Carrie (South Africa) – Let Freedom RING!

This is my testimony of freedom.

103When I was sixteen years old, I moved from a little town to a big city. I had to make new friends and had the stress of a new school. At home, my dad was battling alcoholism and my mom was fighting cancer. So needless to say, it was a rough time. I became friends with a girl involved in ballet. She was tiny and her whole world was about being thin. I got sucked into that world.

For the next ten years I was held captive in the bondage of disordered eating. I was extremely thin. Then I became bulimic. For about three years I threw up everything and took laxatives to purge out the rest. I have a memory of being so ill from the laxatives. Eventually they made me so sick that I would vomit.

I remember one instance when it was about two in the morning.  I was hanging over the toilet bowl throwing up from the laxatives while down the passage, I heard my mom  awake and throwing up, too. She was throwing because of her cancer chemotherapy. She was trying to save her life. I was trying to end mine. In that moment I vowed never to take laxatives again and I stuck to my word.

Unfortunately, I just traded one addiction for another—an over-the-counter appetite suppressant. It said on the box, “discontinue use after 30 days.” I stopped after six years. This pill was so dangerous that eventually it was taken off the market. It damaged my colon, adrenal glands and thyroid.

But I was thin. So I didn’t care.

At some point I stopped taking the pills. My weight went from about 50 kg (110 lb.) to almost 70 (150 lb.).  I turned to diets. I reached for the next diet promising me lasting freedom.  I would lose some weight and then gain some. We all know the story. I did every diet known to man.

When I was 25,  it dawned on me that I had devoted ten years of my life to this. I was desperate. Being locked in this battle was exhausting me, even though by now my weight was “normal.” But I thought about food constantly. I’d wake up in the morning with the best of intentions, but by 10am I had binged or overeaten or something. I was riddled with guilt and self-loathing, declaring a starvation diet, only to mess that up too.

At that time, I cried out to God in absolute desperation and exhaustion. I went to a Christian book store and asked God to lead me to books I needed to read. I bought about seven books. I got home and started on my journey back to freedom. That was on a Monday. The following Friday, as I was just waking up from the night’s sleep, I heard an audible voice saying,”Fast.” I got a big fright, but I was excited because it was a very real, supernatural thing that happened!  I prayed about it and felt I needed to fast until the following Monday.

The weekend started. I lay on my couch and read the books I’d bought. I wept and read. All weekend. My body was in physical pain. Dying to your flesh is never easy. When I woke up on Monday, I knew somehow that the bondage had been broken.

God gave me some stringent boundaries, though. He said I must never diet again. And I was not to weigh myself. To this day (ten years later) if I diet,  disordered thoughts  come back. God doesn’t intend this for everyone. Those boundaries were for me, personally.

In those early days, I struggled to follow his mandate for me. I would get up in the morning and take out a laminated copy of a diet I wanted to follow, intending to put it on the fridge available for me to read easily. I argued with God, pleading with him to allow me to follow the diet. Even so, I felt very strongly that this was going against what He wanted for me. So, every morning, I put the laminated diet back. I had no idea how to eat normally. One of the books I bought before the fast was Thin Within. During the week after my healing, I hungrily read that book. It gave me peace. I knew that this was exactly how God wanted me to eat.

After that weekend of being delivered from my eating disorders, God not only untangled my confused and sick thought patterns, He also did some physical healing. If you have suffered from an eating disorder, you’ll know that it is very much a mental disease. So much goes wrong in your head. So when God took his hand and wiped my thoughts clear, I thought that things surely couldn’t get better. But in his loving mercy, he also healed a few physical issues that I was suffering from as a consequence of my eating disorder. In my early twenties I went to a doctor and he diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. He concluded that I would be bed-ridden by the time I was 40. My body was riddled with some nasty viruses. I was so malnourished that my immune system was hanging on for dear life. My thyroid and metabolism were so broken—a consequence of years of yo-yo dieting, starving and purging. My colon didn’t work properly because of the laxative abuse. I looked and felt terrible all the time. When you are in such a “yuck” state, then often your emotions and attitude also reflect your internal environment. I wasn’t being a very God-pleasing wife, to say the least.

When God healed me of all that eating bondage, I walked with Him everyday doing things his way and I began to notice healing he was doing in my physical body, too. Before the healing, I had to take my temperature everyday for a few days as part of the diagnosis of an under-functioning thyroid gland. Normal is 37 degrees. When I did it, all my readings where 36 or lower.  A few weeks after starting to eat 0-5 I felt God telling me to take my temperature again for a few days. Each day it was 37 degrees! God is so good!


Continuing in her healing, Carrie completes a 10k!

He didn’t stop there. He slowly corrected all the chemical and hormonal imbalances. He restored my colon to normal function. He took away all my aches and pains. And then in 2010, he really did a miracle—I trained for and ran my first half marathon! As I crossed that finishing line (in a good time I might add) I almost started to weep. My body had been so broken. It was meant to bed-ridden. But here was God, who in his love for me, healed and restored me. A body that was meant to be sick and frail had now just completed 22km of grueling terrain. As I crossed that finishing line, with my praise and worship music filling my mind from my iPod, I knew God’s goodness. I got it.

He is in the details of my life. He knows my heart. He cares about my eating and being free from things that entangle and enslave me.

He is Good.

carrieraceIt’s been ten years since my healing. I am not overweight but I still wonder if I am at my God-given size. I stumbled upon Heidi’s blog after calling out to God. Through Heidi’s posts, I have come to realize that I struggle with greed and some other challenges! God said to me the other day that praise was lacking from life. It is such a weapon of warfare! So I’m now trying to praise and sing to him when ever I can. I can’t lie to you and say that what I weigh doesn’t matter to me. It still does. I would love to weigh a certain number. But I’m not obsessed by it. And I think as God works in me, that number won’t matter anymore. The whole point of my recovery and my future healing will be to keep looking at The Lord. He reminded me of this hymn and it’s become my theme tune:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of this world
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace

God bless
Carrie (South Africa)

What About You?

Do you find yourself struggling with a full-blown eating disorder? Or do you occasionally engage in disordered behavior to try to manage your weight? Will you choose to take the steps toward your freedom today? God CAN heal you. Maybe the first order of business is to pray…and follow that with a call to a trusted physician who you can be honest with. If you feel led, will you post here and let us know how we can pray for you? God intends for you to experience FREEDOM!

I Got Back on the Horse — Will You?

Finally on the trail again!

Finally on the trail again!

So, did you fall off the horse yesterday? Last week? Last month?

It’s never too late to get back up again! Take it from one who knows! PERFECTION is a myth. Both in riding a horse and in staying focused in our 0 to 5 eating, Thin Within approach.

If you feel you have “failed” in your attempt to “be faithful” eating 0 to 5 — you had Halloween candy or a full-on pizza feast or…well…whatever it was…— it isn’t “failure” unless you stop trying! You fell off the horse. So GET BACK on him and GO! There are wonders to experience! Adventures to be had!

Ten years ago, my husband, two kids and I moved to the country to experience the “horse dream come true.” We did it all wrong. Someday I am going to write a book about it and save a lot of innocent (potential) horse buyers a whole lot of grief. 🙂 In our horse-buying experience, if anything could go wrong, it did. I was bucked off (or fell off) more times than I care to admit. It took years to get it my confidence back. I worked hard with a couple of very special, talented horse trainers (actually, they were HUMAN trainers…the horses didn’t need training–*I* did!).

For reasons which shall remain shrouded in mystery :-), I rode my horse for the last time three and a half years ago.

Until *yesterday*.

Yesterday was a BIG day for me. I got on my horse, Harley. I got to know a new riding friend. I have a feeling some adventures are in store. I accomplished a goal I had set for myself for this year—to get back on one of my horses!

Harley reminds me that perfection isn’t going to happen. It is a myth. The important thing is that when we fall off the horse, we get back on. Relish the NOW and all that can be!

This is what I know from what Harley teaches me:

Over time, on our journeys in life, we will fall off the horse. But over time, we do so less frequently. And we stay off of them less long. That is the way the Thin Within journey goes. When I consider the GREAT time I had out in the fall sunshine, visiting with my new friend, smelling horse sweat (nothing sweeter!), feeling him beneath me and his blowing of air (a good sign!) I can’t believe I waited so long! What was really holding me back? Fear of failure! But for three and a half years, I couldn’t experience the joy of the journey! The thrill of victory *OR* the agony of defeat. I missed it all–because I just wouldn’t try.

Yesterday, I almost let fear of failure RUIN a wonderful opportunity to re-start a marvelous adventure!

What About You?

Have you quit, restarted, quit, restarted and….QUIT…this journey? Our entire lives long, we will be on this 0 to 5 eating journey. We will fall off the horse. The thing is, we will fall off less frequently and stay off less long before getting back on. Will you get back on today? Now? Don’t stay off! Are you afraid of “failure?” There are marvels to see! Joys to experience! God is waiting with open arms to welcome you on a wild and wonderful ride!

7 Strategies for Surviving the Holidays

Image Source: Image Stock Exchange
Image Source: Image Stock Exchange

Halloween Candy…is it the bane of your existence? I am fortunate. I live in the country and we have never, in all our ten years living here, gotten a single solitary trick-or-treater. I haven’t had to deal with candy in our home. So while I feel for those of you who have to face this challenge, I am not dealing with that particular challenge right now.

How are you managing with the candy everywhere? Do you have a boundary? If you are like most of us, it can definitely help.

Halloween often signals that time of year that we both LOVE and HATE! Tons of holiday festivities for Thanksgiving, Harvest, Christmas and maybe other winter holidays, too. We know that lots of different foods are  available only once a year and now is the time they are likely to be readily accessible!

Halloween doesn’t have to herald a two month long food-fest! We can be victorious in maintaining our godly boundaries.

Here is a video that tells about 7 strategies that you can use each holiday season.

(NOTE: I can’t get the video to embed from Vimeo or YouTube, so here is a link to Vimeo.)

Thin Within – Holiday Strategies <–Click on that link for video. 🙂

(Note: Here is the same video embedded from YouTube, but it won’t work for me…does it for you?)

If you watched all the way to the end, you saw that there is an eighth strategy that might be helpful for some who want that extra nudge of support through the holidays…it’s one-on-one coaching. If you are interested in getting personalized help (from yours truly :-)) through the holidays, click on the COACHING page for details. I would love to help you make it through these next couple of months and come out the other side a CONQUEROR rather than the conquered!

How About You?

Which of these strategies might be the most helpful at the Halloween party or Harvest event that you are attending  tonight? 🙂 Of course, if not that event, how about the Thanksgiving feasts, Christmas cookie exchanges, Christmas parties, or New Years bashes? What other strategies have helped you during the holidays? Are you committing to eating within your hunger/satisfied boundaries this holiday season? You can do it!


Sitting in the Feeling
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! Psalms 27:14
We read time after time in the Bible to “wait” on the Lord. If you google “wait on the Lord scripture,” you will find dozens of related verses. Waiting on Him is associated with good, hope, strength, courage, mounting up with wings like eagles,  compassion, mercy, and rest, among other things. I was thinking the other day about King David and how he wanted to build the temple so that God would have a glorious dwelling place.
            Then King David rose to his feet and said: “Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God, and I made preparations for building.
I imagine David was so excited about his plan, like I am when I plan a home renovation, garden plantings, or a vacation. He may have lain awake at night making sketches in his head. He may have thought about all of the details, the gold overlay and the fabulous carvings, where the ark would rest, and how he would acquire building materials. But then God makes him wait. He says ‘You may not build a house for my name.” (1 Chronicles 28:3). Imagine David’s disappointment as his plan is foiled. But, David listens and obeys and his plan comes to a screeching halt. In the end, he is given permission to make a plan of the temple (through God’s guidance) and to prepare materials for his son Solomon to build the temple, but he does not build it himself.  He doesn’t see the finished product in his lifetime. He chooses to wait on the Lord and follow His plan, and he is blessed for his obedience.

I think David can be an incredible lesson for those of us on this Thin Within journey. In our culture of immediate gratification, we want to not wait in so many ways. We may have a plan for what we want to wear to that reunion, wedding or beach trip. We may want to be a certain size by a particular date. We may ask for complete freedom from our food and body issues – today, not tomorrow. We may want that food, the ice cream, chips or burger, right now, although we are not hungry.
I want to challenge us to think about waiting on the Lord. Wait for Him to show us when to eat and when to stop. Wait for Him to show us what to eat.  Wait for Him to show us what a surrendered life looks like. And let’s scrap our plans for “perfect” bodies or for fitting into that dress or for achieving a certain size. He put the hunger and satiety signals in our bodies and created each one of our bodies. Wait on Him to show you how to treat your body. David wrote over and over again in the Psalms to “wait on the Lord.” Let’s follow his godly example! Check out Psalms 33:20, 37:7, 38:15, 39:7, and Isaiah 40:31.
~ Carrie

How About You?

What do you get out of the passages Carrie shared with us above? What is God calling you to wait on? What is God calling you to let go of?

Guest Post: Another Night With Frogs…

Image Courtesy of Image Stock Exchange

Image Courtesy of Image Stock Exchange

“Yesterday is history”… “Put your best foot forward”… “Leave the past behind”… “Today is the day”…

Well, tomorrow, that is…

“I’ll start tomorrow…” How many times have we said this for different situations in our lives? It’s not necessarily intentional because, of course, we ALWAYS have the very best intentions, right? But intentions don’t change anything. Action is where change begins! Why then is it so hard for us to exact change in our lives? What is it that makes it so hard to take that first simple step in the right direction?

It could be something as simple as a bad habit that we would like to break or maybe a positive change we would like to bring about in our lives. One of the most common examples of this is that common phrase that we use to excuse bad eating choices before beginning to eat healthy again…”Oh, I’m going to start TOMORROW.”  Maybe you can relate to this, I definitely can! Why is it that we always want to start “tomorrow”? Why not NOW?

Apparently we want one more night with the frogs. In Exodus 8:8-10 there is a very interesting story about Moses and Pharaoh and the plague of frogs:

Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.”

10 Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.

Tomorrow?! I know that if I was faced with a plague of frogs, and was asked when I would like for someone to pray that they would leave, my answer would be NOW! However, this story shows our own mindset as we face moving forward in our lives. Just give me one more night with my bad habit, one more night with my addiction, one more night with mysin, etc., etc.

We don’t have to wait another minute; there is no need to wait until tomorrow. Change begins now. Take that step in the right direction now. We can leave behind the junk in our lives, whatever it may be, and not have to spend one more night with the frogs.

Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t even wait another minute. This is the moment…today. The time is now. Take hold of God’s promises for you and His very best for your life and move forward NOW!

What About You?

What is it that’s holding you back from making a commitment to eat 0-5 daily and experience freedom from the bondage of gluttony or dieting? For me, it was a little of both. I would just overeat because the food was so good, but also I would overeat because of the diet mentality. I was trying to eat the “good foods,” but wasn’t satisfied and would still go back and eat the “bad foods.” What I have learned though, is that it’s not right foods vs. wrong foods or good foods vs. bad foods. Instead, it is a heart issue. I was continually running to the kitchen instead of running to God. And I had to spend another night with the frogs over and over because of it.

It’s time to break the diet chains off of our minds by giving ourselves completely to God, completely committing every aspect of our lives to Him, including our eating. Food and the scale had both become idols for me, and I have lain both of them down at the feet of Jesus. I made the 90-day commitment, and I will not look at the scale until the end of those 90 days. Yes, I’m excited about how my body will change through this, but the most exciting part is what God is doing in my heart and mind during this time! And while I have made the 90-day commitment, I’m not stopping there, that’s just a milestone for me. I’m moving forward! Will you say, “I’m NOT spending one more night with the frogs!” and move forward into freedom as well?

Just me

~ Aprille Roberts is the women’s minister and worship leader at her church. Find her blog, “Chasing After the Heart of My Father” at

Loved, Redeemed, & Transformed — Inside and Out!

I started this journey 178 days ago, when I picked up Judy Halliday’s Thin Within book.  Little did I know that it would change my life.

I began my walk with Christ at age 13, but until now I never understood Grace.  You see, even though I trusted Christ by faith, I’ve been living under the law for the last 44 years—a hard life, full of rules and self-judgment.  I struggled to please God, serve people and live the life of a good Christian.  Others looked up to me, but I always felt like the biggest fraud in the universe, because what I knew in my head didn’t always make it to my heart.  I listened to the sermons, tried all the formulas and attended all the retreats, but nothing worked.  The harder I tried, the more I failed.  I was dry like the desert, and the spiritual highs I experienced never really lasted very long.


LBG – April 2013

So I stuffed the emptiness with food, and food, and more food.  The bigger I got, the emptier I felt.  I was at an all-time high in weight and an all-time low in spirit.  My health was shaky and my fattest clothes no longer fit.  For a person driven to succeed, I was totally disgusted with my failure.  The last time I had lost weight, it was with Weight Watchers.  I knew I had to do something, but every time the taskmaster inside me told me to go back there, every fiber of my being rebelled against the very thought.

God had other plans for me.  My “why, oh why, God?” cries were answered when I picked up the Thin Within book.  A new diet, I thought.  And if I put all my effort into it, in my typical type-A-over-achiever, I-can-do-anything-I-set-my-mind-to way, I would lose the weight again.  I’d done it before…never mind that I always gained it all back, and then some more.

I realized very quickly that God was going to do a new thing.  Reading the book turned into a very meaningful quiet time.  I looked up every verse and highlighted it in my Bible, even if it was quoted in the text.  I journaled my thoughts (more like rants, at times), and my prayers, and whatever I heard God say to me in return.  His Words started saturating my conscious being until they would totally overtake me.  Invariably, each day, a word or a thought would come through loud and clear.  Then I would search You Tube for a song related to the daily teaching, and finish my time with God in worship.

It took me 69 days to get through the book.  Along the way, God started stripping away my crutches and I started to rely on Him.  He shone His light into my darkness and filled me with His joy.  He told me that this journey was not a diet; in fact, it had nothing to do with weight.  It was a full-fledged restoration project, from the inside out!  I surrendered completely to this new thing.  I gave Him permission to go into the deep wounds, the ugly places, and do whatever He had to do to make me a suitable place for His Spirit to dwell.  The closer I drew to Him the easier it became to tell the difference between physical and spiritual hunger.  I was learning to satisfy both!


LBG October 25, 2013

Verses like Ephesians 1:7-NLT came alive for me:  He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased my freedom with the blood of His Son.  He drilled into me that I am not my own, that I’ve been bought with a price, and that I must honor Him with my body (I Corinthians 6:19-20).  That I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. That the life I now live in my body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20).  That His strength is made perfect in my weakness (II Corinthians 12:9).  And most importantly, that I must make sure that I stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery (Galatians 5:1-NLT).  I learned that all this can be accomplished by His power, on the Path of His Provision. Most importantly, I learned that my weight problem did not stem from what I was eating, but from what was eating me.  I must say that by God’s Grace, this has been the easiest most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life!

I have a ways to go yet, but He is taking me there step by step.  He is helping me to set aside every weight which so easily snares me (Hebrews 12:1).  I must have released about 500 pounds so far…35 of which have been body fat.  The rest are burdens that I’ve carried most of my life—emotional wounds, misconceptions, condemnation, legalism, false teachings, lies of the enemy, unforgiveness, and plenty of unhealthy belief systems.  And God is replacing all that with freedom, joy, hope, confidence, and a glimpse into His plan for me.  He showed me that I am His miraculous creation, and that He loves me, truly loves me, just the way I am…and I believe Him.

In the last six months, I’ve walked an incredible journey of self-discovery and God discovery.  I met my God, the real God…the Lover of my soul.  And He performed open heart surgery on me.  When I surrendered to Him, helpless to help myself, He replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh, and proceeded to fill my empty places with His Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19).  He has given me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  For me, these are no longer concepts; they are the truths that I cling to as I learn to walk in this new-found Grace.


Hang on for a beautiful ride!

This is the real thing!!!


—Loved by God and Living by Grace

What if the Healing Doesn’t Come?

Is This What Depression Feels Like?

Challenging question isn’t it?

Often, in our earliest experiences of dissatisfaction with our bodies, we pursue thinness or “normalcy” for all we are worth. We diet and exercise—and even, restrict or purge—on our way to losing some weight, often, only to end up on the dieting pendulum for years! Back and forth, up and down, our weight goes…and with it so often, our self-esteem! “When will it stop!?,” we lament! We feel imprisoned by our compulsions, yet the continued praise by others for a “job well done” urges us onward–sometimes, even if we are already a healthy size.

Then, we begin to “get” that there is more to it than just food and eating. We realize that we struggle with food, our bodies and images of ourselves for reasons other than just “We just do.” So we begin to investigate our “issues,” inviting God to have his way as we begin to become aware. We may look at our past, at abuse, at the need to forgive for wounds that seemed to have nothing to do with food. We may remember how food was used in our homes when we were kids and teenagers and see a connection to how we relate today. We may make some insightful connections that propel us further toward our goal to be healed once and for all.

Hopefully, for those who discover Thin Within, there is a point in time when we string together enough days of depending on the Lord that we release extra weight and come to peace with food. Food no longer holds the great sway over us that it did previously.  We are no longer compelled to respond to the ice cream calling our name from the freezer. We answer God’s voice  more and more. It feels so sweet. It feels like victory!

Then, the bottom falls out. Something unexpected happens and we find ourselves emotionally strapped as never before. We find ourselves reverting to old habits that we thought were ancient history!

It may take some time, but we grapple to get our bearings and, with time, are optimistic once again that freedom is ours after all. We realize that we are, in fact, fallible and still in process.  Like layers of an onion, our God goes deeper and deeper and deeper with us. A layer or 10 may be removed (and it STINGS!) and we may have a season (even a long one) of peace in that place where we think “I can’t imagine I ever struggled with food and eating!” Then, BOOM! There we are again…another layer or 12 is peeled away and we flounder around yet again.

We long to be free—forever!—of the tendency to turn to food.

But what if our healing doesn’t come? What if the freedom we long for comes this way–in stages and seasons. What if the ultimate healing we believe is our birthright as children of the King…eludes us?

Can we choose to thank our God that he has given us this struggle since it has caused us to cling to him like nothing else? Will we declare the glory and goodness of our God? No matter my size or struggle, nothing changes this fact:


Nothing that happens to us (or doesn’t happen to us) changes who HE is.

This is one reason why I suggest allowing the focus of our lives to come off of our food, our bodies, our size, our restricting, our exercising, our struggles and, instead, turn to him in praise and gratitude. No matter what happens to me, GOD remains sovereign, loving, and good. He remains who HE is. He is a firm foundation. He is a reliable and safe harbor.

Even if my healing doesn’t come and life falls apart and dreams are left undone, He is God, He is good, forever Faithful One. I will praise him. I will thank him for this struggle.

Here is a song that encourages me to keep my focus fixed firmly on the only One worthy of that focus:

“Even If” Sung by Kutless

Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

Lord we know Your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

You’re still the Great and Mighty One
We trust You always
You’re working all things for our good
We’ll sing your praise

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

You are God and we will bless You
As the Good and Faithful One
You are God and we will bless You
Even if the healing doesn’t come
Even if the healing doesn’t come

If you like the song, you can purchase the mp3 at Amazon using this link or at iTunes using this link.

How About You?

Will you choose to thank him and praise him no matter whether your freedom is something you daily praise God for or if it seems ever-elusive? Will you declare that he is good, even if the healing you long for doesn’t come? This life is so short compared to the eternity we have to enjoy ultimate freedom in the presence of our God.

What My Horse Teaches Me About Boundaries (Repost)

As my kids and I pulled  into the driveway after a long day away from home, the last thing we expected was to see a horse by the hay shed.  That wasn’t where he belonged. Even worse, his neck and head were jammed down into a large barrel…the barrel of 250 pounds of feed that was horribly moldy, awaiting the feed store truck to pick it up. “Oh no! Breezy has gotten out!”

Sure enough, our appaloosa horse, Breezy, had popped the screw top off of not just one barrel of moldy stable mix, but TWO. He had carefully munched all the molded feed off the top of the stash before going on to what was next on his buffet list! By the time we arrived, he had packed away a considerable amount of moldy feed!

A quick call to the equine vet and, within the hour, I had the trailer attached, and Breezy loaded up. I raced Old Reliable–our tried and true trail horse who had taught my family members to ride and “respect” horses–to the vet about 45 minutes away. Experience had taught me that a pricey treatment was in store.  Without it, Breezy might be in danger of colicking. With horses, this is a serious thing–horses can die when they colic!

Some $400 later (we got off easy this time!), I meandered my way back home through the canyon. Breezy was a bit woozy from the “mickey” he had been slipped enabling them to “tube and oil” him.

Over the next few days, we discovered that Breezy had a regular escape route (he repeated his offense!). He nonchalantly blew right through the electric fence in one particular location. In that spot the charge was diminished enough that the shock didn’t bother him nearly as much as getting access to (molded?) feed rewarded him!

Breezy during one of his “jail breaks”– heading in to the hay shed!

We have since amped up the fence (literally) and added a fence post or two, making escape less appealing.

During these misadventures, however, the Lord has again used my animals to shine His mirror of truth into my life.

I have come to realize that I am often like Breezy, blowing through boundaries that God has established in my life because of His love for me.

Far from being perfect, sovereign, and all-wise like my Heavenly Master, I am an imperfect “Master” for Breezy. Even so,  boundaries that I establish for him are there for his good. Without those boundaries, he will eat all kinds of things that might kill him. Rather than respond to the “zap” of the fence, though, he pursued the instant gratification that he experienced on the other side of the fence.

How often do I do the same?

In fact, I know I often resent the boundaries that the Lord has established for me. And, if I am honest, I even resent Him at times. I wonder how often I plunge myself into “moldy stable mix” when God intends to set a bounteous table before me at the right time? How much damage do I  do to myself because of my pursuit of instant gratification?

How about you?

Can you relate to Breezy? Will you put up with a little discomfort for the sake of instant gratification? Are you like me at all, resenting boundaries that are there for your own good? Do you struggle with submitting to the hand of a perfectly good Master?

I think today I will rethink things a bit. When I know I have had enough or when I sense the Spirit of God leading me to eat something different than what my taste buds prefer, I think I will remember the image of Breezy that is indelibly marked in my mind–head and neck down inside the barrel, sucking up moldy stable mix. I don’t want to be like that. God has something so much better in mind.

Follow Up – “Set the Timer!” Challenge


Image Source: Stock Exchange

Last week I posted a “Set the Timer Challenge.” If you missed it or need to review what that was about, have a look at this post.

How did it go for you?

  • I know some of you joined us late…no problem there. I would still love to follow up with you.

  • Some of you may not have tried it yet. You can today, if you like.  🙂

  • Some of you extended the challenge and may still be enjoying it.

So please use this space to tell us how it has gone for you! What truths did you use to renew your mind? What did you do when your timer went off? What about when you were with people and your timer sounded? Did that happen to you? What did you do about it? How has this challenge affected your intimacy with God? How has it affected your eating? Has it changed you in some way? How? Would you recommend it for others? Are you going to do it again?

What else can you tell us to share the encouragement!

If you have questions that you would like help with in order to do the challenge, feel free to post that, too.

What About You?

This entire post is all about you today! Share, won’t you? 🙂