Skinny White Woman

I was sitting in the hall awaiting test results when the office manager called me into her office. “I can check you out now,” she said, motioning me forward. 

“The nurse told me to wait here until she gave me the results of my bone density test,” I explained.

 “Oh, you don’t have to wait,” she said with a confident air, “I can tell you what they are. You have early osteoporosis.” 

“Reallly?!” I said, taken aback, “how do you know that?” 

“I can tell by looking at you,” she said. “You’re a skinny white woman.” 

Turns out this office manager-turned-prophet was right—I did have early osteoporosis. And the condition is most common in, you guessed it, skinny white women. The people most likely to develop osteoporosis are Caucasian women with small bone frames. These three factors genetically predispose me to this condition. 

Like osteoporosis, I have another genetic predisposition directly related to my gender-- 

The propensity to usurp my husband’s authority. My great- great-great-great- great-great-grandmother Eve was the first to exhibit this tendency, and the gene has replicated itself faithfully since the beginning to time. Just like my mother’s Portuguese/Italian ancestors passed on their dark hair and inability to speak without moving their hands, Eve has shared one of her most troublesome tendencies with me and the rest of our fair sex. 

This willful condition manifests itself in many ways. Here are a few: 

Our tendency to question our husbands’ knowledge or experience. 

Our tendency to assume that our way/perspective/insight is automatically correct. 

Our tendency to disregard their input and do what we want anyway. 

The good news is that recognizing our problem brings us one giant step closer to a solution. Or at least a plan of action. 

When I found out I had osteoporosis, I didn’t sell my bike, buy a padded suit, and subscribe to Wheelchair Monthly. Instead of resigning myself to “the inevitable,” I got busy. I did some research and discovered what I could do to either slow, stop, or reverse the condition. I immediately added calcium-rich foods and a supplement to my diet, made daily, weight-bearing exercise a non-negotiable, and reduced or removed calcium-stealing drinks from my favorite beverage list. 

I can employ the same active approach to my predisposition to willfully disregard my husband’s leadership. Instead of saying, “Oh well, that’s just how I am. . . . ,” I can take conscious steps to change. 

I can commit to: 

Ask for my husband’s advice and input instead of assuming I know what’s best. 

Believe my husband is looking out for my best interests. 

Acknowledge that while his perspective is often different from mine, it, too, is valuable and worth considering. 

Listen fully to his thoughts and ideas, not just long enough to know which direction he’s heading and formulate an argument against it. 

When I went back to the doctor two years after my initial diagnosis, my bone density numbers had not only stopped decreasing, but had actually risen. By taking active, positive steps, my prospect for long-term health improved dramatically. I wish my prescription against the disease of willful independence worked as quickly. I suspect, like my tendency to talk with my hands, it is something I’ll have to work on for the rest of my life. 

Thankfully, “he who began a good work in (me) will be faithful to complete it” (Philippians 1:6). I can trust that as I yield my will to God, he’ll continue to enable me to be a wise, respectful wife who honors her Savior as I honor my husband. 

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). 

What are some ways you honor and respect your husband? In what areas do you still struggle? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation. If you’re reading by email, click here to comment. 

 If you liked this post, you might enjoy "Chickens and Human Nature."



This devotion is an excerpt from Lori’s new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women.

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  1. Wow very good....I loved how you introduced the lesson....and I had to laugh about the "skinny, white women"! :D


  2. Great analogy, Lori. And a good reminder, too. Thanks...

  3. Melissa1:09 PM

    You sure know how to title your posts! Reeling me in with a good title and intro and then trying to call me out! How dare you! :) Great post. I thought I was the only woman to struggle with this EVERY SINGLE DAY!

  4. lorihatcher7:18 PM

    Well, Melissa, sadly, you’re in good company, with me at the head of the line. . . I’m thankful for Phil. 1:6 that reminds me that God will continue to teach me and not leave me to myself! Thanks for stopping by J

  5. lorihatcher7:31 PM

    Several of you have asked what calcium-rich foods I added to my diet. Here are the top 10:

    1. Cheese 2. Yogurt 3. Milk 4. Sardines 5. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens 6. Fortified cereals such as Total, Raisin Bran, Corn Flakes (They have a
    lot of calcium in one serving.) 7. Fortified orange juice 8. Soybeans 9. Fortified soymilk (Not all soymilk is a good source of calcium, so it's
    best to check the label.) 10. Enriched breads, grains, and waffles

    Also, the phosphates in soft-drinks are known to rob the calcium from our bones. My Dr. suggested no more than one per day. None is better!

  6. GailBP8:26 AM

    Great insights, Lori, as usual. I'm a bit surprised by the office manager's candor, but it gave you a great "hook" for this post. And your analogy is spot-on. Thanks for these reminders about a submissive spirit.

  7. I peeked below and saw what foods you added. What weight bearing exercises are you doing? Are you lifting weights? I was just diagnosed with osteopenia and am well on my way to having osteoporosis. My mom and sister have it and i don't want it. I take meds for my acid reflux that have been discovered to cause osteoporosis as a side effect.

    Are you taking calcium tablets? What kind?

    I already have damage to my stomach and esopogus (spelled wrong) from the reflux so I can't stop the meds.

    I'm just curious about your exercise you've added. I have always been a walker and now that my back has recovered enough I have added walking back in with my doctor's permission. But I can't walk too far for too long. I have to work up slowly.

  8. lorihatcher9:05 PM

    Hi Nan,
    Yes, I see why you're taking wise steps (no pun intended) to do everything you can to strengthen your bones. We don't want to be hunched over (or broken) old ladies! I walk 5x a week with my faithful furry friend, Winston, and I do some strengthening exercises for my lower back and shoulders (push ups and crunches with an exercise ball, etc.) Since I spend a lot of time hunched over (between computer work and dental hygiene work), I have to do something to counteract the forward bend. You'd have to be careful in light of your back problems, but these were exercises given by a physical therapist. I also take calcium supplements. Have you tried the gummy ones? They are so much better than the tablets (hard to swallow) and the Viactive (tootsie roll type). I'm not a good pill swallower, so I do gummy multivitamins as well as calcium, both fairly painless. I hope this helps! We have to be good stewards of our health. . .

  9. They have gummy bear calcium supplements? I didn't know that. Most doctors want you to take calcium supplements with vitamin D but my doctor won't let me take vitamin D as my levels are too high and she doesn't know why. I take one that's for people with low stomach acid. Since I take meds to reduce my stomach acid due to the reflux, I need a supplement that can break down easily!
    I am doing back and core exercises that my PT gave me as well. Eventually I will be able to do push ups but right now I'm not going to do it as I don't know if my back is up to it yet. I need to strengthen my core to support my back. I am back to walk every day as I said, and I lift some hand weights.
    When my back is healed I want to be able to work out on our bow flex a bit. I will start with easy weights and try to work up a bit, without pushing it.
    Subject: Re: New comment posted on Hungry for God; Starving for Time