Thursday, January 23, 2014


Here I am starting the Made to Crave bible study. I haven't always been overweight but I have struggled with weight issues since my early teen years. Over the past 10 years my weight has gone up and down. I've had bouts where I've successfully lost weight and kept it off. But never have I got to my goal weight. I always give up before getting there. And slowly but surely the weight creeps back on. In 2013 I started the year off really strong, going good until April and then it all fell apart again. 

You need to know this because it sets the stage for where I was coming into this study - DISCOURAGED! UNMOTIVATED! DRAGGED INTO IT KICKING & SCREAMING. Yup, I'm afraid to admit, that's me. I had signed up for the study, and if you read my post 'God, Me & P31', you'll understand a bit better why I knew I had to do this study. But I really didn't want to. Empowered I was NOT.

I believe in being honest with God. He knows anyway so what's the point of trying to pretend? I did cry out to him, telling him that I don't have hope, I don't feel empowered, I don't see how doing this study is going to change anything. I've already read the book, so what is there to change anyway. But I know that this is his direction for me, so I will take it step by step. I will sign on each day. I will pray and ask him to show me the steps for that day. I will - with his help - make an effort to do what he is asking me to do. I will be an active participant in my small Facebook group. I will need his help and support more than ever.

So day 1 comes. I get up and sign onto the blog. The first thing God shows me is that really, I haven't read the book. I've read the first few chapters and then put it down. Okay, that's true. He asks me to keep an open mind, take it one day at a time. Okay, I can do that.

Sunday I make my breakfast & lunches for the week. I know that if I do this I'll stick to my plan, if not I'll eat junk.

So I feel him asking me to do 3 things - get back to exercising on the treadmill, stick to my breakfast/lunch plan and start logging my food on My Fitness Pal. Basically brushing myself off and picking up where I started last year, Okay, I did that.

Tuesday comes, I wake up with a killer migraine. I don't exercise, but I do follow the bible study and log my food. Well, I sort of log my food as both days I start off great and then it dwindles as I never really log my dinner meal.

So now it's Wednesday. Discouragement has set in. Really, I can't even keep on track for 3 days, how pathetic is that! I don't want to get up, I don't want to do the study, I don't want to exercise. I DO want to give up. But I know that's not what God wants. No matter how I feel about myself, I can't deliberately bring myself to completely disobey something I KNOW he is telling me to do. So I get up. I still don't want to exercise, but I tell myself - one step at a time - bible study. Read chapter 2. Yes, I know I've already read it several times over the years, but I will read it again and ask God to give me a fresh view of it. Help me to keep an open mind. So I read it. Next I tell myself to bite the bullet and just go down to the treadmill. How hard can it be? So reluctantly, that's what I do. What difference will it really make? Who knows, but God has asked me to do it.

About 3 steps in, God hits me between the eyes with a huge revelation that craving food is not my issue. My issue is low self esteem. He took me by the hand and showed me how the enemy has been filling my head with lies, beating me down with my perceived failures, that he so generously points out. So that's my picture for Wednesday - me on the treadmill bawling and praising God simultaneously, walking despite the fact I just want to crumble at his feet and weep.

Now it's a day later, I'm still not completely on track but I know that that's okay. God is accepting me right here - where I am today. I am EMPOWERED by his love and his strength. I have kicked the enemy to the curb. I've asked God to help me be diligent in guarding my thoughts. I will not allow his lies to define who I am. I am a child of the KING and I am empowered. Beyond that, I'm still processing his 'Big Reveal' and trying to comprehend it fully.

God, Me & P31

I have a little story that I wanted to share. Back in 2010, for my 50th birthday I asked my family for a Kindle. As a family that loves & treasures books, this was a big step and met with much resistance, as if I'd joined 'the dark side'. But Mom got what she asked for, and my lovely new Kindle arrived.

We were already loyal customers of Amazon in Canada and I had quite a history on my account of books that I had purchased. However, at that time the Kindle was only handled out of Amazon US, so I had to set up a secondary account to purchase ebooks.

The day finally comes and I eagerly unpacked my new gadget. I turn it on and start exploring. I connect to the online store and click on 'recommended for you', curious about what will come up.

There was one suggestion - only one - Made to Crave. Not even the actual book, but a 30 day devotional issue that was being offered free. Now, let's unpack this a bit more. This is really unthinkable that this would be the ONLY suggestion. At no time had I entered anything on my account that would identify me as either Christian or someone struggling with a weight battle. Amazon offers TONS of free books, I am a prime candidate for romance books, general fiction, etc. There was no doubt in my mind that this was God sending me a message - LOUD AND CLEAR.

So, of course I downloaded the book. I even followed it for a few days. I got as far as the part where Lysa explains that this is not a 'diet plan' book, that I needed to find an eating plan that worked for me. Well, I didn't have one. Then I decided at that point to purchase the actual book. I purchased it, read a few chapters and moved on to something else.

So I've never gotten any further than that with Made to Crave, but that little book has completely changed my life. I discovered P31 Women through that. I checked them out on the web and found that they had online prayer groups. All my life God has blessed me immensely. I gave my life to him when I was 23 and at that time he brought all kinds of Christian friends into my life. Over the years, the closeness of those friendships has dwindled. Some have fallen away, some have moved away and others have drifted away. At 50, I found myself really craving some good Christian women in my life that I could really be open with. Women that I could share & support, that would support me in return. Hence, the idea of online groups sounded really appealing. I joined 2 groups, one was really active and then shortly after just seemed to stop, but the other one was active and welcoming. I switched my 2nd group to another one, but that too just didn't seem to be such a great fit. God answered my desire with the one original group. What an amazing group of ladies I have found. About a year into the group, P31 decided to get out of that format and move in a different direction. Our group has remained together, coordinated by our great group leader. God's timing was so perfect, getting me into that group and settled.

Then in 2013, I found out about P31's OBS studies. I did one - What happens when women say yes to God. Again, this came around at the perfect time in my life. I had just read a book called Anything along the same vein. Again a book that God drew my attention to in a similar way as Made to Crave. It was a great study, but I was too late signing up to get into a small group. Fantastic study, it's set the groundwork for what I know in my heart is going to be a breakthrough 2014! 

The next study came along and because I was on the waiting list for a small group, I was actually assigned to 3 different groups in error. I'm sure it was a great study, but it was a time of family change as my son prepared to go out on mission for a year and other things were vying for my attention. In the end, I didn't end up doing the study, but through that I 'picked' group 15 as my small group. Don't ask me how I picked that group, because I really don't know. I will only tell you that it was God working for me. I know that I deliberately picked that one, there was something that made that group appeal to me, but it must have been the Spirit guiding me. Again, what perfect timing. Here it is, a few months later and there is such a waiting list it's doubtful I would get assigned a group if I was just signing up now.

So, here I am. I'm doing the Made to Crave study with my new group. Already I feel so at home in this group, I know without a doubt that God has brought me here. I also know that ironically, 4 years later, God has brought me full circle back to Made to Crave. My group leader asked about a week ago if we all had our books yet. I chucked with God at that one! Yes, I've had mine for 4 years, just waiting for this moment. There was a discussion amongst the group about book vs ebook, with the general consensus that most of the group preferred having the actual book. Again I chuckled as I was reading those comments. I can completely understand as I also love books but for this one, I'm more than happy with my ebook version.Weight has been a struggle for me since my teens, God knows this. He has a plan to do great things. I can't wait, so excited for this journey, this new group, my great prayer group, and any other blessings that God has yet to reveal - a journey that stated with one free book on my new Kindle - that my family was reluctant to get me. What a Mighty & Wonderful God we serve.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

NEED ~ My Word for 2014

I know what I need to do this year - I need to  put my life on a diet - my eating, my finances, my lifestyle - but then I knew that last year and it didn't happen. What can I do differently so that next year when I sit down to write a similar entry, my words will be different? Instead of figuring out how to succeed, I want to be reviewing my success and figuring out how to duplicate it again for the coming year.

So On Jan 2nd, when I had my morning quiet time, that was my prayer. The answer is to have a focus - something simple that reminds me and helps me keep on track. So I turned to my bible app and did a search on Simplicity. That brought me to a 4 day devotional study that guides you to find a word - just one word - that will be your focus for the year. Pray and ask God to show you the word that he has for you. It can be anything, maybe one of the spiritual disciplines or one of the fruits of the spirit. Whatever it is, it should be meaningful and motivating.

In my case, my word is "need". Such a small, significant & powerful little word. As I focus on it, I realize that it cuts sharp like a knife. How do things measure up - are they an actual need or are they a want? Wow, my word calls me to a higher level of honesty with myself. Do I really need that, or is it more something that I want? If I give in to my wants, what effect does that have on my needs? Can I afford a particular want? I think that this is going to be a long journey, but very exciting. My word is simple and easy to use, applicable to so much that I am dealing with. I feel God will use this in a very powerful way. Already it has started to redefine my priorities, rethinking some of my long held beliefs.

So this is my focus for 2014. Need - the scale with which I will weigh my life for the coming year. Do you have a word? If you need focus the way that I do, then I invite you to join me. Ask God to show you what word he has for you, then sit back and be amazed at the power that can be found in a word - the power that God infuses into your life.

Psalm 119: 65 MSG
Be good to your servant, God; be as good as your Word
Train me in good common sense;
I'm thoroughly committed to living your way.
Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place,
But now I'm in step with your Word.
You are good, and the source of all good;
Train me in your goodness.

Psalm 27:4 GNT
I have asked the Lord for one thing;
One thing only do I want;
To live in the Lord's house all  my life,
To marvel there at his goodness,
And to ask for his guidance.