I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.  I live according to a plan, so that I keep from doing what I feel like. My eating is planned according to a collaborative effort between God, my sponsor, my doctor, some nutrition experts and me, and is recorded and posted online for accountability’s sake.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, the forty-day period of preparation for Easter, termed because of its setting in the Spring at the “lengthening” of days.  By those who observe it, Lent is a time of surrendering for the purpose of purification.  Some fast of food, others give up certain luxuries, some churches veil their religious articles in mourning sashes.  It is a beautiful observance that has had an unfortunate consequence – the day before commencing such a fast, when the self-indulgent binge in an attempt to satiate their appetites – “Fat Tuesday.”  Also called “Mardi Gras,” this is a picture of my disease on a calendar.  When I focus on what I am losing, I hoard it, even in the process of temporarily giving it up, and the result is discontent, grudge, frustration, fear, and fat.  This is the failure of every “diet” I have endured over my life, and of every loss of my perceived control, bookended by binges, like gasps of air before and after holding my breath.

I am grateful for the life of self-denial that has no end date, just a beginning.  I celebrate May 11th, 2010, as the day I began to abstain from eating between meals and from all my individual binge foods and problematic food behaviors, as I learned in Overeaters Anonymous.  Letting go of fear and control, I am grateful for my sponsors, who taught me to consider the time in between all my meals as a spiritual fast, trusting God to provide, turning again to prayer when the cravings or negative thoughts tempt, and thanking Him when His blessings overcome.  I am grateful for the abundant life God has poured out over me as soon as I stopped resisting His will and demanding mine.  Every day is a day for sackcloth and ashes, the Biblical example of humility and prayer.  Every day is Ash Wednesday!

 

 

From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

My concept of a Higher Power has changed, just as I have changed. I am not the same person I once was.

It took some doing, when I came into the rooms of OA, to admit that I had no monopoly on God.  I knew I had never come face to face with Him, and that I was not there when he piled up the mountains, built the storehouses of snow, or drew the boundary lines for the oceans, but I had a warped way of thinking that somehow I was closer to Him than the rest of world.  Why wouldn’t that be so?  I spent my life believing I belonged in His chair!  I made sport of demolishing the arguments of even the best-intentioned preachers and teachers, more intent to prove that my knowledge was greater than to advance the Gospel or to minister to the hurting in any way.  My “Go ye therefore” was done in a steamroller rather than a service cart.

Giving way to the rules of the rooms to accommodate others suffering from the disease of self-will, I learned (and am learning) to accept that each person comes from wherever s/he is.  As I learned to accept God’s value of me rather than my own warped and variable self-worth, I had to admit that I am certainly in no place to condemn what God loves and accepts.  If I am to be accepted as I am, certainly others are too.

I Am New, by Jason Gray puts to music the words, “I’m not defined by mistakes that I’ve made…  I am new!”

From Proverbs Chapter 22:

4 Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.

God does not want to deprive me of luxury.  It is becoming clearer to me that He merely wants the best of life for me.  Serving those luxuries limits my ability to enjoy His.  Serving Him unleashes my ability to enjoy life!

 


From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Chronicles 36:

Rebellion, rebellion, rebellion, and… “15 The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.”  The Babylonian king ransacked Jerusalem, slaughtered the nation of Judah, and carried off into captivity its survivors and its plunder, leaving the temple in ruin.  After seventy years, as prophesied by Jeremiah, Cyrus king of Persia freed the captives and returned them to Jerusalem where the temple was to be rebuilt.  There, recovery began again.

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 12:

It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point. Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend. Would I have it? Of course I would!

Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough. At long last I saw, I felt, I believed. Scales of pride and prejudice fell from my eyes. A new world came into view.

3 John 2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” – OD@aT

~TLJax

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