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 749: I Start a 7 Fast

Clothes
Spending
Waste
Food
Possessions
Media
Stress

All the areas that Jen Hatmaker decided she had in excess and wanted to go against them. Just looking at the front of the book and seeing that list, I knew she and I were probably two peas in a pod.

7 - Jen Hatmaker

I recently got into a little book club that is reading the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker and I immediately knew that I was going to love/hate the book because I knew that it was going to enrich my life… by ruining it. {Ha!} But I’ve just finished another of her bible studies and I’d heard such great things about this one, so when my friend Mandy asked me if I wanted to read it with her and a couple of friends, I jumped on it. We’re only reading one chapter a month and then doing the “experiment” that follows to attack a specific area of excess.

Cause there is no question that I struggle with excess in my life.

I mean, heck, one area of excess, food, is the entire topic of this blog!

You really, really, really need to read the book to get the full understanding of what is going on here (and trust me, it is totally worth the read and very quick and easy, especially if you only read a chapter a month)! Basically, Hatmaker chose 7 foods to eat for a month:

  1. spinach
  2. avocado
  3. egg
  4. chicken
  5. wheat bread
  6. apples
  7. sweet potatoes

Oh, and water only to drink! I’ll be adding doTerra lemon oil to my water, but that’s medicinal.

I’m doing pretty much the same thing but with these variations:

  1. I’ll be eating rice instead of wheat bread because, well, honestly I’d eat nothing but bread. Rice isn’t as “enticing” to me so I’ll only eat it when I need it.
  2. I’ve added popcorn to the list. I know, I know… why popcorn!?!? It’s a light, slightly filling snack for me. I might get rid of it later or I might just ignore it as an option, but for now it’s on there.
  3. When I eat out (which is not very frequently at all), I’m going to try to get as close to the 7 foods as possible, but, for example, if I go to Jason’s Deli and they don’t have avocado out then I’ll eat a close replacement of fresh veggies.
  4. I’m going to allow balsamic vinegar into the mix. Now, this might seem like a decadence to you, but I’m a Ranch and Blue Cheese kind of girl, so this is still a major sacrifice for me to only use balsamic and oil on my spinach.

I wanted to record what I ate, but I’m not going to post that every day in an individual blog post, so I’m just going to come back to this post and update it every few days with what I ate but actually more importantly HOW I ate it. Just in case you feel like doing a 7 Fast “Hatmaker Style”!

Sunday – Day 1

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, scrambled and then “fried” into a roll up burrito (imagine the egg part of an omelette without any of the “stuffings”), apple
  • Lunch: Went to Jason’s Deli with my parents: spinach, red bell peppers, carrots, balsamic
  • Annnnnnnnnd then there is no point in recording anymore today because I got a massive migraine (possibly from withdrawaling from coffee which gives me terrible headaches and exaustion) and then it got so bad that I (sorry to be gross) puked my guts out mid afternoon. So I pretty much ate toast and bananas the rest of the day.

Monday – Day 1, for reals

  • Breakfast: 1/2 apple, sliced into spears using one of these, 1/2 avocado, cubed (For breakfast? Yep! When you’re hungry, you’ll eat anything!)
  • Snack: handful of air-popped popcorn, plain (Uhhhhh, that’s not on the list. I know, but I think I’m putting it on my list. So, yeah, I’m doing an “8 Fast” I guess. Hehe)
  • Lunch: 1 cup of cooked basmati rice, and then an hour later: 1 cup of cooked basmati rice mixed with 1/2 avocado cubed small
  • Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup at Chick-fil-A. Well, I thought that I didn’t eat out a lot. It really is very rare (it really only happened two days in a row because my husband is out of town).
  • Snack: handful of air-popped popcorn

Tuesday – Day 2

  • Breakfast: 1/3 sliced fuji apple, 1 scrambled egg
  • Snack: 1 grilled chicken strip
  • Lunch: 1/2 cup basmati rice mixed with 1/2 cubed avocado and 1 small baked sweet potato, skin removed, cubed (much better than I expected!)

That’s all so far, but I’ll keep coming back to update. I’m not sure yet if I’ll go for 4 weeks like she does or just go through until the end of February even though I started earlier. Either way, there will eventually be at least 28 days of “what-I-ate” and then I’ll post a blog at the end of the month with my thoughts!

Praying that God would reveal Himself to me through this experience… through this “experiment”!

Day 738: Every Day, In Every Way

Day 738 The Covenant Diet - Every Day, In Every Way

My son has a ptosis on his right eyelid. He’s had it since birth and the doctors said it might just resolve on its own but it hasn’t.

Honestly, I hardly even notice it anymore.

It’s not super severe, but it’s there.

He never really noticed it until lately. I mean, he’d say: “One of my eyes is sleepy” and then he’d move on to build something amazing with his Legos, but that was really it. No biggie.

Until.

Until he went to school.

And wow – other kids were really keen to point it out. Not maliciously, but just “Hey! One of your eyes is closed!” He would just shrug at first and say “Yeah. I was born that way.” He handled it so well. Again, no biggie.

But recently he has become very aware of it and whereas before he wouldn’t let us even discuss the idea of surgery, now he is the one asking for it. {He’s going to have to have surgery because it is affecting his vision.}

And last night on the way home from church he said, “Mom! Please, can we just go get my eye fixed tomorrow? Cause, like, everyone is making fun of it and I just want it fixed.”

I wanted to sit down with him and say, “Oh man. I get ya. I get it. But I promise that even though we’ll get that eye fixed, kids are gonna find something else. They always find something else.” But I decided that was a bit too “mature” of a response for him. So, I said,

I understand that you want it fixed and that it hurts your feelings when others tease you. I’m really sorry for all of that. Ya know, when I was younger, people used to tease me about something too.

What? What did they tease you about?

My hair. My very, big curly hair.

But I like your big hair.

Yeah, me too. But it’s wasn’t “normal” and so kids teased me about it. But know what I learned? I learned first of all that Jesus loves me, all of me, big hair and all.

{My son then pointed out that I also have a big belly and that sometimes people make fun of people with big bellies. Yeah. Thanks dude.}

And I also learned that it didn’t matter what was on the outside… my big hair or my big belly… because what was on the inside was more important: that I am fun, that I love to laugh, that I am nice to people no matter what, that Jesus loves me all the time, every day, in every way.

{He then pointed out that I am fun but that I am not very good at Mario. Okay, well, I’ll give him that one. I am not very good at Mario. Like… at all. And this is a serious hit on my level of “coolness” in our house.}

And later that night I thought about our little conversation. I was trying to decide if I had gotten anything into his soul about the truth of what he should think about himself. But I couldn’t make myself think of him: I just kept talking to myself… about myself.

January, do you really believe that? Do you really believe that it doesn’t matter what is on the outside? When you looked in the mirror before church tonight and cursed the fates because you were wearing your “fat jeans” and you still had a roll sticking out over the top – it mattered to you. It mattered what was on the outside.

I had to answer myself: Yes. Yes. It does matter. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to totally make it NOT matter on this side of heaven. But what a great reminder that it’s not what matters to Jesus. Not saying that He doesn’t want me to take care of my body, and not saying that He doesn’t care about what I care about, but that just that He… He loves me.

He loves me.

He loves you.

All the time.

Every day.

In every way.

So just stop. Stop for a second right now. Stop and close your eyes and whisper His name. Whisper the name of Jesus.

Jesus… fill me with Your Love right now. I want to feel Your Love. I need to feel it. I need to know that when you see me, you just see the core of me. I need to know that in your mind, your gaze pierces through to the heart of me. I need to know that in your mind, your gaze burns through the mistakes, through the fears, through the facades, and that it just sees me: Your daughter. Your wonderful, beautiful, lovely daughter. Remind me today Jesus. Remind me to whisper Your Name. Remind me to push past all that is temporary when I look at myself and to see me as you see me. Remind me to love myself the way You love me: all the time. every day. in every way.

Day 659: Easy Peasy

I’m about to drop a mental bomb on you, so prep yourself.

You ready?

I mean seriously, get a glass of water or something because it’s gonna get cuh.ray.zay. up in here.

Okay.

Here we go.

easier to stay on diet

Bam.

You’re mind is blown, right?

But seriously… this little tiny fact is oftentimes the thing that makes it or breaks it for dieters and lifestyle changers. But if you’re still like “Okay, what exactly does she mean?” It’s this:

Dieting or changing your eating lifestyle is HARD. I mean… you are typically going against what your body and mind have gotten very, very used to. And your body and mind are both going to want to cry out for the way you used to do things and quite possibly the way that you’ve always done things. So, you’ve got to make it as easy on yourself as you CAN.

Specifics:

  1. Make a meal plan. Make one every week (or every two weeks or every month). It doesn’t have to be anything fancy… I mean there are some weeks that mine looks like this… Monday: Tacos, Tuesday: leftover tacos, Wednesday: Black Bean Soup, Thursday: Black Bean Soup leftovers, Friday: Homemade pizza, Saturday: Homemade pizza leftovers, Sunday: lunch leftovers
  2. Include LUNCHES in your meal plan. I don’t know why on earth it has taken me so long to figure this out, but I do so much better if I plan out what I’m going to eat for lunch too. Again, it may be easy for you… Monday: Salad, Tuesday: baked potato, Wednesday: Salad, Thursday: Panini, Friday: Black Bean Couscous, Saturday: Leftovers, Sunday: Out To Eat
  3. Go grocery shopping. It is strangely much easier to cook a recipe if you already have all of the ingredients. Huh. Go figure. {Again, WHY OH WHY did it take me so long to figure this out!?!?!} I think the best way to do this is to schedule which day of the week is your meal planning day and then the next day be grocery shopping day. Or, I also will often take my preschooler to play at the park or McDonalds or something and I’ll plan it out while he plays and then we go right to the grocery store.
  4. Get LOTS of healthy snacks. Again… no brainer. But my brain is just being rewired I guess. When you go to the grocery, get a lot of fruit. Just try to avoid that entire middle area of processed food cause it’s no where nearly as good for you or as good for your taste buds. Get grapes, bananas, apples, pre-cut watermelons, clementines, and a pear or two if you are feeling really fun. Those are all snacks that are easy to eat and yummy when you’re needing a sugar fix.

Like I said, I know that these are not major epiphanies, but these are things that even just TODAY I have remembered are important when dieting.

But MOST IMPORTANTLY… don’t give up! If you miss a week of good eating, then spend this evening planning out your meals and go to the store tomorrow. It’s no big deal… it’s all about the journey to health, it’s not about being 100% healthy overnight! It might take you a year… or three years to lose your weight or change your eating habits, but that’s so much better than NEVER losing the weight or changing your eating habits. Remember: God Loves You. You are NOT a lost cause. Trust the slow work of God. {Each of those is a post that will encourage you along those lines!}

Day 630: Tree Hugger

It’s “fall” in Texas.

Which means that it’s 86° at noon… and that’s actually kind of nice right now and we’ve been trying to enjoy the temperate weather. If it would stay 88° all year long then I’d be in heaven, but alas… winter is inevitable! Ha!

A couple of mornings a week, my three-year-old and I have been dropping my oldest off at Kindergarten and then going to the park to enjoy this nice weather before he goes to preschool. Recently we went to a different park than we usually go to and we were there all by ourselves (well, us and some very, very busy squirrels) and it was just beautiful!

Given that my child is ALL. BOY. he immediately found a tree to attempt to climb despite all of the awesome playground equipment  there. But, I was really surprised when he couldn’t climb the tree… especially because it was at an angle.

Tree Hugger - bent tree

So, when he asked me to climb it, I thought… “Oh I’m really gonna show him what an awesome mom I am now!” And then I couldn’t climb it either!

Because at the very bottom it had been climbed by so. many. people. that the bark was worn almost completely smooth!

Tree Hugger - smooth bark

And I was really struck by it… so, of course, being the iPhoner that I am… I immediately began snapping pics of it. And so, of course, that got me thinking about it.

Ya know… I gave up pretty quickly trying to climb the tree. For several reasons. I didn’t have on shoes with any grip. My 3-year-old bolted off to another section of the park. I was kinda afraid that I might fall.

So I gave up and just took pictures of it thinking, I bet it would be cool to see the park from up there.

And as I took more pictures I noticed that just a few feet up the tree, the bark was rough and definitely NOT smooth because either not as many people got up there or because once you got past the initial first few feet of vertical climb, it was much easier and you didn’t have to “grip” on as much.

Tree Hugger - rough bark

And of course I immediately saw the parallel to my own life there. So often I give up when there is an initial struggle. I don’t feel like I have the proper “footwear” so I just… stop. I don’t go get different shoes or just go barefoot. I just stop trying. Like, so many of us, when we don’t IMMEDIATELY start to lose weight we just give up. We don’t try a different diet or a different focus, we just give in.

Or there is another responsibility that I use as my excuse… I have to chase down my kid or pay a bill or do the dishes. Same thing: I don’t have time to go workout because I have to do other stuff. I don’t have time to grocery shop or cook because I have other things to do.

Or there is the biggest reason that we don’t “climb” the tree: we are afraid we might fall… that we might FAIL. So, as soon as we try to climb on that slick bark and we can’t immediately do it… well, that’s just a great excuse to stop right there. Because if I stop trying to lose weight then I can’t fail at trying to lose weight.

Win-win, right?

Nope.

Because it is once we climb past that slicky part that we get to see the world from a different perspective. We might be scratched up a bit. We might be breathing hard from the exertion. We might be scared to death… but we are up there!

Tree Hugger - bent tree 2

So, I am reminded with whatever struggle I am going through… don’t just give up because the first part is difficult, or even seemingly impossible! Seriously people! Let’s remember… with God all. things. are. possible.

Climbing a crazy tree (in the spiritual sense) is possible!

And just as crazy seeming… overcoming your issues with food. learning to rely on Him. losing weight you’ve carried for years.

Even that is possible.

Say it to yourself right now: I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil 4:13

Now, go climb that tree.

{And now indulge me in a cute pic of my kid. I just had to throw it on here too!}

Tree Hugger - little boy

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 356: Full Circle

20121231-233508.jpg

It’s the last day of 2012.

What. a. year.

Okay, well technically I didn’t start until, what was it, January 11th? So technically it isn’t exactly a year. But… come on. Even 356 days of this covenant is a big deal.

356 days without sugar.
356 days to experience the blessing of God.
356 days of change.
356 days.

Wow- ya know, I had no idea the journey I was going to go on 356 days ago.

I was just re-reading my initial post on Day One, and here was the thing I wrote at the very end:

    So, here I am… copying Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:10)

    I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from me. Today, God, I covenant with you to only eat veggies, fruits, nuts, cheese, grains, and water until the end of 2012. Please bless me with freedom from my addiction to food. I want so desperately to purify my temple so that my thoughts… my worship… is on YOU God – not on food.

And today, on my last day, I know I’m probably supposed to have something brilliant to say. something spiritually insightful. something encouraging.

But I’m afraid instead I’m just gonna have to be honest.

I read that last part “I want so desperately to purify my temple so that my thoughts… my worship… is on YOU God – not on food.” and although I am focused on Him more this year than before, I am still just not satisfied with the ratio. I still think about food a lot. Maybe more so along the lines of choosing good foods but still… I think about it a lot and I want that part to “go away”.

And that is just one of the reasons that here on my technically “last day” I am signing on for more. Because I know God has not finished reworking and renewing me. And again I laugh at myself for thinking that He would just up and be finished with me after 356 days. Haha! It’s kind of ridiculous.

But at the same time, what a cool thought to end 2012 with… God has a plan for me this year. He knows what is in store for me on January 29, 2013. March 2, 2013. He knows exactly where I’ll be May 17th. September 4th. He knows my thoughts and feelings on November 13th and… December 31, 2013.

And that is a comfort.

And so as I sit here fighting off sleep as I sit by the fire and plan to shuffle off to the bedroom as soon as I hit publish, I am myself lifted up. encouraged. reminded.

God loves me.
God has plans for me.
God is refining me.
God intends to bless others through me.
God intends glory to His Name through my life.

    The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Isaiah 58:11

Day 339: Mother Knows Best

20121214-070840.jpg

B12.

Ever heard of it?

Well, I hadn’t.

Nor had I heard that it is an essential vitamin for vegetarians.

Ohhhhhhhh, but I’ve heard of it now!!!

{Background} For the past two or three months I have been… exhausted. I just sorta chalked it up to having a toddler. Cause I mean, I’d been eating healthy and that was supposed to give me more energy. In fact, people were always asking me, “Don’t you just have so much more energy?!?!” And I’d probably say “Yes, oh, yes!” cause I’m a good southern girl… but no, oh, no I did not have more energy.

And it wasn’t like the kind of mild-exhaustion. It was a ready-to-sleep-18-hours-at-1:00-in-the-afternoon kind of exhaustion. I mean, I had more energy when I was teaching high school, directing one act play, raising a toddler, AND 9-months pregnant than I have had these past few months.

Serious exhaustion. Serious enough to make me mention it to my mom.

Now. If your mom is anything like my mom…… well, then, first of all, you are blessed, and secondly, things like illness you sorta wait up until you know it’s bad before you mention it to her. Because you know that she will immediately get on MISSION to fix it. You’ll get website links with suggestions. She’ll offer to pay for a doctor visit. She’ll text at strange hours asking how you’re feeling. And she won’t stop checking up on it until it’s resolved.

So, I mentioned it to my mom a couple of weeks ago. And she actually had just seen some show on TV where a famous actress got so exhausted that she had to start taking B12 shots.

Well, that certainly got me interested in B12 and so I did a bit of research on it and lo and behold, it is highly connected to energy and it is only in meat… which I don’t eat!

Wow- she knocked that one out of the park on her first swing!

{Back to now} But being a typical… well, whatever is typical about me… I sorta shuffled my feet around about it. Tried to eat more eggs for like four or five days. Ate some more fish. But it wasn’t helping. And I’m sure it really didn’t help that I got so sick the past two weeks.

I even crossed my fingers yesterday as I went on another walk that the exercise would help.

Nope. Exhausted.

So, when my toddler woke up, I loaded up my boys (under the auspices of going to the store to get tortillas for fish tacos) and went and got some B12.

Now I ain’t gonna lie to you. I took the stuff at like 4:00 and by 9:00 I felt a teensy bit less tired than lately. I even did the dishes!!!

I have no idea if that was just a placebo-effect or the real thing actually working (I mean, it said that it was 50,000% of the daily value) but either way, it was nice to have some energy… or at least to not be 127% exhausted.

So, today, nothing spiritual (that’s coming tomorrow). My only message today is… listen to your mother.

    If you follow my teachings and keep them in mind, you will live. Be wise and learn good sense; remember my teachings and do what I say. If you love Wisdom and don’t reject her, she will watch over you. The best thing about Wisdom is Wisdom herself; good sense is more important than anything else. If you value Wisdom and hold tightly to her, great honors will be yours. It will be like wearing a glorious crown of beautiful flowers. Proverbs 4:4-9

Day 325: A Happy Sad

Looks like I’ll have to ask a bit of forgiveness… again. But this time I truly have a good excuse… well, actually, several worthy excuses, and one excuse that I wish I didn’t have.

To start it off, last Friday my oldest got sick… 103° fever and followed it with a nasty cough. Ick.

I was in a semi-monologue skit at church with a bunch of lines, a three-hour rehearsal on Saturday afternoon, and three services on Sunday… don’t get me wrong, I love doing that stuff, but it does need to go in my “excuses” list nonetheless! (It was really a beautiful skit. You can see it and the whole service here. I’m around minute 43, I think.)

My husband, two boys, and I flew out to Denver on Wednesday morning to visit his brother’s family… which means I had to pack us and we spent a whole day at airports and on planes. Since then we have been hanging out non-stop (which might be why it has taken me several days to craft this post!)

On the plane, my youngest came down with the same cold/flu sickness his older brother had and has had a 103° fever the past few days.

In the midst of all that… life… and all that… stuff, my world and heart was forever changed by… well, by eternity.

On Saturday morning, my grandmother began to have symptoms of congestive heart failure. She went to be with Jesus on Sunday afternoon at 1:02. My whole family was there, and she even waited for me to get there after I rushed to the hospital after finishing my skit at church… she died about thirty-seconds after I got there and gave her one last kiss. She was an amazing lady… made me feel special right up to the last moment.

Indulge me… I want to share my favorite photo of her with my son. (We had snuck in some ice cream for her. She loved ice cream… but I think she loved my kids even more.)

20121202-180850.jpg

And not to minimize or appear like I am “using” the experience for a post, but her favorite hymn was “To God Be The Glory”. And so I would like to give God some glory for minute.

Throughout a painful mourning process, I was able to turn to The One for comfort. And, more so, when I turned to Him… He provided the comfort I asked for and needed. He answered with peace. He responded with the salve of The Hope that I have in her destination and in our future reunion. He assured me of my Identity in Him as I suffered through the pangs of regret.

And I experienced God fulfilling the verse that has been my favorite since college… perhaps written on my heart then for such a time as this…

    We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

And I read that verse this week… needing to be reminded that my sadness wasn’t going to crush me. But then, I read further on…

    We never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

And knowing that my grandmother was saved and warmly welcomed into the arms of Christ (you can read her beautiful salvation story here) gave me the ability to fix my gaze on things that cannot be seen and know that those things will last forever… like her soul being united with His Promise.

And I honestly thought to myself a few days into the grieving process how glad I was that I had learned to cope the “real” way. For once, I had true, real, deep, cutting pain… and I didn’t turn to food to soothe me. In fact, I never once thought about eating food as comfort. My husband even had to remind me to eat, but never once was did I need to be reminded to turn to scripture or prayer.

And it’s all because of the renewal that Christ has done in my mind. The retraining is slow at times and there are setbacks here and there. But my mind IS being renewed. reworked. retooled.

And I can think of no greater testimony and gift to my Mamaw’s memory than to turn to The One she taught me about.

And I will end with one more indulgence… a tribute to her memory. She repeated this poem to us hundreds upon hundreds of times. And it is beautiful. I hope you are as blessed and encouraged as I have been by it.

20121203-100500.jpg

Day: 315 Hunger Is Hard

I have been becoming more and more aware that I had fallen back into a trap of eating, eating, eating. Eating too much at meals, eating too much for snacks, eating when I wasn’t hungry, eating.

And I’m afraid that I cannot deny that it was a mild case of emotional eating. You see, I’m a beach bum at heart… nice warm weather is the ticket for me. Sooooo, winter is tough on me. And yes, I live in Texas… and some might say that we don’t even have winter, but it’s cold. And that’s all I need to be a little party pooper. I mean… look at this:

20121118-065411.jpg
40°?!?! And it’s only just the beginning!!! {I’d better watch out or all this cold weather talk is gonna make me want a Snicker’s bar! Ha!}

So, since we are inside an awful lot more that also means that I am in the same room as my kitchen and pantry a lot more. So, I just… eat.

I have really noticed it because the last few days the weather has been decent (actually pretty close to idyllic today) and so I have spent much more time outside. And eating has been sort of an after thought.

I have also been trying to be more aware of what is going in my body. I put on my size 8 jeans on Sunday to wear to church and had to make sure I was wearing a lose-fitting top because I had me a little muffin-top going on there. Like I said on Day 306, not fitting into clothes was simply a “Dangeometer” that indicates that something is off.

Sure enough something has been “off”. And it’s interesting… I just need to be aware… consciously aware, that is… that something is wrong and then sometimes I have the power to fix it. Now, let me be clear that if “I” have any power, it is only because Christ’s power is still in me and the residual effects of having to rely solely and completely on Him for the past… wow, essentially for the past year… are still there.

    To those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24

But anyway, what with eating meals again (trying to stop the snacky-meals and actually cooking), the weather being nice, and not fitting into my “skinny” jeans acting as an indicator/reminder for me… I have had a pretty good few days. (Hopefully this post doesn’t put a Murphy’s Law curse on me for having said that!)