Tag Archives: pleasure

Senseless Indulgence

Photo above is of Zeke’s First Birthday Cake

Tea ~ Clean Sweep, a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law

For the last 2 days, I have literally been unable to taste or smell anything. Even sticking my head over a bowl of hot water with peppermint and eucalyptus (which Greg said was like being punched in the face with peppermint), nothing. I feel the burn, but cannot smell it. We considered going out for a nice-ish dinner last night, but why? What’s the point?

It got me thinking about how much of our eating is indulgence and purely done for pleasure. Of course, God created our senses to enjoy and find pleasure (or displeasure) in the things we see, smell, taste, touch and hear. Our senses are used to tell us if there is danger, like the heat and smell of a fire where there should not be one or the sound and vibration of a glass that has fallen and broken. And they are used to bring us gratification and delight through a hug or kiss from a loved one, or the sound and sight of your child giggling. I ate a bowl of ice cream last night based on the memory of what it tasted like, trying to recreate the same experience I’ve had hundreds of times before, but was left with disappointment and calories I probably didn’t need.

Even drinking this tea right now, I’m disappointed I can’t taste it and am drinking it purely for the health benefits and because I should. How would our food choices change if we could not taste or smell? Even Subway pumps that fresh bread smell out into the air and on to the sidewalk as you stroll by. It’s like they know we will indulge if we could just smell how good it is and much of our taste is from smell, so then we would have gratification with our 6-inch (ok….footlong) veggie delight (ok…meatballs with extra cheese…aaaaand bacon). What a sales tactic! The Blommer Chocolate Factory in Chicago smells amazing when the wind is blowing just right in River North, but on some days, it smelled just as close to chocolate as it did to poo. I’m sure that was just a hybrid mixture of Blommer and the Chicago River. Ew. But to prove my point, our indulgences can make us feel as awful in guilt and sickness as they do in pleasure and enjoyment.

I pray that we can make healthy choices with our minds, bodies and senses, and will indulge in God’s Word and plan for our lives in 2015. I want to recreate the love God has for me with the love I pour out on others and I want to experience the joy and peace that only comes through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35

Be encouraged!

Roots Growing Deeper

Tea ~ Satin Pear

It’s funny how sometimes God puts certain themes in your life in very obvious ways. Probably because I either didn’t notice or was ignoring it before. Not only is it January, the beginning of 2013, but there have been 3 very blatant things the last couple of weeks reminding me to go back to the beginning, back to my Creator, to be thankful for His creation and creativity that I get to take pleasure in.

1. Every year at Missio Dei, we go back to the beginning and talk about creation, the fall, redemption and restoration. It’s a good reminder of where we came from and where we are going as a body of believers.

2. I’m reading through the Bible in a year for the second time start to finish. This time chronologically. I’m really enjoying reading everything in order and how after Genesis comes Job. Once the foundation of the earth has been laid and we’ve seen some of God’s most faithful servants in Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, to then see Satan begging God to see how faithful they will be once they’ve lost everything – land, livestock, family, health. Even Job’s own wife basically told him to “curse God and die.” It’s so encouraging to read a story about a man as steadfast as Job who praised God and thanked Him when he had plenty and had nothing. “You foolish woman. Should we accept only the good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” – Job 4:10

3. My women’s Bible Study has been reading Praying the Names of God for the last 6 months or so. Each chapter is a different name of God found in scripture (most of which I can’t pronounce, even with the pronunciation guide) and each day of that week is focused on verses and stories about that aspect of God’s character. I would definitely say that the chapters/names/aspect of God’s character that have resonated most are the ones that are related to the current life stage I am in, selfish as that is. This week’s chapter is on Elohim (e-lo-HEEM) or “God, Mighty Creator.”

I am loving all of these studies of scripture being focused on the beginning. Sometimes, I just want a do over to wipe away every out-of-context assumption I or others have made about God or who I am in Christ and start over. It’s so easy to be in denial and to think that we’ve got it all figured out and that we know God’s plans and purposes for ourselves (or that there is no God and we have no purpose), even after more than 15 years of calling Him my Lord & Savior; but clearly I don’t, we don’t, and we’re not supposed to. A verse that stayed with me at the end of last year and became my new anthem in RESTING in God is in Colossians:

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7

Thankfulness has now become the yard stick by which my words and actions are measured. And going back to the beginning in 2013 has given me a refreshing sense of opportunity for gratitude to my Maker & Creator. Job praised God again and again, why can’t I?

One of the devotionals of the “God, Mighty Creator” chapter said to ask God “To renew your sense of wonder and gratitude for the things he has made.” What a powerful prayer to bring forth an outpouring of thankfulness! I mean, come on! He is the AUTHOR of creativity. He made something out of nothing!

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2

Those 2 verses give me chills and that’s just the beginning of the story. What a Great and Mighty and All Powerful God we serve! He gave form to a formless world, and knit each of us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 135) and yet, today I find myself being gracious for grapefruit. It seems so silly and unimportant compared to the WORLD and the UNIVERSE, but what a gorgeous fruit He made for us to enjoy and take pleasure in!

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What are you thankful for and taking pleasure in today?