I've had some great instant messaging conversations with my Sweet South'un Sistah over the last several months. I always enjoy our chats, but the one we had last Friday was downright monumental for me. (She posted her take on it HERE)
We were discussing how our weeks had gone ~ our first week going through the "A Woman of Moderation" study together. Discussing how losing weight is HARD and WHY it's hard.
Here's the excerpt that really blew me away:
Tammi says: It's hard to shift the mindset to reality though, when it comes to weight loss, isn't it? At least, I find it that way.
Susanne says: Yes. It's like we want to change pace for a couple of days and have it all fall/melt away. HELLO!?!?! You didn't get like this over night (allthough it seems like that sometimes) and there is no such thing as a "quick fix".
Tammi says: Ugh, I know. I hate that there's no quick fix for reasonable, normal people!!
But I think that's an overall societal problem ~ none of us wants to accept responsibility for our failures, pay the consequences, and actually learn from the experience of righting the wrong.
Susanne says: That is what my Dad said the other day. He said the problem with our generation is that we want stuff NOW, and we never learn to wrestle with things until we learn the lesson.
Tammi says: Doesn't the Bible actually SAY that hardships are good for us?!
Susanne says: Yes. It actually does. They are meant to test and prove us. I was reminded this weekend of the Columbia Commissioning from the Beth Moore (LPL) Event that Mom and I attended exactly two years ago. Mom has it printed and on her refrigerator door.
Going to fish it out of email and forward it to you...hang on.
Tammi says: Oooo, I LOVE that!!! I'm totally printing it out and putting it on my fridge!!!!
"Go forth and display divine special effects"... AWESOME!
Susanne says: It's GOOD. That whole weekend was AWESOME!! I needed that reminder. Yeah, she says that the verses about "a cloud of witnesses" (James, James or Hebrews, I think) refers to what's going on all around us that we can't see (spirtual realm) and that everytime we choose Christ and his will for our lives they are applauding and sending out "special effects" that we cannot see.
Tammi says: I always kinda wondered about that verse. I like that interpretation. Makes struggling through something instead of desiring the quick fix more worth it. Almost kind of fun! (almost!)
Susanne says: Yeah... ALMOST!!
Tammi says: But imagine the fireworks! Or better yet, you know how at really big events, they use spotlights that you can see for miles and miles? It's like the angels are saying, "Hey, God! Over here!! We've got a victory over here!!" Dang, and now I'm crying. Geez.
Susanne says: THat is EXACTLY what she meant! And now I have GOOSEBUMPS!
You know why this made me cry? (other than that I'm just a crier, plain and simple?!) The idea that the angels around me, unseen to the human eye, throw up a beacon, set off the fireworks, to celebrate each little victory in my life with our Heavenly Father. That is so completely humbling and encouraging all at the same time!
I was so energized and refocused after that!
Friday was a fasting day for me and it almost KILLED me to fix Fidget's lunch ~ a hotdog and a handful of chips ~ or afternoon tea, which included a cheese and cracker snack. But turning to God while my tummy rumbled on, all the while knowing that there were mini-celebrations in honour of these tiny little victories made it worth it.
Check it out ~ here's a picture of me resisting the urge to nibble a chip or two while making Fidget's lunch:
Who knew one small self-discipline victory could be so beautiful?!
Or how 'bout this stunning B/W shot of me deciding to give up General Hospital permanently after Lent was over:
Isn't that AWESOME?!
I think my angels were going all out because it had been so long since they'd been able to throw a decent party. So long since there'd been even the smallest of victories to celebrate.
What challenges are you facing today? Do they feel insurmountable, like you'll never succeed, so why bother trying?
Are you looking for the easy road... or the one that leads to the incredible laser and fireworks display?
Trust me, the harder road is worth the reward.