Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fixation on Vacation

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10

"If you find honey, eat just enough - too much of it, and you will vomit." Proverbs 25:16

"Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." Proverbs 24:13&14

These are some scriptures I was reading this morning. Filling up on God's word rather than on food, or even thinking of food.

My mom is a really wise woman. She shared with me a revelation she had about Americans, but really any indulgent people, and pleasure. I had recently gotten home from a vacation. I hadn't gone on a real vacation, with just Jason, in over 5 years. And, it was to one of my favorite places on earth...Mexico. It was so relaxing! I got ample sleep, sat in the sun while reading "Cold Tangerines" and defrosting my body. I ate guacamole, fresh fruit and had real Mexican margaritas...and this all not just with Jason but with some of our very best friends. It was a recipe for a great getaway. I am so grateful we had the opportunity!

And then we came home.

And home is good, too. I love all the people that are here at home. But there are responsibilities here. There is work to be done. I am needed here. I can't just be, but that is okay. Really, it is.

The problem is, the memories we walk away with from a vacation are also wrapped around feelings that felt so darn good. My mom shared something like this: The experiences and feelings get so wrapped up into one that we try to re-create those same feelings into our every day life. And not just once in a while as a quick escape from reality, but when stress comes or overload or fatigue, boredom, sadness, whatever the trigger, we try to add the feeling of vacation into every element of our lives...hence, eating when we aren't hungry. Shopping when we don't need anything. Having that extra drink just to get that extra little buzz. Whatever our "go to", when it is in excess, either by quantity, actual time or thinking about it, it becomes an idol.

(I find it interesting that this is exactly what Em and I are reading in her Picture Bible right now, as well as her Reader for school...hmmm...guess God is reinforcing what He is setting me free from!)

Freedom from responsibility, total uninterrupted relaxation, satisfaction from food that was made for me by a chef, the opportunity to be served instead of having to do all the work. Honestly, the list could go on and on.

But God set the example of reality for me at the very beginning: 6 days work, 1 day off to rest. We want, or maybe just I want, no one else out there, the feeling of 6 days rest...6 days of vacation...6 days of at least the feelings of vacation...and if I were to be honest: 7.

So, for me, even though my trip to Mexico was totally great, it was at the end of a really long and draining time line of events in my life. I'm not going to pull the dead kid card here. I'm not trying to make excuses. I am grateful for this blog that I hate because it's giving me a space to retrace some steps and see where I burnt out. It's been culminating for a while. I think I've just felt too needed, and even that shows me I was trying to do too much on my own strength, coasting on refills of the past instead of stopping for myself, not selfishly, but because we all need it, just to get filled up by the One Who does the ultimate filling.

No, I haven't been laying on the floor in the family room with all the lights on under a space heater to recreate the Mexican sun, but I have been eating out of boredom, that is for sure.

At the beginning of this year, I was hungrier than ever to just have simple, uncomplicated, quiet time with God. I expressed that to Him, though He knew my heart anyway, so it's not like it was a big secret. As a result, He has been showing me how He is taking things out of my life to create more room, not to fill up with people, experiences or things, but to fill up with Him.

Just the other night, as I was trying to fall asleep after posting here, God showed me quite a few things on this quest for freedom from food obsession. One was this:

When Noah was in the hospital, and for quite some time afterward, food wasn't even an issue. I actually didn't even eat out of stress while he was sick. And, He showed me it was because I wasn't being self-sufficient but was trusting Him with everything. He also showed me, though, that there doesn't have to be a train wreck or chaos, calamity or heartache in order to lean into Him.

I know too much.

I already know that God wants me to hang out with Him all day long, everyday, not just when stuff is tough. But I'm a strong personality. I am driven. I can do it on my own. I'm self-sufficient. Yep. I can. I mean, obviously...that's why I have this blog that I hate, right?!

What I really need to eat right now is a few slices of humble pie. Actually, just one bite is plenty. I mean, I need the whole pie because I really need some humbling, but with this revelation, I know that one bite will do. I can't do this on my own. All the willpower in the world won't suffice. But God will. He does. I just need to sit and be with Him more.

I have picked it up again. I have allowed food to become an idol once more. I've allowed myself to crowd out my Heavenly Father.

I'm a regular old Israelite of old. I wonder if the golden calf they forged was a big, fat, golden calf?

I am sorry, Lord. I am sorry.

And God has been gracious. He forgives me. He isn't disgusted with me. He loves me. He hasn't changed, He remains.

So I am the one that has to stop and go back to where He can be found...and it's not in the busyness of things that are even good. It's at His feet. It's not with the fridge hanging open or my hand in the bottom of an empty bag or with the American sized portions on every corner.

It's at His feet. In His Word. Pure and simple. I'm re-learning.

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