Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Thorn

**I wrote this last summer when I first thought of blogging and didn't.  It's still a great post and it explains more my post here.**

A thorn in my side is overeating, or gluttony.  God has given me victory over this sin, although from time to time I pick up all the laws I enforced on myself with it and struggled when I go my way, not God’s.  Thankfully, He forgives and welcomes me back after He disciples me and reveals to me what I’m doing.

I recently was asked to join a study group that focuses on our thought towards food.  I did one on my own several years ago and that is when God delivered me.  At first I didn’t want to do this study, then I thought perhaps a review would help and maybe there’s something at the end that will help me, because what I’ve read for the beginning is things I’ve already worked through.  I hoped for more, but wasn’t certain that I’d get it.

Of course that isn’t a reason to not be obedient, since once I say I got it, then I don’t because I will always need God to delivery me from this on a moment by moment basis (this wrote after eating one to many no-bake cookies). 

At the meeting, God brought back to mind what I had stored away and I was able to share with the group.  Now I can see He wants me to write this out so I can read this.  For the long intro, this is my reminders...

Be alert for my own tendency to make food or me an idol.  Make me an idol you ask.  Yes, when I focus on me and how I will look and compliment I hope to get and what clothes I might get to wear...I’m making me an idol.  Food as an idol is constant thought of my next meal...what I will have, where I’ll eat and a tendency to overeat.

I’ve read or heard the parable of the rich man about ten times over the past month (Matthew 19:16-22).  I am to seek God, follow Jesus, more than I am to want anything or hold onto anything in this world.  I am to look around me and be willing to give it all up if God should call me to do so.  My only goal on this earth is to follow Jesus and live like He did.

“...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5.  When thoughts about food or my body enter my head...I am to turn them over to God.  It’s a prompt to pray.

I struggled over a month with the following passage from the sermon on the mount.
Matthew 5:38-42  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.  If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.  Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”  It just isn’t easy to think this way, but in doing so means I’m poor in the spirit (therefore the kingdom of Heaven is mine Matthew 5:3).  It’s hard not to feel I have rights, but really I don’t, not on this world.  I have God promises which are real, on earth, nothing lasts.  Remember to give without expecting back.  Remember to share even if it means “mine” will be damaged.  Remember I don’t deserve to eat what I want because of the day I had.  It’s a pleasure to do the work before me that my Lord has laid out.  This of course does not mean I can’t relax and enjoy the abundant life the Lord has given me, it’s just having the righteous, humble attitude knowing I am just dust.

And the last bullet points:

At any point I put my plans in front of God’s plan for me, I FAIL.

At any point I say I got this God, I FAIL.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Emotional Dependency

In the January issue of P31Woman magazine, I compelled by the article Pam Shattuck wrote.  Oh, this might be the first real post about the real me.  No, I don’t want to do it.  All the other post seem good and positive.  This one, it will go a little deeper.

Yet, emotional dependency isn’t who I am anymore.  

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Oh, this is one of those pesky habitual sins that will creep into my life without me knowing (like seeking food over God for comfort).  Yet if Pam could share something that hit so close to home with me about her journey, why can’t I?

I could go back to my childhood as an overlooked middle child.  I could analyze what others did to make me this way.  It comes down to I’m this way and it is a sin!

Isaiah 2:22 Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils.  Why hold them in esteem? 

I can crave validation from man over God.  Did they pay attention to what I said?  Did they hear me?  Why don’t they call me right now when they must know I need the phone call?  Did I get a response to my post (this is one I can fall into, especially in writing a blog)?  Did I get an email back?  And the worst, volunteering to do something, not for God’s glory, but so everyone will know how selfless I am which is really very selfish.

For the longest time in my life, I sought validation from my family.  I never received what I needed as a child.  I had great expectancy.  If they really love me, if they really want to be with me, they will behave or react this way.  Ha.  It rarely happened.  I usually copped a poor attitude which only further strained relationships.  It came down to realizing no matter what I did, I would not please all of them nor did they look to me to do it.  They could not give me something only God could give me.

Jeremiah 17:7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him."

God has worked on this in me.  He is showing me who He sees when He looks at me.  I need to encourage others, not seek the encouragement.  Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians (and a few other places) how their faith was an encouragement to him.   I need to volunteer to be the useful tool He created me to be to bring Him glory, no other reason.  As Pam says in her article, it is freeing. 

So many people believe to follow God is to be in bonds for Him.  In a way that’s true.  However, the more of me I give to God the more freedom I have in Him.  He created me, He knows what’s best, He knows the perfect way to live a life that will have great joy.

It is a privilege to serve my God.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Stop DSing me!

I will admit, I have contemplated buying a DS for my daughter.  She plays on the computer or Wii from time to time.  Sometimes even on our Nintendo 64 (yeah, it still works).  We have more games for the Nintendo 64 than the Wii.  All said, we have less than 20 games total.

Her computer time is limited to quasi-educational games like Poptropica, PBSKids or Nick Jr.

But I digress from the DS.  This contraption keeps kids quiet.  They focus in for hours without any real communication with a live being.  The DS is part of teaching children to be introverts without the capability to have a fully functioning relationship in their life.

Ok, that may be extreme.  Yet this evening, at a local restaurant, I saw a young man not eat his dinner nor speaking to his parents as he clicked away on his DS.  When his father finally took notice, he abruptly took the DS away which caused the child to throw a fit.  Of course, I am just a bystander and don't know what is happening in the home, yet I have to wonder if communication does.

Then as we were leaving, a young lady comes in with her family holding her DS.  

Then our neighbor boy who 'plays' with his friends on the DS, instead of face to face actual playing.

So as we lecture our daughter not to read her book while we have dinner, I hope others will ask their child to stop DSing them.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What is this?

I feel strength rising in me.  I'm experiencing something different.  It's new place I haven't been before.  This blog is helping.  Each day I say no to sugar is helping.  I'm moving further away from me and closer to Jesus. 

I feel it seeping in and I love it.  When I'm exhausted, I keep moving.  When I want to do my own thing, I hear the voice to direct me where I need to go and I obey.  When I'm grumpy, I am aware and adjust my tactics so not to spew my wrath.  When I want to be hurt, I see what's really happening.

I know right now it's going good.  I will enjoy it while things are well.  This is a time to store up treasures.  A time in which God kept me from persecution so I could grow.  It is a time to remember when trials come.  God is there, He will protect, provide and bring peace to me.  There I will have joy, always joy.

so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 1 Thessalonian 3:3-4

In 1 Thes Paul shares to expect persecution.  When I'm in the zone, the attack will come from my enemy.  However, I will react to opposition like Paul did in Philippi when he and Silas were in prison (Acts ) I will sing praises to my Lord; I will pray.  I will have joy that everything happened as God expected.  I expect what God expects and will be joyful always.

In application, when things don't go as I have planned, I can ask God for His insight.  What am I do to differently?  To whom do I need to speak the truth or be an example for?  What am I to pray?  How can I encourage?  

What is this?  This is peace.  

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Praise my God forever!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Monkey Muffins

Ever wonder what to do with old bananas?  I toss mine (that haven't been neglected to long) into the freezer.  There they wait to be made into something yummy.  Below is one way.

Monkey Muffins
Original recipe came from High Five Magazine my daughter used to get.  We have lots of fun making these, or at least until the smashed banana gross her out.  I've changed it slightly.

3 bananas
2 c whole wheat flour
1 ts baking soda
1/2 c shortening (I use butter crisco)
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 ts salt
1 ts vanilla
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c water (or so)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Thaw bananas slightly if from freezer.  Smash into small pieces.  I use a pastry blender for this job.
  3. Mix together shortening and sugar. Beat until creamy. Add eggs, the mashed bananas, salt, and vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Add the flour, soda and mix.  
  5. Add sour cream. Mix well.  Add water to thin batter to a sour cream consistency.
  6. Fill the muffin cups 1/2 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes for regular muffins.  Fill 3/4 of mini muffin cup and bake for 12-14 minutes.

My family prefers mini muffins over regular size.  If you do use white flour, omit the water.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


“Can we retrench? Does it occur to you that there is any on article in which we can retrench?” and They must retrench; that did not admit of a doubt. – Jane Austen

Anne Elliot is often thought of as dull insipid character.  I think she is patient, kind and secure.  She is confident in her own that it does not bother her so much when others slight her.  Even being close to her love, she becomes vibrant, just like me when I am close to my Lord.

But this isn’t about Anne, this is about the need to retrench.  This is self imposed, not because of a direct need.  I do feel that I spent a little to much last month do to lack of planning, however, we’re still financially sound. 

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

No this is more about a need to constrain myself to what is truly needed.  To be a better steward of God’s provisions.  We have some goals we want to meet and won’t get there if we keep making those little extras that add up.  I’d like to tackle our mortgage (our only debt), plan a family trip and do a slight remodel on my bedroom (I hope to post that later this year).  I also want to be more generous to others in need.

These goals won’t be met unless I cut back.  Since I spend most of our discretionary funds, it’s up to me to retrench.

I’ll be posting about ways I retrench.  The obvious ways will include:
cook at home, less processed foods
use my creative skills to make things rather than buy
use coupons, sales ads and price comparison list when shopping

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

70’s Table Redo

When I saw this table many moons ago (as in after 2003, but not sure when) I knew it would fit perfectly in a little space in what is now my daughter’s bathroom.  This room at the time had no storage whatsoever.  We have remodeled this room three years ago this month to convert an can barely fit into half bath that serve no purpose for my family into a shower stall. 

Back to the table.  What I loved most was the lines of the legs and the second little shelf that supports the legs.

Problems:  This table is ugly!  Chiped plastic veneer, need I say more?

The wood veneer on the plywood wasn’t so bad.  So inspired by HGTV Cash and Cari and Salvage Savvy blog I knew I was just a few Google searches and paint cans away to making this a clean white beauty.

Step 1: I filled in as best I could all the chips with wood filler. 
Step 2: I sanded the whole thing down.  I wanted to take the shine off the plastic and poly off the wood.
Step 3: I primed the wood parts only with Kilz primer.  And waited (not so good at this) for it to dry.
Step 4: Then I took my 1 can a plastic paint and covered all the plastic veneer.  I put on 2 coats, allowing it to dry according to the paint instructions.  This however wasn’t enough. 

Side note, it always takes more than you think, so buy the extra can when you have the opportunity.  I didn’t.  We stopped at a few stores with paint that were on our outing the next day to not find the same kind.  Who knew it was only carried at one store in my area.  So instead of going over to that store when it wasn’t on our way, the plastic part didn’t get another coat for a whole week, since that is what the paint instruction said to do.  Patience to get the project done.

Step 5: I used standard for any application spray paint for the wood part.

Here is the table finished.  It’s been a few months now and it’s held up great.  I was concerned because in my search I read it can be very difficult to paint the cheap plastic veneer. 

Yes, that's a plastic bug on the table.  My daughter thinks it's funny.

Minor issues:  I had a few places that buckled the paint.  I not sure what caused this.  The two places it did this were on the same side (perhaps some residue I didn’t sand off?) and that became the back side.

Make sure you paint in a well ventilated area or you’ll be woozy before you know it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I expect 2012 will be a year of Joy.  God has delivered me in the past few weeks to not focus on circumstance, to focus on Jesus.  In doing that, I have found joy.  Putting the smile of faith and the Joy will come. 

...Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:30-31

J-Jesus first
O-Other’s second
Y-Yourself next

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...