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Picky Eating Habits

13 Jun

One of the most frustrating things about being a mom of toddlers is theChewingOnGodsWord_LOLwithGod little ones’ eating habits. A blog called Mommy Shorts posted moms’ submissions about their children’s picky eating habits. Here are my favorites:

  • Hello, my name is Julia, and tomorrow I will hate every food I liked today.
  • Hello, my name is Lexi, and I will gag at the sight of sauce, except if you call it frosting. I love pasta frosting.
  • Hello, my name is Gabe, and I will not eat scrambled eggs unless you spell my name out in ketchup next to them.
  • Hello, my name is Wyatt, and I like my milk separate from my cereal so I can treat it like a dip.
  • Hello, my name is Olivia, and I hate crust. Not just on bread and pizza. Did you know there is crust on pancakes and hot dog rolls too?
  • Hello, my name is Xander, and if I find one string on my banana, I will cry like you chopped off my leg.
  • Hello, my name is Atlee, and I like toast with butter, but not if I see you putting the butter on my toast. You must butter my toast in the pantry, in another room or outside, because if I see you put butter on it, I will not eat it. And don’t get the crazy idea that I like dry toast. I do not. I like toast with sneaky butter on it.
  • [More “picky eaters” here.]

Ah those sweet days of feeding toddlers . . .

Toddlers’ food choices can drive us crazy. Of course, those picky eaters don’t think they’re being picky. In their little minds, they’re being discerning gourmets!

I read a scripture that made me think about what I “eat” each day.

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16, ESV).

It’s a choice. I can either eat the world’s foolish words—and go hungry nonetheless—or I can feast on the satisfying, wise words God has provided for me.

Chewing on God’s Word is a matter of being a discerning picky eater.

We have a choice every day about what we will read and the media we devour. Our choices will affect our lives.

If we are wise stewards of God’s time and of our minds, we will make choices that the world might consider “picky.” But that shouldn’t concern us.

If we want to model Christ to the world, we will want lives that are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). We need to “test” literature and media—and “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The Psalmist said, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103), and the patriarch, Job, said he treasured God’s words more than his actual “portion of food” (Job 23:12). They “ate” the Word and were satisfied.

We may have second thoughts about other things we’ve read, but we will never regret “chewing” on scripture.

Do you eat God’s words every day? How has He blessed and encouraged you by them?

– Dawn

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Flitting

25 Jul

AttentionSpanI don’t have a short attention span, I just … Oh look, a butterfly!

I don’t have a short attention span, I just … O look, a squirrel!

I don’t have a short attention span, I just … O look, chocolate!

I don’t have a short attention span, I just … O look, bling!

I don’t have a short attention span, I just … Did you SEE THAT?

LOL!

I love hummingbirds, and they’ve nested in my back yard. One built her nest in my eight-foot palm tree.  A couple of them fight over the bird feeder.

But what I get a “kick” out of most is when the mama bird  hovers right in front of me, staring HummingbirdNesting_2croppedinto my face. The focused attention is simply awesome, and I’m always a bit sad when she flits away into the high trees. I  talk to her and keep wishing she’d linger longer. But no … her attention span is, well, like a hummingbird – short and sweet.

One day, after one of these short encounters, I had the thought:  “Dawn, is your God-attention span growing, or do you flit in and out of time with the Lord, distracted by other things?

Maybe you know what I’m referring to. Have you ever been deeply involved in Bible study or prayer, only to be distracted by something else? Have you left time with God for something more “pressing” at the moment? Or just something that captured your imagination?

Sad to say, I have.

It’s like talking face-to-face with someone, and then your cell phone rings, and you turn away to chat on the phone. (If you feel it’s important, you might say, “Excuse me, I have to take this” before you turn away.) But most of the time, it can wait.

And if you had eyes in the back of your head, you might see the person with a “Who am I – chopped liver?” look. Rude.

Only, when we’re alone with the Creator of the Universe, is anything else really all that important?

Short of a fire in the house or a choking baby – those sorts of emergencies – most things can wait when God is speaking to us, don’t you think?

Some things have helped me not flit around when I’m with God.

  • After I ask God to help me focus, I ask Him to help me pinpoint any possible distractions I might face, and I try to deal with them ahead of time.
  • I prepare for my time with God. I turn off disruptive technology (phone, TV, magazines, etc.) – anything I think might distract or disturb.
  • I find a place where I won’t be disturbed (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16). (Ladies, that’s hard with a little one, I know, unless it’s nap time … and then you feel like a nap.) I have a regular place, stocked with all I’ll need so I don’t have to get up and down for things.
  • I make sure I have paper and pen to jot down a reminder note when I’m “distracted” by something I do need to remember. Then it’s immediately back to the Lord with a “What was that You were saying, Lord?”
  • I practice stillness. I am retraining my brain to focus and “be still” before God (Psalm 46:10). (It’s hard work, because I have one of those Type A+, crazy-monkeys-running-around brains!)
  • I pursue God. (I’ve found that what I pursue – hunt for with intensity – will capture my attention!) Psalm 27:8 – “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
  • I also have a plan, so I don’t just flit around from verse to verse. There are specific things I want to accomplish. I use a Bible study, a book with scriptures and questions, or a study I create on my own – researching a topic.
  • I find when I pray aloud, it’s easier for me to focus. (One way to drown-out my chattering monkeys!)
  • Besides my own flitting flesh, the enemy wants to destroy my times of intimacy with God, so I ask the Holy Spirit to help me persevere in His grace. I need a lot of grace. My spirit is willing, but my body (my brain) is weak (Matthew 26:36-41). The Lord who created my brain can also control it, but I need to ask for and rely on His help.
  • I praise God for the times I do spend with Him. (Beating myself up doesn’t help.)

I’m sure there are so many other ways to grow in our “God-attention Span.” What helps you not “flit” in and out of God’s presence during your Quiet Time?

– Dawn

Tempted? Here Are 15 ‘Inoculations’

2 May

I am a courageous woman … except when it’s time to get a shot at my doctor’s office. I’m like a little kid!

So, as I read about some of the things people do to help make “getting shots” less scary for children, I wondered if these ideas might work for me!Inoculations_HelpfulChoices

  • Practice giving shots to a doll.
  • Ask the doctor to use a numbing cream on the injection site first.
  • Distract! Take a sweet treat to focus on while getting your shot, or put a song on your iPod, or play “I Spy” during the process. Anything to keep from looking at the shot!
  • Remember “owies” survived in the past.
  • Ask for a kid-friendly nurse.
  • Help your child feel more in control. Put her in charge of something (like what Band-aid to apply).

Hmmm…. I could practice jabbing my hubby, take a sedative before going to the doctor … and a cookie … and some music. I could remember past visits, and how I survived the high blood pressure episodes before the shots. I could look for a really smiley nurse. And I could even bring my own Superwoman Band-aid, right? LOL!

I’m basically a needle wimp. Before I married my husband, I went to his aunt’s office for my blood test. When she approached me  with the needle for the test, I passed out! “Oh, she’s a real winner,” his auntie said.

I’m not the only one in the family with “shot jitters.” I took my dog to the vet in April for his annual inoculations. Roscoe has a love-hate relationship with his vet. He loves Moses, our friendly vet; he hates the nasty needles. Poor dear … he just about “trembled himself” off the examination table! I comforted him with hugs and a bit of bacon when we got home. (Hmmm… bacon … I could take that with me to the doctor’s office too!)

Now, I know inoculations—for people as well as animals—are necessary to produce immunity against diseases. They are good for us. Helpful.

So I was thinking today …

I wish I had a one-time inoculation against temptation. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Temptations are so daily. Yes, I have been freed from the penalty of sin, and someday I’ll enjoy freedom from the presence of sin. But in the meantime, during the sanctification process, I have to deal with the temptation to sin. But I do believe there are some proactive, intentional things I can do to reject sin and become more like Christ.

Might we consider them something like “INOCULATIONS” to help in the daily battle against temptation?

So here are my 15 inoculation suggestions:

1. Recognize Your Tendency to SinJames 1:14 explains how we are led astray by our natural desires. So don’t be surprised. Instead, get prepared!

2. Identify the Roots – We spend lots of time examining the “shoots” of sin, but seldom the “roots.” The enemy delights in using the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life  (1 John 2:15-16) to entice us to sin daily. These are the basic roots of all sins. So, what temptation do you really need to resist? Get to the core cause.

3. Figure out the Triggers – A trigger on a gun enables its firing. The power behind a trigger is the thoughts and emotions that arise—usually from a past experience. Triggers that pull us toward a sinful response can be almost anything:  fatigue, an intense desire, something visual that draws us, a sound or smell … almost anything! Because we are made in God’s image, we can respond to triggers in godly ways; but knowing our triggers can help us prepare to deal with them. Don’t try to figure them out alone; listen for God’s voice (Proverbs 3:5-6; James 1:5).

4. Expose any Lies You Believe – Many, if not all “triggers” have a false belief connected to them. For example, if you were once betrayed by a friend, Satan—the Father of Lies who desires to devour you (John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8)—would like you to believe you will always be betrayed by friends, and you might react in sinful ways to perfectly normal statements or circumstances. We give “power” to the trigger through the lies we believe.

5. Embrace the Truth from God’s Word – Attack the lies by bringing the light of God’s truth into your situation (Psalm 119:130; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Counsel your heart according to His Word. Discover the commands, values, morals and ethics in God’s Word, and determine to live according to His truth. The Word and Spirit can help us discern lies in our hearts and then “take captive” every thought to make it obedient to Christ (Hebrews 4:12-13; John 16:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5).

6. Think through the Consequences – “Sin” has wages that are deadly (Romans 6:23). “Sowing to the flesh” reaps “corruption”—a crop of worthless weeds (Galatians 6:7-8), and sin separates us from fellowship with God (Isaiah 59:2), because He cannot tolerate our sin (Habakkuk 1:13a). Our sin will eventually be exposed (Hebrews 4:13). Sadly, when we tolerate sin, we can become blind to spiritual truth (1 Corinthians 2:14) and develop an insatiable desire (lust) for more sin! (Ephesians 4:18-19).

7. Ask God for Help – Don’t think you can stand against temptation by yourself. Eventually, if not right away, it will catch up with you. Pray for discernment, strength, courage, etc., and especially, sanctification (Matt. 6:13; 26:41; Luke 22:40). Learn to depend on God in prayer.

8. Resist Temptation* with Scripture – Don’t just know the truth that counters lies; use the Word of God to help you choose a new response to your triggers. You can even conquer hurtful memories from the past that entice you toward sinful responses as you renew your mind with scripture (Romans 12:1-2). Jesus used the scriptures skillfully as He battled temptation, and so can you (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:12, 2 Cor. 10:4-5).

9. Check Your Armor – Study the parts of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18, and learn how to use it. Put on each piece—the offensive and defensive weapons! Why? “That you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (v. 11). There are spiritual forces of evil that are determined to bring you down. You need the armor so you can “stand firm” (v. 13). It’s always too soon to stop fighting the battle.

10. Plan for Victories, Not Defeats –  “Make no provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14). In other words, don’t enable temptation. Don’t plan for defeat. Get rid of those things that lead you into sin, or put safeguards in place to help you conquer in holiness. How? The first part of Romans 13:14 says, “…put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Freedom and victory are entirely possible in Christ (Galatians 5:1; Romans 6:4; 8:31, 37; Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 2:10).

11. Look for the Way Out – We’re told to avoid every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22), but sometimes we’re thrown into situations that tempt us to compromise our purity. God’s advice then is to look for a “way of escape”—perhaps by running away, changing the conversation or using truth to diffuse lies (I Corinthians 6:1810:13-14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22).

12. Replace “Sin Opportunities” – David was tempted to sin (and he fell) with Bathsheba when he stopped ruling in righteousness and allowed himself to be give in to the opportunity for lustful sin (2 Samuel 11:1-4). We fight against temptation by replacing “sinful opportunities” with more worthy distractions or pursuits. Consider some positive activities. Have ready some “quick distractions” (scripture memory cards, a photo of your spouse, a hymn book, etc.) that would help “counter” your triggers. Note: you may need to embrace change in your current surroundings.

13. Seek Help to Win – Remembering we will all give account to God (Romans 14:12; Hebrews 4:13), an “accountability partner” can help us stay on track and encourage us to do right when we are tempted (Galatians 6:1-5; James 5:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Proverbs 27:17). Seek the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit—He guides, counsels and helps us in our weakness (1 Corinthians 2:13; John 14:26; 16:13; Romans 8:26); but  when patterns of addiction are present, a godly, biblical counselor can also help.

14. Repent When You Fail – It’s not a matter of “forgiving yourself” for failings; it’s a matter of repenting of sin and receiving the forgiveness of God (1 John 1:9; Colossians 1:14). Any shame you feel is not from Him—it’s a lie from Satan. The biblical pattern is: recognize, repent, receive (forgiveness) and then recommit to walk in obedience to the Word of God.

15. Thank God for Every Victory – Our ultimate victory is bound up in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14), and our daily victories are possible in Him (Philippians 4:13; Romans 6:14; 8:37).

Did you notice that all of these “inoculations” are a CHOICE?

See all those action words? You do not have to be a victim. You can choose, in every situation, a powerful way to deal with temptations as they come.

Are any of these “inoculations” missing in your life? What can you do to better prepare for your times of temptation?

– Dawn

* NOTE: In some circumstances, we are not dealing with a temptation. God does not lead us into temptation (James 1:13), but He may be testing us to refine us (Psalm 26:2; Job 23:10; Jeremiah 9:7a). John Piper offered a short post on the difference between temptation and testing. Regardless of whether we’re facing a temptation or test, these “inoculations” are useful in helping us make choices between obedience and disobedience.

 

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