Day 720: Remember That Time I Had A Diet Blog And Then Gained Weight???

Well, ya know how it’s not real cool to tell everyone on your diet blog that you’ve gained weight? Cause it doesn’t exactly foster “confidence” in what you are doing. Especially after you’ve had all these articles written and been interviewed for an article in The Atlantic. Yeah, gaining weight would be a totally lame thing to admit to.

But, well, I’m all about being totally open and “transparent” (that’s the new trendy Christian buzz word for “being real” right now, isn’t it?). So, I’m going to tell you that I’ve gained weight.

Only, it’s not pretty. It’s not like, “Oh, I’ve put on the Christmas 5″ or anything cute like that.

Nope, I weighed myself in August and then I weighed myself again this weekend knowing that it would be more but secretly hoping it wouldn’t be. And oh, boy howdy, it was most certainly more.

TWENTY POUNDS MORE.

Since August, people.

Uhhhhhhhhh, yeah. That’s not good.

Not. good. at. all.

So, of course, like I used to do when I weighed myself (and I haven’t weighed myself since Day 118: Trippin), I spiraled into a pit of despair and self-loathing.

Ahhhhhhhh, the life of someone who struggles with weight and eating issues.

But honestly, it didn’t surprise me. I’ve been three-day dieting for months now. You know what I’m talking about…

Monday: I’m so hard core! This is so great to be eating healthy! I feel awesome! No more sugar or bread foreverrrrrr!
Tuesday: Yeah! I’ve still got it. This time… this time is different! This time I’m gonna do it!
Wednesday: Uhhhhhhhhh… why the HECK did my husband’s client send him a box of PREMIUM chocolates?!?!?
Thursday: {Nom Nom Nom on aforementioned box of chocolates}
Friday: Since the box of chocolates is all gone, eat a bag of tortillas because it’s really the only bread in the house. I mean, might as well… cause I ate like a pig yesterday.
Saturday: Self-loathing is at its peak… perhaps sneak into the kids Christmas stocking candy. How much is is that Plexus stuff???
Sunday: Admit defeat, decide you CAN do it this time… tomorrow is the day! Soooo, gotta eat the rest of the Christmas cookies to, ya know, clear the house of their evil.
Monday: Repeat. previous. week. all. over. again. and then again. and then again.

But I’m also going to tell you a very, very important thing…

I’M. NOT. GIVING. UP.

Did I want to order Plexus immediately? Yes. Did I contemplate getting a job just to get me out of my house and away from food? Yes. Did my husband talk me down from doing both of those things? Yes.

Cause here’s the deal: Plexus is an easy fix for me but I know… I know… that it won’t solve my problem. I may not have an eating disorder (or heck, I might… I’ll let my bestie determine that… ironically, she’s a psychologist for all that stuff) but I do know that I have some disordered eating habits.

And that has got to change.

So, to change… I’ve got to make some changes.

Honestly, there are several posts coming up on that this week: changing the way we change, incorporating systems into my life to help with this cuh.ray.zay. weight gain, and most importantly, making deliberately sure that Jesus is more of my DAILY life.

I wanted to write it all here right now, but then this post would be a gazillion words long. So, I’m forcing myself to spread it out over a few days. And, well, if you’ve read this far then hopefully that means that you’ll be on this journey with me… continue on this journey with me, despite the fact that I’ve put on some poundage and because of the fact that God’s changes are on His own timing, but people… HIS CHANGES are oh. so. glorious.

So, here I go. Still journeying on that path from gluttonous… to glorious!

Day 457: Work With Me Here

Pros and Cons.

I love those little lists. I make tons of decisions off of pro and con lists. Have for years.

In fact, I could probably still find several of the pro/con lists that my best friend and I made in junior high. And, yes. They were typically about boys…

But as I got older they fused into more weighty topics. Choosing my major. Places to work in the summer. Auditioning for Julliard. Going to Costa Rica for Spanish immersion. Moving to a new school district. Picking out my first home to buy. Becoming a stay at home mom.

They help me to get all of the rambling thoughts and worries on to paper so that I can more logically make a decision. I mean, sometimes they are great because it’s almost like you can “blame” the decision on the pro and con list in the end… “Well, there were more cons than pros, so I decided to not to that.”

But there is one kind of pro and con list that doesn’t work.

The kind where it comes out totally, smack dab even.

Ugh! Those are so frustrating.

And even worse… it’s even AND both of your options are GOOD.

Double frustrating.

I mean… it’s an awesome place to be in: to have to choose between two good options. But in the land of pros and cons, it’s tough.

And that’s what I found myself facing. Two good options.

One: go to work part-time at an awesome job with awesome people with awesome pay.
or
Two: continue being a stay-at-home mom with awesome kids in my awesome house making awesome memories.

I was genuinely torn. And, for once in my life, I really started to pray about it. Because this wasn’t just a decision based on what we needed. We need money to pay bills and invest in my husband’s product, Chord Dice (which recently became an official Guitar Center product!!! Here’s the link just in case you want to buy a set and help me pay the electric bill! Ha!). And the decision wasn’t just based on what we wanted. I want to just stay home and be a mom.

And the more and more that I prayed, the more and more he whittled down that pro and con list until it boiled down to, not what was “right” or “wrong”, but what did God want me to do.

At this point, as much as I’ve seen Him work, and as beautiful as His Hand has been working in our lives, I really, truly wanted to do what He wanted me to do. I really, truly wanted to see Him receive glory. So, I changed my prayer a bit: God. Show me what you want me to do that would bring you the most glory.

No. answer.

For weeks, no answer. Not even a hint of an answer. And believe me, I was looking everywhere. I was trying to read into everything. I, literally… and I mean, literally, thought about getting an actual fleece (no, not the Old Navy kind… the Judges 6 kind) and trying out that method. But He was being completely, totally, and utterly silent about this.

So, I decided that when I went on my MomsAway retreat that He was going to show up.

Ha! Did you catch that? I decided… that HE was going to show up.

What a laugh. When will I learn!?!?!

Well, like I mentioned on Day 441: The Post Where I Don’t Tell You What God Said, He showed up all right. But He showed up and wouldn’t talk about work. All He would talk about was sugar.

Yeah, that put me in my place pretty quick.

So, we worked through my sugar issues (again), got that resolved a bit, and then on the last morning after I had my little sit in the big comfy leather chair, and after I drank what was going to be my last cup of coffee, I decided to make a little walk down to the lake to see if maybe Jesus was down there walking on the water or something.

Right before I walked out, my friend who had talked through all my sugar issues with me (Day 443: The Post Where I Sorta Tell You What God Said), came in from outside and I said I was going down there. She said, “Go for it. Jesus is down there.” I thought, Whoo hoo! Now I’m really going down there!

{Here I am… about to go see Jesus!}

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Turns out: it was freeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing.

And the wind was, like, hurricane DEFCON Level 1 type winds.

And yeahhhhhh, I don’t really “do” the whole cold weather thing. Like, I pretty much don’t go outside if it’s lower than 80°.

But she said that Jesus was down there… so I was going, hurricane or not!

I hoofed it down the 8,000 stairs, stood out on the dock for a bit and faced into that freeeeeeeeeeeeezing hurricane wind. I was just standing there…

waiting.

Then that got to be too much. I was literally afraid that I was going to get blown OFF of the dock into the water. Looking around, I spotted a little crevice in the rock where I could snuggle in and get some relief from the “hurricane”. So, I “hiked” over there in my cute little workout pants and Puma shoes and nestled into that little crevice that provided a bit of a respite. I looked out at the lake and asked again, God. Show me what you want me to do that would bring you the most glory.

And He answered. Through all of that roaring wind and rushing water. He answered. Pure and true and unmistakable.

Stay home. and write. and watch how I provide for you.

It was so beautiful. Even just writing those words brings tears to my eyes. Because… friends, let me tell you… when you HEAR the voice of God in your soul, it’s… beautiful. and awesome. and… and… beautiful.

And exciting. Because God has some kind of cool plan in store for us this next year that will call for His Provision. And that’s the part I think that got me the most excited. Not the answer: stay home. Not the directive: and write. (More on that in another post) But the rest of it: and watch how I provide for you. That was almost a “just you wait” kind of response… “just you wait and see what I do, how I work, and how amazing it’s gonna be.”

So, here I go… on another journey of faith, harder than the first, I think… cause now we are going back UP the hill. Because now I have to do a little bit of faith-waiting while I watch… just watch… how He provides.

{About to head back up… and yes, there were 8,000 steps}

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{See? But isn’t it kinda cool looking?}

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Day 369: Will Pray For Food

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Sitting down at the table the other day for lunch with my toddler, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness… for the food we were about to eat, for being able to be at home with him, for having a child… no, for having two children… a husband, and so I looked at my toddler and said, “Do you want to pray to God?” He answered, “Pinekenapple.” Which I think was code for… “No, I want to eat this pineapple.”

So, I went ahead and said a prayer to God for our lunch and for our day.

And then I ate. And it was good. And I appreciated it in a different sort of way. In a way that was more connected to God.

I thought- I wonder how my life would be different if every time I ate food, I prayed to God…

In thankfulness for the abundance in my life, for the varied choices I have, for the clean water and pre-rinsed food.

In acknowledgement that God is one that provides ev.er.y.thing. for me.

In confirmation that what I am about to eat will bring him honor and glory.

In request that He might make my mind align with His Desires… that I would want to eat only what is sufficient so that I can take care of this temple that He has entrusted to me.

And this just seemed like such a great idea!

Annnnnnnnnnd then I tried to implement it. Yeah, it was last Thursday that I had this moment and it is now Sunday morning. I have prayed on my own over only one thing (I’m not counting family prayers at dinner because I’m not really “in charge” of those). In fact, just a moment ago while writing this very post, I snagged a banana off of the pile and hoovered it (even though I ate my weight in shrimp and grits last night, I’m still terribly hungry) without praying about it.

If anything, it makes me realize that I am not so much in tune with where this food comes from. Probably because I don’t have to grow any of it (which is probably a good thing… I’m terrrrrrrible at gardening/farming). But regardless of why I am not in tune, I’m just not in tune. It’s like I need to have signs everywhere there is food for a few days to make me stop and REMEMBER that God is my provider. to REMEMBER that I eat to sustain my life. to REMEMBER that I eat and live to bring Him honor and glory. to REMEMBER that this body is a temple.

So, maybe I will do that for a few days… put signs on everything.

Ha – I just put a sign on the pantry and then realized my tea was finished steeping, so I went and prepped it and took a big ol swig and THEN remembered… oh yeah, I’m supposed to pray.

God. Thank you for my tea. Thank you for making it. Thank you for this small luxury that I never even associate with you. Thank you for the man or woman that cultivated these tea leaves. I pray that they might know You, hear about you, and live in the blessing of Your Companionship. Help me to drink it in a way that would bring you honor and glory. You are my provision. Amen.

This is gonna take A LOT of retraining. But… it’s the kind of retraining I’m in for!

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.)

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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.

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