Posts tagged ‘friends’

February 2, 2013

Day 389: BBFFs

BFFs.

Best Friends Forever.

I remember when I was in junior high and dangle rings were IN. I mean… you HAD to have a dangle ring and it HAD to be a Best Friends dangle where one person had the Be Fri and the other person had the St End.

20130201-132644.jpgIn 9th grade, a girl that was a good friend of mine gave me the Be Fri side of the set. Now note. I said a good friend. And my actual best friend (who is still my best friend now) was a little jealous in that junior-high best friend kind of way that all girls experience at some time. And I honestly don’t know when the BFF “term” came about, but I use it all the time (ironically enough though I almost never use it to refer to my actual real best friend). However, I have now come up with a new term.

Best Blogging Friends Forever.

BBFFs.

{Brilliant. I know.}

Why, pray tell, did I come up with a new abbreviation?

When I started blogging over a year ago about my covenant, I anticipated that it would be pretty much just for me and that some of my close friends and family would read it too. I had no idea that other people that didn’t even KNOW me would want to read it and I certainly never expected anyone to do a covenant WITH me.

Which is why I also didn’t expect to get such encouragement from other bloggers and other blogs. Namely, two.

My new BBFFs.

I recently discovered the blog of a woman who approaches her mindset about weight and weight loss in a very similar way to me. It was so wonderful to see someone else write the very words that I was thinking. It was so wonderful to see someone else provide ME with a verse that helped. The blog love.life.chocolate. has already been an inspiration to me as well as comments made on my blog by “finneyfer“.

Like, on Day 387 I wrote a post about when I was in California and got sick cause I ate too much fried food. I was sorta beating up on myself… and she made the following comment for me:

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And I’ll be honest… at first I was like, No, I don’t want to give myself grace and then I was like, Wait. She’s talking about scripture. Before you say “No” it would probably be a good idea to re-read through Romans 7 and 8. This is not HER talking… this is her reminding you of what GOD says. So, I (again, being honest) reluctantly read Romans 7 and 8.

Lo and behold, it changed me. Hmmmmm… what a shocker, that the Word of God would change me. Ha! But I was reminded that this is not about my COVENANT. This is about me showing love to God and honoring Him. It is about living in the spirit not in the flesh. It is about going past the Law… past my covenant… and doing even more than I have been instructed to do. Going “above and beyond” if you will.

That’s just one example as to why finneyfer has been designated as a BBFF… because she didn’t just say “Oh yeah, fried foods are totally gross” or something like that… instead, she pointed me to scripture. A woman I have never met led me to The Cross. She led me to scriptures that reminded me and refocused me on His Grace.

Another BBFF of mine is the author of the new blog mignonpanache. She is actually one of my BFFs in real life as well, and it’s because of things like her post Self Talk:

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And later on in the post she wrote this…

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Dang. Especially after my recent Facebook struggles, this one really got my attention. She said that she had “a ton of non-tech time.” Now, granted… I have two young strapping boys. I have a ton of non-tech time as well simply because I’m always with them… chasing them, entertaining them, cleaning up after them, dressing them, bathing them… you get the picture. However, I tend to gravitate towards my phone whenever I have a second of downtime or “me” time. So, I rarely spend any of my quiet moments without technology.

And I think this needs to change.

I know it needs to change.

Thanks to her sharing something she has learned… I have been really thinking about my over-techie lifestyle a lot… thinking of how I need to change my full-tech life. thinking of how I can find more peace. more serenity. more stillness.

Soooooooo, yet another example of how someone that I don’t see regularly has impacted my life… through a blog.

It’s just… awesome. It’s so… unexpected. It’s so… modern. Ha. And at no point am I suggesting that BBFFs can replace real, one-on-one, authentic relationships in the flesh… but I think they can be a powerful influence.

Afterall, the majority of the New Testament… was a letter. It was written communication. It was faith, hope, and love in the form of words. sentences. paragraphs. And aside from the fact that it was GOD’S WORDS, it’s form was very similar to a modern day blog.

My point?

Ha- I don’t really know. Find a blog? Start a blog? Write a letter? An email? A note? I guess… my point is… reach out and communicate.

Share whatever blessings you’ve been given. Share whatever message you’ve been given. Share whatever pain you’ve felt.
Share His Grace. Share His Truth. Share His Hope. Share His Love.

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October 24, 2012

Day 288: Faith-Filled Fashion

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In July, my husband quit his “real job” (hehe) to work out of our house on his own company and invention (shout out: ChordDice.com) 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.

Until.

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… uh.dor.able. 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 www.BrassyBlueberries.com! 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.

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June 30, 2012

Day 172: I Don’t

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A while back on Day 148, I mentioned that I was going to a wedding and well, I went!

Not that it’s particularly related to this post, but it was so not as much of a big deal (in regards to my weight) as I thought it would be… there were some good friends there, some people that I knew but never got a chance to talk to, and a few people that I might have purposefully avoided… what can I say? I’m still harboring a bit of a low-self-confidence-teenage-girl deep in my soul. But, it was entirely irrelevant whether I was wearing a size 16 or a size 8 (although, for the record, I was wearing none of those things… I was wearing a medium! ha!) and all that really mattered was getting to catch up with a good, good friend that I haven’t seen since graduation. And her life story was far more captivating than my dress size!

Okay, but back to the topic at hand… which does have to do with the wedding though (more precisely, the reception), so stick with me.

The wedding wasn’t until 3:00 and my husband, knowing that it would be just me wanting to talk to old high school friends, opted out of going, so he was going to stay home with the boys. Well, I was ready to go by 1:30 and I decided to duck out before the boys woke up so we wouldn’t have to go through the whole rigamarole of me leaving and their tears and waving to me and watching me drive away.

And after I finished my one need-to-do errand, I realized that I had forgotten to eat lunch and… I still had an hour until the wedding. Afraid that they might not have something that I could eat at the wedding and being at the point where I was getting hunnnnnngary, I started heading toward Petra (this aweeeeeeeesome fresh Mexican food bistro in McKinney).

I got their fish tacos (yum.may.) with charro beans and tortilla soup… it was all uhmazing (there’s a pic of it at the top)! And I sat out on the patio all by myself (cause everyone else likes this stuff called air conditioning… weird, I know) and faced out toward the green belt behind the restaurant and listened to the music that mimics that I would hear on the beaches of Mexico.

I ate just enough until I was full… okay, maybe a smidge past full but not feeling gross or anything, and then I went on to the wedding. The wedding was beau.ti.ful. and so special and I was just so… happy the whole time. It made me both relive the awesomeness of my own wedding and also made me want to renew my vows just so that I can have another wedding cause really, although they are a lot of work, they are also a lot of fun… and there’s the whole white dress thing. Loved her wedding dress.

Okay, okay… the point.

Well, at the reception, there was a whole lot more than just cake and punch… they had a brilliant spread! Sandwiches, fruit, cheese, crackers, etc. etc. etc. And my friends all got up from their table to go get some grub. I wasn’t hungry, but I also really wanted to hang out with them… so I went through the line with them… and didn’t get a thing.

And I didn’t spontaneously combust because I didn’t get food.

And no one pointed and laughed at me.

And I sat back down with my friends while they snacked.

And it was all good.

And I was reminded once again of

a) how much food is intertwined with our lives… to a lot of people wedding = reception = good food and cake
b) how I don’t have to eat when I’m not hungry
c) how far God has brought me
d) how far God still can bring me!

So, although I’m so extremely pleased that my dear friend said “I Do”… I’m just as pleased that I said “I Don’t… want anything to eat.”

June 20, 2012

Day 162: Big But

Time and time again, when people hear about my covenant they have either one of two responses:

  1. Oh my gosh… that’s amazing! I bet it is so great to do! I should do it too!
  2. Oh my gosh… that’s insane! I could never do that!

At first, I would just smile and say “Yeah” but then I started wondering why people thought that they could never do a covenant like mine. So, I started asking, “Why? Why could you never do it?” And it’s interesting… people saying “no” to the covenant have similar refusals that people refusing Christ have. They almost all start out: Well, that’s good for you…

…but it’s just that I’m totally addicted to Dr. Pepper (I get this one a lot).
…but I am a foodaholic and just can’t stop eating stuff.
…but I’m pretty sure that even God can’t make me skinny.
…but not eat bread?!!? What DO you eat anyway?
…but I have to have at least one piece of chocolate a day.
…but I’m afraid that if I tried then I wouldn’t be able to stick by it.

I truly, truly, truly understand those statements… and even more of them. I remember thinking how I could never be “broken” off my addiction to chocolate, that I would never be able to break free from eating, that restricting so much would allow me nothing to eat, that I needed at least one bite of candy or chocolate a day, and that if I tried to make a covenant with Him… what might happen if I failed? Or even worse… feeling like I knew that I would fail Him.

And I sometimes just want to shake people… to shake them so hard that the film of this world falls from their eyes. to shake them so that they remember that God is powerful. that God is MORE powerful. to shake them and remind them that OF COURSE they couldn’t do it… but that God can!

But I know, too, that it is all a journey we have to take. Oftentimes, we have to find that rock bottom before we can admit that we can’t do it. But then even more often it’s far scarier to think that God CAN. I guess because a trip with God into the unknown, into the risky, into the fray can be scary. It can be a bumpy ride… always with a wonderful ending, but a lot of times with a lot of turbulence along the way.

And you know, I went through a lot of those thoughts in between my Daniel Fast last June and my start day in January. Six months of questions. Six months of knowing that this was right but avoiding it… out of fear really. And I think of where I might be if I had just abandoned myself to His care. In a way, I missed out on six months of blessings… if only I could have just looked past my Big But.

You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. Romans 2:18

June 14, 2012

Day 156: Label Maker

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Last night I was talking to my friend… hmmmmm, not sure that I have mentioned her yet so I need to make up her code name… my friend… my friend…well, I’m going to actually put a bit of thought into her name, let’s call her Ananya (Ana for short) because that name means “unique” and/or “energy”… and she is certainly both of those things!!!

Anyway, after quite a lot of conversation we discovered that her covenant needs were less about WHAT she is eating and more about HOW she is thinking! It was a fascinating discussion that was worth bumping my previously half-drafted post back a few days. As Ana talked, we realized that she was constantly filling her mind and soul with horrible, horrible “self-talk” that was destroying her soul and subsequently hurting her body. (You don’t have to be a hippie to know that the mind-body relationship that God has put within us is a complicated and yet extremely powerful thing!)

So, we came up with a plan for her that I think was nothing short of brilliant and entirely going to be a blessing from God. In fact, I think that I’m going to do it for the next five days as well just to see what comes up!

Like most people might need to journal their foods for a few days to come face to face with either how much they are eating (having to force yourself to write down that you ate 5 cupcakes or 3 servings of mashed potatoes or whatever is a great way to realize that you might just be eating more than you realized) but also to face up with what they are eating (like I was completely unaware that I was eating the edges of my son’s peanut butter and honey sandwiches… because I had been eating them for so long I didn’t even realize it)! But since Ana is already a pretty healthy eater, but apparently a pretty UNhealthy self-speaker, she is going to do a variation of that. Ana is going to journal her thoughts all day. Every time she has a negative thought “My belly is a ginormous lump of fat” or “Look at all this cellulite… ugh where did it come from?” or “Even if I do eat this healthy banana I’m still going to get fat” etc… then she is to write it down and then replace that thought with a truth from the Word of God.

Even though there are a lot of good, positive quotes out there that could help, I really encouraged Ana to stick to the Word of God to replace those thoughts… because it will take all the pressure, all the work, all the success or failure off of her. After all, it is God who gives us the ability to succeed!

And I thought this might come in handy (Ana, I was going to email it to you but I figured we could all use it)… I got these verses from a list in the study Me, Myself, and Lies (which is an AWESOME study) and then I transferred them into first-person because they just seem to grab my heart more when I do that… Jennifer Rothchild called them “Truthful Labels” and I thought that was so accurate… God is the one that speaks the truth to us, and I, by all means, want HIM to be the one that labels me (instead of me, the world, and certainly NOT the devil)! He is my true Label Maker!

THE TRUTHFUL LABELS GIVEN TO ME BY GOD

  1. I belong to Christ, and so I’ve become a new person. My old life is gone; my new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
  2. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased my freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave my sins. He has showered his kindness on me, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
  3. God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
  4. I didn’t choose Jesus… Jesus chose me. He appointed me to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give me whatever I ask for, using the name of Jesus. John 15:16
  5. In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
  6. If God is for me, who can ever be against me? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for me, won’t he also give me everything else? Who dares accuse me whom God has chosen as his own? No one! For God himself has given me right standing with himself. Who then will condemn me? No one! For Christ Jesus died for me and was raised to life for me, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for me. Can anything ever separate me from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me. And I am convincned that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
  7. I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
  8. Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18
  9. So now there is no condemnation for me who belongs to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
  10. I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  11. Even though I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that I have been saved!) Ephesians 2:5
  12. I am God’s masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10
  13. Now, I can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit as everyone else because of what Christ has done for me. Ephesians 2:18
  14. Since I have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let me hold firmly to what I believe. This High Priest of mine understands my weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings I do, yet he did not sin. So let me come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I will receive his mercy, and I will find grace to help me when I need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16
  15. I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
  16. God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  17. See how very much my Father loves me, for he calls me his child, and that is what I am! 1 Corinthians 6:20
  18. But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that I am God’s child because they don’t know him. I am already God’s child, but he has not yet shown me what I will be like when Christ appears. But I do know that I will be like him, for I will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:1-2
  19. So now I, as a Gentile, am no longer a stranger and foreigner. I am a citizen along with all of God’s holy people. I am a member of God’s family. Ephesians 2:19
  20. I am a chosen person. I am a royal priest, part of a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, I can show others the goodness of God, for he called me out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9-10
  21. Since God chose me to be a holy person he loves, I must clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
  22. I have had that veil removed and can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes me more and more like him as I am changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
  23. And since I am his child, I am his heir. In fact, together with Christ I am an heir of God’s glory. But if I am to share his glory, I must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17
  24. He no longer calls me a slave, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now I am his friend, since he has told me everything the Father told him. John 15:15
  25. For the Lord my God is living among me. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in me with gladness. With his love, he will calm all my fears. He will rejoice over me with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17
  26. Because of Christ and my faith in him, I can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12
June 12, 2012

Day 154: Covenant Companions

I have found that this quote explains why I have found so many new friends of late through this blog. So many of you have said this very thing “What! You too? I thought I was the only one” about my cookie dough experience, or having to fight off breadsticks, or merely just feeling and knowing and struggling with gluttony… with an addiction to food.

And lately, I have come across a bunch of you that need to… connect… with someone about this. I have gotten several emails and phone calls from covenant friends that want to hang out with me and talk through some of their covenant thoughts. Every one has a slightly unique situation, a slightly unique need, and a slightly unique food-issue and so sometimes the blog posts just don’t cut it. And of course, after every time that I hang out with someone and talk covenant, addiction, gluttony, pain, guilt, regret, love for God, salvation, freedom, renewal, forgiveness, etc, etc, etc… I end up feeling more blessed than the person that felt that they needed the blessing!

Now, I’m going to say this, and I don’t want it to sound cocky… but I want you guys to know kind of where I’m coming from on this. When I started getting so many people that wanted to talk through this issue with me, I was kind of worried. I was talking to my husband about it wondering why so many covenanters needed someone to talk to when I had kind of just gone my own way… by myself. Through talking to him I realized that although I might not have called someone up to talk to them about my struggles, my pain, my guilt, etc. that I had been able to express all of that through my blog. Every time I went through a struggle with food and posted about it, I felt almost as if I had been cleansed… like I was free of that mistake. Even though I had never directly spoken to someone about it. Just because I knew that a few of my friends (and always my mom!!!) were reading my posts. In a way, it was like the best kind of friendship… I got to “talk” the whole time with no one to interrupt me!

But being able to chat with others about their experiences has been… well, like I said, a blessing! Their words often ring in my mind for days as I pray for God to help them and pray for God to show me the words to say to them.

All of this to say, I am truly going to be praying on and thinking about how to incorporate a system of friendship through this blog. So many are covenanting in secret and aren’t telling those close to them… but perhaps you’d like to tell someone that will understand. Or get advice. I dunno… anything that you guys could recommend to help out this aspect of the covenant would be great.

But it all boils down to this verse, which I know that I have mentioned before, but it is in a new light now:

For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. Romans 1:11-12

June 6, 2012

Day 148: Wedding Weight

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Coming up at the end of June is the wedding of one of my friends from high school. I graduated back in 1997 and I haven’t seen quite a lot of people since that day. Thanks to Facebook I have been able to keep up with a lot of them, but still… some of them I have yet to see.

And… well… I’ll be honest… all of that difficulty that I had with the weighing a few weeks ago. Yeah, it’s because of the wedding.

You see, I had figured out… by the time the end of June is here then I should be able to be down to a size 8… down to 145 or 150. And then… when I wasn’t on that (self-made) track anymore and it looked like I wasn’t going to be a cool 145 by the end of June, well, I got panicked. Cause (in my worldly-focused mind) I needed to weigh LESS than I did in high school, and I’m pretty sure I was around 160… bumping up against 170 in high school. All of these people I went to high school with don’t know that I got up to 210, so they won’t know that I’ve already lost a huge chunk of weight. So (again, let me repeat, in my world-focused mind) I needed to weigh at least twenty pounds less than I did in high school in order for people to say “Ooooooo Ahhhhhh, January… wow… you look so great… Ooooooo Ahhhhhh.”

Yeah. It’s soooo lame. I know.

I guess part of it is because, amazing Christians as they might have been, I spent a lot of my high school years trying to chase after their approval. I was still so new to living a life with Jesus that I hadn’t gotten rid of the need of “praise from men” yet. And I wasn’t in the “popular” church crowd. The sad part: I had such great friends during that time… but it took me years, and years, and yearsssss before I could appreciate them. And by then it was really too late to salvage those relationships that I let slip and slide into the past.

But anyway, I finally came face to face with the realization that I wanted to lose that weight by a certain deadline for a reason that had nothing. to. do. with. God. and had everything to do with this world.

And, well, this covenant… it IS God. It is only about God… weight. life. skinny. clothes. chocolate. vegetables. None of those things matter ultimately. On December 31, 2012 when the clock turns over to a new year… all that will matter is God.

So, even now, I am having to renew my mind. to reset my mind. to focus my mind. on things above and forget about the wedding (well, in terms of weight at least… I really am excited to see this wonderful girl… the best of girls… get married).

If then you have been raised with Christ to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead, aim at and seek the rich, eternal treasures that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your mind and keep it set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2

May 20, 2012

Day 131: We All Need A Job

I love having “nicknames” for my friends that are doing the covenant… ya know, so that I don’t have to worry about them being embarrassed about stories I tell about them, or letting the cat out of the bag if they are “secret-fasting”, or whatever.

You have heard me talk about my friend “Christy” several times… ya know, my spiritual, emotional, and personality clone? Ya know what’s funny… we went to high school together, came up in the same church together, and I remember thinking she was cool and funny but that was sorta… it. For some reason we never really became good friends. Well, after doing a bible study with her at church I very quickly decided she needed to be my friend! (And I think she is one of those “magnetic” type of people that has like 500 people list her as one of their best friends while she would only write down four or five names of her best friends.) But nonetheless, she is certainly on my top 5 list whether I’m on hers or not! Haha!

And I say all of that to give you a little background to understand that I deeply care for my friend Christy… I’m truly elated when she has success, I’m entertained when she has some crazy hilarity in her life, and I am pained when she has sadness or struggle.

And, well, lately she has just had… struggle.

And so, well, lately I have just been pained for her.

So the other day I was praying for her and I got this overwhelming sense of Satan attacking her and then of future blessings for her. Now I know that might seem ridiculous… we all have times in our lives marked out by blessing and times marked out by sadness and struggle. But nonetheless, it was so strong that I stopped chopping the celery I was working on, and I put both hands on the island to rest under the weight of this… this… impression put on me that was nothing short of supernatural.

At this point I’m sure some of you might be wondering why in the world I am telling you all of this. You might be thinking, “Oops, January accidentally put a post up on her covenant blog that was supposed to go somewhere else!” (Now… don’t put that past me… it wouldn’t surprise me as flighty as I can be some times.) But here comes the covenant part!

Ya see, Christy is doing a covenant. And Christy is being attacked. And Satan is trying to bring her down. I told her soon after she started having troubles with being sick, “Oh no- I tell ya what, I shoulda warned everyone… number one guarantee when going on the covenant: Satan WILL attack your health.

And I think that she is a big ol target of Satan’s… cause ya see, Christy is a very vocal woman of God. She loves to talk about God in a real way. In the kind of a way that cuts down to the marrow of your soul and makes you face who Jesus really is. And Christy, during and after this covenant, could do some major damage to Satan’s goals.

So to say that she is having spiritual warfare… honestly, after that wave of Revelation from God… well, I’m afraid calling it “spiritual warfare” doesn’t quite cover what I think is going on.

I think “Christy” is having a Job-attack. (Job as in the guy from the Bible… not the word for occupation.) Has her house fallen in on her entire family? No. Has all of her money and money-making ability been stripped from her? No. Has she been plagued by life-altering illness? Okay, well, yes a little bit of that one.

Here’s why I compare her to Job. I think she is under direct attack by Satan. I don’t think any of his minions are working on her. I think it’s the big dog himself. And he is working in a far more devious way than he did with Job. He is working subtly. quietly. slowly. trying to eat away at her joy. her peace. her love. her resolve.

He is working to make Christy feel… defeated.

And I think there is nothing more devastating to us than feeling defeated. It sucks our life away. It strips us of our joy. our love. our hope. And this just just what Satan was going for when he attacked Job. And I think that’s what he’s going for by attacking Christy.

But here, too, is where I think Christy is like Job. You see, Job, at the core… was stubbornly obedient to God. I’m sure that theologians have come up with a gazillion reasons as to why Job was able to resist cursing God, but ultimately it doesn’t matter: the guy stuck by God. And well, my friend Christy certainly has a bit of a stubborn streak in her as well… and I think it will pay off for her in this: Christy is stubbornly obedient to God. I mean… the girl won’t bend. she won’t break. she is going to obey God.

So… Satan, you might as well give up. Cause you gonna lose this one just like ya lost the one with Job.

And then, God is going to bless Christy. Abundantly.

And so I guess this is a word of encouragement ultimately… for Christy and for anyone else that feels the secret, silent, stealthy, sneaky assault of Satan. But ya gotta have a bit of a Job in ya. A bit of Christy in ya.

Ya gotta be stubborn. Ya gotta wag your finger in Satan’s face and say, “No flippin way. God is mine and I am His. I will follow Him. So, in the name of Jesus Christ… go away.”

Because at the end… Job got to chat with God, and God gave Job a one-on-one lesson in Who He Is. And I love Job’s response:

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

So here is my prayer for you Christy and for all of your comrades…

God, I pray that Christy would have the same level of integrity that Job had and that you would double her blessings as you did with Job. God, please give her strength to endure Satan’s attacks and to look to You so that she will have the chance to say, I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. In The Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

May 18, 2012

Day 129: Tea Time

My friend Christy and I were talking about why we would eat at night a lot was because it was like after we got our kids down to bed that was “our time” and part of that involved “treating” ourselves. Honestly, I still have to fight the urge at this time. I used eating after the boys were in bed as a “stall” technique. It was the only way that my husband wouldn’t ask me or expect me to fold the laundry or pay the bills or whatever. If I was sitting there eating… whatever… then he couldn’t ask, or at least he didn’t ask.

Now, I turn to iced tea as my “luxury” item in the evenings. I mean, I know that it’s not a luxury item compared to some of the stuff I used to eat, but in a way it is. I mean, iced tea represents relaxation in the south… sittin outside with my feet up drinking a glass of fresh brewed (okay, okay, fresh brewed to a mom of a toddler means that it was fresh brewed today) well, that’s just luxury. decadence. relaxation. comfort.

And it doesn’t involve a single bite of chocolate.

The other night, even though by the time I had finished getting the boys in bed it was dark outside, I decided that I wanted to get myself a glass of tea and sit out on the patio and look up at the big beautiful sky as it slid from dusk into darkness. So, I sat out there and gazed up at Venus and took several deep breaths and “found” myself again… well at least until every gnat in a five mile radius descended upon me. Ha!

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Part of me (that would like to be June Cleaver… well, it’s a very smalllllll part of me) would like to say that I came right on in and got down to work folding the huge basket of laundry that I had to do, but the other part of me (that loves being January Rowe) came in and went. straight. to. sleep. Haha! Well, honestly, I have already learned that it is more difficult to fight off hunger when I am tired, sooooo I just don’t let myself get THAT tired if I can help it (note: if I can help it… I have a four year old that is going through his nightly “I’m scared” phase and a two-year old that is getting in, what I call, his vamp teeth (the sharp pointy vampire looking teeth… so sometimes I can’t keep the exhaustion away… those are “survival” days).

Really… maybe we as a society don’t take enough moments of rest. I am more “me” when I do take time to rest…

Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me. Psalm 116:7

May 16, 2012

Day 127: Props To My Peeps

Today I went over to my friend Amanda’s* house for lunch and a play date for our kids. She was just… an awesome hostess! Her momma definitely trained her up right!!!

Our kids are almost the same ages and she has an extremely kid-friendly house… it was truly relaxing and enjoyable to just sit and chat. And lucky for me, Amanda has been reading my blog lately so she knew my… “restrictions”. But double lucky for me… nah, I’m gonna call this a blessing… she made sure that all of the food met my “diet”. Even the newest no-bread and no-chips. It was just soooo considerate! And it made me feel refreshed. honored. special. worthy.

I don’t know why it made me feel all of those things, but it did. That is a good friend.

A lot of people, well at least at the beginning of my covenant before I had lost weight, were like “Girl, you crazy” or “I could never give up meat.” And I totally understood their sentiments… heck, days before I had been saying the exact same things. But all the same, it was kind of… I dunno… demoralizing. So when I have a friend treat my covenant as special, it just sort of builds me up!

And while I’m at it I really need to thank my family as well… my mom always makes sure that there are plenty of yummy options for me… and again, it feels like support and… blessing… when someone does that. My husband brought home that Olive Garden meal for me and made sure to get me shrimp so that I could eat all of it. Just a… blessing.

So, I wanted to take a moment and thank my friends and family for being… a blessing to me.

And I’m going to cite this version (The Message) of this verse because I love how the ending of it describes exactly how I feel about my sweet friendships and my sweet family (although the beginning of the verse is kinda oogie sounding, I’ll admit)…

Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Proverbs 27:9

*Nope… not her real name either. It’s kind of fun to change names… like writing “secret” notes in junior high!