Day 423: You Ain’t Lion

I went to my Beth Moore Patriarch’s study Wednesday night (each week is so… transformational and so very, very timely) and she talked a bit about how my God is the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The same God has Moses. as Noah. as Daniel.

She brought up that God still does save people from the mouths of lions (and honestly, she does a perfect job of explaining this comparison, so if you ever get a chance to do this study, then grab it)… he saves us from the lion… that roaring lion, Satan.

Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen 1 Peter 5:6-11

And the minute that she brought up that verse 8 (bolded above), I knew exactly what she was talking about. God has used his mighty power to rescue me from the mouth of the roaring lion. And, might I say, he still IS rescuing me from the mouth of the roaring lion.

At first says “humble yourselves”. I think that was the difference between all the other times in my life where Satan has had my head in his vicious gaping mouth of death… this time, I humbled myself. Said, God… I can.not. do this. Said, God… Only. You. can. do. this.

And I’m saying that to Him again now- as that temptation of gluttony and sugar-filled eating stealthily creeps up on me like a lion about to devour its prey, I know that when the lion has me in his reach… just like Daniel… only God can save me.

God, you are The Most High. You are my Shepherd who protects me from the roaring lion for Your Glory. Today God, I feel the lion’s presence. I know he is waiting, hoping, and longing to devour me wholly and completely. Lord God, protect me with your strong arm. Reach down in your mercy and flick that shrewd devil away like the pest that He is and bring me into your Love and Grace. I want to glorify You. I want to bring You Honor. I humble myself under Your Mighty Power. Amen.

Day 306: Dangeometer

As much as I wouldn’t like to admit this… I really think that maybe I’ve gained a little bit of weight back. Probably about 5 pounds or so… since I don’t weigh, I’m not sure. I say this because my “comfy jeans” are more like “snug jeans” around the middle. A big difference though between the way I looked at weight gain “then” and the way I look at weight gain now is that before, when I gained weight, it was me. my fault. my inadequacy. my failure. my worthlessness. my stupidity. me. me. me.

But now, I use weight gain as… well, as an indicator light. Which I like to call my “Dangeometer” which is a total steal from the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs… and can I just say that I lovvvvvve that movie?!?! We just had to return it to the library after having had it for three weeks, and I’m pretty sure that I miss it more than the kids!

Anyway, my dangeometer is not necessarily an indicator that I’m eating poorly. or that I’m eating too much. or that I’m eating the “wrong” things.

It is honestly a pretty good indicator of where I am with Jesus.

Cause if I’m gaining weight then I know that I’m doing at least one of those eating things above. But the eating is, honestly, not what concerns me anymore. The eating is what shows me that something is off. It indicates to me that I’m not relying upon the One that satisfies. And that sets off an even bigger and more important dangeometer in my mind!

It’s really the first time in my life that I have realized that I had gained weight and not freaked out about my clothes not fitting… and not worried about how I will look in a bathing suit… and not felt like I was a failure at dieting. Cause when I pulled on my comfy jeans and thought “Hmmmmm, these are a bit snug… I wonder if I have gained a bit of weight back lately what with all my snagging a tortilla there and a few chippies there…” the next thing that I asked myself was, “Why am I relying on something else other than Jesus? It’s definitely time for some introspection… and prayer… and searching.”

Soooooooo much better than blaming myself, than talking down to myself, than hating on myself.

So I started off with a simple prayer that I’ll be praying over and over again:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

And then I read more about what to do:

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:7-10

Twice… I see to humble myself before God. Not sure what that exactly looks like… gonna be working through that. Probably though, as I “come close to God” I will be forced into humility… I have a feeling that the closer I get to His Presence, the more that my natural reaction will be to humble myself.

And seriously… ya know, considering that gaining a fewish pounds is gonna bring me a bit closer to God… I’m pretty glad those little fat globs found their way to my belly.

Day 290: Making Myself Beautiful

I have taken a bit of a break from my “Read Through The Bible In One Year” plan. It was just bringing me down.

Yeah, I said it… the Bible was bringing me down. No wait. It wasn’t so much The Bible was bringing me down as it was my reading plan was bringing me down. It had gotten to the point where it had become a chore. And I was reading through all of these doomsday prophets and… I just did not want to read anymore.

Until my Transforming Prayer bible study leader pointed out the concept that I wrote about on Day 269 that says, “The antidote for spiritual lethargy and heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.” And I decided to take a run through the Psalms… very refreshing.

So yesterday, I decided to look on YouVersion and see if there were any reading plans focusing on the Psalms, and when I opened up the “plans” section, my old reading plan was on Day 333. It’s a bit of a back story, but God has shown up in our lives several times in conjunction with the number 333. It became my husband’s fav number after Psalm 33:3 was the inspiration verse for his product and then it was like God would use those numbers to remind us that He loves us and cares for us… like having all 25,000 of the dice for his product delivered at 3:33pm. Yeah, we totalllllly kept that confirmation slip from FedEx!

Anyway, so I thought- I should probably pay attention to today’s reading just because that number is there, and well, whadda know…

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My heart kind of caught in my chest… especially after Day 288 being entirely about getting a bunch of clothes from my friends.

But the words are too pointed and too clear to be mistaken.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. 1 Peter 3:3-5

And as beautiful as I feel with all these beautiful clothes, and as beautiful as it was for my friends to help me with these clothes, and as beautiful as it is to be skinnier, all of that beauty will fade. And God will look solely at my spirit… and I so want Him to say, “Oh, January’s spirit… gentle and quiet. This spirit is so precious to me.”

And I thought of this verse too that deals with our spiritual clothes:
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colosians 3:12

And I was thinking that there are four basic things I put on every day that I could use to remind me to pray for those words. Feel free to laugh at my associations but I’ll probably remember them!!!

Under garments: Humility (cause I am humiliated if someone accidentally sees them)
Shirt: Tenderhearted mercy (cause it covers up my heart)
Gentleness: Pants (cause I gotta wash those suckers on gentle cycle lest they shrink!)
Shoes: Kindness (cause sometimes I wanna kick people to the curb… and that’s not very kind)

And what a great way to pray for those things every day? I get dressed every day… and I could pray for God to help me be humble. full of tenderhearted mercy. gentle. and kind.

And then I won’t have to worry about my outfits as much… cause it will be God making me beautiful.

Day Ninety-Three: Fallen And Forgiven

Well… here I am again. Humbled. Contrite. Subdued. But most importantly… I am forgiven.

We had a little birthday party for my mom last night, and oh… I was a champ! I made mozzarella sticks, creamy chive and chicken pasta, orange maple glazed carrots and sweet potatoes, dilly green beans and red potatoes, cheese filled garlic bread sticks, cheesecake, and ice cream. I ate the sweet potatoes, carrots, and the green beans and red potatoes. I was so happy that I had done well! I had chosen what was BEST!

Annnnnnnnnnd then today happened.

I woke up feeling poorly and I’m supposed to leave tomorrow on my first retreat (as in, I have not gone off on my own since 2007)! So, I snuck a Zicam in and then we left to take my husband to work. Well, the Zicam bottle very clearly says “Don’t take on a empty stomach”, but did I read it before I took it? Noooooo, of course not. So I started to feel icky. When we got home, I was still wanting to choose what was best so I grabbed an orange. And, well, the Zicam bottle also very clearly states to not eat citrus for thirty minutes after. So at that point I was feeling really gross. I saw the mozzarella sticks in the fridge and figured they would help a bit since they were mainly cheese.

Well, I wish that was my entire thought process, but really I had been looking for an excuse to eat one all day. So, I had one. End of story!

Nope again! I had seven more. Then I ate all of the bread sticks that were in the same bag. Knowing it was gluttony. Knowing it was wrong for me. Knowing.

And then later that night: three tortillas. I had reverted. Well, if I “broke” the covenant in my heart already then what’s the point of sticking with it? Granted I never thought about going back to chocolate, but it was the. exact. same. sickness of the heart! Bread, chocolate, chips, ice cream… it didn’t matter what it was… I disobeyed the voice in my heart. I disobeyed God.

But again, I am happy that I don’t have to spiral down into a pit of sin, despair, and overeating. I can make a choice after a day like that–

  • Be like David – having sinned – and ask God to cleanse me (Psalm 51)

or…

  • Be like the Israelites and abandon myself to this idol of food… and forgo the blessings of God and embrace a life of consequence.

I may not have responded perfectly to the temptation but at least I can embrace forgiveness and move on to a new day. Am I defined as a glutton because of this one day of bread gorging? No. I am a Daughter of the King. I am a woman fallen AND forgiven. And I pray that again, God would “restore to me the joy of His salvation and make me willing to obey Him.Psalm 51:12