Legalism?, talking snicker eggs, and speaking OUTLOUD

Okay, I admit it! I did buy the Snicker Easter Eggs for me. I had planned on making the big kids (my hubby and I) and Easter basket for Sunday.

I didn’t hear them audibly in Target, but I should have known better than to bring those little deceivers home with me.

Late last evening I returned to the kitchen to refill Isaac’s sippy cup, and I heard strange sounds coming from the mud room. The Snicker Easter Eggs were calling my name! I decided to send one south to my stomach cavity.

Awakening this morning, I heard them again! I was in a rush to get out the door, and before I realized it I had eaten two for breakfast.

As I brushed my teeth – I felt guilty and much condemnation.

I thought…
“I am just going to give up for today. This day is shot. I might as well just enjoy myself (eat a lot) and start another day on this journey to wellness.”

Strangely enough, I decided to talk to Jesus. You see, usually I ignore the subject / sin and therefor find myself avoiding intimacy with God. Then the downward spiral / cycle continues.

I felt the Lord impress on my heart…
“Darci, this is a journey. You are already on it. How many calories are in those eggs?”

I ran to check the nutritional info… 150 each , for a total of 300 calories.

“Darci, How many calories do you usually eat for breakfast?” The Lord asked.

“Around 300″ I replied.

Immediately I felt the weight of failure lifting. My day wasn’t ruined. I just had to continue in better choices for wellness.

“Is this legalism Lord?” I asked.

I have spent the remainder of this day pondering this question. Why are my thoughts so strange and my rationalizations so irrational? I have a religious history of legalism. Is this legalism?

Why is it that I feel like I am an “all or nothing” success or failure based on my actions? Then I cycle in defeat and wrestle to make the next best choice for me. I am left repeatedly making bad choices. Self destruction mode. Strange.

I know God loves me no matter what. He isn’t looking for performance, only faith. Why and what am I doing Lord?

Anyone out there relate?

I feel like I am going crazy in my mind – kinda the same craziness I felt in my grief when I didn’t understand myself or my actions.

Help me JESUS!

When I wrestle with confusion and sin, I know to cling to scripture and speak God’s word out loud.

So, here’s to today:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

As I finish typing, temptation strikes. They are calling me again. I just spoke this verse outloud! It changes things. I really am in a battle, and wrestling. I must fight with my Sword of the Spirit – GOD’s Word!

To fierce fighting my friends in your own battles … keep speaking out loud!

thou wilt show me the path of life

Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

The media has many “fixes” for our problems. After reading Psalm 16:11, God impressed upon me to not go searching for the newest fix, but to trust Him for my journey to wellness.

I have purposed to be in HIS presence with my quiet time and throughout my day. In HIS presence, I know HE will guide me with His plan for me to get well. I desire to be filled to fulness with HIS joy, rather than trying to fill myself with things of this world.

Spiritually, I plan to:

have my quiet time daily, preferably at 6am.

read daily “The Bible in One Year in chronological order”

journal and do my Believing God, Beth Moore Bible study as I can

memorize a scripture a week that I can speak out loud in this spiritual battle against my stronghold to food and self-destruction

However, I cannot begin this journey to wellness without addressing diet and exercise. To succeed, additional action must be taken! I must pick up my mat and walk. Lord, please give me your wisdom!

There are many great diet plans out there. I know, I have done many of them. Trim for Life, Weight Watchers (too many to count), LA Weigh Loss, Atkins, South Beach, diabetic exchange, and the Zone. I even tried the Christian versions with Weigh Down and First Place. They all are good, and they all work when implemented. What will I eat?

In the realm of food, I’ll try to:

wait until my stomach audibly growls before eating

take my multivitamin and probiotics daily

drink more water

omit simple sugar

choose higher fiber items, with whole grain complex carbs

watch carbohydrate intake like I did during my pregnancy

eat the smallest amount possible to feel satisfied and not hungry

use to track eating and learn healthier choices

I am an athlete. Well, I once was an athlete. I still am an athlete at heart, but at eighty pounds overweight, it is very difficult for me to even attempt athletics. I have trouble buckling my bra, twisting backwards, my thighs chaffe, and my wrists can barely hold me up doing “Christian Yoga”. I desire to be a fit mama, and do all things my boys do as they grow up. Where do I begin? I know I must move more on this journey to wellness.

In the realm of physical activity, I purpose to:

exercise a minimum of 15 minutes a day

spend 10 minutes with each child alone doing something

May these be guidelines on my journey to wellness. This is not a legalistic list of to-do’s.

May I live in the Lord’s strength.

the beginning… “yes, God.”

Everything begins with a first step. The first action taken. Placing one foot in front of the other and holding Jesus’ hand, I begin my journey to wellness.

Over the past month, I have been conversing with God about my physical wellness. He prodded me to do this blog as an aide along this journey. I answer, “Yes, God.” An act of obedience. I don’t want to blog such a personal subject. I have succeeded and failed many times in the past with wellness. I may fail again and everyone will know it.

Yet, “IT” isn’t a secret. Anyone who has eyes to see, can look at my physical appearance and conclude I have “issues” with food. If you consume more calories than you expend, you will enlarge.

I know ….. I have had 5 babies, with my oldest being 7. However, repeated over-indulgence of food and out of control eating cannot be blamed on pregnancy.

Usually, I am REAL and transparent with people. I encourage others to live an authentic life, to “be REAL”. Over the past 2 years, without hesitation I’ve shared my grief journey openly with anyone interested. Grief, is my reaction to God’s sovereign plan, and it is healing to share the experience.

I have great hesitation to BE REAL with my food issues. My food addiction and cycle of self destruction are personal habitual sins that appear self-inflicted. I feel it is something I should have control over, and I don’t want anyone to know about it. Pride? Embarrassment? What do you think?

I believe my reaction to never disclose my journey to wellness is evidence that I am in bondage. The sin-blame-guilt-shame-unbelief cycle of a stronghold. Well, no more evil one! I know this journey to wellness will continue until I reach Glory with Jesus – where I will be 100% well. However, in Christ’s strength I can be victorious in conquering this stronghold of sin. May this blog bring my sin into the LIGHT, and may I be FREE.

My “issues” have been lingering my lifetime. In fact, food issues and the use of substances to soothe, are woven throughout my family history on both sides. Relatives obsessed with looks, exercise, and public approval. A history of using substances to relax, achieve fun, and numb pain. By elementary school I was already one of the less “frail” girls, or “big boned” as I was told. I went to a “fat farm” in eighth grade, where I shed 30 pounds. A rigorous athletic sport schedule combated my bad food habits, but when it ended, the weight crept back on. My food habits caught up to me. Throughout college and my 20-somethings I desired to lose weight. I’d gain 20 and lose 20 again and again. Multiple pregnancies caused weight gain, and in time I’d lose it. When my two year old died during my fourth pregnancy, my stronghold and grief co-existed, and now two years – two babies later I am left with 75 pounds to lose!

I want this cycle to end and never return.

The Lord has revealed to me, that is a cycle of a stronghold. I repent, and temporarily break-free from my food addiction Then under stress and circumstances, I choose to use food to comfort, entertain and fill. I end in a pit of consequences, guilt, shame, and unbelief that I can ever be free. I then accept the position of defeat. Living inside my pit, I then choose to continue to not care for myself, eat more because I like food or deserve it, and then have more consequences for my choices. I delay climbing out of my pit …. maybe tomorrow – but today I will indulge. Twisted thinking – I am not going to exercise because I didn’t eat well today already, and the day is ruined? It’s a bad eating day, so I mind as well “get my full” and try better tomorrow. I am starting to eat well on Monday, so I need to enjoy this weekend! Finally, I am drained energy and have little left of myself to give to those around me. Depressed, drained, and unhealthy.

Food? I wonder if you are thinking – all this about food? I’ve thought that before. Not sex? alcohol? drugs? A FOOD addiction? Yup, food. I believe the evil one uses the most innocent anythings to distract us from worshipping GOD 100% and allowing Him to completely fill us. There is nothing new under the sun. The serpent deceived Eve from the beginning and continues to use whatever means necessary to deceive and distract us today.

I don’t understand all of this. I am only beginning to recognize the facts – the cycle. I’ve heard admittance is the beginning of healing? I pray so. I pray I will understand more and the LORD will teach me why I do what I do. I pray HE will show me my path to wellness, and how to stay far away from my pit in the future.

Thanks for listening. Please comment. Have you struggled with anything similar? Anyone? I CANNOT believe the lie that I am the only one.

the entry that started this journey

This is my private journal entry that started this blog …. Feb 2008

“One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” ….Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” John 5:5-6,8 (NIV) emphasis added

“Do you want to be well?” the words of Jesus penetrated my entire being as my husband read these Scriptures in family worship. I listened as I nursed the baby, another day in my postpartum fog. Soon I’d find my next “fix” for a good feeling – food. The postpartum blues. Was Jesus speaking directly to me this morning? OF COURSE I WANT TO BE WELL!

Yesterday …… “I’ll take a blueberry muffin, a boston cream donut, a glazed donut, and a hot chocolate,” I ordered. I had a 45 minute wait in the van while the big boys were at karate. I had just over indulged at home on a chocolate bar, leftover pizza, and I can’t remember what else. Oh, the what else was pizza and spinach dip with chips for lunch. This quick jaunt to Duncan Donuts was all for me. I sat in the van and ate. I then drove home and served my family dinner. Of course then dessert. I have “issues”.

Issues: Me, turning to food for something -I don’t understand what. This is an all too familiar scenario these postpartum days. A yummy flavor, comfort, a seratonin rise?, some medical reason?, just because I CAN, or because I am trapped in the sin of gluttony?

I do have “circumstances”. I am 10 weeks postpartum with baby #5 (oldest being 7). Winter is a difficult time of year for me as we are inside with minimal sunshine. The holiday festivities, mild postpartum depression, and February marks 2 years since my dear son Tucker died at age 2 1/2. We all have circumstances, and we always will.

We also all have sins that hold us strongly when we indulge them. They begin small and innocent. That’s how the evil one deceives and lies. This is okay for others, just a little more won’t hurt, come on just one time for fun, you deserve it, forget about your responsibilities for a moment. It then takes over, and there we are, in our pits.

Pit : a concealed hole in the ground used as a trap; a pitfall.

The evil one hits us when we are weak, and weak I am.

Yesterday, I listened to my sweet girlfriend talk about her husband’s abuse of alcohol and illegal recreational drugs. “What a shame he is “using” to cope with “life”. He just needs Jesus” I thought. I had an instant, Holy Spirit, flick – I HAVE JESUS!!!! BUT WHY AM I “USING” FOOD? I have no excuse!

I’ve heard HIM whispering lately. I am in my pit..and the whisper seems distant. Each day comes and I decide that tomorrow I will turn from my sin, just one more day of being out of control. Just one more indulgence. It’s legal. I am not hurting anyone other than myself. Irrational rationalizations.

Familiar territory. Once in the pit, I forget how to get out. The getting out seems less attractive than the temporary enjoyment of sin. In fact, I don’t believe I will ever get out. Then guilt, defeat, lack of confidence, condemnation, and more lies. The classic devil-invented, addiction – stronghold cycle. I give up.

I’ve kept my Bible at a distance, shirking my morning quiet time, and have feasted only on secondary meat – the bare bone scraps of worship music and scripture spewing from my husband and kiddos.

Three cupcakes and two cookies: eaten in secret… this was just my breakfast. My household is still and quiet this morning. I catch a quick shower before the baby needs mama’s milk. The shower is refreshing. I sense the LORD speaking to my heart, so many impressions. I am in a deep PIT, and HE is so good to still love me.

I am driven to my computer to write this. I am reminded of His love.

“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28-29 NLT

In my self-inflicted PIT, HE loves me

How am I in this pit again? I didn’t wake up one morning and choose … “I think today I will go get in that all too familiar pit, because I like it, because it feels good, because Jesus isn’t enough!”

Jesus IS enough. I know He is.

“Okay Lord – I will take action. I do want to be well. I will pick up my mat and walk. I will obey Your voice, and begin my journey to wellness.”