Friday, August 5, 2011

The Sweetness of Grace

I have a sweet-tooth, I really do. I come by it honest. I think it is a southern thing. Growing up we always had dessert after dinner and of course lunch was never complete without some little sweet treat too, oh and well, breakfast usually consisted of biscuits or toast with homemade jelly.

Last September I followed a 40 Day Elimination Diet in which all refined sugar was eliminated from my diet. It was quite an adjustment, however, at the end of 40 days my taste buds and cravings were somewhat reset. I recognized some of the negative impacts processed sugar had on my body and felt great and confident to keep it far from the table. In the months that followed the elimination diet, I began remaking some of my old recipes and researching new ones, learning to create incredible truffles, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, chocolate pudding, and so much more. These new treats are definitely healthier in that they are naturally sweetened with honey, maple syrup and dates. Yet, they should still be consumed in moderation….not every day, which is a habit I’m working on right now.

In the last two weeks I’ve not had any dessert, except for one concession I gave myself as we celebrated my brother’s birthday. I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and ate one, ok well I also had a half of one right after they were baked…you know, for quality control. But, the next day I got right back to watching my sweet intake. I’m not eliminating desserts at this time to be legalistic or impose some self-restrictive guideline or test my willpower and discipline, no, I would certainly fail if it were for selfish measures.

A couple of weeks ago, I began to be overly concerned about circumstances I either can’t take action to speed up the process on or I don’t know what the outcome will be. In my stressed state of worry, I turned to desserts as comfort. We all know that “stressed” turned around is “desserts”! I find joy in baking and well, if I bake it, I’ll eat it too. I realized that I was busying myself with something to keep my mind and actions focused not on what concerned me when what I really needed to do was set my mind on the things of Christ and rest in God’s Word. Thus, the fasting from sweets and focused attentiveness to what my Lord wants to show me in these circumstances.

Here are some of the ways He has encouraged me over the last days and weeks:

Faith is living out the present circumstances or situation in full trust that God has something good for you there. -Unknown

The LORD Almighty has sworn,“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen. –Isaiah 14:24

…according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, -Ephesians 1:11 This verse brings to mind a quote from my former Pastor, Brother Willy: God never wastes a hurt.

Joy is always worth the wait, and fully living worth the believing. – Ann Voskamp

O my soul, thou art capable of enjoying God, woe to thee if thou art contented with anything less than God. – Francis de Sales

What I’m finding is that my sweet-tooth is being fulfilled with the richness and sweetness of His grace abounding in my life.

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