Archive | January, 2014

Identity Statements

30 Jan

I Was Made for More – Chapter 5

“We were made for more than this.  More than this failure, more than this cycle, more than being ruled by taste buds. We were made for victory!” ~ Lysa TerKeurst

We need to remember our identity, who we were created to be and embrace it. I loved these identity truths that Lysa included in this chapter.

MTC - Victorious

Stop a few moments and say the following identity statements (from page 53) inserting your name and as you do pray that God will help you to re-identify yourself:

  • Debbie, the forgiven child of God. (Romans 3:24)
  • Debbie, the set-free child of God. (Romans 8:1-2)
  • Debbie, the accepted child of God. (1 Corinthians 1:2)
  • Debbie, the holy child of God. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
  • Debbie, the made-new child of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • Debbie, the loved child of God. (Ephesians 1:4)
  • Debbie, the close child of God. (Ephesians 2:13)
  • Debbie, the confident child of God. (Ephesians 3:12)
  • Debbie, the victorious child of God. (Romans 8:37)

One thought in the Made to Crave Participant’s Guide on page 48 spoke to me and I hope it does you.  “If you identity today is defined by past experiences or difficult circumstances, you’re vulnerable to “identity theft.”  That’s what happens when you identify yourself by your circumstances – you lose sight of the person you were made to be.  In order to embrace the spiritual truth that you are made for more, it is essential to define your identity not by your circumstances but by who you belong to.”  I encourage each of you now to go back up to that list and insert your name and truly know WHO you are!

Each of us were made to crave God.  We need to remember all the truths God has given us of who we really are .  We were reminded that “we were made for MORE”.  We are made for more because we are children of the GLORIOUS FATHER!  It is time to stop identifying ourselves by our past and even our present.  It’s time we identify ourselves on who our precious Father says we are.  We were made for MORE so that we might know HIM more and that our hearts will be enlightened!

DETERMINATION – Made to Crave Week 2

30 Jan

 Determination was our word of the week in the Made to Crave Bible Study at Proverbs 31.Org.  I had to ponder on that a bit.  DETERMINATION – Merriam-Webster – firm or unwavering adherence to one’s purpose.  One synonym that gave that I especially liked was stick-to-itiveness.

What does that word mean to me and how has it helped me to think about it.  Some of the things that jumped out at me were:

  • Determining that I need to keep up with the study, and by that I mean where we are as a whole on Melissa’s blog, reading the chapters assigned each week, answering the study questions and memorizing and verse mapping the memory verses.
  • Determining to make a plan, and sticking with it and planning everything including all of my snacks and even down to the glasses of water and some exercise each day.
  • Determining that I am worth it, and God expects it, and realizing I was made for more.
  • Determining to turn all my food struggles to Him because He cares about everything in my life.
  • Determining that every single thing that goes into my mouth is a choice and taking the time to stop and think before I eat.

Plan What to Eat -Chapter 3

Lysa challenged us last week in Chapter 3 to create a plan of what to eat.  I’ve determine that is not so hard.  It’s taking a bit of time to do it, but in the long run it is saving me time because I know my plan for each day.  I hope to continue to plan out a menu for the week on the weekends, and stay a week ahead so that I don’t get behind.  Am I there yet, no, but I have lots of ideas and this is doable?  My plan will not look like your plan.

 Seeking Accountability – Chapter 4

This week we have discussed accountability and how it is important for us to have a healthy lifestyle change.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I am finding lots of accountability in my OBS Facebook group, with our team leaders and Melissa’s blog each day.  It keeps me on track.  I am stronger because I have the accountability.  I know help is there when I need it in the groups, but I also know that my greatest accountability partner is God.  I can post something in my facebook group about food or exercise and all my study partners are right there with me and we are each cheering each other on.  Tonight I posted I was getting on the treadmill for twenty minutes and I got off and sit down for a moment and told my husband I was going for a shower, and he said I am going to get on the treadmill – now I have another cheerleader in my home.

And here I am blogging about accountability with the world about my cravings, accountability and exercise.   So how badly do I really want to be healthy and crave God instead of food?  Do you find yourself saying “I’ll do it tomorrow”, “just one little snack”?  It’s time to stop and examine some of the reasons I’ve been putting off getting healthy and craving someone much greater than food.

  • Fear – How many times have I lost weight just to gain it back?  Am I afraid to go there now and really admit to God that I can do it this time?
  • Laziness/Tiredness/Time – Really it is hard and expensive to eat healthy and how can I find the time to exercise?  Most people don’t like to exercise.  Find something you like and you will be glad you did.
  • Sin – Craving foods I love that add nothing to my health but actually harm my health.  Food has become my friend, but really it is the enemy.  Do I love food more than God?  Honestly, I must the way I act some days.
  • Procrastination – I can start tomorrow, I can start Monday, I can start after vacation.  I don’t have time! Really, we all have 24 hours a day. I have too much weight to lose?    Well if I don’t get started, there will be more to lose.   I’ll eat with the girls just today, and go back to eating healthy tomorrow.  Does tomorrow really ever come?
  • Demands – My job is stressing me out!  My kids require too much attention!  I have no time for me!
  • Money – I don’t have money for healthy food or a gym membership!  Really the veggie and fruit sections at Aldis and Sprouts have some awesome prices and you don’t need a gym membership.  Put a DVD in an exercise, take a walk, pick up some weights or some canned goods and mo

One of the things that Lysa told us this week on page 41 was to “Think it over.”  Yes I immediately thought about that old Supremes song from my teenage years.  But really as I looked back at all the times that I walk into that kitchen and eat that sweet, sugary or salty snack instead of listening to my conscience or saying a prayer or quoting scripture, how many pounds could I have averted and how many times could I have felt determined instead of defeated.

STOP, THINK IT OVER – RESIST TEMPTATION next time.   Three little words – think it over!

I Was Made for More – Chapter 5 – 

My identity statements required another blog here

https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/identity-statements/

Growing Closer to God – CHAPTER 6

“Being ruled by anything other than God is something God takes quite seriously.  And so should I.”  Lysa TerKeurst,  Page 66 of Made to Crave.

That paragraph hit me smack in the gut.  Does food rule me?  I think so.  I plan meals for gatherings and it has always been a big thing in my family.  Looking back at pictures of my childhood many of them were taken at my grandparents and they always centered around meals.  I love to cook, and I love to eat.

Another thing that hit me during the week as we were asked to share one scripture from the back of the book that spoke to us and my eyes out of all those listed was drawn to the Fruit of the Spirit chapter in Galatians 5:22.

DSC03074

and how does the last one read – “self-control” or in some translations “temperance”?

DSC03076 DSC03075 DSC03077How many times have I read that over the years and walked past it in my house because I have a huge plaque with the fruit of the spirit and this one has gone unnoticed perhaps because I spend so much time dwelling on love, joy, peace – but self-control/temperance – NOT?   Have I used self-control in my food choices – mostly no.  It’s not easy to be self-controlled when you have lived a life uncontrolled.  It isn’t easy allowing the Holy Spirit to direct me to correct food choices, when I have allowed undiscipline in my life.  The fruit of the Spirit should be fully alive in me, and I should be more fruitful as I make God choices!

This chapter spoke to me and had much to say about getting closer to our Lord.  I want that, don’t you?  She told us how to do it –  “By making the choice to deny ourselves something that is permissible but not beneficial.” (page 61).  I put that in terms of food, but for you it could be anything you crave more than Him – shopping, exercise, reading, games, alcohol, drugs……..

So how about you?  Are you ready like me to truly know you were made for MORE?  More than feeling beat up when you fail, when you eat that piece of cheesecake, more than finding your worth on a scale looking at numbers you don’t want to identify with, more than being stuck in those snacking habits and poor food choices, more than excuses, more than vicious cycles of being ruled by food, more than laziness of not exercising, MORE of Him and less of you – we were made for MORE!!!!

   

 


Psalm 84:2 Continued

23 Jan

As we finish up on the first week of Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst, I am absolutely amazed at how much is in the first three chapters and my first blog was so long just talking about only a few things in the introduction and Chapter 1, that I am now continuing so I’ll have these thoughts to cherish in years to come.  If you have not read this book, DO IT!

Intro and Chapter 1 Aha moments here.  https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/psalm-842/

Chapter 2 Aha moments on replacing cravings!

“Is it possible we love and rely on food more than we love and rely on God”?  If some of us are honest like Lysa we would say yes we do rely on food more than God and we crave food more than God.  Isn’t food one of the things many of us turn to or whatever your craving might be when you feel sad or stressed?

Lysa talked about how God’s chosen people wanted food more than God and they put God to the test.  Are we putting God to the test?  Can you imagine wandering in a “desert” and not being able to have God’s abundant life?  That scares me.  And many of us are wandering with our health – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes.

“Each time I craved something I knew wasn’t part of my plan, I used that craving as a prompt to pray.  I craved a lot.  So, I found myself praying a lot.”  I really have not found myself praying a lot because of food this week.  For some reason just being a part of all this amazing study has made me content.  I’m content with no snacks except nuts or a small pudding.

blog - MTC Week 1 Cont'd

Chapter 3 Aha!

It’s time to get a plan.  Poor food choices were sabotaging Lysa’s body, her mental energy and even her spirit.  Food had become like a drug.  Does that sound familiar?  It’s time to adopt some kind of plan and make some sacrifices, making healthy choices rather than denying ourselves.  Find a plan that fits you and your family.  Find some time to exercise.  I think I can do that and have been doing it now for over a week.  I have the power – we can be empowered with Him!

Psalm 84:2

23 Jan

As we began this week  in a study called Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst at Proverbs 31.Org, I wondered what are the things in my life that I crave instead of God.  For me mostly, I believe it is food and coffee and honestly I do not exercise enough.  For others it might be chocolate, soda, candy, sex, drugs, fame, power, self-importance, alcohol, shopping, exercise, sleeping, games, smoking, gossip, boasting, lust and even planning too much about food and exercise and eating too little, material possessions, love, fitting in, significance and the list goes on and on and on.  Can you associate with a craving that is not God?

Ultimately, our hearts were made to crave God, but we have this problem with wrong cravings.   Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial! 1 Cor. 10:23. Anything can become an obsession when not kept in moderation. It is  wrong to be obsessed with overeating and eating the wrong things, but it is also wrong to become obsessed with healthy eating, eating too little,  and even craving too much of healthy exercise.  Turning to anything other than Jesus in an obsessive manner is wrong. Are there any of these things that you crave that you can not imagine giving up?  Any place our focus is drawn, any thing that we crave instead of the Father is wrong.

We have learned this week in Chapter 1 that we were made to crave only God.  I know that so why is it so hard?  What is it about food that draws me?  What is it about any addiction that draws us?  We were made to enjoy food, but not to indulge in it.

Our reflection verse this week was Ps 84:2.  This verse came alive like never before.  Read it very slowly.  I am quoting it this week as I think about chocolate or another snack that I know is not healthy.  My (Debbie’s) soul yearns, even faints – really does your soul yearn, even faint for the Lord?  Mine is more and more as I cry out and ask God to help me with any ungodly cravings.

 Blog - Psalm 842

As I read chapter 1 and the introduction, I was struck by so much that Lysa TerKeurst shared in the Made to Crave book.  The way she described how Satan did all he could to destroy Eve and Jesus is the very same tactics he uses on you and me today.  Satan causes us to crave those things other than God, and yes he was there with Eve in the Garden tempting her just like he tempts us today.

Here are some things that jumped out at me in Chapter 1 and the participant’s guide – what I would call my aha moments:

  • From the Introduction

            “It’s not the how to, it’s the want to.”  Don’t we all know how?  We have tried diets, exercising, cutting back, and some even surgery, but nothing works because it’s the want to that we need.  I know how to lose weight.  I’ve done it over and over and over and many of you have too.

              “God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone.”

            “In my case, the number itself was not the issue.  The issue was how I felt mentally, spiritually, and physically.  It was time to be honest with myself.”  The number on the scale really is not the issue.  I have known many little women who have medical problems – the number on the scale looks perfect – the body looks perfect, but inside are things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many unhealthy cravings for other things.    Lysa reminded us we over underweight spiritually.  That is not a place I want to be underweight.

MTC - Week 1 - Chapter 2  - pg 28

  • From Chapter 1

Page 20 –  “God made us to crave…but the object of our craving was never supposed to be food.” As I read that I realized why the binging does not fulfill me.  I am still hungry – hungry for something greater.  Gosh I could eat a half a bag of candy or something else.  I have been stuffing myself with the wrong things, and should be feeding myself with scripture or even a prayer, or maybe even sit down and read my Bible until the urge goes to where it should be.  Food is not bad, it is when we let it control us mentally, physically and spiritually.  This is why I fail at diets. I’m great at filling up on healthy foods. Feeling full is not my problem. It is making room for junk food that is my problem. Eating when I am NOT hungry is the problem.  Eating when I am stressed is the problem or being so busy that I grab fast food that is not healthy. I am underweight spiritually and that’s being honest.

It was time to get honest with myself when I read page 20.  What do I run to when I am stressed, when I feel angry or hurt, when I feel alone – you got it – it’s food, not God, not the scriptures – it’s food – poor me instead of knowing whose I am and who really cares when I am hurting.

“Is it possible we love and rely on food more than we love and rely on God?” (pg.28).  That hit me again – smack in the face or maybe the gut.  Have you ever thought of food that way?  I have, but now I’m ashamed after reading that.  Yes I admit I have relied on food more than I rely on God when I crave something.  Food is necessary for life, but not junk food and not overindulging.

Pg 23 – “We consume what we think about.  And what we think about can consume us if we’re not careful.”  Do you think about food?  Even on a diet we crave food.  I can buy a bag of candy for Halloween and before you know it, it is gone.  I keep going back and back thinking about it in the kitchen.  Crazy I know.  Just like Eve I don’t take my eyes off the candy.  I don’t get full because I am not craving the one who created me.  I go for that one piece and go back again and again.

Pg 24 – “Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial.”  1 Cor 10:23.  Are you like me?  Overeating things that are not beneficial to my health and my weight like candy, cookies, chips, cake has gone on for so many years that it is now a HABIT.  I know when I am dieting, I can crave an apple or an orange, so why is it I don’t do that when I’m not on a diet?  Could it be Satan knows my weaknesses?

Pg 24 – “Truth is powerful.  The more saturated we are in truth, the more powerful we’ll be in resisting our temptations”

I heard our preacher last Sunday at church telling us “How the Bible Changes Us”.  He told us to read it, learn it, believe/accept it and to DO IT!  I have read my Bible all of my adult life and gone to Bible studies, but I have never memorized and come to love the scriptures like I do now.  I looked up several verses and this one hit home.   “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world”. 1 John 2:15-16.  Satan tempted Jesus, but what did Jesus do – exactly what we should do – quote scripture.

It’s time to do it!  It’s time to quote scripture or pray when I have a craving.  It’s time to be empowered to make good food choices, to plan meals for the week and healthy snacks.   It’s time to be healthy spiritually, physically and mentally.  It’s time to walk, exercise to a video and MOVE!   It is time to take baby steps.  It is time to practice portion control.

How about you?  Are you ready to make the changes you need to crave God?

  

Goals and Dreams – 2014

18 Jan

This is the final week of our GAP study at Proverbs31.Org.  I don’t want it to end, but our new study with over 36,000 women all over the world is starting Sunday.  Would love for you to join us.  Just follow the button on my blog page and sign up.  We are starting a study called Made to Crave.  What do you crave?  For me it’s chocolate and carbs.  For others it’s shopping, alcohol, drugs, exercise, games, facebook, reading things that do not honor God, porn, watching shows or movies not honoring God and that list goes on and on.  What’s on your list?

We were asked to share two goals that we think God wants us to focus on this year.  Goals, the word for the year and vision came easy for me this year, although the word did take me a few times.  I chose simplify and wrote about it here.   https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/if-it-is-his-will-hopes-and-dreams-for-2014/  I believe this year with no resolutions, but rather simple goals and a word, that I truly will be able to follow His leading and do all that I do to bring Him glory.  It is not that hard when we stay in the Word, when we plan, when we take baby steps and use all those tools that are available to each of us today. I love Pastor Rick Warren, and this week I was honored to read this in my GAP group.  It is beautiful.

Pastor Rick Warren – “How do you know if [your goal] is going to bring glory to God?  Any goal that causes you to love God more brings glory to God.  Any goal you set that causes you to trust God more, brings glory to God.  Any goal you set that causes to you obey God, to love God, to serve God, any goal that causes you to want to brag on God and tell unbelievers, ‘Look what he did for me’ — that’s the goal that brings glory to God. “

So what goals do I have to honor God in 2014 – simplicity in eating and cleaning.  That’s it and I know there’s so much more to meet my goals this year.  They can not just be goals without some action and we learned some steps also this week as we studied an article that was written by Kevin Nuben where he shared that in order to achieve our goals they have to be SMART.   (http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/biblestudyandtheology/discipleship/setting_goals.aspx.)

 blog-smart

We must remember as we set our goals they must be in the will of God.  I wrote about this in my blog here.

https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/if-it-is-his-will-hopes-and-dreams-for-2014/

So what is my eating goal this year, and how does it Honor my Lord?  He has given me a body to take care of.   I haven’t. He’s given me the knowledge and provided all the tools to know what to eat, but I don’t use my knowledge or the tools.  I go about my own way and do my own thing and fall off the wagon.   It might be one piece of chocolate, but rather than limit myself to one piece a day or one piece a week, I keep going back for more and craving something more than God.  He can provide the strength not to eat that chocolate bar, that cake or all those carbs, but only if I call on Him.  I have a scripture jar in my kitchen but I don’t go for that – I go for whatever is available to satisfy a longing that will never be satisfied.

I am absolutely blessed with all sorts of videos, a treadmill, pedometers, and computers to go to internet sites to track my progress but I fail to use any of them except for a day here and a day there – nothing consistent.

Here are my SMART Goals for 2014.

blog-smart goals

1.  Use my beautiful planner I bought at Family Christian.  The first step is to plan specific goals.  My goal is one pound a week.  Yes I know that is not a lot, but I am not going to diet, but rather eat healthy.  I may lose more but one pound per week puts me where I would love to be by December 31, 2014.  

2.  I will plan a menu EVERY week instead of an occasional plan so that we can eat healthy meals and snacks. I found this menu at http://www.thebettermom.com and much of it is gluten-free.  You just print it out and you click on it to get the recipes.  I tried it last week and love it, and yes I will change parts of it to adapt my husband and I.Eating and Exercise goals.  I will track my progress on a website called myfitnesspal where I have already signed up this week. 

3.  I will clasp that pedometer on every morning and walk 10,000 steps at least two days a week, striving for three.  I will exercise to a video like Leslie Sansome or Power Fit or on the treadmill at least two days a week for twenty minutes.  Yes I know I could do more, but would I achieve those goals?  These are baby steps and I can do this.

4.  I also have some cleaning goals this year. I will plan one cleaning goal a week and spend at least 15 minutes a day cleaning that area until it is finished.  Already started that and it took me three weeks to get the Christmas decorations finished, but you know what that attic floor is clean and I can walk in there and find my Fall and my patriotic decorations easily.  I threw away two trash cans of stuff.

In Habakkuk we are told to write or goals (visions) down so that they are in front of us to see.  We have to be ready to take action as God moves us,  and the more we keep them in front of us, the easier it is to run with them.

blog - Habakkuk 22 a

 

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