Saturday, January 9, 2016

Life Lessons from My Journey with Food

For those of you who may not already know, I began, about 2 years ago, to treat my ongoing battle with Ulcerative Colitis with food. And it has really been amazing to see how well it has worked. Better than I ever could have imagined. Funny - how the body responds in kind, when you treat it the way it was intended to be treated.
But, it requires great discipline. Sacrifice. Obedience. Especially in this day and age.

I can see why fasting is used in the bible. There are so many spiritual lessons and parallels found in the discipline of diet; especially when you'd been accustomed to the Standard American Diet.

I always thought that fasting was solely self deprivation, as a means to focus more clearly on God. Which it certainly is. But, I've realized much more than that in these past couple of years of my dietary changes; even though I wasn't technically 'fasting'. 

(Savannah on her first trip to Dismeyworld, blessing her breakfast before heading out for the day.)


I have come to better appreciate meal blessings, in a purer sense.

Famed Christian comedian, Tim Hawkins has a bit where he talks about how comical it is to ask the Lord to bless our American diet. 'Sometimes we pray over food and ask God to make up for the bad choices we make when we eat. No matter what it is. 'Lord, bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies. - Lord, bless this bag of Cheetos and this jumbo Dr. Pepper, Lord. Somehow let this nourish us in some way. I don't know how you're gonna do it, Father, but we just trust in You now. Father, change the molecular structure of this food, this complete trash we're about to shove in our gullet; change the Cheeto into a carrot stick on the way down. Spirit of Low Carb rain down on me now! I pray a hedge of protection around my pancreas right now! Intervene!' "

Funny, not funny, right?  :)

Now, when I sit down to my meals, I can honestly ask the Lord for His blessing over what I'm about to eat. Knowing that I have done my best in the choices I've made.

Which leads us to...


In the same way that I can more fully ask God's blessing over my food, when I make the right choices, the same applies to all of life. If you continue to live in blatant sin, knowing you're making the wrong choices, can you honestly ask God to bless you in that? 


Lest I come off self-righteous, I have a confession to make.
After a full 13 months of being able to live completely med-free (after 10 years of treating my UC with drugs), I had to get a prescription for Prednisone yesterday. {boo}
I knew that lately I had been much more lax with my diet than I ought to be. I had done okay with my favorite corn chips from time to time, so naturally, those began to work their way into my diet more and more over time. (Even though I'm not supposed to have corn.) As well as dark chocolate and wine. And processed glazes and sour cream... Slippery slope, isn't it?
Same with lilfe. 
Like Casting Crowns sings "It's a slow fade." Different folks have asked me over the years, "Yeah, but do you have to be that strict?" This is why my answer is an emphatic "Yes." Because oftentimes, even mild infractions or disobediences lead to others. And before you know it... you're spiraling out of control.
We are prone to self-depravity. 

Confession #2: When I got that Prednisone in hand last night, my first thought was "Hmmm... I wonder what I could get away with eating, at least while on this?" 
Geez! Never believe for one second that this thing is easy for me. Or that I judge anyone for their choices. If I ever seem irritated, I'm more than likely just jealous that you don't have the negative ramifications that I have, in eating whatever the heck you want.  :)


But, thankfully, He knows our sinful nature and extends us grace. In the case of this flare-up, I have a doctor named Socoloff (that I love) and an awesome nurse, Cindy who are there to catch me when I fail.
And in life, I have a loving Father, Who is prepared to catch me as well.
Even in my own poor choices.


In this day and age, it's hard to know who to trust. Same applies to foods and their distributors. 
Is that produce truly organic? Can I trust that those eggs are actually pastured?...
I don't know. 
But, I have come to trust. And not in the distributors, but in God. In asking His blessing over my meals, I am in a sense saying to Him "Lord, You know that I have made the best decisions I can make. I have bought what I understand to be the best for me. Please honor this and bless it to my body." I truly believe that when you make the best decisons you can, based on what you've been given, He will honor that.
Same goes in life.


Yes, in this fine country of ours, we have, as a whole, gone way off-track from the intended way of eating. We were intended to eat to live; we have become much more prone to live to eat. A gluttonous way of life, full of empty fillers, sweeteners and manufactured components - Oh, my word. If that's not applicable to life!

BUT - we also have a large number of folks out there who are doing their best to provide better options. Organic products, farmers markets, roadside stands, water purifiers... Some countries are lucky to have a water source at all. We are abundantly blessed. 

My food blessing over these last couple of years has been:

He has provided us with what we need. We, as a culture, have just distorted what He developed and saw fit for us. We, in turn, have taken what has been given to us and added to it, taken from it, manipulated it and then mass produced it.
That is far from what He originally saw and deemed as "good". 
Again. Same goes for life.

It's funny, as much as I still crave things like Chick-fil-A breakfast and Pizza Hut personal pan pizza from Target, I have come to truly appreciate the basics that we were originally given. Fruits. Vegetables. Meats. And even having grown my own tomatoes, basil and strawberries this year, I was just reminded of life's simple blessings. 

And how truly 'good' they really are.


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