While loading mounds of clotted cream on my scone, I impulsively told my friend I'd join her the next morning on the Whole30 diet.
(because, let's call a spade a spade, for Christmas fudge gifted me 8 extra pounds. And I wanted to return that gift immediately).
Without planning. Without reading anything about what's okay to eat or not. While hosting my parents. And with a fridge and pantry full of "no no" foods. Even with great desire for results and quick inspiration from my friend's story of past success, this "diet" was destined for failure.
I started Monday with a cup of coffee, adding in my unsweetened, almond milk & a sprinkling of cinnamon. I even cooked myself a couple of scrambled eggs (pulling out pots & pans before 8am should be illegal).
During noon carpool I sent my friend a text proud of my accomplishments up to that point. Then I naively asked, "What can I eat for lunch?". She graciously told me her menu and tagged me in a couple Whole30 Instagram accounts, for inspiration.
While taking my last bite of lunch, my parents came home from their Costco trip. And what did they set upon the kitchen counter? A giant box of Ghiardelli chocolate, chocolate chunk brownie mix. Uh huh.
That afternoon as a headache began to sink in and my pre-planned dinner of Maple Balsamic Pork loomed over me, it seemed I could barely keep this diet for a WholeDay. . .let alone 30!
Yes. It appeared I'd failed before I'd even begun. (And brownies weren't ultimately to blame.)
But even that 1/2 a day of considering what went in my mouth helped get my eating habits a little closer to "healthy".
Holidays and busyness and traveling not only mess with our battle with the bulge, they can often rock us out of our spiritual balance.
So we make the New Year's resolutions to "read the Bible each day" or "pray more", but the reality sinks in and our spiritual sabotage "brownie" looks more like a snooze button or an ever present smart phone.
Here's the good news for those of us barely able to keep a commitment for a WholeDay . . .He is faithful.
He. is. faithful.
When we cycle through desired & then failed resolutions, He stands firm.
When storms come and our faith bends, He never moves.
When we feel isolated in our convictions, He is right by our side.
Best news? His character never changes.
The God of Jeremiah (the "weeping prophet") is the same God we can experience today. The One whose lovingkindness does not cease. Whose compassion never fails. AND is new every morning.
If you are feeling like you've already "failed" your resolution to make God first, to stay centered in His Word, let me encourage you.
I posted this on Facebook yesterday, but it's so important I'm sharing it here too:
"Right now, in the nearness of this present moment, trust God to remember you.
He's faithful to know not only who you are but where you are--where you're running from, and where you're running to.
He's there and He cares.
How do we trust Him?
In Lamentations 3:24-32, Jeremiah gives us 4 ways:
1. Wait patiently:
Stop running and start waiting. Trust Him to remember His goodness toward you. . . by waiting on His unchanging faithfulness.
2. Seek diligently
Instead of ignoring Him, start seeking Him again. Confess your wrongs, uncover your shame before Him and come on the merits of Christ.
3. Sit silently
After pouring your heart out to God, be quiet. Read a psalm, sit & let Him talk. Understand the cleansing that He's bringing and the freshness of His presence.
4. Submit willingly
When circumstances are standing over you with their foot on your neck, the tendency is to stand up and defend yourself. But Jeremiah advises the opposite. . .no rationalizing. No excuses.
He will show you that His mercies haven't ceased, His compassions haven't failed, and His faithfulness hasn't diminished."
-Charles Swindoll, "Stones of Remembrance"
"This I recall to mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The Lord's lovingkindnesses never cease.
His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning.
Great is Thy faithfulness"
If you are struggling to get back to "center" in this new year, please leave me a comment (or send me an email) so I can pray with you.
Two things we need to succeed with goals/desires: accountability and support. If you don't have either, perhaps our little community can be that for you. Join us over on Facebook to get regular encouragement and support in staying God-centered.