Monday, July 19, 2010

2 Years Later... Interview with Aidan.

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
"Clean up your room right now!" "Aidan, stop eating!"

2. What makes Mommy happy?
"Telling her jokes, giving her a sash" (Massage)

3. What makes Mommy sad?
"telling her lies, and having to spank my butt, and if you get food in her drink... that's all!"

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
"Her funny face!" (hey!)

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
(insert hysterical laughter here!) "Hers liked dolls, I bet. that's a good question!"

6. How old is your Mommy?
...long pause... "that's hard! Really hard! I can't count that many on my fingers." (hmph)

7. How tall is your Mommy?
I think I know this...but you have to stand up. okay, about I right?"

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
"get a massage from me! And eating. you like to eat. laughing.. you laugh a lot. more than you eat." (This is NOT boding well for one's self-esteem!)

9. What does Mommy do when you're not around?
"well, you like to play games, clean up...I suppose that's all. And if you play games with yourself, you can't cheat at Mario."

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
"Hers sings beautiful!" (He does have hearing issues, folks!)

11. What is Mommy really good at?
"cleaning, that's all!"

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
"Not good at watching actions movies, because I she gets bored and plays with her phone."

13. What does Mommy do for a job?
"She does church"

14.What is Mommy favorite food?
"Salad...its always salad. There are a lot of questions about mom on here!"

15.What makes you proud of Mommy?
"Taking us to church, letting us go with Mr. Dave, what's the next chapter here?"

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
"I would say a princess with a "hindness"

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
"Oh my. That would be eating food. We sit by each other. It's good."

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
"okay, we aren't. Well, I guess we both poop." (Oh wow.)

19. How are you and Mommy different?
"I make the mess, and she doesn't. "

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
"She takes me to Cheesecake Factory for my birthday, we go to the movies, and she holds me when I am crying. Thanks makes me like her a lot. "

21. What does Mommy friends like most about your mom?
"Well, I don't know about that, but I know that they gave her some gifts, and some food the other day. She cried, and then someone gave her a credit card. It was Jesus. He's her friend. So is Derek's mom. She's pretty."

22. Where is Mommy favorite place to go?
"Hmmm...I forgot the name, they have good salads... That's all, your Honor."

Read the initial interview here!

Monday, April 12, 2010


"God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God."--Lamentations 3:25 (The MSG)

Does anyone else feel like the pairing of the verbs 'passionately' and 'waits' is a bit of an oxymoron? A bit contradictory?

In my mind, 'waiting' is like hitting the pause button on life...everything just stops, stands frozen, still, unmoving until the "waiting" is over. It can be agonizing, draining, cumbersome, anything but passionate!

As I walk though life with Christ, I have to continually throw myself at His mercies as I struggle to deal with waiting. To be honest, I feel that I have spent many years in an ugly out-and-out battle to simply...wait. I use the word "battle", meaning it in the full use of the term because I tend to adopt the "Esau-Syndrome" wanting to rebel against waiting. I wrestle with wanting to impulsively react to satisfy a short-term desire, want, or (what I deem!) a need--not even thinking that I am trading away God's blessings and His perfect plan and purpose for me. All because I just can't seem to grasp the concept of waiting. Especially when waiting stretches past a "season" and goes into years, that now stretch into what I call "desert lands" is hard to remember God's timing is better than mine...His ways are higher than mine...and His understanding of my situations and that also of the world. I, to be honest, tend to revert to the Israelite's behavior as I walk through my personal "desert" in life. It is a constant struggle in my heart because I do not want to be so near-sighted that I cannot trust in the bigger plan that He has!

"Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. ... “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all...we wanted!” ...[The Lord directed Moses to tell the people] "...Lord heard you when you cried, “Oh, for some meat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will have to eat it. ...You will eat it...until you gag and are sick of it. For you have rejected the Lord, who is here among you, and you have whined to him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”--Numbers 11:1-20 (New Living Translation)

"But it wasn't long before they forgot the whole thing, wouldn't wait to be told what to do. They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert, provoked God with their insistent demands. He gave them exactly what they asked for— but along with it they got an empty heart..."--Psalm 106:13-15 (The Message)


The more I study the concept from a Christ-follower perspective of waiting, I am fully convinced it is one of the most challenging exhortations of Scripture for me. My natural progression of emotions during waiting periods, I have noticed is I tend become fidgety, fearful, frustrated, anxious, and sometimes even angry. I find myself screaming: "Am I really expected to just to...wait ...keep hitting the pause button, and just sit around twirling my thumbs until God hits the play button and gives resolution?"

My sweet Savior has listened to me beg for understanding on this subject, and recently He has laid an incredible thought on my heart:

That waiting, despite my impatience and incredible dislike for it, is a essential element in my relationship with God and how I ultimately reflect Him to others, especially my children.

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord"--Psalm 40:1-9 (New Living Translation)

But He doesn't stop with just promises that He will be glorified through my trials. He gives incredible promises to those of us that are waiting...waiting on Him...waiting and trusting in Him.

"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." --Isaiah 40:29-31 (New King James Version)

This verse just fills my heart with emotion. If you have ever endured a season that seemed never-ending, I am sure you know the feelings of weariness, a dragging heart, wanting to give up, contemplation of waving the white flag. This verse is like the most pure, clean water a man dying of thirst. It is the air to a woman who can't catch her breath. It overflows with hope!

"Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!"--Psalm 27:14 (New King James Version)

My prayers have been transformed as I have gone through this quest to understand and seek the Lord in this struggle to embrace waiting. I find that instead of begging for His timing to be harried...I am begging that He will strengthen my heart. That He will give me a new song to sing, and He will never let me forget the goodness He provides for me in this desert. Not to say that I do not have days and moments when I do wrestle with feelings of hopelessness in this situation, or wondering if it will be never ending...but I must remember what the Israelites were told just as they were about to enter the Promise Land after 40-years of wondering in the desert:

"Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. ...For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land...and you will lack nothing....Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God...He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. that in the end it might go well with you." --Deuteronomy 8:1-11 (NIV)

God is leading me in my desert. He is near, guiding us through the tough and "waterless" waiting times in our lives. Giving us exactly what we need to survive and endure it! And the confidence to know that His promises to us will come, but all in His timing. Just as the sun rises and sets perfectly, or seasons come and go in perfect order... I love how confident David is when he wrote Psalm 130:5-6:

"I pray to God—my life a prayer— and wait for what He'll say and do. My life's on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning."-- (The MSG)

One final, maybe random, thought that is massively encouraging that I discovered about the word waiting. The english word "waiting" (as in waiting on the Lord) comes from the Hebrew word "Qavah." There are several definitions to describe this word, all which I expected, except for the last definition:

(1) “look patiently”
(2) “tarry or wait”
(3) “hope, expect, look eagerly”
(4) “to bind together”

As we wait...we are not simply hitting the "pause button" on our lives, like I thought. No! Instead, God is lovingly binding Himself to us! I am a mother of 4-amazing fellas...all whom I would use a baby wrap to carry them when they were infants. So, when I hear the term "binding together," I picture the way a mother (or father) may wrap a new born child around her body to carry the child she will forever, unconditionally loves beyond description, through the day...close to her heart, safe in her arms. Isn't that a precious picture?

God knows some trials or deserts will be too much for us to long for us to heavy for us to bear. So He binds us to Him so that He can carry us through! It totally changes my perspective...the thought of God holding me close, as His child, close to His heart, safe in His arms... is all I need to hear to help me understand passionately waiting on the Lord!

"I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken." --Psalm 62:1-2 (New Living Translation)

"I will thank You and confide in You forever, because You have done it [delivered me and kept me safe]. I will wait on, hope in and expect in Your name, for it is good..." --Psalm 52:9 (Amplified Bible)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Eating for God--Month Two!

"But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."--Galatians 5:21-23

I wish there were a way that you could step into my life for a moment and experience the incredible change that continues to rock my world. As God works to refine this area of my life, He has opened my eyes to how crushing this sin was to me. I really had no idea how suffocating the box I had put myself into because I was not living as God intended. Looking back even to my first post about my struggle, I am amazed at the freedom I experience now...the peace...and the joy! I am reminded of one of my favorite verses that totally embodies what I wish describe what God has done in my heart:

"...We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise."--Romans 5:1 (MSG)

Doesn't that verse just paint a beautiful picture of freedom? It stands in such a stark contrast to the verse that I identified with as I began this journey...and as I reread it, I am just overwhelmed with gratitude that Jesus is leading me further and further away from these burdens I could not stand under:

"It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: ...a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; ...paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on..." --Galatians 5:19-20

I know you must be thinking that I am being a bit dramatic about over-eating, right? But, do you see that it wasn't the food that was the sin, which led to the life described in Galatian was the fact that I had put food before Christ in my life. That, of course, is the sin! So, being dramatic about food--no. Being serious about sin--YES!

"...Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet." --James 4:7 (MSG)

And true to His promises, Jesus is helping me "get on my feet!" People keep asking me what program I am following, or what my plan is...truthfully, I am praying every morning that God will just continue to help me make the right choices, and to honor Him above everything in my life. And He is! I am so excited to tell you that as of today I have lost (through God's grace!):

41 pounds!

I have never been able to lose this much before on any quest to lose weight. I have never lasted on a "diet" this long. I think it just affirms God's work in my life, and like what Galatians 5:21-23 promises God is giving to me as a gift: exuberance about life, serenity...a willingness to stick with things...a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people...loyal commitments, not needing to force this way of eating, able to marshal and direct my energies wisely.

God's Word is true...His promises are true...and in His Freedom I will live.

I'm thankful.

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it..." --Romans 12:1-2

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Running with His Grace

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith...let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. ...No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. ...So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

....You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. ...No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God Himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness...

Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking...When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain...Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe..."

I don't think many of us cannot relate to weariness, exhaustion...maybe even a fear that a trial or a "season" may be never ending. I totally get it, and have been there many times myself. I know the crushing weight and burden of those fears...and I also understand the temptation to try to come up with a worldly solution to try to speed up or end the trial that is being suffered. Isn't it HARD to wait sometimes? Especially to wait patiently as God encourages us to do in Psalm 27:14 "Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.Yes, wait patiently for the Lord."

But do you see the beauty of what God is saying to us in Hebrews 12... He reminds us that those who are close to Him, as well as those that are far from Him are a witness to how we are dealing with these battles. God is telling us that He doesn't want us to just crawl and drag our way through it...He says RUN the race! Run with confidence that Christ has already laid the footwork for us to come behind Him in His footsteps. God's precious Son has already run the same race, fought the same battles, endured the ultimate fight--AND WON!

Wow...being reminded of this is like taking a deep breath of His grace when I feel like I am about to suffocate.

When life is tough, it is so easy to go into our little hopeless bubbles of self, thinking no one understands, no one can relate...and we end up isolating ourselves and try to bear these burdens and trials alone. This is not God's design! It is a tool of evil. So what do we do when we feel like we are losing the race, or we just can't "run" anymore? The answer is right there in Hebrews 12:2..."we do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Champion..." Sounds too simple to be actually work though, right? But here is the absolute truth of that statements: When we keep our eyes on Christ, we know that we, like Peter in Matthew 14, we can walk on water through the most intense storms of our lives. And when we not only can't "run" but instead we are drowning in the seas of our struggles, unable to endure the crushing waves of life...look up! Jesus is reaching His hand out to us to pull us up, to save us, to walk with us on the stormy waters! (Matthew 14:24-31)

The truth continues on to remind us that when we think we are alone and no one can understand...Christ does! He understands because He humbled Himself from the sitting at the right hand of the Creator of the heavens and earths to endure everything that we would ever struggle with, to conquer every trial.

He knows what it is to be weary,
He knows grief,
He knows betrayal,
He knows heartbreaking loneliness.
He even knows the really nasty uglies of our fallen world... be beaten be spit on be ridiculed be abandoned
...treated as if He were worthless.

He knows our pain, our hurts, our inequities...He suffered them with the knowledge that upon Him winning the battle there would be unfathomable joy, and profound peace that our broken hearts are desperately seek. He had sufferance so that we may have hope and endurance through His victory. And how blessed are we, that since we are called His, that He runs beside us in this race whispering in our hearts,

"You can do this! Keep going! You have already won because you believe in Me...I have seen the wonderful things that are on the other side of this! Keep going!"

There is such powerful hope found in John 16:31 (MSG) when Christ said:

"...The Father is with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."

And be encouraged by God's promise of ultimate withstanding victory for you during whatever trial your are in right now:

"...but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain...Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe..." Hebrews 12:26-28.

Be unshakable in trials because Christ is in you...know you will endure, and you will make it through!

Stay on course of this race! Keep your focus on Jesus, and remember He is with you and you are not alone, and He is cheering you on with His promises!

"...In the same way I was with Moses, I'll be with you. I won't give up on you; I won't leave you. Strength! Courage! ...Give it everything you have, heart and soul. ...Don't get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you're going. And don't for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you'll get where you're going; then you'll succeed. Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take." Joshua 1:1-9 (MSG)

I pray that your heart is overflowing with encouragement and promises from His Word. We serve a God of Good. Our God is a God of Hope and Victory. Be unshakable in Him!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Leaving my Egypt...

"This is what the Lord says:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.
But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
I, the Lord, have spoken!"
--Jeremiah 9:23-24

I am wrapping up 6 weeks of battling an ugly sin that reared it's head in my life. If you are interested (or really bored!) in reading the whole story, you can start here
and then continue to read how God continues to refine and heal me as I get serious about sin here and here.

At the risk of sounding repetitive (okay, I am!), God continues to blow my mind every time I step on the scale and see the numbers decreasing. It is crazy-hard to try and wrap my brain around the fact that I put food in place of my Savior, and not only does He forgive me, and comes to my rescue in this battle...but he blesses me on top of everything! Every time I step on the scale, I truly feel incredibly humbled and undeserving...and mostly overwhelmed with gratitude that God loves me even in my betrayal to Him and His place in my life.

One of the biggest things I have learned over these past few weeks as God draws me closer to Him, is that I chose this sin. I liked it....loved it, in fact. But Satan takes these little "cherished" sins that we maintain (choose to keep, or not acknowledge) in our life...sins that we think that we can control...sins that we think we can choose to "stop anytime we want"...the fact for me is that I realized I was not in control of it at all. It controlled me! I was, in fact, a slave to this sin. Praise the Lord, no kidding, that He is leading me out of this grip that sin has on my life! I love Deuteronomy 7:7-9 and how it speaks into my life (my inserts):

"God wasn't attracted to [me] and didn't choose [me] because [I was] big and important—the fact is, there was almost nothing to [me]. He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise he made to [me]... God stepped in and mightily bought [me] back out of that world of slavery, freed [me] from the iron grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know this: God, [my] God, is God indeed, a God [I] can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments..."

Just even typing that verse encourages my heart! And I am excited to share that as of this morning, I have lost 29 pounds! (Editors note: In my mind, I picture confetti and balloons falling from the ceiling!). I am excited about what God is doing in my life! I will tell you it is ALL God's workmanship. As the weight continues to come off, there have been some sweet friends that have noticed the subtle changes...and truthfully, I love to hear the encouragement! But I also have to stand guard that I do not, for one moment, boast on my own accord--because then I am not honoring God. I am working to honor God with my eating...and what I am not eating...but I also have to ensure that I honor God and give Him all of His glory.

"We have heard of Moab's pride—
her overweening pride and conceit,
her pride and her insolence—
but her boasts are empty."

--Isaiah 16:6-7

"My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice."--Psalm 34:2

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Eating for God--One month!

Okay, so I wrapped up a full month of eating for God. On a side note, I refuse to call what I am doing dieting. Refuse. When we diet, the goal is to lose weight.... In my case, that is not my goal (but a sweet blessing!), my desire is to honor and worship God by how and what I eat.

I will just tell you that this has been an amazing experience for me. The ravenous cravings are gone, and lack of control is healing. God is doing a miraculous work in me, and I cannot help but think of a Psalms that David wrote:

“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me. Heal me, for I have sinned against you.” Psalm 41:4

I know I have mentioned before, but allow me to reiterate one beautiful fact that sings in my heart everyday: The way that I desired food, the way I used food as comfort, the way I placed the importance of food in my life over Christ, I ignored the fact that I made food a trinket-god before the Holy One. (hello, first commandment, anyone?!) I confessed this to my Father, and amazingly, the One who created life--the One who commands the universe, the One who is to be greatly praised--not only forgave me, but is tenderly helping me overcome this struggle so I can honor Him. And not only is He helping me overcome this battle with food, but he blesses me in the process! I am so undeserving! It makes me laugh with pure astonishment when I see the pounds falling off! It is almost like a physical way to show a small portion of what He is doing in my heart.

So are you ready to hear the total weight lost these past 4-weeks?

24-pounds! (Little editor's note here: I so wanted to type 25 here...but I can't push myself to lose weight, because then I am focusing on the weight loss, and just replacing that as a trinket-god. I am really trying to guard against that!)

Whenever I start to even try to grasp this blessing, or even the fact that I am worthy of a blessing in this situation, I just CAN'T! But I love how God is a God of GOOD...and He desires good for us.

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." --Psalm 37:4

Now, of course, don't get me wrong... I will honestly tell you that I have had two incidences where I stumbled. One was not so much what I ate...but how I ate it. I did not eat in a way that honored God at all. Which makes me go back to my point that I made at the beginning of this blog...if I were dieting...I would have not done a thing wrong! I was fine with my caloric intake, it was very healthy (tuna and half and avocado), but I knew that my heart was not in the right spot while I was eating the food. I was eating almost in a state of panic because I was hungry and was afraid that I would end up bingeing. But do you see the two emotions that I was feeding and running from? Panic and Fear. Neither of those emotions show a confidence that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." What I did in that moment is I did not put these emotions before the Lord...I tried to handle it myself. I took the hope that I have in Christ to help me in that situation, and tried to put a humanly fix on what only God can heal.

"Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Selah" --Psalm 62:8-10

I am so humbled by God's care for me in this journey. What an amazing God we serve!

"If you wake me each morning with the sound of Your loving voice, I'll go to sleep each night trusting in You. Point out the road I must travel; I'm all ears, all eyes before You. Save me from my enemies, God— You're my only hope! Teach me how to live to please You, because You're my God. Lead me by Your blessed Spirit..."
--Psalm 143:8-10 (The Message)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Leaving My Egypt--Day 10!

Oh my goodness...what a crazy 10 days it has been!

I have lost (drumroll please!) 14 pounds! What so funny about it, is weight loss has not even my focus...I am really just trying to worship God in every area of my life--even in my eating...or in my case, worship Him in what I am NOT eating! I have already felt closer to Christ, my prayer life is growing (which I LOVE), and I just feel like God is just SO close. It's incredible. The transformation in my heart has been surreal. I am so calm around food, and I feel so in control. I mean, I know that I am not in control (hate to state the obvious there!), it is totally Christ's strength. It takes Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" ring so true in my life. It has always been so easy for me to "sneak or cheat" on a diet, but now that I am dealing with the root of my problem (which is sin, not my eating OR my weight) makes it much harder to justify sneaking or cheating on God!

It is crazy that I struggle this much with eating!

It's hard to talk about sometimes because it is embarrassing, but the more and more I talk about it, the more people are coming up to me or calling me saying that this is them too. I must have spoken to at least 10 different women this week alone about this problem (food before God, body image, etc). I feel like it just, again, proves that this is a subject that so many women struggle with, but yet, no one wants to talk about because of the shame, embarrassment, feeling like they are the only one. So I figure I am going to talk about it! Now, please understand before I go any further, I am NOT saying that anyone who is overweight or struggles with body image issues is a sinner, NOT AT ALL... I am just sharing how this became a sin for me. In fact, I had an interesting conversation with a sweet friend this week, and she said that she had never thought about food being a sin. I had to explain it's not that FOOD is a became a sin FOR ME because it was replacing God's priority in my life. I was focusing WAY too much on what I would eat, when I would eat...and then I would counter with focusing on my weight issues, whatever diet I was on, or just being angry at myself for how I look: THAT's when it became a sin for me. And because I was not dealing with the root of my sin (or my problem, as I called it before I realized the correlation it had in my walk with Christ) I was always looking for a fix, or a solution...and then those "solutions" (like crazy diets) would then become my priority and obsession...which, honestly, just replaced the object of my sin with something else. Whatever we place before God is not right...even if it is something we think is perfectly innocent. The innocence in lost when we place it at a higher priority than Christ in our lives. The only obsession I want is a crazy-obsession for Christ...and only Christ.

For the most part this has been the easiest time in my life I have ever had not eating food. I have had moment these past few days where I have thought I wanted to just EAT... whatever I want, however much I want. Eat in an ugly way that would put my love for food over my love for God. I desperately do not ever, ever want to do that again. Especially since I have confessed and come to grips with the fact that I have placed food over God...that my sweet, precious Savior, the One who I have let down is not letting me down. He has not only forgiven me for putting something as stupid as food over Him, but in His Great Compassion, He HELPS ME to stop. It makes me want to weep every time I think about it. Through prayer and submission in those crazy-momentary anxieties, He helps me through! I am also SO, SO blessed to have amazing friends that I can text and beg for prayer in those tough moments. They don't ever trivialize it, or ever let me feel I am being dramatic over a silly bag of chips, or the fact that I cannot stop thinking about macaroni and cheese... Instead, they pray. I feel their prayers. I feel His peace.

God is SO great... He doesn't beat me down for my failures...but He sets me up for success through His grace and mercy. He is my Savior, and I am blessed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My UGLY Truth

"So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet." James 4:10

Whew. This is a tough one to even begin to type. It was hard to even say out loud and confess this to friends today. I have allowed myself to keep an ugly sin in my heart. In fact, I would even say that I cherish this sin--I don't really want to let go of it.

I love to eat. And I eat all the time. When I am happy, sad, lonely, tired, stressed, you name the main course of emotion, and I will tell you the food that I will have on the side.

I have gotten to the point that I run to food first before I even contemplate taking an issue to God. Or I will be heavy in prayer with something, while I feed my emotions with food without even giving God that chance. It is incredibly humbling to admit this...because it is just ugly.

Actually today, I had to confess that this is actually a major sin in my life. And it was really hard to verbalize those words out loud. I would even venture to say that if I analyzed this issue with a doctor or psychiatrist, they would probably say that I have an (over)eating disorder--but in God's grace to me--I know He showed me that FOR ME this is a heart disorder. This is an area in my life that I cherish the sin. To be honest, for years, I have made the choice to harden my heart to Christ in that area of my life.

I am in a mode of life that when I feel ANY sort of emotion-whether is be good, bad, tired, or overwhelmed--whatever!--I eat. And I totally eat in secret, alone and very rarely in front of people. (this is me being Eve trying to cover my sin with a fig leaf--as IF that is going to really cover anything at all!) I run to food FIRST versus running to Christ first. And a hard truth I had to confess this morning, and I don't even honestly want to type, is that in my relationship with Christ, I desire to boldly to say, "I love Jesus more than anything." But it is a lie because the ugliness of it all is I love food more than I love Jesus right now. That totally kills me to see that written out! So that is my bottom, as James 4:10 talks about: that sentence I just typed. I am sad and disappointed that I have not given my whole life over to Christ. The frustrating thing too, is that God has called me for some BIG things...filled my heart with that passion...(Almost to the point of driving me crazy!) but I know that He has not allowed it to be yet BECAUSE of my lack of full-surrender.

Galatians 5:19-23 screamed at my heart this week:

"It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage (ME!); frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness (ME!); trinket gods (FOOD FOR ME!); magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness (ME WHEN I REFUSE TO EAT IN FRONT OF OTHERS); cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants (FOOD!); a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved (MY INSECURITIES WITH MY WEIGHT/LOOKS); divided homes and divided lives (I GIVE MY LIFE TO CHRIST, AND YET ALSO AM LOYAL TO MY FOOD ISSUES); small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions (HELLO--ME AGAIN!); ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom."


"But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."

Whew. Talk about being brutally honest. So my heart prayer is now that I have confessed this...that God will breakdown this area in my life and let me fully surrender to Him. My heart is to serve Him everyday, but I need to stop feeding this sin in my life first.

I know I am not the only one either. I truly feel (and this is a big statement!) that this is an area that is SO cliche to speak to women sensitive...and most women don't want to hear it. (I know I don't want to hear about it because I feel the huge blinking arrow over my head!) I feel that this is like porn for men. (I know that is a big comparison)! But for years and years, the church did not really touch this subject when speaking to men. I think we (as the church) knew OF the problem...but not the number of men that struggled with it. I think the "Food instead of God" issue is just as big, if not bigger for women. It's hard to talk about...I feel ashamed, and just plain gross about it.

My desire is not to lose weight (great if happens) or to fit into certain jeans, or even, honestly, for my physical heart to be healthy. My desire is that my heart (in terms of my relationship with my Savior) will be healthy, strong, and trimmed of unneeded fat (which is sin). I am praying that God will just honor that. I am at the point of having to pray before every meal, pray with every bite I take that God will help me stop when I need to stop...and not start when I need to turn to Him.

So I totally just laid all of this out there! I know some of you are questioning why bare my soul and sin? Here is why:

"Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn't rain, and it didn't—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again." James 5:16

I have confessed to Christ...and now I am publicly confessing, so I can have the honor of your prayers through this battle of sin in my heart. It seems silly to ask for prayers to stop eating--but really my prayer is the God will be my priority on everything I do--including my eating. That I will NOT continue to allow anything to be a barrier to what Christ can do in my life and in my heart. I want to serve God, I want to lead others to Him, I want to live passionately in Christ, and a life above reproach. And just like James 4 says...I am getting serious, really putting this all "out there" I am also humbling myself so I can be held accountable.

I am excited about what God is going to do...and seriously appreciate your prayers.