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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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?