Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Frocky Horror Picture Show

So now that the fat cat's out of the bag,
 I have some yakking to do.

I kind of want to yak about that picture, you know the one... the one of the repentant drama queen in the blue frock. The one that had me so horrified that I actually considered closing down the blog rather than put it on here.


So why was I so horrified? I mean, I'm not a vampire or anything. We do have mirrors in our house, and I've actually seen my reflection a time or two. How could I be so ignorant?

Because I don't like to step on one of these.

It's true. Decades ago, I heard someone, probably Oprah, yakking all about breaking free from the tyranny of the scale... how we shouldn't be slaves to some silly old number...   how it's all about how your clothes fit... how you feel about yourself...  The scale? Well, that's just an archaic invention of man to terrorize woman.

I'm pretty sure she followed it with a segment on buying clothes to flatter your frame.  

Therefore, that's exactly what I do.  I buy clothes to flatter my frame, and I judge how bad the weight gain is by how well those clothes fit.

But there's a catch.  Clothes can stretch.
And s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

The cheaper they are, the better they stretch, and when you are a perpetual dieter and a cheapskate to boot, you generally buy the cheaper ones. I buy Kim Rogers slacks from my local Belk store. For $29.99, Kim will flatter my frame. Even better, she will stretch to accommodate future growth.

Kim is very gracious that way.

And so they stretch quite well over my rumpus. When they stop stretching? Well, that's due to dryer shrinkage of course. The fact that I line dry my Kims is irrelevant. If they shrink, they shrink. Who am I to argue?  And anyway, any pants that can't endure a little heat now and then must not have been very good to begin with. They need to be replaced.

And that's when I have the crisis.

Aside from an unfortunate Kodak incident, most of my meltdown moments happen in the dressing room. New clothes, you see, are not gracious at all. They are mockers. You reach for the size that you're supposed to be wearing, and they magically shrivel, right before your very eyes.

I don't know what you do when this happens, but I generally console myself with a smoothie. Then, after a salad supper, I wake up the next morning, strip down to the birthday suit, close one eye, and step on the scale.

And then, I turn into Jane Fonda (minus all that communist stuff).

Wouldn't it be easier, and certainly healthier,  just to gut up to it and step on that scale on a regular basis? Oh sure, the news won't always be pleasant, but it will always be true. 

The scale doesn't lie. It doesn't give empty flattery or grant absolution when none is warranted. Its numbers are never out of style. 130 is 130 yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

(True, it's a lot more yesterday than today, but I'm believing for tomorrow.)

But here's the thing.

This post isn't actually about the weight problem at all.
I just lured you in for the sermon. I'm sneaky like that.

It's about a delusion of another sort, and one that is so much more important than the Michelin around our middles.  It's the delusion of the spirit. 

You see, God has a scale too. He has, as he says in Amos, a plumb line, and it's His Word.

The Word of God is the only true measure of our spiritual fitness, and we don't need some Oprahfied spirituality to tell us any differently.

Don't be a slave to the tyranny of the Word, they will say.

Oh, they won't phrase it exactly like that, but that's exactly what they mean.

That's what they mean when they give you any alternate measure. That's what they mean when they tell you to weigh yourself in the balance of feelings, that the Word of God is just an archaic invention of man.

And the people eat it right up. They have since the beginning.  There are folks out there who try on church after church and faith after faith just to find the one that best flatters their frame. 

They have no intention of changing said frame. It's their frame, after all.  It's who they are and who they want to be, right down to the very bone.

I'll give you this one for free:  Anyone who tells you to step away from God's Scale and flatter your frame doesn't really love you. They're the fat friend who wants you to be fat too. Misery, as they say,  loves company.

God isn't in the business of flattering our frames and stretching elastic truth over our ever-expanding flesh. He's in the business of transforming us into His image. He whittles away our flesh, inch by inch and pound by  pound until we are his very likeness. Isn't that infinitely more beautiful?

Yeah, I think so too.

So go ahead. Step on God's scale. Oh sure, the news won't always be pleasant, but it will always be true.

As for me, I'll be back to yak all about that other exercise equipment later in the week. Right now, I have some celery sticks to gnaw and sit ups to do.


ellen b. said...

Loved this post Debbie! Thanks for sharing it with us. "God isn't in the business of flattering our frames and stretching elastic truth over our ever-expanding flesh." Love that whole true!

Sonja said...

oh amen sister!! Amen to all of it, the bathroom scale, and God's scale. I'm right there with you on this one. And the bathroom scale is the one I'm committed to changing during these days before summer.

I have to agree about the dressing rooms!! It's brutal!! So go eat your celery and I'll eat my cherry tomatoes, and we WILL win this battle. :)

Babs said...

Great post. God's scale is absolutely the true measure.
The bathroom scale?..well,I keep saying over and over,"the bathroom scale is my friend"...ha!..some friend. :)

Tracy said...

What a great post Debbie...well, I'm certain if I stepped on God's scale it would say I have some work to do...glad He's there for me!

Barbara F. said...

I actually weigh less on my doctor's scale (with clothes) than I do on my own scale (without), so I don't bother too much. I know by how I am feeling and energy level, and yep, if both are down, weight went up! Losing (not in the right way) battle for me. :/

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

WOOOOOO .... two subjects on my mind as well ! Okay so I wrote this long thing and came back and erased it :) Let's just say I wholly agree with you !

Debbie said...

Oh this was a great post Debbie, and I just couldn't agree more. If only women could gather the same enthusiam for God's scale, as for that bathroom one. I am afraid we have as many ways of trying to cheat or fix or avoid God's scale as we do the other. And who do we really fool is the question? As for the dressing, how I despise that place...sigh. Measuring out veggies and portions over here too! Hope you had a good day!

Carol said...

Very, very good post, Debbie. I'm thinking on it.

Chatty Crone said...

You got me - I was all there with you in the weight loss department.

Okay this was a great post.

My favorite sentence is:

"So go ahead. Step on God's scale. Oh sure, the news won't always be pleasant, but it will always be true."

Love, sandie

Mevely317 said...

Every time I tell you, "THIS is my favorite post!" ... here comes another! This analogy is soooo good!

Personally, I'm sooo glad what you write is complimentary, 'cause I'd probably go broke buying your books - LOL!

Debbiedoo's said...

Funny Deb...I was just thinking today how I have not stepped on my scale in about two months. I think because I am afraid too. I am going to though tomorrow...tomorrow and starting from there on in at least a few times a week to keep in check. I used to be so good about it, but blogging has made me very sedentary, and I think I am in denial. thank you for the eye opener. YES misery does love company too LOL!

Gaby said...

First of all, I love a good trick and you surprised me! Second, I love the comparison. It really got me thinking today all day. And all I thought about while reading was: "you go, girl!" and "preach it, sister!"

elizabeth said...

A great way to share the truth my friend! A great post!

Amy Kinser said...

My friend, I love how God uses you to turn things like this into teaching moments.

Sooner Laura said...

Beautiful and quite right! I've been fighting with that aversion to the scale for the last 12 years. I am thankful God looks on the inward appearance, but I know he expects me to take good care of my physical body too. I just keep nibbling on veggies and my clothes continue to shrink.

Sooner Laura said...

Beautiful and quite right! I've been fighting with that aversion to the scale for the last 12 years. I am thankful God looks on the inward appearance, but I know he expects me to take good care of my physical body too. I just keep nibbling on veggies and my clothes continue to shrink.

Miss Stella said...

Perfection in a post, milady! This was wonderful - belly laughs and pumping fists as I am totally on the same page with you in this! Love the analogy!! Great sermon!! So wonderful the next time I'm talking to an Oprah frame flatterer.

Been getting on that scale, too - and got some work to do!!

FrouFrouBritches said...

Have I mentioned that I think you are completely brilliant? Sneaky too, but definitely brilliant! Awesome post! You totally lured me I with the scale. Good thing too since I didn't go to. Birch tonight. Love your comparisons too! Awesome! So glad you're my friend!

Sue said...

Amen sister! Both scales are hard to face sometimes. But, thank God, His scale comes with grace.

The Decorative Dreamer said...

What??? So not only is God going to judge us, but he is going to weigh us too? :))) I am in serious trouble now! LOL!

I am not sure what prompted this post but you are so right and I love the idea of God's word being like a scale. I've often thought of the Word as a great "help" and "teacher" for us to do self balance checks. Unfortunately the reflection I see is often not any better then the one in the mirror. I am afraid I am quite lumpy my friend!

I had to go back to catch up on your last post and see what you were talking about with you personally. I honestly think you are just beautiful...inside and out! I bet you were a hit and quite interesting to listen too as well! Many Hugs from one your Nosey Nellie friends :)))

renee @ Singing With Birds said...

Now I'm feeling really guilty about that Key Lime Pie during your, "trying so hard week." The secret is in the first couple of bites, after that it's all downhill for me. A weigh-in every day or so is essential regardless of what the experts say.

When it comes to God's scale, I'm sure you are right where He'd like to be, weighing in as a devoted wife, mother, daughter, and friend. You are serving and teaching in your church, and living as Christ would have you do.

Our challenge, to try to better ourselves a little more each day. I truly appreciate everything I feel from you. You are beautiful inside and out.

Denise said...

I really love this post.

Lynn Richards said...

Oooh, girl, weight loss IS a spiritual journey. Acceptance, nurturing ourselves, seeing what God sees....and accepts anyway. It's all there. It's a daily challenge in this twisted world. Something tells me you are up for that challenge and we will learn a lot from you!!!

Kathleen said...

You have given me food for thought here. Oh, and the blue dress looked just great on your frame to me! Perhaps your earthly scales are a bit out of flunter? It happens you know, mine are never right!

Joan said...

I've been guilty of not stepping on God's scale. And when I don't it's easy to become anorexic. (Something I've NEVER had a problem with physically.)

Great post!

xinex said...

Amen to that! I hate my scale too, it is showing 10 lbs more for the last 3 months......Christine

Denise said...

Oh sister, what a terrific post. You have such a way with words and you drew me in hook, line, and sinker. I think most of us could use some self evaluation about our weightiness with our God. I know I do and I for one do not want to be found lacking. I need to pump up with more of the Word of God and work out more in my prayer life. Thanks so much for the push toward ALL kinds of exercise.

Dayle @ A Collection of This and That said...

You hit the proverbial nail on the head, my friend. The Word of God is unchanging and doesn't always fit with our desires or plans, but it's always truth, and is the final measuring stick. Thanks for this reminder.

As for those scales, I've made friends with mine in recent years. Not because I always like what they show, but because if I step on them daily (or at least weekly), they help steer me in the direction I need to go. It's a love/hate relationship, for sure.

At The Picket Fence said...

Amen and Amen again!! This is such an awesome post Debbie and my hubby and I were literally just talking about this a few days ago. The whole watering down of Scripture (or worse yet, omitting of Scripture!) to fit how we want to feel about things. Thank you so much for this wonderful truth-filled post!! :-)

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Preach it, Sister! Just last night I had the awesome opportunity to attend a Ricky Skaggs concert. It was a "just him, no band" sit-down, and he shared about his faith -- with a few songs thrown in. How clearly he spoke Truth without any measure of watering it down. How our churches need more of that Truth -- no matter how hard it is to hear. Thank you, my friend, for this heart-felt speaking of Truth today.

Crickit said...

You Go Girl! Great post indeed. Our spiritual scale is of much more importance. This is a great challenge to us all.

Blessings to you!

Sarah (Nikki) said...

Sitting in the airport reading this and loved the message and the analogy. Right on Debbie....thank you

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

What a great analogy with the scales! You are so good at that!


Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Amen and goes right with my "reality check" God has me high mileage maintenance check...the spiritual first!! You always say it better...I think I will wait for you to write and just copy paste!!

I hate the scale, but I also know my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I need to clean order to be able to do all He has called me to do

Jennie said...

I'm so glad you lured me in! :) This is a fabulous post. Convicting, for sure. And one thing I'm so grateful for in this crazy, mix-up word is the ABSOLUTE plumb line of God's Word. It's nice to know *something* isn't relative!

(P.S. - 130!? HAHAHAHA! Haven't seen that one since middle school. wink, wink)

Sue said...

Scanned some of the other comments, Debbie, and I can't add a thing other than 'YOU preach it Sister". One of the reasons I enjoy blogging so much is having Christian women like you who love God and want to share of this love, and encourage women like me, by telling us we can make it, just step on that scale and take a good hard look, and let God whittle away.
Thank you for your obedience to Him.

Sharon said...

Debbie, this may have been my favorite post of all. It was all the things that I LOVE about you - laugh-out-loud humor, truth spoken fearlessly, and a pause-and-reflect moment on our relationship with the Almighty.

Love, love, loved it.

Yes, God's scale is tough, but always true. We can trust Him to keep us *in shape* - and we know that all He does is for our good - whether it fits comfortably at first or not.

Have you ever heard of spiritual Spanx? I think Satan invented it...

Great writing, friend.

Nezzy said...

It depends on where I sit my scale on the floor to how much I weigh...I think after almost 40 years I need a new scale! Heeheehehe!!!

It's the clothes baby. I used to be able to judge by my jeans but now they all stretch. A downfall in my opinion! 'Just sayin'...

I love the way you twisted this beautiful post right into The Word sweetie...great curve ball!!!

God bless ya and have a fantastic weekend my friend! :o)

Canadagirl said...

Very well said! And a good reminder...said in the same breath. Thank you from not shrinking back and saying as it is. I will have to gnaw on come celery sticks while I gnaw on these words. [o;

Blessings and ((HUGS))

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Debbie, I'm still waiting on the publication of your words of wisdom book. You know how to make a statement; tune us into the Word of God; make us laugh; and make us remember...all in one wonderful post! I love it! You are brilliant. I need to be checking out both kinds of scales in my life. laurie


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