I have struggled with the right relationship to food off and on my whole life. I have never been extremely overweight, but have gone up and down for about 20-30 pounds several times. Even before I had children and especially between my five pregnancies. Somehow I managed several times to get to a normal weight for me and then several years later I gained the weight back. I am noticing the older I get, the harder the battle is. But as I mature I am also realizing that some extra pounds are not my number one problem anyway. So, what if I am not skinny and have not a Barbie body? Not all people are built the same. And I do not have to compete for people’s attention. Neither do I need to win a beauty contest. Body shape is not the most important thing in life. My heart, my personality, my attitudes are much more important. True beauty comes from the “inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1. Peter. 3,4) I am thinking about some godly women I have had the privilege to meet and observe. Some were skinny, others were not. Yet, that is not something that added or took away from the beauty of their spirit or their godly attitudes. I am remembering my own grandmother, who passed away when I was 18. She was and still is my godly example of a wife and mother. I spent a lot of time with her. 18 years is a pretty long time to get to know someone. But in all those years, I have never heard her yell or scream at anybody. She was a quiet and gentle person, kind and hardworking. She lived through some very difficult times, yet she remained a very loving and patient woman. But she definitely was a heavier person. I don’t know if it ever bothered her or not. I never heard her complaining about it. Yet, there is another thing I have learned from her. As she got older and her heart got weaker, the doctors told her she needed to loose some weight. She obeyed and lost weight. When we asked her how she did it, she replied simply: “I just started eating half of the food I used to eat before.” I am still amazed at the simplicity of this statement. She knew something had to be done and she did it. Without much noise, without complaining, without any special tools. She had learned the art of discipline and limits in other areas and she just applied it to eating when she faced a problem. That’s how she handled most problems in her life. She was a very simple woman, had only finished elementary school. Had worked hard all her life (she was a servant since age 13). But she had a very content spirit and applied truth to all areas in her life. I pray that one day I would me more like her. So, as I look back at my weight and shape, I realize that it is not the number one issue I should be concerned about. Yet, when I look at my eating habits, I realize that I have a problem. I realize that I am eating often for the wrong reasons, not because my body needs nourishment. I often stuff myself to calm down or out of a bad habit. I have not learned the art of saying no to food when I am not hungry. And this, more than some extra pounds, concerns me more. I realize that do not have the discipline to set limits and keep within them. And that is something I know I have to work on. I realize that often though I know I shouldn’t eat, the urge is stronger and I give in. And if it is so strong that I am not able to say no and stay away from it, then this is a true problem. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control and I definitely long to produce it along with the other fruits in my life. As I am thinking about the goals and desires for the next year, I realize that more than anything I want to be able to be at peace with food. I do not want it to take away so much of my life as it is now. Whether I am thinking about it, eating it or trying desperately to stay away from it. It is taking away too much precious time that I could be using for better things. I want to be free from the constant battle, either way. I do not want my mood and attitude to be determined by the numbers on the scale. I want to focus first and foremost on my heart and my spirit to reflect God’s beauty. And then I want this to influence my relationship with people and other things, like food. I don’t want loosing weight to occupy my mind that much. I want trust God in all areas of life and this also includes trusting Him that if my mind is on Him, He will help me to define limits in my eating habits and help me to stay within them. If I loose some weight along the way, fine. If not, I will not let that stop me from living for His glory. I desire to do “everything as unto the Lord” in all areas of life. That is my main goal for this year.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Sunday, January 01, 2006
I can’t believe what happened to me yesterday. We were getting ready for a New Years Eve with my parents and my daughter’s friend at our home. I really started feeling sick with the flu and in order to be able to survive the afternoon, I took some flu medicine. Although it was the non-drowsy stuff, it did make me sleep a little bit. But after that I got up and felt a bit better and helped my hubby who was so kind and did some of the meal preparation for the evening. While he was cutting some cold meats and cheese, I decided to stay away from sharp objects (still a bit drowsy) and remembered that I didn’t make a New Years greeting for our friends and family yet. So, I thought, I can manage to hold my head up and sit at the computer for a while. I quickly found some pictures of us and made pretty quickly a card in Photoshop. I looked good to me. Hubby just took a quick glance and said it looks good. My oldest took a look at it as well and suggested adding some brush strokes to my empty squares. I was happy to get it done so fast and send it out to ALL the people in our address book (per email). As the last batch of letters was leaving my mail client, I suddenly counted the heads in the picture and realized that one was missing! It was my 5 year old! How embarrassing. To leave out one of my children. And all the mail has been sent. I had no choice but quickly fix the picture and send it again. I know we all make mistakes, but this is a big one and I am already getting some response from friends like: I did the counting and it seemed like you are missing someone … or …. I thought something was wrong with the picture. And I still didn’t hear from the close relatives. Oh, well, just something I am going to bear it. There is nothing like starting the New Year with a mistake, LOL. But one lesson I have learned is: DO NOT attempt to do anything important when sick (and on medication). [color=333399]I wish you all God’s Blessings in the new Year![/color] P.S. Here is the fixed email card.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Usually during these times of holidays there are so many sweets, cookies and cakes available at our home, that fruit is not so appealing to our family. The way I counter this is by making fruit salad almost daily. We do not have a large selection of fruit, but the prices are pretty good around the holidays. I usually make fruit salad by starting with a can of pineapple if I have any. Fresh pineapple we can’t afford and it’s very rare. Plus the juice from the can gives some liquid to the salad and we like it that way. If I don’t have canned pineapple, then I use some other home canned fruit like peaches. If I don’t have any of those, I just some fruit juice to the salad. Then I peel, core and cube 2-3 apples, 2-3 oranges, 2 bananas and if I have 2-3 kiwi fruit. Of course other fruit could be added, but I usually have only these. I mix it all up with the juice and put in the refrigerator for a while. That way the flavor blends. If I have guests, I usually add a bit whipped cream to it. When we are alone, we eat it without the cream. Hubby likes to add dried raisins to it. This way the fruit is gone in no time and know that we got some vitamins.
Friday, December 30, 2005
This hasn’t happened for a very long time. After all those activities before and during the holidays and hubby being hardly home, he took off several days from work and ministry and stayed home. On Wednesday we took a short trip to the city and had a wonderful outing with our family. Yesterday we stayed home all day all of us! I really enjoyed the whole day of doing hardly anything. Of course I had to cook and do some laundry, but other than that we just rested, watched a movie (The Secret Garden), the children played, hubby and I got some chance to talk. We also brought my grandmother to our house for a few hours for a visit. She has been widowed a month ago and is still adjusting to life by herself. We made her some tea, talked to her and then I showed her pictures on our computer. I think it was very good for her to get a chance of scenery. This morning we took apart the computer (something I wouldn’t dare to do completely on my own), vacuumed and cleaned it thoroughly (and thankfully everything works after we put it back together =). He also installed our new DVD burner. I am so glad that I am going to be able to back up all our precious family pictures as well as all our ministry resources. In the afternoon we paid a short visit to hubby’s parents and then also to mine. It’s wonderful to have all the children and hubby home all day. Finally got the break we all needed so much. Unfortunately some of our children are starting to have runny noses and sore throats. I myself have just started feeling like I am coming down with something. I hope I can avoid getting sick by taking some measures immediately.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Even though the days were filled with many ministry and church activities, we still found time to be with family and relatives and spend some wonderful moments together. I have posted several entries with pictures on our family blog, so I will not post them again here. I am thankful to God that we all stayed healthy during this time (especially hubby, who has been in contact with hundreds of children during distributing Samaritan's Purse Boxes in schools) and that this week all of us are home from school/work and can enjoy time together.