Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The last time I looked down and couldn't see my feet I was pregnant with a boy. This time I am not pregnant. I am a middle-aged, biscuit guzzling mother of two boys and daughter of two parents who works five days a week- school hours and term-time only- and who is hungry all the time. The disappearing feet were nonetheless a disconcerting discovery one morning this week in the shower.

For a few Lents I have deactivated my Facebook account. This is very easy and very, very effective. That is time you can tangibly retrieve and put to prayer or Bible reading. For another few Lents I have tried to deactivate my gorging on junk food to get me through the next chunk of the day. This has never been successful! I suppose endeavouring to put a spiritual slant on the fact that your clothes don't fit anymore is just not the right motivation.

I wish it was though. Those of us born into first world places and kind families push through into our earthly life with all good things on our side. And what do I end up doing? Bemoaning the first world problem that too much food in my belly means that none of the many clothes hanging in my wardrobe hang on me quite as roomily as they did two years ago. Clearly the fact that I now drive everywhere around my five square miles existence burning significantly more fossil fuels than I do bodily energy is not helping.

Before I went back to working five days I walked to and from their school with the boys, and cycled or walked to my evening library job. I did a little bit of housework everyday instead of collapsing onto the sofa at any given opportunity. I did spend some mornings praying and Bible reading too. I used to say that I didn't believe in exercise, but in an active lifestyle. It all seems very halcyon now!

I clearly need to practise some self-discipline. It makes me think of the verse in Hebrews, which I'd only ever considered as a rebuke to children or wrong-doers:

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

I think that the way I'm living now is a form of wrong-doing. I am not respecting the body God has given me; I am not respecting the privileged position I am in with first world abundance of food and fuel. I think that if I lived more gratitude and generosity I certainly wouldn't eat my way through the biscuit tin every afternoon after school, and I would get us out of the car a bit more. 

I just think that I'd manage that if I was more worried about the world, than about my girth. And I'm not sure I'd deserve any righteousness and peace that came out of dropping a dress size!

4 comments:

Pom Pom said...

Aw. Maybe I WON'T make chocolate chip cookies this afternoon. I know how exhausting it is being in the classroom all day. I know also how much time is saved when we jump in the car instead of walk to the grocery store. Drat. It's a first world problem for sure.
Give yourself grace, though. You have a heart full of love and a brilliant mind that needs an occasional biscuit break.
Sending heaps of love your way, good girl.

Kezzie said...

It is hard. I'll quite happily demolish 5jaffa cakes in the staffroomm after a hard lesson. I'll also quite easily eat my body weight in. Crisps. I think I only get away with it due to the sheer volume of walking I do..it is hard, I understand.Xx

Lisa Richards said...

Yes, we first worlders are an undisciplined bunch. We have much to be thankful for, but are not always wise in our use of these resources. It's hard to resist treats when we work so hard all day, isn't it?

gretchenjoanna said...

You speak truth, Dear Mags.