Saturday, January 22, 2011
"transformation" . . . did I spell that right?
My precious blog sister, Christine (whom I call "Sweet Christine") from over at Vista Woman, sent me warm fuzzy words the other day, letting me know that I was missed in the world of blogging. (And I know that "warm fuzzy" is a cliche, but I don't know any other way to describe something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy . . . if any of you out there coins a new term, send it this direction and I'll try it out. Contest on.) Christine wanted to make sure I was okay and just busy with the hoopla of the holidays and the coming of a new year. (Or semester, since she's also in the education business.)
Answering her, I found myself splashing words onto my Mac screen that I had thus far only waded through in my head (and just barely even there). When I had finished, I wrote, "I did not plan to tell you all of this, but it just came out! Maybe that is a sign that it's time to write about this and let my blogging buddies walk the journey with me. (That would definitely be setting myself up to be accountable big time!)"
Whether I'm ready or not (but I think I am), here is the non-abridged-and-then-some version of what I shared with Christine. And not because I think anyone else is so enthralled with or interested in what's happening with one ol' Texas Preacher Woman way out here in the Lone Star State, but because, as much as I like to think I'm so dadgum special and one-of-a-kind (actually, that might still hold true in some areas -- usually areas nobody else wants to be noted for), I have a feeling that some of you might also be trying to wiggle your way out of the same chains I am . . . so join me, and we'll twist and squirm and flex our muscles together.
I have been out of the blog loop for sooooo long (gosh, almost a month and a half now), and it is partially due to work (and I now have another class added to my schedule for this semester at the School House), holidays (still a few boxes to be taken upstairs to the, uh, holding cell), being sick (ear infections gone, still battling a touch of pleurisy) . . . but truth be told, I think another part is that I've been wrestling with Papa about some things, and I guess I felt like I didn't have much to say during the process. Or maybe not much to say that I was ready to share with anyone else, lest I be less than honest or just plain ol' fake. (Both of which I hate; I promise never-ever to write unless I can do so from a place of transparency. There's already enough muddy water out there.)
To start with, the closer I got to ripping the giant December 2010 calendar page off the front of the fridge, the surer I was that Papa-God was choosing "transformation" as our theme for 2011. Ugh. Huge. Need all the Help I can get with that one. So, heck, I even chose that for my new password at work 'cause I thought a zillion-times-a day-reminder of what was supposed to be my focus might help. (And just like the real thing, do you know how hard it is to key-in the word "t-r-a-n-s-f-o-r-m-a-t-i-o-n" for those zillion times a day? It takes c-o-n-c-e-n-t-r-a-t-i-o-n, trust me. And in case you're worried about my work password now floating around all of Cyberspace, I really don't think that many peeps read this little blog -- only the most discerning, of course, like you, but not a great deal others -- and I say if anyone wants to get into my account and help me enter grades this weekend, bring it on, baby! Alas, PTA moms only volunteer to make copies for us, not do our grades. [Insert sad face here.])
Transformation covers lots of areas, I know that. The flesh I'm stuck in can be selfish, self-centered, greedy, materialistic, downright mean, lazy, prideful, deceitful, hateful . . . you name it, I know it's there. I know painfully and intimately that it's all there. One of the biggies, though, that I've been struggling mightily with is food issues/addiction. (It's the bane of my existence and only sounds silly and shallow if you aren't the one dealing with it.)
I know that for my own good Papa wants me to come to terms with that because I've let it become such an issue of obedience between Him and me. Will I or won't I hear and then obey? Up until now, like any other addict, I've refused. (To hear and then obey, that is.) I've pretended the addiction -- or to use that ugly biblical word, gluttony (ugh, that even sounds ugly) -- doesn't exist or that I'd deal with it "later" ("Tomorrow, we'll look at it, I promise."), and, thus, it's been the Big White Elephant in the Room in every conversation I've had with Papa over the past few months.
I considered writing about this months ago, but I guess it's a pride thing that keeps me fighting transparency in this area. In our society, I sometimes think it would be so much easier to admit that I'm an alcoholic or a drug addict than a food addict. It's not that people don't know that I must have some kind of problem with food -- duh! it's a hugely visible addiction -- I think it's that once I admit out loud to others that I know I have this problem and that I'm trying to deal with it, if then I stumble -- heck, if I downright fall flat on my face -- it will be so much more evident to everyone around me than if I were an alcoholic and slipped and had a drink or even a drug addict who's snorted a line of coke. After all, I just might be able to hide that kind of addiction if I crash and burn in the privacy of my own home. But eat three boxes of Thin Mints? An entire pizza? Three bowls of Cocoa Crispies (large bowls -- large, really, really deep bowls)? Trust me, the wreckage of that crash-and-burn is going to be strewn all over my backside for miles. (The first time I mentioned John Meyer's "Your Body is a Wonderland" to St. Michael, he grinned, winked at me, and replied, "Acres and acres!" Large or small, I am a blessed woman.)
Yep, it definitely could be a pride thing, but y'know, it could very well also be that I just don't want to be accountable to anyone. (Did I mention that the flesh is also rebellious?) Maybe I think that as long as I just try to handle this on my own, "in secret," if you will, that if I choose to blow up the plane at any time (I've been known to carry my own matches to light the fuse), no one will say anything, no one will notice, and I can get away with it (despite the smoking wreckage showing up on numerous mega-sized radar screens). Y'see, I think -- okay, I know -- that addicts (of all kinds) leave themselves opportunities to take their additions out and play with them just in case it gets too tough. (Why else do yo think television and movies show alcoholics pulling out half-filled bottles from all sorts of nooks and crannies? We all keep a hidden stash somewhere or, at the least, a secret tunnel open for a quick escape.) Yeah, the more I think about it, it could just be that accountability thing. Ugh again. (It's hard for someone who's always thinks the rules are for someone else to even type out the word "accountability.")
But here I am, standing like a naked, fat woman at a Weight Watchers meeting. (Okay, now you owe me a nightmare.) It's all out there. No hiding it. Choosing to be accountable. Feel free to check up on me. Oh, but just know: It's not about getting thin (that'll never happen), being beautiful and glamorous (so close to being there already), or fitting into a certain size. It's about being obedient. Obedient to the call of having a healthy temple, fit for the true "act of spiritual worship":
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1, Emphasis mine).
Healthy heart and lungs. Healthy mind. Healthy arms and legs. All connected to a living sacrifice who chooses no longer to crawl off the alter. A body, a temple, a living sacrifice, where He has chosen to dwell, reign, and rule.
May this new year be a time of transformation for you, as well. I'd love to hear about your process.
Grins and blessings,