The end of June is here. It has been an entire month of raw, and if I had to put a percentage out there for the month, I would say that taking bad days, perfect days and everything in between, rolling it all up…it would spit out a determination of about 85% raw for the month. I would like July to be better.
And yet, the one fact or that is uppermost in good days vs bad days is going away for a few weeks: time. I got a new job; a new job at the same place. And I am so excited. The work will be easier on my physical body: 12-15 hours a week of hard work, 100% on my feel, lifting, moving things, mopping, etc replaced with 20+ hours of office work!! Once the schedule begins, I will work three days a week. I will have actual days off!! Like, entire days to NOT go into the work building. Starting at the end of August, due to a coworker’s college obligation, I will have a 4 day weekend each week!
I am interviewing tomorrow morning early for a small job that could easily fit around this office job; a kind of fun job. No idea whether I am going to get hired or not? But one thing I have decided is that I am going to begin a walking routine now that I will be sitting more. Which I have planned to do for so long, but have never found the energy to do with my current job.
And the bonus is that for the next week I am doing my current job and the new job in succession everyday, for a whopping 8 hours of work each day. Praise the Lord for the Thursday holiday!! And 32+ hours of paid work throughout each of the other days.
I know that work is about more than pay, but I am liking the amount of pay next week will bring…if I survive!! And remember, I am learning that the money in my savings account is for God’s use!! So now there is a certain amount of excitement that comes with getting extra money in there!
My daily Bible reading has me in the book of Numbers, following up a read through Leviticus. These two books are not the most exciting reads, but if you read with an open heart, exciting things can jump out at you unexpectedly. Yesterday as I read Numbers 33-35 I found a couple gems.
Numbers 33 is a chapter that recalls some of the things that Israel had been through since leaving Egypt. Mainly, all the places they camped along the way. It is noteworthy that there are 40 listed places, which means the Israelites camped every year at a different spot. It’s almost laughable that they traveled in such a small area for 40 years. After recalling the 40 year journey, Israel was reminded of the importance of driving out all of the land’s inhabitants before settling down and calling it their own.
Numbers 33:55 tells the people what the consequences will be if they fail to rid the land of these people: “But if you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes (OUCH) and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live.”
The first phrase that jumps out is that ol’ thorn-in-your-eye thing!! Oh my goodness, can you imagine! And if you aren’t derailed enough by that, there is also a thorn in your side. And then a constant harassment. I always equate things to life in the hear and now when I can. And this one slides over so well!!
So God has brought me to the edge of that place where I will finally have what I need to have to overcome all my issues with gluttony, overeating, lack of self-discipline. And He warns me that if I do not remove the enemies who are always tempting me to sin, my time in the next phase will be one full of harassment; so much harassment that the injuries from the splinters and thorns will fester and refuse to heal. And so I needed to name these enemies that want to stay put in the land:
- GROUND GRAIN (flour of any kind)
- NOT ENOUGH REST (and sleep)
- COOKED FOOD (at least for now)
These are the enemies in my land for sure. In my PROMISED LAND, the place God is leading me to, full of good things, IF….
I thought about how Israel was standing on the edge of their Promised Land, preparing to fight battles THAT HAD ALREADY BEEN WON!! And my battles have equally been secured with a victory IF…
Another verse that seemed to easily equate to my food struggles is Numbers 35:34: You must never defile the land where you live, for I live there myself. I am the Lord who lives among the people.
At first I thought BIG LAND as in the verse above; that place where I am going to go as I gain victory over the sins in my life. Never think I am insinuating that I will become sinless!! Hahaha, but I believe we move deeper into the plan God has for our life as we turn our backs on besetting sins and cling more tightly to Jesus.
But this verse sounds more like my personal land, this body. A command to care for – never defile – the land where you live, BECAUSE CHRIST LIVES THERE TOO in the form of His Spirit. And as if my rabbit trail thinking needed some confirmation in its ramblings, I was able to sit in a conversation about the Biblical wrongness of cremation. While I am not sure I am ready to go along with this line of thinking quite yet, it goes so well with this verse about NEVER DEFILING this body gave gave you to house himself in. My circuitous thinking went to the promise of a new body to be given out in the New Jerusalem. So a body is important enough that we get an eternal one eventually, once again to care for and treat well.
So maybe God isn’t fond of the practice of cremation? Not because he needs that body that is turned to ashes, but because it is a blatant disregard for not defiling the land? The person in the conversation I was just sitting in on quietly made a point that we might find it necessary to bury people standing upright pretty soon as the land was running out of burial room! While funny, I did think to the idea that if in the Numbers 35 verse the land was looked at as the physical land we live upon, then shame on us even more for the way we have NOT taken care of it at all! Either way you choose to look at it, there is a challenge to engage in.
As my tiny part of caring for the land on which I live, I have been trying super hard to be plastic-less to the greatest degree I can. It is very hard, and where you can accomplish it, it is often pricier than the less earth-friendly plastic version of whatever you are looking for.
I have found recycled toilet paper with paper wrappers. This is a compromise, as what I would really like is a bidet!! But Little Lovely is not going there!! Hahaha, and I didn’t expect nor ask her to! It is on my future list, my bucket list, if you will.
I remember my reusable bags and mesh produce bags whenever I shop by keeping them always in my purse. I have not brought home any throw away bags for weeks.
Because I am becoming disposable bag-less, I save every single package that can serve as a receptacle for cat waste! Tortilla bags (which will be obsolete soon as I have dusted off the tortilla maker), frozen fruit bags, snack bags, etc.
Everything made of paper goes in a separate bag for recycling at a paper bin at the local school district.
Everything that can be bought in tin cans, glass, plastic #1, or anything biodegradable is bought that way. But I play a game of saying that everything needs used one or two more times, if possible, before it hits the recycle bin or the trash. The biggest challenge, for me, is with the glass. It is not recyclable in PA, but I am only 10 miles from the Ohio birder, and shortly over that border is a recycle center at a city park that takes glass. So I save it until I have lots and then drive it over. And buy gas as it is 50 cents a gallon cheaper over there!
I am committing to the best of my ability to not purchase any new plastic. And, man, is that hard!! But I am trying to make it seem like a game, and that helps!
So I am challenging myself to raise the bar a bit higher. To be even more raw and even less plastic by the end of July than I am here, as July begins.