I sit here in the wee hours of the morning at my parents’ home after a lovely Christmas visit with them and one word comes to mind: grateful. I am grateful for so many things: my family and friends who have become family, ministry with the congregations I have served, my health and the health of those I love, and so much more.
The last few months have been a whirlwind of ministry activity, preparations for my upcoming trip to Liberia and time spent with family. In early October my mother had surgery on her cervical spine. This surgery was certainly not an easy one, but she has done quite well in her recovery. Our family is grateful for the prayers, support and helping hands from our friends and faith communities.
As to my own health, as anticipated, my weight loss has slowed down considerably. I’ve shed about 10 pounds in the last three months, but this is normal and expected. My current total is 153 pounds shed! I’ve lost nearly 50 inches since I started doing monthly measurements in April. I wish I had done measurements before my February 1 surgery as I know that number would be much greater! I continue to make healthy eating choices (minus a few cookies over the holidays, lol) and exercise regularly. In addition to water aerobics and exercise, in October, I added boxing to my regime twice a week. Boxing burns many calories, is great for one’s mental health, and is a lot of fun!
During the month of December, I had the opportunity to attend a variety of gatherings where I saw friends and colleagues I had not seen since last year. This brought some odd and unexpected emotions, in some cases, as people did not recognize me and I had to introduce myself to them. Most reactions left me feeling affirmed and loved, but admittedly, I’m still processing some of the interactions. I know people mean well and don’t always know what to say, but some comments devalue a person and their worth. I may look different and sometimes even act differently (with more energy and more confidence), but at the core of my being, I am still the same person – one created in the image of God with all of the inherent worth and value that goes with that; a beloved child of God with the same God-given gifts and intelligence. None of that changed. I was, I am, and I will always be fearfully and wonderfully made. And for that, I am grateful.
Below are some pictures from the last few months. Blessings to one and all in the New Year.
Until next time, peace …