Prepare yourself for an honest, heart-to heart blog...I need to write it but you are not obligated to read it! But, if you struggle with some area of your life, and sometimes it just feels so freakin' hard, read on...
So this morning, after a night when I should have just surrendered and gotten up and watched old movies, I read a section from Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, a fellow soldier in the war on satisfying our deepest desires with God and not other things.
The first part talked about man not living by bread alone, and that in itself was something to think about. But then it went on to say...from her heart...
"And I don't want this spiritual journey and the physical victories I've experienced to stop. So, the very next choice I make is a crucial one. Literally, it will determine if I am walking the path of victory or compromise. One wise choice can lead to two, can lead to three, can lead to a thousand, can lead to the sweet place of utter dependence on God and lasting discipline. A place more worthy than brief vacations every now and then. A place our souls were made to call home.
A place where discipline makes disciples who truly understand what it means to delight themselves in the Lord, for the Lord has been allowed to rewrite the desires of their hearts. It's a place not wrought with sacrifice but rather a place where they see healthy choices as overflowing blessings so pure and rich, they'd never trade them."
How does God know these things? Does He read minds? Does He sit there and look in a big book and say, "AHA! Today's the day I need to smack this one in front of her?"
Don't ever tell the Lord you want to hear from Him unless you mean business. He's way too good at what He does.
So, Hilton Head is coming up next week. Usually one of my favorite times of the year. All the things that bring me joy are there...family, bike rides, walks on the beach, my favorite garden center and birding spots...and restaurants that in the past have made my tummy sing.
And therein is the problem...
This year I don't want to go. There, I said it. I don't want to go. Ted knows it. I know it. And God knows it. Because this year it will not be the same. And I desperately miss the same old same old right about now.
Going this year involves bringing a boat load of food, spices, oils, blenders and slow cookers and mixers and a gazillion other things I need in order to prepare what I can eat. And we are in a third floor condo!
It means doing things differently...letting go of a lot of traditions and forming new ones...all of which sounds like a lot of work to me.
And it's all the fault of this eating plan I'm following. Have I told you before how much it consumes my life? How it seems every minute of every day is either spent thinking of when I need to eat, what I need to eat, what supplement to take, or what test to monitor? And money wise? Yeah, I could build a covered deck and re-roof my house and take a few cool trips for what this is costing me.
Today I'm trying to figure it out. I went to bed last night in tears, and it was all over 2 e-mails I had received...one saying that I will need to cook for myself on this vacation, but yes, I can cook one night for the others. We had always divided up the nightly meals to give each of us women a break...which was such a help!
And then I went on to read that one night we would be having pizza! And that's what sent me to bed in tears.
Don't get me wrong...I know the e-mails were written in love, by those not wanting to sabotage my way of eating...it's so ridiculously fine tuned that no one should have to embrace it.
And the pizza part? Hey, it's tradition! Along with ice cream in front of movies at night, and ice cream cones at Sea Pines, and lunch out with the girls after our day of bargain shopping.
You see, no matter how much people say they are proud of me, or encourage me, they can't understand how hard it is to live with a health issue that involves something you deal with on a daily basis and definitely can't live without. I mean, heroin addicts don't hang out in heroin dens when they are looking to heal, right? Or alcoholics in bars? But what do you do when your issue is food and it's everywhere and you've got to have it?
And it's such a social part of life...
And its smells hold memories that you can't stop from invading your mind no matter how hard you try...
And all the places you used to go to and love are no longer compliant and it is no longer a joy to go out, but a BIG DEAL...
Or someone says "We're having pizza!" and your world crumbles and for a few minutes or hours you wonder, "Is this really worth it?"
Honestly, I miss some foods. They were my comforters...my enablers...and even though I know they are killing me, it's hard to let go of years of friendship with them and now call them enemies.
So, me and my organic coffee with coconut milk and stevia are sitting here on the deck this morning trying to remember how I felt when my blood sugar was through the roof...my blood pressure in the red range... my weight going up and up. Was it really that bad back then? I mean, at least I got to do some really cool food eating! And you know, I never knew how sick I was because of the food I was eating...my body had just adjusted itself to sickness and called it normal.
Then the Lord smashed into my thoughts and brought to mind what happened last weekend when I tried to re-introduce eggs into my diet...a simple thing like eggs! I felt like I wanted to die. Those traitors, we have been best buds for years! And now they have gone rogue, too? I'm not sure if I was sadder about the sickness they brought on, or all the things it meant I could no longer make without them.
Anyway, back to what I read this morning...
First, "Man does not live by bread alone." Well, ain't that the truth? Haven't seen bread in any form for over a month and I'm sure I won't be seeing it...gluten-free or otherwise...for a very, very long time.
But I don't think it was the bread part God was stressing, important as it is...
It was this part I shared above...
"And I don't want this spiritual journey and the physical victories I've experienced to stop. So, the very next choice I make is a crucial one. Literally, it will determine if I am walking the path of victory or compromise. One wise choice can lead to two, can lead to three, can lead to a thousand, can lead to the sweet place of utter dependence on God and lasting discipline. A place more worthy than brief vacations every now and then. A place our souls were mad to call home.
How does He know about my vacation?
How does He know that all I have to do is hear the word home and my heart melts?
I'm glad I don't have to get myself or my act or my face together to meet with the Lord this morning...I'd never hear from him otherwise!
Once again, it's all about choices...discipline (shudder)...reaping what you sow...for good or bad.
And once again I'm called to look at my life through a different lens...not the rose colored ones I wore for years...
One that doesn't see pizza and cheese and ice cream as fun foods...good foods...celebration foods, but as poison for me...
Where salads and meats and vegetables are my friends...not my enemies...who desire good things for me, and not ruin...
Where good choices (and God knows how desperately I need His strength to make them)...one day...one meal at time...are the daily key to victory or failure.
I know to many of you, these issues seem like small ones...but to me they are giants...breaking the stronghold of 59 years of anything is ridiculously hard.
My daughter says, "Be honest and share" so I am.
I am not a super woman.
I am not stronger or more able to make good choices than the next person.
I'm me....fragile and weak and at times very lonely in this new way of living.
But I don't want it to rob me of my blessings...gifts that God has placed in my life abundantly so I can remember how rich I am and why life is still worth living no matter how hard it seems.
So, today I will choose to see Hilton Head as a blessing.
Just a different kind of blessing.
And I will choose to do something else the night all the others enjoy pizza...maybe sit by the pool and read and eat a salad. Me and God.
And I will, by God's grace, do life one meal at a time...one choice at a time...one day at a time.
That is my choice.