Day 491: Dream Come True

Day 2 of my 30 Day Infusion of positivity and prayer!

I’ll do the positivity first and then end with the prayer at the bottom…

POSITIVITY: Today I am reminded of yesterday’s positivity: I am made for MORE! More than just food. More than easy comfort. More than reliance upon something of this world.

I am made for royalty!

I am the daughter of The King! I am a princess! It’s like every girl’s dream come true!

But there are so many important things that I am called to do today as a princess of the Kingdom of God, and I’m not talking just laundry and dishes. Reaching out to those who are in need spiritually and physically. Checking on the welfare of The King’s people. Making appearances on His Behalf. Wearing a garment of praise.

What a blessing to have been accepted as one of God’s children!

See, I even have a crown! Haha!

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PRAYER: God- thank you for today. Thank you for being all that I need. Thank you for being my Healer and my Help, my Protector and my Savior.

Thank you for waking me up easily this morning so I could go walk. Thank you for the beach-like breeze that accompanied me. Thank you for the sweet moments with my sons and my husband. Thank you even for these few stolen moments to pray!

Today, I am grateful. I am hopeful. Yet still I ask that you keep me on track.

“Help me to be self-controlled. Let me show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose the gospel may not be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about me.” Titus 2:6-8

May every moment of today be a focus on You. May today bring me into a closer understanding of you and your grace and mercy and holiness.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you for my life but mostly thank you for my faith.

Amen.

{And just for kicks, I had to show you guys
a pic of my son wearing the crown…
cause it’s HYSTERICAL!}

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Day 337: Restraining Order

I’m going to a breakfast party today for my ladies’ bible study.

Sorry. Allow me to be a bit more specific…

I’m going to a breakfast party today for my ladies’ bible study without my kids.

We get to drop them off at the church and then go over to the leader’s house for our final meeting. I’ve been a part of this ladies bible study for a couple of years now (it’s called Mom Matters… isn’t the double meaning cute?) and this last meeting is my favorite part! It’s just relaxed and a great time to spend with the women that I’ve been growing with all semester.

And we are all bringing a little something for breakfast. Our leader had us reply all to her email and state what we are bringing…

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And there were also emails claiming donuts, sausage balls, pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies and the like.

Now don’t get me wrong… I ain’t knockin homemade cinnamon rolls or sausage balls. On the contrary, I love them both under old circumstances.

But, it just sorta struck me that it always seems to go this way with parties (especially those at Christmas and really especially those with only women) that we slough off all desires of being healthy and dive into decadence and indulgence.

And…… why? I mean… well, why???

(And trust me… this is not me pointing fingers! This is a self dialogue, really, to myself… about myself. Next year I have planned on having “free days”, and even as I write this I know that I will need to sit back and evaluate that plan… cross examine it against the Word of God.)

    For God has revealed his grace for the salvation of all people. That grace instructs us to give up ungodly living and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this world, as we wait for the blessed Day we hope for, when the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ will appear. He gave himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to him alone and are eager to do good. Titus 2:11-14

I read these verses and I am reminded that God has called me to a higher standard (what an honor!) and, often, that standard looks very different from the way the world views things. Things like ladies’ breakfasts. and book club meetings. and birthday parties. and holidays.

He has asked me to practice… restraint. And in a world where self-indulgence is king and self-denial is frowned upon, well… that action is different. It sticks out. It looks weird to people. It looks weird to me.

Which is why I love the last verse of that chunk, verse 14…

    He gave himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to him alone and are eager to do good.

I mean… look at those words I bolded.

To rescue us.
To make us a pure people.
To make us belong.
To make us eager to do good.

Gosh, isn’t that worth a little self-restraint here and there?!?! It’s just cool to think that I have been rescued from pumpkin bread and cranberry blitz bars.

So, anyway, I’m gonna have to read up the Word to see what I can glean from it. (Cause I know that there were a plenty of celebrations back then…)

But for now, for today… I know that I want to go to that party and “live [a] self-controlled, upright, and godly life in this world”. And give God thanks for His Grace through my restraint.

Day 137: Sushi Struggle

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For my “birthing day” treat (a tradition that my husband’s family does to honor the mother that delivered the baby on each birthday), my husband got some sushi for me for lunch. I love sushi but I can never justify going to get it and we never tend to go out to eat and get it. I often tell him to go with his buddies to the sushi buffet instead of on date night with me because it is such a rip off for me to go… I never eat enough to make it worth all the money!

Anyway, I ate a little bit of it at lunch that day and it was yummmmmay! But I have learned that sushi makes me very full, very fast… so I can’t eat a lot of it. Luckily, I didn’t eat a lot of it that day.

Later that evening after the birthday party, I was pretty tired and I really didn’t want to do the dishes or pick up, so I sorta defaulted back to my old “stall” technique and I went and got out the leftover sushi to finish. I sorta rationalized it to myself by saying that I hadn’t gotten to really eat any dinner because none of it was on my covenant (which I talked about here), but when it came down to it, I knew that I wasn’t really that hungry.

Of course, then commenced a little internal battle… but luckily, those verses popped back into my mind that have helped me to honor God with self-control over and over again. They are probably some of the most important verses anyone needs to know for the covenant.

“I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

And I know that I keep bringing them up, but I keep bringing them up because the Holy Spirit keeps bringing them to my mind. And those two verses keep helping me to make the right choices on this covenant. Because I want to honor God. I want for Him to receive glory… and I think that He does through my weight loss and through my telling people about how I’m losing weight because of Him.

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 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 112: I’m A Keeper

There was a time when my brother was playing soccer as a kid… like Kindergarten or 1st grade age. You know how it works when they are that age. Every kid just hovers around the ball so there is like this tornado of kids all in one area. And then… there’s the poor keeper. All by himself down there by the goal. And it’s especially worse when your team is good because most of the action is happening at the other end of the field where the tornado of action is attempting to kick the ball into the other keeper’s goal. Well, my brother’s team was pretty good so the poor little keeper on his team tended to get bored pretty frequently.

Well, this one time, after we had all been watching down to the left for several minutes as our kids hacked away at getting the ball in their goal, there was a breakaway and a kid from the other team busted out of the pack with the ball, sprinting towards… our goal.

And we looked on in horror, amazement, shock, and ultimately complete hilarity as we saw that our keeper, having obviously been bored and… well… ignored for quite a while, had climbed up into the goal ropes. It was no biggie apparently… he was just “hanging out” (haha) until it was time for that breakaway. Only, he had gotten himself so entangled that when he tried to get off… he couldn’t. He was stuck. Stuck dangling from that goal as he watched helplessly while the lucky boy from the other team effortlessly kicked the ball in the goal right under our keeper.

Hilarious, right? Definitely! Ha- you should hear my dad tell the story! It’s even better!

But ya know, I think we have all at some point felt like that keeper. We, for whatever reason, choose to go where we shouldn’t go and we get tangled in the ropes of sin. And then, when the time comes for us to escape… we are stuck. Stuck dangling above watching life go by. Stuck watching someone else win right in front of our eyes. Stuck. Stuck. Stuck.

An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness. Proverbs 5:22

I will admit that more and more I feel separated from the girl that felt entangled by this sin of addiction. But I must say that this verse stuck with me. In fact, I finished my reading this morning and then went back to it because I was still thinking about it. Probably because it is such an accurate depiction of what has been going on with me for yearrrrrrs. And while I am all about moving forward, moving on without the past, I guess at the same time when I take small moments to look back at the past then everything about the present is… better. more manageable.

And I saw this verse and remembered how hopeless I felt tangled up in those ropes. Just as helpless as that boy was in that goal. I think about how helpless people were around me that wanted me to be free, but they could only watch me hang there. Just like we all watched helplessly as that boy dangled there that day. We could not help him. And I think about all the poor women I have despised because they were thin… the ones I thought were winning… even though their thinness might have been the only “goal” they ever scored.

And then I look at that second half of the verse “He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.” And the lack of self-control I had for food was literally going to kill me. I don’t have to be a dietician or a scientist to know that I was pushing the machine of my body to perform in a way that it was not designed. And that will kill a machine.

And all of it was just such great, great foolishness… now I see that. Eating to comfort? to entertain? to rest? From the outside looking in, it was such a ridiculous thing. But… I was too entangled to see it. Too entangled to see that I was going to lose. Too entangled to see that I could not escape…

without God.

And I am reminded of how Hezekiah just… asked for life and God granted it to Him. And Hezekiah’s response…

Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live!
Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins.
For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness. Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.
Think of it—the Lord is ready to heal me! I will sing his praises with instruments every day of my life in the Temple of the Lord.
Isaiah 38:16-22

And how good it is to sit back and know that God is ready to heal me. He is ready to rescue me from death. He is ready to untangle me.

He is ready. Am I ready to ask?

Day Eighty-Three: Good Food Begets Good Food

We went out to my parent’s house on Sunday for a “pre-Easter” because they will be out of town on Easter. My mom, in true southern woman form, made an awesome prEaster meal: ham (which everyone else said was amazing), roasted veggies, buttered baby new potatoes, salad, and crescent rolls. I had a beautiful plate of the veggies, potatoes, and salad… she has been so kind to consider my dietary needs and make sure that I have enough to eat at every family meal.

Well, let me tell you. The woman made these potatoes that were off the reservation… in other words, they were uh.maz.ing. Now, I have always had an affinity for potatoes… I like them even completely plain (although I cannot abide a microwaved potato… they just don’t taste the same). But these were truly scrumptious. I found myself fighting off some of my old habits of slinking back in to pop another in my mouth after we were all finished eating, and another, and another. I just had to remind myself that God has given me self-control.

All of that wasn’t just to lust after potatoes for a few minutes, but instead to point out that it was a really, really good meal of good food, good spices, good flavors. And today when I ran into the store with my son to get his class’s Easter eggs, I couldn’t help but grab some broccoli. I started thinking about dinner prep and I kinda got excited about making another gooooood dinner.

And I did make a good dinner… cedar grilled tilapia for my husband (which I can’t wait to try next week when I am off of my Lent fast), broccoli with a pepper lime butter sauce, and garlic mashed yukon potatoes. It was… goooood. And the nice thing about a yummy and good quality meal is that it is not only nutritionally fulfilling, but also craving fulfilling, AND emotionally/mentally fulfilling. I don’t have to fight off the mental urges of having had a sub par dinner… thoughts like “That wasn’t enough.” or “That wasn’t good.” or whatever. I was able to walk away from the table and totally and completely forget about food.

And having been able to just write those words makes me smile. Oh how far we’ve come Jesus, oh how far we’ve come.

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 Twenty-Seven: Ready Or Not

Today I find myself in a nice spot: I’m not really struggling today. I have been working like a mamma jamma trying to get my house recovered from my husband’s birthday party this weekend (along with the three days that I did zero chores because I pulled out my back), and honestly, I simply have not had time to think of food.

Okay, so I think that at this point I need to say that contrary to what may appear in these posts, I am not a hypochondriac. But yes, I have been sick or hurt pretty much since I started this covenant. I find it comforting in a sense that Satan should find me suddenly worthy of his attention. Perhaps I am moving up in my “Job Status” (Job as in the guy in the bible, not as in the word “occupation”) because Satan is certainly attacking my health… perhaps this Covenant is going to work. is going to change my life. is going to make me more of a threat.

Pffffffff… what am I saying… “perhaps”??? God IS working and IS changing my life and IS making me a threat. And if my soul will change for His eternal glory, then by golly, I don’t mind being sick or hurt all year. After all, “The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?Proverbs 18:14

Maybe that’s why David was, like, always complaining of his bones aching and whatnot. Maybe Satan thought that he could get to David through physical pain. I guess in the long run he figured out that it wasn’t physical pain that would get to David but a different kind of physicality.

And perhaps in that there is a message.

I need to get on the armor of God in other areas of my life as well because as soon as Satan realizes that he no longer has me beat down by this addiction to food… I bet you he moves on to some other area of my life. Some unprotected area… a spot of my soul that I am not expecting him to attack. In fact, by removing this stronghold in my life, which God is doing, I will need the Holy Spirit more than ever. I will need The Word of God more than ever. I will need the Armor more than ever.

Okay, so I need the Armor. And I know what the armor is… but really how do I “get” it? How do I “prepare [my] mind for service and have self-control”? 1 Peter 1:13a Ahhhhhh, the question of the ages. Most of us Christ-followers know about the armor of God. We know what the different armor pieces are. But we so often don’t know how to apply it all.

  • belt of truth tied around your waist
  • protection of right living on your chest
  • on your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong
  • shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One
  • God’s salvation as your helmet
  • sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

Honestly, that is more than I can think about in one moment of temptation. But I guess that is the point of armor… you think about putting it on before the battle. Cause during the battle you don’t want to think about it or you don’t have time to think about it. But here’s what it all boils down to…

Strengthen yourselves with the same way of thinking Christ had. 1 Peter 4:1

And where do we find Christ’s thinking? Yep. The Bible. I learn the concept of truth and right living from the Bible. I learn about the Good News of peace from the Bible. I discover faith in the Bible. I am directed to God’s salvation in the bible. And well, the sword… the Word of God… IS… the Bible.

So, I have to read the Bible to get Christ’s thinking. Think about the Bible’s words of Christ’s thinking. Recite the Bible verses of Christ’s thinking. And then I will be strengthened. Then, I will be ready to stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. And, honestly, I would just love to stick that big ol Sword of the Spirit straight into Satan’s cold, dark heart and listen to it hisssssss.

Alright Satan, I’m getting my armor on… Ready or Not…… here We come!!!!!!!

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