And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cinnamon Bread and Chocolate Clusters

Today I want to walk you through an actual journaling situation. When I first started working on eating with lifelong boundaries, I tried to journal whenever I broke the boundaries—or at least before I went to bed that night.

Now that following the boundaries is more habitual, I don’t journal much even if I do break the boundaries. The thing that makes me pull out my lie-truth chart again is when I’ve broken my boundaries and feel like there’s a good chance I’ll break them again the next day. I would guess this happens maybe once or twice a month. (It used to happen all the time, so I’m making progress!)

Since this happened to me today, I thought I’d show you how journaling works in a real-life situation. First I’ll tell you what I ate today and then show you what I journaled about.

Breakfast: ½ chicken sandwich, 1/3 cup yogurt with berries
Lunch: 1 chicken sandwich, small bowl applesauce
Snack: An incredibly yummy dark chocolate, almond, caramel cluster that came in the mail today from a friend.
Supper: Three pieces cinnamon bread (made by my daughter), small ham and cheese omelet, celery
Snack: strawberry orange smoothie (about 6 oz.)

My boundaries are three meals and one snack so, technically, the only time I broke my boundaries today was with the smoothie. However, I hadn’t planned on eating the chocolate for a snack. I was planning on having a piece of cinnamon bread when it came out of the oven and another for supper - but when I opened the envelope with that yummy chocolate cluster I couldn’t resist, and I ate it right away.

So what did I journal about? The chocolate and the third piece of cinnamon bread. Even though neither one was a technical breaking of the boundaries, both of them were indulgent eating occasions, and I knew I would be facing more temptation tomorrow (lunch with friends and more cinnamon bread in the house). I knew I needed to bring my thoughts captive to Christ tonight if I wanted to glorify Him in my eating tomorrow.

Let me show you how I journaled it:

Chocolate: 1. I have to have this right now because it looks so good.
Truth: I have to go truth journal or pray Scripture or get someone to hide this right now because it looks so good, and it will be better for me not to have it.

Cinnamon bread: 1. I should have one more piece of cinnamon bread. 2. It’s so good it’s worth having one more. 3. It’s okay to have three (it’s just one more piece, after all).

1. I should stick to my original plan. When I break my boundaries, I almost always end up eating more than I want to eat. I can never get enough cinnamon bread to satisfy me in this situation. I’ll always want more (unless I eat enough to get sick, of course). Since I’ll always want more, I should stop not when I’ve had enough (because that will never happen), but when it’s a reasonable amount.** 2. It’s never good enough to stuff myself and feel uncomfortable for! 3. Although it’s okay to have three pieces, it’s not wise to have three pieces.

**Note: There are many times when I do feel satisfied with a small amount of a sweet, but not when I’m in an indulgent mood like I was at dinner!

Now here’s the funny thing—I was doing the truth journaling while I was drinking the smoothie, and you know what? As I was writing, I was thinking oh, it’s never good enough to stuff myself; I don’t think I’ll have the rest of this smoothie because I don’t want to feel stuffed. And then I gave the rest of the smoothie to my son (don’t worry, he’s a healthy eater!).

I am now ready to go to bed, and I’m not worrying about breaking my boundaries tomorrow. There’s still cinnamon bread in the house, and I don’t even want a piece. God has used the truth to take away my wrong desires and replace them with holy desires. It was worth truth journaling tonight.

P.S. Did you notice I didn't condemn myself for breaking my boundaries or say things like, "I can never stick to this"? The only reason I didn't say those things to myself, is because I don't actually believe those things anymore. And the only reason I don't believe them anymore is because I truth journaled thoughts like that so many times in the beginning that the truth is ground into my head!

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