An Honest Journey
The Cut Out

The Cut Out

Have you cut out anything in this last year?

2021 has already been a year where I’ve seen the Lord chipping away at things holding me back. These things aren’t “bad”, but they haven’t been fruitful in my life. They’ve been keeping me from living fully and freely as a joyful child of God.

I haven’t been on social media since early January, and I finally decided to pull the plug and delete my accounts earlier this month. I’m so tired of the noise, the opinions, the arguments, censorship, and the division.

It’s exhausting.

All the noise had prevented me from properly discerning the voice of the Lord and responding to it the way that He has called me.

For some people, I realize social media is a thriving spot to share the truth of the Gospel. But for me, it was not. I was often left feeling overwhelmed to the point where I wasn’t pleasant to be around. It distracted me from putting my full and absolute trust in the Lord and receiving the peace and freedom that only He can give.

Nothing else can fill my heart and soul more fully than Jesus.

I have been slowly cutting more things out. It’s been a strange, but necessary cutting.

Pulling the plug on social media- I found myself not really missing it all. It was freeing. Cutting out the noise, I’ve been using my time to make healthy decisions for myself and my family.

Then, the Lord directed me to drop the immense amount of caffeine I was drinking and cut out the sweets. I fought Him on it for a while, but with discernment, I knew it needed to be done.

I ultimately made the decision not because I wanted to be “healthier” (which is an obvious benefit).  There was a deeper issue at hand.  

I was relying on the caffeine or sugar high to get me through, rather than relying on my God to lovingly guide me through each day.

The caffeine was meant to “wake-me-up” or just help me make it through the morning with young children. I was grabbing candy off the high shelves to fill a nervous fix that I couldn’t seem to break without some sugar.

Through it all, I was slowly needing more and more caffeine later in the day. Then sweets seemed to not have a limit at times. My body didn’t appreciate having to keep up with my band-aid fix.

The Lord wanted to take my morning, take my anxiousness, and the difficulties of life. The cutting out had to happen. And the Lord graciously used that “cutting out” time for His glory.

Initially, it was difficult. Our culture screams at us, “Get your coffee in the morning!”

Through the headaches and irritableness, I knew the end goal would be so much better than where I had been. Feeling “addicted” to anything isn’t pleasant. You’re not really free because you “need” whatever it is you’ve been clinging to. When in reality, that thing is just taking the place of the Lord. The Lord wants us to seek Him in our pain, weaknesses, hurts, and the highs of life. The “fills” of this world are no match for being filled with the real deal- the power of Jesus.

Thankfully, my husband helped me cut out some of these habits by purchasing some alternatives. He bought some flavored teas with limited or no caffeine. He also bought me decaf coffee. I’ve grown accustomed to making my tea in the morning and being satisfied with that. It took many weeks, but praise God, it grew on me. I found some favorites thanks to my husband.

I definitely still have to be conscious of my sugar intake. It’s a matter of me asking “why” I’m eating something. Is it to “fill” a feeling, or because I’m bored, or am I just being lazy? Or, is it a sweet I’m enjoying after eating healthy foods throughout the day?

I’ve needed that reminder to take care of my body because the Lord dwells in me. I want to hear Him and respond when He calls. I can’t function properly or take care of others if I’m running on empty.

My habits have slowly changed not because of will-power but because of God’s power. That discernment from the Spirit guided me to make better decisions for my body in order to draw closer to Jesus and be free. The benefits not only affect me, but they affect those around me.

I’m not missing out on anything; I’m living more fully.

Thank you, Jesus!  

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

13 thoughts on “The Cut Out

    • Author gravatar

      That is one very effective tool of the enemy is distraction, but it is often a disguised tool. I’m so glad to hear what the Lord has been doing in your life. I also had to cut back caffeine for my own well-being, but I fix about 80% decaf at least in the morning, with a small bit of caffeinated coffee in the brew which has been working very well for me.

      • Author gravatar

        Good for you! Thank you. Yes, He is good! It’s amazing what the Lord does when we turn over ourselves to Him. Very good point on distraction verses tool!

    • Author gravatar

      Living more fully for the Lord is what pleases Him the most, and when we delight ourselves in Him He will give us the desires of our heart. Psalm 37:4 ♡

    • Author gravatar

      Well Amber first off I can say congratulations on cutting the social media umbilical cord! I never had Facebook and not wanted it; especially when Zuckerberg was playing it up when he rolled it out, I thought; who is this weird person that I need him having many of my personal facts and figures to be a part of his club!

      I knew I wasn’t alone when a younger woman in my neighborhood that had been in the Army as an officer and got back from Afghanistan told me she too didn’t have that or want it when we were walking our dogs in the area and would stop and chat. She’s a very sensible Christian lady who went on to be an RN.

      I totally agree with what you said here, “It distracted me from putting my full and absolute trust in the Lord and receiving the peace and freedom that only He can give.” I have found that just getting caught up on the Internet is too easily a trap from real living and actual real quality time, say better spent actually worshiping or doing some very worthwhile constructive things, that we all have to do but maybe just look for an excuse to ditch those; to just goof off! Like when I was a kid my dad or mom would find me goofing off in my room upstairs or down in the basement and many times just watching television when I had homework or some project to do, and I recall how dad would say that I would be much better off reading a book that I can actually learn something valuable from; rather than being a time waster!

      I so badly have to agree how sweets are a giant weakness and that I just thought yesterday I have to stop this looking for sugar highs in the early morning, day or late night; that is so unhealthy and I used to be a lot better several years ago at controlling this bad habit even after a massive injury/health issue I had back then, but now I slip right back into my old habits of being a sugar tooth freak! I think stress has been the enemy for me which is why the sweets come into play to quell my frustration or worry; sort of a comfort food thing on steroids; because pigging out on high levels of sugary foods is a foolish thing to do!

      This says it all for me Amber; “The Lord wants us to seek Him in our pain, weaknesses, hurts, and the highs of life. The “fills” of this world are no match for being filled with the real deal- the power of Jesus.” That’s so perfectly stated and something for all of us to think and pray about.

      I’m glad to hear about this insight or revelation you’ve had with such fantastic improvements taking place daily for you and your family! Because being on the right path as to eating habits or understanding why we behave or react a certain way is a huge accomplishment, and so crucial being this way especially when under the daily pressures of living our lives while being responsible in all regards; but firstly to Jesus Christ in acknowledging that we are lost without Him and can only live properly; when we allow Him to lead us!

      You’ve got me more motivated with this article for sure, and I will pray on it later to make some advancement on my sugar fix issue; and get back to not snacking so much, but eating quality healthy foods a few times a day and that’s it; because all else I need comes from the Lord! Amen.

      • Author gravatar

        Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Lawrence. I’m so glad to hear this post motivated you. I prayed it would reach someone to bring glory to God. Yes, it’s definitely very easy to get sucked in to the computer or tv sometimes… especially these days! Thankfully, my kids keep me in check because they are on the move, so I see that as a blessing! It also helps me so that they don’t start watching too much TV either.

        • Author gravatar

          I agree with everything you said here Amber! Of course you’re welcome for the honest assessment and reaction I had from reading this! I was actually going to reblog it with basically the same comment, then I wasn’t sure if I would be taking away from your concise view which I’d be upset if I harmed it in any way! But that was how much inspiration and exuberance I got from this piece!

          Your prayer was answered because I saw your like just coming though for my recent posting just as I was completely the comment and clicking send! That was a neat sign that a connecting of dots was going on which I’ve written about before in a couple of my blogs one “Converging Conversations” and another “Always walking with Jesus Christ.”

          And your circumstances sound well matched or coordinated with the entire family, so that you all gain the most possible good from each other, making for a beautiful balance or sometimes dance of shared growth and learning! I see how I’m still on my learning curve and suspect it will be that way all the way to the end of the road that I’m on!

          Thank you and God bless!

    • Author gravatar

      Caffeine is a hard habit to break. I’ve not been able to partake in caffeinated coffee very often—it makes me want to jump out of my skin! Sugar is a more difficult fix. Good for you in recognizing and cutting out what doesn’t work for you.

      • Author gravatar

        Yes, it is! I’ve noticed my body was having some negative reactions to it too, so I think that was another sign it needed to go out get drastically cut back. Sugar is definitely difficult. It helps when I don’t have it on my grocery list! We always have a ton of candy though from holidays that ends up lasting for a couple months.

    • Author gravatar

      I find that the more obedient I am to God’s will, the easier it is to make necessary changes & cuts in my life!

    • Author gravatar

      What a great post! I’m right behind you with the social media. I deleted my Twitter account some time ago for the reasons you mentioned. Such anger there! I’m trying to figure out how to delete my Facebook account while still being able to update my church’s page. The truth is all of it is a time buster and the enemy uses it to steal our time with God.
      Thanks for the reminder.

      • Author gravatar

        Thanks, Ron. Yes, it’s definitely nice to be off! I’ve appreciated our church doing a weekly email newsletter & a monthly snail mail letter. Yes, that’s tricky with the navigating the church FB page. I know my sister manages a business site and just has a blank Facebook account to manage the business, but she doesn’t use her account for personal use. Praying you’ll find some solutions.

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