Let’s imagine that all of us who read this are in a big room together and I just said that first sentence from a podium. Glance around the room and you will probably see all of us raising our hands! In one way or another, every one of us can relate to challenges that happen over holiday times. I certainly had some challenges over Christmas time that I did not expect.
One BIG challenge I faced was with my body. I am currently going through menopause and my body decided to do some strange (and unexpected) things over this last month! Believe me, you don’t want any details, but let’s just say it was a bit crazy! This made my appetite do weird things, too. So, 0-5 eating has been a challenge at times over this last month.
I also had challenges staying focused because of the crazy hot weather that we had this Christmas. I’m sure if I were to ask about THAT to our room of readers, many could raise hands to testify how weird the weather has been this year!
So we have hot weather in the middle of winter and THEN our air conditioner decided that it would stop working right before we had a group of friends come over to celebrate with us on Christmas Eve!
Yes, I had all my windows open and fans galore blowing around in the house so that we wouldn’t be hot! On top of all of that we had the oven on for baking and all the other things that we did during the day and ….well….. you get the idea of a sweltering swamp.
I found it was difficult to renew my mind with the craziness of my menopausal weirdness going on body and crazy heat in my house. Add to that the stress of trying not to freak out because I had a group of friends coming over to enter my “swamp land”. Yep, there were times it was really hard to keep myself focused on God.
I know that there are a lot of you out there who can relate to the struggles of life.
- You might have three little ones running around and pulling at you from every direction.
- You might be one of those people that have to carpool all over the place and that is your life.
- you might be someone who has a sickness in your family or you are a caregiver for your aging parent.
- you can fill in the blank.
We all know that life can be stressful and unpredictable
So, how in the world do we stay focused? How in the world do we not just jump right back into a pan of brownies and swim around while throwing it all in our mouths? How do we keep from going back to food for comfort and sanity?
Although, I don’t have the answers to all of these questions, I can tell you what I do.
I just keep practicing.
- I practice saying “no” when deep in my heart I already know that I don’t need the food.
- I practice eating 0 to 5.
- I practice the different keys to conscious eating that help me stay in my boundaries.
I can only do this in HIS strength, which means I also practice some other important things!
I surrender things to the Lord every morning and during the day. Sometimes I am giving the Lord the same thing over and over because I’m going through a hard time. That’s what I have to do. I surrender it up to the Lord and I lay it down at his feet.
I take time to spend with the Lord. Even if it’s just a sentence prayer in the shower or praying while I’m washing the dishes. It may even be just singing a simple praise song over and over again. It may be renewing my mind with His word or listening to worship music.
I know that if I seek Him, keep renewing my mind with His truth and try to follow Him as best I can then I will remember: HE IS BY MY SIDE. ALWAYS. NO MATTER WHAT. He will meet me where I am and give me the strength to carry on.
What I DO NOT practice is beating myself up when I mess up. I have to stop and I have to just take a moment to say,
“Lord I knew that that extra piece of pie was not going to make me feel better. I thank you that after I took one bite, I realized it and I knew I wasn’t hungry and so I stopped.”
I don’t beat myself up about the one bite. I celebrate the fact that I only took one and I walked away.
Maybe for you it’s that you ate the whole piece of pie (or whatever). BUT you don’t have to beat yourself up for the one piece. Celebrate the fact that you didn’t eat the whole pie! Try to look at the positive and cling to what God is doing in you!
I try to focus on the good things that God is doing. I try to thank him.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6
This peace that he talks about may not be something that’s instantaneous in my soul when I’m sitting there sweltering and dripping sweat over my Christmas dinner. But it is a peace that’s deep in my soul knowing that no matter what, He is still there with me.
Basically, it comes from building a relationship with the Lord. Relationships don’t come easy and they don’t come instantaneously. There’s a give and take in relationships. And it is the same with the Lord. I’m not going to be perfect. Only God is. I can rely on His perfection to help me get through the rough times.
So, no matter what rough time you might be facing….how big or how little… remember to PRACTICE.
PRACTICE relying on Him, renewing your mind with His truth, surrendering to Him and allowing Him to love you through it all.