Day 385: Back In The Promised Land

Well, Texas, that is. I’m back in Texas. Which… to me, if you’re gonna live in America… Texas is the promised land. Yep… I love me some Lone Star State. (But don’t get me wrong, if I ever get a chance to live in like Costa Rica or something… I’m totally gonna bail on Tejas and go soak up some rays on the beach.)

AN.Y.WAY.

You might have not even known that I was gone, but I have been in Anaheim, California for the past week with my husband at the 2013 NAMM Show doing demos for his product, Chord Dice. It was an awesome, awesome, awesome week, and dare I say, completely exhausting. This is one reason why I have not posted… I would literally come in from dinner every evening (the show closed at 6pm every day and we’d usually sit down to dinner around 8pm) after standing from 8am-6pm nonstop, and I would wash my face, brush my teeth, change my clothes, and then fall asleep before my head even hit the pillow. (I actually did fall asleep at dinner one night!)

chord dice namm 2013

The other reason I didn’t post was because the WiFi in our hotel was abysmal and I guess since there were, literally, thousands of people staying right there in that convention center area of Anaheim all the 3G data was being evenly distributed between all of us… cause even my iPhone would take forever to load stuff.

But I did work on some posts on my new little laptop that my brother got me for a Christmas/Birthday gift so there is some coming.

What I wanted to share right now, very quickly is this… for the first time in over a year, on my celebration day…

I had a steak.
I had chocolate dessert.
I had a glass of red merlot.

And it was not all that I had imagined I was missing all this time. Don’t get me wrong, it was good. It was very good. But it was no where near as good as the joy of God has been this past year. It was no where near as good as fitting into a size 8 day after day after day. It was no where near as good as not having to fight with a plate of brownies or a bag of Oreos or a tube of Pringles.

So, right now… right before I run to pick up my son from pre-school, I want you to know that if you are considering covenanting from something that is a stronghold in your life… do it. That thing that has such an amazing hold on you… it’s no where near as important or good or necessary as you think it is. And the only reason I know this is because for a year, I didN’T have what I thought was important and good and necessary and I just DID have it and nothing about my life changed or was infinitely better.

Whatever that “thing” is in your life that is holding on to you… don’t let the enemy trick you into thinking that it’s so awesome that you can’t give it up with the help of Jesus.

You can.
You should.
You must.

Allow God to take you somewhere new.
Allow God to take you to the REAL promised land.

And I’m not talking about Texas this time.

Day 378: Pardon My Pity

Soooooo, I feel sorta like I should apologize for publicly sharing my pity party the other night.

And part of me feels like it is just what I should have published.

I guess I feel sorry because I was being negative and, seriously, who really needs negativity these days? And the part of me that is like “No, it was right” thinks that because I was being honest and real… and sometimes we just need to know that someone else is feeling that way as well.

But, I’m happy to report that “weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Cause I woke up this morning and everything was… okay. Not amazing, but okay. I mean, after all, I still had the same muffin top that I’d had the night before, but there was just renewed perspective and hope this morning.

I went to church and that really sent me on the right path… it was so nice just to be around people who care so little about my muffin top and to have the whole morning be about how much God loves us in any state that we are in.

Then I came home, got my boys to nap and “room time” and… wait for it… I took a nap myself. I was exhausted from being up all night having my pity party and then having to finish up my lesson for this morning. And… well, I’ve been really exploring the concept of honoring the sabbath. Ya know, it’s like… a commandment and all. I just recently wrote this post about it on a blog that I guest post for.

And can I just say that as I write this (on Sunday evening) that the weather is actually nice enough for us to be outside, and my two sons are playing NICELY with each other on the slide… it’s kind of idyllic. I mean… what is a muffin top when compared to this? I’m just feeling extremely content and definitely refocused today.

20130120-170017.jpg

There is definitely some learning that came out of my pity party last night though:

  1. It has been a while since I have been royally depressed like that about my weight/size. I attribute this a lot to having tossed the scale on Day 118 a long time ago… one of the best decisions that I have made during this whole experience.
  2. It also may have been the little kick in the emotional rear-end for me to get rid of a couple more strongholds: e.g. honey. I think I’ll write about honey later, because it’s a tricky little guy, but anyway… honey is on the outsies with me right now.
  3. I can be a little teensy weensy over dramatic sometimes. Cause, honestly, I went in this afternoon and tried on my trade-show pants (which I hadn’t tried on since Day 363 right after I stopped eating bread for the year) and they fit pretty dern good. No, they weren’t exactly the same as they were in June but I had relatively no muffin top. But I sent myself on this tear last night about my pants not fitting when it wasn’t even the case!!!

But all in all, I am reminded even now about a verse that has been coming to mind a lot… such a simple verse. a verse that most of us have heard a gazillion times and so oftentimes we sorta zone it out and nod our heads like good Christians. But, let’s take a moment to pay a smidge more attention to it today…

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

.

.

Nice, isn’t it? Being told to just be still. Being told to stop worrying. Being told that Someone Else has it all under control?

I can be still because God will help me work through any issues with my weight.
I can be still because God will help me work through any issues with eating honey.
I can be still because God will help me work through any issues with overdramatics.

I can be still because I know that He is God.

Day 110: Why Now?

Well, I had another little text-fest with my friend Alice today. And she posed the question:

Why wasn’t his love enough for me before?

I have often asked myself this same question. In fact, that question is what drove me to do the covenant in the first place. After finishing a three-week Daniel Fast last year, I was astonished at how easily I had withheld certain foods from myself that had been seemingly irresistible before. But before that, I had often called out to God and requested that His love and power save me from… food. from myself. from weight. from addiction.

But it hadn’t ever worked.

So, here was my response to her question as to why was His Love enough now?

Here are my thoughts… His Love has always been enough, but now you have committed to Him to rely solely and only on His Love. Before (at least for me) it was really just an “acknowledgement” of His Love.
But now, I am saying, “I believe that Your Love and Your Grace are so powerful that I will commit to sacrificing this food so that Your Grace and Your Love can change me without distraction of food.”

But each person’s journey has been sooooo unique. Soooooo different. The only “sameness” has been that Jesus has, and is, changing them.

I’m sure there is some thick theology about why this is helping so many of us to stand up to these strongholds that we have struggled against for years, but I am at this point with it…

When the blind man who has been healed by Jesus is being interrogated by the Pharisees…

He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” John 9:25

Day 105: Are Ya Gonna Go My Way?

I am getting really pumped at how many people I know that are doing a covenant thing with God. I mean, it’s just super cool to see people a) making a sacrifice to God to show Him their love and devotion, and/or b) relying on God as the only way they’ll be truly free of strongholds in their life.

Plus it’s just nice to be able to “talk shop” with people that are going through some of the same struggles or who are experiencing the same triumphs. I enjoy the new perspective.

I met with a friend this evening that has been doing a covenant for the past two weeks. She is going no-sugar and no-flour. Another friend of mine is doing no-sugar, refined foods, bread, or red meat. Another is doing no sugar, meat, or bread. Another, no shopping. And there are several more variations.

And what I think is cool is that everyone is doing something different. Each person seems to have unique convictions and unique perspectives. They have all taken the time to allow God to reveal things to them individually. Like, this verse seems to be a good prayer for someone before they really start their covenant.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

There were things in my life that I knew offended God when I started this (ummmmm, can anyone say gluttony?), but as I have gone along and prayed this prayer I have discovered a bunch more stuff that are issues. In fact, although I’m not sure how my covenant will look come January 2013… I do already know that I will have some other things that I will involve in some kind of covenant with Him.

But what is also cool is that although each person is doing a different variation of covenant fasting, everyone is looking to God for their salvation. for their fulfillment. for their hope.

And that’s just one of the things that is cool about working with God. Sure, I could push people to go it “my way” and do a covenant just like mine. But, it’s not about my way. It’s about His way. He is really the one asking, “Are ya gonna go My way?”

Day Sixty-Six: This One’s For You

Well, this week has been Spring Break and it is always during times of vacation (or at least my husband’s vacation) that I realize how much I am a creature that loves (and needs) routine.

It’s funny how just adding one more person to the mix of family life will throw off a routine in no time. We don’t have to wake up early, we don’t have to eat breakfast by a certain time or make lunches by 7:45am, we don’t have to cart the entire family up to my husband’s work to drop him off or take my preschooler up to church for school. The days are wide open… and subsequently a bit chaotic!

I have had little or no “extra” time to blog these past few days. And while I find it a bit freeing to not have done my writing for a bit, at the same time I feel a bit of a tug for anyone who might be reading.

As in… I feel their silent accountability. No, I don’t feel like I owe anyone anything. I don’t “owe” the blog’s readers a post, but I know that there are a few people that desire to get a Word of God that deals with these addictions or strongholds as much as I. And I know that there are some that are “rooting” for me and/or praying for me.

And although I know that God is now my support and my constant companion through all of this, the power of those around me is still strong. Perhaps it is the power of the Holy Spirit that flows through us that supports each other… yep. Even through something as “impersonal” as the internet!

And I am reminded of one of my favorite verses that encourages having friendship of those in the faith…

For I long to [blog to you] so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. Romans 1:11-12

And this is what brings me back to my blog today. After I caught up a bit on my bible reading (which as much as I wanted to post before, I knew that the posting on my blog was secondary to reading The Word), I have managed to squeeze in a few minutes of posting on my phone… and as I write these words my two year old has started to call me from his crib. I want to tell you that I am encouraged by you and your faith. Even if I don’t see you and just see your email address listed on my blog followers page… just your clicking on that follow link has encouraged me. And encourages me even at this very minute.

I am encouraged to know that there are other believers out there. That there are other strugglers out there. That there are people of prayer. of faith. of Jesus.

So, friends… brothers and sisters… this one’s for you!

Day Fifty: Edible Inedibles

It’s funny how my life has affected the way that I view food. As I made myself a potato lunch the other day, I found myself saying, “Well, I’m adding in this butter because otherwise the potatoes are inedible.” And then immediately after, “I need to add in this cheese and sour cream to make these potatoes edible.”

And now I think… Really? Were the potatoes really inedible??? And I sort of realized how my preconceived notion of food is… wrong. Those potatoes would have been edible had they been butterless. had they been sour creamless. had they been cheeseless.

But I had my brain set to believe that simply because something doesn’t taste decadent or indulgent then it must not be edible. Haha- it sounds ridiculous now that I’m away from the situation, but I think this is part of another stronghold that has needed to be shattered in my mind.

It’s like I’ve let my tastebuds give some kind of lesser value to “raw food” or “pure food”. My mind/tastebuds expect to get spicy food, salty food, buttery food, seasoned food, savory food, sugary food, etc. When they don’t… then it is literally like the food isn’t “worthy”. But food is about sustenance. Not about pleasure. I mean, it does taste good, but going to it for a pleasurable “experience” is not the point of food. That’s not the reason that food is there.

And although God desires for us to get pleasure out of life, it is not what we are to live for. In Ephesians, Paul is writing about the Gentiles and he’s telling us to not be like them (and, by the way, verse 19 talks about sexual obsession, but I changed it to an obsession with food since that is the “lust” that I am dealing with). And here is Paul’s “challenge” to them… to us… to me:

And so I insist (and God backs me up on this) that there be no going along with the crowd… that empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in an obsession with food, addicted to every sort of decadence.

But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything (and I do mean everything) connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life (a God-fashioned life) a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your actions as God accurately reproduces his character in you. Ephesians 4:17-24

Honestly… I looked at this verse because in the NLT version it has the word “pleasure” in it and so when I did a word search for that it came up. But then I switched it over to the Message cause sometimes that version tends to really convict me since it sounds so… brutally honest! And it just worked on me and worked on me. I immediately identified with those Gentiles that had lost touch with God AND reality! I mean… I ate an entire bowl of cookie dough… that’s losing touch with reality!

And then, I really grabbed onto the verse that I have underlined because I’m working to get rid of my old way of life… all that addiction has GOT TO GO! It is rotten. I want to get rid of it! I am getting rid of it!

And then, that last part in bold. DANG. That is exactly what I am seeing and hope to continue seeing! That I’m experiencing an entirely NEW way of life… a life that God has designed… and life that is totally new FROM THE INSIDE! And it is working on my actions (my previous overeating habits) so that I am like Him… so that I have Him and His Character inside me!

Whoo hoo! That just gets me all sorts of pumped up!!! So, leaving my potatoes “plain” next time won’t be about edible and inedible. It will be about God giving me a new way of life… a life where he is reforming my character into His character! Talk about some goodness packed potatoes! Haha!

 

Day Forty-Seven: Parting Is Such Sweet… Awesomeness!

I haven’t mentioned chocolate in a while. At the beginning it was all the time, but I can tell that my mentionings are diminishing.

Which is so awesome and so disconcerting at the same time. It’s awesome how something so “worldly”, so temporary, so unimportant… can so quickly fade away. It shows me where chocolate stood in order of importance, really.

But it’s disconcerting to know that for all those years I allowed chocolate to hold me. to defeat me. to comfort me. to empower me. to do so many things for me.

And wow… that little description up there sounds a lot like the description of an idol. Sure, I never had a big gold-plated Hershey bar up on the mantel with incense burning next to it, but… well, I gave it that position in my heart. And I may not be a fancy theologian but I know that God sure doesn’t want us to go through the actions of worshipping or relying on someone/thing else as our god, but he reallllly doesn’t want us to feel that way in our hearts.

I’m not even sure why I have received so many blessings despite carrying around that stronghold. But then again, maybe my real blessings are only yet to come.

I know what freedom I have encountered just from that one piece of addiction being released from me, so surely the future holds more. And I can already start to see other areas that I want to attack next year, and the next, and the next! I’m probably gonna go from a covenant diet from food into breaking all of my misplaced addictions until all I have left is Christ.

Of course, I’m pretty sure that’s called Heaven. Haha!