Posts tagged ‘prayer’

August 20, 2013

Day 588: A Tale Of Two Milkshakes

two milkshakes

I guess I was asking for it.

Culvers. Happy Hour. $1 “Short” Shakes. Two squirely boys who NEVER finish eating anything.

There was A LOT left over.

And I was doing good, until I started wondering what the “brownie bites” tasted like. And so… I tasted… just one.

Pandora’s box, my friends, had nothing on a bite of sugary sweet.

It was all I could handle not to eat the whole thing there right in front of my boys. But I didn’t.

But I was planning on eating all of it when they weren’t looking. I mean, I was playing this game with myself of trying to rationalize, “Oh well, maybe I should be having one day a week where I can have sugar.” Seriously?!?!? Jan, we’ve been down this road before SEVERAL TIMES. If that worked, it’d be AWESOME. But it just doesn’t work for you.

For you, sugar is a drug.

A very, very addictive drug. With a pull stronger than the strength of a thousand horses. (Sorry, I’m too brain dead to come up with a stunning comparison! Ha!)

And as we pulled in to play at McDonald’s for a while (By the way, if you are thinking, “Wow they go to McDonalds and Chick Fil A all the time”… yes, we play at these establishments a lot and 95% of the time, I never buy a thing! It’s free air-conditioned/heated play space… I ain’t gonna say no to that!)

Anyway, as we pulled in to play at McDonald’s, I looked down at those two shakes and just prayed…

God, deliver me from this.

His answer: Commit this to Me.

I knew at that moment, I had to commit to not eat those shakes. So my mind went to eating something at McDonald’s instead… no. I had to commit the whole evening. What would I commit, what would I not commit? I thought, Just go easy… go Daniel Fast style. You know it in and out and you can stick by it with what you have at home.

Thus commencing the 5 Hour Daniel Fast.

I know it’s a bit comical. A 5 Hour fast???

But it was necessary. I had to COMMIT to Him. No talking myself out of it. No rationalizations. No confusion or loopholes.

It’s what’s best.

And then I realized the awesome answered prayer. My verse/prayer this morning.

Bend down, God, and hear my prayer. Answer me; I need your help. I will call to you when I’m in trouble, and you will answer me. Ps 86:1,7

And tonight it is my song of praise…

You bent down & heard my prayer & answered me when I needed your help.
I called to you when I was in trouble, and you answered me!!!
Ps 86:1,7

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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 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, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

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…

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

July 2, 2013

Day 539: Saved By The Bell

Saved by the Bell

Ohhhhhhh, Zack.

Okay, I’m gonna admit that I spent an embarrassing amount of time searching through Google images for a picture because I just sorta got lost back in my childhood of watching this show.

That, and there were A LOT of current fashion trends that I’m pretttttty sure were inspired by Kelly’s outfits. Case in point…

kelly saved by the bell outfit

I am almost positive that I saw those pants (in a legging form) at Target, those shoes are everywhere and that top would totally be at Forever21. And I’m not sure if I think it’s cool that “kids these days” are wearing clothes like this or if it is utterly frightening and mortifying.

And the best part… the title of this post has very little to do with the actual content (other than the word “saved”) and the show Saved By The Bell Has… nothing… to do with the content of the post.

So, that little trip down memory lane. Yeah… that was a freebie.

You can thank me later when you have a flashback dream tonight of Jessie’s “I’m so excited” scene.

POSITIVITY: I am saved.

I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.  He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me. Psalm 55:16-18

I just went through and highlighted that verse and it just really. really. hit me.

There is a battle being waged against me.

I know it. I feel it. I fight it day after day.

Just today I thought to myself, “Why is it that I broke so many habits, changed my lifestyle, lost all that weight, and then it’s like… I forgot it all? Like, the old me just snapped back awake and took over again.”

And there it was in the verse.

There is a battle being waged against me.

Cause I know… had things kept going along swimmingly I would have just gone crazy powerhouse about God’s life-giving freedom. So Satan had to pony-up and come and get me.

Cause let me tell you… that freedom. It’s the most wonderful thing you’ll ever taste.

And I miss it.

I long to have it back.

But right now… right now, there is a battle being waged against me.

{I just started silently smiling to myself.}

But I. am. safe.

I know that God wins the battle.
I know that God hears my voice.
I know that God will rescue me.

So I’m just gonna keep on keeping on. Fighting my fight. Even though so many days of the week it seems as if I’m losing. as if I’m being pushed back. as if I’m just about to be taken captive.

I’m remembering Psalm 55:16-18 up there.

And I’m remembering that I am safe.

PRAYER:

God, I come to you a bit raw today. I can’t help but feel a little defeated at the moment. I want to be over this. Honestly, I just want you to touch me with your magic wand and say “HEALED!” I want to feel Your power coursing through my blood. That same Power that healed the bleeding woman, Lazarus, the lepers, the blind, the sick, the possessed.

Heal me as well God. Please. Heal me. I reach out and touch your garment. Heal me.

But as I wait for that, I will remember that you are keeping me safe from this battle waged against me. I will remember that you hear my voice. I will remember that you. will. rescue. me.

Give me wisdom God. Give me wisdom to know what to do with myself. to know what to pray. to know what to avoid. Give me wisdom God to know how to fight this enemy of mine! I feel him trying his best to put a rift between us… he has pulled out the big guns, man. But I’m trying to hold on God. I’m trying to hold on to You.

Keep me safe God. Keep me close.

I trust You, God.

Amen.

June 29, 2013

Day 536: God Takes Care Of My Laundry

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Today, I want to start with the verse cause it is… great.

It was one of those verses where I had written down the reference several weeks back next to the word “helped” but didn’t really know much about it aside from that, but then I pulled it up today on my phone and took in a deep, sharp breath and said, “Oh yeah. THAT is good stuff.”

POSITIVITY: I am helped.

The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. Psalms 145:14 NLT

God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. Psalms 145:14 MSG

I read it originally in the NLT cause that’s my favorite “light reading” version of the bible and I just snapped back from the words.

Fallen.

So often I feel… fallen. imperfect. not good enough. And this verse tells me… God helps those kinds of people. This kind of person.

Then when I kept reading that “He lifts those bent beneath their loads”… wow. I immediately was like, “Uhhhhhhhh, that’s me.” Instantly it was like I could feel Him pulling my soul a bit more out of the pit. Just from reading those words.

Loads of guilt.
Loads of worry.
Loads of insecurities.

And well, let’s not forget…

Loads of laundry.

Loads and loads and loads of laundry.

I even showed you a picture of my laundry above (and honestly, that doesn’t include the two hampers that are full right now, too) to prove how much of a load I’m under and so I could stop any (slim, slim, slim) changes of you having “instagram envy“.

So when I came to write this post I thought that I’d hop on over to the Message translation just for giggles and I loved it too, especially the last: “gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.”

I think time and time again I have been ready to quit, and even though I often muddle on, I don’t think that I think of it as a “fresh start”, but that’s what it is. He allows me to start over again and again and again.

AND He helps through all of my stumbles.

Wow.

That’s one rad God, if I do say so myself.

Now, if I went in to my utility room after posting this and I find that all of my loads and loads and loads of laundry have been done for me by my Heavenly Father? Well, let’s just say I’ll be purty dern convinced that Jesus has returned cause that would be nothing short of Heaven on Earth.

PRAYER:

God. When I just THINK of all of the times I’ve been down in the pit. that I’ve fallen. that I’ve willingly gone down into the pit. that I’ve been out of luck. weighed down. ready to quit. and THEN I think of all those times that you’ve lifted me up? Wow. Why would I do anything but follow you? Why would I ever end up in a pit again?

I dunno.

But I know that right now I am just relishing in how good and faithful you are to me.

Thank you for the many times you have lifted me up. thank you for the many times you will lift me up in the future. You are… just so amazing. Keep me remembering that You lift me up. hold me. care for me. adore me.

Amen.

June 27, 2013

Day 534: Cookie Dough Doesn’t Care

January At Staff Student Volleyball GameI remember this one time when I was teaching and one of the school board members had a son in my class. His son was failing… badly. He just wasn’t doing work. Nothing out of the ordinary for a high school boy… many of them go through this “phase”. Anyway, the dad started to just go after me in emails that were CCed to the superintendent… it was my fault and all that. And unfortunately he said some really mean things to me: that I didn’t care about my students, that I obviously wasn’t teaching the kids, that I was just giving the kids busy work.

Now, I was one of those teachers that took feedback very seriously. Because, whether any of those things were true or false, it didn’t matter. Perception is reality. And I knew I was teaching the kids. I knew I wasn’t giving them busy work (heck, I didn’t even GIVE homework). Above all of that though, I KNEW that I loved and cared for my students. I mean… just look at the pic above from our Staff vs. Student Volleyball game. Who would dress like that AND fro their hair out AND run around playing volleyball if they didn’t care about the kids?!?!

Oh man… this all just ripped me up inside.

I would have full blown conversations with this gentleman in the solace of my car… things that I WISHED I could say to him but never would. I was sick over it.

The kind of sick you feel when you have the stomach bug… that feeling was in my stomach all. day. long.

Only, what did I do? Did I stop eating because my stomach felt funny?

Nope.

I ate MORE because my stomach felt funny. And food was my comfort.

And I can still remember that I got to the point one day where I, out of desperation, just prayed: God. Please work this out. Give me the guidance to know what to do in order to just make this end peaceably.

Well, I got to school and there was a reply email from the superintendent basically asking “Hey… I believe in you. Just tell me what’s going on here.”

It was like God.

Ya know… the food I was eating couldn’t make that situation dissolve. It couldn’t soothe the emotions of those worried parents. All it could do was make me fatter and sicker.

But God… well, He was Johnny on the SPOT!

I gave my worries and cares to Him and He took care of it. Know why? Cause he CARES about what happens to me.

That brownie. That cookie dough. Those chips.

They don’t care.

POSITIVITY: I am carefree.

Give all your worries and cares to God, because he cares about what happens to you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

PRAYER:

God, Thank you for taking all these burdens that I tend to carry on my own. I love that I can rely on You to watch over me… to be concerned about my little daily life.

Help me to remember over these days and weeks that You want to deal with my stressful situations. Help me to come to you whenever I have some kind of issues that worries my soul. Help me to see a brownie or cookie dough or chips and to think of YOU instead of the non-help that they offer.

You are my help.

Amen!

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