It's been too hard to explain it and so I haven't really tried to write about it here. I haven't even really tried to talk about it with many people. And when I do, it seems to come out all wrong.
This morning I read this in my devotions and it just so perfectly explains the inner battle I have been having.
The priorities I have in my life are not lining up with how I spend my time.
I did an exercise a few months back where I wrote out what I thought my priorities were and then in the next column I wrote out what a typical day looked like and how I spent my time. The two lists did not match up. I was wasting away my days. Not pouring into what my priorities were "suppose" to be, but rather into meaningless, wasteful things.
And so I have been on a journey to figure this all out.
Last month after a sweet friend recommended it, I started reading the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker.
The concept of 7 is to fast 7 areas of excess in our lives (one fast per month) in order to make more room for God.
Maybe my heart has been out of balance because is is so jam packed with excess.
It's been so cluttered with "stuff".
I read the book from cover to cover in 2 days. And got excited.
Here I have some practical ways to walk out this unsettled feeling I have in my heart.
I decided to do each fast for 2 weeks. 14 days of giving up a specific area in my life that I can then allow more room for his spirit.
Seven areas in my life that I can take a closer look at and re-arrange priorities in.
First up was Food. I just finished this 2 week fast on Sunday.
I've always had the intention of feeding my family well. I have always wanted to serve healthy, wholesome meals. But the reality has been that more often than not our diet consisted of processed junk. Lack of planning. Convenience. And really just laziness all contributed to our multiple times per week drive-thru meals and phone calls to order pizza. Sigh.
For the two weeks I choose 7 food "groups" that I would be allowed to have:
Weird flours to bake with (almond, quinoa, flaxseed)
A few things you need to know. I love pop. Especially fountain pop. Preferably from a drive thru.
I also love chocolate. As in I need to have it in some form or another every single day.
Candy and chips and pretzels and ice cream were our treats of choice for after the kids were in bed.
For two weeks I had to say goodbye to the McDonald's line up, the daily chocolate bars I once enjoyed. I bid farewell to candy, chips, ice cream and all things sugary and processed.
It's weird. I thought that these two weeks were going to be torture. That I wouldn't be able to live through them, but in fact they have been wonderful.
Some nights (due to planning) turned out awesome. And some nights we didn't eat until after 7pm, but all in all I am proud to say we didn't drive through one line up to pick up food. All of our meals were home cooked, without sugar (and the first week without wheat- but that's a whole other story!) healthy and delicious!
Through these past two weeks God has shown me a lot. I believe it's because I have allowed him room. In my everyday. So many opportunities these past couple of weeks to speak with him. Focus my attention to Him. Pray for family & friends, and actually see some of those prayers answered. It's been so good that to have these opportunities where I would normally indulge and instead take a step back and spend time in prayer rather than stuffing my face. HaHa. God is fun.
What have I learned?
* I can cook healthy, yummy, pretty meals that my family actually enjoy.
* I have more energy when I eat healthy- go figure!
* Saying no to sugar was not as hard as I thought.
* Habits can be broken.
* Making our own granola bars and fruit roll ups is fun :)
* The kids love eating healthy.
* I emotionally eat. I happy eat, sad eat, mad eat, stress eat.... basically any form of emotion is covered in food. Rather than eating for health, I fuel for emotions. This is a work in progress.
* And the biggest thing I have learned??......I feel entitled- even in the food I eat. Like somehow I "deserve" to eat what I want when I want to because I give "so much" to my family, and I deserve some small reward. Right?! Yikes!
I have allow entitlement in through food and it just grows from there to other areas of my heart. What a crazy concept. I didn't even realize that I was doing this. Thankful that He opens our eyes to areas in our hearts that He wants to touch.
It's surprising, after these two weeks I'm not even really craving all the terrible stuff I used to put in my body. For me this fast has been about taking a step back and seeing what food has done to my body. That we really are temples of the Holy Spirit and that the way we eat can in fact be a form of worship. Craziness.
I am not going to swear off all the yummy sugary treats forever, but my way of thinking has changed. These treats will be just that- treats. Something to enjoy every once and awhile, not everyday. I am excited to continue to serve my family healthy home cooked meals and enjoy the fact that every once and awhile we will splurge on a meal out. Moderation. It's a good thing.
Thankful to be on this journey of allowing Him room....