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

Day 161: Best. Anniversary. Everrrrrrrrr.

Today was my 8th anniversary of my marriage to my husband… aren’t we cute?

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We met about ten years ago in the singles group at our church (despite the fact that I was convinced that once I joined the singles group that I would be single forever), dated for almost two-years and got married at that same church. We are truly the only two people in the world that could probably put up with each other… a match made in heaven! Haha!

Last summer, we went to Cabo to celebrate our anniversary (our first trip without kids, and our first real vacation since we got married) but this year it wasn’t quite in the budget to do something so extravagant, so we arranged for some childcare from my mother and father-in-law. We have been talking about our plans for days, and my husband was really open to the fact that Saltgrass probabllllly wasn’t going to be the best option for our anniversary dinner this year (he’s doing a similar covenant this month), and so I suggested that we go somewhere and get some seafood. Knowing that he was going to try to pressure me into sushi (which I like, but I just wanted something… different… this go round), I jumped on facebook and asked people what the best seafood places were in the area. I got tons of responses and narrowed it down to a place called the Oceanaire.

Now, he automatically gets some props because he was so cool about supporting my covenant during our anniversary, but his real props come from while we were actually at dinner.

The waiter offered us champagne, and when my husband locked eyes with me he could see the “I can’t” that I was transmitting to him telepathically, and he asked for a Pellegrino with lemon.

Later the bread came, and he deferred eating that as well.

The meal options were all within our range so that was no problem (but absolutely delicious to be sure)!

But when the waiter came over and said that he would be giving us a dessert, I got a little panicked. I have this difficult time saying “no” to gifts from people. How would I handle the situation. Just have a bite and be thankful and then let my husband eat the rest? But then, he was trying to avoid all of that stuff as well. After mulling over it for a few minutes, I just said to my husband that I was going to eat my dinner and enjoy it and then worry about it.

After a bit, I went to “powder my nose” and apparently while I was gone my husband had told the waiter that I didn’t eat sugar and so I…

wait.

Whole story… he didn’t just tell the waiter that I didn’t eat sugar. He told the waiter that I’d had a life changing experience with food and with God. He told the waiter that I was like an addict that had been freed.

And then he told the waiter that it would be cool to get me a fruit bowl for dessert instead of the Baked Alaska.

And it was the sweetest dessert ever.

Not because I drizzled it with honey (which I didn’t, by the way… I didn’t need to). Not because the fruit was amazing (which it was). And not because I felt svelte and thin and classy (which I did).

But because my husband was truly my knight in shining armor. He defended me. He defended my covenant. My covenant with God. He helped me to stand up against the world when I my defenses were crumbling. And he presented my covenant and my God shamelessly to our server.

Yep. My knight in shining armor!

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Ecclesiastes 4:12

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Day 160: Ode To Anice

Lately my husband and I have been talking about some of his food documentaries. Like, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, The Gershon Diet, King Corn, etc.

And they have helped me become keenly aware that Jesus saved me.

Yes, He saved me from Hell.
He saved me from wallowing in my sins.
He saved me from a life of hopelessness, and regret, and broken identity.

But He also has, literally, saved my life.

You see, I was consuming in a way that was, simply put, going to work my body to death. Not because I was working out too much (haha- no chance of that!!!), and not because I was over stressing things in my life (not a super stressful person… patience is really my only virtue), but because…

Well, look at it this way, if my body is a factory and it is required to work a certain amount… I was eating so much stuff that took so much effort to process that I fear my body would have literally gotten so worn out that it would have… shut down.

And a little background here… my Dad’s mother, Anice, passed away from a blood disease when he was a young teenage boy. He doesn’t talk about it a lot but when he does, the experience has to have been the most devastating thing he will ever experience. Over the years I have imagined him as that young boy. I have attempted to imagine his pain. But it is a desolation that I simply cannot fathom. I cannot conjure it.

Now his mother, of course, could not help her illness. For that we can only blame Satan for bringing sin into the world… the sin that made our bodies imperfect. that broke our DNA. that killed our chance for immortality.

But it has made me think over the years… am I willingly killing myself? What if, at the age of 35, I keeled over and died because I had over-consumed? I would purposefully leave my boys motherless… I would have purposefully allowed them to go through that devastation and pain… for a Twix candy bar!??!

It is a strong thought. a compelling thought. a horrid thought.

And yet despite the fear of that happening, I simply could. not. stop. over. eating.

Until Jesus saved me.

Until this covenant I was barreling toward that barricade at the end of the track unable to find the strength to pull on the break.

Only Jesus had the strength.

And so now, even if I should die at the age of 35… or 55… or 85… in my last moment, I won’t have to say that it is “my fault” that I am leaving my sons motherless. Because Jesus has saved me.

Inside and Out.

And I’m pretty sure that is something my Grandma Anice would be proud of.

Day 159: Hide And Seek

Yesterday I wrote about how I’m learning to “treat” myself in ways that are not food related. And at the top of the post I had this picture…

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Well, I want to address a bit more of the whole story behind that picture.

Don’t get too excited, it’s nothing super fantabulous, but it was one of those moments that I realized after-the-fact that I have had a whole “mind renewal” that is essentially complete and I didn’t even realize it…

sneak eating.

Ya see, once upon a time, any time that my husband would leave the house… and by any time I literally mean every time he would leave the house… I would take that opportunity to sneak eat something that I would be embarrassed to eat in front of him. A bowl of cookie dough, or I’d make some chocolate icing (this was one of my favorites because there was no evidence… make the icing, put away the ingredients, eat the icing straight from the bowl, wash the bowl, do a bit of self-loathing and he’d never the the wiser), finish off the bag of Twix I got for my son’s lunch bags, and well, you get the picture.

But yesterday, I didn’t even think about eating something while he was gone. I wasn’t tempted by anything. That whole “What can I have while he’s gone?” question never entered my mind even a bit. And ya know what I did?

I took my toddler on a walk. A lonnnnnnnng walk. And I found those clouds in the pic. And I felt the sweet breeze (that felt a lot like an ocean breeze for some reason). And I raced my boy down a hill. And I relished in a big glass of water when I got home.

And it was great. There was no guilt whatsoever. Mind you, I was more worn out than my toddler I think, but it was that good kind of “satisfied” worn out. Anyway, when I was writing that post yesterday about treating myself in ways other than food, the realization that I hadn’t thought about sneak eating hit me.

Because all along, I may have been hiding those eating “sessions” from my husband, but I was never hiding them from God. I knew that He could see what I was doing, but I think I just smushed the guilt far down in my soul… haha, thinking that it wouldn’t matter then.

But God adores me, and He still tracked me down and found me.

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. Psalm 139:7-11

And those moments were dark. dark. dark. but I could not hide from Him (thank goodness). So God, no matter how far away I try to go, please allow your hand to guide me there and your strength to support me. I love you.

Day 158: Sweet Treats

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Summer seems to be all about… life. When you even just look through the Target ads (which I do… I mean, come on, I have two boys… shopping is not something that I do… ever. So, looking through the Target ads is like my form of “window shopping”… and I can do it in my PJs), you can see that everything is happy and carefree and full of smiles and toys and… life!

And previously for me (and by previously I mean, like… my whole life), summer has been about ice cream, and brownies, and snow cones, and Oreos, and ice cream, and hot dogs, and milkshakes, and chips with dip, and ice cream, and ice cream.

Yeah, so apparently, I like ice cream.

But not this summer… but it’s all good. Cause this summer is going to be about REAL LIFE.

Instead of taking a moment to relax with a bowl of ice cream (and don’t forget the Hershey’s syrup on top), I’m going to take my book and a vat of OFF to keep the buggies away and I will sit in my patio chairs and enjoy real. peace. and real. life.

Instead of a snow cone, I might just take a bubble bath.

No chips and dip for me… I prefer to take a dip in the pool (and yes, that “cool dip” will be in my kid’s pool because that’s what we have, but honestly, cool water feels good whether it’s five feet deep or 1/2 foot deep).

I’ll save the milkshake for another year, and instead go for a walk (which is what I’m doing in that pic at the top)!

And the pièce de résistance, instead of a bag of Oreos, I will take a nap. An afternoon nap. Ahhhhh, the very word makes me get those relaxation goose bumps.

Because it’s not about the food this summer… and I don’t need food to relax, in fact, it’s usually MORE work to eat. Think about it… a bowl of ice cream must be prepared: scoop the ice cream (and dang, if the ice cream is super frozen then that is a Herculean effort sometimes!), chop up some peanuts, smother it in Hershey’s syrup, probably melt some peanut butter to drizzle on there too.

Pffffffff, no WONDER I want to relax when eating ice cream… I’m worn out from all the prep! Haha!

But back to my point, which I have kind of talked about before, but food really shouldn’t be my portal to relaxation (or fun, or comfort, or distraction, etc)… it’s like my husband says, “We eat to live. We don’t live to eat.” (By the way, he watches about three food documentaries a week, so he might have stolen that from someone.)

But I like that mentality.

Because if I want to “treat” myself to some relaxation, then I want to treat the INNER me… not the OUTER me. not my stomach. not my tastebuds. I want my SOUL to feel relaxed. to feel blessed. to feel treated.

So, those things are still treats, but they are sweet in an entirely different kind of way!

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

Day 157: I’m Just Somebody That I Used To Know

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing

I don’t even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger

And that feels so rough

No, you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records

And then change your number

Guess that I don’t need that though

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.
(Gotye)

Okay, I’m going to admit it… I really. like. this. song.

I know, I know… what am I? A teenie bopper or something? (What is a teenie bopper anyway? Is that a real word?) But the song always instantly takes me back to sitting in my closet with my record player that looked like a Crayola box (yes, it was beyond totalllllllly rad) listening to my dad’s The Mamas and The Papas album. It just has a similar kind of sound to it or something. Mind you, I know very little about music (a bit ironic for the wife of the inventor of ChordDice, right?!!? Haha!) but I love to listen to it  so I have no idea if this song is “good” or not, but I do really like it.

And so tonight as I was about to start writing, this song came to my mind.

Because now I am just somebody that I used to know.

Huh?

Well, my post was originally going to be about how I never really think of chocolate anymore… like, ever. And that’s just kind of… amazing to me considering how my thoughts were completely enveloped by chocolate before my covenant.

And so I started thinking about who I was on January 8th when I was having my cookie dough gorging… thinking about who that girl was sitting there looking up information about Overeaters Anonymous while her tears poured down into the huge mixing bowl of cookie dough that she had eaten all of over a span of three days. And, now, she’s just… somebody that I used to know.

Because now… I never think about chocolate. I only really think about sugar when I’m making my boys something that contains sugar which is pretty rare actually.

But I do think about Jesus a lot. Okay, and I think about breadsticks some. and ribeye steak… yeah, definitely ribeye steak. But a whole lot more thinking of Jesus than I was thinking of Him back then.

And honestly, when I look at how tight me and Jesus are now… well, I want that girl to be just somebody that I used to know. And I really don’t need her number because I don’t want to know her again. And I’m glad she took her records and treats me like a stranger. Cause I don’t need to know her anymore. Cause this is the me that I want to be. was meant to be.

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

(Yeah, I changed that verse into first-person… you can see the whole list of verses that I have done this to on yesterday’s post)

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

Day 155: UNworldly

One of the best things about losing weight is all of the comments that we get… “Oh my gosh, you look great!” “Wow- you are so small!” etc. It is also one of the worst things about losing weight… we tend to get almost “addicted” to the comments and then after a while when the comments stop, we start to think… do I still look great? do people still think I am small?

I know that I have gotten to have several of these comments over the past months… more than anything I think it’s because I was overweight for so long that a lot of people are more shocked that the weight has come off so quickly (honestly, I’m in that same boat with them). I still get comments and although I don’t feel like I need them like I would have on a previous diet, they are nice to hear.

And that made me think about there are several people that have covenants that wouldn’t be obvious to the general world. Like, my friend Sherry who is not buying anything new for the year as her covenant. There’s no weight to be lost. No one would probably even know about it unless she told them. No comments to be made… I mean, who is going to randomly say “Oh wow, Sherry… you haven’t worn any new, cool, super-trendy clothes in the past few months! Great!” But, Sherry is learning something from the get-go that will probably take me a bit longer to learn… she is learning to rely 100% on God’s approval of her. on His delight at her sacrifice. on His blessings alone. So, even though it might be harder some days for her to keep her focus and motivation because she is doing something so very… UNworldly… she, in the long run, will receive the greater prize! It actually makes me want to come up with something UNworldly… I want a cool God prize too!!!

But even for those that are on the covenant diet that were already skinny, like my friend Alice. She already had a rocket hot bod when starting the covenant, but she was addicted sugar. And although she might have wanted to get skinnier (although I’m not sure how that’s possible), she really just wanted the freedom from sugar. Skinny or no skinny. Freedom is better. But she’s probably not gonna get any comments from friends on “how much” weight she’s lost because she was already skinny. She, also, is doing something UNworldly in that she is utilizing the power of God to overcome an addiction that the world wouldn’t think is necessary to overcome since she is already skinny.

They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 1 Corinthians 9:25

Day 154: Covenant Companions

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

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

Day 153: Search Party

Am I eating too much?
Would this food honor God?
Why am I eating right now?
Is this food becoming a new “addiction”?

Ya know, so much of the success of this “diet” has had little to do with the actual food choices that I have made and far more to do with looking inside myself and really evaluating myself. I think that I knew pretty early that it wasn’t the food that was really the problem… cause when I looked at my basic diet it really wasn’t that bad… it was the “extras” (sugar, chocolate, bread, chips, etc) that were really getting to me, but I was never eating the “extras” because I was hungry and rarely was I eating them because I craved them… I was eating them for a slew of reasons that were in my heart and my soul and my mind.

And multiple times throughout this experience I have had to do some real honest looking at myself. Cause I honestly thought that once I cut out sugar and chocolate that my issues would be over. I don’t think I realized how much I was overeating as well on just regular foods nor did I realize that chips and bread really were issues for me as well.

So, as I would realize that I wasn’t losing weight (back when I was weighing) or that I wasn’t getting into any smaller sizes, then I have had to look at my life and my eating and my motivations and my thoughts and my Bible reading and my emotions and my… me. But all I have had to do was allow God to search me and show me what was going on. I may have fought it (like right now I am having a “discussion” with Him about dairy… and wouldn’t ya know, my favorite brand of feta cheese was OUT at Sam’s when I went today… in the year that I have been shopping there it has NEVER been out!) and I might not have chosen to add it to my covenant right away, but He always seems to show me.

And again I think that this is a part of the covenant diet that is going to spill over into other areas of my life… because I am learning a) that He will show me if there is something that offends Him, and b) that He will then lead me along the path of everlasting life… in essence, He will show me what to do. He will conquer it. He will purify me.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

The only “danger” here is that, like I said, He will show me if there is something that offends Him… but then He really expects me to do something about it. Now, I fully believe that only God can conquer habitual addictive sins. But He expects me to do what I can to help my earthly body to get away from that sin. For example, I knew that God would be the only one that could conquer my addiction to sugar, but my part was to make the deal with Him to give it up in the first place. I know that God can help me to find more self-motivation to do my work around the house, but first I’m going to have to commit to Him that I will make choices with my time to honor Him.

So, if He shows one of us that a certain food is an issue that needs to be added to our covenant, then we do it. If He shows us that although we agreed to only fast Monday-Saturday, that we need to add Sundays to the covenant agreement, then we do it (you know who you are- haha!).

But first, we must ask God to show us. reveal our true selves. test us. try us. know us. and the best part… lead us.