Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lord, unto me

When I wrote earlier this week (it feels like forever ago) about finding God's faithfulness in things I worry about, I didn't leave it there. 

I decided to pray more. No, for real, I'm not just saying that. Inspired by a quote my Aunt Susan shared with me, I decided to make a calendar of all my biggest worries and commit a day to pray for them. 

"Worship and worry cannot exist at the same time in the same heart. 
They are mutually exclusive." Ruth Graham.

I said, okay, replace worry with worship.

Yesterday (and in the days before), only days after this, we received quite a bit of good news around the Brack house. Frequently our less-than-dull-moments tend to err on the side of just straight up bad news. 

We found out that my grandmother's medication is working! Though it is clear that there is no cure for her cancer, she is well again like she hasn't been in years. I hate to call cancer a blessing, but they found so much of what was ailing her, and they were able to get her on medications that allow her to eat, which allows her to restore her energy, which has apparently made her become much more like her old self. 

We got an offer on our house that needs to be sold! There could be a light at the end of our tunnel with moving, living in multiple places, paying all over the place for residencies. 

Robert's job got some good news, too. It's too detailed to explain, but at least the company is moving forward in ways we were promised when we moved to Nashville for his career.

My sister and her husband got some excellent news about their newest business project. It's not my information to share, so I won't, but let me tell you, it is praise worthy!

Rick and Emmett came over last night, too. Originally, we scheduled this night as a good-bye, knowing Emm was going to have to go back to his mother's after his {all too short} month here in Indy. Again, it's not my story to tell, so I won't... but he's here for now. He's not going back for quite some time -- longer than that if we can help it.We all were so ecstatic.

When Emm walked over to the place where we used to keep a big bin of toys, he looked up, both bewildered and hurt and said, "My toys?!"

In that moment, I saw God's faithfulness. I saw how Emmett remembered us, remembered his place in our lives, and had some type of expectation that he was provided for and loved. 

In that moment, I saw myself, looking up, totally bewildered and God saying, "Hey, it's okay, I just had to move the toys upstairs." Well, metaphorically. 

All I hath needed, thy hand hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness
Lord, unto me.

PS: I'm still doing the prayer calendar. Want to join?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nothing too major

I have had an interesting start to my week. Combine Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with the Inauguration and the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade when you work for the county health care system and claim to be (some type of) evangelical Christian... well, you are going to have a confusing couple of days.

I will say this: I am not hear to explain any political affiliation or position on any issue. I am here to blog.

I've had patients tell me all about their abortions, many of whom are very grateful for one less child to feed at age 17. Trust me, I don't even know how to explain how I feel about their stories.

I've had many patients tell me "thank you" for the free, government funded health care I provide for them. That's full of issues, too, guys. I've had people tell me the free program we offer isn't good enough. More sighing.

I've had people at church tell me they sin because they hate the president.

I've had people tell me that I must be a baby killer.

But, I decided today to stop listening. Because I have someone better to listen to.

The Jews hated the Romans. Jesus didn't make them go away. We take up our political causes, like they did about Roman oppression, and we cry and scream and beg God to change it. 

Some times, I think we need to cry and scream and beg God to change us.

Jesus came into that situation. Jesus worked in that situation. He never prayed for the Romans to be rid of the earth. He didn't really even spend time pointing out just how awful and ungodly they were. He prayed, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done".

I'm not criticizing anyone for taking up any one political cause. I'm confessing my own laziness. I need to pray more like Jesus and less like a selfish, self-righteous bad word person.

I need to pray that my tax dollars go to feed a baby whose mother may or may not have chosen to keep him or her, despite her circumstance. I need to thank God for allowing me that opportunity to serve, even when I don't like the methods.

I need to pray that my attitude towards all my patients is equally loving and patient, even when they want to talk about political things they don't understand (and that I probably don't), even when they admit to welfare fraud. Even when they are just plain annoying. Even when I'm hungry and want them to stop talking so I can go to lunch.

I need to pray for more compassion. 

I need to remember that these issues and problems and responses are as old as time. There is nothing new under the sun.

I need to pray and beg and cry for a better heart. I think that's where the real change happens, anyway. I think that's where the real difference is noticed and matters. Because even if God does not overthrow, overcome, or come to the rescue in the way we would ask, God is still powerful and working. His kingdom is still coming, His will is still inclusive to us if we choose it. 

There is still grace. There is still hope. Even for a sinner like me. Even in a world like this.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Monday, January 21, 2013

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Some times, I worry about the little (and not-so-little) stuff.

I worry our house won't sell (if you don't know about the house situation, it's a long story - summary: there is a house and it needs to be sold).

I worry about whether or not there will be more grant funding for my job. I worry if we do get funding, I'll never want to have children and to leave. If we don't get funding, I worry about not having a job.

Some times, I worry about health stuff. I worry that my only living grandparent is sick. I worry about the implications of losing her. As John Mayer said, 
"Don't know how else to say it, 
don't want to see my parents grow old. 
One generation's length away 
from finding life out on my own."

I worry about the idea of friends moving away, about stuff at church, at life decisions. I worry about changes. It's easy to do.

Then, I remember.

I remember opening my refrigerator when we had a friend and his son living with us. I remember thinking that the grocery budget was gone that month. I remember God providing food like mana, in huge quantities  and all four of us being fed for a week. 

I see my niece and nephew, growing up strong and healthy, who do not want for anything. If you ask their parents how they provide for them, after losing their business 3 years ago, they would probably tell you God's grace.

On my refrigerator, I keep my grandmother's Christmas card. Part of me is scared it will be the last one I ever receive from her. But the real reason I keep it is this --

She writes...
"One Sign Of My Golden Years:
I'm sending out more get well cards and sympathy card than birthday cards"
Underneath that, with an adorable stamp (photo below) she writes:
"Some day we will all be together... singing Great is Thy Faithfulness! {I have my Texas skirt on}"

Then, I remember that the God who has been faithful to my grandmother, my parents, to the ancient Israelites and to generations of the Church, is my God. He is faithful. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Bod Pod: It's worse than you think

Some times, when you are a health coach, you feel all good and great about yourself. When one of your co-workers suggests doing a free Bod Pod scan, you go with her for moral support. Then you find out you suck. Luckily, at least the co-worker who dragged you there felt the same way and offers to come to your cry and eat ice cream party... but then we all talk each other out of it.

If you don't know, the Bod Pod determines the % of fat your body is. It takes minutes and has been debated as far as it's accuracy, but is a fairly accepted tool at this point.

And when you come out of that Bod Pod with your results, as a health coach, you realize you have to do more. 

So here is the million dollar question I ask people every day, all day long -- what can you do? followed by... what are you going to do?

I decided to do something. I decided to work out harder with more strength training. Just losing fat isn't enough -- I need to be stronger. So... enter lots of free weights and Jillian Michaels DVDs. Ugh. I've been busting my butt for 3 weeks now and it's tiring. But I'm ready for results.

I decided to eat better. The Bod Pod also gives you your Resting Metabolic Rate (how many calories you burn doing nothing but staying alive). Mine is on the high end, which explains my frequent chocolate eating (and lack of weight gain) and constant hunger. What am I doing? Cutting out junk. No sweets during the day. No 100 calorie M&Ms with my lunch (sad but true).

One Diet Coke at lunch (artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause you to crave sweets, and I don't need any help). This was a tough one. I can't even express how hard it is just thinking about it. I find myself getting busy immediately after drinking my Diet Coke so I don't think about it. It is getting easier.

More protein. Ugh. SO MUCH MORE PROTEIN. I hate it. But... I am not as hungry. I feel better. At least, for now. We'll see. I have whey shakes, bacon, egg whites, you name it. I like it all... but not that much. So upping to get protein to be a significant amount of my calories is taking some real effort and lots of logging. I am doing my best, but in analyzing myself, it's going to be a stretch to think of this as any type of long-term change. So... we'll see how it goes.

Getting hard-core gear. This isn't really about body fat loss, but more about trying to see if I can treat my body better. I've been working out in my Brooks PureConnect shoes and while they take some getting used to, I'm liking them. If you have not heard about minimalist work-out shoes or "barefoot running", you can google it. I'm transitioning my "pretty" work shoes to some Merrel flats that are both cute & secretly minimalist. I'll update on how I like them as I go.

I will post on progress and results as I get them. But I will say this -- no matter who you are, you can do this, too. I'm a health coach, and I'll be the first to tell you this is difficult. I will also be the first to tell you I have every intention of eating cake at my niece's birthday tomorrow. But I'm going to be better. I'm going to improve. Want to join? Let me know! It is sort of what I do for 40 hours a week anyway :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

So this is 3 & a mini photo album

Chrissy: Robert!!!!! I need you!!!!
Robert: What is it? Do you need money?
Chrissy {indignant}: No. Why would you say that?
Robert: When you need me, it's only one of a few things.

Chrissy {smugly}: Well, I don't need money.
Robert: Do you need me to get something off of a high shelf for you?
Chrissy {indignant}: NO!
Robert: Well, that was my next guess.
Chrissy {sheepishly}: Actually... I need you to open this jar. 
Robert: I should have known.

This, friends, is my reflection of 3 years of marriage. Two people who always laugh, two people who know each other all too well, and two people who would do anything for each other. Happy anniversary to my left-brained, logical, predictable, supportive, good-humored, patient, and incredibly loving husband. We've crammed enough not-so-dull moments for a lifetime into 3 years -- I can't wait to see what's next.

 Photo 1: Engagement, 2009

Photo 2: Fundraiser, 2012 (we don't look that different, right?)
Photo 3: First dance. He still looks at me like that...

Photo 4: ...but some times, he looks at me like this        {I deserve it... usually...}

Photo 5: The best people we could ask for (btw, my sister is 9 months pregnant here and she looks amazing)

 Photo 6: I'm smiling here because he is now stuck with me forever.
Photo 7: He is smiling here because he does not yet know what that entails.

Photo 8: Thank you, Nathan. Thank you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Resolutions and life

Happy New Year! That's late... sorry.

As a health coach, I hear people say, "Okay, I'm getting started now, I'm going to do ____ now that we have a new year."
While I am not a fan of resolutions (just do it -- apparently, I am a fan of Nike's slogan), I understand the feel of a fresh start and the excitement of new things.

So what's new?

Trying to be messy.

That's my new list. We started eating more homemade soup. It's low-calorie, easy for me to prepare, and ready when we are home. A normal recipe lasts us about  week, making my cooking post-work so much better!

Shoes. I am trying minimalist/barefoot shoes. This is a huge, frustrating process. I keep reading reviews and trying things on, asking questions... it's highly personal, and I'm really picky. I love running. I love exercise. I've worn pretty expensive, fancy running shoes for years. When my co-worker gave the gospel of minimalist shoes, it was like hearing things I just thought were weird about me. I have a high arches and roll to the outside of my foot (no one else does that). I have {really} narrow feet. I hit mid-foot naturally when I walk. I lean toward flat but supportive shoes when I'm bumming around. So the idea of a shoe that aims to take pressure off my heel, support my arch, keep my strike forward, hug my {narrow} feet... well, it made sense to me. I felt like saying, "Wait, is that an option?" I tried walking around in some New Balance ones last night, but the box hit me funny so I think those are out. I'm a fan of Brooks now, so I think I'm going to give the PureConnect a try. Do you use barefoot/minimalist shoes? Tell me your experience. And know there is zero chance of me ever wearing shoes that define my toes individually. I will walk in 4" heels first.

Workouts. I've done enough education/research in effective workouts for work to realize mine fall short. So my new work-out challenge? Do more, go harder, commit all the way. Less mindless-elliptical-ing. I'm using more random aspects to increase effectiveness. I'm doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred (she is NOT joking around, guys). I'm running (when there isn't ice everywhere). So far, I'm really liking it. 

Being messy. I am trying to let go of some aspects of my neat-freak tendencies. Weird resolution, right? But there are just more important things in life than total domestic perfection. And while I'm almost in pain at the clutter currently around my laptop, I'm trying to let go. AHHH! I just reached to put something away. See?! I need help. I can't let go, and it's sort of a weird problem. So I'm working through some cognitive behavior change with myself and trying to learn to embrace the little messes that are left and not feel anxious They will get cleaned up, and in good time. Like right now. I really have to organize this desk.

Are you changing? How?