Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Is any one else enjoying this book as much as I am??? If your not reading it I hope you get yourself a copy. It is about so much more than just food and diets. In fact if that's what you thought and that's why your not reading it I encourage you to get the books and read it. We all have empty places and we all were made to crave and we all at one time or another filled our cravings with things that have been unhealthy.

I wish I had more time right now to get on here more often and tell you whats going on in my life. Sorry I have been reduced to just posting on Wednesday's lately. Did go shopping on Friday and maybe this Friday I can jump on and share some of my "finds" with you all.

Now onto to this weeks reading...

The Curse of the Skinny Jeans - Chapter 12

First I must say I did just love the title of this chapter:)

Like most women, I had kept this pair of skinny jeans in my closet. They had made it through many, many closet purges. All of my other jeans from a size I hadn't seen in quite a while had long since been bagged up and taken to Goodwill. But this particular pair of jeans had been spared as a symbol of a promise I'd made to myself to one day lose the weight - again.(page 119)

Ugh! I am so embarrassed to say I have a pair of red suede pants in my closet that I refuse to part with and I try on every once in a while hoping to fit into them again. And I need to ask myself why??? They are ugly and outdated and I won't ever wear them in public again.

This is the curse of the skinny jeans. My body size is not tied to my happy. If my happy was missing when I was larger, it will still be missing when I get smaller. (page 120) Tying my happy to the wrong things is partially what caused my weight gain in the first place.(page 121)

Profound. Why is it we think if we achieve a certain goal we will ultimately be happy? Why do we tie our happy to "things" whether it be a certain size or a certain position or a certain relationship? Even those of us who know better. Those of us who have been studying our Bible for years and know all the right answers still in the secret places of our soul long to fill ourselves with things that will not ultimately make us happy. I love what she went on to say at the bottom of the page about Oprah. How often do we sit on our couches feeling sorry for ourselves watching someone we think "has it all". Having it all is a big fat myth. I remember when Oprah "unveiled" her new body. I remember thinking she has everything that would make me happy. Not true but Satan loves when we buy into that lie.

We are taught to remain in God's love so that we won't tie our happy to anything but God. So that our joy will be complete. Complete. As in not lacking anything. Complete. As in filled up to the brink with joy no matter if we are wearing our skinny jeans or not. Complete. As in satisfied with a fullness we can't get any other way. Can you imagine how beautiful it would be to live as a complete person?(page123)

Beautiful it would be:) And it sounds so simple yet its not. We know what we should do and yet we fail to do it. Thank goodness His mercies are new every morning and He is abounding in love and grace for us. And besides I don't want to be an incomplete person that exhausts everyone around me in the impossible pursuit of being filled by them. I also loved what she said on page 125 about filling our afternoons His thoughts of love towards others and seeing our skinny jeans as a fun reward, nothing more.

Overindulgence - Chapter 13

Overindulgence is overindulgence. Eating in excess is a sin. The Bible calls it gluttony, which is defined in the dictionary as "excess in drinking or eating".(page 128)

Good thoughts to keep in mind instead we tend to minimize our overeating and maximize someone else's overindulgence in alcohol or other addictions to make ourselves feel better.

Overstuffing ourselves with food or drinking until we get drunk or getting wrapped up in the affections of an adulterous relationship are all desperate attempts to silence cries of a hungry soul.(page 129)

I just love the way she states information that just cuts right to the heart of the matter. We have all these issues that are always just symptoms of something deeper. A cry from a hungry soul. I love her reminder that we were created with this longing so that we would pursue God. Also if we don't fill our souls with spiritual nourishment we will always want to numb our longings with temporary physical pleasures. That sums it all up for me. The struggles I have and that I see others have all come down to self medicating to numb ourselves. You know the things that catch us up and seem to catch others up and we sit and pity ourselves and wonder why. It is because as Lysa said it is a bigger issue than emotions it's really about spiritual deprivation. There was so much more I would love to comment on but I will just leave you with the verse from page 133 and let that be our prayer today!

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. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:22-24

Chapters 14 and 15 next week. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I''m Reading Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! Once again the reading this week was awesome. Awesome in a very convicting way.

This Isn't Fair - Chapter 10

Well this I know has been a reoccurring theme in my life. I can't count the times I have said those words, given in to the temptation, and cried myself to sleep because of the guilt.

Our flesh buys right into Satan's lie that it's not fair for things to be withheld from us. So we bite into the forbidden fruit and allow Satan to write "shame" across our heart.(page100)

And whether we are talking about having premarital sex or cheating on our diet, once we taste the forbidden fruit, we will crave it worse than we craved it before. Thereby giving temptation more and more power. And given enough power, temptation will consume our thoughts, redirect our actions, and demand our worship. Temptation doesn't take kindly to being starved.(page 101)

Wow! Powerful words. Convicting words. And no it does not take kindly to being starved. It will kick, scream, and fight for our undivided attention. Satan can not take our salvation but he will snatch up our freedom and our purpose here on earth quicker than you can ever imagine.

God's power is made perfect in weakness. This stirs my heart. Weakness is hard, but weakness doesn't have to mean defeat. It is my opportunity to experience God's power firsthand. Had I said yes to that one bite that first night of vacation, there would have been more compromises.Compromise built upon compromise equals failure.(pages103-104)

Yes it does. We do one little thing and the next thing you know we are sitting at the bottom of a well decorated pit wondering how we got here and how we are ever going to be able to get out. We can not compromise girls. We need to stand firm and rejoice that even though we may be weak God's power can be made perfect in that weakness.

Stinkin', Rotten, Horrible, No Good Day - Chapter 11

This chapter had so much good to say. We do need to be prepared for the hard times because they are as inevitable as the gray hairs in my head. Lysa gave a lot of good info on what to do in the hard times.

Taking off my mask means I have to admit that there's a problem, and I really don't want to do that. Admitting I have a problem will likely require that I make changes, and changes are hard.(page 112)

I think that sums it all up. This is hard. Nothing about it is easy. We want easy street. We dream about it. We want to wake up one morning thin, happy, and contented and we don't want any part of it to be hard. But it is hard so instead we wear the mask and ignore the elephant in the room until we reach our breaking point.

I really liked what she said about our prayers where we don't speak at all. There is such value in just being still and quiet. It is a discipline I a know I need to work on.

Well there are just a few of my thoughts this week! I would love to share more but a messy house, 3 kids who still need to finish school, and 2 dogs are calling my name:) What about you??? Next week we will discuss chapters 12 and 13!

Have a blessed week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What I''m Reading Wednesday

*I started this post last Thursday and it never got posted. Sorry. Life comes at you fast sometimes and I am barely keeping up:) I figured I would put this up today and we would read the next two chapters (10 and 11) for next Wednesday.

Part of the reason this didn't happen last Wednesday was because I spoke at a MOPS group that was quite a distance away and I had stuff I needed to do when I got home and I went out to eat with some relatives visiting from out of town but mostly it didn't happen because I have NO typing skills. I type like a two year old and posting anything takes me forever. I need to have a good 30 minute window of time to be able to post. Sad I know. I should have paid more attention in typing class in high's probably one of the many classes I failed. I saw the new software that will type for you what you speak and I would love to know if that really works because it would be so freeing. I would probably be on here so much you would get tired of me. I often feel like there are things I want to tell you but run out of time to sit down and get it typed out.

I also run out of time to proof everything I type so if any of you saw in the last post that I spelled as with two s's before it was brought to my attention and I fixed I'm sorry.

The exciting thing about MOPS last week is that I got to meet Made to Mother. I love putting a person to the comments. So cool.

I also was going to post and tell you all about the Philadelphia Flower Show I went to last Monday but don't have time to type it all out. I will just say it was fabulous and if you have never been you should go. I don't even plant anything and I loved it(I won't even pretend to have a green thumb - I kill everything). Two friends of mine went with me. We went on a bus trip. It was a blast. So next year get out your polyester pants suit, get on the bus, and go.

There is so much I loved about the two chapter we read this week I will never be able to share it all(what are tankles anyway????). If you are reading along and you are behind just keep reading and then feel free to go back and post comments wherever you are in your reading.

Making Peace With The Realities of My Body - Chapter 8

Plus, being at her goal weight and still having to watch what she ate without the reward of watching the scale numbers go down wasn't as fun.(page 80)

Ugh! I know the feeling and this has been the most frustrating part of my journey. In 2006 I went on a trip to Las Vegas with my mom and grandma and it was when I got home from that trip and looked at pictures that I knew I had to lose weight. I did Weight Watchers and lost 40 pounds and felt great. After I lost the weight I thought I could go back to eating the way I used to and when I did the weight started coming back on and I realized that this was no longer about a "diet" for me but I would need to eat this way for the rest of my life. I was sad about that.

Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale. (page 81)

Well said. I talked about this before. That number on that stupid scale controls me and my mood for the day and I have yet to kick the habit of standing on the stupid thing every day.

I could eat healthy and exercise until the cows come home and never look like Victoria or any of her friends.

Yes, eating healthy and exercising get our bodies into better shape, but we are never supposed to get the satisfaction of our souls desire from our looks. Our looks are temporary; if we hitch our souls to this fleeting pursuit, we'll quickly become disillusioned. The only true satisfaction we can seek is the satisfaction of being obedient to the Lord.(page 82)

I have hitched my soul to this fleeting pursuit for more years than I care to mention and guess what.... There is always someone younger, thinner, and prettier than me. There I said it. I will never be Victoria or one of her girls but I can be a girl who is healthy and in love with Jesus. I have spent too many years disillusioned and feeling unsatisfied. I think it is time to evaluate and make some changes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Though we travel the world over to find beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." (page 83)

Well said. I love it. There were other things in this chapter that really spoke to me also but for the sake of the length of this post I will just end with that quote!

But Exercise Makes Me Want To Cry - Chapter 9

If I was honest with myself, my issue was plain and simple-a lack of self-control. I could sugarcoat it and justify it all day long, but the truth was I didn't have a weight problem; I had a spiritual problem. (page 88)

For too long I have kept my spiritual and my physical separated. I am realizing my weight issue is really a spiritual issue. Now to deal with that.....

However, if I were really honest, I'd have to admit I made time for what I wanted to make time for. (page 92)

I have said this for years. I always complain I don't have time for certain things but I always make time to do what I want to do. I believe this is true of most everybody. We spend too much time doing things that don't matter and complain we don't have time to do the things that do.

My mom loves to say the best kind of exercise is the kind you'll do. I agree. (page 94)

Ok...I agree but what happens when you hate all forms of exercise????? People probably think I love to exercise. I exercise 4 to 5 times a week and have for years. I walked, I ran, I participated in a few 5k's and now I have a gym membership. I still hate it. Just this morning on the treadmill 3 minutes in and I wanted to die. I wanted it to end. I do it because I know I should(not to mention that unending pursuit we discussed earlier) but at no time do I truly enjoy it. I guess it is one of those disciplines, that like it or not, I will always need to do. By the way I just loved the title of this chapter:)

Well, that's my thoughts for this week. I would love to hear from you!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I''m Reading Wednesday

Good Wednesday morning! I hope you all are doing well. This week's reading was once again convicting but also uplifting. I never feel condemnation when reading this. Lysa's honesty and vulnerability make it so easy to relate.

Growing Closer to God - Chapter 6

Yes, I want to lose weight. But this journey is so much more than that. It really is about learning to tell myself no and learning to make wiser choices daily.(page 60)

I think when we finally come to the realization that life is a journey and it is about learning to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily more than about the one thing that is in front of us at the moment(losing weight, relationship struggles, addictions, etc.)we finally are at a place to make real change. We can make wiser choices each day and before we know it we will have permanent lasting results in our life.

Being ruled by something other than God diminishes our commitment and will make us feel increasingly distant from Him.(page 66)

Well said. We so often work on so many areas of our life that we think we can just hang on to this one bad habit or we think there is this one thing we really just can't change but God won't mind because we are doing well in other aspects of our life. The truth is that the one thing we are struggling with is keeping us from the relationship God desires to have with us. Not only that eventually we wake up and realize how that one thing has made us distant from God.

I'm Not Defined by the Numbers - Chapter 7

I am a Jesus girl who can step on the scale and see the numbers as an indication of how much my body weighs and not as an indication of my worth.(page 74)

Ugh! That was a tough statement for me to read. I have been obsessed with my weight and how I look for more years than I care to share. I remember my French teacher in high school pulling me aside because she feared I was anorexic. The number on the scale that I look at more than once a day is usually what I use to define myself and what my day will be like. I feel a twinge of embarrassment just admitting it but it is true. A battle that I have yet been able to overcome. I have for too long confused wanting to be healthy with vanity.

We can literally say to a comment or a thought that presents itself to us, "Are you true? Are you beneficial? Are you necessary?" And if the answer is no, then we don't open the door of our heart. We make the choice to walk away from the comment and all the negative thoughts it could harvest if we let it in.(page 75)

I hope you caught is our choice. So often as women we take one little comment and we run so far with it that it nearly threatens to destroy us. How freeing to know we have the power to not allow that to happen. We don't need to dwell on things that are not true, beneficial, or necessary. We don't need to feed those negative thoughts. We can close the door on it and move on victoriously!

Well ladies, I would love to hear from any of you that are reading along. Next week chapters 8&9. I have some other stuff to share but haven't had a spare minute to get on here but I hope to before next Wednesday. I have a MOPS group Friday I am speaking at and a retreat at our church this Friday night and Saturday. I am also preparing some training material for a women's ministry team I am on. With all that and regular life stuff the blog is hard to maintain but I don't want to give it up because when I do get on it is very therapeutic:)

Have a blessed day!