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Okay, first post and I’m already spilling secrets.

Get used to it.

I have to confess that my journey to take care of my body began last year. God seriously dealt with me regarding my food and my body, which I had not surrendered to Him. Food was/is my thing. It was my comfort, my solace, my connection to all things emotional, and I hadn’t allowed God to be a part of that. I had tried, but it rarely lasted. As a result, my weight has been very high most of my adult life and I have never been the picture of health. During a long car ride home from a very spiritual week of fellowship and worship, I asked God to reveal to me the area of my life I still needed to surrender. All He wanted to talk about was food.

Once I got home, I did what I tend to do and I made a huge life decision by jumping in the deep water head first. I had no plan, no long term goals, no research, but a lot of passion and zeal to change. This is a pattern of my life and the reason I fail at my endeavors more often than not. I began eating clean, lost 40 pounds, but found it difficult to sustain that without the plan to back me up. I also didn’t include God much in my  journey, which was the entire reason I was doing this in the first place. And I failed.

Since then I have gained back about 30 of those pounds and I am in a spiritual vacuum. No progress to be found regarding my body and submitting it to God. I have known what it means to submit to God in the areas of my mind and my spirit, but not in my body.

So here we are starting over, this time with a plan and the accountability of this blog. I will make mistakes, I will go lengths of time without updating here, I will be wishy-washy about my mission, but I will continue to press forward to the ultimate goal.

I am on a journey to connect living whole with living holy in body, soul, and spirit.

I hope you join me along the way…

Be Blessed!

 

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21 Day Fix Day 6 – The Same Power

Romans 8:11     And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. 

The last two days were filled with compromise and lack of will power. I indulged in food I haven’t eaten in months, and that made yesterday even more difficult. It is amazing how just one slip up can bring us right back to the struggle. In my case it is addiction to food, to sugar and bread specifically. One indulgence on day 4 and day 5 was a complete wash. I ate so much and so many bad things, including a brownie! If I’m being honest, the brownie didn’t even taste very good. I mean, I tasted the sugar, but I tasted all the chemicals and preservatives as well. Sigh… I gave in to temptation and lost all my power, all my reserve, and all my fight.

It didn’t have to be that way. According to Romans 8:11, the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in me. This means, of course, that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is living in me. Think about that! Next time you are facing what seems to be an impossible situation, think about this scripture. Call on the Spirit living you, the power living in you, and he will help you. He is always there, waiting for us to call on that power. If this scripture doesn’t get you excited, you aren’t really hearing what it is saying.

I posted a reminder of this on my refrigerator. The next time I am feeling the pull, the temptation, I will be calling on the power of the spirit that lives in me to help me over come the temptation. I have already done it today, and let me tell you, it works. It doesn’t make it easier to resist, but it makes it easier to be obedient.

Day 6 of 21 was much better. I was able to fight off the cravings and temptation. I didn’t get quite enough water, but I’m still calling it a successful day. I made 3 bean chili and finished off the lentil tacos in the fridge. I’m ready for the next few days and hopefully won’t have to cook anything else.

IMG_3590I find it interesting how difficult I am finding the 21 day fix to be, when I was able to pretty much breeze through 90 days before. The only explanation is God asked me to do the 90 days, it was a fast between me and Him, and He gave me the strength and resolve to get through it. This 21 day fix is more of a personal goal, not a spiritual goal. I find that much more difficult to complete. I wonder why I’m so willing to sabotage my personal goals? This isn’t the first time I’ve done it. The pattern shows itself when I look back over the years. Food for thought…

Be Blessed!

21 Day Fix Day 3 – Helium Isn’t Enough

Philippians 3:12-14     Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

I used to worry a lot. I worried about everything from finances, to health, to the future. I even worried about how much I worry.

Somehow over the years I have learned how to stop all the worrying and to trust God. It took time to get here; it certainly didn’t happen over night. Every once in a while, I still find myself worrying. All those things that I had given up to God somehow end up back in my hands. So I give them to Him again. And Again. And again.

I was praying about this cycle one night, and the picture of a balloon popped in my head. The balloon contained all my fears, doubts, and worries. I put them in that balloon, filled it up with helium, tied it with a string, and let it go. Or so I thought. In my vision, I could see that as I let go of the balloon, two of my fingers held on to the tip of the string. Even though I had let the balloon go, I was still preventing it from going up to God. That string represented my lack of trust in Him. I was afraid to let go of complete control and let the balloon float freely up to God.

Sometimes I still see that string in my fingers, but for the most part, I have let it go. I am not 100% there yet, but I’m a work in progress. God reminded me just today that if I want to do as this scripture says, to forget what is behind and reach forward to what is ahead, I have to let go of the string. Adding helium isn’t enough, I have to let go completely so that my hands are free to reach toward the future. As I hold this balloon down by the string, I am also holding myself back from receiving the blessing of God and the fulfillment of my future – my purpose. That is serious motivation to let go of the string, don’t you think?

IMG_3580Day 3 of the 21 Day Fix is going fine. I have only two big problems: I can’t seem to eat all the food, and I struggle to drink enough water. My stomach feels full all the time! I can’t remember how many times I would feel full from eating too much junk and it was never a problem, but fill up on the good foods and water and I struggle to get it done.

I have a third problem I’m working on solving. I can’t seem to get all the protein I am supposed to get. I am doing the vegan version and for my weight I am supposed to have 4 servings of protein. The problem is the limited list of vegan proteins. I eat way more protein than my chart says, but it comes in the form of beans, or quinoa, or other sources that are listed as a carb on 21 Day Fix. I know I’m getting enough protein, but I have no way to record it. I realize this isn’t a deal breaker, just a nuisance.

Other than that, I’m enjoying this so far.

So, here are at the end of day 3… I hope your day was wonderful!

Be Blessed!

 

 

21 Day Fix – Day 1 – From Fast to Fix

Galatians 6:7-8     Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

21 day fix
My New Tools

Funny Story – about 3/4 of the way through my 90 day fast, my daughter asked me if I would do the 21 day fix with her. There are some ladies from church who are doing it together. I decided I would do it to be her accountability (and her mine). The group started last week, but the actual diet didn’t start until today. When I agreed to do the 21 day fix, I calculated it would start while I was still on the fast, so it shouldn’t be that hard. It would only extend my fast by about 10 days. I grossly miscalculated, and now I am starting over for 21 more days. I found a vegan version of the 21 day fix online, so I plan on staying vegan. I will, however, introduce some gluten back into my diet. I really missed gluten. Ha!

Anyway, yesterday was my first day after my 90 day fast. I thoroughly enjoyed eating a few slices of pizza and a piece of bread with butter. Naturally, I fell asleep feeling like there was a rock in my stomach. Knowing I was starting the 21 day fix today I may have overdone it a bit with the pizza.

So, I will be posting about my 21 day fix journey starting today. I may not post every day, but I will try. My water bottle and my meal planners will be my new best friends for a while. And I’m hoping drinking all this water will even itself out soon because I spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom today. That may be TMI, but that is how I roll.

I am actually looking forward to staying on a modified food plan. It may not be a fast, but I have discovered that the best way for me to gain control over my flesh is to use discipline. The fast taught me that…

I hope you had a beautiful Easter weekend! Good night for now…

Be Blessed!

Day 90 – Jesus Take the Wheel

Psalm 5:7-8 – But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies – make straight your way before me. 

IMG_351990 days… I made it through 90 days. This fast has at times been challenging and also satisfying and also rewarding. I have faltered, fallen on my face in failure, and fallen on my face before my mighty God. And now it is over. When I started this fast I didn’t anticipate that I would begin the next chapter on Easter Sunday, but here I am on Holy Saturday finishing up the last day. It’s almost as if God planned it that way.

As I wake up tomorrow to a new chapter in my life, I will also be celebrating the new chapter in the lives of believers. When Jesus died on the cross, He took with him into his death all the shame, sin, and failures of ours and became our atonement, the sacrificial lamb. Our atonement was paid once and for all, granting us access to the Holy of Holies. When He exited the tomb on the third day, risen from the dead, He defeated death forever, granting us access to heaven when our lives here on earth are over. Death has no hold on us because when our bodies die, our spirits will live eternally with Him in heaven.

As I embark on this next chapter, I know one thing for certain… I don’t want to go this alone. I can’t. All I can do is bow before my Lord in worship and allow Him to lead me. I have no choice but to let Jesus take the wheel. And I can’t wait to see where He steers me.

Tomorrow I will share 10 things I learned during my fast.. I hope you will check back.

I am so grateful for each of you that have read this blog, whether it is every day or simply one or two posts. You will never know how much your support has spurred me on.

Be Blessed, my dear friends, and I will be back tomorrow.

Until then, this is day 90, signing off.

Day 88 – The Battle is the Lord’s

1 Samuel 17:45   David said the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 

v47 All those gathered here will know that is is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

David's stonesFor David this battle was not about fighting Goliath. To David, it was a matter of principle. This giant was dishonoring the Lord God. His threats were condescending to God’s people and he mocked God’s army. David was ready to fight at the first hearing of this, yet the army had waiting for days listening to these threats and not fighting.

Why the difference? What caused David to want to act in God’s honor while these soldiers of God were afraid? I believe it was Holy Spirit power of righteous anger. David was unafraid of Goliath because he knew that God would not allow His name to be defiled. David knew that God was on his side and the battle belonged to the Lord God Almighty. He went up against this giant knowing that God would provide the victory and God alone would receive all the glory.

Which of these are you? I know for me, I have been both of these at one time or another in my life. I have been ready to fight in the name of the Lord, and I have also been frozen in place out of fear of my enemy. I want a heart like David. He understood that God would not turn his face from him when he went to battle.

It is day 88 and I feel like the battle is in a lull. Or maybe it’s the eye of a storm. I am sensing the winds picking back up, the enemy approaching, and turmoil and chaos are on the horizon. Part of me doesn’t want this fast to end because it gave me a purpose, and a reason for my obedience. Now comes the part of going back to life and being obedient for no other reason than because God asks for my obedience.

I’m praying as I close out this fast that God will be with me in the battles that come in the future. I want a heart like David that knows he will be with me and that the battle is not mine, but God’s, and it is all for God’s glory.

Day 88 – pondering the future as I go to sleep…

Be Blessed!

Day 87 – The Last Hold Out

Proverbs 10:17     He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. 

c25kI finally did it. I started Couch to 5K program. I’m pretty sure it was about 60 days ago that I said I needed to start working out because it was the last piece of the discipline puzzle of this fast. It was the last hold out, and I am finally jumping that hurdle. I don’t want anything to hold me back from being in total submission to God. So I did it. I went less than 2 miles in 30 min, but I did it. Better late than never, right?

This is a quick post today. I’m exhausted and if I am getting up early to run, I better get a move on. So Day 87 is saying good night. Maybe I will have more to say tomorrow. Or maybe I won’t survive a second work out. We’ll have to wait and see.

Be Blessed!

 

Day 86 – Dry and Parched

1 Samuel 16:10-13     Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. 

I find it interesting that the Spirit of the Lord is associated with anointing so often in the Old Testament. I think that must be why you hear Christians say they need a fresh outpouring of anointing when they are looking for more of God.

I tend to say I am spiritually dry, and need the oil of God to refresh my parched spirit. In my mind I picture a shaft of dry hair which is saturated with oil and becomes shiny, IMG_3447strong, and beautiful again. This illustration is easy for me to understand because I do a coconut oil treatment on my hair at least a couple times a month. It isn’t pretty, but the benefits for my hair outweigh the ridiculousness of how I look with a shower cap on my head.

The truth is my spirit does get dry. I need to make it a priority to refresh myself with the Holy Spirit so my dry and parched spirit can be renewed. It really does make all the difference, and leaves me feeling strong, shiny, and beautiful again. If I can make my hair a priority, how much more should I be taking care of my spiritual well being?

Day 85 and I wasn’t very hungry all day. Then this evening it caught up with me and I was famished. I roasted some seasoned potatoes and ate a bunch of them. I need to get in a better eating and sleeping pattern.

Tomorrow is a day off, thank goodness. I need a break from my job, even if only for a day.

Day 85 is over and out… I hope your day was a good one. I have no complaints about mine.

Be Blessed!

 

 

Day 85 – When the Ugly Shows

Philippians 2:3     Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

IMG_3364So tonight at work I let my ugly show. It was only for a moment, but it was directed toward a customer. I try very hard to adhere to the above scripture when I am dealing with customers, but this woman got under my skin. Thankfully, I was able to pull it back as soon as I let it show, but it reminded me that I am always just on the brink of being nasty. I can sing praises to Jesus and worship all day, pray and read my bible, yet I am still a split second away from letting my attitude reveal my ugly.

This incident was humbling and caused me to be extra careful the rest of my shift. Just when I think I am making headway, God reminds me of how much I still need to learn and how much I still need to change. I am grateful for those reminders.

And I am grateful for His Grace.

Day 85 – I ate leftover pizza from yesterday (almond flour crust, no cheese). It didn’t really hit the spot like it did last time, though. My cravings are still really strong. It almost feels like it did the first two weeks. Frustrating, for sure.

Not much to say today, but I am tired and cranky, so I’ll leave it at that. I think I just need to go to bed before I can do any more damage.

Sleep well! Day 85 putting myself into time out.

Be Blessed!

 

Day 84 – In the Waiting

I was in the mood for poetry (more specifically, a sonnet). It helps me work through my emotions and get to the core of what is going on in my mind. I hope you enjoy…

 

In the Waiting

A cool breeze brushes across sun-kissed skin;

Reigning summer concedes unto the fall.

The air is crisp and leaves are bitter thin.

In the waiting, this hope can see it all.

 

As one by one the branches shed their life

the bitter cold prepares the ground for snow.

Howling winds cutting sunlight as a knife.

In the waiting, a sleeping hope will grow.

 

The crocus pushes through the snowy ground

as daffodils embrace the chill and sun.

Returning birds and bees flit all around.

In the waiting, hope knows new life has won.

 

These transitory seasons cannot stay,

But in the waiting, hope will lead the way.

 

 

IMG_3316Day 84 and I can feel the hope in the waiting. It’s still difficult and exhausting. But Hope is keeping me going.

I’m so close to the end of his 90 day journey. It makes me a little nervous, but also excited to see where God will take me. I pray every day that I remember all the things I learned during this fast. There are so many little things.

Tomorrow begins another work week and I prepare my heart for Easter. Do you have any Easter traditions? I will be singing at church for all of our many services and I enjoy that a lot.

I’m heading off to bed. I hope you enjoyed the poetry. Day 84 signing off.

Be Blessed!

Day 83 – You Can’t Steal the Anointing

samuel 6-201 Samuel 6:19-20     But God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them, and the men of Beth Shemesh asked, “Who can stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God?”… 

The Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites. They tried to steal the anointing. They tried to steal the favor of God. Here’s the thing – you can’t steal the anointing. It will only bring destruction to you to try to use or minister from an anointing that isn’t yours. You can’t borrow the anointing from someone else. It won’t rub off on you if you hang around someone who is anointed by the Lord.

As the Ark of the Lord was moved from place to place by those to whom it didn’t belong, destruction and death followed. The enemies of Israel could not obtain the ark for themselves because that anointing was not for them.

Have you ever met someone who is riding the coat tails of their mentor or their pastor? They may try to do things just as they have seen it done without waiting for God’s anointing and God’s timing and God’s provision. Just because that is how you have seen it done in the past does not mean that is how God wants you to operate.

Be yourself, and then be patient and wait on God to say go. So many ministries fail because they rushed into it without waiting on God. I am in a season of waiting and it is frustrating but I know it will be worth the waiting. And while I wait, I need to remember that God is in the waiting.

Day 83 and I am feeling the pull of the end of this fast, which tells me I may need to go longer because the cravings and temptations are becoming real again.

It was a “delicious for me but boring for you” kind of day. I ate leftovers and roasted veggies and rice. Then we went out to eat, and I must say I am getting good at ordering off the sides menu. A side of veggies, a side of rice, a side salad, etc. I never realized how few restaurants have even one vegetarian or vegan option, other than salad.

Tomorrow I am making pizza because it’s been a couple weeks and maybe that will curb these cravings I am having.

Day 83 going to rest my head.

Be Blessed!