My sweet friend has a child with CHARGE syndrome. Don't ask me to explain it, if you want to know - find it on a web site that will give you some general information. Part of this syndrome involves being deaf. Obviously, sign language would be a factor in this little boy's life and ultimately part of the families communication. Over a short period of time, God gave me a heart for this family and especially my sweet friend. It occurred to me that if I were to love her, really love her, I would learn their language. Her life, her needs and the needs of her family. She also has identical twins. If I wanted to love her, really love her, I would learn to tell them apart.
In my heart, God slowly taught me that just as a missionary with a heart for a specific people group, would spend years knowing the language and culture of the people they are going to minister to... they would learn their language. I am now convicted that if I am to love the "people" group that I feel God has called me to, I will learn their language. I may not do it perfectly, but over time, I will learn. I will learn to tell the twins apart and I will help them learn to love their brother with the few signs I know and am able to pass along.
God planted seeds in my family long ago. Damon learned to sign as a small child and had 50 signs he either displayed or understood by age 1. Logan is two and understands and displays signs as he can articulate. We aren't pros, but we know a little and are learning more. If we can learn their language, how much more will we be able to enter into their experience and really, truly love them.
God has given me a gift in my sweet friend, she is not some abstract name I've pulled out of a "needs" or "ministry" web page, but a carefully and strategically placed into my life... just two blocks away who has changed my life and my heart. May God continue to give me a desire for my friend and her family, even when times get tough (with either of us - lol)! We're in it for the long haul. Not just a passing interest of people who have this "issue" that could easily become a side show. I feel protective. I'm not about to introduce them to people who have a passive interest, invest nothing and walk away. But, that too is up to God who is sovereign and knows and deals with "what's up"!
I love my friend and her family and thank God for them every day. May God continue to bless them and bring people in their lives who will be strategic about their love and care enough to learn their language - not for selfish ambition, but for a deep love of people.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The voice still rings through my mind, "just carve yourself a little golden calf to bow down to when your cutting up those brownies..." in a woman's southern accent full of sarcasm.
The woman who's voice I just talked about became a heretic - Gwen Shamblin. She was a really successful "Christian" dietary theologian. In the late 90s (I can't believe I just said that), she was the talk of the Christian circles, every one asking have you tried the "Weigh Down Diet" - does your church have the "program"? Her premise was that we eat only when we are truly hungry and you could eat whatever you wanted. I listened to her tapes (yes tapes) daily for months. She started isolating people and teaching about God through the enrollment in her program. Unfortunately her view of God was a little warped. Apparently you needed to become "pure" before coming to our Holy God and basically following her program would give ultimate submission to Jesus and ensure your eternal Salvation.
This is not true of course. Come just as you are. Our sin nature is from birth and God redeems.
Well, I decided to just become "aware" - it's like when you've been sinning and you didn't know it, but it is revealed to you in some form or fashion... well this is exactly what has happened to me. My need to loose weight didn't line up with my desire to loose weight. Wow. It's been about 7 weeks and I can't believe all that has happened. I've grown as a person... and lost ground too. I have been sporting a nasty 'tude for a couple of weeks. My friend Amy said... maybe your hungry. No, I'm not, just for some reason, God has me really, really struggling with the flesh - my heart and my mind = seeing the "fruit" but not eating it.
Tonight I am below my caloric goal pretty significantly, but I'm not hungry. I took a stroll through my kitchen just before I sat down to write, just to "see" if there was anything in there that might interest me and fit into my food "budget". Nothing sounded good except for a few rice chips.
So, I have been approaching my calories this way: I can take out of the bank, only what is there. I am using the Livestrong daily plate and it's been an amazing tool. I plunk in my numbers and track my food - it allows me to "budget" out my calories. For example, I know I can pretty much drink coffee all day long b/c it's under 10 calories and half and half is only 15! I think a combination of knowing what's "in the bank" and your nutritional needs and hunger cycles are really the trick - at least for me. You may have other convictions, but this is what has worked for me.
Today, I stood outside of a QFC, where I had just bought all this fresh produce and smelled *very clearly* Burger King. I didn't see it coming, but it was there. I know you know that smell, a grilled burger waving in the wind. My mind went to... wait I stopped myself because I was fanticizing about a CHEESE BURGER! I realized that the cost was too high. It would be sinning if I had driven over the Burger King and ordered that Burger. I had a certain amount of "calories in the bank" and this would blow them all if I decided to make that decision. Even as I had walked through QFC I thought, Aren't those cupcakes so cute? Isn't that so appealing. I was even standing in the garden, being surrounded by beautiful things. Through this experience, for the first time I feel like I can relate to a man in regards to many men's struggles with lust. I lust for food. Don't get me wrong, but I want to "feel" good by "beautiful" things. Even though I know that broccoli with a little lemon spritzed on top actually tastes good to me, is easy to prepare and would satisfy me... oh that Burger would have given me what I wanted when I wanted it, but the cost would have destroyed every thing in a matter of minutes and I would have paid for it in my "bank" and my conscience and my belly - AND feel like a hypocrite. Isn't that similar to the struggle men have? They can log onto a web site, unzip their pants and be satisfied in a matter of minutes. All I had to do was drive through a window, pick up my food and open up wide in the privacy of my own car. Guess what? Tonight... I would just be left wanting more and it would probably be worse and I would then be tempted to just continue to go over my caloric intake with great justification... well, I ate at noon and now it's 11pm so I'm entitled to eat. Tomorrow would have been easier to justify one more "unhealthy" decision. On the other hand and on the other side of the store from the Bakery isle... I ran through the pop and candy isle as I had made a wrong move and found myself in the wrong isle... just like Joseph - running from potipher's wife - wrong place. Wrong time. All I could see were calories clinging to my body as I eagerly neared the end of that isle. The people scanning the video of customers must have thought... what the hell is going on there?
Thankfully, I have come into an education where I can, after much research on the foods I like to eat, eat them in small portions and not have the, "well I really shouldn't..." to - yes I can... in moderation and decide what the actual (caloric) cost to me will be and if I can live with that cost and not over analyze it - thus it becomes an idol, but listen to the sweet voice of our gentle Lord when temptation crosses our path.
Remember, he was tempted too. Satan offered him food if he would bow down to Satan. Why would we be exempt from the same temptation?
Weight the cost - educate yourself. See if you can afford it. If not... don't.
This is me, all full of myself today: not seeing the temptation that lay ahead. I made a good choice and by Jesus's sweet voice, I hope to make many more.