You may be wondering how our Lenten Fast is coming along….
Well, I guess it’s going great. We are sticking to it and actually haven’t had too much trouble avoiding foods that are “off-limits”.
Which I guess means it isn’t going that great because isn’t a fast supposed to be really hard? Isn’t the desire for what you can’t have supposed to draw you closer to God?
In an effort to make our temporary vegan lifestyle more manageable for Andy (since I was shocked he agreed to it!) I’ve gone wild finding delicious recipes so that he wouldn’t feel deprived (pancakes! chili! cornbread! split pea soup! spaghetti! artisan bread! chocolate peanut butter cookies!)
So yeah, we don’t feel deprived.
But I’m also not feeling particularly spiritual either….
I know that God has been working in my life, especially over the past 6 months that I’ve been involved in an incredible Bible study at my church. I’m feeling Him stirring things up and challenging me toward growth and change.
Some of it has been amazing and some of it has been really hard.
I know I have a LOONG way to go, but I really want to become the woman He created me to be.
I’ve got to admit that it’s completely overwhelming at times.
And, after the recent upset in my family, I’ve been particularly burdened. Stressed out even.
The stress has caused my mouth, scalp and ring finger to become totally inflamed to the point that I think I’m going to go mad. Kind of like what happened to my eyes a while back.
On top of all the itching and burning and not being able to go 5 minutes without applying some kind of moisture (coconut oil, lanolin, all natural chapstick, etc) to my lips, I’m also fighting a cold.
And I’m losing.
So I can’t go 3 seconds without a tissue to wipe my dripping, red nose.
And I’m constantly scratching my head (not out of curiosity!).
Since I believe that we are what we eat, I’ve been obsessing over what I’m eating that is causing some of this or maybe just making it worse.
I usually go on and on about how dairy is evil and if I’d just quit it forever I’d never have a runny nose again! (Really, I do this. Just ask my husband or sister)
I guess people who don’t eat dairy still get colds though. But avoiding the dairy has to be better for my cold, right?!
Eating vegan in the past has made me feel like a million bucks, so I kind of expected it to do the same this time around…
The first few days were pretty good. I felt lighter and like my head was clearer. I think I was also eating a bit healthier those few days (beginner’s gusto).
But now I’m feeling ALL. KINDS. OF. GASSY. I’m determined to figure out what is wrong with what I’m eating.
I’m still eating lots of veggies, fruits and fibrous beans which I believe are all good for me.
But I’m also eating a lot of wheat.
Wheat bread. Wheat crackers. Wheat cereal. Wheat pasta. Wheat pancakes. Wheat pita.
I’m convinced that this is what ails me.
Too much wheat.
There’s a best selling book out there called Wheat Belly.
I heard about it probably a year ago and told myself, “Don’t read it!”
I have a tendency to “fall down the rabbit hole” of information regarding healthy eating. It’s like crack and I’m a hopeless addict.
I could read it all until the cows come home. Always wanting to know more about how to eat the “right way”.
I get obsessed.
Lately I’ve been obsessed.
First it was obsession with vegan recipes. Alternatives to cream and cheese and milk and eggs.
Then slowly the idea that wheat is killing me began to take over.
I haven’t purchased the book, but I’ve been reading all kinds of stuff online about the effects of wheat on our bodies.
::falls down rabbit hole::
I wish there was some handbook for life that told us exactly what to eat. It seems the government, pharmaceutical companies and big food industry want us to believe certain things, but those things seem to be making us all fat, sick and depressed.
The vegans want us to swear off animal products, but God called the Promised Land the “land of milk and honey“. Jesus ate fish on the beach with his disciples!
The paleos want us to eat like cavemen and swear off grains but eat meat like it’s going out of style. All the while I have images of the graphs showing cancer rates plummeting when animal consumption ceases. Not to mention the hidden camera videos that show animals being killed in the most inhumane ways all in the name of mass production and big profits.
All of it honestly makes me not want to eat anything at all.
And yet I also want to stress eat on the couch in front of a sappy romantic comedy just to make it ALL GO AWAY.
As you can see, I’m a mess.
Romans 1:25 starts to ring in my head:
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised.
I’m obsessed with food (created things) more than with God (the Creator). I’m overcome by my emotional pain, so I’m looking to something else that will “fix” me. Or at least distract me.
I need to bring this all to Him. I need to lay it at His feet and admit that I am weak.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
And, right now as I’m trying to wrap this up so I can go lay down and nurse this darn cold, I also remember that food isn’t what is important.
Jesus reminded us of this when he was fasting in the desert for 40 days and Satan tempted him to turn the rocks into bread. He said (in Matthew 4:4)…
“It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
I think I need a little more scripture and a little less internet research.