Today, we got up and ate motel breakfast, and left for the Arena. I was excited today and I don't know why....but I felt like something good was going to happen....and I was not disappointed at all. Sandi Patty was the first something good that hit me. She talked about her battle with weight....whoa....was she talking to me? She shared her story about auditioning for Disney....and they rejected her...because of her weight.....they rejected her because of her WEIGHT.....did those people not hear her VOICE! They were idiots! Many of her life stories had those kinds of disappointments....but then she was discovered by the Gaithers....they were smart people....they saw and heard...what was on the inside.....they hired her. She then told about having lap banding and how she has now lost 75 pounds...and she looked really good. She shared what brought her to this decision....she kept asking God to help her with her weight....and then at a doctors appointment one day with cholesteral out the roof...she told the doctor she could not have lap banding because she did not believe God would want her too. I have to admit...that sounds painfully familiar to me and hit really close to home. The doctor, in his infinite wisdom, said, "I don't think God wants your family to be without their mom." Point taken. Being overweight is bad for your health....it is as bad as smoking, taking drugs, drinking...it is a sin...because it is brought on by overindulgance....or to use biblical terminology....gluttony. When she sang "We Shall Behold Him" she took my breath away and I sat there in the dark with tears escaping my eyes. Sandi Patty is my hero. It is hard to talk about our weaknesses in a small group....let alone one that size. The next speaker performer that convicted me was Mandisa....another heavyweight....in more ways than one. I saw Mandisa two years ago at Christmas. She and Matthew West were doing a concert at Frazier UMC and Kat had gotten me tickets. She had just started on her weight loss program then....I came home...and began my own....if Mandisa could do it...so could I. I lost 52 pounds and then slid off my wagon. Sigh! Mandisa, this weekend, shared that she had...key word there was had....lost 80 pounds. But...had gained half of that back....but she had turned it over to God and was working on it again. She talked about her own battle with self esteem. Let me tell you....I believe that Mandisa is a beautiful woman....even overweight....ok...so if I can believe that about her....why can't I believe it about myself? Shucks...that is easy...Mandisa IS a beautiful woman....and I am plain. The whole time she talked....there were two voices talking in my head....One voice was telling me to listen and believe what she was saying....the other telling me to look at her and see how beautiful she was and then reminding me that my cousin told me I looked like my grandmother.....tears fell from my face the whole time she talked. So today I have to come clean and share a few things with you....because today is another day....and I am going to put on another attitude. From the time I was a teenager...I have had little to no self-esteem. I was surrounded by Mega A type personality people.....I had/have beautiful friends....but it was not me. My singing partner cousin is one of the prettiest women I know....as is my other singing partner....but I am plain. There is no way to dress up plain...believe me. Oh people have told me I was pretty....but I always knew they were just saying that. I have many flaws....and then to top all the flaws off...I have been heavy most of my life. I found out yesterday....that I am not alone. I am not someone who has used food as a shield or comfort....Sandi Patty and Mandisa have too....how exciting. The difference in us...is that they gave it to God. Ummmm.....something I have to do. Mandisa finished her set with a song about Beauty and where it is located....and I sat there....smiling through tears(you are supposed to cry at these things)....and my heart just felt light. We left a while later....I chewed around their words during Marilyn Meburgs talk....and when I got behind the wheel to drive home.....I saw somebody different in the rearview mirror.....ME! I have a long way to go....but I will get there...because instead of Jillain off of Biggest Loser....I have God as my life coach....AND the most wonderful husband in the world....he made sure I got to go to this conference...and then when he got home from school....after I had been home for about an hour....the look on his face told me....I was beautiful in his eyes.....and I am beautiful in God's eyes....even if I do look like grandmother. Thank you God for giving me a new set of glasses so that I can see more clearly. I got home and read a post by my friend Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee. It wasn't really her post...it was a post from someone else called Single Dad Laughing....and I went there and read THAT post....and you should too. It is the icing on the cake for my weekend. I am leaving you a link so you can....it is a post about/or not...perfection.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.