Archive for August, 2012

August 31, 2012

Day 234: Cheater, Cheater, Loaf Of Bread Eater

20120831-095246.jpg

What a journey.

Ya know, I truly thought back a few months ago that this covenant was gonna be a piece of cake for the rest of the year. Although, don’t get me wrong… not eating sugar is easy at this point. I’m not saying that if the covenant ended tomorrow that I’d stay away from sugar on my own accord but having covenanted with God to abstain from sugar from day one, it has become easy. It’s just not an option and hasn’t been an option since day one.

But that bread…

that dad. gum. bread.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

And I’m not mad at the bread… not really. I mean, why be mad at bread? It’s so… good. It’s not the bread’s fault that it is so dad. gum. good.

But I tell ya… I could have knocked out the other half of that loaf of homemade bread all by myself if it weren’t for the fact that my husband ate some too.

But even then… like I said, it’s more than just the bread here people. It’s my heart.

And it was that same old evil Devil whispering in my ear again. “You’re so tired. Eat. It’ll fill your belly up and then you will sleep well. It’s not a normal situation… normally you wouldn’t do this, but for tonight January it’s okay… you’re so tired. Even you have said that you feel the need to eat when you’re tired. So, just go ahead and have one slice of bread since you’re tired. And tomorrow you will be rested and it won’t happen again… just eat… just a little… just for tonight.

But any of us that are habitual overeaters know that it is never “just a little… just for tonight.” It always makes a piece of me… break. That resolve. that will power. that determination to eat just enough and just what is good and right… one night of disobedience hurts me more than I anticipate and more than I like to admit.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. Proverbs 26:11

Okay, so I’m a fool returning to my foolishness. And it is as disgusting to me as a dog eating it’s own puke. Okay… maybe not that disgusting.

But…

maybe it should be.

Maybe that’s my problem. Maybe I’m not thoroughly disgusted by this sin of gluttony.

But how does one learn to be disgusted by sin?

Ya know, I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to that yet. I think it’ll take a bit of prayer and bible searching. Feel free to do those two things with me. (Or I’d you already know the answer and matching biblical reference, feel freeeeeee to share!

August 30, 2012

Day 233: Dare To Hope

20120830-132032.jpg

I am kind of amazed today with myself. That after 233 days of this I still will turn to things that cannot fulfill. things that have proven to let me down. things that will hurt me.

Even after an awesome three-week hard-core Daniel Fast.

So, after I have all this wonderful spiritual enlightenment and peace, what do I do?

I drink three cups of coffee this morning.

I get myself all sorts of addicted to getting on Facebook again and again and staying up late checking the dad gum thing (even though it is scooched down to the last “page” on my iPhone all by itself).

I make a fresh loaf of bread and knock out half of it before it’s even had a chance to cool.

I eat when I’m not hungry. Several. times.

I ignore God when He tells me to pray and stop working on my to-do list (oh yeah, there was a pretty immediate consequence for that one… not a good idea to ignore God).

Honestly I’m getting frustrated with myself just writing this post!

But…

I still dare to hope when I remember this:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.Lamentations 3:21-26, 31-32, 40

August 29, 2012

Safe To Say

I think it’s safe to say that I have fallen a bit behind on posting… again. My 5 year old’s preschool starts Tuesday… maybe then I can be a more regular poster again!

20120829-092903.jpg

August 29, 2012

Day 232: Granola Girl

20120829-105520.jpg

Granola. So healthy. So good for you. So yummy.

Sooooooo yummy.

Cause when you haven’t had sugar for 232 days and you taste the sweetness of granola… ooooooooo, it’s just extra yummy.

Have I mentioned yet that it’s yummy?

Well. It is. Yummy.

And that is why I had to limit myself to eating it once a week. It’s not really a covenant thing, but the longer I’m on the covenant the more I realize that I don’t have to covenant everything. I am learning that I have will power through Him all the time. Covenant or no covenant. I think being on the covenant this long as shown me, proven to me, reminded me that with God all things are possible. Even me having willpower. Yes, even that. Which feels like just as much of a miracle as God parting the Red Sea!

Okay but I slid off topic there for a sec. What I was going to say is again a reminder that it isn’t about which food I am eating so much as it is about my approach toward food. Am I being gluttonous? lustful? self-focused? If I am eating granola (mind you… “healthy” granola) with any of those mind sets then it’s gonna backfire. And thinking that some foods can be eaten whenever, with whatever mindset, simply because some nutritionist has deemed them “healthy”… well, it’s just not good.

I can’t remember if I have shared this scripture before or not and since I’m blogging outside on my phone while my toddler plays then I can’t look up to see if I have, but oh well either way! I’m sure it isn’t the first time for me to repeat myself! Ha!

    So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. Hebrews 13:9
August 28, 2012

Day 231: No Time To Eat

A lot of the past 8 months has been spent thinking about fasting. thinking about not eating food. thinking about denying myself. thinking about God changing me.

But I recently reread this bit of scripture and it has been sticking with me:

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. `Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. Isaiah 58:6-10

I wonder if a little more of THIS kind of fasting is what I need. Ha- probably because if I was working on doing all of that, I wouldn’t even have time to eat!!!

August 26, 2012

Day 229: A Covenant Challenge

The other day I posted the following on my church’s women’s ministry blog on which I have a rotating author spot spot, and although some of it is stuff y’all already know about me and this covenant, I wanted to share it for some of the other thoughts and for the “challenge”… (I cut out the first several paragraphs cause it was me explaining why I had posted a bit late- ha! I’m sure that’s not much of a shocker for y’all since you guys are used to me not posting for a few days and then all of a sudden posting two or three blogs in one evening!) Anyway, here it is…

{And then came my afternoon prayer time, and it started out like a lot of my prayers “Uhhhhhhh… hey God. Uhhhhhhh… what’s up? Uhhhhhh… not sure what to pray about…” and then my prayer dramatically (and randomly) shifted to talking about making covenants with Him.

As you may, or may not, know… in January, I made a covenant with God to eat vegetarian for a year, cutting out all sugar (cause I was pretty hard core addicted to the stuff), and seriously limiting my bread intake. And I decided to write my own devotionals every day during that year in an effort to gain my strength and motivation from Christ, within whom I can do all things. And, so far, it has been an amazing, life-changing, mind-altering, soul-reviving year for me.

Yes, my body looks drastically different from the way it looked before, but more importantly, my soul looks drastically different than it did before. Losing a bunch of weight has been nice, don’t get me wrong, but finding the freedom from being addicted to food… that has been the most amazing part! And today I was praying to God thanking Him for the self-control that He has given me (cause I naturally have pretty much zero self-control), and I was thinking about all the different parts of my life that seem so out of control… my eating was the first one, my time-management, my approach to mothering, my spending, etc. and I was starting to get excited thinking about covenanting with Him to rid the sin out of each of these areas as I have seen Him purge (and continue to purge) the sin of gluttony from my life. And well… I just wanted to share a portion of my prayer-journal with you:

    More and more I want to covenant everything. Maybe that’s a lifestyle in and of itself… to covenant everything in my life. To give everything to You, God. What… what a life I would have… simply put: a life like Christ.

    And wow… He truly, truly gave it all, didn’t He? He completely gave over everything to You and your power. He truly covenanted His LIFE. He covenanted His death…for me.

It was such an awesome moment… for now that I have covenanted with Him, I understand a bit more that pull that Jesus must have felt… standing there in the Garden, struggling between his human self wanting to keep His life and his God-self knowing that He had a covenant with God to sacrifice it all in order to give us the gift of righteousness. For the first time in my life, I understood this verse a little: “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” (Philippians 3:10-11).

So, all of this rambling to say… look at your life. I think we all have areas of our life that need to be completely taken over by Christ. Well, I would just encourage you to seriously think about letting Him completely take over that area. Make a covenant with Him. Like, I recently realized that my “prayer life” pretty much consisted only of praying continually (also known as sporadically) throughout the day. I never sat down to really meditate or talk to God, so I covenanted with Him to sit down for the fifteen minutes after I get both of my sons down to nap… to pray. Just fifteen minutes. But it’s not a deal with myself. or with my pastor. or with my husband. or with anyone. It’s a deal with God. And I’ll stick by a deal with God… because, well… because He. is. God. And already, just ten days in, my relationship with God has exploded to a whole new level. Who knew? (Well, He did… of course).

I just know that a covenant with Him this past year has changed my life… for.ev.er. And I want to make sure that you guys know that a covenant with Him could change your life… for.ev.er.

I pray that you consider it… I pray, sisters, that you might “want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.”}

August 25, 2012

Day 228: Chocolate Chip Cookie Confessions

I went to Albertson’s recently for my grocery shopping since I needed some specific cooking ingredients that I can’t ever seem to find at Target (which is like 3 minutes from me so I shop there a lot). Plus I realllllly wanted some Brianne’s Blue Cheese Dressing and they only have that at Albertson’s.

While I was there I had finished up my “dry” shopping (like stuff that is packaged) and my frozen shopping and was heading back over to the veggies to finish up. (I finally figured out about a year ago to save shopping for veggies, fruits, bread, and eggs until the end of my trip so I don’t have to constantly keep them from getting smushed.

Anyway, that “path” through the store forces me to go past the Albertson’s bakery. You know, where they make those bags of chocolate chip cookies. Those delicious chocolate chip cookies. Soft and chewy. {drool}

Well, I always used to take my oldest son with me shopping and he would always convince me to get him a bag of those cookies, but since he does not struggle with overeating, he would often forget that we had them and so I would proceed to devour the entire bag by myself. Of course, more often than not, hiding the entire bag from my husband so he didn’t even know we had them. Oh, sick, sick me. What a sad little puppy I was.

But yesterday I was looking through the pantry for a snack and man, my eyes kept going back to one of the boys’ pop tarts. And I knew that at that moment, we’re I finished with my covenant that I would eat it. And I knew that if I had a bag of those cookies and I were finished with my covenant that I would eat them.

And I sighed a little bit. And I admitted to myself that this covenant will go far longer than a year. For these issues run deep. But…

    But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. John 1:9

And that promise is enough to keep me going. Even if it means a 70 year covenant with Him… he will cleanse me from my wickedness!

August 22, 2012

Day 225: Limitation Station

Day 1 off of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

No, I promise I’m not gonna count every day of the days that I’ve been “off” my hard-core fast, but today it is kind of important. The days following a fast when I institute food back into my diet are often precarious.

I have been a bit nervous about adding back in coffee (and excited too… not for the buzz but because I have been missing the flavor!) and bread… cause I have been having some issues with bread the past few months.

So I had a cup of coffee this morning! And please note: I had a cup of coffee this morning. Not two. Not three not four, five, six. But a cup! It was delish!

Actually. Falsehood. It wasn’t delish. I mean. It was good. Now, I had it after the boys woke up so I didn’t really get to sit and enjoy it like I usually do before they wake up. I had to reheat it twice, but still… it was good. But mostly I was happy that I limited myself to one cup!

And then during my typical hot spot, I did my prayer time so no worries there. But about 3:00 I got hungry. Needless to say, I need to go to the store so we had like nothing covenant-worthy in the house.

Waiiiiit. Falsehood. Again.

Maybe that’s what I “told” myself but truth be known, there is an apple, a clementine, raisins, peanuts, peanut butter, beans, and several other things had I really looked. But I have been limited to those things for the past few weeks and I wanted… something. else.

So I made my “granola bar in a bowl”. It’s very filling and I really enjoy the flavors. But it can be a “dessert” substitute if I’m not careful.

So, I realized pretty quickly. Okay, if I “turned” to this on day one and I know I shouldn’t have it every day, then this might need to be a thing that I put a limitation on. So, I decided that I can have it once a week. And even just deciding that made me feel better!

It’s weird, too, when I think about it that the longer I’m on the covenant, the more limitations I want to put on myself. I guess the covenant experience has shown me that my true happiness and freedom are found as I bind myself to God. Limitations are no longer something to be feared. or dreaded. Limitation is something that I embrace because it gives me freedom from stressing about those things. freedom from the spiritual war. When I limit myself, I feel as if I have already won the battle! That is a wonderful feeling!

And this verse totally struck my mind… it totally expresses the journey that I have gone on this year:

    Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:24
August 21, 2012

Day 224: Give God A Chance

Day 21 of my hard-core Daniel Fast! Last day!

So, I think the no food after 7pm… “initiative” is one of my new favorite things. It’s almost like a daily fast in a way!

At first I was a little reluctant to do it because I have really learned the importance of eating when I’m hungry, and agreeing to not-eat after 7pm might keep me from eating when I’m hungry. But, like I said on day 219, there is rarely any purposeful eating after 7pm so I thought I might give it a try. I’m now way more game to try something new that involves restrictions because I have found that in restrictions, there is (ironically)… freedom.

And well, that is exactly what I have found in the no-eating after 7pm rule. I don’t have to fight those urges every night. I don’t have to wonder how much I should eat. I don’t have to rely upon food to help me deal with an emotional eating situation. or to keep me from being bored. or to comfort me in my exhaustion.

By “fasting” after 7pm, I am allowing myself the opportunity and God the chance, to retrain my mind. Cause really, if I ate the right amount at dinner, then I haven’t been hungry between the end of dinner and bedtime. I might have a bit of an emptiness or a yearning every once in a while but really there hasn’t been a day yet where I just reallllly lamented over not being able to eat.

But I think that is the key of a covenant or a fast… it gives God the opportunity to change you. to reveal things to you. to renew you. I think I’m gonna expand on that tomorrow, but… essentially, God has already shown me through the 7pm rule that I had some latent habits in there. Some “hot spots” like I wrote about the other day. And relinquishing “control” and not eating during that time allowed me to see those things.

I’m not saying that I will never eat after 7pm again, but honestly, I obviously need some retraining during that 7-10pm time frame. And well, if it takes “fasting” during that time to rid myself of some overeating and/or mindless eating then I’m okay with that.

August 18, 2012

Update: Squeaky Clean Soul

20120818-144542.jpg

A few days ago I wrote a post called “Squeaky Clean Soul” where I discussed how a little house cleaning led me to start praying every day for fifteen minutes when I get my boys down for their naps.

And, well, I just wanted to say that I have now prayed for 15 minutes every afternoon (except for yesterday when I ran an errand… bad idea… and prayed yesterday evening instead. It would have been worth it to stay home fifteen extra minutes instead of trying on clothes like I discussed in my post from yesterday). And it has already been awe.some. Why didn’t I do this before?!?!?!

And it’s not been super complicated or anything. I just set a timer on my phone for 15 minutes to make sure I don’t allow myself to get distracted for at least 15 minutes and then I get out this cute green journal that my mom gave me…

20120818-143837.jpg
… and then I pray. It’s sorta in letter form, but it helps to keep me focused so my thoughts don’t drift off. I figure King David did it, why not me too? Ha!

But I have already seen the difference just in these past six days. No, I’m not saying that all of my prayers were instantly answered (although one of them was!) but I am saying that I have already been spoken to by God in several of my prayer-letters. He has revealed His Answers to me over things I have been mulling over by myself for weeks.

Key words: by. myself.

It was almost as if the mere act of setting aside a measly 15 minutes to dedicate to communication with God… well, shocking, I know, but it is like it allows Him to COMMUNICATE with me. This is probably old news to you veterans out there, but I honestly feel as if I have discovered something wholly new and wonderful.

And I have.

A closer relationship with my Lord.

And that deserves a big ol’ hearty AMEN!

%d bloggers like this: