Friday, February 27, 2009

In Remembrance

(lyrics modified by Dorothy Tuttle)

Jesus, I heard you had a big house
Where I could have a room of my own
Jesus, I heard you had a big yard,
Big enough to let a kid roam

I heard you had clothes in your closet
Just the right size that I wear
And Jesus, I heard if I give you
My heart, then you would let me go there

Jesus, I heard about mealtime,
...When all your children come to eat,
I heard you had a great big table
Where every kid could have his own seat

Jesus, they said that there'd be plenty
...Of good things in heaven to share
And Jesus, I'd just like to tell you
I sure would love to go there

Jesus, I heard you have a cabin
On a farm for my Papa to share
I heard you had a pond full of fishes
Swimming under Sonshine so fair

'Cause you promise we can't even imagine
All the things that you went to prepare
And Jesus I just want to tell you
I'm sure glad my Papa is there

And Jesus, I went to say thank you
One day I'll meet my Papa up there.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Needed: Early Prayer

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." - Mark 1:35

I woke up around 5 this morning. On a typical morning, I won't awaken until closer to 6 and it is often due to a call from one of my girls. This morning, however, I woke up and felt as though I could actually function if I began my day. I found myself a place on the bathroom floor with the fan running to block out any noise and opened my journal and my Bible. I always feel more refreshed and better able to face the day when my morning starts out in some time with God.

I chose to read Mark 1 because Rod is leading a Bible study in our home tonight on the Book of Mark. This verse struck me once again. It's interesting because I will often justify why I don't have the time to spend with God to start my day. If it's not the girls demanding my attention immediately or the "to do" list spinning around in my mind, it's the dog, my husband, Weight Watchers or something else that requires immediate attention. I feel like I cannot fit God into my day. Jesus, on the other hand, God himself, got up early in the morning to spend time with God the Father in prayer prior to starting His day. Do I think I am better the God's Son?

Jill Savage, founder of Hearts at Home, and the author of one of my current book reads, "Real Moms...Real Jesus", had something worthy to say on this topic. She said that it's my pride that keeps Jesus out of my day. I feel I can get through the day just fine without Him. It doesn't matter that self-control comes much easier on the days I take time out with Him. It doesn't matter that it's been proven over and over again that I am able to handle much better what comes my way when I start my day with Him. So many times I feel I can justify a few more moments of sleep rather than use those few moments to help focus my day correctly. This really struck a heart cord. I am a proud person. I don't ask for help too often. I have no self-control. I beat myself up for not being able to overcome temptation. I find myself in a pool of guilt over the way I blow up at my kids and my husband. Yet I'm too proud to confess my sins, accept God's help and move forward.

Today is different.

"Lord, thank you for the example of starting the day in prayer yourself. Too often I think I can conquer today without you. Please forgive me. Help me to turn to you with each trial that comes my way. Give me the strength to exercise self-control when it comes to food and my temper. Help me to be a mom that reflects you to her husband and kids. Thank you for the energy to start my day with you. Amen."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little Bear brings back Memories

It's a rare occasion that I just sit with my girls. Yesterday, I accepted Jaycie's request to just sit and hold her. We watched an episode of "Little Bear". In this episode, Little Bear helps Father Bear in the yard. Little Bear helps by watering Father Bear's garden. The water would not come out of the hose at first which, he was informed by his snake friend, was due to a kink. Little Bear looks into the hose as he shakes it and as the kink comes loose, spraying Little Bear in the face. Little Bear and his friend snake laugh and enjoy the fun. Little Bear then decides to step on the hose and tell Father Bear that the water won't come out of the hose. Father Bear looks into the hose and ponders when Little Bear takes his foot off of the hose and sprays Father Bear in the face. They laugh and play and have fun.

All of this brought back memories of my dad. Dad loved to garden and it was hard work. Growing up as a kid, I didn't appreciate the value of everything involved in this process. I just knew that we didn't sleep in too often as it was important to get out before the heat of the day to get the gardening done. There was weeding, watering, spraying, more weeding, watering, spraying and harvesting. On many occasions, dad would award our hard work with a trip to the Plush Horse Ice Cream Parlor or a day at the zoo or Great America or something else that inspired us to work hard.

On memory in particular, I recall a similar occasion as Little Bear and Father Bear. I must have been the one watering the garden as dad planted or weeded. In my wisdom, I realized that I could spray dad with the hose and run away before he could get back at me. Needless to say, I didn't plan it out all that well. I sprayed him and ran. Dad ran after me and I thought I had gotten off scot-free. That is until he undid the connections between the hoses that reached to the garden and held it over my head as the water poured all over me. We laughed, soaked, and enjoyed a memory that I can cherish today.

It's the simple things that seem to come to my mind like that. Small things that I cherish. A moment when my dad stepped away from the work to have a little fun with his daughter. I pray that I can take time out from the daily grind to give memories to my girls that they will cherish after I am gone.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Enough and More than Enough

I put up all these posts about verses that God's brought to my attention that relate to my addiction to food. From my blog, it sounds as though I'm really getting the hang of implementing some life change. If only it were so.

This weekend was absolutely insane! Honestly, last week as a whole was quite hectic. I thought I had it fairly together until Jaycie came down with a cold. I did not allow any time for illness in our house. Thankfully, it was really just a runny nose. I simply exposed everyone else to all of her germs. We just kept plugging along with our busy schedule.

Amongst this busy schedule was a lot of food... not enough sleep... many temptations for the sweet tooth... and very little time to breathe. Needless to say, all of this left me back in my old ways (maybe not old, probably more like not as frequent).

Here's the thing. Life change requires time and energy. It requires some planning and a lot of focus. This weekend was lacking on time, energy, planning and focus. I ate and ate and ate some more.

My scale shot up to an ugly number that at Christmas time kept me continuing on my eating frenzy. This morning I decided to take some steps so that didn't happen again. I sent the Fannie May Pixies I bought for Rod with him to work. I explained that I have an addiction and if they remain in this house while he is at work, there will simply be no more left when he returns.

He had presented me with some Take Five miniature candy bars on Valentine's Day. Thankfully, he only gave me three. The rest of the bag are hidden somewhere where he will gradually ration to me over time. (I can taste them just thinking about them...)

The house is a mess and I have a long way to go before I catch up with life. Still, I knew it was of the utmost importance that I stop and take some time to refocus, refuel and revamp. I now feel like I'm back on track with a plan, some energy, time and focus.

I'm learning every day and although this past weekend did not mirror anything I've been attempting to convey, I have a new beginning. I'm accepting the grace and moving forward again.

Thank you, God, for a fresh start every morning!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit." - 25:16

Twice since the baby was born, I've gotten quite sick. The problem was that I could not identify if I had the flu or if I was sick simply because I had overeaten (this is a kind word for my binges) the night before. It's pretty sad if I'm attempting to determine between results of a binge v. the stomach flu.

Sometimes the Bible puts it so plainly we overlook it. Sounds like common sense, doesn't it? If you eat too much sweets, it will make you sick. We even tell this to our kids. When there is an addiction involved, we often don't use common sense.

It is truly time for change. I don't anticipate I'll be perfect when it comes to changing my eating habits. Small steps will get me there. I will fall down and have to get up. There will be setbacks and I will have to start over again. Still, I'm ready to start obeying and changing. As a Christ-follower, that's what I'm called to do.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Faltering strength

"If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!" - 24:10

This verse may seem kind of obvious. Still, it gave me something to think about. I like to think of myself as a strong person. This verse tells me that I'm not. I've been blaming my eating habits on dad's cancer, followed by his death, combined with the pregnancy... Just because times are tough, it doesn't give me an excuse to gorge myself on food. Maybe I should quit thinking so highly of myself. Reality is that I have weaknesses just like everyone else. It's time for some change.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Those who suround me

"Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags." - Proverbs 23:19-21

It certainly helps with who we surround ourselves with. We all have "food pushers" in our life. When we are with people who don't think about eating right, we don't want to think about eating right. When we surround ourselves with people who want to have healthy habits, we ourselves want to have healthy habits. It's funny how we change who we are for the people we are around. Well, not really funny...interesting is more the word. We do it with our speech, our actions, and how we eat. It's all connected.

Be wise...

Keep your heart on the right path...

Good advice especially when the alternative could lead to poverty.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Note well what is before you

"When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony." - Proverbs 23:1-2

This verse reminds me to think about what I'm going to eat before I eat it; to plan ahead. Parties/social situations are some of the most difficult situations for me to face. I see the feast and want to eat it all in mass amounts. If I instead take the time to look things over and make wise choices, I feel better as a whole.

I haven't thought too seriously about putting a knife to my throat but that certainly is a vivid picture for me to think about. Gluttony is a serious sin. One it's time I face up to.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I devour it all

"In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has." - Proverbs 21:20

It never fails. If there is some type of treat in my house, I want to eat it all at once. My daughter brought home cupcakes that she won from a cake walk the other night. My younger daughter ate two and I asked my oldest if she wanted her second one. "No, I want to save it," she said. Save it, huh? That thought never really crosses my mind. I told her if she doesn't eat it today, it's going in the garbage. I simply cannot have sweets around.

Cupcakes, cookies, chocolate, etc. All of these things are literally devoured by me. It would be much better if I saved (or stored) these for a special occasion. Sounds like my 6-year-old might have more wisdom than her mother (at least on this topic).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dry crust v. Strife

"Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife." - Proverbs 17:1

I just really related to this verse for some reason. I think because when I'm trying to come up with a decent dinner, sometimes I'm so unkind. I'm feeling hungry... the kids are hungry... we're all a bit crabby... Rod might be running a little late... the baby is tired... The dinner hour is hectic!

Dry crust (or something simple and not quite as tasty) is better than a feast if it helps me be a little bit kinder to those around me. Not to mention when I eat healthy, rather than feasting every day, I'm a nicer person as well.

It would do my family well if I learned to exercise some self-control and feed us simpler healthier meals without the strife.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Motives and Success

"All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." - Proverbs 16:2-3

It is so easy to excuse away my bad eating habits. People try to be nice and tell me I just had a baby, that I look good, etc. Truth is, it all may seem innocent but I know what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. God knows, too.

Being thin is not motivating enough for me to lose weight. Even being healthy is not motivation enough (although it's a better reason than being thin). The most effective motivation is that my life must honor God. Gluttony is sin. I must change. I can excuse my eating habits away for whatever reason but God knows my true motives and it's about time I own up to them as well.

If I commit to the Lord my weight loss goal (as long as it is realistic, I will succeed).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sluggish Cravings and Diligent Desires

"The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied." - Proverbs 13:4

I have so many days where I feel sluggish. Maybe it's because I have three kids. Truly, I believe that much of this is connected to what I eat.

And the cravings. Oh, the cravings. So often, what I crave is not what I am truly looking for. I just keep eating and eating thinking I'm craving something and yet I'm never satisfied.

This verse reminds me that when I'm reaching for food out of boredom, I must stop and change direction. I need to be diligent and get something accomplished instead. Much of the time I am eating for some emotional need, out of boredom, when I really just need to sleep or because I've formed a bad habit.

I'm attempting to ask myself why I am reaching for food and then finding something more productive to do with my time. It's much more satisfying!

Friday, February 6, 2009

God sees my lack of discipline

"For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and He examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly." - Proverbs 5:21-23

It seems like any time we have some sort of treat in the house, I wait until I'm all alone and "sneak" some of it. When no one is looking, I'll walk over to the fridge or pantry and quickly eat it thinking no one sees. My husband has actually commented that I have a "guilty" look on my face at different moments due to this. In reading this verse, I'm reminded that despite what I think I may be "sneaking", God still sees all that I do. Remembering this might just help me the next time I hear the chocolate calling from the pantry while the girls are being put to bed by their daddy.

Many people talk about losing weight for their health. We hear how they want to lose weight so they can be around to see their childs' weddings or meet their grandchildren. This verse tells me I will die for lack of discipline.

It's my own fault. I can't blame my eating habits on the fact that, while vacationing, my dad used to have us eat a big breakfast and then wait to eat again until dinner. I can't use the excuse that my mom medicated me with Fudgesicles after a bicycle accident. I can't blame it on the fact that I was raised going to smorgasbords which taught me to stuff as much in as possible in one sitting. I've tried to blame everyone and everything. I can give an excuse every time. Truth is, I choose to overeat. I choose the path of gluttony. I choose not to be disciplined. I am led astray by my own great folly. It's time for a change. I need to quit with the excuses.

God sees me...even when I try to quick shove that miniature candy bar into my mouth by the side of the fridge and then hide the wrapper in the garbage. Yes, I've had three kids. Yes, my dad and my father-in-law both died of cancer. That doesn't give me a reason to medicate myself with food. It's time for some discipline. It's time for some change.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Book of Proverbs and My Friend, Food

The Bible has so much to say about changing my relationship with food. In particular, I thought I'd share some verses over the next few days that stood out to me while reading from the Book of Proverbs last month.

If you want to read the Bible but really just don't have any idea where to start, I highly recommend this reading plan. One chapter of Proverbs each day of the month. It was such a great month in terms of hearing God's voice and seeing specific applications for my life.

God has so much to say to us about our lives. We often hear insight from other people or share our own "wisdom" and think we just found out something wonderful. Truth is, God's probably said it first and we just don't know where exactly to pinpoint it in His Word. If you struggle with food, I hope these verses help you. They've been a huge help to me (although it is still a struggle for me every moment).

Tomorrow, the first verse from Proverbs that made an impression on me about my friend, food...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Life goes on

It feels like so much has happened in life since last February. It's almost a blur. It seems so surreal still.

Tonight we went to my mom's for dinner. I took Jaycie to the bathroom at one point and there was a ceramic Easter basket on the counter. I had already walked by it a couple of times and didn't think anything about it. Until Jaycie asked about it, that is. "What is that?" she inquired. "That's an Easter basket," I told her. "We bought it for Papa and put hugs & kisses in it for him."

Walking back upstairs, I felt myself choke up. Little things can bring tears. After his initial bouts of chemo, the decision was made not to have close contact with him when his blood counts were low in order to protect him from infection. Now it's just a little memory of something we did for him. Nikelle and I would bring hugs & kisses and place them in the Easter basket each time we visited rather than give him actual hugs & kisses.

I've been thinking about my dad a lot lately. For me, it's a strange reality every day. That he never met Andelise... that life still goes on... that it's almost been a year and he has not been a part of so many memories...that we're learning to cope...that it still hurts so much...that it gets a little easier each day...that there are days where grief still overwhelms...I'm sure we'll always miss him...some days more than others.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

More weird dreams

A couple of nights ago I had another dream. This time, I informed Rod that I heard a noise in the van in the garage. He went to check on it. When he opened the trunk, a guy came out swinging a huge log splitter (axe/sledgehammer type of combination) at him. Rod swung something back at them and they fought for awhile. In my dream, the guy actually hit Rod with this thing and Rod fell to the ground. At this point, I thought the guy was coming towards the garage door which leads into the house. I looked at the girls and went to close the door and lock it. Instead, the guy reached for the garbage can so he could use the garbage bag for Rod. At this point I woke up.

Last night, I woke up on the sofa after falling asleep in front of Monk. I was dreaming that Michelle Obama and I were friends. (We had just seen some desserts on the television that I said I'd take both of. Rod informed me that it was one of Michelle Obama's favorite restaurants.)

Conclusion: falling asleep in front of the T.V. leads to some weird dreams.