Day 483: Way, Way Out

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Looking back at my last post, Day 481: Black Sabbath, I realized that there were so. very. many. “outs” that God gave me to not have to take that downward plunge.

My husband saying “Get a pizza for you.”
Not previously having had any wine in the house.
The moment at the store where I thought “I could get something else entirely.”
When my husband hung out in the living room longer so I had to wait to sneak out the cookie dough.

God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13

He was all over it… on my behalf. And, honestly, I saw the signs then too. I knew that He was giving me a way out, but I was so determined to do wrong at that point that I just ignored all the lifelines He was throwing at me.

But Monday was another day entirely… a new day… with new mercies. And then this morning I was going back through my bookmarks and came across this one:

God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Philippians 2:13

It’s so cool when the Word of God expresses just what you need to know, just what you need to hear, just what I needed to be reminded of.

And ya know… this post is pretty short and sweet, but honestly, there isn’t a whole lot more to say about it! That last verse is what I’m gonna focus on today.

Day 402: Food, UNglorious Food!

You know, if ever Food had a theme song… then I don’t think that there is any doubting that it was the scene from Oliver where the boys all serenade… well, food. Okay, I can’t help it… if you haven’t seen the movie, then you can at least watch this song.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly7PONiKGUs?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

And especially the part near the end of the song. Here are the lyrics (just in case you aren’t as big a nerd as me and don’t have them memorized) for the very end:

Food, glorious food! Don’t care what it looks like — Burned! Underdone! Crude! Don’t care what the cook’s like.
Just thinking of growing fat — Our senses go reeling One moment of knowing that Full-up feeling! Food, glorious food!
What wouldn’t we give for That extra bit more — That’s all that we live for Why should we be fated to Do nothing but brood
On food,
Magical food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Fabulous food,
[OLIVER] Beautiful food,
[BOYS] Glorious food.
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Oh, how I identify with that song.
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But for ALL the wrong reasons! The boys in this video obviously dream and sing about food because they get slop to eat. Is that why I dream and sing about food (okay, so I don’t really actually SING about food)? No… I dream and obsess over it, not because I don’t have good quality food to eat, but because I have always had SO MUCH stuff to eat!
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But lately, I’ve been becoming extremely disenchanted with food. I know that should have happened long ago, but I’m almost going to the pantry or the fridge every time and thinking, “Nothing in here is going to taste the way I want it to taste.” But then when it doesn’t taste the way I want it to taste, I dwell on it even more while I long for some kind of wonderful flavor to hit my tastebuds. Not sure if this insatiable desire is a result of having had so much sugar cross my lips over the years or if so much sugar crossing my lips was a result of this insatiable desire. Either way, I’m having to fight it back now.
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So, a couple of nights ago I just found myself saying to God, “I don’t want to think about food anymore.”
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That was it. That was my prayer. And then I realized that saying that a) out loud b) to myself, and c) to God already started to help. So I said it again. And then when I woke up the next morning, I said it again. And again. And again.
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I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Psalm 77:3
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And I don’t think that it was a coincidence that this new prayer of mine has come about right at the beginning of Lent. Not that I’m changing anything with my eating, but it is 40 Days of Focus on Jesus. I did give up Facebook for Lent which has already been such a relief for me, and although ironically enough I did add a twitter “activity” to do during Lent, I’m cool with that because twitter for me is all about Jesus, so it’s been a great refocus for me to be on there. But I’m also giving up “sleep” for Lent, and I think that this will be the game-changer for me.
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No, I’m not not-sleeping for 40 Days… that’d be cuh.ray.zay. But I am waking up at 5:30am every morning to make sure that I get in a shower (so that I’m fully awake) and some bible study/reading/meditating time on Christ. I used to get up early all the time like that, but somewhere in the midst of my toddler becoming a frequent night-waker, I started to sleep in until juuuuuust before my boys woke up in the mornings, so this is a big deal for me.
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Not only is it a big deal because I am missing out on sleep so that there is the element of “sacrifice” for Lent, but also because if I am getting up every morning (including Sundays) for the 46 days of Lent to commune with God… well, that is gonna have a pretty big effect on me.
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And that is so what I hope for! I want my soul to be getting thinner and thinner (got this concept from that guy over at Fat Pastor) as it sheds off this desire to appease my worldly desires. And I want to lose all of this desire and obsession over food. I know that the only way for that to happen is for me to replace those thoughts with the thoughts of God and let Him take it from there.
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You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
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Day 217: Practice Makes Perfect

Day 14 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

I’m not sure how I survived this for forty-six days during Lent. Geez. All I want is a tortilla and some feta cheese and my life would be great.

So funny how starting this whole thing in January I was probably thinking “All I want is a Reese’s peanut butter cup and my life would be great.” ha! How things have changed.

But actually I think the temptations are harder on a short-term fast because you know that you’ll get that stuff again… and soon. When I started my covenant so many months ago, the lust for chocolate and sugar quickly died off and stayed away for quite a while because the day when I would once again get to have those things was sooooooooo far away it was pointless to even dream about eating it after a while.

But now that I’m pretty much just one week away from a feta topped salad, or a cheese pizza, or a fish taco… well, it makes the wanting of it stronger. But that’s a good thing on a fast. To want something but not be able to have it. It creates a tension in me… a tension that brings my struggle to light. A struggle between the light and the dark.

What it does is make me practice over and over the act of choosing God. relying upon God. feasting upon the things of the Spirit.

And hopefully three weeks of “practicing” that will carry over past those three weeks. So that for another three weeks I’m still just in the habit of choosing God over my own desires and wants.

Day 170: Pantry Pinings

I haven’t wanted fruit the past week. Like… at. all. Veggies? Nope. Not so much.

Pantry food? Ohhhhhhhh yeah.

And I have this sort of… numb… feeling about honoring God right now. Pretty sure that it is an aftermath of not reading the bible religiously (i.e. habitually) and not really praying for a couple of weeks. But nonetheless, gotta get my focus back. I need to care about honoring God. I mean it’s not that I’m breaking the covenant (although I got realllllllll close to that line this morning when I made the boys “Cookie Dough Soup”… essentially oatmeal with brown sugar and chocolate chips… and Saxon didn’t want his and I was super hungry so I ate “around” the chocolate chips… ya know, the ones that had melted making it virtually impossible to eat “around” them), but I’m not at all worried about making choices that please Him, or choices that are beneficial, or eating to live instead of living to eat.

And I asked my friend Alice to pray for me because I was really struggling (and honestly I’m writing this on day 173 and I’m still struggling with it), and she said that she didn’t really have any major wisdom for me, but she did say “He’s got this.”

And that’s pretty much the reminder that I needed at that moment. Did I immediately start craving an apple instead of a bowl of granola bathed in almond milk? Nooooooo, but it was a start. And then yesterday, I came across this verse in my regular bible reading and it really struck me as what I’m asking for at this point (I changed it to a prayer, by the way)…

God, please work in me. Give me the desire and the power to do what pleases You. Philippians 2:13

Day 107: Request For Prayer

So I guess there are enough of you guys out there now that I can ask you guys for prayer. I am sorta struggling with how to handle this new desire with bread. It’s soooooooo much smaller than my issue with sugar and chocolate were but nonetheless it is a budding issue that I have addressed a few times now.

I am trying to decide between two things:
1) Put bread on the covenant list of things I agree not to eat.
2) Continue to try to “avoid” it.

Here are my thoughts- if I make bread a “no” then I know that I won’t eat it because I will have made a deal with God not to eat it. But at the same time then I won’t get any practice in making the right choice.

If I continue to try to avoid it I can almost assuredly tell you that I will probably slip up occasionally. But it does afford me the ability to eat more easily (e.g. enchiladas, black bean burgers, etc.).

I just don’t know what to do. I mean, I know this is a “first-world” problem and all but what it really boils down to is not so much in the decision of eat or don’t eat, but I want to make a decision that will a) continue to give me renewal, b) bring me even and ever closer to Jesus, and c) glorify God.

I am just at the point where I don’t know which is which. Ya know, it’s like a win-win situation from the looks of it. But I want it to be a win-glorify situation.

So, this is a request of you all to pray for God to guide my decision making. That no matter what I eat or drink that I would bring glory to God.

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Day Thirteen: An Apple A Day

Okay so this post will be short and “sweet”. hehe Gotta love “diet” humor eh?

Anyway, I have always been a bit curious as to why an apple would be such a temptation to Adam and Eve. I mean… it’s an apple. (Yes, I know it probably wasn’t an apple but actually some other kind of fruit but the analogy still works.)

But I have a two fold thought about it now:

1) Okay, so it was forbidden and really that alone made it desirable. Why? I don’t know but my brain certainly tends to desire or at least wonder about things that are forbidden. Like, I don’t know… chocolate??? It’s like every piece of it that I come across (and after Christmas I come across it frequently) is physically trying to unwrap itself and jump in my mouth. Or mayyyybe I’m just having some wicked withdrawal hallucinations. Ha!

2) When you are hungry, even something typically undesirable looks gooooooood. Like, an apple. I never want apples on a regular day but today I was hungry and so my mind went to the things I could eat. Suddenly an apple was gorgeous, sweet, luscious, and scrumptious. And that is exactly what a mind renewal is. By unequivocally stopping chocolate or other sweet things from being an option, my mind is renewing it’s process of desire. I now desire an apple! I know, right?!?!?! Cool!

(Side note: gotta check out tomorrow’s post… it totally ties in with that! I just didn’t have enough time today to do the topic justice!)

But again, it is only because I have unequivocally shut down those other foods by making this covenant. Otherwise I can assure you that I would convince myself that one bite of chocolate when I’m hungry would be okay.

I’m loving this sweet deal with God!