Re: Hey! I found your blog last night…

Hey! I found your blog last night as I was googling. I too struggle with overeating. I have been on a chronic dieter and lately all it’s doing is driving me crazy! I was wondering where you are now in your journey. What foods are you staying away from? I feel like I will probably have to do something drastic to find victory and freedom. I just don’t know what to do or how to stick to anything.

I got this message today from someone on facebook and I started to write a reply to her on there, but then I thought… hey, maybe everyone would like to know this… soooooo, here’s my “update”. It started out as an actual “reply” and then sorta morphed into a message to… everyone…

I’m on a bit of a struggle myself right now to be perfectly honest! I have found though that when I stick to the foods on my list (thecovenantdiet.com/what-i-eat) I’m totally golden!

But that’s the hard part. Notice how I said I’m golden WHEN I stick to the foods on my list! I get caught up in the three-day-diet cycle… I can stick to it for three days and then I crater and then I eat like crap for four days (cause everyone knows that you can’t start anything until a Monday, right??? Ha!). When I made the commitment originally and I committed for a year, I was totally great… it was almost easy… but then as soon as I was “done” with that year I started to do that justification game with sweets: “Oh it’s a special occasion.” or “Oh I don’t really have any good food in the house” and my fav “Well, I already messed up for the day so might as well go for it!“, etc. But then it got to the point where I stopped caring… even if I committed my eating and my nutrition to God. I think my subconscious knew that the main reason I was committing to God was only because I wanted to get the weight off again – not that I actually cared what God thought.

I think that it bothers me MORE that I’m going through a phase of not really caring either way if I’m honoring God or not… that’s more worrisome than needing a larger pair of jeans. Keeping it real…

I need to get myself connected with God through habitually meeting with Him every single day.

I have completely neglected that very thing over the past year or two and I can tell that it is permeating into every little aspect of my life. Like, I don’t care right now that my kids are sitting playing our iPad for the past hour. I don’t care that my kitchen looks like the cabinets vomited out every single plate, cup, and utensil we own. I don’t care that I have a week of laundry piled up. I don’t care that my hair looks a mess. I don’t care that I’ve stayed up until midnight for four days in a row and I am killllllling my body, my mind, my patience, my willpower. I don’t care that I just ate half a bowl of cookie dough. Heck…

I don’t even care that I don’t care!

Okay, well, I sorta do care about that one a little. I guess that’s why I’m writing this. But what I do know is that my soul won’t change… my soul won’t care unless I go to The One that made my soul. The One who crafted me. The One who genuinely cares that I… care.

Will meeting with Him every day “fix” me? Geez. I dunno. Will meeting with Him every day help to realign who I am with what I am meant to be: a blessing? Well, it is certainly a start.

But y’all. I ain’t gonna lie…

I need help.

I need some encouragement to do that! I don’t have anyone in my life that I am committed to in that regard… maybe one of you will commit with me. I don’t know… maybe we can make one of those facebook groups or something? Some place… some people… where I can be reminded every day to go to Him who will remind me every day that I am intended to be a blessing and where I can remind you that you are intended to be a blessing. Where we can remind each other that we love the Word of God. That we NEED the Word of God. Where we can remind each other that a focus on Him is a blessing to us and then that’s a blessing to the world. To be told time and time again that this food thing is only to distract us from our purpose.

I totally feel like I’m putting out there some kind of “Will you be my friend” plea or something! Haha! But, hey, why not?!?!?! Will you? Will you be my friend? I’ll be your friend! We can help each other look to God… I just know it. What do you think???

Maybe, comment on here if you have an idea or would want to “be my friend” (haha)… or if you are on facebook or twitter let me know on there by commenting on a post or replying to a tweet. Let’s see what we can figure out!

(And thanks to Miss Facebook Message Girl for messaging me… I know that you were reaching out for yourself, but your message will hopefully end up as a blessing to all of us!)

Day 750: I’m In A Relationship And It’s Complicated

The Covenant Diet Blog - I'm In A Relationship With Food And It's Complicated

I’m in a relationship.

Yep.

And it’s not with my husband.

I know, this is kind of frowned upon nowadays but well, it IS the new millennium.

But ya see…

I’m in a relationship with food, and it’s complicated.

Okay, that was my lame attempt at a little humor this morning. {Am I even gonna get a pity laugh out of that one?!?! Ha!}

That probably wasn’t much of a shocker to anyone reading this though… I mean, it is a diet blog. But really, I’m realizing more than ever that a) it is some kind of weird co-dependency relationship with food, and b) it is just terribly complicated for me.

Recently I went to lunch with my best friend, my very own psychologist Dr. Laura (yeah, that’s weird… when did we get old enough to have doctorates!?!?!??) and although she is always wondering how things are going, she is never pushy with advice (even though I know that she has a slew of solutions or suggestions for me). But recently when we met and I lamented a little bit about having gained some weight, but that I wasn’t worried about it she said, “Yeah, you are just in the process of discovering what it means to have a healthy and balanced relationship with food.”

Seriously.

I thought about that for weeks. You see…

Originally, I didn’t really want to find balance.
I wanted to find SKINNINESS.

As I’ve journeyed along I’ve realized that balance is really probably… better. And as I thought about it even more after talking with her, a thought came to my mind: what if I’m limiting God by saying I just won’t have chocolate ever again. What if what He really wants to do in my life is completely change me, completely renew me, and make me completely strong, resilient, balanced. What if He really does want me to find balance instead of just restriction?

Honestly, I think learning how to find balance with food… learning how to have an uncomplicated relationship with food… that would be even more of a miracle than never eating chocolate again. It would take a whole new level of reliance upon Him.

I think that I’m up for it. This is, after all, a journey from gluttonous to glorious, and I’m starting to see that maybe there is an unexpected turn in the road up ahead. A new direction that will teach me to rely on Him and find balance with food.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

 

Day 729: An Article From A Business Magazine May Have Saved My Relationship With God

I love facebook.

I’ll admit it.

For a stay-at-home-mom, it’s just such a great way to connect with the outside world! I know that it’s not perfect, but there have been many a time where I have had a quick banter with some friends on there and it’s gotten me through the insanity. But I tend to be the person who is vary wary of sharing links or anything like that (ironically enough I am always thrilled when someone shares one of MY post links!) but there was one link to an article recently that… well, it was a bit of a game changer for me.

You really, really, really… REALLY need to read it.

Entrepreneur Magazine: Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

Now… why would this article have annnnnnything to do with Jesus and dieting. It’s about business, no?

No.

You need it because… because it’s resolution time. It’s the beginning of the year, and even if you didn’t tell anyone your resolution or you decided not to make one {like my teacher James Tippit says: “I blew last year’s resolution out of the water. I resolved not to make any resolutions. And I succeeded brilliantly.”}… but secretly, you probably can’t help but to at least have hopes for the new year.

Like I mentioned yesterday on Day 728: I Have Learned The Secret, I realized that the one thing that I wanted to change was meeting with Jesus every single day… because I spent 2013 without doing that and honestly, I was pretty miserable emotionally and spiritually.

But here’s the thing… I wanted to spend time with him all throughout 2013.

I would make resolve upon resolve to wake up early and read my bible. And then I would sleep in morning after morning.

You see, in 2012… which I shall henceforth call “The Year Of Awesome”, both of my kids were pretty well sleeping through the night and staying in their beds until 7am. So, it was easy for me to go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 5:30 to shower and then read my bible and pray for an hour.

But then in 2013 “The Year of Blah” my toddler began waking up multiple times a night (he had a bad case of restless leg syndrome) and once he got past that he started waking up at 5:30 and despite a mixture of threats and bribes… nothing was going to keep him in bed longer. And I certainly wasn’t going to bed at the same time every night and I was sleeping in as long as I could until he woke up. But then after I borrowed this from a friend and then bought this and my whole life got better and he was staying in his bed until 6:30… guess what I still didn’t do?

I still didn’t get up and meet with God.

So when I had my recent epiphany that Jesus was the thing making me content in The Year of Awesome, I realized that I needed to start getting up. And then I read that article and realized, to make this succeed I needed…

a system.

And that is just what I have instituted in my life. A system to help me arrive on-time, eager, and alert to my meetings with God every morning. Now, you can check out now if you like because maybe you get it… maybe you already see where you need a system, and honestly… be my guest! Go for it, write that system down, start it tomorrow. It’s really awesome how well it works! But, just for kicks, here is my system for meeting with God. (And I love schedules… it’s the teacher in me I think… so that’s why it’s all time oriented.)

The night before:
9:25 – prep my “meeting place”, set out my devotional, hot tea stuff, and electric throw blanket
9:30 – brush teeth, wash face, change into PJs and all that pre-bed stuff
9:45 – get in bed, read a book, more bible whatever… no tech.
10:00 – lights out

The Covenant Diet - An Article From A Business Magazine May Have Saved My Relationship With God

The morning of:
5:30 – get up, shower, do my hair, and get dressed
6:00 – walk to my prepared meeting place and… read, pray, and meditate on Him
6:30 – greet my little boys with a smile and a contented heart

I just have to say… my outlook over the past two weeks of doing this has been awe.some. It’s like everything has changed. Everything. And it’s just because I am beginning my day (nothing fancy people, just reading Jesus Calling and the corresponding verses) by renewing my mind. But I am able to do that BECAUSE I set up a system to make it happen.

Anyway, this is so not very touchy-feely but I feel like it can really make a big difference in your life if you have trouble with goals or resolutions or follow-through… which is basically my entire life story.

Give it a go! Let me know how it works or how you use a system! I would genuinely love to hear it because I’d love to steal your idea and use it myself!!! Ha!

Day 622: When A Man Cries…

You might have noticed yesterday, about 2pm, I went a little nuts on my social media channels.

Well, nuts in a good way.

I sat down with a full heart (like, the good kind of “full”) from church and just wanted to pour some of that fullness into all of you. I wanted you to feel the relief I felt from one moment in Sunday School, so I posted all of these updates on facebook, twitter, and Google+. And I did it within a span of ten minutes. Cause I didn’t want anyone to miss it!

God Loves You

And it was all because my Sunday School teacher… a man… cried.

I mean, I know it’s the new own-your-feelings era and men cry a lot more now than the olden days, but not this one. Not really. I mean occasionally he’ll get choked up or whatever but he’s not the cry-every-time-he-teaches type (and I’ve had those types before, so I’d be able to recognize it). And honestly, I don’t really remember what he said right before it. And I don’t remember what he said right after it.

Wait, I kinda do.

We were talking about not being the judge of others and where they stand with God. And we’ve gotten to know him over the past year pretty well that he’s been our teacher… it’s kinda a small tight-knit group. He said:

I bet most of you in here aren’t the types that are hard on those around you. {Pause} My guess would be that most of you are harder on yourselves than on anybody else. {I nodded my head in agreement thinking of the past several months of my own life} But that’s what I really want you to hear… the only thing I want you to hear and I’m afraid you might miss it… {Big pause… obvious tears in his eyes} I’m afraid you might miss that God. Loves. You.

God. Loves. You.

And my mind was lost.

Lost to the rest of his sentence.

Lost to thinking of only that.

Lost to doing anything other than telling my heart again and again and again… God. Loves. You.

God. Loves. You.

God. Loves. You.

God. LOVES. You.

He’s not wrapped up in your sin or your inability to do “right”. He just… LOVES… you.

And today I tell you the same thing my friends… cause I’m afraid YOU might miss it too. And I don’t want you to miss it.

So hear me.

Hear me now.

GOD.
LOVES.
YOU.

GOD.
LOVES.
YOU.

God Loves You

Day 579: Not Gonna Post

20130811-150333.jpg

I was going to write out a nice post today.

And then I read my own posts today on facebook and twitter and google+.

Instead I’m going to take my own advice (for once).

I’m gonna set it all aside and worship Him through rest and peace.

Go on… do the same.

Even if you aren’t reading this until late Sunday evening… stop and rest.

 

Day 460: Name Change

20130413-224438.jpg

Yesterday, a dear friend of mine got married.

It was a beautiful celebration.

I even cried. And let me tell you… I nev.er. cry at weddings. Like, it just doesn’t happen. But, she had music from Pride and Prejudice for the bridesmaids so I was already a little sappy-minded, and then when they opened the doors for her, and I saw her there just beaming with her gorgeous smile… well, I lost it. I was so incredibly happy that she had found her match that I just started to bawl… joyful bawling, but well… way too much sniffling to become a polite southern woman (not that I’ve ever been “a polite southern woman” despite my mother’s excellent training in such matters).

So, I took a few grainy iPhone pics and posted one of them on my new instagram which is connected to facebook. So, I went in and tagged her in the pic.

And then… next thing I know… her name is changed.

Like, she was no longer Ashley Hepsted. She was suddenly Ashley Amron.

I was like… whoooaaaaa. that was quick. I mean, I know she got married and everything, but before Facebook I had time to let the new name settle in for a while before I actually SAW it in black and white print. But nooooooo, now I have to come to grips with my friend being a married woman all of a sudden!?!?! So. totally. weird. (Like, in a totally awesome cool kind of weird way.) Cause, it’s not like just because her last name changed all of a sudden she was just an entirely different person! She’s still the same Ashley that she was before she walked down that aisle, right? Right?!?!

Well…… it sorta hit me.

When a woman gets married, her identity truly and actually changes. Like, we get new social security cards. new driver’s license. new email addresses. new monogrammed towels (okay, maybe that’s pushing it). We start out marriage changing little bits of ourselves. And although on a basic level, we are still the same person… we are taking on a new identity. One that is fused to us through love.

That’s just like our switch when we covenant ourselves to Jesus. Because of Love, we have a new identity. We are still the same basic person, but that new identity is starting to change little bits of ourselves.

And it happens just. like. that.

This new identity that we grab on to… it takes effect as quickly as a name change on Facebook.

And it changes… everything.

So, while I’ve got you here… a few years ago I was in a bible study called Me, Myself, and Lies. (Awe.some. study if you are looking for something) and she had a list of verses that helped with truthfully labeling yourself… or, in this case, correctly stating your identity. I typed them out and reworded them into the first person.

Read a couple (or all) of them out loud. Allow the Word of God to remind you who you are now.

I am…

  • New: I belong to Christ, and so I’ve become a new person. My old life is gone; my new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Cherished: He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased my freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave my sins. He has showered his kindness on me, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
  • Strong: God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Chosen: I didn’t choose Jesus… Jesus chose me. He appointed me to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give me whatever I ask for, using the name of Jesus. John 15:16
  • Complete: In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
  • Loved: If God is for me, who can ever be against me? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for me, won’t he also give me everything else? Who dares accuse me whom God has chosen as his own? No one! For God himself has given me right standing with himself. Who then will condemn me? No one! For Christ Jesus died for me and was raised to life for me, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for me. Can anything ever separate me from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me. And I am convincned that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
  • Unfinished: I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
  • Free: Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18
  • Pardoned: So now there is no condemnation for me who belongs to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
  • Capable: I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  • Saved: Even though I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that I have been saved!) Ephesians 2:5
  • A Masterpiece: I am God’s masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10
  • Welcome: Now, I can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit as everyone else because of what Christ has done for me. Ephesians 2:18
  • Understood: Since I have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let me hold firmly to what I believe. This High Priest of mine understands my weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings I do, yet he did not sin. So let me come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I will receive his mercy, and I will find grace to help me when I need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Guarded: I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
  • Valuable: God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • Loved: See how very much my Father loves me, for he calls me his child, and that is what I am! 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • Family: But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that I am God’s child because they don’t know him. I am already God’s child, but he has not yet shown me what I will be like when Christ appears. But I do know that I will be like him, for I will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:1-2
  • Included: So now I, as a Gentile, am no longer a stranger and foreigner. I am a citizen along with all of God’s holy people. I am a member of God’s family. Ephesians 2:19
  • Selected: I am a chosen person. I am a royal priest, part of a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, I can show others the goodness of God, for he called me out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9-10
  • Holy: Since God chose me to be a holy person he loves, I must clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
  • Changed: I have had that veil removed and can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes me more and more like him as I am changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
  • His Heir: And since I am his child, I am his heir. In fact, together with Christ I am an heir of God’s glory. But if I am to share his glory, I must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17
  • His Friend: He no longer calls me a slave, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now I am his friend, since he has told me everything the Father told him. John 15:15
  • Delightful: For the Lord my God is living among me. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in me with gladness. With his love, he will calm all my fears. He will rejoice over me with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17
  • Bold: Because of Christ and my faith in him, I can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12

 

Day 459: more. More! MORE!!!

I recently had a facebook message “conversation” with an old friend about my covenant. And well, there were just some parts of the message that I felt would be beneficial to share.

He is growing me so much through helping me overcome… such a journey. His message through me has so little to do with weight and food and so much more to do with me becoming less (in the spiritual) while He becomes more in my life.

It’s hard to understand often the horrible oppression I have felt from “just food” over the span of my life. A terrible, heavy burden… unconquerable. I have so often identified with the bleeding woman… nothing could release me from it save the touching of His garment, but up until the past year I had not the courage to reach out and touch.

But during the time I have been on my covenant journey with Him, I have found such a sweet freedom as I have never known in my life: freedom from that suffocating and all-encompassing burden. So, as simple as it might sound to just give up coffee or food, know that, for me, it is not just something neat, or fun, or even spiritually trendy… it is a battle. And for now, this is where I find myself on the journey.

Perhaps a lot of these words I’ve already said over the course of these 459 days, but I found it so… cathartic to say them yet again. To remind myself of the crushing feeling of despair. To remember the hopelessness each time I failed to be stronger than the pull of food. To refresh the pain of accepting that I was simply just “one of those people” that would struggle with food my whole life.

And cathartic to bring to light again the freedom that I have felt. the hopefulness. the salve over my aching and wounded heart. and the new identity that He has infused within me.

Because, here’s what’s cool… “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). And don’t just discount that phrase. For years, nay… for my. entire. life. I have read that word for word but my mind and heart have HEARD this:

“We are more than conquerors…”

Yeah. I just like knocked out two words of the verse mentally. “We are conquerors.” I mean… I was okay with that and all. Being a conqueror… that’d be, ya know, cool. I’d sorta picture myself on a mountain wearing Roman armor with a flag or something blowing the wind while I looked off at the horizon. Annnnnnd, that was about the end of that little (yes, weird) daydream. But look at it again the real way…

“We are more than conquerors…”

Think about that… more. we are MORE than just a conqueror! I mean, being a conqueror is pretty dang awesome, but yo… we are MORE. We don’t just win the battle… we go beyond that! I’m so encouraged by knowing that simple thing. Even if tomorrow He healed me permanently of this sin of gluttony… if tomorrow I was officially a conqueror over gluttony… that’s not the end-all be-all. I am MORE than just a conqueror!

I… I… I don’t even know what that would make me… I don’t even know what is “more than conqueror”, but hey… the thought of being simply a conqueror is so enticing, I can only imagine how amazing it will be to find out what the job is on the next rung of the old spiritual career ladder!

Which leads me to paste in the very end of my conversation with my friend:

I know, so much more keenly now, that God has called me to much more than just salvation… that was just a pinpoint in my life. Now I am to find my purpose in His Kingdom so that I might be a blessing to the world.

And THAT. that is what it means to be more. Because THAT is really and truly THE call of a follower of God. That through us, through the promise to Abraham, that through us all families on earth with be blessed (Genesis 12:3).

Ya know. That makes me want to be over and done with this gluttony stuff. It makes me ready to move on to being a conqueror. It makes me ready to be MORE.

{This was the closest thing that I could think of to a time in my life
where I felt like my dream of being a conqueror…
I had hiked (in flip flops, mind you)
through this dense rainforest in Costa Rica
when on my Spanish immersion summer,
and we ended up at this natural waterfall. It was… uh.maz.ing.}

Costa Rica Waterfall

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.
.
Oh, how I identify with that song.
.
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!
.
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.
.
So, a couple of nights ago I just found myself saying to God, “I don’t want to think about food anymore.”
.
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.
.
I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Psalm 77:3
.
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.
.
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.
.
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.
.
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.
.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
.

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…

20130213-183053.jpg

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…

20130213-184529.jpg

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 389: BBFFs

BFFs.

Best Friends Forever.

I remember when I was in junior high and dangle rings were IN. I mean… you HAD to have a dangle ring and it HAD to be a Best Friends dangle where one person had the Be Fri and the other person had the St End.

20130201-132644.jpgIn 9th grade, a girl that was a good friend of mine gave me the Be Fri side of the set. Now note. I said a good friend. And my actual best friend (who is still my best friend now) was a little jealous in that junior-high best friend kind of way that all girls experience at some time. And I honestly don’t know when the BFF “term” came about, but I use it all the time (ironically enough though I almost never use it to refer to my actual real best friend). However, I have now come up with a new term.

Best Blogging Friends Forever.

BBFFs.

{Brilliant. I know.}

Why, pray tell, did I come up with a new abbreviation?

When I started blogging over a year ago about my covenant, I anticipated that it would be pretty much just for me and that some of my close friends and family would read it too. I had no idea that other people that didn’t even KNOW me would want to read it and I certainly never expected anyone to do a covenant WITH me.

Which is why I also didn’t expect to get such encouragement from other bloggers and other blogs. Namely, two.

My new BBFFs.

I recently discovered the blog of a woman who approaches her mindset about weight and weight loss in a very similar way to me. It was so wonderful to see someone else write the very words that I was thinking. It was so wonderful to see someone else provide ME with a verse that helped. The blog love.life.chocolate. has already been an inspiration to me as well as comments made on my blog by “finneyfer“.

Like, on Day 387 I wrote a post about when I was in California and got sick cause I ate too much fried food. I was sorta beating up on myself… and she made the following comment for me:

20130201-142231.jpg

And I’ll be honest… at first I was like, No, I don’t want to give myself grace and then I was like, Wait. She’s talking about scripture. Before you say “No” it would probably be a good idea to re-read through Romans 7 and 8. This is not HER talking… this is her reminding you of what GOD says. So, I (again, being honest) reluctantly read Romans 7 and 8.

Lo and behold, it changed me. Hmmmmm… what a shocker, that the Word of God would change me. Ha! But I was reminded that this is not about my COVENANT. This is about me showing love to God and honoring Him. It is about living in the spirit not in the flesh. It is about going past the Law… past my covenant… and doing even more than I have been instructed to do. Going “above and beyond” if you will.

That’s just one example as to why finneyfer has been designated as a BBFF… because she didn’t just say “Oh yeah, fried foods are totally gross” or something like that… instead, she pointed me to scripture. A woman I have never met led me to The Cross. She led me to scriptures that reminded me and refocused me on His Grace.

Another BBFF of mine is the author of the new blog mignonpanache. She is actually one of my BFFs in real life as well, and it’s because of things like her post Self Talk:

20130201-182511.jpg

And later on in the post she wrote this…

20130201-182553.jpg

Dang. Especially after my recent Facebook struggles, this one really got my attention. She said that she had “a ton of non-tech time.” Now, granted… I have two young strapping boys. I have a ton of non-tech time as well simply because I’m always with them… chasing them, entertaining them, cleaning up after them, dressing them, bathing them… you get the picture. However, I tend to gravitate towards my phone whenever I have a second of downtime or “me” time. So, I rarely spend any of my quiet moments without technology.

And I think this needs to change.

I know it needs to change.

Thanks to her sharing something she has learned… I have been really thinking about my over-techie lifestyle a lot… thinking of how I need to change my full-tech life. thinking of how I can find more peace. more serenity. more stillness.

Soooooooo, yet another example of how someone that I don’t see regularly has impacted my life… through a blog.

It’s just… awesome. It’s so… unexpected. It’s so… modern. Ha. And at no point am I suggesting that BBFFs can replace real, one-on-one, authentic relationships in the flesh… but I think they can be a powerful influence.

Afterall, the majority of the New Testament… was a letter. It was written communication. It was faith, hope, and love in the form of words. sentences. paragraphs. And aside from the fact that it was GOD’S WORDS, it’s form was very similar to a modern day blog.

My point?

Ha- I don’t really know. Find a blog? Start a blog? Write a letter? An email? A note? I guess… my point is… reach out and communicate.

Share whatever blessings you’ve been given. Share whatever message you’ve been given. Share whatever pain you’ve felt.
Share His Grace. Share His Truth. Share His Hope. Share His Love.