My 15 year old sister one of my six best friends, but in particular, she’s taught me a great deal in recovery. This whole ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ post with Laura and Arman and Jenn is dedicated to her.
She is one of the the gifts that God put into my life almost 16 years ago, and this post is all about what she taught me about eating (along with some eats.)
First of all, being taught something by your younger siblings is um… humbling. Yet, it’s been a really good reminder to me of the humility that Jesus showed and the humility that He said is part of bringing people into the kingdom of heaven.
Would you think that God would only choose smart, wise, pretty and handsome people? Reading the Bible is just quite the surprise, because it shows that Jesus reached out to everyone.
Jesus Christ reached out to the lame men, the rich young ruler, the beggars, the tax collector (Zacchaeus), and He took little children on His knees.
He talked to the woman at the well. He let a woman wash His feet with her hair. Jesus was the very essence of humility, and most of all, He died on the cross, one of the most shameful deaths I could image… And it was all for the love of His Father who sent Him to take the burden of our sin on Himself, so I could go free?
Wow. How could I be proud about myself after that?
So, what has my sister taught me about eating that has aided in bringing me not by little steps, but by LEAPS and bounds in recovery in just the past year?
#1) She taught me that food is to be enjoyed as a gift, but not an idol. I’ve been reading through the prophets in my Bible reading lately, and it struck me as to how idolatrous I am and how idolatrous the Israelites were.
Even though God had cared for them in the wilderness, given them manna and quail to eat and then brought them into a land where He was with them ALL the way and conquering all their enemies, they still rebelled.
Talk about hard-headed people. Yet, I’m just that hard-headed. I’m not going to be judgmental of them, cause I’ll just raise my hand and say that I’m just as prone to idolatry.
Ezekiel 14:5-6, ‘That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.’
The thing that amazes me is that God didn’t destroy them for their idolatry.
Truly I can say after reading all the Old Testament prophets and thinking of all the times I turned from walking in my reconciled relationship with God to other idols that had no power or no love, that God’s forgiveness and mercy to His children is amazing.
What astounds me is God’s mercy, that God would gently bring me back to His side, after idolizing my body and food for so many years and show me that only in Him is fullness of joy.
That’s definitely something my sister taught me. God TRULY does use the younger to teach the older.
#2) She taught me that it really is all about the balance. She doesn’t obsess about getting in her veggies, and she’s not obsessed with dessert either. She just kind of eats what looks good, and she doesn’t stare at it and analyze every calorie.
She has the faith of a little child, even though she isn’t little anymore, and her life speaks Matthew 18:3 to me all the time, ‘And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’
#3) She taught me that eating is about trust, not trusting myself, because I can deceive myself, but trusting God cause God never changes. If God made my body, and God is good, then why would I worry about the food I put into it (if it doesn’t make me feel horrible)?
Joshua 1:9 rings true EVEN for the fears and battles I’ve faced in recovery.
My sister’s example has reminded me that God is in control even when I feel like everything is out of control. ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
#4) She taught me that although my eating habits aren’t always balanced and ‘perfect,’ I need to be looking to Jesus Christ who is the author and perfector of my faith, not my own power.
Hebrews 12:2, ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’
#5) She taught me that life isn’t about stress and anxiety and rushing around trying to do all the things. Instead, I learned from her, to be thankful, to glorify God and sing of His benefits, and not to worry about tomorrow. He already has it because He planned for His glory.
Psalm 107:24, ‘O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.’
#6) She taught me that GENTLENESS, as a fruit of the Spirit, includes the way I take care of my body for my Heavenly Father’s glory. I realized that not ‘worshipping my body’ didn’t mean torturing it, but instead, it meant caring for it in a way that gives God all the glory.
1 Corinthians 10:31, ‘Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.’
#7) Last, but certainly not least, she taught me to be kind and compassionate towards others who are struggling with eating. After I struggled for so long, I definitely confess that my tendency still sometimes is to be overly judgmental and pushy.
I want them to ‘perk up’ and ‘start recovering’, but I don’t remember how hard it was for me and most of all that God’s patience with me as His child is infinite.
She taught me that:
Recovery takes time.
Recovery takes love.
Recovery takes BEING there for the person, not abandoning them.
Recovery takes laying down your life for the other person in any way you can, even when it hurts. Like Jesus said in John 15:13 and Jesus Christ demonstrated in His love on the cross for dead sinners, the greatest way to show love is to forget yourself and lay down your life for those you love.
I can’t talk enough about what my sister has taught me. I’m so thankful God gave her the gift of trusting faith to teach me to cry out to God and ask for more faith like hers.
I know that faith isn’t something I can work up in myself. It truly is a gift of God, and these great and wonderful gifts take the gentle and merciful hand of God opening the blind eyes to see.
I can’t leave this ‘What I Ate Wednesday post’ without some blogger shoutouts. Lately, I’ve just been O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M-E-D with the blessing of the blogging community.
They are teaching me every single day, and I wanted to share some of those posts that have been teaching me, changing me, and reminding me of what’s really important.
1. Alyssa posted this video post last week, and it hit me so hard! Just go watch it, and maybe you’ll find out what I mean. 🙂 It got me re-centered on the blog vision.
I could go on for FOREVER listing all the blogs I follow, but 30 or 40 blogs might be a bit much. O_O You wonder what I do all day?
2. Kate reminded me that an attitude of gratitude for God’s blessings is always the best place to be.
3. Julia’s absolutely incredible description of sky-diving gave me CHILLS. This girl has a gift with writing, and I’m just always dancing with delight and more joy after reading her posts.
4. Melissa just about covered every pitfall in blogging and judgment that I’ve fallen into in this post. It was an ‘ouch in a really good way’ sort of post.
To finish it off, I’m just going to leave you with some drool-worthy food creations that have been going on in the kitchen in the past week.
Current Food Love: The Perfect Bars (My Favorite Bars Ever)
Most Delicious Creamy Peanut Butter I’ve had so far… – There’s a jar of almond butter in last week’s giveaway that ends on the 16th if you want to try it!
To cap it all off, this photo doesn’t do this package justice, but Ellie sent me a super fun package of some of her favorite bars. I can’t wait to try the spirulina energy bar as well as the Larabar strawberry shortcake flavor, because I’ve never had them before. I also love Nakd Bars. They’re pretty much my favorite ‘mini bars.’
And I’ve been thinking about joy lately, and I thought I would leave you with this verse from 1 Peter 1:8, ‘Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:’
Have younger people taught you things about life (eating, travel, money, clothes, etc…)?
Are you gentle with your body?
Do you like B-happy peanut butter?
How do you enjoy food without it being the center of your life?
Have there been people in your life that have re-centered you on what really matters?