|Posted on December 11, 2017 at 8:10 AM|
What would you ask God to give you for Christmas? This topic entered my mind when my hubby and I were at the cash register paying for our meal at Bob Evans not far from Frankenmuth. We stopped there after church so we could pick up a couple of gifts and get a bit of our Christmas fix. It was snowing and the decorations looked lovely, gently frosted with white fluffy flakes. First, I had ordered one of my usual gluten-free, allergy-friendly meals: slow roasted turkey breast (no gravy or stuffing), a plain baked potato (no butter), and steamed broccoli (no butter). When my meal arrived to my table, the broccoli glistened with butter! I sent it back. Soon the waitress returned, "I'm sorry, but the broccoli comes to us with butter already on it." I ordered the fruit cup instead. What are people with allergies and high cholesterol supposed to do? Healthy eating is not well-supported in our culture.
After our meal, at the checkout, my hubby swiped his payment card. A couple came up to the baked goods behind glass admiring the cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, and pies. "Oh, I would LOVE to have that!" she exclaimed. As they discussed what treat they would savor, she reminded him of his diabetes. He replied with a twinkle in his eye, "I would just take more insulin!" I was stunned. Taking more insulin isn't the answer. They just didn't get it.
If my mother could have been there, she would have piped up, "Don't do it! You don't want to lose your eye sight or your feet for a piece of cheesecake." You see, Mom learned the hard way what happens with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. She lost some of her eye sight due to macular degeneration. She has friends who don't take charge of their health issues and suffer or die as a result. Mom is very vocal about it. At 87 years old, she gets injections in her eyes to clear out the blood pools that scarred her retinas. She was able to recover some of her vision, but not all of it. She now has blank spots in her vision. She takes a diuretic to reduce the fluid build-up in her feet. She also takes medication for congestive heart failure, all a result of years of poor eating habits. She is very careful now with her food choices after learning more about why she had these health issues. She also tries to get some exercise, but her mobility is limited. When she met with a dietician, she told her, "I didn't make the changes my doctor told me to make because there weren't immediate consequences. Now I know there are consequences. Bad ones!" Is the cheesecake really worth it?
As I lie here on my sofa in my soft fuzzy pajamas writing to you, what I want for Christmas that come to my mind are not material items. My dad died at 73 years old. He could still be here if he had listened to his doctors. I would want to have my own health back (not lifestyle related illness). Friends who died from melanoma because they didn't understand the consequences of not wearing sunscreen. People in my life who refused to exercise for their hearts' sake. It was inconvenient. They didn't like exercise. Friends who passed away from skin cancer; they didn't think suncreen was necessary. I miss them all. They are all gone now long before they needed to be.
I've been asking God for healing of illnesses that I did nothing to get. Fibromyalgia and mixed connective tissue disease have robbed me of a lot over these past two years since they have partnered together pulling me down. Now I have the quandry of whether or not I should exercise today. If I do, will I have a bad flare-up that lasts a week? If not, then how do I take care of my heart and blood vessels which could become stiff as a result of autoimmune disease? Most days have been walking and light body weight. I just ordered a new bathing suit in a larger size. Sigh. And aqua shoes. I think water aerobics will be my friend for a while until I can build myself back up. I need to take care of me for my hubby, kids, and grandkids. And for you. This life isn't just about me. It's also about God and other people.. We are all charged to practice personal stewardship.
Are you willing to give up your health or your life for food and leisure? Some people I know have expected God to take away the consequences of poor choices they've made in life.These sweet people continued doing what caused themselves harm; they were disappointed He didn’t deliver them from their own messes. I’m here to tell you this: Jesus doesn’t always rescue us from the messes we make in life. Instead, He often walks us through the clean up process.
Who do you wish was still alive who died from a lifestyle illness they could have easily prevented or managed? What about you? Are you struggling to lose weight or get your health issues under control? Ask the Lord for His help, then walk through the clean up process.Give the gift of yourself this Christmas.
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May God bless you!