Posts tagged ‘Christ’

May 30, 2013

Day 506a: Childish Conviction

I know I’m on my 30 Day Infusion, and although I have had several things that I have wanted to write about over the past week or so that were “negative” I have held back in the effort to focus on the positive things that God wants to infuse into my heart.

I am made for more!
I am royalty!
I am new!
I am cherished!
I am strong!
I am chosen!
I am complete!
I am loved!
I am unfinished!
I am capable!

But what happened this evening, well… it is an override.

Okay. A smidge of background information: Small truth first. Well, big nasty ugly truth.

I have officially lost about 89% of the control that I’d had and have reverted back (big time) to my former self and my former ways of eating. I have been ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit that has been trying over and over again to lead me down the right path. I have purposefully chosen to go out of my way to eat sugar and chocolate. I have been eating “okay” for two or three days and then just “tasting” one little thing on the third day and then it just goes downhill from there.

Well. Actually… if we are being TOTALLY honest here, I have been eating junk for about three days straight. Always thinking, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll get back on track with God.” And always knowing, “No. you. won’t.”

Usually I’d have felt guilty for still writing with a positive focus, like as if it weren’t real… and well, it sorta wasn’t “real” but I just kept telling myself, “Keep infusing yourself with the wonderful, great, positive things that God has said about you and provided for you and eventually it will push out all of your own negative voice. Just keep on keepin on, January.”

So I did.

But I also kept on eating chocolate.

Anyway, this afternoon, my son and I went to the library and then to the grocery store. He asked to get some little cookies as a treat and I caved and then he asked to eat them in the little eating area and I caved again (he is really beyond precious… it’s almost impossible to tell him no). So, as we’re eating up in the little balcony eating area, he took one of the cookies out of the case and said, “So mom, how many more days until you can have sugar again?”

I sorta stumbled over an answer akin to “Oh, I’m… I’m not sure” because, of course… OF. COURSE. I have been doing all of this chocolate eating by myself. Sneaking it to and fro. Shoving it in my mouth when I hear little feet coming down the hall. Silently waiting until my husband is on the phone. So, he doesn’t know that all this time I’ve already BEEN eating sugar.

Gosh, I felt such a tug at my heart.

Butttttttt, not enough of a tug to keep me from eating two of those cookies when we got home plus another cookie that I had stashed, okay, okay… HIDDEN… in the pantry.

{And here it comes… the part where God spoke through my child.}

So, after dinner the boys asked if they could have some Cookie Crisp cereal for dessert. We haven’t had a “junk” cereal in the pantry for a while, so I guess it’s like an extra special treat for them. I said yes, poured them both bowls, and then decided, well… Cookie Crisp cereal is actually totally gross to me, but it’s sorta like eating a cookie and since I’ve already eaten all of the cookies then I might as well eat this too.

Poured myself a bowl.

My son: Mom, are you going to have a bowl, too?

Me: Yeah. Yeah, I think I am.

Son: Well, you know you’ll be breaking your promise to God right? Do you want to break your promise to God?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKAY.

Was. not. expecting. that.

Instant tears.

I paused for a moment… a zillion responses running through my mind while he looked at me… our eyes connected… his gaze was unflinching… and I knew what I HAD to do. For him. For me. For God.

Me: No. No, I don’t want to break my promise. I think I’m just gonna pour it back in.

Son: Okay. Good.

Me: Thank you. Thank you for helping me keep my promise.

And I poured the cereal back into the box. Annnnnnnd, went over and hugged him. Annnnnnnd, took his picture with his Cookie Crisp.

Annnnnnnn, then took the picture of my other son with his Cookie Crisp because he wanted in on that picture-taking-action!

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It was all JUST what I needed.

You know, there are about a gazillion times in a sinners life when we are not ready to get called out on our sins. We just lash back because, I dunno, I guess we are in a sense of denial or buried in our shame. But every once in a while, we are ready. longing. hoping. needing. for someone to call us out.

Thing was… I wasn’t listening to God anymore. And I was hiding it from everyone. So, God had to speak to me through my child {and yes, I am totally bawling right now as I write this… out of thanks and humility and hope and gratefulness}. Through my innocent child who won’t know for years and years to come the impact of that little tiny question when he was a little tiny boy.

Honestly, I think the main reason it grabbed my attention so much wasn’t because of my son seeing me eating junk. It was because of my son watching me. waiting to see… would I follow God.

All of my words up to this point. All of my teaching him. All of my prayers over him. Ev.er.y.thing. hinged on this moment. Would my actions SHOW the truth I had been giving him all this time?!?!?!

Oh and I thank God that He gave me the RIGHT answer. the RIGHT words. the RIGHT action.

But as I stepped back into my day, those cookies were still there. I still desired them.

And guess what?!?!? Good news people… guess what kicked in?

The positives!

I am made for more!
I am royalty!
I am new!
I am cherished!
I am strong!
I am chosen!
I am complete!
I am loved!
I am unfinished!
I am capable!

And those cookies have remained untouched the rest of the day.

And, well, I reckon… I won’t be the one finishing them off this time.

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May 29, 2013

Day 505: Incapable Capability

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I really don’t have words this morning.

This is the eighth draft I have started for this post. I’ve changed the positivity verse three times, but I just can’t seem to get anything to work for me this morning.

Ironically enough, look at what I ended up with for the positivity verse…

POSITIVITY: I am capable.

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

You see, I wasn’t able to write a post because I was being nit picky about my wording, about my anecdotes, etc. But really… we don’t need a bunch of “my words” today… all we need is that truth right there.

I am capable.

I can do everything.

I have been given strength.

PRAYER:

God, it’s funny… this morning as I write and pray to you, I feel so terribly incapable. But I am just reminded it is because I am so incapable… without You. And, oh God, how often I attempt to function without you. And how often I fail epically because I attempt life without you.

But now… now I remember God that You make me capable. You make me able to do things that seem unimaginable. Sometimes that’s eating right, loving the unlovable, healing over deep hurts… but when I use YOUR strength… I am suddenly able.

Today, God, help me to tap into that strength. Remind me over and over again that I am capable with You. That I can do anything and everything with You. That I am strong with You. Help me to triumph today over sin and sadness!

You alone are God. You alone fulfill. You alone are strength and hope.

May I focus on You. alone.

Amen.

December 12, 2012

Day 337: Restraining Order

I’m going to a breakfast party today for my ladies’ bible study.

Sorry. Allow me to be a bit more specific…

I’m going to a breakfast party today for my ladies’ bible study without my kids.

We get to drop them off at the church and then go over to the leader’s house for our final meeting. I’ve been a part of this ladies bible study for a couple of years now (it’s called Mom Matters… isn’t the double meaning cute?) and this last meeting is my favorite part! It’s just relaxed and a great time to spend with the women that I’ve been growing with all semester.

And we are all bringing a little something for breakfast. Our leader had us reply all to her email and state what we are bringing…

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And there were also emails claiming donuts, sausage balls, pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies and the like.

Now don’t get me wrong… I ain’t knockin homemade cinnamon rolls or sausage balls. On the contrary, I love them both under old circumstances.

But, it just sorta struck me that it always seems to go this way with parties (especially those at Christmas and really especially those with only women) that we slough off all desires of being healthy and dive into decadence and indulgence.

And…… why? I mean… well, why???

(And trust me… this is not me pointing fingers! This is a self dialogue, really, to myself… about myself. Next year I have planned on having “free days”, and even as I write this I know that I will need to sit back and evaluate that plan… cross examine it against the Word of God.)

    For God has revealed his grace for the salvation of all people. That grace instructs us to give up ungodly living and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this world, as we wait for the blessed Day we hope for, when the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ will appear. He gave himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to him alone and are eager to do good. Titus 2:11-14

I read these verses and I am reminded that God has called me to a higher standard (what an honor!) and, often, that standard looks very different from the way the world views things. Things like ladies’ breakfasts. and book club meetings. and birthday parties. and holidays.

He has asked me to practice… restraint. And in a world where self-indulgence is king and self-denial is frowned upon, well… that action is different. It sticks out. It looks weird to people. It looks weird to me.

Which is why I love the last verse of that chunk, verse 14…

    He gave himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to him alone and are eager to do good.

I mean… look at those words I bolded.

To rescue us.
To make us a pure people.
To make us belong.
To make us eager to do good.

Gosh, isn’t that worth a little self-restraint here and there?!?! It’s just cool to think that I have been rescued from pumpkin bread and cranberry blitz bars.

So, anyway, I’m gonna have to read up the Word to see what I can glean from it. (Cause I know that there were a plenty of celebrations back then…)

But for now, for today… I know that I want to go to that party and “live [a] self-controlled, upright, and godly life in this world”. And give God thanks for His Grace through my restraint.

November 20, 2012

Day: 315 Hunger Is Hard

I have been becoming more and more aware that I had fallen back into a trap of eating, eating, eating. Eating too much at meals, eating too much for snacks, eating when I wasn’t hungry, eating.

And I’m afraid that I cannot deny that it was a mild case of emotional eating. You see, I’m a beach bum at heart… nice warm weather is the ticket for me. Sooooo, winter is tough on me. And yes, I live in Texas… and some might say that we don’t even have winter, but it’s cold. And that’s all I need to be a little party pooper. I mean… look at this:

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40°?!?! And it’s only just the beginning!!! {I’d better watch out or all this cold weather talk is gonna make me want a Snicker’s bar! Ha!}

So, since we are inside an awful lot more that also means that I am in the same room as my kitchen and pantry a lot more. So, I just… eat.

I have really noticed it because the last few days the weather has been decent (actually pretty close to idyllic today) and so I have spent much more time outside. And eating has been sort of an after thought.

I have also been trying to be more aware of what is going in my body. I put on my size 8 jeans on Sunday to wear to church and had to make sure I was wearing a lose-fitting top because I had me a little muffin-top going on there. Like I said on Day 306, not fitting into clothes was simply a “Dangeometer” that indicates that something is off.

Sure enough something has been “off”. And it’s interesting… I just need to be aware… consciously aware, that is… that something is wrong and then sometimes I have the power to fix it. Now, let me be clear that if “I” have any power, it is only because Christ’s power is still in me and the residual effects of having to rely solely and completely on Him for the past… wow, essentially for the past year… are still there.

    To those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24

But anyway, what with eating meals again (trying to stop the snacky-meals and actually cooking), the weather being nice, and not fitting into my “skinny” jeans acting as an indicator/reminder for me… I have had a pretty good few days. (Hopefully this post doesn’t put a Murphy’s Law curse on me for having said that!)

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.”}

May 29, 2012

Day 140: Gray And Glorious

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Ya know… a while back a friend of mine and I were talking about getting gray hair. I’m 33, and most 33-year-old women are worried about getting in some gray hair, but not me. I’ve known since as long as I can remember that I would have a full head of gray hair when I hit my early thirties… happened to my dad and happened to his mom. Honestly, I’m a bit of a free spirit and so I’m actually totally cool with it! I mean… I have a big ol curly fro!?!?! What could look cooler than that? Oh, a big ol curly GRAY fro!!!! Anyway, her comment about her gray hair was that she would have to dye it because she was afraid of how people would perceive her.

And this is coming from the girl that never cared how people perceived her. But now she’s a counselor, and well… when you are at a point where you need to go see a counselor… you either want a friend-type counselor or you want a wise-sage-type counselor. So, I can see how if she is the friend-type counselor then having gray hair would be… well, it wouldn’t match up with her counseling style.

But it did make me a bit sad for the rest of humanity… because there is like this huge stigma about gray hair. Personally, I think gray hair is beautiful, and it also indicates wisdom and the blessing of having lived to be older than 13! Here is my favorite verse about gray hair, by the way… “Gray hair is a glorious crown worn by those who have lived right.” Proverbs 16:31 So, obviously, I am living right!!! Haha!

Okay, but this post isn’t even really about gray hair! But it brings up my topic about how the world perceives “us”…

A few days ago some kid that I used to teach posted a tacky photo on Facebook of a very, very overweight woman in a bikini. (Why I am still “friends” with him on Facebook and a ton of other people is a post for another day… and another blog.) And it just made my heart hurt… a) because of the burden that poor woman feels because of food, and b) because overweight people are just… mocked by the world. And being mocked… well, it hurts.

So much of my own insecurities are remnants of when I was mocked as a little girl in elementary school because I was “big”. Looking back at pictures, I wasn’t big… I just wasn’t tiny. But it didn’t matter… I had yet to learn that my identity was not in what a bunch of little kids would say to me, but that my identity was in Christ and what He thought of me. And He could absolutely care less about my exterior!

But as I grew up and stayed not-tiny, and then as I truly did start to gain weight and become “overweight”… I still struggled with who I was. Until I really started going to church in high school and I had the most uh.maz.ing. youth minister (shout out to Grant Byrd) in the universe that impressed upon us day, after day, after day that Jesus was all that mattered when it came to opinions. And, well, I fell in love with Jesus pretty darn quick. Of course, I was yet to realize that He could free me from this burden of food that I had been dragging along with me for years, but at least I allowed Him to start freeing a bunch of the burdens I was carrying in my soul.

Well, as I thought through this, it made me realize how many of “me” there are out there… overweight people, struggling with food, loving and adoring Jesus. And gosh… I just want to wear a big sign on my head that like glows that says to them, “YOU CAN BE FREE! PLEASE… ALLOW HIM TO FREE YOU!” And I don’t mean that so that they can get “skinny”… like I said, I would be totally cool with it if I hadn’t lost a pound because of the FREEDOM that I feel from food. Like, being able to fast the other day while shopping? And fasting by choice? Because I was happy? That was not the me from before! I want these people that love Jesus and are addicted to food to be free so that they can know Him more… so that, like I prayed for my friend Christy the other day, they too can say…

I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. Job 42:5

May 11, 2012

Day 122: Eat His Words

My husband brought home a surprise Olive Garden dinner for us last night. It was my fav OG meal: shrimp fettucini alfredo, OG salad, stuffed mushrooms, and… breadsticks.

Dern those things. I mean… don’t get me wrong. They are uh.maz.ing. Like truly one of the foods that was delish before I went on my Lent fast and was still delish after my Lent fast.

But I think as good as they are, I need a “break” from them… from bread and chips.

I have really been praying on what I should do and time and time again I feel pulled to stop eating them. My only reluctance comes from how it can limit some of my fav meals like enchiladas or this “chips n chicken” recipe both my husband and I love (I use mushrooms in my half).

So I’m going to try a “balance” for this one. I’m going to modify my covenant from “avoiding” breads and chips unless they are in a recipe to refraining from eating breads and chips unless they are an ingredient for a recipe.

Cause really, it’s just not worth it. Both breads and chips have become an issue that is slowly, stealthily creeping towards being “bigger” than Jesus in my mind.

If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose one of your limbs than to have your whole body go off to hell. Matthew 5:30

Of course, I’m not talking about cutting off a limb but it is a similar principle. There is something in my life that is taking my focus off of Christ… just like the chocolate and sugar was (although that was more severe for me which is why I know that I can afford myself no leniency with it)… so I am going to chop it off and rid that distraction.

Now for how long? For a month? Three months? The duration of the covenant?

Yeah… I think bread and chips are a big enough of an issue that they need to go for the rest of the year.

My mind was just teetering on writing this: {sigh} but then I thought, “Wait, think about how you really feel……” and there it was. Not disappointment. Not fear. Not regret.

Peace.
Relief.
Joy.

Truly… People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

April 15, 2012

Day Ninety-Six: What Are You Doing?

One of the aspects of this “diet” that I have tussled with is wondering how I should talk about it with someone that might not know Christ, might not like Christ, or might not be familiar with the concept of a covenant. Now that I have lost a noticeable amount of weight, people that I haven’t seen a lot lately have been asking me the regular ol’ dieters question “What are you doing?”

I have sorta varied my answers… to some I have explained that I went vegetarian and cut out sugar. to others I describe my covenant, or deal, with God to cut out meat, sugar, alcohol, and milk. to others I have just said that I stopped eating so much food.

But recently I started to think that it might be really important that I say that it is God. I mean, yes, the reason that my body is losing weight is because it has less food coming into it and probably fewer calories since I cut out all that sugar. But the reason that I am able to do any of that is because I made a deal with God and He gave me the ability to resist the things I agreed not to eat on the covenant.

And a verse came to my mind that I think pushes me to “admit” or “confess” that it is indeed Him that is changing me… from the inside… out. Literally.

If you tell others you belong to me, I will tell my Father in heaven you are my followers. But if you reject me, I will tell my Father in heaven you don’t belong to me. Matthew 10:32-33

April 14, 2012

Day Ninety-Five: Freedom Fire

I was… sorta… burned out this week. Just… not feeling the excitement or passion of the blog, the covenant, the Bible… nothing. Life has been a little crazy… no, not crazy… but, full. Like I said yesterday, I haven’t been reading my Bible this week and that exemption sorta leaves me… empty.

Well, a few nights ago I posted a recent picture of myself on Facebook. No biggie- a few former students made a few comments, and then I didn’t really check it for a while. Well, then tonight right before I bed I checked my Facebook and there were THIRTY comments and forty-something “likes” on my “new me” pic!

Now, I’m not entirely sure how this happened but all of these “Great pic!” and “Love it” and “Wow you look amazing!!!” comments were on there. And even though it should have puffed up my pride, all I could think about was God. About how he gave me the ability to be free… and I felt so bolstered by all of these friends of mine so happy for me to have a beautiful moment. And it was… encouraging!

But most encouraging were the multiple friends of mine that messaged me asking for more details about my covenant, or to meet and talk, or to want the blog website, or to tell me how much they connected to the posts on the blog or my beginning stories, etc. The further I get into my covenant the more that I long and hope for others to experience the same freedom from food (or whatever stronghold or addiction they might be enduring).

So I hope that some people will be encouraged, as I was, to seek Christ for their comfort and sustenance. Because I know that they can experience freedom from their struggle but at the same time that God will probably also light a fire in them of passion for Him.

March 17, 2012

Day Sixty-Seven: Not So Slim Fast

I have been on this year-long goal of “purging” our house. My husband often says that a simple house is much easier to clean than a complicated “heavy” house. And our house is heavy.

So I have gone through our closet multiple times (we have a very little master closet so it needs to be pretty streamlined), cleaned out both of our linen closets, tons of toys (although not enough! Haha!). And I have gotten a few items out of our kitchen, but it still needs a good going-through. But with a 4 year old and a toddler, going through anything other than diapers and laundry is a pretty tall order. So I’m putting the kitchen on a “diet” too. And I’m systematically going through the kitchen and getting rid of one item a day.

And yesterday was an awesome item to get rid of… the leftovers from my attempt at a Slim Fast diet.
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Had I thrown these out a few months ago before starting my covenant, I don’t think it would have been as happy of a moment. It was, after all, a failed attempt. And an attempt done in shame as well. I tried to keep it a secret from my husband. I knew he wouldn’t approve and I was ashamed to have had to resort to SlimFast anyway. It was almost like taking a diet pill or something. And I have wanted to lose weight a natural way… a way that would last. I don’t want to just be skinny for a year or so… I want to be free of this addiction for the rest of my life!

Anyway, it was so nice to see how God has once again met my needs when the world could not.

God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless in order to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord .”
1 Corinthians 1:27-31

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