Food on the Floor: And other Ways of Escape (Sugar Sober Series)

Tonight, it was my husband who saved me from myself.

I wanted another large tea (unsweet, of course) on my way home. And if I’m going through a drive-through. I might as well pick up a cheeseburger, too. I was starting to get hungry. And it had been a hard day.

I counted out enough change from the bottom of my purse for the treat. No trace of it on a debit card that way. My own secret indulgence.

Not sugar. But addict behavior, nonetheless.

And then he called. My husband’s ringtone coming from the passenger seat.

I am only a block from McDonalds.

And by the time we finished the conversation, I am nearly home and already past every fast-food restaurant.

This time, my husband’s voice became my way of escape.

But it’s sometimes been a missing debit card. A broken milkshake machine. Power outage. Going back for a 2nd helping and finding it already gone. Food falling on the floor.

God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Sometimes “Just Say No” works to push back the lions of addiction.

Sometimes God gets creative with a way of escape.

But there is always a way. If I take it.

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sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

What Does God Sound Like? (Sugar Sober Series)

I have become pretty comfortable using language that I “heard from God” or “The Spirit said to me…” But they are not words I take lightly. I know many people struggle with discerning when The Spirit is speaking to them. Some wonder if it’s even possible.

And if God is to be my Shepherd, my Coach, how do I know what He sounds like?

First, let us be assured that we CAN know His voice. That He desires that we do, and that He will keep pulling us closer until we know that we know that we know it is Him.

For a shepherd comes through the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  He walks ahead of them; and they follow him, for they recognize his voice. They won’t follow a stranger but will run from him, for they don’t recognize his voice. (John 10: 3-5)

I have learned, over time, that hearing from God, for me, often involves goose bumps, tears, or other emotional reactions. When my HEART is pierced by a message, it’s usually The Spirit.

It also has a hush to it. Even if it comes through loud and clear, His voice silences the others. Everything else vanishes. It’s almost slow-motion.

One of my friends told me she sometimes hears a game-show style “ding, ding, ding” when she’s supposed to pay attention. I love that.

Because God is so very personal, you will hear Him in your own way, so I asked some other friends to share their insights. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in one of these.

* The voice is always a good thought, idea, or word. It usually comes from left field. Something that comes in (even interrupts) your thought process. He speaks in dreams, through others, and situations, and, of course, His Word!

* God always sends me a song when I’m going through hard times. The song might be sung at church, the radio, my music channel, or I might wake up singing it. I’ve learned to pay attention to a song that I wake up with…it will usually speak to a certain situation during the day.

* God speaks to us in ways very specific to us and in terms we understand. It isn’t the voice of James Earl Jones, but it sounds like me (my voice) yet smarter and wiser. It is a direction, revelation, encouragement, hope, conviction (not condemnation). It is courage, boldness, or abandonment. It is the opposite of a flesh that would otherwise give council to guard, protect, attack, quit, defend, judge… The voice of God in me is not selfish or self-centered. The voice of God always benefits someone other than me. Yes, it’s through dreams, visions, other people, but also it is in me, in my inner most being — my gut if you will. I know the character of God therefore I know the voice of God. And He is way nicer than I am!

So how does this work when it comes to approaching God with each decision? Even each food decision.

For me, God has set some basic rules. Eat only when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. He sets other standards that aren’t moment-by-moment negotiable — like staying Sugar Sober for these 31 Days.

But most everything else is situational and individualized.

It may sound absurd, but I do, in fact, look for his signals on very specific food choices.

A Diet Coke today may not be suitable tomorrow. Which is the better breakfast choice — oatmeal or chicken biscuit? It depends. Where should I go for lunch? Should I have a second helping?

I ask, and He is faithful to answer.

Then the decision is not about nutrition or diet plans or the knowledge of men — it becomes only about one thing.

Will I obey?

Please don’t get me wrong. God is not a Magic 8 ball to which I can ask a question and shake for an answer. He’s FAR TOO INTIMATE for that.

But He DOES speak. About Every.Single.Little.Thing.

When we listen.

 

How do you discern God’s voice? Please share in the comments, reply on Facebook, or send me an email. 

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sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

The Shepherd Leads & I Will Let Him (Sugar Sober Series)

 

When Derek Jeter retired from baseball earlier this year, he had stepped into a Major League batters box 12,602 times. More than a third of the time, he got on base.

He had great game awareness, ball placement, situational understanding, and pure talent. Unarguably one of baseball’s greats. A future Hall of Famer.

So why did he need Rob Thomson?

Who?

Rob Thomson. The Yankees third base coach for the last six seasons.

The one who communicates the plays. The one who dictates a swing vs. a take. The one who signals hit-and-run. The one who relays countless messages to batters and base-runners alike.

The one Derek Jeter deferred to.

Standard rules apply in baseball. 3 strikes for an out. 4 balls is a walk.

The game also has rules of thumb. Typical, but not hard and fast. When the count is 3-0, take a pitch. Don’t bunt with 2 outs.

But most of baseball is about strategy based on the situation. What you did at the last at bat may not work this time.

You have to check with the coach every single visit to the plate. Sometimes every pitch.

Because no matter how much wisdom you have. Or talent. Or luck. Or experience. You still can’t see the whole field all the time. And you aren’t privy to the entire game plan.

God is my Third Base Coach.

He directs my actions. He is the guard at the gate of my lips. Saving me from myself. On my own, I might make decisions for the moment, not for the good of my long-term self.

So I check in. I follow His lead.

I Can’t. He Can. I Will Let Him.

(Tomorrow… How can I understand His signs & What does every moment surrender look like for me?)

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sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

For When the Lions Circle (Sugar Sober Series AND Word of The Week)

psalms 23-5(…continued from Day 25. If you haven’t read it yet, please start there.)

Fighting lions is serious business.

They stalk. They are stealthy. They are patient, watching for a moment of weakness in their prey. Once you actually spot them, it’s already too late.

The apostle Peter reminds us the only way to be on appropriate alert is to BE SOBER.

“Be well-balanced (temperate, sober of mind, be vigilant and cautious at all times, for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger) seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 – Amplified)

Fortunately, the sheep are never asked to fight the lions alone.

That is Shepherd work.

And I am a sheep of The Good Shepherd.

The Shepherd who prepares a table for me in the midst of my enemies. Even as the lions circle on the high places, He makes a safe, soft, lush place for me to live and sleep and eat. (Surely it’s no mistake God keeps speaking to me in the language of food!)

Alertness to addiction will be my challenge always. The lions will never stop. It’s their job to prowl. And they are so, so good at it!

Even so, I can ENJOY food. I can CELEBRATE its tastiness. I can approach the table UNAFRAID. Because my Jesus will keep the lions of addiction at bay.

The first 3 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous (and other 12-Step groups) only make sense to me as a package deal.

I Can’t. God Can. I will let Him.

Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way. You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies. You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow!

Again, I proclaim — I cannot save myself. Praise Jesus, I have a Savior.

I Can’t. He Can.

(Join me on Day 27 for more on “I will let Him”)

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sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

I am an Addict; But Addiction is not Me (Sugar Sober Series)

I can’t get the mug shot out of my mind.

Prescription fraud. Doctor “shopping.” Trafficking. Endangering a child by switching his Tylenol with codeine for a different substance that made him sick. (Presumably so she could have the codeine for herself.)

The news story stops me in my tracks.

Because I know her.

Several years ago, I met with her and her husband repeatedly for a business transaction. She was working in a job she loved and was perfectly suited for. They were expecting a baby. They were just like thousands of other young couples in America.

I enjoyed my time with them so much. I watched them cherish and love on that baby, and they celebrated his accomplishments as he grew. The husband called me a couple of months ago for some business advice. He sounded great, and I was happy to hear from them.

But there was a surgery. Prescription painkillers. Addiction. Addiction-driven decisions. Arrest. Prison is likely.

It was the moment I think I finally understood what it means to be powerless.

Because addiction is a beast. And it does not play favorites.

Addiction does not spare the happy family. Or the doting mom. Or the accomplished professional. Or the faithful Christian. Or the “good girl.”

It can strike anyone. Anytime. For any reason.

I have not been spared. I am powerless. (Step One)

Addiction is kind of like having a pet lion.

When it’s a cub, you can pretend its just a regular cat. It’s comforting and warm and snuggly. And easily managed.

But it’s still a lion. And as you and he grow together, no matter how much you think that lion doesn’t really want to hurt you, he can only ever become the ferocious predator he is. You will quickly become overmatched.

And it will be time to remove the lion from your house and ban him from return.

The lion that feels like family, even when it hurts you. The lion who is nothing more than a predator lying in wait, even when it looks comforting and harmless.

The lion you have come to identify so closely with that you start to believe maybe it can be tamed. Maybe you can change your own behavior to make it safe. Maybe you can keep it and your sanity, too.

But you can’t.

Because lions weren’t meant to be pets. And addiction isn’t your friend.

When I was living with the idea that I was the addiction. That I caused the addiction. That I was wrong and weak and incapable of self-control, it was a nasty circle of beating myself up and then looking to the addiction to comfort me again.

Like any bad relationship, a cycle of I need you to go. No, wait, come back. We can be different this time.

But I can’t.

Because while I am an addict, addiction is not me.

I may have invited it in, yes. I may have made excuses for it, and myself, over the years. I may even like its company most of the time.

But now I can see. Addiction is in me, but not of me.

When I begin to think of food addiction as a foreign invader in my space (no matter how comfortable I have become with it), it is significantly easier to consider the need to exorcise it from my being in order to restore myself to health — in body, mind, and spirit.

It brings me to a place where I am ready to say that I have no more control over my addiction than I would over an attacking lion. I cannot save myself.

Praise God, I have a Savior.

(to be continued…)

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sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

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