It’s All About You

I love living in the country and walking on our dirt road. It really is a beautiful way to start the day. I don’t always get to enjoy the quiet mornings, especially during the school year, but I appreciate it when I do. This morning was exceptionally wonderful. I went for 2.2 miles and although south Texas is hot (very!), there was a pleasant breeze that made my walk so peaceful. Don’t get me wrong, I worked up quite a sweat! I’m just saying it was very pleasant. =)

I almost always take music, yet I almost never turn it on. Most of the time, I enjoy just listening to nature and praying. I think back to some of my morning prayers during my walk and I’m sure the neighbors think I’m crazy! Sometimes I will say my prayers out loud, so they probably think I’m just talking o myself… “Here comes the crazy walker talking to her imaginary friend.” LOL

Well I am talking to a friend, but he’s not imaginary. He is my best friend. He is Jesus; lover of my soul, the Alpha and Omega, my Wonderful Counselor, my Prince of Peace. That’s what makes my morning walks with Him so amazing. When I am bouncing things around in my mind 90 miles an hour, He reminds me what’s really important. It’s all about Him. Thank you, Jesus.

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Happy Endorphins

Got up and walked 2.2 miles with my sister-in-law this morning. Then I came home and did DDP Yoga Energy with my husband. A good day for exercise! I guess my husband gets to live another day….=)

Moments

I love how God works. He is so faithful. When we give him little, he returns so much more to us than we can ever imagine. When our hearts are turned to Him, he pours out His love and His wisdom. In this quest to break free from my food issues, I have been reaching. I mean really reaching over the years. There have been times during this battle that I have jeopardized my health by using poor judgment because of my desperation. Oh yes, I have been reaching for years…often just for the wrong thing. When I am seeking Christ in this battle, I see glimpses of victory. But since the miscarriage, I want more than just small victories. I want more than just doing what I know I should for a time, then going backwards. I want more than to just “white knuckle” my way through each day. I want FREEDOM! I want to be free of this ongoing fight that takes place in my mind and in my spirit. I don’t want this to be the topic of every conversation I have with my girlfriends. I know and now believe that freedom is possible. For so long, I think I gave myself a handicap. I don’t know if I ever really thought it was possible. My pattern of thinking (without even realizing it) has been that this is just the way I will always be. Not happy, but no real options for lasting change. I can follow rules for temporary relief, but have I really pondered what real freedom would look like? When someone grows up with this kind of struggle, it feels like it’s just part of you. Like it’s just who you are. Well, it’s not. It’s not who I am. I’m not destined to be the girl that’s always the heaviest in the room. The girl that struggles with confidence. The girl who is always on a diet. That’s not me…so I’ve got to quit living like it is.

I have been reading so much lately and studying scriptures and watching a very cool video series. The ladies class at church is doing the Beth Moore study called Breaking Free. I’m reading the book now. I’m not doing the study, but I borrowed the videos, because I always enjoy listening to her speak. I’ve watched several of them already and last night I watched one that had me bawling like a baby. One of the things that resonated with me was a prayer that she had read online and quoted in her talk:

“Give me the revelation to see why I wrongly associate benefit with that which brings me harm.”

Isn’t that powerful?!?! I thought about so many afflictions that could be plugged into that prayer; drugs, alcohol, shopping, sexual sins, food, etc. I’ve been walking with the Lord long enough to know that when you ask a bold request such as this, He will answer. When you ask for a “revelation,” be ready!

The other thing that really hit home to me was this:

“God has reserved momentous victories and great rewards for us. But we will never make it to our milestones if we can’t make it through our moments.”

Let that penetrate your heart for a moment. It may seem simple to some, but for me it was profound. Because in my daily life, I face that “moment” of temptation often, yet I do not always make it through. When I am tempted, my mind doesn’t drift to the milestone, I’m only thinking of the here and now. But in the moment, God tells us that we can call upon Him and there is NOTHING that he cannot deliver us from! Nothing!! I can’t even explain how excited this made me feel. It was like I’ve heard it a million times before, yet I’ve never heard it at all. It was as if a monumental gift was placed in my lap that I had never known about. In the moment, call upon the name of Jesus, and be delivered. Prayer is our best defense to make it through those moments and we have it at the tip of our tongue. How amazing is that?!?! It’s hard, I know that for sure. My prayer is that I call upon Him in each moment and before long, I know He will greet me at my milestone. There is freedom available, and it’s not just for the well versed, spiritual giants that never seem to mess up and look as if they have it all together, it’s for me! And it’s for you! Thank you, Father, you are my Redeemer and my Deliverer!

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Psalm 40:8 “I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”

It’s No Wonder…

I know exactly why most of us struggle to eat healthy. IT’S A LOT OF WORK! I am spending way more time in the kitchen. That’s a good thing, of course, but I have to admit…it’s work. It’s no wonder most people (myself included) would rather buy the quick and easy stuff! There’s no doubt the quick and easy stuff makes our days less grueling, but it comes at a cost. Not just to us individually, also to our families, and to our nation. There’s so much junk in convenience foods by way of preservatives and added chemicals, and it can really do a number on our health. It takes major effort to choose real food. It takes time to plan and prepare. And for me, right now, it takes continual reminders that it’s worth it. But in just these few days, I already feel better. I’m almost past the withdrawal headaches =). This time it wasn’t too bad because I have been drinking way more water than usual. I think that has really helped. One of the books that I have read recently is The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin. It’s full of great information about eating the way God intended. I am loosely following his plan for a detox/cleanse. (I prefer to call it a Reset.) I say “loosely” because there are supplements and products that he suggests that I am not using. I am mostly just taking my prenatals with an additional folic acid vitamin as well as eating clean and walking.  

Can you imagine what the women before us did? Think back about your grandmothers and great grandmothers. They mostly ate clean because they had to grow their own food. It was quite a treat to go out and eat a meal prepared by others. Yet, we can eat out three times a day and think nothing of it. Most of the ladies before us wore belts most of the time. Think about it. They were much thinner and stronger than the majority of American women today. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a trade off. We don’t stay home all day (most of us) to cook those three meals. And if we do stay home, our modern lives are so full of other things that we find the quick and easy to be…well, quick and easy. I have really made a lot of excuses to pick up dinner and grab something convenient at the cost of nutrition. I’m really going to try to think more like the women before us and find a balance in this fast paced world so that my health and that of my family is not traded for convenience.   

So yeah, it’s no wonder we have a more difficult time choosing healthy foods. Yes, it is work, but nothing that can’t be managed. I guess when they say “lifestyle change,” this is part of it =).

Walk by Faith

It’s been a few days since I have written and I want to share that I am in a much better place. I love how personal and specific our God is when He answers our prayers. The first few days were dark. Literally, I sat in the dark for several days. I tried to watch movies to distract my thoughts. I didn’t want to be around people. Physically, I had little energy, but my emotions were so weak. I had told myself that on Monday I was going to get up and get out of the funk. I had planned to go for a walk or to the store or something…anything, just put one foot in front of the other and move. But I couldn’t. Every time I started to do something, I fell apart. I was crying and praying and I said, “God, I just feel like I need someone to grab me by the hand and pull me out of this darkness!” Literally, within 5 minutes, my mother in law knocked on the door. About three minutes later, my sister in law knocked on the door. My mother in law said, “Let’s go have a girl’s lunch.” It was really nice to get out and even better to be with family. Again, I just love how personal God is. I prayed and He answered!

My days are getting better and my thoughts more clear. I know that I can’t do anything about the past, but I can make changes for the future. I feel that my health is so out of balance, that the first thing I need to do is reset. I’ve been praying and seeking a plan to do just that. Of course, my prayers lead me back to what I have already learned from the Bible concerning health. It sounds so simple, yet I’ve struggled with it my whole life.

Eat and drink what He gave us.

I’ve been reading and studying several books about cleansing and detox and I feel that there has never been a more important time to do this. Since it’s summer, I will have more time to prepare the things I need and get away from the processed junk. Naturally, the emotional side of my food issues is where the real work will have to take place. It seems that 90% of this battle happens in the mind, not on the dinner table. So I started my day with a long walk and a prayer. I want to honor God with my life. I want to honor Him with my health, my marriage, my family, my job, my being. I’m going to take one day at a time and walk by faith. Father God, thank you for this incredible life that You have blessed me with. I pray that I honor You with this day.

“I will praise You anyway”

Last week was difficult. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for over three years. We had decided (and had peace) that maybe that just wasn’t His plan for our family. So, I was shocked and elated when I took a pregnancy test that revealed we were expecting! Immediately, those hopes and dreams flooded my heart again and my mind was racing. We were so excited! The next day, I took another test and again, it was positive. I called the doctor and got the first available appointment. That morning, I knew something was wrong and by the end of the day, my joy had turned to sadness. My hopes and dreams were replaced with fear and concern. As I laid in my lukewarm claw foot bath tub, I felt sure that death had visited my body. I cried out to God and in the midst of my broken heart,
I said….”I will praise You anyway.” You know the desires of our hearts and if it be Your will that our family grows and you bless us with a child, I will praise you. And God, if it be Your will that we do not have this child, I will praise You anyway.

The next day, I had my appointment and it was confirmed that I had miscarried. I was 7 weeks.

I was sent home with meds to finish the process and Vicodin for the pain. It was, most assuredly, a painful process. Physically, for only a few days but emotionally, I’m just not sure. I have read way too many articles and unintentionally added too many questions and possibilities to my thinking that had already gone awry. Of course, I thought back over the past seven weeks and wondered about everything that I have done, or not done, or maybe did too much or not enough. I understand that is a useless and unproductive process that will never have an answer, so I try not to stay there for long. The one big thing that I cannot avoid is the overwhelming guilt of not being at a healthy weight. The fact is, I am 40 and obese. Being 40 alone causes me to be high risk, but add obesity and the risk factors skyrocket. This thought has caused great despair and I have shed many tears.

So now I am stuck. I feel trapped in a bizarre place with some decisions to make on a daily basis. Instantly, I wanted to medicate myself and take the physical pain and the emotional burden away. For the first two days, I did. At the end of the second day, I reached for the Vicodin, not because I was in physical pain, but because my heart hurt so much. After that dose, I gave the bottle to my husband. I asked him to put them away, because in that moment, I could totally relate to every person on the planet who has ever struggled with prescription drugs. It would have been so easy to continue taking them to feel better. After all, my doctor gave me 30 pills and I had only taken four! Yes, it would have been very easy. But I know how the enemy works and that is not a road that I was willing to meander down or a trip I was willing to take. The unfortunate truth was starring me in the face after that happened. The reality is, what I wanted was my normal and comfortable food binge. And I thought to myself…what’s the difference? Whether it’s pills or food, you are still medicating your pain. Isn’t that interesting? I find the strength somehow to not continue pills that could become a problem, but for years haven’t been able to walk away from binging. Granted, the food thing is way bigger and I’ve had this unhealthy dependency way longer, but am I not seeking the same result?

I’m still on shaky ground and I’m still praying minute by minute that I will not continue this spiral. I must decide, DAILY, how I am going to deal with my emotions. I can either continue to medicate myself with food and probably never conceive a child, OR, I can give this pain to God, work through this life long unhealthy relationship with food, get healthy, and try again. Please pray with me.

Father God, this is tough. This hurts so deeply. You know my heart and you know how much we would love to have a baby. We grieve for this loss. We give this pain to you. We ask that you grow our family. Help us to become stronger, closer to each other and closer to You. Please help me to turn to You and nothing else for love and comfort. If it be Your will that we have a child, I will praise you. And if not, I will praise you anyway.

At last….summer is here!

Wow, the last few weeks have been crazy! The end of the year “stuff” for teachers is always a bit chaotic, but this year was even crazier for me. As an 8th grade homeroom teacher and also as a parent of an 8th grade student, my end of the year madness was over the top. We had the graduation ceremony to plan and prepare for, but also the class trip in which the students (and I) left the very next day. It was indeed a busy time, but it was wonderful! The graduation ceremony, though somewhat stressful, was very special and meaningful. The class trip was also an overall priceless memory for these students. There were 25 total in our group and we had an awesome time. I am very grateful for the blessing of being a part of a Christian school.

The day after school was out, our family went on our vacation. My husband and I were very excited to take the kids on their first cruise. I had taken on an extra position at work and when I received my extra pay, we booked our trip. It was very exciting. The kids absolutely loved it!

Now that we are home and summer has officially begun, I am truly enjoying a slower pace. In the midst of the chaos in the last few weeks, I have not exercised and I have not made such great food choices. I’m basically right back where I started. So…

Today I got up and went for a walk. Gotta start somewhere! I am really working towards getting the chemicals out. I already feel better just by not running around like a crazy person. It’s nice to slow down…to think…to pray…to listen. I am looking forward to a relaxed, yet productive summer.