Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is This Your Time?

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1”


Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

I learned this saying in Weight Watchers. It remains one of my favorites to remember and quote. A friend of mine changed it to say, "Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

King Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, spoke the above words from life observation. My time for weight loss came at last. Maybe I took that long to learn to let God move in my life. Who knows? Can we hasten the season for us? I believe so.

Another saying I really like comes from Franklin F. Adams.

Health is the thing that makes you feel that now is the best time of the year.

When we improve our health, regardless of our season in life, a new world opens. Because we spend less time worrying about what we’ll eat next, we have more time to create. Since we don’t use as much time stopping for food and snacking, we expand our horizons. When my brain got off sugar, ideas popped like new adventures. Health makes any season the best time of all.

Could it be that this is your season for a new venture?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weight Loss Isn't a Day Trip

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. II Thes.3:3.”


How many times have I gone on a diet to lose weight for a particular time or event? Too often I reached a low time and tried the latest diet fad? I looked at weight loss as a temporary period in my life. If I lost thirty pounds or sixty pounds, then my life would improve and I could return to eating “normal.”

I looked at a diet like I do a day trip.

An hour away from my home town is a national wildlife refuge. Surrounded by flat plains, mountains reach for the sky giving magnificent views. Buffaloes, long horns and deer roam free. My husband and I take an occasional day trip to Oklahoma's Wichita Mountains to enjoy God’s wonderland. We leave home in the morning and hike while it’s cool. We stop for lunch at a favorite landmark. We wade in the creek. We take pictures and visit the museum. In the afternoon, we return to our starting place and go back to normal life.

With a weight loss journey, we never return to normal. God’s path to healing isn’t a day trip but a lifetime endeavor. God establishes us day by day and keeps us from unhealthy practices until He takes us home to heaven.

Rid yourself of the notion of “going on a diet” and returning to a better way of eating. We must never stop. Instead, we must turn and do a one, eighty life change.


Prayer: Lord, guide me every day of my life. Show me a new way of eating.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Different Tallow Trees

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them to all men. 1 Cor. 12:4-6 NIV.”


In our back yard, about ten years ago, my husband planted two Chinese tallow trees.

One grew more quickly and gave good shade within two years, and in the fall, its leaves provided brilliant color before dropping. The other was scrawny and sparse, but also gave nice colors.

Through their life span so far, they have differed. The bigger one stopped growing and gave little color, but the berries thickened on its branches. The smaller one grew slowly, but little by little, it became the larger, fuller one of the pair and gave the most brilliant colors.

Now, ten years later, one remains small, lots of berries, and nice, though muted, color, then sheds all its leaves at the first freeze or hard cold wind.

Though it grew more slowly, the other tree became good sized and shades our patio swing in the summer. But, it never turns colors, it never sheds leaves until the new growth in the spring.

Different, but equally of value. One for its color, the other for its shade.

God made us the same way. To lose weight and gain self value, I had to praise God for who He made me—different but equally of value to Him.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011- a Year of Consistency and Kind Conversation - I hope

“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22,23 NIV.”

This is a time for new years resolutions. In 2011, I wish to harness in my inconsistency and my words.

In the area of food addiction, inconsistency marked my choices for years, keeping me on a roller coaster of emotional upheaval. For a week, a month, maybe even six months, I would maintain white-knuckled devotion to a diet plan. I counted and measured every bite. Nothing went between my lips that wasn’t on my list. Then, it happened. Because of a certain circumstance, I’d eat something wrong. Discouragement then brought me to my knees. My thoughts went like this:

I messed up.
What did it matter anyway?
I can’t take this anymore.
I’ve already blown it, so I might as well eat something I really want.

Though an overeating compulsion has been a big challenge in my life, I also see this same attitude in other areas. For awhile I love everybody. I remind myself no one is perfect. They're human. I'm human. I need to turn it over to God. Then, someone says or does something that hurts my feelings, and here's my thought patterns:

I'm worthless.
Who cares?
I'll never speak to them again.
I don't fit in there, so I'll leave the group.

Next thing I know I'm looking for a new church, or new group, or new friend, or I'm holing up at home nursing my wounds. The devil wins a victory because I cease to be useful to God until I forgive and move on.

Last week, I started a Joyce Meyer course at church about our conversation to ourselves, to others and to God. Wow, I was reminded of the importance of our words, even our words to ourselves. According to Meyer, if we insult ourselves, we insult God, our creator. I also was convicted of my words to God. I apologize to my Heavenly Father for such language as "My life is unfair." "Don't you love me, God?" "I prayed, and things got worse." In this, I show my mistrust of God.

God showers us with new compassion every day. He never fails, and He’s always there. He’s the God of spring after winter, of newborn babies in the face of the death of the elderly, of new years and new songs. He’s all we need, fresh every morning.

Oh, Lord, I could use to lose ten more pounds in 2011, too.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Brings out the Best in Selfish People

“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. John 12:2 NIV.”


Compulsive overeaters like me turn inward. At one time, my motto, though I wouldn’t admit it, was “It’s all about me.” Feeling sorry for myself exacerbated my eating, and eating increased my low self esteem. This vicious cycle churned in my mind and spiraled to lower depths with each day. At one point in my life, even though I had a faithful husband and three precious daughters, I could see nothing worthwhile to my life. Feeling empty and void of any good thing, I truly believed my family would be better off without me.

Now, it's Christmas time. I just returned from stuffing stockings for under-privileged children. My mouth sings and my heart feels weightless. My mind focuses on others, not myself. I feel good about helping someone.

In chapter twelve of John, Mary loved Jesus so much, she longed to show Him in a tangible way. The only thing she could think of was to break open her perfume, which was possibly the only thing of value she owned, and anoint Jesus’ head. Many thought that action foolish. Once a friend thought I was crazy for picking up a mentally-challenged lady and bringing her to Bible study. This sweet lady didn’t seem to know what we were saying and added nothing to the conversation. But, in doing this, my mind stayed on her, not me.

Do what you can. Do what God leads you to do. Focus on someone besides yourself. God will conquer your shortcomings and bring joy to you as well as those you help.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rumble Strips

The state of Texas lines the highways with rumble strips to wake up sleepy drivers and keep them from veering off the road. God gives us rumble strips (warning signs) to keep us on His path. Here's my list:

1. Doing anything else appeals to you more than going to church.
Boing! You've just hit a rumble strip. The vibration rattles your mind. What's wrong with me? Walk, no, run to the house of God. Listen to His Word.

2. You're depressed. No one speaks to you. You feel so tired, so very tired.
If you're dwelling on yourself and what's wrong with you, look up. God is flashing a yellow light. Beware! Beware! It's not all about you.

3. Temptation to speak harsh words comes more frequently. You find yourself laughing at an off-color joke. When was the last time that was a problem? You absolutely hate your boss and dread to go to work. WARNING: When was the last time you prayed?

Resentment and compulsive overeating plague my personal life. God's rumble strip shows up for me when I constantly long to eat sweets. I must check my life. What is wrong? Am I angry with someone? Have I been too busy for a quiet time of meditation? Have I really forgiven my friend or my family?

Fellow Christians, think of your own life. God places rumble strips there for all of us. At first, they distract or aggravate us, but have we allowed them to steer us away from trouble? Do we use the warnings to get us back on God's path?

Rumble strips on our highways and in our lives bear a purpose--to save our lives, but only if we follow their nudging.

Rumble strips steer sinners to saving strength and success.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Are you growing?

This idea originated with a visiting minister at our church last night, but I found it inspiring not only in regards to my Christian walk, but also in my writing. My writing is my career, but the idea could apply whether you're a teacher, a secretary or an engineer. Think about it. Are you growing?

God's ideal is a perfect Christian walk with no sin, no impure thoughts, witnessing and being always sensitive to God's will in our lives.

Perfection

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:14 NIV."

Perfection is the goal, but we will never reach it. Therefore, should we give up and say I'm not the ideal or she/he doesn't live right, should we ignore them? No, of course not.

An oak tree strives for the ideal of being tall with many branches giving shade. When we plant an oak in our yard, the height might well be three foot or less with two scrawny branches. Do we cast it aside because it's not perfect? Of course not. We water it, we nourish it, we pray for sunshine and rain at proper times. The oak starts growing though slower than many other trees planted at the same time, but an oak grows in strength. Life flows through the trunk and branches of an oak at a different pace than through a willow. Yet, we plant and nourish both toward the ideal they can reach.

A new Christian is a tiny sapling. As a more mature Christian, we should help them along, and yet, we also should be growing. If an oak ceases to grow, it ceases to live. Our Christian walk resembles that. We must stay attached to Christ and continue to grow.

God plants new writers in His field for His perfect purpose. In the beginning, we are so inept. We don't know a sequel from a point-of-view character. More mature writers train us, encourage us. Growing hurts. We struggle through rejection and discouragement, through writing and rewiting, but if we don't quit, we grow. Our writing improves, and we push through obstacles we never believed we could. Yet, even the mighty oaks of writing must continue to learn and improve.

Are you growing?
In your walk with Christ and in your writing or other career?
Don't give up.
Poke your head toward the sky and keep striving regardless that you will never reach the goal of perfection until God takes you home. How close can you come?