I'm a little behind on my blog posts for this month, but that's due to a small work crisis of loosing all my files that were on the cloud. Anyways, here I sit in the dark, on my bed, babe asleep for his morning nap, ready to pour out some struggles in hopes that one person might feel the same, and together we can grow.
Food has always been a struggle, because let's face it, it's so darn good. And I do not want to a waste a meal on something that tastes bad, but that desire to only eat things that my tastebuds like has led to a life of empty calories. It wasn't until after college that I actually started cooking with raw meat, vegetables, and spices. I didn't really have much experience in the kitchen outside of meals that could be warmed up in the microwave or oven or couldn't be bought in the freezer section. I also didn't know that they were unhealthy. I mean the label read Healthy Choice!
So now almost 10 years later, although my knowledge of heathy food has changed, my heart hasn't. And even though our family may eat zucchini pasta with homemade tomato sauce or stuffed sweet potatoes (though not in Africa because we can't buy sweet potatoes here), I still look to food when I should be looking to God.
I don't think I realized that I even did this until I started read this paragraph in Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst,
"Tying my happy to the wrong things is partially what caused my weight gain in the first place. There were too many experiences I enjoyed primarily because of the food that was attached to them. The movies were tied to popcorn. A birthday party was tied to cake. A ballgame was tied to a hotdog. School parties were tied to cookies. A morning meeting was tied to gourmet coffee. Getting gas was tied to snack crackers and a soda. Watching TV was tied to chips. A summer outing was tied to ice cream. A winter outing was tied to hot chocolate."
Even as I type the words above two things happen inside me—I want to go to one of the actives above so I can have the aforementioned food, and two, my heart hurts and my eyes well thinking about how true the statement above is for me. *sigh* Because here's the deal—"My body size is not tied to my happy. If my happy was missing when I was larger, it will still be missing when I am smaller." Thanks Lysa for tearing me apart. She goes on to say, "Tying my happy to food, skinny jeans, or anything else sets me up for failure."
So what now? Now, I am on a journey to rip apart the sin in my life tied to food. As Lysa puts it, "I want to be in the process of becoming more and more like Jesus . . . it reestablishes that God, not food, is in control of me."
So when I crave more sweets, bread, or experiences solely for the purpose of food, I can stop, and use that as a way to check my heart and pray to God. And in the few short weeks of trying this, let's just say it's been hard, and oh so convicting. My sin nature has won a few battles, but not all of them, and my heart is growing in pursuit of the Lord.
So that's my challenge for anyone else who may be struggling with their ties to food. It may not be a weight issues or even a health issue, but instead simply an issue that pulls your devotion away from the Lord. Lysa has some great checkpoints on how to evaluate whether or not we are succeeding in our goal, and next post I'll talk about those in my own walk with this issue. But for now, I leave you with one of our go to recipes that we use in both the U.S. and Africa (when we can find affordable shrimp):
Black Bean, Corn, & Shrimp Salad
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1 1/2 cups whole-kernel corn (we use canned, but if you are in the states, try to get one with the least amount of ingredients)
3/4 cup bottled salsa (you can also make your own, but we can buy salsa here in Africa, so we usually use canned for sake of time)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (we can't always find black beans, so we substitute red beans)
1 small can of pineapple (you can also just buy pineapple salsa or even mango salsa if you are in the states, for Africa, we add our own pineapple from the can, because whole pineapples are way to expensive!)
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add shrimp; toss to coat.
Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp; sauté 3 minutes or until done. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice. Remove shrimp from pan. Add corn to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in salsa, cilantro, and beans; cook 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated. Stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice. Serve shrimp over bean mixture.
(adapted from My Recipes)