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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just say no!

Today I needed to look back! Remember this post here and this one here.   I had to re-read them to get a handle on my feelings.  These kids sure teach me a lot about myself! The other day my two year old came over to my laptop, her nemesis, her greatest temptation! I said "Don't you touch it!" as she got close and you could just see the wheels churning round and round in her head, "Should I? Shouldn't I?"  She looked over her shoulder at me and gave me the look, the I can't handle it look and hard as she could she smashed her hand down on the keyboard.  Off to timeout she went. Remember these girls (boy do they look alike or what?)


So after her two minutes she apologized to me, I had her repeat "No touch Mommy's computer" and I told her that this had been happening too much and if she hit my computer again she would get a spanking.  We got up from the timeout spot with a hug and a kiss and that little stinker made a beeline for my computer, threw me a defiant glance over her shoulder and smacked the keys once again. This time the wheels weren't churning, there was no thinking or consideration before she stepped into the abyss, no hesitations, just pure unadulterated sin. 

My five year old has to learn similar lessons but thankfully in a more mature manner.  I caught her sneaking some food the other day without asking.  It sparked a conversation about sin and temptation.  It led to me reading to her about the wide vs the narrow way. Matthew 7:13-14 says "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."  I explained to her that the way that we are supposed to go is hard, so hard that many don't bother to choose it, sin is easier and most of the time feels good for a while.  But eventually, that sin leads to many difficulties and hard times and it stops feeling so good.  I explained to her that she knows sneaking food is wrong and that feeling she gets when she wants to do something she knows she isn't supposed to do is called temptation.  Then I taught her one of my favorite verses and had her repeat after me "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, and God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:13.  Then I reassured her that one of the ways out from under temptation is honestly telling me how she is feeling.  That she can always tell me that she wants to do something she knows she shouldn't and we can talk and pray about it.  Well almost a week later, she came running up to me while her little sister was napping and she had been downstairs playing and I was upstairs folding laundry.  "Mom, I have that tempty feeling that I want to take your Triscuit crackers because they are so delicious and I know I am supposed to ask, I don't know what to do?" Oh, sweet girl, you did exactly what you are supposed to.  My heart was overjoyed, I taught her a life lesson she not only listened to but applied appropriately and it kept her from sneaking.  Well I got her big old bowl of Triscuits and sat down to reflect on this in my own heart for a few minutes. 

Lately my rebellious spirit has been running wild.  "I have been doing this for long enough I don't really need to write down everything I eat, I know what I can and can't eat." "I started running for heavens sakes, I don't need to be so picky about food." "I am running 3-4 times a week, if I want to go out to eat and eat a big dish of pasta, I deserve it." Now this is a fine distinction.  For you these things may not be stumbling blocks in your life and I am not saying eating pasta is a sin.  But for me, the feelings of pride, entitlement, gluttony, choosing the wide easy path instead of the difficult narrow path that leads to better health is sin in my life.  And remember how my young daughter after receiving a punishment ran straight back to the sin with even less hesitancy and thought than before, that is how sin works, it draws us back again and again and it gets easier and easier to run into it's welcoming arms.  But remember it also only feels good for a time.  So I had that bad pasta dinner on Friday night because I was celebrating and it was weigh-in day and I rationalized it but seeing as I hadn't been doing any counting for several days and didn't calculate it, it was a big deal.  So the next day I would be better right, wrong! I had a bagel for breakfast and at dinner we went to Red Robin.  I ordered a greasy cheeseburger of the likes I haven't had in months.  But sin only feels good for a time.  I was only 2/3rds through that burger and the churning indigestion began to stir in my belly.  I felt awful after eating that burger.  In fact I am quite amazed that I ever thought that sort of food tasted good.  The longer you purge that stuff from your diet it would seem the worse it actually tastes if you go back to it.  And in every previous endeavor for me to lose weight I have always given up when the going got tough.  Well not this time.  However many times God gently or strongly has to teach me these lessons through my children or my own stupid tummy ache, I am open to learn it.

I also have been struggling with the pain of picking up the pace of the exercise.  Being a physical therapist who sees injuries all day long, I am so paranoid about getting one myself.  Last weekend I had quite a bit of soreness in my shins and I immediately thought, I can't run anymore I am getting shin splints.  But I knew that was my own weak spirit trying to quit and my own fears taking over.  I need to have that excuse so I can say later "Well I couldn't lose weight anymore because I couldn't exercise, I got shin splints" Not true.  A little stretching, a little massage and I went running again on Monday and I was fine.  I get an occasional twinge in my shin but I am not letting it defeat me.  Then Monday's run brought on foot pain.  I was all set to panic again.  Instead I got a stellar foot massage from my husband last night, I am taking it easy today and then I am going to go back out there as soon as I rest it.  I will not repeatedly fall into these snares.  How fitting is this verse "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1.  Thanks for being my cloud of witnesses.  You are what keeps me going. I know I may have to face a consequence at this weeks weigh-in, but regardless of the outcome I am working on myself and I will not quit.

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