11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
       so great is his love for those who fear him;
 12 as far as the east is from the west,
       so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
 13 As a father has compassion on his children,
       so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
~ Psalm 103:11-13

 People say that this time of year…about a month after Christmas…is one of the most depressing times for many. The joy of the Christmas holiday has passed, the bills from Christmas spending have arrived, and resolutions eagerly made on January 1st have already been broken. Apparently, many of us feel like failures and our hope for a “new beginning” is gone.

Although I have shared previously that I don’t make resolutions due to the arrival of the first day of a new year, nevertheless, on January 17th, I wrote about a Babystep Challenge. This was a promise, plan, commitment of sorts. That was just over a week ago and, today, I want to sort of “debrief”…maybe you will be able to identify. In fact, maybe you made your own “Babystep Challenge” commitment of sorts. Let’s evaluate how we have done.

My over-arching desire in having some sort of “commitment” to reach for was to see if I could do so without becoming obsessive, prideful or self-condemning based on “how I was doing.” Hippity skippity! I think that has actually happened!  I am aware of my need to be mindful of my tendency, but so far so good. I have a bit more of a “normal” mindset than in the past when I might have created a graph or chart, pinned it to the wall, and marked each meal where I left two bites on my plate or in my dish. I might have then given myself a grade for the day and even averaged out the week and circled it on a calendar or some such obsessive nonsense. Then, depending on if it was an A, B, C or F, I might have celebrated or spent appropriate time in self-abasement. :-/ 

Boy, I have come so far by the grace of God! No charts have been created, no color coding or grade averaging! WHOO HOO! And better still, no self-flagellation! YAY!

So how did I do? I did very well with my babystep commitment (that of leaving food on my plate each time) on some days and “blew it” at other times.

In a nutshell, I have come away from the week with a thought: When I “blow it,” when I don’t keep my commitment–whatever it is–be it one “little slip” or six months worth of “slips,” so what? I mean, does the world stop? Do people die? Am I ruined forever? Am I before God, now suddenly having rendered the provision for my sin on the cross impotent?


…neither height nor depth, 
nor anything else in all creation
will be able to separate us from the love of God 
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
~ Romans 8:39

No matter how great my error, rebellion, “slipping” from my commitment, I can observe and correct, confess and repent, shake the dust off my feet, allow the Lord to restore me and move forward again. In fact, God seems to indicate I can do this as if I never messed up. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed my sin from me!

When I “flake” or rebel against what God has called me to do, when even a babystep was too great a leap, the carnage left in my wake need not be permanent!

Whoa…really? LOL! For me, this almost seems revolutionary and profound! But it is true!

This past week, I discovered that I would literally somehow “forget” my commitment only when the food I was eating was sweet…a dessert of some sort. Interesting thing to discover! As I have prayed about this, I realize that sweet foods still have quite a hold on me and I am, in fact, greedy about them!

My Babystep Challenge for this week will be to continue to leave a bit of each kind of food I have on my plate or in my bowl or in my hand, uneaten. I will be especially mindful of “favorite” foods like brownies or ice cream.

Press on!