Highlighted Feature

Inspirational quote of the day:


Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
--C. S. Lewis


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Discover Your Why

Our walk with Christ is less sprint, more marathon. It's been said the completion of a long journey begins with the first step. Yes, it does, but unless we take steps number two, or two hundred, or two thousand, we still won't reach our goal.

Passion flower in our Wichita Falls back yard.
Traveling from our home in Wichita Falls, Texas to our daughter's home in Aurora, Colorado, we drive about 700 miles. Excitement moves us along. We can't wait to see her and our son-in-law.
View from Colorado Springs
When we reach Colorado Springs, we know we only have about an hour and a half until we arrive. Our hearts beat faster. We press on. We're nearly there.


What if we stopped in Colorado Springs?

After all, we've traveled most of the way. Very admirable. My back and legs ache from making such a long drive. The biggest sacrifice has been made. Only a short way left to go.

But -
I don't rejoice.
I never see my daughter.
So close, and yet, so far.

We have friends that gave their hearts to God at an early age. They sacrificed and worked tirelessly for Christ for years. Now in their late sixties, they've quit church desiring instead to frequent casinos and bowling halls. Now, I can't judge their hearts, but the Bible tells me I can judge their fruits. I grieve over what I see. So near, and yet so far. I pray they complete their walk with God.


My hubby & daughter walking the dogs in Aurora, Colorado
Most of my adult life revealed a story of weight loss/weight gain over and over until the last few years. Many times I reached the Colorado Springs point in my journey. I felt better. I had more energy. I was nearly at my goal.

But, I would get lazy, or think I knew what to do. My strong self will sent me on the rest of my walk by myself. I faltered. I froze. I failed. I stopped losing. I began to gain. The cycle began again.

A few times, I reached my goal. Yeah! One time, on the day I reached goal, I celebrated at a restaurant with steak, a loaded baked potato, rolls, and a big serving of Baked Alaska. Wow! The next day the scale showed a gain of seven pounds. I mentally pummeled my mind. I was a failure. I couldn't keep off the weight. I regained it all, plus more. I stayed in Colorado Springs and never made it to Aurora.



let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
                                                                    Galatians 6:9  NIV



God taught me to always discover my why when I was tempted to stop.


What made you, in the first place, fall at the foot of the cross?
Why did you want to lose weight and stay slimmer?
Why did you feel led to teach that class, or sing in the choir, or witness to _____?

What is your why  for wanting that goal?
                                
If you're at Colorado Springs (just reached your goal weight or are nearly there)(or maybe began a walk with Christ and are considering turning back), don't give up. Drive all the way to Aurora and stay there with God's help.

Recall your why.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Failure or Success?

I prepare the feast

With heavy heart.

Faults bog me down

Fear sets me apart.

 

I stir the foods, but

Something’s not right.

My hands shake

As I take a bite.

 

I taste bitterness for sure.

What’s that ingredient?

Submission to God makes

Repentence expedient.

 

I bow before the heavenly throne

Knowing I’m unworthy.

On my own, I fall short

Cling to food that’s earthly.

 

I’ve worked for You,

I plead with God.

Did I misread your command

Wanting Your applause?



No, my child He explains.

You don’t know my thoughts

They’re higher than yours

So don’t be distraught.

 

Dessert will come later.

I view the whole meal.

Stay in the kitchen

Pray for the yield.

 

How say you, you’ve failed

When the dinner’s not ready.

The yeast is still rising

Now hold fast and steady.

 

At banquet time

I’ll sound the alert.

We’ll gather round the table

In me, you’ll have worth.
                      Divine Dining
                  by Janet K. Brown



This is God's view.

How do you measure failure or success?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Perserverance

Not giving up may be the hardest lesson to learn if you're trying to lose weight. The road looms lengthy with many peaks and valleys. Stepping on a scale that doesn't move, or worse, goes up threatens the strongest motivation.

God's weight loss plan challenges us to rely on Him, not our wishy-washy self will that can turn on us with one step on the scale, or one roadblock to our carefully-constructed plan. While we immerse in God's Word and pray for His direction, He whispers for us to presist, to keep our eyes on Him, not the problem.

I love how God uses His creation to teach us lessons.

On a short trip with our grandchildren to Amarillo, TX., God provided two great examples.

The first I spotted at the Amarillo Zoo. In the educational building, one of the cages held a prairie dog. He so wanted to be out of that cage to roam free with his buddies. He jumped toward the door at the top, over and over and over. I couldn't help but admire his gutsy leaps. His stamina was strong.


How many times would I jump to escape a prison. Ninety-five extra pounds along with low self esteem imprisoned me as surely as those bars confined that prairie dog. I grew weary, gave up, and wallowed in failure. Will that prairie dog do that? "No," the young man in the room told us. The animal jumped most of the day every day, a tribute to its instinct for freedom.

The other example was a beetle. My hubby, the three grandchildren, and I hiked up to a cave in the Palo Duro Canyon. On the return trip, my grandson spotted a beetle the size of a dime pushing a rock the size of a golf ball up the hillside.
I obviously didn't zero in on the beetle that well.


We surrounded it watching. The rock fell to one side. The beetle repositioned itself and pushed again. The rock began to roll. The beetle moved out of the way and then circled back behind the rock. We tired of watching and left, but the beetle was halfway up the hill with his treasure.

The example of the prairie dog and the beetle might inspire us in any field. A writing journey requires much persistence. Any career can challenge or defy us at times. A road toward sobriety or away from drug addiction may seem long and tedious. With God in charge, He asks only that we keep trying, keep praying, keep submitting to Him.

If you're on a difficult path now, whether it's weight loss or something else, stop today and remember the prairie dog and the beetle that persevere.

If God is for us, who can be against us.
                        Romans 8:31

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

You Are Special!

Which is correct?

Lose weight to increase your self esteem.

or

Increase your self esteem to lose weight.


With my now 23 year old granddaughter
When I weighed two hundred, fifty pounds, my self esteem drug the ground. I had tried every diet known to the compulsive overeater,
pills, shots, grapefruit diet, Atkins diet, weight loss clubs, and hundreds of other remedies. I could lose weight, but I always regained it.

One day, I joined another group called Christian Weight Controllers. What I gained there was more than a diet or exercise club, more extensive than visualizing my success and using positive self-talk. I required healing, not only in the realm of the physical and mental, but I required a touch from my Heavenly Father.

Yes, I followed a prescribed way of eating called the American Diabetic Exchange Diet. Yes, I began a walking campaign with a friend. Of course, I attended a weekly support group. But, I went a step farther. I followed the twelve steps.

Here are the first three steps of the original Alcoholics Anonymous book. (with my personal spin).

I admitted I was powerless over food, that my life had become unmanageable.

I came to believe a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.

I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God.

Denton book fair with my 3 books
God healed me emotionally. I've maintained my ninety-five pound loss for eighteen years. God gives freedom, not bondage. When I lost weight previously, I obsessed over doing it perfectly as much as I obsessed over food when I was binging.

My problem, my sin, was control. Instead of God being on the throne of my life, I replaced Him with food.

I can now glory in my weakness.

God perfects my weakness with His strength.

God's truth gives freedom. He freed me not just from food. I eat what I want, but He frees me from compulsion.

In this day, we hate the word "slavery," yet compulsive overeaters live with slavery every day.

Don't believe me?

Have you ever planned on starting a diet one morning that you relinquished by lunch?

Have tears ever flowed because you were so heavy, but couldn't stop eating?

Have you believed yourself worthless because you were fat?

Now, go back to my original question.

Which is correct?

the second one - Increase your self esteem to lose weight.



My suggestion: Start by listing ten things about yourself that you like.

Hint: Remember, you're God's creation, so you are special.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

God's Amazing Love

God's love never ceases. God's love can not be understood.

My husband and I sat in our back yard last night ant watched four grackles fly up into a live oak tree that leaned over our back fence. The noise level exacerbated, more screeching, less song.



mockingbird
"There's a mockingbird nest in that tree," Charles said. "I'll bet those grackles are eating the eggs."

I was horrified at the thought.

Ear-splitting sounds continued from the direction of the tree. It stopped when four grackles flew from that tree to another.

"How sad for the mama mockingbird," I said. We mamas internalize that kind of pain.

Charles enlightened me. "The instinct of the mockingbird will be to nurture those eggs, and when they crack, to feed those babies."

My heart was saddened. "Why would God allow such cruelty and yet, not give the mockingbird thoughts of revenge?"

At that moment, I knew. God uses His creations to teach us. What an example of God's love!

grackle
I was like that grackle, thoughtless and hateful, envious and resentful. I trampled God's gift of love. Yet, even before I was alive, God poured out His love nature to me by sending His Son to die on the cross.

Amazing love.

Unfailing love.

Unimaginable love.

Today is my birthday, so I'm a bit reflective, but last night with the story of the grackle and the mockingbird, God gave me a picture of His love.

And, today, on my birthday, I want to say, "Thank you, Lord, for that unspeakable love that saves me and turns my life into something beautiful for You, despite my age."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Love Hunger

In my weight controlling classes, I use quotes and examples from many books. In Love Hunger: Recovery from Food Addiction by Dr. Frank Minirth, Dr. Paul Meier, Dr. Robert Hemfelt, & Dr. Sharon Sneed, we read, "The first step to food addiction, Love Hunger, most often begins in childhood, but one can get on the addiction cycle later in life as well." 

Finding the root cause of our compulsion or addiction means discovering when and where it started. A baby isn't born that way. I wracked my mind trying to determine what gave me love-hunger.



I was very fortunate that both my parents were in my life, and both loved me. However, I will say that I never lived up to my mother’s expectations. She loved me, but more than that, she loved what she wanted me to be, only I wasn’t that perfect daughter in her mind. She complimented me a lot, but always with a but … .
 
“You’re such a beautiful girl, if you would just lose a little weight.”
 “You are so smart, but I wish you’d speak up more for yourself.”
 
Mother took me to my first weight loss place where I began a diet when I was fourteen. Thinking back, I guess this was my trigger (my love-hunger). I was embarrassed and felt insecure to need such a place.

To receive my total emotional healing from God, I began with that trigger time. Before I could heal, I had to forgive. By this time, my mother was gone. I didn't know how to express my forgiveness. One time, while I was taking a course on the book of John in the Bible, God spoke to me to write her a letter.

I did, writing to my mother and telling her how she hurt me with her comments, with her lack of acceptance of who I really was, then I told her that I knew she did the best she could do. I remembered her telling me about her mean-spirited grandmother. Compassion welled in my heart for the little girl who was sickly and unable to work in the cotton fields with her brothers and sister, for the taunting and harsh words that befell her though she was unable to change her health. The more I wrote the freer I became.


When I was bound in addiction, I could've never imagined that God would have me writing at this desk as He dictated. Praise God for His miraculous healing.

I'm not saying that you need to write a letter of forgiveness, but maybe you do. What I'm saying, is if you're bound with a food addiction, ask God to show you the root cause. Then, ask Him to heal that love hunger.

(See the way God does things and fall into line. Don't fight the facts of nature.) Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
            Ecclesiates 7:13 The Life Recovery Bible


Not everything is fair in life, but God is control.

And, God heals. My life is a testimony to that.