The truth about us according to Sheldon

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And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32

Let’s just get to the truth of us.  We are different.  The truth about me is that my life is different than yours.  I didn’t always think that way, nor did I allow myself to.  There was one person who came to me early and said “it couldn’t be done.”  I said, “What?”  I only stated I wanted to lead people to the heart of God through word and deed.  She said, “Everyone wants to do that.”  Oh yeah?  “Why not me too?”, I asked silently.

For years, that took a turn for the worse in my mind.  I found myself thinking that if everyone is doing that, it meant it I couldn’t do it.  If writers where already doing that there was no room to try.  Was she frustrated with that goal in her life and was she tired of trying to prove it to the writing world?  If so, then I why should I even consider doing the same?

I believe that God puts things inside of us to make a difference in our worlds.  I write mostly because it’s my way of expression of what has happened in my life, the lessons I have learned along the way, and the path that I follow as I draw near to God’s heart.

I don’t know how you think about significance in the world.  There a part of us that always wants to call attention to ourselves, to say “look at me, look at what I have done, look at what my life means, look over here, look at who I am!”  Thus the birth of Instagram.  We look here or there, we look everywhere for our place to make a difference and to be a difference maker.  Have you ever considered your significance was set long ago?  Did you know that you too are significant FROM the middle of God’s heart?

Maybe you have let go of a dream that seems unattainable.  There are ideas in your mind that seem huge and grandeur.  You just need some attention and you are looking everywhere to make your little niche in the world, hoping secretly someone, anyone, will notice you.  I don’t know about you but I know what all those feelings feel like.  There were years that I mourned the loss of my dreams, in fact, the desire to blog at all died a little.  Guess what?  My numbers tanked.

So what’s the point of this little letter to you? When it comes to dreams, goals, and the desires of your heart, there is only one Person that knows you better than you know yourself.  Goodness, I am so thankful that I didn’t listen to one person’s opinion.

I am so glad that I didn’t have the math seed planted inside of me also.  This idea seems a bit trite doesn’t it?  From where I sit, there are so many people proving themselves by the numbers.  From what I see, THAT is a highly competitive field where there is no place for a newbie like me.  Science, math, and the proving of all things theory related enters the realm of discovery that is bursting at the seams.  Honestly I’ll let Sheldon handle those issues.  (Big Bang Theory)

The truth about us is that God has placed seeds of Himself inside of us that are unique to just us.  Life travels across our lives and gives out big doses of discouragement and failure everywhere.  I have found out that it’s about your perspective about those failures that take a toll on your life.  My writing mentor, a published author of now four titles, says struggling with these desires to do what you think you are to do in this life is normal.

We don’t talk about that though.  What if you knew the truth about us deep thinkers who can’t comprehend math problems?  Does that make us less significant?  Where are the most popular, the most important, the highest read blogs, the biggest elephants, the giants?  Where are the creative thinkers in this world that flunked High School English?

There is a place in this world for warriors of the Word.  I’ve always wanted to prove that I was normal.  For years, I’ve lived an extreme lifestyle by living in obesity.  Living in extremes on the outside of my life is really an indicator of what is churning on the inside.  Yes, I’ve lived my share of rejection, cancer, medical crisis after medical crisis, oppression, slavery, intimidation, etc.  Many outside hindrances that have stabbed my desires to behave or react one way or another.

The truth about me that when I wanted to find who I was in this world, and step into my destiny, the biggest hindrance was me and what I believed about me.  I had forgotten who God was in my desires and delights.  Could that be true about you?

We have nothing to prove in this world except how to love to others.  

It’s all about God.  The truth about us is that we want the world to know more about us, than about God.  That’s why we live those happy-joy-joy-lives in the virtual world on Facebook and Pinterest.  That’s why when we dress for the day, we put on our contentment masks and act all happy significant and confident.  We want people to look at what WE are doing over what God is doing in us.  It’s is a dog-eat-dog world out there in three exact words, I would guess even Sheldon knows that.

“I have to prove myself to the world, because that is the only way I will gain importance and significance.” ~ lair, lair pants on fire! some old wise proverbial thinker.  When we are clamoring to say, “Look at what I have done!”  aren’t we are calling attention to ourselves, and not expressing God’s true heart for the world?.  Does God keep a list or a tally of the numbers, the gains, the faults, the flaws, and the failures?

When we are seeking the heart of God, His approval and significance is all we need.  Perhaps that person was right when she said, “Everyone wants to do that.”  Yeah, in fact, I believe there are more wanting to express themselves over the Perfect Love in this world.  There are certainly many preachers, teachers, and wannabes.  But when you are proving your significance about yourself, honestly I don’t want any part in that role.

The world is already full of empty hearts showing off.  The world is full of those spouting opinions for their right to be right or heard.  There are already plenty of voices that demand attention in ways that are gaining the world’s significance.  That place isn’t my place.  If I can’t write it from a heart of love FOR my Father, then there is no reason to be in a place that is just calling attention to me.  Freedom calls us to speak the truth about us, in view of God’s mercy.  So if I am feeling the right to be heard, or the right to express myself according to my way of thinking then, I need to go back to my quiet place and remember where my significant place comes from in this world.

This place isn’t my significance.  That was finished in three simple words, “It is finished!”  That’s my place in His heart.  To make God‘s name known, not my own.  So, I’ll be here writing from my place in this big ‘ole word world, with my only number one agenda, that God is truth.  He is always right, and He is at work in me to perfect me along every path in life.  And the truth is it was proven long ago.  My role here prove His love and significance to the world.

When you need to change your prayers

Isaiah 43:2  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

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There was a time in my life that I kept asking God the “why” question.  I was obsessing about what was going on in my life at the time.  Chaos was ruling my thoughts, I knew that God had me in His grip but there was some pretty desperate things going on around me, and creating worry, stress, and concern everywhere I looked.

Then cancer hit our family.  And I added another “why” to my list of prayers to God.  “Oh God, ‘why’ my husband and not me?

I don’t know where cancer hits you, but it hit our family like a Mack truck, just like the one my husband used to drive.  It hit hard, fast and within a few tests.  I was crying out to God literally all the way home one day from his first surgery.  Why God?

“Why God, why my husband and not me?

Why? Why? Why?

“I’m the strong one God, why him?”

God’s response?  “Because I want to prove my strength through your husband.”

When life hits you with this kind of tragedy, you feel like you can’t breathe.  When your entire life is on a “bobsled to Hell”, it’s hard to look up and not ask “why him”, or “why her?”  “why my child?”  How about when everything you know that is safe, familiar and comfortable is ripped from your grip?

It’s difficult to not respond with our “why” questions.

What God showed me was to not ask why but to show me my devotion as my husband’s helper and to give strength in ways that God knew I had.  We came out of that cancer season alive.  We survived that season through the strength that God supplied.  We went through that with many promises of healing, and it was the just one of the difficult seasons of our marriage.

Life is full of tragedies, but God never causes them.  He does strengthen us through each of one of them.  And I have found great strength since that one cancer-filled season.  I go back to those days often, remembering the faithfulness of God who didn’t give me what I wanted but showed me how to meet the needs of our family.

God showed me His Strength to carry on, and the true hope of healing.  Thank you God for hearing my prayers and answering them in a way that only gives you glory.  

My unforgettable meet up with Jon Acuff

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One giddy girl with Jon Acuff, yes he was more excited than the picture reflects.

I was giddy like a school girl honestly.  I was in line to see my favorite “author-crush”, the infamous Jon Acuff.   Many of you know his humor from Stuff Christians Like.  And many books later, he has penned yet another best-seller, Do Over.  Through his writings I have had a secret “I want to write like him” obsession for years.

It’s okay to have role models in your dreams.  That’s really who Jon Acuff is to me.  You see, Jon Acuff is a dreamer.  He taught me how to dream.  But more than that he taught me how to see art within myself and he doesn’t even know it.

My husband has taught me to be the same.  Terry was my first fan in this whole writing thing.  But I always believed that he was because being married to me requires him to be.  I but I realized he’s been a supporter of my art since day one.  He has been awesome in his protection of my dream, as well as giving me permission and freedom for it.

I’m just now seeing some of my dream realized in what I have spent years developing on my own.  I have an incredible story that I am sharing in book form of losing 132 lbs. naturally by God’s most awesome help.  Do you know that Satan has been saying “my story isn’t big enough, it doesn’t matter, and isn’t significant?”  Yeah, a triple trifecta lie!  Can I just tell you how hard it is to fight the enemy on your own?

I find it interesting that this very weight loss battle became a battle when I crossed the enemy lines and had to fight my way out.  Now it seems like a battle in my new lifestyle as I’m trying to get my story out.    You see, sharing my story is something I know that I am supposed to do.  While I can’t control the outcome, I can share what God is doing in my life and what He has done for me.  He literally has saved me twice.  The first time was for my salvation need and then the second time, after I surrendered my will to overeat every food group on the face of this planet to Him, then He saved me from a certain path of self-destruction.

I get to share God’s glorious work by doing what God has gifted me to do.  As I trust God for the results of where this little book is going to go, I also trust God to be faithful that the work He is doing on the inside of me completes me as it’s completed.  It’s who I am and how I have been encouraged lately to do one of the things that God has called me to do.

So back to why I was giddy.  Upon meeting Jon, (because we are tight like that now) I didn’t know what I was going to say when I actually met him.  I was just praying that I wouldn’t make a fool of myself in front of him.  Instead he encouraged me with a HUGE way it was heaven sent. What Jon Acuff did for me my husband couldn’t do.

When you listen to a negative voice about dreams it takes a toll on that part of you that does the dreaming.  I wanted what others saw in me and it was if I was challenged to want to fight for it.  God overpowered the enemy’s lies as it took a complete stranger to validate me.  Jon Acuff did that because he’s in the “business of writing and dreaming”, says my husband.

Yes, that’s it!

I held Jon Acuff in a position of authority in my mind about all things dreaming, writing and merging the two worlds together, and after I received it I was able to move forward in my dream fulfill my purpose on this earth.  God delivered it THROUGH Jon Acuff for His purposes because I kept missing it from my husband.  I love how God does that, gets our attention in ways that only mean something special to just us.

As I shared that I was writing a book about my weight loss, Jon Acuff said this:

“Your book is going to help people!”  he said.  I asked him “How do you know you haven’t even read my story?”  Jon replied, “No, I haven’t but I know people.  And because of what YOU have done, they need to know.  But here’s the thing, YOU get to go first.  And it doesn’t have to be perfect.”  

I melted on the inside, one super-foolish girl tear.  Talk about powerful.  Everything he said was like a bar of gold, wisdom of it’s finest quality.  That’s all it took to set this little writer titillating, happy, and back to her little laptop and set up serious shop to crunch out this story.

Guess what my husband said…when I told him this?  Not “I told you so!” or “I’ve told you that so many times.”  No, he continued to support me as he always has.  He considers me a very creative person on her way to doing great and mighty things for God.  Now I may take my liberty in doing this via the “scenic route”, but he still remains of the best supportive fans of what I do.  It’s with God’s freedom and by our trust in God to take this weight loss message where only God can.

My husband leads me in ways that sometimes I can’t lead myself.  With my trust in God, I am validated in my role within my family, my ministry, the works of my hands, and in life.

Thank you Jon Acuff for being a part of this process.  I’ll never forget you.

One small step towards a smaller you

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In less, than 24 hours from now you will be in the middle of tomorrow.  You might have some regret about what you ate yesterday, or today if you let go of Monday.  Because after all it’s coming faster than you think.  I’m here to tell you that Monday’s don’t have to be so bad, if you don’t let yourself go to the dogs today.

There is one principle that I live by that helps me face Monday, and every other day of the week.  I eat, exercise, and live by this:

Choose today by how you want to feel tomorrow.

If you choose to eat healthy today, like passing on that root beer float, then tomorrow you won’t have the Monday blues when you face off with the scale.

If you choose to let Sunday be your rest day for exercising, then don’t eat the extra calories you didn’t burn in your run today.

With these choices, you are preparing to live for tomorrow in a way forward instead of re-grouping or restarting first thing on a already hard day.

Doesn’t our week really begin on Sunday?

You see there are some Mondays where we get stuck in the starts.  There are days we just get stuck.  If you can find balance in losing weight, you’re less likely to take dips in your dreams of achieving your goal.  When you bring balance to your healthy eating and exercise plan and you are inviting over all good choices to your life.  You aren’t living from food crisis to food crisis or swinging from weekend extremes.  You can choose to keep yourself on an even keel.

Preparation is choosing to eat healthy 24/7.

So if you are in a place of balance don’t do anything that is going to tip the scales!  Keep going, keep choosing, keep making good choices.  Keep working towards your goal.  A step away from where you were is one step closer to your goal.

We know Monday is coming but yet one day it hits us by surprise every week.  It’s time to consider the consequence of bad choices today.  The best choice to make for each and every day regarding good health and over all wellness is balance.  Preparation is key when seeking balance and staying on top of it.  And the good choices you make today can help you prepare for a better tomorrow.

That kind of thinking works for every day, for any day of the week and in so many ways!  You are re-training your mind to bring consistency and continued wellness.  No more overindulging because it’s Saturday or Sunday or party day.  I fell into this trap for years.  Balance is a choice, helps you prepare for tomorrow and it gets you one step closer to your smaller you and a more healthier, happier you!

One time I was a hot mess like the Baobab tree

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The Baobab Tree, Africa

No one likes to wait or can we actually enjoy waiting?  We all go through those hot, dry messy seasons, don’t we? Yes, friends, even me.  I wrote a post once that ranked high and included this excerpt from one of my prayer journals…(dated 3 years ago).

“I yearn for your answers God. You know my prayers, my hopes, dreams and desires. I long for Your promises to be complete. Sometimes the waiting period seems unbearable. Your will seems cloudy and unclear. The waiting seems excruciatingly endless.”  I was in a hot mess of a season, smack dab in the middle of the heat, with a whole lot of tears and there was no oasis in sight.

Many of you know what that feels like, I think. Perhaps your unspoken desire is for your broken marriage to be restored, your rebellious teenager to return home or a family member’s health to improve. Maybe you’re waiting for your turn to have a good day.  Maybe you have allowed toxins in your mind with so many negative thoughts you don’t which way to look anymore. Maybe you are waiting for the right person to be “the one”. Maybe you just don’t know what you want in life. You wait. You pray. You wait some more. And you beg heaven to hear. You wring your hands just wishing this season was over and done with.

The Bible is full of people who waited. Godly people like Abraham and Sarah had to wait till they were really stinkin’ old to have their first child. At that point, I would have given up long ago. Joseph was sold as a slave by his own brothers, only to end up in prison for years before his promise of royal authority became a reality in his life. I would’ve thought that old Joe’s life wasn’t trackin’ like he had planned.  Those years certainly couldn’t have been his easy or best years, or were they?  It seems life stalled out for these people.  I know a missionary couple who have been waiting for a piece of paper for months.  My daughter and family have been displaced from their home for ten months!

If you find yourself in a similar situation, how do YOU find yourself? Are you in a hot mess too? Are you in the middle of dry spiritual season with no oasis? How did these troopers of the old testament trudge on? Why didn’t they give up? How do you wait for a promise?  And how do you know that heaven hears?

And thus the long line of questioning begins all over again. You know honestly we can stir up a lot of trouble in our minds by just assuming that God doesn’t hear our prayers. If ever there is a truth to be learned it’s this:  He hears each and every one!  He knows our thoughts before we know them in fact.  And it takes these waiting seasons when heaven is silent to recognize one simple truth.

God doesn’t work against us. God is for us.

Look at Abraham and Sarah. They had the promise of many generations to come but for years they stood barren among the people they were leading. Joseph was held captive for too long before he could establish his legacy seemingly not arriving at the right place at the right time.  Maybe the wait has to do with their prosperity, not their promise.  There can be long periods of waiting for us all in our different situations and circumstances. And in those waiting times our faith is put to the test. Nothing bears witness in your soul as a wait.

Recently God tapped me on the shoulder and asked a simple question, like He did Peter on that one morning on the beach. They had just feasted on some fish and swapped stories about their latest catch. Jesus is among them, not fully known just yet, asking them if they were ready to move from a waiting season to a prosperous season.

“Do you love me more than these?” Oh those words must have fallen with surprise on Peter’s heart, like it did mine. “Of course, Lord, I do”, I simply smiled and said the appropriate answer. He asked it again, “No, do you love ME more than the things of mine.” I blinked pondering my response. Oh yeah…that! Was I willing to wait for what God had for me? Was I willing to wait even if the promise never came? Am I willing to share my faith even if one book of mine is never published? Do I love Jesus more than living under the anointing of writing anything? If there was never another scrap of paper to scribble a half-thought blog, would I still love Jesus?

Ps. 119:123-124, “My eyes strain to see your deliverance, to see the truth of your promise fulfilled. I am your servant; deal with me in unfailing love, and teach me your principles.”

“Deal with me in your unfailing love Lord.”  That was my response…eventually. Now I know that kind of unfailing love that always knows what our best words forward are. And when I look to His Word to me, written by the beat of His heart through inspired writers, it causes me to focus my deep love back to where it needs to be. Again.

How often we want to know God’s plan before we obey God’s plan?  How often God catches us unaware of our looking to the gift instead of the gift Giver. The season I spoke of at the beginning of this post was a hot mess for sure as I was in deserted place with a mindset in a paralyzed state.  God wants our obedience in love first and foremost, there could or could not be an explanation later to the purpose or His plans for us. The echos of my momma’s voice came loud and clear, “Because I said so, I am your parent!” (But God’s tone was oh so gentle like the ocean’s breeze on a sandy beach.)

I dropped some hot mess baggage in that dry, sandy season.  I came away released from a HUGE period of doubt couple of months ago. Again. It was a long, hot time with the Lord but let me tell you, it is over. It’s like physically stepping onto the shore of promise with a new pair of shoes. My feet are still a little dusty from the traveling but as I think back, I was never wandering aimlessly. I eventually got to a place where I was content in the waiting as my need to wait overrode my need to understand.

If I could only know then what I know now. Oh but I learned well my friends…so well!

When we are talking about deep love, it’s always worth waiting for. The wait puts us in a position to receive the finest of Loves. My need for control faded as I took joy in my oasis season. I didn’t have to wonder what God was up to because I trust Him implicitly with my life. My need to control took a back seat to His omnipotence. My need to understand is overshadowed by His peace. My next steps are clear and open with His light shining on each blessed step. I am content in not knowing because honestly it would send me running to the hills with my tail tucked between my legs. (that last lesson is a joke people, I’m not afraid of the future anymore).

I enter a new season of gratitude. I needed the desert season more than I can say. Like Abraham and Sarah needed it. I needed to align my heart with His direction to have perfect patience in all seasons. I needed that one on one alone desire that He has set in my heart. I needed to learn the ways of the Holy Spirit to follow God and be empowered by His way.

I needed to learn the desert instinct for spiritual survival. I needed to stop my way of thinking about it being hot and messy and let God take His time to position me for my next season of inspiration. Yes, it was and is good, right and complete. I gave God, who stands outside of time, permission to take all the time He needed to walk me through that season. Hot, messy, barren, heavy, and inching my feet through the grains of time. I endured by clinging to the promise at the end. His promise of a deeper love that is always working FOR me.

Now my eyes don’t strain. His promises are clear. I have them tucked in my heart.
Now I don’t have to re-dress for spiritual warfare, I stay dressed and armed with truth.
Now, I don’t have to regain my hope and peace, because I never let go of it.
Now, my joy is continuous and full.
Now, I’m excited, refreshed and on fire.

Something changes from the inside out as you feed your soul and spirit with the ways of the Holy Spirit. It’s a hot fire that can’t be quenched. I am finding MUCH delight in worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I know that my faith that has grown exponentially and enlarged from season to season. Inside to outside, back to front.

There’s a legend out of Africa about the Baobab tree.  This variety is beautiful and is often referred to as the “upside-down tree” because its branches resemble roots sticking up. It’s said that it lives thousands of years by it’s own deep roots that enable it to find water underground, and it stores water in its trunk during rainy months to sustain it through the dryer periods.

“Yes, God you are my nice oasis in the dryer periods. Finish the perfecting work you have started in me no matter…how long it takes.”  Have you had to wait on God for a specific answer to prayer? What did you learn in your waiting?

A question we all wrestle with

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Philippians 3:13-14 “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

“Why do I hurt?”  People often come to me with that exact question.

We have all asked it and it is definitely something to grapple with.  An even bigger reason to ask is to find a purpose in the pains of life.  Would a nurse or a doctor eventually become calloused to the question, since they hear it over and over?  Would insensitivity to the question be a natural response in dealing with so many hurts, wounds and pains like they do daily?   Dealing with hurt is just what they do, but it’s true that they are trained to handle it.

Is there a purpose in spiritual hurts, pains and wounds?  I don’t know the answer to yours but for me it’s a place of more healing that I couldn’t learn otherwise.  Paul wrote in Philippians about pain, hurts and weaknesses a lot.  So I gravitate to the truth that he finds through his gift of encouragement from the Lord.  Philippians includes Paul’s thoughts and responses to these topics:

…advancing the gospel.

…imitating Christ’s humility.

…no confidence in the flesh.

…pressing on towards the goal.

…encouragements from the field.

Truth is people are hurting everywhere in many ways.  And we are looking for a purpose or meaning in life.  Paul even prayed specifically for something that interrupted his purpose from time to time, his “thorn”.  It was a weakness that he asked God to remove several times.  What would be the purpose in leaving this “thorn” as a place of weakness for Paul?  I believe it was in those hard times of seeking God that Paul was shown the reason for it.  Couldn’t you imagine those were dark times loaded with pain, hurts and heartaches, but failed to see them for his own good?

One way to look at pain is to embrace it.  All of life is our teacher and offers purpose in each day if we let it.  Pain, hurt, and heartaches invade our days and becomes a lifestyle in how much of it we can tolerate, the length of hurt, the width it spreads, and the depth it reaches.  Pain impacts our lives in so many ways.  It’s in those dark days that we are reminded that we need God the most.

It’s in those times that we need Him most that He shows us that He is enough.

And yet discovering this truth….we continue to ask…”why?”  Why us, why them, why my spouse, why my child?  Why now?

A friend asked God the same why question day after day.  A young mom herself, who was HIV positive, she took on two more children with the same HIV positive virus.  They have to take medicine as part of their daily routine.  Two of them are very young and as they swallow their daily medications, the kids also swallow the pain that has gotten them to this place in their lives.  Their reality is that they were forgotten, outcast and there was no one to care for them.   At young ages, they too have so many questions that can’t be answered. Then God brought them to my friend and she is now their adoptive mother helping them heal from their forgotten and broken life.

One day, she dared to ask God why “them” and why “now”?  God gave her the purpose she needed to hear, it was “His hope to carry on”.   How reassuring for this young mom to catch hold of God’s vision of being the caring mother they needed as she also deals with the same issues and needs, ones that her young ones can’t communicate well.

Think about the thoughts that must float through a forgotten child’s heart though.  Now think about it in the silence of life, how those unloving thoughts must have started many sore places, a past they are trying to forget.  There has to be some emotional scars that remain.  In advancing true restoration complete transformation is needed for all of our lives.  With a purpose of hope and a love of that only our Savior can give, God continues to grant His peace, hope and grace in dealing with the pain of this young mom.  He does the same for us in pains, wounds of the past, and hurts of today.

Understanding the purpose of pain and heartache somehow helps us deal with the daily suffering that He has called us to.   It helps us have the real hope to carry on day after day.  And since I’ve heard her story, I know she is leading them to Jesus too.  Her purpose is to connect in their place of constant pain to give her family a hope and redemption from such a broken past.

She is sharing her life thus advancing the gospel.

She is reflecting Christ’s humility, thus being Jesus to them.

She has weak-kneed flesh most days but has confidence in her faith.

She presses forward towards the goal of healing, even when she can’t see results.

Her story inspires me to carry on the same hope in my painful days.

Jesus is enough in our pain.  Even the pain of sudden death as it tragically rips life from our families too.  How often we ask the “why now” question when death intersects with our hurting hearts.  But I believe we wouldn’t know that part of Christ until we experienced those kind of sufferings, and let His Spirit comfort us in the most intimate ways.

For every pain there is a purpose for restoration.  That statement alone gives me all the hope I need to carry through them all.

How to Survive your weekend without having 10 lbs of guilt

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I can remember a time in my life that I had lost up to 104 lbs. but was still in trouble.  I had easily slipped into a bad mentality that still tempts me some days.  When I remember the guilt of those days however, it compels me to stick with it and not give into temptations on the weekends.

Fridays are fun aren’t they?  We tend to think it’s the wrap of the week and the start of all things adventurous and fun.  Especially in the summer, we let our eating plans take a vacation.  I bought into the the philosophy that I could eat like I wanted to on Saturday and Sunday because I had been good all-stinkin-week.

Since we are friends, let me tell you that Monday comes calling faster than you want when you fall into that food trap.

What I have learned over the years filled with many tears of regret is this:

Monday’s motivation quickly fades by Wednesday.

So how do you avoid this constant temptation to let the weekend schedule dictate and dominate your good health?

First:  You have to do what is right for you.  When I lost my weight I went extreme and was very strict with my choices.  It was out of necessity for myself only.  That doesn’t mean what has worked for me, is your only answer.  You must make your choices according to what your body needs.  You know you better than I know you.

Second:  You must decide how to plan for you.   Every meal is full of choices.  That doesn’t mean you have to let your feelings about food dictate your choices.  That doesn’t mean that you should restrict yourself either but don’t give yourself license to deserve a food reward because you have been choosing good choices all week long.  Choosing healthy options takes intention and planning.  Know where you are going and what food is available.  If your choices are limited, then prepare for those meals ahead of time, take your own healthy options.

Third:  Remember that Monday is coming.  Why is it we need to reward ourselves with food?  Why is it that we need a reward for making it to the weekend?  Because…we are stressed.  We live to fast, we eat too fast, we pray over our meals quickly, we die too soon.  My mom, who is 89, has a saying “that we grow old too soon, and grow smart too late.”   At 89, she has lived a lot of life and is wise beyond her years.  Monday comes after Sunday every time.  I finally realized it took me five days to undo what I could eat in two days.  Not worth it to me.

The thing about Friday is we are tired.  We are stressed.  We have worked too much and too hard.  We put a lot of pressure on our bodies to perform.  We need to take care of ourselves and relax a little.  Unfortunately I used to think that every Saturday and Sunday as I danced around food.  I rode that weight teeter totter ride for too many years.  I would obey my food rules Monday through Friday, but come the weekend it was food on!  And I ate like Monday didn’t exist.  Or certainly ate more than I should of.  I am ashamed that I wasted a lot of time in that lifestyle.

Let me encourage you to plan your food for the two days of the week that tend to wreck you.  Monday is coming and you don’t want to start your week with extra pounds, guilt, shame or regret.  Remember you have to do what is right and good for you PLUS you are the only one who is going to take care of you.

How do you plan for the w-e-e-k-e-n-d?

Don’t let your “mind be mad at you”

lady thinking

I’ve not been shy about what this blog is about.  I will talk about God…a lot.  That’s gotta be okay with you because I’ve got some great stuff to relate to you.  Just the other day, I laughed out loud at the simple truth my four year old grandson, Avery, blurted out at the end of an argument he was having with his momma, my daughter Lindsay.

“My mind is mad at me right now!”

I thought to myself “what in the world?”  They were discussing the opportunity to watch TV, and as his momma she controls the remote therefore she tries to put a limit on his screen time.  She draws the line at an hour tops for the day.

Come on people, it’s summer in Colorado, who wouldn’t want to be outside right now?

The problem Avery was having was that he had “spent” his allotted hour on a show earlier in the day.  He wanted another hour to watch something different.  She reminded him that he had already used up his “TV” time.  Then Avery, bless his little heart, tried to justify his choice.  He stated emphatically that he didn’t really WANT to watch that show previously, but really, really, really wanted to watch another program.  Then he added emphasis to his statement as if that would help.

“Mommy, I didn’t mean to watch that show, my mind is mad at me right now!”

I don’t know about you friends but this just struck me in my funny bone.  How often we realize our bad choices and then try to justify them.  We give every excuse in the book outside of saying “I made a wrong choice.”  We explain it away, and usually blame it away. Don’t we want to have another chance at making a good choice?

More often than not, we choose unwisely again and again and unwise habits soon become comfortable and convenient.  We slip further and further away from good choices, and then it takes an awakening to remind us what a good choice is.

I don’t know about you and how you choose things in life, but I know for a fact that life is full of making them.  God has given you a free will to choose.  Many of you choose wisely and many do not.  Just take a look at Facebook and read some of those bad choices but don’t join into the pity party they are throwing there.

As I was thinking about this funny exchange between son and parent, I couldn’t help but think how we justify our choices to God.  Yup, I told you I’m going to talk about God a lot here.  How often do we mess up on a daily basis?  We all sin but honestly some people just don’t care whether they ever change to be better.  Some do, many do not because they are playing the blame game.  You are too comfortable in your bad habits.  You fear change, and you don’t want to give up something that gives you comfort.  When we are called accountable to what we have caused, messed up or even fell victim to we often try to give blame to a situation, circumstance, bad habit or bad heritage.

I know this all too well.  For years I blamed my parents for my weight issues.  I thought and believed I had inherited my mom’s genes in regards to being overweight.  What I didn’t get from my dad’s side is the gene that keeps you at your high school weight 70 years later.  I often blamed my own physical inability to shed weight.  I made bad food choices time and time again and it took something outside of me to make me change.

I have always wrestled with my weight issue as long as I can remember.  I used to say I was born fat.

There was a day when my mind was mad at me for the wrong choices I had fallen into.  I had to take ownership of my eating disorder.  I had to come to grips with a safe boundary for healthy living.  I had to take hold of my genetic DNA and confess to God that I had really messed up His original design.

Believe me I offered every excuse in the book in the moment of my reckoning.  But through the gentle working of the Holy Spirit, I came to my senses and started to think clearly with the sound mind I was created with.  I realized that I had put food ahead of my love for God and He quickly dismantled my desires.

I call it my miracle, because it took something from outside of me to change my ways, my thinking, my habits, my inner design and caused it to be reset.  It took a wonder-working power of God who didn’t offer me condemnation for my choices, only mercy.  He didn’t beat me up with my excuses but soothed my heart with grace and he didn’t tell me “I told you so!” either.

No, God brought me to His side and said “I’ll be your food guide.  Trust me.”  I had trusted Him for my most important need of salvation so why couldn’t I trust Him for my health needs too?  We can!  If you are thinking today, well that’s all great and fine and that worked for “her”, let me remind you of my miracle.  Today is a great place to start on those half-year resolutions and admitting to God that you messed up is the BEST place to start the rest of your year.

Oh you thought I forgot about those broken promises you made to yourself?  Nope, and neither has God.  But His mind is not mad at you at all.  He’s waiting for you to turn away from what is dragging you down.  He is waiting for you to agree with Him that you can’t do this alone.  He is waiting for you to see Him as your choice in all things.  He is waiting for you to TRUST Him in all your choices.

He is waiting….don’t let your mind be mad at you later.  The last thing you want to deal with is years and years of regret like I did.  That will really tick you off!

How your life can get better by change instead of chance

A very personal glimpse about my intentional choice to be a better person.

Becoming grace

decision-making

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”   Proverbs 22:6

I’ve been honest with you so far about losing weight.  It’s hard, long, and seemingly endless.  It involves many milestones and tweaks along the way.  In my weight loss training, God’s deliverance has come in many ways but overall God has helped me out of a serious addiction.

He trains me one day at a time.  Daily I consider the costs of moving forward.

I don’t necessarily want to make a big deal of my addiction but I want to show God’s deliverance of hope through it all.  There was a day I remember in the beginning that I had to make a small intentional decision.  It got me off of the weight gain seesaw that I had been on for years.  I decided that I needed help…

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How your life can get better by change instead of chance

decision-making

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”   Proverbs 22:6

I’ve been honest with you so far about losing weight.  It’s hard, long, and seemingly endless.  It involves many milestones and tweaks along the way.  In my weight loss training, God’s deliverance has come in many ways but overall God has helped me out of a serious addiction.

He trains me one day at a time.  Daily I consider the costs of moving forward.

I don’t necessarily want to make a big deal of my addiction but I want to show God’s deliverance of hope through it all.  There was a day I remember in the beginning that I had to make a small intentional decision.  It got me off of the weight gain seesaw that I had been on for years.  I decided that I needed help and I couldn’t get out of trouble on my own.

Little did I know that one small change in my life that would benefit so big for my entire being.

The plans or the ways I had tried had left me headed towards nowhere.  But with God He made things possible.  I had to be completely honest with myself and confessed to the Lord that I messed things up regarding my health.  I had strayed from His original design that I was made in, and didn’t know how to manage my appetite anymore.  I had chosen to feed my appetite with pleasure over honoring God with my choices.

In confessing my heart’s cry to God, He reminded me that I was trying to do this weight loss thing on my own.  I submitted to His help and completely surrendered to what He had ahead for me, no matter the cost.  My heart couldn’t take the up and down emotional roller coaster ride it was on anymore.

So my first decision was that I needed help.

When I cried out to the Lord, He answered with a simple challenge to be the captain of a fitness team.  I only made one change at first, which required my giving up of one “vice”, Diet Coke.  For me, I was running to Diet Coke for it’s pleasure and I felt that deserved something.

I know now that my wrong thinking blinded my attachment to food.  From there, God uncovered many other “vices” where I was running to food for comfort.

So I ask you are you willing to go all in to change the right way?  Have you considered the cost of following your desire for pleasure?

We all have appetites for things of this world, those things that feed our inner desires, things of the flesh, those things that benefit in pleasure.  Man is sold out to pleasure plain and simple and we have to choose where to put our affections everyday.  What I have to train myself in are the intentional choices in my life that honor God’s best for me.  His Spirit has a special way of reminding me of making choices for the right reasons.

I don’t know how the Lord trains you in things, but in the ways of eating and being healthy, I needed a Specialist to take over and help me out of a broken place of my addiction from comfort and pleasure.

Change is hard, training for a goal requires work, and you have to consider the costs.  God, our Father, is about the most caring parent and wants to train us in right ways.  The results always turn out for our good and by His goodness.  I had to agree that I didn’t know what I was doing when it came to losing weight.  I had given my appetite to something that controlled me instead of me controlling myself around it.  I had to submit to a seemingly “hard” change.  Now I must practice what changes have worked and what doesn’t.

I am still challenged by where my daily desires want to naturally land and attach to.

On those days I don’t get it right, I go back to the basics.  I make adjustments where needed, and I stay willing to re-direct my appetites back where they should be.   For me this training has worked and I have successfully kept of half of my beginning weight of 244 lbs.

In submitting to change, one beginning decision has changed much more than my diet.

The change overall has brought great benefit instead of detriment to my lifestyle.  Training a child is a life-long process full of principals and practices.  I am so glad that I invited God into my routine and realized I needed help, otherwise I would have never experienced God in such a big way.  Since I trusted His training in one small change, that trust has remained big in my life.  He truly does know what is best for me, and specializes in such personal care in many matters.

The truth of the matter is that we all have appetites that we need filled.  We all have choices we make daily.  I attached an unhealthy love to something that couldn’t love me back.  I was willing to consider the cost and saw the benefit of where my where my true love belonged.  God has trained me in a good way to go about this for long term benefits.

“Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change.” ~ Jim Rohn

Small, simple changes always works best when making a lifestyle difference.  Training is always required to meet a goal.  When God, our Specialist, is involved He brings a complete overhaul to our appetites.  For me, this change also includes a new way of thinking about food.  Daily I have the opportunity to choose what I am going to love more…food or God.

In one decision, it has made a world of difference.   You don’t get that kind of better by chance, it happens by small intentional changes the right way.