Day 353: Back To Basics

After my experiences on Wednesday, I woke up this morning knowing that I needed to recenter myself.

But, like I’ve mentioned before, there isn’t a ton of time in my life to just sit and ponder, so this morning I found myself saying simple prayers. informal prayers. prayers from the heart.

God, please help me honor You today. Help me choose well. Help me. Help me. Help me. I am dependent upon you. I rely upon you for strength. Help me God.

But with just that prayer… just that prayer alone… I found myself able to resist all that “junk” today. Not saying it was an easy resistance, but I resisted nonetheless.

And after that refocus, I thought to myself, “I need to get back to what I was eating a year ago, right at the beginning of the covenant.”

And well, whadda know? My mom got me some of my favorite winter soup for Christmas… Tomato Basil from La Madeline’s! Sooooooo gooooood. So, that’s what I chose for lunch.

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I have lately really wished that I had cataloged everything that I ate at first because it was all so easy. so perfectly filling. so tasty.

But then I am reminded that it felt that way because the goodness of the Lord was a new taste to me… the power of God was a new flavor… the sufficiency of God was a new feeling. It had so little to do with the foods that I was choosing and so much to do with Who I was choosing.

But, all the same, I want to remember… I want to get back to the basics of how I started. Things like prayer, bible study, and good foods. And as I looked for a verse today about remembering His Goodness from the past, I found this verse… well, I found the second verse but the first just really snagged me as well.

“Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given.” 1 Chronicles 16:11-12

But look at that. Remember: 1) the wonders he has performed, 2) his miracles, and 3) his rulings.

And I have those in my own life: 1) enabling me to have the strength to stick to a covenant, 2) me going for a year without sugar, 3) his commands against gluttony and lust and greed.

When I remember the wonders he has done and his miracles, then I want to remind myself of His Rules because I have been reminded already, twice, of examples of His Goodness… makes me more prone to remember that His Rulings are for. my. good. and they are for. His. Glory.

Day Sixty-Nine: Vice Versa

One of the things that I have to watch out for whenever I start to get closer to Jesus: self-righteousness.

Which is totally backwards because he was quite the opposite of self-righteous. He attributed everything to God. But, nonetheless, I start to think of myself as better than others.

And I am brought down a bit today as I remember that it was only like two months ago that I was buried. drowning. suffocating. in my own addiction and vice. An addiction that I wanted to be rid of, but couldn’t shake it off.

I have a friend that drinks quite a bit and smokes occasionally and I am horribly impatient with her addictions. Perhaps because her addictions affect me. Like, my overeating never really affected anyone. Maybe it disappointed my husband or embarrassed my parents, but…

Ya know… I’m gonna stop myself right there. I say that my overeating never affected anyone and then I list three people that I know were affected by it. See?!?!?! This is an example of what I’m talking about. I have this self-righteousness that isn’t even deserved!

I think I am going to enjoy God working on this part of my heart. I would love to be renewed in the way I view my fellow strugglers. And in typical God fashion… as soon as I made this realization about myself, the verses started appearing. This one in particular was part of my reading plan this past week and grabbed my attention:

For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? 1 Corinthians 4:7

And that’s the thing… I have no right to stand here (even if I am all by myself) and look down on anyone, but especially on someone that is struggling. Whether they know the are struggling or not. Whether they want to be struggling or not. Whether they know how to be free or not. My freedom was… a gift. A gift from God.

And so what should my mind do instead? Instead, I want to pray that God gives them that gift as well. I want… desperately want… for my dear friend to be free of that vice, that stronghold, that addiction. And so I pray that God may break the chains and gift my friend with that freedom. For, I know… I have learned… that there is no other way to freedom than through a gift from God.

But my judgment will not get her or any of my other friends closer to freedom. But perhaps my prayers… will get her closer.

Day Fifty-Nine: Ask

God answers prayers.

Some of you might be thinking…
Ummmmmm yeah. Wow. Sure hope January doesn’t think that is some kind of major revelation never known before.

And some of you might be thinking…
No He doesn’t. At least it doesn’t feel like He does. I have to figure most everything out.

And even then…
Oh yes. Amen. I’m sure He does answer some people’s prayers. But, well, now that I think about it, I don’t recall the last time I asked Him about something.

And there might be a billion other variations, but I think that I probably have typically fallen into that last category. I have known that he does often answer some people’s prayers. But I don’t want to bother Him with my requests because they are so mundane. Surely I can take care of it.

But, just look at how I handled something as basic as eating. I didn’t take care of it!!! I ignored it and I ignored the power that God could have over it.

And really, to break the chains… all it took was to ask. That’s it. Just to ask.

And He was ready. Because He knew what greatness awaited me on the other side of an addiction.

Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! John 14:14

And the cool thing about seeing Him work and “answer” prayers in one area of my life is that now I have more faith to trust him in other areas. And it’s so awesome to see that same readiness to answer in those situations.