Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hanging on to the Pooh-Piglets of Life

It's a tattered pillowcase with a large picture of Winnie the Pooh on one side and Piglet on the other. Eve calls it her Pooh-Piglet.

Once upon a time when she was very young, it was new - a still-in-the-package yardsale find. I knew she would love it because she adored Winnie the Pooh. There was a twin sheet, fitted sheet and of course the Pooh-Piglet. She grabbed ahold of the pillowcase right away, claiming it for her own and a special bond developed between us.

When she was 2, she curled up inside it like a sleeping bag. At age 5, she began freezing it so it would be cool at bedtime on hot summer nights. Like Linus's blanket, everywhere Eve went, Pooh-Piglet was sure to follow.

When Pooh-Piglet was accidentally left behind at a restaurant on a trip, the family van turned around to rescue it. Thankfully they had only gone a few minutes down the road. If the Pooh-Piglet was missing at bedtime, the whole household came to a grinding halt to find it so peace and tranquility could be restored.

These days, the poor thing is a tattered scrap of cotton, so thin, you can almost see through it. The seams have been restitched, though it would rip out again if you tried to place a pillow inside. Long threads of cotton had tangled into knotted strands along the seams. When her other grandma cut them off, Eve mourned for several days because she used to twirl them around her fingers.

I'm not sure what would happen if the Pooh-Piglet suddenly disappeared...

Like my granddaughter, there are "security blankets" I hold onto - habits; things with sentimental value only to me; things that help me feel secure. One of those things is food. I started a diet last week - yes, again! It's been hard to let go of old eating habits and patterns as I begin the arduous task of tracking food and exercise in an effort to build newer, healthier habits.

Letting go of the comfort foods is hard - those carbohydrate and calorie laden treats I used to turn to to soothe the ruffled feathers and calm the quivering nerves. In these early stages, I find myself in withdrawal, screeching inside "Help, I need chocolate!" While I know one piece wouldn't hurt - I know I wouldn't be able to stop at just one so I avoid it for now.

Instead, I pray, "Lord help me to trust You for comfort today, rather than the chocolate or other rich foods." Then I focus on the other daily tasks He has given me to do. It's hard - I have to constantly pray and refocus, but He's always there to help and I know it will get easier.

"So, Lord, help me to give up the Pooh-Piglets in my life. Those other things I used to turn to for comfort and security instead of You. Help me to become a healthier, happier, more effective servant for You."

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