I am doing this.....because she wants me to play babies and my head, my mind can barely imagine it. Fatigue has become my playmate and my guide, with it, we have survived too many days. The days I have to play dolls are quickly running out and I am feeling their valiant feet cutting upon my heels as I try to stay ahead of them.
I am doing this....because my memory fails me. Pony tails blow in breezes, little girls run and jump and the best I can do is strain to keep my eyes open and try to remember the fleeting seconds. And I fight the nagging, pestilent feelings that tell me, "You can do better, you MUST do better."
I am doing this...because too many days, eyes have glazed over, thoughts have been fruitless and failure to do better has won. The me, she has dark circles, she can barely even dream of doing better, but she dreams the day away thinking of what 'better' looks like.....but this time the me is winning.
I am doing this...because boys are turning to men before my eyes. Because they will choose a woman, similar in character to their mother, and I want the best woman for them. which means they need the best mother now. God help me, I will do my best.
I am doing this....because they never stop wanting to discover, and this takes energy. Their eyes beg that I dig in dirt, that I discover and lead them in this world of endless discovery...they long for the mother, who was once a girl, to remember who she is and to lead them.
I am doing this...because the world is waiting, because they will need to find on their own, the heart of Christ, and He tells me to be obedient, to be self-controlled, to be led by His Spirit, to not walk in my sinful desires....it's because they are watching and I am their most profound, tangible example.
You can do it too! Join me!
(Not sure what I am talking about? You can start by reading Day 1 of the 21 Day Flesh Stomping.)
I have been delighted to receive so many inquiries from my Facebook friends. Pretty much everyone is saying the same thing, "I NEED to do this", "I have GOT to get control of my life", "WHAT are you eating?", "Is there a plan you are following?"
Let me explain first of all why I am doing a cleanse. I am too tired. I am too heavy. I am too brain foggy. I am not as productive as I could be. I am not setting the best example possible for my children. I had settled for second best in my heart, my home and before God. But the most important words there are, "Before God".
I had been praying, asking God to change the way my family works on a daily basis. I was feeling constantly dissatisfied. All I knew to do was to pray for help. I certainly didn't have the mental clarity to make life-changing decisions. I didn't have the energy to make the changes. So, you need to understand that your motivation behind this IS EVERYTHING!
If you are intent on eye-balling your scale and waistline, then I can't help you too much. I have turned my back on defining myself by a number and I encourage you to do it too. TRUST me, you will know if your clothes do not fit, with or without that glaring little 3-digit number. I am sure you can still succeed if that is your goal, but I am writing to the women who are fed up and do not like the old system, I am writing to myself.
So for the cleansing aspect of stomping on my flesh, I read the book by, Dr Joel Furhman, "Eat to Live".
My husband and I went through his program 5 years ago with astounding results and unbelievable energy (then I got pregnant with baby #5...and well, we kind of lost control of everything).
Another VERY important aspect to this is that I have for the first time in MANY years, started rising at 6 every morning. My TOP priority is to read my Bible and pray. I bought the "Read Your Bible in a Year" ESV Bible. I recommend the yearly Bible because it gives you a clear-cut goal, and a predictable amount of time in the Word every morning. Mind you, I DO NOT wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. But, after 9 days, I am automatically waking up on time, without my alarm. Seeking God in the early morning is absolutely essential.
I am slowly getting my brain back, my energy, my life...it is slowly becoming what I knew it always should be. And I thank God, without whom, I could do nothing.
2) If you have a family to feed, make your food first and get yourself satisfied BEFORE beginning cooking their food. It makes your 'normal' choices for meals less appetizing when you are already satisfied with good food.
3) "I ate a biscuit....*sob*". Okay, first off, let it go. And second, try to follow the above tip: Anticipate moments of temptation so that you can be full of good food first. WHEN temptation comes and you are starving, you can still dig deep. Ask yourself, "Would I rather feel like I took 2 steps back or would I rather feel the victory of overcoming temptaion?" VICTORY IS SWEET YA'LL!
4) Drink herbal teas. You can sweeten them with Stevia, it is an all natural herbal sweetener.
5) DRINK WATER!!! If you have a smart phone, you can get an app that will help you track your water intake. But first, calculate your daily water needs, I used this site.
6) Don't think too far ahead. On Day 1, I thought I would never make it 21 days, but now that I am almost halfway it doesn't seem like a difficulty to continue. IN FACT, I will probably keep going at least another 21.
7) Find or pray for a friend that can be determined and committed to doing it with you. I have a close friend, also doing a cleanse, who I text throughout the day and we deal with our struggles and pull one another up.
8) Before I even began, I wrote down WHY I needed to do this. I wrote down the benefits of doing it and it didn't take much to convince me that I really had no choice but do it. Why would I NOT do what is best for me and thereby best for my family as well?
Have questions? Need some encouragement? Drop me a line! If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!
I was on top of the world yesterday, feeling great, feeling like I had this thing conquered. I resisted Cherry Pie, Baked Mac n Cheese, COFFEE....I didn't even desire to eat them.
And then I woke up this morning. I not only did not WANT to get out of bed, I felt like it was impossible. I Was angry, anxious in my soul, unable to pray, unable to read God's word...and the "F" word began taunting me. Failure.
With head pounding, emotions raising, anger building....I could only ask God for help. So, what was going on? Sin. Sin in my heart, towards my husband. Feelings of entitlement had taken over the heart after God. Feelings of discontent had replaced a heart that wanted to stomp out the flesh. And when I say, "taken over" and "Replaced", I mean there was no fight left in me to even want to do what is right.
How do you repent for sin when you enjoy your anger, when your anger and feelings are bigger? I had to pray, I am still praying. "Lord, you have to take this. It is too big for me. I don't even have a desire for repenting, but I want to have the desire, I know I do, somewhere. God save me from myself and help me. Wash me and cleanse me from sin and unrighteousness."
Life is all fun and games until we begin to see our sin. Then it is hard. We are proud. We are entitled...aren't we? No, not really. We stammer on our rights and hold fast to what we 'deserve'. But there is only one thing that we deserve.
So, Lord, when you say ALL, do you mean ALL, ALL?
Who am I to be angry with any man? Who am I to blame my sin on another? Can I blame it on my children? PMS? Fatigue? No. This is a road block on the path of stomping out the flesh...sin bumps up when we are cruising along just fine and rears us up and jolts us sideways. But that bump, it has MY name on it, not anyone else's. So what does this have to do with health and eating properly? EVERYTHING!
My friend, Alicia, is writing a book about Superheroe's, "School for Superhero's". How do we become ordinary people that accomplish extraordinary things? Through God's grace first of all, and through the discipline's that this life requires. Discipline's that require us to stomp on our flesh. If I were a superhero, my Kryptonite (the mineral that took away Superman's powers) would be "Entitlement".
I realized today, that, THAT one sin is what has caused me to fail EVERY TIME before. I feel hurt, I stew in those feelings, I grow angry, my flesh takes over, depression seeps in....and VOILA, I am eating a box of brownie batter! So, my friend, what IS your Kryptonite? What is the sin pattern that leads up to you giving in and giving up? Pray for wisdom, pray for strength. Pray that when the cover is lifted from the Kryptonite and you feel or are rendered powerless, that you will have the strength to give in to failure and quitting.
The secret is, we are powerless....but, the one who holds our lives in His hands is not. Draw from Him.
"Watch", be ready, with a plan, for when your flesh is weak. Not IF it happens, WHEN it happens....decide now what you will do when you are ready to give up.
The 'world' says to us, "You can do whatever you want." "There is always tomorrow to do the right thing". "Well, I had a rough day, I have earned indulgence.". My friend, if we are in a battle against the flesh, then we must not let down defenses that will drag us back to our former place of being drug along by our desires. We are dying to those desires....that we might truly live and have our full freedom in Christ.
ROMANS 8:1-11 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."
If I can do it, you can do it!
but folly with her own hands tears it down.
It is a sobering thought that I have the power, when driven by folly and foolishness, to tear down my house with my hands. It puts the fear of the Lord within my bones. It drives me to prayer and I beg for mercy and Grace for the new day....
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
If so much of building a godly home is centered around wisdom, then what are we to do? We, who are conceived in sin. We, who are inclined to selfishness.
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
I spent many years with a radio in my kitchen. I would turn on the station that had continual scripture, teaching, encouragement and hymns and spiritual songs being sung. Peace pervaded my home on those mornings. It is a little harder now with 5 busy, children ranging from 11-4 always milling about. If I do manage to get music on, I cannot hear it and if I can hear the music, they cannot hear me. But, what a blessing to have our home filled with the praises of our Lord and Savior. Somehow cleaning goes twice as fast, the spirit is lifted and the air is cleared.
I, a sinner, am so thankful for the promise of James 1:5. Many times I have had sheer chaos erupt in my home and I will immediately utter a prayer of, "Lord, give me wisdom, help me." It is amazing how He hears these prayers. How, in the instant that we need it, He is there with an open hand of wisdom to pass to us, his daughter's.
But, I believe the most essential part to the maintenance of a godly home is, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom". Isn't that to be the sum of our existence as believers in Christ? If the word of Christ is dwelling richly within us, everything else will begin to change, because we will begin to change. The word of God is our lifeline, it is our sustenance, our renewal.
Having a godly home doesn't mean that you will have a perfect home, or that you will always rise chipper from bed at 6 in the morning. Having a godly home means that first, we fear God; and second, that we build our house with His wisdom, the wisdom that He alone can empart.
Almighty God, give us homes that reflect Your glory, lips that sing your praise, hearts that fear You and words that carry wisdom to all who hear them. Carry us this day, oh Lord as we are desperate and helpless without You.
Have a blessed day, a day of wisdom and grace,
This post was written for The Christian Home magazine.
Discipline use to be the "D" word in my vocabulary. Deep down I KNEW...I KNEW that I needed to be disciplined. I knew that things in my life were not what they should be and ultimately, I could find the blame by looking in the mirror. THIS practice however, was counterproductive. When all you do is beat yourself up for your failures, you eventually become a slave to your failures...they rule you and your life will feel out of control.
I was at the desperation point. I am 34 yrs old and have YEARS of guilt under my belt. But, I know only one way to be done with guilt and that is to go to the 'Feet" of my Heavenly Father. I asked forgiveness for my sin, for giving up on the life He has placed me in, for allowing myself to be ruled by the flesh and not by the Spirit. How do you know if your life is ruled by your own desires? Are you filled with joy? Do you have peace? A life lived in obedience to Christ will yield this fruit.
We MUST be honest with ourselves. Are these fruits the outpouring of my life into the lives of those around me? And I don't mean to the people at church. We have to begin at home. AND THAT is where my guilt was coming from. I was MUCH WORSE to my children than anyone on the planet. I could excuse it with fatigue, being overwhelmed, etc...but the truth is the truth is the truth. Our children are mirrors of our hearts and actions. We OOZE into them wether we want to or not. So when I noticed that my children where discontent, always wanting something, and undisciplined, I had to begin the change in me first. And that is the painful part of becoming what you are not. Facing the truth, taking an honest inventory, repenting and begging God for His help.
Did you catch that last phrase, "to those who have been trained by it". It doesn't say to those, "who have been given it". It doesn't say "to those who took the magic pill". It doesn't say for those who"thought it was too hard". It says, "to those who have been TRAINED by it". It is TRAINING...like that of an athlete. It takes time, persistence, cuts, bruises, pain. WE are proverbial and physical athletes. We were created to RUN my friends. If you have ever been an athletic runner then you can see how clearly it illustrates a life of disciplined faith, lived out in Christ.
So then, what is the "to" in Hebrews 12:11? What will be given "to" them who have been trained by it? The peaceful fruit of righteousness. The point I want to emphasize is this. Discipline within itself will not do this. It is the discipline that we pursue in order to be all that we can be and do to bring Glory to God.
1 Corinthians 10 v.31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
So we can see, how our lives are not all about us. We affect every person we come in contact with, wether we think so or not. When we make the journey of self-discipline NOT about the number on the scale...when it becomes more than that, when we see how we are affecting our children, spouse, church, schools, neighbors, we can step back and say, "Not, I but Christ, that lives within me". Because I AM HIS, it is time that I walk according to the Spirit and NOT according to the flesh. (See Romans 8)
Yes, my appearance, my expression, my clothing, my discipline, what I eat, what I watch, what I listen to, what I think about, EVERYTHING in my life is to be done to reflect Glory on God. Does he NEED me in order for this to happen? No, he doesn't. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake and for my good. Because the best thing for my life, for my soul, is the, peaceful fruit of righteousness. The best thing for me, is more of Him.
I didn't begin this journey seeking an exact end point, I only knew that to get my life and health in order, it was going to require discipline for the rest of my life. So my discipline begins by reading the word of God, early in the morning, and then praying. I pray for many things, but I always pray that He will guide my steps, change my thinking to be like His and give me the strength to do what is RIGHT! Knowing that He will give us the tools to do what is RIGHT, that my friend...is peace. Peace with a Holy, loving, merciful God who wants the BEST for His children. And like our own children are to us, we, as His children do not always agree with Him on what is 'best'.
I must say, my taste buds are already changing.
Can't you just tast the juicy, sweetness? Are you salivating?
Immediately my mind races with all of the recipes that I have tasted these in before and as I salivate, I look, I study...I cannot believe how beautiful they are.
I really wasn't sure..."Will this satisfy?". Yes, it satisfies my brain, visually. My artistic leanings LONG for texture, color, beauty...and there it is before my eyes. Then I realize that it will also satisfy the need of my body nutritionally. I realize that I can EAT THE WHOLE PLATE...and not worry about weight gain or bloating or fatigue. I take my time, I match bites of this and bites of this. And I leave, satisfied that I have done what is best for my body.
Have you stopped to realize how important the color green is to our existence? So many of my friends have a gag reflex at the thought of a green soup, or a green smoothie...but have we forgotten that green is the color of life? No, not green Skittles and M&M's...or Tic Tac's. GREEN, without it, we have no oxygen. Look outside, how much of the world was originally covered with green? Green, my friends, is our friend. Embrace the GREEN!!! It will love your body and you will begin to love it back. (That is a creamy soup made with: Steamed Broccolli, Onion, Garlic, Italian herbs, Almond Milk and sea salt).
A rainbow of color. A feast created, just for me. A feast that will do my body good and not harm.
Let me just start by saying, "THIS IS HARD!!!!". My lovely friend who is doing this with me is frolicking joyfully through fields of flowers and I am having a lot of struggle. I think there are a couple of reasons why, that are very practical.
1) She was healthier than me to begin with.
2) I realized after day 1 that I am probably chronically dehydrated (as 75% of Americans are). So I spent the day, yesterday, hydrating myself.
3) I USE to take a good amount of supplements that I think I need to get back on. A 'B Complex' is SO important for women, PLUS a GOOD whole, foods multivitamin.
Now for the other reason that this has been hard. BECAUSE IT IS HARD!!! It is hard to retrain yourself into a mode of self-denial. I am coming face to face with myself and I have to say, it has gotten a little ugly. I realized that I often lecture my children about not getting what they want, when they want it and then I eat pretty much what I want, when I want. Now, that would be fine if I was a foot taller, I would have no weight issues...but I would still have spiritual issues and health issues.
I am having to stop and evaluate WHY I eat in the first place. Is it because of hunger? Sadness? Boredom? Because I am tired and not even thinking and just stuffing food into my mouth? OY! As a Christian, I am called to a higher standard. I am called to die to my flesh, I should be well-versed in the art of self-denial and contentment. AND THAT my friends, is why THIS IS HARD!!! It is a spiritual battle for self-control and doing what I KNOW is right.
Have you ever had a day where you said, "I was BAD today", and it was COMPLETELY based on what you ate? Have you noticed how we naturally say those words and throw them around and then shrug them off? Now, I am not saying that eating foods that we love is bad. What I AM doing is questioning our own conscience. I think, that deep down, we know we shouldn't over indulge, but it is SUCH a HUGE (no pun intended) part of our culture now. We do not live in a world (atleast in the US) that is lacking for food. Even our poorest neighbors are not technically starving compared to people in 3rd world countries.
So now what?
Did you know that in the Bible THREE times there is a statement that is repeated...can you find it?
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word1 that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
"Man cannot live by bread alone but by EVERY word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
I've got the BREAD part down to a tee...in fact it is off balance with "every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord". I must feed on the Word of God and desire His word more than I do food. I must desire HIM more than anything else. You may be saying, "But, I WANT to want to desire Him most, but I don't"
Time to pray then. Ask Him, for the desire, to desire Him.
I use to think that Matthew 6:33 meant that if I was to seek God, then He would give me what I desired...but there is a catch in this verse. It is saying that if we seek the kingdom of God, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS will be added to us...that is the "All these things" that will be added to us.
SO while I have been rising at 6 every morning, I have NOT had the strength to begin exercising yet (because a fruit and veggie cleanse can have detoxing side-effects the first few days). Instead of beating myself up about it, I am spending more time praying and reading the Bible instead. Which I MUCH prefer over exercise...but my day of exercise is FAST approaching. I will take a walk with my kids this afternoon!
Thank you to all of you that have written me, either asking for prayer or offering it as an encouragement. I LOVE hearing from you!
*Have you ever sat down with a Bible at very meal? Had it opened and read while you were eating? I recommend it!*
They have all done their schoolwork, a hearty breakfast was made, the day is settling in. I am sitting eating my lunch...a steamed pot of local, farm-fresh veggies and a homemade avacado butter seasoned with orange juice, balsamic vinegar, dry mustard and a touch of salt.
The children are playing peacefully, a boardgame, all together...I am in the quiet other room listening to classical music and meditating, praying.....and my prayers go something like, "Bless our family Lord..."
Before I can continue I see that He already has, He has blessed our family. And I continue with, help us to see you...and I realize that the fact that I am drawn to prayer means that I do. I do see Him. Is there a greater blessing? My prayers stack up, one after the other with the realization that He has already done them. My heart is overcome. My eyes are overcome. My life has been overcome, because He conquered death, my death.
I imagine me, the sinner, standing in the shadow that is offset by the light of His grace. Dare I trudge into the light? How does the sinner crawl into the light of Holiness? I look down and see the sparking white garment that He clothed me in and I see His hands beckon me, "Come"...then I see that as I step into the light of His glory there is a thought that my head should be bowed, low, to the ground. It is the only feeling that my past allows. And I fall to my face. He lifts me up. He lifts me to Him.
The prayers, the ones He heard, I have to thank Him. The sorrow, the sorrow that He lifted, He will want to see the created smile that He put in its place. The broken spirit that He replaced with dancing, it will not do. The motionless body of the sinner...it contradicts the works of His glory....and HE bids me dance, face turned to Him, smiling the smile that doesn't die and voicing my adoration aloud to Him. An eternity of this worship? YES! YES! YES! Let me never leave! Let me never leave!