Tuesday, March 27, 2012
However, if you would have been at my dinner table yesterday, you would have thought I was a crazy woman! I was clapping! Yelling! Celebrating! Rejoicing! All over an Old Testament tidbit. It came from a story I have heard from VBS many years ago, but I never remembered reading it in the Bible myself.
In Numbers 14 the scene is a nation of Isrealites who had been freed from Egyptian captivity, and were on the brink of entering the promised land. However, due to terrifying reports of larger than life natives, most of the nation began throwing a fit, stating it was better just to return to Egypt, instead of inheriting God's land that he had promised them. But, there was a particular man that had an attitude of obedience and he stood out to God..and he definitely impressed me!
His name: Caleb. Caleb was not afraid of the obstacles...he was more interested in the blessing. Caleb tried encouraging the Israelites to realize how exceedingly good God's blessing was, even to the point where the others were ready to stone him. He was faithful. Loyal. Strong. Brave. Listen to what God had to say about him...
"But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to [the promised land], and his descendants will inherit it. Numbers 14:24
THIS IS MY NEW LIFE VERSE! I want God to be able to say that I have a different spirit! I want God to be able to claim a wholehearted devotion from me. I want to bring blessings to myself and my descendants because of how I choose to believe the Word of the Lord.
This different spirit and wholehearted devotion that I am seeking...I want it to shine through me at all times. Whether I'm 360 pounds, 299 pounds, or some unthinkable day, 120 pounds! I want it to be displayed whether I am having a good day or a bad day, whether my kids are obedient or having a stubborn kind of day, whether my husband and I are in marital bliss or discord. Whether I am at work, church, on vacation, or just hanging out with friends...I really want something "different" to show up concerning me, no matter the situation.
One of the other things that stood out to me is that FEAR seemed to be the key ingredient holding the rest of the gang back, and Caleb seemed to let go of his fear and focus on the fact that God had everything under control. If you remember the title of one of my last blog posts was indeed FEAR! God's timing is amazing! He knew just what I needed to read. Some day, I want God to say, "Sarah, you kind of reminded me of Caleb in that situation. I'm proud of you kiddo!" And I will respond by saying, "Thank you God. Thank you for changing my heart on that Monday in March...all while reading in the book of Numbers!"
Monday, March 26, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Now, I do not know the cause of death for Sylvania. I do know, that based on her size (and mine), there is a very real chance that is was caused by her obesity. Folks...this is REAL FEAR for me. More real than most. Because, not only did a girl named Sylvania, who I only know to see, die, but because my sister died from obesity too. I have not really covered it too much on my blog yet, because the anniversary of my sister's death was 10 days ago. I'm so emotionally raw.
7 years ago, on a Sunday afternoon, around 2pm my sister took her last breath. She was 20 years old. And do you know what the cause of death on her death certificate is? Myocardial infarction. A heart attack. My 20 year old sister died of a heart attack. Let that sink in. My first friend. My DNA buddy. My lifelong roommate. We ate the same foods. We did the same activities. We laughed and cried at similar situations. We were often mistaken for twins. We were called by each others names all the time too. We were only 14 months apart. And she died. From a HEART ATTACK. Something that is supposed to only happen to 75 year old men.
Do you see why this battle is so overwhelming for me? I sit here at 335 pounds. I've been at this weight far too long. As Lysa Terkeurst would say, "I've circled this mountain long enough." I'm ready to move forward and fast. Because, the last thing I want is my name in the obituaries with an age that is far to young.
I have spent way to many years fearing death. I need to gain some proper perspective on it. I need to mix my fear of death up with some faith. Some hope. Some truth from God's word. I need to remember that as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, that death is "to gain." Because, if I die, I will be going to Heaven. In Psalm 23:4 it says "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me." My pastors recently pointed out that it says the "SHADOW" of the valley of death. Shadows can be really scary, but they can not hurt you. I will only be in death's shadow, because what is really waiting for me is eternal life! I need to remember that!!!!
I'm so tired of this fear holding me back. My fear has kept me living in anxiety. Anxiety has kept me from being productive on my weight loss, causing me to often 'eat my emotions.' As a result, I have only gotten heavier and less healthy, when my goals were the exact opposite.
On Sunday, I am beginning a new Bible Study series called, "An Untroubled Heart." I'm not sure that I'm ready, but I've diving in anyways. These fears are REAL. They are not something I imagined. I could die right now because of my obesity. And if I don't continue to move forward and change, I will die way too young. And as much as I want to be in Heaven someday, I have a lot of work to do.
I have my babies to raise, and my husband to love. I have countless people to share Jesus with. I have at least two or three books in my soul that are waiting to be written. I have the mountains of Colorado to visit. I have a church to serve. A world to love on. I have work to do. And I can not move forward until I dealt with these fears.
So, will you please join me in praying today? For Sylvania's family as they mourn the loss of her, whatever that loss may have been caused by. Will you pray for me, please? That studying "An Untroubled Heart" will grow me? That I can remain dedicated to my eating and fitness plan? That I can conquer this and be healthy? That I can learn to work through my emotions instead of allowing them to control me? That I can live a long and healthy life, that includes serving the Lord to the fullest. That I can let go of my fear of failure and death and find a way to really LIVE.
As always, thank you for reading. The support and love you offer keeps me going when I feel I have no more fight left in me.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
written by Jill Hughes, who has recently reached her goal weight!
I can not wait until I am like Jill! At my goal weight (or at least closer to it!). I can't wait to answer this question "Was it worth it?' How amazing and exciting!
Thanks again Jill for letting me share your insight!
Love and prayers friends!
See what I mean? And that was just about 30 seconds worth of a train of thought. I drank a bottle of diet coke tonight, and as usual, I forgot what caffeine does to me! So, here I am! Jittery and unfocused!
Tonight I had my First Place for Health Bible Study. I love that group so much. But, I was disheartened to learn that we will not be meeting for the summer after May 22nd. That gives me two more months of weekly accountability. I think I am going to have to come up with another source of accountability...I'm praying that maybe two or three other people from the group will still want to meet, pray , plan and discuss...oh yeah...and weigh in! Last year, when we stopped meeting for the summer, I gained everything back, and MORE! I do NOT want to repeat that this summer. So, I will try to plan ahead and be proactive. Oh, and one more thing from First Place for Health...I lost 4.2 this week on their scale! This morning my scale weighed me in at 333! That would put me at 27 lbs lost! However, I want to see that number a few more times before I truly record it!
When I reach 330 I will have reached my 30 pound milestone! I am getting practical rewards at this point, since money is so tight, and when I reach that reward, I'm getting a new shower head! WOO HOO! It's going to be wondrous! :)
I've been working on adding more motion into my daily life. I've been walking all kinds of places! Whether its walking to Micah's school, around town, to church, or just walking up the stairs a few more times a day, I'm progressing. I'm really hoping the walking will help me shed some inches. I'm ready to fit into some jeans I found hiding in my closet!
The other thing I wanted to make sure I mention is the Online Bible Study I am starting in 4 days. I think I have more reservations about it than I realize. Perhaps more reservations about it than Made to Crave. Made to Crave really hammered on my food issues, but this next book, "An Untroubled Heart" by Micca Campbell is going to deal with letting go of my anxiety. The subtitle is "Finding a faith that is stronger than all my fears." Now, because it is late, and I intend to go to bed soon, I will not list my fears tonight, but sometime soon, when I have prayed about it, and feel ready to do so without going into a panic attack, I will list some fears for you. I am clouded by them constantly. And I know this book is what I need to move to the next spiritual level...I know it will bring me to a new place of trust in God.
However, I feel like I just went through a big transformation and I am still being transformed by Made to Crave. I'm scared to hit this nerve in my life. I hate to admit it, but my anxiety in a weird way gives me comfort about things. It almost feels like if I worry about something enough, that it protects me from whatever calamity I feel is about to befall me. Does that make sense? Probably not. Because it is foolishness!
So, I know I have to be in prayer even now, because unearthing this spiritual and emotional footholds will not be easy. And I need to really remember the truths from Made to Crave. French Fries will not comfort me when I'm hurting and growing from this book. God will. David will. My friends will. But, food will not.
So, I hope you are ready to take this journey with me! It's going to be hard! But, it's going to be fabulous! I can't wait to see what God is going to do in the next six weeks!
How about you? Leave me a comment letting me know what you see God doing in your life! How can I pray for you?
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Right now, at this very moment, I have a decision to make. You, my reader friends, are my helpers right now. I need prayer. I need to remember that my strength comes from the Lord. I need to remember that in DUE TIME I will reap benefits for my hard work.
It is so disheartening to see the scale absolutely stuck for the last two weeks. I was at 335 two weeks ago when I began writing in this blog. When I got sick, despite much leaving my body, I STILL gained, and was up to 339. Add in some hormonal issues, a little sleep deprivation, and yes, I'll admit it, some straying off my eating plan, and I was continually hovering around 337. But, this week, I've been so diligent. I've been disciplined with my eating. At MOPS, I avoided all the delectable treats, and feasted on a big, satisfying salad. Last night, when we had friends over for tacos, I made mine into a salad that followed my guidelines. I even passed on dessert and ate a Greek yogurt instead. I've made choices on our dinner with The Oakes Family and my parents that will help me be successful. I've been walking, and moving, despite a shoulder and ankle injury. I have kept pressing on, despite how hard it can be to do these things.
But, today, I weighed in, and it still said 336.4. *Sigh* How frustrating. I was so hoping for even 334.9 (I want below 335 so badly!). I'm going to carefully track every single bite today. I'm going to examine myself and make sure I'm not consuming more than I think. I will drink at least 100 ounces of water.
It's frustrating. I want to throw in the towel for the weekend and enjoy all kinds of goodies, especially since Lydia's rescheduled party is tomorrow. But, already as I spoke about examining myself, I've realized some issues I need to work on. #1. This week, despite my diligence in the eating arena, I haven't done my Bible Study like normal. I've read some good Christian things, even a few devotionals here and there, and I've gone to three small groups...yet, I haven't been digging on my own like I know I should. Perhaps getting truly realigned with scripture will help me. #2. I really do need to be tracking my food. Enough said. #3. I have had a few big emotional issues that I can't really talk to anyone about come up. I don't know how much truth there is about that hormone cortisol and weight gain in regards to stress, but it sounds like even though I can't talk to any other "human" about these things, that I need to chat with the Lord. I'm not sure why prayer comes so easily at times, and than other times, it's hard to even say hi to God.
I just posted on my dear friend Jenna's blog about this yesterday, and the same truth I wrote to her, I'm writing to myself (and perhaps you) this morning. A definition of a good week is not what the scale says, but rather our obedience. Even as I write this, its becoming more and more clear to me that perhaps I wasn't as obedient as I thought. Maybe, as I've told myself before, that pesky number on the scale isn't so bad (even when it rises) if you look at it as a reminder that when it is not where it needs to be, than chances are I'm not either.
So, I am going to make a choice to see that number not as a harsh punishment, but rather gentle discipline to draw closer to the Lord and to follow His commands for my life more closely right now. I'm looking forward to spending time with Him. Drawing my delight not from food, but rather from Him.
Wow...isn't it so funny how when we actually process things, and quit defending the "little" sins, how God can change things around? I didn't want to be guilty in this post. But, the truth is, I am guilty of not being surrendered. I hate being convicted of it, because its hard to swallow (especially since the tendency arises to say, "But, what about that person?), but I'm so grateful that the Holy Spirit takes the time to show me where I'm wrong.
Now, my next choice is to do the next right thing. That's a concept from Made to Crave that I always liked. One choice leads to another, to another. So, even though my family will be having chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, I will choose to have a veggie omelet. I will choose to do my Bible study this morning. I will choose to be in prayer with God. I will chug some water. I will track what I ate. And, tomorrow, if the numbers still haven't changed, I will remind myself to read this post again.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
So, David and I decided to have a date night. I cooked a high protein dinner (with yummy cantaloupe and pineapple on the side!). We ate slowly and with romantic music in the background. After dinner, David surprised me and asked me to dance. I loved every second of it. We had originally planned after that to go for a walk on the boardwalk (our wooded trail, which we love so much). But, I felt this fire creep up into me. I wanted to achieve something new tonight! So, I asked David if he would show me the 5K trail around town. He agreed.
As we headed down our street, then turned to climb the incline to our east, we did not go two blocks and my calves were already burning. I said to David, "We've hit 2 miles already, right?" :) Well, we kept walking despite the intense pain. I stopped at several telephone poles and risked public humiliation as I braced myself against them to stretch my legs out. I feel very conscious of my size doing things that look athletic like stretching! I felt a little better and we kept walking.
It was about 45 minutes into our walk when I desperately needed to stop and use the restroom at the gas station. While I was in there, safely out of the view of the public, I stretched like crazy. I got those legs nice and limber, and we bought a bottle of vitamin water while there too, so I could drink and avoid dehydrating, since this walk was taking a long time. After that, I really started making progress and enjoying our walk. This taught me that before I do any long walks, I'm going to do a brief 10 minute warm up and spend a lot of time stretching before we leave.
David was so patient, as he is a runner, and could have literally run 3 laps around me in the time it took me to finish. The police officer in town kept driving by and waving. I liked to think of him as my personal cheerleader and bodyguard! (Hahaha!)
The very last stretch of the 5K is climbing the big hill in the cemetery that is right next to my house. On the way up that hill (which seemed soooo long today) I began to get a little tunnel vision going on or something. I was also beginning to see spots. But, as soon as I got home, drank some water, and stretched some more those problems went away.
The total time for my 5K was 1 hour and 28 minutes. I know that is by no means a time that any normal person would be proud of for a 5K, but me...I'm thrilled!!!! I finished it. I keep having tears well up in my eyes because, though I have tried before, I have never finished a 5K. It reminds me of a passage in James 1:2-3
I really did feel absolute joy at the end of that 5K!
It feels really good to have a victory tonight. It came at just the right time. I was feeling like a failure lately, since I'm still struggling with my eating plan. But, many times in my life, I just need one victory to push me to the second one.
One of the most amazing things that is blowing me away is the support of people. I posted about my victory on Facebook tonight, and my page is blowing up with congratulations. That means the world to me. It gives me more reason to fight. That people really care that I'm taking care of myself. The accountability I receive from my blog, Facebook, and myfitnesspal.com are essential to my success. Being transparent and real about my struggles is hard, but it offers a whole new level of accountability that changes things from nominal to real. Thank you for being part of that!
Well, off to shower this sweat away, and hit the hay! Thanks again for reading and for supporting me on this journey!
Monday, March 12, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
I must say that I'm frustrated with myself right now. I made a commitment to God for lent to avoid carbs. But, have you ever tried to recover from a stomach flu on a high protein diet? Just in case you are wondering, it doesn't work well! So, I went to my old faithfuls..saltines and "get better shakes" which consist of sherbet and ginger ale. They were kind of my "warm up carbs" and that led into many more starchy snacks. But, tonight, I hereby declare, that is of the past! Back to veggies and protein baby! I'm ready to be obedient again!
Yup! Ready to be obedient, just in time for Lydia's birthday! (Seriously, I have BAD timing for turning back to the Lord! HAHAHA! Just kidding!) I know tomorrow will be a struggle. We have plans to walk to the ice cream shop tomorrow. But, I will remember how good being obedient is! It's way better than anything topped with whipped cream and nuts! Celebrating Lydia's life is so much more than a trip to the ice cream store anyways!
Infact, tonight, David and I had a sweet talk about our baby girl, who really is becoming quite the little lady. Do you mind joining me in reflecting on Lydia with me? Celebrating her life in the way it should be? Not by gobbling cake and ice cream, but rather marveling at the creation God has made her!
Lydia was born on March 11th, 2009. The timing of Lydia's birth was crucial. There were questions about her size, her lung development, and both of our health. The doctor did agree, and at 1:30 in the afternoon, our beautiful baby girl was born. Her blood sugar levels were low, but she was able to avoid the NICU by 1 point every time they checked her!
It wasn't long after Lydia was born that I knew something was not right with me. I couldn't stay awake. I was in pain, but I couldn't even figure out where the pain was coming from. I couldn't feed her. I could barely hold her. One of the nurses figured out I had a spinal headache, and I was sent down for a blood patch. That helped me get back on the mend, and we went home on time, despite a few set backs. Micah loved his new baby sister, and while I do not remember a lot about those first days, I do remember Lydia was a good eater and a good sleeper. She slept 5 hours straight our first night home! We could not afford a bassinet for her, so a friend of mine fashioned an adorable wicker basket into a makeshift bassinet. She was the tiniest little peanut, and she was just so sweet to watch sleep.
About a week after Lydia was born, I started to feel funny again. We went to the hospital that night, in which they did several tests on me. The CT scan came back with questionable results, and they believed that I had blood on my brain. I was terrified, holding my 7 day old baby hearing the possibilities. After an exam by a neurologist, it turned out that I just have a thickening of my brain...which is kind of comical now, but what a scare! We left that night with a diagnosis of yet another spinal headache, and an appointment was made for another blood patch. The next day, my friend Adriane came and took care of me and Lydia. I honestly have no idea who even had Micah in their care that day. I just remember sleeping with Lydia on my chest all day. I could not even open my eyes. The second blood patch was scary, but successful.
Finally, things seemed on the right road. I was feeling normal. I had a beautiful little healthy baby. Our family was happy and complete....for a few more days. When Lydia was about 2 weeks old, she developed a cough. She sounded terrible. I made an appointment for her right away and was told by our doctor that I was being overprotective and that all I needed to do was suction her nose and run a humidifier. Over the next few days, Lydia went through highs and lows. Some days she seemed perfect, other days she would hardly be stirring. I called the doctors office several more times, each time being assured that it was okay, and that I was overreacting.
Well, Lydia had been sick for about 4 days, but I felt like it was forever. We were out of groceries and I desperately needed out of the house. It was a beautiful, warm day. So, we packed up the kids, drove to town, and we decided that David would run in and get groceries, while I sat in the car with the children and enjoyed the sunshine. While at the grocery store, a friend saw us sitting in the car, and we made plans to go out to eat. We picked Dairy Queen, since there was a room off to the side that is usually empty, and Lydia would be safe from contact from others.
It was in that little room in Dairy Queen, on that pretty Saturday afternoon, that I felt like my world crashed down on me. As I was eating my lunch, I looked over at my baby girl, and she was blue. She looked lifeless. I have never moved faster in my life. I do not think we even said goodbye to Brian. We just ran and drove as fast as we could to the hospital. God knew what he was doing that day. Praise Him we were near the hospital. (Our home at the time was over 20 miles from the hospital. Dairy Queen was 2 miles.)
It took 9 days in the hospital, lots of drugs, lots of oxygen, and lots of patience, but our baby girl recovered from an awful bout of pneumonia. It was in the hospital that Lydia moved on to her next series of health issues. They included severe acid re-flux, food allergies, and suspected seizures (which were in reality her tremoring from pain from the acid re-flux). It took another hospital stay, countless more rounds of antibiotics, re-flux medicines, breathing treatments, and more laundry that one woman should ever face...but we made it through that first year. I still do not know how at times, but we made it. (Oh, and just in case you were wondering, we also switched doctors! NEVER tell a momma she's overreacting!!!)
Lydia's first year of life was honestly kind of miserable for all of us. She was in so much pain that she screamed constantly. I had to struggle to find joy in anything. I cried just about as much as she did. By the time she was one, she had made a full recovery, but I had landed in the midst of another battle.
Once again, so much of that next year is lost in my mind. I remember intense therapy sessions and moving to our pretty yellow house that God had given us. But, I remember so little about Lydia or Micah except Lydia was moody and Micah was compliant. I feel guilty about remembering it that way, but I was in survival mode. However, the great news is, that this last year, I have been able to make leaps and bounds in my mental health, and Lydia is doing wonderful! I feel like this is the first birthday I can really celebrate! I'm not in a cloud of sadness or worry!
And what a celebration it is. Our beautiful little red-head has moved from being constantly grumpy to the most energetic form of joy in our household! She makes us smile all the time. She has compassion for others that eludes even some adults! She loves her big brother and calls him her best friend! She loves to snuggle. Her daddy is her hero. Lydia loves to show her Papa that she loves him by picking on him! She loves her Gramma, Grammy, and Nanny. She loves to be doted on, the center of attention, and loves to remind us that she is a blessing.
And Lydia and me? Well, I think our relationship is just so special. We do everything together. She goes to work with me! She does devotions with me. We sing together. We snuggle. We talk. She prays for me if she sees me crying. We make each other laugh. She takes her pink blanky and rubs it on my face and tells me she "softing" me. I tell David all the time that Lydia is a 30 lb growth on my left side. Micah and Lydia are such motivation for me to be healthy, to live well.
So, for Lydia's birthday, I bought her a new coat, some new PJ's, and a beautiful tutu for our princess! But, really, I'm giving her something so much more. I'm fighting to be here for more birthdays. Because I love celebrating my baby girl (and my little man...but we will talk about him on May 2nd!). Who she has become. But, I also love celebrating who I am becoming because of her. The trials we've been through the last three years have made us all stronger, and appreciate each other more than ever. I'm just so thankful for her! For her birthday! And to recommit things to the Lord once again!
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
It's one that I can not identify.
I never know if it is off or on.
It doesn't seem to be affected by willpower.
It doesn't listen to reason.,
It follows no apparent rules or pattern, at least that I can identify.
And this switch DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!
Today, I got up. I did everything the same as I normally do. I hopped on the scale (which still says I weigh 337 by the way...which is up 2 pounds, and has been for the last three days), I got Micah off to school, Lydia and I went off to work. I did my Bible study there. It encouraged me. It inspired me. I felt moved to continue in obedience to God. I made a few phone calls. I drank lots of water. I cleaned up. I made lunch...and then it happened....the switch.
Suddenly, feeling of torment hit. I felt so hungry and deprived. I felt there was no way my lunch of veggie and chicken soup could sustain me alone. So, I sprinkled dry stuffing mix on my soup. Then, I ate some dark chocolate. And I nibbled on pieces of cheese and almonds and a handful of stale M&M's from my glove compartment. I think somewhere in there I ate some pretzels, a vanilla wafer cookie, and I'm sure there were other things that I can not think of. SERIOUSLY? What is wrong with me? Not even thinking about the spiritual side of things, I have weigh in tonight too!!!!
Why does this happen? Why can't I remember during those moments how much I am loved? Why do I still believe that somehow overindulging will make me feel better? Why do I not realize that the only thing that will follow is an upset tummy and guilt? Why can't I see past the chocolate, and look into the future and visualize me reaching my goals? Where is the real me at those moments? The child of God, being led by the Spirit? And how does that switch flip? And what causes it? These are all questions that I will be digging for answers to.
Does anyone else have a switch? What flips it? Any insight or wisdom to share with me?
I love those verses because it talks about the steadfast spirit. That is my hearts desire. I want consistency and stick-to-it-ness. I also want a willing spirit. It says when we are willing in our spirits that God can sustain us. That's encouraging to me. So, for now, until I figure out how to overcome the flip of the switch, I'm going to pray this Psalm back to God. And ask him for a complete filling of His Holy Spirit and the joy that comes with salvation.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Compare this verse with what I read in my Made to Crave devotional this morning....well...hold on...we will get there!
Remember last night? The shame I had? Well, I spent time in prayer, and I trusted God for forgiveness and grace. But, I still woke up with that "after-binge-hangover." That feeling of letting God down. Well, of course, God knew that needed to be dealt with right away, so Day 2 of the Made to Crave devotional (which I'm on!) was entitled "What If I Let God Down?" During this devotional Lysa's pastor gave her some very wise words, "How can you let God down when you weren't ever holding Him up?" Infact, as Lysa brought out, in Isaiah 41:10 it clearly states that God is upholding us!
What two incredible pieces of encouragement for me (and hopefully you) this morning! God started this work in me. He will carry it out. I'm not going to let Him down....as long as I keep clinging to Him. My prayer for today is that God's words from Scripture will swirl in my mind and motivate me to obedience. I pray that I will be strong and not grow weary from doing good. That I can keep in mind the harvest I can reap if I don't give up. I look forward to coming back in a day or two and being able to joyfully share the way God strengthened me and helped me.
Now for some practical "housekeeping." :)
If you have read my other posts on here, you know that I've been reading a lot. I draw a lot of insight from the books that I'm reading, so I am going to be practical for a moment and let you know what I'm working on.
First Place 4 Health Bible Study Series: Motivated to Wellness (This is what I do for my Tuesday night Bible Study). This book also coincides with the book "Motivated to Wellness." However, I only skim this book here and there, as the Bible Study book has been much more interesting to me than the actual book itself.
I just finished Made to Crave by Lysa TerKerust, and I loved it so much that I purchased the Made to Crave Devotional. It is just little tidbits of information to keep you going. Some of it is quotes from the book, other is new material and Scripture. It includes a thought for the day and a little prayer too!,
The Invisible War (What every believer needs to know about Satan, demons, and spiritual warfare) by Chip Ingram. This book really has helped me see how this battle of surrendering food to God is 100% a spiritual battle. It helps me know offense, and defense, and has helped me move on confidently when I didn't feel I could any more. I've been meeting with an amazing group of woman every 2 weeks to gain more insight on this book.
In about 3 weeks, I will also begin studying An Untroubled Heart by Micca Cambell as part of the proverbs31.org Onling Bible Studies.
I know that sounds like a lot, and some days it is, but as I have mentioned before, I have a hunger for God's word right now. And these books are filled with Scripture. So, I often have the book I'm reading in my left hand, while I'm taking notes and highlighting my Bible in my right hand. And, even though they are not on the same subjects, the overlap is amazing and encouraging.
Anyways, I just thought it may help when I mention books if you had a list of what they are. I would recommend any of the book to anyone who is struggling in ways similar to how I am stuggling.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
I feel that way all the time, but deep down, I know the 150th time I heard something in the last week was absolutely necessary for me to hear...in order for it to finally sink in.
That verse strikes a chord in me. What is good? Well, I know for sure that obedience to God is good. And I know for sure that God has called me to be healthy. I even know for this season of Lent that God has clearly called me to a rather restrictive eating plan. I know that God wants my body to be strong. These are all good things. And God clearly tells me to not become weary in doing these things. Yet, (I'm shaking my head right now...) I became weary today.
For the last 11 days, I have said no to sugar. No to carbs. No to fried things. Despite a couple restaurant meals, traveling last weekend, time with friends, and all other kinds of challenges, I continually said no. And it was empowering and felt awesome. However, today, I became weary. I'm not sure if it was my generalized mood. I'm not sure if it was exhaustion. I'm not sure if it was hormones. It could even be the fact that despite a commitment to 1500 calories, my body has not let go of weight the last few days. But, today, I snapped. I ate a cupcake at a party. Then, I had pizza dip, which in and of itself was not terrible, and actually fit right into my eating plan, but I slathered that dip on thick slices of crust. Then, apparently I decided that I needed chicken wings (with oodles of ranch, of course) and a candy bar. I'm not sure what happened. Or how. And, its hard to admit it. Shame is encircling me. I gave up the victory my friends. And it does not feel good.
I feel heart broken. I know I sinned today. I'm not saying that indulging every once in a while is sin, but I know for me, right now, in the season of obedience that God has clearly called me to, I did sin.
So, here is where the choice comes. I know I broke God's heart today. I broke my own heart today. So, I can choose to confess, repent and move on. Or I can stay in self-contempt and probably spend tomorrow and the following 8 or 9 days in a downward spiral.
You all know what I'm going to choose right?!? That's right! I'm picking myself up. I'm going to climb myself upstairs, get on my knees, and spend time with my glorious God in prayer. I'm going to ask Him for forgiveness. I'm going to ask him to help me remember the harvest that will come when I continually press on. I'll admit to my Heavenly Father that I'm scared. I'm scared of how I will survive Lydia's (my daughter) 3rd birthday party next week. How am I going to say no to cupcakes that day? What will I serve that will benefit everyone at the party? What if I fail again in another 11 days? I don't want to be disobedient to the Father who continually extends me grace. How can I get my mind to agree with my spirit?
I have none of those answers, but they are waiting for me. So, for now, I'm signing off. I have an important visit with a God who loves me, covers me with grace, even when I can barely handle the thought of going to him. But, I want to leave with one little thought...without the Scriptures I've studied over the last 6 weeks with Made to Crave, I would never have realized that God wants to hear from me right now. My shame would distance me from him for weeks at a time. Please, get into the Word! Let it rescue you from sin! I'm just so thankful for the TRUTH God has provided me with...especially for moments like these!
Can you share a moment with me, when God's word clearly provided the direction, comfort or grace you needed?
Friday, March 2, 2012
This word first made its appearance in my mind by a group of Bible verses that Chip Ingram, author of "The Invisible War" suggested that a person should memorize if desiring to be strong during times of spiritual warfare. Chip listed four verses, and three of the four contained this word.
Then, as I flipped the pages of Made to Crave to the very last chapter, I saw the word again in the chapter title.
Are you wondering what the word is yet?
I did not find it at all ironic that this word appeared in both books that I have been studying. As I have studied spiritual warfare and craving God, I have learned that so much of my battle with food is a spiritual one. And truth be told, I'm so tired of falling victim to Satan. I'm ready to be an OVERCOMER!
So, I wanted to share a little bit of my heart with you and what being an overcomer looks like to me. The thing that surprises me most is that for the longest time I never thought I could be an overcomer in size 34 pants. (Yes, I just shared my pants size with whoever is reading this!) Ahhh, but you see...I believed the lie that Satan was feeding me. He also told me I could never be an overcomer who weighs 360 pounds. And now that I'm 25 pounds lighter, Satan probably wants me to believe that victory is impossible at 335 pounds too.
But, do you know what? Tonight, I was an overcomer! My husband and I decided to celebrate my 25 pound victory with a trip to the shoe store. I need some new shoes with better support for my walking that I'm just starting to add to my routine. And, we figured since we had traveled that far, we may as well have dinner. But, I was an overcomer. I looked up nutrition information before we went. I planned out my meal. I choose food that falls into a rather restrictive eating plan. And when my little garden salad (with dressing on the side!) came with a big, beautiful bread stick on top of it, I politely asked the waitress to return that bread stick to the kitchen! I couldn't believe it! And you know what? I still enjoyed dinner! Thoroughly! And I can celebrate obedience to God!!! THAT IS OVERCOMING!
I can't help but let my mind get excited about other ways I can overcome in the future! How about when I'm working with my preschoolers at VBS and I'm not dripping with sweat? How about when my doctor finally says, "Congratulations! You can come off those medications!" How about when I finally see 299 on the scale...I still have a hard time imagining not seeing a weight with a 3 in front of it! How about when I can finally walk a 5k? (I'll worry about running later!!!) How about when I encourage others to let go of their food addiction? How about when I can actually buy a pair of pants from Target or Walmart?!? Someday I could actually wear regular sizes! I'm actually trembling at the thought of accomplishing some of these!
But...I MUST REMEMBER...NONE OF THIS IS POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE POWER OF CHRIST!
I truly look forward to overcoming these issues and to the victory that lies ahead. But, I pray that I never lose sight of where the real victory is...being able to serve Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind and strength...and a fit, healthy body!
So, how about you? What victories do you look forward to? How did you overcome today? Do you believe that you can overcome the world? Are you clinging to Christ and His Word? Please, join with me today! Be an OVERCOMER!