Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction


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What’s the Upside to Beating Yourself Up?

Pink boxing gloveThis is what the LORD says— “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert  and streams in the wasteland.” ~ Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

It’s January 2016 and you’re beating yourself up for not doing as well as you’d hoped and/or planned last year. Your storehouse of self-control is still full because you didn’t use an ounce of it.

You’re scolding yourself for not finishing those projects you needed to get done. You’re disappointed in yourself for not keeping those commitments you made. You’re cranky because you didn’t reach the height needed to offset your weight.

When you’ve finished beating yourself up, tell me, what’s the upside of it? Does it make you feel better, maybe more pious? Does it change anything? Is it encouraging? Are you investing your time and efforts wisely? Or are you wasting your breath and your energy on what-ifs?

Are you appreciating the abundant and FREE grace God has for you? Or are you squandering it on self-pity, regrets, frustration, worries, and/or doubt?

Here are 12 tips to help you stop wallowing in your boohoos.

  1. Stop beating yourself up and be okay with not being perfect.
  2. Ask for help.
  3. Help someone else.
  4. Take one step, then another, then another–even if one is backwards.
  5. Celebrate each victory and write them down.
  6. Don’t give up.
  7. Remember impatience doesn’t get you to your goal faster.
  8. Don’t wait until tomorrow to be thankful today.
  9. Learn from your mistakes.
  10. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  11. Be grateful to God for another chance to do things better.
  12. Stop whining. It’s so unattractive.

stop beating

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:1-4 NIV


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Gummie-ing Up the Works

Perhaps you’ve already noticed. In addition to multiple brands of gummie bears, the chewy fad is growing–and they’re not just for kids anymore. Phew. Now I can stop stealing from my grandchildren. (Oh, gimme a gummie break, you’ve done it before, too.)

Whether you spell them gummi, gummie, or gummy, the cute little buggers are showing up everywhere. Covered with chocolate, frozen in Popsicles, decorating cupcakes, floating in punch, and even in cocktails.

Even the fashion industry has capitalized on this popular mammal by offering gummie designer t-shirts, pajamas, sweatshirts, leggings, belts, and spandex dresses. (You read that right.) You can accessorize with handcrafted gummie rings, earrings, necklaces, charms, luggage tags, hair clips, purses, and smart phone covers.

And if you feel the need to spread the gummie love throughout your home decor, you can do so with coffee mugs, pillows, mouse pads, and chandeliers. Yep. Chandeliers. (Check out Pinterest.)

However, I was the MOST excited I’ve been in years when the GB industry came up with a way for me to enjoy HEALTHY gummie eating. It’s the “Everything Gummie Bear Diet for Adults.” Simple, colorful, and happy. Now I plan my weekly menus in the vitamin and supplement aisle.

To meet the daily recommended allowances of vitamins and minerals, I fill a cereal bowl with these each morning:

  • gummie calcium bear for strong bones
  • gummie vitamin B12 bear to fight off anemia
  • gummie vitamin C bear to ward off colds
  • gummie vitamin D3 for strong bones and no rickets
  • gummie omega three (not sure what this does, but it’s cherry-flavored)
  • gummie bear multivitamin to cover what I might miss in the others

But that’s not all.

Worried about my heart? No problem; they’re are gummie fish oil bears. No kidding. For those nights I toss and turn, I have a supply of gummie sleep-aid bears. Although I find the absence of gummie stool softeners and laxatives suspicious, for good colon health, I just mix in a gummie probiotic and a gummie fiber bear.

Of course, since the main purpose of this diet is to lose weight, I’ve added the stimulant-free gummie hydroxicut bears to my daily regimen. And when I need more stimulants, I pop an energy (caffeine infused) bear.

To get yourself in the mood for this rigorous program click on this link to hear the Gummie Bear Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrSFdb1V688. Dance if you must. It will make you smile.

Today’s Scripture Verse: Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. ~ 1Co 3:16-19 (NIV)

PS: For those who are wondering, I still have a few pounds to go before I can fit into my new pineapple-flavored gummie spandex dress.

Gummie VitaminsGummy Supplements


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Beyond Bread: In a Relationsip . . . A Wrong Relationship

Wrong RelationshipDo not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. (1Jn 2:15-16 NIV)

Eating or thinking about food has dominated much of my life. I’ve given years to a preoccupation with and an over indulgence of food and/or dieting. I’ve lost battle after battle with my  weight. And I still eat when I’m not hungry . . . when I’m angry, lonely, worried, bored, afraid, and nervous. Oh, yeah, and when I’m happy, too.

I know I eat more than my body needs. And when I use food in this manner, I’m no different from those who turn to alcohol, drugs, sex, or other compulsive behavior.  In the past, I claimed (and believed) that my overeating was a personality disorder and/or a chemical imbalance or other type of addiction. It semi-absolved me from any responsibility in the matter. How convenient. How unproductive.

In the Word of God, I discovered that compulsive overeating is a behavioral problem compounded by years of bad habits, family history, environment, lack of knowledge, no self-discipline, my self-will, and my sin nature. If I’m stuffing food, chances are I’m stuffing the reasons I’m overeating.  These issues need to be brought to the surface, acknowledged and addressed if I ever want to be free from them.

Sometimes I want to hide my struggles in this area, but extra weight is tough to hide. It acts as an outward sign of my pain, disobedience, and failure. It’s hard to ignore. Maybe that’s a good thing because it makes it difficult to deny I need help.

I’ve turned to food for my comfort instead of to God. How lame is that? The good news is that God is a God of grace. He can change me from the inside out!

I crave a good relationship with food, don’t you? I’m going to start today. Want to come along?