Monday, January 2, 2012

Our Journey Together: 10 years of Ups and Downs

            To many of you this is going to be a totally different side of Jen and me then you have seen before.  We are going to social media not only to be hip, but to really reach out to our friends and family for hope and encouragement.  This weekly update is something that we feel is necessary, but also beneficial not only to us, but to others who might be struggling with similar issues. 

            On Sept. 01, 2011 Jen and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.  Believe it or not, this is quite an accomplishment for us as any number of things could have split us apart over the years, especially my struggles which I’ve been very willing to share, and will continue to share in the blog.  We cannot and would not attribute our success thus far to anything but Christ.  The truth of the matter is that it is only through and because of Christ that we have managed to celebrate 10 years.  We have been blessed by family members who have prayed for us, and friends who have encouraged us through some very dark times.  In fact for people who know our story, they know that if Christ can keep us together, then He can certainly keep anyone else together.

            So why are Jen and I getting ready to share more than just our faith, but also our physical and spiritual struggles as well? Is it in the hopes that we will generate some more readers? Is it hoping that people will look at us and pat us on the back? In all honesty I hope none of these explanations are the reason, however, we are human beings, and just maybe our story will be of interest that it will generate readership.  However, this is not our main reason I feel.  Proverbs 27:17 says: “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.  New American Standard Bible (N.A.S.B). We both truly believe that it is our hope that these posts will serve as an encouragement for us, and that you all will also join us in encouragement.  We’ll start with Jen first.
To tell you the truth it has taken me a week to get the courage up to start writing this.  Even now I feel the urge to get up and “run.” I have tried losing weight for many years and it has yet to truly accomplish anything.  I’m not going try and put on rosy glasses as I tell you what my problem is, as I used to in hopes that someone who has gone or is going through the same issue.  My weight at the time of this picture was 259.

Jen at Weigh In
            I am an emotional eater, and I have been since I was a child.  I also have dealt with depression and sometimes severe depression.  Those who have dealt with depression know what a cycle it can become.  I start eating because I’m feeling down, or more often angry and then I get angry or depressed because of the sugar crash I’m on or just the simple fact that I know that I have just sinned by going to food for my comfort or filling my face because it has been an outlet for my anger and I just want to get revenge with whomever is hurting me, which is in reality myself.  So the cycle begins……

            The emotional eating is just a symptom of a bigger problem that I have only really started to see/realize.  I live very emotionally and find myself living in my anger and depression for the silliest reasons.  I have neglected to go to my Heavenly Father to let Him cleanse my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and overall mind. I have also neglected to go to the Word to be renewed.  Even though I KNOW the Truth about my calling, I KNOW the Truth about my blessed life I have unfortunately believed the lies of Satan for so long that they plague me often.  The most frequent lies are: 1. I am ugly 2. I will always be ugly 3. No one likes me 4.  I threw my life away when I quit school to marry and start a family 5. That I can’t handle my life, it is too crazy, busy, loud, and includes 9 too many kids!  6. Life isn’t fair, and it should be. 

            As I read those lies I shake my head in amazement at how ridiculous I can be, throwing hissy fits over things that I can’t change, nor would if I were in my right mind because I know the Lord is using every circumstance to draw me ever closer to Him and to mold me into His image. 

            My hope and prayer is that this time I will make changes that last. No, I mean that I let the Lord work in my heart changes that last a life time… There are so many things on my “To Change” list, but for now I have a few things that I am going to truly try to make habits: 1. To be in the Word daily, I am going to even try a reading plan to go along with the Bible Studies that I will desperately try to keep up with 2. To exercise daily and eat healthier 3. To speak softer  to my children. 

            With my personality, I will admit that I am looking for encouragement and kind yet firm rebuke when I’m not walking the walk.  Heck, I’m probably at my highest weight yet again, so it can’t get any worse than that as long as I’m trying, right? Hopefully next year I’ll have an after pic that looks amazing, and I finally won’t be embarrassed to do a family picture that includes myself.  Now to hand it over to Paul.
Paul at Weigh In

This strapping young man is me, Paul Emery, at a whopping 278lbs.  Yeah, that is quite the gut I’m sporting there huh? The truth of the matter is every time I get on a scale and see my weight I say, “I don’t feel that fat”.  As they always say though, a picture speaks a thousand words!

My physical fitness hasn’t been the only issue though this year.  The truth of the matter is although there have been some great spiritual things going on in my life over the past two years, there is still a lot of baggage and junk that I really need to let go of in my life.  Right now I’m feeling pretty good spiritually, however it was only three months ago that I again fell into a constant sin struggle I have in regards to sexual purity.

            I John 1:6-7 are a couple of verses that I regularly find myself meditating on when I am spiritually healthy.  “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (N.A.S.B).”  Really this section all the way from verse 5 to verse 10 has brought about a Spiritual Wakefulness and a return of zeal in my faith that I haven’t experienced in over a decade.  Even though I have fallen into sin, I refuse to dwell there! 

            My physical fitness has many contributing factors.  I’m not near as active as I was while in High School where I was involved in many different activities and extra-curricular events.  Even though I don’t burn near as many calories as I once did, I have not cut back on my calories as I should in order to better suit my current physical activity level.  I’m currently working two jobs, although I did have a season of about two months where I was working three, but two of the jobs were desk type jobs.  My other problem is I love to eat, and I won’t tell myself, NO!  This of course plays into the physical and the spiritual aspects of my life at present. 

            I’ve been told that the recommended weight for my stature is 177lbs.  Do I really see myself getting down to this level? No, not really; however, I do believe that I could easily get down and maintain a weight of 200lbs if I were to truly commit and stick to it.  So what is my plan of action to begin working towards this goal? I am going to commit to daily exercise at least 5 days a week at no less than 30 min. a day.  Putting this to pen and paper is not necessarily going to mean it happens, so I’m asking you all to encourage me as I know many of you will.  I am also going to commit to limiting my caloric intake.  I’ve been told 1500 calories would be a sufficient method of encouraging weight loss, so I will try to stick to no more than 1700 calories a day with the goal of only taking in 1500 calories.

            Spiritually speaking there are also some goals I need to set.  I’m hereby committing to partaking in at least 30 minutes to preferably an hour of quiet time on a daily basis.  This commitment is going to be a 365 day commitment, and not one that I should bow out of easily.  I also am going to commit to becoming more involved in a ministry inside of my church as well as a ministry outside as well.  To those of you who are familiar with American Family Radio this is similar to the seven commitments that Matt Friedeman encourages people who want to be members of the “in the fight” club.   

We’ll be posting an update next week as we begin this process.  God bless.

1 comment:

  1. praying for you and knowing with GOD all things are possible!!!!!!!