Old Hat, New Hat

“I think I’ll go get a new hat,” she said one day. “One that fits just right, is pretty, colorful, and everyone will just adore it!”

So, she set out in search of the perfect hat.

At the first store she found a purple one with bright yellow feathers. It made her feel like royalty. She wore it around the store for a few minutes, but it didn’t feel quite right. It didn’t feel like her. So, she moved on.

The next place drew her to try on a creme colored derby hat with a beautiful red ribbon around it. This one made her feel fun. But again, something didn’t feel right. And again, she moved on.

She thought for sure she would find one at her favorite hat store just another block down. She walked excitedly toward it.

When out of the blue, she ran into an old, dear friend. They chit-chatted a bit about family, life, the weather, and the upcoming bazaar at church. Her friend asked what she was doing in town today.

“I’m hunting a new hat,” she said. “One that fits just right, is pretty, colorful, and everyone will just adore it.”

“Oh,” said her friend somewhat confused. “You mean like the one you have on?”

“What? This old thing? I’ve had it for decades!”

“Well,” her friend said, “I think it suits you perfectly. It fits just right, is pretty, colorful, and everyone adores it!”

“Hmmm,” she thought. You just might be right.

How often do we feel like we are in a rut and decide we want something new, or want to change who we are, or change what we look like? And we might “try on” all sorts of new things: this diet or that diet, trendy clothes, a new job,or even a new town. When in fact, who we are in our core to begin with is what feels comfortable. It’s being true to ourselves and not conforming to the ways of the world. Not believing the lies that we’re not enough. Not believing the media that we have to look this way or act this way to be cool or be the best friend.

So often we try to run and hide from who we are. Because it’s scary to face the deep down. The hurts. The what if’s. The I wish I wouldnt’s. Know this:

God created you perfectly! Just as you are! No piece or part of you was a mistake.

And when we go and try to change that we’re telling God he made a mistake.

Sigh.

How many times have I been guilty of this very thing?!?! (too many)

So, how can we honor who God made us?

By believing we are enough. Just as we are. We are loved. We are cherished. And more than we could ever imagine. Believe.

The Comfort Zone

Do you ever find yourself going in the same stall in the bathroom just because you’re used to that one?

Or, do you always park near the same place because it’s what you’ve always done?

I found myself doing these exact things and really thought about my comfort zone.  Perhaps a different stall might be even better, or cleaner, or have purple toilet paper!

My comfort zone is a place where I have experienced certain things and outcomes and know exactly what to expect. It’s comfortable there.

What I also began to realize was my comfort zone kept me in a place that I wasn’t supposed to be, but it was what I knew. I called it my comfortable hell.

I was miserable. I knew God wanted something else for me. And yet, I also knew what would happen if I stayed because I was comfortable there.

God wants us to find comfort in Him, not in our circumstances.

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” Isaiah 40:1 (NIV)

Are you in a place, a relationship, a job, a home, a city, a Starbucks rut…. whatever?!?! that God is calling you out of? Is He asking you to step out and trust Him? Then your comfort might just be what is holding you back.

One thing I have learned is that if you seek God with all your heart and follow his will you won’t be residing in a comfort zone for very long. And once you get to a comfortable place, He’ll ask you to change something again!

See, God wants us to consistently and constantly trust in Him. And if we are relying on ourselves and our comfort zone then He doesn’t usually get honored and get credit for what’s going on in our lives. Comfort is a place we can handle on our own. Instead, if we step into a place God calls us where we are unequipped, nervous, or not ready then we have to rely on God. We have to trust Him.

That is His favorite place to shine! He loves to be the strength in our weakness, the comfort in our storms, and the peace in our dark valleys!

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s Power my rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

So, if God is asking you to step out of your comfort zone and trust Him, know that your choice will be rewarded greatly!

And in the meantime go ahead and try out a different bathroom stall! ūüėú

That Sneaky Ingredient That Has Me Stuck

I went to bed last night not feeling the best and when I woke up this morning my throat was scratchy and I had a very heavy head.   And I knew exactly what it was and why I was in this boat.  It was the food choices I made this week that put me there.

See, I am on the outer edge of a major health journey in which I completely renewed my gut microbiome. ¬†However, I am still on that edge. ¬†I still have flare ups when I am not making the best choices for my body. ¬†My symptoms include sinus irritations/infections, allergies, UTIs, and soooooo tired. ¬†All these are brought on by one little ingredient – and one thing I’ve struggled to say no to this week.

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Yup.  Sugar.  That sweet, melt in your mouth, so delicious, and addictive sugar.

So why is sugar so addictive?  Well, when you eat sugar your pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin to bring your blood sugar back into balance.  And when it sees sugar in the blood Рto your brain and body Рthis is an EMERGENCY!  So your body often secretes too much insulin and your body goes into a blood sugar crash.  Yikes!

Then, when you’re down there in that nasty crash what do you think your body craves? ¬†You got it! ¬†More sugar! ¬†So you eat more sugar and you’ve gotten yourself on a blood sugar roller coaster. ¬†And it’s very hard to get off that roller coaster once it gets started.

And there’s more to that story too. ¬†Sometimes, there are things in our life that we are unsatisfied with. ¬†Perhaps our career, our relationships, our finances, our workouts, our sex life, our family, where we, live, the weather….whatever. ¬†Sometimes it’s so much easier to reach for sugar than deal with what’s really going on. ¬†And I get that.

See, I was in a job for 17 years that slowly began to drain the life out of my soul.  And looking back I definitely had some increased sugar cravings during that time.

A craving may seem like a pain in the butt.  BUT, what if cravings were a messenger to help you step into the best version of who you are?!?! That would be pretty amazing!