Day 164: Growing Up Covenant

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My husband, who is an English teacher during the school year, is home for the summer. And, I try as much as I can to give him some moments of peace and quiet at home during the first couple of weeks (plus, in the summer he works a lot on his songwriting method called ChordDice and although squeals of laughter are fun to hear, they can also be kind of distracting)! So, one day I took my boys to a McDonald’s close by to adventure in the play area… my toddler has just gotten to the point where he can navigate the entirety of the slides and mazes without my help so it’s kind of relaxing for me!

Typically when we go play at a place like McDonald’s, I’m a mooch that doesn’t buy the kids food… we just play. Yeah, yeah… I’m THAT mom. Haha! But this time I had planned to get them some pancakes and leave it at that; although, having a toddler I have learned my lesson many-a-time that he will probably not eat whatever I plan on him eating when we go somewhere. So, I always bring backups.

This particular day, I brought grapes and strawberries and a banana in case he didn’t want pancakes, but I didn’t anticipate using it… I mean, what kid would choose grapes over pancakes?!!?

But sure enough, he didn’t eat a bite of pancake but he obliterated the fruit.

And I kind of realized… he is growing up in my covenant. I didn’t have good fruit and veggies and stuff when my youngest was a toddler… his “backup” food consisted of cheerios, pop tarts (not saying that I don’t still whip that one out every once in a while when I’m desperate), graham crackers, etc. I don’t think that I ever took fruit anywhere for him! And now I’m having to struggle a bit to get him living covenant with us. It’s working, but it’s a slow process of retraining his tastebuds too.

But, seeing my youngest so easily fit himself into the covenant, I am reminded of this verse… this promise:

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

Day Seventy-Four: Food Journaling Vs. Mind Renewing

A couple nights ago, I made a new page on the blog called “What I Eat”… super creative title, eh? Haha! Anyway, it was surprisingly difficult to come up with a list of the foods that I eat. I don’t journal my foods like dietitians often recommend… mainly because I want to pull my focus away from food. off of food. and back onto God. It just seems that journaling my food as I have done in the past for diets puts too much emphasis on food.

Of course, I do think that journaling every single thing I eat for a few days wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if I wasn’t sure why I was gaining weight. In my case, I knew exactly what was the problem so there was no need for me to journal. I had journaled enough in the past to know that my eating was for all the wrong reasons, that I was overeating on almost everything, and that I was gorging and sneaking chocolate and other sugary things.

Sure, I had been in denial several times before, blaming it on the cafeteria food at school, or on the fact that I gained thirty pounds from the time I started dating my husband until we got married because we were going out to eat so much, or that there were just always goodies in the lounge of the school workroom.

But when it came down to it, I had to face up that it was because I was eating two meals worth of cafeteria food, eating two meals worth of fast food with my husband, and eating (and sneaking) two to three helpings of goodies from the lounge. For me, it wasn’t the what so much as it was the how much.

So, I knew that I didn’t want to focus on food anymore. I wanted that focus to switch over to a focus on Christ. I knew… I just knew that would work. I needed a change and He is the Change Maker.

So, instead of journaling my foods, I began the process of renewing my mind instead… or allowing Christ to renew my mind through the Word of God. My dear friend and former roommate, Beth, taught me years ago of the power of the Word to change my life. She has always been an avid Old Testament reader and could find a message or an example from the Old Testament to fit almost anything I was going through. I still glean hope and conviction from the verses in Deuteronomy 8 that she shared with me the summer before we started teaching and rooming together.

But for a long time (until this covenant actually) I never really applied any of the truths of God from the Old Testament to my addiction to food. But now, the majority of my conviction and hope come from there.

And now that I think about it, once again, Deuteronomy 8 is a perfect chapter for my experience with this covenant.

Here are some key verses:

Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. vs 2-3

For almost forty years, I have been humbled and tested. And although I think I missed multiple opportunities to turn to God for my deliverance, in the end… I did. Well, I am turning to Him still. Every day. And what a great “food message” in verse 3… it is not about the food in this “diet”. It is about every word that comes from the mouth of God.

“So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land… it is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking… When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Vs 6,9-10

God hasn’t given me a new land, but he has given me an almost new life! In the days to come, as the weight slips off, and in the days down the road, when the weight has been off for years, as I believe it will be… Deuteronomy reminds me of how vital it will be to still praise The Lord My God for my new life.

And I am warned as well…

Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery… He did all this so you would never say to yourself, `I have achieved this with my own strength and energy.’ Vs 14,17

Ahhhhhh. There He is again. My rescuing God. And I am to attribute all success to… Him.

Well, that should be easy since He’s done it all anyway!