Day 116: Christian Closet

A couple of days ago, my good friend and former co-worker was coming over to chat while my oldest was in preschool and my youngest was napping. Even though she and I have been friends for a lonnnnnng time it’s been difficult to see each other as we go through the crazy stages of raising kids and so I was really extra excited to see her since it has been, like, five years since we last hugged each other’s neck.

And as I woke up that morning, I thought to myself, “Well, Rhonda’s coming over… I should do my hair (even though Thursday isn’t a day I usually “do” my hair) and I need to wear an outfit that makes me look extra skinny since I haven’t seen her in a while.”

And then I just sorta stopped myself. I thought, “Whoa. That is entirely off of the focus here. You need to just wear whatever you pick out in the morning and roll with it. No trying on 53 outfits to see which looks skinniest.”

And it wasn’t because Rhonda would love me no matter what (although she would!) but it was because Jesus loves me no matter what. Because Jesus looks at my heart.

And I saw a glimpse of myself having the potential to be one of those girls that I have always admired that looked comfortable and cute in whatever they were wearing but never seemed caught up in their looks. And I realized that I really don’t care about fashion or cute-clothes. I never really have. And that’s cool because…

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12

So now, when I wake up in the mornings, I would love to spend a moment focusing on one of these qualities. Asking God as I dress in my earthly garb to make my humility stand out far more than the jeans I’m wearing. That my mercy would “bling” more than my necklace. That the kindness I show someone will show off Christ more than a shirt will show off my figure.

I would love for someone to think about having seen me during the day and not be able to recall a single item of clothing but be able to remember my gentle spirit.

Now, that would be one great outfit.

Day Eighty-Two: Damning Demands

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I sat down this morning before the boys woke up, cuddled up in my chair with my coffee (upgraded with a little unsweetened almond milk), and opened up my phone. I saw the Bible app on my phone (which is where I do almost all of my Bible reading these days) right next to my WordPress app.

Knowing that I was behind a day on my posting, I thought “Oh, I’d better come up with a blog topic.” But nothing immediately came to my mind. Now, mind you… this is all happening during the time that I have set aside for reading my Bible… not for blogging, but for some reason there are times when I… don’t want to. It’s usually when I have fallen behind on my reading and need to catch up several days worth (which is the case this time).

But luckily, I had no immediate thoughts of what I could write about, so I sighed and tapped open my Bible app.

I read a bit through 1 Corinthians 15, and then the next reading section was in Psalm 78… and here is what I saw:

They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. Psalm 78:18

Oh boy, was this ever a grab for me. Luckily the rest of my reading was in 1 Kings 6 and 7 which is all about building the temple, because my mind could not get off of that verse in Psalms. Not so much because it had the word “food” in it… although of course that is what grabbed my attention in the first place, but of the specific words and what they revealed to me about the condition of my heart pre-covenant (and sometimes the during-covenant).

I have tested God for years… not so much on purpose, but by just relying on other things to “save” me. And by thinking that being skinny was the end-all-be-all of life. As if being skinny would make all of my problems go away. To give you an example of how sick, sick, sick my heart was… there were times that I would secretly (and I mean secretly) hope for cancer so that I could be forced by chemo into losing weight. SICK! I’m so ashamed that I have ever had such thoughts, but part of this blog deal is to be open and honest. And if my cookie dough experience wasn’t enough to convince you that I needed help, then maybe that little tid bit of info might.

But the demanding part really got me as well… because I have had that kind of attitude with God for so long. As in, well, I’ll give up bread and chips and sodas… but do not ask me to give up chocolate. Seriously, cause I won’t do it.

Well, completely unbeknownst to me that it was happening, my “I won’t do it” turned into “I can’t do it”. And I found myself… not just wanting God’s help but needing it. having to have it. being unable without it.

And so, I guess this is just a reminder of how desperate my heart needed some… reconditioning.

And reconditioning it, He is.

Day Forty-Four: Insanity

I had a friend and blog-follower ask me the other day why I haven’t mentioned anything about working out.

Well, here’s what it boils down to: I’m just gonna come clean and let everyone know that I do not like to work out. I don’t like to run. I don’t like to lift weights. I don’t like to do aerobics, or yoga, or pilates, or zumba (well, I have never actually tried zumba… it sounds crazy enough that I might be able to at least endure it- haha). I do enjoy swimming but not for the sake of working out… I just enjoy it for it’s mere awesomeness of that floating and flying sensation.

So… all of that to say that if I’m working out, it’s only for the cause of losing weight. I just don’t get that euphoria afterwards that I’m “supposed” to get, and I’m pretty much miserable during each work out, and then there is the getting into workout clothes which are always somehow either too snug or falling off, and of course then I have to bathe again after working out, and… okay, okay. I have made myself clear. Sorry for being a grouch about it! Haha – I guess I needed to vent a little!

I say this because I am not working out because I don’t want to lose weight any other way than by my eating habits changing. That might sound ludicrous and weird, but here is my reason: I need my overeating food and addiction to food and focus on food to be eradicated from my life. If I find another way to be “skinny” (i.e. working out) instead of getting this addiction under control then it defeats the purpose of this entire covenant. My focus this year is not to change my body (although I will totally admit that I hope it changes for the smaller) but to change my heart, soul, and mind.

Hopefully, I will be so renewed by the end of the year that I will be such a new person that I will want to work out. Or maybe I’ll be smaller and pounding the pavement won’t be as gosh-darn painful. Or my heart will have such a smaller amount of strain that zumba will be fun.

But I’m pretty darn sure that I will never, ever do a workout titled INSANITY. That’s just plain crazy! Haha!