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 411: My House Has Been Bugged

Seriously.

Bugged. All over the place.

We haven’t been able to escape the bugs. None of us.

And it’s been messy.

And honestly, at this point, I think I’d prefer a governmental bug tap over this bug.

The stomach bug.

{Dummmmmm dum dum dummmmmm!}

My toddler picked it up somewhere… at McDonald’s, at church last Wednesday, or even possibly the Albertson’s shopping cart. And then he passed it on to me, and one of us passed it on to my husband, and one of us passed it on to my preschooler.

And I’ll tell ya what, one way to put food in its place real quick is to have a stomach bug. And this one’s been a doozie. (Yeah, I just said doozie.) You spend four days, at least, just wanting to avoid food. It’s like my entire life’s focus is flipped to its polar opposite during those four days. My husband made the boys eggs the morning that I came down with it and just the smell of the eggs was enough to make me nauseous! {But props to him for taking care of the boys… he didn’t have it yet and was trying to keep the house afloat!}

I was so hungry yesterday evening after one day of eating nothing and another day of only saltines and Gatorade… that I jumped the gun and ate a baked potato.

Okay, okay. A baked potato with sour cream.

And butter.

And cheese.

The whole. thing.

Not half. Not one devoid of those additions too-fat for my extremely sensitive tummy. Not one that might get somewhat close to following the BRAT Recovery Diet. Nope. The whole thing. Pretty much loaded.

WHY?

(I ask that question a lot don’t I?)

Because these gluttonous tendencies just POP up out of nowhere when I least expect them. I mean… I ate that sucker like a woman starved. I guess I was… literally… starved at that point. But it was like my mind, my renewal, my restraint just went out the window and I wasn’t even thinking! I was just EATING.

BUT. I learned my lesson! This is a great, great thing! I didn’t try to eat a freaking pop tart or something this morning… I ate a banana. And for lunch I ate chicken and rice soup (yes, yes, I know that I’m a vegetarian, but we are a little low on stockpiles for sickie people, so I went with what was best out of my options). And for dinner, I made rice for me to eat! And I EVEN stopped eating when I got too full!

It is a small triumph, but hey… I’ll take it!

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This last week in my Beth Moore study over The Patriarchs, she was discussing Tests and Triumphs and she talked about how sometimes you can just read his Word, learn what God wants to teach you, apply it and never need to “leave the classroom”. And sometimes you simply “don’t get it” being just in the classroom and so God has to take you on a little “field trip.” Well, this year has been a mix of those two things. Somedays I learn it from The Word, and some days I have to take a field trip down to the ol’ Gluttony Community Center to get myself turned around. But I get encouraged when my mandatory field trips are shorter and shorter. Instead of me trying to eat too much again today, I went back to my normal ol self! It was a pretty short field trip!

You see… God is good. As much as I try to do it my own way, He is good. He always pulls me back to teach me The Way. And when The Way heals me, soothes me, redirects me, then He has Glory. And He Has Victory.

And that might {might} just make it worth having the stomach bug in the long run.

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory…The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! Psalm 118:14,16

Day 387: Sick And Fried

bubba gump stupid is as stupid does

One of the worst places to get sick… is on vacation.

And one of the worst reasons to get sick on vacation is cause you ate something not-so-good for you.

And how do I know this? Experience, my friends. Personal and recent experience.

We went to the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant one day during our workcation in Anaheim (we chose it mainly because I still wasn’t eating meat and because it was close… not sure I would have chosen this on any normal day). We were so hungry that we decided to really get a lot of food…

Yeahhhhhh, that was not such a good idea.

Fried calamari.
Crab and Shrimp Bisque.
Fish and Chips.

On top of this, I’d had pretty much zero water all day so I think I was a little dehydrated. Regardless, I stopped eating my fish. And about five minutes later I had to run to the restroom to do a little “praying” to the toilet gods while my husband waited for me outside. He then had to pretty much support me on the walk home and then I had to speed up our visit to the 7-Eleven for some gatorades.

Once we got back to the hotel, I still felt icky so I just collapsed into bed.

And had a bit of a “Come To Jesus” about fried foods.

Now remember, I’m not a nutritionist. In fact, the “science” of nutrition is almost entirely ignored by me. It just changes so frequently. (e.g. Eggs were terrible for you,then they were good for you. Avocados were fattening and now they are necessary. Baked potato peels were of the devil and now they are crucial.) So, I’m not going to be able to delineate for you WHY nutritionists say that fried food is bad for you, but I do know that eating a lot of fried foods makes me sick. And if it makes me sick, then it’s probably not good for me.

Cause yeah, this is not the first time that fried food has made me sick.

Fried chicken (like as in KFC kind)… I lovvvvve it. But it makes me siiiiiiiiiick.
Fish and chips… lovvvvvvvve it. But it makes me siiiiiiiick.
Fish tempura… lovvvvvvve it. But, yep, you guessed it… it makes me siiiiiiick.

I think it must be the super greasy type of stuff.

But, ya know… I’m kind of amazed that it has taken me so many times of being sick to accept the fact that it’s just not for me. So weird to think that I would allow my tastebuds to override my stomach. It’s like the mental connector dealies that are connected to my tastebuds must be much stronger than the connectors that work with my stomach.

I know that I reference the verse a lot, but I think about the verse in Proverbs 26:11 that says a dog that returns to its vomit is like a person who repeats something stupid or foolish…

…like, ya know, getting sick everytime you eat something insanely greasy and then… eating stuff that is insanely greasy again. It’s like the famous Forrest Gump phrase, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

And I know that the Law that God made regarding food was in our best interest; however, it doesn’t say anywhere “Thou shalt not eat greasy chicken from KFC”. But I was just reading this verse and I think it relates here:

Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:13

So even though I know that the Bible never explicitly forbids fried chicken, I do know that the Bible tells me to honor my body, to run from sin, to throw off anything that holds me back. And if I am to “hold on to the pattern of this wholesome teaching” then the pattern would tell me that if fried chicken is hurting my body (my temple) to do away with it.

The same with gluttony. with sugar. with not sleeping well. with inactivity.

I don’t like saying all these things to myself because it convicts me and then I know that I am required to change. But, I know that the “changed me” several months down the road will be very proud of the “eats fried foods me” that is looking to change.

Day 218: Mid-Night Musings

Day 15 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

It’s 4:45am and I’ve been up for about an hour with a cough. My husband, toddler, and I all have it. Not sure how the five-year old skipped it, although if Murphy’s Law proves true, he’ll get it just in time for school! Ha!

Anyway, I’ve had this cough for about a week now. Most days it’s just been annoying but yesterday and through the night I have actually felt sick. I went to bed, well, on time last night… but when my boy woke up at 3:30 I could not go back to sleep because of this tickle-itch in the back of my throat. Of course, I came out of the bedroom and am now lounging on the couch hoping that sleep will find me again.

I should have known I’d get sick once I started a fast… poor ol’ Satan. He needs a new bag of tricks… doesn’t he know that he’s already done this to me… twice?!?!

Anyway, one of the big things on this hard-core Daniel Fast is that I decided not to drink anything other than water. But yesterday, I literally was at my wits end with this cough. Meds weren’t working. Cough drops were having zero effect. My husband suggested that I have a cup of hot tea. I was on the verge of giving in and just having a cup of hot tea in the mindset that it was medicinal, but then he suggested that I have some hot lemon water with honey. My reaction was one of disgust, even though I knew that it would help me, and so then when I thought about my options, I was like “well… a cup of hot tea would be nice and it wouldn’t be much of obedience to Him, but a cup of lemon water… ewwwwwww. Yes, even with honey… ewwwwww… it’ll be like a sacrificial obedience.” So I figured that it was safe to view the lemon water as medicinal instead of a cup of tea.

And wow, did it help.

And wow,  was I glad that I avoided the tea and went with more of a sacrifice… went with obedience.

And it wasn’t like a legalism kind of thing… I really wanted to please God by not giving in easily to something that would break my fast agreement with Him. It kind of reminds me of this conversation:

What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

And in a way, I felt like it was obedience… trying to obey Him. That is what pleased Him. And that is my goal.

Day 146: Candy Corn

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This is another example of when something that I learned, well, almost one-hundred days ago has come back around and I have learned the same lesson… again. Back on day forty-eight, I had a moment where I was choosing between what was good and what was best. And tonight, I had a similar moment.

I’ve been sick, and preparing good food for myself is not at the top of my list when I’m sick. Easy food… that is pretty much my criteria. Well, we didn’t have any leftovers that were on my covenant, and I was hungry and wanting something terrifically easy.

I looked… no, I glanced… through the fridge and didn’t see anything (I don’t think that I really wanted to see anything), and I thought to myself, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to eat a peanut butter and honey sandwich.”

But luckily, a verse that I found in college… and I wrote it on a big poster board and tacked it to the ceiling so that I would look at it when I laid in bed… came to my mind:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

I knew that I needed to look back in the fridge.

And sure enough, there was a bunch of leftover grilled corn (which might as well be candy, in my opinion… it’s soooooo good). So, that’s what I ate. And it was good. And I was totally satisfied. And I was completely blessed.

Day 117: HE WILL DO THIS

Okay so I have been feeling crummy for several days now… and for once I don’t mean crummy just physically but also spiritually. Like, something akin to depressed but not quite that strong. And I hate to admit it, but I think most of it stemmed from that dad gum weight thing, although it has taken me days to realize (or admit) that was the root cause.

But over the past day I have realized that all of my thoughts were centered around my weight. my lack of weight loss. my covenant blog posts. and then this morning to just plunk a nice big ol’ cherry on top, I weighed and had gained four pounds.

That was all she wrote. I was plummeting after that… what if this doesn’t work? What if God has abandoned me? What if I was wrong all along? What if I have failed?

And so I was so glad that today was a church day. I needed some fresh perspective. Some Word of God from… outside of me. Although I have kept on reading the Word through all of this, I realized today that I was reading the word with tunnel vision on: reading it solely for a Word about the covenant. about why I wasn’t losing weight. or about something I could use in a covenant post.

And there I was in worship, sangin and dancin… and the wisdom I have been praying for was right there. Not in a particular song… just in some truth written on my heart, whispered to me in the midst of me losing myself in praising Jesus for my salvation. A True Word From God…

I WILL do this.

And that was His voice saying that… not mine. HE. WILL. DO. THIS. I almost wanted to laugh there standing in the middle of the church. Haha- it was so simple. God and I had made a covenant… and I had lost faith that He could and would hold up His end of the deal.

I was thinking again that I could do it. That I could lose the weight. He just wanted me to realize that He is the one that has to do it. That He is the One who can do it. That He is the One who WILL do it.

And then, wanna guess what the Pastor spoke on???

Yep. Fear.

And at it’s core, that’s what I was… afraid. Afraid that God couldn’t, or wouldn’t, continue his work in me. But these two verses struck true with me…

But Moses told the people, (as they were about to have to cross the Red Sea) “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today… The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14

And here I have been wondering and worrying DESPITE THE AMAZING WORK HE HAS DONE FOR ME ALREADY… would He save me all the way? Worried that He would only take me 117 days in and then drop me? I’m so like those dadgum Israelites that He brought out of Egypt. I have seen this miracle in my life… recently… and yet I was afraid that God might not take me across the Red Sea? I was really afraid that He would change my entire life and then just dump me out for the Egyptians to come and slaughter me? or WORSE, take me back into slavery?

Nope. I just need to stay calm. stand still. and wait for the Lord himself to fight for me. to rescue me.

Cause He has.

Cause He can.

CAUSE. HE. WILL.

 

Day 109: A Day At A Time

One of the things that has been the best for me as I go down this journey is this blog. Sure, I fall behind three or four days when life gets crazy (like, this week, when ev.ery.one. in my family, including me, got sick) but being able to come back and refocus my attentions to God has been… well, a God-send!

Even though I read the bible every day sometimes it’s not necessarily a direct connection to my covenant. Sometimes I need to remind myself of how the Word applies to my covenant specifically. And that is how this blog has helped.

But as I talk to more and more of you that are signing up with God to do a covenant of some type, I have realized how a lot of people… for a slew of different reasons… don’t really have thirty minutes to journal or blog or meditate or whatever every day.

So, I have an idea that I got from my friend Alice who is doing a 40-day covenant. It was sort of an accident. We text back and forth scriptures or express how we are doing or a need for prayer. Well, she texted me recently this text (and yes, I even changed her name before doing this screen shot! Haha- does that make me a huge nerd?!?!?!)…

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And her little statement of “Day 5 and Jesus’ love is still enough” sort of made me think. Wow. Just taking thirty seconds every day to write down either how Jesus has worked in your life or a scripture that helped you or a prayer. It could be such a neat way to see what God is doing for you. Or a way to find that verse again really quickly that ministered to you when you wanted to break.

You could get a little week at a glance calendar (my grandmother used to do this) and write in it every day at lunch or at bed or something. Or I’m suuuuuuure there is an app out there for this. Or start a private twitter account that isn’t public.

But I would say that being able to write down every day at least one sentence about the renewal that God has given you… well, it could be the thing you need to keep you going.

It makes me think of this scripture:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 6:6-8

I mean I’m not saying write your sentence in sharpie on your forehead every morning- haha- but it’s the same concept. We need a daily reminder of God. a daily reminder of how far He has brought us. a daily reminder of His Goodness. His healing. His power.

So, there ya go. A suggestion to you and me: take it one day at a time.

And as for me too, Alice, day 109 and Jesus’ live is still enough!

Day Ninety-Three: Fallen And Forgiven

Well… here I am again. Humbled. Contrite. Subdued. But most importantly… I am forgiven.

We had a little birthday party for my mom last night, and oh… I was a champ! I made mozzarella sticks, creamy chive and chicken pasta, orange maple glazed carrots and sweet potatoes, dilly green beans and red potatoes, cheese filled garlic bread sticks, cheesecake, and ice cream. I ate the sweet potatoes, carrots, and the green beans and red potatoes. I was so happy that I had done well! I had chosen what was BEST!

Annnnnnnnnnd then today happened.

I woke up feeling poorly and I’m supposed to leave tomorrow on my first retreat (as in, I have not gone off on my own since 2007)! So, I snuck a Zicam in and then we left to take my husband to work. Well, the Zicam bottle very clearly says “Don’t take on a empty stomach”, but did I read it before I took it? Noooooo, of course not. So I started to feel icky. When we got home, I was still wanting to choose what was best so I grabbed an orange. And, well, the Zicam bottle also very clearly states to not eat citrus for thirty minutes after. So at that point I was feeling really gross. I saw the mozzarella sticks in the fridge and figured they would help a bit since they were mainly cheese.

Well, I wish that was my entire thought process, but really I had been looking for an excuse to eat one all day. So, I had one. End of story!

Nope again! I had seven more. Then I ate all of the bread sticks that were in the same bag. Knowing it was gluttony. Knowing it was wrong for me. Knowing.

And then later that night: three tortillas. I had reverted. Well, if I “broke” the covenant in my heart already then what’s the point of sticking with it? Granted I never thought about going back to chocolate, but it was the. exact. same. sickness of the heart! Bread, chocolate, chips, ice cream… it didn’t matter what it was… I disobeyed the voice in my heart. I disobeyed God.

But again, I am happy that I don’t have to spiral down into a pit of sin, despair, and overeating. I can make a choice after a day like that–

  • Be like David – having sinned – and ask God to cleanse me (Psalm 51)

or…

  • Be like the Israelites and abandon myself to this idol of food… and forgo the blessings of God and embrace a life of consequence.

I may not have responded perfectly to the temptation but at least I can embrace forgiveness and move on to a new day. Am I defined as a glutton because of this one day of bread gorging? No. I am a Daughter of the King. I am a woman fallen AND forgiven. And I pray that again, God would “restore to me the joy of His salvation and make me willing to obey Him.Psalm 51:12

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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Day Twenty-Three: Beating Brownies

I have some good friends Jason and Alina who had their first baby about a month ago and now that her mom is back at work and his in-laws have gone back home as well, I offered to make them a meal. It meant so much to me when people brought us food (including Jason and Alina) that I love to return the favor or “pay it forward” when I can.

So I started planning a couple weeks ago trying to decide what to take them. I’m not a super good cook so I have to be careful not to pull any Hail Mary’s when I make meals for people lest the food be uneatable and then they are stuck with a bunch of gross leftovers plus they are hungry. Okay I’m rambling. Anyway, I chose to do my easy enchiladas cause they are… easy, and I have made them a bunch of times and have yet to completely mess them up. So I made those, some rice, some black beans, got some chips and salsa and then… one thing left.

Dessert.

I knew I wouldn’t have a ton of time to cook since my youngest has been sick and teething, so I thought brownies would be easy and yummy and they could munch on them for a few days. I grabbed the triple chunk brownies cause they are extra yummy.

Annnnnd a little background on me and triple chocolate brownie mix. Remember my story the other day about the cookie dough? Yeah. Very similar. Essentially I would make brownie mix (always triple chunk) and I would eat so much of it that I often times ended up having only enough batter left that I would have to bake them in a creme brûlée ramiken. When I was pregnant, I would purposefully buy pasteurized eggs so that I could make and eat raw brownie batter.

So. Essentially, for a food addict… this was like dealing with crack for me.

But it went great!!! I even rinsed my finger instead of licking it (trying to get out of those habitual overeatings) and although I longed for it… I did not take a bite nor did I lick the bowl. And actually, now that I think about it, I didn’t long for it. I went into it thinking, “I’m going to stick by the covenant.” And so it was never like a temptation really. Chocolate is just not something that I’m gonna have. Period. The end. That’s it.

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