Day Eighty-Six: Shouldn’t Couldn’t

I’m already really enjoying having a friend on board with the covenant… I mean, I know that there are a few of you out there that follow the blog and a few that are following the covenant in a different way (like, my favorite, is my friend that is covenanting from shopping all year… I may not be a clothes hound, but I think to give up buying new clothes and accessories is an amazing feat)! And now that my friend “Christy” is doing a no-sugar covenant, I am already mutually encouraged by her faith (kinda like I talked about here).

Christy and I got to talk about it for a few minutes this week, and a few minutes was all it took to really get me pumped back up again. I mean… I wasn’t like “low” or anything, but it was so cool to hear someone else think the same things. feel the same things. experience the same things.

One of the things that she mentioned was how much easier it was than she thought… for example, before she would see a plate of brownies somewhere and immediately the inward struggle would begin… “No, don’t eat one” would eventually always lead to “Okay, you ate one, that’s okay, just don’t eat anymore” which would turn into “Okay, you ate two, you might as well just dive on in and lose count because now it doesn’t even matter!”

But, with the covenant, there is no struggle… it’s not that she shouldn’t have the brownie (or two, or three)… it’s that she couldn’t!

Now, I know to someone else reading that probably seems so restrictive. But that was the cool thing that Christy and I talked about… she said it was actually totally freeing! It was so much easier to just look at the plate of brownies and be like “Oh, I can’t have any of those” and then just move on. It was like she was able to really pay attention to other things going on instead of focusing so much on the “fight” she would have been having with those brownies.

It’s like so backward from every diet that we have all ever been on… where the struggle is in the “shouldn’t”. And now that it has changed to a “couldn’t”… it’s easier?!?!?!

But it is… and it is a continual reminder of what God says…

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

The way our world works… the way our world tells us to think about food… the way our world tells us about our worth… the way our world tells us about our ability… none of that matches up with God’s thoughts about the way things work, about the way to think about food, about our worth, and about our ability to do anything. But just like those Laws back in the Old Testament seemed so restrictive, they were really just a way for God to guide us in the right direction… in the direction towards His thoughts. His ways. His Life.

Day Fifty-Five: Reese’s Vs God

Once again my post for the day comes from what I read this morning in 1 Samuel 17. It’s probably not a “new” story to most of us, but I got this whole new spin on it for me this morning. Although, I should say that it also might be a little comical because I have this slightly overdramatic and overactive imagination. Haha!

Every time I read this story (which is a lot since my son is almost five and loves battles right now) I get chills when David speaks. He has such power, such authority, such confidence in God’s power. And oh, for too long I have missed out on that- the confidence of God’s power.

But as I read the verses where he tells Goliath what’s what, it sorta like automatically “translated” into me talking. Okay that makes no sense. Let me explain. David has just walked out onto the battle field in no armor or sword and armed only with his slingshot and five stones. Goliath, naturally, thinks this is ridiculous and teases him “What do you think I’m a dog coming at me with rocks?” And David’s brilliant reply:

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 1 Samuel 17:45

I want to like yell or like beat my chest or something when I read that! It’s just… awesome! And here’s how “I” say it (to the Devil):

“You come against me with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Olive Garden breadsticks, and 12 ounce ribeyes from Roadhouse, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

And as cheesy as that sounds, that is the power I feel from God in this battle against my Goliath: food.

And David doesn’t stop there. Oh no- he goes another step:

Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 1 Samuel 17:46

He’s not just saying “I have God on my side so I can defeat you.” Here he comes in saying that he is going to defeat and humiliate them. But again- what is the purpose in that? So that the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.

And the next verse rocks it too:

And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord ‘s battle, and he will give you to us!” 1 Samuel 17:47

And wow- this verse gets me at home again. Because I do feel like I am being rescued throughout all of this. But not the way the “world” might look at it. Like, the world wants me to eat low fat, high protein, low carb, high carb, sodium free, gluten free, low calorie, low saturated fat, no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG, no, low, high, free.

But the only word I want out of that is the last one: free. You see, God isn’t rescuing me with any diet. He isn’t rescuing me with the way the world expects- the world expected Goliath to be defeated through sword and spear and the world expects me to be rescued by their ways. But God’s ways are not my ways.

And that’s why “I” am winning… because this is the Lord’s battle. And He is going to defeat this addiction in my life.

Easiest. battle. ever.

Day Thirty-Five: Chocolate Celebration Day (aka: Valentine’s Day)

Sooooooooo I kinda dropped off on my blogging for a few days there! Sorry to anyone that is reading these! Thirty days of blogging consistently was actually a pretty big accomplishment for me! I’ll try to catch up on those posts soon.

And actually, I was kinda not “feelin” the excitement of the whole covenant thing for those few days, so I was probably not as motivated to post. Which is weird because I had some great “weight” moments… like on Sunday, I fit into a skirt that I haven’t worn in five years! My “skinny” jeans have officially become baggy. My family all ate these glorious looking steaks on Saturday night (the same day that we had a big breakfast with bacon and pigs in a blanket)… and it really wasn’t difficult at all to not eat that stuff.

Maybe it’s a good thing though… the habits that I’m making now are starting to solidify and I didn’t really think about being on the covenant. Heck, even today (which some people might call Valentine’s Day, but to a dieter, it is really Chocolate Celebration Day, haha!) when I went to the store only to be confronted with a smorgasbord of chocolate and sugar delicacies, I was in no way tempted or even bummed out that I will “miss out” on all of that. Of course, it certainly gets my husband off the hook… he doesn’t have to run into a store and frantically try to find me a chocolate heart!

Maybe I made too big of a deal of chocolate in my mind cause my life has been completely fine without it! Annnnnnnnnd, I think this is why:

We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11-14

There are just so many great things in these verses! And it is soooooo accurate.

God,
It feels so good today to be freed from that indulgent life. I have so longed, and still long, for my life to be God-filled and God-honoring. And the best part… this new life you have given me IS now! What a breath of freshness in my soul. Thank you… thank you for freeing me from my old dark, rebellious life… continue to push me toward this good, pure life. It is sooooooo much better. I want to be a person you can be proud of. I want to be energetic in my goodness. Change me, mold me. Thank you, God, for my new life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Amen

Day Twenty-Four: Trading Addictions

Well, I might be doing a decent job of avoiding brownies but guess what is starting to become the new culprit?

Bread.

I have never really thought of bread as a huge temptation but I do think that I probably eat more of it than I need. I guess my bread overeating always seemed sorta overshadowed by my chocolate… issues.

But again. This is not about a diet. It’s about changing. It’s about renewal. It’s about finding freedom. I’m not into getting rid of one food addiction (sugar/chocolate) only to replace it with another (bread). That’s a change of habit but not a change in my habit of overeating or being addicted to food.

So I’m seriously considering adding bread to the list of the forbidden. I don’t know. Still thinking about it. Maybe I’ll just give it a go of avoiding it again instead of completely cutting it out.

I guess I think about that verse in Matthew:
So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Matthew 5:29-30

I’d rather be hot about this than lukewarm. I’d rather be hardcore than lame. I’d rather be extreme and go without than to be the same forever.

I’d rather be changed! renewed! free!