"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing, and perfect will."
I've been memorizing these verses from Romans for the past two weeks now. God is working in my heart and changing the way I view things. Or maybe I should say that God is bringing up some things in my life that I've been neglecting or trying to ignore and hope that they will just go away. Such as my lack of self-control when it comes to all things chocolate (darn you, Nutella), my lack of motivation to exercise and seriously lose the rest of my pregnancy weight, and my awesome ability to get lazy and take the easy way out....I mean, why WOULDN'T anyone want to attack those issues? Fun stuff.
Looking at issue #3 (being lazy and taking the easy way out).....this manifests its way into a tangible manner most commonly heard as "I don't feel like cooking dinner tonight, lets just get some Wendy's." This was getting slightly out of hand in our home, so toward the end of January Matt and I decided to take one month off completely from eating out. For 30 days we stayed away from all things fast food and eating out of any kind. And guess what? We DID it. This shouldn't have been that hard.....and it wasn't, for the most part. But every once in a while I so wanted to go grab some fast food rather than take the time to prepare a meal.
The CRAZY thing about all this is that we've been making changes in our diets for a while now--purchasing organic or all natural foods when possible, eliminating hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup, and purchasing food from local farmers when possible. So you would think that we wouldn't even WANT to eat out at a restaurant knowing that we would be ingesting all sorts of nasty ingredients! But we are good ol' American consumers trained to purchase food based on convenience and taste and there is just something slightly thrilling about announcing "Let's go out to dinner!" And have I mentioned that fast food french fries are one of my favorite foods???
It was really starting to bother me how we would have a fully stocked fridge and pantry but still feel like we deserved to go out to eat whenever we wanted. And that many MANY people in the world literally search all day long for their next meal, yet we can totally take it for granted that we even have a few extra dollars to go out to eat. Bottom line: I was lazy.
I didn't go crazy trying out all sorts of new recipes or anything....I just told you that I was lazy. I didn't want to go overboard on having to find new recipes! I just cooked dinner like I normally would. But I knew I didn't have the option to skip out of cooking to go pick something up instead. I'm not saying we'll never go out to eat again! (In fact, we already treated ourselves to a little McDonald's...) But it was good to sacrifice all restaurant food for one solid month. We saved some $$ and felt a little better about ourselves in the end. Or should I say "in the rear"? Either way, I'm pretty sure my rear end looks the same as it did a month ago...oh well.
And, just for the record, we will probably do this little "no eating out for a month" sacrifice again in the future....in fact, we already decided that for March we'll be giving up all "non-meal food and beverage stops" at restaurants and gas stations. I love me some fountain soda.....and have been quite guilty of making special trips (or convincing Matt to go...) just to go get a fountain soda at a nearby gas station. Pure money suckage. Seriously, I have cans of soda and ice at home. But this really will be a biggie for me because I ALWAYS stop for a beverage when I'm out and about, so I'll for sure have to change my mind-set this month!
These are just a few ways that I am attempting to implement Romans 12:1-2 in my life. As I type this, I'm eating some Nutella on toast and contemplating watching a movie on the couch. Clearly, I've got some work to do in order to really take Romans 12:1-2 seriously...baby steps...