Butterfingers for Breakfast

*Originally posted Oct. 28 2010

Eating a fun-size Butterfinger at eight o’clock in the morning is probably not a good idea. But unfortunately,  it was too early for that thought to register in my brain. So when my 19 month old son ran over to the five gallon cauldron of candy we filled last night for the upcoming trick-or-treaters and started grabbing candy bars out of it, naturally, I picked up the pot and placed it out of reach on top of the fridge. As for the lone two candy bars lying on the floor, I gently laid them on the counter… eyeing the Butterfinger.

As I was buttering his toast, I opened the candy bar and took a bite. About five minutes after eating it I sat down to my bagel and felt sick to my stomach. Then it hit me. Did I just eat a Butterfinger before breakfast? Have I had coffee yet? I couldn’t eat my bagel and shmear. One bite and I felt even queasier. What a great way to start the day, I thought.

Eventually the queasiness left me and I finished my bagel and made some coffee. For lunch, I had a spinach salad. But the Butterfinger incident got me thinking. I really am not a disciplined person. I’m not a lazy person, but disciplined, goal-oriented? Not so much. Every day I make to-do lists and I’m a stay at home mom! Every day I have a list of tasks I need to accomplish, when (who am I kidding) most things could hold off until the next day. I keep a clean house, pay the bills, take care of the dog, feed, bathe, and play with my kids. I run errands, write notes, organize, hang out with friends and so on. But if someone were to ask me if I was disciplined I would have to say no. And it has nothing to do with having two children. (I know this because my sister-in-law, who has four kids under six, just ran a marathon last month.) Yes, kids keep you busy and sleep deprived, but she is proof that there is still room for discipline in our lives.

So even if I don’t lay on the couch watching soaps and eating bon bons all day, my lack of discipline does come from a sort of laziness. It is easier to sleep in, rather than get up at 6 am to go work out or read my Bible. It is easier to eat something prepackaged rather than wash, peel and slice a fruit or veggie. It is hard to take time and sit down to write. It’s hard to give when money is “tight.”

Laziness is definitely involved. Yet there is also instant self-gratification at work in me. Candy tastes good. Sleeping feels good. And if I’m honest, it is so much more tempting to buy myself a new sweater or pair of shoes than write a check for someone in need, even though what ultimately feels good is giving, healthy living, and all those other things I am short-changing myself on.

So what do I do? It’s like Paul complained in Romans 7. “No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.” Or I eat a Butterfinger.

It’s our sin nature. But self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, isn’t it?  Maybe I need a little more of the Holy Ghost in my life. How this all works has always been a mystery to me. We are, for the most part, unable to force change in ourselves. It is the Spirit of the Lord who works in us and through us, and if we draw near to Him, He will change our hearts and our behaviors. But we have a role to play as well. There are disciplines that require action from us, such as reading the Bible, praying, and memorizing scripture. Somehow these things work together in our metamorphosis into Christ-like people. (I hope to delve deeper into this in another post.)

Anyhow, what I am trying to say in all of this is that I am ready for a change. I am ready for a challenge. Ready to set a goal that I can work towards. Something I have to be disciplined to reach.

I don’t like challenging myself. I have far too many unkept new years resolutions reminding me of my failure to keep them. But as I said, I am ready to set my sights high–on a prize–and go for it. I need to. Although I know I will always struggle with self-discipline, even if Christ has freed me. It’s human nature, or at least my nature.

For fear of doing what I usually do and setting too many unreachable immeasurable goals, I am going to start slow. I don’t know yet what this “challenge” will be. I’ll keep you posted. But this I know for sure, no more Butterfingers for breakfast.

4 thoughts on “Butterfingers for Breakfast

  1. Patti Blount says:

    And just when I was getting over “perfectionism” and allowing myself to eat a Butterfinger for breakfast and not feel guilty. Nevertheless, Brook, your blog is as delightful as you are, and it is good to see you “in print” again.

    • Brooke says:

      Hahhaa…sorry. I think there are times in our lives when we need more discipline, like for me right now. But other times when we do need to loosen the reigns. Too much control or discipline can be harmful, right? Like anyone who has an issue with too much dieting, anorexia, etc. Anyway, didn’t want to get too serious. Sometimes a butterfinger hits the spot! ha! And after all, we are human 😉 Miss you and look forward to keeping in touch through the blogging world! It’s so fun. I’m glad I finally entered!

  2. Jarah says:

    This is my struggle too. Being disciplined. I almost feel I will be punished by some disaster around the corner because I am not paying enough attention to God. He uses those times to get our attention and build our faith, but I get fearful of what could happen. Our woman’s Bible study topic last week was called “His Fears” from the book “Power of a Praying Wife”. We read about man’s fears and what he is always struggling to overcome. #1 for a man is failure. Failure to provide for their family, failure at work, failure in other areas. I realized I fear a lot and even sometimes imagine what might happen and how I would handle it if it did (like someone kidnapping Savannah at a store). Being a mom adds a whole bundle of new fears to the basket. I pray I can learn to rest in His Holy Spirit and know no matter if the worst fear comes to be in my life I will have the strength to face it.

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