Day 623: Perfectly Prepared

Trust In The Slow Work of God

I’m learning… slowly and not easily… what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said in his writings, to “Trust the slow work of God.”

And it’s not that I’m the type of person that wants things super fast.

I mean, hey, my favorite way to cook is in the SLOW cooker.

My favorite days are long summer days that seem endless.

And I learned very quickly that a 30-minute massage was not going to cut it… I needed something much more lengthy. (For the record, 90 minutes is my fav.)

See? So  one would think that I’d be totally down with my life being, essentially, a slow cooker meal… it’s just gonna take a while to be ready.

But.

Here’s the difference between my life and a slow cooker.

In my life, God is the cook… and only He knows how long I need to sit in that slow cooker. You see, oftentimes, I think that I’m “done” too soon and I’m ready to get out. But what do we all know will happen if you take something out of the slow cooker too soon?

It’s GROSS. It’s not right. It’s… not. done.

So you either have to put it right back in the slow cooker for a while longer and wait, or you have to toss that thing in the microwave (in which case, it’s never as good and it’s often burned in places or very, very dry).

Uh huh. Ya seeing my little comparison there?

Sometimes when we think we are “done” with struggle… we find ourselves shocked that it comes at us again. But oftentimes, we are simply not “done”. God knows that our hearts are still a sloppy mess of raw tendons and sinews, of blood and bacteria. On the outside you might not be able to see it, but on the inside He knows the condition of our “done-ness”.

Or, if we are insistent on staying out of the slower cooker (and often, we are resistant to God’s “holy recipe” for our life), then He ends up having to toss us in the microwave where the struggle is MUCH more difficult, MUCH more trying, and MUCH more life-sucking (in lieu of far fancier words that I could use there). And although we get “cooked” all the way through that way too, there is often just less of a fulfillment in our life, just as the food is never just as good when cooked super fast. We get burned. And our inner cores aren’t really exactly the same: we often have to have extra water or moisture (cue the spiritual ketchup or mayo) to compensate for our speedy-bake.

The easy part about me really cooking in a slow cooker is that I can plan my life around it: I know EXACTLY when dinner will be ready.

The hard part of God being in charge of my slow cooked life is that I have no clue WHEN I’ll be done.

And that, my friends, is often my issue with “trusting the slow work of God.”

But just like my children have to wait for the awesomeness of a slow cooked meal… smelling the aroma for hours, salivating every time a waft rushes by… so do I have the pleasure of waiting, and trusting in the slow work of God.

Because as I look around as His creation, I know that He is an amazing “cook”. And I know that whenever He takes me out of that “slow cooker” situation… Not a moment too soon. Not a moment too late. It means that I’m ready. done. prepared.

Perfectly prepared to be an enjoyment to my God.

Day 173: Kriya For Kidneys

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So my friend Ana is getting her yoga certification and apparently with that she gets to sorta do some of her own “advanced” yoga kind of stuff. She said it was called kriya, and from the thirty seconds that I researched it on the internet, it looks like kriya can range from doing some crazy yoga moves that will clear out constipation (seriously)… all the way to cleaning out your closet.

(She was telling me the latter type of kriya – ha!)

Anyway, one of the parts of kriya, which at it’s core seems to be about cleansing, is to rid yourself of unwanted, unnecessary, unhelpful, unmotivating “stuff” from your life. According to Ana, starting in the closet is a good place to begin. So, I gave it a try… now, my closet is already pretty streamlined because it is soooooooo tiny. It’s a “walk in closet” but only in name… cause that’s all you can do… is take one. step. in. and then look around. But I certainly had some things that were in there that I was making bad associations.

Like the shirt above… first of all, I always feel like I’m going clubbing when I wear it, but ummmmmm… in case you can’t tell from the posts about my life… clubbing is not something that I do anymore. And lest you think it’s because I am so terribly upstanding and righteous, it is actually because I just get grossed out by all the sweaty people, and desperate guys, and the late, late nights… so, basically, it’s just because I’m old! Haha! (Plus, I dance pretty much all the time in my house, thank you very much Pandora).

Also, I bought it when I was several sizes bigger and I thought it made me look skinny (which it was a flattering shirt), and once I put it on at my size now I was a little disgusted with myself for wearing it before… it looked snug on me now so I would imagine that it was wayyyyyyyyy too snug then.

Annnnnnnnnd, I have to safety pin the straps on the under-shirt part of it so that it doesn’t hang down to my belly button… it’s one of those shirts that I’m pretty sure about three days after I bought it at full price, they put it on the clearance rack for 75% off or sent them all off to Ross.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, it was always. forever. constantly. falling off of the hanger it was on. It didn’t matter WHAT type of hanger I put that dad gum thing on… it would fall off. And that drove me CRAZY.

So. I kriyaed that thing. Put it in the give away. In fact, in the picture above, it’s in the doorway between my laundry room and my garage to go in the pile that the National Kidney Foundation was picking up that day, so that sucker is gonnnnnnnne!

And it really does feel better to have it gone!

Yes, it was a shirt that I loved at one point, but now it’s just a blah. And this life that Christ came for, well, like He said…

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

And I’m pretty sure the word “blah” or “meh” is not in there.

Therefore… let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

So, day by day, I’ll be getting rid of the “meh” in my life. Purging the “blah” from each day. And seeking out that rich and satisfying life that He came to give me.

Day 158: Sweet Treats

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Summer seems to be all about… life. When you even just look through the Target ads (which I do… I mean, come on, I have two boys… shopping is not something that I do… ever. So, looking through the Target ads is like my form of “window shopping”… and I can do it in my PJs), you can see that everything is happy and carefree and full of smiles and toys and… life!

And previously for me (and by previously I mean, like… my whole life), summer has been about ice cream, and brownies, and snow cones, and Oreos, and ice cream, and hot dogs, and milkshakes, and chips with dip, and ice cream, and ice cream.

Yeah, so apparently, I like ice cream.

But not this summer… but it’s all good. Cause this summer is going to be about REAL LIFE.

Instead of taking a moment to relax with a bowl of ice cream (and don’t forget the Hershey’s syrup on top), I’m going to take my book and a vat of OFF to keep the buggies away and I will sit in my patio chairs and enjoy real. peace. and real. life.

Instead of a snow cone, I might just take a bubble bath.

No chips and dip for me… I prefer to take a dip in the pool (and yes, that “cool dip” will be in my kid’s pool because that’s what we have, but honestly, cool water feels good whether it’s five feet deep or 1/2 foot deep).

I’ll save the milkshake for another year, and instead go for a walk (which is what I’m doing in that pic at the top)!

And the pièce de résistance, instead of a bag of Oreos, I will take a nap. An afternoon nap. Ahhhhh, the very word makes me get those relaxation goose bumps.

Because it’s not about the food this summer… and I don’t need food to relax, in fact, it’s usually MORE work to eat. Think about it… a bowl of ice cream must be prepared: scoop the ice cream (and dang, if the ice cream is super frozen then that is a Herculean effort sometimes!), chop up some peanuts, smother it in Hershey’s syrup, probably melt some peanut butter to drizzle on there too.

Pffffffff, no WONDER I want to relax when eating ice cream… I’m worn out from all the prep! Haha!

But back to my point, which I have kind of talked about before, but food really shouldn’t be my portal to relaxation (or fun, or comfort, or distraction, etc)… it’s like my husband says, “We eat to live. We don’t live to eat.” (By the way, he watches about three food documentaries a week, so he might have stolen that from someone.)

But I like that mentality.

Because if I want to “treat” myself to some relaxation, then I want to treat the INNER me… not the OUTER me. not my stomach. not my tastebuds. I want my SOUL to feel relaxed. to feel blessed. to feel treated.

So, those things are still treats, but they are sweet in an entirely different kind of way!

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

Day Twelve: Free Fresh Asparagus!

I haven’t been “out” a lot since I started this mainly because I got so sick after only three days of being on the covenant. But when I have been “out” pretty much at my mom’s house and at the donut shop yesterday morning, I have been a little surprised at how little I am attracted to the irresistibles. Ironically, it was more difficult at my parents house than at Happy Donuts.

But I have come to a shocking conclusion: life does not revolve around food.

I know. I know. That’s crazy talk. But it doesn’t. Like when Miss Kim handed over a half dozen free donut holes for me and said “You have to try these. You never get these on the weekday but these are hot, fresh glazed. Just now.” Now, granted they weren’t chocolate donut holes. That might have led to an entirely different post. But they were donut holes. Fresh. Just now. And freeeeeee. Oh, and doesn’t free just make something taste better?

Well, maybe… cause I mean, “free fresh asparagus” doesn’t really taste any better or worse. It just tastes like… asparagus.

Sorrry. I digress. So, naturally, I did not eat the donut holes. In fact I got one of those cute little bags and put them in there and honestly I forgot about them until late last night! But you know what? My trip to the donut shop wasn’t completely, totally, and utterly ruined because I didn’t eat those freshly glazed donut holes. In fact, it was really no different at all. Perhaps a little less sticky. But the same.

You see, I have tricked myself into thinking that if I don’t eat the donut holes, or that piece of wedding cake, or the hot dog, or the whatever that I will not be fully experiencing life at that moment. But my life, my happiness, my joy… they are not found in moments of food. What a smash to God if I thought that the joy of life was found in an eclair!?!?!? I don’t need food to experience a moment.

Of course my mind is saying, “Well, unless you went to Fogo de Chão.” But no… even then. My life, my evening would not be a disaster if I didn’t eat a single piece of meat. I would simply be…

Yeah, I would just… be. Be me. Be me in that moment. Apart from food. Free from food.