Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tozer and My Daily [grain-free] Bread, #1

I recently finished reading Faith Beyond Reason by A.W. Tozer. For some reason, I had never read any of his works before, but this book really hit the spot. I think I marked just about every page in the book. I would like to share some of my favorite tidbits with you.

Before I jump into that, a little Whole30 update: I went back to work at my old job (which is, incidentally, a restaurant). My life is now smelling and seeing good food all the time. Especially lots of fresh-baked breads. I have worked the past 3 days and I have managed not to eat anything but what I packed for my own lunch. I even turned down free pizza and oreos. I feel like a food-martyr. Haha.

Alright. Enough food woes. The body is more than food and clothing, right?

"That is why the meaning of the word received is so important here. "As many as received him" - actively and aggressively took Him. This means a determined exercise of the will. It means to not deny any condition that the Lord lays down. That is something quite different from what we are hearing. They did not come to the Lord and try to make terms, but they came to the Lord and actively took Him on His terms."
(^^This quote is referring to the passage of John 1:11-13) 

"I believe that this Bible is a living book, that God as given it to us and that we dare not add to it or take away from it. It is revelation. But revelation is not enough! There must be illumination before revelation can get to a person's soul. It is not enough that I hold an inspired book in my hands. I must have an inspired heart. There is the difference, in spite of the evangelical rationalist who insists that revelation is enough."

Now this is the part that I find interesting. He talks about the "body" and the "soul" of truth. That merely reading the truth (seeing its "body") is not enough for us to consider ourselves to be true.

"You can memorize all of the texts of the Bible - and I believe in memorizing. But when you are through, you have got nothing but the body. There is the soul of truth as well as the body. There is a divine inward illumination the Holy Spirit must give us or we do not know what the truth means. Right there is the difference. We must insist that conversion is a miraculous act of God by the Holy Spirit. It must be wrought in our spirits. The body of truth, the inspired text, is not enough; there must be an inward illumination!"

All credits for the quotes go to A.W. Tozer; these are his words, not mine.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 5

You'd think that with eating healthier (more healthy than I want to eat) and working out every day, I would feel fantastic. But in thinking that, you'd be wrong. Because I feel like crap. 

Wednesday night I went out with friends and ended up being up till 2am. I didn't cave while I was with them, though -- I had almonds, pumpkin spice tea (instead of a latte at Starbucks), and a salad at Mcdonald's. Great compromises.

In spite of these great successes, I woke up on Thursday morning feeling like I'd been hit by a Mack truck. My muscles were sore - probably from my working out - and my bones felt heavy. I was on the verge of a headache. Breakfast attempts did not go well. It was like being sick...without any real symptoms. It was a bad day.

Today I woke up and expected to be returned to normal after my "relapse." Again, I was very, very wrong. I woke up with a sniffly nose that wouldn't stop running. I think it's an allergy attack but I'm not sure. I just don't know why I feel so awful.

Lucky for me, other people have blogged about the whole30 and the general consensus seems to be that the first week is the worst because your body isn't sure what to do, and your cravings are still around and whatnot. So you basically want to either gorge yourself or sleep all the time (ME).

Tonight my mom and I are both having a "cheat night." Which is completely anti-whole30. But she's going somewhere with a friend and she's had it planned for forever, and my friends are coming over tonight and our usual thing is to make chocolate chip cookie dough together.

I won't have cheese or anything dairy. But I am going to have something that's not on the healthy list.

Sniffles the sad little healthy girl.
{Sorry, but food cravings bring on the melodramatic side in me ;)}

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 2 + Shredder Girl Episode 0

Day 2 of the Whole30. Still going strong! Just kidding guys, I know it's going to be more work than that. It also helps that my mom jumped on the bandwagon and is doing this with me (thanks wonderful Mother!). So far I've discovered that...

  • Eggs are salvageable, even if I don't like them generally 
  • Curbing the snacking means drinking a ton of water
  • Working out feels really good
  • Cinnamon + sweet potatoes is the sweetest thing ever and I love it
Now, on to the "Shredder Girl" part. I'm not making a reference to shredding paper, or vegetables, or physically shredding anything. If you don't understand snowboarder vocabulary (there's pretty much an entire language only known to those who ride the slopes), then hang with me. A "shredder" is basically anyone who rides a snowboard and is good at it. Usually it's referred to those who are quite good. It's a cool word, so I use it. 

Normally, I would use that term rather lightly, even though I've been riding for several years now (5 years? 6? I'm not sure). Even though I do it every winter and I love it, it's not my highest passion. And I don't like to take on terms that aren't really true of me when I know people who actually fit that. But...yesterday, things changed.

I got offered a job in Colorado. 

I got offered a job in freaking mountainous Colorado!!!

Colorado, land of sparkling lakes, fantastic views, and towering mountains. I honestly can't imagine what it'll be like. I look up pictures on google and I just stare because, really, there's no way that I'm actually going there...

But I am. What the crap. This is happening. And it means that I'm going to be moving again. 

I'm going to be a snowboard instructor on the powder-filled slopes of one of the many mountains out there. Which is why I feel okay labeling myself a shredder. Because even if I'm not good enough right now to deserve the name, then I will be. Because without a doubt I am going to get better.

Just a bit of ending encouragement as I was running on the treadmill today. It sort of stuck with me all day: 
"So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified."  
1 Corinthians 9:26-27
That's right. Take that, body! Paul is definitely talking about subduing his body in terms of his sinful flesh, with all of its lusts and feelings and whatnot. But I think that it can further be applied to our physical bodies in terms of exercise and food.

Not that everyone has to be a health freak. Just that we are not to be run by our desires for food, or our tendencies to be lazy, or how tired we feel. God enables us to rise above all of that and listen to His voice - instead of our own.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Dieting, exercising, eating healthier, going primal, paleo, Whole30...The world is on a trend of being healthy and running from pre-packaged, processed life. Honestly, part of me looks around and goes, "The world is crazy." Give me my cookie dough, peppermint ice cream, deep fried things, and pumpkin spice lattes!

But the other part of me sometimes has trouble sleeping, feels bloated and hungry all the time, and deals with crappy allergies. And every time I cut down on sugar and dairy, I do feel better.

So I'm heading down the Whole30 road. 30 days without grains, dairy, or sweets of any kind.


The past week or two I have been trying to do as much as I can by eating good stuff for breakfast and lunch and then letting myself go a bit at dinner. It just takes so much extra effort to plan my day. I have to plan life around my meals because I'm not used to making all of this new food.

There were a few days where I literally felt like I'd done nothing but eat and cook.

My Whole30 begins on Monday. [Cue nervous heart thumps and an immediate desire to charge for the refrigerator and consume as many unhealthy things as possible.]

But this is about discipline. And overcoming. And conquering my nasty allergies. So far, I have:

  • watched my family eat Whoppers
  • watched my family eat pizza
  • ignored bread, peach cobbler, and pumpkin pies that were on the counter
  • sat next to a friend as she ate ice cream from MY freezer and poured MY favorite cereal on top
And somehow I managed to turn away from temptation and stuff my face with almonds instead. Although you can bet I am very good at accusing my family of destroying my resolve by eating whatever they want.

My greatest comfort is knowing that there are so many other bloggers and whatnot that are doing or have done the Whole30 diet. I know I have places to turn to. Sigh.

Anyone else want to jump on the healthy bandwagon? No? Well, technically, I don't either, goes nothing...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Morning Run

Usually my runs take place at night or late morning, around 9ish. Today I managed to drag myself outside by 7:30am -- when it was still sort of grey and cold out. It was horrible (because, duh, it was morning)....and wonderful (because using my muscles feels good, end of story).

The air was cold and filled with the chirping of birds and crickets. A hazy, grey sky stretched over everything, locking the world in a lazy state. My shoes soaked up puddles of dew and caught at the wet leaves that are already starting to fall. The sun kept playing hide-and-seek between the horizon and our trees.

The pictures crappy. I have a slightly outdated iPod touch, okay?
And each time I made a lap around our property, I smiled at this little meadow that lies at the end of our property. Usually, it's covered in whatever crops our neighbors decide to plant. But this year it is bountifully covered in bright yellow flowers. They're just too pretty to pass up. I love them. It makes me hearken back to the days when I used to wait longingly for the first daffodils, and then the buttercups, to appear in our yard. I must have a thing for yellow flowers. Who knew?

I am one of those weird people that actually likes to run. Do not be deceived, however! I am still just as lazy as everyone else, and "liking" to run does not necessarily help me get off my bum. Reading, watching TV, and doing nothing is so much more tempting when compared with exercise.

So I try to run every day. Because it's good for me and I do like it and because I need to have a routine to keep me focused or I will get nothing done.

My goal is to run a 5k (which translates into 3.1 miles).

Anyone want to join me?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Dance

Okay, let's start off by saying I'm not really okay at the moment. I'm frustrated and tired and confused pretty much every day, and I pray myself to sleep at night and I have to pray myself awake in the morning ( totally a good thing. But it's hard, too).

I really feel fine most of the time. But I'm very unsettled underneath. And the tunes that I have been singing keep ringing in my ears because the lyrics explain how I feel. For reals.

Am I at the point of no improvement?
What of the death I still dwell in?
I try to excel, but I feel no movement
Can I be free of this unreleasable sin?
Relient K, For the Moments I Feel Faint

I had a way then losing it all on my own
I had a heart then - but the queen has been overthrown
And I'm not sleeping now; the dark is too hard to beat
And I'm not keeping now the strength I need to push me
Ellie Goulding, Lights

I can't be losing sleep over this
No, I can't
And I cannot stop pacing

Give me a few hours
And I'll have this all sorted out
If my mind would just stop racing

'cause I cannot stand still
I can't be this unsturdy
This cannot be happening

This is over my head but underneath my feet
Cause by tomorrow morning I'll have this thing beat
And everything will be back to the way that it was
I wish that it was just that easy
Lifehouse, Somewhere In Between 

So with this being not okay stuff, when I go to social events, I am only partially engaged. But I go. Because I end up having fun. 

Wednesday night, I went with swing dancing with some friends. Cool, right? Very. Especially since it was my first time. However, I have a heck of a lot of trouble accepting dances from people. A) I'm shy, B) I'm not that great of a  dancer, and C) some guys can be awkward dancers, and it's already awkward for me with a stranger, so...

I spent a lot of time watching the dancers. Some smooth, some not. Some talented and focused, others just goofing off. Two things I noticed.

Dancing is all about confidence.
If you move in all confidence, everyone will think that whatever you are doing is what you're supposed to be doing. It's a free-for-all -- you don't have to be all-knowledgeable. 

Dancing is a beautiful picture of God's relationship with us.
When the girl tries to lead during the dance, nothing works right. Everything gets messed up and confused. It's so easy, being the girl, to start to watch the guy's feet and try to figure out each move for yourself. Following seems really hard. 

But if you follow the guy completely, you realize that the girl has the easiest and most fun role of all. She doesn't have to create the moves or communicate a new move to the other person. She just has to pay attention and go with the flow. She gets to have the fun, without all the pressure. C'est perfe!

So why do we girls try to take control? Why can't we see that that's a worse road to take? 

Interesting, how that's all God's asking of us: to follow Him and enjoy the ride. Just listen to the music, move to the beat, and react to what He's telling you.