Day 685: Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving is upon us.

And so are the blog posts.

My email inbox has been inundated with all kinds of recipes that could meet any, and I mean, ANY dietary need. Gluten-free, low-carb, fat-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers. You name it, someone’s made a Thanksgiving recipe to go with it.

{And really, I do understand why a lot of people need and want those recipes.}

Right now, though, I am not thinking about recipes, or ingredients, or calories, or weight.

But I am thinking about Thanksgiving.

And what I’m thinking about doesn’t really fit into a recipe. And it isn’t really diet advice. And it isn’t even really about food at all.

I’m thinking about what Thanksgiving really is.

And I’m thinking that I need to celebrate. You see, I looked up the word Thanksgiving at dictionary.com just cause I was curious. I mean, I remember in elementary school there was all the talk about the Pilgrims and the Indians and there was a big deal to do with like, I dunno, corn or something (which I always find funny because I can’t think of a single Thanksgiving during which my family ate corn). Anyway, the definition said, Thanksgiving: a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.

It doesn’t say anything about food. It’s just a celebration. And as I’ve learned over the past 685 days of this covenant…

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A celebration does not have to be about food.

I can celebrate God’s favor by running around with my little kids in the leaves making a point to play so hard I come back into the house looking like I raked the yard with my hair.

I can celebrate God’s kindness by asking my mother to tell me a few stories that she recalls about my Mamaw being kind as we mourn her absence and yet celebrate that she has gotten to spent the past year in heaven.

I can celebrate all that God has done for me by cleaning the dishes for my Aunt Martha who is going to get to host our family Thanksgiving for the first time in ages!

I can celebrate all the kind words God has written on my heart by sharing a kind word of encouragement with each of my family members. My mother for defending my happiness all my life. My father for teaching me how to laugh at myself and the world around me. My brother for teaching me that there is only one place where the bible is wrong: there truly isn’t a friend that is closer than a brother. My husband for always, always, always allowing me to dream and plan and think and imagine even when my dreams and plans and thoughts and imaginations are not feasible.

And I can celebrate the freedom and forgiveness that Christ has given me, both eternally and here on earth, by focusing on blessing those around me this Thursday instead of focusing on the food around me.

I can look for as many ways as possible to BE the celebration instead of thinking about GOING to a celebration.

See?

Even just thinking of these things and I’m already SO looking forward to Thanksgiving, but my thoughts have nothing to do with sweet potato pie, or green bean casserole, or even that huge bird.

In fact, all of that seems so very insignificant compared to the kind of Thanksgiving I’m now planning.

Because I am planning on spending this Thanksgiving focusing on acknowledging the divine favor and kindness of my God and my Savior.

For He is truly my Thanksgiving.

 

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Day 635: The Diet That’s Not A Diet

more jesus

I thought about doing Paleo.
For like a day.
Being vegetarian/sometimes vegan is just so… easy for me now.

No defrosting.
No cross-contamination.
No hormone or non-hormone worries.
No lean or not lean.

It just matches me.

BUT.

Props to you people doing Paleo. or Vegan. or Weight Watchers. or WHATEVER!

And that’s one of the things that I love so much about The Covenant Diet… it’s not A diet! It really should be called The Covenant Life (but that website was already taken – ha)!

The thing is – so much of a successful lifestyle change comes from the heart and not the mind. I can count calories for six-months straight but if I haven’t had a change of heart about food, I’ll probably just revert right back.

And this is our goal. We are trying to shift from a food-focus to a faith-focus. Because we need Jesus just as much, if not more, AFTER our diet is over than we did during it.

When the compliments stop.
When another salad is just NOT what you really want.
When your mom makes her infamous chocolate chip cookies again and you haven’t had them in soooooo long.

THAT is when we need Jesus to remind us of our freedom from food.

And so it doesn’t matter at that point if you are vegetarian, vegan, rawist, whatever… what matters is that we work on refocusing our minds. What matters is that we allow Christ to redirect our attention to Him over and over and over again. What matters is that we don’t “go” on a diet but that we live in health and freedom.

And THAT is what The Covenant Diet is really about.

Day 464: Out Of Options

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Vegan.
Vegetarian.
Paleo.
Raw.
Fruitarian.

There are just tons of options out there. These are more “lifestyles” of eating rather than diet programs (e.g. WeightWatchers, Jenny Craig, etc). I went vegetarian last year but that was simply because it was essentially what a Daniel Fast was which is what I was going for… well, actually… a Daniel Fast is really vegan (here’s a list) but since I was going to do it for a year instead of for just three weeks, I decided to keep in dairy… and fish… and eggs. So yeah. Apparently, I made up my own Daniel Fast.

Well, since my recent redoing of the whole covenant process back when I was at the MomsAway retreat (and just in case you don’t have a mental catalog running of all of my posts, it was back on Day 444: So. Worth. It.), I have been praying (well, honestly, only been praying a little) about what to do with my overall “diet”. And I don’t mean diet as in… an eating plan to make one lose weight, but I mean… my diet as in, what will I eat? Will I eat meat? bread? dairy? processed? fish? eggs? pasta? rice?

Seriously, there are a gazillion options.

And I wasn’t sure which one to go with. I mean, I already feel a little guilty just having to CHOOSE a dietary plan when massive chunks of the world have a dietary plan of, oh, you know… rice. But, I’m not even going to start to dip into issues with food-guilt, so let’s just work with the situation that I’m given here.

What it mainly boils down to is that when I did pray about it or think about it, I just kept hearing the words: go back to the beginning. Pretty sure that it’s “me” hearing “me” say that, but considering that I have been asking Him for wisdom about what to do with all this He could have just made “me” tell “me” what to do.

Well, back at “the beginning” there was the Daniel Fast, so I decided to do a Daniel Fast-Diet from now until the time I go on a trip with my fam for my brother’s birthday weekend in mid-May. I call it a Daniel Fast-Diet because I’m not really fasting in the sense that I’m praying over something that grieves me like Daniel did. I suppose I would call it Vegan, but for some reason I can get on board so much more easily with a “Daniel Fast” than I can with something called Vegan! Ha!

Anyway, I started the Daniel Fast on Tuesday and already I feel so. much. better. Just one day in and I’d already felt leaner and just, well, better. I know that this is just another step in the journey… coming full circle (again) to realize that food is here to make my machine (my body) run efficiently. I am reminded again of this verse:

You say, “I am allowed to [eat] anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to [eat] anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

And it just seems like whenever I’m eating Daniel Fast-ish that I feel… like it’s beneficial. I feel like it’s good for me. And I feel like it shows me so quickly how much I’m eating of bread and pasta and rice and and and… all those “extras”. So, it’s just cool that, without reading a bunch of reports or counting my calories or whatever, I can know what is beneficial for my body. Anyway, I have a feeling that being a vegan (I think that’s what it is) for just under a month will show me a lot. about me. about food. and hopefully a lot a lot about God!

{My son straight up STOLE my breakfast smoothie!}

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