Day 460: Name Change

20130413-224438.jpg

Yesterday, a dear friend of mine got married.

It was a beautiful celebration.

I even cried. And let me tell you… I nev.er. cry at weddings. Like, it just doesn’t happen. But, she had music from Pride and Prejudice for the bridesmaids so I was already a little sappy-minded, and then when they opened the doors for her, and I saw her there just beaming with her gorgeous smile… well, I lost it. I was so incredibly happy that she had found her match that I just started to bawl… joyful bawling, but well… way too much sniffling to become a polite southern woman (not that I’ve ever been “a polite southern woman” despite my mother’s excellent training in such matters).

So, I took a few grainy iPhone pics and posted one of them on my new instagram which is connected to facebook. So, I went in and tagged her in the pic.

And then… next thing I know… her name is changed.

Like, she was no longer Ashley Hepsted. She was suddenly Ashley Amron.

I was like… whoooaaaaa. that was quick. I mean, I know she got married and everything, but before Facebook I had time to let the new name settle in for a while before I actually SAW it in black and white print. But nooooooo, now I have to come to grips with my friend being a married woman all of a sudden!?!?! So. totally. weird. (Like, in a totally awesome cool kind of weird way.) Cause, it’s not like just because her last name changed all of a sudden she was just an entirely different person! She’s still the same Ashley that she was before she walked down that aisle, right? Right?!?!

Well…… it sorta hit me.

When a woman gets married, her identity truly and actually changes. Like, we get new social security cards. new driver’s license. new email addresses. new monogrammed towels (okay, maybe that’s pushing it). We start out marriage changing little bits of ourselves. And although on a basic level, we are still the same person… we are taking on a new identity. One that is fused to us through love.

That’s just like our switch when we covenant ourselves to Jesus. Because of Love, we have a new identity. We are still the same basic person, but that new identity is starting to change little bits of ourselves.

And it happens just. like. that.

This new identity that we grab on to… it takes effect as quickly as a name change on Facebook.

And it changes… everything.

So, while I’ve got you here… a few years ago I was in a bible study called Me, Myself, and Lies. (Awe.some. study if you are looking for something) and she had a list of verses that helped with truthfully labeling yourself… or, in this case, correctly stating your identity. I typed them out and reworded them into the first person.

Read a couple (or all) of them out loud. Allow the Word of God to remind you who you are now.

I am…

  • New: I belong to Christ, and so I’ve become a new person. My old life is gone; my new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Cherished: He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased my freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave my sins. He has showered his kindness on me, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
  • Strong: God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Chosen: I didn’t choose Jesus… Jesus chose me. He appointed me to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give me whatever I ask for, using the name of Jesus. John 15:16
  • Complete: In 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
  • Loved: If God is for me, who can ever be against me? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for me, won’t he also give me everything else? Who dares accuse me whom God has chosen as his own? No one! For God himself has given me right standing with himself. Who then will condemn me? No one! For Christ Jesus died for me and was raised to life for me, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for me. Can 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 8:31-39
  • Unfinished: I 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
  • Free: Now, I am free from my slavery to sin, and I have become a slave to righteous living. Romans 6:18
  • Pardoned: So now there is no condemnation for me who belongs to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
  • Capable: I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  • Saved: Even though I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that I have been saved!) Ephesians 2:5
  • 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
  • Welcome: Now, I can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit as everyone else because of what Christ has done for me. Ephesians 2:18
  • Understood: Since I have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let me hold firmly to what I believe. This High Priest of mine understands my weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings I do, yet he did not sin. So let me come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I will receive his mercy, and I will find grace to help me when I need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Guarded: I died to this life, and my real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
  • Valuable: God bought me with a high price. I must honor God with my body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • Loved: See how very much my Father loves me, for he calls me his child, and that is what I am! 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • Family: But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that I am God’s child because they don’t know him. I am already God’s child, but he has not yet shown me what I will be like when Christ appears. But I do know that I will be like him, for I will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:1-2
  • Included: So now I, as a Gentile, am no longer a stranger and foreigner. I am a citizen along with all of God’s holy people. I am a member of God’s family. Ephesians 2:19
  • Selected: I am a chosen person. I am a royal priest, part of a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, I can show others the goodness of God, for he called me out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9-10
  • Holy: 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
  • Changed: I have had that veil removed and can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes me more and more like him as I am changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
  • His Heir: And since I am his child, I am his heir. In fact, together with Christ I am an heir of God’s glory. But if I am to share his glory, I must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17
  • His Friend: He no longer calls me a slave, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now I am his friend, since he has told me everything the Father told him. John 15:15
  • Delightful: For 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
  • Bold: Because of Christ and my faith in him, I can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12

 

Day 445: When It Rains, It Pours… Literally.

As in, it’s 2:24am as I start this post and I’ve already been up for about thirty minutes because it is POURING at our house.

With full-boar lightning, the kind of thunder that makes things rattle in the house, and overflowing gutters all around.

Oh, and shall I include a nightmaring toddler?

Not that I can blame him… creation is LOUD tonight.

So, what does a girl like me do at 2am when she can’t sleep cause of the rain?

She blogs.

And reads the bible.

Well, honestly, first I opened up Twitter… not because I was checking anything for my Twitter feed, but because I follow Jesus Calling on there and sometimes they just have one little tweet that rocks my world. I think I was hoping that they would make it easy on me. And after scrolling through the last week or so of their tweets, I was like “Ummmm, I’m in the wrong place” and so I hoped over to YouVersion to see what God had to say.

I sorta stared at that screen for a minute, like, “Uhhhhhh… what should I read?” So I clicked on my bookmarks and skimmed through those. And then, I thought “Well, why am I up in the first place? Rain. I’ll search for verses that have the word rain in them.”

And I saw this one in the book of Joel.

Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. Joel 2:23

And that part “The rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness” sorta grabbed my attention, so I thought… “Hmmmm, I’ll read some of Joel. Cause I mean… who reads Joel?!?!? I don’t even REMEMBER the last time I read the book of Joel. Not sure I even remembered that it was a book of the bible.”

And then I changed my readers version to The Message… cause, I mean, come on. It IS 2am.

And then I was reminded why people probably don’t hit up Joel very often… from the onset you get verses like these:

Get in touch with reality—and weep! Joel 1:5

Joy is dried up and withered in the hearts of the people. Joel 1:12

A black day! A Doomsday! Clouds with no silver lining! Joel 2:2

Yikes… who wants THAT story??? But, just like God’s grace, the story turns…

But there’s also this, it’s not too late— God’s personal Message!— “Come back to me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!”Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here’s why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe. Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now, maybe he’ll turn around and show pity. Maybe, when all’s said and done, there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God! Joel 2:12-14

I mean, that was good, don’t get me wrong. But then, there it was… the reason God sent me to Joel. And let’s just say that the “locust” in my life was gluttony.

I’ll make up for the years of the locust, the great locust devastation— Locusts savage, locusts deadly, fierce locusts, locusts of doom, That great locust invasion I sent your way. You’ll eat your fill of good food. You’ll be full of praises to your God, The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder. Joel 2:25-27

And it just reminded me… God will… wait, no… God IS making up for the years of slavery that I spent to gluttony. And now, I’m eating my fill of GOOD food. I’m full of praises to Him. He is my God, who has set me back on my heels in wonder.

So, like the rainbow was in the days of Noah, rain will be for me. I will remember that like he said in verse 23, “Rain demonstrates His Faithfulness.

Thank you rain, for waking me up.
Thank you toddler, for getting me up.
Thank you Joel, for reminding me.

Thank you God, for saving me.

Day 434: Transparent Testimony

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

I want to be asleep in my bed. Snoozing and skinny.
I want to be free from this struggle with food.
I want to forget chocolate. forget sugar. forget bread. forget food.
I want to do just what I hear God calling me to do.

I don’t. want. to write. this post.

Because it means that I have GOT to start facing up to some things.

I’ve been eating chocolate. sugar. meat. bread.

Lots of it over the past few days. Not just a bite here and there. Not a taster. Not a respectful tiny bite to appease someone else who is feeding me. No. LOTS AND LOTS of chocolate. Anywhere and everywhere I could find it. Sometimes I’d put it off for a few hours, but then I’d give in. The leftover Christmas candy in the gift closet. The remaining chocolate chips in the pantry. The kid’s candy stash. The cake at Nanny’s. The Cool Whip in the fridge drizzled in Hershey’s syrup. The homemade granola bars I made for my son’s lunches.

Me. Eating. Eating. Eating. Eating.

And I have this hole in my soul. And every bite stretches it wider and wider. Until now I feel like I’m about to burst. And so, as I laid in bed tonight… I couldn’t sleep. I mean, who CAN sleep with a huge black hole of sin growing in your chest?

God. What am I doing?!?!? Why can’t I stop?!?!? I’m choking with sin. The sin of gluttony. The sin of dishonoring You. The sin of harming this beautiful temple that you have given me. The sin of wanting to sin instead of wanting to obey and follow you. Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, who will save me from this?

And at that, I knew those words were a verse, so I got up and came in here to my couch, revved up my laptop, and found it. My dear comrade through the ages, Paul, so very long ago found the words of my struggling heart…

The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:14-25

And God, I lean on this promise:

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! Jeremiah 17:14

God, I cannot save myself… I cannot heal myself. It must be YOU that does this work in my life. Just as you raised Lazarus out of the grave… out of the pit… raise me out of this pit of sin. out of this grave of deathly living. out of the sludge of denying you.

I’m not even sure what to do from here. where to go. what to think. how to act. what to read. So God, I just lay my sinful soul at your feet. An offering. An incomplete, sinful filthy offering… but one that is covered in righteousness because of your Son. It is a sacrificial offering. And I am the sacrifice. Do what you want with me God. Change me. Ruin me. Build me up. Recreate me. 

Heal me. Save me. My praises are for you alone!

Day 389: BBFFs

BFFs.

Best Friends Forever.

I remember when I was in junior high and dangle rings were IN. I mean… you HAD to have a dangle ring and it HAD to be a Best Friends dangle where one person had the Be Fri and the other person had the St End.

20130201-132644.jpgIn 9th grade, a girl that was a good friend of mine gave me the Be Fri side of the set. Now note. I said a good friend. And my actual best friend (who is still my best friend now) was a little jealous in that junior-high best friend kind of way that all girls experience at some time. And I honestly don’t know when the BFF “term” came about, but I use it all the time (ironically enough though I almost never use it to refer to my actual real best friend). However, I have now come up with a new term.

Best Blogging Friends Forever.

BBFFs.

{Brilliant. I know.}

Why, pray tell, did I come up with a new abbreviation?

When I started blogging over a year ago about my covenant, I anticipated that it would be pretty much just for me and that some of my close friends and family would read it too. I had no idea that other people that didn’t even KNOW me would want to read it and I certainly never expected anyone to do a covenant WITH me.

Which is why I also didn’t expect to get such encouragement from other bloggers and other blogs. Namely, two.

My new BBFFs.

I recently discovered the blog of a woman who approaches her mindset about weight and weight loss in a very similar way to me. It was so wonderful to see someone else write the very words that I was thinking. It was so wonderful to see someone else provide ME with a verse that helped. The blog love.life.chocolate. has already been an inspiration to me as well as comments made on my blog by “finneyfer“.

Like, on Day 387 I wrote a post about when I was in California and got sick cause I ate too much fried food. I was sorta beating up on myself… and she made the following comment for me:

20130201-142231.jpg

And I’ll be honest… at first I was like, No, I don’t want to give myself grace and then I was like, Wait. She’s talking about scripture. Before you say “No” it would probably be a good idea to re-read through Romans 7 and 8. This is not HER talking… this is her reminding you of what GOD says. So, I (again, being honest) reluctantly read Romans 7 and 8.

Lo and behold, it changed me. Hmmmmm… what a shocker, that the Word of God would change me. Ha! But I was reminded that this is not about my COVENANT. This is about me showing love to God and honoring Him. It is about living in the spirit not in the flesh. It is about going past the Law… past my covenant… and doing even more than I have been instructed to do. Going “above and beyond” if you will.

That’s just one example as to why finneyfer has been designated as a BBFF… because she didn’t just say “Oh yeah, fried foods are totally gross” or something like that… instead, she pointed me to scripture. A woman I have never met led me to The Cross. She led me to scriptures that reminded me and refocused me on His Grace.

Another BBFF of mine is the author of the new blog mignonpanache. She is actually one of my BFFs in real life as well, and it’s because of things like her post Self Talk:

20130201-182511.jpg

And later on in the post she wrote this…

20130201-182553.jpg

Dang. Especially after my recent Facebook struggles, this one really got my attention. She said that she had “a ton of non-tech time.” Now, granted… I have two young strapping boys. I have a ton of non-tech time as well simply because I’m always with them… chasing them, entertaining them, cleaning up after them, dressing them, bathing them… you get the picture. However, I tend to gravitate towards my phone whenever I have a second of downtime or “me” time. So, I rarely spend any of my quiet moments without technology.

And I think this needs to change.

I know it needs to change.

Thanks to her sharing something she has learned… I have been really thinking about my over-techie lifestyle a lot… thinking of how I need to change my full-tech life. thinking of how I can find more peace. more serenity. more stillness.

Soooooooo, yet another example of how someone that I don’t see regularly has impacted my life… through a blog.

It’s just… awesome. It’s so… unexpected. It’s so… modern. Ha. And at no point am I suggesting that BBFFs can replace real, one-on-one, authentic relationships in the flesh… but I think they can be a powerful influence.

Afterall, the majority of the New Testament… was a letter. It was written communication. It was faith, hope, and love in the form of words. sentences. paragraphs. And aside from the fact that it was GOD’S WORDS, it’s form was very similar to a modern day blog.

My point?

Ha- I don’t really know. Find a blog? Start a blog? Write a letter? An email? A note? I guess… my point is… reach out and communicate.

Share whatever blessings you’ve been given. Share whatever message you’ve been given. Share whatever pain you’ve felt.
Share His Grace. Share His Truth. Share His Hope. Share His Love.

Day 269: Yo Quiero Jesus

Today was… rough.

Wait. Allow me to remind everyone that I have a toddler that is almost 2 1/2. There is no way that my day isn’t going to be rough. Ha!

But lately I have jut been a bit worn down… by life, by motherhood, by housekeeping, by lack of sleep, by lack of Jesus, by… well, by everything. And so my patience for the independent streak of a child that can’t even put on his own shoes is lacking somewhat.

This morning he had already worn me to the bone. He was up twice last night and up early this morning and he went to bed late last night because of church. So he was cuh.rank.y.

I was delivering a piece of mail for my husband and the outside mailboxes had been removed because they are widening the road, so I had to get my toddler out of the car to mail that one measly letter. (Yeah, I had a great attitude about it- ha!) I looked over longingly at the Taco Bell next door and thought, “Oh if only I could get a supreme chalupa… I would feel so much better.” And then I proceeded to fantasize about eating a chalupa.

(This sounds extremely comical now that I’m past the moment!)

Luckily my Jesus-conscience piped up, “But seriously? Is eating a chalupa gonna fix anything? I mean, your kid will still act the same. Your house will still be a mess. You will still be unshowered. You will still be tired. And your life will still be exactly the same. Sure, you will have a few minutes of escape, but what’s the point if you have to just dive right back into a rough day and you’ll have to add to all your negative emotions a big ol’ chalupa size serving of guilt!”

(My Jesus-conscience is very smart.)

So, at that point I knew that I needed to turn to Jesus. I knew that He could sustain me. But I was all like…… ummmmmmm, what do I say to Him? “I need you???!” Gosh, like He hasn’t heard that lately.

And there I was sitting at a stoplight with my toddler whining in the back seat with no clue how to approach God.

And I remembered that last night at my Transforming Prayer bible study, the leader said that she had read in some notes from a previous prayer meeting that the man had said “The antidote for lethargy and spiritual heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.”

So I said, “Okay… praise God… hmmmmmm, what should I say?”

{Mind went utterly blank}

So I just said, “Alright I’m gonna go through every scripture that comes to mind until one of them is a scripture of praise.” And immediately the verses of late came to mind, “God, you are the God who saves me. You are right beside me. God you are my rock. You are my salvation. You are my hope. My joy. My peace.”

{All of this was said while bawling, of course.}

And I instantly felt closer to Him. Was my day better? No. Had my son stopped whining? No. Had I suddenly become clean and showered? No.

But I had hope. Not an earthly hope. But His Hope.

And then I got home and it was quickly sucked back out of me as my toddler and I got into yet another battle for control. So I turned to Psalm 27 that we had prayed last night in my group and I put that thing on audio and listened to it as my toddler and I played outside.

Then I needed to make some of those permanent and since we were playing with chalk, I wrote those phrases on the wall.

And I think that I have truly found the antidote for my struggles: praise.

The antidote for lethargy and spiritual heaviness is to put on a garment of praise.

20121004-133657.jpg

Day 267: Priority One

20121003-083439.jpg

I think that I have officially realized that my life is different now. Different than it was in the Spring. Different than it was this summer. It’s just… different.

I guess I just kept waiting for things to settle down like it was in the Spring. Everything was so… predictable. And I had my life under “control” (or as controlled as a mom of a preschooler and a toddler can have it.

But, this fall is just not looking that way. I cannot seem to get into any kind of hard-core routine. Every week seems different. And my toddler is certainly transitioning from toddler to mischievous preschooler. He is into ev.er.y.thing. And he’s a risk taker, so he doesn’t want to sit in the sandbox and play, he wants to jump off of the fort that covers the sand box. So, he is in a stage where he needs my constant attention.

And this kind of lifestyle makes it difficult to get in any bible reading and prayer. But this morning, I just really had the thought that although it is difficult, that does not mean that it is impossible. But it does mean that I am going to have to find a spot in my life where I can consistently stop and take time for Him. It might mean 5am (which makes me cringe a little bit… thinking of getting up another thirty minutes early). Because lately my son has been waking up at 6:30am which used to be my reading time after I’d gotten dressed for the day.

And, well, I used to be able to go for a few days (or, well, honestly even weeks) without taking time to meditate on the Word or to pray. But I think in the past year, I have stretched out my heart so much as I filled it with God-thoughts that now I feel completely and utterly unsatisfied without Him.

And, well, I may have given up a lot of food this year, but as I give up that I just realize that now I need more of Him. And out of all the little things in life that I “need” to do… communicating with Him is going to have to be the number one priority.

More important than my kids. More important than my husband. Certainly more important than checking my Facebook notifications. More important even than a shower or cute hair. More important than sleep. It has to become THE priority in my life.

And as I write that I remember that God has to make it my priority.

Recently I was reading through Matthew 6 and came across the beatitudes and remembered a prayer I used to make to God in high school when I didn’t feel like I wanted to read or pray. And I will be praying that prayer again.

    God, I want to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Please, give me a hunger and a thirst for righteousness. And make me willing to do what it takes to be filled. Amen.

Day 263: Don’t Stop Believing

Yesterday I was in the shower (best place for some early morning prayer, right?!?! Ha!) and I was praying through some scriptures that God has brought to me lately through friends like Alice or through just reading through the Psalms.

And the one “Make me willing to obey” came up again in my mind. It was the verse that really helped me through several weeks and months early on in the covenant process.

And I love that verse (again) because it is just so simply put what my heart is exactly saying…

I don’t feel like I can obey. I do know that I want to want to obey. So, God, only You can change my heart. Only You can renew my mind. God, please, make me willing to obey.

And it’s not that I expect complete transformation overnight. But I do know that one moment of actually being willing to obey is a bit… empowering… in and of itself. It makes it that much easier to be willing to obey the next time because I have recently experienced His Power in making me… willing to obey.

So over the next few days or weeks (or months if necessary), I’ll be repeating the scriptures I talked about a couple of days ago. I’ll be praying them. I’ll be allowing God to use those Words of God to transform me. renew me. retrain me.

And maybe this go-round I won’t stop asking for Him to transform, renew, and retrain. Maybe this go-round I won’t stop believing. Maybe this go-round I’ll just think of these prayers as lifelong prayers. And maybe this go-round I’ll get a step closer to being completely healed.

Day 262: CheeriUh-Oh

I was gonna jump in to how I started eating my son’s leftover Cheerios last night and be all “oh no, I ate bad again… yada yada yada”, and then I was all like, yeah, but that one moment doesn’t characterize my entire day. Maybe I shouldn’t just jump right into talking about my failures. Maybe I have been a wee too focused on my failures. Maybe I should look more at the things that were successes. The areas where God’s power is working and, slowly, becoming evident.

But, the title was too clever for me to trash, so I kept that part. Ha!

First of all, just ignoring Facebook yesterday morning and reading some bible and then blogging. That was a huge step (especially because that dadgum post was giving me so much trouble… I mean, I tried to post that thing like four times and it kept deleting chunks or just not posting, but I was pretty determined to get that done. It sorta felt like Satan was trying to work some evil in keeping me from posting it).

And then this afternoon, I prayed again for fifteen minutes. I almost missed it and I just had this unsettled feeling, so I stopped folding the baskets, and baskets, and baskets of clean clothes and went into my room and prayed. I just prayed praise and thanks to God for being… well, for being awesome.

Yesterday at one point… I ate an orange! Haha! I had to kind of force myself away from the pantry, but I ate an orange instead of junk.

I started out the day really repeating scripture. This sorta petered off as the day went on (as did my focus) but it was a great start to the day. Writing this now puts my mind back on the scriptures that I posted yesterday.

God, you are the one who saves me.
God, you are right beside me.
God, you are able to do more than I can imagine.

And an oldie that came back to my mind this morning in the shower…
God, make me willing to obey.

I am having to just take each day at a time and each hour at a time and find those spots where I can call to God, rely on God, praise God, and read or say the Words of God.

So, maybe CheeriUh-Oh was the right title. Cheerio to living life by myself and helllllo reliance on God!

Day 138: Bible > FB

20120526-144059.jpg

The other night I was looking through all of the status updates and checkins on Facebook and I’ll be honest… I straight up got depressed. There I was at home, treating my head with lice shampoo, and all these people were traveling, or hanging out together, or watching movies that I hadn’t seen. I started to feel really, really bad for myself. about myself. about my life.

Then all of a sudden it hit me… I don’t want to look at this. I don’t want to see all of this. If I weren’t on Facebook then I would have no idea that people were even going out. I would have been happy… okay, maybe not happy. I mean, after all, I was treating my head for lice… and that’s just not fun. But I would have been content. And content is really, I think, the best spot to be in emotionally.

I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. Philippians 4:11-12

And I realized that I didn’t want to be depressed. I identified that Facebook was making me depressed. And then I thought, what would make me happy?

The Bible.

I know that sounds hokey and a little “holier than thou” but it was true. I knew that out of everything in my life… and I mean ev.ery.thing… that the Bible was the only thing guaranteed to give me joy. or at least peace. or at least… contentment.

And honestly, I didn’t read anything like earth shattering when I read the Bible. I mean… I’m reading through 2 Chronicles which is like a repeat and there are a lot of lists of names in there, so it’s not the most exciting book of the Bible. Butttttt, I wasn’t having a pity party anymore. I wasn’t standing there worshiping God with tears flowing down my face in contrition nor was I on the polar end and completely avoiding the Bible. I just… read it. And that was that. And then I rinsed out my hair and went to bed…

content.

No need to go binge myself on Oreos. or hummus. or feta cheese. or tortillas. or whatever. I didn’t need to be appeased or soothed. I was just content, and in a way, that is far more filling than any meal. And certainly way better than Facebook.

Day 137: Sushi Struggle

20120526-141615.jpg

For my “birthing day” treat (a tradition that my husband’s family does to honor the mother that delivered the baby on each birthday), my husband got some sushi for me for lunch. I love sushi but I can never justify going to get it and we never tend to go out to eat and get it. I often tell him to go with his buddies to the sushi buffet instead of on date night with me because it is such a rip off for me to go… I never eat enough to make it worth all the money!

Anyway, I ate a little bit of it at lunch that day and it was yummmmmay! But I have learned that sushi makes me very full, very fast… so I can’t eat a lot of it. Luckily, I didn’t eat a lot of it that day.

Later that evening after the birthday party, I was pretty tired and I really didn’t want to do the dishes or pick up, so I sorta defaulted back to my old “stall” technique and I went and got out the leftover sushi to finish. I sorta rationalized it to myself by saying that I hadn’t gotten to really eat any dinner because none of it was on my covenant (which I talked about here), but when it came down to it, I knew that I wasn’t really that hungry.

Of course, then commenced a little internal battle… but luckily, those verses popped back into my mind that have helped me to honor God with self-control over and over again. They are probably some of the most important verses anyone needs to know for the covenant.

“I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

And I know that I keep bringing them up, but I keep bringing them up because the Holy Spirit keeps bringing them to my mind. And those two verses keep helping me to make the right choices on this covenant. Because I want to honor God. I want for Him to receive glory… and I think that He does through my weight loss and through my telling people about how I’m losing weight because of Him.