Monday, February 13, 2012

Brownie Points

I ate a brownie last night.

Some might look at that and say "Okaaaaay...and?". But those of us who struggle mightily with this will immediately recognize a sister who, through the act of eating a simple brownie (and one I made, no less!) will begin the long process of self-loathing. The process of mentally tabulating all the calories eaten that day vs. how many burned to see if it was really "okay" to eat that brownie. The process of feeling like the exact same pants I had on before I ate said brownie now suddenly feel different, tighter.

This doesn't just affect me on the inside, it affects how I act toward other people, namely my family members, too. As I'm becoming more aware of myself in general, I'm seeing how my own penurious reaction to eating a single brownie makes me short-tempered with my husband and irritable with my kids. And it washes the way I see everything in a negative light. Now, as I'm looking around, the house isn't just in slight disarray, it's a sty and I'm a horrible housekeeper who is not able to keep up. My husband isn't just tired, he's frustrating in general. My kids aren't just excited, they are annoying.

As I think on these things, I'm reminded of a quote I heard in a bible study called "For Women Only" by Shaunti Feldhan. She said, and I will never forget this, "SO YOU THINK THEREFORE YOU ACT". I was nearly blinded by the flashing neon sign God had above my head saying, " This is for YOU, Heather!". I've tried to remember that, and generally have done a pretty fair job at turning my thinking around. The power of positive thinking is undeniable. And so is the power of our mighty God! He can take these thoughts, as long as I'm willing to give them to Him, and help me think positively about myself. Of course, there is a huge difference between thinking positively and pride, but since God is now guiding my thoughts, He won't take me down that dangerous path.

Should I have eaten that brownie? Obviously, I must take care of my body and eat healthy foods. But that's not really the point. The point is to take my messed-up mindset, give it to God, and allow Him to give me a healthy mindset.

My daughter read this out of her devotional tonight:

Whenever something is too heavy for us to carry alone, we look around for help. People have long depended on beasts of burden, but unfortunately they can't even carry some of the heaviest burdens we encounter-like illness, anger, sorrow or fear. God does not expect us to shoulder these weights by ourselves. The bible tells us "Give your burdens to the Lord. He will carry them" (Psalm 55:22 TLB). One of the blessings of asking God into your life is the assurance that you will never have to face anything alone ever again. God will be with you whenever you cross a "desert" in your heart, lightening your load with His comfort.*

Brownie points indeed!

Devotion from " The One Year Did You Know Devotions" by Nancy S. Hill on February 9

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