Joni B

The very idea.

The Battle


My entire family is morbidly obese.  Heart disease and diabetes run rampant.  I have to constantly fight to stay out of plus sized clothes.  If I drink 8 oz of water, I’m going to gain a pound.  There are many factors that have led to all this.  Perhaps I’ll touch on those as I journey through, but I don’t want this to turn into a blaming game.  I’m a big girl and need to take responsibility for my own actions.  I have gained 10 pounds since November.  Frankly, I just got tired of fighting it.  I got tired of staying on the treadmill.  The TV or a book was much more enticing.  I got tired of saying no to bread and cream filled desserts.  I got tired of eating only half of what was on my plate.  The truth of the matter is I’m undisciplined and spoiled.  I want what I want when I want it.

Today, my sister lays in a hospital bed with a heart attack.  Less than a year ago she had quadruple bypass surgery.  Today, my father’s body is in a grave and my boys don’t have their grandfather.  I won’t be like this.  I must fight it.  Many more that I’ve known and loved now have wasted gifts because they can’t function as God intended.  I include myself in that.  I’m tired.  I’m not the mother, wife or servant that God has called me to be.  I think maybe I’m burying my gifts in food.

I’m going to blog about my journey to weight loss mainly because I need the accountability.  As you read my raw, honest, unmasked journal, please pray for me.  It is my deepest desire to worship God and not food.  I do have an addiction.  I also hope that if you are in this battle with me, you will find some encouragement or something to help spur you on to be the person God created you to be.

Day 1

I finally forced myself on the scale today.  I weigh 139 pounds.  You may not think that’s much.  Keep in mind I’m 5’0 tall and well on my way to being 5’0 wide.  Mainly, I feel anxious, tired, and am disgusted with how I look.  Worthless falls in there somewhere.  I downloaded a new app on my phone.  It’s called C25K.  It’s free.  It says it will train me run a 5k in 8 weeks.  I completed Day 1 today.  I walk for 1 1/2 minutes and run for a minute alternately for 30 minutes.  I DID IT!  I’m a walker not a runner.  I feel good.  My attitude is better, my anxiousness of the day has ceased, and I just feel so much better simply by exercising.

Please pray that I will turn to God to fill the holes in my heart not food and not exercise.  Please pray for my health that I can serve Him and minister to others for all the days He has given me.

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Live Like That


One of my favorite Christian bands of all time is a fairly new band called Sidewalk Prophets.  I do like their music, but more importantly I find them to be real.  It’s easy to get caught up in the fame of it all, but so far I’ve only seen them love Jesus and truly minister to their fans – putting others above themselves.  I have not seen the slightest hint of arrogance, but them living Psalm 115:1.  “Not to us, Oh Lord, not to us.  But to You be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.”  They have a new single out (album is released March 27) called “Live Like That”.  It essentially prompts us to think of the saints in our lives who have made a difference for Jesus — who have shown His love with their life and for us to live like that.  I have been surrounded by those people my entire life.  This all leads up to my blog for today.

Before I say any of this, I want you to know this is only God through me.  This is only Jesus loving others through me and I only blog about it in hopes that you too will get ideas from this and realize the need that is out there.  I’ve prayed, as a result, of  “Live Like That”, for God to show me how to love like He does.  He did give me an idea that was so incredible it could have only come from the Throne Room of Heaven.  Instead of Ron and I going on a date for Valentine’s Day, we invited several widows to dinner with us.  I thought it was a good idea, but I really had no idea what lay ahead.  We made a list and started to call them.  Ron made a big deal about wanting to spend Valentine’s Day with the finest women in Savannah.  The delight in their voices was so fun to hear.  One woman was very composed as she accepted his offer, but started talking to her daughter before she hung up the phone and with great joy said, “Well!  You are never going to believe this!”  Another said, “What are we going to do?”  Ron teasingly said, “I’m going to grill for you all and Joni said something about me jumping out of a cake, but I’m not going to do that.”  Very dryly she replied, “Well, Ron, I hope you’ll reconsider.”  It’s not often someone can get Ron’s goat, but she accomplished it!  We also heard comments like this “Just that you called means everything.  My phone doesn’t ring very often anymore.  Sometimes I call myself just to see if it still works.”  “It’s been a long time since a man has asked me to dinner.”  I had the pleasure of seeing one woman face to face when we asked her.  She lit up like a light bulb!  There was almost a look of relief on her face.

They all came to dinner.  I stayed in the kitchen and cooked.  Ron and his friend Shawn entertained and waited on them.  My boys opened doors, escorted them to and from their cars, brought them coffee, drinks, etc.  We gave them small boxes of Valentine candy, chocolate covered strawberries, a Valentine card, and small bouquets of flowers.  A new widow cried and said, “This is the only card I got this year.”  Another thanked us and told us that Valentine’s Day was the hardest on her.  I never thought about that.  The other holidays you are usually surrounded by family.  Valentine’s Day you are left alone with only your memories.  The flowers were originally part of the centerpiece on the table.  God again inspired an idea as I took my holder into the florist.  I asked them to make  it using small bouquets.  At the end of the night, when Ron begin pulling the arrangement apart and giving them their own sets of flowers, we got to see the blessing on their faces.  God is so good!  He loves us so much and I am so thankful that He allowed me to be a part of making sure these wonderful ladies were not alone on this night.

I didn’t get flowers or a card or a romantic meal with my sweetie, but make no mistake – this was absolutely the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had!  I’ve read a lot of tweets over the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.  So many hurting single people who desire to find their soul mate.  Let me encourage you to not spend another Valentine’s Day feeling sorry for yourself.  Find a widow(er) and don’t let them spend it alone.  Let God love through you.  Choose to “Live Like That.”

One last thing – Dave, Ben, Justin, Cal and Shawn – should you ever read this – THANK YOU.  Thank you for letting God minister through you.  Thank you for leaving your families and hitting the road to spread God’s Word and His love.  Because of your willingness to be in ministry, there were 6 ladies who didn’t have to spend Valentine’s night alone in sorrow.  I only wish you could have seen their faces or heard their voices.  May God richly bless your ministry!


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God — playing baseball???


We had an exciting night last night! JB loves baseball, but it is not his sport. To be honest, he stinks at it! I won’t tell him that, but it is painful to watch. I tried to talk him out of playing this season because the league he’s moved up to is merciless. He begged to play.

It’s not the kids that are so bad, but the parents and coaches. It’s like every game is a championship game and every kid’s major league career is riding on this season. I feel sorry for the kids. Anyway, JB goes through the original “have to bat them” line up and then he never swings again. Last night, we were playing the number one team in the league. The first time we played them, they handed our hat to us.

The second time, we beat them — the only time they have ever lost. Now comes our final game with them and they were out for revenge. Their fan side was as obnoxious as any I have ever seen. The score is 3-3 and we are in the top of the last inning. We have runners on second and third. The batter strikes out, but our best two batters are on deck.

Suddenly, the coach says, “I want to pinch hit.” He then yells, “Send me JB!” The other coach says, “Huh?” “Send me Shankentein!” There was a collective gasp among the crowd on both sides. I started praying and feeling sick to my stomach. Strike one. Ball one. Ball two. Smack!

He smacked that ball all the way down the third baseline! JB was safe at second and the runner came home. The next batter struck out and the last one was out on a pop fly. We held them in the bottom. In the end, JB (the kid who has struggled all season) had hit the game winning ball. It was the stuff that ABC After School Specials are made of!

Wes, his coach, told me later that he didn’t know why he put JB in. He said, “I just had a feeling and I couldn’t shake it.” I said, “Well Wes, I think this only proves that the Holy Spirit plays baseball, too!” I really think God showed up last night. JB REALLY needed that and there is no logical reason to have pinched hit him. That’s crazy.

Just as crazy has sending David to fight Goliath. At the final strike, Wes picked JB up carrying him around the field announcing this was the MVP. They made a huge deal over him and gave him the game ball. In the midst of all the parent ugliness, the spirit of kid baseball shone bright. JB fell asleep with a smile on his face! (His mama did too!)

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A Call To Holiness


Most anyone who reads my blog will know who Steven Curtis Chapman is and know the recent tragedy their family faced.  For those who don’t know, their 5 year old daughter ran out in front of their son’s car as he was coming up the driveway and danced her way into Heaven.  I watched the Chapman family on Good Morning America this morning.  Mary Beth Chapman said something that has stuck with me throughout the day.  She said something to the effect of “I don’t care who is touched by this story.  I just want Maria back.”  I was glad to hear her say that because it means she’s real.  I would have expected her (because I think they are so much “holier” than I) to have the attitude of “think how many could come to know Jesus through this.”  But she cries a mother’s tears.  I would have the same attitude.  I wish you’d get saved, but why did my baby have to die for it?  I want my baby back.  Why didn’t you listen before?  Why does it take my pain, my loss?  Why did Maria have to die to open your eyes to the truth?  It’s your rebelliousness, not mine!  I want my baby back.

I’ve been a Christian as long as I can remember.  I’m so glad  there has never been a time that I have not known the Lord.  Sometimes the normality of it all causes me to be  ungrateful for it all.  Through Mary Beth’s tears, I heard God say, “Why did my baby have to die?”  Why couldn’t I just follow the law?  Why did I have to kill Jesus to be made righteous?  It’s my sin.  Why did Jesus have to pay for it?  God, being so much greater than we mothers, didn’t say I don’t care who gets saved.  He made it happen because He does more than care for us — He loves us.

Thank you, Mary Beth, for being real and sharing your heart.  It brought me to my knees in thankfulness to the One who willing gave His baby’s life for mine.  “Your Father loves you” Mary Beth.

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Who Will You Serve?


After the boys said their night time prayers, JB looked at me and said, “Mama I will always love God and serve God.” Caleb, 3 at the time, said “I’m not gonna serve God.” “You’re not? Caleb, everybody serves something or somebody whether they think they do or not. Who are you going to serve?” “I’m gonna serve myself.” Yet again, my children have wrapped up the whole Spiritual truths. We either serve God or we serve ourselves through whatever pleasure we want. How many people have I watched be devoured by their sin and then say, “Why does God let me suffer?” “Why has God done this to me?” We really are stupid people sometimes.

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