Jun 30, 2010

Thoughts about "Women, Food and God" part 1

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. This post has been rattling around in my head for a good week or so.  Every time the thoughts are at their clearest and flowing freely, I am either in the middle of something or have yet to begin a chore that I desperately need to do.  Then, when the time comes to get it out, the thoughts aren't there or aren't as clear. Frustrating. So, I apologize for any rambling-ness to this entry.

I recently listened to an audiobook that was lent to me by a friend. It's a popular title, "Women, Food and God" by Geneen Roth. I am glad to have listened to this book, because I may not have made it all the way through if I was reading it. I'm also glad for some of the thoughts that were expressed in the book. It was written for anyone who eats or thinks about food obsessively or nearly obsessively. I valued a lot of what Ms. Roth had to say and I think it shed some light on an area in my life that I had not been thinking about correctly. However there are quite a few ideas and views with which I certainly did not agree. First and foremost, I did not agree with how she identified and defined "God." All I will say about that for now is that this book does not refer to the One True God rather a god that was created by the author for her own benefit and the supposed benefit of the reader.

The disagreement I'd like to unfold more is her idea that in order to set things right in our mind we need to find and go back to the part that is inside each of us that is not broken, still pure, and that we are to learn to trust ourselves again by focusing on and identifying this part in our being. There was so much riding on this idea in the book that I'm actually surprised that I still found some helpful ideas, but I did. 

I agree with her that the way I have viewed food and eating is broken and I really appreciated some ideas and guidelines that she suggested to help relearn how to view food correctly.  However, I firmly disagree with the idea that suggests that there is any part of myself that is unbroken or completely pure. You see, I'm human and therefore when I was born I was already imperfect. In this world there is no one that is perfect, no one that is unbroken, not even one. So, I have been irked by this idea since she first brought it up. 

If I am to make any headway in solving this broken area in my life I need to rely on *THE* Unbroken One, The God and Father who created us and loves us even in our brokenness.  I need to continually acknowledge that I do not have the power to fix myself and humbly admit that there is nothing good in me save the work of my Father in my heart.  HE provided the solution to this sinful state that we live in.  I think that buying into this idea that there is some part of me that has been unaffected by the world is going to lead to nothing but frustration and discouragement and will just feed into the cycle.

Since listening to this book I have been praying that God would give me the wisdom I need to make better choices regarding food and my relationship to it. He is faithful just as he says he will be:

If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father.
He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be
condescended to when you ask for it.
James 1:5 MSG

Praying to God (the real one) and really thinking about the reasons I want to eat at any particular time has been a huge help. It takes practice and there are a few helpful suggestions that Geneen Roth has provided. I plan on writing about this book again (hence the part 1 in the title), but for now I just had to get these thoughts out before I completely lost them.

Jun 18, 2010

Book Suggestions Needed.

I have just officially finished reading completely through the Bible at the beginning of this week. It was such a wonderfully growing experience. In the last couple of days I have begun to do some reading on the first topic I mentioned in my previous entry - friendship.  I'm reading the concordance verses (along with the contextual verses) that are listed for "friendship" and I can tell that I'm going to need to look into some more resources and do some more digging if I want this to be a meaningful learning experience. So, does anyone have any suggestions? Any study books that have helped you in this area of your life? 

You use steel to sharpen steel,
and one friend sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Haha, I couldn't resist putting these songs on here.

Jun 10, 2010

A Journey's *THAT* Journey...

*THAT* journey is our adoption journey and that is not yet at an end. However, I have been on another journey this year, a journey through the Bible. In February 2009 I began reading through the entire Bible for the first time. I made a commitment to finish it, but didn't give myself a time line.  After a 1 year and 4 months  I have begun reading the book of Revelation.  I had sort of been a little apprehensive about this book. There are so many different opinions regarding it's contents. In my life I've heard at least 4 or 5 different teachings about what Revelation means for the Christian life: end times time-line, prophesy, poetry, etc. I was excited to be reading it in a different version than I had read before. I felt like I could go into it fresh, without all the questions and ponderings with which I had previously approached it.  So far I am enjoying the reading immensely.  It is so worshipful, what a great way to end my journey through the Bible. 

I must say that I am getting very excited to decide on my next reading plan. I think I'd like to do a topical study for a little while. In reflection though, it was so amazing to see how what I was reading in the Bible-in-a-little-over-a-year-Livi-style reading plan matched up with what I was feeling at that particular time. Worry, impatience, anger, numbness, joy, excitement, you name it, I've felt it over this last year and God's Word dealt with it at that precise time. I didn't do any hunting nor topic searches, but the Spirit within me helped me to identify what God had to say about what I felt. Even so, there are some areas of growth that I'd like to work on and I know that God's Word will help me to grow in them.

SO, since I've decided to use this journal as an outlet to all I'm learning about with God in my life, I think I'll share a couple of the ideas that I plan to study.
  • Friendship: What does it look like in God's Word to be a good friend? Who are some examples that I can learn from? What is the balance between being a friend to the world and being too friendly with the world?
  • Passionate Patience: In 1 Peter 1:5-8, Peter uses the phrase "passionate patience." It has stuck with me and I really want to look into it more. Perhaps I'll use the People of Faith's stories for examples to learn from.
 I'm really looking forward to these areas of study, but I must finish what I've started first.  

And they chanted night and day, never taking a break:
Holy, holy, holy
Is God our Master, Sovereign-Strong,
The Was, The Is, The Coming.
Revelation 4:8

Jun 1, 2010

Faith in What We Don't See

To be honest there was one particular chapter I was excited to read in my personal "journey through the Bible" this year. I know that the whole of scripture is God-breathed and useful, but I was looking forward to Hebrews 11, The Faith Chapter.  I say was because last week I finally got to it and I must say that it was a lot more convicting that I remembered (hahaha).

I've always found this chapter to be so uplifting and encouraging - sort of like the "after" part of a "before & after" show on TV. Having read all the background stories of each of the people mentioned fairly recently, it was pretty great to see that even though they were flawed and they messed up along the way, their faith in God is what is remembered. As I read through the first twelve verses it was like pure encouragement to my wavering resolve to completely trust in God regarding his plan for our family. I even went so far as to pray that God would allow people to look back on my actions and say, "By an act of faith, Olivia waited and waited and waited for God to deliver a child into her family." (That's kind of embarrassing now as I read this, it sounds a pretty obnoxious...).  

I then continued reading  and got to vs 13, "Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing." Pow! Smack! Wham! What a wake-up call!  You see, I realized that what they were looking forward to was not worldly happiness nor life dreams fulfilled, but life eternal, life forever with God. I love how this next part is said in The Message: "How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home." Hebrews 11:13b-14. 

Once again I was convicted that my focus has been drawn to what is happening (or not happening) to me in this world rather than looking toward things eternal. I needed some time to confess this before God and really make an effort, with God's help, to accept the fact that I am only a transient in this world. I desire that God will bless us with a child in this life, but I am not to place my hope in that desire.  My hope is in God and in eternal life with him made possible through Jesus' death and resurrection. My eyes should not be downcast and disappointed, but looking up, peering toward my true home. 

I feel like this is something that will be a constant struggle for me.  Looking back over the short life of this journal I confirm that it has been on my heart often. I continue in my prayer that God will capture my full attention and that it will be his forever.