One Thousand Gifts – Part 68

  • 531. The exhaustion of a really hard day of physical labor
  • 532. (Ok, so this one is a blessing, but it isn’t fun or happy. It’s just something I need to absorb.) A 6-part message on gluttony. It’s a powerful study so far, and I would love to hear feedback from anyone who reads it.
  • 533. J5 was a good boy for Grandma and Grandpa P all day while J4 and I worked on emptying out the garage.
  • 534. Having someone else pick up dinner.
  • 535. J4 and I reconnecting with an old friend for dinner and great conversation
  • 536. A few hours of grown-up time with my best friend (J4)
  • 537. The power of godly conviction
  • 538. Forgiveness
  • 539. Another great night with the Chix
  • 540. Flannel sheets

It’s OVER!

I have had a change of heart. And mind. And I’m really excited to see where God is leading me on this: I am abstaining from food. I am quitting food cold turkey.

Ok, so not REALLY….but yet I am.

I have, on multiple occasions, complained to my husband how much easier it was to quit smoking than it is to control my eating. I smoked for over 5 years, and when I quit, I just quit. I was on the way to the doctor’s office and knew that he would once again badger me about smoking. So, on the way there I had one last cigarette. Cashed it out, and said I’d quit. Initially, I did it just so I could tell him that I’d quit, but that really was the end for me. Three days of physical withdrawal, and I was good to go.

Food. Not so simple.

After reading the last couple of posts on Heidi’s blog, I was painfully impacted with God telling me to get off the scale. It was something Heidi said –

“Because the scale stayed at a certain weight, I justified eating even when not hungry…and since I was eating when not hungry, I felt compelled to “keep on top of things” by weighing. Both are reflective of a heart not heeding the voice of the Spirit!”

So, my first change is to get off the scale. I realized that I was using the scale as my “how am I doing” in the hopes that it would be my positive influence. All it really did was judge me daily and find me lacking. I wasn’t using any restraint during the day when I needed it.

And the second change? Much bigger. It’s a new attitude of fasting. When I quit smoking, and got the craving, I would work to distract myself. I wouldn’t sit and visualize smoking, and pout about not being able to smoke, and talk to others about how horrible it was to not smoke. I just put up a wall in my mind about it. I was done smoking. Temptation be gone!

I’m trying this about food. I want to have a mindset of fasting. My relationship with food is over. No more thinking about eating, or pouting about not being able to eat, or talk and talk and talk about how much I miss eating and how hard it is to not eat. I’m done. 0 is my friend.

But lest anyone freak out about this – I am not fostering anorexia. I am letting God feed me.

I will prepare healthy meals for my husband and son. I will plan and buy food for their benefit. And when my body is hungry, I will give it small amounts of healthy items just to make the hunger feelings go away. But I’m done with the love of food. It honestly, truly, has been an idol in my life. I have had secret affairs with it for years and years. The only way to put away sin is to turn my back. I am done with food.

I will eat what God allows me to eat. I will be thankful and enjoy whatever he permits. But I am done preparing anything for myself. And if I get antsy during the withdrawal period, I have God – the TRUE food – and plenty of water to drink!

Remain In Me

Today, it’s going to be about Remaining in Christ. My quiet time this morning was me asking God a bunch of “How?” questions. How do I do what he wants me to do? I am most comfortable when I have things under control. If I let go of control, chaos ensues. Or at least it will in my realm. So, I asked God how I was supposed to both let go of my control-freakiness AND stay responsible and accomplish the things that are mine to do.

The answer I got? “Remain in Me”

Tamera wrote this morning about words. This was another thing God was teaching me out of my reading this morning (Psalm 59:12, 16). My words are one way that sin makes its way into action. Speaking sinfully is sin. I know that it can start even earlier, but this is one way it sneaks in that I’m feeling particularly attuned to this morning.

I don’t think I can remain in Him AND say things that are sinful, negative, hurtful, condemning (including self-condemning) or defeatist. I like Tamera’s idea of a focusing bracelet. I’ve done that before. And have removed it when it stops being a reminder.

What do you want to prayerfully remember today?

Excerpts on Self-leadership

For work I am reading a book called “The 360 Degree Leader“. This morning I read the chapter: “Lead-Up Principle #1 – Lead Yourself Exceptionally Well”. There are several quotes that really hit me and I thought I’d share:

“Lead yourself. That’s where it all starts. Besides, if you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else.” p. 84

We often think that self-leadership is about making good decisions every day, when the reality is that we need to make a few critical decisions in major areas of life and then manage those decisions day to day.” p. 85

Nothing will make a better impression on your leader than your ability to manage yourself. If your leader must continually expend energy managing you, then you will be perceived as someone who drains time and energy. p. 86

Good leaders know when to display emotions and when to delay them….Whether you delay or display your emotions should not be for your own gratification. You should ask yourself, What does the team need? not, What will make me feel better? pp. 86-87

Since you are not the top leader, you don’t have control over your list of responsibilities or your schedule. You should still try to get yourself to the point where you can manage your priorities and focus your time in this way:

  • 80 percent of the time – work where you are strongest
  • 15 percent of the time – work where you are learning
  • 5 percent of the time – work in other necessary areas

p. 88

You must be ruthless in your judgment of what you should not do. Just because you like doing something doesn’t mean it should stay on your to-do list. If it is a strength, do it. If it helps you grow, do it. If your leader says you must handle it personally, do it. Anything else is a candidate for your “stop doing” list. p. 89

When I look at my calendar every morning, I ask myself, What is the main event? That is the one thing to which I cannot afford to give anything less than my best. That one thing can be for my family, my employees, a friend, my publisher, the sponsor of a speaking engagement, or my writing time. I always make sure I have the energy to do it with focus and excellence. p. 90

The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness….If you find that the pace of life is too demanding for you to stop and think during your workday, then get into the habit of jotting down the three or four things that need good mental processing or planning that you can’t stop to think about….And know this: 1 minute > 1 hour. A minute of thinking is often more valuable than an hour of talk or unplanned work. pp. 90-91

If I blow managing myself at home, then the negative impact will spill over into every area of my life, including work. If you want to lead up, you must always lead yourself first. If you can’t, you have no credibility. p. 93

Truth

[Lundie], give up your [comfort eating]!

I will answer your prayers

and take care of you. I am that glorious tree,

the source of your fruit. If you are wise, you will know

and understand what I mean.

I am the LORD, and I lead you

along the right path.

If you obey me,

we will walk together,

but if you are wicked,

you will stumble.

Hosea 14:8-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Deprioritization of food

Ok, not even sure if that is a word, (too lazy to look it up), but I realized tonight that I need to “accentuate the positive” rather than focusing all my time and energy attempting to “eliminate the negative”.

Meaning – I am going to spend my time in the Word, listening to my heavenly Father, and am going to add things to my life like exercise and water and play time with J5 (and play time with J4!). Part of the insight that I believe God gave me while viewing the video with my mother the other day is that we become what we focus on. When I am doing diet plans, even ones as wonderful as Thin Within, I am still paying a great deal of attention to my “relationship with food”. Food is still on my mind a great deal, even if I am working hard to think positive thoughts. What I would like to be is free.

Free of thinking about food at all. I know I need to eat it, but I don’t think I am EVER going to be truly free until it doesn’t occupy precious mind space anymore.

I have still been very overwhelmed lately. It is getting better. I am spending time in the morning with my Bible, a Beth Moore book, and my calendar, prioritizing my day. Being a PT WAHM, (closer to SAHM than I used to be) I am finding that I need a lot more internal motivation than I realized. It is SO easy to become a couch potato. Not that there aren’t things to do, but without deadlines and requirements and external pressures, it can be a struggle. Add to that a touch of depression and you’re in for a sludgy lifestyle.

I purchased a DVD online last week. Leslie Sansone’s Walk The Walk: Miles 1 and 2. It lets you do a walking exercise routine in your living room. The one mile routine takes about 17 minutes. I’ve done it once. It was a workout! I can’t believe just how out of shape I’ve become – even with all day toy-pickup-patrol!

Anyway, I’ve decided that I am going to try an alternative approach. I’ve been “doing” Thin Within or some similar variation of it for so long – and my methods aren’t working. I am NOT saying that Thin Within doesn’t work. I am sure that it does, but right now I am not working Thin Within. So. On to another strategy. I am going to refocus – onto Christ. Onto doing things that benefit my Temple.

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

My body

I was reading another chapter in “Believing God” this morning. The chapter on “I can do all things through Christ”.

I have been floundering about what God’s plan for my life is. I keep getting lost in the hazy mist of imagined missions and huge new projects and church organizations. I think that has been satan’s way of scaring me off. I keep trying to see the God’s eye view of my life and ministry and it has had me pretty demoralized. I try to cast “vision” (which I don’t believe I’m gifted in) for myself and end up getting overwhelmed.

I began to question whether my struggle with my weight was even on his radar. I started to become discouraged that my desire to be set free from my fat and my food idol was selfish. That even though it was the biggest desire of my heart, that God had other “higher” plans for me and that I would just be stuck with fighting the food battle on my own.

After I finished my chapter, I just felt the need to read something scriptural. I needed to hear a biblical answer. I needed to hear God.

And this is what He told me:

And so, dear Christian friends, I [Paul] plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Rom. 12:1 (NLT)

I have been so focused on the huge big overwhelming picture that I have been denying the one thing I CAN do. Right now. Give my BODY to him. My whole physical body. The tangible representation of me. He wants it. And that means I am to give it to him and follow what I know to be the “right” methods of caring for it.

He wants me to lose this weight. He wants me to eat when I am hungry, and to abstain from any food when I am not. I don’t think it can be more simple and clear-cut than that. That’s what I have been asking for. To know the path he wants me to walk. This is the path he has chosen for me right now. I just need to WALK IT!!

For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. Phil 4:13

Positive Thinking, Hope, and Faith

I have needed something to light the fire of my faith. A kick start. And God has done so in a way I was not expecting. Using a potentially controversial book called The Secret. The book itself isn’t what changed me. In fact, I haven’t even read it yet. I did watch about half of the video, but not enough to utilize it in the way it was intended.

I realized that all of my striving has been toward controlling my surroundings and my actions. And that striving left me exhausted, demoralized and depressed. What I hadn’t put my energy into was changing my thoughts.

My thought life is the one thing I do have the power to change. What “The Secret” proposed was that by thinking positive, positive things will, by the “Law of Attraction”, have to come to you. But I’m not writing to talk about all the things this book suggested, just to try to verbalize what I’ve been mulling over.

In an attempt to be “real” I have spent most of my life trying to listen to myself. To understand myself. To be guided by my “inner truth”. The problem with doing that is that I don’t have the answers. Well, I do have some. I know what I feel. I know what I lack. I know my pain and my need.

It’s time for me to get out of my head, and start expressing my gratitude and trust in my Abba Father. He’s the one with the answers. He’s the one with the plan, the grace, the blessings, the goodness. He IS it all.

The book talks about sending the right messages out to the universe. Why limit myself? I’m going to aim even higher! I want to have a living, breathing, daily relationship with the CREATOR of the universe.

So, yes, I will be doing a lot more positive thinking – in the form of praising God for what he has done, what he is already doing, and what he has planned to do for me, in me, with me.

My eyes have been on me. It’s time to get them up and focused on the amazing-ness that is God. He WILL change me. He WILL set me free. He WILL pull me out of the pit, and set my feet on solid ground. He has promised it, he already has the works in process, I just need to agree to go along for the ride! I need to cooperate with Him. I need to trust that the promises he made are already on their way! And they are. I am so very excited to see what’s in store!!!

XXL

XXL M & M'sThis morning was an UGH. I have been weighing every morning again. I know that others in my various TW groups have been convicted to weigh less, but for right now, I feel this is the right thing for me…but this morning’s weigh-in made me sad. Up two pounds. And I thought I was doing ok. Of course dinner last night was chinese food. I’m feeling pretty bloated actually, so I’m hoping with all my might that it’s water weight gain…

Anyway…

Last night I did have another run-in with my nemesis…the uber-big bag of MnMs. I went to the pantry for a late night snack last night and there it was…an almost empty bag. So, I grabbed the whole thing and sat down at my computer to surf ‘n’ munch. That’s when I saw, in the top right corner of the package: XXL.

Close up on XXL

A couple of days ago, I was at Sam’s Club doing some of our bulk shopping and I was looking at clothes. As I was poking through one display for my size, I kept coming across those labeled “S”. My self conversation went something like this, “Yeah, like I have ever been in an “S”…Who wears an “S”? People who are short…little people.”

Then the loudest thought hit me….”You’re supposed to be an ‘S'”.

You see, I’m only 5’ 3″. Not excessively short, but certainly not tall by any standards. So for the last few days I have had this thought running thorough my mind…I was meant to be an “S”. God designed my body to be much, much smaller than it is. I know that just about every woman in America believes she should be thinner and whatnot, but this is the first time I feel God was telling me that is his plan for me. I finally “got it” in my heart, not just my vanity and pride.

Wow. I’ve got some changing to do. And I think for a time it will mean getting rid of the XXL-inducing things in my life.

RTFM

  1. Satan is the accuser. Not God. – Job 1:6, Job 2:1
  2. There is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1
  3. I was just standing in the kitchen whining and praying that it would be SO much easier if I just had a list of instructions, or a manual that would tell me what to do. Hm. A book that would help me. From God. Hm. – Genesis 1:1 – Revelation 22:21

I may elaborate later, I may not. Just had to get these thoughts out of my head and down on “paper” before I forgot them.