Day 730: In Defense Of New Year’s Resolutions

The Covenant Diet - In Defense of New Year's Resolutions

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When I was a teacher, I loved a lot of things about the job. I really enjoyed getting to hang with teenagers every day… I know that makes me kinda wack, but I really did enjoy it. I loved talking about language and stories and persuasion and all of that “English stuff”. I loved helping a kid who had trouble expressing themselves and helping them find their voice.

But honestly, ask any teacher and once we get past the”touchy-feely” parts about why we like teaching, there are a few semi-selfish reasons that we like the job: the breaks. Especially summer break. No, it wasn’t a time devoid of any work… I found myself up at the school multiple times during the summers, but it was a break.

And that break allowed me to start clean, fresh, new every single year.

A new class, a new start, new faces, new lives, new minds.

I didn’t have to keep figuring out ways to keep Bobby Joe focused during reading instead of dreaming about the car he was fixing up at home… because he went on to the next grade. I didn’t have to deal with Samantha and her sassy retorts to every word that would come out of my mouth… because she went on to the next grade. I didn’t have to try to decipher Megan’s handwriting anymore… because she went on to the next grade.

Sure, the new year would bring new students with their own sets of issues, but it was okay. I was ready. I was going to start new. I’d ended the school year before analyzing the things that I’d done and figuring out how to tweak them so that I could make my students’ learning easier as well as my my life more streamlined. And ya know what?

Each year did get easier.

Despite the fact that sometimes the classes were more difficult to handle one year and not the next. Despite the fact that I had a new principal pretty much every single year and had to learn “their way” of running things. Despite the state changing criteria or tests or whatever. I got better each year at planning and at adjusting.

{Ummmmm, okay, so thanks January for that recap on your educational career.}

Well, the thing is… the turn of the New Year is kind of like that for me spiritually. I can view it as a fresh start. Kind of like I imagine the Jews feel after Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) when they have confessed been forgiven by God and He has sealed their fate for the next year. It’s just an enticing sort of thought… being pure and new and fresh and clear and new. Because…. well, because…

There is hope in a new beginning.

And hope in Him is often what keeps us going. Now I’m not saying that you should make a slew of resolutions, but I think you should make one:

Pursue God this year.

Pursue His Word. Pursue His Love. Pursue His Forgiveness. Pursue His Wisdom. Pursue His Hope. Pursue His Voice. Pursue Him.

Then receive the peace that comes from His Word. Receive the comfort that comes from His Love. Receive the freedom that comes from His Forgiveness. Receive the renewal that comes from His Wisdom. Receive the joy that comes from His Hope. And receive guidance that comes from His Voice.

You can watch how all of that will trickle down into those goals, hopes, and dreams you have for the year. It is one resolution that won’t fail YOU!

Give it a try, oh, and have a Happy, Happy New Year!

Day 729: An Article From A Business Magazine May Have Saved My Relationship With God

I love facebook.

I’ll admit it.

For a stay-at-home-mom, it’s just such a great way to connect with the outside world! I know that it’s not perfect, but there have been many a time where I have had a quick banter with some friends on there and it’s gotten me through the insanity. But I tend to be the person who is vary wary of sharing links or anything like that (ironically enough I am always thrilled when someone shares one of MY post links!) but there was one link to an article recently that… well, it was a bit of a game changer for me.

You really, really, really… REALLY need to read it.

Entrepreneur Magazine: Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

Now… why would this article have annnnnnything to do with Jesus and dieting. It’s about business, no?

No.

You need it because… because it’s resolution time. It’s the beginning of the year, and even if you didn’t tell anyone your resolution or you decided not to make one {like my teacher James Tippit says: “I blew last year’s resolution out of the water. I resolved not to make any resolutions. And I succeeded brilliantly.”}… but secretly, you probably can’t help but to at least have hopes for the new year.

Like I mentioned yesterday on Day 728: I Have Learned The Secret, I realized that the one thing that I wanted to change was meeting with Jesus every single day… because I spent 2013 without doing that and honestly, I was pretty miserable emotionally and spiritually.

But here’s the thing… I wanted to spend time with him all throughout 2013.

I would make resolve upon resolve to wake up early and read my bible. And then I would sleep in morning after morning.

You see, in 2012… which I shall henceforth call “The Year Of Awesome”, both of my kids were pretty well sleeping through the night and staying in their beds until 7am. So, it was easy for me to go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 5:30 to shower and then read my bible and pray for an hour.

But then in 2013 “The Year of Blah” my toddler began waking up multiple times a night (he had a bad case of restless leg syndrome) and once he got past that he started waking up at 5:30 and despite a mixture of threats and bribes… nothing was going to keep him in bed longer. And I certainly wasn’t going to bed at the same time every night and I was sleeping in as long as I could until he woke up. But then after I borrowed this from a friend and then bought this and my whole life got better and he was staying in his bed until 6:30… guess what I still didn’t do?

I still didn’t get up and meet with God.

So when I had my recent epiphany that Jesus was the thing making me content in The Year of Awesome, I realized that I needed to start getting up. And then I read that article and realized, to make this succeed I needed…

a system.

And that is just what I have instituted in my life. A system to help me arrive on-time, eager, and alert to my meetings with God every morning. Now, you can check out now if you like because maybe you get it… maybe you already see where you need a system, and honestly… be my guest! Go for it, write that system down, start it tomorrow. It’s really awesome how well it works! But, just for kicks, here is my system for meeting with God. (And I love schedules… it’s the teacher in me I think… so that’s why it’s all time oriented.)

The night before:
9:25 – prep my “meeting place”, set out my devotional, hot tea stuff, and electric throw blanket
9:30 – brush teeth, wash face, change into PJs and all that pre-bed stuff
9:45 – get in bed, read a book, more bible whatever… no tech.
10:00 – lights out

The Covenant Diet - An Article From A Business Magazine May Have Saved My Relationship With God

The morning of:
5:30 – get up, shower, do my hair, and get dressed
6:00 – walk to my prepared meeting place and… read, pray, and meditate on Him
6:30 – greet my little boys with a smile and a contented heart

I just have to say… my outlook over the past two weeks of doing this has been awe.some. It’s like everything has changed. Everything. And it’s just because I am beginning my day (nothing fancy people, just reading Jesus Calling and the corresponding verses) by renewing my mind. But I am able to do that BECAUSE I set up a system to make it happen.

Anyway, this is so not very touchy-feely but I feel like it can really make a big difference in your life if you have trouble with goals or resolutions or follow-through… which is basically my entire life story.

Give it a go! Let me know how it works or how you use a system! I would genuinely love to hear it because I’d love to steal your idea and use it myself!!! Ha!

Day 728: I Have Learned The Secret

Okay, whew…  my kids are back in school so I have a bit of time to write again! I sure do love public education (and the private preschool my youngest goes to as well)!

Last week on Day 720: Remember That Time I Had A Diet Blog And Then Gained Weight???, I mentioned at the very end that I had some upcoming posts… I had hoped to get to them last week but it just didn’t happen so today, we begin! The three things that I wanted to talk about this week were: changing the way we change (a la Steven Furtik), systems in our life, and getting in daily doses of Jesus. When I looked at those three things I knew that we needed to cover first things first: JESUS.

I have been doing quite a bit of self-reflection over the past few weeks (well, actually over the past YEAR), but I really asked myself a question that helped me get to the quick of what was going on with me. In 2012, I felt so great about life… so content. Gain weight, lose weight, money issues, money blessings… it didn’t matter I was just ALLLLLLL GOOOOOOOOD. And then 2013 hit like a wrecking ball (sorry, couldn’t help myself with that one – hehe) and it was like struggle, struggle, struggle. So, I had to ask myself,

What changed?

I know that’s not some super deep, life changing question for most people… but for me it was. Cause I’ll tell you right now what changed. Him. I wasn’t interacting with Jesus every.single.day. in 2013 whereas I had been in 2012. And it wasn’t so much about my circumstances being worse but it was about the fact that I just didn’t feel…

contentment.

And feeling content, no matter the situation (like in Philippians 4:12), is one of the most blessed feelings you’ll ever experience. It’s like true peace and true joy combined into one feeling.

So, I decided if anything was going to be different in 2014, that was going to be it. I was going to read the bible every day, pray every day, meditate on Him every day.

And, friends…. oh friends…. I can already tell you: HE has made all the difference. So I can tell you now, I have learned the secret. And it’s

JESUS.

The Covenant Diet - I have learned the secret

Day 720: Remember That Time I Had A Diet Blog And Then Gained Weight???

Well, ya know how it’s not real cool to tell everyone on your diet blog that you’ve gained weight? Cause it doesn’t exactly foster “confidence” in what you are doing. Especially after you’ve had all these articles written and been interviewed for an article in The Atlantic. Yeah, gaining weight would be a totally lame thing to admit to.

But, well, I’m all about being totally open and “transparent” (that’s the new trendy Christian buzz word for “being real” right now, isn’t it?). So, I’m going to tell you that I’ve gained weight.

Only, it’s not pretty. It’s not like, “Oh, I’ve put on the Christmas 5″ or anything cute like that.

Nope, I weighed myself in August and then I weighed myself again this weekend knowing that it would be more but secretly hoping it wouldn’t be. And oh, boy howdy, it was most certainly more.

TWENTY POUNDS MORE.

Since August, people.

Uhhhhhhhhh, yeah. That’s not good.

Not. good. at. all.

So, of course, like I used to do when I weighed myself (and I haven’t weighed myself since Day 118: Trippin), I spiraled into a pit of despair and self-loathing.

Ahhhhhhhh, the life of someone who struggles with weight and eating issues.

But honestly, it didn’t surprise me. I’ve been three-day dieting for months now. You know what I’m talking about…

Monday: I’m so hard core! This is so great to be eating healthy! I feel awesome! No more sugar or bread foreverrrrrr!
Tuesday: Yeah! I’ve still got it. This time… this time is different! This time I’m gonna do it!
Wednesday: Uhhhhhhhhh… why the HECK did my husband’s client send him a box of PREMIUM chocolates?!?!?
Thursday: {Nom Nom Nom on aforementioned box of chocolates}
Friday: Since the box of chocolates is all gone, eat a bag of tortillas because it’s really the only bread in the house. I mean, might as well… cause I ate like a pig yesterday.
Saturday: Self-loathing is at its peak… perhaps sneak into the kids Christmas stocking candy. How much is is that Plexus stuff???
Sunday: Admit defeat, decide you CAN do it this time… tomorrow is the day! Soooo, gotta eat the rest of the Christmas cookies to, ya know, clear the house of their evil.
Monday: Repeat. previous. week. all. over. again. and then again. and then again.

But I’m also going to tell you a very, very important thing…

I’M. NOT. GIVING. UP.

Did I want to order Plexus immediately? Yes. Did I contemplate getting a job just to get me out of my house and away from food? Yes. Did my husband talk me down from doing both of those things? Yes.

Cause here’s the deal: Plexus is an easy fix for me but I know… I know… that it won’t solve my problem. I may not have an eating disorder (or heck, I might… I’ll let my bestie determine that… ironically, she’s a psychologist for all that stuff) but I do know that I have some disordered eating habits.

And that has got to change.

So, to change… I’ve got to make some changes.

Honestly, there are several posts coming up on that this week: changing the way we change, incorporating systems into my life to help with this cuh.ray.zay. weight gain, and most importantly, making deliberately sure that Jesus is more of my DAILY life.

I wanted to write it all here right now, but then this post would be a gazillion words long. So, I’m forcing myself to spread it out over a few days. And, well, if you’ve read this far then hopefully that means that you’ll be on this journey with me… continue on this journey with me, despite the fact that I’ve put on some poundage and because of the fact that God’s changes are on His own timing, but people… HIS CHANGES are oh. so. glorious.

So, here I go. Still journeying on that path from gluttonous… to glorious!