Day 156: Label Maker

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Last night I was talking to my friend… hmmmmm, not sure that I have mentioned her yet so I need to make up her code name… my friend… my friend…well, I’m going to actually put a bit of thought into her name, let’s call her Ananya (Ana for short) because that name means “unique” and/or “energy”… and she is certainly both of those things!!!

Anyway, after quite a lot of conversation we discovered that her covenant needs were less about WHAT she is eating and more about HOW she is thinking! It was a fascinating discussion that was worth bumping my previously half-drafted post back a few days. As Ana talked, we realized that she was constantly filling her mind and soul with horrible, horrible “self-talk” that was destroying her soul and subsequently hurting her body. (You don’t have to be a hippie to know that the mind-body relationship that God has put within us is a complicated and yet extremely powerful thing!)

So, we came up with a plan for her that I think was nothing short of brilliant and entirely going to be a blessing from God. In fact, I think that I’m going to do it for the next five days as well just to see what comes up!

Like most people might need to journal their foods for a few days to come face to face with either how much they are eating (having to force yourself to write down that you ate 5 cupcakes or 3 servings of mashed potatoes or whatever is a great way to realize that you might just be eating more than you realized) but also to face up with what they are eating (like I was completely unaware that I was eating the edges of my son’s peanut butter and honey sandwiches… because I had been eating them for so long I didn’t even realize it)! But since Ana is already a pretty healthy eater, but apparently a pretty UNhealthy self-speaker, she is going to do a variation of that. Ana is going to journal her thoughts all day. Every time she has a negative thought “My belly is a ginormous lump of fat” or “Look at all this cellulite… ugh where did it come from?” or “Even if I do eat this healthy banana I’m still going to get fat” etc… then she is to write it down and then replace that thought with a truth from the Word of God.

Even though there are a lot of good, positive quotes out there that could help, I really encouraged Ana to stick to the Word of God to replace those thoughts… because it will take all the pressure, all the work, all the success or failure off of her. After all, it is God who gives us the ability to succeed!

And I thought this might come in handy (Ana, I was going to email it to you but I figured we could all use it)… I got these verses from a list in the study Me, Myself, and Lies (which is an AWESOME study) and then I transferred them into first-person because they just seem to grab my heart more when I do that… Jennifer Rothchild called them “Truthful Labels” and I thought that was so accurate… God is the one that speaks the truth to us, and I, by all means, want HIM to be the one that labels me (instead of me, the world, and certainly NOT the devil)! He is my true Label Maker!

THE TRUTHFUL LABELS GIVEN TO ME BY GOD

  1. I belong to Christ, and so I’ve become a new person. My old life is gone; my new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
  2. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased my freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave my sins. He has showered his kindness on me, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
  3. God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
  4. I didn’t choose Jesus… Jesus chose me. He appointed me to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give me whatever I ask for, using the name of Jesus. John 15:16
  5. In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
  6. If God is for me, who can ever be against me? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for me, won’t he also give me everything else? Who dares accuse me whom God has chosen as his own? No one! For God himself has given me right standing with himself. Who then will condemn me? No one! For Christ Jesus died for me and was raised to life for me, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for me. Can anything ever separate me from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me. And I am convincned that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
  7. I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
  8. Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18
  9. So now there is no condemnation for me who belongs to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
  10. I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  11. Even though I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that I have been saved!) Ephesians 2:5
  12. I am God’s masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10
  13. Now, I can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit as everyone else because of what Christ has done for me. Ephesians 2:18
  14. Since I have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let me hold firmly to what I believe. This High Priest of mine understands my weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings I do, yet he did not sin. So let me come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I will receive his mercy, and I will find grace to help me when I need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16
  15. I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
  16. God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  17. See how very much my Father loves me, for he calls me his child, and that is what I am! 1 Corinthians 6:20
  18. But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that I am God’s child because they don’t know him. I am already God’s child, but he has not yet shown me what I will be like when Christ appears. But I do know that I will be like him, for I will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:1-2
  19. So now I, as a Gentile, am no longer a stranger and foreigner. I am a citizen along with all of God’s holy people. I am a member of God’s family. Ephesians 2:19
  20. I am a chosen person. I am a royal priest, part of a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, I can show others the goodness of God, for he called me out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9-10
  21. Since God chose me to be a holy person he loves, I must clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
  22. I have had that veil removed and can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes me more and more like him as I am changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
  23. And since I am his child, I am his heir. In fact, together with Christ I am an heir of God’s glory. But if I am to share his glory, I must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17
  24. He no longer calls me a slave, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now I am his friend, since he has told me everything the Father told him. John 15:15
  25. For the Lord my God is living among me. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in me with gladness. With his love, he will calm all my fears. He will rejoice over me with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17
  26. Because of Christ and my faith in him, I can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12

Day Fifty-Seven: Facebook Fail

I hate to say this, but fasting from Facebook for Lent has been really, really good for me.

Yes, I’ll admit… I got on there last Thursday in a desperate attempt to use my social network to find the much loved Tigger stuffed animal that my son threw out of the car window at a local intersection. But other than that I haven’t gotten on there.

But just like fasting from food certain foods (and yes, this will tie into my covenant diet in a second), I find that I very quickly just tried to replace my Facebooking habits with another app. Just like I mentioned here when I tried to replace my chocolate addiction with another addiction to bread. Which is interesting, and goes a step to confirm that what I’m dealing with here is not so much about which foods I eat but something deeper. Which is also why I think that a lot of my struggles and successes with Christ have worked to help a few blog followers that aren’t even struggling with food… but other addictive issues. Or, “replacement” issues… like we are trying to replace the power of Christ with something else. Hmmmmm, I don’t know. Sorta rambling there! Haha!

Anyway, the point. Yes, the point…

So, the main reason that I chose Facebook to fast from during Lent was because Facebook is in the same location as one of my Bibles: on my iPhone. And now whenever I pick up my phone when I have a spare minute to do… something, anything, whatever… if I look at my Bible app and think, “Nah.” Then I automatically “require” of myself to say “Yes” and read my Bible. Even if I already finished my reading for the day (which, by the way, I’m going through this study plan to read through the Bible and it has been great! You read for five days of the week and then get two days “off” to read something else, or in my case, to catch up).

Okay, January, that’s just great… now, how does that apply to the covenant diet?

Yes, yes… of course. Well, as I keep saying, I think that the biggest part of “my” success has been the bible reading that I have been doing throughout this experience. Over and over again the way that God reaches down into my life and “saves” me has been through a verse or story from the Word of God. So, fasting from Facebook has had a triple reward: a) I’m not on Facebook all the time which is just good in and of itself, b) I’m getting to read a lot more of the Bible, c) all the extra Bible reading has worked its way into helping with a renewing and refocusing of my mind and, in turn, helping relieve me of my addiction.

So, as much as I love Facebook to share stuff with, I’m starting to wonder if Facebook is a Fail…

Day Twenty-Four: Trading Addictions

Well, I might be doing a decent job of avoiding brownies but guess what is starting to become the new culprit?

Bread.

I have never really thought of bread as a huge temptation but I do think that I probably eat more of it than I need. I guess my bread overeating always seemed sorta overshadowed by my chocolate… issues.

But again. This is not about a diet. It’s about changing. It’s about renewal. It’s about finding freedom. I’m not into getting rid of one food addiction (sugar/chocolate) only to replace it with another (bread). That’s a change of habit but not a change in my habit of overeating or being addicted to food.

So I’m seriously considering adding bread to the list of the forbidden. I don’t know. Still thinking about it. Maybe I’ll just give it a go of avoiding it again instead of completely cutting it out.

I guess I think about that verse in Matthew:
So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Matthew 5:29-30

I’d rather be hot about this than lukewarm. I’d rather be hardcore than lame. I’d rather be extreme and go without than to be the same forever.

I’d rather be changed! renewed! free!