Day 657: I Quit.

i quit

Yep.

That’s it.

I’m done.

Out.

No more.

I quit.

… … …

Seriously.

I’m not joking.

… … …

You see, for months I’ve been just downright struggling with this whole experience. I’ve put on a whole pant size for sure (and yet you can be darned sure that I’m still squeezing my size ten rear into my size eight jeans because I don’t want to go buy a bigger size… because I WON’T go buy a bigger size) and I’m just so weighed down and shackled to food again it’s become nigh unbearable.

I can’t make it through a Sunday School lesson without breaking down in tears.

I’ve cried to my husband multiple times.

I seriously, seriously, seriously was considering calling my church to see if they would work out some kind of deal for me to get counseling up there.

Things in my soul have been a total and complete roller coaster.

I mean, every few days I would find a new “resolve” and would have faith in myself again that I could do this and then day three or four would hit and well, all it takes for me is that one bite of chocolate…and well, it would all go downhill from there.

And so this past week, I’ve just really had to face up to what is going on here…

I can’t do this anymore.

So, I’m going to quit.

Okay, but I’ll end the suspense.

I’m not quitting The Covenant Diet… I can’t quit it. God has brought me so far and I know… I KNOW… that He is faithful. I’ve read too many accounts in the Bible where He brought people through terrible, terrible adversity to reveal His Glory OR to make them face up to the fact that He really IS in control.

And here’s the deal: He has shown me over and Over and OVER and OVER and OVER again what I need to do. Like I said on Day 653: Just Like Jonah, I just keep running from it. But in my heart for months He has been telling me through friends, through the wisdom in his Word, through Sunday School, through prayer… He has been saying that I have GOT to make this sugar thing a total and complete lifestyle change.

As in… never again.

As in… quit.

Quit.

Quit eating sugar.

For.ev.er.

… … …

I know, right?!?!?

… … …

For.ev.er.

… … …

That’s nuts!

Wellllll, yeah, but so was giving up sugar for a year. But it was one of the best years of my life. Total and complete freedom.

So, this post could go on and on today… and I’ll explain more about how I came to this point in the following days’ posts… but here’s the deal.

I’ve been running from God.

Just like Jonah.

And I’m tired.

I’m tired of running.

I’m tired of trying to do this battle with food my way.

I’m tired.

And I’m failing at doing it my way.

I’m tired of failing.

So, I’m looking at this raging sea in my soul and I know that it’s raging because of me.

Because of my decision to go my own way.

And I’m done.

I’m just ready to quit.

So, this morning, I took one last sigh.

{Sigh}

Stood up and walked to the edge of this boat in this raging sea.

And I dove in.

I dove into the waters of His grace and mercy.

I dove into the waters of self “sacrifice”.

I dove into the waters of freedom.

I dove into the waters that will guide me back to where I need to be.

Will it be easy to give up sugar for.ev.er.???

Heck to tha NO.

It sure as heck wasn’t easy for Jonah to live in a whale’s stomach either.

But it got him back to where he needed to be.

And that was where God wanted him to be.

And as I tread water in this sea that is my soul, I realize that as soon as I jumped in… it was immediately calm. Refreshing even. Going His way instantly brings me more peace than I had during any of the days of trying to do it on my own.

The peace I have felt just in this one day… well, it just makes me so glad that I finally… finally…

quit.

i quit SUGAR

Day 632: You Say It’s My Birthday

The hubs and I out for birthday lunch!

The hubs and I out for birthday lunch!

Yesterday was my birthday.

I’m now officially 35!

So, I’m no longer in my early-thirties; I’m officially in my MID-thirties. Not entirely sure what the significance of that is though since I never really matured past thirteen. I’m still goofy, nerdy, a terrible dresser, and have more bad hair days than good.

Anyway, we had a fun little family party last night, and for those of you who struggle with sugar, you know birthdays can be a… challenge.

And about a week ago I thought, “Hey, ya know, I’m gonna test the waters with my ‘new covenant’. I’m going to eat some of my birthday cake. A real birthday cake with chocolate and icing and the whole nine-yards.”

As I was thinking that, I remembered that I wrote about last year’s birthday on Day 266: Blessed Birthday and about how it was a no-cake-for-me birthday. So, I thought that for nostalgia purposes I would go back in and reread it.

Yeah. It totally changed my mind.

And ya know, I might have been totally fine if I’d had cake yesterday. But for MONTHS and MONTHS I’ve been praying for God to lead me back to the freedom I knew that first year… and I read the last sentence of Day 266 and it stopped me dead in my tracks:

“Seriously, who needs a birthday cake with all of that blessing? Not this girl. Not this year.”

I thought… I don’t need a birthday cake.

Not this girl.

Not this year.

 

And for the record, I didn’t have one. My mom got my kids cupcakes so that they could blow out candles and she got a pineapple to stick candles in for me, but we ended up not even doing that. Know why… because I was having so much fun just being with my family that I forgot about me. I forgot about cake. I forgot about sugar. All I wanted to do was just live and enjoy the blessing of my life and my family.

That, my friends, was a real celebration of life!

The only other pic I took on my birthday was a crazy pic that I put on facebook to help get my husband's business some attention!

The only other pic I took on my birthday was a crazy pic that I put on facebook to help get my husband’s business some attention! It worked! We got a TON of shares!

Day 506a: Childish Conviction

I know I’m on my 30 Day Infusion, and although I have had several things that I have wanted to write about over the past week or so that were “negative” I have held back in the effort to focus on the positive things that God wants to infuse into my heart.

I am made for more!
I am royalty!
I am new!
I am cherished!
I am strong!
I am chosen!
I am complete!
I am loved!
I am unfinished!
I am capable!

But what happened this evening, well… it is an override.

Okay. A smidge of background information: Small truth first. Well, big nasty ugly truth.

I have officially lost about 89% of the control that I’d had and have reverted back (big time) to my former self and my former ways of eating. I have been ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit that has been trying over and over again to lead me down the right path. I have purposefully chosen to go out of my way to eat sugar and chocolate. I have been eating “okay” for two or three days and then just “tasting” one little thing on the third day and then it just goes downhill from there.

Well. Actually… if we are being TOTALLY honest here, I have been eating junk for about three days straight. Always thinking, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll get back on track with God.” And always knowing, “No. you. won’t.”

Usually I’d have felt guilty for still writing with a positive focus, like as if it weren’t real… and well, it sorta wasn’t “real” but I just kept telling myself, “Keep infusing yourself with the wonderful, great, positive things that God has said about you and provided for you and eventually it will push out all of your own negative voice. Just keep on keepin on, January.”

So I did.

But I also kept on eating chocolate.

Anyway, this afternoon, my son and I went to the library and then to the grocery store. He asked to get some little cookies as a treat and I caved and then he asked to eat them in the little eating area and I caved again (he is really beyond precious… it’s almost impossible to tell him no). So, as we’re eating up in the little balcony eating area, he took one of the cookies out of the case and said, “So mom, how many more days until you can have sugar again?”

I sorta stumbled over an answer akin to “Oh, I’m… I’m not sure” because, of course… OF. COURSE. I have been doing all of this chocolate eating by myself. Sneaking it to and fro. Shoving it in my mouth when I hear little feet coming down the hall. Silently waiting until my husband is on the phone. So, he doesn’t know that all this time I’ve already BEEN eating sugar.

Gosh, I felt such a tug at my heart.

Butttttttt, not enough of a tug to keep me from eating two of those cookies when we got home plus another cookie that I had stashed, okay, okay… HIDDEN… in the pantry.

{And here it comes… the part where God spoke through my child.}

So, after dinner the boys asked if they could have some Cookie Crisp cereal for dessert. We haven’t had a “junk” cereal in the pantry for a while, so I guess it’s like an extra special treat for them. I said yes, poured them both bowls, and then decided, well… Cookie Crisp cereal is actually totally gross to me, but it’s sorta like eating a cookie and since I’ve already eaten all of the cookies then I might as well eat this too.

Poured myself a bowl.

My son: Mom, are you going to have a bowl, too?

Me: Yeah. Yeah, I think I am.

Son: Well, you know you’ll be breaking your promise to God right? Do you want to break your promise to God?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKAY.

Was. not. expecting. that.

Instant tears.

I paused for a moment… a zillion responses running through my mind while he looked at me… our eyes connected… his gaze was unflinching… and I knew what I HAD to do. For him. For me. For God.

Me: No. No, I don’t want to break my promise. I think I’m just gonna pour it back in.

Son: Okay. Good.

Me: Thank you. Thank you for helping me keep my promise.

And I poured the cereal back into the box. Annnnnnnd, went over and hugged him. Annnnnnnd, took his picture with his Cookie Crisp.

Annnnnnnn, then took the picture of my other son with his Cookie Crisp because he wanted in on that picture-taking-action!

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It was all JUST what I needed.

You know, there are about a gazillion times in a sinners life when we are not ready to get called out on our sins. We just lash back because, I dunno, I guess we are in a sense of denial or buried in our shame. But every once in a while, we are ready. longing. hoping. needing. for someone to call us out.

Thing was… I wasn’t listening to God anymore. And I was hiding it from everyone. So, God had to speak to me through my child {and yes, I am totally bawling right now as I write this… out of thanks and humility and hope and gratefulness}. Through my innocent child who won’t know for years and years to come the impact of that little tiny question when he was a little tiny boy.

Honestly, I think the main reason it grabbed my attention so much wasn’t because of my son seeing me eating junk. It was because of my son watching me. waiting to see… would I follow God.

All of my words up to this point. All of my teaching him. All of my prayers over him. Ev.er.y.thing. hinged on this moment. Would my actions SHOW the truth I had been giving him all this time?!?!?!

Oh and I thank God that He gave me the RIGHT answer. the RIGHT words. the RIGHT action.

But as I stepped back into my day, those cookies were still there. I still desired them.

And guess what?!?!? Good news people… guess what kicked in?

The positives!

I am made for more!
I am royalty!
I am new!
I am cherished!
I am strong!
I am chosen!
I am complete!
I am loved!
I am unfinished!
I am capable!

And those cookies have remained untouched the rest of the day.

And, well, I reckon… I won’t be the one finishing them off this time.

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 467: Good Gluttony

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Thrown into an empty well by his brothers to die.
Sold by the same brothers to slave traders.
Sold again as a servant in Egypt.
Blackmailed by his boss’s wife.
Ended up in prison.

Joseph.

I have become nigh-obsessed with the story of Joseph.

You can partially blame that on Beth Moore as well, too… just like Day 449: Blame It On Beth Moore. Cause I’ve just finished her study The Patriarchs on Wednesday nights at my church. And the other partially would be that I was assigned his story to master teach in our youth department on Sunday at church a while back (Day 349: Ohhhh, Hockey Puck).

And it’s just so interesting how the bible can come alive over and over again. I mean… it’s Joseph. You know, Joseph and his coat of many colors?!?! Any kid who went to church heard the story of Joseph. And it was a great story then too… but it’s just cool to me how as an adult, I get something entirely different out of the story. As a kid I remember thinking the moral was “Don’t be prideful or people will try to throw you in an empty well.” Cause then I just sorta checked out on the rest of the story where all the bad stuff happens to him.

And now I realized that the second half of his life IS the story.

Because after all of that horrible stuff happened to him, he was raised to the highest status in Egypt, he was able to set aside grain for the entire country that would then feed his family, and he was able to reconcile with his brothers. And it all boils down to what he says to his brothers after his father has died and they are afraid that he will get revenge on them since Jacob isn’t there anymore to see it. He tells them:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20

As I struggled a bit this week (what with the granola bars and all on Day 466: Hungry Hungry Hippie), I had to fight not getting down on myself for being imperfect. And then I remembered this story again… and thought, wow. Gluttony was trying to harm me, but God intended it all for good.

There is a lot of proof (my relationship with Him has never been closer and my faith has grown exponentially), but my favorite is this:

God has used my gluttony, my being in the pit, my selling of myself over to the sins of gluttony and food-lust, my burden of being overweight and trapped in the prison of sugar-addiction… He has used all of that for the good.

For you.

To save your life.

Because as I have traveled this path I have realized HOW. MANY. OF. US. THERE. ARE.

So many of us struggle with this. So many of us feel defeated. unhealable. trapped. lost. forgotten. resigned.

And it’s not just overweight women either.

Skinny girls. LOTS of skinny girls live on diets of chocolate. I know. I know because I’ve met them in coffee shops where they’ve bawled their eyes out. I’ve chatted with them while dropping off my son. I’ve read their emails to me where they confess their hoarding spots.

Manly men.
Average weight people.
Children.
Moms.

It’s… everywhere.

And I’ve seen and heard how God is using this journey of mine… from gluttonous to glorious… to help people begin their own journey of healing and renewal and freedom.

God is using my struggles with the sin of gluttony… for good.

And that… that is good.

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

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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 397: Lovate

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

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

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

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

.

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

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

You loved him.
You hated him.

You… lovated him.

Heyyyy, ya like my new word?!?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I did it anyway.

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

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

Much like I did this weekend with sugar.

Sugar. My other lovate.

I love it.
I hate it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, I revert.

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

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

Day 162: Big But

Time and time again, when people hear about my covenant they have either one of two responses:

  1. Oh my gosh… that’s amazing! I bet it is so great to do! I should do it too!
  2. Oh my gosh… that’s insane! I could never do that!

At first, I would just smile and say “Yeah” but then I started wondering why people thought that they could never do a covenant like mine. So, I started asking, “Why? Why could you never do it?” And it’s interesting… people saying “no” to the covenant have similar refusals that people refusing Christ have. They almost all start out: Well, that’s good for you…

…but it’s just that I’m totally addicted to Dr. Pepper (I get this one a lot).
…but I am a foodaholic and just can’t stop eating stuff.
…but I’m pretty sure that even God can’t make me skinny.
…but not eat bread?!!? What DO you eat anyway?
…but I have to have at least one piece of chocolate a day.
…but I’m afraid that if I tried then I wouldn’t be able to stick by it.

I truly, truly, truly understand those statements… and even more of them. I remember thinking how I could never be “broken” off my addiction to chocolate, that I would never be able to break free from eating, that restricting so much would allow me nothing to eat, that I needed at least one bite of candy or chocolate a day, and that if I tried to make a covenant with Him… what might happen if I failed? Or even worse… feeling like I knew that I would fail Him.

And I sometimes just want to shake people… to shake them so hard that the film of this world falls from their eyes. to shake them so that they remember that God is powerful. that God is MORE powerful. to shake them and remind them that OF COURSE they couldn’t do it… but that God can!

But I know, too, that it is all a journey we have to take. Oftentimes, we have to find that rock bottom before we can admit that we can’t do it. But then even more often it’s far scarier to think that God CAN. I guess because a trip with God into the unknown, into the risky, into the fray can be scary. It can be a bumpy ride… always with a wonderful ending, but a lot of times with a lot of turbulence along the way.

And you know, I went through a lot of those thoughts in between my Daniel Fast last June and my start day in January. Six months of questions. Six months of knowing that this was right but avoiding it… out of fear really. And I think of where I might be if I had just abandoned myself to His care. In a way, I missed out on six months of blessings… if only I could have just looked past my Big But.

You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. Romans 2:18

Day 160: Ode To Anice

Lately my husband and I have been talking about some of his food documentaries. Like, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, The Gershon Diet, King Corn, etc.

And they have helped me become keenly aware that Jesus saved me.

Yes, He saved me from Hell.
He saved me from wallowing in my sins.
He saved me from a life of hopelessness, and regret, and broken identity.

But He also has, literally, saved my life.

You see, I was consuming in a way that was, simply put, going to work my body to death. Not because I was working out too much (haha- no chance of that!!!), and not because I was over stressing things in my life (not a super stressful person… patience is really my only virtue), but because…

Well, look at it this way, if my body is a factory and it is required to work a certain amount… I was eating so much stuff that took so much effort to process that I fear my body would have literally gotten so worn out that it would have… shut down.

And a little background here… my Dad’s mother, Anice, passed away from a blood disease when he was a young teenage boy. He doesn’t talk about it a lot but when he does, the experience has to have been the most devastating thing he will ever experience. Over the years I have imagined him as that young boy. I have attempted to imagine his pain. But it is a desolation that I simply cannot fathom. I cannot conjure it.

Now his mother, of course, could not help her illness. For that we can only blame Satan for bringing sin into the world… the sin that made our bodies imperfect. that broke our DNA. that killed our chance for immortality.

But it has made me think over the years… am I willingly killing myself? What if, at the age of 35, I keeled over and died because I had over-consumed? I would purposefully leave my boys motherless… I would have purposefully allowed them to go through that devastation and pain… for a Twix candy bar!??!

It is a strong thought. a compelling thought. a horrid thought.

And yet despite the fear of that happening, I simply could. not. stop. over. eating.

Until Jesus saved me.

Until this covenant I was barreling toward that barricade at the end of the track unable to find the strength to pull on the break.

Only Jesus had the strength.

And so now, even if I should die at the age of 35… or 55… or 85… in my last moment, I won’t have to say that it is “my fault” that I am leaving my sons motherless. Because Jesus has saved me.

Inside and Out.

And I’m pretty sure that is something my Grandma Anice would be proud of.

Day 155: UNworldly

One of the best things about losing weight is all of the comments that we get… “Oh my gosh, you look great!” “Wow- you are so small!” etc. It is also one of the worst things about losing weight… we tend to get almost “addicted” to the comments and then after a while when the comments stop, we start to think… do I still look great? do people still think I am small?

I know that I have gotten to have several of these comments over the past months… more than anything I think it’s because I was overweight for so long that a lot of people are more shocked that the weight has come off so quickly (honestly, I’m in that same boat with them). I still get comments and although I don’t feel like I need them like I would have on a previous diet, they are nice to hear.

And that made me think about there are several people that have covenants that wouldn’t be obvious to the general world. Like, my friend Sherry who is not buying anything new for the year as her covenant. There’s no weight to be lost. No one would probably even know about it unless she told them. No comments to be made… I mean, who is going to randomly say “Oh wow, Sherry… you haven’t worn any new, cool, super-trendy clothes in the past few months! Great!” But, Sherry is learning something from the get-go that will probably take me a bit longer to learn… she is learning to rely 100% on God’s approval of her. on His delight at her sacrifice. on His blessings alone. So, even though it might be harder some days for her to keep her focus and motivation because she is doing something so very… UNworldly… she, in the long run, will receive the greater prize! It actually makes me want to come up with something UNworldly… I want a cool God prize too!!!

But even for those that are on the covenant diet that were already skinny, like my friend Alice. She already had a rocket hot bod when starting the covenant, but she was addicted sugar. And although she might have wanted to get skinnier (although I’m not sure how that’s possible), she really just wanted the freedom from sugar. Skinny or no skinny. Freedom is better. But she’s probably not gonna get any comments from friends on “how much” weight she’s lost because she was already skinny. She, also, is doing something UNworldly in that she is utilizing the power of God to overcome an addiction that the world wouldn’t think is necessary to overcome since she is already skinny.

They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 1 Corinthians 9:25