Stumbling and Crying

Well, barely five days into the New Year and I blew a resolution. Not surprising, I suppose, for me or anyone else on the planet. Still feels awful.

It began when I had to get gas on Sunday. I needed to go inside to use the ATM to get cash for my tithe, instead of just paying at the pump as I normally do, and while I was inside I bought a drink and some donuts. I hadn’t eaten breakfast so I was ravenous by then. I was telling myself “this isn’t exactly fast food; I mean this isn’t a restaurant–more like a wee grocery store” and on and on, basically trying to find a loophole in the resolution I had made.

The next day, Monday, I had a doughnut for breakfast. Bad choice. After visiting with a friend in the morning, I was shaking from hunger. I had a cleaning job do after that visit and on my way I chided myself for not eating a proper breakfast. I started looking for somewhere to eat. I was getting shaky and nauseous and abandoned any thought of trying to make it through work without eating.

On a brighter note, instead of my usual gargantuan meal, I made a more sensible choice this time (both in terms of finance and caloric intake) by ordering a small sandwich and small fry off the discount “dollar menu”.

I can see that one bad choice led to another; first, the doughnuts purchase; then, eating a doughnut for breakfast the next day; then, not bothering to pack a healthy snack to ward off temptation; and, finally, ordering fast food. *Sigh*

I’m happy to report that after work Monday I finally did some grocery shopping that I’d been putting off, so I have some fresh food again.

Now that I think about it, the problem really began by putting off buying groceries for so long. If I’d had bread, milk, fruit, cereal, etc., I could have easily had a decent breakfast on Monday morning and probably wouldn’t have been so tempted to buy the doughnuts! I also could have gotten my tithe money sorted out ahead of time,  by getting cash back at POS in the grocery store so that when gas was needed I could pay at the pump and not have to go inside and battle the temptation that comes from seeing all the junk food available.

The past couple days haven’t been good emotionally. I have wet my pillow with tears, crying out to the Lord for help with my present situation. I am in need of extra work to pay bills. I am thankful that the Lord has provided for me in the last few months that I’ve been alone, either through gifts or through selling things. However, I don’t want to rely on handouts. I’m growing very weary and trying to be patient. I know I should be grateful and keep trusting, remembering that the Lord was patient with me and that I don’t deserve anything good. But, sometimes, the full weight of my situation just comes tumbling down upon me and I can barely breathe. I am battling against despair. If anyone reads this, please say a prayer for me.

Casting my burdens at bedtime,



Good Intentions; Drive By Dinner

Well, I started the New Year with some extra time to work on this blog, and had grand plans about my first postings.  Then, sickness happened. Thursday night I began to cough and get a scratchy throat. By the time I got home after work today, I couldn’t keep warm.

We can make our plans,
    but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 NLT

Hopefully, I can get a few more words in before crawling back in bed.

At least I didn’t overeat today! In fact, my first specific resolution (and it’s a biggie for me–no pun intended) is to avoid fast food this year. Stopping for fast food has been a strain on both my wallet and my waistline for YEARS.  I spend more time in my car, driving between jobs, and there are so many choices where I live for a hot, sugary, fatty, greasy, crispy, salty lunch that I couldn’t avoid driving by these establishments. What’s worse, one of my clients often has me stop to pick up lunch for her at these places. So tempting.

However, if I can’t do this one thing, as hard as it may be for me, do I have any hope of settling into a joyful, cheerful obedience to my Lord and Savior? Is it too much for me to pack a lunch and have healthy snacks on hand to avoid temptation? On my own, even these simple solutions are hard. I am such a wretch. I need the strength of Another.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NASB

Comparing Paul’s experience of writing these words from a Roman prison and me struggling to stay away from a hamburger feels a little sheepish.  But, we all have been placed in different situations by God. And, praise to His Name, He can (and will!) be glorified in all of us, one way or another. Do you know Him? Do you know that you need Him?

Stifling a cough,

patricia grace


Gluttony, Health

Resolutions 2015

  • “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
  • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:22-24
  • “… likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,  but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.”  1 Timothy 2:9-10
  • But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good…” 2 Timothy 3:1-3  Read verse on BibleGateway

In light of these verses (and many others) it’s easy to see that self-control is valued in the eyes of God.  My own struggle with self-control largely deals with the amount of food that I consume. I can certainly see the wisdom in making a New Year’s resolution to change one’s diet and a lack of self-control certainly comes into play when dealing with overeating.

How many times have I tried and failed at dieting? What about you? I’m pretty certain that I am not alone in my horrible track record in resolution-keeping, especially where diet is concerned.

If the beginning of finding a solution to a problem is to name the problem, then let’s name the problem specifically, in all its ugliness. Let’s get to the root of the matter. My problem is gluttony. One might call it “emotional eating”, “stress eating”, or “overindulgence”, but I think these terms might only serve to remove personal blame, as though the problem is solely circumstantial and not resulting from a problem in one’s own heart.

“Overindulgence” might be a bit more appropriate, but I think “gluttony” paints a better picture of the ugliness of the problem. Even further, gluttony is essentially just another form of (gulp!) idolatry.

A few months ago, I prayed to the Lord for help with my gluttony. What I found shortly afterwards, was a website offering a free course about dealing with the sin of gluttony. I’ve found the lessons to be Biblical  and solid, offering real help and hope. The website is titled “Setting Captives Free”, and the course I’m taking is called “The Lord’s Table”. A mentor is provided that corresponds with you via email, or you can choose to have your lesson activity sent to a friend who has agreed to be an accountability partner. *[UPDATE 4/30/2016: The Settings Captives Free site has changed. The owner has made philosophical changes to the site, along with a site name change, and I have not searched the new site enough to be able to recommend it.]

I’ve found my mentor, Janet, to be very helpful in encouraging me to stay on task. The best part of the course is that it’s not really about dieting, but about finding satisfaction in Christ the Lord and “feeding on Him”. Have you found satisfaction in Christ? Are you interested in the course? If so, I’ve added the course details below. Connect with me here at Gospel Wine and share your progress. Let’s encourage one another in the New Year.  *Site has changed. I may update the link if I find the new site to be helpful and discerning (i.e., biblical).

Happy New Year,

patricia grace


(Verses taken from the ESV, with bold print emphasis added)