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LaToya M. Sutton

Just my humble opinion

Away We Go

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About two weeks ago, Wayne and I watched a movie called “Away We Go.” It’s a cute movie starring Maya Rudolph of Saturday Night Live fame as Verona and John Krasinski from The Office as Burt. They play an unmarried couple preparing for the birth of their first child. Throughout the movie, they go on a journey to decide where they will raise their child.

“Away We Go” was a sweet, funny movie, but I think Wayne and I were definitely a little unsettled at the end. That’s because one of the couples Verona and Burt visit is a husband and wife who want children but have suffered through several miscarriages. One of the lines was something about waiting too long to have kids.

Tom Garnett:
She had another miscarriage.

Burt Farlander:
What? When?

Tom Garnett:
Thursday.

Burt Farlander:
This Thursday?

Tom Garnett:
Yeah. This is her fifth. I know she loves all those kids like, like they were her own blood. But, I wonder if we’ve been selfish. People like us we wait till our thirties and then we’re surprised when the babies aren’t so easy to make anymore and then every day another million fourteen year olds get pregnant without trying. It’s a terrible feeling, this helpless, man. You just watch these babies grow and then fade. You don’t know if you’re supposed to name them, or bury them, or… I’m sorry.

So that sparks the question, how long is too long?

I want to be a mother someday, and my fear is waiting too long to start trying. I’m 30 years old, and I’ve heard everything from “take your time, you have plenty of time” to “you better hurry up and get started.”

Based on this chart, it looks like I may have a little more time on my hands.

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It’s hard to lose weight. It’s hard to break those bad habits that made you gain that weight to start out with. It’s hard to stop eating yummy, bad-for-you food and start making better choices. But that’s just what a North Carolina family with a new TLC show is trying to do.

TLC’s “One Big Happy Family” chronicles the Coles family. Each one of them — a mom, dad and two kids — is morbidly obese. The series shows their attempt to make a lifestyle change and start losing weight.

What I love about the show is that it’s real. It’s a real family with real struggles with weight and food. But, in the middle of all that, you see the love and the support they have for each other. Watching them trying new foods and getting out to exercise is inspiring. On top of all that, they are funny!

Some would argue that what this family needs is a team of doctors and trainers to help them, not a TV show. But how many average families can afford to hire all those people? And not every one who has a lot of weight to lose can be on “Biggest Loser.” The Coles are already doing what they need to do. They’re taking the steps necessary to improve their health, and they’re doing it with advice from their personal physicians.

No matter how much weight you want or need to lose, the key to success will come from exchanging bad habits for good habits.

“One Big Happy Family” is going on hiatus until the summer, but I look forward to seeing this family reach their health goals.

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Billboard Magazine recently named MercyMe the Christian artist of the decade, and they chose their song “Word of God Speak” as song of the decade. I think it was a great choice. That is one of those songs I could just put on repeat and never get sick of hearing it.

Among my other favorites from MercyMe are “I Can Only Imagine” and “God With Us.” What I love about their songs is that they are so simply and beautifully presented. They don’t muddy the message with all this extra stuff. It’s just good music.

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We’ve all seen children who are the spitting image of one of their parents. I’ve had many people tell me, “You look just like your mama” or “You look like your daddy.”

Just as we have a physical resemblance to our earthly parents, we as Christians should bear some resemblance to our heavenly Father. To resemble someone involves sharing some of the characteristics that person has. When someone looks at you, can they see any resemblance to Christ? Can they tell if you’re living the faith you’re professing?

For me, to look like Jesus is to live a life that honors Him. It means my relationship with Him must be above everything else in my life. My identity as a Christian is more important than my race, nationality, family background, the school I went to, the team I cheer for — whatever. I’m proud to be apart of those different communities and groups, but I don’t make decisions based on that.

I’m not perfect by any means. None of us are. My prayer is to look more and more like Jesus every day.

“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.” Ephesians 5:1, The Message

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I love the song “Restored” from J. Moss’ latest album, V3: Just James. The lyrics say, “I’m restored/ I’ve been rewarded/ I’m redeemed from guilt and shame/ Never rejected, just reconnected/ Now I’m exalted because I know His name.”

What beautiful lyrics. I imagine if King David was around, this song would be his jam. After he sinned with Bathsheba, David first tried to cover his transgressions. But, he eventually came to a point where he was truly sorry for what he had done. It was at this point that he came to God and asked Him to remove the guilty stain from him. “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me,” David prayed in Psalm 51:10. David was praying for restoration.

Once David confessed his sin, Nathan, a prophet, told David, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin” (2 Samuel 12:13).  I John 1:9 lets us know that if we confess our sins to God, He is “faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” God wants to forgive us, but that doesn’t mean that we should continuously and willfully commit the same sins and take advantage of God’s grace (Romans 6:1-2).

The blessing is in knowing that if we fall, we have a God who will pick us up, remove the stains of guilt and shame and restore us to right relationship with Him.

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2009 has been an interesting year in the Sutton house, and these are nine of my most memorable moments from the year.

9 Turning 30

I must admit, the thought of leaving my 20s behind was a little upsetting for me in the weeks leading up to my birthday. But, I know God still many great things in store for me, so I’m not so worried about that number anymore. Plus, I still look great for my age!

8 Birthday weekend in Charlotte

I’m a simple girl, and I’m pretty easy to please. So, one of the most memorable moments of the year was spending the weekend of my birthday in Charlotte and visiting the Billy Graham Library. I had so much fun, and I was really glad just to get out of Raleigh and take a break. I look forward to going back to the Queen City really soon.

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7 Diva for a day

A month before my birthday, I had the pleasure of living out my dream of becoming a model. My good friend and photographer Rick Crank brought out my inner Naomi Campbell during a diva photo shoot. I have never worn so much makeup in my life, but I think my pictures came out great. I don’t know if I missed my calling, but Rick sure makes taking pictures fun.

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6 Reunited, and it feels so good

Reliving my college days and reuniting with my friends at Peace College’s Alumnae Weekend was one of the highlights of my summer. I had so much fun laughing with my girls and hanging out on campus and at Crabtree Valley Mall. It was just like old times. I hope we can do it again next year. Go Peace College!

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5 “I’mma let you finish but…”

Who can forget Kanye West’s antics at the MTV awards, or Adam Lambert’s performance at the AMA’s, or the hot mess that was the BET awards? Award shows have provided some of the best water cooler talk all year. Yes, celebrities have given us quite a lot to talk about. I hope in 2010, we hear a lot less about Kanye West and Tiger Woods. That’s all I ask.

4 Meeting Mike Huckabee

I was so excited to meet former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee at Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh. It was a great night and just a fun experience to be there with all the other Huckabee fans/supporters that night.

mike huckabee

3 Michael at midnight

I knew I had to be at the first showing when I found out there would be a movie featuring the footage of Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for his “This Is It” concerts at the O2 Theatre in London. Wayne and I were there with about 100 or so other Michael Jackson fans for the midnight debut of “This Is It” at North Hills in Raleigh. Being in a room full of Michael fans and feeling all the love everyone had for him there made the moment that much more special. I didn’t cry, but my eyes definitely watered a few times. I was so tired, but so happy when I left the movie theater that night.

2 The inauguration snow day

One of the most exciting things in my life, let alone 2009, was watching the first African-American president take the oath of office. Barack and Michelle Obama made us all proud in January when they officially became our new first family. To add to the excitement, up to six inches of snow fell around the Triangle area. Local news outlets reported that our area had the highest concentration of inauguration viewers in the nation.

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1 Michael Jackson’s death

Without a doubt, the death of Michael Jackson will always be what I remember most about 2009. I’ve been a fan of his since I was just a little girl. I love music, and I will always remember all the wonderful music Michael made. I truly hope he knew Jesus as his savior and that he is in a better place now.

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That’s it for my 2009 memories. I started the year with the motto, “the best is yet to come.” I still believe the best is yet to come for 2010. I’m excited for what God is doing in my life and how He continues to bless me and my family. I can’t wait to tell all of the wonderful things that will happen in this year to come.

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Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday. I love the feeling of joy and love that seems to take over everyone during the season.

In the last couple of years, we haven’t been able to do a whole lot of Christmas shopping. And for the second year in a row, we never got around to putting up the Christmas tree. But, with all that, I’m still just as happy about Christmas. You see, I understand what the holiday is really about. Gifts and decorations are nice, but Christmas is all about Jesus. That’s something we should always remember.

 

Fred Hammond "Just Remember"

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