Day 446: Easter… nbd.

Easter Basket 1

nbd

no big deal

{just in case you are like me and would have had to look that up}

I was seeing that on facebook a lot and had to look it up on google. And then I pretty much instantly fell in love with the term because it’s an ironic statement.

Just got married. nbd.
Just had my first born child. nbd.
Just met Nick Jonas. nbd. (You know who you are – haha)

And I’m a total sucker for a play on words. Maybe I should start a blog called “The Confessions of a Former English Teacher.”

No? You don’t think so? Yeah… me either!

Anyway, as Easter day as approached, I’ve been sorta “nbd” about it.

{gasps of shock heard round the world}

I know, right? Good Jesus-seeking Christian and, well aside from being excited about giving my kids their Easter baskets, I’m just not that… excited.

And it’s not because I’m into the commercial side of things so much that I’ve been blinded to the REAL meaning of Easter. I promise.

It’s because I celebrate Easter all. year. long.

Every few days is like Easter to me… when I am so keenly reminded of my sin and how He died for me and freed me from it. when I am brought face to face with power and strength given me by the Holy Spirit. when I experience joy and peace and comfort from His Spirit.

It’s… Easter.

So I guess it’s okay that I’m nbd about Easter today, cause honey… this girl rejoices in Her Savior’s Resurrection every day.

{And yes, I had to give y’all some Easter basket love here… these are my boys’ Easter baskets… such fun!}

Easter Basket 2

Day 445: When It Rains, It Pours… Literally.

As in, it’s 2:24am as I start this post and I’ve already been up for about thirty minutes because it is POURING at our house.

With full-boar lightning, the kind of thunder that makes things rattle in the house, and overflowing gutters all around.

Oh, and shall I include a nightmaring toddler?

Not that I can blame him… creation is LOUD tonight.

So, what does a girl like me do at 2am when she can’t sleep cause of the rain?

She blogs.

And reads the bible.

Well, honestly, first I opened up Twitter… not because I was checking anything for my Twitter feed, but because I follow Jesus Calling on there and sometimes they just have one little tweet that rocks my world. I think I was hoping that they would make it easy on me. And after scrolling through the last week or so of their tweets, I was like “Ummmm, I’m in the wrong place” and so I hoped over to YouVersion to see what God had to say.

I sorta stared at that screen for a minute, like, “Uhhhhhh… what should I read?” So I clicked on my bookmarks and skimmed through those. And then, I thought “Well, why am I up in the first place? Rain. I’ll search for verses that have the word rain in them.”

And I saw this one in the book of Joel.

Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. Joel 2:23

And that part “The rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness” sorta grabbed my attention, so I thought… “Hmmmm, I’ll read some of Joel. Cause I mean… who reads Joel?!?!? I don’t even REMEMBER the last time I read the book of Joel. Not sure I even remembered that it was a book of the bible.”

And then I changed my readers version to The Message… cause, I mean, come on. It IS 2am.

And then I was reminded why people probably don’t hit up Joel very often… from the onset you get verses like these:

Get in touch with reality—and weep! Joel 1:5

Joy is dried up and withered in the hearts of the people. Joel 1:12

A black day! A Doomsday! Clouds with no silver lining! Joel 2:2

Yikes… who wants THAT story??? But, just like God’s grace, the story turns…

But there’s also this, it’s not too late— God’s personal Message!— “Come back to me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!”Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here’s why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe. Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now, maybe he’ll turn around and show pity. Maybe, when all’s said and done, there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God! Joel 2:12-14

I mean, that was good, don’t get me wrong. But then, there it was… the reason God sent me to Joel. And let’s just say that the “locust” in my life was gluttony.

I’ll make up for the years of the locust, the great locust devastation— Locusts savage, locusts deadly, fierce locusts, locusts of doom, That great locust invasion I sent your way. You’ll eat your fill of good food. You’ll be full of praises to your God, The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder. Joel 2:25-27

And it just reminded me… God will… wait, no… God IS making up for the years of slavery that I spent to gluttony. And now, I’m eating my fill of GOOD food. I’m full of praises to Him. He is my God, who has set me back on my heels in wonder.

So, like the rainbow was in the days of Noah, rain will be for me. I will remember that like he said in verse 23, “Rain demonstrates His Faithfulness.

Thank you rain, for waking me up.
Thank you toddler, for getting me up.
Thank you Joel, for reminding me.

Thank you God, for saving me.

Day 444: So. Worth. It.

Okay. No more games.

I won’t even write a whole bunch of background story for you.

Like, I’m going to do my BEST to keep the story short.

I’m just gonna tell you what God said.

The morning after the discussion with my friend at the retreat (on Day 443), I woke up earlier than everyone and snuck away to a corner (where I could sit in a ginormous chair and gaze out at the lake) and prayed.

And honestly, I’m not entirely sure how I “knew” just what He wanted me to do aside from having prayed all weekend and read the Word over and over and over again… and there were three scriptures that really snagged my buttons, but I’ll talk about that in another post. (And snagged. my. buttons.??? What IS that? Where did I even come UP with that phrase?!?!?!)

Anyway… I guess, there is just something… different… about the whisper of God in your soul. It’s like you “hear” the words coming from deep, deep within you. As if… as if He planted those words in the DNA of mankind thousands of years ago knowing that at this moment He would release them from deep in your soul.

Well, that… or maybe it was just because it’s the Holy Spirit. Ha!

{Thanks for indulging my attempt at a poetic moment anyway.}

Either way, the more I seek God, the more I find that I recognize His Voice. Maybe it’s just that I’m teaching my soul to be more and more quiet as I seek Him and so it’s getting easier and easier to hear Him. He does say that “if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.Deuteronomy 4:29

Okay, but… that’s a post for another day. Cause today… today, I am attempting to be what they call “brief”.

So, as I prayed, I distinctly heard “No sugar for 5 years… until your 40th Birthday. On your 40th Birthday, you can have cake.

(That’s one way to KNOW it wasn’t me speaking… I didn’t even realize that it was 5 years until my 40th birthday!)

birthday countdown pic

And immediately………

FREEDOM.

Five years of not having to fight the stuff off. I was so, ironically enough, RELIEVED! Not relieved that it wasn’t forever (honestly, I have a feeling that after the five years are up that either I will want to keep it going forever or He will tell me to keep it going forever) but relieved that I would have five more years “off” from having to deal with that sin in my life. I so gladly handed back that burden to Him. Easily handed it back. Eagerly.

Again, I know… it’s weird. It’s extreme. It’s not “our way” of doing things. But, His ways are not our ways… His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

And honestly… I’d rather, at this point, stop doing things my way, with my thoughts. It’s not that I’m bad or terrible or anything; it’s just that His Ways are… amazing. His Thoughts are… so wonderful. I want to have a mind like Christ now simply because a simple normal “human” mind isn’t cutting it for me anymore. I dunno… maybe He’s preparing my mind for Heaven. Or maybe, His Kingdom is NOW. Maybe He wants me to be (as the Hebrews were named) “set apart”. Maybe He wants me to walk around this earth with a mind like His… and continue His Work. and BE His Work.

Wow. Giving up sugar brought me to all of this.

So. worth. it.

Day 443: The Post Where I Sorta Tell You What God Said

1-1-high resolution white

Okay, I won’t wait too long to “reveal” the conclusion that God and I came to this past weekend since I wouldn’t tell you on Day 441. Ha!

It didn’t take much of God’s influence for me to know that my oh-so-brilliant plan of eating sugar on full moon days, national holidays, and at birthday parties was a total flop. And, I have to confess, that was allllll my idea in the first place. I never really asked God about what He thought I should do. Yeahhhh, sooooo… apparently that’s never a good idea. Ya know, to NOT ask God what He wants to do in your life.

Essentially, I realized that the more lenient I was with myself and in my covenant with God, then the more I struggled with sugar. It was totally opposite of what I thought would be the case! Nutritionists and counselors frequently give the advice: create balance in your life… you can’t be extreme. Which, on paper… totally. makes. sense. And honestly, I truly WISH that were the case for me. But, well, it’s not. Cause… whether or not my body is truly addicted to sugar, my MIND is. And when I started to really come to grips with that this weekend is when I knew that the on-again, off-again “covenant” I had made up was not going to work.

A girl at the retreat was talking about her husband after he sobered. He said that he had found booze all over the house… he’d even found some in the ATTIC that he’d hidden! And I laughed and giggled a bit at that, and then… I started to think of all the times that I’d hidden sugar. And especially since I switched over to the on-again, off-again covenant.

Extra candy from Christmas stocking stuffing that only I knew existed… tucked away in the craft box. The “good” candy from Halloween (Twix, Snickers, Milky Way, etc)… slid all the way back behind the extra olive oil in the pantry. My son’s leftover cupcake from his 5 1/2 birthday party at school… disguised as old leftovers in the very back of the top shelf of the fridge.

When I gave up “control” over my eating for those couple of weeks, I went and hit every. single. spot.

Again. I might not be physically addicted to the stuff… but, I was ACTING like an addict.

I talked about it with this girl later. She, too, had been an alcoholic and has been sober for quite a while now… her secret? She never touches the stuff. Ever. She won’t ever have another drink. She said “There is never a time where anything good comes from drinking alcohol.”

And she was right… and I knew that the same truth, really and truly, applied to sugar. Yes, there are good moments surrounding the eating of sugar (birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc) but the actual eating of sugar… nope. nothing good actually comes out of it. (Now, mind you, when I say “sugar” I’m talking about the refined product that we use today… not at all about fruit-kind-of-sugar… that stuff is awesome!) And the last year has taught me that eating sugar during those special occasions isn’t necessary to have a good time at them. (Ha – doesn’t that sound like someone realizing that they can have a “good time” without alcohol?)

During that conversation, I mentioned that I was starting to feel pulled to giving up sugar… forever. And honestly, at that point I was totally on board with it. At first, she thought that idea was a little wack, but as I explained that it wasn’t that I just really, really wanted to give up sugar… it was that I felt I HAD to give up sugar. I was responding to the stuff like an alcoholic! I wanted to not have the stuff, but if I allowed myself one bite even… days after it would all fall apart and I’d be back at my old-binging self again!

It was like God had cured me of cancer or something the year before, and here I was saying, “No God, why don’t you go ahead and give it back to me?” CRAZY. But that’s what I was doing! I had been freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee from sugar for a year. And it was amazing! One of the most amazing years of my life! And then I had said, “No, God, put me back in chains… I want to be a slave to the stuff again.”

Nutso.

So, I started to pray that God would show me… no sugar forever? no sugar for a year? What was His plan? Not my plan. Because I no longer wanted to be a slave to sin. to gluttony. to pain. to sugar. I wanted to be a slave to Him.

And these verses speak so well to all of this:

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. {Oh man, this guy just GETS IT!} Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For sin will pay you back with death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:15-23

.

One thing I do want to mention – I don’t want anyone to think that I’m saying alcoholism and/or drug use and a sugar “addiction” are the exact same beast. I know that the struggles involved in alcoholism and drug use are of an entirely different nature. What I am saying is that I experience some of the same reactions to “fighting off” sugar that addicts experience. But please don’t think that I’m downplaying the extreme battle that an addict must fight.

Day 441: The Post Where I Don’t Tell You What God Said

IMG_4425[1]

I’ve written about 47 beginnings to this post. (See? Up there? My journal… it’s like a gazillion starts and stops. And that is just ONE.PAGE. of it!)

Cause I wanted you to know… it’s not an ordinary post.

It’s not about being witty.
It’s not about a great recipe.
It’s not about anything average.

It’s about coming to grips with God.

It’s about letting Him come to grips with my food issues.

It’s about giving up sugar again. For a long, long time.

I went on a retreat for moms this past weekend, and whereas I have gone on this retreat twice before for the purpose of relaxing and getting away, this time I went because I needed to meet with Jesus. I needed God to show up and direct me. I needed Him.

So that’s what I prayed when I went out there… “God. Please. I have been waiting and waiting for You to show up in my life. I have been trying to wait patiently. Please, speak to me this weekend. Show up this weekend. In a burning bush. In fire from heaven. In a passing whisper. In a wind. In a cloud by night or fire by day. In the body of Your Son Jesus. Whatever the form, I’m ready to hear from You. Please speak to me.

And, He did.

But, not about what I wanted to talk about.

I wanted Him to speak to me and guide me about going back to work in the fall. I really felt completely pulled in two directions about it since we, like most families, could use the money and I’m a pretty dern good teacher and He might want to use me there, but at the same time, I really wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom and work on writing more. And I just wanted Him to show me which option HE wanted. I really, truly wanted to be wherever He would receive the most glory!

But He wanted to talk about sugar.

Ha! I know, that sounds funny. I wanted to talk His Glory and he wanted to talk about my sugar. Backwards isn’t it????

Nope. Not at all.

He wanted to talk about sugar because it was becoming a wedge between He and I again. And it wouldn’t matter if He led me towards working or writing, if there is a stronghold that strong in my life, I was gonna have a hard time allowing His Glory to shine through me. So, we talked about sugar.

And honestly, it’s gonna have to be a couple of posts to get out everything that He worked through on me. And I’m actually not even gonna tell you in this post what He said about sugar, because I want to remind you of something even more important.

He. will. answer.

If you wait. If you keep asking. If you keep your eyes focused on Him. If you ask for things that please Him.

He. will. answer.

We are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. 1 John 5:14-15

It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6

And the verse I want you to really, really, reallllllly hear:

Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Recipe: Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup (Vegan)

20130321-205836.jpg

This one is partially for my husband who lovvvvvvvves anything I cook with Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce. And it’s also partially for my friend over at love.life.chocolate who has lost FIFTY pounds as a vegan!

Buuuuuuut, mainly it’s for me: because it’s EASY. And it’s all pantry/freezer stuff except for the bell pepper – although I have found frozen green bell pepper before, and you could chop them up and freeze them ahead of time if you needed to. You could also easily make your own beans and use fresh tomatoes if you wanted!

Taste-wise, it is reminiscent of my Easy Black Bean Soup… which is probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Well. Maybe not THE most amazing… but it definitely ranks up there in levels of awesomeness!

Anyway, I named it this because it uses a lot of the same ingredients that I used in my UNstuffed Mexican Style Bell Pepper Casserole.

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer the ones that are fire roasted)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup frozen chopped onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped into chunks
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin

Instructions

  1. Dump everything in a large soup pot and stir to mix. (Don’t rinse or drain the beans or tomatoes)
  2. Bring to a boil and then simmer at medium for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Let cool for five minutes and DIVE IN!

I just LOVED this picture of the soup… and allow me to just gush praise over this bowl! My husband’s grandmother (Bernice) makes them and she might just be one of the most amazing potters on the planet and she just GIVES me these beautiful hand-crafted unique gorgeous bowls! They are some of my most cherished belongings… partially because they are so amazing, but also because they were formed by the hands of a woman who has spent hours praying over her family. Somehow that just makes them extra beautiful!

20130321-205857.jpg

20130321-205931.jpg

Here is my psycho “this stuff is good” face for all to see. And, yes, I am eating in bed. The boys and I go in my bedroom during my husband’s guitar lessons for their TV time cause otherwise they get too loud!

20130321-205950.jpg

Day 434: Transparent Testimony

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

I want to be asleep in my bed. Snoozing and skinny.
I want to be free from this struggle with food.
I want to forget chocolate. forget sugar. forget bread. forget food.
I want to do just what I hear God calling me to do.

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

Because it means that I have GOT to start facing up to some things.

I’ve been eating chocolate. sugar. meat. bread.

Lots of it over the past few days. Not just a bite here and there. Not a taster. Not a respectful tiny bite to appease someone else who is feeding me. No. LOTS AND LOTS of chocolate. Anywhere and everywhere I could find it. Sometimes I’d put it off for a few hours, but then I’d give in. The leftover Christmas candy in the gift closet. The remaining chocolate chips in the pantry. The kid’s candy stash. The cake at Nanny’s. The Cool Whip in the fridge drizzled in Hershey’s syrup. The homemade granola bars I made for my son’s lunches.

Me. Eating. Eating. Eating. Eating.

And I have this hole in my soul. And every bite stretches it wider and wider. Until now I feel like I’m about to burst. And so, as I laid in bed tonight… I couldn’t sleep. I mean, who CAN sleep with a huge black hole of sin growing in your chest?

God. What am I doing?!?!? Why can’t I stop?!?!? I’m choking with sin. The sin of gluttony. The sin of dishonoring You. The sin of harming this beautiful temple that you have given me. The sin of wanting to sin instead of wanting to obey and follow you. Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, who will save me from this?

And at that, I knew those words were a verse, so I got up and came in here to my couch, revved up my laptop, and found it. My dear comrade through the ages, Paul, so very long ago found the words of my struggling heart…

The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:14-25

And God, I lean on this promise:

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! Jeremiah 17:14

God, I cannot save myself… I cannot heal myself. It must be YOU that does this work in my life. Just as you raised Lazarus out of the grave… out of the pit… raise me out of this pit of sin. out of this grave of deathly living. out of the sludge of denying you.

I’m not even sure what to do from here. where to go. what to think. how to act. what to read. So God, I just lay my sinful soul at your feet. An offering. An incomplete, sinful filthy offering… but one that is covered in righteousness because of your Son. It is a sacrificial offering. And I am the sacrifice. Do what you want with me God. Change me. Ruin me. Build me up. Recreate me. 

Heal me. Save me. My praises are for you alone!

Day 432: An Attempt To Give Advice

I’ve had several new and old friends feeling pulled toward a covenant diet lifestyle lately and I’ve gotten several questions about it. A lot of the questions pertaining to foods are answered in the pages Get Started and What I Eat. But there are some “highlights” that I tend to want to impress upon people that are starting… things I’ve learned over the past year and a half.

{And honestly, I got a little derailed about halfway through my second “tip” because of a battle of the spirit going on inside me.}

Start Small. I know this seems opposite from what I did last year with committing for a full year (which was a BIG commitment), but I had already done a three week Daniel Fast the year before (a relatively small commitment). It’s not that God can’t work in a big commitment nor is it that He doesn’t want a big commitment. On the contrary. I found my greatest blessings in the long-term commitment. But, MY heart, soul, and mind needed to stay small at first. Sometimes we need to see God in the little things to have faith in the big things. So, start with a three-day fruit fast, or a three-week Daniel Fast, or whatever.

Be Hard Core. Whatever you and God decide to do… go at it all the way. No halvsies. Give Him ALL OF YOU for those three days, those three weeks, those three months. If you say you’re not gonna eat bread for three months then be above reproach about it- crackers… they are pretty much bread. tortillas… those are bread. biscuits. rolls. hot dog buns. bread. bread. bread. Don’t try to “convince” yourself that something isn’t bread when you dadgum know that it is. The moment you give yourself a little bit of “wiggle room” then Satan will wiggle his way on in there. This has been my hardest learned lesson. Over and over again I have to fight my mind’s conniving tricky ways to slide past the covenant agreements.

Even now I sit here, every few minutes, my eyes shifting over to the candy basket at my mother-in-law’s house… trying to figure out the loophole that would enable me to have one mini-Twix. Just one. That’s all I’d need (says my mind). Just a taste. It’s a special weekend. A special day. Just one.

Heck, just writing this fact down helps me to avoid it.

20130317-135655.jpg

But honestly, I could finish this little post and turn off my phone in a minute and walk over there to the candy. You would never. even. know.

I have to talk to God about it. That’s what it all boils down to. It boils down to… well, to…

God.

God’s power.
God’s help.
God’s spirit.
God’s Word.

God.

God. I want that candy. It’s not part of our agreement, but I want it anyway. Help me God. Help me to not eat it. Help me to resist it. Make me willing to obey.

But more than that God, help me to choose You. Help me to long for you as I long for that candy. Transfer that lust for the things of this world into a passion for You. I know those candies won’t satisfy whatever it is that ails my heart right now… whatever this is that makes me willing to rebel against You. Pride? Greed? Lust? Control? Anger? I don’t know what it is, but Lord God, I want You. I want to choose You. I need You to empower me with strength and discipline and self-control. These just don’t seem to be traits that came with my DNA! And so I have to rely on you to give them to me through The Spirit. Overpower me. Overpower my will. Make me like You want me so that I can honor You and glorify You with my life.

Thank you Jesus for how far you have brought me. Thank you for the opportunity to strive to be more and more like You. Thank you that my salvation rests in none of my successes or failures but in the assurance that You have taken all of my successes and failures and offered yourself as worthy when I could never be really, truly worthy.

Wow. Jesus. I love you.

Amen.

And guess what? The candy basket was empty. Ha! A blessing in disguise, I guess!

20130317-135710.jpg

Day 430: I Never Want To Eat Again

You know, I’ve said this phrase before.

“I never want to eat again.”

But in the past it always came from overeating and then being so stuffed I could hardly move or to the point where I would make myself sick (quite literally, sick) from eating too much or too much junk.

But at the end of my three day fruit fast, I felt so great (in a weird I’m-really-hungry kind of way) that I was like…

I love this feeling. I love feeling light and not weighed down by food. I love feeling hungry every once in a while. I love feeling lean and simple. Gosh…… I never want to eat again. I always want to feel just. this. way.

Okay, okay… this is me being EXTREMELY over dramatic. Cause trust me, when we had a huge family breakfast with my husband’s entire family yesterday morning (my first morning off of the fast), I definitely WANTED to eat (and, I did)!

It’s more so the fact that there was not only a lot less FOOD in my body, but there was a lot less BAGGAGE in my soul. Three days of being completely and utterly free from the pull of chocolate and bread. Three days of just wanting healthy food. Three days of refocusing on him every time I ate an orange (and I ate A LOT of oranges over those three days).

And it just reminded me of these words of Jesus:

Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Day 426: Fast Fruit

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Soooooooooooooo.

I……… ate a bunch of chocolate on Thursday.

… … …

Ugh.

It was the leftover candy from my husband’s grandfather’s 80th birthday party that did me in. (Those Twix. Oh my. Twix.)

… … …

Annnnnnnnnnnd then I ate a bunch of white chocolate covered popcorn yesterday at a baby shower at my house.

Okay, okay. And I had some punch.

Well, a lot of punch.

… … …

And. A huge slice of cake.

After everyone had left.

While my husband was in the other room.

Sure, these are small indulgences compared to a year a half ago, but I have learned that with me… and with food… there is no small indulgence.

Plus, I have this, ya know, covenant.

With GOD.

Anyway. You know how you have that moment when you really just have to come face to face with the fact that something’s not right. not working. not… yeah. just NOT working.

As I walked through the kitchen in the middle of the night after my toddler woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep on his own cause he has restless leg syndrome, poor thing, I saw the white chocolate popcorn leftover from the baby shower and thought “Ooooooo, I’m gonna get some of that and put the popcorn on my tongue so that the white chocolate is what hits first.”

At 3am.

I mean… seriously?!?!?! Does my dadgum id EVER take a break? It’s making my super-ego work overtime!

Anyway, I immediately thought to myself: fruit fast. I need to do a fruit fast.

I’ve been thinking about it lately anyway. I’ve realized that even though my covenant started out as a fast last year… it sorta just developed into a diet. I think I knew that a long time ago, but I sorta denied it to myself. I wanted it to still be holy. I wanted it to still be righteous. But, it really was… just a diet.

And I wanted to remind myself what it means to really fast. Like, fast to where it “hurts”. Fast so that I feel the sacrifice. Fast so that I long for food for nourishment instead of for one of the other zillion reasons I long for food.

So, I started a fruit fast this morning. I figured I’d go for three days. My husband’s brother and his family arrive on Thursday and I’ll probably be out of pocket pretty frequently at my in-law’s and grandparent-in-law’s where I won’t have as much control over my options. Besides, I’ve never done a fruit fast, so I wasn’t sure how it would affect me.

And holllllly moly.

I’M HUNGRY.

I was all good. I even thought around 10:00 this morning, “Oh yeah… I could so do this for way longer than three days.”

Until about… noon.

And then all I could see was everything in the fridge EXCEPT the fruit. I saw a carrot and thought “Oh my gosh, I’d love a carrot right now. or a bell pepper. or some tomatoes.” Things that I have wanted to try to avoid the past few months because they were allowed and healthy, simply because they were now “forbidden”, they suddenly became my desires. Honestly, I haven’t thought once about sugar or chocolate today… just vegetables and pasta.

And so I knew… “Oh yeah… I needed this.”

I sang some hymns.
I prayed to God.
I ate, like, 17 clementines.
I tamped down my horribly mean attitude that emerges when I am empty (well, for most of the day I did).

And I remembered… hunger.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6