Day 625: Daniel Fast Confession

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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 179: I Am

I am imperfect.

I am merely human.

I sin.

I fail.

I am incomplete.

But…

I am saved.

I am redeemed.

I am forgiven.

I am made perfect.

I am not finished.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

This is a mini post, but it is just what I’m needing to tell myself right now. I have been struggling like cuh.ray.zey. lately! But…

He. is. not. finished. with. me.

Every day is a new day. Every chance is a new chance. His Love is in every day… in every chance.

Ahhhhhhhhh.

I needed to remind myself. And I’ll need to remind myself again tomorrow.

Please – if I don’t post tomorrow. Please check on me. I need some encouragement while I get my mind back on track.

Day 169: The Neverending Covenant

Being public about the covenant has been one of the best things for me. Time and time again I have the motivation to make the right choices, the God-honoring choices, because I know that I have people that care about me reading.

But the other day I realized another important truth about this covenant. Because I “went public”, this covenant is no longer just… my… covenant. I chose to share it with hundreds of people… originally in an effort to make myself accountable to others. And that is still a big motivation. But it has also become a help to people. I guess it’s encouraging for people to see someone else struggling with the same issues… to know that we are not alone.

Like, on Facebook when another mom posts a pic of her kids and in the background I can see toys littered all around, dishes piled up in the kitchen, and a laundry basket overflowing with clothes to be folded… well, I just feel so much better! Oh, it’s not just me. It’s not just my house. It’s not just my family. my mistakes. my craziness. my mess. my life. I’m not alone!

And I think that my covenant offers that to some people… a look inside a part of my soul that we spend such emotional effort trying to conceal. That part that we are ashamed of. But I do my best to take a look at my soul every day and take a snapshot of what it really looks like. Some days it’s nice and clean. Some days it’s just a little mess. Some days… it’s a total absolute wreck.

And that’s yet another part of this covenant that makes it so much more than just a “diet”. The connection that I have made with so many of you can’t just end on January 1st. And the connection that I have made with God can’t just end on January 1st either.

But what really struck me the most the other day was that verse…

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. Luke 12:48

And it made me realize… I have been entrusted with this gift of freedom and with the knowledge of how to get that freedom from food. I thought that a year would originally be my only “requirement” but now I see that I can’t stop this covenant. I can’t just go back to normal again eating ribeyes, and ice cream, and cookie dough, and a dozen breadsticks, and, and, and. I can’t just gain weight back when I’m off of this… it’s not just “some diet”… it’s a covenant with God that I have had. A Change of life… of soul… of heart. I can’t just go back.

And, honestly, I don’t want to.

Day 154: Covenant Companions

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I have found that this quote explains why I have found so many new friends of late through this blog. So many of you have said this very thing “What! You too? I thought I was the only one” about my cookie dough experience, or having to fight off breadsticks, or merely just feeling and knowing and struggling with gluttony… with an addiction to food.

And lately, I have come across a bunch of you that need to… connect… with someone about this. I have gotten several emails and phone calls from covenant friends that want to hang out with me and talk through some of their covenant thoughts. Every one has a slightly unique situation, a slightly unique need, and a slightly unique food-issue and so sometimes the blog posts just don’t cut it. And of course, after every time that I hang out with someone and talk covenant, addiction, gluttony, pain, guilt, regret, love for God, salvation, freedom, renewal, forgiveness, etc, etc, etc… I end up feeling more blessed than the person that felt that they needed the blessing!

Now, I’m going to say this, and I don’t want it to sound cocky… but I want you guys to know kind of where I’m coming from on this. When I started getting so many people that wanted to talk through this issue with me, I was kind of worried. I was talking to my husband about it wondering why so many covenanters needed someone to talk to when I had kind of just gone my own way… by myself. Through talking to him I realized that although I might not have called someone up to talk to them about my struggles, my pain, my guilt, etc. that I had been able to express all of that through my blog. Every time I went through a struggle with food and posted about it, I felt almost as if I had been cleansed… like I was free of that mistake. Even though I had never directly spoken to someone about it. Just because I knew that a few of my friends (and always my mom!!!) were reading my posts. In a way, it was like the best kind of friendship… I got to “talk” the whole time with no one to interrupt me!

But being able to chat with others about their experiences has been… well, like I said, a blessing! Their words often ring in my mind for days as I pray for God to help them and pray for God to show me the words to say to them.

All of this to say, I am truly going to be praying on and thinking about how to incorporate a system of friendship through this blog. So many are covenanting in secret and aren’t telling those close to them… but perhaps you’d like to tell someone that will understand. Or get advice. I dunno… anything that you guys could recommend to help out this aspect of the covenant would be great.

But it all boils down to this verse, which I know that I have mentioned before, but it is in a new light now:

For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. Romans 1:11-12

Day 143: Don’t Just Think It… Ink It

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I saw that quote when I was looking up something for my husband the other day (my man is the master of positive thinking… he read a lot of positive-thinking stuff… in fact, if you haven’t ever read any of The Success Principles by Jack Canfield (the guy who co-authored the Chicken Soup for the Soul books)… it’s really great, great stuff. I know that it sounds kind of businessy, but it’s really more about general life stuff.)

Gosh, I always seem to get on a tangent like that don’t I?

ANYWAY… The quote reminded me of a verse that my hubby has cited for years…

Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance. Habakkuk 2:2

And it made me think about how I think that writing down my covenant is one of the things that I did that has helped me… and it was one of the thing that I did not do… and not writing it down held me back a bit.

Huh?

Yeah, let me explain…

I wrote down my covenant with God on this blog 143 days ago. I wrote it down so that someone else could read it. So that I could be held accountable to it. I wrote it down so that there would be no questioning later about what I had really decided to do. It’s kind of like the Ten Commandments… God WROTE those suckers down for the people cause you KNOW they’d have been all “Wellllllll, I mean, I think that God said “Don’t commit adultery… unless you’re really, really in love.” He didn’t want there to be any confusion. I mean, honestly, He didn’t even let MOSES write them down… GOD wrote them down. There is just some kind of power in words being in black and white… or in gray and chiseled gray (or whatever the commandments were written in). And there have been many times that my mind has mentally flashed back to that blog page where I typed out my covenant in plain English… and it has kept me from making a bad choice. (Haha- I must have been working on that a lot today with my kids… oh how many times a day do we talk about “making a bad choice?!?!?!”)

What I didn’t write down… or what I left as very vague… was the thing about avoiding bread. I was not clear like the verse says above. And so, when it came down to it… there was no where for my mind to flash back to. Until I realized it had to be clearly written down… and so about a week and a half ago, I just had to write it down very clearly. And it has helped me tremendously.

All of that to say, if God gives you a vision, or a revelation, or a whatever… write. it. down.

Publicly, if possible.

In that verse above, it was written down so that others might be able to read it. Not for him to be able to read it. There is a reason that God wants us to share as much of ourselves as possible… call it accountability if you want, I don’t think you need a “name” for it… just know that when someone else knows your heart, your thoughts, your hurts, your joys… it just helps.

So, start a blog. Open a twitter account. Get some post-it notes. Text your best friend. Facebook a revelation. Open one of those journals that you got for graduation that has been sitting in your closet for the past howevermany years.

But write. it. down.

Day Ninety-One: Obedient Kisses

I am still a bit amazed at how far I’ve come… I mean… how far God has brought me. And I’m also continually amazed at how well this covenant thing works, despite my slip-ups, because the food I eat and don’t eat are not that dissimilar to the ones I have eaten, and not eaten, on diets before. Only a big difference is the motivation and the accountability. And the biggest difference is that both the motivation and the accountability are from and with God.

Before I would have used an upcoming event- a friend’s wedding, a beach trip, etc. as my motivation. And although those are rewarding, my heart and mind had gotten to the point where the “reward” of chocolate was MORE rewarding than the thought of something in the future. And so the only thing that would motivate me more was my love for God.

Same with accountability- WeightWatchers staff… they were important but I didn’t care about their accountability as much as I “neeeeeeeeded” chocolate. My family members… who are the most important things in the world to me… but that chocolate would still supersede my love for them. (And that still pains me a bit to admit to even myself, but I can say that a lot of that was because the THINGS of this world were still so important to me that the eternal things, like love for my family, had wasted away). But my love for God was stronger.

It is strong enough to make me obey Him. And that is how he says he wants us to show Him love… to obey Him. At a women’s retreat, Brenna Stull told a story (and the full, “live” version was way cuter, but this is a abridged version) about how she wanted to take a nap but she had a three-year-old who had dropped her nap, so she told her daughter, “You don’t have to sleep… all you have to do is lay still in bed with me and close your eyes.” Well, once they got settled in for a nap, her daughter started kissing her arm once, then two kisses, three kisses, then all the way up her arm. Finally, Brenna said, “I don’t WANT your kisses… I want you to obey me!” And I think that is where a lot of the reward in this covenant comes from… it gave me not only freedom from food, but a way to SHOW God my love… through obedience.

If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. John 14:15

Day Sixty-Six: This One’s For You

Well, this week has been Spring Break and it is always during times of vacation (or at least my husband’s vacation) that I realize how much I am a creature that loves (and needs) routine.

It’s funny how just adding one more person to the mix of family life will throw off a routine in no time. We don’t have to wake up early, we don’t have to eat breakfast by a certain time or make lunches by 7:45am, we don’t have to cart the entire family up to my husband’s work to drop him off or take my preschooler up to church for school. The days are wide open… and subsequently a bit chaotic!

I have had little or no “extra” time to blog these past few days. And while I find it a bit freeing to not have done my writing for a bit, at the same time I feel a bit of a tug for anyone who might be reading.

As in… I feel their silent accountability. No, I don’t feel like I owe anyone anything. I don’t “owe” the blog’s readers a post, but I know that there are a few people that desire to get a Word of God that deals with these addictions or strongholds as much as I. And I know that there are some that are “rooting” for me and/or praying for me.

And although I know that God is now my support and my constant companion through all of this, the power of those around me is still strong. Perhaps it is the power of the Holy Spirit that flows through us that supports each other… yep. Even through something as “impersonal” as the internet!

And I am reminded of one of my favorite verses that encourages having friendship of those in the faith…

For I long to [blog to you] so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. Romans 1:11-12

And this is what brings me back to my blog today. After I caught up a bit on my bible reading (which as much as I wanted to post before, I knew that the posting on my blog was secondary to reading The Word), I have managed to squeeze in a few minutes of posting on my phone… and as I write these words my two year old has started to call me from his crib. I want to tell you that I am encouraged by you and your faith. Even if I don’t see you and just see your email address listed on my blog followers page… just your clicking on that follow link has encouraged me. And encourages me even at this very minute.

I am encouraged to know that there are other believers out there. That there are other strugglers out there. That there are people of prayer. of faith. of Jesus.

So, friends… brothers and sisters… this one’s for you!