Day 133: Face To Facebook

I haven’t been very… good… about taking “real” pictures of my kids the past several months.

Okay, so I have been horrible about it. My iPhone is just so totally convenient, so I never remember to take my “real” camera… and I kept forgetting to charge it whenever I would take it to an “event”. Thank goodness my mother goes to most of the “big” events in my life and she always remembers her camera, so I often just piggy back off of her pics!

Anyway, I did finally charge my camera and take pics at my son’s preschool graduation and at my toddler’s birthday! And I was just so stinking proud of myself that I put them on Facebook (which I also haven’t done an official “album” in a while… most of my pics are mobile upload pics)!

Well, in doing so, I had to go through and choose which pictures I wanted, because… come on. Let’s all be honest here. It don’t matter if there are 37 people in a picture and alllllll of them look fabulous… if I don’t look good then it’s not a good pic. Haha! So, I went through and weeded through some of the less desirable pics of me and others there.

And my emotions at looking at pics of myself were a little back and forth. I’d look at myself in one picture and think, “Wow. I look way skinnier than I realized” and then five seconds later I would look at a pic and think, “Wow… I’m not nearly as far along as I thought.”

But what I think is cool… is that those thoughts just sorta… ended… right there. I just stopped thinking about how I looked and went on with my day. I more so enjoyed all the comments that people were making about my precious boys in the pics having fun. And it wasn’t like I consciously had to think, “Now January… you are beautiful just the way you are.” It was more like my thoughts ran subconsciously but more in this vein: “Now January… The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

And I love that it was subconscious… that I never really thought about the fact that I was feeling “unconcerned” about my looks. I was just… well… unconcerned! To look back on that now at the end of the day, well, it’s just… cool. In fact, I’m kinda smiling to myself right now. Kinda… feeling the joy.

I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart. Psalm 40:8

Day Forty-Three: Obedience Is Bliss

(FYI: I am writing this on the evening of February 21st around 9:10pm. It was a post that I needed to write immediately before the awesomeness of it wore off, but since I already posted for day forty-two then I’m scheduling it to post on day forty-three.)

I had a blunder tonight.

Hmmmmmm, perhaps that is putting it lightly. Perhaps that is me not choosing the right word. Perhaps that is me trying to go easy on myself. I’m going to try again.

I broke the covenant tonight.

Yep. Broke it. Shattered it. Demolished it.

Cause that’s what happens to an agreement when one side “breaks” their oath… their bond. The “agreement” is null. void. pointless. non-existent.

Okay, okay, I’ll stop being over dramatic (not that me being over dramatic is a shocker to anyone who knows me). Here’s what happened: I planned a nice meal for us and I even reveled in it during day forty-two’s post: potato and carrots in an onion sauce, baked apples, and a salad. Only, let me just tell you that the baked apples weren’t so much just “baked apples”. It was a Baked Apple Crisp. And I think that any foodie out there is well aware that a Baked Apple Crisp has quite a lot of brown sugar in it.

At dinner, I did a great job of not eating everything on my plate (cause I had gotten an old-me-sized portion… as in, a big ol’ honkin serving). So I stopped when I felt a little bit of pressure. I only ate a few bites of the apple crisp. And that was that. It would have been a perfect evening… except I left out the remains of my meal while I bathed the boys. And then afterwards I came in and ate a few more bites even though I was not hungry. And then after I got both boys down, I snuck (and yes, I say snuck because I walked down the hallway extra quietly so that my husband wouldn’t know that I was finished putting down my oldest) into the kitchen and started chowing down on the leftovers in the baking dish. Oh my gosh. Sooooooo good.

And then… the war began.

Stop!!! January, stop! This is not right. This is breaking the covenant. This is gluttony. This is not what God wants. It’s not what you want. Yes it is… are you kidding me, this is flour and sugar and butter and more sugar. Why would I not want this? Why would God not want this? It’s not gluttony… it’s just enjoying good food. It’s not really breaking the covenant, I mean, it’s got apples in it for crying out loud! This is fine. I don’t need to stop. January. Stop. Think about tonight. Think about five minutes from now. Think about tomorrow. Stop. I. can’t. stop. It’s too good. I. can’t. stop.

And then the moment that I have been hoping for these past forty-two days… here was my next thought…

God, make me willing to obey.

And it worked!

It’s was almost as if my fork was stuck in the next apple. I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to disobey. I wanted to obey. I wanted to be willing to obey. I was going to obey.

And I will admit that I broke into tears at that moment. Because God is so great. Forty-two days in and He is greater than I imagined He could be. His Word… that one verse from just one day… written on my heart… swooped in and connected me to God in a way that saved me. And I stood in that kitchen by myself and raised my hands in thanks to the Almighty Of The Universe for His mercy. His compassion. His adoration. His Love. His help. His salvation.

And I knew that immediately I had to come sit down at this computer and write this post.

THIS post is totally going to be one of my memorial stones. I have been wondering what I could do… well, here was a moment where I needed to cross a river and God dried up the water so that I could pass… and here is a stone that I am picking up to remember that He is faithful and He is just to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all of my wrongdoing and wickedness.

Today has been the best day of my covenant experience… which is SO JESUS… because today is the day that I broke the covenant and therefore should have been my worst day. Today though… today was mercy at its best. And hope at its best. And forgiveness. And all things new. Because today He lifted me from the pit and He “turned my wailing into dancing; He removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing His praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise Him forever.” Psalm 30:11-12

Read your bible peeps. Read it. And you will. be. changed.

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Day Four: Oh So Sweet Chocolate

I knew that a point would come when it would be difficult to be on this fast. I had already thought about it… like, for example: my birthday. My mom makes a killer chocolate cake for my birthday every year and this year I won’t be able to eat it.

I’m sure there are already some responses to that: “Not eat your own birthday cake? Isn’t that a little extreme?” I assume that this will be a response because that was part of my own inner dialogue. But a deal is a deal… or shall I say, “a covenant is a covenant”?  And like I said in a post a few days ago, God is not a big fan of people making covenants and breaking them. So… part of making this agreement with Him was knowing that there would be some sacrifice.

And isn’t that exactly what I need to learn more about?  A little less about taking, wanting, grabbing, sneaking, hiding, hoarding, etc. and a little more about sacrificing, forgoing, offering, surrendering, abstaining, resisting. Isn’t that the Christ-mind? The Christ-mentality? And isn’t that what I am trying to get more of?

So yesterday, when my son decided it was a great day to go through his Christmas stocking candy stockpile… yeah, I’ll admit that it was a little difficult to abstain. Did I long a bit for that oh so sweet dark chocolate? Heck yeah. Did I eat it? Heck no. Why? Because I have a covenant with God the Almighty. Helllllo, of course I didn’t eat it!

And last night when my husband surprised me with a surprise date night and he wanted to use a Saltgrass Steakhouse gift card, did I sneak a bite of his 12 ounce rib eye? Nope. And honestly… I loved my dinner: crab stack appetizer, fresh dinner salad, coconut shrimp, and a baked potato. I mean seriously, like it rocked. And what was cool: I never would normally choose a shrimp over purely awesome red meat. So, actually instead of being forced to sacrifice, I was opened up to a new experience that I would have completely missed otherwise.

See, even in my attempt to sacrifice to become more like Christ… I find Him blessing me.

That, my friends, is oh so much sweeter than chocolate.