I really wanted to call this blog "My Sugar Free Life", but that title was already taken by a brave (wounded?) soul who made only one post and then has ditched her blog since February, 2010. I read her bold statement about giving up sugar forever as she posted on DAY 1. I imagine the enemy came in and tempted her brains out, so that day two was back to the old sugar-fix. Just a guess on my part.
As for me...it's not that my kitchen is sugar free...it's that my particular walk in life as of July 10, 2011 is sugar free. Why? Well, I'll share a bit of confidential info with you...I'm addicted to sugar and just as my husband was addicted to alcohol and several dear friends of mine were once addicted to drugs, I turned...like they did, to the only One Who could help me with my addiction...JESUS!
I had been "fasting" sugar on and off for the past several years. The first time I "fasted" sugar I went without it for a month. It takes three days to get the sugar out of your system. The first day is difficult, but you pray your way through and the LORD hears you and gets you through it, just like any fast. This thirty day fast I did...I prayed about a certain circumstance that needed a major Spiritual breakthrough from the LORD. So, every time I pined for something sugary, I prayed about that issue. Believe me, in that thirty days...that situation was BATHED in prayer. I do remember there was a breakthrough at the end, too. Hurray for Jesus!
The second day is the HARDEST. No doubt. I have fasted sugar (like I said) for what seems like dozens of times and the second day is ALWAYS the hardest. By four o'clock in the afternoon of the second day of the sugar fast, I'm dying for a cookie, a bite of candy, a mouthful of creamy ice cream...ANYTHING!!!! Again, pray your way through. Realize that this particular moment is THE ABSOLUTE MOST DIFFICULT MOMENT of your fast and let the LORD carry you through it. It's just a moment. It passes. Pray and hang in there. It's totally worth it! Praise Jesus!
Day three is where you can see the victory on the horizon. No really, you can. Look ahead and you can see the balloons and everyone in heaven is cheering you on. I guess that's how I always feel. Seriously, by three o'clock in the afternoon on day three you think to yourself, "Who was that maniac standing in my skin around this time yesterday afternoon?" By bedtime on day three of the sugar fast, you feel like a whole new person entirely. I love that.
After the first week off sugar you begin to notice little things (at least I do) that are different about what you see, hear and feel in that temple of yours. People are talking slower, it seems. Everyone and everything appears to be brighter and more defined. Your sleep is just amazing...peaceful and restful. Like you wake up and hear the birds singing and you want to sing with them. Your spouse doesn't make you cranky now. Your kids blow butterflies at you instead of boo and hiss at you when you tell them to do something. Am I being silly? Sort of. But, you just FEEL different when you're off sugar. And it feels really good.
My addiction is actually just a manifestation of my "disease". My "disease" is one all humans share and it is called SIN. It's the human condition. And apart from the saving grace that my God offers through sending His only SINLESS Son to die on a cross to pay the penalty for MY sin, I'm doomed forever because of this SIN condition. When I asked Him to forgive me and said YES to God, my life was changed forever. I said to Him, "Yes, I believe You sent Your Son to die in my place so that I can be forgiven by You AND given eternal life with You forever in Heaven"...at that moment everything in my Spiritual life changed.
Now, I had to do the changing of many things in my physical life. Changes in my life choices is where the difference began. The desire to give up sugar at 9 years old in the LORD was (HONESTLY) not something I chose. He did. Sometimes you have to let God choose for you. I resisted this choice of His for a couple of years. And I paid for it, too.
Why couldn't it be alcohol? I don't really care about alcohol at all. I can drink it and forget about it. But, then...alcohol is NOT my addiction. Sugar is. I cannot eat "one serving" of anything laced with sugar. And whenever I eat or drink anything that has sugar as an ingredient, a door is thrown open somewhere in my body and I am on full-speed ahead towards a binge that will make me sick as a dog and have a migraine to boot. Plus, it makes my heart sick and my pants tighter.
It has been said, "Nothing good ever came from drinking alcohol." My husband has clung to this quote throughout his recovery. You can write it down and save it. It's the truth. And yet, in my mind...I think of the Apostle Paul telling his dear Timothy to "drink a little wine" for his stomach ailment. Yes, but my husband is not Timothy and he never drank a "little" anything. He drank BEER in GREAT BIG AMOUNTS, to his own destruction and to our marriage. Enter JESUS! Tah-Dah! He is the Great Fixer of ALL Things Wrong With The World! It's true. My husband asked the LORD to help him stay clean and God has done it. Rod's sober nearly ten years, now. He's never been to an AA meeting in his life, either. How does he do it? He doesn't. Jesus does.
This is the great secret to my husband's sobriety: He reads his Bible every single day of his life and he tries to do what it says. He confesses when he blows it and he repents (quits it and turns in the other direction...home toward God). He prays to the God he reads about. He trusts in that God to keep His word. He loves God so much that the thought of backsliding makes my husband sick. Really sick. He would rather go without alcohol than to return to "his vomit"...read Proverbs 26:11.
JESUS CHRIST IS MY HUSBAND'S VERY BEST FRIEND.
And THAT is the secret to my husband's sobriety.
So, back to the sugar issue. I'm addicted to it. I know it. I can't stop eating it. I want to, so I "fast" it from time to time and then I END THE FAST eventually and start the whole nasty process all over again. My mother sweetly pointed out to me that a "fast" is meant to be broken and that if I keep "fasting" sugar, I will be fooling myself into thinking I am OFF sugar. My mom used to be an alcoholic, too. So, I listened to these wise words she gave me: "Rod and I do not "fast" alcohol. We just don't drink it...not a sip, not ever. We don't DO alcohol. If you think you are truly addicted to sugar and IF the LORD is asking you to give it up, then you must give it up and He will help you, just like He has helped us!"
My husband has taught me to read my Bible every day of my life and to pray throughout my day, all day, every day. Now, my God is the One I trust in to keep me and help me in every situation. But, giving up sugar for the rest of my life? Are you kidding me? Can it possibly be done? How on earth could it ever be done? This was my incredulous, tearful prayer to that God I love so much. I was standing in my kitchen, wondering what my sugar free life would be like? After all, my own birthday was twelve days away. And we all know what the best part about a birthday is....the cake and ice cream! (You probably like the presents, huh? Guess you're not addicted to sugar, if you like presents better than cake.)
But the LORD showed me something, right there, right then in my own kitchen. I didn't go looking for it. It was hanging there RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE!
(Last summer I had a bit of wrestling match with the S-Word. This "dirty" (no pun intended) word was ever at the tip of my lips. I let it out whenever ANYTHING didn't go my way. My husband (many people don't realize this about him) HATES foul language. He absolutely hates it. And what he hates more than anything is a woman cussing! And what he absolutely without a doubt hates more than that is his WIFE cussing. So, he posted two pieces of paper onto my main kitchen cabinet. On each one are handwritten by him a verse of scripture to aid me with my cussing issue. Please, dear ones, notice with me that neither of these verses address actual talking...and these pieces of paper were the LORD'S answer to my tearful urgent plea: "How are You, LORD, going to help me give up sugar for the rest of my life?"
Sticky note number one says, "Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips." Psalm 141:3
Sticky note number two says, "Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles." Proverbs 21:23
The Lord is going to help me live a sugar free life with His Word. I cried for joy at that realization and snatched those scraps of paper off the cabinet and raced down the hall to our bedroom dancing like David in front of my husband. He rejoiced with me that the LORD had a word for me "in season". I just love Him...both of them!
So, here's the deal with My Sugar Free Kitchen...today is August 3, 2011. I've been off sugar since July 10th. God gave me the recipe for a great birthday cake made with Agave and Honey. I found ice cream made with evaporated cane juice (instead of sugar)...which, after eating it, I realized...makes me feel just like I did when I was eating sugar...so it's now off the menu. My hope is that this blog will be the place I can share my recipes and victories with you. In the last couple of years I have armed myself with the knowledge about baking with honey, agave, molasses and maple syrup (the real thing...not sugar plus flavoring). I don't eat fake sugars and I don't like Stevia. No corn syrups, brown sugar or sucanat either. My body doesn't like any of those things. So, here we go: sugar free. Let's make it with honey, molasses, agave or pure REAL maple syrup. Yes, it's more expensive, but it's your life and you can do this. Ask the LORD to help you. He will. You know that old saying, "He's dying to hear from you?" Well, He did die...to hear from you.
My next post will be a great sugar free recipe!