Sunday, October 19, 2008
In all the busy-ness of life it's so easy to forget the "why". But the "why" is such a fundamental part in this crazy event known as life. I mean really. When it's all said and done...why does it matter. What does it matter...really. I get up, I do school, I go to dance I come home, I sleep. It's frustrating. I've been feeling as though I have been contruibuting nothing of value to society. I've been stressed and frustrated and more than I should be. Things are hectic, but not as bad as they feel. And I know it.
I've unintentionally dissconnected myself from God too. In all the hubub, my devotions (the time that's supposed to glorify God, strengthen our relationship, prepare me for the day and refresh me) have tunred into another part of my hectic routine. Heh...that doesn't cut it.
Anyways. This reallization has been the first step in getting back into the swing of things. I haven't been working as unto the Lord and I haven't been seeing these challenges as opportunities to serve and glorify God. I've been looking at them as hassles and impediments to what I want to do. I've been trying to plan too far ahead and not letting God open and close the right doors.
Prov 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths
2cor 12:9And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Col 3:23 -24 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
I learned so much on my trip it's nuts, but if I write it all out one more time, I may lose my mind, so I'm not going to do that. It was amazing, and blessed and relaxing and just plain cool...and we'll leave it at that.
One thing I do want to explore spend some time on is the importance of Strength and Grace. That is one of the motos of the Royal Ballet company and God really impressed that on me while i was there. Those to two weeks were so hard and so grueling physically and emotionally. It really forced me to rely on the Lord for all my strength (including simply getting up in the morning).There were many days where my alarm would go off and I'd lay there telling myself; "No...I can't do it....I can't drag myself through 6 hours of dance today." But then I'd be reminded of a wonderful verse in Isaiah 52 that says "Awake, awake! Put on your strength o Zion, put on your beautiful garments o Jerusalem..." This passage was really talking about the restoration of Israel and how they no longer had to deal with ungodly nations invading their land. It's a little out of context, but it really helped.
"He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength." Isaiah 40:29
"And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13
In addition to strength, He taught me about grace. It's important to be able to resist attack and be durable. It's important to be a vessel for His power...however, we're not meant to be bulls in China shops either. It's a competitive world out there and you have to be thick skinned, or else you'll give up. If the girls aren't awful (which they weren't...they were awesome actually), then the teachers are playing favorites and the so are the directors. You have to learn to just roll with the punches and always present yourself to the best of your ability. You have to be competitive. But you don't need to run people over to get to the front line and you don't have to put glass in some one's pointe shoes....it's just not right. A wise director I work for always says "God is our promoter". And that's exactly right. We had to put ourselves out to be seen, but God makes those opportunities...we simply have to take advantage of them. You have to be gracious about it. Strength and Grace. An unlikely, but dynamic pair.
In looking up the word grace I found some synonyms that really explained to me what it meant to be gracious. They were words like, pleasant, precious, well favored, helpful, and merciful.
"A gracious woman retains honor, But ruthless men retain riches. The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh." Proverbs 11:16-17
"Good understanding gains favor, But the way of the unfaithful is hard." Proverbs 13:15
"The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious,But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up" Ecclesiastes 10:12
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I love this entire chapter in the book of James...in fact, the entire book of James is absolutely amazing. James has just finished giving the church a rather harsh rebuke. He had just told them that they were an adulterous people and their actions were essentially those of unbelievers. Like most of us at one time or another, they'd really blown it. But like any good teacher would do, he gives them (and us) practical ways for ending this spiritual affair.
1 Draw near to God - This simple act of returning to Him is the first and action we must take. Spending time with Him in His word and prayer. It's not as hard as it may seem because there is promise attached to that command - "and He will draw near to you.". Like the father of the prodigal son, He runs to meet us with open arms.
2 Wash your hands - Now that the turning point has been made, it's time to remove the things that have defiled our lives. This isn't just the ceremonial, skin deep washing that makes us feel better (or at least not as bad). This is repentance. The physical act of turning from an action or the thing that is putting up an barrier between us and God. The thing that is making us impure. "Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully." Psalm 24:3-4
3 Purify you hearts - This is sort of like the washing your hands part...but more along the lines of the spiritual life. Having the behavior under control for the moment is all fine and good, but if the heart isn't right with God, it doesn't matter. "Blessed [are] the pure in heart, For they shall see God. " Matt 5:8
4 Grieve, mourn and wail - I heard someone say the other day that, regardless of the natural amount of emotion you are naturally prone to exhibit, if the sight of your sin before God hasn't broken you to tears and sorrow, you probably haven't actually repented. Now, I don't want to pass judgement on anyone, but I agree with this person. I've seen it in my own life. When the point finally came when I realized my sin and received just a small taste of what our sin does to our Lord, I was so filled with sorrow. It was beyond just being sorry. It was a repentant brokenness.
5 Change - turn your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Repentance requires a change in both thought and action. By the grace of God, by the time we get to this point, we are not only willing, but are eager to change. We realize that nothing good dwells in us apart from Christ. If our desire is to glorify Him, then we must change.
6 Humble yourselves - Not a personal favorite of mine. It's so hard to get there, much less stay there, but when we do (even for a little while), it's the most amazing place in the world to be. To take our proper place before God. To bow before Him in total submission to His good and perfect will. There is only peace and rest in that place.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Next day, I re-read an email I'd received from and very wise woman God put into my life through a bible study I'm doing. It hit me between the eyes and all the sudden it made sense. It's another attack. Satan found another weakness and decided to exploit it. I was distracted because I was busy on "re-building" the physical part of the temple I neglected to keep my guard in other areas. I should be about my Father's business, but I've been too caught up in my own frustrations to do that.
Once this all came crashing in there was such an initial release it was amazing. There's still plenty of work to be done, but at least the process has been started now. I am already beginning to see a difference in how I'm looking at those situations. Some of them are still pretty hurtful, but there's less anger.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:12-17
God has taught me so much through the book of Colossians lately. He lead me across this scripture after revealing to me that I still have some unfinished business with Him in some areas that I thought were pretty much under control. Bitter roots run deep and the only way to get rid of them is by calling on the mater gardener to pull them up and replace them.
As harsh as it may sound, bitterness, like anything else that goes against God's heart, is sin. It causes us to make our own judgments about people and situations. It doesn't allow God to be sovereign. Thankfully the Lord has been convicting me about this lately and has really been helping me. These verses in Colossians have really helped me and given me a practical guideline for actions to take against this root of bitterness. I really believe that He has much yet to teach me here and I'm looking forward to it and being free from this vice.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:8-10
Not Legalism but Christ
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:13-15
Not Carnality but Chirist
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. Colossians 3:1-7
In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him. He has taken the law out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed the principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them. Therefore, set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
This is something I think we miss so often. We choose so many things other than Christ...sometimes they're things we believe are good. Sometimes it's pain. Sometimes it's sin. In any event, we get so caught up in the "stuff" that we miss the one person that will help us.
It comes down to a choice. The stuff...or Christ. You have to choose who you will serve. I didn't choose to act one way or another. I myself am utterly powerless to control myself. The only thing I can do is choose who I serve. For example, I don't choose to indulge in destructive eating habits or not. I don't choose to be bitter or not. I choose to either serve that spirit of bitterness or destructive eating or God. I had to make the choice as to who I would serve. I am purposing my choices to allow Him to make me His. To sanctify me and call me His own. The only place I can make that choice however is at the Cross.
We miss so much about the Cross of Christ. We talk about it causally in passing, but we so often miss the full impact of it. Life is hard. Everyone has crap. Life, most of the time, sucks for most people. Life is confusing. Life is complicated. Life is oppressive. Life is just heavy. The only place where life isn't any of those things is at the foot of the Cross. When we choose to sit at the Cross our load is lightened, things become clear, we are not only given life, but we are given a full life. A life of superior quality. Only by our Lord's grace is this possible and it is a free gift yes. But we must choose to accept it, we must choose to spend time with Him, we must choose to sit at the Cross, we must choose to purpose our day to this end...that we would know Him and He would be glorified in us. If those things don't happen the cry of the heart will never be satisfied. It will always be left wanting, confused and heavy. Our hope is in Him, but we must place our hope in Him for that to become manifest in our flesh.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Okay, last Thursday I went back to the doctor to look at xrays. He said very little about my ankle, he had other concerns, but nothing that can't be taken care of good shoes and orthotics. He told be to keep doing my exercises and the ankle will improve (so far that's held true), but he also said that I was allowed to go back to dance whenever I felt ready. That made my week. I gave it until yesterday. I went to the studio and just did a nice easy barre. No pain :) Now, it doesn't feel normal...it's not totally better, but it didn't hurt and it doesn't hurt today either. I'm going to take it slow and be smart...there's a lot riding on these next few weeks. I knew He would prepare me, but I never expected this.
Just about the time I let God have control was when, He gave me the gift of returning early. I was blessed this week. His is the glory.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,"
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Chamber (of course) has something helpful to say about this
After we have entered our secret place and shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray we cannot get our minds into working order and the first things that conflicts is wandering thoughts....we have to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful prayer...a secret silence means to shut the doors deliberately on emotions and remember God...pray to your Father in secret and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.
Shutting the door on emotions...what a hard thing to do. But it makes sense. Have you ever tried communicated with someone when you're on the verge of hysteria? It doesn't work well does it? You finnish feeling no better (if not worse) and the other person can't help you because you are so incoherent. I've played the guilty party here many times. "God I need your help because I'm freaking out...but I'm not going to let myself rest in you....I'm going to keep freaking out, but I want You to fix it." He can't help us if we won't let Him. Sometimes you have to just STOP. Breathe. Close the door and talk to God. By the time you re-enter the world your emotions will have learned their proper place in this relationship. You'll leave that conversation with a peace there that will probably surprise you as it has surprised me many times.
Reflected peace is the proof that you are right with God because you are at liberty to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself.
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. Hebrews 12:25
How many of us have done that? I again have played the guilty party many, many times. It goes along with leaving an open door to your emotions when talking to God. They like to have their say so when they need to sit in submission.
Just to end any possible confusion on this point....I'm not saying emotions are bad...God gave them to us. They have a place, but I don't believe that their place is in prayer. In that setting they can distract us from communing with our Lord.
Monday, June 9, 2008
I almost feel like that woman in Matthew 9:20...but...the other way around. Just to be able to get a touch of His love and compassion is enough to turn things around (even if I still make them go up and down occasionally :), change actions and heal. So amazing.
Monday, June 2, 2008
The big thing for me here is rest. I can't stand it for any extended period of time. What was funny was yesterday almost everything that came up in my devotions was about rest....go figure.
In Hebrews 4, the author spends an entire chapter on rest. God rested on the Sabbath, not because He was tired, but because that completed the creation. It completed it, set it apart, sanctified it. To quote (you guessed it...) Chambers, he says; "We have been talking a great deal about sanctification-what is it going to amount to. It should work out into rest in God which means oneness with God, a oneness which will make us not only blameless in His sight, but a deep joy to Him. "
Resting is not done after the work, it completes the work. Resting requires us to take the time to spend with our Lord. We have to set apart or sanctify our time to Him. Rest involves obedience.
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:9-11
The physical manifestations of outward readiness for an event (growing up for example) or healing ought to be there, but they can also be counterfeited and put on as a facade. The outward achievements don't help if the heart is not right and at home with God. The outside will break down...we can't keep it up on our own.
Change and readiness come from daily seeking God through His word and prayer and walking in obedience. I have seen in my own life that this is the only way we will ever a) learn God's will for our lives, b) heal from the chains we've bound ourselves in whether it be lust, bitterness, fear, etc. and c) grow in our walk with the Lord.
These are two things that have really spoken to me about seeking God, healing, and obeying:
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? Hebrews 2:1-4
We must never allow anything to injure our relationship with God; if it does get injured we must take time and get it put right. The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually assailed. My Utmost for His Highest-August 4th
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The first problem in the story is the word "empty". I could be totally off on this, but it seems to me that even though the demon left, the man in the story was not sanctified. It's all fine and good that we escape our demons and set the "house" of our souls in order, but if you don't fill it...something else will. As God delivers us from whatever bondage we've fallen into we MUST set ourselves apart for the Lord and is purposes. I mean think about it "when he comes, he finds is empty, swept and put in order", a perfect place to come back to...unless it is no longer open to him and has been set apart and consecrated to a new owner.
When I was reading about sanctification there were two words that seemed to occur together often. These words were sanctification and clean...so I looked them up. Sanctification means to set apart for sacred use, to consecrate, to make holy and to purify. It seems possible that we can be "set in order" or "fixed", but not "clean" or "pure". As long as we are "empty" we won't stay fixed. There's no one to keep us from falling into disrepair.
Clean...this was my favorite. Clean means to be not infected, to be sharply defined or clear-cut, to be devoid of encumbrances, to be thorough and complete. I'm gonna break this down a little.
To me clean means...
To not be infected by the lusts and lies that are thrown my way
To be sharply defined as a daughter of the most high God and clear cut in what she believes
To be devoid of the encumbrances of the past and the weight of the struggles I am fighting now
To be complete and whole in God's grace
So, once our house is put in order...don't stop there, don't leave it empty. Fill it with the Lord and walk in hope.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. " 1 Peter 5:8
"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter is worse for them than the beginning." 2 Peter 2:20
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I know I need You
I need to love You
I’d love to see You but it’s been so long
I long to feel You
I feel this need for You
I need to hear You
Is that so wrong?
Now You pull me near You
When we’re close I fear You
Still I’m afraid to tell you all that I’ve done
Are You done forgiving?
Can You look past my pretending?
I’m so tired of defending what I’ve
What have I become?
But I hear You say
My love is over
It’s in between
The times you doubt me
And when you can’t feel
The times that you question
Is this for real?
The times that you’re broken
The times that you mend
The times you hate me
The times that you bend
My love is over
It’s in between
The times that you’re healing
And when your heart breaks
The times that you feel like you’ve fallen from
The times that you’re hurting
The times that you heal
The times you go hungry and are tempted
In times of confusion
In chaos and pain
I’m there in your sorrow under the weight of
I’m there in your heart-ache
I’m there through the storm
My love I will keep you by my power alone
I don’t care where you’ve fallen or where
you have been
I’ll never forsake you
My love never ends
It never ends
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
As I sat in this pitiful state I heard the voice I heard many a day;
It was Your summon, gentle and strong,
You lifted me up and carried me home,
You showed me a new path,
I will not wait for those lovers less wild,
Here I am, once more amazed,
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
There is SO much wisdom in these verses. Whether we are dealing with sin or just the daily distractions of life, this concept is an essential part of a working relationship with God.
Our bodies are (for obvious reasons) physical beings. We have skin, muscles, bones, organs etc. We use them to work, play, study...whatever. We also use tools and we know from experience that certain tools have certain uses and when we use them correctly things go smoothly. However, when we take those tools out of their intended use...things don't work. If there is something I have learned these last months is that I cannot fight a spiritual battle with physical weapons. I have tried and failed miserably.
There are tools for spiritual warfare (the armor of God Ephesians 6:11-18) and those are the tools we have to use in order to fight these spiritual battles. What are these weapons good for? They're good for "for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."
Imagine that...tearing down strongholds...I know we all have strongholds somewhere in our lives. This has rang true in my personal experiences. These strongholds become like a vice that will choke the life right out of you have the Sword of the Spirit, the word of God, to beat it off with. There is something interesting about these strongholds. They make the claim that the are stronger, fiercer and more all consuming than anything else...they exalt themselves up against the most high. What brings down these things that exalt themselves? Again, our sword.
The next thing is to bring these thoughts into captivity. Not only bringing them into captivity, but acting accordingly. In Philippians 4:8-9 Paul tells the Philippians to think on the the things that are true, noble, just, pure, etc. But he doesn't stop there. In verse 9 he exhorts them to think about the good things, but to also act upon them. It doesn't do any good to know them if you're not living by them. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do [it], to him it is sin. James 4:17
I'm not going to pretend for a moment that this act of captivating thoughts is instantaneous, or easy, or fun. It's none of those. Learning, in God's grace,to take my thoughts captive and bring them under the authority of Christ has been the scariest, most difficult and most painful thing I've ever done. Parts of your old flesh and desires die and death never feels good. However, it has also been one of the best things that could have happened to my relationship with Christ.
Captivating my thoughts under the authority of Christ is the only thing that has started that change in my thinking. The unwholesome thoughts still try to creep in sometimes, but now I am learning to stop them at the door of my heart, bring them to my Lord to let Him decide on them, then deal with them in obedience to His word.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
Sunday, May 18, 2008
1 Peter 1:13-15: Therefor, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation on Jesus Christ; as obedient Children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in you ignorance.
1 Peter 5:6-11: Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
From My Utmost for His Highest April 19 - 1 kings 2:28
We are apt to say - "It is not in the least likely that having been through the supreme crisis, I
shall turn now to the things of the world." Do not forecast where the temptation will come, it is the least likely thing that is the peril. In the aftermath of a great spiritual transaction the "retired sphere of the leasts" begins to tell; it is not dominant, but remember it is there, and if you are not warned, it will trip you up. You have remained true to God under great and intense trials, now beware of the undercurrent. Do not be morbidly introspective, looking forward with dread, but keep alert; keep your memory bright before God. Unguarded strength is double weakness because that is where the "retired sphere of the leasts" saps. The Bible characters fell on their strong points, never on their weak ones. "Kept by the power of God" - that is the only safety.
"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation." 2 Corinthians 7:10
Conviction of sin is best portrayed in the words -
"My sins, my sins, my Saviour,How sad on Thee they fall."
Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man. It is the threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and when the Holy Spirit rouses a man's conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers him, but his relationship with God - "against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight." The marvels of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven man who is the holy man, he proves he is forgiven by being the opposite to what he was, by God's grace. Repentance always brings a man to this point: I have sinned. The surest sign that God is at work is when a man says that and means it. Anything less than this is remorse for having made blunders, the reflex action of disgust at himself.
The entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man's respectable goodness; then the Holy Ghost, Who produces these agonies, begins the formation of the Son of God in the life. The new life will manifest itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way about. The bedrock of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a man cannot repent when he chooses; repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for "the gift of tears." If ever you cease to know the virtue of repentance, you are in darkness. Examine yourself and see if you have forgotten how to be sorry.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
So, what to I do now in order to put God back in His rightful place? I seek His voice. Nothing in my flesh can survive the power of His voice. If I obey the voice of God, my flesh (desires, lusts, whatever) will die, but if I don't...eventually my spirit crumble.
It's only by His grace that I am learning to walk in freedom and who am I to take credit for something only He can do?
"Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, "lest--when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; "and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage." Deut 8:11-14
Trusting in the Lord is allowing me to be open handed and ready to receive those blessings He has for me. Also, when I place my trust in Him, I don't need to worry when the struggles and dry times come. He will sustain me.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I just loved how everything built on each other. Sitting at the feet of Jesus means that we love Him. If we love Him then we listen, believe and obey His commands. If we are going to believe Him then we must have faith in Him and since we need to know what we have faith in we must learn from Him and learn about Him. If we are ever going to learn anything from Him we have to submit to His authority and submitting to authority requires humility.
I think the root of my problem with today's view of destructive eating habits is that it unconsciously adds deception to deception. We are already deceived by our distorted body image and obsession with weight, then we are deceived again by the promise of help by programs that can only offer a band-aid. We get bandaged up, but we don't get healed (see Repaired or Restored on 4/16).
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I know I read somewhere that this person felt like their eating disorder (I'm really beginning to hate the phrase) was a part of them and that they didn't go a second without thinking about it. Been there. I know how that feels, but I'm also learning that that doesn't have to be it...getting better isn't just about stopping a behavior. It's changing your outlook and your attitude towards yourself and about the reason you are here (renewing your mind). And that reason is to glorify God in everything. Now...I'm want this to sound like I've got it down or that I'm walking in total and utter freedom, because I'm not. To pretend like I am would be absolutely idiotic, but I know what works. I wish I could communicate that to other people who have fallen into destructive eating habits.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Fools, because of their transgression,
And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food,
And they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And declare His works with rejoicing
Friday, May 9, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I WAITED patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth--
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the LORD.
Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Then I said, "Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart."
I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O LORD, You Yourself know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me;
O LORD, make haste to help me!
Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who seek to destroy my life;
Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor
Who wish me evil
Let them be confounded because of their shame,
Who say to me, "Aha, aha!"
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
"The LORD be magnified!"
But I am poor and needy;
Yet the LORD thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.
David likes to talk about the people who were trying to kill him all the time. I've read verses similar to these (13-15) many times and have always thought, "I've never really had people wish me evil. People have hurt me, but they have never gone after my life like Saul did with David." I didn't see how it applied to me. Then it all started to make sense...sort of. These people may not be "people" at all. Those who "seek to destroy my life" may be the workers of Satan who come to spread lies and tear down our walk with God. I know it sounds weird, but I think I might be on to something.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
WORK OUT WHAT GOD WORKS IN
"Work out your own salvation." Philippians 2:12-13
Your will agrees with God, but in your flesh there is a disposition which renders you powerless to do what you know you ought to do. When the Lord is presented to the conscience, the first thing conscience does is to rouse the will, and the will always agrees with God. You say - "But I do not know whether my will is in agreement with God." Look to Jesus and you will find that your will and your conscience are in agreement with Him every time. The thing in you which makes you say "I shan't" is something less profound than your will; it is perversity, or obstinacy, and they are never in agreement with God. The profound thing in man is his will, not sin. Will is the essential element in God's creation of man: sin is a perverse disposition which entered into man. In a regenerated man the source of will is almighty. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." You have to work out with concentration and care what God works in; not work your own salvation, but work it out, while you base resolutely in unshaken faith on the complete and perfect Redemption of the Lord. As you do this, you do not bring an opposed will to God's will, God's will is your will, and your natural choices are along the line of God's will, and the life is as natural as breathing. God is the source of your will, therefore you are able to work out His will. Obstinacy is an unintelligent 'wadge' that refuses to be enlightened; the only thing is for it to be blown up with dynamite, and the dynamite is obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Do I believe that Almighty God is the source of my will? God not only expects me to do His will, but He is in me to do it.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
There have been two songs that have really spoken to me this week. One is by a group called Echoing Angels and the other one is by BarlowGirl. They kind of hit where I'm at right now.
Coming Back To Life
I take a breath and I’m alive
Feels like for the first time
I have seen You through these eyes.
Everything I used to be
That lived inside of me Is gone, for the last time.
I remember everything I’ve done
But You’ve forgiven each and everyone
And I’m coming back to life
I’m living inside
All of my fears are far behind
I’m coming back to life
I found what I need
And it’s You Lord I know that it’s
You That brings me back to life
I’ve searched the world just for a sign
Hoping I could find someone
Who could change a heart like mine
I read the stories of your life
The miracles and signs
You turned my water into wine.
It’s so much easier knowing you are hear
And all the doubts at once seem to disappear
My feet are dancing
My heart is crying out for you
So take my life I’m giving it to you
I Need You To Love Me
Why, why are You still here with me Didn't You see what I've done? In my shame I want to run and hide myself But it's here I see the truth I don't deserve You
[Chorus:]But I need You to love me, and I I won't keep my heart from You this time And I'll stop this pretending that I can Somehow deserve what I already have I need You to love me
I, I have wasted so much time Pushing You away from me I just never saw how You could cherish me 'Cause You're a God who has all things And still You want me Your love makes me forget what I have been Your love makes me see who I really am Your love makes me forget what I have been
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Things aren't really easy, but they're being reconstructed and made new.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
"I must tell you that, as imperfect as I have been, I have never been afraid of the torments of the underworld. These pale in comparison with the thought of the anger and disappointment in the Beloved's eyes - those beautiful, kind, gentle eyes - when he stands in the end before those who have forsaken Him. I don't think my heart could endure such a sight."
Friday, April 25, 2008
Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."Joshua 24:14-15
Once again, it's time to decide. Who am I going to serve? Who am I going to bow down to?
Also you shall destroy all the peoples whom the Lord your God delivers over to you; your eye shall have no pity on them; nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you. Deuteronomy 7:16
The sin has to be totally destroyed. I can't leave it any opening for it...or it will be a snare.
You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you. Deuteronomy 6:13-14
I am here to serve God and serve Him only. I'm not to go after the things of the world and the things that everyone around wants. Just Him.
So, it's not been the easiest couple of days, but He grabbed me before I went anywhere I shouldn't and we're working through it.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Running to God is so vital. It takes retraining and it takes help at first from people around you, but after a while it's not so hard. It's the one thing that helps and it's the thing that keeps you from hurting Him. It's a win-win.
And while I'm here I'll share another cool story about how incredibly faithful He is. So, I'm supposed to be heading off to The Royal Ballet this summer right? The tuition is sent in, the flights are booked, the tickets to see The Rake's Progress at the Opera House are booked and I'm ready to start packing...but there were to minor details that were potentially problematic. A) We were having very little luck finding an affordable place to stay and B) everyone we'd talked to said the finding food was not an easy task...grocery stores were in short supply. It's all taken care of now. Someone we know over there found us a place to rent for a good rate and get this...there's a Whole Foods Market five minutes away. Isn't God just cool like that?
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Okay, so now for the scripture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. It hit me last night that that is exactly what happened. I finally turned to God, for God. Simply because I wanted Him. I found my delight in Him, He knew my desire and He gave it to me. So to Him be the glory for all of it. For drawing us to Himself, for healing us, for restoring us and for fulfilling the desires He’s placed in our hearts
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
It's like any injury. You can wrap it, tape it, ice it, take drugs to make it feel better...but at the end of the day it still doesn't work right. Only after rest and rehab will it heal completely...and even then there can be scars. You wake up on a cold morning and that ankle that's felt fine for months all the sudden is back. Same thing. Only after resting in God and spending time in Him (rest & rehab) can we heal. The scars are our consequences. He will deliver us from our trouble, but we still have consequences to face.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
So today. It was all going just fine, until I was on my way home from teaching. Me and my family were supposed to go to Out Back for dinner as an end of tax season celebration (I get to have parents again...woohoo!), but I didn't get home until after 7 which meant we weren't going to get there until close to 8 which meant I wasn't going to eat until late. Now, while I'm doing a lot better, I still don't trust myself. Especially when it comes to eating dinner late...I have found that that just doesn't make for a pleasant evening for anyone. Well, we ended up eating at home and it was later than usual but not as late as it would have been otherwise. I just became terrified on the way home. I don't want to repeat any of the bad nights again and I know how to avoid them. The parents were fine with it, but I still feel really bad, like I let it get in the way of something fun that we were supposed to do as a family. And I know we can go another night, but still....
Monday, April 14, 2008
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,Look full in His wonderful face,And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlastingHe passed, and we follow Him there;Over us sin no more hath dominion—For more than conquerors we are!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,Look full in His wonderful face,And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,In the light of His glory and grace.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,Look full in His wonderful face,And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,In the light of His glory and grace.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
It's so weird, I'm actually still kind of happy with how I look. I sort of worry myself that I'm still spending a little too much time in front of the mirror...but now the other way. Oh well, I'm not going to worry about it too much. If I am I know it will swing back to normal eventually. I think it's just that I've hated my body for so long and now I don't all the time. I get kind of excited.
I have had this rather strange underlying feeling the last couple days. I don't feel like I'm going to freak or lose it or anything like that. There's just a level of uncertainty. Like I'm not quite sure how I like all of this (which I know sounds weird after the above paragraph). I'm a lot better, but there's still that residual "I've put on enough weight thank you and I don't care to put on anymore". Now of course, that's not an option...it's left over stupid-ness swirling around in the brain. I feel like I'm getting ready to tread on some unstable and forgotten ground. It's kinda of hard to put properly.
okay, well I have more to say, but I'm really tired so it will have to wait. Good night.
Monday, April 7, 2008
I think I feel frustrated. That's the closest word I can find. I'm doing well, I'm eating what I'm supposed to, I'm putting on weight, I'm feeling better...all that stuff. I'm just feeling like this semester will never be over. I know a lot of healing has been done and there's a lot left to do, and I know that God set this spring up and restricted my activity level. But the end of the spring is in sight and summer is getting closer. The closer it gets the more I want it to be here. And not even because I want to burn of more calories...I just want to dance. It will be better now that spring break pretty much over, but still. I feel stuck.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I'm going to go soak myself in some scripture now before I go to sleep because I know, with something as cool as that, an attack can't be far behind. So there. Good night
Monday, March 31, 2008
It was cool. It was really an answer to prayer. I've been asking God to help me turn to Him when temptation arises instead of running from Him and that's just what He did. A temptation arose (the desire to look like the models), I turned from the temptation, turned to God who provided me with an out (in the form of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine) and I took the out. It was really encouraging.
This week as a whole has been much better than last week. I know I had a couple bad days, but the whole week didn't suck! Hooray! But really, it was better. I weighed in at 104 this morning...one more pound and I'll have reached my goal...for the moment.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I don't get this. I know He's there and I say I want Him more than anything, so why do I still play the harlot when it comes to these desires? Why do I look to the One I love, then turn and run to the thing I hate? I run to the thing that hurts me and hurts the One I say I love.
None of it makes sense to me. The only thing I've found that has helped some is in Romans. Paul has a rather round-a-bout way of getting to it, but it makes sense.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
It all started last night. After a fun evening of going to the movies with mom and having a delicious smoothie I got to bed and realized that for the third night in a row I felt really full. Once again I had my snack too late and instead of being comfortable to mildy hungry, I was quite full. Well, this did not go over well. I got up, did some crunches (it never helps...i don't know why I still try it), then in a last desprate attempt to make my stomach go down some I tried punching myself in the stomach several times. That didn't work either...it just hurt. Finally, after getting up and telling mom that I was changing breakfast to something less calorically intense, I went back to bed.
So, today went as well as could be expected for having a night like that. I managed to hit 2000, but probably not much more than that.
Friday, March 21, 2008
The wind was actually boisterous, the waves were actually high, but Peter did not see them at first. He did not reckon with them, he simply recognized his Lord and stepped out in recognition of Him, and walked on the water. Then he began to reckon with the actual things, and down he went instantly. Why could not our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves as well as on the top of them? Neither could be done saving by recognition of the Lord Jesus.
We step right out on God over some things, then self-consideration enters in and down we go. If you are recognizing your Lord, you have no business with where He engineers your circumstances. The actual things are, but immediately you look at them you are overwhelmed, you cannot recognize Jesus, and the rebuke comes: "Wherefore didst thou doubt?" Let actual circumstances be what they may, keep recognizing Jesus, maintain complete reliance on Him.
If you debate for a second when God has spoken, it is all up. Never begin to say - "Well, I wonder if He did speak?" Be reckless immediately, fling it all out on Him. You do not know when His voice will come, but whenever the realization of God comes in the faintest way imaginable, recklessly abandon. It is only by abandon that you recognize Him. You will only realize His voice more clearly by recklessness.
That lovely was written by Oswald Chambers as the June 18th entry of My Utmost for His Highest. I read that last night after all the craziness. I know I am so not there yet, but it's some places I want to get.
This problem is real and I am actually dealing with this. Running from it isn't going to help and hiding is just a band aid. Focusing on Jesus is what's going to get me through. It's easier said than done, but with training it can be. Training doesn't happen all at once. Just like training your body doesn't happen all at once. It takes time and practice. I have to remind myself that I'm not going to go from sick to well in six weeks...this is a process. I shouldn't be beating myself up when I slip. I just have to work through and keep going, keep training. Also, it's not something that my mind can make happen. Just like training the body, you can't think your way to improvement, it takes training. So, reckless abandon is the prize and goal...but right here is the training ground.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Anyways, so yeah. I knew it was coming on tuesday because God was trying to show me some cool stuff and I was almost grasping it. I was at work (teaching ballet:) and I don't remember how I even started thinking about it, but it occurred to me, that maybe there's more to having a "ballet body" than being a stick. Maybe it involves having a body that is physically structured in such a way that it can hold up to the stresses of ballet better than other body types(which I have for the most part). And maybe having that body is what helps you gain the technique...not being really skinny. And if technique is the vehicle for the artistry then being healthy helps improve the artistry. And the art in dance is what is so beautiful and moving about dance. So, if a healthy body produces artistry, then a healthy body produces beauty. I happened to be standing in front of a mirror this whole time and for a minute I almost let myself consider the possibility that I could fit that category....but no...not yet.
So that was a moment so truth between thoughts of "I hate my thighs" and "Here comes the cow". But it gave me something to hang onto for the day at least. I knew that an attack was on it's way after that, but no amount of knowing seems to make any difference when it comes. I haven't gotten to a point where I can stand up to it yet. I curl up into a ball, wait for it to pass and do the best I can to not lose it. And hang on to God...that helps.
The frustrating part in all of this is that my body feels so much better. I have energy, I'm dancing better, I can cope with life better and I can tell things are just working better...I have muscle...that you can see. These are all good things, but my mind I so freakin slow. The spirit and flesh are willing but the mind is stubborn. I'll admit it's better than it was, but this whole thing has been torture since I hit 1800 calories. Okay, torture might be too strong of a word, but I've been running into the same wall since then and my brain isn't getting past it. This was part of an email I sent tonight venting on a youth leader...it put it well; "Physically I feel 1000 times better, and I want to keep feeling better, and then I run into a wall. So I get up...and I run into again...and again...and again. It's very frustrating. And I don't want to push through it too hard and send myself down another path..."
Anyways, my mother, who is generally a good force of reason reminded me that this whole thing is a process. It's a process that takes at least six-months to a year...if you're lucky. I will have these days and tomorrow is another day. Another chance.
Monday, March 17, 2008
One good thing about going away was that it was sort of a forced reality. I had to cope with not having an exact food schedule and exact protion sizes measured down to the ounce. While I don't think I could keep it up on a regular baisis yet, it was kind of nice. And on top of all that I just had a heck of a time, which is why I went in the first place.
My body is still adjusting to the calorie intake. It's better, but every 2oo calories or so my somach goes haywire and I feel like crap for a couple days. Those are the worst days for me. It's not cool when the thing that's supposed to be making you better actually makes you feel worse for a while. But after a few days it gets better for a while.
Last thing for the night. I want to make a coment on something I wrote in my last post. Some one mentioned this to me and I wanted to make sure I get this across clearly. I have been using a tablespoon of olive oil (or flax seed oil) to help with the calorie intake. However, I don't want it to seem like I'm doing that as a substitute for food, if that makes sense. I guess, if you didn't want to eat you could drink the oil, but personally I think that would be really gross. Anyway, calories are not the only reason for adding the oil. There are certian nutrients that I need (even ore so now) and those oils are excelent sources of those nutrients (omega-3 and other fatty acids that help with mood and hormone production). Also, oil was a terrifying food for me for a while. I didn't want to have it. I was all about the dry salads or a salad with some salsa (10 calories in 2 tbs, so I'd put on 1 tabelspoon and I was good to go). So, adding the oil was a good and necessary step for me. The same thing goes for juice, it's a way to help add the calories and there's lots of good nutrients, but you can't just drink juice (which was another scary food for me...to ask me to drink a cup of juice was like asking me to jump off a cliff...not happening). I was reading the other day that some one like me who should be consuming at least 2400 calories per day should have about 7 teaspoons of oil a day, in some form. Food is essential, but these things help and are an important part of a healthy diet.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I got some encouragement yesterday. I went to get another massage. The lady said that while I still look yellow, I also look a lot better. So, there has been definite improvment in the last two weeks. I'm hoping that that after today we'll be able to wait an extra week before the next jump. Just to give me some time to let my emotional state catch up with my physical improvement. Mom said that may work, as long as I don't lose any weight. I didn't gain any last week (still at 101), but I didn't lose any either.
Monday, March 10, 2008
The overall trend is up, but there are still problem moments (lots of them). Take sunday for an example. There was a freakin cheese catastrophy at my house. It's amazing the havoc an ounce of cheese can wreak. Ahh, the power of cheese (wasn't that a comercial? I don't remember). Anyways, we survived the cheese incident in one piece and are in a better place now. lol
I keep trying to remind myself that I feel better, my skin is better, my teeth are better, I'm kind of acting like myself on occasion, I'm dancing better...these are all good things.
People who fret about food and weight all the time cut themselves off from family, friends and relationships. They deaden their emotions with hunger. That's why people with anorexia can actually lose weight (as compared to most diet failures). They do not eat due to stress, nor do they find enjoyment in eating. They miss out on one of life's pleasures: enjoyable eating. "
Friday, March 7, 2008
On the positive side though, I'm continuing to feel better physically. My stomach/digestive system was not good for a few days (changes in diet have a tendency to do that), but it's much better now. Raisins, dates, and pro-biotics are my friends. Prune juice is gross.
Something else cool...I was looking in the mirror today and got very excited (me? mirror? excited? strange, but true) because I actually sort of have like arm and calf muscles now. I was so happy. It's amazing what happens when you start giving your body the right stuff.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
When I told mom she didn't freak or anything. It's a process, but it can't happen again today (and it won't, today's already better). I think something that helped me not plummet was that I got permission to go away next weekend to some friends' house. They live about an hour and a half away and my mom can't go to make sure I eat. She wasn't sure if she was going to let me go because of the food thing. In the end she said I could, but I have to eat. Anyway, this trip has given me something else to work towards. I know that if I lose between now and next weekend, I'm not going to be allowed to go. Since I really want to go, it will be helpful if I don't mess up too bad. I think going away for a weekend will be a good test for me. My friends know what I'm dealing with, so they'll be able to keep on my butt about it if I start acting up.
Overall, I'm still seeing steady improvement in my attitude and how I feel physically. My energy is so much better, I'm able to enjoy things again like being with my friends (really enjoy them), on occasion I'm actually enjoying the food I eat too. I had forgotten how much I liked chocolate. My dad (who didn't think I was yellow to begin with) even said that my color is better. The food plan is helping a lot. I'm very reliant on it right now. It really helps to have something that sets up guide lines and boundaries, even if it totally and completely sucks the first two weeks.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Snack No later than 8
Eating anything later than 8 leaves me feeling too full right before bed. It's really hard to get your mind off of it when (A) you're worried about it to begin with, (B) you're really full and (C) you don't have much else to think about. Evey one's schedule is different, but this works pretty well for me....especially eating dinner before 7. That way the food has time to digest.
Monday, March 3, 2008
And to top that off, in the Interior Castle (chapter 1 of the 5th dwelling), St. Teresa is talking about prayer. In the prayer of mature Christians there comes a point when occasionally while praying we become so absorbed in Him that we basically just stop everything and let Him just be in us for a little while (she calls it the Prayer of Union). She says it much better than I do; "Union lasts such a short time and it seems even shorter than it actually is. God presses Himself so fully against the inside of the soul that when she returns to herself she has no doubt whatsoever that God was in her and she was in God." I know it sounds kinda crazy out of context and I make no claim to be at that point in my walk with God, but I want to be there. To be so close to Him. So close that nothing can keep me from Him. Not busy schedules, not past hurts, not present struggles, not an eating disorder. Nothing. To be so totally His that He can come in and out as He pleases.
But it's hard to get there and sometimes it's scary. It's frightening to give Him everything, because He might not do with it what we would.
Today the calorie count got bumped up by 100, so I'm up to a little over 1700 calories. I must say that even though that that's nowhere near the number I need, it's a heck of a lot better than the 1100 I was getting a month ago (it's already been a month since that really bad episode). It was hard, but I'm doing okay. It's so funny. Now that I'm eating, I'm feeling better and feeling better is helping me eat. I don't feel so sluggish, I played an hour of racket ball yesterday with mom and I had plenty of energy, I have plenty of energy for dance (or it feels like plenty of energy...comparatively). The fact that my thighs are touching and my profile is not quite as thin (nothing is quite as thin), is still uncomfortable (and noticeable in a leotard and tights), but I don't fell as disgusted with myself.
One thing though that I'm really not crazy about is that even though my energy level has gone up, my body is confused. I don't think it's quite sure what to do with all this unfamiliar stuff I'm ingesting (I had chocolate tonight...and I enjoyed the crap out of it). My stomach hasn't been right for the last several days. It almost feels like an old pair of shoes that I haven't worn in years and that are kinda crusty from lack of use. Stupid illustration, I know. But I have some good news...the bloating does get better. It's not gone, but it's not nearly as bad.
Mom has noticed that my color is getting better. My hands are still really cold and my temp is a little low, but it's a start. I'm still planning on a doctor visit. The only thing that's got me a little discouraged about that is something mom read the other day. It said that a lot of times the blood tests are inconclusive and bone loss may not show up on a bone density test for up to two years. On top of that, even if anything showed up, the only way to fix it is through (you guessed it) nutrition. So, we're going to look into that a little more and get some more info. Either way I'm still going to go. It would just be smart since I'm going to be gone dancing all summer.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Okay, so I've sort of lost myself...how do I get myself back? This is what I came up with, maybe it's right, maybe not...but either way it's what I got. I think that in order, to find yourself you actually have to lose yourself in God (self will, self sufficiency, pride, all that stuff. You have to surrender it to Him) so that He can be sufficient and He then will return your personality to you. When we are truly His we are truly ourselves. So, to find yourself you have to lose yourself in Him. To really communicate with Him you have to know who you are (imagine trying to talk to some one about your life is you have amnesia...not a pretty picture) and the whole point of communicating with Him is to draw closer to Him. Therefore, to really communicate with Him, you must lose yourself in Him. It just sort of goes in circles (and if none of what I just said made any sense, read The First Dwelling of The Interior Castle and letter 13 of the Screwtape Letters).
That was my exciting little theological tidbit for the day. I'm still praying about it and hoping God will work out any bugs that may have slipped in along the way. Now for the day to day grind of life.
This week has been interesting. Especially today. This afternoon I got a much needed massage (and by now you're going "what the crap do eating disorders and neck massages have to do with each other?" but hold on). After the massage the lady was talking to my mom and told her (and me) that my skin was kinda yellowish, which means I have a lot of toxins in me (and I probably have a lot of toxins in me because I've been starving myself for the last year and my liver is not working right). But wait, there's more. She also, said that my circulation is not good at all. The room I was in wasn't THAT cold, but I was freezing. I've always had a tendency to be cold, but I guess this was worse than usual. Two not so good warning signs that I may have done more damage than I thought. So, she said she's going to get us in touch with a good nutritionist.
Now, I know none of this should really surprise me considering what I've been doing to my body, but it was. She's never noticed it before so it must have gotten bad recently (probably during those two weeks I starved myself after the ABT audition). I don't want to say I'm freaked out or scared, but I'm unnerved enough I think to help me push through a few more calories. It's kinda weird, as much as you may not want to, you can almost romanticize a problem like this until it hits you again that this is real and you get reminded of how dangerous it actually is. Then it gets kinda scary.