Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

Fighting Weight-loss Failure

So, lately I’ve put myself out there in some big ways here at Being Confident of This.  I’ve told you why I hate speaking my goals aloud, why it frightens me.  Claiming that I’m working on losing weight, self-control, healthy living, is scary because it also makes me accountable to all who hear those words. It makes me accountable to myself and to my Lord, too.

And the Lord must be doing some sort of work in this area of health because He just won’t let it rest. 🙂

Last week, I wrote about the 5th cookie – how we can be like disobedient children who want our things our way. As I walked away from that post, and headed into Valentine’s weekend, I was pumped. I was ready!

Somewhere along the line, I decided that since it was Valentine’s Day, I would allow myself to cheat a little. It began with just a few pieces of candy that our children shared with me and extended right on into the evening with fried food. In fact, that sin snowballed right through the weekend and into Monday!

The problem wasn’t just that I failed to reach my healthy eating goals. The real problem with cheating on my plan is that I didn’t even ask the Lord if it was okay. I shut Him out.

Fighting-Weight-loss-Failure, when you cheat on your eating plan, sin, disobedience, failing in your weight-loss journey, failing to meet goals

I hadn’t really thought about this before until one of my readers pointed out that when she wants something, she takes it without asking, even if she knows punishment (such as gained weight) will follow, because it’s worth it at the time.  I think all too often, I like to live in denial of the punishment coming my way, not because I think God is going to be angry with me, but because natural consequences follow my unhealthy choices!

Truly, the worst part of falling off the healthy wagon this weekend wasn’t the over-full, bloated body but that I felt like such a hypocrite. Boy, did the Enemy seize on that feeling, too!  I knew I was wrong. I knew I had failed, disobeyed.

He knew it, too, that father of lies. Didn’t you just write about making healthy choices and respecting the boundaries God gives you?  Didn’t you just tell your readers that those boundaries are for your benefit?  You’re such a hypocrite!  You’ll never get a grip on this area. Success will always elude you when it comes to food… You’re doomed to life as a big girl…You might as well just give up now!

Whenever I start listening to the Enemy’s lies, I want to hide away like Eve in the Garden. Instead of running to the Father to confess my sin, I often try to deny it. I pretend it doesn’t exist. I blame others. I act like it’s not a big deal – just a “little” sin.

I justify the sin.

But somewhere deep inside, I know the truth of my own choices. I know, too, that my Father is gentle and patient and loving. I know He forgives sin as far as the East is from the West.  I know He’s waiting….just waiting. I don’t avoid Him because of His character but because of the wound to my own pride. I consistently fail on my own.

I need Him.

With each comment here and on facebook, with each share notification, I’m reminded of His lesson. He’s been calling me, using my own words to beckon me to His side. He’s relentless. He pursues without tiring.  He does all of this because He loves me.

He loves me.

He loves you, too, sister, even those of you wallowing in failure as I have been the past couple of days.  He loves those of you who feel you have no hope left. He loves those of you who struggle with doubts about His very goodness.

You see, the Enemy’s initial accusations were true – I was a hypocrite by choice, but the rest of what followed was all lies. I know that with the Father’s help, I can overcome, even in the area of healthy eating. I can say no to food. I can say yes to exercise.  I can learn to trust the Father’s boundaries, even after a failure, especially after a failure! I can trust His work-in-progress in me. 🙂

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

That promise always rings true. He is faithful, my sisters in Christ. Whatever boundary you’ve been struggling with, He is faithful.

Don’t wait any longer.

Confess.

Cry out to Jesus.

Let Him pick you up from this place.

Let Him be the author of your come-back.

When you do, the weight of sin will be lifted; the Accuser will be silenced.

And you…you will be white as snow.

Jen 🙂

Sharing with: Grace and Truth, Faith Filled Friday, Fellowship Friday,

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Bad Guys Are Real

Bad Guys Are Real, sin, grace, eternal life

I love how she chatters when it’s just her and me in the van, her sweet, soft voice breaking through the unusual quiet as we travel. I point out two military jets flying overhead and she asks if they are carrying a lot of people.

“Well, no, these jets are carrying soldiers who work hard to protect us, protect our country,” I explain.

“They protect us? Like from bad guys?  Mommy, are bad guys real?”  Her voice gets quiet.

I want to tell her, “no.” I want to make her feel safe and secure, but the truth is that bad guys are real.  “Yes, they are real, sis. Some people want to hurt others and do bad things.”

From the front seat, I imagine her eyes growing wide with this information. “Because they don’t love God?” She questions, so smart yet so innocent for all of her five years.

daughter, are bad guys real?, good vs. evil, sin, Jesus, grace, eternal life

I want to tell her, “yes.” Yes, bad guys are bad because they don’t know or love God.  They are bad because they hurt others.  They are bad because they have evil inside, and they do unspeakable things.  That would be the quick and easy explanation, right?

But it’s not the whole truth, is it, this idea that some are bad and some are good?  The truth is we all have evil inside.  We’re all bad in a sense; it’s called sin.  So once again I stop myself from making it sound that simple in favor of telling her the truth.

bad guys, none righteous, we all sin

“Well, yes, some bad guys probably don’t know God or love Him.  But really we all have the ability to be bad.  We all have sin inside of us, and we all make wrong choices sometimes.  It’s only because we believe that Jesus paid the punishment for our sins by dying on the cross that we can choose good instead. That’s the only real difference between the bad guys and the good guys – Jesus.  Without Him we would all be bad guys.”

She falls quiet then for a while, and I know she’s thinking about what I said. I hope and I pray that she really gets it.  That there is nothing good in us, nothing deserving, nothing “better than.”  

Because more than anything I want my sweet, dark-haired beauty of a daughter to know that she cannot, she cannot, be good on her own. She needs Jesus. She needs grace.

bad guys, wages of sin, unrighteous, sin leads to death, eternal life is a gift

Even more than that, I want her to realize that we all need it, this grace, this unmerited, unearned, undeserved, unfathomable gift from a Father God who deigned to love us, a bunch of bad guys, enough to sacrifice His one and only Son.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,

in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom. 5:8

Yes, my daughter, bad guys are real.

But praise be to God,

Jesus is real, too.

Jen 🙂

Sharing with: My Freshly Brewed Life, Managing Your Blessings, Mom’s The Word, Wholehearted Home, Messy Marriage,

Jennifer Dukes Lee, Rich Faith Rising

You may find me linking with any of these lovely blogs.

 

 

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Five Minute Friday: Fall

Oh how I wanted to skip this Five Minute Friday because I knew immediately what I needed to write about.  And it’s oh-so-personal and painful.  Like any painful thing, though, there can be beauty in the ending.  So, I pray you will find the beauty here.

Nothing can separate us from God's love, fall, sin, forgiveness

Fall.

Sometimes, when life circumstances or sin issues overcome us, we fall.

And so last Fall, I fell, and I fell hard.

After a long year of trying to sell our home, we spent the summer moving to a new town, with a culture all its own.  It’s a small country town, and I love the quiet of it, the friendly feel of it.  The summer was a whirlwind of remodeling and unpacking and general chaos.  So, when the long, quiet, isolated days of winter came, and I had little to do but sit with my thoughts, I began to mourn.

I mourned for the family and friends who used to live nearby.  I mourned for our YMCA with its child watch room.  I mourned for the fellowship of our previous church. I mourned for my work-out buddy. I mourned for the amazing children’s section of our old library, the convenience of grocery stores and Walmart, the trusted babyistters who lived nearby, and on and on.

At the same time, my marriage relationship was under a great deal of stress, so I was mourning the temporary loss of my best friend, as well.  And as I sit here and write this, tears fall because the pain of loss was so, so great.  It overwhelmed me.  I felt alone and abandoned, even by God.

And that’s when I fell.  I quit believing that He only allows things into my life that will be worked out for good.  I quit believing that He was by my side, mourning right along with me. I  failed to understand the purpose in His choice to remove almost every comfort from my life simultaneously.

Falling is hard.  It’s painful. It brings sadness and shame along with it.

But on the other side of falling, is being picked up.  Just like when my sweet little daughter falls and scrapes her leg. It hurts and we want the pain to go away, but there is also comfort there.  There are loving arms to envelope us, to chase the sadness away.

Sometimes we fight those arms and we fail to find comfort.  And that’s where I sat for a time.  I blamed God for so many things in my life, even my own sin (gasp! yes, it’s true).  But He never let go of me, even as I thrashed about and begged for release.

In a weird way, I’m glad I fell because it gave Him a chance to show me just how full His love is for me.  That even when I’m downright nasty and ugly to Him and sometimes even to those around me, He loves me anyway.

When you fall down, He picks you up.

Because He loves you anyway.

Praise the Lord!

Jen 🙂

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy this poem:

http://www.livenourished.net/five-minute-friday-fall/

or this article:

http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com/2013/06/keep-falling-from-being-failing.html

Five Minute Friday is a challenge, a free-writing exercise for bloggers.  5 minutes of writing with no editing, etc.  If you’d like more information, check here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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