Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Radical Obedience

P31 OBS Blog Hop

The Vacation is Over My Friend

Driving back from vacation in the wee hours of the morning, feeling ill, sick to my stomach, queasy, a self-induced sugar coma came over me.  Ugh, why do I do this to myself?  Why do I think that just because I’m on vacation that all logic goes out the window?  On vacation, food doesn’t have any calories.  On vacation I won’t get the awesome sugar high or the not so awesome sugar low.  On vacation my stomach will all of a sudden be able to process the junk that I indulge in.  Gross. 

For those that don’t know, I’m a self-professed sugar junkie.  Hi, my name is Shila and I’m addicted to sugar.  I found help when I discovered the book, Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, quit my habit and lost 25 pounds along the way (Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!).  I loved the book so much I had an online bible study for our church group and friends.  It was amazing!  OK, back to my sugar junkie moment.

So, I messed up.  I went back to my bad habit.  Sugar found me and I indulged and threw my go-to scriptures out the window as I had a second piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (just because it was my mom’s birthday does not make that right!) On the drive home I felt the guilt.  Why God, why did you give me this thorn in my flesh?  Why is this so difficult for me to handle?  I was doing so well, what made me go back to my old habits?  Help me!

As part of our online bible study, When Women Say Yes to God, the question arose, “Is there something that God is asking you to give up?  What specific steps do you need to take to fulfill this obedience?”  That question was easy to answer as I frantically ran through my house when I got home searching for anything sweet.  Hello, time to give up sugar, again.  God has specifically asked me to give up sugar.  I’ve been down this road, I know He has and now He’s telling me to give it up again.

And yes, you may think this is silly, I mean people have struggles with “real” addictions - drugs, alcohol, or even spending too much money, what’s the big deal about sugar?  I dug into the story of the rich young man, found in Matthew 19:16-26, and realized that Jesus asks us to give up anything in our life that is controlling us.  In my case, I wanted sugar more than I wanted Jesus.  My radical obedience is to give up this sugar addiction.

So what do I have to do?  For me, I need to go back to the scriptures that have helped me in the past.  2 Corinthians 12:9-11, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 1 Corinthians 10:13-14, Revelation3:8, Romans 6:19-20.  I need to use any craving as a prompt to pray.  I need to get back up, dust off the sugar from my mouth and move forward.  I hope that if you are struggling with anything and you stumbled like me, you too can get up and move forward again. 

Deuteronomy 2:3 – You have circled this mountain long enough.  Now turn north.

Turning north in radical obedience,

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Palms Up

P31 OBS Blog Hop

As part of Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study, “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God,” we were encouraged to answer some bible study questions at the end of the chapter.  The question that stood out for me was, “What is holding you back from going deeper in your relationship with God?”

So what is holding me back?  Lately for me, it’s praise, or lack of.  I tend to get caught up in the pity party of life.  I’m so busy (I can’t stand when people tell me how busy they are and here I am saying it), there is too much on my plate, my kids want me to entertain them all the time, I’m working too much and I want to be outside, I can’t exercise enough because I’m too busy…blah, blah, blah.  God really spoke to me and said, “Do you want your kids to whine all day long or would you rather hear them thanking you?"

Psalm 150 says, “Praise the Lord.  Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.  Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness…Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

I don’t know about you but I’m ready to get the joy back in my life.  I want to praise God for all things.  Praise him that I work at home and can spend time with my kids.  Praise him for a wonderful, hard working, God-loving husband because I know too many people that don't have a relationship nearly as good as ours.  Praise him that we have a roof over our head and good (organic, yum) food to eat.  Praise him for all the laundry because we have clothes on our backs.  Praise him for the endless wet towels because it means we've been having fun swimming.  Praise him for our neighbors that the kids want to constantly play with because we aren't lonely.  Praise him for a church family that is close and loving and always there for us.  Wow, the list could go on and on.  So what am I doing sitting here whining when I should be praising him?  Isn't that what is going to get me closer to God?  

Today, I’m going to surrender my pity party.  I’m going to surrender my over scheduled busyness.  I’m going to surrender my bad attitude.  I will praise God for the amazing abundance that he has given me and stand here with my PALMS UP waiting for God to bless me with a deeper relationship with him.  I will say YES to what he wants me to do and praise him along the way.

Praising God with my Palms Up receiving all God has for me,