When Will Parker courts Ado Annie in the musical “Oklahoma!,” he wants to make sure she’s stopped fantasizing about a traveling peddler and is ready to be all in with him. The flirtatious back-and-forth in the song is great fun, and the chorus lingers long after you leave the theater. “With me it’s all er nuthin’. Is it all er nuthin’ with you?” Will sings.
Well, I’m all in with my husband and our thirty-year marriage. No question there. But Will’s question seems to apply to the rest of my life. I’ve discovered in my 71 years that either I’m disciplined in my eating, my exercise, my work and my spiritual life, or I’m not disciplined in any area at all. With me it’s all er nuthin’.
It’s the New Year. I don’t do resolutions, but I do have goals. Resolutions seem too daunting; goals seem more manageable because they can be broken down into bite-sized bits. And since we’ve mentioned bite-sized, let’s go ahead and discuss the bane of most women over 40—the diet! I was such a skinny little girl I was always being dragged to the doctor to make sure I wasn’t anemic, sick, or disappearing. That all changed when I turned 40, my first time to go to Weight Watchers, and became a very distant memory after 50. All I want to know is, how old do you have to be before you get to be a wizened old lady?
Anyone remember the grapefruit diet in the ‘80s? How about the cabbage soup diet? Evidently women today are just as gullible as we were back then, because there is no shortage of fad diets, “magic” weight loss pills, and eating plans on the market. Each time one disappoints, I hear my mom saying, “Moderation in all things.” (That works for me as long as I’m less than moderate with carbs.) No matter what the covers of magazines promise, the only solution is to eat less and move more. Find an eating plan that works for you and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to try whatever works for others! (Studies show Weight Watchers is still the safest, healthiest, most effective plan overall.)
So that’s handled. How about the “move more” advice? The key is to find something you really enjoy—and DO it! I can’t imagine how ginormous I would be if I stopped exercising, but I’ve done many different things over the years. I jogged three miles every morning until I decided I’d rather finish life with my own knees, so I started walking instead and still love to walk. For many years I also went to Curves, a fitness circuit with resistance training. Then I developed a heel problem and was surprised to learn how much I loved substituting swimming laps for anything load bearing.
Now? I’m a full-fledged Zumba grandma! Every time I leave a Zumba class at the Y I feel like a dancer. I’m exercised all over, and the music has put me in a better mood than I was in when I arrived. But to get that feeling, I have to GO, right? Simple. But it means saying no to lunch with friends on those days. Bummer? Not when you focus on the results.
And then there’s work. I haven’t had a dedicated writing schedule since my last book came out almost three years ago—and we moved at the same time. But now I have, wait for it, actual assignments! I know what to do, I just have to do it. I have to set mini-deadlines for myself that I hold so seriously that I tell myself that if I miss a deadline a vicious bear will come through my office window and eat me. Or my cat. Either way, I can’t miss a deadline. All er nuthin’.
And finally, spiritual discipline. I won’t be able to stick to any of the above if I ever abandon my morning quiet time with the Lord. That’s the one thing that has held steady through all the wishy-washiness of the last few years. (See the blog “Molly the Quiet Time Cat” on my website from years ago. Even she knew I needed this!) The Christian life is a life of full surrender. What follows turning your life over to the Lord? Grace, mercy, peace, and the blessings that flow from obedience. “I surrender all,” the old hymn says. Once we do, the power of the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to be disciplined in all areas of our lives if we will only tap into it. Then we can live with purpose, and reap the benefits for ourselves and others.
This blog post is a pep talk to myself for 2019. But what about you? “With me it’s all er nuthin’. Is it all er nuthin’ with you?”
Ruth Axtell says
Thanks for the inspiration to do better. I agree with you, the one thing I cannot miss is my morning daily devotional time I set aside to spend time reading the Bible and having a talk with my Lord and Savior. It actually saves the day.
Thank you, Ruth. Fortunately, the Lord is always there whenever we show up, huh?
Jimmie Bohannon says
Nancy, Happy Birthday!!
This is your best yet!! You have inspired me to do more of what I know I should do!!
You are right, we can’t forget the time with God every day!
Praying you find productive ways to fill you time in this waiting period! Love you.
Elizabeth H. Van Liere says
A wizened old lady? You don’t sound like it. I think the description fits me perfectly. If I can sit in my Lazy Girl chair and read I am more than happy. I still get these fantastic thoughts for devotions and say to myself “Tomorrow.” Reading what someone on Facebook said sounded great to me: “What word do you have for me for 2019, Lord?” I tried it and the word, “Rest” came to mind. Perfect.
But then a close friend, like you just did, spoiled it. She said I wasn’t listening to the Holy Spirit and should sit down and put my thoughts on paper. So, feeling like I was getting a tooth pulled (no longer possible), I looked up Upper Room requirements and got to work. We’ll see if I am heading in the right direction or if I can go back to my book. ….Before I forget, have a God-blessed Happy Birthday, Nancy.
I’m not one yet but wouldn’t mind losing some weight, Betty! Hope you are well.
alice scott-ferguson says
you got it…ALL!
great writing that grabs us where we are at!
Thanks, Alice! We have to keep chugging along, huh?
Jan Keller says
Thanks Nancy! <3
You’re welcome! 🙂
Sandy Glynn says
Happy New Year to all. Your words put a smile on my face and a song in my heart (funny how that song sounds a lot like Oklahoma) I am in the middle of Cyndy Sherwood’s healing journey class. Talk about an all er nuthin kind of class! But I am growing and learning more about me then I have in a long times. I am sometimes overwhelmed, but grateful for the wonderful teachers God has put in front of me, and you Nancy are one of them. I so enjoy your writing. It gives me cause to ponder, it gives me insight, and it gives me direction. I don’t often speak up, but today I wanted to say thank you.
Thank you so much, Sandy, and I’m so glad you’re doing Healing Journey. It’s definitely powerful! Hugs.
Beth Lueders says
THANK YOU, Nancy. I love your wise words and inspiring nudges on being all ‘er nuthin’ in these essential areas of our life. You inspire me to keep at the daily life maintenance things and the bigger dream goals God puts on my heart. Now about associating your writing deadlines with a vicious bear, hhmmm, well, I just my ical. 🙂
Thanks, Beth! And thank you for all the ways you always motivate ME!
Eileen Somers says
Thank you dear friend and keep the words of wisdom coming. It always helps to be reminded of whats important, worrying about the scale or beginning the day with the Lord, and turning the scale over to Him with a grateful heart.
Happy Birthday on the 20th!
Thanks, Eileen! And thanks for reading the blog!