Day 411: My House Has Been Bugged

Seriously.

Bugged. All over the place.

We haven’t been able to escape the bugs. None of us.

And it’s been messy.

And honestly, at this point, I think I’d prefer a governmental bug tap over this bug.

The stomach bug.

{Dummmmmm dum dum dummmmmm!}

My toddler picked it up somewhere… at McDonald’s, at church last Wednesday, or even possibly the Albertson’s shopping cart. And then he passed it on to me, and one of us passed it on to my husband, and one of us passed it on to my preschooler.

And I’ll tell ya what, one way to put food in its place real quick is to have a stomach bug. And this one’s been a doozie. (Yeah, I just said doozie.) You spend four days, at least, just wanting to avoid food. It’s like my entire life’s focus is flipped to its polar opposite during those four days. My husband made the boys eggs the morning that I came down with it and just the smell of the eggs was enough to make me nauseous! {But props to him for taking care of the boys… he didn’t have it yet and was trying to keep the house afloat!}

I was so hungry yesterday evening after one day of eating nothing and another day of only saltines and Gatorade… that I jumped the gun and ate a baked potato.

Okay, okay. A baked potato with sour cream.

And butter.

And cheese.

The whole. thing.

Not half. Not one devoid of those additions too-fat for my extremely sensitive tummy. Not one that might get somewhat close to following the BRAT Recovery Diet. Nope. The whole thing. Pretty much loaded.

WHY?

(I ask that question a lot don’t I?)

Because these gluttonous tendencies just POP up out of nowhere when I least expect them. I mean… I ate that sucker like a woman starved. I guess I was… literally… starved at that point. But it was like my mind, my renewal, my restraint just went out the window and I wasn’t even thinking! I was just EATING.

BUT. I learned my lesson! This is a great, great thing! I didn’t try to eat a freaking pop tart or something this morning… I ate a banana. And for lunch I ate chicken and rice soup (yes, yes, I know that I’m a vegetarian, but we are a little low on stockpiles for sickie people, so I went with what was best out of my options). And for dinner, I made rice for me to eat! And I EVEN stopped eating when I got too full!

It is a small triumph, but hey… I’ll take it!

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This last week in my Beth Moore study over The Patriarchs, she was discussing Tests and Triumphs and she talked about how sometimes you can just read his Word, learn what God wants to teach you, apply it and never need to “leave the classroom”. And sometimes you simply “don’t get it” being just in the classroom and so God has to take you on a little “field trip.” Well, this year has been a mix of those two things. Somedays I learn it from The Word, and some days I have to take a field trip down to the ol’ Gluttony Community Center to get myself turned around. But I get encouraged when my mandatory field trips are shorter and shorter. Instead of me trying to eat too much again today, I went back to my normal ol self! It was a pretty short field trip!

You see… God is good. As much as I try to do it my own way, He is good. He always pulls me back to teach me The Way. And when The Way heals me, soothes me, redirects me, then He has Glory. And He Has Victory.

And that might {might} just make it worth having the stomach bug in the long run.

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory…The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! Psalm 118:14,16

Day 406: Patched Up

rainforest pool

Last summer, my boys wanted to blow up our little kiddie pool in the backyard, but Big Daddy was gone and I didn’t know how to work the air compressor, so I decided that I would just have to go old school on that pool. Well, sorta old school. I used a bicycle foot pump.

And it took for.ev.er.

But I did it. I struggled through. Switched out which foot I used several times. Sweated. Huffed and puffed. Used my hands to work the foot pump a few times cause my legs were giving out. But I kept going and finished it. Even had to blow up the little extra decorative parts using air from my lungs.

And then, I realized… one of the little extra blowup parts that made the pool look like a rainforest… had a hole. It wasn’t the WHOLE pool that had a hole, but still, If I didn’t keep that part aired up it would fall over into the pool. I mean, the pool would still be usable, but not as fun.

My faith has been so much like that pool the last few months. It has needed constant work to keep it aired up. And it just hasn’t been as much… “fun”. But, it’s worked. When my sweet grandmother went to Jesus in November, my faith was there… it led me immediately to Jesus. He was my comfort, my hope, my refuge. Then my faith went back to “keeping it aired up” status. Not splashing around. Not resting in the cool comfort. Just working at keeping it going.

But lately, there is this tiny… okay, maybe not tiny, but very small… almost imperceptible change happening in my heart.

Where I find myself softly choosing Jesus instead of my own desires.
Where I find myself longing for His Word.
Where I find myself speaking words of adoration and thanks to Him.
Where I find myself slowly, slowly finding calmness, contentment, perspective.

Honestly… I can’t say that there is anything that I did, or didn’t do, that led to this change. Maybe I’m reading my bible again more. Maybe I’m praying more and with a little more faith. Maybe my Sunday School teacher is the bizomb and is ripping apart everything that I have believed and making sure I believe it for real. Maybe just picking up the Beth Moore book every couple of days is transforming me. Maybe it’s my life calming down a bit. Maybe it’s the Easter season upon me.

Or maybe it’s just God’s plan. God’s timing. God’s change.

Cause I learned a lot about myself, my faith, my God, my gluttony, my hurts, my hopes during that time of keeping my faith “aired up”. And I was reminded of how important it is to stay the course, stay steady. It doesn’t have to be a Beth Moore study every night, or a Jim Cymbala prayer, or a Billy Graham conversion.

A verse a day. A prayer a day. A worship a day.
In the car. On the potty. In my bed. At the dinner table.
Quick and hurried. Tearful and begging. Flustered and worried.

The key… is going back to Him. Keeping that faith aired up. Cause He’ll patch that hole. You keep it aired up and He’ll patch that hole when the time is right. When you’ve learned a little something. When you’ve realized how much easier it is to just let Him patch that hole instead of keeping it aired up.

And then, for a bit, you can sit back, grab a glass of iced tea (peach flavored, if you’re really living it up), and relax in the cool, refreshing water of His Spirit.

Day 145: That Bites

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Yesterday, I bit my cheek.

I’m telling you… that is some kind of heinous pain.

I don’t know why it hurts so terribly bad, but it hurts… terribly. bad.

Then of course, after you bite your cheek once then you bite it again. in the same place. over. and. over. and. over. again.

And that’s just what I did. over. and. over. and. over. again.

But today, it was a little better, and I didn’t bite my cheek.

Until, I ate when I wasn’t hungry… and I chomped down on my cheek like I was cracking a nut. And then I chomped down on it again, like thirty minutes later… again, when I wasn’t hungry but was eating anyway.

Now I’m not saying “God had me bite my cheek to teach me a lesson.”

But I’m also not denying it. All I know is that I ate twice when I wasn’t hungry and biting the snot out of my cheek sure did bring it to my attention. And, I’ll admit that later in the day when I was about to eat… again… when I wasn’t hungry… I remembered that cheek bite. And I remembered the pain. And I did not eat. I was like, “Ummmmm, I’m not hungry, so if I eat that sweet potato fry, then I bet you a zillion bucks that I will slice my cheek open again.”

And really… I was thinking… I used to focus on the pain of my past to help motivate me to lose weight, but this time… this time is different. This time I’m so focused on experiencing the goodness of God that I don’t focus on the pain of my past. In fact, I’ve almost started to feel separate from that girl. Like I’m truly losing my old self and gaining a new self… still me, but “shedding” my old skin, if you want a really gross comparison. And I think that this verse sorta hits what I’m feeling is happening…

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. Mark 8:35

I tried to hang on for so long to MY life… and I was losing… desperately. losing.

But once I gave over my life through this covenant to Christ, then it was like… in doing so I found my REAL life.

All the same, spiritual lesson learned… but I’m gonna bust out some of that Kanka stuff, because my cheek HURTS.