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Healthy Living | {Self Control} My battle with a cookie

As I've said before, one of my goals for 2013 is to get healthy and fit, but above all, learn self control. That is my biggest issue when it comes to eating and exercising. I make poor choices, and I can talk myself out of a healthy lunch versus a piece of cake any ol' day. 

But yesterday, it became real.

I had some errands to run around town yesterday so I skipped breakfast. Biggest mistake ever. After dropping my little guy off at my mother in laws house, I needed to make a run to Staples to pick up some supplies and invitations I had printed there. I thought to myself, "I think I'll have some Chic-fil-a before I leave town". However, before going to CFA I had to stop by the grocery store to pick up a few things for my husbands bible study. Somehow, these fluffy, delicious (in a weird plastic-y fake kind of way), iced sugar cookies made their way into my basket. You know the ones -- they are really there to grab your kids attention at the check out line just to make you buy something else you don't need...yet you secretly love them yourself. Go ahead, admit it. Anyway, I said "I'm getting these for Jr and then I'll have one on the way home..that's it."
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After my errands I delighted myself in some tasty chic-fil-a nuggets *cough*fries*cough* and a drink. I had about a 30 min drive (total, including stops) to get home. I ate one cookie. It was an evil cookie, seriously. Evil....

About 10 mins after my first cookie, I found my hand reaching for another. I slapped myself (mentally). WHAT was I doing!? I just needed one cookie and I would only have one  cookie and not a single cookie more! But then my 'wants' started to fester and I found myself getting mad. What on earth am I getting mad for?! Then I reached for a cookie again, this time literally slapping myself. I knew I needed something to take my mind off of those cookies, so I started having a sweet little chat with God. And then my sweet little chat turned into losing weight. And then food. And then the cookie....oh that glorious cookie. I wanted it, BAD. I found myself raising my voice at God, telling Him how much I hated this feeling that I had and that, for goodness sake it was just a freaking cookie...why did I find it so special and important for me to eat!! I could hear my sister in the back of my head, when she used to tell her toddler son (at the time) that, "there are kids in Ethiopia literally dying without food, and all you can think about is that cookie!"

I could literally taste this cookie in my mouth -- its gooey goodness, tooth rottening sweet goodness in my mouth. There's something wrong with me, seriously. I had come to that conclusion during these past 10 minutes of talking to God and telling Him how much I couldn't stand myself and why why why blah blah blah. I told God that "this must just be my sin that I have to deal with right now". And then, it hit me.

It's not my sin. And I shouldn't claim it as my sin. Because my sin was laid on our prefect Savior over 2,000 years ago so that I could live freely under grace! It isn't my sin, it's a trait that I need to work on, that I need help with. That I need to ask God for help with every single day. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit, 
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." [Galatians 5:22-23 NIV]
and while I not only let myself get caught up in losing my self control over the cookie, I lost my self control in everything that happened in those 10 minutes. I felt all of these emotions and things that I knew I shouldn't have felt, but I allowed myself to wallow in them and feel them anyway. For goodness sake, it was a cookie, not the last bit of water in our well. And even if it had of been the last bit of water, the proper attitude would've been "God will provide my needs". If you didn't know this, cookies apparently aren't needs. I know, it was a shocker for me too.

In the midst of this battle raging inside of me, I slowly felt myself gaining more ground with controlling my desire. It felt good. I told myself that I would not "claim" this "sin" as my own and that I will learn better self control, not on my own, but Christ within me. It is only through His grace and mercy that this can be accomplished!

....and then, I ate the cookie....

I was ashamed, horrified, and disappointed in myself. I felt guilt, displeasure, and while this little mound of sweetness should have made my mouth water, it made me dislike myself even more. The only thing I could do was chock it up as a learning experience, a test which I failed. And then I prayed. 

After my little heart to heart with God and failing to control my wants and desires (and again I say, over a ridiculous small mound of flour, sugar, eggs and icing), I looked up this scripture:
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." [2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV]

And now it all makes sense. My self control shouldn't just be because children in Eithiopia are dying and I'm over here, fat tub o' lard, wanting a cookie. My self control should be because, in order for Him to increase in me, and in order for me to be effective and productive for His kingdom, I must first learn and control the fruits of the Spirit within me. I must first render myself to His wants and desires for my life, not my own, before I can even be a fully effective part of His kingdom and bring honor and glory to His name in everything I do. 

It is hard for me -- being a work at home mom, wife, teacher to my son, maid, and lover to my husband -- to put the effort into taking care of myself and living a healthy lifestyle. For goodness sake, some days I can't even keep up with my house, none the less myself! But then God reminds me that this is gradual, and while I shouldn't make excuses and put these things off, I also shouldn't ridicule and bash myself for the mistakes I make when it comes to these recent struggles. If His grace is enough for me, then having grace for myself should be easy, right? Wrong. But it's just one more thing that I must learn to control, self control. 

Emotions, feelings, reactions, eating, exercising, being a homemaker, completing work on time, making alone time with my husband -- they all require self control. So today, I will start this journey differently, and I pray that in the end I will be an effective disciple for my Jesus!!



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