Day 132: A Celebration Of Life

So today is my youngest son’s two year old birthday! We had his party last night and listen to the menu I so brilliantly came up with and see what you think I could eat:

hot dogs, chips, cupcakes, ice cream

Yeah, none of it.

I almost feel like a hypocrite changing all my ways and then feeding everyone else the same blech stuff that I am avoiding! But all of that to say, I just didn’t eat any of it. I had grapes, peanuts, a banana, and a glass of tea. I was fine. Which is just so weird and yet cool at the same time to be able to say.

I mean, last year for his one-year birthday party we got the same cupcakes from Sam’s only they had Elmo “rings” on them as toppers instead of Cars 2 toppers like they had this year. And last year over a span of a few days, I ate… ohhhhh, I dunno… about a dozen of them that were left over.

A dozen cupcakes people.

About a month before had been my sister-in-law’s wedding shower and guess what we had there? Oh, yes… cupcakes. And I think that I had eaten about a dozen of them as well. And take a wild guess as to what we had at my older son’s birthday party just a few months later? Oh my gosh… you’re good.

Yep. Cupcakes.

And yep. There were leftovers. (Emphasis on the word: were since I ate all the leftover cupcakes.)

So that’s why I say it is weird to think that for this cupcake birthday, I ate… none… of the birthday food.

And what’s even weirder and even cooler is that it wasn’t difficult for me. There was no battle inside. There was not a sneaking into the bathroom to shove a cupcake down my throat. There was just… a birthday. A celebration of my son’s life.

And silently… all by myself… hidden away in a party room in my soul… I had another celebration. A celebration of my new life.

My new life of freedom.

So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:8

Day Fifty: Edible Inedibles

It’s funny how my life has affected the way that I view food. As I made myself a potato lunch the other day, I found myself saying, “Well, I’m adding in this butter because otherwise the potatoes are inedible.” And then immediately after, “I need to add in this cheese and sour cream to make these potatoes edible.”

And now I think… Really? Were the potatoes really inedible??? And I sort of realized how my preconceived notion of food is… wrong. Those potatoes would have been edible had they been butterless. had they been sour creamless. had they been cheeseless.

But I had my brain set to believe that simply because something doesn’t taste decadent or indulgent then it must not be edible. Haha- it sounds ridiculous now that I’m away from the situation, but I think this is part of another stronghold that has needed to be shattered in my mind.

It’s like I’ve let my tastebuds give some kind of lesser value to “raw food” or “pure food”. My mind/tastebuds expect to get spicy food, salty food, buttery food, seasoned food, savory food, sugary food, etc. When they don’t… then it is literally like the food isn’t “worthy”. But food is about sustenance. Not about pleasure. I mean, it does taste good, but going to it for a pleasurable “experience” is not the point of food. That’s not the reason that food is there.

And although God desires for us to get pleasure out of life, it is not what we are to live for. In Ephesians, Paul is writing about the Gentiles and he’s telling us to not be like them (and, by the way, verse 19 talks about sexual obsession, but I changed it to an obsession with food since that is the “lust” that I am dealing with). And here is Paul’s “challenge” to them… to us… to me:

And so I insist (and God backs me up on this) that there be no going along with the crowd… that empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in an obsession with food, addicted to every sort of decadence.

But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything (and I do mean everything) connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life (a God-fashioned life) a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your actions as God accurately reproduces his character in you. Ephesians 4:17-24

Honestly… I looked at this verse because in the NLT version it has the word “pleasure” in it and so when I did a word search for that it came up. But then I switched it over to the Message cause sometimes that version tends to really convict me since it sounds so… brutally honest! And it just worked on me and worked on me. I immediately identified with those Gentiles that had lost touch with God AND reality! I mean… I ate an entire bowl of cookie dough… that’s losing touch with reality!

And then, I really grabbed onto the verse that I have underlined because I’m working to get rid of my old way of life… all that addiction has GOT TO GO! It is rotten. I want to get rid of it! I am getting rid of it!

And then, that last part in bold. DANG. That is exactly what I am seeing and hope to continue seeing! That I’m experiencing an entirely NEW way of life… a life that God has designed… and life that is totally new FROM THE INSIDE! And it is working on my actions (my previous overeating habits) so that I am like Him… so that I have Him and His Character inside me!

Whoo hoo! That just gets me all sorts of pumped up!!! So, leaving my potatoes “plain” next time won’t be about edible and inedible. It will be about God giving me a new way of life… a life where he is reforming my character into His character! Talk about some goodness packed potatoes! Haha!

 

Day Forty-Three: Obedience Is Bliss

(FYI: I am writing this on the evening of February 21st around 9:10pm. It was a post that I needed to write immediately before the awesomeness of it wore off, but since I already posted for day forty-two then I’m scheduling it to post on day forty-three.)

I had a blunder tonight.

Hmmmmmm, perhaps that is putting it lightly. Perhaps that is me not choosing the right word. Perhaps that is me trying to go easy on myself. I’m going to try again.

I broke the covenant tonight.

Yep. Broke it. Shattered it. Demolished it.

Cause that’s what happens to an agreement when one side “breaks” their oath… their bond. The “agreement” is null. void. pointless. non-existent.

Okay, okay, I’ll stop being over dramatic (not that me being over dramatic is a shocker to anyone who knows me). Here’s what happened: I planned a nice meal for us and I even reveled in it during day forty-two’s post: potato and carrots in an onion sauce, baked apples, and a salad. Only, let me just tell you that the baked apples weren’t so much just “baked apples”. It was a Baked Apple Crisp. And I think that any foodie out there is well aware that a Baked Apple Crisp has quite a lot of brown sugar in it.

At dinner, I did a great job of not eating everything on my plate (cause I had gotten an old-me-sized portion… as in, a big ol’ honkin serving). So I stopped when I felt a little bit of pressure. I only ate a few bites of the apple crisp. And that was that. It would have been a perfect evening… except I left out the remains of my meal while I bathed the boys. And then afterwards I came in and ate a few more bites even though I was not hungry. And then after I got both boys down, I snuck (and yes, I say snuck because I walked down the hallway extra quietly so that my husband wouldn’t know that I was finished putting down my oldest) into the kitchen and started chowing down on the leftovers in the baking dish. Oh my gosh. Sooooooo good.

And then… the war began.

Stop!!! January, stop! This is not right. This is breaking the covenant. This is gluttony. This is not what God wants. It’s not what you want. Yes it is… are you kidding me, this is flour and sugar and butter and more sugar. Why would I not want this? Why would God not want this? It’s not gluttony… it’s just enjoying good food. It’s not really breaking the covenant, I mean, it’s got apples in it for crying out loud! This is fine. I don’t need to stop. January. Stop. Think about tonight. Think about five minutes from now. Think about tomorrow. Stop. I. can’t. stop. It’s too good. I. can’t. stop.

And then the moment that I have been hoping for these past forty-two days… here was my next thought…

God, make me willing to obey.

And it worked!

It’s was almost as if my fork was stuck in the next apple. I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to disobey. I wanted to obey. I wanted to be willing to obey. I was going to obey.

And I will admit that I broke into tears at that moment. Because God is so great. Forty-two days in and He is greater than I imagined He could be. His Word… that one verse from just one day… written on my heart… swooped in and connected me to God in a way that saved me. And I stood in that kitchen by myself and raised my hands in thanks to the Almighty Of The Universe for His mercy. His compassion. His adoration. His Love. His help. His salvation.

And I knew that immediately I had to come sit down at this computer and write this post.

THIS post is totally going to be one of my memorial stones. I have been wondering what I could do… well, here was a moment where I needed to cross a river and God dried up the water so that I could pass… and here is a stone that I am picking up to remember that He is faithful and He is just to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all of my wrongdoing and wickedness.

Today has been the best day of my covenant experience… which is SO JESUS… because today is the day that I broke the covenant and therefore should have been my worst day. Today though… today was mercy at its best. And hope at its best. And forgiveness. And all things new. Because today He lifted me from the pit and He “turned my wailing into dancing; He removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing His praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise Him forever.” Psalm 30:11-12

Read your bible peeps. Read it. And you will. be. changed.

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Day Thirty-Five: Chocolate Celebration Day (aka: Valentine’s Day)

Sooooooooo I kinda dropped off on my blogging for a few days there! Sorry to anyone that is reading these! Thirty days of blogging consistently was actually a pretty big accomplishment for me! I’ll try to catch up on those posts soon.

And actually, I was kinda not “feelin” the excitement of the whole covenant thing for those few days, so I was probably not as motivated to post. Which is weird because I had some great “weight” moments… like on Sunday, I fit into a skirt that I haven’t worn in five years! My “skinny” jeans have officially become baggy. My family all ate these glorious looking steaks on Saturday night (the same day that we had a big breakfast with bacon and pigs in a blanket)… and it really wasn’t difficult at all to not eat that stuff.

Maybe it’s a good thing though… the habits that I’m making now are starting to solidify and I didn’t really think about being on the covenant. Heck, even today (which some people might call Valentine’s Day, but to a dieter, it is really Chocolate Celebration Day, haha!) when I went to the store only to be confronted with a smorgasbord of chocolate and sugar delicacies, I was in no way tempted or even bummed out that I will “miss out” on all of that. Of course, it certainly gets my husband off the hook… he doesn’t have to run into a store and frantically try to find me a chocolate heart!

Maybe I made too big of a deal of chocolate in my mind cause my life has been completely fine without it! Annnnnnnnnd, I think this is why:

We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11-14

There are just so many great things in these verses! And it is soooooo accurate.

God,
It feels so good today to be freed from that indulgent life. I have so longed, and still long, for my life to be God-filled and God-honoring. And the best part… this new life you have given me IS now! What a breath of freshness in my soul. Thank you… thank you for freeing me from my old dark, rebellious life… continue to push me toward this good, pure life. It is sooooooo much better. I want to be a person you can be proud of. I want to be energetic in my goodness. Change me, mold me. Thank you, God, for my new life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Amen