Day 629: I Love It When My Pants Won’t Button

if you wake up and your fat jeans wont button consider it a challenge

Okay, well, I love the effect it has on me when my pants won’t button.

Wait. False.

I love the effect on me AFTER the original response I have when my pants won’t button.

Confused?

I bet.

This morning I woke up, did the whole parenting thing, made lunches, got kids dressed, yada yada ya. And then I needed to throw on some clothes to take my son to Kindergarten (He still insists that we walk him into the school instead of car drop off, and well… I indulge him), so I ran into my closet and thought “Oh, I’ll just grab my ‘fat jeans’ and wear those.”

Now, mind you, my ‘fat jeans’ are heinously uncomfortable and actually they aren’t even a bigger size… so ‘fat jeans’ is really quite a misnomer. They are my ‘cheap jeans’ that look terrible on me so I call them my ‘fat jeans’ because they are the ones that I wear around the house.

Only, not today I didn’t.

Because they wouldn’t even button.

I looked up at myself in the mirror. And I could see the dismay on my face.

It’s happening.

I said to myself.

I’m gaining weight.

A lot of it.

I must be if these jeans won’t even BUTTON!

And cue the moment where I spiral into a depression because I am doing the VERY thing that I do not want to do: gain. I mean, it’s cool for me to maintain, but gain?!?! No.

I could feel the horrid self-talk bubbling up from deep inside me… raging to crawl up into my mind and tell me that I’m worthless. weak. stupid.

But then I looked up again… and I said to the mirror, yes, I said it outloud, by myself, in the bathroom, with my ‘fat jeans’ hanging open.

Well then, it’s on!

{Cause I really try to never miss a chance to make my life feel a little bit like a cheesy movie.}

But it was… it was ON!  I decided in that 13 seconds that I was going to go to the pool and swim that morning (even though not even an hour before I had decided to cancel my membership since I hadn’t been in three weeks… which was a post-injury sabbatical of a week that had stretched into three) and then I was going to make a meal list for the week and then I was going to go grocery shopping later today.

Okay… that is the too-much-detail-I-always-tell-too-many-irrelevant-details version of the morning. And I mean, it was cool that a moment that should have gotten me down… a moment that would have knocked every ounce of motivation out of me a couple of years ago… that moment turned into my motivation!

But it got even cooler.

So, I went to the gym (and I am currently straining myself to leave out every detail of the morning between dropping my son off at school and finally making it into the pool) and of course water aerobics were about to begin and you can’t lap swim during that time. Since I was feeling very, very tight I hopped into the hot tub to get my body warmed up. While I was in there I started doing some stretching and thought

This would be a great time to pray.

So that’s what I did… I stretched and prayed… and THEN, I started to sing.

Yep.

In the hot tub.

Which is in the same room as water aerobics.

I just couldn’t come up with a verse or a prayer that was expressing my heart right, and my mind just sorta defaulted into song (which unfortunately, try as I might… I canNOT remember which one it was)! So… I sang.

And then when water aerobics really got jumpin, I got into the small portion of the pool by the steps that they don’t use and I just did some swim-kicks (whatever you want to call it… I held on to the step and kicked my legs as if I were swimming) and I said thank you to God for everything that I could come up with.

Thank you God for this membership.
Thank you God for this pool.
Thank you God for the time to do this.
Thank you God for your grace.
Thank you God for my body.
Thank you God for where I am now.
Thank you God for where I will be.
Thank you God for where I have been.
Thank you God for this revival of my heart.
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…

And it was beautiful. And I did those leg kicks for thirty minutes. Not because I had to but because I wanted to. I wanted to stay there with God. I wanted to say thanks to Him both through my words and through my commitment to stay there and work my body. I wanted to stay there and say thanks…

Thank you God for… the fact that my ‘fat jeans’ didn’t fit this morning.

fat pants made me workout

Day 445: When It Rains, It Pours… Literally.

As in, it’s 2:24am as I start this post and I’ve already been up for about thirty minutes because it is POURING at our house.

With full-boar lightning, the kind of thunder that makes things rattle in the house, and overflowing gutters all around.

Oh, and shall I include a nightmaring toddler?

Not that I can blame him… creation is LOUD tonight.

So, what does a girl like me do at 2am when she can’t sleep cause of the rain?

She blogs.

And reads the bible.

Well, honestly, first I opened up Twitter… not because I was checking anything for my Twitter feed, but because I follow Jesus Calling on there and sometimes they just have one little tweet that rocks my world. I think I was hoping that they would make it easy on me. And after scrolling through the last week or so of their tweets, I was like “Ummmm, I’m in the wrong place” and so I hoped over to YouVersion to see what God had to say.

I sorta stared at that screen for a minute, like, “Uhhhhhh… what should I read?” So I clicked on my bookmarks and skimmed through those. And then, I thought “Well, why am I up in the first place? Rain. I’ll search for verses that have the word rain in them.”

And I saw this one in the book of Joel.

Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. Joel 2:23

And that part “The rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness” sorta grabbed my attention, so I thought… “Hmmmm, I’ll read some of Joel. Cause I mean… who reads Joel?!?!? I don’t even REMEMBER the last time I read the book of Joel. Not sure I even remembered that it was a book of the bible.”

And then I changed my readers version to The Message… cause, I mean, come on. It IS 2am.

And then I was reminded why people probably don’t hit up Joel very often… from the onset you get verses like these:

Get in touch with reality—and weep! Joel 1:5

Joy is dried up and withered in the hearts of the people. Joel 1:12

A black day! A Doomsday! Clouds with no silver lining! Joel 2:2

Yikes… who wants THAT story??? But, just like God’s grace, the story turns…

But there’s also this, it’s not too late— God’s personal Message!— “Come back to me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!”Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here’s why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe. Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now, maybe he’ll turn around and show pity. Maybe, when all’s said and done, there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God! Joel 2:12-14

I mean, that was good, don’t get me wrong. But then, there it was… the reason God sent me to Joel. And let’s just say that the “locust” in my life was gluttony.

I’ll make up for the years of the locust, the great locust devastation— Locusts savage, locusts deadly, fierce locusts, locusts of doom, That great locust invasion I sent your way. You’ll eat your fill of good food. You’ll be full of praises to your God, The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder. Joel 2:25-27

And it just reminded me… God will… wait, no… God IS making up for the years of slavery that I spent to gluttony. And now, I’m eating my fill of GOOD food. I’m full of praises to Him. He is my God, who has set me back on my heels in wonder.

So, like the rainbow was in the days of Noah, rain will be for me. I will remember that like he said in verse 23, “Rain demonstrates His Faithfulness.

Thank you rain, for waking me up.
Thank you toddler, for getting me up.
Thank you Joel, for reminding me.

Thank you God, for saving me.

Day 279: Divine Diapers And Dinners

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Both yesterday and today are the kind of days where I wake up and think… I really don’t have anything to say.

Part of that comes from a couple of days of busyness where my heart and mind don’t have time to think about anything except for the next five minutes or getting from task to task.

Yes, yes, I am a stay at home mom so my “busyness” is not deadlines and contracts and meetings, but I can assure you that my two boys keep me bussssssssy!!!

And of course as soon as I wrote that about being too busy to think about anything other than diapers and dinners, I recalled a verse from my lesson in church yesterday… we are studying parables (little fictitious stories that have an underlying message) and specifically studying the message about the farmer who throws some seed out. I’ll put it here for you so you don’t have to go looking… it might be familiar to you but go ahead and take it for a spin anyway to refresh.

    Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:
    “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! (Here Jesus has a little chat with the disciples and then he gets to saying this to them.) Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
    http://bible.us/Matt13.1.NLT

And when I wrote above “that comes from a couple of days of busyness where my heart and mind don’t have time to think about anything” my mind went to this verse:

    The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.” http://bible.us/Matt13.22.NLT

YIKES.

That’s so true. The days when my life is so crowded with worries or bills or… or… or… those are the days that I am relatively fruitless. Those are the days that my mind is focused on the temporary things instead of on the things of eternity.

Well, that’s all good and fine, but I can’t “downgrade” my busyness. I already have two kids and they aren’t gonna stop needing diapers and dinners just because I want to focus on things of eternity. I already have bills that must be paid. I already have a house to be cleaned. I already have a husband to support. I already have bible studies to complete. I already have, have, have.

And so what’s the “fix”?

I guess for some people they might need to downgrade some busyness. I really don’t think that I am that busy.

But what I can do is fill my mind with things focused on eternity. So, while I am working on changing a diaper or cooking dinner… I can set my eyes on the things above.

And not to be redundant from my posts on day 269 and 270, but I think that praise is the best way to do this.

I can praise Him in those little one sentence acknowledgements of His awesomeness. I can praise Him while I’m changing a diaper. I can praise Him while I am cooking dinner. I can praise Him while I am doing pretty much anything.

And if I am constantly looking for a time of open thought to praise Him then I am going to have my mind on the things of eternity quite often during the day.

And that just makes even the mundane of diapers and dinners… divine.

Day 274: Soul Rest

Well, things are decidedly better in my life.

This whole praising God thing has completely turned my spiritual frown… upside down!

I mean… it has just really refocused me on how awesome He is. How capable He is. And how minor I am in comparison to His Glory.

Kinda put me in my place, so to say. But it also really made me remember WHY I love Him. Why I am in awe that He lowers Himself to communicate with me. Why I want to follow Him.

Anyway, so I really have focused on my spiritual renewal lately and not as much my eating.

Can you say… Cheetos?

And, by the way, those Fig Newton “fruit thins”… yeah, they are cookies. Do not be deceived. Fruit thins… pfffffff.

So anyway, last night I was just… missing my “new” self. And I asked God… what should I do? How do I get back on “the wagon”?

His answer… You already know.

And I did already know.

And don’t we oftentimes already know what to do?

So, I started another hard-core Daniel Fast today. I’m thinking more and more that I might need to be like my friend Alice and do a hard-core Daniel Fast for way more long term.

So, for the next month I will be eating fruits, veggies, nuts, coffee, and rice and pasta only when it’s a “necessary” part of a meal.

Chips? Out.
Bread? Out.

And just today… even though I had a major sugar crash around 4pm… it was soooooooo nice to be free again. Free from my son’s leftover Cheetos. Free from the last mini-homemade-snickerdoodle muffin. Free from saltines. slices of sandwich bread.

It’s so nice to commit to God once more to honor Him, and in doing so, to lose my struggles and my burdens.

His “yoke” truly is light. And I am already enjoying this rest for my soul. (Matt 11).

Day 270: I Will Praise You In The Fridge

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I have had yet another revelation of sorts that I wanted to share.

Again, I must remind you that some of these posts are about my relationship with Jesus and not as much about food. It is simply because I have figured out that my “need” to overeat and rely upon food for comfort (along with many other things besides comfort) contrasts my need for him. And since I have been practicing math with my five-year-old, I’ll put it in an equation…

My “need” to eat > My need for God

Well, yesterday I wrote about how I had learned the concept: “The antidote for lethargy and spiritual heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.” And I am just still enthralled with that idea.

I am concertedly focusing on praise for a while. I put my read-the-bible-in-a-year plan up for a bit because I need to focus on praising Him for a bit.

But, I have been using that with my eating as well… looking in the fridge and saying Thank you God for this beautiful, healthy, pest-free orange. Or another time, God you have given us such abundance! Look at this variation of colors in my fruit basket and veggie drawer.

I’m not saying that I do this all the time, but it has helped me a few times. Just yesterday I looked in the fridge and thought “Oh, just fruit.” and then I stopped myself and said, “Oh wow, God… a huge tub of sweet cantaloupe… all cut up and ready to eat! Thank you so much! What a blessing to have this!”

And honestly, I suddenly wanted it! Ha! It really is amazing how my world changes when I look through the eyes of praise and blessing.

Whadda know, life ain’t so bad after all!

Day 269: Yo Quiero Jesus

Today was… rough.

Wait. Allow me to remind everyone that I have a toddler that is almost 2 1/2. There is no way that my day isn’t going to be rough. Ha!

But lately I have jut been a bit worn down… by life, by motherhood, by housekeeping, by lack of sleep, by lack of Jesus, by… well, by everything. And so my patience for the independent streak of a child that can’t even put on his own shoes is lacking somewhat.

This morning he had already worn me to the bone. He was up twice last night and up early this morning and he went to bed late last night because of church. So he was cuh.rank.y.

I was delivering a piece of mail for my husband and the outside mailboxes had been removed because they are widening the road, so I had to get my toddler out of the car to mail that one measly letter. (Yeah, I had a great attitude about it- ha!) I looked over longingly at the Taco Bell next door and thought, “Oh if only I could get a supreme chalupa… I would feel so much better.” And then I proceeded to fantasize about eating a chalupa.

(This sounds extremely comical now that I’m past the moment!)

Luckily my Jesus-conscience piped up, “But seriously? Is eating a chalupa gonna fix anything? I mean, your kid will still act the same. Your house will still be a mess. You will still be unshowered. You will still be tired. And your life will still be exactly the same. Sure, you will have a few minutes of escape, but what’s the point if you have to just dive right back into a rough day and you’ll have to add to all your negative emotions a big ol’ chalupa size serving of guilt!”

(My Jesus-conscience is very smart.)

So, at that point I knew that I needed to turn to Jesus. I knew that He could sustain me. But I was all like…… ummmmmmm, what do I say to Him? “I need you???!” Gosh, like He hasn’t heard that lately.

And there I was sitting at a stoplight with my toddler whining in the back seat with no clue how to approach God.

And I remembered that last night at my Transforming Prayer bible study, the leader said that she had read in some notes from a previous prayer meeting that the man had said “The antidote for lethargy and spiritual heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.”

So I said, “Okay… praise God… hmmmmmm, what should I say?”

{Mind went utterly blank}

So I just said, “Alright I’m gonna go through every scripture that comes to mind until one of them is a scripture of praise.” And immediately the verses of late came to mind, “God, you are the God who saves me. You are right beside me. God you are my rock. You are my salvation. You are my hope. My joy. My peace.”

{All of this was said while bawling, of course.}

And I instantly felt closer to Him. Was my day better? No. Had my son stopped whining? No. Had I suddenly become clean and showered? No.

But I had hope. Not an earthly hope. But His Hope.

And then I got home and it was quickly sucked back out of me as my toddler and I got into yet another battle for control. So I turned to Psalm 27 that we had prayed last night in my group and I put that thing on audio and listened to it as my toddler and I played outside.

Then I needed to make some of those permanent and since we were playing with chalk, I wrote those phrases on the wall.

And I think that I have truly found the antidote for my struggles: praise.

The antidote for lethargy and spiritual heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.

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Day 121: UNglorious

I think I’m starting to get a much better understanding of what it was to be an Israelite.

I’ve often read about the Israelites going around and around in circles with God… He would save them, then they would praise Him and adore Him, then they would begin to worship an idol, and then He would punish them, and then they would repent, and He would save them. Over and over again. I was always like, seriously? Why would you worship some gold cow after what He did for you?

But I think now I’m starting to identify a bit more with them.

God has brought me out of my own little proverbial “Egypt” of food addiction. I have spent days praising Him and being in awe of His “mighty hand and outstretched arm”.

But, sitting here at day 121, I can say that over the past four months there have been days when, well, it’s not as… fun. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not breaking the covenant. But sometimes I find myself forcing myself to blog… and not because I don’t want to write (although, there are days of just mere exhaustion with two young boys where that is the case) but because I don’t feel like there is anything “new” to write about. There are days that are just… well, to play off of my “tag line”… there are days that are just UNglorious. At least that is the way that some days feel.

But, really, there are no days that are UNglorious.

The Lord makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18

So even if a day of tge covenant journey is… “boring” or “lame” or just plain “normal”, I am still in the process of being changed into his glorious image. Wow. That just makes every day… a glory day!

Day 117: HE WILL DO THIS

Okay so I have been feeling crummy for several days now… and for once I don’t mean crummy just physically but also spiritually. Like, something akin to depressed but not quite that strong. And I hate to admit it, but I think most of it stemmed from that dad gum weight thing, although it has taken me days to realize (or admit) that was the root cause.

But over the past day I have realized that all of my thoughts were centered around my weight. my lack of weight loss. my covenant blog posts. and then this morning to just plunk a nice big ol’ cherry on top, I weighed and had gained four pounds.

That was all she wrote. I was plummeting after that… what if this doesn’t work? What if God has abandoned me? What if I was wrong all along? What if I have failed?

And so I was so glad that today was a church day. I needed some fresh perspective. Some Word of God from… outside of me. Although I have kept on reading the Word through all of this, I realized today that I was reading the word with tunnel vision on: reading it solely for a Word about the covenant. about why I wasn’t losing weight. or about something I could use in a covenant post.

And there I was in worship, sangin and dancin… and the wisdom I have been praying for was right there. Not in a particular song… just in some truth written on my heart, whispered to me in the midst of me losing myself in praising Jesus for my salvation. A True Word From God…

I WILL do this.

And that was His voice saying that… not mine. HE. WILL. DO. THIS. I almost wanted to laugh there standing in the middle of the church. Haha- it was so simple. God and I had made a covenant… and I had lost faith that He could and would hold up His end of the deal.

I was thinking again that I could do it. That I could lose the weight. He just wanted me to realize that He is the one that has to do it. That He is the One who can do it. That He is the One who WILL do it.

And then, wanna guess what the Pastor spoke on???

Yep. Fear.

And at it’s core, that’s what I was… afraid. Afraid that God couldn’t, or wouldn’t, continue his work in me. But these two verses struck true with me…

But Moses told the people, (as they were about to have to cross the Red Sea) “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today… The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14

And here I have been wondering and worrying DESPITE THE AMAZING WORK HE HAS DONE FOR ME ALREADY… would He save me all the way? Worried that He would only take me 117 days in and then drop me? I’m so like those dadgum Israelites that He brought out of Egypt. I have seen this miracle in my life… recently… and yet I was afraid that God might not take me across the Red Sea? I was really afraid that He would change my entire life and then just dump me out for the Egyptians to come and slaughter me? or WORSE, take me back into slavery?

Nope. I just need to stay calm. stand still. and wait for the Lord himself to fight for me. to rescue me.

Cause He has.

Cause He can.

CAUSE. HE. WILL.

 

Day 114: Like… Jesus

I weighed again a couple of days ago and I’m sittin pretty at 160. Now, I can tell you that I have not lost more than maybe two pounds in the past two months. I can also tell you that before making this covenant I would have been crushed. devastated. depressed. if I had been limiting my food for two months and not lost any weight. And I can also tell you that even though I have not lost more than two pounds in two months… I. don’t. care!!!

I mean… like, I’m really feeling completely free right now from the burden of having to have lost weight! It’s as if my weight is slowly becoming just what it should be… something temporary. something of this earth. And my mind is more concerned about the things of eternity.

I hate for this to sound like an “Oh thou shalt listen to me for I am holier than thou” kind of post. What it is, really, is a praise post.

Because for me to be able to say the words “I don’t care that I have not lost weight”… well, that just signifies a whole new me… and I can assure you that becoming a whole new me has only been possible with Jesus.

Let me break it down for ya.

For yearssssss I have obsessed about my weight. And even though I obsessed about it, I continued to gain and gain and gain. Because, like I said above, it had become my obsession. And we tend to embrace what we obsess about.

And then it became more than just an obsession. Food became my… everything. And I had to have it all. the. time. Not for nourishment’s sake at all but for… well, for I don’t even know why… for appeasing some, like, monster inside of me.

And I was literally out of control.

And all the while, I was obsessing over my weight. And obsessing over my failure to lose weight.

And now. Still sitting at 160 and I am perfectly cool with it. Cause God is taking over my body. my mind. my soul. my spirit. If he wants me to weigh 160 then that’s what I’ll weigh. If he’s got a plan for me to hit 150… 140. Then coolio. But I’m not gonna stress it. I have bigger stuff to think about. more important stuff to think about. more awesome stuff to think about.

Like… Jesus.

Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2

Day Sixty: That Awesome Moment When…

There’s this little fad on Facebook where people say “That awkward moment when…” and then they finish with whatever awkward moment just happened. Like “That awkward moment when you send your dad a text that you meant to send to your husband.”

Well, this is not an awkward moment. This is an AWESOME moment!

And here’s why…

My in-laws (or as my dad likes to call them, my “outlaws”) have my boys for the weekend! Okay, that IS awesome but it is not the “awesome moment” that I am talking about. So, since the boys are gone I decided to do a little spring cleaning… mainly in my closet. I originally only planned to clean out my husband’s side, but he wanted some things put up in our “upper level” clothes racks so I had to get down my capris. No biggie, it’s pretty much capri season anyway. Well, when I got them down I noticed that several pairs were two sizes bigger than the pants I was wearing at the time, so I thought I’d better try them on. If they were too big then I’d send them off with my husband’s pile of giveaways.

Annnnnnnnd, here is the awesome moment: NONE OF THEM. NOT ONE PAIR. FIT ME.

Yahooooooooooooooooo!!!!

And I don’t mean they didn’t fit as in “Oh these are a little baggy but I can still wear them,” but as in they were, literally, falling off of me!

One pair in particular that has been my go-to pair of capri pants for the past six years were actually quite comical! I laughed when I looked in the mirror and then I yelled because I was so excited!

And of course Kari Jobe was on Pandora right at that moment…

I believe You’re my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe
I believe You’re my portion
I believe You’re more than enough for me
Jesus, You’re all I need.

And wow… it was just an awesome moment of His awesomeness. Of His answering my prayers. Of His Love.

So I stood in my bedroom clad in these baggy pants and sang and praised God with tears flowing down my face.

Because He is all I need.