Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Taking out the Trash

Talking with my children about the real things of life, like garbage trucks, an animals niche or what makes up a population often leads us to talk about God.  To be honest I am not sure what the exact path was in this discussion, but it lead to God either way as it so often does in my house.

"These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.  
Repeat them to your children. 
 Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, 
when you lie down and when you get up."  
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Sometimes explaining the things of God to my kids puts in on a level even my stubborn heart can appreciate.  It went something like this.......

The sin in our lives is a lot like garbage.  We can all picture the ugly and dirty nature of that.  We don't like to see it so we put it in bags, in cans and then as it piles up we tie it off and put it outside in another can hidden from sight.  We buy screens to make our trash cans look more concealed, we purchase fancy trash cans for inside our house and many of us pay to have someone take our trash away.

At some point the trash has to go to the curb.

Someone has to come and pick it up.

The empty can needs to be put away so the process can start all over agian. 

"Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; 
according to Your abundant compassion, blot our my rebellion. 
 Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.  
For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me."
 Psalm 51: 1-3

Our sin piles up.  We live in a fallen world for scripture says, "all have fallen short of the glory of God" and are in desperate need of a savior.  In a way we need the garbage taken out and in an even more impossible way we need someone to haul if off to the dump. 

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."  
Psalm 103:12

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us ours sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  1John 1:9

"The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy."  Proverbs 28:13

God is ALWAYS ready and willing to come by and remove the garbage from your heart, but we have the responsibilty to put it out at the curb for collection by means of confession.

The days of Lent are drawing to an end and Easter is in sight, but the days of confession never come to a close as long as we are here.  Our need for forgiveness continues.  But His willingness likewise is without end!

Gotta run!  I hear the trash truck coming and I have some things I need to haul out to the curb!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Praying for an Undivided Heart

Breaking Free.  A Journey to Being Truly Satisfied.
Day 10

Bible passage: Psalm 86:11-13

My body is a temple of the Living God.  By not taking care of it I am not caring for his temple.  Though I wanted to avoid it, and solely focus on the healthy eating, according to the devotion today exercising needs to be part of the plan.  I have lots of excuses.  I have lots of young kids and little extra time.  The time I do have I would rather relax.  It’s time for me to make a change in this area.  Giving up this struggle to God is supposed to hurt and I am to deny myself and surrender to him.  I am offering up my me time, the time at night I spend staying up late to relax rather than go to bed.  The early morning hours I lay in bed getting a little more sleep I also give to him.  This is my sacrifice.  I have long used the excuse that I am a night owl.  If I am honest with myself I am neither productive nor more rested with my late nights and not so early morning routines. 
Praying the scriptures is a powerful and effective means of communication with our Lord.  It's something that automatically connects us with God, we are praying His very words.  We can be certain that we are praying in accordance with His will because His words are TRUTH AND LIFE!

Let's pray together today for the courage to live an undivided life, a life devoted to Christ, to caring for our bodies as his holy dwelling and also for the desire to give God all the praise and glory for even the tiniest shred of goodness and blessing in us.

"Teach me Your way, Yahweh, and I will live by Your truth. 
Give me an undivided mind to fear Your name. 
 I will praise You with all my heart, Lord my God, and will honor Your name forever.
 For Your faithful love for me is great, and You deliver my life from the depths of Sheol."
Psalm 86:11-17 HCSB
My journal companion while working through the Made to Crave 21 day challenge and the book Made to Crave.



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Two Choices

Breaking Free.  A Journey to Being Truly Satisfied.
Day 9

Bible Passage Galatians 5:22-23

It is easy for me to see that I am lacking self-control and not because I try so hard and I just can’t seem to stop myself.  I can feel that I really don’t want to let go and yield to the healthier choice whether that be not having seconds, a healthy option for a snack or going to bed at a reasonable hour.  Do I not want it bad enough or is the problem with me being too satisfied with the way things are?  I don’t want hard and I don’t desire to be uncomfortable, let alone in pain over the loss of my stuff or in this case some food and unhealthy habits.  Today I pray for dissatisfaction with my current state of being.  I want to have my feathers ruffled and a little bit of discomfort if that’s what it will take to have lasting change and a deeper relationship with my Lord.  This has gone on long enough. 
My journal companion while working through the Made to Crave 21 day challenge and the book Made to Crave.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Finding the Determination

Breaking Free.  A Journey to Being Truly Satisfied.
Day 8

Bible Passages: Psalm 5, Ephesians 6:18, Jude 20, Philippians 4:4-7

“God gave us the gift of prayer to turn our times of desperation into relationship opportunities with Him. This cycle is far more promising than distancing ourselves from His goodness with our own sense of self-loathing and defeat.” –Made to Crave 21 day Challenge

Today I pray for a spirit of determination.  I want to be well aware that I do not walk alone and that this struggle with food is far from over.  Temptation and weakness will come, but turning to prayer and God’s word and sure fire ways to turn this temporary struggle into a lasting benefit.  God desires a deep relationship with us, one that is growing and shaping us.  How much more will it do that if in our every trouble we turn to him not as a last resort but as our first line of defense?  Now that is something to get excited about.  I love happy endings.  I am a sucker for a good story where good triumphs over evil.  Today I choose to let God be the knight in shining armor.  I have been a lousy hero in my story.  It’s time for the big guns!
My journal companion while working through the Made to Crave 21 day challenge and the book Made to Crave.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Desiring Inward Beauty

Breaking Free. A Journey to Being Truly Satisfied
Day 7

Bible passage 1Peter 3:3-5 Psalm 103:1-5

I am beautiful.  I may not always feel that way, but according to God’s promise that He dwells in me, loves me and has made me new, I can honestly look in the mirror and see beauty.  I have to stop thinking that my beauty is a measure of how thin I am or the jeans I may or may not get back into.  My beauty is not defined by how much attention I get from my husband or his level of desire for me.  From having children, my hips and waist will never be the same and I need to be ok with that.  And enough comparing already; if I spend my whole life comparing my beauty against others I will fail to see both mine and theirs.   

My prayer

Father in Heaven you created me in your likeness.  You carefully put me together and gave my life purpose.  Like in the beginning of creation you looked and saw that it was good.  Then I looked and became dissatisfied.  I saw and was not pleased or even able to see what you see.  Forgive me for not looking deeper and for not caring near as much about my inward condition and I did my external appearance.  I set out to please my own eyes and to attract attention from others rather than make myself presentable to you.  Open my eyes!  Set me free from this trap of superficial beauty so that I may desire to be the kind of women Peter describes in the passage today, a women of beauty on the inside with a gentle spirit.  Amen
My journal companion while working through the Made to Crave 21 day challenge and the book Made to Crave.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Being the Lone Ranger Doesn't Work. We Were Made For Community!

Breaking Free.  A Journey to Being Truly Satisfied
Day 6

Bible passage Proverbs 17:17

I am so grateful that I do not journey alone in this monumental task of breaking through one of the biggest strongholds of my life.  For me accountability is huge and a big factor in my successful eating.  If I am to be honest and report to another human being my struggles, failures and every bite, I am less likely to cheat.  We are not meant to venture through life flying solo.  It is not healthy or wise.  A Christian is much more likely to have a strong walk with the Lord if they are connected to a healthy church and to be in relationship with those people.  They can be visible means of God’s grace to us in all sorts of life circumstances.  Rather than share a joy with a plate of desserts how much more of a celebration would it be to rejoice with a dear friend in the Lord.  It’s a lot less calories for both of you if you share the plate! 

My husband is also a great source of strength for me.  Today while making lunch I admitted that because I had missed my morning snack I was ravenously hungry and feeling tempted to eat what I was in the process of preparing.  He stepped in and finished making lunch.  Temptation avoided and back-up support to the rescue!  I’m not afraid to admit that I do love a man in shining armor!

Friends, spouses and church family are all blessings from God, demonstrations of his love for us.  I especially want to thank one of my friends in particular for partnering with me in this. 
 My journal companion while working through the Made to Crave 21 day challenge and the book Made to Crave.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cravings and Struggles Continue

Breaking Free: A Journey to Being Truly Satisfied
Day 5

1Corinthians 10:12-13, Galatians 5:16-26

God you have given me a way out of temptation, you have made it clear the specific times I struggle.  Now please help me to stop and think, not to act in haste or to be motivated by desperation, but to be wise.  I want to be able to see beyond my temporary need for food and out to the far reaches of victory, eternal glory and life everlasting.  I can’t see right now how my problem with food could get in the way of my salvation yet I can already see how it has prevented me from having a deeper relationship with my Redeemer.  If time and again I seek comfort or pleasure in food and not Him I slowly distort my view of him and say to my heart, “He is not enough.”

I am feeling like a need to take a breather and take in all that I am discovering about myself and my addictions.  There I said it!  I have avoided using that word because to me it is ugly and not my problem.  I heard recently that people often make incremental progress in their faith rather than dramatic big leap changes and I would be apt to agree with that.  This however feels like one of those moments of serious life change. 

Part of me fears that when this study is over or life gets carried away that I will fall back into my old patterns or that I may even replace this food addiction with a new one.  When I stepped on the scale this morning and had not seen a change I was disappointed, but I heard God gently whisper in my heart “Is this about looking better?  Or do you want to draw closer to me?”  If my only goal is to look better, get attention, have smaller clothes and feel more attractive then it will not last and my fears will become a reality.  If I replace this idol of food with a desire for attention then I am back where I started.  I see it in my blog too.  I’ve already had ideas about how to turn my journal into a series, but am I motivated by the idea of people reading my work or by the earnest desire to share this breakthrough so that others may be blessed by it.  These very real and raw emotions are hard to decipher. 

With my Bible open, drawn to the already underlined portions, I see the answer.  It is found in Galatians 5:16-26.  Let me dive into Your Word today Lord, hungry and burning with passion for something lasting, let me seek you!
My journal companion while working through the Made to Crave 21 day challenge and the book Made to Crave.