Day 868: The REAL Problem With Being Fat

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My son just turned four. Which means… birthday cake.

Twice.

Cause we had to have cake for his birthDAY and then we had to have it again for this birthday PARTY a few days later. And, well, needless to say… I consumed wayyyyyy more than I needed to. Shocker, right?

So, on the way home from the party with my two sons in the back of the car, I found myself pleading with God…

God, I’m desperate.

And then, I started to think through that…

When was the last time I really said that to Him? When was the last time I said, “Oh God, I’m just so desperate for _____ to change. Show me what I can do to make it change!”

Well, I can tell you this: I wasn’t desperate for the widows and orphans that he so explicitly instructed us to take care of. I wasn’t desperate for those in my neighborhood and in my life that are struggling through the grips of poverty and the cycle that surrounds it. I wasn’t desperate for the souls that live a few miles down the road who live in opulence, but find themselves hunched over at night drenched in their own tears because they bear so much pressure to perform. I wasn’t desperate for the missionaries all over the world sacrificing their entire lives so that a few souls might be saved.

I wasn’t desperate for the things that break His Heart…
I was desperate for a smaller dress size.

And THAT broke my heart.

I realized that with this weight and food issue of mine, there were two sides:

First of all, God has pulled me toward Him over and over again throughout the process. He has shown me, first hand, so much of His truth and His ways and I have learned, most importantly, that He has this plan running through my life that is so much bigger than just me. I have learned that every. single. moment. of. my. life. BELONGS. Triumph and failure. They belong. Healing and pain. They both belong. Skinny and fat. They are both part of my story… my life.

On the flip side, is the devil. And he has tried to take so, so much from me. He has twisted and flipped and pinched and prodded to make sure that this extra fat that hangs off my gut doesn’t just squeeze my jeans but it also squeezes my heart. He has made sure that my focus was on stuff so temporary, so trivial, so pointless… that I was becoming ineffectual.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the lord. . . For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. . . Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins? Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven. Lamentations 3:21-26, 31-32, 38-41

So, with that, I change up my original prayer a bit…

God, I’m desperate…
desperate for you to distract my mind
so much towards the eternal
that I don’t even see myself in the mirror.

 

Day 849: Let’s Make A Deal

Last night I got really… sad. Like, “I’m fat” sad. And then I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking “I’m fat. and undesirable. and ugly. and worthless. and lazy. and undisciplined. and… and… and…”

So, what did I do?

I looked up pics of skinny-me on my facebook page.

Yeahhhhhhhhhh, that was NOT the best idea I’ve ever had. And I can guarantee you that it didn’t make me feel any better. Cause all I did was start to say the same things to myself over and over again… and there was the proof!

See, January!?!?! See??? You used to be so skinny! Even when you thought you still had weight to lose you were perfect! You looked great! But you blew it all, didn’t you? You just ruined it. And now you are fat again and stuck in the same boat you were when you started this whole thing. Way to go.

Admittedly there was a little part of me that retorted, “But you did it once, you could do it again. Go to God. See what He has to say.”

Yeah, I didn’t listen to that part of me. Ya know… the part of me that knows what she’s talking about? I should have gone to God. I should have spent that time searching His Words for the things that are true of me. The things that speak to His Power in my life. The words that address His unfailing and constant Love for me.

But I didn’t.

So.

Let’s make a deal. Next time. Next time that secret sad part of us starts to spout off this DARKNESS into our hearts…

Let’s fight back with LIGHT!

Come back to this post if you need to… cause here are a few things he says about you:

  • I am completeIn Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.  So, I am also complete through my union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
  • I am lovedCan anything ever separate me from Christ’s love?  Does it mean he no longer loves me if I have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me.  And I am convincned that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
  • I am a work in progressI am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
  • I am strongI can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  • I am a masterpiece. I am God’s masterpiece.  He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. Ephesians 2:10
  • I am worth a lotGod bought me with a high price.  I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • I am chosen by Him. Since God chose me to be a holy person he loves, I must clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
  • I am guarded and celebratedFor the Lord my God is living among me.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in me with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all my fears.  He will rejoice over me with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17

 

Day 765: Why I Really, Truly, Honestly Started The 7 Fast

Supposedly.

I’m supposed to be a Pinterest Perfect mother.
I’m supposed to run 5 times a week.
I’m supposed to cook gourmet cuisine every night in my kitchen.
I’m supposed to volunteer at my kids’ schools every week.
I’m supposed to write and manage a fun, trendy, cute blog.
I’m supposed to keep my figure slim and rocket hot.
I’m supposed to…
I’m supposed to…

I’m supposed to.

Most of the time I’m an open book about the things that I’m not doing that I am “supposed” to be doing. I mean, we live in an awesome age where it’s okay, even cool, to be “real”. And that’s the whole reason I created this blog… was to be real with myself and my family and my friends about what I was eating.

But ya know what happened?

My blog got kinda popular.
I started to get, like, a lot of followers.
It felt like people around me were… watching.
Watching and waiting for me to mess up.

And I felt the need to keep up this “everything is great” face sometimes… because otherwise people might not still “believe” in my blog, or they might think I was an internet fake, or… or… or…

But then I gained twenty pounds… in five months.

And I’ll tell ya. You can fake a lot of things but you can’t hide weight gain. Oh, the shame I started to feel. I was like Icarus… I flew so high but now I was falling back down to earth. I was gaining it all back. And fast. I started to decline invitations to go places. I started to search for leggings and long flowy tops to at least attempt to hide it.

And ya know, gaining weight back: it was supposed to really motivate me to get a hold of things, to really buckle down, to make myself change.

And ya know, it kind of did. I started to focus more on balance in my life. I would allow myself to eat a bite of chocolate here or there. I wouldn’t let a binge get me down.

I was starting to feel a bit of peace about this whole food thing.

But then I decided to read this book called 7 (which is awesome and before we go any further allow me to explicitly state: I am not bashing the book) and the first month you do a fast. I chose to only eat the 7 foods (well, I chose ten actually) that Jen Hatmaker ate.

Well, in anticipation of going on this fast, I did what every person would do who struggles with food and binge eating…

I ate everything in the house.

If it was sugar, I wanted it. If it was pizza, I devoured it. If it was bread, or pasta, or a burger, or tacos, or fast food… I was going to get it.

So, realizing that if I kept this up for another week I’d gain another ten pounds, I got all gung ho and started the fast a week early. The first week was awesome! {See my rosy-cheeked post about it on Day 749}

But it backfired.

I started to make a bunch of little allowances (“Oh, I can eat carrots because they’re healthy” and “Well, I can’t say ‘no’ to a piece of cake at Nanny’s house) and then it just sorta crumbled and turned into me saying “Why still fake it? I’m not doing the fast at all anyway.” which turned into “Well, if I’m not fasting then I’m just going to binge, binge, binge.”

Cause I can’t control this.
Cause I’m out of control.
Cause something is wrong with me.

That’s how I felt.

And why?

Why did it all fall apart on me?

Because… I didn’t do that first month of the 7 Fast for God. I didn’t do it to help me understand better the plight of the poor. I didn’t do it for anyone other than myself.

{Alert: Confession coming…}

I did the fast to lose weight.

All because of this one little phrase in Hatmaker’s book from Day 21…

“Do you know what happened this month? After eating only whole foods and virtually no fast food, my pants are falling off.”

I remember almost being disappointed when I read it because I knew… I knew instantly that my motivation had changed from desiring to focus on Him to desiring to focus on me and finally getting my re-gained weight off.

And that simply wasn’t enough of a motivator to keep me going. Doing a fast, under the pretense of doing it to get closer to Jesus, so that I could lose weight? Ick. It just felt wrong…

So, needless to say. I just stopped. I realized that going through the cycle was just making me sicker and sicker emotionally and mentally and spiritually. Best to stop the fast than to be sick at heart.

And stopping allowed me to look again at my motivation… and to see yet another connection in this journey. I think I’m starting to realize what is sabotaging me. What is ruining me.

But… that’s a post for another day.

{I know, sorry… that was just the worst and meanest “cliff hanger” ever! But honestly it mainly because this post is already reallllllly long and that post is gonna take another chunk of time! Look for it… realistically, on Monday!}

I’m not sure that this post is really spiritually helpful for anyone else, but in a way, I think this part of my journey will prove to be integral to my eventual healing and I wanted it documented. So, thanks for indulging me!

Recipe: Vegetarian Hummus & Kale Tostadas (aka: Chalupa)

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Let’s just get down to the nitty gritty.

Is a flat, fried corn tortilla a tostada or a chalupa?

I’ve done some very, very scientific research on this matter (i.e. wikipedia and cafemom and food.com) and here’s my take:

A tostada is a toasted/fried flat or bowl shaped tortilla (usually made from corn) with toppings on it.

A chalupa is the shallow bowl tostada (unless you are going through the Taco Bell line in which case a chalupa is a soft-dough thick fried flour tortilla folded into “boat” form.

I wanted to clear that up before any fights ensued. Granted, apparently these terms vary by location, so it might be different where you live and eat!

Either way, my husband made me the most amazing tostada/chalupa today for lunch! I baked and fried some corn tortillas for tostadas the other day for the fam (which were also super yummy) and we had two left, so my hubs made up his own invention and I. loved. it.

(By the way, there is no question which of us is the better cook: HE is. Hands down.)

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Vegetarian Hummus Tostada/Chalupa

  • 2 tostadas/chalupas*
  • 1/2 cup of hummus
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup of chopped kale or greens
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • (For vegan: substitute pine nuts in lieu of the feta)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together hummus, feta (saving a few pieces for topping), and kale.
  2. Spread it over the tostadas.
  3. Top with a few more pieces of feta and the tomatoes.
  4. Eat!

I know it’s simple, and didn’t really need a “recipe” but it was just so yummy and so something I’d never thought about that I had to share! Props to my love, Mr. Chord Dice, for making me lunch! I wasn’t even going to post today but it was so yummy I had to share!

* Here is the recipe that I used for making tostadas

  1. Lay them flat on the oven rack at 250° for 7 minutes (keep an eye on them and take them out earlier if they are too brown).
  2. Heat up a skillet with 1/4 inch of canola oil on medium-high (I actually used half canola oil and half coconut oil because I ran out of canola)
  3. With a pair of tongs, lay the tortilla into the oil for about 20-30 seconds using the tongs to push it down into the oil, then flip it over and fry it for an additional 20 seconds.
  4. Lift the tortilla out of the pan allowing the oil to drip off and place the tortilla on a towel-lined plate (or, if you are green like me, put it on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath it so that the oil just drips onto the cookie sheet).
  5. Finish with the rest of the tortillas!

And because I am the queen of selfies, I had to take one with my tostada/chalupa! Haha!

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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!

Day 629: I Love It When My Pants Won’t Button

if you wake up and your fat jeans wont button consider it a challenge

Okay, well, I love the effect it has on me when my pants won’t button.

Wait. False.

I love the effect on me AFTER the original response I have when my pants won’t button.

Confused?

I bet.

This morning I woke up, did the whole parenting thing, made lunches, got kids dressed, yada yada ya. And then I needed to throw on some clothes to take my son to Kindergarten (He still insists that we walk him into the school instead of car drop off, and well… I indulge him), so I ran into my closet and thought “Oh, I’ll just grab my ‘fat jeans’ and wear those.”

Now, mind you, my ‘fat jeans’ are heinously uncomfortable and actually they aren’t even a bigger size… so ‘fat jeans’ is really quite a misnomer. They are my ‘cheap jeans’ that look terrible on me so I call them my ‘fat jeans’ because they are the ones that I wear around the house.

Only, not today I didn’t.

Because they wouldn’t even button.

I looked up at myself in the mirror. And I could see the dismay on my face.

It’s happening.

I said to myself.

I’m gaining weight.

A lot of it.

I must be if these jeans won’t even BUTTON!

And cue the moment where I spiral into a depression because I am doing the VERY thing that I do not want to do: gain. I mean, it’s cool for me to maintain, but gain?!?! No.

I could feel the horrid self-talk bubbling up from deep inside me… raging to crawl up into my mind and tell me that I’m worthless. weak. stupid.

But then I looked up again… and I said to the mirror, yes, I said it outloud, by myself, in the bathroom, with my ‘fat jeans’ hanging open.

Well then, it’s on!

{Cause I really try to never miss a chance to make my life feel a little bit like a cheesy movie.}

But it was… it was ON!  I decided in that 13 seconds that I was going to go to the pool and swim that morning (even though not even an hour before I had decided to cancel my membership since I hadn’t been in three weeks… which was a post-injury sabbatical of a week that had stretched into three) and then I was going to make a meal list for the week and then I was going to go grocery shopping later today.

Okay… that is the too-much-detail-I-always-tell-too-many-irrelevant-details version of the morning. And I mean, it was cool that a moment that should have gotten me down… a moment that would have knocked every ounce of motivation out of me a couple of years ago… that moment turned into my motivation!

But it got even cooler.

So, I went to the gym (and I am currently straining myself to leave out every detail of the morning between dropping my son off at school and finally making it into the pool) and of course water aerobics were about to begin and you can’t lap swim during that time. Since I was feeling very, very tight I hopped into the hot tub to get my body warmed up. While I was in there I started doing some stretching and thought

This would be a great time to pray.

So that’s what I did… I stretched and prayed… and THEN, I started to sing.

Yep.

In the hot tub.

Which is in the same room as water aerobics.

I just couldn’t come up with a verse or a prayer that was expressing my heart right, and my mind just sorta defaulted into song (which unfortunately, try as I might… I canNOT remember which one it was)! So… I sang.

And then when water aerobics really got jumpin, I got into the small portion of the pool by the steps that they don’t use and I just did some swim-kicks (whatever you want to call it… I held on to the step and kicked my legs as if I were swimming) and I said thank you to God for everything that I could come up with.

Thank you God for this membership.
Thank you God for this pool.
Thank you God for the time to do this.
Thank you God for your grace.
Thank you God for my body.
Thank you God for where I am now.
Thank you God for where I will be.
Thank you God for where I have been.
Thank you God for this revival of my heart.
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…

And it was beautiful. And I did those leg kicks for thirty minutes. Not because I had to but because I wanted to. I wanted to stay there with God. I wanted to say thanks to Him both through my words and through my commitment to stay there and work my body. I wanted to stay there and say thanks…

Thank you God for… the fact that my ‘fat jeans’ didn’t fit this morning.

fat pants made me workout

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.

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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 376: Ugh.

(Writing this on Saturday night.)

I should be working on my lesson for tomorrow that I’m to teach to the middle school youth on evangelism.
I should try to avoid putting in titles that are depressing and lame like the word “ugh”.
I should be in bed sleeping (it’s 11:10pm).
I should get up and get myself a drink of water.
I should stop being overdramatic.

Buuuuuuuuuuuut, I’m not. Not gonna do any shoulds right now.

Cause I’m having a pity party.

Why? Cause I got all freaked out that I’m not going to be able to wear the clothes that I wore last year to my husband’s trade show because I have this little muffin top when I wear the pants. Sooooo, I went to Ross and Target looking for… I dunno. Looking for something. And well, everything looked HIDEOUS on me. And I said “You look FAT” to myself about 87 times.

And then I gave back everything that I tried on at Target and went to go get a few groceries for tomorrow and I have to walk past this.

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I mean… seriously?!?!? I was angry that the stuff even exists! Ha – like I said… pity. party.

But… well, I guess there is one silver lining here. I didn’t buy any donuts. or chocolate peanut butter cups. or ice cream. or chips. or cookies. or cakes. I said to myself, “You know those won’t fix anything” and I just moved on. Well, I took a picture of them and moved on.

And before this covenant, I woulda gotten some of these AND some ice cream AND some chocolate peanut butter cups AND probably some cookie dough just in case. But God has shown me over the past year that these things do not satisfy. They do not fulfill. They do not comfort. So, to look back and “see” myself just walking away from all this stuff is a huge blessing for me. It’s actually an answered prayer. It’s evidence that God has worked in me.

BUT.

Of course, there had to be a but. It’s a pity party post, remember?

Ya know what I found myself doing tonight?

Ugh. If my husband had just let me order a t-shirt too then I wouldn’t be worried about all this.
Ugh. If my husband had done the dishes for me then I’d be a lot less stressed out.
Ugh. If I just knew how to play an instrument then I could vent out my frustrations.
Ugh. If I had a book that I was reading then I could just pick it up right now and get lost in it.
Ugh. If I had never agreed to teach tomorrow then I could just take some benadryl and go to sleep.

Ya know what I found myself NOT doing tonight?

Sigh. Praying and thanking God for all that He’s done this year really put me back on the right track.
Sigh. Reading through Psalms just now made me feel so much more appreciative.
Sigh. Meditating on what God is: lovable, compassionate, kind, patient, powerful, faithful… really refreshed my spirit.

Nope. Because I was searching for fulfillment somewhere else. It may have not been food, but it was the exact same process. I mean, at least here, on this blog, I was able to come full circle and realize that. I think even just confessing it is a good step in the right direction. And right now I find myself thinking, “Oh I’m so glad that church is tomorrow. I just need someone else to pour some spirit refreshing words into my soul.”

But, in the meantime, I think I’m going to lay down, close my eyes, and at least do one of those “sighs” from above and mediate on what God is.

Day 349: Ohhhh, Hockey Puck

Okay.

Did you know that sometimes God messes with things… for our own good? Yeah. Seriously, He does.

I actually just taught on the story of Joseph yesterday in our high school youth department… and that ended up being the “point”… well, sorta. Essentially, if Joseph had not be hated by his brothers, then he would not have been sold into slavery, then he would not have been in Potiphar’s house, then he would not have been punked out by Potiphar’s wife and sent to prison, then he would not have run into Pharaoh’s drink holder, then he would not have interpreted the drink holder’s dream, then he would not have been recommended to Pharaoh to interpret his dream, then no one would have known about the seven years of feast followed by the seven years of famine, then he would have not saved food for all of Egypt for the seven years, then when the famine hit Egypt, and Canaan as well, Joseph’s family (the line of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, David, and eventually Jesus Christ) they would not have survived.

I’m sorry… allow me to repeat that. Had it not been for all of that junk that happened to Joseph… then the ancestors of Jesus Christ would not have survived.

As Joseph says to his brothers at the end of Genesis 50, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

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I’m sure we could get into a theological discussion about if God caused all of those things to happen or if it was the devil and God used those things for good, but that’s for another day.

What I am saying here though is that sometimes I think that God does intend things that seem “wrong” or “bad” for good. Like, for example, burning to a hockey puck crisp four biscuits that I was baking… purely for gluttony’s sake.

What can I say? “Oh I’ll remember to check them in ten minutes” turned into “Oh crap… those biscuits have been in there for thirty minutes!”

And I just smiled (well, after I sprinted across the house to extract them), and remembered this story of Joseph. And I remembered his perspective. And I remembered that God sometimes intends things that seem bad for good. And I tossed them. And I said a thank you to God… for my hockey puck biscuits.

And now, a few days later, as I finish this post that was halfway-completed, I thank God for the fact that I have plateaued… no, that I have gained a little bit of weight. Because it has been good. It has been good to make me see that He and I are not finished. that He and I are not almost “done” with this covenant. that He and I are only just now on the road to Egypt (if you will) and there is still more struggle and triumph to come. You see, “I” intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.

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Day 306: Dangeometer

As much as I wouldn’t like to admit this… I really think that maybe I’ve gained a little bit of weight back. Probably about 5 pounds or so… since I don’t weigh, I’m not sure. I say this because my “comfy jeans” are more like “snug jeans” around the middle. A big difference though between the way I looked at weight gain “then” and the way I look at weight gain now is that before, when I gained weight, it was me. my fault. my inadequacy. my failure. my worthlessness. my stupidity. me. me. me.

But now, I use weight gain as… well, as an indicator light. Which I like to call my “Dangeometer” which is a total steal from the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs… and can I just say that I lovvvvvve that movie?!?! We just had to return it to the library after having had it for three weeks, and I’m pretty sure that I miss it more than the kids!

Anyway, my dangeometer is not necessarily an indicator that I’m eating poorly. or that I’m eating too much. or that I’m eating the “wrong” things.

It is honestly a pretty good indicator of where I am with Jesus.

Cause if I’m gaining weight then I know that I’m doing at least one of those eating things above. But the eating is, honestly, not what concerns me anymore. The eating is what shows me that something is off. It indicates to me that I’m not relying upon the One that satisfies. And that sets off an even bigger and more important dangeometer in my mind!

It’s really the first time in my life that I have realized that I had gained weight and not freaked out about my clothes not fitting… and not worried about how I will look in a bathing suit… and not felt like I was a failure at dieting. Cause when I pulled on my comfy jeans and thought “Hmmmmm, these are a bit snug… I wonder if I have gained a bit of weight back lately what with all my snagging a tortilla there and a few chippies there…” the next thing that I asked myself was, “Why am I relying on something else other than Jesus? It’s definitely time for some introspection… and prayer… and searching.”

Soooooooo much better than blaming myself, than talking down to myself, than hating on myself.

So I started off with a simple prayer that I’ll be praying over and over again:

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

And then I read more about what to do:

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:7-10

Twice… I see to humble myself before God. Not sure what that exactly looks like… gonna be working through that. Probably though, as I “come close to God” I will be forced into humility… I have a feeling that the closer I get to His Presence, the more that my natural reaction will be to humble myself.

And seriously… ya know, considering that gaining a fewish pounds is gonna bring me a bit closer to God… I’m pretty glad those little fat globs found their way to my belly.