Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful That I Am More Powerful Than a Psycho Donut

     I try to express thanksgiving to God every day of my life, and this season is a great reminder to offer  forth even more gratitude. It goes without saying, I'm thankful for my wife, my kids, my home, my salvation... but this year I am particularly thankful for my recovery around food addiction and overeating.
     It was nearly 12 months ago I walked into a room at the local hospital that was hosting a Overeaters Anonymous meeting. I was ready to admit somewhat publicly that I was broken around food. Thus began a roller coaster experience of struggling with surrender, submitting to my sponsor, falling off the wagon, and fighting and losing battles against the powerful entities known as flour and sugar.
     During one binge, I was holding a snack food in my hand, and I felt like it was controlling me. Before recovery, I thought I was the one with the power of choice, but in this moment, I realized how out of control I really was. It was a scary and palpable moment. Food had been controlling me for years.
     I have been sober (no sugar, no flour) since July. The other night, however, my wife brought home leftover doughnuts from her psychopathology class that she teaches at the local seminary. She buys the students the wares of a San Jose doughnut shop called Psycho Donuts. I'll give you a moment to make the connection. The kids were excited to indulge, but I looked in that box and saw my nemesis looking back at me. Truly, it felt like these round, glazed and frosted pastries were glaring at me. It was a stand off. They were waiting to see what I was going to do, silently challenging me.
     The next morning, there was the box, minus a couple doughnuts after my kids enjoyed a few but still plenty left over, and I realized I did not want these in my house. So, like Darth Vader as he lifted the Emperor to throw him into the abyss, I picked up that box of Psycho Donuts, carried it to the outside trash can, lifted the lid and tossed it in. I then piled more garbage on top to ensure that it would not try to call to me from the grave.
     I wasn't really tempted to eat one at this stage in the game, but it was like having someone you can't stand as an overnight house guest. Why would I let them spend the night? It took me forty five years, but I am finally more powerful than a Psycho Donut. Thankful.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dear, Julia

(Written this morning as Marty prepares to take Julia away for her "Passport to Purity" weekend)

     I cherish you, Babe. I love you so much and I want all the good things God has for you in this lifetime. 1 Corinthians 13 says “love protects,” so it is my job to protect you, and with that, your purity. I will do my best to do so, but there will come a day when you will have to decide for yourself to protect your virtue and live out God’s plan of purity.
     You’re going to like boys, and they’re going to like you, and I’m going to hate that because that’s what dads do, but these boys aren’t going to love and cherish you like I do, or like God does. So I want you to love yourself enough to say, “I’m worth waiting for,” when it comes to your wedding night, because you are. And I can only pray that there is a young man out there who thinks the same of himself and that one day I’ll trust him enough to give him your hand in marriage and he will then have the vital job of cherishing and protecting you.
     Hold on to your purity, Babe. Hold on to it for dear life. The gift of sex is so worth waiting for when you’re married. Don’t let anyone or any boy tell you differently. Fight for your purity, Babe. Protect it, cherish it, and never forget that you are worth waiting for. Trust the man who has loved you since the day you were born and the God who knit you together in your mother’s womb.
     You are a gift, Babe, a treasure. Never forget that and always live like it’s true.
I love you the most,