Friends, Conviction & Encouragement

So, I’ve been struggling with life in general for the past year(s?).  I imagine that’s been painfully obvious in the content of my posts and/or the lack thereof.

The other day, I went to a baby shower for a friend.  I’d not seen most of the ladies there for 6+ months, since Hubby & I moved about an hour away from where they all live a year ago.

I was having a particularly unstable day, and I managed to completely lose it at the shower.  Literally cried for no reason in front of my friends, not to mention their moms/sisters.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  Not that it mattered!

I’d been looking forward to that day for weeks.  I’ve really missed those women; they’re nerdy in a way that just makes me smile.  My new group, while awesome, isn’t made up of the same type of people.  They’re all teachers, not nerds.  It may seem like all teachers are nerds, but I’ve come to think that there’s an entire sub-set of teachers that are really there because it’s a career that fits well with parenting.

Anyway, it sucked.  Big time.

A couple days later, one of the women (C) e-mailed me, asking if something was wrong.  It was so encouraging (and terrifying).  I can only think of one person almost asking that question in the past two years.  Well, I have to take that back; there is someone else who’s asked, but she has a habit of not keeping things to herself.  So, yeah.  I haven’t exactly bared my soul to her.

I pretty much told her what’s wrong, with one notable exception:  I really want to be a mom, and I’m not.  I suppose I could have, but, well – she’s pregnant, as were three of the other friends at the shower, and one has a newborn.  All four already have/had one child.

{Aside:  Ok, so that may have been a contributing factor to my breakdown.  Who’d have thought, right?}

Anyway, all that to get to this:  C said something that really struck a chord – a couple things, actually.

The Lord pressed into my heart that if I didn’t make time to do it [spend time in the Word] when I ‘didn’t have time’, then I’d never make time regardless of what my schedule looked like.  The idea was that if I can’t be trusted with a little (5 minutes of extra time), then how could I be trusted with a lot?

How incredibly, achingly, obviously appropriate.  And it applies to every aspect of life – spiritual, circumstantial, financial, emotional, responsibility…everything.  Why would God entrust me with children when I’ve not been trustworthy with my family as it is? What kind of a steward have I been?

The other thing He really pressed on me was what Bible study and quiet time were about.  They are about relationship with Him.  If I only get to see [my husband] for 5 minutes one day, do I say ‘well, that’s not enough time to go out to dinner or watch a movie, so what’s the point?’  Of course not!  I say ‘well, we’ve got 5 minutes.  Let’s hang out, chat, enjoy being together, and make the most of the time we have.’

Again, how incredibly, achingly, obviously appropriate.  And true.  And convicting.  This one scares me, though, because I have tried having a relationship with Him, and it’s like I’m just flailing around.  I want to be there, but I’m not sure how to get there.

So that’s where I am.  And my head really hurts.

I’m alive, and I’m trying.  Now I’ll try seeking in smaller bites.

Thanks for the hope, C.

“Free Indeed”

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. ~ Galations 5:1

Dear God,

Today I claim Your promise that You are able to free me from anything inside or outside myself that may be holding me captive.  I know that You are stronger than any habit, dependency, or destructive pull in my life.  When my enemies – temptations and old, bothersome habits of all kinds – attack, You are ready to save me if only I will call out for help.  Save me today, I pray.  Help me to do my part to stand firm and not slide back into slavery.  I don’t want to live there anymore.  Awesome God, because You have called me to freedom, I am free indeed!

Amen.

~ from The Dieter’s Prayer Book ~

“The Strength of My Heart”

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

~ Ps. 73:26

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty.  Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

I Cor. 9:24-27

Dear Lord,

Help me to understand this glorious truth:  Although I am called to exert effort on Your behalf, and mine, I am also called to depend completely upon You and Your strength.  Make Your strength my strength today.  You know how weak I am, how quickly my energy flags when my arms are not linked with Yours, when my soul is running on empty.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, with Your miraculous power and strength.  I surrender all that I am – and all that I am not, as well – to You, Lord.  Take me as I am.  Make me wholly Yours, and I will be whole.

Amen.

~ from The Dieter’s Prayer Book ~

“Temple Tending”

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. ~ I Cor. 6:19-20

Dear God,

Welcome to my heart, Your home!  How honored I am to know that Your Holy Spirit lives in me!  May this knowledge constantly remind and inspire me to treat my physical body with reverence – not to worship it, but to worship You and Your indwelling presence.  My body is just temporary, Lord.  Someday You will give me a new body, and I will see You face to face.  I can’t wait!  In the meantime, I offer my thoughts, my actions, my words, and my attitudes – all of me – to You.  Make me a living sacrifice, a lovely testament to the power to be found only in You.

Amen.

~ from The Dieter’s Prayer Book ~

Not so great a day today.  Still trying to deal w/ the unwelcome discovery from last night.  Helloooo, emotional eating attack!  I succumbed this morning – 2 monster cookies w/ eggs & 8 oz. coffee w/ whole milk & 3 T sugar for breakfast.  Lunch wasn’t so bad:  small PB&J sandwich, 3/4 an orange bell pepper, raw, 6 oz. strawberry yogurt, and 10 oz. cucumber water.

We have homegroup tonight.  I can’t for the life of me remember if our leader-ess will be cooking for us or not.  If not, then I’ll probably have a hot dog or sandwich with a yogurt for supper.  The Hubs fasts on Wednesdays, so I won’t have to worry about cooking for him.  I must admit, it’s nice to have a break from the constant planning & cooking!

Well, back to work.

“More Than Conquerors”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:37-39

Because of Christ’s work on the cross, you have inherited His conquering nature. Use it!  Live in His love, walk in His wake, and victory will be yours.

Dear God,

Help me to always remember and lay hold of the victory that can be – that is! – mine in Christ Jesus.  Too often I live like someone defeated, someone who is powerless to change.  Like a soldier who forgets his sword, I neglect your Word, leave Your love at the door.  It doesn’t have to be that way – and it won’t be anymore! 

For I am convinced – yes, absolutely and irrevocably convinced! – that neither death nor life, (not cancer, accidents, difficult relationships, or disappointments) neither angels nor demons, (not cults, spiritual oppression, or evil in the media) neither the present nor the future, (not any crisis looming now or any tragedy yet to come) nor any powers, (not political, financial, military, cultural, or even culinary!) neither height nor depth, (not great success or crushing defeat) nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus my Lord (from Rom. 8:38-39).

Amen!

~ from The Dieter’s Prayer Book ~

Today has been an interesting day thus far.  I woke up late, and therefore didn’t go to the gym. . . again.  My prayer partner checked up on me, too!  Glad she did, but. . . 😦

Anyway, I managed to finish most of my household chores this morning instead of a workout, and hope to do some exercise tonight.  I’m still not sure how that will look.  The Hubs & I may go for a walk or something.  We shall see!

As far as calorie intake goes, it’s not been so bad:

  • Breakfast:  PB Cap’n Crunch w/ skim milk; 8 oz. coffee w/ whole milk & 4 T sugar
  • Lunch:  PB&J on pumpkin rye, 1 small ear corn-on-the-cob (sans butter/salt), 1/4 C cottage cheese, 4 oz. water
  • Supper:  TBD (likely a salad & a hot dog)

One of the men in our homegroup has lost a significant amount of weight over the last year or so, and on Saturday he mentioned a website he’s used to track his calorie intake vs. output.  I’m considering asking him for the link.  We’re not very close, though, so I’m not sure if it’s. . . odd for me to request something from him.  It’d be nice to have something pre-designed to work with, though.  Obviously the things I’ve been creating aren’t functional/simple enough.

Anyway – back to work.  Good day to you, sirs and madams!

“Go to the Source”

Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,
And the strength of salvation;

The fear of the LORD is His treasure.

~ Is. 33:6

I suppose I shouldn’t find it surprising that this topic is showing up in yet another place in my life.  Everything we’ve been studying in The Key to Abundant Living and now Be Transformed is centered around God as the Source for the Christian Life.

Dear God,

I know that, first of all, You are the sure foundation of healthy, fulfilling, and meaningful living!  Grant me a willing spirit to make the most of what You reveal to me, and help me to apply sound principles in caring for my mind and my body.  I never want to waste my time on silly ploys or bad advice.  Instead, I will listen for Your voice, and I will hold up every idea to the light of Your Word.  Thank You that You are my closest confidant and my favorite partner.  You [work all things for my good], and You are always right!  Stay close to me today, and bless me with the treasures of Your presence, Your comfort, Your wisdom, Your power.

Amen.

~ from The Dieter’s Prayer Book ~

*emphasis added

“Destined for Fatness?”

Dear God,

As You know, some days I wish I looked different than I do, and I wonder if something got mixed up when You were choosing traits from my parents to give to me.  How good it is to be reminded, Lord, that You knew exactly what You were doing and that You ad me – exactly this me – in mind long before I came to exist!  So today I present myself to You – all that I am, genetically and physically – with a grateful heart.  Help me to be a good steward of my body.  Because You designed it, I want to celebrate, nurture, and respect it.  By Your power at work in me, I praise You for every molecule, gene, and freckle!

Amen

~ from The Dieter’s Prayer Book ~

Oatmeal for breakfast & leftover baked ziti for lunch.  I had a really tough time falling asleep again last night, so I’m running on about 4 hours of sleep.  I don’t function well on anything less than 7 hours.  As you may imagine, I’m a bit on the groggy / grumpy side today.  *sigh*

*emphasis added