Day 357: First Donuts

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Way back on Day Forty-Two, I was already thinking about this day. I was already planning what I would eat on January 1, 2013. Weird to think that now… I am… here. On January 1, 2013.

But also on Day Forty-Two, I also came the conclusion that I was going to hold back today from eating “whatever” {and yes, I am going to copy-paste a big chunk of it here}…

From Day Forty-Two: Skinny Tuesday Fat Tuesday is pretty much all about getting to over indulge simply because lenting requires sacrifice. It’s almost as if we fatten up on this day because we feel like we deserve it since we will have to self-sacrifice the rest of the time. And that is kind of the mentality that I’m afraid of having.

For example, I have already been thinking and planning about what I’m going to do when my covenant diet is over. Last night I was thinking about what I would have on January 1, 2013… a ribeye steak from Roadhouse… my mom’s chocolate cake (you know, the one that I’m going to miss on my birthday)… a liberal glass of red Merlot…

But now that I get to thinking about this whole Fat Tuesday mentality, I’m kinda of wondering if maybe that’s not what would please God. I mean, my whole thing has been about Him changing my mind, my heart, my soul. Wouldn’t that be just like me turning my back on Him pretty much as soon as He has delivered me into the promised land? Which is so much of what the Israelites did when He dropped them off. After the generation that had been wandering in the desert died off, the people started worshiping other idols in no time. And God was NOT pleased with that scenario. I’m reading through Judges right now and it seems like any time one of the judges gets the people back in order, everything is good, then he or she dies, and everyone gets right back into their mess of looking somewhere other than God. And then He punishes them.

Yeah… I don’t want that.

I want for God to see my actions on January 1st and be pleased. I want for Him to look at me and think… Wow, she really did want to change. She really does want to please me. I really want to give her my blessing.

So maybe I won’t go all out on January 1st after all. Maybe I’ll even follow the same diet for that day. Not because I have to, but because I want to. Yep. That would be a pretty neat New Year’s gift to offer to God.

And so this morning I woke up, totally cool with the idea of giving God my “first fruits”, so to say and not eating “off” of the covenant even though I was technically “allowed” to do so.

(If you are wondering What is she talking about with this “first fruits” stuff? It is essentially based off of the idea that God commanded the Israelites in Exodus 34:26 to bring the very best of the first harvest to Him. So, although I didn’t grow anything to give to him, it’s the idea of taking the “first chance” to eat sugar and stuff… and giving that to Him instead of me eating it.)

And I was feeling a little, admittedly, self-righteous about doing so. Like, I honestly had a few “I’m soooo good to do this” kind of moments.

And then my father-in-law showed up…

… with donuts.

Yep. Donuts.

Donuts with sprinkles.

Well, that certainly was a bit of a buzz kill for my self-rightousness (but it was REALLY nice of him to do… my kids were ECSTATIC)!!!

And after I got over my little pity-party, I thought to myself… Why am I surprised that it happened this way? It had to happen this way. It wouldn’t have meant a thing if I gave up eating “whatever” I wanted all day if there was no temptation. No true sacrifice. It was actually an opportunity for me to really show God my thanks for this past year.

So, today, God I give you… not so much my first fruits but my first donuts. Thank you Lord for providing me with power, forgiveness, compassion, more forgiveness, guidance, wisdom, and self-discipline. Thank you for freedom that You have given me through Jesus. Thank you, quite simply, for my life. Both the physical life that I have as I breathe and walk and live, as well as for the spiritual life that I experience every day. This earth may not be perfect anymore, but with You as my God… I truly feel as if The Kingdom of Heaven IS here.

Day Sixty-Nine: Vice Versa

One of the things that I have to watch out for whenever I start to get closer to Jesus: self-righteousness.

Which is totally backwards because he was quite the opposite of self-righteous. He attributed everything to God. But, nonetheless, I start to think of myself as better than others.

And I am brought down a bit today as I remember that it was only like two months ago that I was buried. drowning. suffocating. in my own addiction and vice. An addiction that I wanted to be rid of, but couldn’t shake it off.

I have a friend that drinks quite a bit and smokes occasionally and I am horribly impatient with her addictions. Perhaps because her addictions affect me. Like, my overeating never really affected anyone. Maybe it disappointed my husband or embarrassed my parents, but…

Ya know… I’m gonna stop myself right there. I say that my overeating never affected anyone and then I list three people that I know were affected by it. See?!?!?! This is an example of what I’m talking about. I have this self-righteousness that isn’t even deserved!

I think I am going to enjoy God working on this part of my heart. I would love to be renewed in the way I view my fellow strugglers. And in typical God fashion… as soon as I made this realization about myself, the verses started appearing. This one in particular was part of my reading plan this past week and grabbed my attention:

For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? 1 Corinthians 4:7

And that’s the thing… I have no right to stand here (even if I am all by myself) and look down on anyone, but especially on someone that is struggling. Whether they know the are struggling or not. Whether they want to be struggling or not. Whether they know how to be free or not. My freedom was… a gift. A gift from God.

And so what should my mind do instead? Instead, I want to pray that God gives them that gift as well. I want… desperately want… for my dear friend to be free of that vice, that stronghold, that addiction. And so I pray that God may break the chains and gift my friend with that freedom. For, I know… I have learned… that there is no other way to freedom than through a gift from God.

But my judgment will not get her or any of my other friends closer to freedom. But perhaps my prayers… will get her closer.