Archive for October, 2012

October 26, 2012

Day 290: Making Myself Beautiful

I have taken a bit of a break from my “Read Through The Bible In One Year” plan. It was just bringing me down.

Yeah, I said it… the Bible was bringing me down. No wait. It wasn’t so much The Bible was bringing me down as it was my reading plan was bringing me down. It had gotten to the point where it had become a chore. And I was reading through all of these doomsday prophets and… I just did not want to read anymore.

Until my Transforming Prayer bible study leader pointed out the concept that I wrote about on Day 269 that says, “The antidote for spiritual lethargy and heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.” And I decided to take a run through the Psalms… very refreshing.

So yesterday, I decided to look on YouVersion and see if there were any reading plans focusing on the Psalms, and when I opened up the “plans” section, my old reading plan was on Day 333. It’s a bit of a back story, but God has shown up in our lives several times in conjunction with the number 333. It became my husband’s fav number after Psalm 33:3 was the inspiration verse for his product and then it was like God would use those numbers to remind us that He loves us and cares for us… like having all 25,000 of the dice for his product delivered at 3:33pm. Yeah, we totalllllly kept that confirmation slip from FedEx!

Anyway, so I thought- I should probably pay attention to today’s reading just because that number is there, and well, whadda know…


My heart kind of caught in my chest… especially after Day 288 being entirely about getting a bunch of clothes from my friends.

But the words are too pointed and too clear to be mistaken.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. 1 Peter 3:3-5

And as beautiful as I feel with all these beautiful clothes, and as beautiful as it was for my friends to help me with these clothes, and as beautiful as it is to be skinnier, all of that beauty will fade. And God will look solely at my spirit… and I so want Him to say, “Oh, January’s spirit… gentle and quiet. This spirit is so precious to me.”

And I thought of this verse too that deals with our spiritual clothes:
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colosians 3:12

And I was thinking that there are four basic things I put on every day that I could use to remind me to pray for those words. Feel free to laugh at my associations but I’ll probably remember them!!!

Under garments: Humility (cause I am humiliated if someone accidentally sees them)
Shirt: Tenderhearted mercy (cause it covers up my heart)
Gentleness: Pants (cause I gotta wash those suckers on gentle cycle lest they shrink!)
Shoes: Kindness (cause sometimes I wanna kick people to the curb… and that’s not very kind)

And what a great way to pray for those things every day? I get dressed every day… and I could pray for God to help me be humble. full of tenderhearted mercy. gentle. and kind.

And then I won’t have to worry about my outfits as much… cause it will be God making me beautiful.

October 24, 2012

Day 288: Faith-Filled Fashion


In July, my husband quit his “real job” (hehe) to work out of our house on his own company and invention (shout out: and so we are in MAJOR budgeting mode.

Have I already talked about this? I feel like I have already talked about this. Oh… yes, I did… and it actually has the same topic today as I did on Day 221: CLOTHES!

Cause, in essence, I don’t have many clothes that I can wear out of the house that fit me anymore. (Yes, a blessed blessing!) But I just decided to not worry about it. Aside from asking for a pair of boots for my birthday, and spending about $15 of my birthday money on some super sale shirts at Target… I have just been wearing the same outfits over and over again. I was getting a little intrigued though as to how I was going to do that come winter when I had, like, one or two long sleeve shirts to wear out of the house. In the house I knew that I could rely upon t-shirts and sweatshirts (love that uniform anyway), but when I go to church I was going to have to rotate through about four outfits.


God provided.

And He provided in a way that I wasn’t expecting. I always thought that provision for clothes had to be in the form of money to go buy some. And He did WAY better than that!

I texted a friend of mine before my birthday and asked her if jeggings were cute? hideous? And she told me that she had a pair that she never wore in her closet and would bring them to me. But then she went through her closet and brought me a whole BAG of leggings, those jeggings, and several beautiful shirts (which pretty much immediately became my favorites). It was totally unexpected and so. very. nice. (And she was gorgeous taste… in fact, I spoke about her earlier on Day 136… although I thought she was wearing Gap stuff but none of the things she gave me were Gap… she just buys my kids clothes from the Gap! Haha!)

And then, the same week, a friend of mine that owns a clothing store just… GAVE me several ADORABLE dresses, some jewelry, and a few shirts of their leftover inventory. I would LOVE to give them some props but I’m not sure if that is something that I’d be allowed to share. I’ll have to check first! But I mean… stuff.

Update: I just got “permission” to let y’all know about the store that donated to the “January Got Skinny And Poor” Clothes Closet (hehe, I think I’m so clever!). They are called the Brassy Blueberries and their website is! Their stuff is SO. CUTE. and they are obviously SO. NICE. If you live in Texas they have a booth at Canton!

And I was just overwhelmed with CUTENESS and I was IN FASHION for the first time in, like, well… ever. And I was clothed. And warm. And blessed by the giving spirit of these two ladies.

Well, then Friend-Who-Doesn’t-Wear-Gap-Afterall-But-Way-Cuter-Stuff texts me yesterday and says that she went through her closet again, and she brings me FOUR BAGS of beautiful clothes… dresses, tops, workout shorts, sweaters, t-shirts, etc. etc. etc. I spent almost AN HOUR playing dress up last night just wading in the clothes. It was like flipping Christmas. I kept going in and showing my husband and telling him that he’d have to take me on a date in this outfit, or that I looked really cute in that outfit. And, of course, today was bible study so I wore one of the suuuuuuuper cute shirts!

ANYWAY, what hit me about half-way through my dress-up session last night was this verse:

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matt 6:28-33

And He did… He gave me GOBS more clothes than I could ever afford had He provided me with money to go buy clothes. He totally gave me everything I needed… and more.

But I also have to say that those two women… whether they were just being kind or whatever… they were used of God in my life. They were the feet of God… coming to me and clothing me.

Oh God, may those two women receive abundant blessing for their generosity. May you look at them in Heaven and say “Thank you… thank you for taking care of my January.” And God, my thanks to you is neverending. May I remember YOU every time I put on a cute top or a fun dress. May I remember the garment of sorrow that YOU wore on the cross for my sins. May I remember the blood stained fabric that was left in the tomb. May I remember YOU and your care for me. I love you God, and thank You for loving me. Amen.


October 23, 2012

Day 287: Timeless Transitions


I promise that my lack of blogging is not because I fell off the deep end or something. I’m still here!

I have, however, come to accept that my life is apparently destined to be a slew of “transitions” one after the other. Don’t get me wrong, that’s way better than monotony… but I am certainly having to adjust to the “crazy life”.

I know, I know… me and generalities and being ambiguous!

Essentially, I was like, Oh no! I haven’t blogged in, like, a week! Why haven’t I blogged?!?! Well, I really haven’t had time to blog! I mean, now that fall is here and we are inside so much more I am having to pick up more, so I am having to work through that transition. Plus, I am on this whole “keep the house clean” kick thanks to pinterest {don’t worry, I’m sure it won’t last too long} and my 5 year old has stopped napping so there’s that transition {I am just glad that he has napped up until this point!} but maybe someday my life will calm down again and I’ll be able to just sit at my computer for hours to blog.

And then when I really thought about what I said to myself I realized… Wait, didn’t I say some of the same stuff at the beginning of summer? And when my toddler started to get really adventurous? And when my husband started to work from home? And when the pre-school year started?

And I had to face up this morning to the fact that my life is a life of transitions right now. Again, way better than nothing ever happening, but I am such a creature of sameness making me feel safe and comfortable that it is throwing me for a bit of a loop.

But within all of that, I am realizing that I am {exhausted at the end of the day? well, yes.} very pleased with where my life is at during this transition. No, I don’t have time to blog as much but my life seems relatively “put together”. I’m sure that I am cursing myself with a bit o’ Murphy’s Law when I write that, but that’s how it feels.

Oh and so here I have blogged and put nothing about God… or Jesus… or the covenant… or food.

Oh well, this is what I needed to write today, so I guess y’all just have to roll with it! Ha!

October 16, 2012

Day 280: The Skinny Rules Vs. The Covenant Rules

I’m pretty much like every other woman in America right now… I love pinterest. Sure I only try, like mayyyyyyybe once a month, one of the “activities” that I have pinned unlike some of those super-women out there, but there have been a few things that I have found and liked (or other have liked them for me)… snickerdoodle muffins, s’mores cake, the entire style/polyvore thing since I am a complete novice at all things fashion, a couple of toddler and preschooler activities, and my favorite transformation was learning (finally) how to fold fitted sheets so they weren’t just a lump of sheet fabric.

And recently a lot of women were posting about these “Skinny Rules”. Not having cable and pretty much never getting to go to a bookstore anymore (unless I make a beeline with my children for the children’s section), I had not even remotely heard of this book (heck, maybe no one did until pinterest).

But I am intrigued a bit by the skinny-girl mindset versus my own, so I took a look.

Honestly… I sorta checked out around RULE 5… probably cause it had numbers in it.

And it just proved to me how perfect this covenant is for me… cause there are so. few. rules. involved in what I eat. Not that I don’t like rules, but it’s just that I can’t REMEMBER all of those rules whatshisface came up with. Like, here are “The Covenant Rules” for me:

RULE 1: Honor God with the way you eat, what you eat, and how much you eat.

RULE 2: Eat when you are hungry.

RULE 3: Don’t eat when you are not hungry.

RULE 4: Eat food as close to the way it was when it was “ripe” as often as possible.

And really… that is it.

RULE 1 sorta covers it all. It is the breaking away from gluttony, breaking away from foods that even we know are “bad” for us, and breaking away from emotional eating, procrastination eating, frustration eating, boredom eating and the like.

RULES 2 and 3 sorta encompass most of the “diet” part of it… notice that it’s not as much about WHAT food as it is about the APPROACH to food. Food is there solely for sustenance… eat when the body needs food. End of story.

And the last one, RULE 4, is one that I have just sorta discovered on my own through Daniel Fasting. I am the most fulfilled and the least tempted when I am eating on a Daniel-Fast… and really, so much of that is just eating the “foods of the earth” instead of the “foods of the factory”. It means that if I can eat a raw apple instead of a baked apple, I’ll do that. If I can eat a raw carrot instead of stewed carrots then I do that. If I can eat raisins instead of a granola bar then I do that. If I can make my own pasta instead of eating the processed pasta, then I do that. No, at this point in my life (and with how amateur of a cook I am) I cannot do this with everything but it is a goal… because I do think that eating foods the way that God packaged them and prepared them and portioned them is probably the best way to eat simply because it’s as close to the way God intended for that food to be consumed as possible.

(By the way, a quick note: I’m not at all saying that the Skinny Rules above are bad, I’m just saying that, for me, there are a lot of them and I have “broken” about half of them and lost weight!)

October 15, 2012

Day 279: Divine Diapers And Dinners


Both yesterday and today are the kind of days where I wake up and think… I really don’t have anything to say.

Part of that comes from a couple of days of busyness where my heart and mind don’t have time to think about anything except for the next five minutes or getting from task to task.

Yes, yes, I am a stay at home mom so my “busyness” is not deadlines and contracts and meetings, but I can assure you that my two boys keep me bussssssssy!!!

And of course as soon as I wrote that about being too busy to think about anything other than diapers and dinners, I recalled a verse from my lesson in church yesterday… we are studying parables (little fictitious stories that have an underlying message) and specifically studying the message about the farmer who throws some seed out. I’ll put it here for you so you don’t have to go looking… it might be familiar to you but go ahead and take it for a spin anyway to refresh.

    Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:
    “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! (Here Jesus has a little chat with the disciples and then he gets to saying this to them.) Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

And when I wrote above “that comes from a couple of days of busyness where my heart and mind don’t have time to think about anything” my mind went to this verse:

    The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.”


That’s so true. The days when my life is so crowded with worries or bills or… or… or… those are the days that I am relatively fruitless. Those are the days that my mind is focused on the temporary things instead of on the things of eternity.

Well, that’s all good and fine, but I can’t “downgrade” my busyness. I already have two kids and they aren’t gonna stop needing diapers and dinners just because I want to focus on things of eternity. I already have bills that must be paid. I already have a house to be cleaned. I already have a husband to support. I already have bible studies to complete. I already have, have, have.

And so what’s the “fix”?

I guess for some people they might need to downgrade some busyness. I really don’t think that I am that busy.

But what I can do is fill my mind with things focused on eternity. So, while I am working on changing a diaper or cooking dinner… I can set my eyes on the things above.

And not to be redundant from my posts on day 269 and 270, but I think that praise is the best way to do this.

I can praise Him in those little one sentence acknowledgements of His awesomeness. I can praise Him while I’m changing a diaper. I can praise Him while I am cooking dinner. I can praise Him while I am doing pretty much anything.

And if I am constantly looking for a time of open thought to praise Him then I am going to have my mind on the things of eternity quite often during the day.

And that just makes even the mundane of diapers and dinners… divine.

October 13, 2012

Day 277: Too Much Of A Good Thing


Last night I was over at my husband’s grandparents house and his great-aunt was saying that looking at some of our pics on Facebook she thought I had lost too much weight. She was saying that I shouldn’t lose any more.

Well, for one thing- how refreshing to hear anyone say that in this society! It seems like we all get so barraged with the concept of any body fat is hideous. I was just glad to hear it said.

I wanted though to remind them that I’m not trying to lose weight. Yes, I have gone through chunks of time throughout this covenant where I was trying to lose weight but those efforts failed me. Maybe not physically but failed me emotionally and spiritually. Like I have talked about before… it let me down when I wouldn’t lose and I’d get depressed and it would kill my self-confidence and eventually led my husband and I to toss the scale. Literally… on day 118 we decided to throw the scale away.

Sooooo freeing! And ya know when I present that suggestion to people they look at me in almost horror! “Well, then, how will I know if I am gaining weight?!?!?!” or “If I don’t weigh myself then I’ll just allow myself to blimp out!”

My thoughts are: if we are truly honoring God with our food choices, then the scale shouldn’t drive our eating. God should. If we are truly honoring God with our food choices, our portion sizes, our eating only when hungry… then we won’t gain weight.

But again… it always comes back to the fact that you… me… him… her… we can’t do anything without Him. He is our power. He is our strength. He is our discipline. He is our self-control. He is our… ability.

So, my thinking: lose the scale. and gain some God. and the weight will follow.

Well, I’m gonna rework that one cause I think it’s missing the point…

lose the scale. and gain some God. and joy will follow.

And that’s way more important than what size jeans we wear.

October 12, 2012

Day 276: To Be Continued…

Have I ever mentioned how much I love being on a Daniel Fast?

Cause… I love it.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it gets hard sometimes when I want enchiladas or whatever… but overall… the “freedom” from Cheetos and crackers and chips and tortillas and muffins and granola and and and and and is just so wonderful. Especially having come off of a season of struggle with food again.

But like I have mentioned above, it’s not as much about the food as it is about the freedom. It’s about seeing how God can work in my life to create change that I could not do on my own.

I was having a late-night-after-the-kids-are-in-bed coffee with my friend Elaine* and I was gabbing (at length… I always tend to gab at length, though) about my covenant. She had asked what I was going to do next year after my covenant was up, and I told her my plan, and I can’t remember if I have already told y’all my plan, so at the risk of being redundant… I’m going to stay on my covenant, however, I will have “off” days (I don’t want to call them “free” days because of the fact that eating all of those foods over the years has made me pretty much everything BUT free) on national holidays like Labor Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc., birthday parties (not birthDAYs, but birthday parties… lest I feel that I should be able to eat whatever I want all day simply because my brother-in-law is having a party that night), and each full moon. I’m hoping that this will be a good transition time for me as I move from no “off” days into a bit less restriction.

Anywayyyyyy, I was discussing why I wanted to stay on the covenant and I said, “Sure, it’s nice having lost some weight, and it’s been so great being free from food, but the nicest thing has been being closer to Him… to having learned that I can rely on Him to change me when I simply could not do it myself.” And she replied, “Oh exactly because it’s all good to ask Him for comfort and have Him give it, but it’s different when you can rely on Him to give you something tangible.”

I was so impacted with the reality of that statement that I even got out my phone while we were talking and put it in a note so that I wouldn’t forget it. This year has been such a, like she said, tangible example of how He is able to rescue me in a real way. Like, all of those verses that I have read over and over and over again throughout my life and my studies about being rescued and this covenant has shown me that although it might be different than being militarily rescued, that He has rescued me from the chains of oppression and sadness and addiction and so much more.

And how he continues to rescue me… as I continue to fall back into the old habit of overeating and of eating for a reason other than hunger… He brings me back. Again, and again, and again… He continues to wash me clean and purify me (verse here). He continues to stay right beside me (verse here). He continues to make me willing to obey (verse here). He continues to rescue me from my troubles (verse here). He continues to be my God. He continues to be my Savior.

*Elaine’s name has been changed to protect the innocent! Hehe!

October 11, 2012

Day 275: Facebook Focus


Okay so this might not seem like a “food” post… or a “diet” post… or a “covenant” post, but it’s all sorta getting wrapped up and tied up together into one big “I’m letting God change me” movement in my life.

I did it.

I deleted my Facebook app off of my phone.

I know, I know. It’s sooooo sad that I have to even do that. It’s soooooo sad that I would be so proud of myself for doing so. But… there you have it. I guess I’m kind of into escapism right now. Food was no longer my escape so I turned to Facebook.

It’s not that I’m getting off of Facebook, per se, cause I really do like the connections it enables me to have with so many people that I love having connections with. It’s more so that I have taken the ease out of checking it so I won’t scroll my news feed all the time.

I deleted it last night and I’m already SO pleased with the results. I have not felt pulled toward my phone nearly as much today. I have “lost” my phone several times for a couple of hours but didn’t realize it because I didn’t need it.

This morning though, I posted a pic of me in a shirt that I like but wanted some advice on what to wear with it and I wanted to see if anyone had responded but it was wayyyy before I had “agreed” with myself to get on the mobile Facebook.

Well, God just helped me right out with that one…


So I just locked my phone up and went on with my day. Freeing. A lot like the feeling of being able to walk past a bunch of cookies or brownies or cheesecake.

I’m just wanting to get facebook out of my constant thoughts. I want to have The Holy One in my constant thoughts, not what Sally Jane had for dinner, or what a former student thinks about her boss, or what everybody thinks about the VP debate.

And I figured I was going to have to take similar action with Facebook that I had to take with food. Cut it out. Be extreme. Get rid of it.

Cause my will power muscle is just not as strong as some of my others. And so just “resisting” Facebook wasn’t working out for me.

Well, I cut out as much of it as I could. So that I can focus on Him. So that I can focus on life. So that I can focus on my family. my chores. my exercise and stretching. my thoughts. etc.

October 10, 2012

Day 274: Soul Rest

Well, things are decidedly better in my life.

This whole praising God thing has completely turned my spiritual frown… upside down!

I mean… it has just really refocused me on how awesome He is. How capable He is. And how minor I am in comparison to His Glory.

Kinda put me in my place, so to say. But it also really made me remember WHY I love Him. Why I am in awe that He lowers Himself to communicate with me. Why I want to follow Him.

Anyway, so I really have focused on my spiritual renewal lately and not as much my eating.

Can you say… Cheetos?

And, by the way, those Fig Newton “fruit thins”… yeah, they are cookies. Do not be deceived. Fruit thins… pfffffff.


So anyway, last night I was just… missing my “new” self. And I asked God… what should I do? How do I get back on “the wagon”?

His answer… You already know.

And I did already know.

And don’t we oftentimes already know what to do?

So, I started another hard-core Daniel Fast today. I’m thinking more and more that I might need to be like my friend Alice and do a hard-core Daniel Fast for way more long term.

So, for the next month I will be eating fruits, veggies, nuts, coffee, and rice and pasta only when it’s a “necessary” part of a meal.

Chips? Out.
Bread? Out.

And just today… even though I had a major sugar crash around 4pm… it was soooooooo nice to be free again. Free from my son’s leftover Cheetos. Free from the last mini-homemade-snickerdoodle muffin. Free from saltines. slices of sandwich bread.

It’s so nice to commit to God once more to honor Him, and in doing so, to lose my struggles and my burdens.

His “yoke” truly is light. And I am already enjoying this rest for my soul. (Matt 11).

October 8, 2012

Recipe: Easy Black Bean Soup (Vegetarian and Vegan)


My sister-in-law made this soup for a getaway weekend when my husband’s family got together to celebrate his dad’s 60th birthday. She made a chicken tortilla soup for everyone else and then made this one for me (she is super considerate)!

It was sooooooo amazinggggggg that I got the recipe and made it again last night! We loved it and we loved the leftovers today for lunch!

I’m not much a photographer, but I did snag that one pic!

Easy Black Bean Soup (Vegetarian and Vegan)
(Below is the stovetop version and the crockpot variations are in {fancy brackets}!)

• 2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 4-5 cans (14-19 oz each) black beans, undrained
• 1/3 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
• 2 cans (14.5 oz each) vegetable stock {1 can for crockpot}
• 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
• 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
• Sour Cream, optional
• Avocado slices, optional

1. Heat oil in 4 or 5 quart saucepan. Add garlic and onion; cook until tender.
{Skip this step if you want when making in the crockpot.}

2. Stir in beans with liquid, broth, Frank’s RedHot sauce, cilantro, and cumin. {Include chopped onion and garlic in crockpot.}

3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring often. {Cook on high for three to four hours. No need to stir.}

4. Remove 1 cup of soup. Place in blender; cover securely and process until smooth. Return to saucepan; stir. (Or do this with an immersion blender.)

5. Serve soup in individual soup bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and avocado chunks or guacamole, if desired.

Note: This was a smidge over mild on my “tongue temperature” gauge, so if you are sensitive to heat then you might consider decreasing the hot sauce. And on the topic of hot sauce, I am not one for “brand name snobbery”, but I think the sauce really makes this recipe so it might be worth the extra trip or having this sauce for just this recipe. I seriously think you’ll want to make it again anyway!

Note: This soup freezes well. Freeze leftovers in individual portions. Thaw and reheat in microwave.

Prep Time: 10 minutes {5 minutes}
Cook Time: 35 minutes {3-4 hours}