Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Very Merry Christmas

Four day weekends are the best! Three day weekends tend to wear me out, because I try to cram a lot of activity into them, but a four day weekend... that's the stuff! It has been a very good holiday season, full of God's provision, good friends and family and fun!

I think the last time that I posted I was getting ready for craft season. It was a good season overall... I'm definitely still learning and I didn't start crafting as early in the year this year because of the summer moves, but I feel like it was successful, and I'm still enjoying the journey. I'm going to post more about that on my Gypsy Rhetoric blog. But I liked the spacing this year. I did a small craft fair in late October, then the big craft fair, Funky Finds, in mid November. Then two weeks later a small outdoor craft fair in Irving and then two weeks later my final craft fair at The Academy in Irving. I did a lot to get ready for the first two and then just made more of what I ran out of for the third and fourth. It was a good time frame. But I wonder if having so much crafting going on is what made my holiday season feel like such a blur, because I really truly feel like it FLEW by!

Thanksgiving weekend was a four day weekend, and it was SO nice! All of November, I worried about money, but God sent me a sweet reminder the week of Thanksgiving. One of my co-workers, on her way out of the door one day said "Kim, is this your purse?" And I said yes, and she said "I'm putting a Christmas gift in it from Mark and I". It was a few hours later, when I was leaving that I was able to open the card and I couldn't believe it. There was a card with $100 cash and $100 Lane Bryant gift card. I immediately burst into tears and sent her a thank you text. This was her response: "You're welcome. We were praying for you the other day and I just felt God telling me that our tithe was for you. He wants you to know that you are special to him and you are always on his mind." 

Friends, that money was an amazing, well timed gift that we were very thankful for, but that text message.... changed my life. He loves me =-)

Then on Thanksgiving day, my sweet parents gave us some money to help us Christmas shop. I couldn't believe their generosity. I love my parents so much, and they love me TOO much. It's one of the things that makes me want to BE a parent so desperately... to know that love personally.

Those two gifts went straight to rent. I know that is not what my parents intended it for, but we were hundreds of dollars short. So short that I had no idea what we were going to do. I had been worrying all month, but God provided in abundance. That money, combined with the November craft fairs covered rent and got us started Christmas shopping. And then December fell in such a way that I had three checks from work instead of two.

You would think that I would learn to just never worry. Ha. That would be nice. Maybe this year. Maybe 2015 will be the year that I recover from my addiction to worry. We shall see.

So anyway, back to Christmas. It has been such a good long weekend =-) We did the usual. Christmas Eve with my dad's extended family. I missed it last year because I was home with the flu, but I always enjoy it. And then Christmas morning we went to my parents house. This year was different in one way - Brett's mom was out of town. Normally we are at my parents house in the morning and then have a late lunch with his mom, but this year, we stayed with my family til mid afternoon. My niece's birthday is Christmas day, and this year she wanted to celebrate her birthday by going to a movie after we opened presents. So we all loaded up and went to see "Into the Woods", which I enjoyed. I think as a stage production, I would love it! I'm glad I got to see it.

The rest of the weekend has been pretty perfect. Christmas was perfect and we have had no rushing around, no "we have to make sure to...". Just taking our time and enjoying our blessings. I did a lot of cleaning, a bit of shopping, a bit of gaming (Lego Batman 3 - love it!), a bit of reading (The Fault in Our Stars... a Christmas gift) and plenty of movie watching. Just how I like it =-)

I hope that you have all had a Merry Christmas. I am looking forward to 2015. 2014 was a year of challenge and change. 2015 will no doubt have it's own set of challenges, but I am looking forward to the changes. I am looking forward to fighting for my life again - I have been lost in unhealthiness this year, unhealthy habits... but I'm ready to fight again. And Brett was just hired by our church. It's only 5 hours a week, but it's a foot in the door, and will be a HUGE mental boost that he really needed.

I've done a lot of hiding from my blog this year, but I am ready to record life again. I'm looking forward to 2015. I am ready to make it a good year =-)

I leave you with a couple of pictures from Christmas morning. I'll have some New Years pics for you soon!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sweatin' Like an Oldie

Did anyone else out there ever do the Sweatin' to the Oldies videos? They're for big people... in case you're wondering. Big people like me. I bought the set a year or so ago and it's been sitting, wrapped in plastic, on my shelf. In between moves, that is. I am desperate to improve my health. Activity has never been so difficult for me before. I'm so embarrassed and so worried about my health. And eating healthy seems pointless, so I haven't been trying. But it's got to stop.

So tonight, after dinner, I did the first video. I had to sit down during the 6th or 7th song and just do some stretching. But I stood back up and finished it out. When it was over, I got a big glass of water and watched the first "bonus feature", which was an interview with this guy.

He really is a nice guy. And his story is so familiar. I cried a little. Of  course.

I'm sure you're tired of hearing it, but I really need to change. Feel free to roll your eyes when you read this. You're not alone in that action! But say a little pray for me also. That "the God of hope will fill (me) with all joy and peace as (I) trust in, so that (I) may overflow with hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit".

Thanks friends.

Sorry I don't post more. It's the same old story. My bad health is always at the front of my mind. Let's hope that won't always be the case.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Why All the Silence

Goodness gracious. Sheryl Crow had it right - every day is a winding road! There is probably a quote out there that would make me sound a lot more "deep", but what can I say... I'm a child of the 90s.

I blog in my head all the time. I just have so much to say... it's hard to get it on screen.

Life has been so full of twists and turns. Honestly, I've been battling depression. Every day is a little tricky. I have to examine every thought, and turn from the ones that pull me towards me instead of point me to God... it's a struggle. And some days, I lose. But not every day is bad.

Here is where we are.

Brett is still job hunting. What we have been praying, some days, feels so far away. We love our current church. We would really love to stay. But Brett is looking for church work. So if he doesn't get hired at our church, and finds an opportunity at another church, well then... it's sad to think of leaving, but some days it feels like that is where God is leading us. Away. Away from the friends we have made and the rooms that are finally familiar. I have to remind myself that following God will sometimes move us, but as long as we are moving towards Him, "away" doesn't have to be scary.

Finances are still a struggle. I don't make enough to support us. Every month we trust God to provide, and every month he does. Mostly through my family. Also through side jobs that have come my way here and there. I hate worrying about money. I try really hard not to. But it seems to always be in the back of my head.

Spiritually, God has been refining me. Not with a chisel, taking out large chunks here and there, but with sand paper. Smoothing down rough edges with a gentleness that is incredibly reassuring. I need to make some changes. And I'm trying. I went a few weeks making really healthy choices. Even exercising a little. But I've sort of fallen off the wagon. I hope tomorrow will be a better day. I hoped that today, but I got to work and there were brownies and candy corn on the counter. I did not resist. At least, not for very long. And dinner was a mess. But tomorrow is another day.

Craft fair season is coming up. It's time to get focused! My first one is only a few weeks away. I'm not too worried because I have some product built up that I can take, but it's stashed away because of the move. I need to get everything out and do some sorting and envisioning the display. I am going to a couple of craft fairs this Saturday, so that will be a big help! This week I'm focused on a couple of design jobs. I have a logo to do that I am TOTALLY dragging my feet on because I'm just not crazy about the concept. And I have an invitation to do that will probably be fun, I just have to get through the logo first.

I know this wasn't a very exciting post, but I just wanted to say that I'm okay. Mostly okay =-)

That is all.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

You're Not Going to Believe This, But...

This time I have a really good excuse for not posting for a while. I promise.

Four days after my last post, on a Wednesday night - July 23 to be exact - we got news that the house we were living in was going to be auctioned off in less than two weeks, on Tuesday, August 5. It's a crazy story, but I'll give you the gist of it.

You may or may not remember, the house we were renting was sort of a special situation. Some friends of ours were in the process of buying an old home from a friend of theirs, with the intention of fixing it up to sell it in a couple of years and move to Honduras to live and serve on the mission field. The house had not been lived in for a couple of years because the previous owner, our friends' friend, had had a heart attack which led him to move in with some family members. So he was ready to sell it, for a good price, to get it off of his hands. Our friends thought it would be a good house to flip, so they talked to their bank, to get the buying process started. Their bank pre-approved them for a loan, came to inspect the house and said that it needed some repairs before they would approve the loan for this house. So our friends started working on the house, doing repairs that the bank required, as well as updates that they wanted. But when they were a day away from closing on this house, or so they thought, they were contacted by a lady, another friend, who was looking for renters and knew they had been looking for a new living situation. They were deep in the home-buying process, but loved the property that this woman had up for rent. It was a snazzy house, on 12 acres of land, that was cool enough to feel like a once in a lifetime opportunity. This was where we entered the picture.

Our friends still wanted to buy and flip the fixer upper they were in the process of buying, but they wanted to live in casa de fancy. They knew we had been looking for a place to rent, so they contacted us, and the rest was history.

Or so we thought.

A couple of things went wrong. First, the bank that said "fix these things, then we'll approve you" came back to the house, approved the repairs and said "looks good - we'll get right back to you". And then a few days later said, "okay, we're all set except for this one form". Then a week later said "we're all set except for this old tax return". Then a week later... you see where I'm going. After almost 8 weeks of all this, during which we were moving into and starting what we thought was our next chapter, in said house, they came to our friends and said that because the wife started working part time when they had their baby, they were denying the loan. Not cool.

But if that were the only problem, it would have sucked for our friends, but we could have just changed whose name we were writing on our rent checks. Paying their friend, who is also an acquaintance of ours, to continue to live there.

But this was not the only problem. As we came to find, on that notorious Wednesday night, our friends' friend had stopped making payments on the house as soon as our friends expressed interest in buying it, which was months ago. He was told by his "realtor guy" that a contract being put down on the home would stop any foreclosure process from beginning. So while our friends were putting their blood, sweat and retirement fund into fixing up this abandoned home, the bank was getting grumpy, and eventually decided to seize it. It was set to be sold at auction on August 5.

Thirteen days. That is how long we had before the doors were locked and we were homeless. Now that was the worst case scenario, but we wanted to prepare for the worst and act accordingly. So we jumped into action. We got in touch with the realtor who helped us find our original rental property, and we bought boxes and got to packing. We went house hunting on Friday afternoon, turned in an application Friday night, were approved on Wednesday afternoon and moved on Saturday morning, August 2nd.

Since then, it's been a weird month. Honestly, it's been a challenge. The new place is... okay. I don't love it yet, but I'm also not going to complain about it. This is what the Lord provided, and it's where we belong right now.

I will, however, take a moment to complain about boxes. Freaking freak. We have been in a constant state of packing and unpacking for waaaaaaaay too long. And since this second move, our weekends have been full enough that we haven't had much focused time to spend on unpacking. My weekdays are full because of school starting. I've been working all day every day and then some. And we were out of town, all three of us, the weekend after the move. Then the next weekend, our Saturday was taken up with a training event at church. And then last weekend, we had plans with our church group. But I ended up bailing. I hit my limit. I cannot handle the boxes anymore. So Brett went to the event and I unpacked all last Saturday. And now this weekend, my mission is to finish. No more cardboard. It's time to feel at home. Labor Day weekend will be a labor of unpacking. Today showed a lot of progress. And I've got a plan for tomorrow. We will get done. Oh yes. We will.

I've got a lot more to say - the move is far from the only thing that's been filling up my heart and mind lately - but this is the story that I wanted to tell tonight. Pray for us this weekend - that we will accomplish our goals and God will give us peace.

I hope your Labor Day weekend is restful and fun!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Recent Journey

I did something last weekend that I have thought about doing for years, but have let fear and finances, and a few other excuses, keep me from it. But this time I just had to. I just had to get away. So I did. All by myself. That's right... I took my first solo road trip.

Now before you get too impressed, let me confess that I played it pretty safe. I decided that since it was my first trip, I would go somewhere familiar. So I packed a bag and drove 200 something miles to Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

But before the what, let me explain the why. I had been feeling more than a little overwhelmed. Just weighed down by the stress of the move and my mother-in-law's surgery and recovery, and Brett struggling with looking for a job. And on top of all of that, work has been weighing me down. Summers are always hard, but this summer... I don't know. The joy isn't gone, but it's harder to find. I am incredibly thankful for my job, and there are a lot of things that I love about it, but I'm feeling God preparing me for the next chapter. I don't feel like it's right around the corner or anything, but my heart is definitely shifting.

I was so full of emotion. It has been effecting every area of my life. Getting away for a few days felt essential. Like the first step in recovering.

And I'm so glad that I did. So thankful that Brett understood. So thankful that our awesome roommate was supportive. Just thankful =-)

And now back to the what. I left last Saturday at 7:45 a.m. It was a great drive. Arkansas really is beautiful. The trees. Oh, the trees! They are so gorgeous! They make me want to fly, just so I can fly close to the tree line and feel the leaves tickle my fingers. I want to hug them. They are gorgeous!

I got to Arkadelphia (where I went to college) around 12:30 and had lunch a cute little restaurant called Slim & Shorty's. It's got a surf shop theme, which I was worried would be overly cheesy, but turned out to be just happy =-) Apparently they have live music there a lot of nights - so cool! I had a tasty french dip and DELICIOUS sweet potato fries. It was a nice start to my weekend.

After lunch I checked into my hotel. Actually motel. Motel 6, that is. haha... I was a little nervous to stay at a Motel 6. But it was very affordable, and had been recently remodeled. In the end, I'm glad that I stayed there. It was a simple room, but it was sufficient for my needs. I would have preferred a softer bed and softer towels, but I felt safe and I slept well!

So my plan was to go antiquing. It is about a 45 minute drive from Arkadelphia to Hot Springs, and along the way there are a lot of little antique stores. My roommates and I made the trip a time or two back in the day. It's the reason I collected license plates in college. The antique stores always had them for cheap. And I actually have an idea about something to make for the craft fairs that requires license plates, so I was hoping to find some. No such luck, but I did find some supplies for an AMAZING price!

I made 6 or so stops and bought a handful of things. Nothing fancy, but some great finds. Two things that I will have for a long time. When I got to Hot Springs I found a theater and saw Jersey Boys which I enjoyed more than I expected to. Loved the music! I thought that I would eat dinner in Hot Springs, but after driving around a while, I realized I was not in the right mindset for a busy restaurant full of families and bikers (lots of bikers in Hot Springs). And the road between the two cities has a lot of twists and turns, so I thought I might be better off making the drive while I still had a lot of daylight.

I'm SO glad that I did. It was the most gorgeous drive. I used my memory to get to Hot Springs, but my GPS to get back to Arkadelphia. It took me a different route, and it was breathtaking. The trees, with the mountains in the background. Sigh. All I could think was "with all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings". I will remember it for a long time.

When I got back to town, I ate dinner at Cracker Barrel. It's kind of a must when staying in Arkadelphia. After dinner, I went to Wal-mart for some water and a few snacks, and the Jersey Boys soundtrack. The Wal-mart in Arkadelphia is probably the nicest Wal-mart I've ever been in. And I wonder if it is the Wal-mart I have spent the most time in. We made almost daily trips for pretty much all four years that I was in school. Lots of memories. It was weird to walk through that store and wonder who I was with 10 years ago, walking those same aisles. I've probably been in every dressing room.

The next 36 hours was all about relaxing. Back at the hotel, excuse me, motel, I did a lot of journaling, a lot of reading - both my Bible and The Fault in Our Stars - and a decent amount of sleeping. I didn't get out of bed until noon on Sunday. You heard me. Noon. I woke up at 9, but my eyes were still heavy, so I let them stay shut until the bathroom pulled me into fully awake.

I went to lunch at a delicious and funky little cafe, and then went to the only other store that we ever shopped at in Arkadelphia, Cato. I'm glad that I went, though it took the rest of my fun money. I bought a shirt that I really like, some comfortable shoes and a headband that was a great price!

After that, I wanted somewhere to sit and read and do some more journaling. My plan was to drive around looking for a suitable restaurant, and ended up only driving a few yards. In front of Cato, there was a cute little pizza and ice cream diner. I bought a frozen coffee and spent the next hour sipping it and journaling. The Elvis music was a little distracting, only because it was loud, but I'm glad I was out of the hotel for a few hours.

I already can't remember what I did for dinner that night. I may have just headed back to the hotel and munched on my Wal-mart snacks when I got hungry. That must be it...

Monday morning I intended to eat brunch at Cracker Barrel, then check out all of the new shops on Main Street in Arkadelphia before heading home. Well "all the new shops" turned out to only be 2 stores. That town is dead in the summer.

It would have been nice if the bookstore was open on campus. I was surprised that I wasn't more emotional driving through campus. I thought it would impact me more. But there are so many new buildings... it looked the same, but different. More of the same, but not what my mind remembered. It didn't make me sad though. It made me thankful for the friendships that I made while I was at school. Thankful for the friends that I still keep in touch with. And even the ones that I don't. Those memories are still strong in my mind. I don't regret anything about my college experience - how could I when it left me with such special friends?

The drive home was easy. It's an easy drive. And it was good to be back in Brett's arms. I went hoping to hear from the Lord, and he definitely revealed some truth to me. I had a lot of realigning to do in my heart and mind. A lot of fear to let go of. Where is my faith? What is money to me that I have been so afraid to not have enough of it? Money is not my security. And Brett is not my provider. The Lord provides. The Lord heals. And the Lord loves me, knows my needs, knows what's best for me, and has a plan for me.

It was good to be reminded =-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Some Fourth of July Weekend Pictures

I had an awesome 4th of July weekend. Lots of family, lots of friends, lots of fun. No time for words, but here are a few pictures!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Full Rich Day

That is what Brett calls days like today. Full and rich. I was VERY ready for the weekend this week. Unfortunately, work has not been very enjoyable lately. I realized last summer, that I don't like summers at my job. They are SOOO full for us in the office. I'm in charge of field trips, and instead of having 9 field trips to plan every month, I have 37. I'm not kidding. It's crazy. And unfortunately, our enrollment is a little low this summer, and that is stressful for the owners. AND our staffing has been crazy. I repeat - I was ready for the weekend.

I'm actually ready for a break that is more extensive than a weekend can supply. I am thinking about taking a couple of days in July to get away, all by myself. Retreat, if you will. Jesus retreated. It's biblical. The women's minister at our church told me that a couple of months ago when I was telling her how overwhelmed life has been lately, and those words have been bouncing around in my head ever since. I would love a day that I don't have to talk to anyone. I am working on that =-)

But back to today. Wow! Here are the plans that we originally had for today. Sleep in, go to the Farmer's Market, and go to lunch. Those were our only concrete plans. I knew that we needed to hit a grocery store, and I knew that I wanted to go to Home Depot, and I knew that we would need to check on Brett's mom (she had both of her knees replaced 6 weeks ago. She is walking with a walker, but she still needs a lot of help) but the only thing I knew for sure was that we, and by we I mean the whole house - Brett, myself and our awesome roommate Rebecca were going to have some fun at the Farmer's Market.

Well, instead, here are the notable things about today:
1. My dad came over this morning and taught Rebecca and I how to mow the lawn (Brett is allergic to flying grass)
2. We introduced Rebecca to New York Pizza and Pasta, where we got to watch a really exciting shoot out between Brazil and Chile in the World Cup
3. We introduced Rebecca to Sprouts where mangoes were on sale 3/$1 and I got some ADORABLE tiny little cacti
4. I gave a homeless girl my shoes
5. I bought an awesome print at Hobby Lobby and was totally inspired as to how to use a few canvases I have hanging around waiting to be used
6. I bought a vintage shelf to display our Mr. Potato Head collection (today I acquired Potato Hulk, Wolverine and Starscream, all for $17!)
7. I made my first little succulent garden
8. I bought a pink flamingo for our yard

Those were just the highlights folks. It was a full rich day.

At my last job, I saw homeless guys pretty often at the light that cars stopped at to get on the highway to head home. One day, I had the thought, "why are all the homeless people guys"? And I immediately came to the realization that a woman without a place to live would be made a prostitute immediately. They don't stand on the corners asking for money, because whether they want to or not, they earn their living another way.

This girl today was young. Younger than me. Maybe 20. She didn't really look homeless. But her sign said she was homeless. And when someone in the middle lane held out money to her, I noticed it was painful for her to walk across the concrete because she didn't have shoes. I was wearing flip flops that are pretty comfortable, that I've only worn a handful of times. I got them 4 weeks ago, I think. I hope they aren't too hard to walk in. I hope she is safe right now. I hope that no one hurts her tonight.

Good to blog again =-)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chapter 3 for the Bacons

I have so much to tell! I won't stay up to say much tonight, but since I'm up on my computer, while the rest of the house is asleep, I thought I'd write a quick post - my first in the new house! I week ago today, Brett and I moved to a house a few streets away from our old house. It's three bedrooms, just like the last house, but it has a second bathroom, which we needed because... we have a roommate!

It's a long story full of a lot of twists and turns, but the short version is that over the last two years, God has brought some friends into our life that had a "house sharing" situation. Which I guess is what you call it when married people have roommates. The first time I heard about this, it was a group that our church affectionately referred to as "The Hippie House". Two married couples and three singles living in a huge house. And then we became friends with another couple who had a single living with them. And then we made friends with several single friends who were living with a married couple at the church. And the more we came across it, the more normal it felt. And God just slowly opened our hearts to it as a possibility. And after a lot of prayer and worry and house hunting, we are now the proud co-renters of a funkadelic old house with our sweet roommate, Rebecca. It's only been a week, but so far living with her has been SO easy and felt absolutely right. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us this year.

Pictures to come as soon as we are unpacked =-) I'm off to recover from a day of... unpacking. So many boxes!!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Healthy(er) Eating - Day 15

Ugh. Has it been a month yet?

I am struggling today. I am hungry. We went to a restaurant that I thought would have a lot of low carb options, and there weren't as many as I expected. And then what I ordered just wasn't very good. And then I was hungry and wanted things that are not good for me, and it kind of ruined my day.

I want to eat better for a lot of reasons. I am reading Made to Crave, and it's been really great to have someone put into words the ideas that I have felt for so many year. My weight issues are really spiritual issues. I look for comfort, love, happiness... from something that can not give me any of those things. Not really. And when I rely on something other than God for all of those things, and more, I make that thing an idol. I am changing my eating so that God can be on the throne, and not my food choices.

That is what I know for sure.

What I don't know for sure is what is reasonable to restrict myself to... what can I maintain past this month? What about the things that are permissible, but not necessarily beneficial? Like the Diet Cream Soda which I love so much. And do I have to figure all of that out right away?

In the beginning, I said that for the month of February (the shortest month in the year, praise the Lord!) I wouldn't eat bread, pasta, rice, potatoes or sugar. It's kind of low carb, but not really because I'm eating fruit.

Today is day 15, and it was the hardest day I've had so far. The first week was fine. This past week I was hungrier, but it was manageable. Today. Ugh. The emotions came back into the picture. I HATE making food choices based on emotion. I have lived for YEARS of my life not liking to do just that, but doing it anyway. And now I am trying to change that. Again.

But today it felt even harder because not only can I not eat what I want to eat, I can't buy what I want to buy. We are flat broke. We celebrated Valentine's Day today. A day late, because I was working childcare at church last night. Because we need the money.

What I wanted to do was go to the Dallas World Aquarium. I've never been and I have a free pass that expires in a few days. But it's kind of pricey, so Brett's ticket, to go with me, was more than we could afford. And for it to feel like a date, I would have wanted us to eat at one of their restaurants. Again, we can't afford to eat anywhere right now that we don't have a gift card to.

Let me just take a minute to say that I know that I sound like a total brat. I'm not proud that I find myself in want. Not when I have so much. We are abundantly blessed. God has always provided for us. It's been amazing to watch his provision since Brett left his full time job. Some weeks it's one day at a time. Which in my weakness, is kind of scary. In reality, it's really amazing. God has been so good.

I know that all of that is good. I know that this is part of the sanctification process, and I am thankful to be growing. But today there were growing pains.

Anyone else out there relate to days like today? When you have switched to a healthier eating plan, and suddenly it feels so hard that you have trouble remembering why it is worth it? What did you?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Give Us This Day...

What a beautiful day. It's been down right freezing in Irving, Texas the last few days. I know that it is still winter, but we were spoiled by a lovely glimpse of spring, so when the chill came back it was not welcomed with open arms. But today is another springy day, and I'm looking forward to being out in it.

I just got home from my church's annual "Women's Birthday Brunch". It has been an event for almost 20 years and it is a day that the ladies of our church come together, really just to celebrate each other. It's called the birthday brunch because you are supposed to sit with women who share the same birthday month as you. It's an opportunity to get to know women in the church that you wouldn't otherwise meet because you are separated by seasons. This was my first year to go and I'm so glad that I did. First of all, the food was delicious =-) Is there anything better than breakfast food? Not in my world! That was maybe the best biscuit I have ever had. I know that's saying a lot - especially from a Texas girl - but it was amazing. Even better than the biscuits was the speaker. Her name is Rebecca Ashbrook Carrell, and God really spoke to me through her today.

I have made it no secret on this blog that I struggle with my weight/food issues. Well sort of. Since speaking openly about it here, I go through long periods of not blogging. It's pretty much always food related. I am ashamed when I am not winning the battle, so I hide in silence. But I had a very enlightening moment this morning.

I can't believe that I have never had this thought before. It's so obvious, I have no doubt most other people HAVE had this thought before. It's probably even talked about openly to the point that it's cliche to say in some circles. But it had never occurred to me before. Here is my "aha" moment of the day:

When Adam and Eve ate the apple, the first thing that they noticed was their nakedness, and they felt shame. Shame about our bodies comes straight from the hands of Satan.


For years of my life, I was bound by the sin of compulsive eating. If you have never experienced addiction, I don't know how to describe it in a way that you will understand. But if you have, then you know how absolutely enslaving it is to be addicted to something. My every moment of every day revolved around what I would eat next. Where I would eat it. How I would eat it. It's horrifying. I am beyond thankful to say that I am not a slave to food any more. I still choose it, obviously... I am bigger now than I was through much of my addiction... but it doesn't control me. Maybe that is one of the reasons that I am still so big. I have wanted to enjoy my food without the compulsion. Actually taste and enjoy what I was eating.

But I have become increasingly aware of the chains that I am currently carrying over the last year or so. I am no longer bound by that particular sin, but I have been bound by something that at times is so powerful it seems to control my every move. My new chain is Shame.

I am so ashamed of the body that my past sins have brought me to. Too often, I wish that I were invisible. That I could disappear. That I had not come to whatever event brought me face to face with that shame. I know it's all my fault. The size was my doing. The ugliness was brought on by no one but myself, one bite at a time. That is a truth that I cannot hide from.

But we all live with consequences. With effects of our choices. When we fail, would God have us live in defeat? By all means, NO! We have VICTORY IN HIM, through Christ Jesus our Lord. When we feel guilt and shame for our sins and our failures, those feelings do not come from God. Does the Holy Spirit convict us? Yes. Is our God a just God? Yes. He will not spare us from every consequence. But neither does he condemn us. Our sin leads to death, but Christ has come that we might have LIFE! And have it MORE ABUNDANTLY!

We do not need to "suck in our sin" and try to look pretty for God. He knows us. Let me say that again. He knows us. And he loves us. He loves us, despite the fact that he knows us. He knows every apple that I have accepted from Satan. Every bite that led me astray. And he still chose me.

We are not called to hide in our shame, but to be a light in this dark world. It's time for me to put down the shame. To stop abiding in shame, and to abide in his love.

Oh that I would choose life, and live. Holy Spirit, help me to choose life. Show me how to be a light. And keep the chains of shame from choking the life out of me.