Archive for September, 2012

September 29, 2012

Day 263: Don’t Stop Believing

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Yesterday I was in the shower (best place for some early morning prayer, right?!?! Ha!) and I was praying through some scriptures that God has brought to me lately through friends like Alice or through just reading through the Psalms.

And the one “Make me willing to obey” came up again in my mind. It was the verse that really helped me through several weeks and months early on in the covenant process.

And I love that verse (again) because it is just so simply put what my heart is exactly saying…

I don’t feel like I can obey. I do know that I want to want to obey. So, God, only You can change my heart. Only You can renew my mind. God, please, make me willing to obey.

And it’s not that I expect complete transformation overnight. But I do know that one moment of actually being willing to obey is a bit… empowering… in and of itself. It makes it that much easier to be willing to obey the next time because I have recently experienced His Power in making me… willing to obey.

So over the next few days or weeks (or months if necessary), I’ll be repeating the scriptures I talked about a couple of days ago. I’ll be praying them. I’ll be allowing God to use those Words of God to transform me. renew me. retrain me.

And maybe this go-round I won’t stop asking for Him to transform, renew, and retrain. Maybe this go-round I won’t stop believing. Maybe this go-round I’ll just think of these prayers as lifelong prayers. And maybe this go-round I’ll get a step closer to being completely healed.

September 28, 2012

Day 262: CheeriUh-Oh

I was gonna jump in to how I started eating my son’s leftover Cheerios last night and be all “oh no, I ate bad again… yada yada yada”, and then I was all like, yeah, but that one moment doesn’t characterize my entire day. Maybe I shouldn’t just jump right into talking about my failures. Maybe I have been a wee too focused on my failures. Maybe I should look more at the things that were successes. The areas where God’s power is working and, slowly, becoming evident.

But, the title was too clever for me to trash, so I kept that part. Ha!

First of all, just ignoring Facebook yesterday morning and reading some bible and then blogging. That was a huge step (especially because that dadgum post was giving me so much trouble… I mean, I tried to post that thing like four times and it kept deleting chunks or just not posting, but I was pretty determined to get that done. It sorta felt like Satan was trying to work some evil in keeping me from posting it).

And then this afternoon, I prayed again for fifteen minutes. I almost missed it and I just had this unsettled feeling, so I stopped folding the baskets, and baskets, and baskets of clean clothes and went into my room and prayed. I just prayed praise and thanks to God for being… well, for being awesome.

Yesterday at one point… I ate an orange! Haha! I had to kind of force myself away from the pantry, but I ate an orange instead of junk.

I started out the day really repeating scripture. This sorta petered off as the day went on (as did my focus) but it was a great start to the day. Writing this now puts my mind back on the scriptures that I posted yesterday.

God, you are the one who saves me.
God, you are right beside me.
God, you are able to do more than I can imagine.

And an oldie that came back to my mind this morning in the shower…
God, make me willing to obey.

I am having to just take each day at a time and each hour at a time and find those spots where I can call to God, rely on God, praise God, and read or say the Words of God.

So, maybe CheeriUh-Oh was the right title. Cheerio to living life by myself and helllllo reliance on God!

September 27, 2012

Day 261: Intervention

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Where to even begin.

What a bumpy road lately, but what a vital part of the journey. I’m not sure where my steadfast faith fell apart. Not sure why it fell apart. Not sure even when it fell apart.

But I was crumbling. I was becoming weighed down by guilt. by sin. by the sheer lack of communication with Christ.

In essence, I was being weighed down by the World.

I had lost faith that God could bring me all the way through.

Okay, sorry… I’m speaking in generalities here. Specifics:

I have, for the past two or three weeks (like I said, not sure when it happened… the devil is sly like that), been eating…… well, I’ve been eating “junk food”. No, not like Snickers bars or cookie dough. Yes, chips. chips. chips. Yes, crackers. Yes, tortillas. Yes, granola bar in a bowl. Yes, bread. Yes… yes to whatever was just not good.

I have, literally, been avoiding eating well. Choosing (every single time) a chip over an orange. A tortilla over an apple. A granola bar in a bowl over a banana.

But it has not just been food.

I have been choosing Facebook over the bible. Pinterest over prayer. Shopping over meditation. Fashion gawking over yoga. Laziness over seeking out accountability.

BUT God is faithful.

When I am not faithful, He is always faithful. And ohhhhhhh how I live Him for that.

So, a couple of days ago, my hubs brought home some popcorn from Target that he got when he took our son with him to run some errands.

Have you ever had popcorn from Target?!?! It is better than movie popcorn!

Well, I found myself in my old, old, old habits again. Unable to resist. No, it wasn’t cookie dough, but it might as well have been.

So, I sent my friend Alice a text… half joking, half for-realz:
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And her response…
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At first all I saw was the “Come on, girl…” and I read it like “Come on, girl… you can do this. Get back on track.”

And I was sorta… crushed thinking “Buttttt, I can’t.” But she quickly followed it up with the other part of that “Come on, girl…” and it was more like, “Come on, girl… follow me to Jesus…”

And so I went I to the bathroom (the only place a Mom has a chance of getting any privacy) and I read through what she recommended. And I found Jesus again.

    I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. Psalm 16:8

I reallllllllly tapped into this one. I started to, literally, imagine Him beside me in the kitchen (only just now have I thought how good it would be to do this other times during the day too, not jut in the kitchen) and for the first time in week I was able to resist the “junk food”. And all it took was one little “spiritual success” to get me believing again.

It was a small belief. It was a small success. But it was a start!

Then the next day this one worked on me:

    Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.

    Psalm 25:5

And then, yesterday:

    With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. Ephesians 3:20

And I have started to find Jesus again. And I think that was more important than freedom from food.

But it took reaching out to a covenant sister. It took her reaching back with the Words of Life… the Words of God… instead of human wisdom.

And I still have some healing to do, but it’s a start!

September 21, 2012

Day 255: The Heart Of The Matter

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Someone told me a while back that they thought it was good that I posted about some of my struggles throughout this process. They said it made it easier it relate to… because breaking an addiction of food is not an easy process. It’s not something that happens over night. It’s not something that you “do” and then move on.

I hope though that you guys aren’t sick of my struggles.

But what I keep realizing over and over again is that my struggles are so closely tied to my spiritual “state”. In fact, my eating habits very closely mirror my spiritual habits.

When I don’t read the Bible because I’d rather Facebook or get on pinterest, it’s like me saying “God, what I want is more important than You.”

When I don’t follow my covenant rules and I eat a bunch of chips and bread, it’s like me saying “God, what I want is more important than You.”

I can feel that prideful force making me turn from seeking out God and the same prideful force making me turn from those warnings to avoid temptation.

And fortunately, there is a very easy fix.

Since it is about the heart of the matter, I need to turn to Him more. The food eating will fix itself but first I have to get my heart centered back on Him. And that involves 1) routine reading of the bible, 2) routine prayer, 3) memorizing His Word and repeating it over and over again.

I have got to engulf my soul with the things of the spirit in order for the spirit to squeeze out my pride and replace it with a needy humility.

    Pride leads to disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom.
    Proverbs 11:2
September 19, 2012

Day 253: So, Ummmm, Yeah

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I knew that it had been a few days since I blogged last.

Yeahhhhhhhh, wasn’t aware that it was wayyyy more than a “few days”!

Sorry to anyone that actually read this…

And honestly… I wanted to say that it was because I was too busy with keeping my house nice and Martha-Stewartish.

I wanted to say that it was because my kids were sick and so I have been taking care of them.

I wanted to say that it was because I have spent so much of my extra time in prayer and bible reading and I just couldn’t pick blogging over those things.

But. I promised in the beginning that I would be honest.

And well. I have already admitted to being a heinously bad housekeeper. (Like, Martha Stewart would probably gag if she came in my house… I think I wiped down the baseboards like… you know, like… never ago.) I mean. If we are being honest here, I finally loaded the dishwasher this morning only because we were completely out of bowls. And I don’t mean just out of one type of bowl or one size. But we were com.plete.ly. out of bowls. All. bowls.

And well, my kids were sick… like a week ago. Literally, last Tuesday night my oldest got the tummy yuckies. But again… that was a week ago.

And finally, and this confession brings me to my short revelation.

I have not read my bible or prayed in at least a week of not more.

And I “quit” my Sans-Snacky fast.

And I ate a tortilla tonight for no reason. And an extra bowl of cashews. And an avocado and mayo sandwich.

And as far fetched as it might seem… all of that overeating. The breaking of a covenant fast. It’s 100% because I first stopped reading and praying.

I facebooked. I pinned a gazillion outfits. I online shopped. I read several fashion blogs.

I did .not. read my bible. I did .not. pray.

Annnnnnnd I crumbled.

Finally got myself awoken to all of this through my prayer bible study tonight. It just shows me again how important it is for me to be around Jesus-people. I always am brought closer to Christ.

(And if you think I’m one of those ra-ra-sis-boom-ba type of church goers… just know that I didn’t come to church for three years a couple of years back… trust me. I have been disillusioned with the organization as well… but. at the core. The people. The Body of Christ. Well, it is amazing.)

All of this to say that I am gonna find my way back into communion with God. Not because I’m worried about my jeans fitting or not. Not because I am craving granola bars. But because I need Him. I need Him to Sustain me. I need Him to be my All.

Not Facebook or fashion or food.

September 12, 2012

Day 246: Walk The Line

Day 7 of my Sans-Snacky fast.

So I have figured out yet another thing about my eating (I know, I know… I thought I’d be “done” figuring stuff out at this point too)!

The other night when I had my Thor Pizza experience, I had justified having the pizza because it was still “around” dinner time… so, yeah, that counts as part of dinner, right?!?!

Yeahhhhhh, no.

So I realized that I didn’t really have a clearly defined concept of “dinner” or of a “meal”. And when rules or expectations are not in black and white then I tend to look for the gray. I tend to want to walk the line… not avoid the line.

And ya know… back in Old Testament days, maybe it was the norm to just sin or not sin. Maybe the “line” wasn’t that big of a deal, but once Jesus came… well, He really stepped it up. He made it more about the motivation behind the choice to sin or not to sin. It suddenly became more about the actual thoughts. It wasn’t just adultery to have an affair, but now to look at a married person and want them was adultery. It wasn’t just murder to take someone’s life… but to hate them… that was murder in your heart.

Well, a similar concept is going on here… I knew in my soul that I was “breaking” my covenant fast with God by eating when I was no longer sitting down to eat dinner at the table but I was still eating. But, I just thought about the outward action of it and since it was “around” dinner time I went with it anyway.

It might not have been gluttony (although it was… cause I wasn’t hungry but I was still eating) from the outside looking in, but it was gluttony in the sense that, in my soul, I was choosing what I was lusting after instead of choosing what was right.

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. 2 Timothy 2:22

So I tell ya… poor Thor… but I think that next time I have to make that pizza that I’m going to have to bake it, take out my son’s two pieces or whatever, and then immediately wrap up the rest of it in foil and toss it in the freezer. I want to run from that stuff. I don’t want to walk that line of sin. I want to run as far away from it as possible!

(And I got some practice at this pretty quick cause my son asked for two pieces of pizza for dinner tonight and then only. ate. one. Oh heavens. But because I had already written this post, I was able to withstand. I wrapped that piece back up and put it in the fridge. Here is the temptation of gluttony in solid form…

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September 11, 2012

Day 245: The Red Baron Strikes… {Sigh} Again

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Day 6 of my Sans-Snacky fast.

Yesterday, my husband was cleaning out our heinously unorganized garage and came across the long lost bag of Chuck E. Cheese coins (not sure if these are everywhere, but it’s basically a pizza place with tonsssss of kid electronic games and a playground all hosted by a huge mouse/rat guy named Chuck E. Cheese). My oldest son loves the place and was ecstatic! And, of course, there was no discussion (in his mind) as to when we were going. It had to be that night.

Well, Chuck E. Cheese has pizza there for about a zillion bucks a pop, and we are… well, you might remember that we are on a budget to help fund my husband’s product, Chord Dice. So I made a deal with my 5-year old that we’d go to Target and get a frozen cheese pizza.

And he picked… the Thor Red Baron four cheese pan pizza… again. It’s like day 166 all over again!

In my mind it was not going to be a problem. I had already made my husband and I a delicious dinner of Caribbean Black Beans (yum.may.) and so I wouldn’t need any more dinner.

Yeahhhhhhhhhh, note the words “in my mind”.

Cause in reality, I had two slices.

That dern Thor Red Baron four cheese pizza. And ya know what I noticed?

I wanted to keep eating it because I wanted to keep experiencing that flavor. The flavor of the bread and the spices in the tomato sauce and the cheese.

I wanted all of that to continue. I think I wanted a little escape actually. I’m feeling a bit “off” at present. I adore my husband and I love him being home, but it has made me realize that I’m gonna have to readjust my schedule to find some alone time… and when I don’t get my alone time it starts to wear on me. I’ve always been that way.

And so, I guess the pizza… oh. wait. I’m sorry… the Thor Red Baron four cheese deep dish pan pizza was like an old way of escaping. And once again I felt bad last night after the fact.

And once again this morning I knew I should feel bad about it (yes, even while I was scheming in my mind as to how I was gonna get my hands on my son’s leftover pizza crusts from last night) but I was just ready to move on. And I felt like I should feel bad for just moving on.

And I wanted to share with y’all Philippians 3:12-14 (which is a good one still) but this verse kept sticking to me:

    Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Exodus 14:15

And I just kept thinking of God saying, “Move on January… I’m ready to do a miracle!!! Get going! Move forward!”

Kind of a cool thought to think that’s how God looks at my fear and inadequacy. It’s of no consequence to Him other than it’s getting in the way of His Miracles.

So, in that case… Onward!!!

September 10, 2012

Day 244: Same Kind Of Different As Me

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Is that already the name of a book or something?!?! Hehe

Day 5 of my Sans-Snacky Fast.

So my friend Christy texted me yesterday saying “Ok…so…this type of covenant just isn’t working for me. Pray for me. I’m praying about what I need to change.”

I felt so. bad.

Like… instantly.

I felt bad, and to blame, that I had led her down a road that ended up in frustration. I felt to blame that she hadn’t lost weight like me. I felt to blame that she was discouraged. disappointed. defeated.

Annnnnnnnd, admittedly, I felt bad for myself that “my” covenant hadn’t “worked” for her. Like, maybe, this whole thing is lame. Maybe I shouldn’t keep pursuing it. Maybe I should stop blogging.

I know, I know.

All of that is ridiculous… but maybe it’ll give you a small glimpse into the way that Satan jumps on any form of “defeat” in my life and how he whispers untruths.

Anyway. I felt bad about it pretty much all yesterday, until today when I was looking up a scripture having nothing to do with Christy or her situation, but when I read it I was like “{Deep Therapeutic Sigh}“.

    God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. 1 Corinthians 12:6

And it just reminded me that it’s not about me. not about “my” covenant. not about blame.

It’s all about God. It’s all about His huge master plan. He can see the matrix and He knows why Christy went down this path. He knows why the “diet” that enabled me to lose weight didn’t for her.

It’s the same God… He just works in different ways. Kinda neat to think of actually.

So I guess the lesson is that if you read this blog, God may not call you to follow my “diet”, but this I do know… He is calling you to follow Him. with whatever you do. in all that you do.

September 9, 2012

Day 243: I’m Lovin It

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Day Four of my Sans-Snacky Fast.

Okay, so I have thrown around the word “fast” quite liberally here and there. Some of my fasts are not biblical in the sense that I am not taking an example fast from the bible and trying to recreate it here.

But they are biblical I the sense that I am sacrificing something in my life to bring me closer to Christ. to allow God to break a stronghold in my life. to open my eyes more to the eternal things of God and pull my focus away from the things of this world and of myself.

But I am starting to love fasting! Every time it opens up something new in me! Who knew that sacrifice could be so… fulfilling?!?!

I mean, in a sense, this entire year is a covenant fast from sugar and meat and sodas and stuff like that.

During Lent, I truly fasted based off of Daniel’s example.

And then again recently, I did another hard-core Daniel Fast.

But honestly, this Sans-Snacky fast has been difficult in a different way. I mean, these other fasts that I have done have been sacrifices but they haven’t involves hunger, per se.

This Sans-Snacky fast… yeah, I’m hungry some. And I want to eat. And I don’t want to wait. And I want to bend the rules (more on that in a couple days).

It has felt more like a “real” fast than the others. Maybe because I’m doing without food even though I am hungry.

And I’m not sure if this verse easily ties in. Honestly I came across it while searching for the word “hunger” and it (along with several others I think I will reserve for another time) really spoke to me. The bold part especially.

    Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. Psalm 145:13
September 8, 2012

Day 242: Save Your Energy

Day Three Sans-Snacky.

Well, I’m totally sold on the sans-snacky lifestyle already. And I’m terribly glad that I chose to make it a covenant sans-snacky instead of just an “initiative”, because a covenant… I’ll stick to; an “initiative”… not so much. Like the no-eating-after-7pm. That was an initiative. Something that I just wanted to do. So I did it… for about a week. Then I lost interest in it. Or shall I say that my interest in eating after 7pm outweighed my interest in doing what was right. But if I’d made it a covenant to do it for three-weeks, then… I’d have stuck to it. (The only thing I still have trouble with on that front is bread… gonna have to work on that one I think for a while, though).

What I am finding is that when I eat one of my meals, I have to be very purposeful about what I eat… very deliberate. I can’t just eat a grape for dinner and call it a day or else I’ll be starving by the time I finish putting my sons down to bed. I have to make sure that I’m eating a nice sized meal.

Also, I am discovering that I am, once again, hungry. I have known for the past week or so that I was overeating and oversnacking because one day before starting my sans-snacky, I thought to myself… I don’t feel hungry and I haven’t felt hungry in a while. It was kind of a clue to me that I was “pre-eating” while I was making meals. I also became super aware that I was getting hungry around 3:00 or 4:00 every day. So I’ve been having to be more selective about my lunch choice.

It’s not that any of this is new or weird or ah-ha… it’s just that it’s that cool thing about doing a fast. It takes you out of the ordinary and makes you look at your life apart from your habits.

I don’t think I would have realized (or at least, I would not have realized so quickly) that I was eating so much in the afternoons had I not gone on this sans-snacky fast. But again, it takes all the guess work out of it.

It’s not “Should I eat my son’s leftover jelly sandwich?” It’s… “I can’t eat my son’s leftover jelly sandwich.” That’s it and that’s all.

And I just lovvvvvve not having to have that battle within me over food. I’d rather save that spiritual battle energy for something more worthwhile… something of major eternal significance! Something worthy of God’s powerful weapons!!!

    It is true that we live in the world, but we do not fight from worldly motives. The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3
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