But, of course, life and reality hit and it's not really that easy. Although, I think if it was just me, I could still plow along that way for a long time. But, with Drew and the kids, I am learning that slow is better, esp for real, long-term changes.
And those are the kinds that I want. Not shallow ones that only last a short time and then fade. But real, life-long, God-honoring changes that affect every aspect of our lives. Sin infiltrates so subtly, it's hard to see it's affects on us sometimes.
The first place that the Lord really taught me to go slow and steady, and concentrate on the getting the good into my life, as opposed to getting the bad out, was in my own spiritual life. He generally, ok, always, works there first.
I was really wanting to get into the Word more. I wanted to grow spiritually, but just wasn't. I was sketchy with my daily Scripture reading/devotions, but pretty good about reading Godly authors. But, the message I got from them (the good ones anyway), was that I needed to be in the Word. Myself, me, Sarah. It's great that these guys are in the Word, and can help and encourage others. And even answer some deeper questions that I will never be able to fully answer on my own. But that was no substitute for studying the Scriptures on my own. Daily, regularly and preferably, eagerly. But so many things were getting in my way and I found it discouraging. I worked hard at getting out the things that got in the way. But I found myself constantly forgetting or not feeling like reading. And feeling really guilty about all the other things that I did in place of reading the Bible.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
So maybe that verse is taken out of context here. But, it really was one of the things that God used in my life to help me to focus on the positive and not the negative. Rather then concentrating on my lack of Scripture studying, I tried to concentrate on what I did read and know, and how much I would grow from making it a priority. Ditch the guilt, so to speak. It sounds like semantics I guess . But it seemed to work. And I have been mostly faithful for 3 years now! Yeah for progress! I now appreciate anytime I get in the Word, and don't stress or feel guilty if I miss a long stretch of time. And there have been months where I was very 'light' on time spend in the Word. But I knew I would eventually get back in faithfully. And I do.
Food is another area that I have come to believe that concentrating on the good and not the bad is super important. Rather then freaking out about what not to eat, I have begun, using the principles I've found through GAPS, etc, to concentrate on making sure me and my family get the good foods in on a regular basis. We still avoid the bad as much as possible. Esp for Myia and I, as we really seem to react to foods intensely. But, for long-term healing and growth, it is my desire to concentrate on getting in the nutrition that our bodies and minds need, to heal and then to stay healthy.
Vegetarians/vegans/weight watchers/Zone/GF-CF/SCD/Atkins/Paleo and most every other popular diet out there, concentrate mostly on what NOT to eat, as opposed to what to eat. Don't eat fat, carbs, meat, sugar, etc. It's the American way these days apparently.
And, I'm not disagreeing that it's best to avoid a lot of foods included in the current SAD died. Doing so might cause you to detox, which is good. But it can't help your body to heal and regenerate itself. The body needs nutrients to work properly. Every part of our bodies, every organ and action in the body needs 'organic' substances (i.e. proteins, fats, enzymes, minerals, vitamins) to work properly. So both detox (vitamins) and regeneration (minerals) are necessary on a daily basis and both need outside support.
And it's a lot more fun, for me, to concentrate on the good, then the bad. So I work hard every day to include the most regenerating, nourishing foods that I can, in our diets. Grass-fed meats, eggs, butter, raw milk and fermented products made from it, and fermented cod liver oil and swedish bitters and lots and lots of broth, and as much celtic sea salt as I can squeeze in and lacto fermented veggies. We eat lots of veggies and drink fresh carrot juice and kombucha every day to encourage the detoxing functions as well.
But, overall, for us, and most people, I am begining to realize/believe that concentrating on getting the healing foods in every day is going to help long-term way more then concentrating on getting the bad out.
Plus, as a bonus, I've found that if we are filled with the good (good foods and Scripture) stuff, then we aren't as hungry for the bad. It's a win-win.
God is finally starting to apply that lesson to my heart in regards to relationships. Woo hoo!!! It's been a long time in coming and I've been praying for it steady for 2 years now. It's sure fun to see progress. Rather then harping on the 'wrong' things my husband or children do, I'm starting to see the positive ones more easily. Rather then getting annoyed with people who don't do or think what I do, I'm starting to be able to concentrate on the fact that they are made in God's image and He loves them and wants me to do the same. No matter what they do or say. It's not been tested much yet, and I fear if it is, I would show great immaturity still. But, as I now know, I learn painfully slow and there is nothing that can be done about it, except to plug on in prayer and Scripture and just do the right thing when I know what it is. The rest comes eventually. So, I am concentrating on the good and praising God that he is doing a work in my life, instead of concentrating on the bad that still needs to change.
Moving forward.... I think the 'religious-speak' of that is Sanctification. Even if it's two steps forward and one step back, at least the overall progress is forward. We can do it Carrie and Robin!!!!!!!!!!!! :)