Saturday, February 16, 2013

Choice

Have you ever met anyone who, given the choice, would CHOOSE to be irritable, achy (and not just a little achy), tired, discouraged, bloated and as a good friend recently described me - totally up and down?  I have.  Introducing - Me.  Those things don't sound like something anyone would CHOOSE, do they?  And how do I even know I have a CHOICE?  Well, because I have experienced life on the other side - for months at a time.  And, it is amazing!  I KNOW that I can feel energetic, motivated, painless (well, almost - I did take a nose dive off a 20 foot cliff), stable and consistently happier!  I've done it.  Then, I didn't.  Then, I did again.  What is IT?  Sugar.  Sugar and I are like two peas in a pod - except the pod squeezes the life out of me and I keep choosing to jump back in the pod.  My most recent success in the sugar area lasted almost 6 months and even my husband couldn't believe the difference in my overall personality.  It was funny to hear him describing how different I was to friends and even complete strangers (and a little sad too, picturing my pre-sugar free self).

This week I thought I'd relax a little on my sugar fast and I took a turn for the worse - immediately.  I am not kidding you, I can barely walk up my own stairs.  I started making plans for a one story house - but because we can't afford to move, I decided to move our daughter's room upstairs (though she's barely old enough to walk up them) and cram our washer and dryer (which currently resides in the basement) into our overcrowded bathroom.  Or, I could just stop eating the "white stuff".

In all honesty, I'm not exactly sure what the point of this blog post is.  For the most part my blog has been about counting blessings and contemplating my faith - but both of those are so much harder to do when my brain is foggy (and that is exactly how it feels when I'm eating too much sugar...which for me is pretty much ANY).  I guess I'm just ready to talk about it - so I've added a SUGAR WARS tab to my blog.  I don't have an outline or even a good idea of what I'm going to say - but I'm here and I'm ready to record and reflect my thoughts, feelings and maybe even a few recipes?  I hope I won't come across as an extremist (which is one thing that kept me from bringing this up in the past).  But you know what - in a way I don't mind being extreme - especially when I feel EXTREMELY better.

So here goes - today I'm ready to fight the sugar battle - again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Layered Gifts

I've recently been reading the book 7:An experimental mutiny against excess, by Jen Hatmaker, and once again have found myself completely convicted.  Actually if I'm honest, I go back and forth between laughing my head off (she is hilarious) and feeling convicted.

"7
 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence." (Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. )


This morning in my prayer closet (the shower) I was struggling with how much I have and how little I give.  Though Jen Hatmaker is in no way condemning (actually quite the opposite), I have a tendency to figure out a way to condemn myself without much prodding.  As I was beating myself up, I heard His still small voice (I think it was His, I never know for sure) whispering - "salvation is a gift - a layered gift".

When I was a teenager, my uncle proposed to my future aunt (in front of our whole family) with a layered gift.  I wish I would have counted the number of boxes she opened before she finally got to that beautiful ring, or I could have known how long it took my uncle to so tenderly wrap each one.  This box, inside a box, inside another box is what I'm referring to when I say a "layered gift"

Each time I learn something new and/or am convicted about a new subject within Christianity, I tend to wonder if my faith is real.  I think things like "If I was really  a Christian I would do __________, or I would not do ________"  However, this morning when I was tempted to go down that path I found myself reflecting on this "layered gift" analogy.  When someone gives you a "layered gift", it is yours the moment they hand it to you.  Though you may not experience the fullness of the gift until you've opened all the boxes, the gift immediately belongs to you.  

Salvation is a gift.  It is ours from the moment we believe.  As we grow in our faith and He reveals more of Himself and we become more aware of the sin He is asking us to let go of, we are simply unwrapping another layer of His AMAZING GIFT of salvation.  

Next time I come across another area in my life that needs work, instead of wondering if I "am even a Christian", I am praying that God will remind me that He has given me the gift of salvation once and for all.  I'm just unwrapping the next layer :).