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Saturday, May 20, 2017

If Everything Falls Away

Sometimes dark places yield the most light, and I've been sitting in shadows for a little while now.  I can't explain it exactly for there's no one thing that's prompting that "my soul is downcast within me" feeling.  I just have this odd sense of loss.

But that isn't the point of this post, it's just the backdrop.

Last week, I started reading a book that is about accepting yourself as God made you instead  of seeking approval from others or, to paraphrase the title,  being free to be who you already are.  The author rather enjoys the sound of her own voice and tends toward the dramatic in her writing style, but amidst my eye rolls, I can recognize a certain charm and truth in her words. 

A few chapters in, she was writing enthusiastically  about her newfound freedom, but as I read, the thought crossed my mind that she was not yet free--she was fooling herself.  A chapter or two later, she expressed the same conclusion.  :} I stopped reading at that point and began talking to God.  About freedom.  About my currently sorrowful soul.  About this feeling of loss, the roots of which I am unaware.

And a line from an old Janis Joplin  song crossed my mind.   "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose."  I let the song play through my mind and picked the book back up.  The author was talking about how she realized that she was still striving,, still seeking public  love as she went from speaking engagement to speaking engagement--telling women how to be free, still wanting to "count" to someone.  She wrote that she felt God tell her that she counted to Him--and asked her if Het was enough.   The author realized that for her, at that moment, it was not.

I put the book back in my lap and listened to Janis sing in my memory again.

And something I heard a long time ago crossed my mind:  True freedom comes when God is enough, when He alone is all you need.

Is God enough for me?  If all I know and have falls away,  and I am left  with God alone--would I still stand?  Would joy still be found in my heart? Would God, just God and nothing or no one else,  be enough for me?

When the answer is "Yes,"  then I am free.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

By His Stripes I Am Healed

 I have not taken medication or had a hallucination since Good Friday.  By His stripes, I am healed; and I am grateful.  thank you to all of those who prayed. 

The only residual effect I'm having from the stroke, at least as far as I can tell, is that I'm having some trouble telling right from left.  I know.  Isn't that weird?  It may resolve, but if not, it's a minimal problem compared to what could have been.

Again, thank you to those who prayed for me.

And that's the weigh it goes,

Deb

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Resurrected King is Resurrecting Me



 
"Resurrecting"
The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now
The Savior knelt to wash our feet
Now at His feet we bow

The One who wore our sin and shame
Now robed in majesty
The radiance of perfect love
Now shines for all to see

Your Name
Your Name
Is victory
All praise
Will rise
To Christ our King
[x2]

The fear that held us now gives way
To Him who is our peace
His final breath upon the cross
Is now alive in me

Your Name
Your Name
Is victory
All praise
Will rise
To Christ our King
[x2]

By Your Spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected King
Is resurrecting me
In Your Name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The resurrected King
Is resurrecting me
[x3]

The tomb where soldiers watched in vain
Was borrowed for three days
His body there would not remain
Our God has robbed the grave
Our God has robbed the grave

Your Name
Your Name
Is victory
All praise
Will rise
To Christ our King
[x2]

By Your Spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected Kking
Is resurrecting me
In your Name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The resurrected King
Is resurrecting me
The resurrected King
Is resurrecting me


Saturday, April 8, 2017

When timies get tough...

the wise pray honestly, give thanks faithfully, & praise entusiastically.


From this morning 's scheduled reading:


Psalm 42:5-11New Century Version (NCV)
Why am I so sad?
    Why am I so upset?
I should put my hope in God
    and keep praising him,
    my Savior and my God.
I am very sad.
    So I remember you where the Jordan River begins,
near the peaks of Hermon and Mount Mizar.
Troubles have come again and again, sounding like waterfalls.
    Your waves are crashing all around me.
The Lord shows his true love every day.
    At night I have a song,
    and I pray to my living God.
I say to God, my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why am I sad
    and troubled by my enemies?”
10 My enemies’ insults make me feel
    as if my bones were broken.
They are always saying,
    “Where is your God?”
11 Why am I so sad?
    Why am I so upset?
I should put my hope in God
    and keep praising him,
    my Savior and my God.

New Century Version (NCV) The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.



And that's the weigh it goes, walking here in praise,


Deb


P.S.  And, thanks, TBR.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Moses, Jesus & Me

I was reading in Deuteronomy where Moses was calling the people to a second round of agreement with God before they crossed over to the Jordan to their Promised Land. The whole, "I put before you a blessing and a curse" thing. He called them to love the Lord with abandon--and to prove that full-out love by--now, here it is: By OBEDIENCE.

Obedience is harder for me than I care to admit.

As I repeatedly read the call for obedience, I remembered the passage in the NT that I had read yesterday. A passage I marked to reread this morning--and did. That passage...and that word, obedience. And my struggle to surrender, despite my frequent good sounding intentions.

It's time to acknowledge my need for obedience. And to acknowledge that it must start right here, with the following simple, yet overwhelmingly difficult, commands in Luke6 by Jesus:

Luke 6:

27 “But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you. 29 If anyone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek, too. If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and when someone takes something that is yours, don’t ask for it back. 31 Do to others what you would want them to do to you.

32 If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? Even sinners love the people who love them. 33 If you do good only to those who do good to you, what praise should you get? Even sinners do that! 34 If you lend things to people, always hoping to get something back, what praise should you get? Even sinners lend to other sinners so that they can get back the same amount!

35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. 36 Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy.

37 “Don’t judge others, and you will not be judged. Don’t accuse others of being guilty, and you will not be accused of being guilty. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”

41 “Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your friend, ‘Friend, let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye’ when you cannot see that big piece of wood in your own eye! You hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend’s eye.

 46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do what I say?

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Jesus spit out quite a mouthful there, didn't He?  And, of course, He meant every word.  So, I've written this in an odd little post so that I can read it. Daily. And remember just where the goal post is.


And that's the weigh it goes,

Deb

Monday, March 13, 2017

On MRIs and Miracles

Last Monday, I had a visit with my PCP & He also ordered an MRI.  :o

Okay.  I know MRIs don't hurt.  Really, I do.  But I'm claustrophobic.  I tried to get an MRI 15 years ago and it went badly.  I really thought it would be okay.  I told myself nothing would hurt and I just needed to remind myself of that while inside the tube.  How'd it go?  About 30 seconds after I was slid into the tube, I began to pound on the sides while screaming, "Let me out"  over and over again.  It was humiliating.

Needless to say, that little event was in the forefront of my mind the second my PCP said "MRI."  I knew it had to be done, tho.  After all, if it were exclusively the contrast dye, the hallucinations should have passed by then.  Something else could be going on.  The MD gave me a Xanax.  One Xanax.  A .5, to be exact.  I knew it wouldn't be enough.

So, I prayed a lot.  I had other people pray for me.  A lot of other people.  And by Thursday, I  felt their prayers. Until Thursday, every time I spoke of or wrote an email about the MRI, I began to cry. (Can you believe that?  I was so embarrassed.  I'm really not much of a crier.)

But on Thursday, as I typed out an email to my Pastor--no tears.  And I began to feel a peace settle in.

The MRI was Friday at 3:15.  Friday morning, the first Scripture that crossed my  mind was Jesus saying, "I am with you always."  And, then, in my daily Bible reading, I read these verses, "He [God] is your hiding place.  He will protect you.  He will fill your heart with songs of deliverance.  He will surround you with His love."

And, I knew.  That day...during that MRI...anxiety was going to be defeated.  It may look like I was surrounded by a tube, but I would be surrounded by God's love; I would be hidden in Him; and my heart would be filled with freedom's songs, not anxiety.

And that's exactly what happened.  It was the easiest test I ever had--start to finish.  Simple, relaxed, stress free.  If you knew my terror during my last attempt and the terror I felt every time I thought of it, you would know--it was a miracle.  God was my hiding place and I wasn't afraid.

Haha.  And the Xanax never kicked in.    Too funny.  (Even a .5 causes me to slur my speech a bit.  Not this time.  Nothin')


And that's the weigh it goes,

Deb




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

DNA Info from 23&Me on my weight

I just received an email from 23&Me delivering their new Genetic Weight Report .  I'm just going to cut and paste some things, with the 23&Me content in this font: DNA info.

If you aren't entertained by 23&Me presentation, the bottom line is that my DNA predisposes me to weigh about 13% more than average, not ideal weight.  That would be, per 23&Me about 180 pounds.  Let me say that a different way: Per my DNA, my body's most comfortable spot is about 180 pounds.  Above or below that is y own doing, either thru neglect or effort.  (Right now there is evidence  that neglect has been winning for a long time.)

23&Me provided fewer details than I would have liked--like I have a double copy of the Ghrelin gene.  They didn't go into detail about that kind of thing.  Here's what they did report:

The Genetic Weight Report looks at DNA variants you have that are associated with weight and breaks down whether you’re genetically predisposed to weigh more or less than average. It also highlights the different effects certain lifestyle factors have on weight for people with genetics similar to yours.

Debra, your genes predispose you to weigh about 13% more than average. The average weight for a woman your age who is 5'5" tall is 162 pounds, based on 23andMe participants of European descent.

We determined your result by looking at DNA variants associated with weight based on our research. Some variants have a stronger effect on weight than others, which our analysis took into account. Because of this, your proportion of higher to lower weight variants may not exactly align with your overall predisposition.

They went on to list lifestyle factors in people with my genetic disposition who were NOT overweight.  The factors were exciting in their everydayness.  :}  While many people do what they believe are all of the right things but do NOT lose weight or lose it painfully slowly, I have always known that when I do what I need to do, the weight comes off.  (Tho it is coming off a bit slower at my advanced age. sigh.)

Here's 23&Me's findings on what my genotype needs to do to lose weight:

Healthy Habits for Your Genetics 

We looked at 23andMe research participants with a genetic weight predisposition like yours and found certain lifestyle factors that were associated with the biggest weight differences. 
 
1.Avoiding fast food  Associated with weighing up to 17.8% less
 
2.Exercising   Associated with weighing up to 16.4% less .  People at a healthy weight exercised 2-3 times per week, on average.    
 
3. Limiting red meat  Associated with weighing up to 15.5% less     

4.Eating vegetables  Associated with weighing up to 12% less       
People at a healthy weight ate 2-4 servings of vegetables per day, on average.People who ate more than 7 servings of vegetables per day weighed up to 12.1% less than those who never ate vegetables

5. Eating fish Associated with weighing up to 11.9% less.
People at a healthy weight ate fish 1-2 times per week, on average.


If you notice, nowhere in this list is the advice that is given so often in "health" circles today which is to eat more healthy whole grains.   That's because my DNA report lit up for high risk for celiacs and gluten intolerance markers.  I guess I need to add some more veggies and exercise to my already low carb eats.  Of course, I already knew that.  :}

I also know why every time I try t lose weight, the struggle begins in earnest when I hit the 180 s.  This time I'll be prepared for that.  High as it sounds, 165 to 170 always felt like a good weight for me; maybe it is right.  We'll see.

                     
And that's the weigh it goes,

Deb

Oh.  I'm scheduled for an MRI on Friday.  I am very, very, very claustrophobic so I'm pretty anxious about it.  Prayers would be appreciated.