Day Fifty-One: Just Say No And Do It

When I made my boys some Velveeta Mac N Cheese tonight, there was just enough leftover for a mini-serving. I, of course, still needing to fight some leftover instincts, thought about having it. Not as my dinner… just as a… as a… as an extra dinner, I guess.

But instead of it turning into another apple crisp night, I just looked at it and said, “No.”

Then I took the boys’ servings to them. And that was it.

It all seems so simple, doesn’t it. Just Say No.

And in some ways it is simple. Really… saying “No” is the answer to so many problems in my life, but I avoid it so often. And often I avoid it when I need to say it the most!

  • When I am already overwhelmed but someone at church asks me to do something, and I just can’t say “No” even though saying “Yes” is going to be detrimental to me.
  • When I see my Facebook icon on my phone even though it is time for me to read my Bible… I should say “No” but so often I choose to say “Yes” and scan through my News Feed.
  • When I’m tempted with too much food, then I so often should say “No” but I find myself saying “Yes” and taking another bite, and another, and another.

I mean, I’m sure that there is a reason that the “Just Say No” phrase was the catch phrase for the anti-drug campaign in the 80s.

But there is also another part to that No… and it’s another “Just” statement: Just Do It.

Oh, my dear Nike. If only it were that easy then I would have a rocket hot bod that could run a marathon. As it is, I am lucky to be able to run across the backyard after my toddler.

But, I’m not talking about Just Do It meaning that I’m saying “Say no to food and then go work out.” I’m saying… “Say no and then ACT out the NO.”

So much of my struggle over the years has been saying no in my head but then not following through with my body. I would be standing in the pantry eating another Thin Mint (and really… that name is SO DECEPTIVE cause they do NOT make a person thin! Haha!) after having already eaten ten or eleven, thinking “NO! NOT ANOTHER ONE! NO MORE! STOP!” But it was like my hand would just keep reaching into that bag.

Until, God.

Cause I tell ya… I cannot explain it. But I can turn from an open wrapper of Thin Mints now. Because it is almost like God is the one saying No. He and I are in this together and I think that maybe these verses address it (and yes, these are some of the same verses from yesterday’s post but in a new version):

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:21-23

And I like especially the last verse because it tells us HOW to Just Do It. And the best part is that it is sooooo much easier than Nike’s expectations! We are to let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes. That means that God is the one doing the work!

The thing though that we are responsible for is the “let”. You might be thinking, “Huh? We have to do the ‘let’ part of it? What does that even mean???” We have to LET the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes. And how does the Spirit do that? Mainly, through the Word of God. Which means, that for the Spirit to renew us, we have to be reading The Word of God.

I feel like I’m a broken record on this, but again, this blog is for me! Hehe, and I need to hear those words over and over again. I’m just not going to experience a God Life if I don’t read the Bible. Plain and simple.

And I want a God Life. And I want it more than I want food. And I want it even more than I want chocolate. And… well, that’s a lot!

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!