Sunday, December 19, 2010

Looking for Comfort On All the Wrong Shelves

My grocery budget has been a little tight since giving birth nearly 8 months ago. A perfect storm of emotional chaos had been brewing and picked up speed for our little family mere weeks before giving birth to my sweet, not-so-little baby. My family of origin went through a divorce, mental dysfunction, and stressed familial relationships. My body went through a rollercoaster labor and a surprise C-section (partnered with surprise medical costs). Added to the mix were the inherent adjustments that accompany the addition of a little person; I had a lot of excuses to run desperately into the arms of comfort food.

Ahh... comfort foods. I think most of us have had our moments. This time around, it was chocolate pudding for me. Swiss Miss Chocolate Vanilla Swirl pudding.

The kids are crying non-stop? Chocolate pudding, take me away.

The baby is sick and wants to be held all day? Chocolate pudding, come to mama.

Having trouble coming up with a lesson idea? Chocolate pudding.

The toddler poops all over her bedroom carpet? Tortilla chips and salsa. (Pudding just does not seem as appealing at this point. Are you nuts?) (Mmm... nuts...)

I had recently added a traveling spouse and the winter doldrums to my list of "Comfort Foods Excuses." This week though, I noticed I had turned to comfort foods daily. Daily! Do you know what happens when I eat comfort foods each day? My clothes become un-comfort-able. My body becomes un-comfort-able. The grocery budget becomes un-comfort-able. Unable to be of comfort. Huh- those foods hadn't brought comfort after all; I should have called them pacifiers. They pacified me for a moment, until the binky fell out or wore out and needed replacing.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Two nights ago, I woke up at 3 a.m. thinking and praying about the control I had given away earlier this year; I admitted to God and myself about how shackled I had become by this pacifying-by-food habit. And the thought came to me that I kept going to foods for comfort instead of going to the Lord for the Comforter. Yes, sometimes, I would like to enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie for dessert. But most of the time, I just want comfort.

The Lord promised me (and you):
Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

I believe Him.

So, here's the deal: When I am feeling frazzled, or nervous, or angry, I will partake first of his comfort, praying for peace to wash over me. Isn't that what I truly want in my moments of chaos? In the beginning, I might still desire some delicious confection after my prayer, but I have faith, and His promise, as I continue this needed supplication, my body and my spirit will begin to be full and truly satiated.

And as a side benefit, I will stop spending so much money on pacifiers.

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