Day 357: First Donuts

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Way back on Day Forty-Two, I was already thinking about this day. I was already planning what I would eat on January 1, 2013. Weird to think that now… I am… here. On January 1, 2013.

But also on Day Forty-Two, I also came the conclusion that I was going to hold back today from eating “whatever” {and yes, I am going to copy-paste a big chunk of it here}…

From Day Forty-Two: Skinny Tuesday Fat Tuesday is pretty much all about getting to over indulge 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.

And so this morning I woke up, totally cool with the idea of giving God my “first fruits”, so to say and not eating “off” of the covenant even though I was technically “allowed” to do so.

(If you are wondering What is she talking about with this “first fruits” stuff? It is essentially based off of the idea that God commanded the Israelites in Exodus 34:26 to bring the very best of the first harvest to Him. So, although I didn’t grow anything to give to him, it’s the idea of taking the “first chance” to eat sugar and stuff… and giving that to Him instead of me eating it.)

And I was feeling a little, admittedly, self-righteous about doing so. Like, I honestly had a few “I’m soooo good to do this” kind of moments.

And then my father-in-law showed up…

… with donuts.

Yep. Donuts.

Donuts with sprinkles.

Well, that certainly was a bit of a buzz kill for my self-rightousness (but it was REALLY nice of him to do… my kids were ECSTATIC)!!!

And after I got over my little pity-party, I thought to myself… Why am I surprised that it happened this way? It had to happen this way. It wouldn’t have meant a thing if I gave up eating “whatever” I wanted all day if there was no temptation. No true sacrifice. It was actually an opportunity for me to really show God my thanks for this past year.

So, today, God I give you… not so much my first fruits but my first donuts. Thank you Lord for providing me with power, forgiveness, compassion, more forgiveness, guidance, wisdom, and self-discipline. Thank you for freedom that You have given me through Jesus. Thank you, quite simply, for my life. Both the physical life that I have as I breathe and walk and live, as well as for the spiritual life that I experience every day. This earth may not be perfect anymore, but with You as my God… I truly feel as if The Kingdom of Heaven IS here.

Day 120: Deserving Donuts

I was thinking a bit more on the topic of “deserving” food after my post yesterday. It is something that I can hear myself saying… to myself… deep in my subconscious. I don’t think that my consciousness would really allow me to say it anymore because, well, I have a different look now on… deserving.

Let me look at what I really deserve…

yeah. nothing.

I’m lucky that God chose to allow me into Heaven, but do I deserve it? Nope.

I’m lucky that God gave me a great husband and two wonderful children, but do I deserve them? Nope.

I’m lucky that God placed me in a beautiful, well-constructed home with fresh running clean water, but do I deserve that? Nope.

Because for every “great” thing I have done, there have been just as many moments of decrepitness in my heart. For every kindness I have shown, I have felt selfish and wronged. For every gentle moment I spend, there as has been rage and envy and jealousy.

So, for every night I have spent up with Saxon that I thought might should have “earned” me a donut as a “prize”… I have kept my husband awake with my snoring, or my tossing and turning, or my sleep talking. Do I deserve to have anything special then? No.

But so often the brownie batter, or cookie dough, or bag of Oreos, or sour cream chocolate covered donuts, or whatever that I would eat… was more pleasurable because I felt like I was “treating” myself to something that I “deserved”. But God is the one that gives us… everything. And not because we deserve it… but for a whole different purpose…

“Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations. Ezekiel 36:22

If God chooses to bless me… it’s not because of ME… it’s because of Him. Which is really kind of cool… that means that it is not about what I do or don’t do… a blessing from Him is to protect his holy name. I actually kind of like that better… takes the pressure off of me!

So, really, whenever I do something I think is “deserving”… then I should remember this about when I will receive what I deserve for the “good” I have done…

For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. 2 Corinthians 5:10

And really, if I have to choose between receiving a reward now in the form of a donut or in the form of an eternal blessing from GOD ALMIGHTY? Well, then, I’ll just have to pass on those donuts for today.

Day Twelve: Free Fresh Asparagus!

I haven’t been “out” a lot since I started this mainly because I got so sick after only three days of being on the covenant. But when I have been “out” pretty much at my mom’s house and at the donut shop yesterday morning, I have been a little surprised at how little I am attracted to the irresistibles. Ironically, it was more difficult at my parents house than at Happy Donuts.

But I have come to a shocking conclusion: life does not revolve around food.

I know. I know. That’s crazy talk. But it doesn’t. Like when Miss Kim handed over a half dozen free donut holes for me and said “You have to try these. You never get these on the weekday but these are hot, fresh glazed. Just now.” Now, granted they weren’t chocolate donut holes. That might have led to an entirely different post. But they were donut holes. Fresh. Just now. And freeeeeee. Oh, and doesn’t free just make something taste better?

Well, maybe… cause I mean, “free fresh asparagus” doesn’t really taste any better or worse. It just tastes like… asparagus.

Sorrry. I digress. So, naturally, I did not eat the donut holes. In fact I got one of those cute little bags and put them in there and honestly I forgot about them until late last night! But you know what? My trip to the donut shop wasn’t completely, totally, and utterly ruined because I didn’t eat those freshly glazed donut holes. In fact, it was really no different at all. Perhaps a little less sticky. But the same.

You see, I have tricked myself into thinking that if I don’t eat the donut holes, or that piece of wedding cake, or the hot dog, or the whatever that I will not be fully experiencing life at that moment. But my life, my happiness, my joy… they are not found in moments of food. What a smash to God if I thought that the joy of life was found in an eclair!?!?!? I don’t need food to experience a moment.

Of course my mind is saying, “Well, unless you went to Fogo de Chão.” But no… even then. My life, my evening would not be a disaster if I didn’t eat a single piece of meat. I would simply be…

Yeah, I would just… be. Be me. Be me in that moment. Apart from food. Free from food.