Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Earlier this week I wrote a post called Funerals, Full House, & Vanity. If you haven't yet, read it first. This post is a continuation of that discussion. Today's truth "I am not defined by my body" was threaded throughout that post and today I want to briefly look at some Scripture to anchor this truth.
"I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
1 Corinthians 15:50-54
Things that end, die, perish will do just that...they will end, die, and perish. Nothing on this earth will last forever. One day it will die. So, how can it be that I will experience everlasting life? How can this body of mine last an eternity if it is perishable? It can't. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." Can't be done. IMPOSSIBLE. That's why we have cemeteries and crematories and tombstones and caskets. That's why we stand in lines and say goodbye to dead people in open caskets. Their bodies are gone. Papa's thin, disease afflicted, bald headed, wrinkled, lifeless body is buried in the ground and seen no more.
So again I ask - how is it that I believe I'll live eternally? Because my body will be made new. My body today has been made to endure an earthly life. It has limitations, it has weaknesses, it has imperfections. No matter how much I work to perfect it - whether it be lose weight, gain muscle, whiten my teeth, dress it in stylish clothes, dye my hair, etc. - it will one day perish and be no more. It will never be perfect enough to endure a heavenly life...only an earthly one. Therefore - my body, my appearance can't be what defines who I am. It is perishable. I'll leave it behind in the ground one day. I cannot depend on my body for anything. I can't find satisfaction and fulfillment in a trimmer waistline. Only in Christ can I experience satisfaction and fulfillment. Only by my character, my attributes, my adoption by Christ can I be defined. Meredith, follower and lover of Christ, will inherit the kingdom of God.
In Funerals, Full House, and Vanity, I ended by asking how I can live in a way that I'm not focused on my appearance, in which I believe I'm not define by my appearance. I said what I need is my mind to be transformed. I need to think differently. I need to stop conforming to the world's way. I need to be transformed by a renewed mind. A mind that thinks kingdom thoughts. A mind that focuses on Christ's love for me and who I am. A mind that hopes for a new body. A mind that believes I am defined by adoption in Christ and not the scale and my jeans size. With a transformed mind - How then would I live my day? How then would I serve others? How then would I love my husband?
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Isn't it strange that at funerals we stand in lines to see someone who is no longer there? A body lays in an open box. We put on their best blue suit and dress them with jewelry and make up. A body that is lifeless and empty. A body that once housed a person. But is now just empty. We stare and we say, "He looks so good." Or "They really did a good job capturing her." What does that even mean? We touch a hand. Shed a tear. And say goodbye. We say goodbye to a body. A BODY. The person that once lived inside that body is already gone. Maybe we didn't get to say goodbye to them. Maybe they left without notice. So this is our chance. This is our last opportunity to say goodbye. But really...we're saying goodbye to a body. That body isn't really that person anymore. Everything that we loved about that person is gone. If that person was that body, we wouldn't be burying it. Of course the body is a part of who we are. We obviously wouldn't survive without our bodies! But once the body dies, we move on. We leave it behind. It's of no use to us.
Now, if you're like me you're in a weird place now. You're in this philosophical cloud and need to touch something tangible, do something mindless, or go put your hands in the grass outside. Bear with me. This is a strange thing to think about. It's just strange. Life is weird! Isn't it?! Well, that's a whole other subject to discuss. Right now I'm more interested in discussing our bodies. OUR BODIES AREN'T WHAT DEFINE US. My body doesn't define me. My appearance doesn't define who I am. It's simple and we're told this all our lives. I can just see the closing clip on Full House now... The music chimes in and Danny has a heart to heart with DJ. "It's not what's on the outside that counts, it's what's on the inside." But then we don't really live like that, do we? We have beauty contests and two hundred dollar jeans. We attach our best photo to our college applications and social media sites. We see magazines covered in models. Fashion police at the Oscars. Makeup. Hair salons. Teeth whitener. Braces. Nail polish. De-wrinklers. Face-lifts. Boob jobs. Fashion trends. Make-up on dead people. Our culture spends a lot of money on and pays a lot of attention to our bodies. And I would say it's no different in the Christian community. Do you see a difference? Besides words? Unfortunately...I don't see a difference.
How do we teach our kids not to focus on appearance if we're so wrapped up in it ourselves? I'm not a parent (yet) but I wonder about this for when we do have kids. How will I show them that their appearance doesn't define them? How do I live in a way in which my words become action? How do I stress less? How do I have more confidence in who I am and what I can offer? Let me just add this....yes our bodies are important and we need to take care of them. Obviously I believe this or I wouldn't be on this journey. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about having a healthy confidence in our bodies and our whole beings. I'm talking about living less in vanity. We call people who are a little too confident in their looks vain. However, I think I can be just as vain because of my lack of confidence. I probably spend just as much time worrying about my body (if not more) than the person who worships theirs. I want to live in a way in which I don't not go to gatherings because I don't have something cool to wear or I worry that I'm heavier or not as pretty as all the people there. I want to stop holding back my thoughts and opinions because I don't want people to look at me when I'm talking. I want to wear a swimsuit and go to the beach with my husband. I want to worry less about getting my hair just right or finding the perfect outfit after making piles (that I know my husband so appreciates) all over our bedroom floor. Really what I need is a transformation of my mind.
Lord, help me no longer conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of my mind so that I might know more of who You are and what you want for me.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
- Biking (although we only have one bike so we'll have to work on that)
- Paddle boating
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
PB & J Smoothie
This is about 300 calories. It's great for breakfast!
(I discovered this yummy smoothie while I worked in the juice bar at Earth Fare)
What ya need:
no sugar added frozen strawberries
sliced frozen bananas
natural peanut butter
How ya make it:
I use a mason jar to make about a 12 oz smoothie but of course you can use any cup
Using the 10oz mark as the top, I fill it halfway w/ strawberries and halfway w/ bananas
I then fill it halfway w/ apple juice and halfway w/ skim milk
After I pour it into the blender, I drop about 1 tablespoon of peanut butter in
Then I blend it to smoothie goodness!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
In the movie, Life as a House, George Monroe (played by Kevin Kline) is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Without anyone's knowledge of his illness, he takes custody of his son, Sam (played by Hayden Christensen) for the summer. Sam is a rebellious, unenthusiastic, cynical young man and bitter and angry with his father. In hopes to repair their relationship, he recruits him to help finish building his dream house. Throughout the summer George and Sam slowly repair their relationship. At one point George shares with Sam about his own father, an alcoholic, abusive man, who killed George's mom and injured a young girl while driving drunk. Before finishing the house, George dies. In honor of his father, Sam, finishes the house and gives it away to the injured young girl now grown up with two kids of her own.
This story beautifully displays the very thing I'm learning right now. The work is just (if not more) important than the results. As I've been putting in all these hours of workouts and being mindful of what I eat and just everything involved in this journey, I have been thinking a lot about results....seeing the fruition of all my hard work. And really, this has been a huge theme in my life this past year. This month marks a year since I graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary. Since then I have been eagerly awaiting a fulfilling job, a title, a meaningful purpose for my life. I have struggled with finding purpose in the everyday life. I want so much to make a mark. To do something worthwhile. To have a job or title that reflects my education, my "status," my thousands of borrowed dollars that keep my husband and I from living comfortably. I want to be recognized, known, appreciated, admired. I want to see the fruition of all my hard work.
While watching Life as a House, the viewer is rooting for George to finish this house he's been working on on and off for decades. It's his dream house. He picked the exact spot with a beautiful view of the ocean. He designed it, selected all the materials, and started building it with his own two hands. This is his life's work. So much sweat and tears. He finally sets out to finish it...but he dies just a few short months, maybe weeks before its completed.
Abraham did not receive the Promise land, his offspring did. David did not build the temple, his son did. Paul did not experience Jesus’ return, even though he preached it and believed he would. More recently, Martin Luther King Jr. did not experience the fruition of his work and desire for civil unity, however his offspring and generations passed have. Why does God work like this? What does this mean for my life? How does this affect the work I do? My purpose?
A verse comes to mind...
...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ. -Philippians 1:6
We hear this and think - Ok, there is hope. One day I'll get that job. One day my relationship will be mended. One day I'll be in better shape. Be recognized. Be able to trust more. Fear less. Be free of disease or depression. See my friend come to know the Lord. And so on and so on. God has begun this thing in me so I will see the results I'm hoping for. But that's not really what it says and it's definitely not we see throughout Scripture. I know without a doubt God's work in Paul transformed Paul. And God did complete his work in Paul. But the work God was doing through Paul wasn't complete. And Paul didn't see the completion...none of us have. The work God began in Paul continued after Paul. God is still using that work today in my life...and millions of others past, present, and future. And he will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ! It was the work that God did in Paul that transformed Paul, not results. It was the work of George and Sam that transformed them, not results. Put it another way - the transformation IS the results, not a house. In the end it was just a house. Wood, nails, and cement. Sam even gave the house away! The work was never about building the house, it was about building a relationship, a life worthwhile.
So, on my journey, both with my fitness track and my vocational track and everything in between, I'm learning to focus less on the results I desire so much and more on the work. The workouts and healthy eating will produce weightloss results. I've already seen them! But also, how is this work transforming me in other ways? What am I gaining that is so much more valuable than a trimmer waist? Discipline. Determination. Confidence. Joy. I'm learning to love myself and to more fully receive God's love.
*This is the 2nd in a series called Truth for Movers. It is a weekly series dedicated to discussing biblical truths that will hopefully provide encouragement for our journey and insight into our human struggle with body image. To find more posts in this series click here.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
- Exercised 19 out of 31 days
- Ate around 1400 calories daily
- Stuck with the plan after getting out of my routine a couple times
- Cut out caffeine
- Cut out sodas & sweet tea
- Lowered my blood pressure
- Drank approx. 30-40 oz of water a day
- Introduced more whole grains, veggies, and fruits into my diet
- LOST 10 lbs!!!!