Day 738: Every Day, In Every Way

Day 738 The Covenant Diet - Every Day, In Every Way

My son has a ptosis on his right eyelid. He’s had it since birth and the doctors said it might just resolve on its own but it hasn’t.

Honestly, I hardly even notice it anymore.

It’s not super severe, but it’s there.

He never really noticed it until lately. I mean, he’d say: “One of my eyes is sleepy” and then he’d move on to build something amazing with his Legos, but that was really it. No biggie.

Until.

Until he went to school.

And wow – other kids were really keen to point it out. Not maliciously, but just “Hey! One of your eyes is closed!” He would just shrug at first and say “Yeah. I was born that way.” He handled it so well. Again, no biggie.

But recently he has become very aware of it and whereas before he wouldn’t let us even discuss the idea of surgery, now he is the one asking for it. {He’s going to have to have surgery because it is affecting his vision.}

And last night on the way home from church he said, “Mom! Please, can we just go get my eye fixed tomorrow? Cause, like, everyone is making fun of it and I just want it fixed.”

I wanted to sit down with him and say, “Oh man. I get ya. I get it. But I promise that even though we’ll get that eye fixed, kids are gonna find something else. They always find something else.” But I decided that was a bit too “mature” of a response for him. So, I said,

I understand that you want it fixed and that it hurts your feelings when others tease you. I’m really sorry for all of that. Ya know, when I was younger, people used to tease me about something too.

What? What did they tease you about?

My hair. My very, big curly hair.

But I like your big hair.

Yeah, me too. But it’s wasn’t “normal” and so kids teased me about it. But know what I learned? I learned first of all that Jesus loves me, all of me, big hair and all.

{My son then pointed out that I also have a big belly and that sometimes people make fun of people with big bellies. Yeah. Thanks dude.}

And I also learned that it didn’t matter what was on the outside… my big hair or my big belly… because what was on the inside was more important: that I am fun, that I love to laugh, that I am nice to people no matter what, that Jesus loves me all the time, every day, in every way.

{He then pointed out that I am fun but that I am not very good at Mario. Okay, well, I’ll give him that one. I am not very good at Mario. Like… at all. And this is a serious hit on my level of “coolness” in our house.}

And later that night I thought about our little conversation. I was trying to decide if I had gotten anything into his soul about the truth of what he should think about himself. But I couldn’t make myself think of him: I just kept talking to myself… about myself.

January, do you really believe that? Do you really believe that it doesn’t matter what is on the outside? When you looked in the mirror before church tonight and cursed the fates because you were wearing your “fat jeans” and you still had a roll sticking out over the top – it mattered to you. It mattered what was on the outside.

I had to answer myself: Yes. Yes. It does matter. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to totally make it NOT matter on this side of heaven. But what a great reminder that it’s not what matters to Jesus. Not saying that He doesn’t want me to take care of my body, and not saying that He doesn’t care about what I care about, but that just that He… He loves me.

He loves me.

He loves you.

All the time.

Every day.

In every way.

So just stop. Stop for a second right now. Stop and close your eyes and whisper His name. Whisper the name of Jesus.

Jesus… fill me with Your Love right now. I want to feel Your Love. I need to feel it. I need to know that when you see me, you just see the core of me. I need to know that in your mind, your gaze pierces through to the heart of me. I need to know that in your mind, your gaze burns through the mistakes, through the fears, through the facades, and that it just sees me: Your daughter. Your wonderful, beautiful, lovely daughter. Remind me today Jesus. Remind me to whisper Your Name. Remind me to push past all that is temporary when I look at myself and to see me as you see me. Remind me to love myself the way You love me: all the time. every day. in every way.

Day 682: Becoming A Butt Head

You are defined by God's Love instaquote

Ya know, yesterday, on Day 681: I’m On Steroids, I wrote about taking my healthy lifestyle and tightening it up so that it is “on steroids”: eating veggies, fruits, nuts, rice but cutting out cheese, bread, chips, etc. and amping up my amount of time working out. Just long enough to help me lose the weight and then I’ll taper it back down to a nice, normal, healthy lifestyle.

This is, of course, all just my theory that it will work.

But anyway, as I finished writing yesterday’s post, I was all like… Gosh. Will this even work? What if I fail? What does that mean about me?

And then I remembered a status update that I made on The Covenant Diet facebook page and twitter on Monday…

You are defined by God's Love

And I realized how I have been, yet again, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO focused on me. my weight. my appearance. my rolls. my ability or inability to lose weight.

Honestly, it’s hard not to do that. I mean… when your jeans don’t fit and none of your clothes look good on you… it’s hard not to worry and think about yourself. And that’s where I am at. Which means that I need, more than ever, to press hard toward God.

Because otherwise I’ll just get trapped up again into this mentality that my worth is somehow tied to my ability or inability to fit into my jeans.

And I wonder when God looks at my “brain usage” chart if He’s bummed because I invest so much of my mental energy on wondering how to lose weight. Not necessarily that I think He’s mad or even really jealous of that, but I wonder if He’s like, “Dang, January… I have SO MANY other things of weighty, eternal importance for you to focus your mind on!!!

But in my head, I’m just so focused on the size of my own butt.

I’m literally… a butt head.

{Haha… sorry, but that’s just kind of funny.}

And that’s what I want to change even more than not fitting into my jeans. I don’t want to be a butt head. I want to be a… bible head. (And yes, I know “bible head” sounds dumb… but work with me here.) I want my head in the clouds… I want my mind full, bloated, and stuffed with the thoughts of God.

So, I think that during this 30 Day Experiment, I will also take my usual healthy Christian-lifestyle and amp it up a bit. I’m in that phase of life where I am just hitting Jesus one verse at a time, and that’s okay, but for this “diet” I think I’m going to need to put my relationship with Jesus on steroids too. Like, some serious bible reading and meditation every morning.

And maybe my butt will get smaller and my soul will get bigger.

Day 513: Aston Martin Me

I recently watched the movie Django Unchained with my husband. I can’t help it… I love shoot-em-up movies and I really wanted to see Leonardo DiCaprio in it, so there ya go. (For the record, it’s wasn’t all that hands-down fabulous other than the gentleman that played Dr. King Schultz, Christoph Waltz… he was brilliant.)

In the movie, a slave woman is purchased for $12,000 (which would be roughly $300,000 today) and the average price of a slave at the time was $400 or $500 ($10-$12,000 today). Now, it gets a little sticky to discuss this because let me be clear: the concept of “owning” another individual is abhorrent to me… the thought of “owning” another individual that has been kidnapped from their home and country… well, it literally sickens me.

But I just kept thinking about it.

I mean… if someone told me that I was “worth” the same amount as a used Kia, I mean… gosh. Love Kia and all, but… okay, not much of a confidence boost there. But then if someone came up to me and said that I was “worth” the same amount as an Aston Martin Vanquish. Well… I’m just saying. That’s a self-image game changer there people. I mean… look at the difference.

20130606-072111.jpg

And ya know- the way you treat a Kia versus an Aston Martin is gonna be different too. A used Kia you’re just gonna… drive it. use it. abuse it. But an Aston Martin… you’re gonna get an extra secure garage space for that sucker. You aren’t gonna drive it when it rains. You aren’t gonna take your kids to McDonalds in it. And you DEFINITELY aren’t going to put diesel in it. Heck, you aren’t gonna put anything other than premium-diamond-encrusted gas in there.

This is how I need to think about my body. God didn’t buy me for the same price as a used Kia. It’s closer to the Aston Martin, but that is still far below. He bought me with blood. He traded his own child for me! My body is worth-it. It’s worth the effort to honor it!

So, I can look in the mirror today and know that I am the Aston Martin. I am valuable.

{And I’ll be honest… thinking this way this morning when I opened up the fridge… I wanted something easy and quick and then I remembered “I am an Aston Martin Vanquish.” It made me change my thinking from “I should have blueberries” to “I WANT blueberries.” I didn’t want no diesel in my tanks today, cause I am an Aston Martin worthy of being honored and cared for. I wanted that diamond-encrusted-premium in the tanks today.}

POSITIVITY: I am valuable.

God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20

PRAYER:

God, WHOO HOO! I love being valuable. Especially because I know that the part of me that is valuable isn’t what is on the outside… but it’s what is under the hood. You make me want to take care of myself just to honor You because You bought me at such a high price!

Thank you for giving me such a positive self-image of myself today… thank you for buying me at a HIGH price instead of on the cheap so that I would know how much I mean to you. Thank you God for making my worth: valuable.

You are so good to me!

Amen!

Day 221: Shop It To Me

Day 18 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

So, I’ll admit that shopping is way more fun now that my body is a little different. I just enjoy putting on clothes that fit nicely and don’t go all baggy in the wrong places or fit too large in the right places. It’s easier, too. I used to have to try on 53 tops before finding one that works.

But at the same time, shopping has gotten much harder. For two reasons.

One. I feel like I have gotten closer to God in an unexpected way… in a way that is learning to struggle less with my exterior self. It is another journey that I am just beginning… being free from the world’s impressions of me, but it is a journey I have needed to take my whole life… just as long as I have needed to do this covenant to be free from food. And well, feeling the need to buy a certain outfit of a certain brand of a certain tightness of a certain cut… well, I’m learning that I want to be as free from that as I have learned to be from food. I attribute this quite a bit to another covenant companion of mine whom I have mentioned covenanted from buying any new clothes this year. So, all of those thoughts run through my mind as I am looking at clothes.

Two. A less “spiritual” reason, but my husband recently resigned from his job as a school teacher because he has the opportunity to pursue, full time, the manufacturing and distribution of his product Chord Dice… it is a set of dice for guitar players that helps them to write new songs, learn chords, and for guitar teachers to use to teach their students theory. Allow me to gush my pride in my husband for a moment. I am so proud of him for following God’s leading throughout this process. He has said time and time again that it is God who goes before him. And he shamelessly put the inspiration verse on the instructions: Psalm 33:3… “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.”

Well, all of that wonderful ooshie-gushie stuff to say that right now we are having to be extremely tight on the ol’ budget. He just got his last paycheck from school and so we’ll have to rely solely upon his income as a part-time guitar teacher to sustain us (by the way, if you are in the McKinney area, he is great! McKinneyGuitarLessons.com). This means noooooooo extras for while. I’m totally okay with it but it sorta forces me into the no-buy mode.

Soooooooo, ALL of that to say that yesterday, when I went to drop off some clothes to sell at Clothes Mentor, I felt I had some extra time so I slipped in next door to belk’s and just… tried on clothes. For just the fun part. I tried on the clothes that I never look at because they are so expensive. I didn’t even go to the clearance rack. Only like four pieces, but it was fun! It was almost extra fun because I knew I wasn’t gonna buy anything! Ha! I used to do this in college with my friends… we’d go to the mall and just try on prom dresses for the heck of it!

20120818-065123.jpg

And then it was extra fun because I took some pics… who needs to buy clothes when you can have a pic of yourself wearing them for free?!?!? Ha!

Anyway, I’m not sure if this really has any spiritual significance but it was just too fun to not share!