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!