Day 667: Making Room

I am going through a lot of my old posts to make sure that my links made it through the transition from my .wordpress site to this new .com site and I thought it would be cool to “repost” a post from the old days when I first started writing. Kind of a great way to look back and see where I have been and how it relates to where I am going.

I loved this one because a) It just shows how great my hubs is, and b) It reminded me of how people might not see this as an addiction, but for those of us going through it… we KNOW that it is, and most importantly c) It reminds us all that Satan has already lost this battle. Really take a look at the last paragraph though to remember how a Daniel Fast/Daniel Plan can help make room for that victory in your life.

Day Three: Resistance On The Home Front

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So… I’ll admit that I didn’t exactly tell my husband I was planning on doing this. He sorta found out by reading my Facebook post about it. Yeah, I know… I know… a fail on my part. We were lying in bed and I was drifting off to sleep when the following conversation went down:

Hubby: [reading his Facebook on his phone] What? You’re doing a year long Daniel fast? Hmmmmmmm, not sure how I feel about that.

Me: silence

Hubby: Why? You know you can just cut 500 calories a day out of your diet and lose weight. I’m not sure I feel comfortable with this… I don’t want you starving yourself or being hungry: it could affect your ability to think. Hon, I think there are other ways for you to lose weight and maybe something less extreme.

[Side note: this might make him appear unsupportive, but really it was all out of concern for me... when my blood sugar gets low I get really loopy.... annnnnnnd a leetle moody, and he knows that. And he wasn't saying this in a jerk tone either... it was really a sweet voice. Okay... just thought y'all should know that! haha]

Me: Well, I’m not really doing this to lose weight.

Hubby: How do you mean?

Me: I am not doing this to lose weight. I mean, I’m sure that I will lose weight but that’s not what it’s about. Hon… I’m addicted to food. I think about it all the time. I want it all the time. I sneak it all the time. I need to be free of it. I’m a captive and I’ve tried a bazillion “normal and average” things to rid myself of this addiction and none of them have worked. I can see how this might appear extreme and I agree that it is, but since normal isn’t working… I’m going to have to turn to extreme. I need to be free.

Hubby: Ohhhhh, okay… I get that. Okay. And remember: you have already won the victory. Christ has won the victory for you. You don’t even need to fight, all you have to do is accept his victory. Cause needing to be free… I get that.

Me: Thanks for being concerned for me and thanks for understanding me needing to do this. I promise to take care of myself and make sure that I am getting what I need.

I posted this because I wanted to remember the conversation… it was a good conversation and I was really impressed with the way that my husband responded in the long run.

I posted this to point out that not everyone will understand this kind of thinking. That this is not about a diet but about breaking the chains of an addiction that isn’t really commonly thought of as an addiction: most people think fat people are just lazy both physically and mentally and although I’ m not saying that there aren’t those types of people out there, I think a good many of us simply have accidentally fallen into this trap of gluttony and it’s too late to get out easily.

And I posted this to remember that I have already won the victory through Christ. This Satan guy… yeah, already defeated. The ability to conquer this addiction… yeah, already complete. What this fast is enabling me to do though is to allow that victory room to flow through my heart, soul, and mind and take over. It’s not that the victory hasn’t been won… it’s that for some reason food has the overwhelming power to create such a fog that I can’t see that victory.

But no longer! Cause here comes the Son… burning that fog away!

{And I just had to post this cutie pic of me and my hubs!}

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Day 474: I Am On A Diet

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I’m gonna admit it.

I’m on a diet.

But I don’t want to be.

I want to be on a covenant.

Well, more accurately: I want to want to be on a covenant.

But I’m on a diet.

I decided to do a little Daniel Fast for a few weeks until my brother’s thirtieth birthday weekend. But really, I’m gonna be honest with ya. It was just cause I wanted to lose some more weight. It had nothing to do with God other than I picked a “diet” from the bible. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s telling me to “go back to the beginning” like I mentioned on Day 464: Out Of Options and I still think that eating a Daniel Fast-type-diet is the way to go for me… it’s just that I’m having some difficulty standing by it cause it was more about ME and so not about HIM.

If it were about Him, I’d like to think that I’d been relentless about not eating meat, about not eating bread, about eating fruit and veggies, about going to the grocery store to get some real food supplies, about cooking Daniel Fast meals.

But relentless, I have not been.

{I blame that little yoda moment right there on the fact that I’m writing at 4:40am.}

And I’m not here to beat myself up. I’m here to lay it out there. Cause I’m on a journey. And a journey has a lot of deviations from the path. I’m still heading in the right direction, but sometimes I get diverted off the highway. or I think I’m too worn out and I need a pit stop. or I’m just too. dern. tired. to go any further. So, now I realize how much I need His Power. His Spirit. His Life.

Realizing that again, gets me back on that highway. It gets me focusing on The Thing that matters again.

God. The Word. The Holy Spirit. The Forgiveness of Jesus Christ. The Calling to be a Blessing to the World.

Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16

So, Holy Spirit… guide my life. I don’t want to do what my sinful nature craves. Guide my life. Guide me. Guide my mind. Guide my actions. Guide my thoughts, my hopes, my fears. Guide me to God.

Day 466: Hungry Hungry Hippie

So, lately I’ve been really wanting to pull myself and my family further away from processed foods… I know, I know. That is just so trendy right now. I mean, who doesn’t want to pull their family away from processed foods?

But gosh- soooooo much easier said than done. Especially for someone who is not much of an accomplished cook in the first place, and then double that for someone whose minimal cooking skills revolve around a bunch of “Cream of _______” dishes. Plus, I’m not much of a hippie type… I mean, I like roughing it out in the country, but only if there is a Walmart within driving distance to get the stuff I need. So, this whole “do it all yourself” thing is gonna be a big switch for me.

In an effort to make this endeavor something I don’t burn myself out on too quickly, I have decided to start very small and thought I’d begin with homemade granola bars. I found a recipe on Pinterest that sounded doable and so I modified it a bit and then tried it a few weeks ago. Delish. My processed-addicted 5 year old son loved them. So, I made them again a couple of days ago and bam… nailed it again.

{Look… aren’t they pretty? And this is pre-baked!}

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I packed those beautiful granola bars all nicely in my best piece of tupperware and stored them in the fridge and smiled at myself each time my son requested one and I could far more easily say “Yes, you may have one of these pretty-good-for-you homemade granola bars!”

Until… yesterday.

I got so hungry at lunch time. Weird, right? What a concept. But it was the kind of hunger that caught me a bit off guard; it sorta came out of nowhere. And I didn’t really have a plan for what to eat nor a lot of easy options… so, I ate… a granola bar.

And I sorta sigh and shake my head at myself as I write that.

But… what’s wrong with a granola bar, January?

Nothing.

Unless… you’re doing a Daniel Fast that restricts several of the ingredients in the granola bar.
Unless… you’ve made a covenant with God not to eat sugar for five years and there are m&ms and mini chocolate chips in them.
Unless… you’re not eating A granola bar but MANY granola bars.

Yep, that’s right… I didn’t just eat one granola bar to ward off my hunger. I ate five granola bars to ward off my hunger.

And then at dinner I had the nerve to feel so proud of myself for not eating the BBQ pulled pork I cooked for my visiting brother. And proud again as I just ate enough and felt so satisfied. Well, YEAH, I felt just so satisfied with my little meal… I’d eaten enough oats and peanut butter in those bars to last me a week!

{Sigh.}

This morning, however, I sit here and cross my arms (cause despite it being late April it’s a little chilly) and think… Well, what lesson did I learn from it? A couple, actually.

Reminder One: This is a journey, January. By now you should have learned that this whole process of healing and renewal is not going to happen on your timeframe. Calm down. Learn lessons. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Reminder Two: Have pre-prepared, easy to make/warm up lunches for days like these. Like, yesterday was a “I need to nuke it” kind of lunch day. Not even my avocado and tomato salad would have been right for me (despite it’s deliciousness) because it took a whopping five minutes of “work” to make it. So, this week, I’m going to prepare five freezer meals for myself along with a list of Daniel Fast-friendly lunches to glance at when my brain is kaput.

Reminder Three: It’s not about WHAT food you’re eating if you eat TOO MUCH. (One of these days that’s actually going to sink in!)

Reminder Four: God’s love never ends. His mercies never stop. They are new EVERY MORNING. (Lamentations 3:22-23) And He will give me wisdom to come out of this. He has healing in his wings that all I have to do is reach out and touch. He knocks down strongholds. He reaches down with his strong arm to save. God. is. good. Even my granola bar gorging can be worked out for His Good Plan.

Yep. I feel better now!

Day 360: Pit Stop

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I really debated about rolling over my day “count” (ie… Day 364… Day 365… Year Two:Day 1) or sticking with the count that I already have going (ie Day 364… Day 365… Day 366).

I think that I have decided to stick with a rolling number instead of starting at 1 again. First of all, and this is my highly spiritual reason, I don’t really want to write out “Year Two” every single time I post. Ha! But also, I really do have a spiritual reason… I started to think about “the journey” and I have keenly realized over the past few days how it has not “started over” as I referred to it before, but it is merely another leg of the journey.

Kind of like a road trip (since we are going along the analogy of a journey). Let’s say that I’m driving from Dallas to Denver.

I can look on Google maps and know that the entire journey is going to be about 880 miles. (Gosh, if that isn’t motivation in and of itself to fly there then I don’t know what is.) But, I also know that there are going to be “pit stops” along the way… to eat, refuel, de-fuel (if you get my meaning… har har har… I know, I’m a nerd).

For example, I’d probably stop every two-hundred miles or so. In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma… then on to Salina, Kansas… and a final pit stop in Colby, Kansas before driving on to Denver.

But when it comes down to it, if someone were to ask… “Oh wow, you drove from Dallas to Denver? How far is that?” I probably wouldn’t answer:

Oh it was 205 miles to Oklahoma City, then 247 miles to Salina, another 203 miles to Colby, and then we finished the last 234 miles into the heart of Denver.

No… I’d just say, “Oh, it was 880 miles!

And I guess that’s how I feel about this whole experience… the “turn over” from year to year is kind of like my “pit stop”. I really did take a bit of a break at the end of the year and reevaluate if things were still issues or not.

In my case, I totally assumed last year that I’d be “done” at the end… it was like I thought I’d get to Denver driving only 205 miles! Haha! It’s like the end of the year was coming closer and I was realizing reallllll quick: “This is not Denver. Toto… we’re not even in Kansas yet!”

I never IMAGINED that I would re-start the covenant by choice and ADD two restrictions (bread and chips)! But I’m already sooooo glad that I did! Just the past few days have shown me how much bread, mainly, I was relying upon. I see so clearly how my journey is NOT complete. And I’m so, so, sooooo very glad that I didn’t just up and stop my covenant when I was finished. Even just the past few days have already made the second leg of my journey worth it!

And I know that I have said this so much recently, but I’m still just kind of in awe at the way I thought (you know what they say… hindsight is 20/20). So, I guess a bit of the lesson I have learned is two-fold:

1. Don’t Rush God. He has the map. He knows exactly how long it would take. Sureeeeee, plan a few pit stops here and there to make sure you and He are on the same part of the map, but He’ll let you know when you arrive. And it just might take wayyyyy longer than you thought. And it just might take wayyyyyy less time than you thought, too.

This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3

2. Don’t Be Married To Your Plan. Sometimes I think I have missed out on things because I was trying so desperately to stick to my plan that I didn’t see that God was leading me a way I had not planned. Oftentimes then I miss things while He has to turn me around. I mean… think about it, have you ever MISSED an exit or a turn because you were LOOKING at your map?!?! I do that with God… I’m so busy focusing on MY PLAN that I miss HIS PLAN… I miss THE RIGHT WAY. If I would just follow Him and, essentially, ignore my own map… then I can never be lost.

God says, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.Jeremiah 29:13

Day 300: Almond Joy

Ahhhhhh, day 300. Now, I’m not so hot at math but I know that if I am on day 300 and there are 365 days in the year, THEN I have less than 100 days left. (How’s that for a word problem??? My 4th grade teacher would be so proud! Ha!)

And still my journey is rocky and rough at times. Although, I continue to grow and discover why it is rough and rocky. And so I consider myself “well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.Philippians 3:12

I laugh at myself a bit here as I look back at the first sentence of that last paragraph… “And still my journey is rocky and rough at times.” This is true, but when I think back on the grief and weight (both literal and spiritual) of last year… it is so. much. better.

And it is honestly exciting to think, as I come closer to starting in on year two, how it will be THAT much better next year on day 300!

Thinking about that made me want to find a verse, and I was looking for a verse about the future and had seen Ecclesiastes 9:4There is hope only for the living.” And then I kept reading and I came across verse 7: “Go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!” (Ecclesiasties 9:7)

I was kinda like… eat my food with joy!?!?! Hmmmm, ya know, this focus on weight and weight loss, this struggle with gluttony and food-greed, the lack of self-control and discipline with food, and the ill-placed comfort from food… it has stolen this opportunity for finding joy in my food. Food is the enemy. Like this sign I saw recently at my retreat…

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All we think about anymore with food is how it will affect our rear end or our thighs or that flabby stuff under our arms. We think about if it is off-limits or allowed and then we pine after those things that are off-limits or, worse, we give in to the off-limits food and then have to endure the guilt and shame, failure, and inadequacy. We find ourselves enveloped in despair and hopelessness. All of these things… because of FOOD. Oh these words are a far-cry from eating with joy.

But, now, as I sit here, I am able to happily, joyfully snack on almonds and raisins. Why? Because for 300 days I have been freed from the guilt of food, the shame, the failure, and inadequacy. I’m not saying that I am totally free of food… but oh so much closer just to have a freedom from sugar-food. It’s certainly a step in the right direction!!! I can look at a plate of brownies and know that I don’t need to despair… that it is not hopeless… that Christ has given me power and strength… and oh what a joy that is!!!

Day 147: Slumpy

I have come across several people expressing to me that they are in a “slump” with the covenant. I totally and completely understand. And it does make me hope that I don’t convey on here that I’m never in a slump myself… I go through a slump almost weekly.

By the way, when you say the word “slump” several times in a row… it’s like it stops looking like a real word. It just looks… weird.

Okay, random tangent over.

What’s been a big help for me is that I am “forced” to write about my highs, my lows, my dark thoughts, and my revelations. Because of this blog I am “forced” to find God every day. Even on some days when I really want to just ignore Him. ignore the covenant. ignore everything. By being “forced” to find the connection to Christ, I can often bring myself out of a slump. Or, more so, finding a reminder of who God is and what His purpose is… that is what brings me out of it. It’s like, I have to remind myself daily how He fits into this journey… how He IS this journey… and it often keeps me going.

So, this is very much like my suggestion the other day about writing things down. Day 143 was about writing down the… “terms” of the covenant, whereas here, I’m suggesting something a bit more.

Like, what if you too wrote your own mind renewals? Even if it was never shared with anyone. Or you could easily share them with others. It’s just that, for some reason, having to push yourself to come up with something to write… well, it can lead you somewhere you never would have tried had you not been pushed. You wouldn’t even have to write them. Do a video everyday where you film yourself talking about your covenant with God. Post it on YouTube if you want. No technology? Get an old school tape recorder and record your voice just talking about it.

Just… try to find God. Make yourself… make a connection. He will renew you through your search for Him. through your endeavor. through your writing.

through following Him.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24