Monday, February 24, 2014

Standing in the truth!

Confession: I still wake up every morning and step on the scale.  It isn't that I am looking for a huge drop in my weight… a miracle answer to my prayer to get off these 30+ pounds that need to be shed.  I now step on the scale just to make sure that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.  It is a way for me to be accountable.

Yesterday morning, I stepped on the scale and was up half a pound.  Not a big deal.  It wasn't a huge gain and I know that the day before, I worked out hard and I ate the healthy foods for me.  So when I stepped on the scale this morning, I was hoping for a little loss (perhaps that half a pound that I gained the day before, just so everything evened out).  Instead, I got the same number… still up half a pound.

With the weight loss slowing way down the last week, this gain in half a pound would usually send me straight towards the freezer eating the entire bag of homemade cookies that my mother-in-law made for my boys.  After all, why eat healthy if there will be no results?  Why "deprive" myself of all the yummy chocolate chips in those wonderful cookies when it doesn't really matter anyway?

TRUTH- I am more than just a number on the scale!!

TRUTH- I am made for more than this vicious cycle with food and turning to it when things don't go the way I think they should.

TRUTH- I have been obedient in my eating, and that is what matters!

TRUTH- God sees my heart… he is concerned with my heart… he is not concerned with the number on the scale!

So today, instead of running towards the freezer, or towards the office with all of the yummy dark chocolates, I am going to stand in the truth!  I choose truth, not lies!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Soul-Filling Satisfaction

This week, I have been really good in my eating.  And it isn't that the temptations haven't been there, because they have been out in full force this week!  From my parents offering me all of their delicious Peanut M&M's and Twizzlers, to going out to eat countless times with my kids (can you say french fries?), to eating at my favorite mexican restaurant and having to choose to NOT get rice and beans or eat the chips and salsa, to going to the movies and not being able to order that delicious popcorn… oh, the temptations!!!

Yet, in the midst of those temptations and the voices that tell me that I can have just one bite, I hear God's still voice saying "Come".
…"Come and get your fill on my love"
… "Come and get your fill on my hope"
… "Come and get your fill on my joy"
… "Come and get your fill on my truth"
… "Come and get your fill on my peace"

The fact is that when I am obedient in this journey and am obedient to what God is calling me to face with this idol of food, I find so much more joy and satisfaction than a huge serving of chips and salsa would ever make me feel.  I feel so good every time I say no to temptations.  I feel so much joy when I concentrate on a good conversation instead of diving in to the most delicious plate of hamburger and fries.  I feel peace knowing that I am listening to God instead of giving in.   There is nothing, I repeat NOTHING better than the soul-filling satisfaction that only God can give!

"You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god.  I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.  Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." (Psalm 81:9-10)

Fill me Lord!  Fill me like only you can!  Fill me with your love, with your hope, with your joy, with your truth, with your peace!  Fill me!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

That darn scale!

I have decided that a woman's biggest struggle is the scale.  Not only does the scale make you feel like a complete failure, but it really does not tell the entire story.  I am a huge "get on the scale every morning" kind of person when I am on a weight loss journey.  I seriously used to get out of bed, go to the bathroom, not eat or drink anything, maybe exercise, then strip down to nothing and climb on that scale, praying for a drastic change.  And you know what was crushing?  Seeing no change, barely enough change, or, God forbid, a slight gain.

Then this week happened in Made To Crave where things started to really click for me and I feel like I am starting to get it.  So I went two whole days of being obedient… eating the right things, not over eating, really paying attention to my emotional state, praying and reciting Scripture when things felt tough or temptations came.  I got up after two days of major success, stepped on that scale only to see a slightly lower number than last week.  Of course, at first my mind wanted to curse and give up.  But then I had this epiphany.  We expect to loose a ton of weight after just a day or two of eating healthy and for the right reasons because we feel so much better on the inside.  And really, that is what really counts… that peace and joy that comes from being obedient in our food choices.

So from now on, when I want to step on that scale and then curse because the numbers don't match how I am feeling, I am going to focus on that inward peace and realize that that is where the victory lies!

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's Not Fair! (the real truth)

"It's not fair!"  How many times have I heard that from my two wonderful boys?  Way too many to count, not definitely not worth my time to even try.  For some reason, I always thought it was a phase that most of us contributing to society adults grew out of.  However, this morning, I was challenged in my Made To Crave journey… challenged to see that I live in the "it's not fair" world.

"It's not fair that she is so skinny, yet eats all of that junk food!"
"It's not fair that I have to workout every day just to maintain!"
"It's not fair that I can eat that yummy (yet very unhealthy) food that I absolutely love!"
"It's not fair that I have to struggle with food for my entire life!"

And then I read Chapter 10 in Made to Crave and got a huge slap to the face wake up call.  Now I am forced to look at the truth.  What is the truth?  The truth is what I tell my children every day, "Life isn't fair".  "Yes, it isn't fair… and?"

I was made for more than to get stuck in this lie that life isn't fair.  So what if it isn't?  It doesn't change anything that is set before me.  And really, on the grand scheme of things, is this really the worst that life could throw at me?  Absolutely not!  There are so many others that have to go through far more, and it really isn't fair for them, yet they put a smile on their face and face the "not fairs" in their life instead of getting stuck in the "it's not fair" world.

So I choose to say "so what?" to my "it's not fairs".  It's not fair that I can't eat what I want.  So what?  It gives me an opportunity to rely on God and grow closer to him.   It's not fair that I keep craving that yummy chocolate bar.  So what?  It gives me an opportunity to pray and seek the strength of God to get through this moment.  It's not fair that I struggle with food constantly.  So what?  It gives me the opportunity to change the way I see food and allows me the chance to truly be healthy, not only with my body, but also with my thoughts and spiritually.

From this day forward, I am turning my "it's not fairs" into "so whats?"  I will focus on the truth and not on the lies that are continually thrust into my mind.  And I will focus on the TRUTH, my God who loves me and wants me to continue to draw closer to him throughout this entire process.

"I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but through me" -John 14:6

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Delighting in Obedience

I have to confess… this week has been back to the same old "run to food and eat as much as you can" kind of week.  It has been hard… it has been depressing… it has made me feel like a failure yet again… and the lies creep in and get another strong hold in my life.  I hate it.  I hate this battle with food.  I hate the control that it has over me… the way I just mindlessly eat whatever I can shove into my mouth, even when I am to the point of being beyond full.  I hate how it makes me feel like I have to sneak around and shove food into my mouth before anyone sees what I am doing and the mess that I am in.  And I keep coming back to "who really cares?"

And then I come to Chapter 8 in Made to Crave.  In the chapter, Lysa Terkeusrst talks about "defining your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale."  Obedience… something that I can actually tangibly see and feel.  I have not been obedient to God.  And God does care!  He cares that I am obedient to him.  He cares that I am faithful.  Yes, he knows that I will make mistakes, but he also cares that I succeed!  He wants me to be obedient, not because it is good for him, but because he knows that it is best for me.

I have been an athlete for most of my life.  I played college volleyball.  And let me tell you how I feel about obedience.  YUCK!  I don't want to be obedient!  I don't want to do what someone else is telling me to do!  And yet, when I look back at the times that I have had to be obedient in my life, they have always been for my good.  Yes, obedience requires you to put your full trust into someone else, but shouldn't God already have my full trust?

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).  God has plans for me!  Good plans!  Plans that will not harm me.  Plans to prosper me.  Plans to give me hope.  Plans for a future.  And if I am not obedient, those plans can't happen.

This year, my focus is a change of heart.  And here is one of those changes of heart that I need to have. I need to delight in obedience!  I need to delight in knowing that my actions with food is me being obedient to God.  I need to delight in the plans that he has for me through my obedience.  I need to delight in my obedience instead of focusing on what I can't eat, or what the number on the scale says.  I choose now to delight in obedience!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


“We may give our human loves the unconditional allegiance which we owe only to God. They they become gods: then they become demons. Then they will destroy us, and also destroy themselves. For natural loves that are allowed to become gods do not remain loves. They are still called so, but can become in fact complicated forms of hatred.” -C.S. Lewis

I stumbled upon this quote this week, and it really spoke to me… especially in this journey of changing my thought patterns about food.  I have let food become a god in my life… an idol.  I focus on it constantly, thinking about when I will eat again… what it will be… I need it now… my belly isn't feeling full enough… until finally I would eat way more of it than I should have, and then would start to go through the thoughts of I shouldn't have eaten… what is wrong with me… why do I love food so much.

The vicious cycle… it controls me… it holds me down.  Just when I feel that I get a handle on it, it grabs ahold and pulls me down further.  It truly became my god… and then my demon.  And I have been battling it all too long.

The last few weeks on this Made To Crave journey, I have realized that "I have been made for more.  I have been made for more than this vicious cycle of food." (quoting Lysa Terkeurst in Made To Crave). I am God's child.  He wants what is best for me.  And He made me for more… I claim that!  And because of that mind frame, I have had successes these last few weeks.  I have been able to control the cravings.  I have been able to say no to food.  I have been able to turn down my favorite dessert even though everyone else is eating it.  I have been able to stick to my fast while watching others eat yummy Chipolte burritos in front of me.  I have been able to succeed by grabbing onto God, who loves me and cares for me and wants more for me!

Now, in the future, will I have struggles?  Absolutely!  And that is when I will have to cling to God… to turn to Him and crave Him even more.  But this is setting up a foundation to get rid of my love and demon once and for all.  Will I always love food?  Absolutely!  But do I love God more?  Most definitely!  And because of my love for Him, I will not put food up as an idol again!

Monday, January 27, 2014

1 Peter 5:7-8a

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert." (1 Peter 5:7-8a)

Cast all your anxiety…
     Every worry
     Every negative thought
     Every "I have to fill this craving!"

Because he cares for you…
     God cares for ME!!!
     God cares… he knows me… he wants to help me… he loves me
     God doesn't want to see me worried/upset/anxious

Be self-controlled…
     Don't listen to the voices inside my head
     Don't listen to the cravings
     Think things through!

Be alert…
     Pay attention to how I am feeling
     Pay attention to what is going on around me
     Pay attention to the temptations that have been placed before me

Friday, January 24, 2014

Free From Captivity

"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you" declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity."  (Jeremiah 29:12-14)

I keep coming back to this scripture this week… it is sitting on my heart… it is resonating with me and this journey that I am on.

God will listen to me when….
     …. I call upon him
     …. I come to him
     …. I pray

I will find God when….
     …. I seek him will all my  heart

When I find God….
     …. He will bring me out of the captivity that I am living in.

What is the captivity that I am living in?
     …. Unhealthy food choices
     …. Overeating
     …. Food food food

Oh how I want to be free of this battle!  Oh how I want to be free of this captivity!!  I don't want to have to live this way anymore.  I don't want to be a slave to food for one more day!!!  I want to be free!  And to do that, I need to seek God with all of my heart so that I can find him… focus on him… crave God in all areas of my life.

So I am seeking God… focusing on him to fill my needs… fill the voids that are in me.  Craving God!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Empowered… Living by the Spirit

With my sister being in Africa for the next 6 months, and with all the worry that comes for her safety while she is there, I have decided to fast once a week and be intentional about being in prayer for her.  Now, fasting is not one of my favorite things to do at all.  I love food… plan my day around it.  But with my Made To Crave study and my focus on changing my hear this year, I thought it was even more important for me to fast once a week and to be intentional in seeking God.

So Wednesdays this year are my fast days.  My husband has so graciously agreed to fast with me.  And for the most part, I am shocked at how I can keep my focus away from food for that one day.  I can really focus my attention on other things and not on when I am going to get my next food fix.  The bad thing is that when I go "off" the fast, I go crazy! Again, a heart issue that I have to work on.

I am learning a lot through fasting.  One is that for that one day, food doesn't have the same hold on me that it does for the other 6 days.  Completely removing food from the equation makes it so there is no battle to fight.  Now obviously, I can't completely remove food out of my life, but it shows me that it has less power over my life than I allow it to have.  I feel empowered over food in those hours of fasting, and it is a wonderful feeling.  Another thing that I learn is to focus on God, praying every time I feel hunger pains.  I not only lift up my sister and her journey in Africa, but it helps me be even more intentional at praying for those who I know are struggling.

While I know there will be struggles through this journey of fasting, I am feeling empowered by the lessons that I am learning so far.  And I know that by submitting myself to God, I can resist temptations and not be conformed to this world.

"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature" (Galatians 5:16)

Change of Heart

I have always struggled with food… always been a little overweight… always been not happy with how I have looked.  And a few years ago, I was able to lose 60lbs!!  But then, like most diets, the weight has slowly crept back.  While I have not gained all 60lbs back, I have gained a few.  I don't know how many times I have tried to get back on track, then found something delicious that I really wanted to eat, pigged out on it, failed, then woke up the next morning promising to get back on track only to have the cycle repeat.  And it isn't like I am just eating a piece of chocolate… it is that I am eating the entire bag of chocolate plus a bag of chips plus whatever else I set my eyes on.  The battle that continually rages inside of me over food is sickening.  It takes up all of my thoughts when the seed is laid.  It destroys how I feel about myself when i fail.  It makes me feel like I can't beat this.  And I am captive to the big food monster.  

After failing and failing and failing again… crying out to God again and again and again… shedding many tears, God shed light onto my battle.  He clearly pointed out to me that food is my idol.  I put it above all else.  When I think about it, I can't stop until I put it in my mouth.  I obsess most of the day about what I can find.  When I am alone, I pig out because there is no one there to hold me accountable.  I turn to it in the best of times and the worst of times.  Food comes above all else.  And realizing that made me sad and ready for a heart change.  I am tired of the struggle.  I don't want this battle for the rest of my life.  It is time to end it now!!

Starting in January, I began this journey of changing my heart.  Have I failed since then?  Absolutely!  Have I had victories since then?  Most definitely!!!  And I am determined that now is the time that I will beat this!  Now is the time that I will overcome!  Now is the time that I walk away from this captivity into freedom in God!!  It is only with his help that I will overcome.  It is only by God's grace that I will leave this battle.  It is only by turning my heart back to God that I will be done with this struggle that I have had for almost 35 years.  

"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity."  (Jeremiah 29:12-14)

My journey starts with Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst.  Her words are inspiring!  Her words are my words, which makes it even more relatable to my journey, and more impactful.  And with the help of 40,000 other women, I know that I will overcome!  God will bring me back from captivity as I seek him with all my heart.