Day 629: I Love It When My Pants Won’t Button

if you wake up and your fat jeans wont button consider it a challenge

Okay, well, I love the effect it has on me when my pants won’t button.

Wait. False.

I love the effect on me AFTER the original response I have when my pants won’t button.

Confused?

I bet.

This morning I woke up, did the whole parenting thing, made lunches, got kids dressed, yada yada ya. And then I needed to throw on some clothes to take my son to Kindergarten (He still insists that we walk him into the school instead of car drop off, and well… I indulge him), so I ran into my closet and thought “Oh, I’ll just grab my ‘fat jeans’ and wear those.”

Now, mind you, my ‘fat jeans’ are heinously uncomfortable and actually they aren’t even a bigger size… so ‘fat jeans’ is really quite a misnomer. They are my ‘cheap jeans’ that look terrible on me so I call them my ‘fat jeans’ because they are the ones that I wear around the house.

Only, not today I didn’t.

Because they wouldn’t even button.

I looked up at myself in the mirror. And I could see the dismay on my face.

It’s happening.

I said to myself.

I’m gaining weight.

A lot of it.

I must be if these jeans won’t even BUTTON!

And cue the moment where I spiral into a depression because I am doing the VERY thing that I do not want to do: gain. I mean, it’s cool for me to maintain, but gain?!?! No.

I could feel the horrid self-talk bubbling up from deep inside me… raging to crawl up into my mind and tell me that I’m worthless. weak. stupid.

But then I looked up again… and I said to the mirror, yes, I said it outloud, by myself, in the bathroom, with my ‘fat jeans’ hanging open.

Well then, it’s on!

{Cause I really try to never miss a chance to make my life feel a little bit like a cheesy movie.}

But it was… it was ON!  I decided in that 13 seconds that I was going to go to the pool and swim that morning (even though not even an hour before I had decided to cancel my membership since I hadn’t been in three weeks… which was a post-injury sabbatical of a week that had stretched into three) and then I was going to make a meal list for the week and then I was going to go grocery shopping later today.

Okay… that is the too-much-detail-I-always-tell-too-many-irrelevant-details version of the morning. And I mean, it was cool that a moment that should have gotten me down… a moment that would have knocked every ounce of motivation out of me a couple of years ago… that moment turned into my motivation!

But it got even cooler.

So, I went to the gym (and I am currently straining myself to leave out every detail of the morning between dropping my son off at school and finally making it into the pool) and of course water aerobics were about to begin and you can’t lap swim during that time. Since I was feeling very, very tight I hopped into the hot tub to get my body warmed up. While I was in there I started doing some stretching and thought

This would be a great time to pray.

So that’s what I did… I stretched and prayed… and THEN, I started to sing.

Yep.

In the hot tub.

Which is in the same room as water aerobics.

I just couldn’t come up with a verse or a prayer that was expressing my heart right, and my mind just sorta defaulted into song (which unfortunately, try as I might… I canNOT remember which one it was)! So… I sang.

And then when water aerobics really got jumpin, I got into the small portion of the pool by the steps that they don’t use and I just did some swim-kicks (whatever you want to call it… I held on to the step and kicked my legs as if I were swimming) and I said thank you to God for everything that I could come up with.

Thank you God for this membership.
Thank you God for this pool.
Thank you God for the time to do this.
Thank you God for your grace.
Thank you God for my body.
Thank you God for where I am now.
Thank you God for where I will be.
Thank you God for where I have been.
Thank you God for this revival of my heart.
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…

And it was beautiful. And I did those leg kicks for thirty minutes. Not because I had to but because I wanted to. I wanted to stay there with God. I wanted to say thanks to Him both through my words and through my commitment to stay there and work my body. I wanted to stay there and say thanks…

Thank you God for… the fact that my ‘fat jeans’ didn’t fit this morning.

fat pants made me workout

Day 628: Runaway

I left my family this summer.
Well, just for two days.

Really, it was for everyone’s good.

Because this Momma was tired and needed a break pretty bad! My friend’s grandmother has a little guest house on a pond about an hour from my house, so she invited a couple of us girls to come stay out there as a little get-a-way.

I wore goofy excessively tall cowboy hats and took selfies.

runaway - hat

I slept in until 9:00am! I can’t even remember the last time I did that! I sat outside for hours all by myself. I wrote a read The Word. I sat and listened for God’s voice.

runaway - view

Cause too often I sprint through life without taking time to stop and just wait for God. I mean, I almost never just SIT for fifteen minutes and meditate and think on Him.

So today, we don’t have to go on a weekend retreat, but maybe skip the dishes for 15 minutes, go outside, and just sit and meditate. Just… think on Him.

He is there.

He is waiting.

runaway - he is there he is waiting

Day 626: New And Free

Throughout the past several months, I have been totally down on myself about not living “up” to the covenant.

Seriously, if I’m going to be honest, it’d be more like for the past 8 or 9 months (pretty much ever since I tried sugar again) because I just haven’t been able to overcome temptation like I did last year.

And so, of course, that had to be all my fault.

God is good.

I’m bad.

Stop being bad.

That’s pretty much how I felt.

But ya know… that is THE. TOTAL. OPPOSITE. of what this is about. It’s the total opposite of what God is about.

You see, He is looking forward to the new me. He is looking forward to the free me.

And… here’s the kicker that I so often ignore… He is CURRENTLY MAKING me into the NEW, FREE me.

I forget that.

I often think that I have to be perfect now.

I don’t.

I don’t ever have to be perfect.

Because His Son, Jesus Christ, is perfect.

And He will take care of all of my imperfections when he stands with me as I face God who will be ready to make me account for all the rights and wrongs I did in life.

So, now all I am called… is to be in Christ. I do my best because I love Him.

But ya know what He does when I sin. He doesn’t throw stones at me. He doesn’t tell me everything I’ve done wrong before He tells me everything I’ve done right.

You know what He does for me? For you?

He bends down to me.

Wipes the dust off of my face.

He says, Your sins are forgiven.

Go.

And sin no more.

your sins have been forgiven go and sin no more

Day 625: Daniel Fast Confession

20130924-215931.jpg

So… I feel like I gotta tell y’all.

I didn’t really do the 7-Day Daniel Fast this last week.

Well, I did… at the end. But not at first.

I could give y’all a bunch of excuses, but it boiled down to: my husband went out of town Wednesday night and I didn’t go to the grocery store, so it just… didn’t happen.

BUT.

Some of y’all did do the Daniel Fast! And let me tell you… from the emails and messages that I’ve gotten from you that were blessed… guess what?

You sharing your blessing… blessed me! And it challenged me! And it fulfilled one of my favorite verses:

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Romans 1:11-12

And it is actually THE reason that I started this blog in the first place… because I needed help and I needed accountability.

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of crossing paths with two of you that were really enjoying your Daniel Fasts and just your excitement and awe at how life-changing it is and the spirit inside of you… well, I went home and I was like “I am going to make this Daniel Fast thing happen for me, even if it’s just the last couple of days.”

It probably didn’t hurt that on Sunday morning I couldn’t find a THING to wear in my closet that fit right. I mean… we are talking

MAJOR.
TUMMY.
ROLLS.

Everything was excessively UNflattering because nothing fit. I mean, we are talking about things that fit me a few weeks ago and on Sunday I was positively POURING out of them.

But, like I said on Day 623: Perfectly Prepared, I trust in the slow work of God.

And He worked through you.

Because on Sunday afternoon, I got back on that wagon and, of course, immediately felt better. Immediately felt my mind turn to God. Immediately felt the freedom beginning to wash over me again.

So. To you who encouraged me simply by sharing your love of the work of God.

Thank you!

Day 624: New Covenant

I will give you back your health

I’ve heard the New Testament referred to as “The New Covenant” before… I guess since Christ started a new covenant. (Read this part of Hebrews 8:6-13 and Luke 22:20)

And I’m sorta… re-thinking what The Covenant Diet really means. Ya know, it started out as a year-long covenant just to eat what was basically a Daniel Fast/Daniel Plan (vegetarian, low grains and dairy, and no sugar). And in summary, if you are just joining me, I lost a bunch of weight, felt extremely free from food, was bolstered spiritually, and felt that God really could do miracles.

And I felt that God had really done a miracle in me.

Then. The end of my covenant year came and I decided to start to slowly reintroduce sugar into my diet. I realized very quickly that I had a very “all or nothing” attitude with sugar (which shouldn’t have been a shocker, I’ve been that way for yearrrrrrs). After months of struggling and fighting food and fighting overeating and fighting sugar, sugar, sugar… I have come to a new spot of covenanting with God.

It’s my “new covenant”.

And it’s not necessarily about a commitment to eat/not eat particular foods, but a commitment to Him to always pursue health. Even through the struggles and beyond the triumphs. Whereas before I started The Covenant Diet, I really had given up and I certainly didn’t associate my food issues as anything that was in any way related to God.

But, if anything, that one year of freedom has completely changed me… because now I KNOW the freedom and can’t go back to slavery again. So, I stay determined and confident that God will take me through this.

And I say that to you too. God will take you through this.

God will give you back your health. Jeremiah 30:17

Day 623: Perfectly Prepared

Trust In The Slow Work of God

I’m learning… slowly and not easily… what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said in his writings, to “Trust the slow work of God.”

And it’s not that I’m the type of person that wants things super fast.

I mean, hey, my favorite way to cook is in the SLOW cooker.

My favorite days are long summer days that seem endless.

And I learned very quickly that a 30-minute massage was not going to cut it… I needed something much more lengthy. (For the record, 90 minutes is my fav.)

See? So  one would think that I’d be totally down with my life being, essentially, a slow cooker meal… it’s just gonna take a while to be ready.

But.

Here’s the difference between my life and a slow cooker.

In my life, God is the cook… and only He knows how long I need to sit in that slow cooker. You see, oftentimes, I think that I’m “done” too soon and I’m ready to get out. But what do we all know will happen if you take something out of the slow cooker too soon?

It’s GROSS. It’s not right. It’s… not. done.

So you either have to put it right back in the slow cooker for a while longer and wait, or you have to toss that thing in the microwave (in which case, it’s never as good and it’s often burned in places or very, very dry).

Uh huh. Ya seeing my little comparison there?

Sometimes when we think we are “done” with struggle… we find ourselves shocked that it comes at us again. But oftentimes, we are simply not “done”. God knows that our hearts are still a sloppy mess of raw tendons and sinews, of blood and bacteria. On the outside you might not be able to see it, but on the inside He knows the condition of our “done-ness”.

Or, if we are insistent on staying out of the slower cooker (and often, we are resistant to God’s “holy recipe” for our life), then He ends up having to toss us in the microwave where the struggle is MUCH more difficult, MUCH more trying, and MUCH more life-sucking (in lieu of far fancier words that I could use there). And although we get “cooked” all the way through that way too, there is often just less of a fulfillment in our life, just as the food is never just as good when cooked super fast. We get burned. And our inner cores aren’t really exactly the same: we often have to have extra water or moisture (cue the spiritual ketchup or mayo) to compensate for our speedy-bake.

The easy part about me really cooking in a slow cooker is that I can plan my life around it: I know EXACTLY when dinner will be ready.

The hard part of God being in charge of my slow cooked life is that I have no clue WHEN I’ll be done.

And that, my friends, is often my issue with “trusting the slow work of God.”

But just like my children have to wait for the awesomeness of a slow cooked meal… smelling the aroma for hours, salivating every time a waft rushes by… so do I have the pleasure of waiting, and trusting in the slow work of God.

Because as I look around as His creation, I know that He is an amazing “cook”. And I know that whenever He takes me out of that “slow cooker” situation… Not a moment too soon. Not a moment too late. It means that I’m ready. done. prepared.

Perfectly prepared to be an enjoyment to my God.

Day 622: When A Man Cries…

You might have noticed yesterday, about 2pm, I went a little nuts on my social media channels.

Well, nuts in a good way.

I sat down with a full heart (like, the good kind of “full”) from church and just wanted to pour some of that fullness into all of you. I wanted you to feel the relief I felt from one moment in Sunday School, so I posted all of these updates on facebook, twitter, and Google+. And I did it within a span of ten minutes. Cause I didn’t want anyone to miss it!

God Loves You

And it was all because my Sunday School teacher… a man… cried.

I mean, I know it’s the new own-your-feelings era and men cry a lot more now than the olden days, but not this one. Not really. I mean occasionally he’ll get choked up or whatever but he’s not the cry-every-time-he-teaches type (and I’ve had those types before, so I’d be able to recognize it). And honestly, I don’t really remember what he said right before it. And I don’t remember what he said right after it.

Wait, I kinda do.

We were talking about not being the judge of others and where they stand with God. And we’ve gotten to know him over the past year pretty well that he’s been our teacher… it’s kinda a small tight-knit group. He said:

I bet most of you in here aren’t the types that are hard on those around you. {Pause} My guess would be that most of you are harder on yourselves than on anybody else. {I nodded my head in agreement thinking of the past several months of my own life} But that’s what I really want you to hear… the only thing I want you to hear and I’m afraid you might miss it… {Big pause… obvious tears in his eyes} I’m afraid you might miss that God. Loves. You.

God. Loves. You.

And my mind was lost.

Lost to the rest of his sentence.

Lost to thinking of only that.

Lost to doing anything other than telling my heart again and again and again… God. Loves. You.

God. Loves. You.

God. Loves. You.

God. LOVES. You.

He’s not wrapped up in your sin or your inability to do “right”. He just… LOVES… you.

And today I tell you the same thing my friends… cause I’m afraid YOU might miss it too. And I don’t want you to miss it.

So hear me.

Hear me now.

GOD.
LOVES.
YOU.

GOD.
LOVES.
YOU.

God Loves You

Day 621: The Cycle

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I seem to keep going back to this same cycle:

Temptation.
Retaliation.
Rationalization.
Capitulation. (fancy word meaning “to give up resistance”.)

It’s all too familiar to me, and probably to most of us: it is the cycle of most yo-yo dieters. Here it is in a more “specific setting”:

Temptation: Oooooooo, Oreos.
Retaliation: No, I really shouldn’t have those.
Rationalization: I haven’t had an Oreo in so long. or I have eaten so well today, I deserve it.
Capitulation: Nom. Nom. Nom. (Slang for eat, eat, eat)

And what’s so dangerous about this is that after too many cycles of it, I often skip the most important step… retaliation. And when I skip that it’s often a sign that I’ll start jumping straight from Temptation to Capitulation.

And to drown out any Retaliation that might start bubbling up through my conscience, I start to eat more. eat faster. eat ev.er.y.thing.

This morning as my eyes shifted over at that bag of Oreos on the counter, I sighed and prayed: God. I just want to be free again.

I’m not sure how many times He’s gonna have to teach me this message before I get it, but here’s what He wants me to put in my cycle:

Temptation.
Retaliation.
PRAY.
Rationalization.
Capitulation.

The entire reason that I’ve done this 7-Day Daniel Fast was to bring me back to that, and honestly, I’m pretty sure I haven’t prayed a single time since it started.

But.

In desperation, I prayed this morning.

And it worked. It turned my attention away from those cursed Oreos… to Him. And that’s the cycle I want.

Temptation.
Retaliation.
Prayer.
God.
God.
God.
God.
God.

God.

Day 618: A Fast Delivery {Don’t Worry, It’s Not About Having a Baby}

seek me and find me jeremiah

I’m a Daniel Fast groupie.

Can’t help it… my first Daniel Fast just completely and totally changed my life because it introduced me to the “idea” of covenanting with God about what I eat.

Plus, it was the first time I’d ever tried a diet that was even remotely vegetarian, and I learned that I really liked being vegetarian. Even if it was only because then I wouldn’t have to worry about meat spoiling before I used it, cross contamination of the meat and all the juices, remembering to defrost meat for dinner that night (I was perpetually forgetting to do this), and just overeating on meat altogether!

But… all of that is wonderful and great, but really… really, a Daniel Fast has so very little to do with the food.

I mean, we make it that way.

But it’s really… about Him.

Daniel wasn’t going on a fast because he had food issues like most of us. He was fasting because, like, the whole nation was about to be obliterated!

Quick reread if it’s been a while: Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) had another vision. He understood that the vision concerned events certain to happen in the future—times of war and great hardship. When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed. Daniel 10:1-3

And that’s why we are doing this… we are trying to break away from our typical eating in order to be drawn to God in prayer. For us, it is because we are in mourning because of the WAR we have against our own bodies and our, seemingly, unquenchable desires to eat junk… and because we are mourning the HARDSHIPS that we endure with this struggle with food: being overweight, feeling stuffed, and the worst: our inability to stop ourselves from eating what we don’t. even. want. to eat.

So, friends… sure, change up your diet. But really… make sure you are changing up your prayer and bible routines. Spend these days of fasting focusing on God and on His ability to deliver you.

Because He WILL deliver you from this. He WILL bring you back. It may take time, but He is faithful. Remember what He says:

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” Jeremiah 29:13-14