Saturday, April 11, 2009

The "Garden of Eatin" From my first blog in April 2009

Ok- so it's been a while since my last blog.   You can probably guess that I have been in the " Garden of Eatin".........It's amazing that when God wants you to be accountable for tend to just, ommm, look the other way.  Pretend that He really didn't ask you to journal you journey.  If I am journaling...then I must be doing it right.... I wouldn't put the bad stuff in there , right?!  Well- He has finally convicted me that this is a JOURNEY......and He wants me to put the good , the bad , and the ugly in it.  Ugg!
Now- onto the Garden of Eatin' and Eve are quite different.  If I had been in that garden do you think I would have been tempted by an apple?  Or any fruit for that matter?  Please!  I just don't think so.  

Throw some donuts, pizza or ice-cream on that tree and now we are talking!  But an apple?  No way.  Just no temptation there.  Ok- maybe I would give into a chocolate dipped apple like the kind at the Fair or some gummy fruit snacks but not just plain old fruit. 

I know, I know...the passage isn't really all about apples or donuts.   It's about obedience to God.  Oh, and that being tempted by Satan thing.  He is a pretty crafty devil isn't he?  For he says in Genesis 3 "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the lord God had made, He said to the woman. 'Did God really say, 'you must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"    Oh, yes....the creator of doubt.  That little voice in your head that says " God didn't really say your body is a temple did He?  He doesn't really not want you to have everything that you want when you want it, right?"    From verse 4 the slithery slimy sneaky full of snickers bars  told Eve " you will not surely die,. For God know that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil".  What a dog. A big fat pig.  

And so there began the fall of Karen Barlow.  

I would love to think that if "I" were in that garden that beautiful day that "I" would have taken one look at that apple tree and said " plleeeaaaease, give me a break little man with horns.  Bring me something better than this.  Give me chocolate,  pastries, candy, skittles, caramels,

 hot fudge sundies, a tree full of donuts "hot now" from Krispy Kreme....but an apple???
Go on with your bad self.  
Go bug someone else with your slimy self.  I'm waitin' for the good stuff"     

But Eve said in Genesis 3:13 "The serpent deceived me, and I ate".

I am no different from Eve.  I may not think that my reasons are the same for "sinning" as were hers...but the bottom line.... verse 13 makes that very clear.  Satan deceives and I eat.  In the area of eating...Satan has more control over me than God does.  How sad. 

God has given me sooo many wonderful things to choose from to eat. He has not even specifically told me that any food is "off limits". Yet- I choose the foods that do not bring glory to Him or my body.  I choose to use food as my comforter.  The choice is mine.  Just because it tastes good doesn't mean it's what is best for me.  Instant gratification is not God's main theme throughout the bible!  

          Psalm 25
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
in you I trust, O my god.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without

And so the journey continues.....a few steps hopefully a few steps "up" God's path.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Waffling around....... from my first blog in April 2009

On Wednesday of this past week I was feeling, a failure.  The thoughts- you know the kind- where you feel like you are such a horrible mother, wife, teacher, friend.....the works. Funny how they all hit at one time.  Those feelings can't take turns like we are all taught in preschool.  No, they are selfish and  self-defeating feelings that are all begging for your attention at the same time.   So where did I turn when bombarded with such thoughts?  To waffles, of course.  Oh, yes.... and lots of them ...with a heaping of butter and a slathering of syrup.  A heaping of butter not just on the top waffle.  There had to be a good chunk on each individual waffle all the way down to the last one on the bottom.  What is the  point of just putting butter on the top one?  Doesn't the last one on the plate deserve  to be enjoyed as much as the first?  It's not his fault he was put on the plate last.  All waffles deserve the same amount of butter in my book.  The syrup is never put away in the pantry until all the waffles are eaten.  Why waste valuable time and energy having to go back and forth to the pantry to get more?  It's only fair.  The last bites of waffles should have the same respect as the first. Besides, what if there is some butter left at the end and no syrup to mix with it?  

Once in bed that night, I moaned and groaned a little ( ok- I was out right moping).  You see, my belly was severely bloated from all the carbs, sugar, and the medical fact that I am unable to digest any lactose.  The 6 waffles I ate for supper ( and all the non-food addicted people say.."how on earth could you eat 6 waffles?  I can only eat 2 at a time..oh, my....) were sitting heavy.  The 6 I ate for breakfast had not yet gotten through my system.( yes- you read it right)  So..... sing with me...."12 little waffles sittin' in my belly... making me feel really fat and swelly."
My wonderful husband noticed my moping and asked what was wrong.  My usual response.."I feel miserable. I can't stop eating. I can't do anything right....etc."  He then proceeded to tell me what I already knew.  I needed to turn to God instead of food.  Thanks, honey-oknighty night. Thanks for your input.  Always love getting advice about food from someone who can let mold grow on Krispy Kreme donuts.....( I know- THAT is just not right!  What person in their right mind could just let donuts go without being eaten?  As one of my "die-hard" food addicted friends said, "I would have just taken the mold off and eaten the rest!"  She will go nameless.)      I went to sleep hearing the words..."run to God instead of food".  Sweet dreams...

The next morning failure was still hovering in my head.  Like a guest that won't leave.  A cat that won't get off the paper you are reading.  Like a child that starts whining and crying as soon as the phone rings and it's  a call you really need to take.  You try to shake it off, think of other things...but the failure bug has permeated your every thought.    You are tired of feeling this's becoming more of a normal day than a bad day here and there.

My first thought?  Waffles.  That would make everything better.  I stopped myself just in time.....ok.....actually I realized there WERE no waffles because I had eaten all of them the day before!  Problem solved, right?  I started to feel anxious, panicky, obsessed with the fact that there were no waffles for my daily shot of butter , carbs and syrup.  ( not that the kids would not have their usual breakfast...nope...didn't care about that...they can always just have cereal).  I instinctively grabbed the phone in tears to call my best friend.  That is when I felt the pull and the call.....from God this time.  "Run to me this run to your friends, food, anything but me.  Come to me this morning and let me fill the void that can only be filled by me."  I put the phone down and just cried.  I got out my bible and did something I am not usually comfortable with or used to.....just started letting the pages turn praying that God would let them stop where He wanted them to.  I flipped through half heartily with no real faith that God even cared enough about this issue to "give me a verse".

Then it happened.   A passage caught my eye.  Jeremiah 13.  "The Ruined Waistband".  I actually chuckled when I read it thinking to myself, "yup, I have a ruined waistband alright!"  I read the passage and thought- oh, there is more to this story, I don't know the context, and certainly it has nothing to do with my waistband.   Then I got to verse 10 &11:
"This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the  stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and bow  down to them, let them be just like this waistband, which is totally worthless.  For  as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of  Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to ME, declares the Lord, that they  might be for ME a people, for renown, for praise, and for glory, but they did not  listen."

Well....alrighty, then!  Out of context or not.....the Lord was clearly telling me that I refuse to listen to His words, I am stubborn in my heart, have gone to other gods to serve them and bow down to them. ( that is where the food comes in!) Because of this....I will not only have a ruined waistband......I will be just like one.  Worthless.  Not worthless in God's sight, but worthless to be for HIM, for praise and for glory.  All the things that He deserves.  I can't serve two masters.  I can't listen to God in some areas of my life and just completely ignore this one. 

 Eating too much is a sin.  Eating for the wrong reasons is a sin.  Eating to fill the space that only God can fill a sin.    A sin is a sin is a God's eyes.  We put sins in hierarchy...." well at least I don't do that...".  

 To God, overeating or eating for the wrong reasons is saying He is not enough.  We need more.  We need other gods to help out.  

Eating is NOT a sin ....but the motives behind why we eat can be.  We obviously need food to survive.  But our lack of faith that God will provide just what we need on a daily basis......a sin.

Now you know how I came to the passage Jeremiah 13 called "The Ruined Waistband". In one word......God.  He took me right to it.  He is a personal God.  He cares about every detail of our lives.  So- for more waffling will only add to my already ruined waistband.  

The good news......God is the MASTER of restoration! He can raise the dead.....fixing a ruined prob, bob.  We must  want to have it fixed first.  

We must hand Him the waistband.  Hand it over!  He can't fix it if you are still holding on to it.   

"Step away from the waffle........"  :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why is my BUT so big??? From my first blog in April 2009

That's right ...I said it.  "Why is my BUT so big?"  If you have a big BUT, you know exactly what I am talking about.  Really, you do.  Some BUT's are bigger than others but the end result is still just a big olBUT.  Here is a list of at least 10 reasons I have a big But.   There are about 1,000 more- just don't have time to list them all! 

  1. Lord, I want to have no other Gods before me BUT it's just so hard when I am stressed out and food is right there and gives quick relief.  ( Exodus 20:3)
  2. Lord, I want to declare your lovingkindness in the morning, and your faithfulness every night BUT you know I am not a morning person.  I need and crave carbs, waffles, syrup, pancakes to get me moving in the morning.  At night I am so tired, I just need food to calm me and comfort me.  ( Psalm 92:1-2)
  3. Lord, I want to wait for you; be courageous and let my heart be strong.  I want to wait for you BUT I need instant gratification.  Sometimes you just don't give that.  You make me wait too  long.  Food provides what I need when I need it.  ( Psalm 27:14)
  4. Lord, you call me to "rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer." BUT I don't want to be.  ( Romans 12:12)
  5. Lord, you tell me to "serve you with gladness" BUT what if I am not always glad?  (Psalm 100:2)
  6. "Blessed are you who are hungry now, because you will be filled" BUT I don't feel blessed when I am hungry and I want to be filled with food and lots of it .  (Luke 6:21)
  7. "For we walk by faith, not by sight" BUT man does that chocolate covered donut look grand!  (2 Corinthians 5:7)
  8. ' All man's efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied" BUT that says it all!
  9. Lord, I want to follow your ways BUT I refuse to listen to your words, I follow the stubbornness of my heart and go after other gods to serve and worship them.  (Jeremiah 13)
  10. "The serpent deceived me and I ate"BUT I didn't know I was doing that bad.....(Genesis 3:13)

The Ruined Waistband....... from my first blog in April 2009

This is from my first blog I started last year.  Just thought I would stick it in to share a little background.

I mean, after all, it's just syrup.  How can something that sits in a container- with no life, no breath, no goals, no ambitions- have such power over me?  Just by looking at the bottle conjours up lots of thoughts and emotions.  Waffles, pancakes, french toast.....all the comfort breakfast foods I love.  
I have discovered over the last few years that my love of syrup, butter, pancakes, waffles, donuts- something that has slowly taken me away from my love of God.  I have slowly replaced God with food.  Satan has led me to believe that food is my hero.  My emotional comfortor.  My escape.  My faithful friend that will always be there for me and make me feel better.  Food is easy to run to.  It's readily accesable, provides instant gratification, and well- it tastes good.  Now- I am not talking about the kind of food that is healthy.  I am talking about carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Throw some fat and chocolate in the mix and you have got something to live for.  Anyone with me yet?  The food that keeps you coming back for more even when you are so full and disgusted you can't move.  The food that you say you will "never eat again".  The food that gives you that "quick fix" for the emotional distress you feel when you are down , someone cut you off in traffic, your kids are driving you crazy, your house is a mess and you are too tired to clean it, your daughter just spilled a whole carton of milk on the floor,  you have a sick kid, your pants you just wore last week are too know...that kind of food.  That's right-you are depressed because your pants are too tight.  The solution?  More food......which then continues the ever vicsious cycle of defeat.  Which leads me back to Satan.  He wants us to stay in that cycle.  He wants us to be on the fast spin cycle of defeat where we can't slow down long enough to turn the stop button off.  He wants to keep us believing that food is our saviour.  He wants to keep us so distracted by little things that will send us down the wrong path. He wants to keep us from knowing the truth.  Food is not our saviour.  God is.  Food is not our faithful friend.  God is.  Food is not an escape.  God is.  Food is not our emotional healer. God is.  Food is no hero.  But my God IS.........He can do things that the silly bottle of syrup in the pantry could only dream of doing.  ( Oh, that's right...syrup is not even alive, but yet it has power?!)
I am on a journey.   A journey to replace food with God.  I have started and restarted this journey many times.   Satan wants me to believe that God doesn't even have anything to do with my love of food.  God wants me to know that food has become my idol and He wants me back.  This is a spiritual journey......a battle that God has already won.  I have a choice to make- God or Satan.  There is no in between.  There is no sitting on the fence.  I can't eat donuts out of lust and then turn around and worship my Lord.  Yes- eating too much is a sin.  I am a sinner.  I need a saviour.  I have one who is waiting for me to "run" to Him.  He is waiting with open arms.  He is fat free, carb free, cellulite free, sugar free, caffeine free, guilt free, lactose free and most of all Satan free.  
I am writing this blog ( against all that is in me) to help me.  I feel God calling me to journal my journey.    I have no idea what He will do this.  I have no idea who will read it.  I have no idea what I will say, when I will say it, or what form in will be said.  I do know that God is speaking to me and I am ready to listen.   I don't want to be a " ruined waistband".  I don't want to be "worthless" in His sight.