Monthly Archives: March 2019

The best laid plans…

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As I make my journey through this time of Lent, I am reminded of many days and years of my life that have been walked to this point. I’ve journeyed with God as far back as my memory goes, though my “official” traverse commenced at age 11 when I knelt at an altar to formally ask Jesus to “save” me.

The longer I walk with God, the more I have learned that plans are not always for the long term. Not to say there isn’t an end goal, because there is…which is to become all God intended me to be from the start. But, what I mean is that the getting there isn’t always clear until I’m in a certain moment and that moment’s choice becomes clear, while the next moment’s choice may not be, yet …

Ergo, “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray…” , and I would say this may be even more true for Christ followers. I could write much more on that thought, and probably should, but for now, I simply want to say that it has become ever clearer for me that being present and living in each moment is a critical aspect of our lives when we choose to follow Jesus.

Currently, my plans for my Lenten challenge have morphed. What started nearly 3 weeks ago as a cleansing, restrictive time, has turned into my fasting from bread and bread products and wrestling with all the ways this impacts me, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Then, today, after a routine medical procedure, realizing I also need to do better about fasting from chocolate and candy (which I’ve been giving into having as a reward, or crutch , for not eating bread).

So, I have a better plan for the next 3 1/2 weeks of Lent as I continue to fast from bread. I know I need to add fruit, figs, and some veggies back into my diet while I eliminate the sugar “crutches”. Long term, beyond Lent, my health will be better going this route, anyway. Also, for the long term, I think I’m seeing that my health needs actually might still require me to have some healthy bread choices (emphasizing healthy…i.e., my whole wheat toast but not cookies, cakes, crackers, pretzels…).

Yet, for the rest of Lent, the bread fast will continue. I can hear the Spirit speaking to me in the moments I’m grappling with longings for bread and I don’t want to give in to have the bread and miss what God is trying to say in His still small voice in my soul….

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Learning in Lent…

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This past week has been challenging to say the least. A week ago yesterday, I rolled my ankle as I stepped off my front porch. I was thankful one of my sons and my husband were there to help me with the initial process of crawling back inside and quickly icing, elevating and wrapping it.

Since then, I’ve continued caring for it carefully and am able to walk now, with a limp. The swelling has mostly dissipated and the bruising has gone through an array of “pretty colors.” Yet, I know it will be quite a while before it feels normal again.

Dealing with my ankle has made my Lenten focus go a bit askew. I’ve not done as well with my week of mostly clear liquids as I had hoped. My nutritional needs have felt different because of dealing with my ankle, and frankly, my emotions have been a struggle I hadn’t anticipated. It’s just outright difficult to be unable to do the things you normally would do because of an injury getting in your way!

That being said, I’ve not given up or “thrown in the towel” on my Lenten challenge, and in the process, I have heard God speaking to me about the impact of food on all the areas of my life, in new ways and in ways I had previously considered but forgotten.

Overall, I’ve eaten a lot less, consumed much more liquids, and not had and bread, crackers, or cakes/cookies, etc. when I have eaten, it’s mostly been proteins and I turned to bananas thinking I needed the potassium to help manage muscle cramps in my injured foot/leg.

As I begin my second week, I will continue as I did last week, trying to have more liquids than food, and I am committed to keeping away from bread. I pray for more clarity and clear direction from God as I walk openly with Him in the depths of myself, seeking more grace and freedom in the spaciousness of who He is.

A time for everything …

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Psalm 139:23-24 has popped up in devotions and emails quite a bit the last few days. These verses first impacted me when I was in college. “Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”(NLT)

For a person who struggles with anxiety issues, this verse became significant to me in ways it may not for those who don’t have an inclination towards anxiety. Praying these verses invites God into my struggles.

Over the years, I’ve learned much about the root of my anxiety, learned to know God sees my heart in the midst of biological issues in my brain that cause anxiety to spin out of control at times; I’ve grown in understanding that this seems to be genetic and generational, a family propensity, and began to grasp how to address it, to manage it, and to overcome much of it, while still realizing that I’m going to have times when it knocks me over like a wave crashing on the shore.

I could go on about the anxiety, but this post is actually more about the aspect in these verses that invited God to know me in my inmost parts, to examine the depths of me and reveal to me what is found there. This self examination is really what the season of Lent is about.  The forty days of Lent are based off of Jesus’ 40 days in the “wilderness”/”desert” when He was tempted to the core by the enemy of our souls.

Jesus faced true self-examination during those days, confronting the reality of who He was as God’s son but also who His Father called Him to be in becoming fully human, for our sakes.  Jesus had choices to make, an identity to embrace, and truth to continue to walk in with His entire self, and since we are called to follow Him, we have similar roads to journey through our own wildernesses/deserts.

Currently, my journey is continuing to walk me through moving towards greater physical wellness.  This has been a concentration of mine since turning 50.  I had thought it would only be for the one year, but when I turned 51 and didn’t yet feel I’d accomplished enough balance in the physical area, I committed to continuing that pursuit.  So, here I am….

If you’ve been reading here in the last few months, you know I’ve had a difficult winter.  My eating has been out of control at times, as has my anxiety and depression.  In the last 6 weeks, I’ve been using CBD oil and that has helped me to stabilize in my emotions and keep moving forward.  Thus, in the last couple of weeks, I arrived at the decision to make the most of the self-examination and reflection of Lent by going through a time of internal, digestive cleansing.

Yes, this is for a number of reasons, not only spiritual, but spiritual is a part of it, and I do feel an affirmation from the Spirit that this is the right timing for this in my life.  I did this 6 week cleansing re-set last May/June, and it is based off of the diet I had to follow after my gastric bypass in 2001.  It is the only diet from which I’ve ever truly been able to experience lasting and real results, both physical and emotional/spiritual.

My Lent began yesterday (instead of Ash Wednesday) due to personal family reasons, therefore, I’m beginning this blog today.  My plan is to document as much of this six weeks as I can, without putting the demand upon myself to write every single day.  My hope is to allow this to keep me accountable, since doing so has helped me in the past, as well as to encourage or inspire others along the way.  My goals are to delve deeper into my issues with food, anxiety, fears, and my relationship with and trust of my Abba, Father.  Yes, I hope to proceed with weight loss, as well as becoming more balanced holistically.

Along with my cleansing, which began yesterday with a day of all water and continues this week with clear liquids (as well as eggs, for their protein source, since they are a clear liquid before they are cooked), I also plan to be intensifying my use of EFT Tapping to break the emotional connections I have with food.  I have a couple people in my life I can lean on during this time, as well.  I will share here with you again in a couple days, but for now, I’m feeling hopeful and excited about what God has for me during this time. 🥰

The Lord bless and keep you in your Lenten journey, whatever that may be.  I pray you are strengthened in your inner being and that you are more aware of God’s presence than ever.