Can I make a confession? The holidays hit me hard this year.
I got dragged down by a serious overconsumption of sugar and carbs. I’ve been tired, moody, and taking consistent snack breaks because my body wanted more sweet and salty treats. I was chasing that “good enough, full enough” feeling.
You know what I mean, right? When you just ate thirty minutes ago, but you still want to snack on that favorite bag of chips, or reach for the piece of leftover pie.
This has been my food cycle for as long as I can remember, so I decided to be more intentional about what I eat.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, and this post is not about food habits per se, but I have learned some things based on how my body reacts to real vs. processed food:
- Our bodies cannot process sugar and gluten as quickly as protein and vegetables, so we’re left with that FULL feeling.
- Dairy causes bloating, and for many people, irritable bowel and inflammatory issues.
- Sugar is also a highly addictive substance, and it’s hiding in many of our common foods today.
Chasing and Getting Nowhere
The first week of changing my food habits was the hardest. My body was coming down from sugar cravings, and I was constantly chasing the feeling of being FULL. Having enough food to feel satisfied.
But it was leaving me more empty, craving more fillers, and I was snacking all the time to get to that “good enough” feeling. It took a week before my body stopped fighting, and began accepting green vegetables and protein as enough.
Eating less junk food has been such a hurdle for me to overcome, especially because I’m an emotional eater.
I remember one time after an argument with my husband, I went straight for a giant pile of fries… with gravy… and cheese… and then later that evening some pizza.
My attitude was like, “Forget it! I’m upset, bring on the bread and cheese!”
After my food fatigue wore off, I thought, “Wow, I totally run to food instead of running to Jesus.”
Looking for peace and comfort in all the wrong places left me tired, unmotivated, unfocused… and I can’t fully tap into my creativity as a writer when I’ve got junk in my body and frustration in my heart.
As moms, I think we chase that “good enough” feeling in other areas, too.
I’m not good enough until the house looks like this…
I’m not good enough until my body looks like this…
I’m not good enough until my marriage looks like this…
I’m not good enough until my kids are behaved like this…
We have to stop filling ourselves with junk:
- Expectations. Placing undue burdens on ourselves and others.
- Temporary Satisfaction. Excessive shopping, eating, entertainment, and other practices that “feel good” in the moment, but have no lasting or eternal significance.
- Control. Monitoring the behavior of others (and other things we are not responsible for), to keep an order based on our unrealistic expectations.
If we keep stuffing ourselves with these false promises, we will also be left wanting more. (Just like my love affair with fries and pizza…and donuts).
Arriving at Good Enough
When Jesus sat among the crowds of common people, I love how He compared Himself to some of the everyday food staples of the time: water, bread, and grapevines.
For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13
If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. John 4:10
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
In every passage, Jesus addresses the desperate soul needs of His people. Their striving was leading nowhere, they were chasing satisfaction and coming up empty.
Sounds a lot like me.
Notice, our Savior didn’t just tell them where to go find it, or how to try harder to make things happen, or even to cleanse themselves and meditate for a while until they found their own inner peace.
He said, “I AM the source of this water you need.”
He said, “I AM what you need.”
He said, “I AM the vine where you can grow and produce amazing things!”
Good Enough is All You Need
Mama, Jesus knows your needs, the innermost longings of your gut, and the anxious tendencies of your heart. He knows and He wants you to tell Him.
The best part is, you don’t have to fix things before coming to Him. Lay out your feelings in prayer, because even though God knows what you need, He made a way for you to acknowledge it, in order to lighten your burden.
Telling Him looks like a simple prayer:
God, I am so upset right now. I’m hurt and angry, and disappointed. Please help my heart to not sin and hurt others. Please calm my spirit.
God, I don’t know why I’m dissatisfied in these areas. I want to love and accept myself and others, but it’s so difficult. Please help me to be gracious and loving.
God, I feel so stuck. I don’t know if any of my decisions are good ones. There are so many options, and I’m so overwhelmed, please help me to walk in your way without fear.
You first step might be to let go of the false fillers.
For me, it was food, and saying “no” to things that taste good is hard. But the more we practice, the easier it gets. I promise.
Sister, it is enough to come to Him with your uncertainties. That’s all He wants, actually. Emptiness so He can fill you with His goodness… love… joy… peace… patience… kindness… (Galatians 5:22).
You are enough just the way you are, now let God be enough for you today.
No more fillers, no more substitutes. He made you for better things.