Day 123: Leftover Love

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So, I have two kids. One is almost five and the other will be two next Monday. So, food is a pretty constant thought for me during the day. Trying to get them to eat. Trying to figure out what they want to eat. Making them a second meal because they didn’t like the first (yes, I do this occasionally… don’t judge… my eldest boy was at the 4th percentile for weight one year… a mom never really recovers from that). Tracking what they ate the day before and the day before and the day before. Planning what they will eat for the next meal. And… cleaning up after they are “finished”.

Well, I may be “that mom” who makes my kids their own meal cause they don’t like ratatouille, and well, I am also “that mom” who doesn’t make them finish what is on their plate. Partially because my oldest has had this, like, extra awareness of his “full” button. When he was younger we would try to get him to eat more after he said he was finished and if we did, he always threw up. So, I gave up on that and he’s been fine ever since. And then when I read WeighDown I understood a bit more about the hunger mechanism that God has built into us and I decided that I would allow my kids to choose as much as possible what they wanted to eat (so that I could help them respond to God-given cravings) and I would allow them to stop eating when they were finished. Sure, a little bit of that had to do with the nutritionists saying “don’t eat everything on your plate”, but it was more because I wanted them to get a lot of practice at feeling when they are full and stopping.

And surprisingly this is not a post on “how to help your kids eat the way God intended”. Quite the opposite. I have yet to figure out how to teach them the importance of an orange or raisins or whatever. Keepin it real… my kids eat pop tarts. donuts. toaster strudels. jelly beans. etc. I mean, that’s not all they eat, but they are by no means on this covenant with me. Which is what leads to my REAL topic for this post.

Their leftovers.

Honestly, I don’t think that I’m the only mother out there that would often glean their lunch meal off of what their kids left on their plates. Mere exhaustion along with disdain for the food going to waste was often the motivator that plopped me down at their plates once they were down for naps to dine upon 1/4 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with the bread already a bit stale), a few raisins, a couple scoops of applesauce, maybe the remains of a graham cracker.

But I have had to change that habit simply because some of the things that they “leave behind” are things that are not cool on my covenant, plus I’m often “attracted” to them when I’m not hungry. But they are forever leaving a smattering of chips… a few animal crackers… half an Oreo… an entire Little Debbie donut.

And I have to just throw the stuff away.

Ugh, sometimes it kills me to not just shove it in my mouth. I’m still not entirely sure why… but it’s a temptation nonetheless. (Although I will admit that the only thing I will eat leftovers of is avocado chunks… my two year old lovvvvves avocado but sometimes will leave two or three chunks on the plate… yeah, I’m not letting perfectly good avocado go to waste!)

I know that I’m not supposed to eat their leftovers when I’m not hungry and when it’s not on my covenant. And I think that there was a consequence when I tried to take more than what I needed… I was eating some of their leftover chips which were “technically” on my covenant (well, before I modified the covenant the other day to put them on the “no no” list). And that was during that time that I felt wrong. icky. sad. depressed. off.

And I think that this ties in with what some of the Israelites did with the manna…

Then Moses told them, “Do not keep any of it until morning.” But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Exodus 16:19-20

Only instead of the food bearing the grossness… I had the feel of maggots inside me. So, honestly, I think that it’s worth not eating some leftovers, no matter how much I might love them, to avoid feeling like their are maggots in my soul.

Yeah, no contest on that one!

Day Seventy-Six: Manna Musings

I have thirteen more days after today to be on my Lent fast of fruits, veggies, and nuts. It has been far easier than I expected as well as extremely eye opening as to how much processed foods I consume even on my regular Daniel Fast.

Having said that, I miss cheese, eggs, and fish!

I mean… I miss the pasta and beans and rice and bread, too, but I only miss them because of the convenience of them in recipes, like spaghetti and pasta, stuffed bell peppers with rice, carribean style beans, and veggie enchiladas and tacos… ooooo, and a mushroom burger!!!

But all of those things I could take them or leave them, but I want a veggie omelet, a baked potato with cheese, a panko crusted tilapia filet!

I don’t want another orange.

I don’t want another apple.

I don’t want another raisin.

Honestly, I don’t think this way that all the time! But there are times when I look in the fridge for breakfast and get a little discouraged when it looks like I’ll be having yet another clementine. But most of the time I just grab whatever is on my fast to eat and just go forward from there which is a good sign, I think, that I’m moving away from food as a lust into food as a nourishment.

But, I do think about how the Israelites felt with manna everyday. I mean, I may not have as much variety as a non-faster has, but I have way more variety than manna for breakfast, manna for lunch, and manna for dinner.

But I guess in a way I do have manna for every meal. I mean, God provided more than just manna during those “drop feeds”.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. Exodus 16:4

And this is exactly the same learning that I am having to go through. I probably would have been one of those Israelites that gathered up extra only to find it had turned to rot with maggots in it.

Actually, I have been that Israelite. I have eaten more than what I need and the result was that I had an addiction to that “more”… a rotten, maggot-infested pile of “more”. of an overweight body. of an overweight soul.

But just like those Isreaelites that learned the hard way didn’t make the same decision again, I have handed over my pile of “more”… my extra… my excess. And in return, God has given me as much as I need. And it will feed me perfectly, well, for at least the 40 years it fed the Israelites!

Day Twenty-Two: Marble Slab Or Manna

Well. I guess I was a little overeager with my “I’ve lost 12 pounds” statement yesterday.

Classic rookie mistake. I took my starting weight on the scale at my parents house cause it has a digital readout. But a couple days ago I weighed on the old school scale in our house.

Yeahhhhhhh. So apparently they are calibrated really differently. Cause according to my parents scale this morning I had only lost 8 pounds.

I was bummmmmmmed out about that.

But it ended up being a good re-re-re-reminder. That this is not about the diet. It’s not about losing weight. It’s about changing. It’s about being a new creation.

And I love that I am not on a “diet” per se. Because after not “losing” as much weight as I thought I probably would have done something detrimental. I might’ve gone to Marble Slab because “Awwwwww heck, what’s the point?” or maybe I would have slowly let my resolve fade because it “wasn’t working anyway”. Ya know, things I would have said in the past. But. This isn’t over. I still have days and days and days and days to go! So no point in flipping out. Just time to continue to run the race marked out for me.

Some days when it’s like this I think of Jesus in the desert while he was fasting. Or I think of the Israelites wandering in the desert waiting for God to drop manna from heaven. When I’m in the desert, I have to learn to sustain myself on more than food.

Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3