Day 270: I Will Praise You In The Fridge

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I have had yet another revelation of sorts that I wanted to share.

Again, I must remind you that some of these posts are about my relationship with Jesus and not as much about food. It is simply because I have figured out that my “need” to overeat and rely upon food for comfort (along with many other things besides comfort) contrasts my need for him. And since I have been practicing math with my five-year-old, I’ll put it in an equation…

My “need” to eat > My need for God

Well, yesterday I wrote about how I had learned the concept: “The antidote for lethargy and spiritual heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.” And I am just still enthralled with that idea.

I am concertedly focusing on praise for a while. I put my read-the-bible-in-a-year plan up for a bit because I need to focus on praising Him for a bit.

But, I have been using that with my eating as well… looking in the fridge and saying Thank you God for this beautiful, healthy, pest-free orange. Or another time, God you have given us such abundance! Look at this variation of colors in my fruit basket and veggie drawer.

I’m not saying that I do this all the time, but it has helped me a few times. Just yesterday I looked in the fridge and thought “Oh, just fruit.” and then I stopped myself and said, “Oh wow, God… a huge tub of sweet cantaloupe… all cut up and ready to eat! Thank you so much! What a blessing to have this!”

And honestly, I suddenly wanted it! Ha! It really is amazing how my world changes when I look through the eyes of praise and blessing.

Whadda know, life ain’t so bad after all!

Day 269: Yo Quiero Jesus

Today was… rough.

Wait. Allow me to remind everyone that I have a toddler that is almost 2 1/2. There is no way that my day isn’t going to be rough. Ha!

But lately I have jut been a bit worn down… by life, by motherhood, by housekeeping, by lack of sleep, by lack of Jesus, by… well, by everything. And so my patience for the independent streak of a child that can’t even put on his own shoes is lacking somewhat.

This morning he had already worn me to the bone. He was up twice last night and up early this morning and he went to bed late last night because of church. So he was cuh.rank.y.

I was delivering a piece of mail for my husband and the outside mailboxes had been removed because they are widening the road, so I had to get my toddler out of the car to mail that one measly letter. (Yeah, I had a great attitude about it- ha!) I looked over longingly at the Taco Bell next door and thought, “Oh if only I could get a supreme chalupa… I would feel so much better.” And then I proceeded to fantasize about eating a chalupa.

(This sounds extremely comical now that I’m past the moment!)

Luckily my Jesus-conscience piped up, “But seriously? Is eating a chalupa gonna fix anything? I mean, your kid will still act the same. Your house will still be a mess. You will still be unshowered. You will still be tired. And your life will still be exactly the same. Sure, you will have a few minutes of escape, but what’s the point if you have to just dive right back into a rough day and you’ll have to add to all your negative emotions a big ol’ chalupa size serving of guilt!”

(My Jesus-conscience is very smart.)

So, at that point I knew that I needed to turn to Jesus. I knew that He could sustain me. But I was all like…… ummmmmmm, what do I say to Him? “I need you???!” Gosh, like He hasn’t heard that lately.

And there I was sitting at a stoplight with my toddler whining in the back seat with no clue how to approach God.

And I remembered that last night at my Transforming Prayer bible study, the leader said that she had read in some notes from a previous prayer meeting that the man had said “The antidote for lethargy and spiritual heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.”

So I said, “Okay… praise God… hmmmmmm, what should I say?”

{Mind went utterly blank}

So I just said, “Alright I’m gonna go through every scripture that comes to mind until one of them is a scripture of praise.” And immediately the verses of late came to mind, “God, you are the God who saves me. You are right beside me. God you are my rock. You are my salvation. You are my hope. My joy. My peace.”

{All of this was said while bawling, of course.}

And I instantly felt closer to Him. Was my day better? No. Had my son stopped whining? No. Had I suddenly become clean and showered? No.

But I had hope. Not an earthly hope. But His Hope.

And then I got home and it was quickly sucked back out of me as my toddler and I got into yet another battle for control. So I turned to Psalm 27 that we had prayed last night in my group and I put that thing on audio and listened to it as my toddler and I played outside.

Then I needed to make some of those permanent and since we were playing with chalk, I wrote those phrases on the wall.

And I think that I have truly found the antidote for my struggles: praise.

The antidote for lethargy and spiritual heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.

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Day 268: Extreme God

I met up with two of my lifelong besties the other day for a birthday lunch and while we were chatting my friend (who is a counselor) said that she thought my covenant was extreme.

It sort of caught me off guard… not like in a bad way, but in a surprised way. I mean, people responded that way a lot at the beginning when I was first starting but now it doesn’t seem to phase people as much. (Probably because I’ve lost weight, and so it doesn’t matter if it was extreme or not… to them all they see is that “it” worked.) But I haven’t heard anyone really say anything lately along the extreme line unless they are commenting on giving up chocolate for a year.

Perhaps it does seem extreme though from the outside looking in. In the conversation we were discussing the idea of balance in life.

And (just thinking through this as I write), I really do want balance in my life. I guess I’m just an old dog. And well, it’s not that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks… it’s just that it’s not as easy.

I mean… I wish I could just “choose” balance. But, well, if I could have just “chosen” balance long ago then this whole addiction to food would never have been an issue in the first place.

I guess, in a way, this is my first step to choosing balance. I guess it could be considered the polar extreme to go from being able to eat everything to restricting myself from lots of things. (Although, I really only restricted sugar and meat and milk when you get down to the brass tax of it.)

But, like I wrote, gosh… at the very beginning, the normal balance of things wasn’t working for me. I needed extreme.

Sometimes God shows up as extreme.

I mean… turning a river to blood to save His people. Sending swarms of locusts and frogs upon an entire nation to save His people. Having a man build a massive boat on dry land to save His people and His creation. Allowing His Own Son to die on a cross to save His people.

It’s extreme.

It’s God.

It seems weird to us.

But, if you want to see God… sometimes you gotta go extreme.

Day 267: Priority One

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I think that I have officially realized that my life is different now. Different than it was in the Spring. Different than it was this summer. It’s just… different.

I guess I just kept waiting for things to settle down like it was in the Spring. Everything was so… predictable. And I had my life under “control” (or as controlled as a mom of a preschooler and a toddler can have it.

But, this fall is just not looking that way. I cannot seem to get into any kind of hard-core routine. Every week seems different. And my toddler is certainly transitioning from toddler to mischievous preschooler. He is into ev.er.y.thing. And he’s a risk taker, so he doesn’t want to sit in the sandbox and play, he wants to jump off of the fort that covers the sand box. So, he is in a stage where he needs my constant attention.

And this kind of lifestyle makes it difficult to get in any bible reading and prayer. But this morning, I just really had the thought that although it is difficult, that does not mean that it is impossible. But it does mean that I am going to have to find a spot in my life where I can consistently stop and take time for Him. It might mean 5am (which makes me cringe a little bit… thinking of getting up another thirty minutes early). Because lately my son has been waking up at 6:30am which used to be my reading time after I’d gotten dressed for the day.

And, well, I used to be able to go for a few days (or, well, honestly even weeks) without taking time to meditate on the Word or to pray. But I think in the past year, I have stretched out my heart so much as I filled it with God-thoughts that now I feel completely and utterly unsatisfied without Him.

And, well, I may have given up a lot of food this year, but as I give up that I just realize that now I need more of Him. And out of all the little things in life that I “need” to do… communicating with Him is going to have to be the number one priority.

More important than my kids. More important than my husband. Certainly more important than checking my Facebook notifications. More important even than a shower or cute hair. More important than sleep. It has to become THE priority in my life.

And as I write that I remember that God has to make it my priority.

Recently I was reading through Matthew 6 and came across the beatitudes and remembered a prayer I used to make to God in high school when I didn’t feel like I wanted to read or pray. And I will be praying that prayer again.

    God, I want to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Please, give me a hunger and a thirst for righteousness. And make me willing to do what it takes to be filled. Amen.

Day 266: Blessed Birthday

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I guess I had hoped to have something really insightful for my birthday post (I’m 34 today), but it was just such an idyllic day that I’m not sure that there is anything really deep and spiritual to write about.

But maybe that in an of itself is a blessing.

I mean… it was a wonderful day… without birthday cake.

Yep. That’s right. No birthday cake. Oh, I mean, we had a little birthday cake for my sons (thanks to a friend-family who sent some mini bundt cakes for my fam and some sushi for me!) and so we got to celebrate by having them sing with me and blow out candles. My sweet hubby bought a bunch of fruit for my dessert, but we never made it to that point.

And it just… didn’t matter.

I had an awe.some. day.

A chai tea from Starbucks courtesy of my sweet hubby.

My hubs took our 5-year-old to preschool for me.

Lunch with a couple of my bestie friends.

Got to pick up my 5-year-old from preschool and come home to do some prep for my family birthday party.

My husband made grilled shrimp and grits and roasted veggies with a crab dip appetizer. (And he did all the work!)

And then I got some neat gifts and cards and birthday spending money (holla!).

A fun little candle blowing out with my precious sons.

And then to top it all off my husband did all. the. dishes.

I’m sorry… just allow me to repeat that.

My husband did all. the. dishes.

And, the perk of Facebook… I had something like 200+ “Happy Birthday” posts.

Seriously… who needs a birthday cake with all of that blessing?

Not this girl. Not this year.

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