Day 340: The End

Yesterday I wrote about how my mother helped me to “discover” vitamin B12.

I woke up easily (instead of sleeping through three alarms like the past couple of weeks).

I did three loads of laundry.

Washed a couple of pots and pans.

Kept up with my toddler.

Took my kids to the park.

Made their lunch.

Got them down for naps.

Chatted with my parents.

Went to dinner with some friends.

Watched Captain America on Netflix.

And unfortunately here I sit at 2:08am unable to sleep.

Not because of the B12… at least I don’t think so… but because of the stuff in Connecticut.

And I keep thinking of those mommas.

Those mommas.

Sitting… sitting somewhere. And I say sitting because they aren’t sleeping. Not tonight. Not when their babies are gone.

So they are sitting somewhere. Somewhere crying. Somewhere with a hole in their hearts so big… the hole is bigger than they are. The hole feels like it’s going to swallow them. And, tonight, they probably want it to swallow them.

And I can’t get out of their minds. I can’t stop myself from thinking their thoughts. And now it’s 2:17am and I am nearly suffocating with pain for them. For their lives that will forever have a hole. a shadow. a ghost. a life unlived.

And ohhhhh the regret. That one momma… there has to be one… that was snippy with her child this morning. That forgot to look deep into her child’s eyes and say “I love you.” I feel her regret more than anything. She will choke on it for days… for weeks. She will know it every time she parts from someone. She will carry that moment of… self… forever.

And I am not sure if I will sleep tonight. I fear her regret. I admit it. I fear it. Tonight I hugged my brother… and we said “Peace”. I thought to myself “Say ‘I love you.’ Say it. Say it.” But then the moment was gone. And I opened myself up for that moment of regret. And I walked to my car. And that was it.

And I left my son asleep at my parents house this afternoon. Why? Cause it was easier than waking him up and him wanting to wave goodbye.

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Why????

And right now I stop myself.

Because… because…

God.

Because God is the Beginning and the End. I fear the endings of this world because they feel like they are the end. But these “endings” are not.

Only HE is the Beginning and the End.

Day 298: Some Friend You Are

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Well, whadda know… I went a whole big chunk of time again not blogging. I am on a retreat this weekend called MomsAway (THE most amazing retreats I have ever been on…) and because I am away is probably why I have time to write. I suppose, though if I am really honest with myself, that I could MAKE time to write again if I were home. You see, writing is a bit like personal bible study or prayer: there MUST be a time every day set-aside for it, you must have solitude, you must set aside your to-do list (or have yet to have looked at it), and you must be deliberate about it.

Annnnnnnnd I have been none of those things lately for bible study, prayer, or writing.

And I think to myself now, How will I explain that to Christ? ……Wait. No…… How, at this very moment, how DO I explain that to Christ?

Can I truly look him in the face and say, I didn’t meditate on Your Word or pray to write about you because I wanted to sleep in???

But that is what I must say to Him now. And I am embarrassed to say it to Him. And ashamed. And regretful.

I am reminded of that song right now… What a friend we have in Jesus… But would Jesus say the same of me??? Would he say: What a friend I have in January? Hmmmmmmm, likely not. But as I look further into that hymn I am grabbed by the lyrics that follow…

What a friend we have in Jesus.
All our sins and griefs He’ll bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.

O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

I am struck over and over again by those lines “O what peace we often forfeit… O what needless pain we bear.” How my life has danced around those sentences. When I think of the times in my life that I have carried burdens… that is where my gluttonous eating was able to bloom and grow. But I forfeited peace when I turned to a brownie. I carried needless pain when I turned to a bowl of cookie dough. or a milkshake. or a bag of chips (Cheetos… if we’re getting specific!). I traded the truth of God for a lie… I relied upon the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of all praise! (Romans 1:25)

And so I am keenly reminded (againnnnnn) of how important that daily connection to Him is in my life. And I am reminded of how “the faithful love of God never ends! His mercies never fail… never stop.” (Lamentations 3:22) And so now, againnnnnnn, I ask Him to “satisfy me each morning with His unfailing love.” (Psalm 90:14)

And I smile to myself… knowing that He will.

Day 145: That Bites

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Yesterday, I bit my cheek.

I’m telling you… that is some kind of heinous pain.

I don’t know why it hurts so terribly bad, but it hurts… terribly. bad.

Then of course, after you bite your cheek once then you bite it again. in the same place. over. and. over. and. over. again.

And that’s just what I did. over. and. over. and. over. again.

But today, it was a little better, and I didn’t bite my cheek.

Until, I ate when I wasn’t hungry… and I chomped down on my cheek like I was cracking a nut. And then I chomped down on it again, like thirty minutes later… again, when I wasn’t hungry but was eating anyway.

Now I’m not saying “God had me bite my cheek to teach me a lesson.”

But I’m also not denying it. All I know is that I ate twice when I wasn’t hungry and biting the snot out of my cheek sure did bring it to my attention. And, I’ll admit that later in the day when I was about to eat… again… when I wasn’t hungry… I remembered that cheek bite. And I remembered the pain. And I did not eat. I was like, “Ummmmm, I’m not hungry, so if I eat that sweet potato fry, then I bet you a zillion bucks that I will slice my cheek open again.”

And really… I was thinking… I used to focus on the pain of my past to help motivate me to lose weight, but this time… this time is different. This time I’m so focused on experiencing the goodness of God that I don’t focus on the pain of my past. In fact, I’ve almost started to feel separate from that girl. Like I’m truly losing my old self and gaining a new self… still me, but “shedding” my old skin, if you want a really gross comparison. And I think that this verse sorta hits what I’m feeling is happening…

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. Mark 8:35

I tried to hang on for so long to MY life… and I was losing… desperately. losing.

But once I gave over my life through this covenant to Christ, then it was like… in doing so I found my REAL life.

All the same, spiritual lesson learned… but I’m gonna bust out some of that Kanka stuff, because my cheek HURTS.

Day 139: Strong Arm

I know that I have also talked about my thoughts on working out before as well. It’s just… well, it’s just not my thing. And I chose, on purpose, not to work out during my covenant. Why? Well, I’m going to just copy-paste in part of a post where I talked about this because it’s easier than re-explaining it again!

“I am not working out because I don’t want to lose weight any other way than by my eating habits changing. That might sound ludicrous and weird, but here is my reason: I need my overeating food and addiction to food and focus on food to be eradicated from my life. If I find another way to be “skinny” (i.e. working out) instead of getting this addiction under control then it defeats the purpose of this entire covenant. My focus this year is not to change my body (although I will totally admit that I hope it changes for the smaller) but to change my heart, soul, and mind.” From Day Forty-Four

Why bring that up? Well, because I think that I am going to start working out.

Ya see, I have this thing going on with my hips… we are essentially guessing at what it is, but aren’t entirely sure (no insurance + four of us living on a teacher’s salary = no testing to find out definitively). I know that I mentioned it before… but basically, the pain sorta comes and goes. When I am having a painful day it is… well, it’s pretty excruciating. I went for about 9 days of pain-free bliss last week and then, bam… it was back.

I have learned pretty well to manage the pain with medication, stretching, and ice, ice, ice… instead of managing it with eating, eating, eating like I mentioned on Day Thirty-Eight, but lately I’m just… well, I’m just irritated with pain. It changes my patience level. It changes my outlook on life. It just… changes me. And that irritates me!

I did notice that when I really make my abdominals tight and use them as a support that it eases the pain a bit, and so I thought… well, it would be worth it to tighten those suckers up even if that alone kept the pain closer to a minimum. But I’m nervous about working out because that is what caused my hips to go all crazy in the first place (well, I think that was it). I had started trying to do that dern Couch to 5K thing and I was starting some pilates, so I’m not entirely sure which one to blame. I had even tried to be smart about it all and I had been walking for months to get my endurance up and get my body into slightly better shape so that I wouldn’t fall apart when I started running. Buttttttt, I fell apart anyway!

So, I don’t want to start trying to tighten my abs and then make my hips completely deteriorate!

But all of that was the long story to say that I am going to start working out. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do… I’d like to be able to swim because it is just… well, it’s just such a great way to get a work out without all of the stress on the body. And, honestly, I don’t want to hurt my body anyyyyymore than I already have!

And plus, God is cool with us taking care of our bodies… even Proverbs 31 mentions it when talking about the uber perfect woman…

She does her work with energy, and her arms are strong. Proverbs 31:17

I know that the list of a Proverbs 31 woman is more of a list of guidance for what King Lemuel’s mom thought his wife should be like, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t strive to obtain a lot of those qualities. And I would love to be a woman that does my work with energy and is strong… especially strong arms! So, working out could potentially work for me in two ways: help me manage my pain and help me to become more like a Proverbs 31 woman! That’s one power-packed workout!

Day Ninety: Painful Penitence

Sometimes I lament the fact that I have struggled for so much of my life only to discover that the answer all along was so very, very simple. But this week I came across this verse that sorta changed my perspective on that a bit:

The pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have… [that] leads us away from sin and results in salvation… Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm… such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. 2 Corinthians 7:9-11

It makes me almost glad, looking back, that I hit rock bottom. I needed that pain to push me toward repentance. And he still uses the sorrow of my occasional failings (like the cookie dough, the apple crisp) to push me back into repentance.

And really, I think I want my heart to always be in a state of repentance… because then my pride can be kept at bay (well, at least a little bit of it).

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalm 51:17

But after I wrote that I started thinking, what IS repentance anyway? I mean it’s a word that I have heard, and said, a bazillion times, and maybe a good ol’ southern Christian woman should know the meaning but, well, I’m just not entirely sure! So, when in doubt, check it out! Haha!

Dictionary.com says it is “to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better.

So it’s not about making up for sin, as it is about remembering past sin, and doing what is necessary to keep it from coming back.  Like for me, I have to continually read the Bible, but also sometimes it helps to re-read through some of my journal and blog entries when I was struggling. The key for me is to “think about things of heaven, not the things of the earth.” Colossians 3:2

Day Thirty-Eight: Feed A Fever, A Cold, A Headache, An Upset Tummy…

I think I have already established that I am aware that I eat when I shouldn’t. And what’s funny is that I feel like over the past couple of days I have been starting this whole experience of “realization” about my eating habits all over (well, minus the sugar as a factor) but now with bread, chips, and snackies… I think I shall address that tomorrow though.

But I have come across another instance where I eat when I shouldn’t… or at least when that is not what is beneficial for me.

I eat when I don’t feel well. Like you know that phrase “feed a fever, starve a cold”? Well here’s what I have realized are my thoughts on that:
Feed a fever.
Feed a cold.
Feed a headache.
Feed an upset tummy.
Feed body cramps.
Feed lady cramps.
Feed lightheadedness.
Feed a pulled back.
Feed a insomniac. (Hey, those two rhymed)
Feed a sore throat.
Feed a cough.
Feed an earache.
Feed growing pains.
Feed a hang nail.

Seriously. I have realized that every time I have a physical “pain”, I eat. Sure, sometimes that’s what I should do… like being lightheaded, but even then… why do I grab a handful of Ultra Cheesy Goldfish crackers when there are grapes, oranges, bananas, etc right there!?! I think that in a way I am trying to “distract” or “relax” myself with a full belly. It usually works too. I feel “better”.

So, today my hips started to hurt (I have this weird disorder thing in my hips and I sat sorta weird last night and aggravated it) and I was just about to dive into the pantry and come up with some kind of concoction to appease the pain. And then I remembered this revelation that I had yesterday when I was lightheaded and sorta had a mental conversation with myself that essentially ended with: “January, a bowl full of oats, raisins, peanut butter, and a dollop of honey is not going to make your hips better. However, a few ibuprofen and laying on an ice pack might.”

So that’s what I did! And whadda know? It worked! Hmmmmm, maybe I’ll lose weight, conquer my addiction to food, and start to treat my “sicknesses” correctly too now! It’s a package deal!

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Day Twenty-Seven: Ready Or Not

Today I find myself in a nice spot: I’m not really struggling today. I have been working like a mamma jamma trying to get my house recovered from my husband’s birthday party this weekend (along with the three days that I did zero chores because I pulled out my back), and honestly, I simply have not had time to think of food.

Okay, so I think that at this point I need to say that contrary to what may appear in these posts, I am not a hypochondriac. But yes, I have been sick or hurt pretty much since I started this covenant. I find it comforting in a sense that Satan should find me suddenly worthy of his attention. Perhaps I am moving up in my “Job Status” (Job as in the guy in the bible, not as in the word “occupation”) because Satan is certainly attacking my health… perhaps this Covenant is going to work. is going to change my life. is going to make me more of a threat.

Pffffffff… what am I saying… “perhaps”??? God IS working and IS changing my life and IS making me a threat. And if my soul will change for His eternal glory, then by golly, I don’t mind being sick or hurt all year. After all, “The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?Proverbs 18:14

Maybe that’s why David was, like, always complaining of his bones aching and whatnot. Maybe Satan thought that he could get to David through physical pain. I guess in the long run he figured out that it wasn’t physical pain that would get to David but a different kind of physicality.

And perhaps in that there is a message.

I need to get on the armor of God in other areas of my life as well because as soon as Satan realizes that he no longer has me beat down by this addiction to food… I bet you he moves on to some other area of my life. Some unprotected area… a spot of my soul that I am not expecting him to attack. In fact, by removing this stronghold in my life, which God is doing, I will need the Holy Spirit more than ever. I will need The Word of God more than ever. I will need the Armor more than ever.

Okay, so I need the Armor. And I know what the armor is… but really how do I “get” it? How do I “prepare [my] mind for service and have self-control”? 1 Peter 1:13a Ahhhhhh, the question of the ages. Most of us Christ-followers know about the armor of God. We know what the different armor pieces are. But we so often don’t know how to apply it all.

  • belt of truth tied around your waist
  • protection of right living on your chest
  • on your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong
  • shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One
  • God’s salvation as your helmet
  • sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

Honestly, that is more than I can think about in one moment of temptation. But I guess that is the point of armor… you think about putting it on before the battle. Cause during the battle you don’t want to think about it or you don’t have time to think about it. But here’s what it all boils down to…

Strengthen yourselves with the same way of thinking Christ had. 1 Peter 4:1

And where do we find Christ’s thinking? Yep. The Bible. I learn the concept of truth and right living from the Bible. I learn about the Good News of peace from the Bible. I discover faith in the Bible. I am directed to God’s salvation in the bible. And well, the sword… the Word of God… IS… the Bible.

So, I have to read the Bible to get Christ’s thinking. Think about the Bible’s words of Christ’s thinking. Recite the Bible verses of Christ’s thinking. And then I will be strengthened. Then, I will be ready to stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. And, honestly, I would just love to stick that big ol Sword of the Spirit straight into Satan’s cold, dark heart and listen to it hisssssss.

Alright Satan, I’m getting my armor on… Ready or Not…… here We come!!!!!!!

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