A Story in Six Words–Really?

I find myself sitting to write the next entry.  There are so many words for the last week.

And yet not enough.

It was a week of ups, downs, side-to-sides, and loop-d-loops.  (For those following my weight loss saga, I ate more and lost 2.2 pounds.  Who knew?)  But that wasn’t where the roller cost came from.  Oh no.  I stood in line in somebody else’s amusement park and got on his/her roller coaster.  Oh yes I did.

Perhaps it is the coming of the equinox, the winter thunder snow, or lunar cycle.  But somehow I found myself swept up in the tidal waves of other people’s stuff.  And I know better.  I know better.  I don’t think it was so much me sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong as my  responding to other people’s stuff rather than simply letting myself float on it.  It seems like if I’m not swallowing sweets I have an easier time swallowing the bait.  And I know when I’m hooked I’m history…my history.  No longer in 2011 I enter some other time where the people pleasing, rescuing, enabling, controlling self emerges.  I look at myself in the mirror.  “I know you,” I think, “Are you really back?  Really?  Time to reclaim my serenity.”

Then, today I’m at a meeting, and a I learn about this project.  An amazing project.  Tell your life story in six words.  Just Six.  Not Quite What I Was Planning.  That’s the name of the book of six word memoirs (or could be my life in 6 words)  But also good be six words for my life.  Six words for my whole life.   And with six simple words and one simple task, my focus no longer swirls in the sea around me.  I can see a bigger picture.  And I think this might just be a trick to help me keep focused one day, one week at a time.  Six little words.  So–my six words for last week–the mantra I can chant when I jog–

Take what you like–leave rest.


When you’re hooked, you are history.


Nothing tastes good as feeling thin.

What would your Six Word Story for last week be?

**If you want to check it out on-line:   http://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/

That is what learning is.  You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life but in a new way. (Doris Lessing)

When you can keep you head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it. (Kipling)

Doing the Footwork

Have you ever had one of those weeks where one plus one stopped equalling two?  They say if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.  I agree with this…mostly.  Here’s the thing, sometimes this equation just doesn’t seem to balance out.  At least not for me.  At least not for me and weight loss.  And not for some of my accountability buddies in this “right-sizing” endeavor.  All three of us have had it…the dreaded plateau.  If’ we’re biting, we’re writing.  We’re measuring, trimming, blotting, planning, re-ordering,  jogging, lifting, bending, and stretching.  And you guessed it…no weight loss.  Well, not for me.  One of us lost .2 pounds.  (That can feel like 0) and one of us gained a pound.  All expecting to loose.  Feeling great.  Feeling healthier.  Feeling thinner.  And then.  And then.  And then the actual number.

How can feeling great about being a loser go to feeling like a loser about staying the same?  Should the scale really have so much power over our reality? Is this weight loss venture truly about what I claim it’s about– about being a better steward of my body, my resources, my small corner of the planet–or have I started serving the master of the scale rather than the master of my spirit?

Just this week I listened to a sermon about needing to place my trust in God and have faith.  To be like the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.  And I knew at the time the message had something for me.  As an A+ student in both the subjects of worry and control, I need reminding.  But to be honest, I felt myself pushing back on my drive home from church.  Couldn’t all of this worry about today lead to apathy and arrogance?  Haven’t the powers-that-be employed this idea as a means of keeping the status quo?  What about doing the footwork?  As I pondered this more over Sunday afternoon and after today’s weigh-in, I had another thought.  Perhaps it isn’t so much that I don’t do the footwork as to what kind of footwork I do.  When I bow to the gods of worry and control, I loose sight of a bigger reality.  I get so caught up in the number on the scale today, that I can’t see the success of the last two weeks or that there’s a lot more to a health than a number on the scale.  And sometimes, doing the footwork may mean doing something completely counter-intuitive like eating all my extra points for the week or changing up what I do at the gym.  When I pray to worry, control, or the scale, I certainly loose sight of this.  And then another thing happens.  I call it the What the Heck Game.  What the heck, I might as well not go the gym.  What the heck, I might as well have French fries.  What the heck, I might as well not measure my ice cream.  What the heck?  (Sometimes my rationalization is less than rational)  So here I sit, Tuesday night, and I’m tempted.  Tempted to play What the Heck, and what pops into my email, but a link on the UCC web site….a faithfully walking challenge.  No I’m not kidding you.  Apparently, First Lady Michelle Obama has dared us to walk 3 million miles  by the end of November 2011.  Specifically, she’s talking to faith and community organizations in an effort to raise awareness and reduce childhood obesity.  Here I am crying in my Diet Coke debating what food to order first when I play What the Heck, and I see this.


So, I’m going to take the dare.  I’m already training to jog the Race Against Racism in April, might as well take the Faithfully Walking Challenge.  And what control freak doesn’t love a good dare?  Will you join me?  I dare ya.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Plan–Let’s Move  http://www.letsmove.gov/

The UCC Faithfully Walking Challenge–http://www.ucc.org/justice/justice-feed/faithfully-walking-challenge.html

Quotes for the Week

[Jesus said:] “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:24-)

I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond. (Mae West)

Right-Sizing in 2011

It seems that 2011 is the year of less is more.  Or at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves.  Households are making due with less, schools, hospitals, governments are all re-examining how resources can be more efficiently utilized.  What was once called down-sizing, I’ve heard called right-sizing.  Perhaps this is a euphesism.  An opiate of the masses if you will attempting to help us, the general public, feel better about earning less, purchasing less, having less.  But as a pastor, I can’t help but think of right-sizing may be more than just a politically correct turn of phrase.  We have spent and consumed more than our homes and bodies can hold.  The decrease in our o-zone and the increase in our pant-size suggest we are in need of a size adjustment.  Well, maybe not your pant-size, but mine.  Now for those who know me, you may be thinking, yeah, get over it.  But hear me out.  Over the last year, I’ve handled the stress of budget cuts, staff reductions, and program re-structures with increasing my consumption.  And I’m not just talking about calories here.  I mean I have used the importance of ministry.  Of being there for and with others as an excuse to indulge.  I’ve become a regular at the Turkey Hill down the street where I get coffee–and often forget to take my travel mug or better yet use the excuse that I’m so busy attempting to save the world that I don’t have time to wash my mug.  This same pattern repeats with re-usable grocery bags and meals-on-the-run.  In my attempts to do justice, I’ve become part of the problem.  So, today I come clean.  Today I say no more.  For the last week I have brewed my own coffee, eaten whole foods, and managed to say no to tasks outside my boundaries.  The world did not come to a screeching halt.  The sky did not fall.  And I lost 2.5 pounds.  So, there you have it.  The beginning of my journey.  Right-Sizing myself body, mind, and soul and seeking a way to be a better steward of my own being and resources.

Quotes for the Week:

Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

The changes in our life must come from the impossibility t live otherwise than according to the demand of our own conscience (Leo Tolstoy)

You are what you eat.  (Ubiquitous quote from health class that may actually have something to say.)