"The king is enthralled by your beauty..."
I got an email from Proverbs 31 Ministry that was written by Melanie Chitwood called, "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?". It started with the above verse. I embrace that and need that message right now. The King of all loves me just as I am. Inside and out.
Before I read that email, I had also read another from this ministry (I get them everyday and depending on the title, I save them to read when I get a chance and usually it's just when I need them or I delete them) with the subject, "...and she lives happily ever after" by Glynnis Whitwer. The verse that started out her message was this:
"... your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
My King made me and knows my story even as it unfolds for me just moment by moment. This does not mean I have lost my free will or that I am destined for only certain things to come to pass, but that as my Creator, he knows my choices even before I do. He knows those things that make me feel like a pretty princess and those things that cut me down to nothingness. He knows my struggles, my strongholds, my pains, my sorrows and he knows my joys, what's in my heart, what's on my mind, and most importantly he knows me by my spirit. And even in my imperfection, He still loves me.
Some days I struggle with the attention that has come with my weight loss. My WM (work mom) always calls me "skinny minnie" and I smile a fake smile and listen to her praise me. I appreciate the sentiment, but being called "skinny"--which I am not nor have I ever been--makes me uncomfortable. Lately, my CEO who is also my boss, has also taken to calling me "skinny". Not lovin' it! So, I do more fake smiling. Earlier in the week, another female co-worker stopped me to ask how much weight I have lost in total. I told her 112 pounds and added that I must have almost lost one of her by now--she told me in about 8-13 more lbs or so, that would be true. We had a little laugh and she told me how amazed she is by me...yeah, uncomfortable now. I am not amazing. I am driven. If I were amazing, I wouldn't be working my way back to what I should have been all along--healthy and fit!
In my 1-on-1 yesterday, after the work stuff, my boss said he had something personal to ask me. He asked me what to do to work his legs out. I told him lunges and squats. I sent him links and info. Then, this morning, he wanted to talk about planks and push-ups. So, in the executive kitchen, in my heeled work shoes (and pants), I get down in plank position and demonstrate to him as I explain the body alignment and doing a proper push-up. The men at the gym were mis-directing him on his form--telling him to look up. They told him that's how military push-ups are done. Um, NOTSOMUCH. It's all about spinal alignment from head to toe.
My WM always tells me that I know more about fitness than anyone she knows. I am not an expert. I just read a lot, research a lot, and know what works for me. If I don't know, I will look it up and then it is in my brain for life. It's the way it works for me. I am happy to share what I know and what has worked for me, but we're all different. Our drive is different, our need for fuel is different (some people need more carbs, others need more protein, etc.), and what we want to do and can do for exercise varies. Heck, for me, that varies day to day, week to week, month to month. It's all a learning experience and going with the flow. The journey is really about learning what works for YOU!
My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" That right now is what keeps me going. My mantra is that my God, my Savior, my King, has plans to give me hope and a future. It is not man that my hope lies in, but my one, true God. It is through Him that all things are possible (Phil 4:13). So, when I seek answers to my daily dilemmas...I turn my eyes to the Father and ask Him how to make my way in this world today because it takes everything I've got (ok, that's from the theme from "Cheers!", but it totally says it like I mean it!!). His answers don't always come when I inquire or in the form of a verbal response, sometimes they come through avenues like emails I have saved or words from a friend that are just right in my moment. I just have to be ready to hear the answer...