Monday, February 19, 2007

Some "weighty" thinking

Church was great last week. It propelled me forward into some deep thinking. We were talking about the nature of (gasp!) SIN in our adult Sunday school class. It was a great discussion, because it made me think about the horrible struggles I had for about 10 years (heck, maybe 15...20?) with gluttony. I knew what I was doing was bad for my body, and I knew it was definitely not the right thing to do, and I tried to stop. Many times. But it just didn't work. I wondered during that time, "If I am really a Christian, and I really want to change, then why isn't God helping me to be different? What good is Christianity if I am stuck in this rut and feel demoralized and powerless?". To make a long discussion short, we talked about how grace brings you to a place of humility. You have to realize how truly powerless you are against sin to truly appreciate God's gift of grace. If I hadn't gone through those years of suffering (and they were years with much suffering), then I would not have 1) realized my own powerlessness against this sin, 2) understood so much how others suffer with the same sin, and 3) seen how much I have to continue to rely on God's grace to keep the new habits I've developed.

As Sam (our pastor) put it, grace is a gift that you cannot control. So, it makes me very nervous. I mean, what if tomorrow I had no more grace in this area, and I went back to my old patterns? I don't know the answer to that question, but I DO know that I desperately need to trust God and depend on him for the power to continue. I need to trust that he knows what is truly good, and that he loves me beyond measure. I can choose to fear the unknown, and be nervous because I cannot control it in my human smallness, or I can have faith.

This doesn't mean I don't have to continue to work at things. As Jerry Bridges writes (in an EXCELLENT article called Gospel-Driven Sanctification, "Sanctification involves hard work and dependence on Christ; what I call dependent effort. And it will always mean we are dissatisfied with our performance. For a growing Christian, desire will always outstrip performance, or at least, perceived performance. What is it then that will keep us going in the face of this tension between desire and performance? The answer is the gospel. It is the assurance in the gospel that we have indeed died to the guilt of sin and that there is no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus that will motivate us and keep us going even in the face of this tension."

The children are beginning to clamor for my attention, but a few more words. I will work towards eradicating the sin of gluttony in my life. But I need to remember that it is a dependent effort. I will probably never fully understand why God allowed me to struggle with it for so long. (Actually, I will probably continue to struggle with it on some level for the rest of my life!). And when I do stumble and fall, I have the comfort that there is no condemnation for me - so, with God's help, I can get up, dust myself off, and keep going, secure in the knowledge of his love. That is what was missing during the struggle - I somehow managed to forget the good news that my sin has been taken care of in Christ. I heaped guilt on myself, rather than continuing in the struggle in the light of my acceptance in Christ.

Now, I continue in the struggle, but am reminded that I have such a tangible hope! If God was able to heal the mess that led to me being 100 lb overweight, he can heal the other messes in my life, and in yours too. Nothing is impossible with God.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

100 pounds!

Today I weighed in at 149.8, exactly 100 lb below my starting weight on February 5, 2005. It has been 2 years since I started my journey, so this was a fitting place to end up.

My goal weight is 155, so I'm not trying to lose more weight, and if I weigh a few lbs more than I do now, it's OK. But I like the weight I am at right now, and if I stay here, that's OK too.

It's just SO exciting to be 100 pounds lighter than I was!!! It's not easy to maintain, but I have done it for almost 4 months now, and I'm confident that I can keep going, one day at a time, with God's help.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

First week of my new schedule

I'm so happy to have today off! So far, it's going well to work only Tuesday & Friday, but I'll have to do this for a month or two to really know. It's only the first week, but I'm really enjoying not having to go in to work today. It's snowing gently and I feel snug and warm in my house with my kids. I'm holding Michelle as I type, and Calvin is playing with his toy telephone. Michelle is now grabbing my fingers so I gotta run!