Day 513: Aston Martin Me

I recently watched the movie Django Unchained with my husband. I can’t help it… I love shoot-em-up movies and I really wanted to see Leonardo DiCaprio in it, so there ya go. (For the record, it’s wasn’t all that hands-down fabulous other than the gentleman that played Dr. King Schultz, Christoph Waltz… he was brilliant.)

In the movie, a slave woman is purchased for $12,000 (which would be roughly $300,000 today) and the average price of a slave at the time was $400 or $500 ($10-$12,000 today). Now, it gets a little sticky to discuss this because let me be clear: the concept of “owning” another individual is abhorrent to me… the thought of “owning” another individual that has been kidnapped from their home and country… well, it literally sickens me.

But I just kept thinking about it.

I mean… if someone told me that I was “worth” the same amount as a used Kia, I mean… gosh. Love Kia and all, but… okay, not much of a confidence boost there. But then if someone came up to me and said that I was “worth” the same amount as an Aston Martin Vanquish. Well… I’m just saying. That’s a self-image game changer there people. I mean… look at the difference.

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And ya know- the way you treat a Kia versus an Aston Martin is gonna be different too. A used Kia you’re just gonna… drive it. use it. abuse it. But an Aston Martin… you’re gonna get an extra secure garage space for that sucker. You aren’t gonna drive it when it rains. You aren’t gonna take your kids to McDonalds in it. And you DEFINITELY aren’t going to put diesel in it. Heck, you aren’t gonna put anything other than premium-diamond-encrusted gas in there.

This is how I need to think about my body. God didn’t buy me for the same price as a used Kia. It’s closer to the Aston Martin, but that is still far below. He bought me with blood. He traded his own child for me! My body is worth-it. It’s worth the effort to honor it!

So, I can look in the mirror today and know that I am the Aston Martin. I am valuable.

{And I’ll be honest… thinking this way this morning when I opened up the fridge… I wanted something easy and quick and then I remembered “I am an Aston Martin Vanquish.” It made me change my thinking from “I should have blueberries” to “I WANT blueberries.” I didn’t want no diesel in my tanks today, cause I am an Aston Martin worthy of being honored and cared for. I wanted that diamond-encrusted-premium in the tanks today.}

POSITIVITY: I am valuable.

God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20

PRAYER:

God, WHOO HOO! I love being valuable. Especially because I know that the part of me that is valuable isn’t what is on the outside… but it’s what is under the hood. You make me want to take care of myself just to honor You because You bought me at such a high price!

Thank you for giving me such a positive self-image of myself today… thank you for buying me at a HIGH price instead of on the cheap so that I would know how much I mean to you. Thank you God for making my worth: valuable.

You are so good to me!

Amen!

Day 512: Guard On Duty

me and the hubs - nashville

{Me and the hubs in Nashville being
touristy after my first
Summer
NAMM show for Chord Dice!}

When I was single, I became pretty darn independent. I mean, I paid my own bills, bought my own fast car, traveled around on my own, rented very nice apartments. I mean… I was doing just fine. And then I met my husband, and I fell in love, and I married him.

Wait… all of a sudden I wasn’t the one calling all the shots anymore.

Yeahhhhhhhh, that’s tough for an independent woman who is married to an independent man. I remember thinking (for years) “He is just SO protective! I can take care of myself but he doesn’t believe in me.” Of course, the longer that we’ve been married I realized that my analysis was a smidge off. Yes, he is protective, but it’s not because he doesn’t believe in me. It’s not because he wants to rule over me. It’s because he loves me and wants to protect me.

The longer that I’ve understood that, the more enjoyable it is to be guarded and protected by my husband. It’s… nice to be able to put some of those cares on him that I carried by myself before. It’s nice to be able to go to him when I am scared or unsure of things. It’s nice for him to step out, a bit like a knight in shining armor, and protect me. But before I realized all of that I fought against his protectiveness because I thought that it would restrain me and make me into something I’m not. I thought it would make me weaker. I thought it would take away my individualism.

But it’s been the exact opposite.

And God is like that… He just wants to protect me because He loves me. And the more that I realize that, the more that I release to Him, the more I am protected, guarded, taken care of. And then more I love my life and find comfort in peace. The more I can, like the Proverbs 31 woman, laugh at the future.

POSITIVITY: I am guarded.

I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

PRAYER:

God, it is so refreshing to know that you are in control. That you have all kinds of crazy power… power that I can’t even fathom. And it’s so cool to know that with all of that crazy awesome power you are taking care of my life.

Today it was so neat to remember and to rest in the knowledge that You have me under your wing. That when the craziness of life and the uncertainty hits… that you are there guiding everything along. It makes it so much easier for me to “die to this life” and just snuggle up and allow my soul to remain hidden with Christ in You.

Thank you for my comfort. thank you for my love. thank you for my protection.

Amen.

Day 511: Caught… Chocolate Handed

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My Sunday School teacher, James Tippit, said on Sunday, “Some suffering is actually our down payment for something glorious.”

I loved that truth… because now every time something “bad” happens it can make me think… “Oh, I wonder what awesomeness is going to come out of this?”

Sorta like yesterday… when my son (again, my oldest from Day 506 and Day 509) had his first “sneak eating” moment.

Now, I know that a 5-year-old sneak eating is a little different from a 34 year old woman sneaking eating, but all the same, it hurt my heart.

I was reading some books with my 3-year-old and my oldest came shuffling in sniffling. My husband was behind him and said that Pico needed to tell me something. Tears welled up in his eyes, and he confessed, “I ate some chocolate.” (Of course, little did he know but it was blazingly obvious because it was smeared all around his mouth!) Well, apparently, while I had been out of the room, he got a bowl and poured some mini-chocolate chips into a bowl and ate them. And then was trying to wash out the bowl to put back in the cabinet when he got caught red chocolate-handed.

Torn between punishing him for being devious and being gentle with him because of the situation, I went with the latter. I thought to myself, “Oh wow… if I don’t handle this correctly, he could become even more of a sneak eater in the future.” So, I held him in my arms, talked to him about how if he’s hungry or craving something that he can tell me. Told him it’s not wrong to be hungry. Told him that food is a great thing – a way for our bodies to get energy. Told him it’s not wrong to eat chocolate. Told him that I don’t ever want him to feel like he needs to be sneaky about eating food. Told him to ask me if he wanted something.

And then… he saw one of his Lego Club magazines, hopped out of my lap happy as a lark, and all was well in his soul! Ha!

The whole situation made my heart a little sad because oh-how-well I know that spirit that makes a person sneak-eat.

Well, last night after I caught up on the past two days of posts, I took a peak at what today’s positivity and verse were to be and was just… struck… by the perfectness of it all.

POSITIVITY: I am understood.

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

Yesterday as my son came to me, I understood his weakness… because I’ve. been. there. Just as Jesus understands mine… because He’s. been. there. And just as my heart hurt for my Pico, so does God’s when I struggle. Which is why when I come to him, He gives me mercy… just as I was able to do for Pico. And just as Pico can come to me when he is hungry or has a craving so that I can help him… so God provides help when I need it most. And it’s all because HE UNDERSTANDS!

I mean… how rad was all of that?!?!?! I wanted so badly to write it all last night but I was exhausted! Needless to say, I was actually happy when the alarm went off this morning because I knew I had something great to write about!

I am understood. By the God of All Creation and The Universe… I am understood.

PRAYER:

Wow God… the way you orchestrate every little moment of our lives is so beautiful. I mean, there I was sitting thinking of how sad it was that he had done that and you were thinking, “Oh I can’t wait until tonight when she sees all of this come together.” It is just so cool.

And ya know, thanks God. For all the ways that you could have saved us… but you sent us your son in the form of a person who would feel, first hand, the pull of temptation. That you could feel the pull when we feel it. That you could know the battle between choosing righteousness or sin. That you could understand me… in my testings. You are so amazing.

Thank you for the blessing of You in my life. Thank you for giving me Your eyes to see the world. Thank you for the path of transformation that you are taking me down.

I love you, God!

Amen!

Day 510: Welcoming Party

sister in law

I remember hearing these horror stories as a kid about how people always hated in their mother-in-law… I mean, at least, in the movies they always did. Now that I think about it I don’t really remember hearing about it from any real people.

Either way, I was pleasantly surprised when my in-laws turned out to be easy-going, supportive, and fun.

And I think, again, like I said on Day 503: An Ode To My Mother-In-Law, they have been so awesome to just welcome me into the family as a daughter… not as a stranger, or as the girl their son married, but as a daughter.

I still remember my first Christmas as I was opening gifts and my in-laws had gotten me this awesome red bag. My sister-in-law (in the pic above) was quick to tell the back story about that bag: they had been shopping and her mom picked up the red bag and said, “Do you like this?” and my sister-in-law said yes (assuming that her mom was going to buy it for her… she’s the only girl) and then her mom said, “Okay good, I think I’ll get it for January.” My sister-in-law said her mouth dropped as she realized that she would now have to SHARE with a SISTER!!! Haha!

But you know, that’s just what Christ has done for me. I’m not a descendant of Abraham. I’m not “supposed” to be part of the family, but He came for us ALL… and He makes me welcome into His family. I can approach God, because of Jesus, as if I am his very own precious only daughter and He will welcome me as if I am such.

Think of that… it’s as if I tried to walk into the White House right now to visit the president. I’d be taken DOWNNNNNN.

Imagine that same scene with instead with God… He would see me at the door, those powerful warrior angels of his would be ready to keep out this human. this sinner. this gentile.

And then God… would look over to His Son, Jesus, who would give Him a quick nod and then God… GOD… would motion for me to enter. He would tell me to sit… heck, He might even get up and embrace me. As if I were family.

Oh my heavens… I’ll be honest. I love the world that God has created here. I love that we are working on the Kingdom of God right here and right now, but THAT greeting… THAT family reunion… THAT welcoming… well, that is something to look forward to.

POSITIVITY: I am welcome.

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

PRAYER:

God, oh my Father. I see myself as such a misfit so often, but you have deemed me worthy through the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus… worthy to be called FAMILY. Worthy to be with you. Worthy to be welcomed.

It just reminds me that I am given so much… here on earth as well as in heaven.

Today God I just want to remember that I am not displaced. I am just where I need to be. I am here, on earth, but I am your welcome daughter. Able to come to you at any moment because of what Jesus has done for me. Thank you for granting me an audience so. very. often. over such trivial matters as temptation of cookies.

Thank you for making me so very welcome in your family.

Amen.

Day 507: Pardon Me Please

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Today’s positivity is, yet again, perfect timing! After yesterday’s conviction through my son (Day 506: Childish Conviction) in which he inadvertently called me out on my sin and altered the course of my approach to this covenant and then yesterday’s positivity just “happened” to be I am free (Day 506: A Slave No More) it was only fitting that today should be…

POSITIVITY: I am pardoned.

Now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Romans 8:1

All of my self-centered attitude. All of my pride. All of my gluttony. All of my food-lust. God will judge me not-guilty for all of it because Jesus stands in my place. And what’s really cool, is that because I am “in” Christ Jesus, God will just dismiss all that has happened, AND He will reward me for returning to Him. He will reward me for jumping off the road most traveled and getting on the road less traveled. (Thank you Mr. Frost for that.)

PRAYER:

God, You ARE Grace and Mercy. Just the fact that You even still interact with humans is evidence of that. And You are the Best of Grace and Mercy because you are also the Judge and the Eye that sees everything. Only You could fairly judge a person’s heart.

I am blessed that You have offered me Your Mercy. I know that given the state of my heart and my motivation, I didn’t deserve it, but you gave it to me all the same. I am blessed to have been treated with such kindness by You… when I think of some of the other ways that you could have tried to get my attention, I know that Your Grace gave me the easy way out.

Thank you for staying so close to me today. I have sensed You and Your Holy Spirit near me several times. Please stay near me longer, God. It is only with You that I am strong. Thank you for my pardon. Forgive me for my sin. Forgive me for being so focused on myself. For thinking I knew what was better than You did. For shoving my face with something other than what would fulfill me. For longing after something other than Your Greatness to sustain. Thank you that I am not guilty. Thank you.

Day 506b: A Slave No More

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Ya know, yesterday on Day 505, I was supposed to write about the positivity of being free.

I tried a bunch of times to write on it, but I just wasn’t… feelin it. (And for good reason.) If you read the post I wrote just moments ago (Day 506a: Childish Conviction) then you’ll see why.

Sin. I wasn’t feeling free because I was still WILLINGLY going back to sin and asking to be its slave. But my little interaction today with my son was like someone spiritually grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking the snot out of me and saying WAKE UP!!!! YOU ARE A SLAVE BUT YOUR SHACKLES ARE OFF! WHY ARE YOU STILL WORKING FOR THIS MASTER? GO! GET OUT OF HERE! BE… FREE.

And I am.

I. am. free.

POSITIVITY: I am free.

Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18

I never understood before I started this covenant journey how restricting myself (a la “becoming a slave to righteous living”) would be FREEING? It just didn’t make sense. Until I actually went through that process and realized that last year I was so incredibly free from food once I restricted my foods with God as my help. Then… enter the turn of the year from 2012 to 2013 and my introducing chocolate back into my life.

Big mistake. Huge. HUGE.

However, I can thank God tonight that He has taken me down this road AGAIN to remind me AGAIN of this truth. Because since I ate that first bite of chocolate in January… I have been enslaved to it again. As I reached out that night to taste my first bite of sweetness, I shackled my tender, tender soul back to the vice that has held me captive for so long.

And now, I should probably expound on that to you guys, but I’d rather just talk to God about it in my prayer.

PRAYER:

Oh my God… how wonderful you have been to me today. How you have reached out yet AGAIN to redirect me. I can be nothing but thankful… no, wait, I can be more. I have hope and freedom once again God. Even as I walked into the house and was immediately assaulted with the all-too-familiar thought of “Hmmmm, what can I snack on?” I smiled God with such peace because I knew that I was free again.

And on that note… wow. Thank you for making confession and conviction SUCH an effective tool in redirecting me. Thank you for using my sweet little boy to speak a dagger of truth into my heart. Oh my Jesus, I needed Your Sword of Truth to cut me clean down the middle so that You could put me back together again. And Hallelujah you did it!

I just feel so full of hope and excitement as I look forward to more and more days and days of peace in my heart as you empower me with strength and the ability to resist these morsels of the former me. Lord Jesus, be close to me now. Stay sooooo close by my side… even now, I can sense that sneaky snaky devil searching in my armor for a weak link. Guard me God with your angels… protect me from evil even if just for a few days while I get my sea legs again. Allow me to be a glory and witness to you as I muddle through this covenant journey.

Oh just THANK YOU GOD… that is all I have tonight. Thanks. Thank you… thank you for this freedom. Thank you.

And a Hallelujah Amen!

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Day 505: Incapable Capability

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I really don’t have words this morning.

This is the eighth draft I have started for this post. I’ve changed the positivity verse three times, but I just can’t seem to get anything to work for me this morning.

Ironically enough, look at what I ended up with for the positivity verse…

POSITIVITY: I am capable.

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

You see, I wasn’t able to write a post because I was being nit picky about my wording, about my anecdotes, etc. But really… we don’t need a bunch of “my words” today… all we need is that truth right there.

I am capable.

I can do everything.

I have been given strength.

PRAYER:

God, it’s funny… this morning as I write and pray to you, I feel so terribly incapable. But I am just reminded it is because I am so incapable… without You. And, oh God, how often I attempt to function without you. And how often I fail epically because I attempt life without you.

But now… now I remember God that You make me capable. You make me able to do things that seem unimaginable. Sometimes that’s eating right, loving the unlovable, healing over deep hurts… but when I use YOUR strength… I am suddenly able.

Today, God, help me to tap into that strength. Remind me over and over again that I am capable with You. That I can do anything and everything with You. That I am strong with You. Help me to triumph today over sin and sadness!

You alone are God. You alone fulfill. You alone are strength and hope.

May I focus on You. alone.

Amen.

Day 503: An Ode To My Mother-In-Law

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You’ll have to forgive me for the lack of elaboration on today’s post. On a whim, we ended up spending the night at my in-laws place in the country and so I didn’t have my laptop and cell reception out here minimal, at best.

Well, my mother-in-law just sent all the boys up to their other house on the property so she and I could have some down time. I’m potty training my 3 year old and was getting… frustrated… so I think she could tell I needed a break. Gotta love a good mother-in-law and boy howdy do I have a good one!

Anyway, that is a pretty good tie in for today’s positivity verse.

I’m not one of God’s chosen people by lineage or birth. I’m, technically, a gentile.

Just like I’m not my mother-in-law’s daughter by birth or lineage. I’m, technically, a stranger.

But just as my mother-in-law has pulled me under her wing to care for me, and give me gifts, and help me, and love me… so did my God. And honestly, she treats me as her very own daughter. Just as God treats me as one of His chosen people of Israel.

You see, my mother-in-law loves me because her son loves me. Because he chose me to be his bride.

And God is able to love me because His Son loves me. Because He chose me to be His bride.

I am loved.

POSITIVITY: I am loved.

God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for me, won’t he also give me everything? … 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?

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me.

And I am convinced 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

PRAYER:

God, You are the sweetness of my life. You fill me with Hope and Love when I feel there is nothing but frustration and despair. You love me- Your Son came for me- You embrace me into Your family.

Help me today to honor Your Love with the thoughts that pass through. Help me today to honor You through my actions and my words. May You be honored as I treat my family with respect and kindness. As I care for my body through careful controlled eating. May my life be something that makes You smile today.

I love you. In my best way, I love you. Thank you for accepting my love, God.

Amen.

Day 502: I’m Full Of It

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{Get it? Full of it?!?! Haha!
Full of goofiness, that’s what!}

I have really been looking forward to this one.

If there is one thing that I think most of us struggle with, it is the feeling that there is something missing… something wrong… something off with the way we are. And ya know, I’ve heard these two verses a gajillion times and wow… they are so true:

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

But since I have heard them so many times I think I’ve almost numbed myself over the years to the power of that truth, so today I want to focus on really INFUSING that into my mind and heart. I don’t want to just HEAR those words… I want to live them! And ironically enough, I’m going to do so using a different verse that says a similar thing.

POSITIVITY: I am complete.

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

Like, we always think about Jesus as “The Perfect Man” (not in the marriageable meaning of that phrase though… although pretty sure he woulda been the bomb of a husband)… ya know, He was sinless. But more than that… He was AWESOME. No, seriously. I mean… think about the stuff he did. Like, telling his disciples to chill out and let the kids come sit on his lap and get blessed. Bringing back his best friend,Lazarus, to life. Eating and hanging out with sinners that would, according to the temple tradition, make him unclean. Touching lepers who hadn’t felt a hand on them in yearrrrrs. Telling Martha to cool her jets because it was better to be like Mary and just BE with Him. Saving the adulterous woman who was about to be stoned to death. And my favorite… stopping dead in his tracks to acknowledge a woman that had just reached out in faith to be healed.

And I’m not bringing up any of those things to focus on the miracle aspect of each of them… but to point out just how FULL OF LOVE He was… and is.

But then also think about the miracle parts… bringing a dude back to life? allowing a woman to be healed by touching his ROBE? And then there’s always that whole coming-back-to-life thing that is pretty cool, too. All of that points out just how FULL OF POWER He was… and is.

Like the verse above says, I am also made complete through my union with Christ. Which means I am FULL of that same LOVE and I am FULL of that same POWER.

WHO CAN STOP ME!?!?!?!?!?

Okay, so I meant that kinda funny… but also, kinda for real. I mean… WHO CAN STOP ME?!?!? No one… not even Satan because I am united with Christ. I am complete.

PRAYER:

Lord God, wow I am PUMPED to talk to you right now! Cause after remembering all that up there, I am just like… WOW… LET’S DO THIS THANG! You are just so rad to give me the chance to get in on this deal of being part of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth… I think of myself as just a little goofy kid down here but once I realized just now that I am made COMPLETE through You, in You, because of You. I don’t know… it just changes things for me, God. I feel so… so… spiritually unstoppable! And I guess, that’s not really a false place to be in. I am spiritually unstoppable!

It actually brings tears to my eyes to realize that there is NOTHING MISSING in me. Remind me all day today God that I am made complete through your Son, Jesus. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes, I am full. Full of You and Your radiant awesomeness and beauty. Oh Jesus, that I would FEEL that way today and KNOW today that it’s true. May my life be full and complete as You are full and complete!

AMEN AND HALLELUJAH! 

{When the boys saw me
making my “full of it” pic,
they wanted in on it!}

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Day 501: The Chosen

How about a few reminders first of the past five days of the 30 Day Infusion?

Day 1: I am made for more!
Day 2: I am royalty!
Day 3: I am new!
Day 4: I am cherished!
Day 5: I am strong!

POSITIVITY: I am chosen.

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

Ya know, my husband liked me first.

It’s true.

He might not tell it that way, but it IS true. I was dating someone else and my husband started to pursue me before I even thought about a relationship beyond friendship with him. And I had done my fair share of… chasing… boys in my lifetime because despite how AWESOME I was they were just not interested in me. Mom always told me it was because they were intimidated by my awesomeness. So honestly, it was so nice to be sought out. pursued. desired. chosen.

Yeah… chosen. And Jesus has also chosen me. But for two reasons… He chose me simply to be with Him and glorify Him, but also He chose me, like it says above, to “go and produce lasting fruit”. I have a calling… a purpose… a point in being here. And He has chosen me to give strength, He has chosen me to cherish, He has chosen to make me new so that I can produce LASTING fruit, He has chosen me to be royalty and to act like it, and He has chosen me for MORE than just a plain ol life here on Earth!

I am chosen!

PRAYER:

God… You are good to me and you bring me hope and promise and love and fulfillment. With You I can do all these things that I thought were impossible.

Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your plan, and thank you for giving me skills and power. Thank you for making me all that I am and all that I can be and all that you are going to make me. I love focusing on these cool things that you have put in me: strength, love, newness, regality, worth. Help me to focus on those things throughout the bumps of my day. Remind me especially today that I am chosen to live a life that will still have worth for eternity.

Love you so much God! Thank you for my life today.

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