God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11-13 (The Message)
It’s been a week since I returned home for Guatemala, sick, exhausted, and sure that I had just been through the hardest, yet most rewarding thing I have ever done short of childbirth. In some ways, harder than childbirth. Guatemala impacted me in lots of ways physically, mentally and emotionally. I am still not completely well, but am on the mend. The gastro intestinal bug that I picked up set my autoimmune system into a tailspin leaving me with some severe asthma issues and hives. The doctor explained it as a sort of fright and flight mechanism. My body said, “Agh, what is this invading us?” and threw all of my defense systems into overdrive. I missed two days of work and by yesterday was no better, if anything, feeling worse when a sinus infection got into the mix of symptoms. I’ve been breathless and coughing. Even my voice went up a couple of pitches because of the lack of air. Finally, with the addition of a strong antibiotic into my cocktail of pills, today, I feel I have turned a corner. But, I still have no appetite. That’s a good thing really. The advantage to living on cough drops is that nothing tastes good. And when I go into the kitchen to see about something to eat simply because the clock tells me it is time to eat, nothing seems appealing. It has been easy to walk away from sweets, breads or snacks, just focusing on the nourishing things that I know my body needs to heal. I’ve cut my portions in half because my stomach can’t hold much and besides if I don’t enjoy the taste, why bother? The side effect? I’ve been losing weight. The funny thing is that people come up to me and ask if I’ve cut my hair or tell me that my skin is glowing. I’m thinner people! Of course, I am not losing it in the places where I need to, but it feels good to have shed some extra pounds even if I’ve done it the hard way. The secret will be not in avoiding food for 72 hours as I did last weekend, but in portion control and only eating what’s necessary once my stomach and taste buds recover from this ordeal. There is another area where I am finding it easier to exercise self control since going to Guatemala, spending. I find myself not only evaluating every bite of food, but where my dollars go. When you spent time with people who have so little, it reminds you that you have too much. And definitely, don’t need any more! The most important thing I realized is how much I treasure my family. Seeing those mothers leave their babies was very hard. When my doctor asked me what I missed most about America, I could only cry and point to my husband. I wouldn’t recommend a mission trip for weight loss, but it sure does change your heart and mind.