Fillers

Keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. 1 John 5:21 NLT

I’ve long been a health nut.

When my kids were little, I bought The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide and kept it under my side of the bed. When anyone got sick, I’d check the symptoms with the medical guide. Even when they weren’t sick, I’d pull out the heavy volume and pore through its pages.

These days I browse the Internet. With countless websites pertaining to health, it’s important to glean information only from trustworthy sites and to compare data. I trust the sites that aren’t trying to sell me something and are there simply to educate and inform.

I’ve learned a lot. For example, I’ve long dealt with unrelenting symptoms of hypothyroidism. When I researched the thyroid gland, I learned that triclosan, an ingredient in antibacterial soap, interfered with the function of the thyroid. I checked the labels of all the soap products in the house, replaced dish detergent and hand soap, and bought a packet of antibacterial hand wipes not containing triclosan to keep in my purse. You don’t know what’s in those hand soap dispensers in public restrooms.

I also learned that soy, which has been touted as healthy, may interfere with the absorption of synthroid, the medicine I take daily for hypothyroidism. Soy cannot be consumed less than eight hours after taking the medicine. Once again I scrutinized product labels—and was surprised by what all contained soy: coffee creamer, “healthy” cereal, and—get this—a multivitamin powder that’s supposed to have been formulated to boost thyroid function!

“It’s used as a filler,” my husband said when I told him. And here I’d thought soy was supposed to be good for me.

I study labels so I can eliminate the things that are detriments to being healthy and feeling well.

But do I have the same attitude when it comes to my spiritual health?

Am I as careful with what I consume with my eyes and my ears as what I do with my mouth?

I wouldn’t think of skipping a meal, yet how often do I forego a quiet time, when I read the Bible, meditate, and pray?

What fillers have snuck into my life that, although they appeared to be good for me at first, really interfere with my relationship with God? God doesn’t just want to be first in my life—He commands it: “I am the LORD your God … You must not have any other god but me” (Exodus 20:2, 3).

It’s too easy to let the fillers sneak in. Fillers are just that—they take up space but add no nutritional value.

I need to be a spiritual health nut, too.

As I examine my heart, soul, mind, and life this Lenten season, Lord, show me the fillers that threaten to take Your place. Amen.

Read and reflect on Exodus 20:1-11.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons, © 2018 Michele Huey.

Turning a Setback into a Comeback

 

The shirt I wear when I need a morale boost.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. – Philippians 3:13 NLT

 A year ago I was a mess physically. Overweight, tired all the time, pushing through each day joylessly, miserable when I got on the scale and even more so when I looked in the mirror, and wrestling with insomnia night after night, despite sleeping pills.

I knew the answer lay in what I ate. I’d tried just about every diet out there, and mostly they worked – for a while. I’d lose a few pounds, start feeling good, then revert to my default mode. After all, how could a Slovak gal like me resist pasta and bread?

But a year ago I came to the end of my rope. I needed help. So I contacted a certified nutritional therapy practitioner. And my life changed.

Amy Taladay taught me a lot not just about the right foods, but about my own body and its response to the foods I eat. Within a month foggy-headedness disappeared, energy returned, pounds dropped off, and for the first time in years, I was able to sleep without sleeping pills. Folks told me my skin glowed.

Finally! Not a diet, but an eating plan I could live with for the rest of my life.

Then I went on vacation. A granola bar here, a slice of pizza there, and soon I was in default mode. Not entirely, but, hey, I wasn’t reacting to the food, so maybe I was healed of whatever it was that caused all my issues.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive! And that includes deceiving ourselves. By March, the gluten rash returned with a vengeance, as did the insomnia, fatigue, and brain fog. The numbers on my scale inched up.

Back to square one. But at least I know where square one is, and at least I have the resources to get back on track with what I call my vibrant health plan.

I will turn this setback into a comeback.

Peter, too, failed miserably, doing the very thing he boasted he’d never do – deny Jesus. “And he left the courtyard, weeping bitterly” (Luke 22:62 NLT). Yet less than two months later, we see Peter preaching boldly to a crowd of thousands in the very city where he denied Jesus (Acts 2:14–41). Of that crowd, 3,000 became believers.

Now, that’s turning a setback into a comeback!

How do you turn your setback into a comeback?

First, stop denying and face the truth about yourself. For me, it was accepting the fact that certain foods cause distress to my body and I need to avoid them  – for the rest of my life.

Second, truly repent, which means “to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing.” The negative effects of the foods I shouldn’t have eaten caused me great regret and remorse.

Third, determine not to make that mistake again – and commit to a positive, corrective course of action. For me, I committed to following my vibrant health plan to the letter, even though it takes hours in planning and preparation. The time spent is worth it.

Fourth, seek the counsel of those wiser and more knowledgeable and the support of those who truly care about you. I’m blessed to have a husband who encourages me to eat the right foods and is willing to eat whatever I make, whether it’s a flop or a hit. And to have the support of my prayer team, precious friends who uphold my writing and speaking ministry. They know whatever affects my body will affect my ministry.

Fifth, pray, asking for wisdom, guidance, and supernatural enabling. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13 NLT).

And finally, let go of past mistakes. Learn from them and move on. Pursue the vision of whatever goal God has placed in your heart.

Lord, give me the strength, wisdom, and courage to turn this setback into a comeback. And I will give You the honor and the glory. Amen.

“Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.” – Psalm 50:15
Read and meditate on Luke 22:31–34, 54–62

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.