Day 123: Leftover Love

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So, I have two kids. One is almost five and the other will be two next Monday. So, food is a pretty constant thought for me during the day. Trying to get them to eat. Trying to figure out what they want to eat. Making them a second meal because they didn’t like the first (yes, I do this occasionally… don’t judge… my eldest boy was at the 4th percentile for weight one year… a mom never really recovers from that). Tracking what they ate the day before and the day before and the day before. Planning what they will eat for the next meal. And… cleaning up after they are “finished”.

Well, I may be “that mom” who makes my kids their own meal cause they don’t like ratatouille, and well, I am also “that mom” who doesn’t make them finish what is on their plate. Partially because my oldest has had this, like, extra awareness of his “full” button. When he was younger we would try to get him to eat more after he said he was finished and if we did, he always threw up. So, I gave up on that and he’s been fine ever since. And then when I read WeighDown I understood a bit more about the hunger mechanism that God has built into us and I decided that I would allow my kids to choose as much as possible what they wanted to eat (so that I could help them respond to God-given cravings) and I would allow them to stop eating when they were finished. Sure, a little bit of that had to do with the nutritionists saying “don’t eat everything on your plate”, but it was more because I wanted them to get a lot of practice at feeling when they are full and stopping.

And surprisingly this is not a post on “how to help your kids eat the way God intended”. Quite the opposite. I have yet to figure out how to teach them the importance of an orange or raisins or whatever. Keepin it real… my kids eat pop tarts. donuts. toaster strudels. jelly beans. etc. I mean, that’s not all they eat, but they are by no means on this covenant with me. Which is what leads to my REAL topic for this post.

Their leftovers.

Honestly, I don’t think that I’m the only mother out there that would often glean their lunch meal off of what their kids left on their plates. Mere exhaustion along with disdain for the food going to waste was often the motivator that plopped me down at their plates once they were down for naps to dine upon 1/4 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with the bread already a bit stale), a few raisins, a couple scoops of applesauce, maybe the remains of a graham cracker.

But I have had to change that habit simply because some of the things that they “leave behind” are things that are not cool on my covenant, plus I’m often “attracted” to them when I’m not hungry. But they are forever leaving a smattering of chips… a few animal crackers… half an Oreo… an entire Little Debbie donut.

And I have to just throw the stuff away.

Ugh, sometimes it kills me to not just shove it in my mouth. I’m still not entirely sure why… but it’s a temptation nonetheless. (Although I will admit that the only thing I will eat leftovers of is avocado chunks… my two year old lovvvvves avocado but sometimes will leave two or three chunks on the plate… yeah, I’m not letting perfectly good avocado go to waste!)

I know that I’m not supposed to eat their leftovers when I’m not hungry and when it’s not on my covenant. And I think that there was a consequence when I tried to take more than what I needed… I was eating some of their leftover chips which were “technically” on my covenant (well, before I modified the covenant the other day to put them on the “no no” list). And that was during that time that I felt wrong. icky. sad. depressed. off.

And I think that this ties in with what some of the Israelites did with the manna…

Then Moses told them, “Do not keep any of it until morning.” But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Exodus 16:19-20

Only instead of the food bearing the grossness… I had the feel of maggots inside me. So, honestly, I think that it’s worth not eating some leftovers, no matter how much I might love them, to avoid feeling like their are maggots in my soul.

Yeah, no contest on that one!

Day Thirty-Nine: Damsel In Distress

I want to start out by saying that I’m so glad that I decided to do this for a year. Five weeks in and I’m realizing that I’m gonna need another 47 weeks to get this worked out. That might sound like I’m “down” but it’s actually almost like a sigh of relief! I am just really glad that I gave myself a lot of time to get “over” this addiction. To work through my bad habits. To become a new creation. Too often before I have expected myself to become a new creation over night and that’s not always the way that it works. I mean, hey, I have thirty-three years of addictive habits that I’m trying to break. That might take a little while!

Now, with that being said, I feel like I have moved into Phase II of this experience. Phase I was getting past my addiction to sugar, namely, chocolate. Honestly… haha, yeah… honestly, I thought that was my only “issue”. Nope. Turns out that I realize over and over that it really wasn’t about the chocolate at all (well, okay, maybe a bit because it was soooooooo good), but that it has been an issue of the heart. So, once chocolate was gone I simply started to slowly work in new “addictions”. But the good news is that I’m not going to let those new addictions master me for the next thirty-three years but I’m going to deal with them now. nip them in the bud now. abolish them from my life now.

So… yeah. In a way I feel like I am back at square one. I’m seeing some of the same tendencies popping back up! Eating what is not beneficial but is still technically “okay” on the fast (e.g. potato chips). Eating past the sensation of full (e.g. dinner last night and tonight when I ate two servings worth and was way past full). Eating too late in the day and ignoring hunger sensations in the hopes that I would let my belly eat a little fat while I starved a bit (e.g. yesterday when I tried to skip lunch altogether).

I can tell that my weight loss has stalled out a little bit and I think that it is because of these things.

So, I’m needing to remind myself of the covenant. And I don’t think that this is a sign of me faltering, or Satan winning, or a lack of faith, discipline, etc.

I have just finished reading through Joshua in my daily bible readings, and after Joshua and the Israelites cross over the Jordan River (God, again, stops the water from flowing so that they can cross) they pile up 12 stones that someone from each tribe picked up when they were crossing the river. Then Joshua tells them why:

“In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ “Yes, God, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as God, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always. Joshua 4:21-24

It’s not that atypical to set reminders… to need reminders. Heck, it’s all through the bible of the Israelites setting up altars to God to remind themselves that He came through. Like Noah when they got out of the boat. He built an altar to God. I just really like how this part ends… the stones are there so that they can tell others what God did… and why He did it: so that everyone would know how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that we would revere Him always.

So, I am going to be thinking over the next few days of a way that I can set up my stones to remind me that God’s rescuing hand (which I just love that adjective… not just His hand, but his rescuing hand) is strong and that I should revere Him. In the past I might have put a picture of me looking all fatty to “demotivate” me from eating, or a picture of me all skinny to “motivate” me to not eat, or a pig, or a… well, you get the picture. But now again, I am pulling the attention away from me and refocusing it on the things of eternity.

And I think when I see those “stones” and remember that my God has a strong rescuing hand… I might just allow myself to be rescued at that moment. A damsel in distress rescued by The Knight In Shining Armor.

Wow… sounds kind of like a love story.

Yep. The Love Story.