Day 399: Lent Life

Last year on Fat Tuesday, I published this post. It was an interesting thought process for me, especially since I was only on Day 42. Here is the main point of what I wrote:

I guess though that the more that I think about Fat Tuesday I sorta get a little insight into my “issues” of overeating. Fat Tuesday is pretty much all about getting to overindulge 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...

…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.

And wow – reading that now, after my weekend of… gluttony… I’m even more assured that sticking to a more strict covenant is what is right for me. It was one thing for me to have a night off in California when I didn’t have a lot of options, but it was an altogether DIFFERENT experience being here at home AND baking a bunch of sugary treats! I just… lost control.

No, I gave up control.

But either way, I let myself get into a Fat Tuesday Mentality of I have to “sacrifice” the rest of the year so I should be able to eat whatever I want and as much as I want during this “off” day.

And it was just a terrible, terrible time.

I mean… I didn’t even really enjoy it because it was all about breaking the rules instead of celebrating in what God had done. I knew that the only sugar I was supposed to have was at my husband’s birthday PARTY (cause that was the agreement that I made with God), but I started eating sugar the night before while making all of his cakes and cake balls and red velvet cake popcorn.

On Saturday morning, I tried to get back on the right page and I was resisting eating one of the cake balls that I had made for him, but I eventually gave up and ate one.And I think that’s when I first started lamenting what  was going on. I was “fighting” with those cake balls. I hadn’t “fought” with sugar for so long. It was horrible. It was extra horrible because I gave in.

My mind immediately told me: See. Nothing’s changed. Just live it up and give in. You can just get back on track tomorrow and no one will know the difference but you.

And then at the party I was too busy to eat, but I did load up on my dessert plate… But WHY? What was the point? I’d already had everything!

Once I got everyone to bed then I ate some more, although not too much, I was stuffed and exhausted.

Then Sunday… oh my. Sunday I ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate until I was, quite literally, sick.

I ate TRYING to make myself so full that I couldn’t eat anymore. I wanted to stop eating all that junk and I knew felt that getting obscenely full or eating everything was the only way at that point. I finally collapsed into bed, feeling horrible and sick and knowing that I was done with sugar again.

Monday would be a new day. A fresh start. A day without fighting the food. A day without sugar. A day without justification or rationalization. A day of boundaries. A day of joy and peace and comfort like I had known for the past year.

And Monday was all of those things for me. Much like an Ash Wednesday will be for some tomorrow. A breath of fresh air as they step away from something that has its hooks in their soul: Diet Dr. Pepper, Facebook, television, etc. And really, I sorta “bashed” Fat Tuesday last year, but now that I sit here and think about it… the Fat Tuesday to Ash Wednesday is really such a beautiful picture of our salvation. We think we need to party it up to live, and then we step from the things of the world into a new life because of Jesus. Not condoning Fat Tuesday for those reasons, but… really, salvation is just this exact process for all of us.

Our life before Christ = one big ol long Fat Tuesday
Our life with Christ = choosing to follow rules and a code in order to honor Christ and focus on Him

The main difference is, we don’t have to keep going back to Fat Tuesday year, after year, after year. We can live a Lent life… all the time.

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 Forty-Two: Skinny Tuesday

Today is Fat Tuesday since tomorrow starts the Lent season with Ash Wednesday. But since I am not really in a mindset to “gorge” then today is to be my “Skinny Tuesday”.

But having a Skinny Tuesday is not such a bad thing… I mean, we are having Crockpot Potatoes and Carrots with an onion sauce, an Apple Crumble of sorts, and my husband will have a chicken breast while I have a salad. Honestly, I think that I would rather have that than a cake… with a baby… baked inside.

Ewwwwwww.

Haha! I’m just teasing… cause, for real, them Mardi Gras peeps sure know how to make some good food for their Fat Tuesdays (as well as pretty much the rest of the year as well)!

Anyway, I’m rambling. I guess though that the more that I think about Fat Tuesday I sorta get a little insight into my “issues” of overeating. Fat Tuesday is pretty much all about getting to overindulge 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.

I’m not sure entirely if this verse means what it reads like, but oh well… it puts my heart in the right spirit!

I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good. Psalm 54:6