Sunday, January 2, 2011

Permission to Begin Again

So it's January 2nd, and I already broke my "New Year's Resolution" or whatever you wanna call it. 

Part of my goal for 2011 involves not just my time and words but also the "meditations of my heart." And Satan knows that that's my weak easy area for him to establish a foothold in my life and my new year.

So this morning I woke up on guard against the enemy because I was already anxious about a personal fear that I regularly struggle with, and I knew it was very likely to happen.  Throughout the entire morning I prayed and prayed that God would prevent my potential concern from actually happening, but that's not how the morning played out.  Now, my fear coming to fruition coupled with my tendency to think of all scenarios as LIFE OR DEATH was not a good mix, and I sat on the back pew this morning and bawled.  If you know me, you know that I love to sing, especially about my Savior, and not one word came out of my mouth during the awesome time of worship this morning because I couldn't utter anything because I was upset, defeated, and so disappointed in myself.  I sat and wondered how I had already let myself and Him down after only two days into this new year.  I sat and wondered how on earth I was going to survive another year and become more like Him when something relatively petty had discouraged me to the point of not even being able to focus and offer the Lord a praise offering. 

So I sat down and pulled out my Bible and knew exactly where I needed to open it. 

"Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. " Lamentations 3:22-23

When I was in Weight Watchers my senior year in high school, one night the facilitator gave us each a small piece of paper during the meeting after we'd already weighed in.  On the piece of paper, it simply said, "Begin Again." The leader explained that the piece of paper was to be a simple reminder to us that we always had permission to "begin again" whenever we had messed up in our weight loss efforts.  Now, please know that I'm not encouraging you to seek out your local Weight Watchers meeting for theological wisdom because, quite frankly, I think it's all gotten a little "New Age-ish" for me and my personal convictions regarding the renewing of your mind, but the little slip of paper said a lot more to me than just "Begin Again."

Regarding weight loss, I am very guilty of an "all or nothing" mentality.  For example, on Sunday morning if I fall into temptation and eat a 300 calorie donut, rather than just getting back on track and making wise choices for the remainder of the day and maybe doing a few extra minutes of cardio or something to make up for the extra calories, I'll just fall into the slippery slope of "well, I've already blown it, so I might as well blow it big!" And I'll make poor choices at lunch, eat an unhealthy snack, and then eat something good and greasy and for dinner.  So 300 extra, useless calories turns into probably more than 1,000 useless calories.  Great logic, huh? This example happens to me ALL THE TIME, especially regarding food, and I'm daily praying that God will change my heart and mind to honor Him through my food choices this year.  In my head I always think, "Well, I've already blown if for today (even though it may have only been 9:30 a.m.), I guess I'll just start over tomorrow."  Then I'll continue to make dumb choices for the remainder of the day.

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?" Romans 6:1

(By the way, there is a point to all this, and maybe I'll get to it if you're still reading...)

Such a dangerous mentality mine is, ESPECIALLY regarding our walk in obedience with the Lord.  We are not "unredeemable."  I wish I would have truly known that during my four years in college.  I felt like I truly was unredeemable, and so I continued to sink further and further into sin, and one led to another to another, because I felt like I couldn't start over, anew and afresh.  I certainly didn't think I could "begin again."

Just because I allowed my mind and heart to fall into a trap of sin this morning, my goal for 2011 is not ruined or void or unattainable. 

I'm thankful that our God allows us to "begin again." And I'm pretty certain that I don't even have to wait until in the morning or 2012 for that matter. 

P.S. I'll certainly need to cash in my "Begin Again" card on January 6th because I plan on eating a piece of Red Velvet Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory on or around my birthday.  And I don't plan on sharing.  And if someone would like to share my plans with my hubby, that would be great because I'm fairly certain he has no plans of ever reading this blog.  So thanks in advance for passing along this little tidbit of info to him. :)

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