Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Endings and Beginnings

Allow me to apologize for neglecting this blog. I felt the Lord leading me in a different direction and took a break from writing. While I feel this reprieve permitted me to focus more on my family, ministry, and other priorities, I regret leaving my faithful readers hanging. It is also because of my faithful and new-found readers I find it difficult to say that this is the last post on this blog site.

HOWEVER . . . the posts I wrote are still relevant. So if you just found this site or are in need of a reminder of ways to dispel lies with truth, search through old posts. You may even want to start at the beginning by clicking here.

In the mean time, I would love for you to visit my new blog site In the Midst . . . by clicking here. It is not exclusively about eating (although I’m sure it will come up). Instead I will cover a broader subject base. It’s a blog about meeting God and finding hope in the midst of everyday life.
Again, thank you! And God bless!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Do Not Give Up!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9)
Recently, this verse popped out at me while reading a devotional. Weary. That’s it. That describes my feelings in the area of eating. Weary. Tired. Heavy-laden. Burdened. Sick of trying to “do good” . . . and failing miserably.
You could argue that “doing good” refers to works and helping others in the name of Christ. I am sure it applies. But at this particular moment, on this particular day, in my particular circumstances, food issues rose to the surface one more time. And I could not/cannot continue to ignore God’s prompting.
There are numerous reasons why I have not posted on this blog for a while . . . lack of time, lack of inspiration, a desire to pursue other interests, etc. But if I’m totally honest, I have to admit one of the reasons is the thought that I am a hypocrite. How can I coach, inspire, and encourage others to pursue holiness when I have given up? I feel defeated, resigned, crushed. Overwhelmed. And therefore . . . guilty!
I can list for you my “excuses” for eating improperly. I recite them to myself daily. At the top would be the amount of traveling our family does. It’s difficult to eat properly when out of town at track meets and softball games two to three nights per week for months on end. Add to that numerous trips in which we are gone for several days. I only recently thought of dragging along a cooler filled with apples, oranges, and cold water. But truth be known, when we stop at McDonald’s for something quick (and cheap—to fit our budget), I typically break down and eat a Big Mac instead of a grilled chicken salad.

My resolve to eat well (and in proper portions) has fizzled. The constantness (I know that’s not a word, but stick with me) has taken its toll. I’m exhausted. Beaten. Weary.

I confess I have been walking the fence, pacing the border (see my previous post), testing the waters outside of God’s boundaries. I have allowed Satan’s temptations to lure me away from truth. And the results are ugly. Inside and out.
Part of the problem is my thought that at some (unknown) point in my life I will reach the pinnacle. I will stand at the peak holding my victory flag saying, “I’ve won. My battle with food is over.” I will no longer have to pray about food. I will no longer have to watch what I eat because it will just come naturally. I will no longer have to remind myself to choose wisely. I will no longer have to tell myself to take only one helping. I will no longer have to rely on God’s strength. I thought I had come to that point. Instead I had just walked away because I didn’t want to be on the front lines anymore. And while I am still holding out for the time when eating well comes as naturally to me as remembering to brush my teeth, I have to admit I have not arrived. Nor will I ever hit a point in which I no longer need God’s strength and mercy and guidance.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Gal. 6:7-10)
The above verses attest to the fact that we will not win by sowing to our flesh. We must rely on the Holy Spirit if we are to reap a harvest. We cannot give up. I belong to the “family of believers” and I am included in “all people,” so I have to conclude that when God admonishes us to “do good to all people” He means me too. I should not give up “doing good” to my own body.
There is a difference between giving up and giving in. Giving up implies resignation. However, God wants us to give in—to Him and His ways. Give in so He can carry us through.
Are you weary? Have you given up? What does that look like in your life?
What are you reaping?
Sowing to the flesh may reap: an upset stomach, a headache, a tired body, weight gain, sinus issues, high blood pressure, disease, guilt, depression, etc.
Sowing to the Spirit may reap: more energy, more mobility, long-term health, a better digestive tract, a leaner body, a healthier relationship with God, etc.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime, I am choosing not to give up. I may feel defeated, but I am not. I may have failed in some of my choices, but I am not a failure. My weariness does not stem from doing good but from walking away. So today, right now, I choose to persevere. I choose to give in to God’s promptings.
How about you?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Boundaries: Good or Bad?

A baby stands in his crib shaking the rails, crying to be let out.
A child peers between two fence posts pouting, wanting to play on the other side.
A man looks over the guardrail of a bridge disheartened, desiring to swim in the current.
We see boundaries as limiting, restraining, holding us back. We pace the border like a caged animal wondering how to be set free. We are enthralled, obsessed even. We wonder what exciting adventure the boundary keeps us from experiencing. And occasionally we break out. In giddiness, we escape.
But what do we find on the other side? True freedom? It depends. Who built the barrier and why does it exist?
Some need torn down, but . . .
Some boundaries protect us. They keep us safe. The crib keeps the baby from falling. The fence keeps the child from running into the street. The guardrail allows the man to walk over the water safely. These boundaries protect.
Non-Christians see a Christian’s life as confining—a list of do’s and don’ts. And it’s true. God’s word establishes boundaries in our lives. The question becomes: Are those boundaries a chokehold or a place of freedom? Is “no” negative?
In this case, God’s word—the boundaries He establishes—protects, guards, shields. Safety is inside the fence, within the perimeter. Outside are distractions, temptations, strongholds and idols.
Freedom lies within the boundaries. When we leave the perimeter and move toward the interior we realize we have room to roam. And it’s good. Very good. That’s where God’s love and protection exist. That’s where the abundant life is found.
Jesus understood this truth. He used the word of God as a shield of protection against Satan’s attacks.
Do you see God’s boundaries on your eating as restricting or freeing? When you see His guidance as a means of protection and preservation, a loving act of kindness, you may say with the Psalmist,
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.[c]
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life. (Psalm 119:35-40)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Does Your View of God Need a New Coat of Paint?

We recently re-modeled our bathroom. As the ‘60s décor came down and the floors and walls were stripped, I wondered if my thoughts on God and who He is needed a make-over.

I have been looking at God and His word through a particular lens (my life experiences, how I met Him, and who He has been to me) for quite some time. I liken it to staring at that ‘60s décor for the past several years. I recognized my bathroom by those ridiculous square tiles and the drawer I could hardly budge. I had grown accustomed to reaching for my hairbrush in that spot and opening this cabinet for my mascara. 

I see my God as having particular traits and talking to me in a particular manner. Most of us do. Some of us see Him as loving and full of grace—others as just and righteous. The truth is, He is both and He portrays the characteristic we need at the time we need it.

After we removed the cabinets with the big knobs, the gray bathtub, and the decaying carpet, the foundation of the bathroom was the same. It still had the original walls, windows, and floors with which it started. God and His word are still the same, never-changing.

So . . . I want to strip away the tradition, the expected, my angle on how this relationship with God should work. I want to dig down until I find the foundation. I want to analyze my thoughts and my habits (yes, that includes eating!) to see if they line up with truth.

THEN I will build on that foundation by exploring all aspects of God and updating my thoughts on Who He is. I want to look at Him as I would a prism—turning it and peering at it from different angles to see what I’ve been missing and how I can re-furbish my thought process. I want to re-new my friendship and love relationship with God, learning more and more so I can aptly reflect Him.
 Does this apply to food and eating habits? Absolutely. I have taken the same approach to eating (or not eating) for years. Maybe my approach needs an update. We’ll see. I hope that as I renew my relationship with God, He will renew my relationship with food.