Monday, December 15, 2008

It Will Be Interesting To See How This Goes...

This is my fourth pregnancy. In the past, I have taken a very common take on eating in pregnancy which goes something like this:

"Eat what you want, when you want and however much you want. You are getting big anyway...this is your chance to be a justified glutton."

This year after completing a diet where I finally shed all of the baby weight I had accumulated with three children, it became apparent to me that I had gone from one extreme to another. While I did not have an eating disorder, I definitely had some disordered thinking and behaviors associated with eating that, I believe, could have led to a real eating disorder like anorexia. Basically, although I was a size 2-4, I still felt fatter than ever. I definitely felt fatter than before I started the diet.

I have come a long way since then, but I definitely wouldn't say that I am healed of this disordered thinking. But I am thankful to the Lord that He has shown me the errors in my thinking and has shown me that He is willing and able to see me through to total healing.

So, it's just an interesting dynamic now that I am supposed to get bigger and gain weight. Will I go overboard with eating like I have with every other pregnancy and gain way too much? Or will I continually have to fight myself to not deprive my body and my baby of the food we need to have a healthy pregnancy?

Some times I slip back into the "eat whatever I want" mentality and at the same time, I get really concerned about gaining too much. Like this morning, I weighed and I had gained a pound in the past week. That is what I am supposed to do. But it feels like I was bad. I would have felt better if the scaled showed the same weight or a loss. My mind quickly sees the truth when the Holy Spirit exposes the lie, but it still bugs me that my first instinct is that a higher number on the scale means I have been bad.

I have a hard time finding balance. On one hand, it might make sense to throw out the scales so that I don't get all obsessed with them, but I really think that if I did that, I could easily revert back to total gluttony and gain way too much weight.

For now, I weigh once per more. (I used to weigh several times per day.) And I pray continually for the Lord to show me my successes and failures in His eyes. That I won't gauge them by a stupid number on the scale.

One day at a time!

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Heart Is Hurting

A dear friend of mine found out today that she has breast cancer. She has had pain under her arm for a while and thought she had just pulled a muscle. When it didn't go away, she went to the doctor and they found the lump and after testing, they have diagnosed her with Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer. On a scale of 1-3 for aggressiveness, hers is grade 3. I don't know yet the stage or if it has matestisized (spread.) I don't think they even know yet.

She goes in a few days to discuss treatment options, but it looks like she will need to undergo a double mastectomy and removal of her uterus followed by chemo.

To complicate matters, they have no health insurance. Eric and I are hopeful that the Church (meaning the body of Christ) will step up and relieve them of the burden on finances. The last thing they should have to think about right now is money.

She is about 36 and has two boys, 4 and 6 and a husband.

She has been a rock for many people in times of trial, including myself. She has always been there with prayer, a meal, encouraging words, money...whatever was needed. She has given of herself tirelessly in the church wherever she was needed. She sees a need, she tackles it. That's just how she is.

Both her mother and sister are breast cancer survivors.

Please join me in praying for my friend, Debbie. Pray for total healing, provision of strength, wisdom, finances, even joy...whatever is needed.

The song, "More Than You'll Ever Know" by Watermark has always reminded me of Debbie. She's that kind of friend. Here's the Youtube video if you'd like to hear the song. Just ignore the Aslan stuff :-)

How Do We Abide In Him?

And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments (remember the stuff in italics?) abides in Him, and He in him.

1 John 3:23-24

I love learning new things in His Word!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who Am I?

I used to love the smell makes me go "bleach!"
I used to bound out of bed, excited to face the all I want to do is stay in bed ALL day.
I used to stay on top of the it's threatening to take over.
I used to be able to make it on 6-7 hours of sleep if I had to...not I'm dead if I don't get at least 8.
I used to enjoy blogging once or twice a I just can't find the time or inspiration.

I seriously don't know me.

What's going on???

Oh, yeah, that little babe inside of me is turning my world upside down!!

Will I ever be back to "normal?" ;-)

By the way, the babe will be 13 weeks tomorrow!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Worthwhile Read on Thankfulness

A read so worthwhile, that it motivated me to break my 16 day pregnancy-induced blog silence ;-)

I am subscribed to a list called "Laine's Letters." I absolutely love each one of her letters. They never cease to encourage and motivate me to being a woman of God who serves Him and her family well.

You can learn more here.

Dear Sisters,
It was a hard week last week. A lot to pray about. But our Father is faithful, and how we need to cling to Him during the tough times, as well as the good times. But during the tough times it is so good to nestle with Him a bit longer, isn't it? He can take us through anything. I happen to be one of His weakest kids, so I need Him so much. It is very true that when we are weak, He is strong.

It is Thanksgiving week, and we have so much to be thankful for, don't we? My mother used to tell me when times were hard for her that she only had room for one thought at a time in her mind, and she decided she would learn to make that a thankful thought to the LORD, rather than a fretful or worrisome thought. She's been practicing this kind of "Thanksgiving Thinking" for years now. Ever since I was a child. I have to say she is one of the most thankful and joyful people I know. I absolutely love being around her.

When our septic tank almost flooded over recently, I found myself almost automatically thanking God for everything I could think of in this situation. I know it is from my thanksgiving upbringing.

For when I was a child I remember the electricity being turned off at our house. Times were hard. But Mom was thanking God that night for our candles and how their glow made the casserole Grandma brought over look just like pizza. She almost had me convinced it even tasted like pizza! And when we had to live in a Volkswagen van for months and months while sleeping at rest stops or campgrounds along the highway, I never felt sorry for myself. How could I with a mother who saw thanksgiving in everything. I only saw her break down once and cry because she so desired a hot shower after being on the road so long. The rest of the time she made us feel like we were on this incredible adventure and so fortunate to be a part of it. We were so fortunate that even our two cats were with us!

There is nothing like a thankful Mama in the house. Or a thankful Mama in a Volkswagen van. For wherever my mother was that place was surely home.

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:15

Oh, may God help me to be a thankful Mama in our house, as He has helped my own mother.

"For in this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I am overcome the world."

This verse is so true, isn't it? We do have tribulation in this world. But as the LORD says, "Be of good cheer! I have overcome the world!"

"Be of good cheer!"

"Be ye thankful!"

"I have overcome the world!"

You know the verse in Proverbs that says, "It is better to live on a corner of a roof than with a contentious woman?"

Well, it is absolutely wonderful to live inside a house, or even a van, with a very contented woman. And without a doubt, a contented woman is a very thankful and joyful woman.

Maybe you didn't grow up with a thankful mother. Maybe you don't know how to be thankful, especially in tough times. Well, as my mom was telling a friend recently who was struggling through this difficulty, "We only have room for one thought at a time in our minds, so we do well to make it a thankful thought to God our Father. By the time we're done thoroughly thanking Him, things aren't as bad as we first were thinking. And then we find ourselves rejoicing in His goodness to us."

You know what?

Mom is right.

And she didn't just thank God in the good of her life, but she also thanked Him through the very difficult. To this day.

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our LORD Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

"To the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever." Psalm 30:12

Dear sisters, a thankful Mama makes a house or a van a real home, no matter what kind of difficulty is going on.

I know firsthand.

I choose to thank my Heavenly Father, too, in the Name of my LORD, Jesus Christ. Even during the difficulties. Especially during the difficulties. Praise His Holy, Holy Name!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. May we be blessed with "Thanksgiving Thinking" all year long to the glory and praise of our Father, and for the joy of our dear families.

Maybe then we'll be blessed with those beautiful laugh lines around our eyes that light up my precious mother's face.


Laine's official website:
To subscribe:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What I've Been Up To Lately

The above is a picture of an eight-week-old baby, and that's what I have in my tummy right now. :-) I'm very happy that we are expecting our fourth child at the end of June, but at this stage I've been feeling pretty yucky a lot of the time. Still, the yucky feeling is worth it!

The kids are soooo excited about there being a "baby in mommy's tummy," they keep asking about the baby, wanting to know details about the baby, and they even try to poke around to feel the baby or "find it" with binoculars while looking down my mouth. :-)

Just thought I'd give everyone an update!

Friday, October 31, 2008

His Promise Part 5

I have been meaning to post about my progress with eating issues for a while, but I have just had a hard time fitting it in. Some of us are participating in a book discussion and here is my answer to the question, "Describe where you are in your journey to freedom from gluttony." Here's my answer:

I would say that I am 90% “there.” Meaning I can “taste” freedom. (Pun intended!) I am characterized by not giving into gluttony ( this is sure to be tested!!) and I am usually not tempted. Even in “trigger times” like stress and depression, I am not likely to immediately want to eat. I give God all of the glory and I am so grateful. I also know that I will need to be on my guard the rest of my life, but I am happy with my progress.

Thank You, Lord. I am so grateful!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saved Through Childbearing?

Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. I Timothy 2:15

This is one of those verses that I have always read and accepted the fact that I would never understand it. I don't disagree with any of God's word. If it doesn't make sense, I just assume it's because I'm human and therefore flawed. :-)

When I came to this one in my daily Bible reading today, I decided to look at the study notes in my Bible...muttering to myself, "I wonder what you have to say about this one! I was pleasantly surprised! I really like their explanation in Nelson's NKJV Study Bible:

The salvation referred to here is not justification, but daily sanctification. Most likely, Paul is referring to being delivered from the desire to dominate by recognizing one's appropriate place in God's creation order.

As a woman who, in the flesh, can have a tendency to want to dominate AND who has had the privilege of bearing 3 children, I can totally relate to this interpretation!

As a woman, childbearing forces me to recognize my dependence on my husband...Sure, many woman "do it on their own," whether they choose to or are forced to. But for me, the womanly role of bearing and nurturing life does serve as a reminder that I am the "weaker vessel" and that I am not created to dominate. I need my strong, brave, secure, godly husband to lead, guide and protect me and our children and I am so thankful that he does just that by the grace of God.

...if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

In childbearing, I learn faith every day by choosing to believe that God can save, sanctify and protect my children. I daily learn love by choosing to die to myself daily (hourly?) and love them in countless ways. I daily learn holiness by choosing to submit to the Lord's way (kindness, mercy, peace and diligence) instead of my ways (selfishness, resentment, chaos and laziness). And all of these are exercises in self-control!

Boy, I truly believe God uses my children in my daily sanctification more than any other tool in His hand. I am so grateful to Him. His ways are so good!

The ways of the Lord are right. The righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. Hosea 14:9

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reminder--21-Day Habit Challenge Starts Tomorrow!

If you don't know what I am talking about, go here.

I know many of you have said that you will join us and I a thrilled! Leave me a comment here so I will know that you are still with us. I am excited to have friends to walk together with!

My habit will be to read my daily Old Testament Bible readings each day. I am reading through the Bible in a year and I am behind on OT. I am going to aim for reading a little more than the daily amount so I can catch up, but for the purpose of the challenge, I am committing to the daily readings.

I also am committing to go to bed (as in lights out) by 10:00 every Saturday through Thursday night unless we are out of town. (This was my previous challenge that I am seeking to maintain.)

I am going to try to have daily check-ins. I will likely miss a day here and there. :-) They will be here.

I hope my techie-hubby can help me to have this link conveniently at the top of this blog.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Aren't They Cute?

Aunt Debbie,

Abigail wants you to know that your pig is being well cared for. She is now a princess, complete with tiara and jewels. :-)

Modesty In Dress

From today's Seeking Him Devotional

October 20, 2008

Modesty Quiz 2

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: What do you believe about clothing and modesty? Here’s a quick true-or-false quiz to help you get started thinking about the issue.

“True or false? Modesty means being outdated, dumpy, and unattractive.”

Nancy: That’s false. We may not be able to wear all the popular trends, but it really is possible to be modest and fashionable.

“Our clothes and appearance reveal a lot about our values, characters, and beliefs.”

Nancy: That one’s true. A woman’s clothing and appearance are powerful nonverbal communicators of what she believes.

“What I wear isn’t anyone else’s business. I should be free to dress however I want.”

Nancy: And that’s false. Everything we do, including the way we dress, affects others. As Christian women, we want to be sensitive to the men around us and not put any temptation in their path.

Would you ask God to help you glorify Him in what you wear?

With Seeking Him, I’m Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

This transcript is taken from the nationally-syndicated
daily radio program Seeking Him with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

What are your thoughts on ladies' dress? Do you have any personal thoughts on dress guidelines or boundaries you'd like to share? Do you ever struggle (as I do) with dressing to be attractive for your husband while remaining "above reproach" with regard to modesty?

If you would like to subscribe to these daily e-mails, visit and subscribe to the Seeking Him Devotional.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Love... ever ready to believe the best of every person. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (Amplified Bible)

Today, I learned first-hand how important it is to "believe the best of every person." There was a misunderstanding today. Somebody was offended by something that I said and told me so in no uncertain terms. They completely misunderstood what I was trying to communicate and the heart behind it. They were obviously hurt.

It saddens me that they were hurt. But the truth is, I am hurt as well. Not because they misunderstood me, but because (although we have been friends for a really long time) they presumed the worst about me. They didn't take the time to clarify before attacking my character. I don't think I have ever been so hurt myself over a miscommunication before. I have forgiven them the best I know how, though I know it will likely be an ongoing process.

Habit Challenge Will Start Again Soon!

The last Habit Challenge was such a success that I am ready to do it again. We will start the next habit challenge a week from tomorrow. It will go from Wednesday, October 22-Tuesday, November 11th.

If you'd like to join us, please let me know in the comments. You will need to prayerfully choose a habit that you commit to doing every day for 21 days. The key is to start small and commit to follow through every day for 21 days. Then, you will have a new, positive habit that will come naturally to you (or at least more naturally than before!)

For more information on choosing a habit, go here.

As before, we will have regular check-ins, but I hopefully (with the help of my hunky techie/husband) will be able to figure a way to do it off-site. so as not to totally clog my blog with Habit Challenge Check-in posts. :-)

I am not sure yet what my habit will be this time, but I know I will also commit to maintaining the habit of going to bed on time. It has made a huge difference in my life in so many ways.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thank You

I just want to take a moment to say, "thank you" to the man who has given me one of the most precious gifts anyone could give me. My husband works very hard (he is at work right now, in fact) so that I can be home with our children full-time.

There were seasons of my life when I had little appreciation for the ability to stay home. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it, I actually felt like it was I who was doing them a favor. But as the Lord has matured me, and through other events in our lives (including a 3 year stint of working part time outside of our home), I have come to realize that I am one of the most blessed women in the world to be able to be with our children all day, every day.

I get to be here when they have a question about God, when they choose to open up their hearts, when they are scared or sad, when they just are playing but it's oh, so cute! I wouldn't trade that for anything.

In order for me to be home, we have made a lot of sacrifices, but I feel so rich...all of the sacrifices are worth it. SO worth it!

There is so much more on my heart, but words fail me. I just wanted to say, Thank you, Honey. Thank you for taking care of us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For Layna

Layna, I am so proud of you sticking with this challenge. Spending time with the Lord, in my opinion, is the most important habit anyone can choose to form. You did great!

And now, here is your haiku:

It's a miracle.
A busy college student
Seeks first His kingdom.

For Elly

Elly, I am just so thrilled that you joined us "late" and finished so well. That shows me that you don't look for excuses. You did great!

Here is your haiku:

She made up her mind.
She listened to her body.
Her body says, "Thanks!"

For Tami

Tami, you did so well! Although (like me) you didn't quite make it to 19/21 days, I can tell that you have given it your best and I have enjoyed walking through this challenge with you.

Here's your haiku:

Physical training,
And serving Hubby breakfast,
Both godly habits.

For Missy

Missy, I am so very proud of you! You were the only one of us who finished with a score of 19/21. You were diligent and I am so glad that you now have the blessing of a more orderly home.

Now, a haiku for you!

Tackling a big job
One half hour at a time.
Look what you've done, Girl!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sleep. I highly Recommend It.

I have been going to bed around 10pm each night, giving myself close to 8 hours of sleep. I can't tell you what a difference this has made in my life!

Before, I would get to bed on an average time of 10:45. I always got up on time faithfully, but for some reason, early rising did not make me go to bed early like I had always heard. Before, I was not as much sleepy as "dragging" all of the time. This also led to feeling overwhelmed easily and snacking more frequently since I would think I needed something to "perk me up." Not to mention my former caffeine addiction. (Okay, to be honest, I still have some addiction, but I drink less than one cup of coffee in a whole day and I don't need it first thing in the morning.)

I can definitely say that I won't have any trouble continuing this habit after the Habit Challenge is over. I feel so much is enough motivation to get to bed on time. Everything is better when you are well-rested! (And you DO get more done!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Habit Challenge, Day 10!

How's it going?

I was in bed on time last night, but not the night before since we got to San Antonio late!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

He Is Great!

That's why He does great things with small seeds. This morning, I had a thought to not sweeten my coffee as a small way to deny myself. (In Matthew 16:24, Jesus says that if we want to follow Him, we must first deny ourselves...even before taking up our cross.) Then I thought, "That's's not big enough to be a real 'sacrifice.'" Then I felt like He said, "I do great things with small seeds."

That was encouraging to me!

Don't deny Him the opportunity to do great things with your small seeds today. Have faith that He sees, He cares and He is pleased with every seed that we sow to Him.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Marriage Advice From A Couple Of Experts

Priorities Part 1

I have been wanting to post about priorities for a while now, but every time I thought about doing it, it seemed like I had too much to say. But I am going to give it a least get started anyway!

I am mainly going to focus on prioritizing our time. I don't know if this is the most important way to prioritize, but it is the way that I have learned the most about in my own walk and the way that has borne the most fruit in my life. However, please don't overlook the other ways we show priorities: resources, thoughts, attitudes, I am sure I am missing something! :-)

Almost everyone expresses a "need" for more time. My husband and I always chuckle when we think back to college days. We thought we were "so busy." Ha! We had ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD compared to now. I am not even going to go into our schedules, but trust me when I tell you, we have a lot more on our plates now than we did then. And we both worked more than one job in college while being actively involved in church (leading small groups) and school full time.

Then when we had our first child...same thing...we were "so busy." Then #2 came along. Then the famous saying, "One is like none. Two is like ten." Now we have three and we are outnumbered, but I am sure those who have more than 3 think we have a lot more time than they do. Are you getting the picture? (By the way, please don't "hear" criticism in this post. There absolutely is none...just an attempt to help.) :-)

Also, believe me when I tell you that I am more peaceful and in control of my time now than I was then. What I mean is, I feel a lot more confident that I am accomplishing what He has for me to do on a daily basis. I don't constantly have that "I am behind" feeling like I did then. Now, sometimes I do feel that way but it is usually because I have not been doing what the Lord has told me to do or because I am comparing my accomplishments to others' accomplishments or to what others think I should be accomplishing.

A couple of years ago, I learned a truth that has has revolutionized the way I look at time. Before Jesus died, one of His last prayers included this phrase: "I have finished the work which You have given Me to do." I believe it was Nancy Leigh DeMoss who used that verse to apply it to time management. The truth is that Jesus did not heal everyone or talk with everyone while He was on the Earth. There were many, many "good" things that He simply did not do...and many lonely and hurting people that He did not touch. BUT He did everything that the Father gave Him to do.

Think about that. It's not about what WE think we should do...what seems best to us. It's about what The Father has for us to do in this moment. And, "I just don't have time" simply is not an excuse for not accomplishing what the Lord calls us to. Either it's not His will or we spent the time He allotted on something else. We may have had the best of intentions, but it just was a waste of time.

I love the phrase, "Haste makes waste." It is true on so many of which is the fact that when we are too hasty to decide to do something without consulting with the Lord, we just waste time. His time.

Speaking of priorities, I need to get back to home duties right now. Let me know your thoughts as well as anything you might like to be addressed on the topic of priorities.

More to come!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Just Want To Say...

I love Jesus!
And He loves

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

His Promise Part 4

I just have to share really quickly that I have been experiencing another evidence of His promise to set me free from being enslaved to food!

When times of depression, fear, anxiety or boredom some, I am usually tempted to eat. Eating has always been a way to escape and a way to make myself feel better.

My goal, obviously is to resist temptation, but lately when I have given in, there has been little to no pleasure in eating. I thank God for this. Although in the past I would eventually feel worse after eating for the wrong reasons, I would feel better for a little while at least. This is a big change and an answer to prayer.

This morning I have been dealing with some tough things. And this on top of a taxing day yesterday. I ate breakfast even though I was not hungry. I just assumed I would...then later, in an attempt to numb some pain, I poured myself some cereal. I didn't even want to eat it. It was just like, "this is what I do when I am sad." For the first time in a situation like that I admitted to myself that:

a. I did not even want the cereal.
b. It would not make me feel better.
c. I would actually feel worse later.
d. His grace was sufficient.

My first instinct was to dump it in the sink, but I don't have a disposal so I quickly dumped it in the toilet! Isn't that funny?

I am starting to see that my bad habit patterns are more of the reason I go to food as an idol lately. Not because that is my desire. It reminds me of something I learned in my training as behavior analyst. When analyzing the function of a behavior, sometimes it's just, "this is what I do...this is what I've always done."

Praise God! Even though I am going through a tough time, He encouraged me with this. I am so grateful to Him for doing the work that He promised to do. It is all His doing!

"When I am weak, then I am strong!" 2 Corinthians 12:10

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Habit Challenge Starts Tomorrow!

Okay, Bird, Debs, Layna, Missy, Tami and...Me! Habit Challenge starts tomorrow! I will do my very best to have a check-in post every day and I encourage you to pop in and let us know that you are on track. Just a word of encouragement: think how great you will feel once you have completed the challenge! Don't give up. Persevere and make this a priority.

Let's go!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Have Your Weapons Ready!

Here is an exercise that some of us in the book discussion participated in and I have found it to be a big help. We focused particularly on food-related issues, but it could be applied to any area where you are consistently tempted and need a quick "reality check." If you have these scriptures already "ready" in your mind and even on cards, then when temptation comes, you have an immediate weapon to use against the devil when He tempts you to believe lies. Similar to the way Jesus combated satan in Matthew 4.

Below is the discussion question and my answer in bold:

List the three main times or situations where you are tempted to overeat. Some examples are: stress, anger, greed and depression. Next to each tempting situation (or "trigger,") give a Bible verse that you can memorize and call to mind to help you to resist the devil. (See page 67.)

worried: Psalm 94:19, Proverbs 12:25
tired: Matthew 11:28-30, Isaiah 40:31
food-related gathering...feeling "entitled" or like I should eat since "everyone else is:" Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 3:7-8

Depressed: didn't get to this one...but I'm hoping someone else does this one. :-

And if you are interested in starting some scripture memory as part of the Habit Challenge coming up, this might be a good place to start. An example of a small measurable habit to form over a 21 day period might be to choose three scriptures to write on index cards. Choose one scripture each week to read, say, 3-5 times per day. Hopefully by the end of the week you would have it memorized. The next week do another and so on.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Habit Challenge Time.

Well, it's been a while, but I need another habit challenge. I have fallen back to my old ways of staying up too late while still waking up early. I feel so sluggish! My new habit? Be in bed by 9:45. Lights out by 10:00.

Do you have a new habit you'd like to form? They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. so let's do it together! The challenge will begin Wednesday and go through Tuesday, October 7th. Here are the rules:

1. Your habit must be measurable. For example, "I will get dressed before 12:00 each day." :-) Not, "I will try to get dressed earlier in the day."
2. Your habit must be a small step forward from where you currently are. If you don't currently read the Bible on a regular basis and want to form the habit of reading daily, your habit might be, "I will read at least one chapter or 10 minutes every day." Not , "I will read 5 chapters a day."
3. You must commit to "doing" your habit EVERY DAY. That is the only way this will (hopefully) become a habit. If there are exceptions, name them up front. For example, my commitment to going to bed by 9:45 will not apply to Friday nights.
4. Is it too much to ask that you check in every day to let us know how you are doing? At least check in a couple of times a week. If you would like to check in daily, let me know in the comments and I will post a check-in post every day. I could use the accountability!

If you need some ideas, habits can deal with:
*sleep habits
*time with God/in the Word
*eating habits (One of my past habits was to sit down while eating.)
*relationships (Encouraging your spouse daily would be an example.)
*cleaning/de-cluttering your home

I have to admit I am a little scared. I am not completely confident I can do this, but I have to try. I have been dragging the past couple of weeks and I think lack of sleep is the culprit.

Oh, and I have a prize this time! If you successfully "do" your habit for at least 19/21 days, I will write a haiku about you! (Hey, that rhymed!) Yes, can you tell I am sleep-deprived? ;-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

His All-Sufficient Grace

I found this jewel-of-a-quote on Christina's blog, My "Thin Within" Journey. She is quoting The Book, "Thin Within" which is quoting Kay Arthur:

Don't struggle in self-effort to be better. Don't determine that you are going to 'try harder.' Acknowledge your need of His all-sufficient grace and go forward, surrendering and trusting in the power of God's transforming grace. 'As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him' (Col. 2:6). You were saved by faith; therefore, you are to walk in faith. It may be one step at a time, but walk. You can say, 'I can't,' as long as in the next breath you say, 'But God, You can.'

I just LOVE that!!

Jeremiah 2:13

For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.

The Lord was speaking through the prophet Jeremiah about the Israelites' worship of false gods. Rarely do we see God's people bowing down to idols of wood, clay and stone these days, but what about the idols of money, food, sex, alcohol, even people? What makes something an idol in our lives?

If we worship it.

What is worship? I probably don't have the perfect explanation for this. I know it is NOT limited to lighting candles, offering sacrifices or bowing down to it like we might envision. God makes it clear in His word that he cares more about our hearts than our actions.

The 4th definition offered in my Merriam-Webster dictionary says that worship is "extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem."

In Matthew 22:36-37, Jesus states that the greatest commandment is, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." (Deut. 6:5)

Aren't we supposed to love our spouse, children, friends, etc? Obviously the answer is "yes" since God commands it. (And common sense!) But even then, our love for people (or anything else) should never come before or exceed our love for God. As best as I can tell, that is when someone or something becomes an idol.

If we obey it (or our desire for it) instead of obeying God, it's an idol. If we find that our heart yearns for it more than for God, it's an idol. If we prioritize it over the Lord with our time, resources and/or our thoughts, it's an idol.

Dangers of idolatry:

I couldn't possibly go into all of the dangers of idolatry, but I will expand on the two that are named in this passage:

1. "They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,"

When we worship idols, we turn from God. He does not allow us to serve both Him and them. We choose our own way and we sheep then don't have a shepherd. We are exposed to all kinds of danger.

2. "
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water."

When we turn away from God and turn to idols, we have an expectation that the idol will meet some need(s) in our lives. But the fact is, no matter what they promise to deliver, they are broken cisterns. They can hold no water. We were created to crave and thrive on Living Water...nothing else will do. Idols will always leave us empty. The time spent serving idols is always wasted...whether it is a moment or a lifetime.

Picture yourself dying of thirst. You see a fountain of fresh water. Instead of diving in and drinking as much as you need, you pick up a cup with a large crack in it. You hold it under the flow of water waiting for the cup to fill up so you can drink. How long will you stand there, waiting for the cup to fill up? It will never be full
. You will never be satisfied. You will only grow thirstier.

What do you do if you realize you have been serving one or more idols?

Thank the Lord for the gift of repentance! He gives us all of the grace we need to admit we have been serving idols, to repent, be completely forgiven and to turn back to Him. But we must remember that He demands full allegiance. Just as a husband, no matter how godly, will not share his wife with another man, God will not share our affections with idols. He is worthy of all of our affections and He knows that we will destroy ourselves if we continue to serve idols. No matter how deceived we may be, because He loves us, He won't allow us to continue on that path of destruction.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 4:13-14

(This study was inspired by a teaching by Nancy Leigh Demoss at a Revive Our Hearts Conference. It is very applicable for me and my journey to recognize the idols in my own life.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


From The Diet Alternative book discussion:

Why is condemnation such a favorite tool of the devil? (p. 68)

"Because [the devil] knows if he can get you into condemnation rather than repentance, he can probably keep you from going to God...but this is the most important time to go to God."

Don't forget that if you hear the voice of condemnation, it is NOT the Lord! Often it seems right to "punish" ourselves with condemnation, but when we do, we just play right into satan's hands. No punishment is enough to purge us of sin. Only the blood of Jesus washes away our sin. Thank You, Lord for Your gifts of repentance and forgiveness!

Friday, September 5, 2008


For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

Job 19:25-27

Do you yearn for Him? If you are like me, you mostly yearn to yearn. I mean, the yearning is in there...somewhere...often masked by pitiful substitute yearnings. If you don't yearn, don't pretend that you do. Admit the truth to Him. He knows already anyway. :-) It's okay to pray, "Lord please give me a heart that yearns for You alone."

He wants to give you eyes to see that you truly do yearn for see that "My heart and my flesh cry out for the Living God." Psalm 84:2

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Freedom Is Coming!

Many of you know that one of my main prayer requests lately has been for the Lord to free me from constantly thinking about food and food-related things. It seemed like no matter how much freedom I experienced in my eating, my mind was often consumed with thoughts of food. One situation that tends to encourage my thinking off-track is when it's a meal time and I am not hungry. I will either feel disappointed that I may not "get" to eat breakfast at all, wonder several times when I will "get" to eat or think about what I will eat when I actually get hungry. Yes, I realize this will sound strange if you haven't dealt with these issues yourself. It makes no sense at all. :-)

Anyways, because of a later and heavier than usual dinner last night, it is now 10:20am and I have not been hungry yet for breakfast. But I just realized it. That may sound strange, but it encourages me that freedom is coming! Thank you, Lord!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm Back!

Hi Everyone! We got back from the beach Tuesday night and I am just now getting back to normal...what's normal, anyway?

Thank you so much for your prayers. They were really effective. I was able to walk in His grace and didn't over-indulge except a little bit.

Here is a picture of my daughter, Abigail with one of the 3 hermit crabs the kids found. I just love that expression!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


We are about to leave for a few days to go to the beach so please pray for me. Vacations are often a time when its easier for me to give into over-indulgence. I will "see" you all when we return!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Repentance does not cause a sense of sin— it causes a sense of inexpressible unworthiness. When I repent, I realize that I am absolutely helpless, and I know that through and through I am not worthy even to carry His sandals. Have I repented like that, or do I have a lingering thought of possibly trying to defend my actions? The reason God cannot come into my life is that I am not at the point of complete repentance.

--Oswald Chambers,
"My Utmost for His Highest"
August 22nd

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Can't, But You Can.

I heard somebody say that humility says, "I can't, Lord, but you can."

Is this really true? I struggle with knowing how to depend on God with temptations. It feels like if I admit that I can't, then I am giving into the sin. It's like I don't know how to fully rely on God, I guess. Maybe it shows a lack of trust in my Savior. Ouch.

I think the Lord is teaching me how to obey Him IN Him. I must say that, although I've walked closely with Him for most of my life, this is new for me.

If you have any thoughts or scriptures to share on this topic, I welcome them. Prayer is also much appreciated.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

When it seems like God is asking us to give up all of the fun the devil is offering us, let's remember...

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have
it more abundantly. John 10:10

Dieting Is For The Dogs!

We are having a wonderful book discussion on "The Diet Alternative," and I just love the analogy that Laura made between dieting and a mean dog. She graciously allowed me to share it here as well. Thanks, Laura!

Compare and contrast the decision to address overeating as a spiritual issue versus addressing it with dieting.

I fully agree with what Diane says about dieting and the fact that it does not solve the heart issue of overeating. Dieting might work for someone who ate too much on a vacation and gained a few pounds but does not otherwise have any food issues. But if gluttony is the root, then dieting won’t cure it. It’s like putting a mean dog in a fenced yard. The dog can’t hurt anyone while fenced, but when it finds a way to get loose, it will be as mean—or meaner—than it was before. All dieting does is put a temporary “fence” around my eating behavior. But once the fence is gone (the diet is over), I still have the same “me” that couldn’t control my eating to begin with.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Is The Devil Bugging You?

“ God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

James 4:6-7

I'm Still Here

I didn't mean to be "gone" so long, but it's been an extremely busy couple of weeks. Last week was my birthday and it seems like I had a week-long birthday celebration which was wonderful but left me hooked on sugar again and I had to go through 2 days of "detox." I am feeling better now. :-)

This week (actually today) is my oldest son's birthday so I have been busy with that but it has been fun. We went to the museum this morning and went to the Alico building (the tallest building in Waco) hoping to go to the top (Nathan's request,) but they no longer have an observation deck. :-( Still, just to give you an idea of his sweet personality, on the way to the van he said, "I'm glad we got to see the lobby of the Alico building!"

Later we will have a small family party. Get a load of this: His younger brother wanted to check out an Asian cookbook from the library. He loves geography and cooking, so it's a logical choice, I guess...anyways, he found a recipe for a Vietnamese banana cake and Nathan decided he wanted that for his birthday cake tonight. So I made it last night. Looks pretty good!

And I have been taking part in an off-site book discussion of "The Diet Alternative" which has been VERY good.

So, I'm off to HEB now but just wanted to check in and let you all know I am still here, still alive and still thinking of you.

I hope to post something more "Surrender-related" soon! ;-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Once Free Always Free?

Here is a question on freedom from sin that a member of our book discussion posed recently. I thought it would be good to post it and invite others to address it. It's a great question!

Just a few days ago (after I asked the question about degrees of sin) I did a study on sin. Although I have been a Christian basically my whole life, I came to a deeper realization that Jesus is the way to freedom, (I realized that I hadn't really grasped the concept that we can be free. Before this I had never "experienced" freedom.) Do you think that once you're free you're free? Or is it a daily struggle against sin? Day after day I struggle with my eating habits but now since I'm free do I "stay free" or do I need to ask for freedom every day?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Technical Difficulties

The Book Discussion on the first chapter of "The Diet Alternative" will be up tonight or tomorrow. I am sorry for the delay, but I waited until the last minute (this morning) to post the questions and my techie husband and his friend who created the blog we will be using both have "real" jobs and won't be able to help me out until tonight. Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What Is Sin?

I got this from an old Revive Our Hearts podcast. To view the transcript for the entire podcast which is an interview with Joshua Harris on the effects of media, go here. (It's really good, BTW!)

Joshua: When John Wesley was in college, he wrote a letter to his mom asking the question, “What is sin?” I think he was looking for a catalog of activities.

Nancy: “The list.”

Joshua: Exactly; a list. I can imagine somebody listening to this about media, saying something like, “Okay, well, tell me what I’m not allowed to watch. Kind of give me a …”

Nancy: We’re not going to do that.

Joshua: Exactly. And neither did she. Mrs. Wesley wrote him back, and I just want to read what she said. I think it’s so wise. She said,

Take this rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.

Book Discussion Will Happen Monday

Hi Everyone!

I apologize for being absent for most of the week. It has just been a very full week, but I have really been looking forward to beginning the book discussion Monday. And I have been thinking of you all and thanking the Lord for using us to help each other in our personal journeys to total surrender to Him!

So, if you are joining us, make sure you have your chapter read by Monday and be prepared to share your thoughts. Look for a post here on Monday which will have a link to another page with a pass-word protected post. I will e-mail you the password. Make sure I have your e-mail address if you have never gotten an e-mail from me.

And if you don't mind, just comment here if you are planning to join us. If you have time, let us know what you hope to gain through the discussion.


Monday, July 28, 2008


Yesterday I went to (which I highly recommend) and searched all of the passages (in NKJV) that talk about tests. I believe that the Lord is using the temptations I am having with my eating issues as tests. I knew that they therefore were good, but looking at all of these scriptures has really helped me to appreciate the tests. It has also given me a new perspective on testing. I think we have a misconception of the purpose of tests from the Lord because of how we view tests from school. In school, it's all about the test... or the grade you get on the test. But for the Lord, the test is a tool that He uses to purify us. To make us clean and beautiful for His Son.

Another cool thing is that as I searched the scriptures yesterday, I had no idea that He was going to use them to prepare me for more trials to come last night. Something that would have normally have been really difficult to deal with was much easier because the value of tests and refinement were already on the forefront of my mind. So, although I have put my thoughts in parenthesis and they mainly apply to my eating struggles, they also apply to any kind of test He may be taking us through. Thank You, Lord!

I hope these scriptures are helpful for you as well.

The LORD tests the righteous,But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Psalm 11:5 (He tests me because He loves me.)

For You, O God, have tested us;You have refined us as silver is refined. Psalm 66:10

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts. Proverbs 17:3 (explains refine/purify me. To cleanse me. There is a purpose!!)

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;
For how should My name be profaned?
And I will not give My glory to another. Isaiah 48:10-11 (Why? For His sake...that His name would not be profaned. That means it is all worth it!)

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:10 (Another purpose is so that He can reward me according to what is truly in my heart. This will be revealed during the test.)

Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 1 Corinthians 3:12-14 (This testing can prepare me for the BIG test to the presence of the Lord.)

Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 (I am also to test all things.)

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son... Hebrews 11:17 (How do I pass the tests? By faith!)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 (God uses trials to test us. Testing produces patience. It is possible to leave the test incomplete...I need to persevere to "let patience have its perfect work, that I may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." I feel this is very significant for me right now. Sometimes I feel like giving up and being satisfied with a measure of freedom when God has told me to persevere until there is COMPLETE FREEDOM!)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory... 1 Peter 1:6-8 (We go through trials because we need to--so that our faith can be refined to bring praise, honor and glory to Jesus whom we is all for love. And the end result? Joy inexpressible!)


What is gluttony? Duscuss!

To get us started, here is the Merriam-Webster definition from their CD-Rom. I am not sure if it differs at all from the book form:

1. excess in eating or drinking
2. greedy or excessive indulgence

(BTW, I have been thinking a lot lately about greed. Soon I plan to do a post about greed so stay tuned!)


Following is part of an e-mail that I just sent to my new prayer and accountability partner, Missy. I thought it would be good to post since it shows where I am right now...warts and all! :-)

I NEED accountability, Girl! It's like when I started this it was so easy. I think the feeling of bondage was still so fresh that I was motivated to be obedient. Now it has been hard. Especially with desserts. I am also praying through whether this is an emotional-eating issue, self-control-issue or physical issue. IE is my eating sugar again creating more intense cravings? Maybe it's a combination. But basically it looks like this: I think about food a lot and especially desserts. I can't wait until the evening to have a yummy dessert after the kids go down. Usually I have not saved room...sometimes I tell myself I have when I really haven't. Isn't that awful? I welcome your prayers.

I have not journaled this week except yesterday and today. Yes, I told you I have been a bad girl! But I am recommitted to journaling. It is a huge help for me. And I am recommitting to eating when sitting down. Exceptions are I'm cooking and I need to taste something or just eat a bite here or there. But if I don't have this "rule" in place, my nibbling gets out of control. It looks like this: I am fixing dinner and I am hungry. So I tell myself it's ok to eat this and that but by the time I have dinner made, I'm half-way full but I don't "feel" like I have eaten because I didn't sit down with food on a plate.

Weighing this morning was hard at first because I am up 2 pounds. But later I actually found myself thanking God that the scales reflected the truth. I was over-indulgent this week. The Lord asked, "would you feel better if the scales said you were the same? What if you were "good" and up 2 pounds? Would you feel like you had been bad?" Thankfully these lies are slowly but surely being replaced with the truth. It's kind of like grades. Would I feel better about getting an "A" in a super-easy class or about a "C" that I worked my rear off for?

Funny thing is the snack hour has been good! :-) Thanks for praying!

I realize that I tend more toward sharing my failures than my triumphs. I need to change that. I just tend to have that "if it's not broke, don't fix it" mentality. But for my sake and to give a true reflection to all of you faithful readers, I will attempt to share more of the whole picture of my journey to freedom. I hope to be able to share a "triumphant" post soon! :-)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

From "The Diet Alternative"

A person can be just as obsessed with food when he is on a diet as when he is overeating. He still thinks about food just as much.
There are some highly successful diet plans which allow you to eat a great deal of food, but only certain types...
It is like a heroin addict going on methadone--the addiction is still there, but you take methadone instead of the more destructive heroin.
pages 18-19

By the way, my intent here is not to condemn all diets. The Lord has used diets in my life in the past. I am simply pointing out that while diets can help us lose weight and adopt healthier eating habits, they do not address issues like gluttony, self-indulgence and idolatry that are frankly ... sin. When I reached my "goal weight" on South Beach, I found that I could eat a little more, but in order to stay at goal, I still had to continue to diet. I had learned how to "make the food behave" (to borrow a term from one author), but in order to walk in true freedom from gluttony and dieting, I know that it will take something different. I need to learn how to make myself behave which really means allowing Christ to transform me into His likeness.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.

Proverbs 19:23

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I usually get hungry in the afternoons. Usually, sometime between 3 and 4 I am hungry...the kids are resting...I want a snack...something salty, then something sweet, then...I've pretty much eaten a full meal! Okay, that doesn't happen every time. Sometimes I just don't eat at all. Sometimes I am self-controlled enough to stop at a small snack. But lately it has been hard.

Technically there's nothing wrong with my eating to fullness in the afternoon except for the fact that I will not be hungry for dinner. Then I have to choose either to not eat dinner with the family or eat dinner when not hungry.

And there's the guilt.

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. Romans 7:15

I want to be able to skip the snack altogether. Just eat 3 meals a day and maybe a bedtime snack if I have an early dinner. So, I re-commit again to doing that. But when the time comes, my thoughts go like this, "I am hungry. I can eat when I am hungry. I will just eat a little. Okay, just a little more..."

Please pray for me. I really do think I need to skip the snack. Mainly because it is just so hard for me to keep it small. Instead of a small snack satisfying me, I just want more.

So, to help myself stay accountable, I will check back tomorrow and let you know how it goes tomorrow afternoon. Because in case you can't tell, I blew it this afternoon. :-(

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25

Monday, July 21, 2008

Book Discussion Coming Up--Who Wants To Join Us?

I read "The Diet Alternative" by Diane Hampton about 2 months ago and it has been really helpful for me to see my eating issues as something that God wants to be Lord over just as He wants to be Lord over all of my life. As I read, I felt empowered, not condemned. It is a short book and chock-full of truth. I want to read it again. :-)

I already have at least two others who want to read it with me and participate in a weekly discussion (yeah!) I have stopped the discussions for Love To Eat/Hate To Eat because people (including myself) seemed to lose interest. Don't get me wrong, it is great book and I have read it before, but I digress...

A word about this book that can be applied to many books. I gleaned a LOT from this book ,but I did not follow all of her advice. For example, she suggests people who have a bondage to gluttony should fast a meal daily. I won't go into why, but I just wanted to say from the beginning that I don't do this because a. I am not trying to lose weight anymore b. I am hypoglycemic and it's very difficult for me to fast and c. God didn't lead me to. I don't see anything wrong with it and think it could be a really good thing for some people. Just wanted to point out that you don't have to do all that she suggests in order to benefit from the book.

If you are interested in learning more, click on the picture of the book, "The Diet Alternative" to the left and it will take you to where you can "see inside." You can almost read the entire first chapter. (Thanks, Honey for being my techie!) By the way, this is the original version. There is a newer version out that has a study guide. I have the original version and just plan to make up my own questions. :-)

If after prayerful consideration, you are prepared to buy the book and participate in a weekly discussion for 10-12 weeks, then let me know so in the comments. I'd love to have you join us. In order to participate in this book discussion, you will need to:

1. Buy the book.
2. Read weekly.
3. Participate weekly (I know there are occasionally times you will need to miss, but I would like a core group that will discuss every week.)

I am open to suggestions on the day we have discussion. I will post the question the night before or that morning. The discussion will actually take place on another page which will be password-protected so that only those of us participating in the discussion will be able to read the comments.

So, if you are interested in joining, let me know so in the comments. Also, let me know how soon you would be able to start. I am thinking of starting in 1-3 weeks, depending on the response I get.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

21 Days Are Up!

So, thus ends our second 21 Day Habit Challenge. Did anyone stick around to the bitter end? Give me your thoughts, people!

I was able to go to bed on time within 5 minutes of 10:00 every night except a handful...and most of those were unavoidable because of traveling. However, I don't know if it qualifies as a habit for me. Probably because I took weekends off. But I am really glad I did it and I do feel a bit more refreshed! :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Let's Not Forget About Verse 29!

(I got this little nugget from a Revive Our Hearts podcast as well!)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Why does God work everything together for good? So we can be happy and avoid pain? Nope, so we can be conformed (you know, we die that He can live...we deny ourselves so we can walk by the Spirit...we change to line up with His standard...not always easy, fun stuff!) to the image of His son. Then the joy comes!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Look To Him!

I am reading a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss titled "Holiness." It has made such an impact on my life, I really think everyone should read it!

In the chapter, "The Face of Holiness," she writes about the struggles against sin that we go through when we pursue holiness in our lives. She quotes Hudson Taylor:

Is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end--constant conflict and, instead of victory, too often defeat?"

He later received a letter from a fellow missionary, John McCarthy, that would change his life. Part of it read,

Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power; trusting Him to subdue all inward corruption; resting in the love of an almighty Savior;...this is not new, and yet 'tis new to me. I feel as though the first dawning of a glorious day has risen upon me.

His yoke is easy and his burden is light!

Nancy later quotes Charles Spurgeon:

Though you have struggled in vain against your evil habits, though you have wrestled with them sternly, and resolved, and re-resolved, only to be defeated by your giant sins and your terrible passions, there is One who can conquer all your sins for you. There is One who is stronger than Hercules, who can strangle the Hydra of your lust, kill the lion of your passions, and cleanse the Augean stable of your evil nature by turning the great rivers of blood and water of His atoning sacrifice right through your soul. He can make and keep you pure within. Oh, look to Him!

Looking unto Him, not striving, is the key to becoming more like Him:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Habit Challengers Check In Here!

We are 14 days in to our second habit challenge. How's everyone doing?
Debbie--How's the time with God going?
Missy--Any more success with going to bed (and to sleep) earlier?
Cristina--Keeping to the snack time boundaries?
Bird--Going over your verses every day?

Me? This challenge has been challenging :-), but very good! I have made it to bed within 5 minutes of 10:00 each night except when we've been out of town or on a day when we had just driven back to town.

Keep persevering! If you've fallen off, get back on! 7 days to go!!!!
Suffering can be anything from traffic jams to taxes to tumors and everything in-between.

--Elisabeth Elliot

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


The world , our flesh and the devil say, "Avoid suffering at all costs!!" But God says,

"Therefore since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind. For he who suffers in the flesh has ceased from sin. That he may no longer live the rest of his days in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." 1 Peter 4:1-2

Lord, help me to embrace suffering as a gift from Your hand. Suffering, when it comes from You, is good. If I enjoyed it, it wouldn't be suffering. Still, please give me the grace to endure suffering with thanksgiving and to not avoid it out of a desire to feel good. I ask that You would renew my mind so that your thoughts on suffering would become my own. Amen.

Monday, July 7, 2008

How Does Gluttony Begin?

From "The Diet Alternative" by Diane Hampton

To understand the solution, we need to have some understanding of how gluttony begins in a life, how it becomes a stronghold. We have a number of scriptural examples of Jesus feeding our physical bodies. There was always a consistent order. First, spirits were fed and then bodies were fed. First, He taught and ministered to the spirit, then He multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the body... [see Matthew 14:17-20.]

Gluttony begins when this system gets out of order.
A person feels frustrated, bored, angry, or lonely, but rather than dealing with the spiritual problem, they eat. These are the "deceitful meats" spoken of in Proverbs 23:2. It is food eaten for the wrong reason--to avoid dealing with the deeper problem.

I am reading this book now for the second time. It is so good. Not at making me feel better (I often find myself saying "ouch!") but at helping me get better (getting free!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Habit Challengers Check In Here!

It's been one week into our new 21 day challenge. How is everyone doing?

Me? I have had some challenges, being out of town and all, but have been in bed on time when possible and I think it's helping. I have not been so good at maintaining my previous challenge of sitting down to eat. I am changing that, however, because I don't want to form good habits just to lose them!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Walking By The Spirit

Lately I have been slipping. Little by little I have given ground to the enemy. I have "allowed" myself to do my own thing instead of seeking God's will in every day situations. I have given into the sins of impatience, self-indulgence, pride and worry; just to name a few.

In doing this, I have chosen to not walk in the Spirit and to gratify the desires of the flesh.

My little "pet sins" have grown (as they always do) and have gotten out of control. I have grown less and less sensitive to sin and it's a yucky place to be!

But I am so thankful that His mercy endures forever! That by the blood of Jesus Christ I can repent (which I've done) and re-commit myself to Him.

I recommit to be disciplined with...
* My time--I will follow my schedule unless I believe He is leading me otherwise.
* My eating--I will stick to the guidelines He has given me unless I believe He is leading me otherwise.
* My spiritual disciplines--I will be faithful in prayer, Bible reading and memorization and general abiding in Him.
* My emotions--I will trust, not fear. I will submit, not rebel. I will be patient, not angry. I will smile! :-) I will deny myself!!

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Please share any thoughts, insights and tips that you have relating to walking by the Spirit.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Here They Are!

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. I Corinthians 15:58

Pray for the 21 Day Habit Challenge participants:

Debbie--15 minutes alone with God each day
Missy--go to bed on time each night
Cristina--no eating after 8:30pm each night (except Tuesdays)
Bird--practice scripture memorization some each day
Brandi--be in bed by 10:00 each night except Friday and Saturday

I'll be praying for you all. Let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Habit Challenge Begins TODAY!

Tonight, I will go to bed on time! Every night I stay up past my bed time and every day I am tired. I have actually been looking forward to this challenge, because I know I am so weak in this area that I need the accountability. I am looking forward to feeling more refreshed each day.

Missy is joining me in agreeing to go to bed on time each night for the next 21 nights and Debbie will spend at least 15 minutes per day alone with the Lord for the challenge. I am thrilled to have some friends to walk through this challenge with!

Anyone is welcome to join us! If you would like to form a new godly habit, then let me know in the comments. (First, go to the previous post titled "21 Day Habit Challenge Starts Up Again On Wednesday!!" for some tips on choosing a habit to form.) I will make a list of the official participants later on so we can all be praying for each other. If you have time, leave a comment to let me know how it's going for you. I will do the same.

As always, there is a prize! One newly formed habit that will bring more discipline and peace into your life! :-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's Not Always Easy...

...but it is worth it!
I have to remind myself of this truth. I have been looking forward to leftover pizza for lunch. I ate a light breakfast, but alas it's lunch time and I am not hungry yet. In my dieting days, I would just eat because it was "time" to, but the Lord had called me to go by hunger cues. Sooner or later I will become hungry and will enjoy some. It will taste better because I will be hungry and will be eating within the boundaries my loving Lord has given me.

There are times when I do go ahead and eat when I haven't experienced physical hunger yet. Mainly if I am close to being hungry and it's family dinner time or some other kind of gathering. But other than that, I am supposed to eat for hunger...not because it's "time to," I "deserve" to, or to meet an emotional need. God uses these situations to teach me patience, among other things. He is so good!

Monday, June 23, 2008

21 Day Habit Challenge Starts Up Again On Wednesday!!

It's time for me to form a new habit. Who'd like to join me? They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. In the first Habit Challenge, I chose to form the habit of sitting down to eat without doing anything else. It worked! It is now a habit. A habit that I have to be diligent to maintain, but a habit nonetheless.

This time, my habit is going to be a greater challenge, but it is a necessary one. I need to get to bed at a decent time. I'm really good about getting up, but I tend to always have "one more thing" to do before bed and it all adds up. I routinely get less than 7 hours of sleep each night and that's just not enough for me.

So, this is my goal. To be in bed by 10:00 each night except Friday and Saturday. Please pray for me, because this is a huge change for me.

The challenge starts Wednesday, so let me know in the comments if you are going to join me.

A few suggestions about forming new habits:

1. Start where you are and gradually build up. Shoot for lasting change rather than radical change. For example, if you currently don't read the Bible daily, start with a goal to read one or two chapters per day rather than five or ten.

2. Make your goal measurable. Rather than having a goal to exercise more, set a goal to exercise 30 minutes 3 times per week.

3. Most important: Pray first. Don't lean on your own understanding. Be sure the Lord is leading you to form this new habit so that you don't waste your time! Also, when the going gets tough, you will have assurance that He will give grace to accomplish this goal since you will be assured that it's His will for you.

Exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things. Having promise of the life which now is and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:7-8

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Truth Or Lie?

Sin is pleasure.


Sin is a burden.

Our lives prove what we believe. Lord, help us to believe Your truth in the core of our beings.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

His Promise Part 3

On June 5th, I decided to go for it. I had been trying to pursue freedom 90% for a few months, I felt like it had to be all or nothing. Not legalism, just consistency. One of the pastors of our church gave a message on holiness once that I loved. He basically said that holiness is about consistency. Seeking to abide in and be like Jesus ALL of the time.

It's hard for me to fail. I think a lot of times I just go ahead and give up when I realize I can't be perfect at something. I think that since I knew I couldn't be perfectly submitted to God with my eating, I just resigned myself to that and didn't even attempt to be perfectly submitted. So, I would submit when not tempted or mildly tempted, but when the really tough temptations came, I would go ahead and give in because I didn't want to try and fail. I hope this makes some sense!

So, I began an eating journal. In it I write when I eat and what I eat. What I eat is not an issue, but I decided to write that so I could see any correlations between eating certain foods and my mood and energy level. I also put my hunger/fullness numbers. This is a concept I learned through Thin Within. Zero is a hungry, empty tummy; five is comfortably filled; ten is stuffed, can't eat another bite. My goal is to eat within 0-5. I also write reflections, temptations, praises, etc.

Within just a few days, I could tell I was getting free. It's hard to explain, but I feel like I am getting over a hump that I haven't been able to get over in a long time. Only I can tell, really, since most of the effects are not outward, but here are just a few:

  • I only weigh once per week. It's sad, but I have been known to weigh multiple times in one day.
  • I am not choosing my foods based on weight-loss/maintenance.
  • I am not using exercise to try to make up for gluttony.
  • I am not making any excuses for gluttony.
  • I am able to sit and watch someone enjoy one of my favorite foods without feeling entitled to have some too.
  • I am able to eat almost anything without losing control.
I am not trying to say that I am "there," but I am very encouraged. To me, freedom will look like this: I will love God with all of my heart and therefore not love food. I will enjoy food, but will not try to use food to meet emotional needs. I will not be tied to any food rules, having the ability to enjoy all foods in moderation. And my thoughts of food and body image will be greatly reduced and replaced by thoughts of Jesus and others.

Love to Eat/Hate to Eat Book Discussion: Chapter 2, Question 5

Prayerfully read over the list of the attributes of God on pages 30-34. Which ones are the most meaningful to you? Which ones are the most difficult for you to understand?

Spend time in prayer now, asking God to reveal Himself to you more and more as you progress through this study. Thank Him for His wonderful character. Rejoice in the truth that God has chosen you personally and that it's His pleasure to change you.
(I just LOVE that thought!)

For those of you who don't have the book yet, here is the list of attributes that are on pages 30-34. You really need to look in the book to get the full benefit, because she does a great job of expounding on each attribute.

Perfect In Holiness
Perfect In Wisdom And Knowledge
Filled With Goodness
Filled With Truth

The two attributes that are most meaningful to me are eternal and filled with goodness.

Eternal because my life with Him will never end. Everything on this earth will end, but I will be with Him forever. Filled with goodness because I know that whatever He says and does is GOOD no matter what I think or feel. Let God be true and every man (including me) a liar. (Romans 3:4) Those two thoughts are really what keep me going on this journey.

Immense is the hardest for me to understand on a daily basis. I know in my mind that he is everywhere at once, but sometimes it feels like I am alone in my struggles and He can't possibly take the time to carry me through. I'm working on it, though!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Since not limiting myself to certain foods (I am still cutting out sugar), I have found that I have a weakness: chips. I like them a lot and it is really easy for me to eat too many. I don't think they are unhealthy in moderation, so I have a plan.

When I made my sandwich today, I thought about not having chips at all, but then I had a brilliant idea! I had my son count out 32 Fritos (a serving) onto my plate and I will just leave it at that. That will be my plan any time I have chips. I will have one serving and not a chip more. Of course, if I become full from my meal before the chips are eaten, then I will need to throw the rest away.

What I really need to do is get those single serving packs...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

His Promise Part 2

Recently, I have seen Him fulfilling that promise (see previous post.) And I am SOOOOOO happy, thankful and appreciative; even though the price for me has been suffering from time to time. The way I see it, I can either suffer greatly from my own sin and rebellion or suffer for righteousness' sake and be greatly rewarded in the end from my Father.

First, a bit of background. Back in college, I read a book that transformed my life. It's called The Weigh Down Diet. I learned for the first time that gluttony is sin and why it is so destructive. I also learned about God-given hunger and fullness signals that we have and how to eat within those boundaries. And I learned that I didn't have to eat diet food to lose weight. It was so freeing and I quickly lost 20 pounds and seriously had no desire to eat out of the boundaries of hunger and fullness. I was FREE!

Then I got pregnant with my first and read in my pregnancy book how important it was to eat plenty of healthy food while pregnancy and what a n0-no it is to skip a meal when pregnant. See, I was used to only eating when hungry so if I was not hungry except once or twice in a day, then I only ate one or two meals that day.

I basically began to ignore my body's hunger and fullness signals and ate more than plenty!! I quickly went back into gluttonous eating and gained 75 pounds with that pregnancy. Then I found out that the author of the book became very cult-like in her beliefs and so it was like throwing the baby out with the bath water. I went back to believing that dieting was the way to keep weight under control.

Fast forward to last year. Through the South Beach diet, I was able to finally get back to my pre-pregnancy size. But found that I could only maintain that size by continuing to diet. I knew that there was a time when I had been truly free, but I was afraid to give up the control that I felt I had through limiting certain foods and planning my meals and snacks carefully.

Then the Lord gave me the promise and He told me that I needed to go back to eating only when hungry and stop when full. I started reading a book, Thin Within, again which has many of the same principles as Weigh Down, but is Biblically sound.

(My kids need me now, so more to come later!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

His Promise

Below is an entry from my journal that I wrote back in April:


The past few weeks I have resigned myself to believing that I will never be free from bondage to food and vanity. That this would be my "thorn in the flesh.." maybe. That I would likely always struggle and have to rely on disciplining myself through dieting and never be truly "Free."

I believe the Lord told me this morning that I was wrong. I can see that the past few weeks I have had less and less victory in these areas , so "accepting" it has not helped. And even the intimacy I've had with the Lord has diminished some. I believe that I enjoyed greater intimacy before because I was seeking to walk with Him through this even though it did not appear to be helping. I was seeking Him to meet a deep desire of my of the very deepest.

I believe he has given me 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

He is telling me, "run, compete, obtain the prize." The prize is FREEDOM. He, ultimately is the prize!

He has shown me that the past few weeks I was "running with uncertainty." (v. 26)

He is making it very clear to me now that this is His word to me, "fight, run, focus on the prize, don't give up..."

There is NOTHING like a personal word from the Lord! He is the prize!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Love to Eat/Hate to Eat Book Discussion: Chapter 2, Question 4

Everyone is welcome to join in the discussion! :-)

Do you see yourself as a lush, green willow that is drinking deeply of God's grace and mercy? Do you believe that you can produce fruit from your life that will glorify Him? What does the fact that these things can be true in your life mean to you?

I'm not sure about a lush green I have to say I'm not there yet. Although I know God's grace and mercy are always available, it still has to be a choice of my will to go to Him. I still tend to try to take care of things myself. I am making progress in this area; slowly, but surely, though. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. That doesn't mean that I am to always try to take the easy road...but I believe that as I deny myself and surrender to Him that by His grace it will be easy. Condemnation and guilt are heavy burdens to bear.

Yes, I do believe that I can bear fruit that will glorify Him because He tells me to an He's not going to tell me to do something that He won't enable me to do. Again, it's all from abiding in Him...I can't make the fruit appear. It has to be done His way. He is really teaching me that He doesn't want me to do ANYTHING...even "good" things on my own. The cool thing is that even though my flesh wants to be independent, I am the most content when I obey Him and abide in Him. In His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore! (Psalm 16:11)

These things mean a lot to me. I want to Him to fulfill His purposes in me!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Habit Challenge Completed!!!

(Sorry this is a day late!)
21 days are up! How did it go for you?

Thanks to all of you who participated. My habit of sitting down to eat has been a huge blessing and I can say it is officially a habit! Seriously...I actually prefer to sit down to eat and will often wait a while to eat so I can eat sitting down without interruption.

In this busy season of life, forming habits (one tiny habit at a time), is a big help for me, so I plan to do more of these challenges. The next one will likely start soon so stay tuned! :-)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Love to Eat/Hate to Eat Book Discussion: Chapter 2, Question 3

We are getting ready to be out of town (without internet...yes!) for a few days. I wanted to put this up since Friday is our book discussion day, but with packing, etc. I don't have time to answer it myself. I will answer Tuesday or Wednesday. "See" y'all when we get back!

Do you really believe that God can change you? Why or why not? Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Why has God chosen you? What specific thoughts or deeds do you think that God wants to change in you in the upcoming weeks? How about months?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

21 Day Habit Challenge Week Two Check In...Are You Still With Us?

Okay, y'all! It's been 14 days. Who out there is still sticking with the 21 day habit challenge? Approximately how many days out of 14 have you been successful? How are you going to make this last week really count? Is this habit going to continue past 21 days? Why or why not?

And, let me add: if you but off more than you could chew...meaning if your challenge was too challenging to begin with, then feel free to modify it.

My habit of sitting down to eat without doing anything else has been much harder than I thought it would be. But I would say that I have stuck with it 13 out of 14 days. Since I eat more than once a day, it's hard to calculate. Most of the time it has had to be an act of my will...not natural.

I do plan to keep this habit up. It is very helpful for me to prevent mindless eating and to actually see how much I am eating so I don't overdo it.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us...
Hebrews 12:1

I believe some things are weights...things that will hold us back from or delay the full blessing God has for us, but are not necessarily sin.

Father, help us to trust You enough to lay aside every weight. Even the "good" things that just aren't good enough because they get in the way of what You have in store. One day we will fully understand. Every question will be answered. Until then, help us to trust you that whatever you say is good...because it is!