Giving In

imagesOK, so for those that know me this is going to sound crazy. Crazy because I’m a sugar addict. There. I said it. I love the stuff. Yes, I love a good salty snack but sugar beats salt in my life any day.

My first memory of enjoying the sweetness was a sleep-over at my friend’s house in Elementary School. We were in her playhouse and she brought a box of vanilla cake mix for us to taste. Just the dry mix. Needless to say, we inhaled it. I specifically remember that for some reason I had it all over the front of me (messy eater maybe? lol) so we decided to crawl back into her house on our stomachs and tell her sister we were just playing “alligators” so no one would see our shirts. Seriously? Alligators? Who believes that? Her sister, as I remember. Man, we were smart.

Anyway, that first taste of pure awesomeness started me down a road of the most insane sweet tooth you can imagine. There is literally nothing I’ve eaten that I said “that was too sweet”. Nothing.

Fast forward and I’m at Baylor. No one to monitor my sugar intake. Can I get a hallelujah?  I cannot begin to tell you how many times I ate a can of frosting (yes, I know) or a bowl of cake mix for dinner. That went on for well… until about a month ago. OK, so it’s been 26 days but who’s counting. Oh yeah, I am.

At my last well-woman’s appointment my doctor wouldn’t let me leave without giving blood. He knows me well. Last year I slipped out before having it done because I’m afraid of needles. That’s a story all it’s own! Anyway, this time he trapped me. He’s smarter than I thought. Dang it.

The results showed my LDL level was high and my vitamin D level was extremely low. My friend had started a 28 day eating clean program so when she invited me to a party to check it out I listened. You don’t need to be a doctor to know that an elevated LDL level is not good. I knew my nightly icing/cake mix addiction had to stop. Again, I know.

So for the past 26 days I’ve had ZERO sugar (unless it was in fruit). NADA! Not even when serving cake at my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary party. Not when the 8 boxes of Girl Scout cookies were delivered (DANG). Not the snickers bar my sweet daughter left me in the refrigerator with a Valentine’s note attached. Sigh. It’s still there and I look at it every day. Not the multiple times my kids offered to share their desserts with me.

When my oldest had finally had it… she was not AT ALL happy that I wasn’t sharing in her joy (Yes, she has my sugar addiction.)… I finally told her that I was trying to stay around longer for them. I think she finally got it and has now become my greatest advocate in helping me succeed.

My sweet sister was so great at Valentines! Normally she brings me my favorite cupcake – vanilla, vanilla from Crave Cupcakes but this year she brought me a cup of Sonic ice. Gotta love it when your family comes along side you and helps you out. I have to say that cup of ice was the BEST cup of ice I’d had in a long time. :)

The bonus in all of it is that I’ve lost 8 pounds so far, I haven’t felt this good in a VERY long time, and I found my determination. It had been lost for awhile.

I’m not going to say that on day 29 I’m not going to enjoy a Girl Scout cookie (lemonades are my FAVORITE) but maybe I won’t eat the whole box. Maybe.

When Your Prayer is Not Answered Your Way

starbucks-ed01Growing up in today’s world we (And by “we” I mean me… but of course in that sentence that would be “I”. lol) are accustomed to having things our way.

We order specific drinks at Starbucks, right down to the temperature. Or maybe that’s just me 😉

To find the perfect dress (or tool, or vehicle, or toy, or….) we’ll shop at countless stores until we get the exact one we want… or we go home empty-handed and frustrated. Restaurants cater to our need to control everything by allowing us to order anything, anyway we’d like. The commercials entice us in by telling us we can “Have it Your Way”. Honestly, who doesn’t want it their way? Sounds great, right?

So naturally, when we go to God and ask for something and He answers in a way that’s different than what we had hoped (or what we had made up in our minds), emotions surface. OK, so that’s putting it gently. Basically we whine. We pout. We pour out our questions as we try to make sense of what is happening. We act like a spoiled 2 year old fighting to be heard.

Maybe a few of these sound familiar:

  • Um God, did you not hear what I said?
  • Apparently you missed some of my details along the way.
  • I think I was pretty specific, God. Hello?
  • If I had known it was going to turn out like this, I would have asked differently.
  • I thought you wanted what was best for me?
  • Why me?

Sure, we may not actually say those things (or maybe we do) but we may think them or they are reflected in our attitudes.

It is extremely difficult to trust while you’re waiting or trust when the answer comes and it’s not AT ALL what you expected. Not.At.All. Trust that your plan was not God’s all along. Trust that he is absolutely capable and actually the ONLY one that can answer in a way that will benefit you in the LONG run. He’s not interested in the immediate. The shortcut. The easy way. Trust that no matter what happens, God is in control. Trust that he will always do a better job than you when it comes to answering a prayer. Always.

The best way to stand strong when you’re waiting or when your prayers are not answered the way you want, is to look back at what God has done for you. But not just you. Look at others who have had answered prayers. Talk to people and ask them their stories. Hear and see how God helped them along the way even when they didn’t realize it at the time. Read about the disciples and how God answered prayer after prayer.

And… as you’re looking back, share your story. Share it with your kids, your family, and your friends. Telling others what God has done will renew your own faith and help you stand strong in the waiting. Because you’ll need the strength.

Trust me, I know. Oh wait… I mean, trust God.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (Deut. 4:9)

Long Hair, Rock and Roll, and Love

notesSo, let me see… I left off at long hair. Did you miss it? Read it here to get caught up.

Fast forward from the initial “Oh my God I love him” camp experience. If you recall, *Justin mentioned he led worship at a Sunday School at Second Baptist Church.

Low and behold… I started going there full time. Yes, I did. I put myself anywhere and everywhere I thought he would be. Seeing him was no coincidence. I was deliberate. Even “good girls” know how to get someone’s attention if they really want it. And I wanted it.

I even joined the very Sunday School class he was part of. My reason was, of course, to be around Justin. The collateral was that I made some really great friends. In fact, it was the first time in my life to be in an all-girl accountability group. Those girl ROCKED (and still do!). It was my first time being with a group of girls because I had mostly guy friends. I liked it that way because I didn’t want to deal with girl drama. I’m not that girl. Avoiding drama at all costs is part of my DNA. Anyway, we all went on a trip to Colorado and hiked up Longs Peak (on a whim… ok, we were YOUNG and didn’t know people actually train for this sort of thing). While hiking we all memorized Philippians Chapter 4. My first time to memorize that amount of scripture. The whole trip is as clear as day in my mind – it was THAT fabulous.

Oh yeah… back to the boy.

Three weeks after meeting him Justin called to ask me on a date. My heart still jumps thinking about that call. My heart was pounding and I was literally hoping up and down… all the while trying to sound calm. Fortunately, I lived alone at that time so no one saw how crazy I was while talking. That night I could not sleep from all the excitement. The boy noticed me. The beginning of a very good fairy tale.

Our first date was awesome awkward. He may not have felt awkward but I did. Mainly because I wanted him to like me and I was afraid that after going out with me he would realize I’m not a “party girl” and move on.

I mean, come on, he was a singer. A really good one! He had long hair. He had the most gorgeous blue eyes you’ve ever seen. He knew bands I’d never heard of. He made me laugh. He drove me to places in Houston I’d never seen. He was spontaneous and a little rebellious. He was unconventional. He was edgy. But most importantly, he was a Christian. Someone seeking God’s will and that attracted me more than anything else.

I, on the other hand, was the “good girl”. Very naive. Kinda vanilla, if you will. I wouldn’t stand out in a crowd because I’m a good blender. Granted, I liked myself (and still do). I just knew my standards. And honestly, I knew how picky I was when it came to guys. I was willing to wait and wasn’t willing to settle.

But… he captured my attention and I was wanting to capture his.