Saturday, December 3, 2011

Divine Appointments and Tapestry Threads

Does it ever seem that at certain seasons of your life God seems to put someone in your life that you need "just at the right moment"? 
I tend to think of my life as a beautiful tapestry, hanging on a wall.  I am able to look at it and see each life that has impacted me as its own unique thread, tightly woven in, to make my life what it otherwise would not have been without them in it. Anne of Green Gables calls them "Kindred Spirits", the kind of people who become instant friends, and you feel as though you've known them your whole life as soon as you meet them. As you look back at your own tapestry, you can see those people, standing out in exuberant color, always making you smile and think fondly of that time in your life, and making you ache every time you have to leave them...God has divinely purposed these relationships in my life during so many seasons: College, ministries in various churches in Oklahoma, Texas, New York, Georgia, and recently back in Oklahoma again. I feel like I have golden heartstrings attached like telephone wires from here in Oklahoma, all the way to the East Coast. 
But recently I feel like one of those strings stretches to the West. I have asked God so many times to help me in my battle with weight loss...I believe He is answering me and is starting to weave those threads again for me with a couple from, of all places, Idaho. 
I have never met these people, except through technology, but I feel, again, that instant connection and kinship that is very rare and I know it is going to be a special relationship. I don't know what it holds in store, but I know it means something more than weight loss.
All I did was fill a form out online for some information, and God did His thing. He has placed these marvelous people in my life. Only He knows the plan, but I feel such blessing, and hope, and an excitement to get to know these new friends better. They are already an inspiration and instant mentors to me in this journey, something I've needed for a long time, and I feel are an answer to prayer. It is a blessing to get to see God doing something that just blows you away, and I am truly thankful to get to see it again. 
You never know when God has a Divine Appointment in store for you. You are never too old for it...Anticipate it... When it happens, it is a treasure....made of golden thread.
To be continued.....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taking Every Thought Captive....

Sometimes I think the most dangerous place for me to be, as an overeater, is not in my favorite Mexican restaurant, or on the State Fair midway amongst the deep-fried Twinkies. Not even in the Braums drive-thru! 

I believe that most of the time the most destructive place for me to be is inside my own head, with my own thoughts. Why is it that my own insecurities and doubts can get the better of me? Why do I time and time again succumb to the thoughts of self-loathing, and to a heart that seems to be fighting against itself over what to believe??
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells me this:

 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

I don't know how many times I have read this verse, but am I putting the truth of it into practice in my life? Or is it just another verse that I read every so often and agree with, without putting any kind of effort into making it a reality in my distorted mind? How often do we read scripture and think, "Wow, that's really good.", but then never do anything with it in our hearts to make a change? 
Why do I keep swallowing the poison that I am being spoon-fed by the Enemy? God tells me to demolish the thoughts that argue with the Truth of what I know His word tells me and keep my mind pure and my thoughts obedient to Christ. If I know the truth, but still believe the untruths then, sadly,  I am living out James 1:23-24:

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

What good is that doing me? Jeremiah tells me that He has a plan for my spiritual prosperity, a hope and a future for me. What do I do with that?
My new goal is to think on positive, good, and "lovely" things. If a negative thought about myself creeps in, ( not a conviction of sin ) I have to take it to God and ask HIM, "Is this the truth about me?" And if I know Him very well, He will gently lead me to a more peaceful place in my heart, where I know there is no condemnation from Him. He can lead me to that mirror and show me how HE sees me. He doesn't forget what I look like. He may have to take me there quite a few times before I finally get the hang of it. He thinks I'm beautiful and talented and awesome! Why would I believe the Enemy before I would believe the One who made me? 
It's like the line from the movie that says,  "The bad stuff is easier to believe." ...Or in other words, the LIES are easier to believe. I want the TRUTH to be what is easier to believe. And that only comes from getting to know Him more deeply and intimately.

I choose to trust that my God knows me inside and out, good and bad. fat or thin. He is on this journey with me. I enjoyed some time by myself yesterday on a hiking trail about 30 minutes from my home. It was so nice to just get out into His creation, alone, to marvel at it and just "let the positive pour over me". I used to do the same when we lived near the ocean. Once we drove out to Fire Island when a storm was out at sea. The waves were so huge and powerful, and I just stood there and took in the majesty of the Creator and let it sweep over me. 
He has so many positive and beautiful things He wants me to see, even about myself. I just have to practice believing it. Zephaniah 3:17 tells me that He is with me, that He is mighty to save, that He takes great delight in me, that He will quiet me with His love, and that He will rejoice over me with singing.  That is a truth, and a thought I choose to take captive!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Just a Short Note...

This will be pretty short, as I am leaving in about 20 minutes for a long overdue date night with my sweet hubby...
The reason this date deserves a mention on this blog is that we aren't going just "anywhere" for our rare night out.. We are going to probably the most renowned Italian eatery in the state of Oklahoma : Pete's Place!
However, I have had some victory in the fact that today I have not been dreaming of the LARGE complimentary meatballs, ravioli, spaghetti, salad, and bread that come BEFORE the meal. I have been looking forward to this night all week, but I have not been obsessing over it, wondering what I will have and anticipating eating the leftovers tomorrow. It has been a good week with God. He has been teaching me so much. A lot about pride issues sneaking in when I have success that cause me to fall right back into the old patterns. Staying close to God has no choice but to keep us humbly in our place and Him in His.
Well our ride is here, so I will sign off!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Pearls

I want to share one of all-time favorite stories with you. The lesson in it speaks for itself....Think about it.

The Pearls

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

"Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!"
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.
"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents.
On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess--the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my babydoll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver,she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.

He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.

What are you hanging on to?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's in a Name?

Well, I am going to try this blogging thing again. I am the absolute worst at keeping a journal, so hopefully this will go better. I have titled my new blog adventure: Less of Me.
Why? Because I have decided to speak to and chronicle my experience on a subject that has controlled most of my life: WEIGHT!...Weight loss, weight gain, weight obsession, food obsession, food dependence, etc...

If you can relate, then come along with me as I jump into this process headfirst! ( A SCARY PROPOSITION FOR ME! )

Let me preface by saying that this is not going to be a blog about "weight loss" persay. It is going to chronicle much more than a hopeful physical transformation, but I plan to go much deeper, into the spiritual and emotional aspects of a dependence on food. And I want to do this to help keep myself accountable. 

LESS OF ME, as you may have figured out has a double meaning. First and foremost, I have learned and truly believe the only way to freedom from any kind of addiction is to put our focus on the One who created us and allow Him to lead us out of our wilderness and captivity. Life has to be about more of Him and less of ourselves. He takes the whole "NO other gods before me" thing seriously. 

I hope that by posting this blog it will help someone else as they follow my journey. Let me be clear about something: This blog is NOT about how to lose weight, but about living in obedience and how living a life of glorifying God and not Self will bring freedom from a slavery to food. ( or any other captivity ) Freedom from a food stronghold means not stuffing ourselves to fill a void or empty place in our hearts that was meant for God to fill. When we stop stuffing our faces and start stuffing our minds and hearts with His Word, the overeating stops and the weight will come off. I believe this! I have learned so much in the past few months of doing a free online course called "Setting Captives Free".

If you are living with a stronghold of food or any other addictive behavior there is a study for you on this website. The study for overeating ( and all food issues, including "UNDER-eating" ) is called "The Lord's Table".
I have been doing it for a while and have had success, but honestly, have recently had a few setbacks. Thus the reason for starting this blog. I want to have an outlet for accountability and hopefully support and prayer from friends. I can only have success on this journey with His help. The world offers so many "solutions" for weight loss, many of which I have tried in the past, but the world also  offers no SPIRITUAL answers. And any addiction is a spiritual matter. I will do my best to share what I have learned and am continuing to learn.... My thoughts and struggles and hopefully victories, including lost poundage! :)
Hopefully some of you will follow along with me and with His help we will find FREEDOM!!

Galatians 5:1..
It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE. STAND FIRM then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.