Made to Crave: Replacing My Cravings

Day 3 of the Very Low Calorie Diet. hCG. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, aka The Pregnancy Hormone. (If you’re reading this and wonder what on earth I’m talking about, please feel free to use google.)

I woke up one morning last week and decided “today is the day”. My bff had been talking about her latest round with hCG, and apparently it stuck in my mind. For the past 6 months or so, I’ve been eating as a reaction to life. I never understood ’emotional eating’ until I began emotionally eating. It’s been a rough year. I’ve had to give complete control of a situation to God and that has not been simply done. I discovered the morning last week that it had not been done at all.

I woke up and told myself “today is the day”. Actually, a voice inside of me told me. I don’t think it was my voice. You know the one – “Why bother? You’re a crappy mom. You’re fatter than you’ve ever been. Do you *see* your chins? Your hair is nasty. Those zits are disgusting. You’re a shitty friend. You don’t have any friends. Because you’re a **really** shitty friend. Look how hard your husband works. What if something happens to him? Your kids will be screwed if they’re left with only you. You really think you can keep a business running like he can? You forget everything. It’s no wonder no one wants to hang out with you. You’re lazy. You suck.” – you know, **that** voice.

“Today is the day.” It was the day to start getting my body back in working order. It was the day to stop feeding my face for the sake of celebration, the sake of loneliness, the sake of no-one-cares-anyway. It was the day to properly honor this temple that God has entrusted to me. It was the day to stop teaching my kids by example how to run their body into the ground. It was the day to pray.

Yep, pray. Overlapping all of these other things this day was about, PRAYER umbrellaed every single one. Two thoughts were happening simultaneously. PRAYstopfeedingfaceER. PRAYhonorGodER. PRAYstopleadingbybadexampleER. Prayer was the meaning of today. More on that later…

My answers to chapter 2 of Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeurst:

1. The resounding fact that I have no control over my children. Oh, I can discipline, attempt to teach lessons, prepare them for adulthood, encourage them, love them and lead them in the ways of Christ. But I cannot control their thoughts, their actions, their relationship with people and God. We’ve had a tough year with our 15 year-old son and instead of reaching to God, depending on God, trusting God, I chose to control what our son does, who he talks to, what activities he can or cannot be a part of, and even went so far as to control the words that come out of his mouth and the thoughts that he is or is not allowed to think. Oh yes, I’m the parent and being responsible for my child is my job. HOWEVER. In all of this, I can only think of two times that I even consulted God as to what to do. In fact, the two times I did cry out to Him all I did was cry. A lot. I cried because I’m scared for my son. I bellowed because it hurts to see your child hurt. I bawled because everything I have done to ‘train him up in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6)’ ended up turning to crap. I yelled because I was mad at God. I was disappointed in my son. I was fearful for the example he was to our younger daughter. I was disgusted by my son’s actions, thoughts, words and plain ol’ indifference to life in general. So I cried. And cried. And probably went into the fetal position with my helplessness and overall fear. My. Son. Is. Not. Perfect. I obviously failed as a mother, so I guess I’ll go eat worms. Only in this case the worms were cake and cookies and chocolate and pastries in outlandish amounts and all of the time.

2. My need to draw closer to God.

3. I would have received God’s guidance instead of getting fat(ter).

4. I used this ‘method’ about 14 years ago and lost 40 lbs. And kept off the weight, worked out and cared about what I put in my body. For 6 years. Even to the point that I was diligent in not gaining unnecessary weight when I was pregnant with my daughter. I have never gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I have still cared about food. Working out? No. I’ve totally not cared about that. But this past year, I have consciously, callously destroyed God’s plan for honoring Him with this temple He houses my soul in.

5. Moderate but longer-term approach. Although Phase 2 of the hCG diet is a rapid weight loss phase, there is a lot more to follow through with. One craving at a time – Hope, Trust, Need, Comfort, Growth, Communion, Desire, Truth.

Kind of a modge-podge of things in this blog, but if you stay with me, I will catch you up as I continue with this book.

To Have and To Hold

 there was a woman… 

 

She was married to a wonderful man and had a handsome son and two beautiful daughters.  The man was a hard worker and an even harder working full-time college student.  The 3 children were all in elementary school and loved their parents very much.  The woman kept diligent watch over her children and took  marvelous care of her husband, supporting him in his work, his schooling and his dream;  his dream to become a minister.

One day, the woman and the man engaged in a heated argument.  An argument that, 15 years later, they no longer recall.  This argument lead to hurt feelings, broken hearts and foolish choices.  Choices that devoured the rest of their lives.  Apparently, the man was not always kind and was prone to angry fits – fits that left the woman feeling tiny and worthless.  His frustration,although justified, was out of control and violently expressed.  Over the course of marriage she had forgotten that her worth was in Christ, not in her husband’s treatment of her.  The man had forgotten his first love, Christ, and in defense of his family responsibility, loved himself more.  He made himself feel big by making his wife feel small.  The woman had enough.

Other men made her feel appreciated, important, attractive and one-of-a-kind.  A job made her feel worthy, necessary and valued.  Spending less time with her children gave her a sense of freedom – freedom she had never experienced before.  She liked feeling free.  She enjoyed doing whatever she pleased.  Earning her own money gave her satisfaction.

Eventually, she found the real love of her life.  She had a child with her love – glorying in the stark difference between him and her previous children.  The woman lost weight, colored her hair and let her ex-husband move their children across the country.  Now THIS was the life God intended for her!  Finally!  After so many years of wasted time, wasted love and wasted energy, she was finally where she belonged…

Until she wasn’t.  Again, she had married the wrong man.  She had lost so many more years to someone who treated her like crap – just different crap than before.  Surely if she moved on to this other guy…oh, that wasn’t it either.  Three marriages and three divorces later, she still has no idea of who she is or who she’s supposed to be.  But each time she moved on, she was certain it was God’s plan.

Or was it her plan, wrapped in god wrapping paper?

How many times do we use God’s written word to justify the means to an end?  Looking up verses that “speak” to us, “calm” us or even “prove” His will for us?  How can God be telling us we’re on the right track if we’re blatantly moving against His guidance?  How can we be sure it’s God telling us to divorce our husband when we’re already involved in another relationship with another man?  (Oh yes, this the woman did also.)  How can we know?  Where are we getting our advice?  From friends who have made the same stupid choices, or from those who have suffered through and come out on the other side?  Does God give us permission to right a wrong by doing another wrong ourselves?  Or does He expect us to keep our promise

To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better, for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish,
‘Till death do us part.

 What do you think?  Leave me your comments below.

A Man Who Will be Missed

Click here: Randy Larson’s obituary

I have ordered a wreath for the service, and for Judy to preserve afterward. Here is what I wrote on the card and a pic of the wreath:

Judy and Gabe –

We are so sorry to hear of Randy’s passing.
As you well know, he had the power to
change lives and influence purpose. Randy
set a high standard for not only learning,
but for living as well. We pray for God’s
peace and comfort in the midst of your
sadness.

– BHS Alumni and the Burns Community

Please forward this info to anyone who might be interested. If you would like to contribute to the cost of the wreath you may do so by PayPal-ing my email address (mmechels@gmail.com) or by delivering a check or cash to me in person.

Order Total

Sympathy Wreath – Preserved: $49.99
Standard Delivery $11.99
Morning Delivery $9.99
Rush Delivery $4.99
Care & Handling $2.99

TOTAL: $79.95

So sad – I encourage everyone to leave a note for Judy and Gabe at the bottom of his obituary.

Life and All It Brings with It

Wow.  What a freaking summer.  It seemed as though things were never going to calm down.  Here’s a rundown for ya:

May 16: Grandpa finally gave up the ghost and went to live with his Lord!  Yay for him!, crappy for us.

May 18: We seriously got hit by a tornado.  An F2 tornado.  According to the Fujita Scale of tornadoes, here’s how an F2 is classified -Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light object missiles generated. They aren’t a kiddin’.

It went through our front yard, about 20 or so feet from the house.  The wind it generated sucked our cattle trailer over on its side (check out pics below), picked up our 5th wheel camper, plowed it through the pool enclosure and dropped it upside down in the back yard on top of the neighbor’s fence.  It took the kids’ trampoline, twisted it all to heck and dropped it in the field north of the house.  It took Caedmon’s playhouse (big, giant insulated playhouse) and threw it at the house, right through the weight bearing post holding up our extended dormer over the front porch, and through the front door.  Thankfully, the steel door behind the screen door held it back.  Two windows broke, the office’s broken through both panes, causing a little mini-tornado in my office.  Grass on the walls, glass shards stuck in monitors, water and dirt everywhere, papers ruined and scattered all around.  It also took the french doors between the office and front room and tried to rip them off the hinges, breaking the frame in the process.  The doors took the beating quite well, but the hinges are so bent that the doors won’t close.  Ripped the back window off of my car and Jeremy’s pickup, along with taking the flat fiberglass topper off the pickup and throwing it behind us about 1/2 mile south in the neighbor’s pasture.  One of our calf huts was broken, but we could only find part of it.  The other part?  1 1/2 miles south, still sitting in the creek.

We had so much crap strung all over the yard, but especially in the neighbor’s pasture.  It took 3 adults (thank you Eric & Gini) 3 hours to clean up all the remnants of the camper.  Did you know insulation gets really heavy when it’s soaked?  And it sticks really well in the ground, too.  Also, anything can become a projectile missle when powered by a tornado.  I found a paper plate embedded sideways in the hard pasture ground.  Ridiculous!

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The very next week: Audited by the IRS – for the 3RD TIME!  They have never found anything, but somehow that ‘random’ pick always picks us.  So, spent a good week getting 4 year-old paperwork together.  Yeah, that was 2 Windows Operating Systems and 3 Quickbooks ago.  Had to use Gini’s computer with XP and ’03 Quickbooks to pull all of our information up.

I seriously thought I was going to lose it.  In fact, one day I nearly did.  Jeremy and I got into this huge argument about I-don’t-even-know-what and I left for the rest of the day.  And night.  I spent the night in my car in the empty church parking lot.  I had hit a point where I felt like I just couldn’t give anymore; I didn’t have anything left to give.  Call me crazy, but isn’t that when the entire world is at your doorstep demanding attention?   I was done.

But God, through the grace of His Son and my husband, was not.  Jeremy let me vent, which I don’t do often enough.  God brought me close, where I could feel His warm embrace.  My kids still loved me (and were none the wiser anyway) and still offered their unconditional love.  My home still needed tending to, as only I can.  My purpose, though fuzzy, still rang strong and true:

Even though I don’t have it all together,

God still counts on me to show up.

To listen.  To talk.  To cry.  To love.  To be loved.  By Him and the family He has entrusted to me.  I don’t have to be perfect, because in God’s perfection I am.  He takes the little I can offer and uses it for His Glory’s sake.  The tiny bits of appreciation I show to Jeremy – God enlarges them to accolades in my husband’s heart.  The little strokes of comfort I give to Jonathan and Caedmon – He produces His love and encouragement to carry on their day.

My purpose?  To show up.  Not because I’m good enough, but because God is good.

Happy Birthday!

My grandpa is dying.  As I write this, he is literally suffocating to death.  I want so badly to be with him, but also know it will not benefit him.  We got to spend last weekend there, lying in bed with him, listening to his funny stories, and just being in his presence.  I have to believe that was sufficient.  I have to remind myself that my first priority is caring for my kids and husband – not sitting with Gpa for an undetermined amount of time while he withers away.

I want him to go.  I want him to feel the joy and the happiness that must accompany being freed from his broken body.  He is suffering from emphysema, a nasty disease that causes your airways to contract.  Because he smoked for 40 years (like a chimney), all he can do now is pray that God shuts his heart down.  His oxygen is not doing him any good and he can no longer talk more than two or three words.  His lungs just can’t keep up and one of these days, he’s just going to exhale, and all will be over.  Soon.

I don’t have the words in me tonight (it’s so late and sleeping pill is kicking in) to write a proper memorial to my wonderful grandpa, but I didn’t want the day to end without wishing him

A comfortable 86th birthday.

Born on Mother’s Day 86 years ago in 1924 – he has lived an amazing life as an amazing man.  He has shaped me in so many ways, just through his love and influence.  I love you Gpa, and I pray that God will grant you rest very soon.

God’s Temple

In my study time this morning, I am being reminded that God is the builder of my life – not me.  How many ways do I try to build my own life?  My own destiny?  My own self?  If I have died to sin to live in Christ, why do I try so hard to be happy?  To be productive?  To be well thought of?  Is my life about my happiness?  Is my only goal to be contributing to society?  Will I ever gain everyone’s approval?

Of course, the resounding answer to all of the above is NO.  Since when do I become the highest priority?  Did God not bring me here on this earth to bring Glory to His name?  The final questions in this morning’s study were these:

  • What ways do I reflect the image of God?
    • My unending loyalty to those I love.
    • My love and submission to my husband’s authority as a man of God.
    • My willingness to give grace and mercy to my children (again and again and again…).
    • My commitment to service in our local church body.
    • Giving credit and thanks to Him for every blessing he pours down on me.
  • What areas of my life do not reflect the image of God *gulp*?
    • My resistance to selfless living.
    • My laziness.
    • My use of unnecessary language that does not point to God.
    • My lack of communication with the God of the universe.
    • My unwillingness to turn to His word for answers.
  • Am I willing to allow God my Builder to do all things necessary to build me into His image?
    • Am I?  Am I really ready and willing to give God the okay to proceed with His plans?  Am I willing to get out of the way? Am I willing to lose myself for finding Him?  How much am I willing to sacrifice?  Enough to where I can feel it, but not so much that it hurts?  God, please work in me.  Please squeeze into my life so I have to move my own agenda.  Grow in me, that I might experience the fullness of You.  Please allow me to see and appreciate the suffering you went through to give up your only Son to save my sorry ass (I felt this was necessary.  Or do I need to work on that?).  I love you so much, and I’m so thankful to you for giving me a heart that wants to know You more.  Please, God, can I know You more?

What are you holding onto?  What things do you need to rearrange so that God doesn’t have to pound His way in to your heart and your life?  Please share with me by commenting below – and let’s share life together.  Life in Christ.  Life for Christ.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?      1 Corinthians 3:16

God is good. All of the time.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I, unfortunately and regretably, am an expert on this subject. I have had so much experience in this field, I may as well have invented the entire concept. Some believe that it all started with a shifty snake in a garden, antagonized by a foolish female, who was then followed by an ill-advised male. They are mistaken. I did, in fact, design what we are talking about – sin.

Obviously, the above is not true, but my goodness, sometimes it feels as though I could have been the cause and beginning of the most shameful act that forced the rest of humanity into consequence.

I was talking to someone a while back concerning a friend of their’s current living situation. Her friend is shacking up with her boyfriend of several years. I asked this person what her friend tells herself to make this decision okay, to which she replied, after hesitating, shrugging her shoulders, “It’s sin. We all sin. I sin everyday.”

I was somewhat taken aback at this rebuttle, given the person I was having the conversation with. She is well aware of the affect and outcome of living in sin. I don’t believe she actually believed herself what she was telling me; that sin is sin, and we are all guilty. While that statement is true, the intent behind it is not. The premise of that shallow excuse to continue on as our human nature instructs was to defend someone she loves very much; someone she looks up to, and doesn’t want to chastise, even as a friend, and more importantly, a fellow Christ-follower. I seem to recall Jesus instructing the woman at the well, who was also guilty of shacking up, to “go, and sin no more.” He did not say, “go, and take heart in the fact that your friends and family are sinning just as you are.”

When have we become so flippant in our attitude toward sin? Have we used the word so often, had it shoved down our throats by preachers and parents, spouses and siblings, that we no longer understand the result of its power – Satan’s power over us? We go about our personal lives, not even wanting to recognize the depravity of the sin nature, much less address it in ourselves, then in those close to us. But, we have to! If we do not hold each other accountable for the sake of loving that person, and because we are concerned with that person’s relationship with their Savior, we are powerless to ask and receive God’s amazing grace. Without a repentant heart, our prayers are in vain. When a friend hurts you, apologizes, asks for your forgiveness, then turns around in the same breath and hurts you again, it is next to impossible for you to feel forgiving toward them. Granted, God is God and His Son already took all of our sin upon Himself, therefore our unrighteousness is completely hidden from God. But if we continue on in our sin nature, in our iniquity, in our irresponsible decisions, what is the point of Christ’s death on that cross?

Just recently, our pastor gave a sermon dealing with this issue, and I didn’t realize at the time how imperative it really was. His main point was “Until we measure our sin by Who we sin against, we will never have motivation to change.” (That’s paraphrasing) Do we have motivation to change? Do we care that when we live with and sleep with someone out of the context of marriage, that we are making that choice to turn our back to Christ dying in our place? When we choose not to care for our bodies and minds, we are taking the only mortal life we have been given by God and intentionally trashing it? When we lie to cover our own mistakes and irresponsibility, we are flagrantly telling those around us that we can put God in a box – using Him when it’s convenient for us?

Again, I am extremely deft in this thing we call sin. It is so ugly, so demanding, so entwining, so inviting. We can’t avoid it, as my friend pointed out. However, I do believe we can choose to either engage it or fight it with every fiber of Christ’s being in us. I was engaged for so long, I seriously thought I was cheating on my husband (pun intended )! But fighting? Fighting is good for the soul and pleasing to God – and OH MY GOSH, do I encounter grace and mercy when kneeling before the Throne. Do you delight in your depravity, taking advantage of the fact that He has already conquered ALL sin? Or do you delight in said mercy and grace, drowning in it while praising Him for such undeserved love?

Fidelity

Saturday, January 27, 2007

“Fidelity”

(Shake it up)

I never loved nobody fully
Always one foot on the ground
And by protecting my heart truly
I got lost in the sounds
I hear in my mind
All these voices
I hear in my mind all these words
I hear in my mind all this music

And it breaks my heart
And it breaks my heart
And it breaks my heart
It breaks my heart

And suppose I never met you
Suppose we never fell in love
Suppose I never ever let you kiss me so sweet and so soft
Suppose I never ever saw you
Suppose we never ever called
Suppose I kept on singing love songs just to break my own fall
Just to break my fall
Just to break my fall
Break my fall
Break my fall

All my friends say that of course its gonna get better
Gonna get better
Better better better better
Better better better
**************************************************
First, this song caught my attention by the amazingly funky staccato chorus. I first saw Regina on Jay Leno (I was channel surfing between all 4 channels) and thought she was very hip, very fun. Now that it’s on the radio (XM Flight 26 rocks, as does The Point 99.9 FM) I hear it often, and was able to actually find out what she was singing about. I so relate to this song!

10 1/2 years ago, Jeremy and I met and began dating, and it lasted quite a long time. 3 weeks, in fact. Yep, that’s me…I was ready for commitment. I didn’t want to fall for this guy, because I had my own life to live back in Missouri. I never wanted to be married, have children, or live in Wyoming. Those were the 3 basic rules of my life, translating into me, me, me. Obviously, God had planned otherwise (without consulting me first, which I found quite rude). Anyway, I broke it off with Jeremy after 3 weeks for 2 reasons: 1. He was moving way too fast (I thought) and was awfully touchy. Not in a take-me-now sort of way, but he was under the impression that we needed to hold hands everywhere we went (which was a lot of places, because I swear to you he must have asked me out every single night of those 3 long weeks), he thought he should hug me when he dropped me off, and he even touched my neck once. Whoa, hold on there, pardner. Obviously, you don’t know who you’re dealing with. I am the queen of “no touching”. And anyone who isn’t aware of that isn’t very perceptive…enter Jeremy Mechels. Reason #2 – I so did not want to fall in love with this out of touch man and lose out on my life as a single chick. A fat, depressed, searching, desperate, wandering single chick. All of that was very important to me, you know. I had major pity parties to throw, and I clearly did not have time to do anything but wallow. I certainly wasn’t going to allow some guy to come between me and my endless neediness.

So, (are you bored yet?) after one tiny week, I discover I can’t live without this dork. I don’t even know what it was about him that attracted me to him. He was overweight, balding, had no fashion sense, and he had HUGE hands. That was a major concern of mine while I was trying to tell myself prior to “the breakup” why I just couldn’t give him the time of day.

Very long story made abrubtly short…we had our first kiss (which was very wet and slobbery…why was I attracted again?) on the day we were engaged, which was 1 month after getting back together. 4 months later, we entered into marital bliss. I know, insane, huh? Who the heck gets married to someone they’ve only known for half a year? No one with their head screwed on straight, I’ll tell ya that much. The only possible explanation for our now 10 year amazing, wonderful, fun, sensual, spiritual, frustrating and exilirating marriage is God. We both figured out together how we were going to accomplish breaking our crazy family tree – riddled with divorce, half siblings, a hundred different last names and children caught smack dab in the middle. We were going to make Christ the number one priority in our marriage. And we were going to do everything within our power to center our life, every single aspect of it, around God and His will. I know we’ve failed countless times, but I also know we’ve been faithful. God has blessed our marriage tremendously for that, and continues to every single second of our relationship. God does know what He’s doing, soooooooooooo much better than us. We are so powerless over our tomorrow that we cannot even begin to fathom His amazing grace, mercy, will and sacrifice. I’m not convinced we will ever be fully aware of all He does for us, even living with Him in eternity. At that point, all of this will be forgotten by us. Forgotten and suddenly unimportant. Wow…