Tuesday, September 7, 2010

a FABULOUS example

OK, I have to say it: Mandisa is FABULOUS! Of course, I knew she would be, even in person. Beautiful from head to toe. Beautiful face, beautiful voice, beautiful personality. Did I mention the incredible VOICE? Seriously, I'm still not over the fact that she was robbed of the title on Season 5 of American Idol. I know, I know...she's moved on, I should as well. STILL, come on! Besides the out-of-this-world talent that is Mandisa, I'm so glad she embraces her curves. Yes, she's been on quite the weight-loss journey. But, watching her boogie down on stage this past Sunday evening was such an encouragement to me. As someone who's struggled with weight the majority of her adult life, it was like watching a soul-sister on stage. No, I don't mean soul like Aretha. I just felt an inner connection. (I'm sure she completely felt the same way. At least, that's what I've really enjoyed telling myself over the last couple of days.) Seeing this awesome woman shake, shimmy, and dance with reckless abandon, as an expression of the true joy she has in Jesus, was inspiring. She's an example of the FABULOUS woman I'm striving to become, because I know her dancing really did come from that place of joy in spite of her current shape. Watching her, I found my mind rewinding back to the interview Jeremy and I had the privilege to record earlier in the week as promotion for Sunday night's concert at Northminster Presbyterian in Peoria. I remembered her saying the only time it's tough to talk about her quest toward losing 100 pounds is when it's not going well. And, she added, it hasn't been going well the last couple of months. Haven't we all been there? I'M WITH YOU, MANDISA! And, for you to get up there with such grace, zeal, and rhythm, regardless of your disappointment in that one certain area, well...WOW! I could use just a drop of that self confidence as I've also faced disappointment in recent months. It was so frustrating to have my already-way-skinnier-than-me husband carry me through the 91.5 WCIC Biggest Loser: Summer Weight Loss Challenge this past May and June. Over 5 1/2 weeks I struggled to lose a mere 7 pounds. REALLY? Only SEVEN POUNDS? Argh! And, guess what? I've found those 7 pounds. Turns out they didn't go far, and they've brought a few friends home to visit. Isn't that great? Yep, it is SO frustrating. Watching Mandisa this weekend was a reminder that I'm not alone. I have a fellow traveler on this voyage to good health. And she can DANCE! So, Mandisa, whether you lose 100 pounds or gain it, please never stop doing the boogie thing for Jesus! And another thing, on those days when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror during my Body Pump class and think, "Wow, am I really THAT big?"; you continue to provide inspiration. You're FABULOUS and you've reminded me that I can be, too, no matter what size jeans I currently wear! Thank you for that. And, for being my new BFF! Literally, you rock!


  1. Jill-
    I can't tell you what an encouragement your blog was to me! I know that we are not alone on this journey. I meet so many sisters (and occasionally some brothers) that are fighting this battle right along with us. Sometimes it helps to know we're not alone! It was great meeting you last week. Next time, you're coming up on that stage and we'll praise dance and take the shackles off our feet together! Love you BFF,

  2. I continue to love you blog Jill! And I wanted to share I was able to go see Mandisa in concert
    and believe that if there had been a roof above her stage, well the energy may have blown it off.
    Under all that music and energy I could feel her joy as well.
    I can't sing ,but I sure was doing some dance moves that night. My prayer is that the "joy" we all experience when we know who we are in the Lord can be seen by those who need it most around us.
    When they can feel and see the difference Jesus has made in our lives, then maybe they too will want in on the "action!"
    We sure all fight body image issues and although mine are not weight at this time, I relate to your struggles. As a woman I know sometimes I need to just shoot to be healthy and whole.
    Thank God through His word I know who I am.
    The song, Perfection is my enemy, well, that sums up how I often have strived to be.
    As I get older I know that's foolishness.
    Audrey Hepburn once wrote, "True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring she lovingly gives,and the passion that she shows."
    My prayer is that by God's grace and prayer I can become that woman of beauty a little more every year. Shackles be gone!

  3. "Mom" - Thank you for your kind and oh-so-wise comments! We all struggle with body image in one way or another. So, let's keep chugging along together in giving it to God and allowing Him to make us excellent (and healthy) for His sake!

    Mandisa...I am so honored to read your comments on my blog. Thanks so much for stopping by and please visit often. I think you will have a lot of wisdom and stories to share if you have the time. And, of course, I always love to hear from my new BFF. ;)