"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.


Abiding Monday

I don't like schedules.
I don't like rules, especially arbitrary rules.
I don't like to be told what to do.
I don't like being accountable.

Hmmm, looks to me like I like to be in control.

But the things that I do have control over, like eating, how I use my time and money, I don't always exercise control in.

God and I are addressing issues surrounding my eating. There is a deeper issue at the core of my misuse of food, I know that. Dis-satisfaction with relationships in my life, some unresolved anger, boredom, and more. Eating, just like shopping, TV, the excessive moving of furniture, even my art, can be something I turn to to fill the void, to fill the ache in my heart.

None of these things are bad, it's how I use them.

So God and I are having quite a few conversations about this. About what causes me to use things unwisely. There is always a why behind the things we do. Sometimes we are unaware of the why. I don't want to live with blinders on. I want to be free from the things that control me and keep me from living in the freedom God offers.

A good friend (thank you Susan) recommended a book to me.
"surrendering hunger" 365 devotions for wholeness, by Jan Johnson

It is helping me to see a little clearer.

Why do I post about these issues??

I do not believe I am alone in my struggle of trying to satisfy my desires, of filling the emptiness I sometimes feel with things that do not satisfy. That in reality actually bind me, and have the potential of leading me to addictions that take away my freedom.

Our society tries so hard to look good. To keep hidden the issues that we deal with in private. To paste on a smile even when we are hurting. To say all is fine. No problems or issues here. Especially, the family of God.

But when we hide behind that fake smile, we do a disservice to each other. If we are all pretending everything is fine how will we ever help each other - without judgment and in love?? If we are hiding our struggles, we compound them with feelings of failure and guilt. We are all flawed, we all struggle, we all hurt.

Let's stop pretending and pursue the freedom God offers.



Bren said...

Well amen to all of it! We really do have to look ourselves squarely in the eye and admit what is or isn't going on. Distractions abound, we can run for a very long time from what's eating us! I know when I'm stuff'n my face, which happens a lot, that something more is going on and I had better pay attention. Now figuring that out is one thing, find the ways to let go of the distractions is another :-) Great post, here's to keeping it honest!

lori vliegen said...

how are you always able to climb into my head and express what i feel better than i can?!! as always, very well said mary!!! i'm going to look for that book, too.... xox, :))

Vicki said...

Hey dear Mary,

You're so right, you are not alone. This post is very timely for me because I'm struggling with some of the same, which makes you are a woman after my own heart (sigh). Thanks for telling it like it is; now I won't have to act like I've got my act together when we meet for that coffee...lol! You are dearly loved and accepted, and a real treat to know! I thank God that our paths online have crossed and look forward to meeting you soon.


S. Etole said...

Good idea ... and hope your snow has stopped!

Just Be Real/God Whispers In The Wind said...

Mary, very good points you share here with the control issues. The deep rootedness of our pain, yes has a lot to do with it. I bet your conversations with God are truly awesome at this time. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

Megan Hoover said...

Mary...I move furniture, too. I also move forks and all kinds of things thinking that I'm "optimizing". "Oh, this way will work better." Always looking for some better way or some "other" way instead of JUST BEING. Your posts are always so thought provoking. I'm going to look into that book you mentioned. Thanks and big hug!

Denise said...

Such great words spoken here.

CountryDreaming said...

We all have our issues, and Lent is the perfect time to work on spiritual self-discipline of the will. This Lent is a real challenge to me and a big lesson in humility. Why? Because I'm precisely NOT giving up food. Not giving up chocolate, not giving up table salt, not giving up tea. Instead, I'm supposed to be spending some time each day cleaning up the clutter that passes for my apartment. It would be far easier for me to give up chocolate, salt, and tea all at the same time ... yep, that I could handle ... and then I might find myself with a bit of pride thinking how easy it is. Well, not this year. Got a ways to go. Thanks for sharing your reflection. :-)

Anita said...

I always feel like we walk in step with each other. Often, when I read your post I feel like I could have written it myself. Since I have been on a vegan diet( for 5 weeks) I have realized how much I used food like a drug to dull down my feelings...OH but I don't use drugs. I think, as a christian, I am always looking for "legal" loopholes. I am FREE after all. But is it really freedom to defile the temple of the Holy Spirit? I am really trying to come to grips with that. So I have to ask myself, "Who is on the throne of my soul?" I so appreciate your honesty but must also say that I know how very pleased the lover of your soul is that you are so focused on drawing closer to him. We bow before Him or crawl into His arms and surrender....all

the wanderer said...

how i know that we are all one. we all feel as one. thank you for expressing as me, mary. though i don't know any of you above me in this comment section, i KNOW you. one Spirit--healing and loving together.

Elena said...

Oh my goodness! Talk about synchronicity! Exactly what I was thinking about today. And I was thinking that I wasted 41 yrs thinking something was 'wrong' with me because I didn't have it all together like everyone around me. Turns out they were just hiding it like you said. Once I realized that, I started growing on my journey. Thank you for sharing. So wise.

Anonymous said...

This is such a great post. I say a loud AMEN. We are all broken. We all struggle. We are all sinners, but we hide. Well, we have been hiding since the garden, so I guess it began a long time ago. This really hits a button for me. I try to share at home groups and people shut me down in the church. I see everyone hiding and I want to stand up in the middle and scream that "you are lying".

Ok....I think I feel better know. Can you tell I am frustrated? Maybe I still have to work on accepting the way things are at church.

Now to what I really want to say. I struggled with food, too. For a long time. Sometimes still do. Sometimes I drive by Mcdonalds and it takes everything in me to not drive thru. The funny thing is I consider myself a health nut. Too funny.

I am with Paul on this one. I do the thing I hate.

Thanks for being so real. I can't change the system that says hide, but I can be real. I can change me. I will be real. I won't hide anymore. I hid all my life in my dysfunctional family.

You are giving alot of people a voice and it is so refreshing.

Your the best. :)


Kim Mailhot said...

Hi Mary !
You are certainly not alone in this struggle. I think each and every one of us has it in some way, shape or form - the struggle to feel whole and complete. Shining a light on it is the only way to go, I think and helping one another through with love.
Here's to that ! Cheers !
And thanks so much for visiting the blog today ! It is lovely to have connected with you !
Happy Tuesday !

Nezzy said...

Your not alone out there baby. We all use food to self medicate and experience those times of mindless eating. From this Ozarks farm chicks personal experience when I made a lifestyle change tossin' the diets out the window and made it about health and eatin' healthy, I dropped 25lbs within a two and a half month time. That was six years ago and it's still off. I wasn't even tryin' to lose weight but the goal was to lower my cholesterol avoidin' those nasty drugs.

Good luck and God bless from the hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa!!!

Teri Leigh said...

Amen Sister! I just know we were twins separated at birth.

Erin Butson said...

I love your honesty in these posts. Thank you for making me feel known. Ahhh, the role of food in my life. Gluttony is overlooked as a sin. It kind of camouflages itself into our lifestyle. Not like the blaring sins of drugs or sex, but it is used for the same purpose: to self medicate.to fill the void. why don't we just run as fast as we can to God? Why? i know and yet I still wallow in it until I can't stand it any longer...

sarah said...

Wow...what an amazing post...Ok...me too...I can relate about not wanting to conform....to rules and controls. I want to be free...to do what I want when I want how I want. :(
Not so good huh....I hate to say it but I do need so controls to actually feel free. Thank you Mary...for you vulnerablity....I have this image of you frantically moving furniture. hahah

Sandra Hall said...

Thanks Mary, reading about your struggles has hepled THIS ostrich get her head out of the sand and face up to a few struggles of her own (my own!!)
x x

Bren said...

I can see by all the comments that you really stuck a cord with all of us in your honesty. Bless you!

Re your comment on my blog: Thanks Mar, it is wonderful to recall and just cherish the memories and moments of the people we love.
Gee I'm glad you like the background. Do you know I had to get my sister Kel to check it out, I was worried people might think I'm a little demented because of my choice!

Paula Phillips said...

What a great post Mary! It's so true. Putting on our mask every day and pretending everything is alright doesn't help anyone.
Big hugs!!!

Martha Lever said...

Yep,Mar. I'm your ditto head.


Dear Mary,

Oh, i like the thoughts you've imparted in this post... it made me feel better... especially now that i'm busy working out my OJT... thank you for sharing!!!:D

Good day!!!:D

Keep safe!!!:)


jgr said...

Hi Mary,
Thank you for that wonderful and insightful post. Yes, I'm sure most of us are struggling with something 'behind the scenes'.

Peter Stone said...

Great post, Mary, and certainly things that I've had to deal with time and again. And showing our vulnerabilities/pain to others can encourage them, showing them that they are not alone.

Bren said...

I'm just visiting your flick photo stream, had no idea you had one! You've compiled an impressive body of work and I love how your unique stamp shows up in all you've created, very distinctive. And the pics of your studio, once again you've created this amazing space that just seeps with your presence. No wonder one of your dreams is to have women gather there and create (saw you're post in answer to LeeAnn's question about dreams)

cristie said...

Oh mary, God has me in such a similar place. It's like He's peeling back layers of an onion with this food issue. But I'm feeling Him bring freedom and victory and trusting that "He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion!" I'd love to talk soon and catch up and hear more about this journey for you!