Back to Square 0!
One of the biggest challenges I have discovered in my third trimester with Thin Within, is that I am having a very difficult time finding and waiting for 0. Such a basic concept. I’ve been doing this for years, but suddenly now, I feel like a newby and needing to get back to the basics—back to Square 1, or Square 0 as the case may be.
I realize that there are a few factors in play here. One is decreased space. Remember the illustration in TW about your stomach being the size of a fist? Well…my fist-sized stomach has gotten squished by this beautiful growing baby boy! Secondly, indigestion—a companion of many pregnant women, especially in their third trimester.
What I found was that the difficulty waiting for or finding zero was wreaking havoc in my heart and in my walk with Jesus. Much of this problem was not physical…it was a heart issue that I was “blaming” on the changes in my body. As a friend from our Small Thin Within Coaching Group “Fresh Wind Fresh Desire” says—“One of the enemy’s favorite tactics is giving me great justifications for breaking my boundaries.” So here was a great justification, when the Truth, I know deep in my soul, is that zero WILL come, when my body is ready and that my eating rhythm* may change, but it is still God’s design for me to wait until I feel physically hungry. This is best for so many reasons. (*Technical note: I have found that my rhythm looks like smaller meals, more frequently)
It all started with difficulty waiting for 0.
It’s been a challenging month. Health-wise, I’ve had a mean case of bronchitis. I’ve had sick kids. My husband’s work schedule is at a fever pitch.
Nothing like throwing a pity party for yourself to poison your thinking and sneakily lead you down a road you don’t want to be. After two major eating episodes in one week, I got the message:
Wake up my child! Your mind and your soul need tending.
But Lord, I don’t know where to start!
Create in me a clean heart…
Oh Lord, cure my heart of this ungratefulness—this “take take”ing—this entitled attitude. It sits heavy on my soul like so many unenjoyed cookies—scarfed greedily and without a thought. I have done the same with the gorgeous view here—your gift of creation—devouring it without a thought toward you. Or with the precious moments with my children. So sweet. So valuable. Meant to be savored with a grateful heart and a song of praise. But I’ve just devoured them thanklessly—not enjoying and wanting “more”, wanting “what’s next”.
When I hear these gritty, real thoughts coming out of my mouth, I feel so unlovely. Yet you say your love for me won’t ever stop or give up. When I feel like everyone (including me!) is tired of my short-comings, you remind me of your Faithfulness that doesn’t grow weary of me or walk away.
Don’t we all hear these self-condemning, doubtful thoughts at times?
I found this in an old journal entry from last year:
“I’m so imperfect, LORD. I’m struggling with this over and over again and the weight of my own short-comings, failures and sinfulness is crushing.
This was never going to be about your righteous life anyway, Emily. There is glory in perseverance, sanctifying shades of transformation as you look to me, again and again. Keep coming to me, coming back, coming closer. As I peel off layers of your human nature to reveal my glorious new creation in you…it may be painful. It may seem messy. I have eternal eyes. And in my sight, you are beautiful and your heart that loves me is precious.”
So another layer of my human nature—you’re asking me to trust you with this season, this challenge, of finding 0 with a baby stuffed inside of me, this dying to myself again. And you have promised that when I do, you will not waste a single struggle, a single stumble.
Now, it’s down to the dirty work. I need a quiet moment to ask God—What is this really about? What is the emotion, the aching emptiness that I’ve avoided addressing? And then…what do YOU say about that? What is true in this moment LORD?
God, this is tough work. And I’m really not sure I’m up for it. I’d much rather sit here with my coffee and my Reeses’ peanut butter cup and read a book about someone else’s’ journey finding freedom from her besetting sin through real connection with herself and you.
Thankfully, God did not leave me there. It’s been three weeks since that conversation with the LORD. He actually has used that good book to work in my life as well! But mostly, it’s been my cooperation with His Spirit in me, that has peeled back new layers of callous around my heart. It has felt messy, and been a bit painful, but God has drawn me closer to him, renewing that “right spirit” within me and reminding me that I WANT to find and wait for 0.
Emily lives in South Korea with her husband and 2.8 children. She enjoys being the token American in her neighborhood and baking for the Korean neighbors. She is grateful for the chance to lead worship in their small “expat church.” Like most mothers, she’s also good at multitasking–like cooking and putting on bandaids, rubbing four feet while reading two books and driving while chewing gum and talking on FaceTime with family back home.
If you are a pregnant mom, won’t you post here and let us know? We would love to have a little support community right here on the blog for you all who are hoping to navigate the waters of your pregnancy (and after) while applying the Thin Within principles. Not only does Thin Within “work” during pregnancy to minimize weight gain, but many women LOVE the way they feel when they do this! EVEN when pregnant!