Day 574: All Figured Out

I think I’m going to stop saying “I got it all figured out.”

I’m gonna even stop thinking it.

Because that always seems to backfire. And then I have to LEARN something that God wants to show me.

Okay, a bit of sarcasm about the “learning” thing there… I always LOVE that I had to learn something, AFTER I have “finished” the learning.

And, well, for the past seven months I have been doing a lot of learning.

A lot of learning, the hard way.

I’ve been learning that God is not a quick fix.
God is not a Weight Watchers plan.
He is not Jenny Craig.
He is not Atkins. South Beach. The Zone.
The Lord of the Universe is not Slim Fast.
Or Advocare. Or Plexus. Or Body by Vi.*
God is not even a Daniel Fast, biblical though it may be.

God is His own plan.
And God has His own plan.
And His plan is not made or designed or produced by us.
His plan was intricately woven in Heaven.
Thousands of years ago.

And as much as it hurts sometimes, His plan involves us going down painful roads. Roads of confusion. Roads of disappointment. Roads of trial.

So, that’s why I made that insta-whatever-you-call-it today. (And puh-lease ignore my typo in it… I swear I proofread that thing a zillion times and still missed it!) Because it is so very, very important to remember in those moments of pain, confusion, disappointment, and trial… it is so very important to remember that GOD IS WORKING OUT HIS PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.

But he is.

So when you can’t button those “fat jeans”… pray that He would help you.
When the scale is ten pounds more than you hoped for… pray that He would heal you.
When your doctor tells you that you are now a type II diabetic… pray that He would guide you into health.

Because God WILL work out His plans for your life. It is not over. Stay by Him. His faithful love endures FOREVER.

Psalm 138 prayer…

Oh God, help me to see You as you work your plan for my life. Help me to know that your faithful love, God, that it endures forever. Please don’t abandon me, God, because you made me. I am yours. I pray that as soon as these words leave my lips that you will answer me and encourage me by giving me strength. I praise you now for your unfailing love and faithfulness. I give you thanks God with all that I am. Help me and guide me and love me. Oh God, love me. Amen.

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*By the way, not dissing those diets if they work for you… they were “quick fixes” for me, that’s why I listed them here.

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Day 572: The Change

I recently had a major “purging” session with my blog friend finneyfer on facebook.

And I can just tell you how great it is to have a blog friend? I’ve never met her in person, I just stumbled on her blog one day “on accident”, I don’t even necessarily follow the same diet plan as her (yet)… but she has been one of the biggest encouragements to me over these past months as I have struggled and struggled with my eating.

I was recently asking her to write a guest post for me about getting motivated/staying motivated and here are a few of our convos. I’m including this conversation because I feel like there are probably several people out there that are also STRUGGLING with this!

After asking her to write the post, I told her:

This post is SO MUCH for me as well… I’m genuinely struggling. My previous motivation of God, between you and me, has just petered out and I just. don’t. care. And I want to care. I know that I NEED to care. But I can’t seem to MAKE myself care. I have crossed over from “sometimes” wanting to indulge, back into an hour-by-hour struggle. Like, I can make it until about noon and then whatever resolve is GONE.

She replied…

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This was a BIG message to me. It started me back down the right path of thinking… away from the food issue and more towards getting my mind right! But at the time I told her:

Honestly, my “mental” is just… broken right now. But in ALL areas of my life. I don’t really want to parent. I don’t really want to read my Bible. I don’t really want to be a good wife. It’s all just… meh. TERRIBLE!?!?!?!

She then asked, If you think it won’t completely derail you, why can’t you take a break? Not necessarily from eating properly, but maybe from beating yourself up when you do make poor choices. And this was when answering her question brought me to my own answer.

Not sure… I mean, honestly, I’m hardly following anything of the sort right now. I’m not beating myself up per se, it’s just that I want so bad to be FREE again and I just feel entrapped again. It’s not even necessarily about weight or health. It’s about that freedom from food. I think a big part of it is just what you said… you made a life change. I made a year change and then it all sorta fell apart.

BAM.

Right there at the end. “You made a life change. I made a year change and then it all sorta fell apart.”

That was the problem. I realized it right then. I was still trying to fix this problem with a bandaid. A one-year bandaid. A five-year bandaid. But what it needs is a LIFETIME healing!

And that’s when I prayed:

Okay God. Let’s start over. Let’s go back to the beginning. A Daniel Fast. A little one. Four days. I’ll get some people to do it with me and I will open my heart to You to show me what to do.

And God is good.
He showed up.
In a little four-day Daniel Fast.
He showed up!

 

Day 363: Pantrywaist

No, I promise that’s not a misspelling.

It’s just that over the past few days I have realized Whoa. This Big Momma here (that’s what my boys call me) has been eating a lot of bread!

And I find that every time I am hungry, I head right for the pantry. And well… my pantry is what one might call “Processed Central”! So, I haven’t really been able to eat anything out of there. I mean, I do have pasta, rice, and I just bought some quinoa to try, raisins, cashews, and peanut butter. But other than that- oh, popcorn, I also eat popcorn- it’s kind of stuff not… for me. (And no, my pantry is NOT organized in the least bit… but, neither am I!)

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So, I have found myself to be a bit pantry-less over the past few days since I started my “new” covenant of no bread and no chips.

But I’m thinking that’s maybe a good thing cause I’m pretty sure over the past few months I have developed a bit of what I might call a “pantrywaist”. My waist is holding onto quite a bit of our pantry’s contents! Haha!

And I originally just came up with the name cause I thought it was a clever spin-off of “pantywaist” which was used for a while to denote a weakling man, but it originated with these outfits where the shirt would button onto the kid’s underwear!

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See… who says I only talk about diets on here!?!? Haha!

Anyway, but yesterday when I started trying on my clothes that I wore this past June when I went to Nashville with my husband for his trade show for his music instruction/songwriting product Chord Dice… wellllll, let’s just say that yesterday my muffin top was a bit more pronounced than it was in June!

And I thought to myself “Oh man… looks like I’ve got me a pantrywaist!”

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And what I find interesting is that I tried, I tried multiple times, last year to start a covenant for a few weeks or just mid-year to go “off” of bread. I’m still not entirely sure why my commitment wouldn’t stick with those. Probably because they were more me led. Like, they were temporary fixes instead of a long-term desire to be healed. Covenanting off of sugar, meat, bread, and chips for a year… well, that’s a commitment on my part to change permanently instead of to just keep the pounds off. I have already found it so “easy” to resist bread and chips (easy as in there isn’t a battle raging inside of me because they are just… not an option!

So, I’m working again on this retraining- going to the fruit supply instead of the pantry supply for food.

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And I see now why all the nutritionists say that you need to make a “life change” because diets sorta wear off, motivation tapers, and old habits slowly creep back in… so even a “life change” can kind of wear off. So, it isn’t really about a “life change” for me… for me it’s a “life commitment”.

A commitment to deny the presence of the sin of gluttony in my life. A life commitment to turn to God for fulfillment. A life commitment to never be the same. to be a new creation. to never be a pantrywaist again.

Day 169: The Neverending Covenant

Being public about the covenant has been one of the best things for me. Time and time again I have the motivation to make the right choices, the God-honoring choices, because I know that I have people that care about me reading.

But the other day I realized another important truth about this covenant. Because I “went public”, this covenant is no longer just… my… covenant. I chose to share it with hundreds of people… originally in an effort to make myself accountable to others. And that is still a big motivation. But it has also become a help to people. I guess it’s encouraging for people to see someone else struggling with the same issues… to know that we are not alone.

Like, on Facebook when another mom posts a pic of her kids and in the background I can see toys littered all around, dishes piled up in the kitchen, and a laundry basket overflowing with clothes to be folded… well, I just feel so much better! Oh, it’s not just me. It’s not just my house. It’s not just my family. my mistakes. my craziness. my mess. my life. I’m not alone!

And I think that my covenant offers that to some people… a look inside a part of my soul that we spend such emotional effort trying to conceal. That part that we are ashamed of. But I do my best to take a look at my soul every day and take a snapshot of what it really looks like. Some days it’s nice and clean. Some days it’s just a little mess. Some days… it’s a total absolute wreck.

And that’s yet another part of this covenant that makes it so much more than just a “diet”. The connection that I have made with so many of you can’t just end on January 1st. And the connection that I have made with God can’t just end on January 1st either.

But what really struck me the most the other day was that verse…

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. Luke 12:48

And it made me realize… I have been entrusted with this gift of freedom and with the knowledge of how to get that freedom from food. I thought that a year would originally be my only “requirement” but now I see that I can’t stop this covenant. I can’t just go back to normal again eating ribeyes, and ice cream, and cookie dough, and a dozen breadsticks, and, and, and. I can’t just gain weight back when I’m off of this… it’s not just “some diet”… it’s a covenant with God that I have had. A Change of life… of soul… of heart. I can’t just go back.

And, honestly, I don’t want to.

Day 161: Best. Anniversary. Everrrrrrrrr.

Today was my 8th anniversary of my marriage to my husband… aren’t we cute?

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We met about ten years ago in the singles group at our church (despite the fact that I was convinced that once I joined the singles group that I would be single forever), dated for almost two-years and got married at that same church. We are truly the only two people in the world that could probably put up with each other… a match made in heaven! Haha!

Last summer, we went to Cabo to celebrate our anniversary (our first trip without kids, and our first real vacation since we got married) but this year it wasn’t quite in the budget to do something so extravagant, so we arranged for some childcare from my mother and father-in-law. We have been talking about our plans for days, and my husband was really open to the fact that Saltgrass probabllllly wasn’t going to be the best option for our anniversary dinner this year (he’s doing a similar covenant this month), and so I suggested that we go somewhere and get some seafood. Knowing that he was going to try to pressure me into sushi (which I like, but I just wanted something… different… this go round), I jumped on facebook and asked people what the best seafood places were in the area. I got tons of responses and narrowed it down to a place called the Oceanaire.

Now, he automatically gets some props because he was so cool about supporting my covenant during our anniversary, but his real props come from while we were actually at dinner.

The waiter offered us champagne, and when my husband locked eyes with me he could see the “I can’t” that I was transmitting to him telepathically, and he asked for a Pellegrino with lemon.

Later the bread came, and he deferred eating that as well.

The meal options were all within our range so that was no problem (but absolutely delicious to be sure)!

But when the waiter came over and said that he would be giving us a dessert, I got a little panicked. I have this difficult time saying “no” to gifts from people. How would I handle the situation. Just have a bite and be thankful and then let my husband eat the rest? But then, he was trying to avoid all of that stuff as well. After mulling over it for a few minutes, I just said to my husband that I was going to eat my dinner and enjoy it and then worry about it.

After a bit, I went to “powder my nose” and apparently while I was gone my husband had told the waiter that I didn’t eat sugar and so I…

wait.

Whole story… he didn’t just tell the waiter that I didn’t eat sugar. He told the waiter that I’d had a life changing experience with food and with God. He told the waiter that I was like an addict that had been freed.

And then he told the waiter that it would be cool to get me a fruit bowl for dessert instead of the Baked Alaska.

And it was the sweetest dessert ever.

Not because I drizzled it with honey (which I didn’t, by the way… I didn’t need to). Not because the fruit was amazing (which it was). And not because I felt svelte and thin and classy (which I did).

But because my husband was truly my knight in shining armor. He defended me. He defended my covenant. My covenant with God. He helped me to stand up against the world when I my defenses were crumbling. And he presented my covenant and my God shamelessly to our server.

Yep. My knight in shining armor!

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Ecclesiastes 4:12

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Day Ninety: Painful Penitence

Sometimes I lament the fact that I have struggled for so much of my life only to discover that the answer all along was so very, very simple. But this week I came across this verse that sorta changed my perspective on that a bit:

The pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have… [that] leads us away from sin and results in salvation… Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm… such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. 2 Corinthians 7:9-11

It makes me almost glad, looking back, that I hit rock bottom. I needed that pain to push me toward repentance. And he still uses the sorrow of my occasional failings (like the cookie dough, the apple crisp) to push me back into repentance.

And really, I think I want my heart to always be in a state of repentance… because then my pride can be kept at bay (well, at least a little bit of it).

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalm 51:17

But after I wrote that I started thinking, what IS repentance anyway? I mean it’s a word that I have heard, and said, a bazillion times, and maybe a good ol’ southern Christian woman should know the meaning but, well, I’m just not entirely sure! So, when in doubt, check it out! Haha!

Dictionary.com says it is “to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better.

So it’s not about making up for sin, as it is about remembering past sin, and doing what is necessary to keep it from coming back.  Like for me, I have to continually read the Bible, but also sometimes it helps to re-read through some of my journal and blog entries when I was struggling. The key for me is to “think about things of heaven, not the things of the earth.” Colossians 3:2