Day 628: Runaway

I left my family this summer.
Well, just for two days.

Really, it was for everyone’s good.

Because this Momma was tired and needed a break pretty bad! My friend’s grandmother has a little guest house on a pond about an hour from my house, so she invited a couple of us girls to come stay out there as a little get-a-way.

I wore goofy excessively tall cowboy hats and took selfies.

runaway - hat

I slept in until 9:00am! I can’t even remember the last time I did that! I sat outside for hours all by myself. I wrote a read The Word. I sat and listened for God’s voice.

runaway - view

Cause too often I sprint through life without taking time to stop and just wait for God. I mean, I almost never just SIT for fifteen minutes and meditate and think on Him.

So today, we don’t have to go on a weekend retreat, but maybe skip the dishes for 15 minutes, go outside, and just sit and meditate. Just… think on Him.

He is there.

He is waiting.

runaway - he is there he is waiting

Day 410: Overlooking Neglect

On Day 406 I wrote about our blow up pool. Hmmmm, never thought that I’d write about a blow up pool on my blog about covenants and dieting. Ha!

Anyway, that morning before the post went “live”, I was doing my hair and I was wondering what caused the hole to get into the little rainforesty part of the pool (which has since been cut off of the pool cause it got a little too bothersome). I guess it could have been one of the boys jumping on it. Or maybe driving a Hot Wheel across it. Or maybe it was when I was dragging it out of the little shed. Perhaps it was when we left it out back, empty of water, during a huge wind storm and watched it as it flew back and forth through our backyard like a pinball (that was actually kind of fun to watch).

Not sure what did caused the hole, but I do know this. Whatever did it was a result of neglect.

The word neglect immediately makes me think of sad-faced puppies on TV with Sarah McLachlan’s voice hovering around us.

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But I’m not talking about that level of neglect. I’m talking about a far more dangerous level of neglect: the kind you don’t even realize is happening.

Okay, yes, so watching the pool bounce around the backyard was an obvious neglect.

But a lot of the other things… the basic “use” of the pool… didn’t seem like neglect. When it boils down to it, I didn’t take super awesome good amazing care of the pool, and it got a hole in it.

As I thought through this while I globbed gel on another section of my hair, I was like, “Oh, well, I won’t put this little thought process in my “Patched Up” post because it’s not like me neglecting my pool relates to me and my faith. I mean… it’s not like my faith was struggling because of neglect.”

{Picture me sorta freezing my hands mid curl-twirl as a wave of Holy Spirit goose bumps slid over me while I realized how wrong I was about what I had just said to myself.}

Honestly, that is exactly what had caused my faith to just sorta want to puff out slowly through a little hole. I neglected it. I mean, I went to church for women’s bible study, and I went to Sunday School, and I taught lessons in the youth department, but I was neglecting my own personal study, meditation, and prayer at home. I was neglecting God.

You neglected the Rock who had fathered you; you forgot the God who had given you birth. Deuteronomy 32:18

It was parental neglect… only I was the one neglecting… I neglected My Parent. My Father. My Rock. My Maker. And I had been overlooking it for so. very. long.

Sure, I had little verses here and there, but I was not taking much time for Him. I was too busy. too tired. too busy. too tired. And that led to me being too unmotivated. You know how it is, you skip a day, then another, and then another, and then, well, you’re just so behind… why keep it up? Take a few more days off while you’re at it.

And as much as I hate to say it… I know exactly what happened.

  1. I became a vegetarian after being a meat eater for 33 years, and my vitamin B12 levels got realllllly low (although I didn’t know it at the time).
  2. When my vitamin B12 levels got low, I got realllllllly tired.
  3. When I got reallllllly tired, I didn’t want to wake up early in the morning.
  4. When I didn’t want to wake up early in the morning, then I missed the chance to read or pray in peace and quiet before my sons got up and demanded all my attention.
  5. When I missed the chance to read or pray in peace and quiet before my sons got up, then I never got another chance until bedtime.
  6. When I didn’t get a chance until bedtime to read and pray, then I would fall asleep on my bible because my vitamin B12 levels were low.
  7. Rinse, and repeat.

So, like I said on Day 406, I was still getting in little snippits of God, but I wasn’t following the example of Christ and going up on the mountain away from everyone else to take an extended amount of time to focus on My Lord and what He wanted to say to me.

Essentially, if we jump back to the pool = faith analogy, and my pool got a hole in it that needed a patch = my faith got a hole in it that needed a patch. So, God = the patch for my faith. And before going to God, I kept having to blow up that dadgum faith pool because the patch wasn’t sticking. Well, it’s just like any patch… you have to give it enough TIME to stick. If you fill the pool back up with water before the patch is ready then it’ll just float on off.

And that’s what I have been doing for months. Going to God for only a few moments a day when I need to be going away to find Him and seek Him and allow Him plenty of time to apply a patch to my ever deflating faith, so that He could breathe in His Spirit. But now I know how to keep my faith aired up. Not that I won’t do the exact same thing again, but I can alsways remember…

The Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Day 376: Ugh.

(Writing this on Saturday night.)

I should be working on my lesson for tomorrow that I’m to teach to the middle school youth on evangelism.
I should try to avoid putting in titles that are depressing and lame like the word “ugh”.
I should be in bed sleeping (it’s 11:10pm).
I should get up and get myself a drink of water.
I should stop being overdramatic.

Buuuuuuuuuuuut, I’m not. Not gonna do any shoulds right now.

Cause I’m having a pity party.

Why? Cause I got all freaked out that I’m not going to be able to wear the clothes that I wore last year to my husband’s trade show because I have this little muffin top when I wear the pants. Sooooo, I went to Ross and Target looking for… I dunno. Looking for something. And well, everything looked HIDEOUS on me. And I said “You look FAT” to myself about 87 times.

And then I gave back everything that I tried on at Target and went to go get a few groceries for tomorrow and I have to walk past this.

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I mean… seriously?!?!? I was angry that the stuff even exists! Ha – like I said… pity. party.

But… well, I guess there is one silver lining here. I didn’t buy any donuts. or chocolate peanut butter cups. or ice cream. or chips. or cookies. or cakes. I said to myself, “You know those won’t fix anything” and I just moved on. Well, I took a picture of them and moved on.

And before this covenant, I woulda gotten some of these AND some ice cream AND some chocolate peanut butter cups AND probably some cookie dough just in case. But God has shown me over the past year that these things do not satisfy. They do not fulfill. They do not comfort. So, to look back and “see” myself just walking away from all this stuff is a huge blessing for me. It’s actually an answered prayer. It’s evidence that God has worked in me.

BUT.

Of course, there had to be a but. It’s a pity party post, remember?

Ya know what I found myself doing tonight?

Ugh. If my husband had just let me order a t-shirt too then I wouldn’t be worried about all this.
Ugh. If my husband had done the dishes for me then I’d be a lot less stressed out.
Ugh. If I just knew how to play an instrument then I could vent out my frustrations.
Ugh. If I had a book that I was reading then I could just pick it up right now and get lost in it.
Ugh. If I had never agreed to teach tomorrow then I could just take some benadryl and go to sleep.

Ya know what I found myself NOT doing tonight?

Sigh. Praying and thanking God for all that He’s done this year really put me back on the right track.
Sigh. Reading through Psalms just now made me feel so much more appreciative.
Sigh. Meditating on what God is: lovable, compassionate, kind, patient, powerful, faithful… really refreshed my spirit.

Nope. Because I was searching for fulfillment somewhere else. It may have not been food, but it was the exact same process. I mean, at least here, on this blog, I was able to come full circle and realize that. I think even just confessing it is a good step in the right direction. And right now I find myself thinking, “Oh I’m so glad that church is tomorrow. I just need someone else to pour some spirit refreshing words into my soul.”

But, in the meantime, I think I’m going to lay down, close my eyes, and at least do one of those “sighs” from above and mediate on what God is.

Day 109: A Day At A Time

One of the things that has been the best for me as I go down this journey is this blog. Sure, I fall behind three or four days when life gets crazy (like, this week, when ev.ery.one. in my family, including me, got sick) but being able to come back and refocus my attentions to God has been… well, a God-send!

Even though I read the bible every day sometimes it’s not necessarily a direct connection to my covenant. Sometimes I need to remind myself of how the Word applies to my covenant specifically. And that is how this blog has helped.

But as I talk to more and more of you that are signing up with God to do a covenant of some type, I have realized how a lot of people… for a slew of different reasons… don’t really have thirty minutes to journal or blog or meditate or whatever every day.

So, I have an idea that I got from my friend Alice who is doing a 40-day covenant. It was sort of an accident. We text back and forth scriptures or express how we are doing or a need for prayer. Well, she texted me recently this text (and yes, I even changed her name before doing this screen shot! Haha- does that make me a huge nerd?!?!?!)…

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And her little statement of “Day 5 and Jesus’ love is still enough” sort of made me think. Wow. Just taking thirty seconds every day to write down either how Jesus has worked in your life or a scripture that helped you or a prayer. It could be such a neat way to see what God is doing for you. Or a way to find that verse again really quickly that ministered to you when you wanted to break.

You could get a little week at a glance calendar (my grandmother used to do this) and write in it every day at lunch or at bed or something. Or I’m suuuuuuure there is an app out there for this. Or start a private twitter account that isn’t public.

But I would say that being able to write down every day at least one sentence about the renewal that God has given you… well, it could be the thing you need to keep you going.

It makes me think of this scripture:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 6:6-8

I mean I’m not saying write your sentence in sharpie on your forehead every morning- haha- but it’s the same concept. We need a daily reminder of God. a daily reminder of how far He has brought us. a daily reminder of His Goodness. His healing. His power.

So, there ya go. A suggestion to you and me: take it one day at a time.

And as for me too, Alice, day 109 and Jesus’ live is still enough!

Day Sixty-Five: Sleepy Snackies

Sooooo my youngest son (he’ll be two in about two months) is teething… again. And he is just as overdramatic as his mother, but even more so when he is teething. Needless to say, I got very little sleep last night.

And I’m not sure if this is common for others or not, but I get soooooooo snackie when I’m tired. And like I have said before, snacking is not “evil”, but I do think that eating when I’m not hungry isn’t part of God’s design for my body.

Well, actually, maybe it is… because what does my body do when I eat when my body doesn’t need food? It stores it… as fat. It’s kind of brilliant actually. If I’m not going to be able to eat for a long time then I might need to eat to store up for the winter (this is just an example by the way… I don’t live in an environment where I might need to do this). And God designed our bodies to be able to survive like this.

But eating when I’m not hungry and when there is an over abundance of food for today, tomorrow, and the foreseeable future isn’t what He designed.

But I think this response is similar to a hunger pang or craving. My body is searching for energy. Oftentimes I get my energy from food. But when I am “starved” of sleep then I “crave” energy. But what I really need is rest.

It’s just like me craving or needing sugar like from a clementine or a pineapple but eating a Snicker’s bar instead. I crave sleep but eat something instead.

So, what I would like to do is to take those three minutes or however long it would have taken me to get or prepare a snack and spend it resting my mind. Like most people, I can’t stop and take a nap whenever I realize that I’m hungry, but that doesn’t mean that I need to eat either. But I can take three minutes (most of the time) to rest my mind.

And not to alienate anyone who might think this is a hippy kind of thing or of some other religion, but this is a time to meditate. To meditate on God.

Here is a verse that I found to be appropriate to the situation even though it’s not about being awake at night (but being sleepy during the day feels similar). But I like how the first verse about thinking and meditating on God leads right into thoughts about God being our helper…

I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 63:6-7

But honestly as I looked up verses on meditating, most of them are about meditating on the Law. Although I don’t think of this as bringing peace or energy… David mentions it multiple times. And I tend to be surprised at the way the Word works in my soul, so something to think on… maybe even meditating on the Law could be beneficial during those times.

But, hopefully, the blessing of sleep filled nights will be on all of us!