Day 637: Kitchen Work Out

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I used to always say, “If I didn’t have to work, then I could lose weight and be skinny.”

And, like I said in My Story, I got my wish… sorta. I got to be a stay-at-home mom three years ago. Only to discover that it was about 8,000 times MORE difficult to lose weight in that environment.

I mean, a big chunk of my day revolves around food now: make everyone’s breakfast, make bagged lunches, preschooler’s mid morning snack, my lunch, my husband’s lunch, plan and prep dinner, afternoon snack for the kids, cook dinner, feed dinner, dessert time, plan more meals, grocery shop, etc, etc, etc.

PLUS, my “office” as a stay-at-home mom is, essentially, in the kitchen (we have one of those houses where the living room is the same room as the kitchen… a blessing and a curse.)

I just never escape food.

But… the more that I seek Him through this process,  the more I am glad that is the case. Cause I want to WORK OUT this issue. And you know what they say: practice makes perfect.

And I’m just getting in A LOT of practice.

But ya know, if a big focus of mine was to become physically strong and buff, then it would be awesome to live IN a gym because I could work out every spare second.

Well, I do live in “the gym” for this mental and emotional workout. Because I am around food all day every day, I get way more practice than I would away at work. So, even though (like on Day 623: Perfectly Prepared) I may FEEL like His work is slow… it could be that by working on this right now while I’m around food all the time, He’s chosen a time of my life during which I could learn faster.

Like, maybe this track of becoming free from food will only take a few years whereas I might have never come across the entire realization that is The Covenant Diet had I been working or it might have taken me ten years for it to click instead of just two or three.

What it boils down to people, and I know I keep saying this over and over again… is that we just have to trust that His timing is working out. Even if it seems like you have no progress… keep it up because it WILL come. Even if it seems as if you are in the MOST difficult situation to deal with your food issues (or whatever it is that is weighing your soul down)… it could be a blessing that you are getting to confront it head on instead of the pain of it lingering for years and years.

Let’s trust the slow (or fast) work of God.

He’s got this!

Day 466: Hungry Hungry Hippie

So, lately I’ve been really wanting to pull myself and my family further away from processed foods… I know, I know. That is just so trendy right now. I mean, who doesn’t want to pull their family away from processed foods?

But gosh- soooooo much easier said than done. Especially for someone who is not much of an accomplished cook in the first place, and then double that for someone whose minimal cooking skills revolve around a bunch of “Cream of _______” dishes. Plus, I’m not much of a hippie type… I mean, I like roughing it out in the country, but only if there is a Walmart within driving distance to get the stuff I need. So, this whole “do it all yourself” thing is gonna be a big switch for me.

In an effort to make this endeavor something I don’t burn myself out on too quickly, I have decided to start very small and thought I’d begin with homemade granola bars. I found a recipe on Pinterest that sounded doable and so I modified it a bit and then tried it a few weeks ago. Delish. My processed-addicted 5 year old son loved them. So, I made them again a couple of days ago and bam… nailed it again.

{Look… aren’t they pretty? And this is pre-baked!}

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I packed those beautiful granola bars all nicely in my best piece of tupperware and stored them in the fridge and smiled at myself each time my son requested one and I could far more easily say “Yes, you may have one of these pretty-good-for-you homemade granola bars!”

Until… yesterday.

I got so hungry at lunch time. Weird, right? What a concept. But it was the kind of hunger that caught me a bit off guard; it sorta came out of nowhere. And I didn’t really have a plan for what to eat nor a lot of easy options… so, I ate… a granola bar.

And I sorta sigh and shake my head at myself as I write that.

But… what’s wrong with a granola bar, January?

Nothing.

Unless… you’re doing a Daniel Fast that restricts several of the ingredients in the granola bar.
Unless… you’ve made a covenant with God not to eat sugar for five years and there are m&ms and mini chocolate chips in them.
Unless… you’re not eating A granola bar but MANY granola bars.

Yep, that’s right… I didn’t just eat one granola bar to ward off my hunger. I ate five granola bars to ward off my hunger.

And then at dinner I had the nerve to feel so proud of myself for not eating the BBQ pulled pork I cooked for my visiting brother. And proud again as I just ate enough and felt so satisfied. Well, YEAH, I felt just so satisfied with my little meal… I’d eaten enough oats and peanut butter in those bars to last me a week!

{Sigh.}

This morning, however, I sit here and cross my arms (cause despite it being late April it’s a little chilly) and think… Well, what lesson did I learn from it? A couple, actually.

Reminder One: This is a journey, January. By now you should have learned that this whole process of healing and renewal is not going to happen on your timeframe. Calm down. Learn lessons. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Reminder Two: Have pre-prepared, easy to make/warm up lunches for days like these. Like, yesterday was a “I need to nuke it” kind of lunch day. Not even my avocado and tomato salad would have been right for me (despite it’s deliciousness) because it took a whopping five minutes of “work” to make it. So, this week, I’m going to prepare five freezer meals for myself along with a list of Daniel Fast-friendly lunches to glance at when my brain is kaput.

Reminder Three: It’s not about WHAT food you’re eating if you eat TOO MUCH. (One of these days that’s actually going to sink in!)

Reminder Four: God’s love never ends. His mercies never stop. They are new EVERY MORNING. (Lamentations 3:22-23) And He will give me wisdom to come out of this. He has healing in his wings that all I have to do is reach out and touch. He knocks down strongholds. He reaches down with his strong arm to save. God. is. good. Even my granola bar gorging can be worked out for His Good Plan.

Yep. I feel better now!

Day 406: Patched Up

rainforest pool

Last summer, my boys wanted to blow up our little kiddie pool in the backyard, but Big Daddy was gone and I didn’t know how to work the air compressor, so I decided that I would just have to go old school on that pool. Well, sorta old school. I used a bicycle foot pump.

And it took for.ev.er.

But I did it. I struggled through. Switched out which foot I used several times. Sweated. Huffed and puffed. Used my hands to work the foot pump a few times cause my legs were giving out. But I kept going and finished it. Even had to blow up the little extra decorative parts using air from my lungs.

And then, I realized… one of the little extra blowup parts that made the pool look like a rainforest… had a hole. It wasn’t the WHOLE pool that had a hole, but still, If I didn’t keep that part aired up it would fall over into the pool. I mean, the pool would still be usable, but not as fun.

My faith has been so much like that pool the last few months. It has needed constant work to keep it aired up. And it just hasn’t been as much… “fun”. But, it’s worked. When my sweet grandmother went to Jesus in November, my faith was there… it led me immediately to Jesus. He was my comfort, my hope, my refuge. Then my faith went back to “keeping it aired up” status. Not splashing around. Not resting in the cool comfort. Just working at keeping it going.

But lately, there is this tiny… okay, maybe not tiny, but very small… almost imperceptible change happening in my heart.

Where I find myself softly choosing Jesus instead of my own desires.
Where I find myself longing for His Word.
Where I find myself speaking words of adoration and thanks to Him.
Where I find myself slowly, slowly finding calmness, contentment, perspective.

Honestly… I can’t say that there is anything that I did, or didn’t do, that led to this change. Maybe I’m reading my bible again more. Maybe I’m praying more and with a little more faith. Maybe my Sunday School teacher is the bizomb and is ripping apart everything that I have believed and making sure I believe it for real. Maybe just picking up the Beth Moore book every couple of days is transforming me. Maybe it’s my life calming down a bit. Maybe it’s the Easter season upon me.

Or maybe it’s just God’s plan. God’s timing. God’s change.

Cause I learned a lot about myself, my faith, my God, my gluttony, my hurts, my hopes during that time of keeping my faith “aired up”. And I was reminded of how important it is to stay the course, stay steady. It doesn’t have to be a Beth Moore study every night, or a Jim Cymbala prayer, or a Billy Graham conversion.

A verse a day. A prayer a day. A worship a day.
In the car. On the potty. In my bed. At the dinner table.
Quick and hurried. Tearful and begging. Flustered and worried.

The key… is going back to Him. Keeping that faith aired up. Cause He’ll patch that hole. You keep it aired up and He’ll patch that hole when the time is right. When you’ve learned a little something. When you’ve realized how much easier it is to just let Him patch that hole instead of keeping it aired up.

And then, for a bit, you can sit back, grab a glass of iced tea (peach flavored, if you’re really living it up), and relax in the cool, refreshing water of His Spirit.

Day 319: Half-Car Garage

A couple of days ago my husband and I set out to clean the garage. My mom offered to watch the boys all day (thanks to my request on Day 303: Zero Car Garage!) so that we could really “git ‘er done” as we like to say here in Texas.

And look at me here… so optimistic.

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We got a goin’ right after I got back from dropping the boys off around 9:30. And we sorted and cleaned and purged. And sorted some more and cleaned some more and purged some more. I just knew we were gonna get that garage in ship-shape condition.

We ran a trip to Goodwill, then to the ReStore (a Habitat for Humanity resale store), and got some lunch. And when we got back and I saw the mounds that were yet to be touched, I started to feel a little doubt creeping in that it might not be possible to clean out an entire garage in 8 hours. A garage, mind you, that had not been sorted, cleaned, or purged in about 5 years.

But I was just so determined to finish that I plugged on ahead. I only had a limited amount of time to finish… so it simply HAD to get done.

No excuses. Play like a champion.

… … …

Yeah. We didn’t get it done.

And I was really pretty disappointed. As I hooked back in the kids’ car seats to go pick them up, my husband kept trying to remind me that we had done A LOT. And he was right. He was. But, it wasn’t DONE.

And I drove off feeling semi-accomplished and semi-failure.

{And how does this relate to the covenant???}

Oh yes. Well, as I drove off I was like, “Why am I disappointed? We did so much work! …… But we didn’t finish. And I really thought we’d finish. I dunno maybe cleaning out the garage in one day was an unrealistic expectation.”

Bam.

That was it. Unrealistic expectation. And I immediately started thinking about a mental conversation I’d had with myself earlier that day about how I was a little bummed that I was going to have to keep in the covenant for another year. I’d sorta started feeling like within this year I should have been all healed of my obsession, a size six, have my blog written into a book, and all of that with a nice little bow on top.

But. It was an unrealistic expectation.

Or maybe it’s more so that it was a undivine expectation instead of looking for God’s divine timing.

Cause again and again I am reminded…

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord . “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

And I also came across this verse:

    This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.

Habbakuk 2:3-4

I added in verse 4 as well… because it is like the opposite of waiting patiently. Trusting in myself… had all of those things happened in MY timing, I might have trusted in myself. I might have thought that I was the one that made it all happen. Even if it was just a tiny seed in my heart… we all know how dangerous a tiny seed can be.

So, now I’m glad that my covenant has not reached its fulfillment yet. I’m glad to have a chance to be a righteous one and live by faithfulness to God.

But the garage… well, I wish that HAD been finished in MY timing. Haha!