Thursday, February 6, 2014
Delighting in Obedience
This week the word of the week in the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study that I am doing of the book Made to Crave by Lesa TerKeurst is #PEACE. This is week #3 of both the bible study and the changes to my eating and exercise habits that will get me to a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately the ice cream in the freezer will not do that! But in this week, I have found a peace in that ice cream container that I have resisted all week. It is a metaphor for my weight loss journey. Chocolate ice cream is not a craving of mine but it is something I would gladly eat.
I have been staying away from refined sugars, putting sweetener in my coffee and staying away from candies, sweets, etc, etc. While I can't say that I have even been a big sweet eater, sugar has been a staple in my diet. And a part of my frustration in giving up sugar is that I don't believe (as a nurse) that artificial sweeteners are a good idea. There are too many chemicals in them and too little agreement from "experts" as to how safe they are. With that said, I don't want to influence any one's decision about sweeteners but I will say I try to stay with sweetening products made from natural products. Stevia and Agave nectar are two of my favorite when I need something for my morning coffee. Sorry....I can't do it black!
So, as I open my freezer to get my morning Jimmy Dean Delights sandwich or my Smart Ones frozen meal for lunch, I find that Chocolate Champion container looking at me. It first it tauted me, now after 5 days, it makes me laugh. Why?? Because I realized this week that I am the Champion, not the ice cream!
Obedience....one of my least favorite words. However, scripture is full of reminders of how important it is. And in truth, without obedience to my exercise routine or meal plan everyday...my health will not improve. I was always pretty obedient to my parents until I hit college. It was there that I started making rebellious decisions. That was also when I rebelled against my Heavenly Father as well. So the idea of learning to Delight in Obedience especially as it relates to exercise and food is painful.
Why is it painful? Because I learned a truth about myself this week that hurts me to the core. It was revealed to me during my devotional and study time this week that I am a glutton. That is, what a lot of my issue with food is all about. Gluttony is defined is Webster's Dictionary as "excess in eating or drinking; greedy or excessive indulgence."
Proverbs 23:19-21 says "Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags."
Ouch!......The truth in that scripture convicted me.. I want to be wise, I want to keep my heart on the right path, I have been a glutton for food and during a different period of my life, material things as well (but that is a different story). And if I look at the results of my gluttony, it is true that it has made me poor.....in health, in spiritual wellness and emotional drowsiness. My excessive appetite has lead me to a poor eating habits, high blood pressure and a lazy lifestyle. All of the things that I am fighting against right now.
So back to the container of ice cream in the frig.......as I stared into the freezer yesterday, I realized that it was getting easier to shut the door without panging for a spoon to dig in to the container. God, in his mercy, has given his Holy Spirit with wisdom, guidance and love to heal me from this spirit of gluttony. How do I know this? Well......I have started praying for God to replace the desire for eating to excess with a desire to eat less. It sounds to simple, to easy, to good to be true...but since praying this way I have found a peace in my soul as I eat less at meals which is my downfall. I have found peace in the obedience of choosing better foods and eating less at one time.
I love the promise in Isaiah 45:3 - "I will give you treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord the God of Israel who summons you by name." It is the verse of the week in the study and I am taking it to my heart that as I do with less food, I am storing up treasures in heaven.
Now next week, I am going to tackle the exercise issue.....so, right now I am going to close and go put in my walking DVD...and pray for Spring! And laugh at the Chocolate Ice Cream container in the refrigerator when I get my pre-portioned lunch out!
God bless you today and everyday with treasures beyond your wildest dreams!!!