He Knows

Hello, my name is Martha and I’m a food-a-holic. I have been addicted to food since I was a little girl. It has been my solace, my comfort, my best friend at times. It has also been my downfall, bringing obesity and super-sized health issues along with super-sized clothes. It has been my master and my lover. Unfortunately, my being a food-a-holic has never been a secret, because it shows up in my gut and in my “full figure.” Every time I self-medicated the pain and hurt with donuts or cheeseburgers (note the plural) eventually showed up in a required shopping trip to up-size my pants.

By the grace of God, I am now a recovering food-a-holic having dropped the bulk of my weight several years ago (only because diabetes reared its ugly head.) I have learned to make better choices and decisions. And mostly, I have learned to depend on the Giver of Life instead of a pepperoni pizza for my comfort and joy. But it will always be there… That desire for what everyone else is eating. And have you watched television lately? It’s a terrible place for people like me. They can’t do commercials for cigarettes or alcohol anymore, but food?? Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t watch.

I have known and loved people who struggled with alcoholism, and somehow it was always a surprise. It was hidden. From the outside, everything seemed fine. No telltale signs to the untrained eye. The struggle is within, and deadly. Food, on the other hand, is both an inward struggle and a real physical struggle. It stretches the elastic on our pants and our pride. It bursts the seams on our skirts and our self-esteem. It pops the buttons of our shirts and our shame, bringing us to a new low.

BUT… “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) He knows every struggle I have fought with food my entire life. Every time I ate “one more” cookie, or the entire large popcorn at the movies, Jesus saw and loved me anyway. HE KNOWS. Nothing is hidden from God!! And I’m so thankful and grateful for it.

The song in my head this morning is He Knows from Jeremy Camp.

All the bitter weary ways
endless striving day by day
you barely have the strength to pray
in the valley low
how hard your fight has been
how deep the pain within
wounds that no one else has seen
hurts too much to show

all the doubt you’re standing in between
And all the weight that brings you to your knees

HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
EVERY HURT AND EVERY STING
HE HAS WALKED THE SUFFERING
HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
LET YOUR BURDENS COME UNDONE
LIFT YOUR EYES UP TO THE ONE
WHO KNOWS
HE KNOWS

we may faint and we may sink
feel the pain and near the brink
but the dark begins to shrink
when you find the one who knows

the chains of doubt that held you in between
one by one are starting to break free

every time that you feel forsaken
every time that you feel alone
He is near to the broken hearted
every tear
He knows…

I will struggle the rest of my life with overeating, but I won’t be alone in my struggle. The closer I am to The Lord of my appetite, the easier it is to push my plate away and get up from the table. To see food as the life-sustaining thing it was intended to be by the God who provides it. The closer I am to Jesus, the easier it is for me to hear His Holy Spirit whisper in my ear, “that’s enough for now.”

Click here to listen to He Knows from Jeremy Camp.

Being addicted to food has made me a great cook, and a lover of anything for my kitchen. The featured image is a shot of my Fiesta ware plates. I’m not sure I have enough!

NEW LIFE

It’s a boy!!! All the waiting is over. My beautiful daughter is now a momma to a beautiful precious baby boy. I was overcome with emotion as we Skyped when he was merely an hour old. Still in his birthday suit, he was raising his head and looking around with eyes wide at this brave new world he had just entered.

I see the work of Your Hands
Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

Overcome, overwhelmed, overjoyed, over-the-moon in love with this brand new grandson! I can’t wait to meet him in a few days… Days that will be longer than most because of the waiting. My spirit, my heart, my mind, and my voice have been singing praises to God since his birth yesterday, giving God the glory and honor for this precious new life.

I delight myself in You
Captivated by your beauty
I’m overwhelmed
I’m overwhelmed by You
And God I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed
I’m overwhelmed by You
(Overwhelmed, Big Daddy Weave)

Once again, this God I love and worship with everything in me has knocked me off my feet and to my knees with His grace, mercy, love, graciousness, provision, and so much more! Here’s the thing… If I feel this way because of the birth of a grandchild, as I did when my own children were born, what kind of love must God feel over us? He gave us the same thing… NEW LIFE!!!!

What love the Father has lavished upon us
That we should be called His children
I am a child of the one true King
(Hello, My Name Is, Matthew West)

God is good. All the time.

Click here to listen to Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave.

Click here to listen to Hello, My Name Is by Matthew West.

featured image: brand new grandson, brand new life

Hello. My name is…

Hello. My name is… Remember those stick-on name tags everybody got at conferences or seminars? Some people wrote in their name nice and neat, others in a quick scrawl I could never read. And then there was that awkward moment when I would have to stare at somebody’s chest to try and figure out what their name was!

I love the song in my head this morning, because I don’t have to guess!!! God writes it clear and plain in big bold letters… Written in red!

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

Matthew West must have written this song for me. I like to think I know myself pretty well, but sometimes I’m not so sure. This song starts out with words that cut to the heart of how I feel sometimes…

Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I’m the whisper inside
That won’t let you forget

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief

Regret. Defeat. Insecurity. Countless thoughts and emotions that can drag me down and make me feel like there’s no point in what I’m doing… If I let them. See, that’s the thing… They must have my permission to have any impact on me at all. Do I believe the lies they’re telling me, the negativity they’re spreading?

The short bridge in Matthew’s song says

Oh, these are the voices, oh, these are the lies, and I have believed them for the very last time!

“I am no longer defined
By all the wreckage behind
The one who makes all things new
Has proven it’s true
Just take a look at my life”

I am so thankful we get to pick!!! We get a say in what we will believe, who we will allow to speak into our lives!! The book of 1 John says, “what love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called His children.”

Hello. My name is Child of the One True King.