Posts tagged ‘devotional’

August 7, 2013

Day 575: The “New” New

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Remember that time that I sorta went off the healthy eating reservation and struggled with food, and subsequently my weight, for several months…

Okay, for seven months…

And then when I finally snapped to about a week ago when I did a four-day Daniel Fast (which has turned into a twenty-one day Daniel Fast), I realized…

Wow. I gained quite a bit of weight during those seven months of struggle.

Cue: Time to get down on myself. Time to beat myself up. Time to question God’s plan. Time to cope by eating more. Time to reprimand myself for sinning. Time to cower before God’s punishment.

Only‚Ķ this time that didn’t happen. Cause ya know why?

Cause I am new.

Yes, I know. New… once again.

I was new a year ago when I first started the covenant, and I coasted off of that newness for 365 days. Until I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that I could be both the old me and the new me.

Fail.

But now, I am a “new” new.

I have learned even more about God and His plans and His thinking and His ways.

His ways aren’t my ways.
My ways aren’t His ways.

I know now that after this 21 days that there will be another 21 days and another 21 days and another.

And I know now that after those 21 days, that this lifestyle of eating will continue until I transfer my residency from Earth to Heaven.

Because I have realized that God wants to heal me… not for just a year, but for a lifetime.

God, I want a permanent healing. Not just a year. Not just five years. I want to be fresh and “new” new forever. You see, these seven months I’ve been just holding on. Holding on to you. I’ve been depending on You, God; knowing that you are everything I need. Keep loving me, God, with all you‚Äôve got‚ÄĒ that‚Äôs what I’ve been depending on. Psalm 33:20,22 And now I keep holding on, but I feel like now I’ve let you pull me off of the cliff and that we are, once again, walking together. Help me stay waking with You, God. Amen.

August 6, 2013

Day 574: All Figured Out

I think I’m going to stop saying “I got it all figured out.”

I’m gonna even stop thinking it.

Because that always seems to backfire. And then I have to LEARN something that God wants to show me.

Okay, a bit of sarcasm about the “learning” thing there… I always LOVE that I had to learn something, AFTER I have “finished” the learning.

And, well, for the past seven months I have been doing a lot of learning.

A lot of learning, the hard way.

I’ve been learning that God is not a quick fix.
God is not a Weight Watchers plan.
He is not Jenny Craig.
He is not Atkins. South Beach. The Zone.
The Lord of the Universe is not Slim Fast.
Or Advocare. Or Plexus. Or Body by Vi.*
God is not even a Daniel Fast, biblical though it may be.

God is His own plan.
And God has His own plan.
And His plan is not made or designed or produced by us.
His plan was intricately woven in Heaven.
Thousands of years ago.

And as much as it hurts sometimes, His plan involves us going down painful roads. Roads of confusion. Roads of disappointment. Roads of trial.

So, that’s why I made that insta-whatever-you-call-it today. (And puh-lease ignore my typo in it… I swear I proofread that thing a zillion times and still missed it!) Because it is so very, very important to remember in those moments of pain, confusion, disappointment, and trial… it is so very important to remember that GOD IS WORKING OUT HIS PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.

But he is.

So when you can’t button those “fat jeans”… pray that He would help you.
When the scale is ten pounds more than you hoped for… pray that He would heal you.
When your doctor tells you that you are now a type II diabetic… pray that He would guide you into health.

Because God WILL work out His plans for your life. It is not over. Stay by Him. His faithful love endures FOREVER.

Psalm 138 prayer…

Oh God, help me to see You as you work your plan for my life. Help me to know that your faithful love, God, that it endures forever. Please don’t abandon me, God, because you made me. I am yours. I pray that as soon as these words leave my lips that you will answer me and encourage me by giving me strength. I praise you now for your unfailing love and faithfulness. I give you thanks God with all that I am. Help me and guide me and love me. Oh God, love me. Amen.

.

*By the way, not dissing those diets if they work for you… they were “quick fixes” for me, that’s why I listed them here.

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August 4, 2013

Day 572: The Change

I recently had a major “purging” session with my blog friend finneyfer on facebook.

And I can just tell you how great it is to have a blog friend? I’ve never met her in person, I just stumbled on her blog one day “on accident”, I don’t even necessarily follow the same diet plan as her (yet)… but she has been one of the biggest encouragements to me over these past months as I have struggled and struggled with my eating.

I was recently asking her to write a guest post for me about getting motivated/staying motivated and here are a few of our convos. I’m including this conversation because I feel like there are probably several people out there that are also STRUGGLING with this!

After asking her to write the post, I told her:

This post is SO MUCH for me as well… I’m genuinely struggling. My previous motivation of God, between you and me, has just petered out and I just. don’t. care. And I want to care. I know that I NEED to care. But I can’t seem to MAKE myself care. I have crossed over from “sometimes” wanting to indulge, back into an hour-by-hour struggle. Like, I can make it until about noon and then whatever resolve is GONE.

She replied…

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This was a BIG message to me. It started me back down the right path of thinking… away from the food issue and more towards getting my mind right! But at the time I told her:

Honestly, my “mental” is just… broken right now. But in ALL areas of my life. I don’t really want to parent. I don’t really want to read my Bible. I don’t really want to be a good wife. It’s all just… meh. TERRIBLE!?!?!?!

She then asked, If you think it won’t completely derail you, why can’t you take a break? Not necessarily from eating properly, but maybe from beating yourself up when you do make poor choices. And this was when answering her question brought me to my own answer.

Not sure… I mean, honestly, I’m hardly following anything of the sort right now. I’m not beating myself up per se, it’s just that I want so bad to be FREE again and I just feel entrapped again. It’s not even necessarily about weight or health. It’s about that freedom from food. I think a big part of it is just what you said… you made a life change. I made a year change and then it all sorta fell apart.

BAM.

Right there at the end. “You made a life change. I made a year change and then it all sorta fell apart.”

That was the problem. I realized it right then. I was still trying to fix this problem with a bandaid. A one-year bandaid. A five-year bandaid. But what it needs is a LIFETIME healing!

And that’s when I prayed:

Okay God. Let’s start over. Let’s go back to the beginning. A Daniel Fast. A little one. Four days. I’ll get some people to do it with me and I will open my heart to You to show me what to do.

And God is good.
He showed up.
In a little four-day Daniel Fast.
He showed up!

 

August 3, 2013

Four-Day Daniel Fast: Thank You

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I really want to say “Thank you” for the past four days.

Of course, to God. Okay, really, only to God… because through Him it’s all possible. Through Him I knew what a Daniel Fast was. Through Him, I was able to keep my focus and resist things that have been haunting me for months, for years, heck… for my entire life. Through Him I have been brought to a point of knowing that I needed to eat better, that I needed to take care of my body, that I needed to honor Him through EVERY part of my life.

But really, I also want to say thank you… to you guys. For doing the four-day fast with me.

You see, I needed to remember that it was possible… possible to resist. And I knew that two things needed to happen:

1) I needed to start small. Very small. A typical Daniel Fast is 21 days and I just knew that was not where I needed to start. Four days just seemed so feasible this time.

2) I needed some major accountability. That’s mainly why I asked you guys on my facebook and twitter to do one with me.

And when I said that I’d offer up menus and recipes… yeah, I really originally meant it for you guys, but it helped me A TON! Having a plan for every meal took all of the guessing game out of it. When I was knocking against those pangs of hunger, I didn’t have to think what I was going to eat – I already knew! And I was like, well, my friends said they were going to do it so I want to stick by it with them, so I went to the store to make sure I had supplies.

For the first time in months I have been able to eat “right” for four days in a row. Sugar and chocolate were again not temptations for me. I felt so… free. And I see why Daniel chose to not eat rich or eat meat for those three weeks while he prayed… he wanted to be free of the distractions. He knew too from when He was captured: he knew the power of food over the body. And he saw what it could do for a person when coupled with the guidance and power of God.

So, I am doing another four days… still praying to God, still eating wonderful food, still be blessed, and best of all…

still feeling free!

.

Photo cred: Andrea Howey on instagram (she is the best instagram account to follow, by the way!)

July 30, 2013

Four Day Daniel Fast, Day 1

Daniel Fast Quote

So hopefully you’ve jumped on the ban wagon with us and started a four day Daniel Fast. Yesterday, I wrote a post with a four-day menu and some links to recipes to help you start. Also, I’m really active on facebook, twitter, and google+ with verses, funnies, and encouragements throughout this process. Plus, there are some others fasting this week that you could get encouragement and advice from if this is your first time.

Today I just wanted to go over a couple things about the fast… a couple of encouragements, if you will.

1) A Daniel Fast is about communicating with God. Sure, it’s also about super healthy foods, but really, you are eating with restrictions in order to clear your mind of this “distraction” of the world: food. By eating super healthy, you are feeding the body just what it needs while allowing your mind to revert away from the lure of chips, candy, cokes, breads, steaks and the like and refocusing that attention to God.

2) Because of number 1, I encourage you to not get swept away by all of the rules, or you’ll end up missing God because you are so focused on the food and on the rules about the food. Keep it simple: Is it a veggie? Is it a fruit? Is it a nut? Is it water? If it answers “yes” to any of those things, then eat it. If it answers “no”… then don’t. And spend the time you would spend worrying… spend it on prayer. spend it in reading the Word. spend it in service to Him.

Okay, and just a focus on spiritual side of the fast. I wanted to cover the “origins” of this fast…

Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) had another vision. He understood that the vision concerned events certain to happen in the future‚ÄĒtimes of war and great hardship. When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed. Daniel 10:1-3

You see, Daniel did this fast because he’d had a vision of the future that was horrible. So, he went into mourning and prayer. He didn’t eat rich food, meat, or drink wine… he also didn’t lotion up with his most recent Bath and Body Works selection. Ha! So, I think over the next four days, it would be good if you sorta came up with a theme of what to pray about with God.

It can be something you are mourning: a broken family relationship, a friend in difficult times, the state of our country, hunger in Africa, the human traffiking issue, your own sin or struggle with gluttony. Whatever it is… during those times of hunger or during that moment when you have to resist “rich food” with a bit of self-denial… use those times to pray to God about your issue.

Allow God to use hunger to break you down a little bit, so that He can build you up.

July 29, 2013

Four-Day Daniel Fast

four day daniel fast

I posted last week on twitter and facebook asking if anyone wanted to do a Daniel Fast with me this week… and then I said I’d post some menus. So sorry I’m just posting them!!! Like I said a while back on Day 524, I’ll start posting regularly this fall when both of my boys will be in school two days a week.

I am going to give you these menus though and maybe you can make it happen still! If you can’t go to the store tonight to make it happen, then maybe join us on Wednesday and go through Saturday or do a three-day fast. If you are still more curious about a Daniel Fast, here is a website that I used the first couple of times I did one. And danielplan.com is also a great resource if you click on Food and go to recipes! Now, I will say this: I think that there are different “levels” of Daniel Fasting.

– Daniel Fast: veggies, fruits, nuts, and water (I’m doing this one this week…. Oh, and I consider beans as veggies)
– Organic Daniel Fast: all of the above using organic produce
– Flexible Daniel Fast: all of the above and then add any or all of these items: breads, pastas, beans, rice, coffee, tea, cheese, eggs, fish (this is the one that I do usually)
– Specific Fast: if you are aware of your area of weakness (aka: addiction) then you can fast from only that, e.g. fast from sugar or fast from snackies like chips

But here is the menu I’m thinking of following. It is a doable menu that enables me to Daniel Fast and still feed my family. Now one note: I don’t worry about salad dressings or sauces… I just include them and don’t worry about their ingredients. It’s already a big sacrifice for me to cut out rice, pasta, bread, cheese, and fish that I’m getting the spiritual message here without leaving out the sauces. Plus, like I said, I can still feed my family this way!

Oh, and you might think the lunches are kinda sparse… I don’t eat a lot of lunch but I do have snacks at 10:00am and 3:00pm with my kids, so I don’t need to eat a huge lunch because of that.

Okay! Here goes!

Day One

  • Breakfast: fruit smoothie: take any fruit you want and blend it using water as the liquifier. I usually combine a handful of frozen blueberries, six or seven strawberries, a frozen banana that’s already been sliced, four or five inch frozen mango slices, and four or five inch frozen pineapple slices. I use a Ninja… and it makes a yummy smoothie. If you don’t have frozen, then just incorporate some ice!
  • Lunch: salad with carrots, celery, tomatoes, red bell pepper, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds and dressing
  • Dinner: Caribbean Black Beans , fruit bowl, side salad
    • you can have these with rice if you are choosing to do a fast that includes grains
    • If you have someone in your family that is not fasting with you, then you can throw in some ham at the end after you’ve pulled out the ham-less version for yourself

Day Two

  • Breakfast: oatmeal with strawberry bits or banana slices
  • Lunch: Mexican Baked Potato with chopped green onions, sauteed or roasted corn, cilantro, and salsa
  • Dinner: Vegetable Feta Foil Packet (minus the feta, of course) over mashed potatoes and a side salad
    • Serve with over baked chicken if you have a meat-eater with ya!

Day Three

Day Four

  • Breakfast: Just found these! Almond Butter Bites (it’s on the first page of the link)
  • Lunch: Veggie Lettuce Wrap: Large “sheets” of romaine with avocado, shredded carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, diced red bell pepper, sunflower seeds,
  • Dinner: Black Bean Soup (this is, by far, one of my favorite recipes of all time!) We don’t eat anything else with it, but I’m sure any side that would be good with enchiladas would be great with this too!

A few other notes:

  • Snacks: I enjoy carrots and hummus, CLEMENTINES!, grapes, cashews… pretty much any easily edible fruit or nuts are good with me! Just remember… this is not entirely about just WHAT foods you are eating but also about not eating past being full. Then that sorta defeats the purpose if we are gluttonizing on “godly” foods.
  • If you typically drink a lot of coffee in the mornings, I wouldn’t stop that for just these four days. Coming off of coffee can have some serious side-effects, that… coming from experience… only distract from the fast. I’d just do this fast with your coffee and then try to just get off of coffee entirely. I know, I know… but really, anything that can have such a negative effect on you when you “detox” from it… well, that’s just plain. not. good.
July 25, 2013

Day 562: The Two Of Me

I talk to myself sometimes.
Full on conversations.
And I almost always fight with myself when it comes to food.

One side of me: motherly and wise.
The other side: a teenager… brash, selfish, and thinks she’s untouchable.

Out of all those qualities, the one I mostly want to be is WISE. And be wise about food.

Like, when I went out to dinner with some girlfriends of mine, I got a shrimp chimichanga (AFTER I had already eaten the equivalent of a bag of chips).

shrimp chimichanga el tapatio the culprit

About halfway through it I thought “If I were a skinny girl, I’d stop right here.” But teenager me: “Well, you’re NOT a skinny girl, you never get to go out to eat, and you don’t want to take a shrimp chimichanga home with you, so just finish it! Just this one time…”

Yeah, I was crazy uncomfortable the rest of the night. Geez! I just want to hear and listen and obey that motherly voice in my mind! And you know, I think it all goes back to prayer. Cause ya see… who am I NOT talking to in that scenario?

GOD.

The ONE who can actually free me and empower me to hear and listen and obey.

So, it looks like I need to invite God into this little fight in my mind… cause I’m pretty sure that He can put the smack down on both of those voices.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‚ÄúThis is the way; walk in it.‚ÄĚ Isaiah 30:21

July 22, 2013

Day 559: Freckles

Freckles freckle frenzy game spoonful

I came across this pic accidentally and it made me smile way more than the pic I took of my arm freckles! Plus, the little game looks fun – actually the entire website looks fun!
http://spoonful.com/family-fun/freckle-frenzy

My son called me “Freckles” the other day.

We were at the pool and whenever one of us would jump in we’d say: 1-2-3-BulletBoy! or 1-2-3-SuperMan or for me it was

1-2-3-… Freckles.

{Dramatic pause where I don’t actually jump in but instead look at him confused.}

I was like, “Freckles? Why… Freckles???”

He replied, “Cause you have a lot. Ya know, a lot of freckles.”

And ya know what? I kinda do. I mean, kinda. On my shoulders and then spotted around me. And as I looked and found these freckles scattered here and there on my arms, I started to imagine God, sitting up in the great expanse of creation, brush in hand, tongue out (because all truly great artists work with their tongue out), dotting me here and there…

with freckles.

Freckles that Vogue or Abercrombie would probably photoshop right over.

But He put those freckles there, on purpose.
He made my pinky toe slightly gimpy, on purpose.
He designed my left eyelid a tad bit droopy, on purpose.

I was designed, on purpose.

So now it’s time to live, on purpose.

July 19, 2013

Day 556: Remember That Time

Remember that time when I had a blog?
And I, like, wrote… posts?

Wasn’t that fun?

Hehe!

Sorry that I “went dark” there for a little while (“went dark”… can you tell that I’m in the same room as my husband while he watches reruns of 24 on Netflix?) We went on a trip to Colorado for a couple of weeks and I thought that I’d have time to write but alas, I did not. But if it makes you feel better… we were having a great time with family!

Okay, enough of that…

Yesterday, I came across a post by Proverbs 31 Ministries on their facebook page that was a game changer for me. No secret that I’ve been struggling through the past few months… but when I saw this quote by Billy Graham today, it was like a light bulb went off in my mind.

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Prayer.

I mean, I talk about it, I type a prayer out on here every once in a while, but we are talking that this prayer thing needs to be CONSTANT.

Hmmmmm, isn’t that, like, a verse or something?

Never. stop. praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

And yesterday for the first time in a while, I made it a more constant thing. I prayed throughout most of the day. And it WAS great! I felt connected to God in a new way. Sure, I was using the Covenant Diet’s twitter and Facebook pages as my prayer medium, but it kept me focused throughout the day. I sorta lost it though during the second half of the day (our friends from Germany are in town and they came over to visit… I got a little derailed with that. (Not much of a hostess/blog-author multitasker, I guess)

It helped me to have a time set aside for a quick prayer. A “twitter” prayer, if you will… 140 characters. Kept me from babbling and forced me to really focus in on what I wanted to REALLY say to Him. It was a neat exercise.

So today, I’m not going to write out a little prayer. Because I need it to be more than just a “when writing a blog post” and “before dinner” prayer thing for me. I need to be communicating with God more often. I need to stop my day… no matter what is going on, and pray. I need… to never. stop. praying.

{P.S. You can also follow Proverbs 31 Ministries on twitter and on instagram along with their website}

July 8, 2013

Day 545: Lookie Look (Again)

Sorry I’ve been out of pocket for a bit- it’s been a full week so far with birthdays, holidays, spending time with family, sorting through old boxes, etc. (And sorry if you got this post in your email and then it wouldn’t open… I was trying to post via my app and I think it glitched up or something!)

Which brings me to today’s post. The other day I posted on twitter and Facebook a picture of an old school bookmark that I found in a pile of my “memories” that I left for yearrrrrrrrs at my parents house.

Remember back in the day when it was SO COOL to have stuff with your name on it and what your name meant or something. All my friends with “normal” names had things like “angel of mercy” or “beautiful one” as the meanings for their names, but I pretty much never had anything for my name. I mean, they aren’t gonna make a set of coffee mugs with the name “January” on it for the one girl in a hundred mile radius with that name.

Anyway, I’m not entirely sure where this bookmark came from but I probably kept it just because it had my name on it‚Ķ

Look I am making everything all things new

But I’ll admit that my breath caught in my throat a little bit when I read the verse with it.

Almost as if… almost as if it said:

January,
I make everything new.
Love,
God

Like, that’s how I read it.

And even though I have already used this one, I’m gonna use it again. Because God reminded me.

With a bookmark.

That I got when I was, like, eight.

Now, THAT is some serious planning ahead on His part! Ha!

POSITIVITY: I am new.

Look! I am making everything new! Revelation 21:5

PRAYER:

God, thank you for the sweet reminder today of who I belong to and for reminding me that You are making me new.

Help me to look for the newness in me. Help me to remember in my dark moments that there is a light for me in your newness.

Thank you for Your Hope.

Amen

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