Day 671: Well, Well, Well

Only I’m not “well, well, well.”

I’m sick – sick – sick.

Like, we are talking, I have the flipping plague over here.

And how interesting is it that when I make a huge commitment to God to not eat sugar… it didn’t take Satan long to get all up in my grill.

And ya know what?

He did the exact. same. thing. when I first started my covenant. On Day Five of my covenant I got strep throat.

Ugh. Satan. Such a party pooper.

Only, I kinda like to twist his plans. Cause ya know, when I realized what was going on and that Satan just couldn’t come up with ANYTHING even remotely original other than giving me a sickness when I started to go on a diet, instead of getting down and out and discouraged, I said to myself “Ohhhhhhh. If he feels the need to mess with me, again, then I am so totally on the right track. He saw how freeing this whole experience was the first time and he’s attempting to derail me again.

And I mean it wasn’t a terrible idea.

feed a cold starve a fever

I, too, have heard the phrase “Feed a cold, starve a fever.” And that is JUST what my body wants to do when I have a cold… eat. It’s a good reaction. My body is designed by God to do that. He designed it to get really hungry to search for the nutrients that it needs to help combat whatever is making me sick.

Well. Sorry, Satan.

FAIL.

I’m gonna stick with my covenant.

{Side note: Did I eat really well during this onslaught of sickness? Uhhhhhh, no. Wish I had, but instead I ate every piece of bread in sight. But… BUT. I didn’t eat sugar. So, even though it wasn’t the “perfect” reaction where I ate nothing but green smoothies for three days (which I wish I had)… at least I didn’t give in to sugar. It’s a step.}

 

Day 667: Making Room

I am going through a lot of my old posts to make sure that my links made it through the transition from my .wordpress site to this new .com site and I thought it would be cool to “repost” a post from the old days when I first started writing. Kind of a great way to look back and see where I have been and how it relates to where I am going.

I loved this one because a) It just shows how great my hubs is, and b) It reminded me of how people might not see this as an addiction, but for those of us going through it… we KNOW that it is, and most importantly c) It reminds us all that Satan has already lost this battle. Really take a look at the last paragraph though to remember how a Daniel Fast/Daniel Plan can help make room for that victory in your life.

Day Three: Resistance On The Home Front

By

So… I’ll admit that I didn’t exactly tell my husband I was planning on doing this. He sorta found out by reading my Facebook post about it. Yeah, I know… I know… a fail on my part. We were lying in bed and I was drifting off to sleep when the following conversation went down:

Hubby: [reading his Facebook on his phone] What? You’re doing a year long Daniel fast? Hmmmmmmm, not sure how I feel about that.

Me: silence

Hubby: Why? You know you can just cut 500 calories a day out of your diet and lose weight. I’m not sure I feel comfortable with this… I don’t want you starving yourself or being hungry: it could affect your ability to think. Hon, I think there are other ways for you to lose weight and maybe something less extreme.

[Side note: this might make him appear unsupportive, but really it was all out of concern for me... when my blood sugar gets low I get really loopy.... annnnnnnd a leetle moody, and he knows that. And he wasn't saying this in a jerk tone either... it was really a sweet voice. Okay... just thought y'all should know that! haha]

Me: Well, I’m not really doing this to lose weight.

Hubby: How do you mean?

Me: I am not doing this to lose weight. I mean, I’m sure that I will lose weight but that’s not what it’s about. Hon… I’m addicted to food. I think about it all the time. I want it all the time. I sneak it all the time. I need to be free of it. I’m a captive and I’ve tried a bazillion “normal and average” things to rid myself of this addiction and none of them have worked. I can see how this might appear extreme and I agree that it is, but since normal isn’t working… I’m going to have to turn to extreme. I need to be free.

Hubby: Ohhhhh, okay… I get that. Okay. And remember: you have already won the victory. Christ has won the victory for you. You don’t even need to fight, all you have to do is accept his victory. Cause needing to be free… I get that.

Me: Thanks for being concerned for me and thanks for understanding me needing to do this. I promise to take care of myself and make sure that I am getting what I need.

I posted this because I wanted to remember the conversation… it was a good conversation and I was really impressed with the way that my husband responded in the long run.

I posted this to point out that not everyone will understand this kind of thinking. That this is not about a diet but about breaking the chains of an addiction that isn’t really commonly thought of as an addiction: most people think fat people are just lazy both physically and mentally and although I’ m not saying that there aren’t those types of people out there, I think a good many of us simply have accidentally fallen into this trap of gluttony and it’s too late to get out easily.

And I posted this to remember that I have already won the victory through Christ. This Satan guy… yeah, already defeated. The ability to conquer this addiction… yeah, already complete. What this fast is enabling me to do though is to allow that victory room to flow through my heart, soul, and mind and take over. It’s not that the victory hasn’t been won… it’s that for some reason food has the overwhelming power to create such a fog that I can’t see that victory.

But no longer! Cause here comes the Son… burning that fog away!

{And I just had to post this cutie pic of me and my hubs!}

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Day 650: Liar, Liar, He’s On Fire

Watch Out For Snakes Sign

Satan has been lying to you.

{Shocked gasp}

Who knew?

Well… actually… all of us knew.

But, for some reason, he’s that guy that we let lie right to our faces and we simultaneously rationalize whatever it is that he’s saying so that we convince ourselves that it’s not really a lie. Ya know, kinda like that little stunt that with he pulled with Adam and Eve.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Adam and Eve.

Dang.

They had it all… God made them to look and be just like Himself. He made them to be stewards of the earth… to take care of it the way He would take care of it. They were full of His power and strength and might. They weren’t gods but they sure as heck were as close as a human can get.

And then dern Satan comes in and tells them the lie that they are missing out on something. He tells them that if they eat from that tree then they will be like God.

Whoa.

Wait.

I thought they were already like God? Yeah, they were… look. Back in Chapter 1: God said, “Let us make mankind in our image.” And if you look at it in Hebrew the word “image” means like a replica and in Greek the word “image” means the same thing as “icon”… which is the word for being the representative of something almost exactly alike.

Soooooooo, Adam and Eve were ALREADY like God. Seriously… they weren’t missing out on ANYTHING. But that’s what Satan told them.

And ya know what… Satan is still telling us the SAME. DADGUM. LIE.

If you give up chocolate, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up drinking, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up sex, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up shopping, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up wealth, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up popularity, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up fame, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up social calendars, you’ll be missing out.
If you give up sports, you’ll be missing out.

You’ll be missing out. missing out. missing out.

So, we keep eating those apples that break our relationship with God thinking that if we don’t stick with them, then in some way, we’ll be missing out.

But let me tell you… you are made in the image of God. Not just the OUTSIDE of you but your mind, your heart, your soul… it’s all like God’s. You have access to all of his strength, might, and power just as Adam and Eve did. You have been given all of this world.

TRUST ME. If you don’t eat the apple of chocolate, or drinking, or sex, or shopping, or wealth, or popularity… you WON’T be missing out. You’ll be living in. Living in His original plan to be satisfied and content with His image that He gave you.

{Props: This is another post inspired by the lessons of my teacher James Tippit.}

Day 423: You Ain’t Lion

I went to my Beth Moore Patriarch’s study Wednesday night (each week is so… transformational and so very, very timely) and she talked a bit about how my God is the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The same God has Moses. as Noah. as Daniel.

She brought up that God still does save people from the mouths of lions (and honestly, she does a perfect job of explaining this comparison, so if you ever get a chance to do this study, then grab it)… he saves us from the lion… that roaring lion, Satan.

Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen 1 Peter 5:6-11

And the minute that she brought up that verse 8 (bolded above), I knew exactly what she was talking about. God has used his mighty power to rescue me from the mouth of the roaring lion. And, might I say, he still IS rescuing me from the mouth of the roaring lion.

At first says “humble yourselves”. I think that was the difference between all the other times in my life where Satan has had my head in his vicious gaping mouth of death… this time, I humbled myself. Said, God… I can.not. do this. Said, God… Only. You. can. do. this.

And I’m saying that to Him again now- as that temptation of gluttony and sugar-filled eating stealthily creeps up on me like a lion about to devour its prey, I know that when the lion has me in his reach… just like Daniel… only God can save me.

God, you are The Most High. You are my Shepherd who protects me from the roaring lion for Your Glory. Today God, I feel the lion’s presence. I know he is waiting, hoping, and longing to devour me wholly and completely. Lord God, protect me with your strong arm. Reach down in your mercy and flick that shrewd devil away like the pest that He is and bring me into your Love and Grace. I want to glorify You. I want to bring You Honor. I humble myself under Your Mighty Power. Amen.

Day 168: Mirror, Mirror

So, I’m now wearing a size 10 pretty comfortably and even a few size 8s. Honestly, a size 8 is what I was hoping to be able to wear at the end of the year… I never hoped that almost halfway through I’d have already have made it here.

Okay, okay… well, maybe I had hoped but I certainly hadn’t expected it!

But one thing that I have known all along is how the temptations would change and alter as my journey progressed. By no means was I ever under the impression that Satan would simply leave me alone…

“Oh welllllll, January is no longer addicted to food. Too bad that didn’t work… guess we’d better move on to the next person cause I just can’t think of anything new to throw into her life to weigh her down again.”

Yeah, not so much. In fact, I think Satan’s thoughts go more like this…

“Okay guys… January is no longer addicted to food. So it’s time to get out the big guns…we’d better move on to a temptation that is bigger, stronger, sneakier, and more difficult to fight off. I can think of several things to choose from.”

And he’s certainly trying out several different ones on me… all dealing with a focus on outward image. Like I mentioned a long time ago in my post Imma Be, I knew that fighting off the desire to be sexy and trendy was going to be an issue. Simply from having lost weight before and having seen the way that I responded to the skinniness. Even now as I fit into those smaller pre-marriage sizes, I’m a little appalled at myself for some of the clothes I’m pulling down from the top of my closet. Phrases like, “I actually wore this in public?!!?” have run through my mind plenty of times!

But one I didn’t expect was a dissatisfaction with my body. Before when I was in college and went from a size 14 to an 8 I thought my size 8 body was off the charts awesome! I was so excited every time I looked in the mirror.

But now, a size 8 body… well, I’ll admit, it makes me happy… but there are also moments when I look in the mirror and start to critique what I see.

Oh… I wonder if that fat flap will ever go away.
My belly button looks weird.
Will my inner thighs will always have that annoying… extraness?
Check out all my varicose veins!!!
If only my back was a little more toned…
I’d give anything if both my eyes were the same size.

And those are just the ones that I can think of right now!  A lot of it is subconscious but more and more I’m thinking it “outloud” in my mind. Which means that I am allowing my mind to acknowledge the “truth” of it.

This is not. good.

This is proof of my identity being found in something other than Christ. And that is unacceptable.

This is proof of me trading the truth about God for a lie. And that is doubly unacceptable.

Because look what happens when we do that…

They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen… Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. Romans 1:25, 28-31

Yeah, so it’s not just me looking in the mirror and being annoyed with my belly button. It is the beginning of something much, much more than that. And honestly, check out that list… I do NOT want to become that person.

Okay, so it’s easy to look at that list and say “Oh no! (insert an inward gasp of fake shock) I don’t want to be those things!” But it’s an entirely other thing to NOT become those things. All I need to do though is look at what led them into those types of lives and reverse it (at least, that makes sense in theory).

They worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise. vs 25

So, to flip the process… I must worship the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise.

And that makes sense, and I am reminded of my post, Exaggerated Eternity, and how it talked about making us smaller to make Him greater.

And I’ll admit… my focus has not be on His awesomeness, His glory, His power, His greatness, His mercy, His… His anything. I am two weeks behind on my bible readings… just doing a bit here and a bit there when I feel a bit guilty.

But God, this day. this moment. I am choosing you. Again, and again, and again, I must go through this process of choosing you. Sorry that it’s not a constant thing for me yet. And I say yet. Because I am not going to be satisfied with my life nor with myself until my choosing of you is a constant thing. And to get me back on focus, I’m going to make you first again. I’m going to give up facebook again since I know that is a deterrent from you… wish it weren’t but it is… and your word will be the first thing I open up in the morning (after I turn off the 23 alarms on my phone that wake me up… haha) and it will be the last thing on my mind at night. And God I ask that you would turn my heart back to your truth. back to your glory. back to You, who are worthy of eternal praise. Amen.

Day 166: Thor, Table For Two

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I know. I know.

A picture of pizza and Thor?!!? What am I thinking? But there is method to my madness…

You see, my five-year old is on this cheese pizza kick, and he is sooooooo not an eater. Not a healthy eater. Not a bad eater. He’s just not much of an eater.  I think it comes from the days when I was nursing him and realized, a bit later than I should have, that he was in the 4th percentile (which is an indication that either a kid is starving or has something seriously wrong with them) and in our case… he was starving… my milk was not so much milk as it was… water. Yeah, as if nursing isn’t already the most difficult part of motherhood, add the guilt of starving your first child.

That was a rough time for me… we’ll leave it at that! Haha!

Anyway, so when he likes a food… I pretty much jump on it. Unfortunately the effect of this is that he then almost ODs on whatever food he likes and then never wants it again. But until I choose to learn from that mistake, when the kid asks for a cheese pizza (which is really only like every other week or so… I’m being over dramatic about it simply because he almost never requests food), well… then I give him a cheese pizza.

And this one time in particular, he asked for a cheese pizza on a Friday and I was exhausted from being up really late the night before, so I conceded reallllllllly easily to his request. And then when he came across this pizza at Target and it had a picture of Thor on it… well, whatever defenses were left completely crumbled! (I’m sort of an Avengers nut thanks to my kid… and my favorite is either Thor or Iron Man… wow. irrelevant information yet again!)

Oh wow… ANYWAYYYYY all of this to say, he ate about half of the pizza. And so what was left? Yep… the other half of a cheese pizza. A cheese pizza that’d had Thor’s picture on it.

I was doomed.

Sure, I had already eaten my dinner. No, of course I wasn’t hungry. And I already mentioned that I was tired.

This is a bad combo… pizza + tired = fail.

And I ate his left over piece and two more pieces.

Shame. Guilt. Sorrow. Grief. Resolve. Shame. Guilt. Sorrow. Grief. Resolve.

You know the cycle.

But one thing that I have started to add in to that cycle whenever I eat when I shouldn’t or eat something I shouldn’t or eat in a way that is not honoring God because it’s eating for a reason other than eating to live… then I add in the step of evaluating WHY I ate when I wasn’t hungry. or what I shouldn’t have. or too much.

And a lot of times it is because I am tired.

My revelations on the importance of sleep are going to come up more in another post, but in essence, if at all possible… I need to get enough sleep. Sure, I have a toddler, so this is not always possible. But when I can get enough sleep, I need to shut down facebook, shut down my bible even, shut down the dishes and go. to. bed.

Otherwise, I’m asking for it the next day. And why set myself up for a struggle… doesn’t Satan do that enough as it is? Why should I make it harder on myself!??!

And I love The Message’s version of these verses… encouragement to do what we can, or as my husband has taught our son to say, “Do my best and trust God to do the rest!”…

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-3

Day 131: We All Need A Job

I love having “nicknames” for my friends that are doing the covenant… ya know, so that I don’t have to worry about them being embarrassed about stories I tell about them, or letting the cat out of the bag if they are “secret-fasting”, or whatever.

You have heard me talk about my friend “Christy” several times… ya know, my spiritual, emotional, and personality clone? Ya know what’s funny… we went to high school together, came up in the same church together, and I remember thinking she was cool and funny but that was sorta… it. For some reason we never really became good friends. Well, after doing a bible study with her at church I very quickly decided she needed to be my friend! (And I think she is one of those “magnetic” type of people that has like 500 people list her as one of their best friends while she would only write down four or five names of her best friends.) But nonetheless, she is certainly on my top 5 list whether I’m on hers or not! Haha!

And I say all of that to give you a little background to understand that I deeply care for my friend Christy… I’m truly elated when she has success, I’m entertained when she has some crazy hilarity in her life, and I am pained when she has sadness or struggle.

And, well, lately she has just had… struggle.

And so, well, lately I have just been pained for her.

So the other day I was praying for her and I got this overwhelming sense of Satan attacking her and then of future blessings for her. Now I know that might seem ridiculous… we all have times in our lives marked out by blessing and times marked out by sadness and struggle. But nonetheless, it was so strong that I stopped chopping the celery I was working on, and I put both hands on the island to rest under the weight of this… this… impression put on me that was nothing short of supernatural.

At this point I’m sure some of you might be wondering why in the world I am telling you all of this. You might be thinking, “Oops, January accidentally put a post up on her covenant blog that was supposed to go somewhere else!” (Now… don’t put that past me… it wouldn’t surprise me as flighty as I can be some times.) But here comes the covenant part!

Ya see, Christy is doing a covenant. And Christy is being attacked. And Satan is trying to bring her down. I told her soon after she started having troubles with being sick, “Oh no- I tell ya what, I shoulda warned everyone… number one guarantee when going on the covenant: Satan WILL attack your health.

And I think that she is a big ol target of Satan’s… cause ya see, Christy is a very vocal woman of God. She loves to talk about God in a real way. In the kind of a way that cuts down to the marrow of your soul and makes you face who Jesus really is. And Christy, during and after this covenant, could do some major damage to Satan’s goals.

So to say that she is having spiritual warfare… honestly, after that wave of Revelation from God… well, I’m afraid calling it “spiritual warfare” doesn’t quite cover what I think is going on.

I think “Christy” is having a Job-attack. (Job as in the guy from the Bible… not the word for occupation.) Has her house fallen in on her entire family? No. Has all of her money and money-making ability been stripped from her? No. Has she been plagued by life-altering illness? Okay, well, yes a little bit of that one.

Here’s why I compare her to Job. I think she is under direct attack by Satan. I don’t think any of his minions are working on her. I think it’s the big dog himself. And he is working in a far more devious way than he did with Job. He is working subtly. quietly. slowly. trying to eat away at her joy. her peace. her love. her resolve.

He is working to make Christy feel… defeated.

And I think there is nothing more devastating to us than feeling defeated. It sucks our life away. It strips us of our joy. our love. our hope. And this just just what Satan was going for when he attacked Job. And I think that’s what he’s going for by attacking Christy.

But here, too, is where I think Christy is like Job. You see, Job, at the core… was stubbornly obedient to God. I’m sure that theologians have come up with a gazillion reasons as to why Job was able to resist cursing God, but ultimately it doesn’t matter: the guy stuck by God. And well, my friend Christy certainly has a bit of a stubborn streak in her as well… and I think it will pay off for her in this: Christy is stubbornly obedient to God. I mean… the girl won’t bend. she won’t break. she is going to obey God.

So… Satan, you might as well give up. Cause you gonna lose this one just like ya lost the one with Job.

And then, God is going to bless Christy. Abundantly.

And so I guess this is a word of encouragement ultimately… for Christy and for anyone else that feels the secret, silent, stealthy, sneaky assault of Satan. But ya gotta have a bit of a Job in ya. A bit of Christy in ya.

Ya gotta be stubborn. Ya gotta wag your finger in Satan’s face and say, “No flippin way. God is mine and I am His. I will follow Him. So, in the name of Jesus Christ… go away.”

Because at the end… Job got to chat with God, and God gave Job a one-on-one lesson in Who He Is. And I love Job’s response:

I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. Job 42:5

So here is my prayer for you Christy and for all of your comrades…

God, I pray that Christy would have the same level of integrity that Job had and that you would double her blessings as you did with Job. God, please give her strength to endure Satan’s attacks and to look to You so that she will have the chance to say, I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. In The Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Day 126: Evil Eats

So more and more I discover another friend is doing the covenant and every time I hear that I get excited for them… for the possibilities of what God can do in them.

At first I was a little… bummed… that a lot of these people were doing the covenant and yet they didn’t want anyone to know. I guess, in a weird way, I took it the wrong way… I took it along the lines of it was them saying that they didn’t really like it, or they didn’t really think it was a good idea, or whatever.

I know some people wanted their “silence” to be along the lines of a secret fasting like the bible encourages.

But some people didn’t have that as a reason to not tell. Then the more I thought about how I felt about it at first, I kind of realized that it could be that people weren’t ashamed of me or my idea… they were ashamed of themselves.

Again, not everyone has the same motivations for doing the covenant. I think some are into it because they want to covenant with God to honor their bodies… the weight loss and/or breaking food addictions is not their priority.

But for the people that are addicted or feeling like they want to lose weight, then they might feel that doing a covenant like this implies that they have lost control and need God’s help over some area of their life.

And, well, a lot of us don’t particularly like to admit that we need help. Not from friends. Not from family. And certainly not from God.

And then this chunk of verses got my attention:

In the past you were slaves to sin, and goodness did not control you. You did evil things, and now you are ashamed of them. Those things only bring death. But now you are free from sin and have become slaves of God. This brings you a life that is only for God, and this gives you life forever. The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:20-23

I know that we don’t often think of eating too much as being “evil” but really when you think about it, God views everything as “right” or “wrong”…… “good” or “evil”. I looked up “evil”, I noticed it’s antonym (cut me some slack… I’m a former English teacher… annnnnnnd a bit of a nerd. I kind of like definitions and whatnot)…

It’s the opposite of righteous.

And dishonoring this body that God has given me… well, that’s definitely not what I would call righteous… therefore, it is evil. And really when I look back and some of the ways that I have treated this body He has given me… well… it was just pure evil. Satan had a hold on me that was fierce and the little bugger was working hard to keep me weighed down… both literally and spiritually. The way I was treating my body is just like the verse above says, “Those things only bring death.”

Not saying that eating right will give me eternal life… heck no. Only my Jesus will give me that. There are some people that eat well their entire lives and die of cancer at 37. And there are people that eat heinously and live to see 97. But I know that God has made rules and guidelines for a reason… self-control does lend itself to so many things that can help a body live longer… and I want to live a long time. If He has implied that I can live longer if I live with self-control and peace, then by golly, sign me up.

Day Forty-One: Control Freak

Today my recent overeating has been on my mind. I have had several instances of it happening at snackie time and at dinner. Again, I know this stuff might be easy to fix for a veteran skinny girl, but I’m totally in new territory.

I think that I have realized two things:
1) I need to serve myself much smaller portions. Going back for seconds isn’t a taboo thing as long as I’m still hungry, and it’s a lot easier to avoid overeating something when there is a limited portion on my plate. I just need to set myself up better.

2) I need to get out a bowl or a plate and “serve” myself a snackie. Doing so would serve two purposes. First of all, it would make me have to consciously choose to eat a snack instead of just grabbing something that is out. And it will enable me to better monitor and control how much I am having.

Both of these things are about me being in control of my consumption. When I realized that just now, I found it interesting because I needed to do this covenant in the first place because I haven’t been able to control myself in the past. I needed God to BE my control.

But the Bible points out a lot about us having self-control. Which is the only thing about the Bible that has frustrated me over the years… if I need self-control then why doesn’t it tell me how to get it. Well, as I have done this personal study I have found that the Bible does address that just not necessarily in a subtitled chapter called “How To Gain Self-Control”.

First of all we have to know that the Devil is all up on a lack of self-control! Not having any is not only a beat down to us but it also confuses those around us… makes them wonder who is running our life?

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

And then we have to pray and realize that no matter how many ways out God gives us, we need Him to change the way we think. This is almost like a preventative thing. Our minds have to be changed and altered.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

And finally, the two add up to this: if we are keeping a watch our for where Satan is going to attack and we have asked and allowed God to start to change the way we think, then He will show us a way out!

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Just like He has done for me with these thoughts about portion control. He has helped me to see the way out. Which makes me feel better that it’s not me trying to “steal” back control from God as it is Him giving me self-control. Pretty decent gift. I’m looking forward to using it more in all the areas of my life! Haha!

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.