Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Just Us" Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving.  It has been my favorite for a long time, easily beating the commercially driven Christmas.  Thanksgiving means family.  Time to sit and laugh.  Time to cram into the kitchen, butts squeezing past each other, snitching tastes of dishes and making precious memories. 

My favorite Thanksgiving memory was when I was in York College.  My sister, a friend and I drove from York, Nebraska to Missouri to spend Christmas with two of my aunts, their family, my grandparents, my parents and my siblings.  The women had developed a tradition of bringing homemade gifts for everyone.  My aunt made fluffy, crocheted scarfs for all the ladies and Mom made us all aprons. We posed in a chorus line for pictures, wearing our new gifts, laughing at ourselves. It was joyous!

This Thanksgiving it was just us.  Just my little family.  I really struggled with being alone.  The date snuck up on me and I, incidentally, delayed in asking people over.  By the time I remembered to invite, everyone already had plans.  Surprisingly, no one in our sweet church thought to invite the Keys over for Thanksgiving Dinner.  So I planned our simple menu.  Cooked the traditional meal alone in my kitchen, remembering the past Thanksgivings, relishing memories and singing Christmas songs. 

My melancholy mood slowly diminished as the day wore on and grew more and more special.  I realized, looking around my small home filled with children, that someday, these little people would be at the top of my list for attendants to my Thanksgiving meals.  In a few short years, my children will be busy with their own lives.  It occurred to me that in 2031, if "only" my kids came to dinner, I would be overjoyous.  My Thanksgiving epiphany renewed my heart.  By the end of our meal preparations, all my favorite people were in the kitchen.  Isaiah and Lela Mae washed the big pots and pans.  Rose mashed the potatoes.  Samuel stirred the sweet tea and the baby watched the commotion from his bouncy seat.  Jason stood back and enjoyed the business.  It was heaven! 

Our day wasn't full of Grandma's loud guffaws and Aunt Catherine's oyster stuffing was missed.  Mom wasn't here to spoil her grandkids and we didn't sit around and sing hymns (a wonderful Bentch tradition).  These memories are like hot chocolate on a cold day, warming my heart and bringing a smile to my face. 

But I did sip coffee with the love of my life and watch the Macy's Day Parade.  I enjoyed our alone day and created new memories to stock pile away in my Thanksgiving memory file.  Truly, the lives around my Thanksgiving table are the most important to me and I am incredibly grateful to share my favorite holiday with each of them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day One with No Sugar

Thank you for the huge response after last night's post.  Your sincere messages and comments encourage and inspire me.  It means so much to know I am in your prayers. 

I know that food addiction is a problem.  Many of you shared with me your own issues.  I believe there is hope for us!  I am reading a wonderful book called "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst.   It has inspired me to replace my cravings for food with cravings for the Almighty God.  Only God can satisfy.  Lysa reminds me that I am made for more.  I am made for more than the vicious cycle of dieting, failure, binging, guilt...dieting, failure, binging, guilt...again, and again.  I was made more!

I am also working out to Faithful Workouts. I bought a 3 DVD work out set for just $25.  I love the Christian saturated work outs.  The women are fully dress (no bare midriffs or butts hanging out), the work out is accompanied by Christian music and Michelle Spadafora, the fitness instructor, gives a short devotional during the last five minutes.  Working out has always energized me, physically. Now exercising with Faithful Workouts I am energized both physically AND spiritually.  I love it!

Day one with no sugar has gone well.  Too well.  I am waiting for the craving ball to drop.  I know I am weak.  I know this soothing peace will pass and I will have to stand up against unhealthy cravings.  Gratefully, in my weakness, I am made strong through Jesus Christ.  He is my power.  I will hold to his mighty right hand and battle through this stronghold.  One day at a time...

Monday, November 14, 2011

quietly reflecting on starting again

It is quiet here.  Another day has rushed and swirled around us; time slipping quickly away.  My precious treasures are safely tucked into their beds.  The handsome hubby snoozes, keeping our king-size bed warm for me; I'll be there soon. 

I could  not resist a few minutes of quiet thought and reflection.  I have spent the past hour scanning my blog, reading old posts from 2009.  It was a good year for us.  I grew in the Lord a lot that year.  I'm glad I kept an account of our family on this blog. 

The past few weeks have been difficult for me.  I have done much soul searching and God seeking.  My biggest struggle, for better or for worse, is with food.  It seems so silly to type that out, but it is true.  Those who have a healthy relationship with food may not understand.  Those of you who cringed and felt instantly uncomfortable cause I just hit your ouchie button...  well, you get me. 

I have recently accepted the reality of my food problem.  I am fearfully and faithfully stepping out and trusting the Lord to be my everything.  Tomorrow, I quit sugar.  (Geesh.  Just writing that scares the crap out of me!)  I want to be what God has called me to be and scarfing down candy to comfort myself...  a-hem.  It ain't pretty.  I want to crave God more than I crave a SNICKERS. 

I need your prayers, please.  And I could really use your verbal support.  If you struggle in this area, please message me so we can encourage each other.  I am thinking of starting a support group here in Alamogordo.  We'll see how things work out. 

Tomorrow is a brand new day.  A day of freedom.  You might find me on my face before the Lord.  Here's to new beginnings!

revolutionary love

I have experienced revolutionary love. Love with no strings attached. Jesus Christ loves me and made a way for me to have a relationship with the One True God. God desires a relationship with you, too. If you have yet to experience this revolutionary love, please email me at jandjkeys@hotmail.com so I can share this amazing experience with you. Blessings, -Jess