By the Numbers….

I haven’t done one of these in a while, and I have lots of numbers to share!

1: day until my friend Meredith from Australia arrives in Indy for her visit!!

5: months left of Matt’s jail sentence as of Tuesday the 5th

$3.28 : the price of a gallon of gas on Monday

$3.49 : the price of a gallon of gas yesterday….can you say “price gouging” anyone??

6: days until Shanda and I leave for Colorado!! Wooo!!

116,228: miles on Winston, my car, as of today

13: years old Winston is this year

1,105: miles from Indy to Ft. Collins, CO

18:14 : hours and minutes to drive from Indy to Ft. Collins (or 5 movies…..just kidding, of course…who watches movies while driving across the country??? Although from what I hear both Nebraska and Kansas are pretty much flat and straight ;))

2: days in which Shanda and I will be traveling that distance

18: years as of June 14th since asking Jesus to dwell in me

1,200-1,400: calories I should be eating a day according to my height. How depressing. Do you realize how little food that is??? That is 300-ish calories per meal, plus a couple 100-calorie snacks. I think this might be the first time ever I have been sad that I am short.

15: days unti Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 comes out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So. Excited. Definitely taking a box of tissues with me to the drive-in – fully prepared to cry through most of it.

Workout Woes

True confession: I don’t like to exercise.

The reason is quite simple. I don’t like getting sweaty, and so the thought of getting sweaty on purpose just makes no sense to my brain. You can laugh, it’s quite alright. I laugh at myself all the time.

I have, however, been trying to overcome my dislike of exercising and make it a more consistent and ‘normal’ part of my life over the past few months. But sometimes I do something that makes me question whether or not this whole thing is really worth it. Ever have those moments when exercising?? This week is a perfect example.

On Monday, my friend Shanda (because they say it always makes it better to drag someone else into this “recreational activity” with you) and I went to the gym for a “strength and endurance” class. We’ve been before and liked it, but this week there was a substitute teacher (**warning bells go off in the brain – run awaaaaayyyyyyy**). She smiled so sweetly and then said “ladies, tonight we’re going to do squats!!!” What she failed to mention is that we were going to do every single kind of squat imaginable for a solid HOUR. With weights, without weights. On the bench, off the bench. While we were doing arm exercises. While we were doing crunches. (Don’t think that’s possible? It is.)

All of that to say that Tuesday morning arrived, and Shanda and I could barely walk. Wednesday wasn’t much better. We tried stretching, walking around our office building, staying still….but the pain continued relentlessly. I decided that the best way to loosen them up was to exercise more, so I headed back to the gym Wednesday evening for a water aerobics class. In my brain I saw it as a workout without all the pain, and the water may even help stretch out my very tight, sore muscles. And it worked, at first – while in the water it was absolutely lovely. Painless, buoyant, fun….brilliant, I thought.

And then I got out of the water. If I could barely walk before, I was hobbling now. Great. I came home, moaning as I got out of the car. I made it into the bathtub and soaked my aching body in really hot water and epsom salt for a little while, and discovered a tiny bit of relief. Today I am sore, but at least I can walk…..sort of. I’ve determined that I’m not yet ready for a solid hour of squats….I’m gonna need a few more classes to build up to that point. Although I’m not entirely convinced my body will ever again aquiesce to that kind of torture. It may just commit mutiny and bail. If it did, then at least I would have an excuse to leave the class early.

The good news? It’s gonna be a few more days before I can run again! The bad news? Now I’m off schedule. Oh well.

It’s Not About The Weight Anymore (Part 2)

It’s all about the attitude.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God with your body.”  1 Cor 6:19-20

This is our theme verse for this whole topic. And in this week’s post, we are going to be focusing on our attitude towards our bodies, and towards food. What you believe about food and who is in charge of your body are directly linked, and knowing both will help as you seek to make wise choices in both areas.

Part 1: Food

What first pops into your head when you think about food? Or, another way to ask the same question, what does food mean to you?

Security?

Planning?

Comfort?

Work?

Joy?

Stress?

Necessity?

Money?

Sustainment?

Deserved?

As I have been pondering on this question for the past few months, I have come to a startling revelation. For me, food means joy and comfort, for the most part. But even more than that, deep down I believe that I deserve food, and even good food, not just any old food. For a little while I tried to deny it – of course I don’t really believe that I deserve food, I told myself. No, I said, I believe all those verses that talk about how everything we have comes from God (Acts 17:28, Col 1:15, John 17:7), and that without Him there is nothing (John 1:3) and the ones that talk about gluttony being against God (side note: more to come on that in the next post!) and that our bodies are temples (1 Cor 6:19).

Right?

Yes. But then right alongside those beliefs came slowly creeping in the self-made belief that I deserve to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, regardless of the consequences. As I thought about what, and when, I ate, and realized that often it wasn’t because I was hungry. It was because I was sad, or lonely, or tired, or bored, or it was chocolate and I couldn’t refuse it, or because it was just sitting there, or it was mealtime, or I just felt like it.

There are many factors that lead me to this kind of thinking, including our culture. We live in a culture that declares our independence from responsibility. You want it, you can have it. In fact, you deserve it! Treat yourself, and don’t pay any attention to the consequences. You can just take a pill to cover whatever your decisions bring – excessive weight gain, diabetes, high cholesterol, back pain, knee pain, etc (note: I realize that some of those things can be genetically prone, but at the same time the truth is that we bring a lot of it on ourselves by our poor choices, especially when it comes to how and what we eat). This is why the Scriptures repeatedly tell us to set our minds on the things above, not on the things of the earth (Col. 3:2), and to NOT be conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2), and to discipline ourselves for godliness (2 Tim. 2:1-7), and to be set apart from the world.

Part 2: Our bodies

Ok. Let’s move on to our attitude regarding our bodies. Our attitude towards food and how we eat is one insight into who we believe is in charge of our body. For me I have realized that it all boils down to this: when it comes to food, I love myself more than I love Jesus and His Word. Ouch. This is the one that I tried the hardest to deny, and then on Sunday I read a couple excerpts from an excellent book called A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent that hit me hard and caused me to see the ways that I put self-love above Christ-love. Vincent says that:

“One of the leading causes of my natural tendency to self-love is fear. I fear that if I do not love myself there would be no one left to love me quite so well as I do. An even more significant cause of self-love is a lack of persuasion that there is someone out there who is worthy to be loved more than I.” (p. 29-30)

When I am sad, or lonely, or tired, or bored, and I turn to food, I am in essence saying that food will satisfy me more than Christ could, and that I doubt Christ’s ability to fully love me. I am loving myself more than I love Christ by focusing on my own emotions and trying to satisfy them on my own instead of turning to Christ and allowing Him to be my soul’s satisfaction. The problem with self-love is that we can never love ourselves enough. The food doesn’t work, so then we turn to other things. In talking about lusts, Vincent says They promise me fullness, and their promises are so deliciously sweet that I often find myself giving in to them as if they were friends that have my best interests at heart.”

The food is not to blame. When viewed rightly food is a great blessing, as is everything that comes from the Lord. But in order for it to be a blessing, I must view it rightly: first, as coming from the Lord, second, as something that I do not deserve, and third, as a means of satisfying my physical hunger, not something given to satisfy my emotions or indulge my whims.

And then, the heart of it really comes down to learning to love Christ more than I love myself. See, the two really are linked. Because as I learn to put Christ first, and turn to Him to satisfy my heart and hunger, then my attitude towards food will automatically fall into line. And then, amazingly, all of a sudden it isn’t about the weight anymore. It’s about Jesus, and loving Him more than food or myself, just as He created it to be.

As you’ve read through this (and congrats if you’ve made it this far!!), I would love to hear any thoughts/comments or reflections from you on how you answered the first question, and anything the Lord has put on your heart so far.

Till next time…..


It’s not about the weight anymore (Part 1)

For the past couple of years I have been “trying” to lose some weight. Not a ton, just a few pounds to get me in the ‘healthy’ range for my height. I’ve tried everything: diets, exercise, positive self-talk, consistent weigh-ins, writing down numbers, keeping charts, etc. My motivation over the years has been mostly aesthetic in nature. I was trying to lose the weight because I didn’t like the way I looked, or because I didn’t feel healthy, or because I thought I should. And, unsurprisingly, my efforts have ultimately failed. It is not that the actions in and of themselves were bad – on the contrary – they can be good and helpful. However, I am slowly coming to the realization that those motivations do not hold up very long under the temptations of delicious foods. I love to eat, and I come from a long line of people who also love to eat. In light of that and the aforementioned failed motivations, my gut reaction is almost always to either cave in or rationalize my eating habits (and even lack of exercise), because my motivations were not serious enough to deter me from eating good food.

But things are beginning to change. Most importantly my attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs about food and how those affect my relationship with Jesus. I am starting to see an impact in my life that I am trusting will last more than a couple months. You see, it isn’t about the weight anymore. It is also not about looking pretty, or being thin, or anything else. Whether I am trying to lose 5, 10, 20, 50 or 100 pounds, if my perspective and motivations aren’t right, then nothing I do to change myself will last forever.

There is a long-standing joke among the Franklins that some people eat to live while others live to eat, with us falling into the latter category. We laugh because it is true, but recently I have realized that it doesn’t lessen our responsibility before the Lord to care for the bodies He gave us. And here we arrive at the heart of it: before the Lord. As much as we often try to fight this truth, we are not on our own when it comes to how we eat and care for our bodies. We might think that this is a little thing, that the Lord doesn’t really care what we do with our bodies or how we eat (something I found myself believing too), but now I disagree. He does care, very much.

My initial plan was to write one post about this topic and leave it at that. However, even as I have been writing this over the last couple weeks, I am realizing how much there is to this topic – much more than can be covered in one post. So, I am going to write a series of posts on this topic dealing with the topics of gluttony, idolatry, self-discipline, what we eat, exercise, thoughts/attitudes, and how all that fits into food and Jesus. I am not saying I am an expert or have this figured out, but I invite you to join me as I dig into the Word and learn more about these issues.  The more I learn the more I see my life changing, especially as I understand that it isn’t about me. It’s always about Jesus.

Day 3

I don’t remember much of Tuesday, and yesterday is kind of blurry as well, but today the clearness is beginning to come back. Still really sore, maybe even more so today now that all the anesthesia and numbness are gone, but Vicodin has become my new best friend! Apparently I slept on my right side last night, because I woke up today looking like a raccoon – two black eyes instead of one, and swelling in my whole face instead of just the left side. Gravity must have pulled it over while I was sleeping. It still hurts to move my eye, so I am trying to keep my focus pretty straight and level. Looking down hurts the worst, and turning my head comes shortly after that. So if you come visit me, don’t be offended if I don’t make much eye contact. 😉

Goals for today:

1. Take a bath

2. Be awake more hours than I sleep during the day (this one may have to move to tomorrow….haha)

3. Eat real food and keep it down (I haven’t thrown up again since Tuesday night, so this shouldn’t be too hard!)

If one or two of those happen, it will be a good and successful day. I think my expectations for the recovery period on this surgery were a little too high, as I fully expected to be on the road to normal by now, HA! I keep having to remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and it is fine to be a tortoise as long as I get to the finish eventually, rather than trying to sprint and mess something up.

Couple facts/funny stories from the surgery:

*My anesthesiologist while waiting to go in to surgery: “I’m Dr Kurtz, your anesthesiologist. I’ll be putting you to sleep when I want you to sleep, and I will wake you back up when I want you to wake up. Also, I don’t get paid to put you to sleep, I get paid to wake you up!!” He was so funny.

*Eyes are supposed to be porous and kind of like a jelly-bean consistency on the inside (I hope that doesn’t ruin jelly beans for any of you 😉 ). After the surgery Dr. Lee came out to talk to my parents and told them that when he took my small eye out, it was as hard as a rock! He was amazed and doesn’t know how I was handling the pain, as it should have been much worse! This was also another confirmation that this surgery was the right choice and done at the right time.

*In recovery: Nurse – “Emily, how is your pain level?” Me – “Uhhhh about an 8 or 9.” Nurse – starting at me expectantly. Me – “What? Did you not hear me?” Nurse – “Emily, you didn’t say anything!!” Me – “Oops. I must have just answered in my head and thought I was speaking.” Hahaha. This happened at least three times during my 2 hours in recovery. Those are always my favorite stories. Do you have any funny ones from your times in the hospital?

*Towards the end of my time in recovery, I said I felt like getting dressed and going to the bathroom, and by the time I got back from the restroom, they had already put someone else in my bed, and were escorting me out to my car! They were not kidding about this being outpatient!!!!