Friday, April 24, 2009

WARNING: Motherhood May Lead to Weight Gain

Well, that isn't exactly the title of the article I read, but it might as well have been. I used to be the girl who could eat ANYTHING! And I did. In college, I ate M&M's and drank Diet Coke for breakfast, grabbed a donut between classes before running through the Taco Bell drive through on my way to work and easily slipped into a size 6 bridesmaid dress.

Then I got married and thought I should be able to eat as much as my husband. I quit working and enjoyed the beauty of baking and eating.

Then I had kids. And now even if I ate nothing but tofu and actually had time to exercise like I should, I would still not lose a pound. I think I know why now. Studies show that stress and lack of sleep *may* (meaning most certainly, guaranteed to) lead to weight gain. Really now?

I don't know any group of people that are more stressed-out or sleep-deprived than moms. So you get pregnant, gain weight, grow a huge belly only to move on to no sleep, stress and living life around the eating patterns of your offspring. The offspring will typically suck you dry of all your energy and motivation leaving you incapable of forming a complete sentence let alone exercising.

Let me share something with you from Health magazine; my favorite, guilt- inducing periodical.

"One of the first questions I ask clients like Tia Carrere (who? - was she in Wayne's World?) is how much they're sleeping. There are some really dramatic studies out there that link not getting enough sleep to obesity. We're just beginning to realize that the quality and quantity of our sleep affects our appetite in ways we never dreamed it did. When you are sleep-deprived, your body produces low levels of leptin and high levels of ghrelin, two hormones that affect how full you feel. I often find that once clients start getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, they're much less likely to overeat and the pounds just come off."
Jackie Keller, an L.A. based celebrity trainer
(Health Magazine, May 2009, page 46)

Well, even if Jackie Keller wants to come over, tuck me into bed early, do my chores and sit up with my kids at night, I have another problem: stress. That's the other big factor. I know my family is a joy to me, but it's also a wee bit stressful at times: keeping up with the schedule, moods, laundry, appetites and messes of my family. I need a bowl of ice cream just thinking about it!

With all this new knowledge, I think it's high time I make some changes to my routine and realize.....

I am doomed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I've come to terms with the fact that there will be hurt in life. But just because you know it's coming doesn't make it any easier when it hits! I've had shin splints, fights with friends, disappointment with people that have caused hurt. But truth be told, my life hasn't involved a lot of pain. Being in "the ministry" full-time seems as though you might fly through life with a hymn on your lips, bible in hand and casserole in the oven. Unfortunately, it's messier than that (and no, I'm not referring to my casseroles).

Some ministry friends of ours are going through times of great hurt in their church. Ours may not be so blatant but nonetheless when you have poured your lives into a church for over a decade it is difficult to not take it personally. There are people choosing to walk away from Christ and the church altogether. There are people choosing other bigger, better, fancier, more dramatic churches. Sometimes I want to play tough and pretend I don't care, but I do.

My hurt is not so much (anymore at least) feeling bad that there will be more empty spots in church. It's truly because God has given me a love for the people He's brought into our lives. I want them to have the joy that can only be found in Him and the hope of eternal life. But all I can do is tell them about it, I can't make them choose it. Only God can.

There are parents I know that hurt over their childrens' choices and yearn for them to return. Many hurt over their childrens' physical ailments and deficiencies. Some hurt over what could have been or what may come. Some may hurt over their mistakes and failures as parents.

Maybe hurt is good thing in that it shows me the depth of my love. It helps me identify with Christ. It's not a good thing if it makes me vengeful, depressed or fall away from what God wants me to do - then I'm the one walking away!

I think now I might have a little glimpse into how Jesus felt when people He loved enough to die for rejected Him. Hurt. Sad. His sadness proves his great love. He wants people to come to Him and be saved. 2 Peter 3:9 says,

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
As His followers, we are promised suffering and persecution just like He faced!

Luke 17:25
But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

1 Peter 2:4
As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him -

John 15:20
Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

2 Titus 3:12
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
So what do I do with hurt? I can rejoice in being identified with Christ. He was persecuted, rejected, and suffered the greatest hurt on this earth. But He stayed on message. He stayed on course. He loved deeply. If He didn't, he would not have endured the cross for me.

I can't let the hurt in my life or ministry harden me. I need to bring it back to the One who knows firsthand how it feels. I can find solace, rest and courage in His arms. Wherever he leads, I've got to continue to love.