Saturday, April 28, 2012

Week 4 pt 2: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 7

Still struggling with the whole wasting of time thing.  Looks like I need way more discipline.  This is going to be a tougher battle than I thought.  Been listening to Bible on DVD more, but could be more.

We have however been walking together more and going to the park.  Which is great! Quality time with our girl who needs the outside way more than we do.  I think of how robbed she is by us not playing with her because her parents are overweight and tired.

On Thursday, I go to our women's group at church and there was quite a treat for me waiting there.  I will not share everything because that is not my story to tell.  Two amazing women of God came to speak to us about the 39 women that walked from Houston to Dallas for the overturning of Roe v Wade.  Leah walked and also trained the girls.  Her mother was her personal intercessor.  She shared amazing testimony of what the Lord did in that 3 weeks that they walked.  We were all weeping!

If she would have shared just the testimony it would have been enough to encourage my heart.  But the Lord had other plans. He gave us a bonus that day.  These two powerful women prayed for us and spoke prophetic words over us.  When they got to me, they spoke that I have the Bridal spirit.

Little back story.  For the past two years I have been praying to know what that level of intimacy looks like with the Lord.  I have been fascinated with John the Beloved Disciple.  That I would be the best friend of the Lord and be able to hear His heartbeat.  Jesus viewed John as His best friend and confidant.  I long to be that close to the Lord that He can be personal with me.  I'm also stricken with how John was the only disciple that stayed with Jesus when He was crucified.  He stayed with Him to the end.  That is my hearts cry.  That I would stay with Him to the end even if it's hard to bear or watch.  So you can imagine what hearing this meant to me. Lots of tears for sure.

Then the mother (I'm so sorry that I do not know her name), whispered to me "are you a singer?" I almost laughed cause NO I am not a singer.  Can't carry a tune in a bucket.  Then she said "are you a writer?" Yes.  "Are you writing?" No.  She said that I needed to be because there is an incredible flow between me and the Lord that would encourage a lot of people.  She also said that it comes out in journaling, but I needed to share. Thank You for confirmation Lord!

So here we are two days away from week 5.  We are praying for our next step in the process.

Week 4: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 6

We made it! A whole month!  No restaurants or fast food.

I have been stretched in new ways, both spiritually and physically.  I have come up with some inventive and yummy (and some not so yummy :-/ ) meals.  I'm usually one to follow a recipe, but sometimes I was pressed for time to come up with something healthy and quick.

Spiritually, I have rejoiced, questioned, and had to resubmit to the Lord's will for our lives.  I know that this is going to be our lives from now on.

Hubby and I pray and discuss what our next step is.  We are continuing on the no restaurants/fast food.  We will be treating restaurant meals the way we need to, special occasion only.  And I mean super special!  Most likely anniversary and that's it.

So far I have only shared with our close circle of friends this journey.  Literally 4 people know the story and that's it.  I wrestle with sharing with more people, but I don't want to come across as bragging or boasting our own successes.  I want to highlight and raise my voice about the Lord's accomplishments in our lives.  I feel like the Lord wants me to share, but am not comfortable with it.  More on that next week. ;-)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Testing: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt 5

So you know when you have freedom, warfare comes immediately after that and turns things upside down.  Yeah maybe I was a little too boastful during week 3.

I have not dealt with body image issues in a long time.  Who am I to call the Lord a liar when He says I'm beautiful.  Well hold onto your hats, I was in a crazy spiral the Sunday before our month mark.

I woke up feeling good.  Excited to try on my pants to see how much looser they felt.  Mistake #1.  Was so disappointed that they weren't as lose as I hoped.  Mistake #2.  Kicked myself for much of the morning because I'm not as thin as I had hoped.  Mistake #3.

We go to church and all the girls look so cute in their cute clothes.  All skinny and adorable.  Why can't I look like that?  Mistake #4.  Why can't I just lose the weight, have nicer clothes, prettier hair, wear makeup more, be beautiful?  Mistake #5.

Pastor preaches on when a thought turns into sin.  It is when it becomes an imagination.  Then it turns into action.  Having the thought isn't sin, but when it is not captured and allowed to run free in our minds.  Oh man, I have been doing that all morning!!! Coveting the cuteness and clothes of the other women. Hating myself cause I'm still fat.  Wondering when I would see real results from this diet... OOOOOPPPPS!  I'm not on a diet.  I'm fasting.  No where near the same thing.

Where was my focus?  On myself.  Where should my focus be?  On the Lord.  Ok Lord, even if I don't lose another ounce but I grow in Your knowledge, I will be totally satisfied.  Recommit! Recommit! Recommit!

I'm still reeling from all the junk I'm trying to rebuke in my head.  I tell hubby we need to get out of there fast.  We get in the car and I tell him, if we don't get home soon, I will tell you to stop at any number of places so I can eat myself into oblivion.  He is struggling too and wants to get wings from Wings N More.  We make it home. Whew!

He goes to work and Zoe loses her mind!  She is grouchy and screaming and throwing fits.  I'm trying everything in my parenting handbook (lol) to figure it out and make it stop.  Why is my child flipping out?  I'm about to lose it myself.  I'm crying in the kitchen.  Stu will be home for dinner in 30 minutes and I have done nothing but deal with an upset 1 year old all afternoon.  Meat hasn't even defrosted yet.  I'm two seconds away from picking up the phone and telling hubby to pick something up.

As I'm crying out to the Lord about my situation.  He tells me "it's not always going to be easy. Some days will be hard."  Right then my phone rings.  I'm a blubbering mess as hubby tells me that his lunch got moved back an hour.  Thank You Lord again for reprieve.  How good is He?  I know had an hour and a half to make dinner.  Zo stopped crying and actually got happy.  Thanks again God!

Isn't that the truth of the matter though.  I went from following the Lord to wanting my fleshly desires to be fulfilled.  Health is always a good goal, but a better goal is obedience and discipline.  It's not always easy to be obedient or disciplined or to even follow Jesus on any level, but He will always make a way when we think there is none.  He is so faithful!

Week 3: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt 4

If you do something for 21 days, it makes a habit.  So we decided to pray and ask the Lord what He would have us add now that we have made it 21 days into a new habit.

My flesh is saying get rid of sodas, get rid of sodas.  Hubby says, eh, I'm not feeling that.  So i selfishly pray, Lord how about we give up sodas. Could you give hubby a nudge?  Well, the Lord says how about we do something better.

We have wasted alot of food due to not eating leftovers or produce going bad. Estimated cost of cleaning out the fridge: $50 of food in the garbage.  Ugh!  He tells us, how about not wasting what you have.

So the "theme" (if there is such a thing in fasting) is "use every part of the buffalo".  It's all about being good stewards with what He has provided.  Time, money, food, energy, you name it we need to be using it up to completion.  The time part is harder than any other.  (It's week 5 and I'm still struggling).  We get better about utilizing leftovers and produce.

I still tend to waste time here and there, but trying.  All in all, these first three weeks are going really well.  Thank You Lord for grace to follow Your commands.

I feel really good like we have turned a corner.  I don't really crave out to eat food and I feel it's conquered.  YAY! No desire for going out to eat.

Well, the last day of week 3 is a doozie and deserves it's own post.

Week 2: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 3

I begin to feel better, health wise.  I am so thankful that I don't have the recurring heart burn or need to be sick.  Far from healthy mind you, but feeling better.

It feels like my heart is awakening again.  I can feel the presence of the Lord more and more.  I don't feel as fuzzy when I seek Him.  Like everything I'm saying or hearing is through a door.  The door is opening a little wider each day.  I actually want to spend more time with Him.  Before it felt like such effort.

There are a few opportunities presented for us to go out to eat with someone, but we graciously say no.  We are actually doing really well this week.  The pressure isn't there.
I'm free-er and free-er by the day.  Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!

The tree gets cut down by the way. Our tree guy called and offered a payment plan. The Lord provided that we were able to pay for half of the services! He is pretty great like that. When we say yes to Him, He is swift to bless.
The tree company hard at work.  Lord bless them!

Week 1: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 2

Our whole purpose in this journey is that it's God centered, breathed and lead.  We don't want to get out of His grace and guidance at all.  Also I do want to preface these posts as well that they are from my point of view and not my husbands.  I know the Lord has done great things for/through him over the past few weeks, but I will only share what he has told me.  I may ask him to do a post of two about his journey with the Lord.  He has been in total agreement with this whole thing as it's the Lord not him or I leading the charge.

The first week isn't so hard.  It is a time adjustment. Cooking three meals a day and snacks is challenging when you go from hardly any to all.  We technically aren't cold turkey people, but I do believe that this is the only part of the journey that has been similar to cold turkey.  The Lord had such amazing grace for us when we started.

The hubby and I discussed some changes that would be made.  No out to eat at all of course.  No snacks at gas stations on the debit card also.  We decided to give ourselves an allowance.  It helps immensely, especially since hubby works non-typical hours and he needs an occasional caffeinated beverage or vending machine pick me up in the middle of his shift.

We decide to not buy anything at all without the other's knowledge.  Groceries, business supplies, etc.  We are on lock down. Necessities only until further notice.

We actually come up with a budget and start sticking to it.  Hubby begins working more overtime to help bail us out of the hole we have created for ourselves.  After vowing never to use our Best Buy card again, we break down and do because we still need an computer.  Getting back into another avenue debt with a credit card stung like none other.  We add it to the pile of debt at home and vow to whittle it all down with the money we save from not eating out.

We pray for strength, perseverance, and deliverance from temptation.  The temptation is pretty strong at first, but starts to subside as the week progresses.

We make it in one piece.  I didn't pull my hair out and we are all safe and sound.  Hallelujah!

We ate a tree: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt.1

The past year and half has been tough.  If you have been keeping up with this blog or our lives at all, we have been in a serious funk.  Which is sad because this started a loooooong time ago.  Way before burdens came.  But I wanted to share what the Lord is doing in our hearts over the past month and a half.

A few months ago we filed our taxes and with taking a loss on our business we were able to get some money back.  We had invested alot of our personal money to the business and did not make near enough to cover expenses.  We got a nice little deposit from the government, invested back into the company and decided what we would do with our personal portion.

Well we have this tree. It is a beautiful mighty oak in our front yard.  We have two actually.  The one I'm speaking about is actually really close to the house and it's messing up our foundation.  I love this tree as I love the other.  They are old rooted trees that provide an amazing amount of shade so our electric bill stays low.  I fought to keep the tree until I found out our foundation was cracking in two places.  Sorry Charlie, that's a deal breaker.  You are out of here!

The one on the right is the tree in question

We decided that's what the bulk of the money will go to as well as a new computer.  Our old one crashed and were borrowing a friends laptop to do business.  (Love you Cat!) We are serious this time! What we purpose to spend our money on, we will. No if's and's or but's!

Well that didn't happen.  We have a little problem.  We don't like spending our money on gadgets, the latest clothing trend, or many material things per se.  We love to eat.  And eat.  And eat.  Not just eat as in make nice meals, but eat at restaurants and fast food. A lot.  Almost once a day in fact.  Whataburger, no brainer! Yes. Chips and Queso, um you know the answer.  Yes.  Fajitas for two, of course. Yes.

By the time we were prepared to contract with a tree service we look at our bank account and there is hardly anything in there.  Hmmmm, how in the world did that happen?  $15 to Whataburger.  $30 to El Bosque.  $12 to Sonic.  And so on.  You see where I'm going with this?

So essentially, we ate a tree.  We ate the money that would provide the service that would take care of the tree.  What do we have to show for it?  Not fun new things that we can play with or wear, but fatter bellies, bigger butts and a skinny bank account.  We have had a problem with this for years.  We eat our money and we are broker than broke because of it.  Yes we are essentially on a meager income as I was laid off in late 2010, but we do not treat our income the way it needs to be treated.

My heart could not take it anymore.  We lack so much discipline in this area!  I said that is it, no more eating out!!!  Yes, I used three exclamations in my spoken sentence.  Conviction had taken up residence in my heart and mind, not just rattled around as a thought of "oh we need to be better".  That was our last straw moment.

The Lord laid it on our hearts to make it a month without eating out at all.  So we began our journey which I will share.

I want to tell you that this is not about weight loss or saving money at all.  It is about obedience to what the Lord has commanded us to do.  Our main goal in this whole process is to seek His face and grow closer to Him.  Eating food is not a sin.  Eating the way we had been was.  We were blocking our hearts to what God has for us. He had to shout to us through this circumstance to get us to listen because we had removed ourselves so far from His presence that it was hard to remember what He sounds like.

I will give you a sneak peek though.  We are almost on week 5 and what a ride it has been!