Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A recovering addict

So I have known for a long time that I really love sugar, maybe more than love it. But it didn't hit me until recently that I'm actually a sugar/food addict. I literally think about food all day. I know it sounds kind of silly but it is something I have been struggling with for awhile. Not only is it something I crave and love to eat but it's a comfort and a way for me to relieve stress. On June 1st I started a weight loss competition with some friends, mainly to lose the last of my baby weight and to look good in a bathing suit. I've done this before. Go on a diet to look great and at the end go back to where I started, eating unhealthy and going back to bad habits. Two weeks into I was struggling with my attitude and the desire to quit because I just wanted to eat cake, cookies, cokes, etc. I literally thought, I would rather be chubby and eat sugar whenever I want than to be healthy and thin and give up these tasty things. It wasn't fair to have to sit there while other people enjoyed what I wish I was eating. When I was upset I just wanted to eat a cookie or drink a coke to make myself feel better. In my mind it would make me feel better and the problem would go away. It hit me that I'm an addict and that I'm kind of in rehab, yikes. I'm now on the 5th week and I can't say it's gotten much easier but my outlook on this is a little different. I have not only seen that I'm healthier but I'm learning to not give in to every craving and/or use food to fulfill me. It can never happen, only God can do that and as crazy as it seems food was getting in the way of that. I have an amazing friend keeping me accountable with what I eat and she is also helping me to understand myself and to be disciplined and to have a healthy relationship with food. As much as I have been irritated and wanted to give up I'm glad I haven't. I want to be in a place where I don't depend on food to make me happy. I know there are so many other things people deal with that they may not see as an addiction but anything that you can't give up and/or use it to feel better might be getting in the way of your relationship with God and people.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Never Waste a Good Crisis"

Hearing people talk about taking vacations, going to the movies, shopping, out to eat, or their four year olds reading, writing, and drawing pictures, I find myself getting upset. Where we are right now is so different. We know we made the right choice a year ago but I’m feeling lost and unsure what to do. Still searching for a job while almost broke and to go along with that we are still having to try ten times as hard as some parents to teach Aiden the same thing other kids his age learn with ease. This is my current crisis. Of course in comparison to other problems in the world it might look like nothing. But that's not what it's about. Your trial is the hardest thing at the time for you. I’m trying to remember and trust what God’s word says.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

When Aiden was 15 months old I noticed something was different. He wasn't talking like the other babies and wasn’t hitting the milestones for speech. Everyone kept saying it's no big deal he will grow out of it. Well something inside me knew that wasn't true. I needed to get help. The months went by and kids his age continued to add words but Aiden didn't. He was so behind. For the longest time I could list off each word Aiden knew. For most parents that's impossible because their kids know so many words that they wouldn't be able to keep count. I always thought it was my fault. Did I not talk to him enough, did he watch too much t.v? Was God trying to teach me something? Surely I had done something wrong. The worst thing is when parents complain about how annoying it is that their child keeps talking and talking and just won’t be quiet. If only they knew how much I longed for that. I want to scream out of anger and frustration. Don't they understand that I'm praying for that very thing they are annoyed by?

I talked to some close friends and did a little research. We put Aiden in Easter Seals. He was in that program from the time he was 18 months until he turned 3. This past year he has been at Windermere Primary in a PPCD (Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities) class, and wow has he progressed! He is an amazing, smart, fun, happy little boy with quite a strong will, but I am happy he is who he is no matter the struggles and amount of hard work we have to go through. Some days I'm feeling good about Aiden's progress, but other days I start comparing him to other kids and I fall back into the comparison trap that makes me feel inadequate and frustrated. I know God made Aiden in His image. I want to see Aiden as God does. I will keep praying and trying my best to be patient with him, myself and to see the positive side of this stage God has us in.

Take that crisis and add a financial one to it. A year ago Justin and I decided he would leave his job after 11 years and start a new journey. We didn't think it would take this long, but knew we heard God so we listened and obeyed. He has always taken care of us but lately my flesh is getting the best of me. We are so close to running out of money and I get so scared. As much as I love my own kids, God loves me so much more! So why would He ever let us go without? I know He won't, but I'm still fighting the fear.
Hebrews 13:5 “Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] 6 So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”

Never waste a good crisis. As much as we hate trials, aren't we usually stronger and filled with more faith after we go through them. We like to say that we know what we are going through isn't as bad as what others are going through, but there is no reason to make light of our own crisis. It doesn't matter in comparison, it is a trial to you and it is tough stuff. I don't want to go through life brushing off my problems because I feel bad for complaining just because I'm not going through as rough of a time as others. It all matters to God and we can't just push it away because it will always come find us again. We have to address the issues and stop wondering if we are being punished. God isn't out to punish me for my past sins. I am going through what I am because of lots of different reasons. But I don't want to waste a crisis. I want to be a better person after it. I want to understand, trust, and love God more. As much as I have wished this past year hadn't been as hard, part of me is thankful that God allowed us to go through it. I hope that other people can see Him working through us and see that no matter what comes our way we will not give up on God. I am now able to be a support to others that go through postpartum depression, unemployment, or their child's speech delay. I can't look at those things and be bitter, feeling that God wasn't there. He along with amazing friends and family have been there for us. The creator of the universe makes himself small enough to be with us in your weakest moments.... I can't waste this crisis. I want to use it to have more faith and reach out to others who are struggling with theirs. I want to be more positive in the way I speak about everything. I want to lift others up and encourage. God has blessed me and I don't want to disrespect Him by putting down His work.

I'm reading this over and over to myself because I'm still in it. I'm worried and scared but trying my best to lean on Him.

James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
-The joy comes from what you take from the trial.

I am so glad I was able to hear this 3 part series at our church. Take the time and listen to it.

Never Waste a Good Crisis: Get Ready | June 13, 2010 from Gateway Church on Vimeo.