Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Second Chances

In high school I had a best friend who ended up taking a very different route in life than I. While I got married, had kids, went to church, she became addicted to Meth, had several children from different fathers, and made money in unthinkable ways.

We had not talked since high school, but I would hear stories of what had become of her. Several years back she called me. She was in a rehab center, and had been talking about the people who meant the most to her. She called me to tell me that person was me.

Even though I was a Christian at the time, I turned my back on her. I told her that her lifestyle wasn't something I could deal with and told her not to call me again. I had two little babies at home and one on the way, and I was afraid. Afraid to reach out.

For years I regretted that phone call. As God has convicted me over the years to not fear the lost but love them, she has come into my thoughts and prayers again and again. I've often prayed for a second chance. A second chance to love her as she is... as Christ would. To share with her a God that could wash away her sins... like he did mine.

Last night I thought of her again. For the first time, I decided to search for her on the Internet. Several hours later I came up with nothing. Again, I offered up a silent prayer for her.

Today my husband called me. Guess who called him today? YES! It was her! Through a very complicated web of events, she had ended up with his work number. It had NOTHING to do with my web search the night before... but EVERYTHING to do with GOD!

I called her the first free second I had. My first thought was of how rough she was. She talked like a hard woman. Only 32 years old, she sounded every bit of it and then some. She was raising three kids on her own, working several jobs to pay the bills, puffing an a cigarette as we spoke.

Our lives are worlds apart. I was almost embarrassed to share about my comfortable life. I have had it SO good. She... has not.

After several minutes of talking, she started to talk about her hobbies. She shared how she goes downtown to minister to the drug addicts on the streets. How 9 years ago (right after our phone call) her life changed when she met God. God delivered her from drug addiction, and now her mission in life is to see others delivered as well.

I sit here in awe. My ex drug addict friend is doing more for the kingdom of God right now than I ever DREAMED of doing. She is reaching people only she can reach. I can see her now, in the worst part of town, cigarette in hand proclaiming Gods love. THAT is beautiful to me. BEAUTIFUL.


I asked for a second chance to save her, but clearly I didn't need one. GOD does the saving, with or without me. But God DID give me a second chance to love her.

...There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! Luke 15:7

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Wanna Be The Biggest Loser

OK, I'll admit it. I'm addicted to the show The Biggest Loser. I love to watch these people transform from severely over weight, to near PERFECT figures. Gives me hope for myself I guess. I mean, if they can loose 150 pounds, I should be able to loose 20 right???


I am finding it so utterly impossible to shed these 20 pounds (I'd even be happy with 10) that I feel like I want to quit trying! I feel like the ability to do it on my own is just not there. If you noticed from my previous post, I didn't even bother with any New Years resolutions. No promises of weight loss and exercises, because I'm tired... TIRED of letting myself down!

I've tried to eat only when hungry. I've tried to count calories, cut carbs, count points, exercise away the pounds (and I LOVE to exercise... I know, I'm weird). I've tried other nameless not so healthy methods. I've tried the emotional route, the give it over to God route. I still have nothin'.

Then it dawned on me. I need to join the biggest loser! I can see it now.

Biggest Loser Music plays as I come on screen....
Here is Karlie, a stay at home mom to four who can't get her jeans buttoned. I'll be wearing the horrible little sports bra ensemble when they take me up in front of the world to weigh me. As I step on the scale it will beep and then as the crowd gasps, it will go to a commercial break.

After you have watched adds about Special K and Britta water filters, I'll be back on screen, 1/2 naked with a small roll of fat hanging over my overly tight spandex shorts. That bratty little blond chick will look at me with pity and say "Karlie, at 5'6, you weigh 156 pounds. You are officially the most mentally messed up contestant we have ever had on the Biggest Loser."

At this point I will cry (like they all do) and say "never again, will I be this way."

Then I will go on to weeks of 1200 calorie diets, and 8 hours of exercise per day ( I learned that little tid bit in People.)

Then after the show is over, I'll come back on the finale. I'll have a new wardrobe, and a new hair style (all courtesy of TV of course) and a spray on tan. I'll be some obnoxious size (like zero) and have professionally whitened teeth.

My kids might freak out, because I don't look like their mom anymore, but it would all be worth it right?

OK, OK, I don't REALLY want all THAT. I just want to be comfortable in my own skin. I just don't want to feel fat anymore. I know part of the problem is my own brain.... but I really do see great value in health. Yet I just can't seem to make it happen.

Anyone with me on this?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ego Girl Wishes you all a Happy New year... and other gossip!

I'm a few days late on my New Years post, but 2009 should be a year of may adventures for us!

The biggest change??? College. I'm going back. One of the best things about getting pregnant at 18, was that I didn't have a chance to rack up THOUSANDS of $$$ of college debt. Not having mega college loans to repay allowed me to stay home with my babies, home school (yes, I WAS qualified to teach them without a degree), and do all those other magnificent house-wifey things.

Now I look at my babies, all nearing birthdays that will make them 13, 11, 9, and 7. time is FLYING by. I've had to take a good look at what I want to do when they are gone, how will we help with THEIR college, etc. I looked at the fact they are still far to young for me to go into the work force and leave them to fend for themselves, but the time is coming... sigh.

I have been subbing occasionally at the kids school, and have fallen in love with teaching, especially the struggling kids. I've spent quite a bit of time helping the "special ed" kids. Who quite frankly are just kids with tough back grounds or different learning styles, who just need a bit of encouragement, and one on one time.

So, I looked at the possibility of a job in special education. Great benefits, summers and school holidays off. Hmm, sounded good. So I went to the college to find out about a loan. Ugh, the yucky debt part. Would you believe there is a shortage of special ed teachers, and the government will forgive 70% of your loan if you teach special ed for 5 years! Now THAT is an answer to prayer.

I start in March. All my classes fall within my kid's school hours, and I only have classes on Tuesday and Thursday, leaving three days to maintain my stay at home mommy status. In four years, I'll be 35. My youngest will be 11, and my oldest will be getting ready for college herself... GASP. Time is flying. FLYING I tell ya! Anyway, I may take a full time job as a teacher, but I'll still be home after school with my (it hurts to say it) teenagers, home for the summers, etc.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the best part... I have to take P.E. which means I am required to go to the gym 3xs a week to pass. Talk about motivation eh? Oh, and the membership is covered by financial aid. WOO HOO!

OK, so enough about the school thing (can you tell I'm insanely excited?).

My New Year's was awesome. My brother took us snowboarding. My hubby is a total natural... so are my boys. I however am not super skilled in that area. Still, It was crazy fun, and I'd do it again in a heart beat.

We ushered in the New year with several friends and a $90 bottle of French wine (that we DIDN'T buy). Spent the rest of the evening having WII battles (I am totally addicted to WII Fit).

On another note, we decided to become members of our little church. That is a huge step for us. Actually, I wanted to run a women's bible study, and was told that they would like us to be members first, so here we go. It seems so official! Really, if you knew how BIG this was for me and my husband (and our slight church phobia) you'd say "Good job on the commitment!"

Now for the bad and good news of 2009.

The bad news? Right after we decide we are finally ready for a commitment, our pastor says he's leaving. Going to Uganda to become a missionary. WHAT? I am totally happy for him, I really am. I can see God's hands all over this, but I did tell him that he'd better NOT be replaced by a fire and brimstone kinda guy... or a mega church man. "Cause I just committed to this church"! Grrr.

The good news?

My daughter came home angry the other day. When I asked her why, she replied, "because all the high school boys keep telling me how hot you are mom." Now I know... this is slightly disturbing on one level, but do you know how stinkin' good it feels? Hello ego! Seriously, I often feel like a fat old frumpy mom. This kinda thing will fuel my confidence for a year!!!! Gayle... I know you understand.

Did I confess that I am far too vain????

I have no grand resolutions to confess for 2009. No other big changes to report. So I'll end this post with...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!