Day 235: Blue Moon Blues

Oh my Lordy.

Yesterday was… well, it was a bonafide me. me. me. day.

And I don’t mean that in a good way.

It was one of those days where I was pushing away my Jesus-loving self and allowing myself to act like a woman of the world. I wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it however I wanted to make it happen.

I wanted to sit around all day and flip through my IKEA catalog even though my son is out of underwear.

I wanted to eat three slices of toast overly buttered this morning.

I wanted to have my kids watch movies all day so that I wouldn’t have to do anything.

I wanted to eat 3/4 of a cheese pizza.

I wanted to ignore God’s whisper that eating a bunch of junk wouldn’t make me feel right. or better. or good. or happy.

I wanted. I wanted. I wanted.

But there is a big difference between just wanting and actually taking.

And well, yesterday I took what I wanted. It was the first day in a long time that I felt like the “former me”… ya know, like: ignoring God’s pleas to not overeat, feeling powerless to resist eating, feeling like I needed to eat for some other reason than hunger. And I’m a little numb about it actually. I should feel bad and remorseful about it and I want to feel bad. But I don’t.

I think maybe it’s because a little bit of me is convinced that it was a result of the blue moon… everyone knows how full moons drive women a little wacko. Haha!

Maybe it’s because I knew that today would be a new day. A day where I could do right. Maybe that is why before my covenant started I was bawling over my cookie dough (that story is on day 21)… it was because I felt no hope. I had not yet learned that God could take my one horrible day and turn it right. I had not yet learned that God has the power to forgive and give me new life.

And honestly, today I feel almost as if yesterday didn’t happen. And double honestly, I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I hate to say that I feel like I “got it out of my system” because I don’t even like that mentality. But that is kind of how it feels.

Okay- I just had the moment where all these ramblings have brought me to the realization that I was needing to get it out of my system. Because I have been carrying the weight of the temptation on my own for the past few weeks. And resisting these food temptations is a heavy burden. A burden that added up day after day after day starts to beat me down. And I think I needed to get allllll the temptations off of my shoulders. How does my human mind think to do that?

Ironically enough, by sinning.

How does a mind set on eternity think to do that? Spending a day of fasting and prayer. A day of total and complete humility before God. A day of begging for His help and guidance and freedom.

And well, I think I have a day like that only once in a blue moon.

And it’s time to change that.

{Ahhhhhhh, but I do feel better having “figured” that one out!}

{Annnnnd, props to my hubby for helping me come up with my post’s name!}

Day 210: THE Force

Day 7 of my hard-core Daniel Fast!

So, my pastor said something on Sunday that has been sticking in my mind…

“You’ll never know the full force of temptation until you are able to resist it.”

I’ve been really thinking on that. It took me a second… okay, a few seconds… to really grasp what it was that he was saying. Here’s my reworking of it… I feel the force of temptation when I am trying to not eat a chocolate chip cookie from, say, Chick Fil A (cause holy moly… have you SEEN those things?!?! They are beastly awesome looking!). But, if I “give in” and eat the cookie then I really might only feel 30% of the force of temptation if I give in quickly. Maybe if I wait a while I might feel 90% of the force of temptation. Maybe even 99.9% of the temptation. But… if I’m giving in to the temptation… if I eat the proverbial Chick Fil A cookie, then I never have the “opportunity” to feel a full 100% of the force of temptation.

I almost felt like I was writing a Star Wars blog post there for a second… with all the times I wrote “the force”.

But, gosh… it is so accurate. It totally makes sense.

And at the same time… I think that there is a second part to that statement:

And until you are able to resist temptation, you’ll not know the full force of freedom in Christ.

Cause peeps… dizang. Once I finally started to tap into the Power of the Holy Spirit to resist temptation in my life, and once those temptations were so easily squelched and resisted: WOW. Then, I felt this freedom like I have never felt in my life. And I felt powerful. I felt like I had been infused with some kind of supersonic supernatural elixir to stand up to anything, and that’s because I HAD been infused with it!

I mean, let me break it down for you… for yearrrrrrrs I had been unable to resist that Chick Fil A cookie (well, maybe not necessarily THAT cookie cause honestly I have only just seen their cookie today… but you get my point)… so for years, I have warred against that cookie. loathed it. resented it. desired it. lamented it. lusted for it. and then eventually, ate it. I have almost always given in. And if I didn’t give in one day, I was sure to give in the next. or the next.

And so once I finally allowed God to become my motivation for NOT eating that cookie instead of my health being my motivation, or my weight, or my cravings, etc. Once I made that change, then I was able to hurdle over that line of not-resisting temptation into the realm of resisting temptation. And oh what a freeing feeling that is. And it continues to be freeing. I still feel a bit of a triumph like I did today watching both of my boys chowing down into those CFA cookies while I just… looked on.

It was just one of those moments where I truly felt… truly knew… that The Force was with me.

Day 163: Just Food

I was recently having coffee with my friend Alice and we were talking covenant stuff. She mentioned that one of her struggles was that she felt the need to be strong enough to resist on her own. She said with a sarcastic note to her voice, it’s “just food”. She felt that she should be able to deal with “just food”.

And I have been really thinking on that a lot since then.

Cause really… she’s right. We so often feel a little extra dose of extra guilt because we can’t resist this stuff that is “just food”.

But as I have thought about it, a few thoughts have come to mind about “just food”…

Satan used food as the first form of temptation in the Garden.

Jesus performed his first miracle changing water to wine.

Christ compared his own body to bread and wine at the last supper.

It’s not “just food”.

And honestly, I thought and thought about WHY it’s not “just food”… WHY does it have more of a power than other things in our life?

And I’m thinking that it ties, in a weird sort of way, to our level of faith. Satan knew that Adam and Eve were provided every piece of vegetation in the garden except those apples (or whatever they were) from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And I think he played off of a small, tiny fear that has glowed in our hearts for all of time… the thought – the fear -  that we might not have enough. Not necessarily that we haven’t gotten to experience everything, but that deep down we fear that we might come across a time of… want. need. starvation.

And now I live in a time where most people in America live in a situation where there IS abundance like in the Garden. there IS enough for all of us. there IS plenty.

But we still have these images from the Holocaust. I can still remember stories of the Irish Potato Famine and the mass exodus that ensued. We see pictures pouring in from Africa, India, Asia, Russia of men, women, and children bare boned and sallow eyed.

And although we might grab another brownie it’s not typically because we are consciously thinking, “Oh, man, I’d better stock up on brownies tonight because we might all be starving tomorrow!” But in the ever increasing state of unrest in the world, it is more than likely in the back of our thoughts.

So, I wonder if much of this addiction and pull to “just food” is in response to our fear… and our subsequent need to control that fear.

But God has instructed us that food is now to become… insignificant. a non-issue.

I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:25-33

And He gives us a promise here… that if we run toward Him that He will give us everything we need. He doesn’t promise that we won’t starve, He doesn’t promise that we won’t be hungry, He doesn’t promise that we will even live. But He does promise to give us everything we need. And once we start to learn to trust that He will take care of us… then we can free ourselves from stressing over “just food” and then it can truly become exactly that… just. food.

Day 111: Patiently Persist

I think maybe I’ve gotten in a bit of a rush lately with my covenant. I know that might seem a bit weird to say considering that nothing I do will speed up the time for me. I mean, the end of the year won’t come any faster or slower and I’m not stopping my covenant before the end of the year.

But what I mean is that I’m in a rush for more “results”. And I don’t just mean outward results like losing more weight but also inward results like resisting tortillas and whatnot.

Part of the reason that I signed on for a year of this is because I know, based on some other times in my life that God has worked and molded me into a new person, that sometimes being completely renewed is a long process. Or at least it can be longer than I want it to be sometimes. I know that He can perform a change in me overnight but I also know that sometimes I resist his changes and renewals. Sometimes subconsciously resisting and sometimes quite consciously.

But recently in my bible reading I came across this verse and the message really told me to slow. down.

“And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” Luke 8:15 NLT

And here is another version of the same verse…

The seeds that fell in good soil stand for those who hear the message and retain it in a good and obedient heart, and they persist until they bear fruit. Luke 8:15 GNT

I just really like both of those versions… and I loved both the words patiently and persist. They remind me again that God’s ways are not necessarily my ways. Or, in another light, God’s timing is not necessarily my timing.

But I am to patiently persist until I produce a fruit… a harvest.

So. realllly, putting a time limit of a year isn’t even right. I’m to do this covenant until I produce fruit to harvest.

That’s gonna take some patience! Haha!