Thursday, December 27, 2012

Get Out of the Fray!

(Read a review of my book and then order a copy for yourself - The review is at 

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Are you in a battle? The days after Christmas and beginning the New Year can be quite difficult. Before Christmas, activity is at an all time high with travelling and shopping and cooking. And then it’s over.

The enemy of our hearts swoops in at this time, commanding Discouragement and Depression to attack. As they hit us with whispers and lies, we find ourselves in a battle. Believe the lies or live the truth.

Some battles that may result:

I can do All things through Christ versus My life is nothing special and never will be.

I can rise above my circumstances and live in God’s presence versus I am sick and therefore I cannot live in victory.

I can change my life versus I am fat and no resolutions will ever change that.

The last one is my battle. One I’ve fought for almost 30 years.

This year, I am looking at this battle a little differently thanks to the Word of God and encouragement from some friends. In the past, fighting this battle has meant rising up and gathering all my will power and engaging the enemy. I’ve prayed hard, used the Word of God through reciting memory verses and I’ve reached deep within to find the strength to persevere.

All of these tactics are good things. But they say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So this year, I am looking at the battle differently.

A counterintuitive paradigm shift.

Now it is all on God. He is the Warrior. He fights. I remain still. My losing weight is His problem. Doesn’t mean I sit on the couch and eat ice cream. It means I don’t try to will myself to exercise or eat right. Instead I lean into Christ.

In Ephesians 6, where Paul teaches us about the armor of God, He instructs us to put on the armor but not to fight actively, but to STAND FIRM. Stand. That’s it. Be still and know that He is the Warrior, the God who fights for us.

So what does this look like? My friend Hilary Beebe, in encouraging me, wrote the following:

For me, as long as I focused on my diet and exercise and weight and measurements, I failed. Every single time, every single day. What God began to show me was that I had to focus on Him and let go of the weight loss goals. Really let go. Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but there are many instances in Scripture where God wins a battle for His people in a counterintuitive way. So I finally "gave up" trying to lose weight and I just sought God. Hard. Whenever I felt bound by food, I prayed. Whenever I felt bad about myself, I prayed. I consciously moved my obsession from food/weight to Jesus. It didn't happen overnight, and I stumbled a lot, but again, there was no condemnation, just a Holy hand to help me up every time. The closer I got to Jesus, the more He worked in my heart - first and foremost - and the more the food issue began to dissolve and the weight began to come off. But it HAD to start with my heart, not my head. Not "I'm obese, I need to lose weight" but "I need Jesus to be everything to me. I need Jesus to heal my heart." 

Thank you, Hilary. After reading her note, I did a study on God fighting for us. Over and over again, the Bible teaches that God wants to do the fighting. He wants us to just rely on Him and be still.

Be still.

Whatever your battle, I encourage you and me to get out of the skirmish. As bullets fly and bombs explode in our minds and hearts, let’s get out and find a spot away from the war and ask Jesus to be everything.

And be still. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Don't Forget to Laugh

“A cheerful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22

My compliment of the week:  “Robbie, the thing I admire about you is you’re not afraid to humiliate yourself.”

I laughed and laughed. In context, it was a compliment and I took it that way. But the way she put it was so funny.

This last week has been difficult for all of us, in different ways. It is too easy to watch the news and fall into despair. So I have chosen laughter. I have looked for reasons to laugh.

Last night, when my friend gave me this compliment, I agreed with her. We were talking about the gym and my attitude of just being me there. It’s difficult enough for an obese woman to go into a gym, but if I add insecurity to the mix, it is excruciating. It helps that I’m 50, because I truly care less now about other people’s opinions of me more than ever in my life. Freedom is the result.

When I first met my personal trainer, this was our conversation:

Me: Do you know CPR?

Mona: Yes.

Me: Have you ever done it?

Mona: Yes, and we have a portable defibrillator here.

Me: Have you used it?

Mona: Yes, last year an elderly woman’s heart gave out and I worked on her until the ambulance came.

Me: Did she make it?

Mona: Yes.

Me: Where do I sign?

I think having no fear of humiliating myself comes from the choice to laugh at myself. In my life, I’ve had plenty of practice.

I went to a bridal shower once and didn’t know it was a lingerie shower. Everyone’s gifts were beautiful negligees and such. She opened up my present to find an electric knife.

I was the guest of honor at a banquet once and I sat between my date Larry and the entertainment Gary. During the meal, I got to coughing and threw up. In trying to flee, I threw up on both Larry and Gary.

Two weeks ago, I went to a parent teacher conference at Noah’s Middle School. We walked around the cafeteria to different tables each teacher occupied. At one table, I sensed my chair was a bit squishy. In mid-conference, my chair collapsed and I hit the ground. I was embarrassed but decided to laugh at it. Afterwards, I kept saying in a Jerry Seinfeld voice, “It was the chair. They had a squishy chair!”

I chose our Christmas tree this year. We got a new type of tree that promised excellent needle retention. However, although I’ve watered it consistently, it has suffered a pre-mature death. So day after day, I sit in my living room looking at a dried up Yule bush. It is pathetic and I keep stopping myself from assigning it some symbolic meaning. The year of our dead Christmas tree. “Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how dried up are your branches.”

Friday is the end of the Mayan calendar and the end of the world, “they” say. I don’t believe this for one second, but as a dieter I am always sniffing out justifications for eating treats. Can there be any reason more tailor-made for me than the world is ending on Friday? Sigh.

So as you can see, fodder for laughing at myself is a plenty. And laughing at life is a gift we can all give ourselves, especially in times when the enemy of our hearts wants us to live in hopeless despair.

Today, I hope you’ll look for a reason to laugh. When you find it, enjoy it and relish it. The Great Physician will use it to soothe your soul. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My book, Joy Dance, is here!!! You can order it right here on my blog. Click on the Buy Now button to your right and I will send it to you this week. Let me know if you want me to sign it and I will!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

What's Your Word?

A few years ago I came upon the idea of choosing a word in December for the next year of life. It’s just a way of purposing your year. Kind of setting a goal or a vision and praying God’s blessing on it. Last year I chose the word ADVENTURE. I look back at 2012 and the word fit. I drove across country with my husband and my mother-in-law in January, became a mother of a teenager in February, landed in the hospital for three days in March, lost my agent and attended a writing conference that God used big-time in my life in April, started menopause in May, took a three-week fantastic vacation in June, became a second time grandma in August, turned 50 in September, and self published a book in December. It will come out next week! (I will send you an email and let you know how to order it if you want.)

So what word for 2013?

Recently I asked some folks to pray for me in my weight loss/get healthy journey. I’ve realized that it is much more than eating well and exercising. It is a spiritual battle. I want to fully step into what God has for me and that means dealing with my obesity. Truly committing myself to this and the pain that working out brings is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

One of my friends and one of the most interesting people I know, Cheryl Velk, sent me a note about persevering. She always mentioned the word PUSH. She said “It is partly pressing through, but it is partly delivering what God is wanting to birth in us.” And she gave me a wonderful passage of Scripture.

Romans 8:14-15 and then 22-28 from The Message
“God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?".…All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

My word for 2013 is going to be PUSH. During those moments of pain, I need to lean on God and push. During those moments of waiting, I am going to choose to push. And like an expectant mom, I will be rewarded with whatever God is choosing to birth in me this year. A new way of life!

So, think about this. What’s your word?