[Destination]: Excess Relief

When was the last time you took inventory of the food you have in your house?  I mean, really dug in the deep freezer, sorted through your pantry, and checked out your spices.  For me, I only made it through my deep freezer and regular freezer yesterday.  What did I find?  Enough food to sustain us for quite some time!  I couldn’t believe it.  Well, I could, but I don’t think I was ready to admit to the fact that we buy way more than we need at any given time. 

So, to organize this area of my life, I made a list of everything that was in both freezers, then sorted the list by food type and taped the list to the back of one my cabinets that I use regularly.  I plan on doing the same thing with my pantry, my spice cabinet, my refrigerator, and my baking cupboard.  Before I go grocery shopping again, I plan on using up whatever I have in my house.  I’m hoping to get to the point that I can get rid of my deep freezer to open up some space in my pantry/laundry room, and only buy what will fit into the freezer in my refrigerator.  I’m sure that most of you already do something like this, but for me, it’s not only going to be a space saver but a money saver as well.  I need to declutter and get rid of the excess in my life.

This all ties into a healthier lifestyle for me.  Having staples on hand is not the problem, but when we buy and buy and don’t use what we’ve purchased, it’s such a waste.  It’s the same as stuffing my face with food I think I want that my body can’t use because it doesn’t need it.  Why not learn to do this externally to help my journey internally?

Do you stop and ask yourself whether you’re truly hungry when you’re reaching for that brownie or bag of chips?  Do you ask yourself whether those things will truly satisfy you?  While I’ve been searching my soul the past few weeks about what it really is craving, I’ve uncovered a lot of pain, a lot of trouble, and have fallen further into despair.  However, I’m starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel.  In God’s effort to build us up, we will inevitably tear ourselves down.  This only makes God’s rebuild stronger.  We have to break down to the foundation, the root of the problem, in order to fix the cracks, heal, and place each brick back in it’s rightful place.

Learning this internally has helped me to see that I need to do the same thing in my external life: in my home, in my work, and in my relationships.  So the next time you’re getting ready to do some grocery shopping, double check what you’ve already got on hand.  And the next time you go to eat something, take inventory of whether that is what your soul is truly craving.  You might be surprised at what you find.

[Destination]: Truth

So, you might be wondering where I’ve been.  Yes, it’s been awhile.  I’ve actually been wallowing in self-pity, eating my sorrows, and loathing my actions.  Yes, we all hit rock bottom, and I’m here to be honest with you.  I’m very good at saying things are “hunky dorry”.  I know all the rules, the tricks, the ins and outs about losing weight or meeting goals.  But I have struggled to put them into practice.  I am human.  I’m not telling you this for sympathy, empathy or cuddles to make me feel better.  Trust me, I’ve been getting the “you can do it” and “you’re going to be fine” speeches for a long time now.  I want so badly to be perfect.

I read a blog recently from Proverbs 31 Ministry about “overcoming perfectionism“, and it was like I was reading about every aspect of my life.  The author, Rachel Olsen, talks about the fear of failure, mistakes, and disapproval.  She mentions the “all-or-nothing mentality” that plagues perfectionists day in and day out, and the fact that perfectionists feel as though success comes so easily to everyone around them.  Man, talk about a slap in the face…but one that was spot on…one that was necessary.

I have goals.  Goals that are lofty, yet attainable.  Goals that could change my life.  Goals that would make me so proud to achieve.  As I set out to accomplish these goals, all to often I find myself becoming the victim of “I can’t”.  It’s not going perfectly?  Give up, Michelle.  Other people are telling you that you can’t do it?  Then you probably can’t do it.  But, you know what?  I have to change that perfectionist thinking and be ok with just me.  I’m not perfect and never was made to be perfect.  I’m going to fail at things; that’s the only way I’m going to learn.  I need to change my perspective here.

I’ve recently read a book called Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  In it she discusses the truth that we, as humans, were made to crave; however, we were made to crave and seek out God our creator.  Overindulging, whether by eating, drinking, sex, drugs, whatever, is our way of showing externally that we need to fix something internally.  I’m always on the lookout for the quick fix.  I want the magic pill or diet that will make me lose 50 lbs overnight.  How easy would that be!  Pop that pill, go to sleep, and by morning you have the body you’ve always dreamed of.  Except, that body, either the one you go to sleep with or the one you wake up with, is the only one we’ve got.  It was made to be a temple, a spiritual dwelling place for nothing other than God.  “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 2 Corinthians 6:19-20.  I’ll tell you now, I have not been doing this!  But the more you persevere, the more God hears your prayers, and the more He sends those little signs that He is in your every day.

I’ve got a long way to go.  After talking with my husband last night, we agreed to start tracking our food to be more mindful of what we’re eating.  I’m continuing my daily conversations with God, and I’m trying a new tactic – growing from the inside out.  Because, I’ll tell you what.  I’ve had it with my exterior reflecting the shabby interior.  There’s so much more to this heart than I let show.  Get ready world.  Here I come!Image