Day 639: It’s Not Always About You

working at la madeleine

Every Tuesday and Thursday, both my Kindergartener and my Preschooler are at school for about four and a half hours, and so I often escape away to a coffee shop (if you follow The Covenant Diet on instagram then you’re used to seeing my “I’m working” pics as proof for my husband that I am, indeed, working and not out shopping all day)!

This past Tuesday, I went to La Madeleine to work (they have a great patio… with a plug for my laptop) even though I just felt like my soul was dry as a bone. I tried to work for, like two hours, with pretty much no result. It was like everything that was coming out of me was… blah.

So, after a ginormous group of very loud, very talkative women came in and set up shop right next to me (despite the fact that there were, like, fifteen other tables to sit at), I decided to pack it up and go home and do chores so that I’d at least be doing SOMETHING productive.

And on the way home, I got behind the slowest Walmart truck in all of creation and THEN got behind the slowest lawn mower truck in the world. I kept thinking… something is going on. Like, I feel like there is some kind of spiritual battle going on right now. Like, if my life was really like the book This Present Darkness and I could see the spiritual realm then I would see demons and angels battling it out all around me… for me.

So I took it slow going home, went in and thought “I’m gonna go right back to my patio and just chill and see what God wants to say.”

Well, my husband was sitting right inside the front door when I came home. Honestly, I wanted to just blow right by him… I was afraid that he and I would talk and I would miss out on what God wanted to say. But he needed to talk, and so I was deterred from my plan.

And THANK GOODNESS because He’d been having some kind of major revival on his own while I was gone and he just started to pour out his soul to me… which basically caused me to have some kind of major revival… by association! When the joy of the Lord is around you, it’s just… awesome, no matter who He brought His word to in the first place.

The whole thing was just a reminder for me… that, it’s not always about ME.

It’s not always about MY  spiritual walk.

MY weight loss.

MY  pants size.

MY fears. hopes. dreams.

Sometimes God is at work and that work is not all about me.

And honestly, that is just downright kind of refreshing.

Day 638: Sometimes It’s Simple

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Sometimes what I have to say and what I learn on here is complicated and intricate. It takes time and lots of words to explain, but today… I want to just focus in on this one thing.

Just this one verse for today.

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

I know that you have read it and seen it a million times, but I just want you to say it to yourself over and over and over and over again today. Sometimes… sometimes we just need a reminder that it’s true.

We need to remember that we are not weak.
We are not terrible.
We are not incapable.

In Him, YOU are strong.
In Him, YOU are good.
In Him, YOU are completely and totally capable.

In Him, YOU can do ev.er.y.thing. Because HE gives you strength.

Day 635: The Diet That’s Not A Diet

more jesus

I thought about doing Paleo.
For like a day.
Being vegetarian/sometimes vegan is just so… easy for me now.

No defrosting.
No cross-contamination.
No hormone or non-hormone worries.
No lean or not lean.

It just matches me.

BUT.

Props to you people doing Paleo. or Vegan. or Weight Watchers. or WHATEVER!

And that’s one of the things that I love so much about The Covenant Diet… it’s not A diet! It really should be called The Covenant Life (but that website was already taken – ha)!

The thing is – so much of a successful lifestyle change comes from the heart and not the mind. I can count calories for six-months straight but if I haven’t had a change of heart about food, I’ll probably just revert right back.

And this is our goal. We are trying to shift from a food-focus to a faith-focus. Because we need Jesus just as much, if not more, AFTER our diet is over than we did during it.

When the compliments stop.
When another salad is just NOT what you really want.
When your mom makes her infamous chocolate chip cookies again and you haven’t had them in soooooo long.

THAT is when we need Jesus to remind us of our freedom from food.

And so it doesn’t matter at that point if you are vegetarian, vegan, rawist, whatever… what matters is that we work on refocusing our minds. What matters is that we allow Christ to redirect our attention to Him over and over and over again. What matters is that we don’t “go” on a diet but that we live in health and freedom.

And THAT is what The Covenant Diet is really about.

Day 633: Re-Imaging

One of my favorite parts of this whole blogging experience is the pictures. Some of them are just personal snaps I take on my phone (like from my birthday yesterday on Day 632) and some are pics I take and then infuse them with scripture or a quote. It’s really cool – I’m not an artist but I can use an app and convey some kind of truth or encouragement visually!

Recently, when I was working on Day 626: New and Free, I made this image…

go and sin no more

I loved it. It was so powerful to me.

And just as I was about to hit publish, my eyes glanced up at the text to which I was referring:

Your sins are forgiven.
Go.
And sin no more.

I suddenly realized that I had completely focused on the second half and forgotten the first.

And the most important part.

Your sins are forgiven.

And aren’t we like that with ourselves? We forget the MERCY and GRACE of Christ and go right to “DON’T DO IT ANYMORE.”

So, I re-did the image and used the new one instead

your sins have been forgiven go and sin no more

And I liked it so much better! For two reasons.

It was so much coooler looking to me!

And it was the full story of how Christ speaks to me. to all of us.

It’s the combo deal that we can get from Him. Forgiveness and Hope in a better future. Forgiveness of whatever we were in the past but also Hope that we can still have that full and abundant life that He offers.

So friends, really zone in on that today.

Your sins are forgiven.
Go.
And sin no more.

Day 630: Tree Hugger

It’s “fall” in Texas.

Which means that it’s 86° at noon… and that’s actually kind of nice right now and we’ve been trying to enjoy the temperate weather. If it would stay 88° all year long then I’d be in heaven, but alas… winter is inevitable! Ha!

A couple of mornings a week, my three-year-old and I have been dropping my oldest off at Kindergarten and then going to the park to enjoy this nice weather before he goes to preschool. Recently we went to a different park than we usually go to and we were there all by ourselves (well, us and some very, very busy squirrels) and it was just beautiful!

Given that my child is ALL. BOY. he immediately found a tree to attempt to climb despite all of the awesome playground equipment  there. But, I was really surprised when he couldn’t climb the tree… especially because it was at an angle.

Tree Hugger - bent tree

So, when he asked me to climb it, I thought… “Oh I’m really gonna show him what an awesome mom I am now!” And then I couldn’t climb it either!

Because at the very bottom it had been climbed by so. many. people. that the bark was worn almost completely smooth!

Tree Hugger - smooth bark

And I was really struck by it… so, of course, being the iPhoner that I am… I immediately began snapping pics of it. And so, of course, that got me thinking about it.

Ya know… I gave up pretty quickly trying to climb the tree. For several reasons. I didn’t have on shoes with any grip. My 3-year-old bolted off to another section of the park. I was kinda afraid that I might fall.

So I gave up and just took pictures of it thinking, I bet it would be cool to see the park from up there.

And as I took more pictures I noticed that just a few feet up the tree, the bark was rough and definitely NOT smooth because either not as many people got up there or because once you got past the initial first few feet of vertical climb, it was much easier and you didn’t have to “grip” on as much.

Tree Hugger - rough bark

And of course I immediately saw the parallel to my own life there. So often I give up when there is an initial struggle. I don’t feel like I have the proper “footwear” so I just… stop. I don’t go get different shoes or just go barefoot. I just stop trying. Like, so many of us, when we don’t IMMEDIATELY start to lose weight we just give up. We don’t try a different diet or a different focus, we just give in.

Or there is another responsibility that I use as my excuse… I have to chase down my kid or pay a bill or do the dishes. Same thing: I don’t have time to go workout because I have to do other stuff. I don’t have time to grocery shop or cook because I have other things to do.

Or there is the biggest reason that we don’t “climb” the tree: we are afraid we might fall… that we might FAIL. So, as soon as we try to climb on that slick bark and we can’t immediately do it… well, that’s just a great excuse to stop right there. Because if I stop trying to lose weight then I can’t fail at trying to lose weight.

Win-win, right?

Nope.

Because it is once we climb past that slicky part that we get to see the world from a different perspective. We might be scratched up a bit. We might be breathing hard from the exertion. We might be scared to death… but we are up there!

Tree Hugger - bent tree 2

So, I am reminded with whatever struggle I am going through… don’t just give up because the first part is difficult, or even seemingly impossible! Seriously people! Let’s remember… with God all. things. are. possible.

Climbing a crazy tree (in the spiritual sense) is possible!

And just as crazy seeming… overcoming your issues with food. learning to rely on Him. losing weight you’ve carried for years.

Even that is possible.

Say it to yourself right now: I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil 4:13

Now, go climb that tree.

{And now indulge me in a cute pic of my kid. I just had to throw it on here too!}

Tree Hugger - little boy

Day 628: Runaway

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

Really, it was for everyone’s good.

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

I wore goofy excessively tall cowboy hats and took selfies.

runaway - hat

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

runaway - view

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

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

He is there.

He is waiting.

runaway - he is there he is waiting

Day 626: New And Free

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

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

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

God is good.

I’m bad.

Stop being bad.

That’s pretty much how I felt.

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

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

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

I forget that.

I often think that I have to be perfect now.

I don’t.

I don’t ever have to be perfect.

Because His Son, Jesus Christ, is perfect.

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

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

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

You know what He does for me? For you?

He bends down to me.

Wipes the dust off of my face.

He says, Your sins are forgiven.

Go.

And sin no more.

your sins have been forgiven go and sin no more

Day 625: Daniel Fast Confession

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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 624: New Covenant

I will give you back your health

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

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

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

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

It’s my “new covenant”.

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

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

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

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