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Category Archives: Temptation

I had my cake and ate it two…

Coconut Cake_Edit

Yep, that’s it.  That’s the one.  It is the one of which I was going to have “one small slice”.

The good news is that the box didn’t go into the trash completely empty.  The bad news is that it was almost full when I got started on it.

If you read my recent post about the brownies, you know that I concluded that temptation is not a battle to stay and fight.  It is a place to run from.

So how did this happen?

It all started with an invitation to a pool party to watch the World Cup Final. The host and other guests would be providing meat to grill and sides. I was asked to bring dessert.

I procured said dessert at Publix that morning. The crowd would be mostly Brazilian. The occasion would be outdoors in the July heat. What could be better than an icebox coconut cake?

I wasn’t the only one with that idea. A Brazilian partygoer had brought a homemade coconut cake made with sweetened condensed milk. (Oh yes, Brazilians know how to make seriously good cakes.)

We decided not to even open mine, and when it was time to leave, my gracious host gave the box back to me, untouched.

I had a small slice that night we got home from the pool party. It was good, but the Brazilian cake was better, and this one was too sweet.

I thought to myself at the time that I would have no problem resisting the temptation of this cake, as it was too sweet for me.

So I kept it in the fridge.

The next night (tonight), after dinner and around the time the kids were going to bed, I decided to have a “forkful” of cake. I then decided to have a small slice. I then had another small slice. And another.

Pretty soon, I gave up all pretense and just put my fork directly in the cake. Suddenly, it wasn’t too sweet for me anymore. Suddenly, I couldn’t get enough.

I finally put the fork down and asked my husband if he would be eating any of the cake. Fortunately, he said no.

Into the garbage went the box.

There were a couple of ways I could have responded to this incident. I could have interpreted it as my complete failure to control myself and thus evidence that I cannot and never will be able to be at peace with food.

However, I knew that road would take me to a dangerous, defeated place.

My recent revelation on temptation reminded me that I had been placed in a battle that I could not have won. God didn’t expect me to be there in the first place.

I recognized that at the time I dove fork-first into that cake, I had been experiencing anxiety on numerous levels. I had lots of things on my mind.

I withdrew to a quiet place to hand it all over to the Lord.

I asked for His forgiveness and received it.

I am thankful that He has forgiven me and that this moment of failure was just that: a moment. It is not something that has to define me or become my identity.

Thank you Jesus.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Christian Living, Temptation

 

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What really happened to the brownies…

599px-Brownie_with_crumbs_on_plate wikimedia

My daughter had been asking me for days to buy brownies at the store. Since I have been making lifestyle changes, sugar is one thing I try not to keep around the house. However, it is difficult being the only person in the house trying to avoid sweets and other junk food.

So I gave in. I found the brownie mix on sale and baked them in the oven.

It’s not easy to control the rate of brownie consumption by young children. It’s about akin to holding back the tide. At the same time I was working on tempering my children’s ingestion of caffeine, sugar, and fat (in the form of gooey chocolate brownies), I was also trying to hold back a tide of my own.

I read Lysa TerKeurst’s book Made to Crave a couple of months ago and have been applying its principles to my life.

Nevertheless, brownies are a major weakness for me.

I used to think that my little food/sugar addiction was somehow holier than other people’s addictions to “hard core” drugs. Food wouldn’t make me lose my family and end up in a crack house somewhere doing desperate things to buy more drugs.

I had a wakeup call recently, though. I realized that my true addiction was to sugar and it was affecting my brain. I realized that in most circumstances if there was a package of chocolate candy around, I would eat it with no regard to the consequences. I believed that made me a true addict, and no better than someone hooked on heroin.

Here is an eye opening look at brain images that show what sugar does to the brain versus cocaine and other substances.  The process in the beginning of giving up sugar was very difficult. My body craved it something fierce. After a few days of this torture, things got much easier.

I was on call this weekend for work. My phone had to be on 24 hours in case I was needed. Although I didn’t get called in to work, I was somewhat anxious about being on the ready. I was also still tired from my last trip. Having a pan of brownies and small children around all weekend was like throwing gas on a flame.  I prayed a lot but still felt overwhelmed by the temptation.

I came to a point on Saturday afternoon where I realized that if I wanted to honor God by not destroying my body with sugar and fat, I would have to do away with the brownies. My son had already eaten a couple that day, but not my daughter. Therefore, I took one out of the pan and put it in a plastic bag for her. I threw the rest in the trash.

I had not been successful in resisting the temptation to give in to those brownies on Saturday; however, with that final move I ended the source of my distraction.

Regardless of this small victory, I still felt like somewhat of a failure.  We went to church that night to hear a much-anticipated sermon from the book of Acts. Although the topic of the sermon was not temptation, our pastor touched on that briefly.  He told us that the Bible does not instruct us to resist temptation, it instructs us to flee temptation.

There was my Aha! moment. I have been thinking all these years that if I cannot be in the same room with a pan of brownies without devouring at least half, then I am a complete failure.

I chewed on that for a while. Would it be fair to expect a recovering alcoholic to keep bottles of wine or liquor around their house for the rest of their life? Would we think that was wise?  How about the traveling executive who has quit drinking? Would it be wise for him (or her) to continue to stay in hotel rooms with well-stocked minibars?  I felt a huge sense of relief as I realized that I was trying to fight a battle that’s not mine to fight.

In my desire to dig a little deeper on what the Bible has to say about temptation, I found the following link today. After outlining several steps along with scriptures on dealing with temptation, there is a story about former Governor and U.S. Senator Harold Hughes and his battle with alcoholism before going into politics.

God helped him during a moment of intense battle by showing him a way out after he prayed.  The same thing is available to us if we will ask Him.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

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[Image By Whitney (originally posted to Flickr as the BAKED brownie) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons]

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2014 in Temptation

 

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