I've been reading others blogs for a long time - even posted a response every now and then, holding my breath that I did it right. So I've decided to join the club now at a time in my life when God is stretching me in every arena. I figure if I've said yes to a mission trip to Israel/Palestine and going back to school there's not much to fear about trying out a blog! I love to journal. My friends will roll their eyes right about now, but I think journaling is a rich part of my relationship with God. It offers a chance to slow down and think-to meditate-to absorb His word and what He's offering in the moment from it.
Recently I decided to give up refined sugar. Truthfully, that decision would be an "again." My husband and I were clean from sugar, most breads, and other simple carbs for about 2 years. Then we moved and our commitment to that lifestyle changed as it dropped to a lower priority in our lives.
I think commitment is really the key to discipleship. In regards to sugar, I know that I feel better when I don't eat it. That knowledge is a truth and unchanging. But the circumstances of my life changed. There was more stress in parenting. More time away from the home. Greater responsibilities at church. More opportunities to gather in community. Greater temptation to eat. And then the questions - why do I have to be so strict? Everyone else is enjoying this. I am over 40 now. Isn't it inevitable that my waist will expand and I'll have less motivation to be physically strong?
What does sugar have to do with discipleship? Two things. What am I being disciplined in, but more importantly Who do I look to for that discipline? And commitment is the key. I will either be committed to being strong and healthy or I will not be. I will either be committed to looking to Christ for guidance, or I will look to others for my counsel. Paul writes, "Everything is permissible for me... but not everything is beneficial." 1 Cor 6:12 I keep learning that turning to God first in all things, small or big, is the only way to stay the course of discipleship. I'm always tempted to drop my commitment when I turn to others. "It's just a small piece. It won't hurt you." "You've got to have balance in your life." It's hard to hold a friend accountable when you see yourself in their struggle. Ever encountered that in your devotional life? Or your prayer life? No, we have a bent towards making things softer for others, often times enabling them in the very things that weaken their discipleship.
Two things - what am I committed to? Who am I committed to?
So I've been fasting from sugar for 13 days now. I figured fasting 40 days would help me stay committed to God alone. And I decided to test His faithfulness in showing up in the process. Actually, I think He asked me to test His faithfulness. The idea of a fast was on my mind when I woke up 13 days ago, along with this verse "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8 I've been searching God's word for his promises of sweetness to me. "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth." Psalm 119:103
"May my meditation be sweet to him, as I rejoice in the LORD." Psalm 104:34
It's not really about the sugar. Everything I experience in the natural world is an offering of possibility in my walk with Christ. He's teaching me commitment- His faithfulness - and as always, continued hope. Many blessings, Favored One!