Day 400: Mirror | rorriM

I’ve been really contemplating how to honor God this Lent season (yes, I know it’s supposed to be Lenten but that word just makes me think of lentils and that word just gives me the willies). And so I decided to give up Facebook for the 40 Days (although I “lent” on Sundays too cause I don’t do so hot on days “off” of things). But that seemed so… well, so not enough this year. Not only did I want to sacrifice something but I also wanted to offer up something. (Especially after reading mignonpanache’s post about Lent when she mentioned the idea of “mirroring” Christ for these forty days. I mean- in His Life, of course he sacrificed so much but He also GAVE so much and He continually pointed our attention to GOD. And I want to mirror that!

How ironic that my sacrifice (Facebook) would be so similar to the thing I “offer” to Him… cause it’s on Twitter. Ha!

I follow this blog called Fat Pastor. And can I admit that I totally followed it because the name was just kinda strikingly funny to me??? Anyway, in this post, he brought up this thing he’s doing on twitter from @umrethinkchurch where you post a pic a day based off of these words that they posted and hash tag it #40Days and #rethinkchurch. (f you aren’t on twitter you could just as easily blog these or journal them to yourself in the form of words or on facebook or with {gasp} REAL PHOTOS. Here’s the order…

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And already today it has refocused my mind on Him! At first I was like “Why would focusing on ME the first day be a good way to get me into all of this?”

And then I remembered just who I am IN CHRIST. And it was a refreshing reminder.

20130213-184508.jpgAnd here was the pic that I posted for the day…

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sins. imperfections. goofiness. burdens. filth. exhaustion. happiness. reality.

All of it is the real me. And the real me… is a saved me.

And at the end of the day, that is what matters.

That is what His Walk To The Cross was all about.

Day 399: Lent Life

Last year on Fat Tuesday, I published this post. It was an interesting thought process for me, especially since I was only on Day 42. Here is the main point of what I wrote:

I guess though that the more that I think about Fat Tuesday I sorta get a little insight into my “issues” of overeating. Fat Tuesday is pretty much all about getting to overindulge simply because lenting requires sacrifice. It’s almost as if we fatten up on this day because we feel like we deserve it since we will have to self-sacrifice the rest of the time. And that is kind of the mentality that I’m afraid of having...

…But now that I get to thinking about this whole Fat Tuesday mentality, I’m kinda of wondering if maybe that’s not what would please God. I mean, my whole thing has been about Him changing my mind, my heart, my soul. Wouldn’t that be just like me turning my back on Him pretty much as soon as He has delivered me into the promised land? Which is so much of what the Israelites did when He dropped them off. After the generation that had been wandering in the desert died off, the people started worshiping other idols in no time. And God was NOT pleased with that scenario. I’m reading through Judges right now and it seems like any time one of the judges gets the people back in order, everything is good, then he or she dies, and everyone gets right back into their mess of looking somewhere other than God. And then He punishes them.

Yeah… I don’t want that.

And wow – reading that now, after my weekend of… gluttony… I’m even more assured that sticking to a more strict covenant is what is right for me. It was one thing for me to have a night off in California when I didn’t have a lot of options, but it was an altogether DIFFERENT experience being here at home AND baking a bunch of sugary treats! I just… lost control.

No, I gave up control.

But either way, I let myself get into a Fat Tuesday Mentality of I have to “sacrifice” the rest of the year so I should be able to eat whatever I want and as much as I want during this “off” day.

And it was just a terrible, terrible time.

I mean… I didn’t even really enjoy it because it was all about breaking the rules instead of celebrating in what God had done. I knew that the only sugar I was supposed to have was at my husband’s birthday PARTY (cause that was the agreement that I made with God), but I started eating sugar the night before while making all of his cakes and cake balls and red velvet cake popcorn.

On Saturday morning, I tried to get back on the right page and I was resisting eating one of the cake balls that I had made for him, but I eventually gave up and ate one.And I think that’s when I first started lamenting what  was going on. I was “fighting” with those cake balls. I hadn’t “fought” with sugar for so long. It was horrible. It was extra horrible because I gave in.

My mind immediately told me: See. Nothing’s changed. Just live it up and give in. You can just get back on track tomorrow and no one will know the difference but you.

And then at the party I was too busy to eat, but I did load up on my dessert plate… But WHY? What was the point? I’d already had everything!

Once I got everyone to bed then I ate some more, although not too much, I was stuffed and exhausted.

Then Sunday… oh my. Sunday I ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate until I was, quite literally, sick.

I ate TRYING to make myself so full that I couldn’t eat anymore. I wanted to stop eating all that junk and I knew felt that getting obscenely full or eating everything was the only way at that point. I finally collapsed into bed, feeling horrible and sick and knowing that I was done with sugar again.

Monday would be a new day. A fresh start. A day without fighting the food. A day without sugar. A day without justification or rationalization. A day of boundaries. A day of joy and peace and comfort like I had known for the past year.

And Monday was all of those things for me. Much like an Ash Wednesday will be for some tomorrow. A breath of fresh air as they step away from something that has its hooks in their soul: Diet Dr. Pepper, Facebook, television, etc. And really, I sorta “bashed” Fat Tuesday last year, but now that I sit here and think about it… the Fat Tuesday to Ash Wednesday is really such a beautiful picture of our salvation. We think we need to party it up to live, and then we step from the things of the world into a new life because of Jesus. Not condoning Fat Tuesday for those reasons, but… really, salvation is just this exact process for all of us.

Our life before Christ = one big ol long Fat Tuesday
Our life with Christ = choosing to follow rules and a code in order to honor Christ and focus on Him

The main difference is, we don’t have to keep going back to Fat Tuesday year, after year, after year. We can live a Lent life… all the time.

Day Forty-Five: An Unmeant Lent

I didn’t mean to do Lent. Like, I didn’t intend to. I figured, Heck, I’m already kinda doing Lent all year long, why should I pick something else to get rid of? Seriously, getting rid of sweets and meats for a whole year… that’s definitely some sacrifice, right?

But I went ahead and went to the Ash Wednesday service at church cause I can still go through the mental focus on Christ throughout the Lenten season. Annnnnnnnd, well, in about the last five minutes of the service it was like my brain saying, “Ya need to give up something.”

So I came home and thought/prayed about it (most of the time my thoughts intermingle with conversation with God… kind of ‘unintended prayers’). And my first instinct was to question why I should give something up since I already am. But I realized the answer to that one pretty quickly: my covenant diet is about me and God… not so much about a refocus on Christ and all His Awesomeness during his journey to the cross. So, okay, give up something to focus more on the journey to the cross. Cool. No prob.

Now, what to give up?

Yeah, that was easy: Facebook. I mean, I really like Facebook! I love to post pics of my boys and update my status with fun and funny things that happen to me during the day. That alone is not such a big deal, but I love to see people’s comments about what I post. And how many people “like” something. And then I sorta just automatically wander over to the News Feed page and then… well, then I just lose time.

And then the following “thought-conversation” ensued:

Me: So, Facebook it is, Jesus! …..What? You want me to pick something else as well? I’m sorry, come again? You want me to go hard core on the Daniel Fast? You do realize that Lent is for forty-six days, right? I mean, God, I did it for 21 days but for 46 days… that is such a sacrifice!

Jesus: Really, January? Realllllly? Is it really THAT difficult? Wanna try dying on the cross WHILE bearing the sins of all humanity?

Me: (embarrased silence)

Jesus: So, could you just do this for me? Just maybe get in touch with my struggles… a little?

Me: Sign me up Jesus. Let’s DO THIS THING!

So, here I go… on a no-Facebook-hard-core-Daniel-Fast Lent season! And, as crazy loco as it sounds, I’m so excited!

(If you are confused thinking, “Wait, I thought you were already doing a Daniel Fast?” I’m doing what I call a “flexible Daniel Fast” for the year, but for the Lenten season I will do a regular ol’ Daniel Fast… which I call a “Hard-Core Daniel Fast” because only fruits, veggies, and nuts… that is hard core! You can read a little about the differences here.)

Day Forty-Two: Skinny Tuesday

Today is Fat Tuesday since tomorrow starts the Lent season with Ash Wednesday. But since I am not really in a mindset to “gorge” then today is to be my “Skinny Tuesday”.

But having a Skinny Tuesday is not such a bad thing… I mean, we are having Crockpot Potatoes and Carrots with an onion sauce, an Apple Crumble of sorts, and my husband will have a chicken breast while I have a salad. Honestly, I think that I would rather have that than a cake… with a baby… baked inside.

Ewwwwwww.

Haha! I’m just teasing… cause, for real, them Mardi Gras peeps sure know how to make some good food for their Fat Tuesdays (as well as pretty much the rest of the year as well)!

Anyway, I’m rambling. I guess though that the more that I think about Fat Tuesday I sorta get a little insight into my “issues” of overeating. Fat Tuesday is pretty much all about getting to overindulge simply because lenting requires sacrifice. It’s almost as if we fatten up on this day because we feel like we deserve it since we will have to self-sacrifice the rest of the time. And that is kind of the mentality that I’m afraid of having.

For example, I have already been thinking and planning about what I’m going to do when my covenant diet is over. Last night I was thinking about what I would have on January 1, 2013… a ribeye steak from Roadhouse… my mom’s chocolate cake (you know, the one that I’m going to miss on my birthday)… a liberal glass of red Merlot…

But now that I get to thinking about this whole Fat Tuesday mentality, I’m kinda of wondering if maybe that’s not what would please God. I mean, my whole thing has been about Him changing my mind, my heart, my soul. Wouldn’t that be just like me turning my back on Him pretty much as soon as He has delivered me into the promised land? Which is so much of what the Israelites did when He dropped them off. After the generation that had been wandering in the desert died off, the people started worshiping other idols in no time. And God was NOT pleased with that scenario. I’m reading through Judges right now and it seems like any time one of the judges gets the people back in order, everything is good, then he or she dies, and everyone gets right back into their mess of looking somewhere other than God. And then He punishes them.

Yeah… I don’t want that.

I want for God to see my actions on January 1st and be pleased. I want for Him to look at me and think… Wow, she really did want to change. She really does want to please me. I really want to give her my blessing.

So maybe I won’t go all out on January 1st after all. Maybe I’ll even follow the same diet for that day. Not because I have to, but because I want to. Yep. That would be a pretty neat New Year’s gift to offer to God.

I’m not sure entirely if this verse means what it reads like, but oh well… it puts my heart in the right spirit!

I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good. Psalm 54:6