A quick Adoration story

October 20, 2008 | Conversion, Daily Spirituality, Prayer | 19 comments

I don’t have much time to write this afternoon, so I thought I’d share a quick story about going to Adoration this weekend…

I’ve been trying to making it to Adoration once a week, which means that in practice I go once a month. I continue to be blown away by the powerful prayer experiences I have there, in particular when I just open my mind, sit in silence, and let myself be guided (longtime readers will remember the Adoration List debacle).

When I say “powerful experience” I don’t necessarily mean big emotions or feeling God’s presence in some palpable way, thought that does occasionally happen. I mainly mean that I get a sense that my thoughts are being firmly, obviously guided by Something outside of myself; for example, I’ll walk out of the Adoration chapel with incredibly insightful answers to questions that I didn’t even ask.

This weekend was such an occasion.

My husband and I went to Adoration yesterday as part of our anniversary weekend celebration and, as usual, I couldn’t help but go in with a laundry list of things I needed to cover. Yet I forced myself to just be still, not think too much, and say only a prayer asking God to lead me where I needed to go (this is surprisingly hard for control freaks like me).

I waited to be guided to clarity on all the important issues that needed addressing, like those writing deadlines that are causing me some stress, my continued slacking in the prayer department, my lack of trust in God, my constant complaining, etc…But it didn’t happen. Out of the blue, I felt a strong pull to think about something that I hadn’t even considered:

I need to put serious thought into what I eat on a daily basis.

Weird, huh? Of all the seemingly more important problems I brought to the table, I was overcome by an unshakable sense that to address this issue was my main marching order.

At first it seemed like a totally random, bizarre thing to think about. I wondered if I’d even understood what I’d “heard” correctly. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is actually a critical issue, and one that could have far-reaching effects into every area of my life. I won’t bore you with all the details, but the short version is: I’ve known for a long time that I have some mild insulin issues, and that when I eat certain carbs it wreaks havoc on my system and can have a major impact on my energy levels. Even though I know this, I’d kind of blown off the seriousness of it and have been pretty careless about what I eat, particularly at lunch time — not a smart move for someone who’s exhausted all the time anyway. If I were to make a major push to eat foods that don’t send me into an insulin downward spiral (which is pretty much everything I crave around lunch time), avoid the other foods to which I seem to have minor sensitivities, and add some good supplements to my diet, the impact could be huge.

The more I think about it, the more I can see that this is exactly what I should be putting at the top of my list of things to deal with. Managing what I eat more carefully could end up being the foundation to having the energy and stamina to properly deal with all my other concerns. It’s a brilliant insight, really.

So that’s my little Adoration story: I went in to get all sorts of major issues worked out, and ended up getting the message to drop everything and think about carb and protein ratios! As someone who is still new to prayer, I just love little moments like this. It’s neat to experience God “speaking” so clearly; not in words, but by guiding my course with a firm but gentle hand.

UPDATED TO NOTE: I started writing this in the morning, and am finishing it in the afternoon. At lunch I didn’t want to waste some delicious leftover pizza (a known “danger” food for me), so I decided that just this once I’d go ahead and eat it and hope for the best, despite the whole VOICE OF GOD TELLING ME NOT TO thing. And now I feel utterly miserable, like I’m about to slip into a coma. Hmm, it’s almost like God knows what he’s talking about! Anyway, you can see that I am better at listening to the Lord’s guidance than acting on it.

19 Comments

  1. elizabeth

    I’m so impressed and envious that you get such clear guidance during Adoration. I can’t shut my own mind up, so all I hear is chatter and white noise. I have to continually turn my mind to the subject at hand and then I end up drifting again. Does this focus come with practice?

  2. Susan Thompson

    Jen, I think a lot about diet. Some advice that has helped me: Focus on trying to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day (I usually get a serving of both in at breakfast by putting some spinach or cabbage or other vegetables in an omelet and eating a fruit). Also, a convenient way to eat brown rice is to cook a whole package at a time and then freeze it and break off sections and microwave a few portions at a time. Yesterday for lunch I sauteed some vegetables and then microwaved some of my brown rice and added that to the sautee. It was delicious. And remember portion size. A portion of rice is about the size of a computer mouse. And I hope you don’t drink soda pop! Drink natural things that God intended, like water, tea, green tea, herb tea, coffee, and wine.

    I struggle with pizza, too! I try to come up with strategies. For example, I may eat a large vegetable course while the pizza is cooking to fill me up so I eat less pizza. And get the thin-crust pizza.

    I’d better stop with the food advice before I get carried away. God Bless,
    Susan

  3. Laura

    Could you possibly be allergic to wheat. I felt the same way until I stopped eating wheat. Things like pizza – the combo between the wheat and the dairy – would make me feel miserable. Nothing to do with adoration, I know, but something to look into.
    God Bless!

  4. Sue

    “Anyway, you can see that I am better at listening to the Lord’s guidance than acting on it.”

    Aren’t we all?!!!

    What a beautiful and encouraging post. Our God not only knows just what we need, but is willing to tell us when we are still enough to hear.

  5. Jenny Lewis

    I have said this before, and I’ll say it again – I think we were separated at birth….the conversion, the background, the adoration attempts, and now the food. Are you me?
    Good luck with the food thing. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis and knowing that the wrong foods lead to more cravings just makes it harder (or easier). Is there a patron saint of Good carbs? There needs to be. God Bless you. I just love your blog – if for no other reason than to see what I’m thinking today.
    Jenny

  6. Joy of Frugal Living

    Good story. I just wanted to encourage you a little on the carbs. I am eating lower carb due to my problems with PCOS. I found a really amazing thing – after 10 -14 days of not going crazy on the carbs, my desire for them actually diminished. So once you put in the willpower for a little while, it will truly get easier. My favorite foods are chocolate and cupcakes, pasta, good bread, etc., so believe me, if I can do it, anyone can. (I think the huge motivation of trying to prevent future miscarriages DOES help, but I bet you can focus on it enough without that. It might help your health issues too.)

    I also wanted to let you know – I’ve just started RCIA, and I am thankful for your site, among other things, for leading me to this point.

    Jennifer

  7. Michelle

    I have a difficult time focusing during adoration sometimes. I don’t actually get to do it all that often because well someone has to take care of my son and being one he doesn’t sleep through like he did when he was a month old any more. I find that God guides me in places I least expect it anyway (and some of them I don’t listen like I should either unfortunately).

    If you’re looking to get more fruits and veggies I actually thought of something funny when I was reading your post. Family Fun Magazine some months back had a whole section on recipes that involved a vegetable/ fruit puree to trick your kids into eating them. This should be the link to the article http://familyfun.go.com/games/indoor-outdoor-games/feature/making-foods-more-nutritious/ . Hopefully the link works. But it’s one way to get some of the things you like with a little more nutrition. It’s supposed to be for kids but I think it probably works just as well for adults. We’re just as bad as our kids about not eating the right things in some respects these days. Good luck at any rate.

  8. Anonymous

    Aside from going with your husband when you probably have a babysitter, how do you do adoration with three small children??? I so badly want to go, but with a 2 yr old and a 10 monther I can’t imagine it being any different than mass when I am attending to my ankle area the whole time! Any suggestions?

  9. Margie

    Do you think the message might have something to do with the pregnancy?

  10. Kimberly

    Don’t you hate it when you ignore the “still small voice” of the Father, even when you know better? If I had a nickle for every time I did that….

    Re: the actual word you received, I am not going to weigh in, since then I might have to actually follow through. But I just had my three hour GTT on Friday, and suspect GD with this pregnancy as well. Sigh.

  11. Anonymous

    Dear anonymous,
    A couple of tips for adoration. Find another mother to swap time with for an hour. My friend and I use to do this when our children were younger. I went for an hour then she would go. Meanwhile the kiddies had two hours of playtime. Also, look on masstimes.org to see where there is 24hr. adoration and go in the evening after hubby comes home.

    Jen,
    I love your blog and your insight. Your witness is edifying.God Bless!

  12. miller_schloss

    Getting 80-100 grams of protein a day during pregnancy can be really helpful to both you and the baby. I’m 35 weeks, and struggle to consume that much protein each day, but it does make me feel better when I do.

  13. Anonymous

    Fascinating post. Last week my wife, who has Lupus, hadn’t been feeling well. Stomach and instestinal problems for several days. Over the course of 24 hours she hadn’t eaten anything, then while we were out she felt a craving for something sweet. She ended up eating swedish fish and sweet tea. About a half hour later she complained that she didn’t feel well. Shortly after that she was acting strange, almost like she was drunk and couldn’t buckle her belt etc. Next thing you know she was having a seizure. Never had one before in her 42 years. At the ER they said her blood sugar was a bit low. I theorized that the sugar hit her system and her body started pumping insulin, which caused her to crash like that. Scary.

  14. Dean

    Again, a wonderful reminder that God is in every part of our life. Food as prayer and eating as service do not surprise me now that I am a Catholic. Walking with God must mean too watching what I eat. Odd to ask him to bless food that we know is killing us.

    I am on Weight Watchers and see the meetings rather like reminders of the spiritual exercises.

    Also, a nice story about adoration.
    Dean in Wisconsin

  15. Katie

    I’m not new to prayer and I still find it really awesome when God speaks clearly to me. You’ve inspired me to sit still more often. I’m very controlling also and it’s hard to stop talking and stop telling God what to do. Thank you for this!

  16. Anne Marie

    Adoration insights out of the blue, could be a blog post in the making.

    Last week my son had been pushing my buttons for two days straight, so I dropped (almost drop kicked) him at soccer practice and departed immediately for a few moments at Adoration.

    What did I get?

    “Impulse Control”

    I’m still not quite sure if our Lord was admonishing me or advising me, but I’ve been keeping my eyes open to both control myself and to help him resist impulsiveness and things are going smoother.

  17. Anonymous

    Hi Jen,

    As Laura said, you may have a wheat allergy, or a more common condition, celiac disease, a gluten intolerance (includes wheat and barley). I had no digestive symptoms, but was tired all the time, and had a blood test for celiac. It came back positive, and once I eliminated gluten from my diet I started to have more energy and require less sleep. Good luck!

    ps I love your blog!

  18. coffeemom

    I think you are on track. Of course, w/ adoration…but also w/ the food thing.

    {I struggle with this in a big way too. It’s donuts, every time. I cannot resist and then simply crash and burn after, practically comotose.}

    And I have finally started diabetic meds, simple basic first line ones, due to a STRONG history/connection of it in my family. sigh. I hate them, and yet, not so much as they help.

    So you are on target I bet! It’s simple. So, it’s the insulin response, every time. IT’s a bear. It only improves w/ careful eating habits, unfortunately. SO, I think your inspiration was on target! Listen to it, eat well, the meds are not so fun (even as they do a good job of leveling it out…).

  19. Jennifer F.

    Elizabeth –

    I have to continually turn my mind to the subject at hand and then I end up drifting again. Does this focus come with practice?

    I don’t know! Normally I can’t focus well, but lately I’ve been able to clear my mind a little bit better. Not sure why.

    Anon –

    how do you do adoration with three small children???

    Actually, I don’t. I’d be so stressed I don’t think I could relax. 🙂 What I’ve been doing is taking off to our local perpetual Adoration chapel for a little while after my husband gets home from work. I can only do that once or twice a month, but it’s really nice to have that quiet time.

    Also, thanks for the diet tips! I do think I might have a wheat allergy and am going to look into that.

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