Tag Archives: miracles

God’s Fairy Tale (Part II)

You already know this story has a fairy tale ending.

Yesterday I shared how stressed I was about the wedding and how God had everything under control. While I won’t share all the nitty gritty details of the struggle, I will tell you one story, only because it shows how faithful God is when He has a fairy tale dream to pull off for one of His girls.

As you’ll see as I walk through the wedding countdown, the Good Lord had all the key players in place and lots of beauty flowing to us through their talented fingers and creative minds.

But two weeks before the wedding that’s not where my emotions landed. They were in a big huge falling apart heap of tears. A handful of wedding details came back at twice the expected amount, and we were short with an emptied bank account. Jerry and I cried out to God, not knowing how to rescue the situation, believing God had Sarah’s dreams in His hands, but not seeing how they could be possible.

Tuesday night I went to bed with swollen, weepy eyes. Wednesday morning I got a call from a new friend who asked if she could put a check in the mail in return for some mentoring in her writing. Breathless, I hung up thanking God for His provision. But He wasn’t done.  The mail that day held another unexpected check. Surely I would never worry again in my whole life! (Rrrriiiigggghht . . .)

Buoyed by God’s miraculous provision, Sarah, Jerry, and I were determined to trust God, let go of worry, and enjoy!

The festivities started a week later with the arrival of family and friends. On Wednesday night I watched as David’s sisters ran into each other’s arms and clung to each other, then invited my girl into the circle before then embracing their brother. My heart overflowed at the love bursting between them as I witnessed their reunion. As you can see by the picture taken on the wedding day, Sarah fits right in.

Sisters!

Sisters! Front: Kristina, Sarah, Stephany Back: Jessica

Thursday night, David’s parents treated Jerry and me to a lovely meal while Sarah and David celebrated with their friends and siblings at bachelorette and bachelor parties. We even enjoyed an Italian dessert!

eating out with grundys

(Okay, this blog IS about weight loss. Let me say here and now I chose not even to THINK about food or calories or exercise the week of the wedding! Eating less has become a habit, so I wasn’t completely out of control most of the time. I think that is one of the beauties of seeking to make the weight loss journey about sustainable habits, not drastic measures. And when I eat heavy at one meal, I know I need healthier and lighter choices at the next. The only time I really blew it was with my girlfriends the day after the wedding. I ate a whole calzone and paid for it the rest of the night with a massive tummy ache!)

But back to the wedding countdown:

Friday included covering the trees at the venue in twinkle lights and hanging a few of the handmade signs Sarah and her friends made. sign belong

Like so many of the personal touches from friends who made the wedding special, these signs made me think of the young women who designed them, carrying out Sarah’s vision for decorating in the trees, and my heart swelled again.

Friday evening brought the rehearsal. I caught a great shot of David hugging his mom beforehand.

david and his mom

Sarah arrived a little late after rushing back home to freshen up after her day of decorating, but the wait was worth it because she was stunning in purple, as usual. David, too, dashed off to dress up and returned looking quite dapper.

rehearsal sarah and david

That evening we enjoyed a beautiful rehearsal dinner thanks to the groom’s parents, Steve and Ronda. The room was classy in white tablecloths with gorgeous favors of Jellie Bellies in fun, Mexican style goblets, along with flamboyant, floral centerpieces.

jelly belly

Even my hollow legged boys ate of the fajita buffet until they could hold no more. Joy bubbled everywhere as family and friends celebrated in a room of abundance. Steve and Ronda even invited Jerry’s cousins who we bumped into at the hotel, newly arrived from California!

(I probably shouldn’t admit that my very beautiful daughter was captured on film by her soon to be father-in-law while she knelt on the ground in her lovely purple dress, mouth gaping open, determined to catch the Jelly Belly being flung toward her by her brothers. Thankfully, Steve hasn’t yet shared the picture with me so it can’t appear in this blog. Ha!)

 Saturday started with a a lovely family brunch thanks to my sisters-in-laws. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures, but it was another experience of abundance! Bonnie made her famous banana bread, Anne had several pans of a wonderful egg and sausage dish, and Darlene brought a gorgeous fruit platter. My neighbor, Bernice, Sarah’s honorary grandmother, also contributed her famous fruit salad, Sarah’s favorite.  The food was amazing, but getting to share time with loved ones made it unforgettable.

Saturday afternoon included a pedi and mani for Sarah and me. (Yes, soon after I was barefoot, fancy toenails and all.)

pedi mani

At the nail salon another God moment happened. Sarah and I had both been hiding away a little money hoping to pay for the other person’s nails. When it came time to pay we were both counting our pennies, trying to treat the other one, when a dear friend paid not only for both of us, but for a manicure for David (sans nail polish, of course), too! Blessing and abundant provision! I sighed a sigh of relief, sure now I had enough $$ for my fancy updo the next morning. Even the little stressors systematically disappeared.

Perfect closure to an amazing day came when Sarah and David asked us to attend church with them in preparation for their big day on Sunday. I once again captured a great shot of them looking very in love.

At church night before

It wasn’t easy to fall asleep that night. Not only was the big day only hours away, but Jerry and I had so much to talk about! I laughed when it was Jerry telling all the stories of wonderful moments as we whispered together in bed after midnight. (Usually I’m the only one talking after midnight!) Finally, after a bit of red wine, we settled enough to embrace a short night, only guessing of the surprises the Lord had in store for the big day.

This post is really about God’s faithfulness and us losing the emotional weight of worry. Worry weighs us down–and for many of us is a trigger to eat. But worry does us no good. Scripture even tells us that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow because our worrying can’t fix anything!

I’ve not yet won the worry war, but the wedding did include walking as victor in several worry battles. I’ve found the best antidote for worry is to pour my heart out to God.  He always hears. In our special wedding week He acted decisively, reaching down, blessing, relieving stress, and providing in big and small ways for Sarah and David’s special day–which I’ll finally share about tomorrow!

Tweetable:

Miraculous provision and dreams coming true

Dropping worry weight

Mango Miracle (Middle Weight Loss Journey Days 70 and 71)

The posts below are taken from what I now consider my middle journey, about 1/3 of the way into my weight loss goals.

Day 70

Went out for a wonderful New Year’s Day breakfast with Jerry. Since I racked up so many calories at breakfast I had a small bowl of soup for lunch and my shake for supper. I feel satisfied. Isn’t it amazing I’m starting to feel satisfied with so much less food?

Added up my miles for December. I walked 64.44 miles in that one month! I’m thrilled.                          ~ January 1, 2013

Day 71

Mango Miracles

Frozen Mango and papaya. At first I used smaller individual bags and froze in 1 cup servings. Now I freeze in 1/2 cup servings so I can mix more flavors without having too much. I also wrap the fruit in plastic wrap and only use one larger Ziploc bag. Always looking to save $$. (The only caveat here is that blueberries tend to freeze better in individual bags because they are so round that they break out of the plastic and roll around.)

This is embarrassing. I said I prayer, and when God answered I was too dense (at first) to see the answer right in front of my eyes.

Here’s what happened. I’ve wished for frozen mango to go in my shakes at lunch but didn’t want to spend the money with everything so tight right now. So I said a little mango prayer, letting the Lord know my desire.

Today I went to the discount food place. I was IN MY CAR driving away when I realized there was a whole flat of an unfamiliar fruit. I went back in, “uh . . . are those mangos?”

Honestly, I’d never bought one whole, only cut up and frozen in a bag!  The discount place was about to close, and there were a whole flat of mangos left that needed quick attention, so they gave them to me.

Tonight I peeled, cubed, and froze 22 cups of mango, wrapped individually. That’s 22 meals when I can add tang to my shake! I also prepared 3 pomegranates and froze some papaya and pears that needed to be used quickly before they were old. It feels super good to have healthy, low calorie food frozen and waiting.

Real Time Update:
Some people say that eating healthy is cheaper than eating poorly. At our house I was already cooking from scratch and mostly avoiding processed food when I began trying to lose weight and eat more healthy foods. To take it up a notch with more fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of protein has NOT been cheaper. But between prayers and a willingness to work, there has been provision beyond my budget.

What About You?

Do you have any tricks to eat well and not break the bank?

Weight Loss Journey Day 57

Today I took a chance. I did something kind-of brave because I sensed God asked me to. The results were breath-taking. God is amazing. He really, really loves us. He answers prayer.

(At first I wasn’t going public with the story. I treasured it to my heart for a time, but as I reflect on December 19, I decided to share the journal entry. It is to God’s glory. He is amazing . . . So if you’re my Facebook friend and wondered what happened that day, now you can know. Here goes:)

I finally did it. I finally knocked on the stranger’s door like He told me to do a week and a half ago. I texted my son with the address, just ‘cause I had no idea what I was getting into and figured someone should know where I was.

At first no one answered. I told the Lord, “I’m only doing this once. If this is your deal, and You led me here today like I thought You did, You’re going to have to send someone to this door. I’m not going to find the courage to come back and try again.”

The door opened.

I stood there, awkward, fumbling for words.  “I . . . uh . . . can I just tell you my story?”

A woman, probably in her 30s, stood before me, brow wrinkled.

“I . . . take walks for exercise and I . . . um . . . sometimes pray for the people in the houses I pass. And well,”

I’m crying now, feeling silly, but feeling Him.

“when I walked past your house a while back, I felt like God showed me how to pray. I boxdon’t pretend to always hear Him perfectly, but . . . do you guys need food?”

The woman begins to cry. I wrap her in my arms and cry with her. “I have food in my van, can I bring it in?”

She nods.

On my second trip into the house with food, an older woman comes downstairs. She tells me how her daughter (the woman I met earlier) lost her home and moved in with her five children and how the cute little guy on the couch is her grandson. She babysits for her granddaughter, a single mom.

“My husband and I are retired,” she says. “We’re trying to help, but it’s hard. In the mornings I wake up and tell my sweet Jesus that I don’t know how we’re going to make it, and He has to help us. It’s hardest on the little ones. They don’t understand when we have no meat, but I tell them if we have beans and macaroni, we have food.” A tear traces her cheek.

The woman’s faith, perseverance, and strength humble me. That I get to serve such a faithful servant humbles me. How God loves the two of us through this incident blows me away, reminds me that He is the One who Sees. That His love is bigger than I can fathom.

Amazed by my God, on cloud nine I drive home.

(But I wish I hadn’t taken so long to obey. I wish I’d given them food sooner.)

Real Time:

I’m undone again as I post this. No updates today.

How About You?

What has happened in your life that leaves you undone–in a humble, good way?