Day 650: Liar, Liar, He’s On Fire

Watch Out For Snakes Sign

Satan has been lying to you.

{Shocked gasp}

Who knew?

Well… actually… all of us knew.

But, for some reason, he’s that guy that we let lie right to our faces and we simultaneously rationalize whatever it is that he’s saying so that we convince ourselves that it’s not really a lie. Ya know, kinda like that little stunt that with he pulled with Adam and Eve.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Adam and Eve.

Dang.

They had it all… God made them to look and be just like Himself. He made them to be stewards of the earth… to take care of it the way He would take care of it. They were full of His power and strength and might. They weren’t gods but they sure as heck were as close as a human can get.

And then dern Satan comes in and tells them the lie that they are missing out on something. He tells them that if they eat from that tree then they will be like God.

Whoa.

Wait.

I thought they were already like God? Yeah, they were… look. Back in Chapter 1: God said, “Let us make mankind in our image.” And if you look at it in Hebrew the word “image” means like a replica and in Greek the word “image” means the same thing as “icon”… which is the word for being the representative of something almost exactly alike.

Soooooooo, Adam and Eve were ALREADY like God. Seriously… they weren’t missing out on ANYTHING. But that’s what Satan told them.

And ya know what… Satan is still telling us the SAME. DADGUM. LIE.

If you give up chocolate, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up drinking, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up sex, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up shopping, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up wealth, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up popularity, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up fame, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up social calendars, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up sports, you’ll be missing out.

You’ll be missing out. missing out. missing out.

So, we keep eating those apples that break our relationship with God thinking that if we don’t stick with them, then in some way, we’ll be missing out.

But let me tell you… you are made in the image of God. Not just the OUTSIDE of you but your mind, your heart, your soul… it’s all like God’s. You have access to all of his strength, might, and power just as Adam and Eve did. You have been given all of this world.

TRUST ME. If you don’t eat the apple of chocolate, or drinking, or sex, or shopping, or wealth, or popularity… you WON’T be missing out. You’ll be living in. Living in His original plan to be satisfied and content with His image that He gave you.

{Props: This is another post inspired by the lessons of my teacher James Tippit.}

Day 644: {Sometimes} Smooth Sailing

Have you ever been sailing?

It’s really… kind of an amazing experience. It’s beautiful, and clean, and pure, and scary, and stressful, and dangerous.

Probably another one of those things that is so much like life… just a perfect metaphor.

You get on this sailboat and you have all this work to do, and you have to do it right or the boat will capsize or you’ll run it aground or something equally terrible. Or even beyond your control, a huge storm can blow through and despite your best efforts, you could be sunk… literally.

But on the flip side, if you do the work right, then you sit down for a bit on the boat or stand at the helm and you feel the wind pushing you along. You hear the wind tap, tap, tapping against the sails. You see the water stretching out beyond you and you rock back and forth as the boat pushes through the waves.

It’s… just awesome.

And life is like that… it can be so much hard work and if you don’t do it right then it makes life more difficult for you. You could capsize your life, or run it aground, or just ruin the boat entirely. Or a terrible storm out of your control can come through and ravage your life, your plans, your work.

But, on the flip side, you at times can feel the moments of peace and see the beauty of life stretching out before you.

And it can be… just awesome.

But the hard part of both sailing and life … is choosing to struggle through the hard work, to push through the storms in HOPES that you will eventually get to experience the peace and beauty.

So let me tell you: this is the really, really good part… It IS Worth It.

This is what Christ promises us…

Have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

He tells us that even in the storm we can know that the storm. will. end. We can keep our eyes on the horizon knowing that He has overcome the world. He has already defeated it. He has already begun to move His hand to wipe away that storm.

We don’t sail through life hopeless.

We sail through life knowing that after the storm, there does come a rainbow. As cheesy and overused as that metaphor is… it’s accurate. The SON will shine through the rain and you will see the beauty that can He can create in your life after a storm.

So, climb aboard me hearties… and God’s speed!

{Okay, sorry for that last part… couldn’t help myself. I figured since I went with the trite “after a storm comes a rainbow” I might as well use some kind of cheesy pirate and sailing gibberish to finish it off!}

 

Day 643: Lost Cause

It’s not easy being a blogger.

As in, it’s way more difficult than being a book author.

(Not that I’ve ever actually BEEN a book author…)

But, like, when I get an idea or have some kind of “epiphany” or something that needs to be shared, it can be… daunting… to put it out there. I mean, blogging is so frequent, so raw, so (often) poorly edited, and so immediate. There’s very rarely time for me to let something on my mind sit and… marinate. Sometimes I just… don’t write anything for fear that I won’t do it justice.

And I’ve been sorta playing that game with today’s post.

I’ve written it, like, at least five times.

You see, this past Sunday my Sunday School teacher, whose first name I often have to conjure because he’s just known as “Tippit” in my house now (it’s his last name, so no need to scramble to look up an allusion or anything fancy like that) decided to rock my spiritual, mental, and emotional world AGAIN with his lesson. And you know what, actually, it wasn’t even his entire lesson. It was, yet again (like on Day 622: When A Man Cries), with a phrase that just… well… it just melted me.

Like, I mean we are talking the kind of melting that happens when Dorothy pours water all over the Wicked Witch (cue the YouTube vid… only I’m not really wicked nor do I have a long crookedy green nose… nor did I actually, literally, ya know… melt). But any sort of facade that I had built just… melted within seconds.

And it was, yet again, not necessarily something that was some kind of new earth shattering theology or theory, but it was just the words that my heart needed at this point in my journey. My bumpy, messy, is-this-ever-gonna-really-work journey.

He said…

You are not a lost cause.

You Are Not A Lost Cause all things new

And seriously, I folded over in tears. I tried to hide it by letting my hair hang over my face and writing down his quote feverishly in my little notebook, but I was in communion with God at that moment.

Cause those words… they weren’t Tippit’s words.

Those were God’s words. Right to my heart.

I mean… you know, like in the movies when someone gets stabbed or whatever and they have that shocked-I-totally-wasn’t-expecting-that-to-happen kind of face. That was me.

But instead it was God reaching inside of me and ripping out my hopelessness.

I am not a lost cause.

YOU are not a lost cause.

Cause you know why?

He is making everything NEW. Revelation 21:5

Yes, even our messed up, wrecked up, what the heck is up with this… lives.

He is working out a plan… a good plan… a good work… in us and He is going to CONTINUE that work until it is complete.

You Are Not A Lost Cause began a good work

Which meeeeeeeans, you are not a lost cause. It’s. not. OVER.

Whatever “failures” you feel you might have endured. No matter how many times you mess up and mess up and mess up… you are just not DONE yet. And that, my friends, is the biggest cure for hopelessness that I have ever experienced. I might be at the bottom of the barrel today… rock bottom. I might be swimming in a ginormous vat of chocolate and eating all of it. I might be just like the dog that returns to his vomit.

Terrible.
Horrible.
Gross.
Shameful.

But I am still NOT a lost cause.

Know why?

I am HIS cause.

You Are Not A Lost Cause You are HIS cause

 

Day 642: Hopeless Hope

I recently started reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson (which, depending on when you are reading this, is only $5 at Mardels right now! That’s where the link will take you). My husband’s Nanny (as in… grandmother, not babysitter – hehe) gave it to us and my husband read it in like a weekend, but it’s gonna take me a million years. I’m a fiction reader mainly so non-fiction takes me a lot longer.

Well, I came across this sentence in the book  and it just realllllllly grabbed my attention.

the circle maker faith is sure of what we hope for then unsure antithesis of faith mark batterson

Because I realized as I read that… I don’t even KNOW what I hope for.

What should I hope for?

Is it wrong to hope to be skinny someday?

What does God want me to hope for?

Honestly… I wish that I could now say, “Here is the answer… here is what we should and should not hope for.”

Buuuuuuuut, I have not figured that one out yet.

So, instead, while I read on (hoping that through Mark Batterson, God will help me answer that question) I am just praying

God, show me what you want me to hope for.”

{And I won’t deny that I hope He says it’s okay to hope to be skinny someday! Haha!}

And I thought that I’d just invite you friends to pray that with me.

God, show us what you want us to hope for.

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 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 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 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