Gloria in excelsis Deo

Wowsers…been a long time since I’ve written.  What can I say, life has been life!  I’m still around and certainly haven’t fallen off the boat.  Still plugging along, one day at a time.

Around the beginning of the advent season, I had a phrase stick out in my mind: Gloria in excelsis Deo.  Latin for “Glory to God in the highest.” (or something similar in direct translation…I’m no Latin scholar).  This has become my grounding mantra, if you will.  As I face each day, each struggle, each challenge, I find myself constantly coming back and repeating to myself those words…Gloria in excelsis Deo.

I’ve got to first say today that I am in awe of God’s work in my life over the past eleven months.  At the outset of realizing I was not God honoring with my body in thought, word, and deed, I knew changes needed to be made–and I’ve slowly made a lot of changes.  As I have spent time reflecting the last few weeks, the changes that I “thought” I was making and the actual changes that have taken place are completely mind blowing.

Staring down the barrel of 100 pounds down is incomprehensible to me (just five more pounds to go!).  I honestly would’ve been happy with just 30-35 when I started.  I still have a long way to go to reach what I have determined to be a healthy weight for me (as it’s different for everyone, regardless of what charts and graphs tell you), but I feel like a completely different person inside and out.  Not only do I have endurance and stamina for the day (still working on the energy part, but that’s a different can of worms), but I handle the day better.  The unexpected, the busyness, the things I can’t control, the disappointments…they don’t throw me into a tailspin anymore.  Yes, I still stomp my feet like a two year old and whine a lot, but it’s on a far smaller scale–some changes take longer than others!

Those that know the work we do in ministry, know that mid-November through Christmas is a very demanding and stressful time (with abundant  blessings, I don’t say that as a complaint–it’s the nature of the beast).  Husband and I had made resolute plans to keep our healthier eating habits and regular exercise in check.  We were quite successful and I’m very proud of our work.  From the week of Thanksgiving through mid-December, I actually dropped 10lbs, and have since maintained.  As crunch time hit and we had a family emergency pop into the mix, healthy eating did turn to convenience eating when it was just feeding me and regular exercise turned to look much different.  There was a two week span of eating out and an almost three week span of no “formal” workouts, but it’s not as bad as it seemed in my head–the choices I made were just that, choices.  Some were healthier than others, but no choices were made without conscious decision-making.  There was no stress eating, no emotional eating, no mindless eating.  I stand by every bite I consumed and am not beating myself for any workout missed.  I maintained my weight for those three weeks in spite of life’s circumstances.  I’m pretty stinkin’ proud of that fact.  Life wouldn’t have looked like that previously.  Eating and exercise are since back on point and to say I honestly missed the gym still rattles wrong in my brain because I never, ever, ever, EVER would’ve said that before.

Even more than the physical, I’m blown away at my emotional reaction to what life has brought to my doorstep the past six weeks.  I have been more organized and prepared, still equally as stressed and busy, but how I’ve dealt with it is beyond my comprehension.  I only had one moment of breaking down in tears (my typical stress reaction).  I kept my cool.  Situations and unexpected wrenches got dealt with.  When a family emergency hit, we did what needed to be done and life still kept moving–we were concerned and scared, but God gave us supernatural strength in that case, that’s the only explanation there.  Even when faced with dealing with my first major holiday by myself, there was peace.  God was with me.  God provided the right people at the right time to help with the workload.  I didn’t have to throw my own pity party because of the circumstances around me, it was what it was and life continues to move.  That is a miracle mind-shift right there.

You can’t tell me God hasn’t gotten ahold of my life in a new, deeper, and powerful way the last eleven months.  I’ve got the proof.  My praise almost feels inadequate some days because I’m just so overwhelmed by the peace and joy that is replacing so much that was negative and unhealthy in my life.  All God ever wanted was my obedience, my pursuit of holiness–not a pursuit to be a good Christian, big difference.  He’s got every ounce of me.  Nothing held back any more.  God asked me to step out in faith and trust Him in a new and different way to show the changes that needed to be made in me–He’s done a lot of work, but hasn’t hesitated to hand me the shovel and have me do my portion as well.  As time goes on the changes in me that God desires to see will change and refine, as they should, as I continue to pursue living a life that is a reflection of Christ.  I can’t wait to see what’s next.  What is there left that I can possibly say? Gloria in excelsis Deo.

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