staying faithful : band-aids and burns and pie

Sometimes, you roll with the punches.

Sometimes, you just get punched.

Over the past few weeks the ratio has not favored rolling. And because humans are built to avoid taking punches, I’ve tried to make things better on my own by showing myself some grace.

I tend to be really good at doing that. Gold medal grace-giver, right here. And in a variety of ways, too! They include:

  • having frozen yogurt for dinner
  • skipping workouts in favor of sitting in the sunshine reading magazines
  • having pie with a side of cookies for dinner
  • watching an indeterminable amount of NFL Network
  • watching an indeterminable amount of Friday Night Lights
  • not washing dishes
  • not doing laundry
  • have we talked about pie?

[ last night’s dinner-and-distraction grace session ]

I really believe that sometimes it’s advantageous to skip a workout and rest. Sometimes it’s healthy to not even consider the presence of vegetables on a dinner plate. Sometimes it’s nice to zone out for a few hours and imagine your life as Tami Taylor.

As per all of the above, I’m a big advocate for giving yourself some grace from time to time (especially when it comes in a pay-per-ounce self-serve cup). But…

Oh, is there ever a but!

Sometimes Most times when I give myself grace what I’m really doing is giving myself an excuse to be less than my best.

It’s so true.

There is a time and a place for grace. But consistently responding to life’s problems by taking the easy way out is kind of like trying to heal a burn with band-aids. They might cushion the wound for awhile. But it won’t improve without proper care. A burn requires real medication.

Self-discipline, though not as enjoyable as grace, is real medication.

Because when you’re getting punched, standing up and fighting back is ALWAYS better than backing down.

Fighting back with self-discipline on the hard days – working out when it’s the last thing I want to do, swapping quinoa for cookies, muscling through a to-do list on my computer instead of sitting motionless in front of my computer – it makes the hard days feel so much more victorious. It put a W in a column that would have been all L’s otherwise. It’s worth every ounce of stingy effort. Fighting back with a response that doesn’t just feel good to me but actually is good for me is an action that is so much more in my favor in the long run.

It’s an action that will make me better. In all ways.

Yesterday was a hard day. I did not fight back. I flew my white flag high and proud (clearly: see above). And some days are like that, as much as I wish they weren’t. But even though I was pay-per-ounce soft-serve girl yesterday, today I am praying for the resolve to be this girl:

She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.

[ Proverbs 31:25-27 ]

And to live this way:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

[ Hebrews 12:1-3 ]

If you need a beneficial break, take it and don’t look back! Soak up all the grace you can so that you are ready to fight the good fight again tomorrow!

But if you can marshal some reserves of strength and keep pressing on today, if you can show yourself some personal tough love knowing that you are really giving yourself a gift in the process, if you can fix your eyes on Jesus and trust that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him,

all the better.

the dailies : 10.12.11

daily word: So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:22-25 (MSG)

daily sweat: a walk with the kids this morning, and the aforementioned bus chases this evening

daily dish: another favorite:

Untitled
oatmeal with protein powder, dark chocolate peanut butter, and bananas. It’s the best kind of comfort food.
daily mile:

the dailies : 9.19.11

daily word: “Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.” – Hebrews 9:15 (MSG)

daily sweat: I’m down for the count with a cold, so I just did a short weights/strength workout at home today so as not to infect an entire cardio facility.

daily dish: Because of aforementioned (minor) ailment, I tried to keep things extra healthy today.

breakfast:

Oatmeal with 1% milk, nectarines, bananas, chia seeds, walnuts, and a sprinkling of brown sugar.

lunch:

This was the orange meal. Vitamin C Central! The Thai Sweet Potato Soup was awesome – warm and comforting. I also cut up a carrot from the farmer’s market and had that with some hummus and had the other half of the nectarine from breakfast. Later, I had one of the oatmeal peanut butter bars I made yesterday before going into work.

dinner:

More Vitamin C! At work I snacked on a few things hanging around and made myself a large steamed carrot/ginger/apple juice for dinner. When I came home I had a cookie because under the weather or not, chocolate is still my favorite food group.

daily mile:

Day 14: keeping promises

(And, after rereading that post, I think I’d feel better if I could go back to Spokane and get those pancakes again. Like 110% better.)

the dailies : 9.17.11

daily word: I love the way the Message explains God’s new covenant through Christ in Hebrews 8:

This new plan I’m making with Israel
isn’t going to be written on paper,
isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
This time I’m writing out the plan in them,
carving it on the lining of their hearts.
I’ll be their God,
they’ll be my people.
They won’t go to school to learn about me,
or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons.
They’ll all get to know me firsthand,
the little and the big, the small and the great.
They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven,
with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.
By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and his people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust.

daily sweat: No sweat today! I was away for the day celebrating a very important birthday.

This is Erin, and she and I have been the best of friends since high school. Today we ventured out into the middle of the state to meet halfway and celebrate her birthday!

And since no good birthday is complete without good food…the daily dish was quite full:

breakfast:

That right there? Diner food. I love diner food, especially breakfasts, and most especially when those breakfasts include chocolate chip pancakes. Our waitress was a new employee and wasn’t familiar with the goodness that is chocolate chip pancakes, so when I asked for them she followed with, “So, you’d like pancakes with chocolate chips on top?” And I explained that usually the chips are mixed into the batter, but I’d take them in any form. Which apparently she took literally since I got chips mixed into the batter and chips on top AND chocolate syrup to boot.

It was as good as it sounds/looks.

lunch:

We were so full from breakfast that lunch just kind of came and went, but we did stop by a small fruit stand and both got an apple. We also made an appearance at Gertrude Hawk, where Erin recommended the Pumpkin Pie Smidgens, which is quite possibly the best thing she’s ever done in our decade of friendship. They’re that good. I now have a new favorite fall food group. Seriously…you all need to high tail it to a Gertrude Hawk asap, either online or in person, and order 18 boxes of these immediately if not sooner.

dinner:

It started healthy…

(field greens with goat cheese and walnuts)

and ended classically…

(fried things.)

I wholeheartedly believe that sometimes, the healthiest thing you can do is eat a plate of fried food and laugh with a friend. The two go so well together.

Especially when paired with Pumpkin Pie Smidgens for dessert.

daily mile:

Day 13: jam-filled vs. jam-packed

Other miscellaneous anecdotes that I feel compelled to include:

  • The Pumpkin Caramel Latte pocket hand sanitizer from Bath and Body works is definitely the best smelling antibacterial product ever made. I use it even when my hands are clean, just so I can smell it. I wish I was kidding. I also wish they made it in shower gel/lotion form.
  • The Lion King in 3D is not just for kids. Or maybe it is, but either way, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • I also thoroughly enjoyed having my first real straight-from-the-local-orchard apple of the season. Smidgens notwithstanding, it was my favorite food of the day!
  • Is anyone familiar with Utica? And if so, can you please explain why the roadways there are so complicated? Highways that are not clearly identified and one ways and almost-but-not-really one ways and pot holes so gigantic they could house a person? Someone…please enlighten me. What’s the deal, Utica?!
  • Tomorrow, I’m going to make these again. Feel free to swing by for a sample or 5 so I don’t eat them all by myself over the course of 24 hours.

the dailies : 9.9.11

daily word: “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.” Hebrews 6:18-19 (NLT)

daily sweat: No extra time for fluff today! Just a quick 10 minute row and 20 minute hill workout (that kicked my rear, I might add).

daily dish: No extra time for regular meals today!

breakfast/snack:

A PB&J on an Ezekiel muffin and a Blueberry Larabar…perfect!

lunch/dinner:

Curried brown rice pilaf with pan-fried tofu. Curry is such a good comfort food. Love it.

Also had 1/2 a peach, a prune plum, and many, many things covered in chocolate.

daily mile:

I love this post…especially after last night’s win!

Day 5: go pack go