You Get To Choose

Last night my Pastor’s niece went home to be with the Lord. It was unexpected and yet it wasn’t. Unexpected for the world and her husband and 4 daughters, but not unexpected for God. His Word says He knows our beginning from our end…basically He knows our birth, our death, and everything in between.
I sat in shock this morning as I learned the news. Devastated, as it brought back memories of the loss of my mother, father, nephew, and so many other loved ones I have lost over the years. As common as death is, you never expect the last time you see someone or talk with someone will actually be THE last time.
As I drove home from work,I listened to one of her many talks on YouTube and she said something that really stuck out to me. She grew up in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland in a single parent household. She said it was drug and gang infested and yet her mother was adamant that God was taught, known, and served in their home. She could have grown up and perpetuated the generational curses that plagued her family, she could have not believed in a big God. Instead she realized that she was privileged to live and be the one to break generational curses for the next generation.
As she said that, I realized that I have been wallowing in self pity for an entire year, focusing on what I do NOT have instead of the great things I do have. One of them being the privilege to be the one that breaks the generational curses of divorce, poverty, drug abuse, alcoholism, and so much more from my life and family so that the next generations have a different legacy to live by and for.
We go through our day to day lives and forget that we are not created for self nor is this life we live about self. We were created to worship the creator Himself and to tell others about the one and only Savior who died that we might have life. We were created to give and bring Him glory. We were created to be a light in this dark, dark world.
Cherish every moment you have with those you love. You never know if that last time you say good-bye will actually be the last time you say good-bye. Hug a little tighter and longer. Laugher a little harder. Forgive more quickly. And realize you are privileged to live this life God has given you and you get to choose!

Rest in Heaven Wynter Pitts. Thank you for the example of God’s Girl! I am forever grateful for your life and legacy. Thank you for saying yes to God’s calling on your life. I will continue to keep your husband and daughters in my prayers. We say you are gone too soon and yet God said your job was well done. You truly touched the world and left a mark upon it and His people for His glory!!

Your Why

I mentioned in the previous article that you need to identify your why. Many times we do things because we see others doing it or it’s the new fad.

Dig deep, okay, well maybe not that deep. Why are you wanting to eat differently or try vegan, or change your eating habits, or exercise? What is your why?

I began to keep a journal of my day to day life…I just simply do not do well keeping a food journal. That’s boring to me and time consuming with all the other journaling I do. So I kept a life journal. How I was feeling. What I was feeling. What I did during those feelings. My conclusion was that I had a serious food addiction. I ate when I was happy, sad, depressed, angry, joyful, etc. I was an emotional eater, but I also ate when I was bored. It did not matter if I just ate and was full, I ate until I hurt. I simply ate. I also loved to cook and bake, so anything my heart desired I made it and I ate some more. So fresh baked bread, homemade tortillas, casseroles, cakes, pies, you name it, I made it all from scratch. Went out my back door and gathered fresh eggs, chickens, ducks, goats, lamb, fruits and veggies and we ate…. real good!!!!

And then…My best friend, my father, 62, died on February 2003.
Dead of a heart attack while singing lead to his favorite song in the choir stands at church. He had his first heart attack weeks earlier, but this one he would not survive. He complained about the turkey bacon he was told to eat, the oatmeal, the walking, and so forth. He said he’d rather die full and happy than eat cardboard and mush. He was still so young and so vibrant. And I began to think of his family history….his father and ALL his brothers died of the same thing. One of his sisters suffered over 30 strokes and several heart attacks before dying many years later (she was stubborn). 🙂

So we ate more veggies, but still all the other junk. Not a whole lot changed.

And then… My best friend, my mother, 67, died in December 2009.
Dead of a stroke during surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.
She had tried to make changes in her eating, but still hung on strong to the meats, dairy, butter, and so forth. She too was still so young and so vibrant. And I began to think of her family history….she was a breast cancer survivor, and most in her family died from various forms of cancer.

So I began to take a really hard look at what was the common factor here. And my quest into what we eat and how it makes us sick began. I learned that dying of these diseases is not hereditary. It only becomes a life cycle if we continue to perpetuate all we’ve known all our lives. If Grand mama and them ate xyz and died, they taught mama and them to eat xyz and they died, and now here we are eating xyz….ummmm we will die too. Now I know God has an appointed time for us all to die and we neither know the day nor the hour, let alone the how, but if I can do something in the here and now to live life to the fullest, shouldn’t I at least try?

So watching both my parents die of diseases they MAY have been able to reverse by changing their eating habits was and is my why. But I would digress every now and then because I “missed” this or that so much.

And then…My first nephew, 28, died in March 2014.
Dead of a massive heart attack brought on by undetected high blood pressure and obesity. So young and so much life ahead of him. A new son and a few weeks prior celebrated his daughters 4th birthday.

This is when things kicked into over drive for me and my why became even greater. What if what we are eating IS killing us sooner than our time? What if we are contributing to our death by what we eat? Is it worth it? For me the answer was and still is a resounding NO!!! I became determined to live life to the fullest and enjoy as much as I can. And I don’t mind at all changing what I put in my mouth on a daily basis.

So MY why is to be as healthy as I can and live life as long as I can and to the fullest. In my younger days it was to be skinny and sexy. To have that flat tummy and toned body and wear clothes that hugged my body. As I have matured, my why definitely changed. Over these years I have learned that not necessarily every thing good TO me is good FOR me, and I am grateful I still have the time to make changes and teach others as well.

So now the ball is in your court. What is your why? Why are you on this journey? Is it just about a number? Is it about living a long vibrant life? Is it about reversing diseases? What is YOUR why?

God’s bountiful blessings to you. I’ll see you in the next article. Praying you great success in your journey.

Tasha