Happy Sunday to you all. It is a wonderful day for change, laughter, and new memories. The Christian walk is a humbling walk, but I’m not alone in my journey, trials, tears and triumphs, because I team up every 4th Sunday with such an amazing group of women who share what God has placed in their heart too. I am talking about the online magazine, Putting On the New, with mixed-media artist and author Cherie Burbach. It is about serving God, but doing it together–no matter how far apart we are.
If you are interested in reading other articles by these courageous women, click here.
Enjoy this article, 30 Days of Restraint…
As I get older I find it harder and harder to shed my winter weight. I remember when I was younger I would simply work out for a couples days and I could slide right back into my summer dresses with no problem. Well, those days are far behind me and the struggle now begins as I gaze at my muffin top while stuffing my face with muffins ( tea size…as if that makes a difference). But, as I continue to learn about the many different forms and ways that ungodly sinful acts can creep into our lives I’ve discovered more about my lack of self-control when it comes to what I want and when I want it. Just to place things into perspective, there are far worse things that can happen in this world other than me having to buy two sizes up in my jeans, but when I took another look at the core problem of sin, in general, I was reminded again that one of its many forms is living without restraint; living a life of lawlessness as if we don’t serve a God that teaches us otherwise. I must admit, it’s so much easier to live a life of pleasure; a life where I saturate myself with every waking desire while spilling over into indulgence and gluttony. But, as we come into agreement with our non-material selves we should also exercise temperance and use the brain God gave us when discerning between a healthy intake of daily pleasures versus going to the edge of insanity with our pleasures. In short, we must learn when to say, “…When!”
So, I promised God 25 days ago that I would remove sweets from my daily meals; exercise more in hopes of adopting a new outlook and better eating habits over the next 30 days. To answer your question,yes, it was excruciating and I immediately felt like I was withdrawing from a drug I’d been taking for awhile. It’s amazing what our bodies become accustomed to when taking in things like ice cream, cookies, cakes and creme brulee. The withdrawal from these pleasures can be physically uncomfortable, but denial of self, I have found, is what’s most uncomfortable to break. However, there was an upside to the restraint of sweets in my diet. I had miraculously gained the ability to savor meals much more than previously. I was able to regain the joy of each bite of the entire meal rather than simply looking forward to the dessert; for this time there wasn’t any dessert time.
Thank God, for I am still learning in every area of my life to re-access my habits otherwise I we will lose my natural taste-buds for the things I love in general, because without restraint one will abuse those pleasures leaving them lifeless, tasteless, and flat. As a result of this abuse, we will find that the flavor is no longer really there as we go through the motions of other pleasures like shopping, dating, praying, worshiping or being creative. We step out of the proper heart posture and slip into obligatory rituals. Why? because we have to–not because we want to. I cannot say that I will never have another sweet again, but I want to really enjoy it, savor it, and most importantly be content after I have relished in its many glorious flavors and textures– the first time around. Let’s be honest, how many more servings of food can one indulge in in order to regain what we should have tasted initially? I suspect eating more is not the solution, but diving into the reason why one has lost their taste in general by going back to the source and talking it through with God.
But, for now I am pleased with my progress and though I still can’t fit into my summer dresses (yet), these past few weeks I have surely been tasting and seeing that the Lord is indeed good when I follow His blueprint and not my own. Cheers!