help them with their weight loss journey EVEN THOUGH I continue to struggle and sometimes falter.                          


I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be an example of perfection in ANYthing that I do or attempt to do. 

***Even Bigger Newsflash*** 

No. One. Is.

However, through all that has happened, I have still managed to lose weight and have been able to help offer advice and programs that help others lose weight also. That’s not because of me. I promise you that. God is using what has gone on with my life to speak to others and to let them know that if this fat girl can do it, ANYONE can do it. I have so far to go still. That definitely keeps me humble. And God is teaching me everyday, that in spite of my imperfect state and my many shortcomings, He chooses to use broken vessels to carry His hope to others. It’s like the grace and mercy and love He brings to fill you seals all those cracks and fissures in the surface and beyond in the broken vessels we are. I think broken people respond to other broken people who have found the Hope that exists for all of us to find. As a broken vessel myself, I can’t imagine having a perfect vessel, who had obviously NEVER even seen a storm cloud let alone been battered by the waves, approach me to offer advice on how to get out of turbulent weather. God uses broken vessels. And FYI – there is NO quality control.

When I experienced that night, what seems like a hundred years ago (*wink, wink*), as I watched those two babies in the bathtub who had completely forgotten the struggle that was just moments before and I couldn’t imagine how that complete change of course could have happened so quickly! But, I think I may have a grown up way of explaining what was happening in those little minds and hearts of theirs. I have been studying the book of James in the Bible. It is full of practical and hard-hitting truths that are applicable to the “everyday walk” of “everyday Christians.” It touches on so many vital parts of our character. Humility, Godly wisdom, hypocrisy, faith, temptation, trials, prejudice and faith are just a few. It’s not a really long book but it is packed with lessons that basically tell us to let our walk talk. One particular verse has always stood out to me. That verse is in the second verse of the first chapter. The first thing James says after he writes his greeting. It says, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” Yeah. Joy. How in the world is that even possible? There is a whole lot to that answer, if I am being honest, and if anyone wants to discuss that with me further, I would absolutely love having that conversation. But, for the sake of keeping this blog somewhat short, I will say this: I know that trials and struggles in this life are temporary road blocks that we have to navigate around. None of us are untouched by things that hurt, steal, are inconvenient and set us back sometimes. It is the joy inside that we keep, that NO ONE and NO THING can take away from us, that gets us through all those difficulties. Count it all joy. James doesn’t mean that the trials and painful events in our lives are joyful. Not at all. The joy is what comes from knowing that God will safely bring us through our trials and then will reveal His purpose for those trials in our lives. It comes from knowing that our patience will develop and our faith will grow. We only need to be willing to let Him walk with us, help us figure out what we need, and then take a nice, long, calming bath to relax. Sometimes, it really is just that simple.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

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