Friday, March 16, 2012

Losing Spiritual Weight

My husband and I are finishing the last three days of a three-week detoxification diet. It was rough going in the beginning. Coffee called my name. A glass of wine with dinner wooed me but was never purchased. A milkshake (but it's made with yogurt!) from Steak 'n Shake was not purchased. The "two-day detox headache" came and went.

Four days into the diet, both my husband and I rejoiced as one pound fell from each of our frames. Daily, we weighed in and miraculously we each lost one pound per day. As I sit now and blog this entry, I have lost 11 lbs! Hoorah. Did I need to lose weight? No, not to be healthy. But I did want to take a step back from foods I had made a habit. With the weight loss came a new appreciation for fruits, fruit juices, pineapple (two weeks ago I would have never craved a pineapple.)

Who knew celery with almond butter was a great idea for a snack? And then today, I realized in three days we will be challenged. The diet will be over. We will want to keep our weight off. For me, I enjoyed wearing those skinny jeans in the bottom of my drawer that I almost gave away. I reasoned this morning, It will soon be bikini weather. I like this slim new me!

And so did I consult God? No. I cracked open the Clean book (I highly recommend it sans the New Age mumbo jumbo.) This is the diet that enabled me to lose these previously impossible to lose 11 lbs. I learned all of the physical ways to keep that weight off. Adding all those fresh fruits and veggies to my diet was what I needed to maintain. What I put into my body was what I would become. Eat fatty foods = become fat. Common sense.

After putting that diet book down, I picked up my Bible. God presented me 2 Timothy 2:22. How does one lose spiritual weight? By not putting the right things into your life. Well, I reasoned, I want to be weighty in spiritual matters. I want to have a lot of God's Holy Spirit into my life.

And as God often comes alongside and whispers to my soul, He gently reminded me, Man cannot live by bread alone.....Matthew 4:4. I needed to eat more fruits and veggies in the spiritual sense as well (God's fruits and veggies in the form of prayer, fellowship, encouragement, love, forgiveness, servanthood.)

When I neglect to spend time in devotions and in the Word of God, I miss having a balanced meal that day. I ate the potatoes and left the meat on the plate. I might have lost a pound on the scale, but I didn't gain an ounce of wisdom and I may have even lost some spiritual weight that day.

Priorities. I lose spiritual weight when I participate in gossip. I lose spiritual weight when I make it all about me. I lose spiritual weight when I entertain thoughts that are not yet facts. I lose spiritual weight when I choose pleasure over a passion for the things of God.

How about you? It's okay to lose some weight. Physical poundage that is. But don't make it your priority. Cause it sure is hard to not eat carbs, dairy, anything with an ingredient list, any foods that cause inflammation (which are many) and others I am failing to list. This three week detox has been fabulous. But I am truly ready to place my coffee pot back on the counter.

How are you doing in the spiritual weight department? I don't know about you, but I plan on feasting on a great big meal of God! In between juicing and preparing chia seed and kale smoothies, I have had plenty of time to think about this weighty issue.

I choose God. I never want to lose spiritual weight. I want to be ready to block those punches the enemy will throw my way. I want to be like a Sumo wrestler for God! Now that I made you smile - go blend a smoothie and grab your Bible. Put on some spiritual weight today.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dressing Room Near Disaster

My husband was working for a few hours. After having been sick for a few days, I decided to head out for "just a few minutes" of shopping. He wouldn't miss me. I would be fine even though I still wasn't feeling great. The dishes in the sink would be washed in short order once I got back After all, I had to find that perfect dress for those two events in June. Time's wasting and I need to find that dress. Against better judgment, I entered the store.

I regrettted my decision to head out shortly after entering the shop door. Even though I was still wearing my sunglasses because I had a bad headache, the big picture window in the boutique with the sun streaming in really hurt my eyes. Usually, the 80's flashback music cheered me, along with the promise of an adventure in finding vintage bargains and famous labels galore. This time, I felt queasy as I mechanically did my tour of the little store. I was not having clarity of mind and able to focus on everything. I felt hot and crowded. Not my usual self.

As I tried to make my adventure work, I found some items to try on and headed to the dressing room. There is only one and it is always full. This time was no exception. I usually head to the ladies room to try on my finds (they don't mind) when the single dressing room in the store is busy. I had just put on a pretty cornflower blue sundress and as I headed out the restroom door to the full length mirror, an elderly woman approached and asked if she could please use the restroom as she was in urgent need. Of course, I removed all my items and stood there waiting in sweat socks holding my basket with my clothes. I placed my wallet and glasses on a side table and got distracted looking at the "returns rack." A Fila tennis dress for $16 caught my eye. I picked it up, stashed it in my basket and looked up to as the woman left the restroom.

I headed back in and finished trying everything on. Nothing fit. But that was not the problem. I looked in my basket. No wallet or glasses. I looked on the sink. No wallet or glasses. I hastily fled the room and looked on the side table. No wallet or glasses. I became panicked and left my basket and ran back in the bathroom just to make sure I hadn't knocked them to the floor. To no avail, my wallet and glasses were gone.

I ran to the front of the store, not caring what anyone thought. On my way up the aisle, a lady asked me if I was okay. I told her, "Someone took my wallet." Critically, (and it could not have been more than a few seconds), I looked at her and decided, You probably have my wallet and glasses. You probably stole them. But I had no time to waste. As soon as I arrived at the cashier desk, the pretty young cashier told me, "We have your wallet and glasses." Deep breath. Sigh. The adrenaline pumped through me as I realized my headache was now of migraine proportions. Relief flooded through me.

This wonderfully sweet Latin customer then shared that she had seen my wallet and glasses on that side table just minutes before. She took both to the cashier but on her way asked someone who was standing near the side table getting ready to use the dressing room if the items were hers. She was told Yes. In her wisdom, this woman, having looked inside my wallet saw money and a credit card. So she asked the lady for identification. The lady fled the store. Quickly. Hurriedly. Gone in seconds. She had abandoned the items in her basket and made  her way hastily out the door. Guilty. Dishonest. She was on the run.

And so I was handed back my wallet and glasses. I hugged that precious angel and thanked her profusely, for only my credit card and money was in my wallet, but my house key as well. This angel told me not too long ago in Macy's she had been in a similar situation in which her husband told her to ask for identification before giving a wallet back to someone. This person showed identification and so the wallet was returned to the rightful owner. She had listened to her husband and learned. She shared that if her husband had not taught her that, she would have just trusted the person and given the wallet back to her. I was blessed as a result.

Just before thanking her one last time before saying goodbye, I told her that she was there in that store to help me today. She said, "God had me here because He knew you needed me." Ahhh...I just want to sit and revel in God's protection. In His caring love. I was inspired and encouraged to know that God's people - His angels are still roaming this earth. They are being used as reminders that in this world of evil there is still good. And that not until the day when Jesus returns for His people will the Good stop doing for others as my angel did for me today.

And lastly, I have to repent. I had looked into the eyes of another kind woman and declared her guilty without proof. I had run to the front of that store trusting no one. Everyone I looked at could have had my wallet was the message my brain was speaking to me. I had no way of knowing who had taken it at that moment. And yet I condemned every person even though no one was guilty. The evil one had left the store because God had one of His agents there. God's presence dispelled the darkness today.

 I was sorry that my heart and my mind were so quick to judge the innocent, to point the finger and decide Guilty with no cause. I was also sorry to not know who that guilty person was who was ready to take that which was mine. I would have looked into her eyes and forgiven her. Not because she would ask for my forgiveness, but because she did not have and was so ready to take. I would have given to her not my money, but my forgiveness. But she left because she chose darkness instead of light. That same light which had hurt my eyes and my head was the same light this woman rejected because it hurt her soul. I resolved to pray for her.

As I am Navigating Through Life I pray my journey leads me closer to having the mind of Christ, and not man, to be more aware of the needs of others, and to always give a person the benefit of the doubt unless God gives me the discernment to think otherwise. Oh - and I pray I can be the one who turns in the wallet and sunglasses next time. Not to just get a hug - but to share God's love with others who may be having a hard day or even just a headache.