Day: March 5, 2008

Proverbs31 Devotion – Love Out Loud

One of the feeds I subscribe to is the daily devotion from Proverbs31.  I just read this and it struck a nerve with me.  I have decided to accept this challenge and I know the first blank is going to be a challenge for me because there are certain things I am patient with, yet when it comes to my husband, I find that sometimes I’m patient and there are other times when I’m not.  He asked me to rub some Sportscreme on his neck (he has serious health problems, his neck and back being the most difficult for him right now).  I had no problem doing this and I really got into his neck muscles and his shoulders and his back.  I then began trying to get him to move his head up and he was resisting me and began crying out in pain.  I continued to gently lift his chin and he became irritable with me and I found myself saying with an edge in my voice, “you have to try and push yourself beyond the pain, do you want to be like this the rest of your life!?”.  He then left the room and went into the bedroom.  A few minutes later he was in his pj’s, went to the kitchen to fill his water bottle then announced he was going to bed.  I know how much he struggles with the pain, and I also know he has not done everything he can to get healed.  I feel like he has given up and that’s what causes me to lose my patience.  So, that being said, I have decided to put this message from Karen on my blog.  I’ve accepted the challenge, how about you? 

 

March 5, 2008

Love Out Loud

By Karen Ehman

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

James 1:22 (NIV)

Devotion:

One of my favorite passages from the Bible is the “Love” chapter from 1 Corinthians 13. I remember being challenged to memorize it for an English class in my public high school in the 1980’s. Even secular scholars have no doubt that this piece of literature is a beautiful work, flowing in its rhythm and captivating in its cadence. It is actually relatively easy to memorize. However, living out the words is a whole different story!

Let’s pick up the passage in verses 4-8….

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

How would you describe your love for others? Are you a patient soul or do you drum your fingers and tap your toes while you stew and sigh not-so-patiently? Is it hard to bring you to a point of anger or does flying off the handle come much too naturally? Do you keep score with those who have wronged you, ready to dredge up the past and become “historical” to make your point? Do you boast? Got a case of the green envies? Ever been rude to someone? How will we ever learn to love the way this passage urges us to?

Here’s an idea to help to flesh this out in real life. Make a copy of the love chapter on your computer. However, wherever the word love is used (or its pronoun ‘it’) leave a blank. Then try over the next week or so to be able to write your name in the blank when you have a chance to exhibit this quality in real life. Were you patient at the doctor’s office today and, instead of grumbling while sitting in the waiting room, you quietly thanked God for the extra time and then used it to pray for others? Write your name on the “________ is patient” line. Did you and another family member get into a heated discussion and you were tempted to bring up a wrong from the past but, with great restraint, held your tongue? Bravo! Write your name on the “________ keeps no record of wrongs” line. Were you kind to the grumpy cashier instead of being rude right back? Get out that pen and write away!

Be assured that if you take this challenge, God will give you lots of opportunities to practice displaying these wonderful characteristics of love. And you can count on others noticing the change in you as you seek to love out loud.

Dear Lord, help me to accurately reflect the love you show to us by my actions to others. When I want to live in the flesh, help me to walk in the spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

New Me – New Outfits!

So, I went shopping today for the first time in 3 years.  I don’t know what size I was before my surgery.  I do know that I haven’t been able to fit into clothes at Lane Bryant for 3 years and they go up to size 32.  Now, I know that women’s clothing sizes fluctuate due to material, design, style and so on.  It’s possible to wear a size 26 in one style jeans, 24 in another and a 22 in another.  Men don’t have nearly as much trouble as we do.  A man with a 38 waist wears a 38 pants – end of story.

Now, I was wearing mens 3X sweat pants (prior to my surgery) and they were snug to say the least.  I was wearing mens 4X and 5X shirts tops and while they were way too long in the arms, and way too big up top, they fit around my hips and butt!

So, now to the good stuff – my trip to Lane Bryant!  When I entered the store I was a bit apprehensive – actually I was A LOT apprehesive.  I didn’t see anything that caught my eye, and they have changed their sizing for jeans and I was totally out of my comfort zone.  I was worried that I would try on jeans only to find that they A-didn’t come big enough to fit my fat butt, B-looked horrible on me or C-would be way too expensive.

I started looking through the jeans to find a size 26, good place to start I guess since most of the jeans I fit into from my drawers are 26-28 and they are big on me.  The problem was that most of the jeans were either 28’s or 22’s and I had no idea how to figure out the new color coded sizes which were yellow, red or blue and sizes 1-8.  I grabbed a 26 and 22 and headed for the fitting room.  The 26’s fit, and were a bit loose – good sign but I was really hoping they’d be falling off my butt.  The 22’s didn’t even come up over my hips – figures!  Not to mention the prices – don’t even get me started!

Next on the list, a new bra. I had the sales associate size me up and she said I could wear either a 40 F or a 42 DDD.  This cracked me up because right now I’m wearing a 46 DDD and while I know the “girls” have gotten smaller, I never imagined they got that small.  She suggested an under-wire molded bra.  I nearly wet myself from laughing at what a 42 DDD molded bra looked like on the hanger.  Why on earth would I want a bra that looked like it would make me even bigger than I already was.  I laughed bras in hand as I entered the fitting room.  But the final laugh was on me because after I got it on (which took some maneuvering) the girls were standing at attention and I found it was easier to breathe. 

I got up the courage to ask about their new sizes and found that I would be a “blue” girl and should start around a 6.  So, to clarify, the blue code means you are fuller in the hip and tush area – THAT’S ME!  I grabbed a 6 petite and I’m so happy to report – they were too big.  I then grabbed a 5 and again too big.  I wasn’t able to find a 4 petite so I settled for a 4 average – and I would have preferred the stone washed blue versus the  navy blue but hey – they fit and they were under $40!  Here’s the best part, the associate told me that a 4 is the equivalant of a size 20 – woo hoo!!!

Okay, now it’s time to find a new top.  I grabbed a few tops sized 22/24 and off to the fitting room yet again.  I was so blown back when I realized I needed a smaller size!  My son was with me so it was his job to pick out a few tops in various colors and styles in a size 18/20!  This was the best part of the day!  I found a few tops that looked really great, and some that fit great but the color just wasn’t me – especially the ultra orange and power packed pink ones! 

After some giggles and oohs and ahhs and hey miss thang (this is me checking me out in the mirror) it was time to decide on what to get.  I decided on the pink top pictured below and a brown top also pictured!  I got 2 bras, one black and one cream and the size 26 jeans and the size 4 jeans.  I was happy with the outfits but I was not as happy about the price tags but once all was said and done and everything was rung up it all came to $158.00.  This is pretty cool since the jeans were $40 each, the tops were $35 each and the bras were also $35 each.  That adds up to $220 so with the sales I saved $62, and I received a coupon for 40% off my next purchase and 3 $25 coupons for a sales event they are having in a few weeks. 

And now, without further ado, the photos –

P3050068   P3050069 P3050070

   P3050075 P3050076 P3050077

So, that’s it for now!  Can you tell I got’s a new attitude??!!

Drum Roll Please……………………..BANG!

It happened!  It finally happened.  There were days when it felt as though I had come as far as I would.  Then I would think back to the vision the Lord had given me many years ago and I would have renewed hope.

Have you ever heard the saying, “a watched pot doesn’t boil?”  That’s kind of how I would look at my situation.  The more I thought about it, the less change would come.

Oh, what am I talking about you ask???  Well, duh, I’m talking about the BIG ONE!  THE BIG 100!  My first 100 pounds lost since my surgery on June 21, 2007!  And it happened today!  I am just so excited I’m having a hard time writing this! 

I usually only weigh myself on Monday mornings these days because my weight fluctuates a few ounces up, a few ounces down and it really frustrates me at times.  The past month or so, the weight hasn’t been coming off like before.  I’d lose a pound here, a pound there and sometimes I’d gain a pound or two.  I know it’s not because I’m over-eating, or the foods that I’m eating because quite frankly, I don’t eat that much regardless of what I’m put in my mouth.  I chalk it up to not being a “regular” visitor to Mr. Potty!  I’ve started taking a fiber supplement and while I’m not as regular as I should be, I am seeing a slow improvement, and slow is good for me. 

I’m taking the weight off slowly, which in the long run will probably be to my advantage because my skin won’t hang like a lot of WLS patients and since I’ve heard it can cost anywhere from $10 – $30 THOUSAND dollars for plastic surgery, this will allow me to save up and put it off for as long as possible.  As for “irregularity”, this is something I’ve suffered with my entire life.  The only time I can remember being a daily depositor was when I was pregnant.  For the most part, I would go 5-7 days without making a BM.  That’s not good on so many levels.

Anyway, back to the reason for today’s post.  I actually had to weigh myself a few times just to make sure it wasn’t some kind of fluke or mechanical malfunction.  Sure enough, each time the scale gave me the same reading – – – – 257.8.  WOW EEE WOW WOW!!!!

 

So, I’m going to fulfill a promise I made to myself, and that’s to go and buy a new pair of jeans and a top.  I’ll probably try on a new bra and pick a pair of panties while I’m at it.  I have NO IDEA what size I am for anything, except for my socks. 

I’ll post a picture in my new outfit.  Pray for me, I’m nervous – I have no idea what to expect when I go into the dressing room for the first time in over 3 years.

Father, Master of the Universe, my Lord and Savior, thank you for your many blessings.  Thank you for answering my prayers.  Thank you that you touched my husbands heart so that he would support me in my decision to have this surgery.  Thank you for leading me to Dr. Dallal and his staff and for the amazing job he did with my surgery.  Thank you for all the support and prayers my family, friends and cyber buddies have given to me over the years.  Thank you for Your healing hands and for never leaving me even in my darkest times.  Thank you for the vision you gave me many years ago, a vision of me, thin, happy and praising you in dance at the altar.  That was a vision and Your promise of hope that I have clung to, and even though there were times that I did not remember it, you would bring it back to my remembrance.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.  I look forward to what You have in store for me in the days ahead and ask for the strength to fulfill my days in health, peace, joy and following Your will.  In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

The Solid Rock

This was written by Edward Mote in 1834 even though it was introduced in 1837 by David Denham as being written by Rees, (I’m not sure if he is referring here to Timothy or William Rees).  This mistaken identity was due to Mote’s submission of the lyrics to a fellow brother in Christ for his wife to read during her illness and Mote had failed to put his name or initials on the copy.

In 1836, Edward Mote published his own book Hymns of Praise and this song was listed.  Some may call it “old timey” but I call it wonderful.  You can check out other Gospel Hymns over at The Cyber Hymnal.

 

The Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.