For When God Gets Loud. And Very Clear. (Word of The Week)

BeSoberWhen the opportunity was presented, I could hardly catch my breath. It was a goosebump, hair-raising unveiling of what felt like something even better than I had been hoping for. Like the round peg that has been living in the square hole would finally find a perfect home. A long-awaited answer to a deeply passionate prayer.

And then it didn’t happen.

My spirit grieved, and my body pouted. My mind was confused, and my voice cried out in anger and hurt and utter sadness. Another chance like this, I was convinced, would most certainly not come around again.

Had I misheard His promise  that He had heard my prayers? That His Spirit was blowing a fresh wind of change? That my calling had not passed me by? That He would redeem the square-hole days?

And though I have often prayed that God would be “loud in my head” rarely has He been so clear.

Why? I asked.
You aren’t ready, He said.
So what must I do to be ready, Lord?

BE SOBER

There was no question what He was telling me. That my life, my purpose, my calling could go no further until the chains of addition were broken. That they forever would hold me back from reaching anything more. That already, imprisonment to my flesh had kept opportunities and relationships from becoming all that He intended.

And my addiction is food.

I have lost weight before. I’ve even been sugar-free before. For a YEAR. But I’ve never been sober. Not really. Not in any kind of lasting and meaningful way. Not in the clear-headed, taking stock, treating this like a real recovery kind of way.

Sober is a serious word. And He said it’s time to get serious about it.

Even after hearing, I’ve balked at any kind of action for almost 2 weeks. Until I shared my story with a friend, and the moment I said “Be Sober,” her eyes filled with tears. Because she knew, in that instant, the message was meant for her, too.

So I’m bringing the very thing I prefer to keep in the dark right into the light.

You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)

I’m ready to be ready. I’m starting with Sugar. And committing to be Sugar Sober in October. And to write about it every day — in one way or another. And to trust that the sharing of my story might be any measure of freedom for others who are entangled.

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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. 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.

Linking with Unforced Rhythms — a wonderful community of writers who gather each Monday to share with you HERE.

 

How Can I Take Better Care of Myself?

On this Think About It Thursday, here is your assignment:

  • How Can I Take Better Care of Myself? Do a journal entry, a blog post, meditate on it, make a list.
  • Choose one to focus on for this follow-up question… What is one way I can do this one thing better this week?
  • DO IT!
  • Tell me about it in the comments section below. (If you blog about it, include your link.)
  • (optional) Read my reflections on the question of the week below.

 

I feed dogs. I feed the cat. I feed the fish. I feed my family.

I wash clothes. I sweep floors. I pack lunches. I kiss boo-boos.

But what do I do for me??

  • Read books that make me happy
  • Take long showers
  • Drink more water
  • Stop weighing myself every day
  • Spend time with people who make me smile
  • Take lots of photographs
  • Keep up with my Gratitude List, which keeps me living in the moment
  • Breathe deeply
  • Rest
  • Eat more veggies
  • Coach … the buzz this gives me is awesome!
  • Give myself time to ask — and respond to — more questions like these.
  • Sing to the radio

What one thing can I do better this week?  Plan & execute a walking photo tour. Take some time, and my camera, and see what I can see. (Watch for the results in a coming blog.)

YOUR TURN!

P.S. I’m blogging my weight-loss journey under the category “40 Pounds of Purpose” … if you want each new entry emailed to you, please subscribe using the link on the right of this page. You’ll also be able to read an archive of entries over time right HERE.

What are you Craving?

“What we’re craving will always depend on whatever we’re consuming.” (Made to Crave)

I agree with author Lysa TerKeurst.  What your stomach gets, it wants more of. “Can’t eat just one,” is not just a potato chip advertising slogan. It works for cookies, scoops of ice cream, and pieces of bread, too. Which is why I should not have been surprised by my sugar relapse even after being sugar-free for a year.

But it’s also why I work so hard to consume gratitude. Feast on family time. Eat up encouragement.

It’s why I desire to move my body, show others their awesomeness, and experience the fullness of God’s best for me.

It’s why I want to coach women to crave more of the good stuff!!

So… What do YOU crave?

On this Think About It Thursday, here is your assignment:

  • What do you crave more of in your life? Do a journal entry, a blog post, meditate on it, make a list. (Quiet? Peace? Exercise? Relationship? Health? Wealth? Intimacy with God?)
  • Choose one to focus on for this follow-up question… How can I consume a taste of this in the next 24 hours? (If you crave wealth, you may have to experience saving, so skip Starbucks tomorrow morning and put that $$ in a piggy bank. If you crave exercise, do some! If you crave better relationships, let a kiss linger.)
  • DO IT!
  • Tell me about it in the comments section below. (If you blog about it, include your link.)

What you consume is what you will crave, so if you want more of something, start consuming it. (And I’m not talking about chips!)

P.S. I’m blogging my weight-loss journey under the category “40 Pounds of Purpose” … if you want each new entry emailed to you, please subscribe using the link on the right of this page. You’ll also be able to read an archive of entries over time right HERE.

Life is Sweet without Sugar

It started as a 1-month self-challenge. Then I got curious to see if I could make it 2. Around the end of March the idea of going a full year crossed my mind. And that became my goal.

And I did it.

One year. No chocolate. No cake. No cookies. No pie. No ice cream. No jelly beans. No candy. No sugared sodas. No cheesecake. No licking the bowl. No licking my fingers.

Here’s what I learned along the way.

  1. “No, Thank You” feels really, really good to say. Powerful. And not once in the whole year did anyone push me to reconsider. I didn’t have to explain my challenge or feel like I’d hurt a cook’s feelings. No, Thank you was all I needed.
  2. It helps to break a year into moment-by-moment choices. Think of going a WHOLE YEAR seemed pretty overwhelming, but when you say, “do you want that cookie? No, I don’t” and then repeat with each little decision, the year goes by pretty quickly. And by the summer, I knew there was no one sweet that was worth giving up more than 6 months of sugar sobriety for.
  3. Life is SO SWEET even without Sugar! The beach is just as beautiful without ice cream. Easter is wonderful without chocolate. Birthday strawberries are as good as any pie. A wedding is a BLAST even without cake (oh, but it smelled soooooo good!) Christmas spirit isn’t wrapped up in candy wrappers. And all those little moments – donuts in the break room, cookies at a picnic, candy on a road trip… honestly, I just didn’t miss them.
  4. It gets easier. And then it doesn’t. January was hard. I had to detox, retrain my brain, and build my No, Thank you muscles. But you get used to it. In fact, you start to look right past the sugar and you find other people don’t miss it that much either if you don’t serve dessert with dinner or keep ice cream in the freezer all summer long. And then you hit a wall and your body starts to taunt you, “Really? A year? And even if you did, then what? No chocolate for the rest of your life? Get real!” And for a while it’s just about marking days off the calendar until you can hit the finish line, except…
  5. There is no finish line. Here I am in 2012, and, frankly, I’m pretty nervous. Because in all the things I’ve learned about myself and sugar and choices and health and mental toughness over the year, I still haven’t learned to be “cured” of sugar. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if you handed me a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies right now, I wouldn’t stop until they were all gone. And if by some miracle, I ate only a bite, I would still feel like I’d cheated on myself and fallen off the wagon. It’s been a year, after all.

After a deep breath. And remembering that I have committed to FLOAT in 2012, I will go back to the beginning. One choice at a time. One opportunity at a time. For this particular thing … do I want it … will I REALLY enjoy it … is it worth it?

I would certainly guess that at some point in my life, I will eat sweets again. But my prayer is that I will never, EVER again confuse the sweetness on my tongue with the sweetness of my life.

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