Are you a little insane?

You know how insanity is defined as “repeating the same behavior or action and expecting different results”.

I would find myself doing exactly this in my struggle with food, the same thing over and over and over… and you know it… always the same results.
When it comes to loosing weight without falling back into eating disorders, I always have to have a little walk down memory lane to keep me from repeating the same mistakes. I tend to do this little walk at the beginning of the year, after falling back into some unhealthy eating habits over the holidays.

I would go down my list of things that worked: Juice fasts, liquids only, no carbs, diet pills… In the past I would grab onto one of these, just to find myself in a nasty eating disorder cycle of fasting and binging, and as a result months of agony. Now off course diet pills worked very well, and also a few other dangerous methods, but it was also a path of insanity, leading to only one thing: Health deterioration and a good chance of dying. So when I start to weigh my options I try to remember that it was always the same story, quick results initially followed by a heap of misery and extra weight in the end.

Now the more important question, the one I am supposed to ask: What did I do in the past to get weight off and keep it off, without spiraling into an eating disorder or knocking at death’s door? Only one thing: The thing my impatient nature does not want to hear about. The only thing that really worked was me eating healthy every day, exercising at least 4 times a week and getting rid of sugar and white flour. It worked, for six months or even a year at a time: I would loose the weight, I would not have anymore sugar cravings, I would be able to eat anything, and the anxiety would be gone.

Now, if this worked, then why did I fall back? Why couldn’t I keep it up forever?
Simple: I became insane again. Every time I would get greedy, wanting more weight loss and wanting it NOW! Every time I would reach for the same things I’ve done so many times before, expecting different results this time. I would reason that maybe the pills will make me skinny without killing me this time. Or, the weight loss on a low carb diet will stick and I won’t start craving big chunks of bread this time. I would reason that doing the same things and getting the same miserable results is perfectly normal

I’m on the track of sanity again. May God help me to stay sane this time. In fact, keeping close to Him keeps me sane, and I know it! It’s when I crawl out from under that Everlasting wing that the enemy gets me alone and whispers to me to try the same stuff again so that the insanity can prevail.

The agony of New Year’s resolutions!!

You know it, we all make it, sometimes we really mean it, yet we hate it because it tends not to last.

There reason: We want big results in little time!
According to research the two most popular New Year’s resolutions have to do with more money and less weight.
Now here’s the catch, both involve work. Not so much lots of work in a short period of time, but rather steady, consistent work over a long period of time. You know the kind: It wears you down, it makes you want to pull out your own hair and it never feels like normal living.

Yet, the people who study when others watch TV gets the degrees, the dream jobs and eventually (after much pain and agony) the big bucks. Also, and of course the BIG ONE: The people who go to the gym when others sleep in, eat the salad when others say “Hey, it’s Valentines day, I need to treat myself”, over a period of time weigh less, feel less depressed, have less health problems, and as a result look and feel great.
So, now that you feel lousy about your secret couch potato life (sorry), what to do…? We know it, we have to be consistent, but it’s hard, it can in fact be excruciating…

Last night while laying awake because of coffee and birthday cake (yeah, I still eat that) way too late, I got this image in my head of a tiny speck of light. One day of my life, infused with just a few good things: taking care of my body, soul, and spirit (exercise and eating well, spending time with God, and in my case, writing) can turn on a small light. Now that light doesn’t matter much at all, and is in fact almost invisible in a big darkness of 365 days. However, and I know you’re starting to get the picture, if I string them together it can make a big bright light. And even if I skip a few, you won’t even notice because the bright light will overpower the few dark days.
The biggest problem for me: I don’t value every little light. I think today’s light is too small to make any difference and therefor I might as well give up. So I keep living for tomorrow when I will change things, but tomorrow will never be enough on it’s own, I have to string it to today and all the other little yesterdays that were lit up. More importantly, I have to ignore the in between days, not focus on those dark days at all so that they can become less and not make me spiral down into weeks and months of darkness.

I need God to remind me, and we need to remind each other: Today matters! Today is all I have to shape my life! I have to turn this ship around ONE DAY AT A TIME! Just a little prayer, a little exercise, a little working on my dream, but I have to do it everyday to hold something beautiful in my hands at the end of this year.

I reminded you, why don’t you remind someone else…Think about it, talk about it, keep it alive:

My son’s offering

IMG_0443Today my 9 year old son did something that made me so happy.

I guess he was thinking about God for a few days, because he’s been asking questions about the rapture and he told me out of the blue that he really likes God. Now make no mistake, he has his moments, so little tokens like this makes me a very proud and happy mommy indeed.
He made a tiny basket and attached it to a helium balloon that we had floating around after a New Year’s Eve Party. He wrote a tiny note to God, wishing Him (God) Happy New Year and also told Him that he loved Him. I felt so privilege that he asked me to come and see the balloon float to heaven, and we ended up having a little church right there in our back yard. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I needed a touch from God, a special touch, and I got it. Right here, in the most unexpected way. While watching the balloon turn into a tiny speck, I imagined I could see the smile of God fill the heavens. I was so aware of His presence, His greatness and his love for me and my son in that moment.
Aren’t you grateful for times like this. It keeps us going, it gives us new hope, it strengthens our faith that waver so easily. I don’t want to seem greedy, but I found myself asking for more tokens of affection like that. In fact I’m sure I miss many of those, I don’t want to, I need to be reminded that God loves me and that He’s beauty is all around me.

Look for the little tokens of His love and beauty this year, it’s all around you too.

The Glue of our Lives

Ever noticed that we have a certain “glue” that keeps our lives together? Yes, we know that God is the ultimate “glue” that keeps everything together, but what I’m referring to is the glue that He gave to us to help Him make a beautiful work of art out of our lives.

Now, the part where the arts and crafts get a little tricky: Our glue does not come in identical Elmers bottles. Mine is very different from yours and what keeps my life together might leave yours in pieces.

What on earth am I babbling about?
I’m talking about the purpose, dreams, desires, and talents God issued to us individually. You see those are the things we are suppose to keep alive, cultivate, prune and water every day. So what is the glue: The things we put in place daily to eventually get to a dream, a desire a Godly calling is the glue that keeps us together.

I’ve figured out, after almost 40 years on this planet what my particular glue consists of. I actually have a very easy formula, nothing glamorous, and something actually quite attainable for the average human being. Some of my ingredients might actually be similar to yours, in fact I am convinced that one ingredient is part of everybody’s glue. So here goes:

Time alone with God, exercise, and making time to write something

Simple isn’t it? Or is it?
Would you believe me if I tell you that those are the most difficult things for me to get done, every day of my life. Step 1, 2 and 3. So easy, so doable, yet so impossible for me at times. It’s not even that I try and do it in a certain way, or at certain times, or legalistically in a certain order. No, I just try and get it done, because I know, without a shadow of a doubt that it keeps my life together. Yet, somehow, it’s always a battle.

I know why too. I’m in a battle. I have an enemy. Me, being on this earth, living at this time is not an accident. There is a reason I’m here, there is something I must do, there are some people I should love and some experiences I should be part of. A masterpiece is being created, one that can only be appreciated by the Master Artist of all time. All He asks of me is to add the glue, not perfectly, not even evenly, but it needs to be added to have a beautiful end result.

So never mind how many times I’m tempted to cast it all in the wind, give up, throw out the glue and make my own paste, I always return to the Master Artist for a new bottle of glue. He’s eyes are always smiling, reassuring me that I am forgiven and that He is proud of me for taking up the job as his apprentice, yet again. And then, immediately, peace returns and joy floods over me…

The tale of the Crazy Woman!

I can not believe how different two days can be. It makes me understand and love that verse about God’s mercies being new every morning so much more!

Yesterday was one of that Murphy’s law days for me: You know, everything that could go wrong indeed did go wrong!

By 10am I was ready to run into the mountains like a wild woman, screaming. Okay, fair enough, it was my first day of potty training my little girl and I also had some work to get done, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the day followed suit and by the evening I was ready to pull out my own hair. I did everything a good mother should never do, everything a good wife would not even think about, and everything a child of God is not suppose to do (well not everything, but you get the picture).
My little tree was standing barren in the winter sun without one ounce of fruit on it. The words peace, joy and especially self-control was so far removed from me that I could not fathom their meaning. In the midst of this I received devastating phone calls and news to the extend of my knees buckling under the burden. And so I did what every respectable lady should do: I clenched my jaw, buckled my belt (okay no belt) and I decided that I will show this day a thing or two. Needles to say, by the evening, after a rally with a few rude salespeople at the store and the worst customer service ever, I was ready to admit defeat. This day got the better of me. Some days I have absolutely NO control over anything, and the more I try the worse it becomes. I am after all not in control of my own life, and I am after all not as strong as I think I am. By 10pm I was a sobbing pile of misery.

Did I finally bent my knees and let it go? No off course not! I tried to see if the TV, my husband or a magazine could pull me out of my pit of despair: Yeah, you know it; no such luck!

It was only this morning that I got the message. Everybody was off to school and work and miraculously the little people in my house were still sound asleep. I heard it in the silence, I felt it in my bones: I need living water, I need to stop trying to control something that can not be controlled, I need to let God take over. I didn’t have to do much. I just laid down my weary head on a not-vacuumed carpet and let His mercies sweep over me…

And today? Today is a different day, packed with mercies and laden with fruit, and I’m grateful, because I’m well aware that tomorrow can be another “yesterday”. Then again, I was reminded of His mercies, and I’m not so afraid of tomorrow, because I’m not in control anyway…