Artificial Sweeteners

"The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters in not your outer appearance - the styling of your hair, the jewelry that you wear, the cut of your clothes - but your inner disposition."
1 Peter 3:3-4

I spent the past week searching and reading about authenticity. Mostly because all my artificial sweeteners have been removed from my diet and that makes me a sad panda.

It was all I had left and NOW I CANT EVEN USE STEVIA.

So....#stillbitter #literally.

(No sweetners = sometimes I just sit in the gym on Sundays when it's quiet. And stare at the weights. Sad. Panda.)

This guy started staring at me. He said "MOM, what are you DOOOOING?"

And I said "I'm thinking about pizza QUITJUDGINGME!"

Anyway, this verse from 1 Peter came up. And I felt compelled to share it because of how gosh. danged. HARD. it is.

Many of you who know me, know that I compete in body building as a sport. And those of you who don't know me now have a vision of the Hulk.

I am NOT the Hulk. Promise.

I grew up playing sports, which morphed into group aerobics (it's what all the cool girls did at the Texas A&M Rec Center), which turned into running (all I could do as a single mom was push that punk kid around), which turned into Crossfit and now...body building. Which I adore and love and it's annoying and YES I will talk to you all the time about it if you let me.

But - the one thing that stands out to me about body building is how misunderstood it is.

Ohhhhh....people think it's glamorous. They see the tan and the bikini and the muscles and the stage glam and they think "that is so awesome! I want abs too!"

Oh hunnay. You have NO idea.

In order to achieve success in body building, you have to have discipline. Above all: discipline. To make significant changes to your nutrition, to adhere to timed cardio and strength building, to make tweaks and really learn to listen to your body takes supreme patience and discipline.

That means calculating and weighing food. Timing meals. Adding or subtracting weight. Counting the days and weeks. Consulting with coaches. Rewarding patient husbands. Getting up early. Finishing late. Saying "no" to lunch invites. To Gypsy Joint. Because I would eat their bakery counter.

If you cheat? It shows.

If you mess up? It shows.

It's not unrecoverable. But it shows.

 A little like our faith walk.

Throughout this adventure, discipline has shown me that it's much LESS about what changes I see on the outside. It becomes MORE about what you see changing on the inside. The consistency and discipline has built my character far more than any other sport or activity I've ever known.

Like our faith walk.

1 Peter continues: "Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in."

When we cultivate our heart, when we press and stretch and grow our belief and our faith, a beautiful thing takes shape. And, like bodybuilding, we continue to improve the FRAME on which we take our next step.

When we fix our eyes on Jesus and work on who we are in our hearts, we are better wives. Better mothers. Better friends.

All the Botox in the world can't make you a better wife. (I do wish this were true though because I. LOVE. BOTOX).

All the quick fixes, the 30 day weight losses, the detox cleanses, the juices and pills...can never replace what really works: discipline.

What package are you bringing to the stage this time around for your family, your friends, your Father? Are you ready to buckle down and be a disciplined daughter of Christ? To turn down the temptations?

I promise it's worth it.


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