Tuesday, April 24, 2012


God's provision is sometimes so surprising and humbling!  Last week, I was crying out to God, feeling like He had forgotten me.  But, wait...wait...wait, I'm getting a head of myself.  Let me start over....

Ok.  So, I've written a lot about my weight loss struggles, and I've also shared about my faith.  But, I'm just not sure if I have shared enough about how much God has been growing my faith.  I can't help but think about a year ago, how frozen with fear I was.  How disobedient to my precious Lord I was.  How, "self-sufficient" I thought I was. Y'all, my life has changed.  God is redeeming me.  Step by step, choice by choice, He is redeeming me.

One of the ways He has been asking me to be obedient is in my finances.  Now, whether we like it or not, one of the great spiritual disciplines God asks us to commit to is to tithe.  When David and I were first married, we were good little tithers.  We were committed to giving whenever we could.  I look back and I'm amazed at the faith we used to have to give rather large amounts, when the income we had coming in was a rather smallish amount.  And somehow, as we've grown "older and wiser" giving became harder and harder.  Simply put, we began seeking our will, buying what we wanted, when we wanted, by whatever means was necessary (including racking up a sizable credit card debt).  I am ashamed at how we've lived our financial life the last two years especially.

The Bible is very clear when we are not giving to God, and when we are pursuing our own interests, and earthly treasures that we are robbing God.  I was robbing God.  And, as I've realized that awful truth, I just began wanting to give everything back to God that I could.  I felt so sorry.  (Even now, Lord, I hope you know how badly I feel, and how sorry I still am.)  But, I can not control what I've done in the last two years.  I CAN control what I do now.  And I'm so thankful for God's forgiveness and His redemption!  And for the last four months, I have been trying very hard to give to God what is His, and to even take steps to give to other people whenever I could, whether it's my time, a meal I have cooked, or an encouraging Word.

Well, as April came, things began to get really tight.  I was asking God if maybe He had forgotten the promises to provide for the things we needed.  I was wondering if He knew how much of a sacrifice tithing was at this point in my life (yeah, as if God doesn't know about sacrifice...).  What's worse was that with my 3rd shift weekend job, I would come home Sunday morning, barely awake, get my self prettied up from church, and accidentally leave my money that I sat aside for tithe tucked in my wallet.  It was so tempting to spend that money on our families necessities or to buy a new shirt to fit my shrinking body.  But, I left that money safely tucked where it needed to be until the next week.  And then, I did the same exact thing a second week in a row.  Last week I determined that NO MATTER WHAT I was not going to forget that money!  I was going to give to God what was His and I wasn't looking back...

Until I counted the money.  It was a little more than I had anticipated.  I still think maybe an extra bill got stuck in there somehow, because I know how much I make, and that did not add up to 10% of what I had made the the last three weeks.  But, I figured if that money had ended up in my tithing wallet, safely tucked away, well, I guess it belonged to God.  But, as I thought about the amount I realized it was the remaining amount that I needed to pay for my summer bootcamp that I so badly wanted (and needed) to join.

I went back and forth in my mind...but I knew in my heart, I just needed to suck it up and somehow I would pick up some extra hours to pay for bootcamp.  I had enough of robbing God and wasn't about to start again.  Well, after church that day, David started talking about how our water bill would have to be paid out of my paycheck, along with a couple "small" medical bills.  Well, there went that plan to pay for bootcamp.

So, anyways, enough lamenting over those crazy money troubles.  I figured bootcamp may have to wait a month longer than I had anticipated.  I was sad, but knew that was the reality of our life right now.  UNTIL...I walked into Bible study.  My dear sweet friend Barb handed me an envelope.  It had a sweet note tucked in there that really encouraged me AND it had the exact amount of money I needed for bootcamp...also the same exact amount of money I had tithed last weekend.  HOW AMAZING!!! COINCIDENCE?!? NO WAY!!!

I just do not know how people can not believe that God exists!  His provision!  His mercy!  His forgiveness!  The friends He gives us!  I hugged her so hard, and I still feel bad about hugging her because I had just worked out so hard, and I'm sure I was a bit "ripe!"  But, how grateful I am that she followed God's leading!  And how excited I am to be encouraged to listen to God's leading for how I can give too!  It's just so amazing!  I'm so encouraged!  I feel like God is telling me I just need to keep being faithful..whether it's in giving, or losing weight, or just daily disciplines of my faith.  

So, what do I hope you get from reading this?  First, if you are not a Christian, please know that God sacrificed everything for you!  Jesus died on a cross to pay for my sins and yours.  If you want to know more about that, please email me at rosieflo@yahoo.com.  I LOVE telling people about how precious they are to the God of this universe.  Secondly, if you have already begun a faith journey with God, and haven't committed to the discipline of tithing, can I encourage you to start?  It's awesome to surrender "our" possessions to God!  What a way to live out your faith!  And maybe you are already doing that...well, just listen to God, and be faithful to His calling.  I have so much growing to do in this area, but let me tell you, I'm loving what I am seeing as I grow closer to Christ through obedience.

And, as for bootcamp...I plan to start May 14th.  Between a "scholarship" from my sweet cousin Marcey and Barb's gift, bootcamp is not the financial strain I thought it would be, and I can focus on "MELTING AWAY!" I'm sure I will be giving many updates about progress, as I anticipate it being a very lucrative time for weightloss and obedience as well!

As always, thanks for reading!
Sarah Rose

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I finished last...

The moment I opened my eyes today, I remembered this is a big day.  I was actually a bit hesitant to get up and put my exercising pig tails in.   As I put on my pretty pink running socks, I wondered if I was making a mistake.  As I sipped my protein shake, I prayed that today would not be public humiliation.  As I scribble Scripture on an index card, I begged God to let His words sustain me.

Today was the Thunder Run 5K.  Thankfully, for me, they had a 2 mile walker option.  But, even with the modified course, I was hesitant to sign up.  I wanted to do this.  To accomplish something I hadn't before.  I can "mosey" 2 miles and do ok.  But, there is something about  competing in a race, and finishing last, if I finish at all, that brings back all these terrible high school memories of me not being able to finish the mile for the physical fitness test.  But, with the support of my friends from church, and my amazing husband, I decided to go for it.

It was not long into the race when I realized that things did not look good.  By the time I was a 1/4 done with the race, I was far behind anyone else.  At the 1/2 way point, I could no longer see another race participant.  It was about that time that I began to sob.  My muscles hurt, and I couldn't  believe I had only done a mile.  I was all by myself, and I felt despair.  

I clung to the Bible verses that I had written down earlier.  "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." I prayed verses back to God from Psalm 51 and asked him to give me a steadfast spirit, and to remind me of the joy of salvation through this.  I even one time said outloud, "Ok, God, You are my Walking Buddy."  

As I had to stop and stretch out my muscles that were cramping, I was feeling like I was going to vomit.  I did my best to rely on God, to not cry too hard, and to be proud that I made it over half way, and that each step made me closer to the finish line.  

As I turned a corner, I noticed another person walking towards me.  It was my friend Crystal.  She did an amazing job, and finished the race in 22:10!  She came back to finish the race with me.  I saw her and just began crying because I was so embarrassed, but yet so relieved to have another person to walk with. As we continued, my friends Brian and Bethany appeared as well.  Would you believe they came and walked with us too?  

I felt so supported.  As we began the downhill trek to the finish line, Cameron, Tenae, and Paula all showed up to cheer me on for the last few minutes of the race.  I was just overwhelmed by the love and support I saw.  Then, when the finish line came into sight, I could see David and Daren gathering a few people to bring to the finish line so I would have a cheering section as I crossed.  I couldn't help but sob with relief, excitement and the overwhelming sense of love I had from my friends.  People were cheering and clapping as I RAN to the finish line.  My friend Misty has a young boy Logan, who I think is 6, who handed me a cold bottle of water.  I remember hugging so many people, but the ones I remember most are David, who just held me for a few minutes after I finished, and then Cameron, who I think was crying just about as much as I was, and Lynette, who when she hugged me, made me feel like I had won first place.  Oh, what an amazing feeling.

As I reflect on this day, there is a lot that floods my mind.  The first is, I finished last in this race.  But, I finished!  And I improved a lot.  My personal best for 2 miles before this was 55 minutes.  This time I finished at 49:53 (The clock said 50:53, but walkers started 1 minute late!).  The next thing is, not everyone can say they have an entire brigade of people WALKING WITH and CHEERING FOR them.  I am so blessed to have the people in my life that I do.  

All I can think about is a verse I had written on my card this morning.  Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  How awesome does this verse describe this race, and my journey with weight loss all together?

The humiliation of finishing last (like not just kind of last, but so far back in last place that they would have never know I was coming, without people telling them)  could have been terrible.  I could have wanted to crawl in a hole and die.  But, I actually forgot for a second I was last, the way my friends were at the finish line, cheering me on, supporting me.  

I could never accomplish the things I have without the support of the people God gave me.  What an amazing and humbling day.  To God be the glory...for my friends, for my perseverance, and for my victory...even if I did get last place!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I'm feeling very inspired this evening!
I think it is because I made those goals.  There is something about having a concrete plan on how to achieve your goals that makes them so within reach. 
I was so excited and encouraged today by my progress on the scale that I allowed myself to start dreaming about goals and rewards.  I hope you don't mind my "notes" on my goal weights and the rewards that are connected to them.

Okay, as of today I weight 328.4 (that's 31.6 lbs lost, if you are counting!).

325: Exercise ball (to do P90x)...and this will be the day I've lost a "full Lydia!"
324: This is my first 10%, meaning I will officially have lost 10% of my body weight!!!  David will be planning a special reward!
320: (I hope to be here by May 17th) 40 lbs!! I will be getting a new dress and shoes!
318: This will be the day I've lost a "full Micah".   No reward, just kind of cool!
315: A day all to myself!
310: 50 lbs!!! (Hope to be here by June 15th) David will be planning a special celebration!
305: Some sort of fitness reward
300: 60 lbs lost! This is an overnight date  reward. 
299: UNDER 300!!!  That will be reward enough!  I want to be this weight by July 19th.  

I have a lot of other exciting goals in mind, including a big party when I hit 100 lbs lost.  I love being with my friends, so what better way to celebrate?  I also hope to have a food collection, and donate at least 100 lbs of food to the food pantry at Crossroads Community Church for that!  

It's hard to let myself dream so big.  It actually creates some anxiety in me, I think mostly about failure.  But, I have to remind myself that really it comes back to making good choices each day. Reading the Word, seeking God, doing consistent cardio, journaling my food, strength training...all those "little" things are going to make those big goals happen.  

Last night, during a study of Ephesians 5, I read that we are to "Be Imitators of God."  We are to try and replicate what God does.  God is so faithful.  He is consistent.  He's not moody.  He remains committed to His plans.  He knows what His ultimate point is.  I want to imitate God that way.  Whether it is in weight loss, relationships, or service.  And I can not tell myself enough that faithfulness is indeed long term, but once again, it occurs in the day to day choices we make!

Someday, when I get to Heaven, how amazing it will be to hear "Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant!" 

Monday, April 9, 2012


It is the best of time, sometimes, in the midst of the worst of times.

So, my big bump in the road has come.  I'm feeling my determination wane off.  I'm losing my resolve.

Actually, let me rephrase that...My determination WAS waning off....My resolve WAS lost.

About 1 hour ago, I officially decided not to let it stay that way.  So, despite my probable diagnosis of pneumonia, I hopped on my new recumbent bike, and pedaled my way to 5 miles in 23 minutes, on level 4.

While I was pedaling, I tried to pull some Bible verses up in my head for encouragement.  Between exhaustion, medication fogginess, and lack of time in the word, nothing really "popped up" during that time.  But, I had a quiet whisper from my heart to ask the Lord for strength, and He sustained me.

I also did a few reps with the stretchy bands and then I did some stretches myself.

The last few weeks have been overwhelming for me.  I've been attempting to do an online Bible study called "An Untroubled Heart."  I have felt so emotionally stunted reading this book.  I have so many things that I struggle giving over to God, so I don't dwell on them.  I'm trying to find a way to continue on studying it (since it is obviously something I need to work on) without feeling so down on myself.  I need to bathe that study in prayer more.

So, my mind has been on overload.  It's been intense.  But, one of the things I'm working on right now is to set goals.  I have been doing very well at meeting goals that I set for myself, even weight wise.  So, tonight, I want to start with a few bigger goals, and a few smaller goals that will help me achieve those bigger goals.

Big goal #1.  I would love to be 299 by July 20th.  I'm in a wedding on that day, and I'm nervous about it.  I would love to feel confident and smaller by being in the 200's! :)

Big goal #2.  I would love to be 320 or below by May 17th.  That's about 12 pounds this month.  I can so do that!  That would put me at my lowest weight ever for attending MOPS.  I've always been 330 or above since I've been at MOPS, and I think sometime last year I may have been 327 for a few days, and that may have fell on a MOPS meeting, but to be below 320 would be wonderful!

My small goals are not really small at all, since that is what is going to be the catalyst for me to achieve the big goals.  But, for now, these are going to be just for this week.

#1.  Do my FPFH Bible study every single day and pray about my weight loss journey resolve.
#2.  Plan my food out the night before
#3.  Do 30 miles on my bike this week
#4.  Walk 5 miles this week.
#5.  Do a little bit of toning every single day.

I think those 5 small goals this week will help me be very productive.

Oh, and here are some victories that I would like to report!
#1.  My Easter dress actually fit!  My friend Cameron came over to help me try it on, since I couldn't even muster the nerve to try it, just in case it did not fit.
#2.  I got my 30# reward...a new shower head!  It seems silly, but what a functional gift for an exercising gal! :)
#3.  I AM NOT GIVING UP!!!  I may have had a few shaky days there.  But, I'm back doing the right thing! :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I love writing on my blog.
I love writing praises to God.  About the way He has blessed me.  About the ways I chose to be obedient.  About the exciting things happening in my life.  I love sharing energy, and joy, and all things happy...

That's why, when I'm not feeling quite so jolly, or quite so victorious, I tend to back off from sharing my writing.  

It's not that anything is particularly wrong.  It's that I'm tired.  Even tired in a good way.   It seems that every last drop of my life is under construction.  My relationship with the Lord, my relationship with my husband, the way we are raising our children, our finances, my weight loss, the way I'm to be serving, even the chore list at our house...the list goes on and on.

I'm honored that God is willing to guide me and change me.  I'm thrilled that I'm been tested and stretched to become a bit more "heaven worthy."  I actually enjoy knowing that God is growing me.

But, this week, it's been intense.  And I haven't exactly felt my chipper self in the quiet times.  I've cried alot.  I've sinned alot.  I've prayed alot.  But, still, I'm not sure exactly how to internalize everything.

But, I'm still clinging to the promises of God.  This week is a bit of a respite week for me.  My work load is a day lighter than normal, and my children have a couple "field trips" with loved ones this week, to give me a little down time.  I hope to spend lots of time doing lots of writing and positive reflections for you over the week, but for the last few days I needed a rest.

Your prayers would be extremely valuable to me at this point.  I need His strength to continue to be a faithful to service, his plan for me, and the hope of someday conquering what feels like an "unaccomplishable" plan.