Day 397: Lovate

You know that relationship that you had in high school (or maybe college) during which you were desperately, insanely, blindly in love?

Past all judgment.
Past all hurdles.
Past all advice.

He was…… it. The end all. be all. of existence.

You had some kind of almost supernatural bond with him. You always deferred to him because you wanted him to be happy. You could have been stranded on a desert isle for years and had a grand ol’ time. You were just… connected. Not at the hip, so much… but connected in the soul.

.

And he was totally, completely, thoroughly, absolutely, and altogether horr.ib.le. for you.

You despised the hold he had over you. Felt terrible because of all the times you told yourself you were over him. Felt even worse when you would let his opinion of you become truth even though it was often false. Lived in fear that one day he would leave you… and then who would you be without him?

You loved him.
You hated him.

You… lovated him.

Heyyyy, ya like my new word?!?!

Lovate: v. to simultaneously love and hate someone or something.

Brilliant? Yes, I know.
And yes, I promise that I have a point. It’s coming. In a minute.

I spoke of “him” as a generic figure that we have all interacted with… {and shout out to my guy readers, I went with the “he” analogy cause, well, I’m a girl, but feel free to replace “he” with a “she”!} …but, in reality, this boy was a real figure in my life. A real “love”. A real emotional torture to my soul.

I went off to college far away from him, got myself a good, down home boyfriend and pretty much moved past the emotional hang up with my former lovate.

{Oooooo, look, my new word is also a noun apparently!}

And thennnnnn, my good, down home boyfriend broke up with me.

And so what did I do? I reverted back to my lovate again. Knowing that he didn’t love me. Knowing that he was terrible for my self-confidence. Knowing that nothing good would come from my running after him again.

But I did it anyway.

You see, looking back on this experience today, I thought- Wow. You would think that after a year of being without him and away from him that I would have realized what a terrible match we actually were. You would think that I would have realized by then that it would never, ever, never work and that it shouldn’t ever work. You would think that after a year I would see what I see now. that I would have laughed at the thought of returning to him. that I would have perhaps sighed a bit in sadness at the poor, confused little girl I had been.

But I so quickly slid right back into what had given me my identity for so long.

Much like I did this weekend with sugar.

Sugar. My other lovate.

I love it.
I hate it.

I love the way it tastes. I love the way it takes me away momentarily. I love the explosion of feeling on my tastebuds. I love the connection and the memories that I have with it.

I hate the way it makes my heart race. I hate the pimples that I always get. I hate that I can’t manage to have just a little. I hate that once I’ve had some I can’t stop thinking of it again.

But more than anything, I hate that I can’t seem to tell it no.

And this weekend, as I prepared on Friday night for my husband’s family birthday party, and all day Saturday… I just went back to my lovate of sugar. Even though I have found True and Lasting Love in my God… I went back to sugar.

And I hate it now. I gorged myself on it all weekend. And I felt almost entirely guiltless. I felt superior. I felt… bad. sick. sad. empty. hopeless.

I. DO. NOT. LIKE. TO. FEEL. THAT. WAY.

I realized… wait, if it took me years, and years, and years, and years to get over my first “love” so long ago… then perhaps I should expect my loveate relationship with sugar to be the same. Perhaps it IS too early in the game to even allow myself “celebrations”. Perhaps I was just asking for it by allowing myself to dive back into that so quickly.

So, I revert.

Tomorrow sugar is out again for the year. I will make one exception. On my birthday, I may have ONE PIECE of cake that my mom makes. But that’s it.

Sugar… my lovate of days past… farewell. Perhaps we shall never meet again. And… well, perhaps that is for the best.

Recipe: Caribbean Black Beans (Crock Pot & Stove Top Versions)

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We… LOVE this recipe.

My reasons: tasty. easy. a man favorite. simple. fast to prep.
Hubby’s reasons: tasty. tasty. tasty. and ummmm, tasty.

Caribbean Black Beans (Crock Pot & Stove Top Versions)

Ingredients

  • 2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, drained (not rinsed)
  • 1 (8 oz) can unsweetened crushed canned pineapple
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I use frozen)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (if fasting, leave this out… you won’t even notice)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • cooked rice

Instructions For Crock Pot (5 minute prep, 4-6 hours on LOW)

  1. Put all ingredients in crock pot and stir.
  2. Cook on LOW for about 4-6 hours.
  3. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then serve with hot rice.

Instructions For Stove Top (5 minute prep, 30 minutes)

  1. Combine all ingredients in large soup pot on stove top.
  2. Turn to medium heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  3. Remove the lid, turn to medium-low heat, and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  4. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then serve with rice.

I got the inspiration for this version from this recipe.

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Day 390: Might As Well

{Disclaimer: I wrote most of this on Sunday… but never got around to finishing it.}

Oh my… the words “might as well” are like the kiss of death for someone who struggles with gluttony.

Well, I already ate a few Oreos, so I might as well eat the whole bag.
I broke my diet this morning, so I might as well eat an entire bag of chips.
I ate the rest of my leftover hamburger from last night, so I might as well eat some pizza too.

Yeah… that last one… that was me… today.

You see, I had my first “birthday party” celebration night on Saturday night. My husband’s birthday is… oh, well, it’s tomorrow! {Happy Birthday my love!} And so we went out with some friends to BJ’s Brewhouse to celebrate (and then we were going to go to Top Golf to hang out and play there, but the wait was FOUR. HOURS. LONG.) and since it was a birthday PARTY, I was “allowed” to eat whatever. I thought I did pretty good… I ate some chips, had half of a hamburger (yummmmm) and half of my fries, and had a couple glasses of wine.

I felt GREAT! I mean… I had not busted out into gluttony. It was just as I hoped it would be.

And thennnnnnnnnn, came today.

You see, we got the boys and the babysitter cheese pizzas while we were gone, and gosh darnit, but those dadgum pizzas slices looked and smelled amazing. And I thought about them, and thought about them, and thought about them… this morning and then again when I got home from church.

So, instead of eating the pizzas, I ate the other half of the hamburger leftovers. Honestly, I think this was my downfall even more than the eventual pizza “incident” cause I ate what I WASN’T craving. I wanted that pizza. All I really wanted was that pizza, but instead I chose to eat the hamburger because it could kinda be justified in my mind as “okay” since I had gotten it at the birthday party the night before. But the pizza… well, it was just off limits all around, and I knew it.

So, I ate the other half of my hamburger.

And THEN I ate a piece of pizza.

Because,  you know, I might as well since I had already broken the covenant by having that hamburger.

Honestly, I only ate one piece of pizza because I felt I had to sneak eat it, and then I went to put my sons down for their naps and while I was doing that my husband ate all the rest of the pizza. My plan was foiled. But I was sorta glad because then it took the opportunity away from me.

But what I want to focus in on is the “might as well” syndrome. Cause I’m purty dern sure the that “might as well” syndrome is what takes someone from being just a food addict to being a glutton… that is probably really overweight like I was. Because this phrase is what gives us “permission” to break from our diet, or covenant, or healthy lifestyle.

But WHY?

I… don’t know why actually! Haha! But I know that it is… it is a get out of jail free card, only it is exactly what puts us IN JAIL. This phrase overrides our good decision making and puts us back under the control of our body’s desires to eat whatever we want, as much as we want, whenever we want.

And honestly, I have no new fancy scriptures on my heart that tie to this. I obviously didn’t have anything that dissuaded me from breaking my covenant. And I don’t mind admitting that I’m feeling a bit defeated. It’s like I have had God’s power in my hand for a year, and now it’s… just gone. It’s like I lost it in my miscellaneous junk drawer and can’t find it. And even worse, I don’t really feel like digging for it. I’d rather just… sin.

Just keeping it real. Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but hopefully over the next few days and weeks I’ll work through this and then if you hit this spot too then it’ll help you work through it as well!

Cause one thing I know… there is HOPE. There is always HOPE.

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.