Work That Body! LOL!

Yesterday’s activity began with a wonderful Dance Praise workout. I enjoyed myself so very much that I kept bee bopping along for an hour and did it at what was a pretty high intensity for me! I just loved praising and worshiping the Lord while moving around on the dance pad!

But after lunch, it was time for me to start moving tons (literally) of gravel with the shovel and the wheelbarrow. I hadn’t planned on my body being fatigued from the gravel moving I did earlier in the week! I was good only for about half the pile…about 3 tons. I literally couldn’t control my arms any more when I decided to stop. Nuts! I was going to finish that today.

Got up, had my quiet time and was going to head out to do gravel when my daughter realized that there was an all day series of tennis clinics available for FREE here in Auburn Lake Trails by a USPTA professional who is the director of tennis at Auburn Racquet Club. Well, when tennis was the love of your younger life, you just can’t let an opportunity like that go by. Not only that, but I have been PRAYING for tennis activities for the kids to come to our neighborhood. We live out in the country and it is a long way to go to find something that works. God has delivered as the professional who came wants to establish a client base out here! How cool!

My family got there just in time for the first event: Adult Cardio Tennis! OH MY GOODNESS! Did I ever get a HUGE workout!!! It was a BLAST! I tell you, I would sign up for that a couple of times a week…but man alive it busted me to pieces! I was huffing and puffing and just about dying. My husband did die, I think. LOL! He had us do drills and run around constantly for 30 minutes and then since no one showed up to do his next clinic–a beginner adult tennis clinic, he gave us 30 more minutes of cardio. That was an HOUR of intense cardio tennis! I CAN’T GET OVER HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS! LOL!

So after that, I was going to go home and work on the gravel…but no way. I was shot. ๐Ÿ™‚ We had just enough time to eat lunch and then grabbed the kids and hauled them back to the courts so THEY could do a middle school/high school clinic and then a junior cardio tennis class. WOW! They BOTH were surprised at the fun they had.

The professional was Marsh Riggs. I was impressed with his skill with tennis, but beyond that at the way he was so incredibly affirming. No matter what he wanted the kids to do (or the adults) and even the littler kids (I watched him with 6 – 12 year olds), he was positive, encouraging, affirming. He moved things quickly, but taught a LOT in a short time. I was blown away that he would give of his time freely. Yes, I know it is to build a client base, but some would attempt to do this charging a fee to start. He let us see what kind of teacher he was. Definitely skilled as a teacher and a pretty nice human.

At the end of the afternoon, he and his son who is the #2 player at Placer High as a sophomore, did a demo of playing out points. It was very cool. I also loved to see the positive way they interacted. He is a coach I would LOVE for even my autistic son to have in his life…and Michaela loved him too. BOTH kids are interested in lessons when Marsh starts them up here in May.

Boy, I had forgotten how much I love tennis! I think I have to return to playing again! What a BLAST! I also made two new friends–women I will play with…the first is this Wednesday at 7pm. COOL!


Two days ago, I started to pray that my husband would have a tender heart to the TW message. He has a family history of heart disease and diabetes and carries weight around his middle. He is adorable! ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t get me wrong. He is my “Chubby Bunny.” But I have been concerned about his health. It just struck me that to live a high stress life, to eat what you want, never exercise…it is the height of arrogance to think that it won’t catch up with you sometime. So I finally started to pray.

My dear husband who supported me all through the work I did for Judy and Arthur Halliday as we wrote the Thin Within book, has never read it! Now if HE had been involved in the writing of a book, *I* would have read it just because! LOL! He told me last night that he hadn’t wanted to read it because he didn’t want to hear the message of it…that he knows he has an ungodly attachment to food. wow. God is moving mountains! But NOW he feels he is going to read it. WOW!

I asked him later if he wanted to talk about it as he read and he said maybe…well…I asked him then if I needed to back off for now and he said yes. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I will continue to pray. Last night he ate what I did at McDonalds when we went out with the family. There is a new thing they have…it really works. Called a “snack wrap,” it costs next to nothing ($1.39) and includes some grilled chicken, salsa, and a little bit of cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla. McDonalds probably has it available for the Atkins folks, but for me, it is perfect! Bob liked it, too! He said he was even satisfied and it was all his idea. Not only that, but he joined me in buying a small size soda. God has worked in me to release the GREED in the soda thing! WOW!

God really IS doing a new thing! A BUNCH of new thingS!

I have rejoiced in my freedom from HAVING to have desserts or to eat when I am not hungry. It is like it just doesn’t seem to happen much at all any more….and, well…I really have been brought to my knees in thankful appreciation. This isn’t SELF control. I know my SELF well enough to know that just would NOT happen! This is HIM doing it for sure!

So, early this morning I felt Jesus actually NUDGE me to get on the scale. I asked him if it was really him and he said “YES! I want you to see something!” (He seems to have me get on more OFTEN than *I* thought I was supposed to! Interesting how he blows the lids off of all my “God Boxes!”)

What I saw–the numbers–floored me. The number was 4 pounds less than the number that was 2 pounds less than my “original goal by May 1!” (Did that make sense? LOL!) I have no idea where he will take this, but this is TOTALLY a God thing! I am floored at what HE is doing and it is clear to me it is HIM. I am not starving…not at all. I eat whenever I am hungry. I typically stop before I feel the food in my stomach…I stop when I am not hungry any more (well most of the time). I love eating this way…no worries, no hangups, no obsession! THANK YOU LORD!

Anyhow, I know that things cause weight to go up and down so won’t go jumping on again any time soon (well, I guess unless he tells me to!), but I think one thing that has caused more weight to be released than I thought might be is that He has led me to choose more beneficial foods than I had previously. For instance, I *always* ate fried chicken when we went out. God led me during the work on the Fit Kids book to let go of my hold on fried chicken even between 0 and 3 or 4. I just won’t eat it…Not that I can’t…I can. It is permissible. I am FREE to eat it and now, I am free NOT to eat it! WHOO HOO! It was not a big deal to let go of it…another God thing! I just love this!

Every time I turn around there is something new happening….I love how God knocks my socks off all the time! My husband’s heart is softening to the message of TW (and living it himself) and more weight has been released from my body. I now weigh less than I have in over 10 years! 56 pounds are released now since Mid-November. Somehow, I wish I could talk to that lady who God used to get me to turn back to Him and thank her for being an unlikely catalyst for a God-sized work!


Thin Again

Someone asked about the book “Thin Again.” So this is a posting from the Thin Within Support Yahoo group that I sent there yesterday. I thought others might benefit…it is LOOOONG, though!


For the “uninitiated,” ๐Ÿ™‚ the Hallidays wrote a book first published in 1994 as “Silent Hunger.” It was then re-released as “Thin Again” with the most recent publishing (I believe) coinciding with the release of the Thin Within book in 2002. NOTE: Since writing this blog entry, the book, Thin Again, has been re-released yet again with another title: Get Thin Stay Thin. During January and February (and likely into March) of 2009, I am going through the book and sharing my notes here at the blog. If you search for Get Thin Stay Thin here at the blog, you will find the posts.)

Here is my take on the book, THIN AGAIN:

I think this book can transform someone’s life–and definitely their Thin Within journey from empty or mechanical to victorious and powerful and effective and…and…and! ๐Ÿ™‚

I believe in the message of Thin Again so much. I know without really facing the truths shared in the pages, I would NOT be able to experience the freedom God has given me today. Mind you, I worked (hard!) through the Thin Again book in 2001….so yes, it has taken me this much time to realize some of what God did back then….and to begin to FLY! Maybe it doesn’t take that for everyone, but for me…well, I know it used of God to lay the groundwork that he is now building on…to transform my life….

There are four people whose stories are followed throughout the book and, yes, they *are* dealing with issues in their past–AND present! However, the book starts with this quote (on page 18):

“When our eating is out of control or when food is used to insulate ourselves against emotional pain, we say that our eating is disordered, that it is out of God’s order. Disordered eating is characterized as follows:
Where we are preoccupied with concerns of food and eating.
Where food is used to insulate or numb ourselves from emotional pain.
Where food is used in an attempt to satisfy our unfulfilled yearnings to be loved, cherished, and adored.
Where food or eating is used to try to achieve some order in a disordered life.
Where the joy and pleasure of eating has been lost.
Where food or eating has become a compulsion, an obsession, or an idol.
Where food or eating causes a disruption in life.
Where food and eating control us rather than vice versa.
Where food has become an enemy rather than a friend.
Disordered eating becomes a counterfeit for genuine satisfaction and leaves us empty and longing.”


As the four people whose stories we follow through the book start off, it might look like we have nothing in common with them. Then a section titled “Can’t You Just Stop” brings it home…that this isn’t something “normal” people struggle with.

On page 24, we read “Causes of Disordered Eating.” Somewhere somehow we have warped what God intended for good. This section helps us to evaluate where things went awry. For some of us, we may readily identify things in our past…others of us note this more slowly….there are patterns in our present that we begin to see are rooted in other things.

The things mentioned in this chapter as being causes of disordered eating are:

Having been a very sensitive child
A controlling environment
Lack of validation of feelings.
For most of us with disordered eating, we can identify with at least one of these things….They are described in this chapter.

The book, Thin Again was originally released with the title “Silent Hunger.” Silent Hunger is defined on page 26… “Our silent hunger is our longing for intimacy where our deepest needs for security and significance can be substantially met. This longing is real. It is a sanctified hunger placed in us by God’s design, and it is his intention that it be satisfied in our families, with our friends, but most completely in our communion with Him.” (page 26)

Impediments to Intimacy list and describe:

The end of each chapter asks penetrating questions, has scripture to read, and includes a prayer.

In Chapter 2 things get really rolling when the authors begin to look at the Lazarus story as a metaphor for what a person truly studying this book and inviting God into the process will experience….the grave clothes and the needed “unwrapping process.” There is stuff on us that may stink to us….and God wants us to learn to let it go, as Lazarus after being in the tomb had developed an odor and had grave clothes that needed to be unwrapped to walk in freedom. This book is much denser than Thin Within and so it goes into what some of these layers may be. This isn’t for the timid! The Lord says knowing the truth will set us free….and I have found that to be true. Deception and denial are addressed in this chapter. A quote from this part of the book on page 41: “Where denial darkens our path and compulsions hide and confine us, the light of God’s love gently and compassionately penetrates the layers of our most ingrained defense mechanisms and coaxes us out of the tomb into the light…” Gosh…the quote continues….and refers to a quote from Brennan Manning…anyhow, the grace and love of God are throughout the pages of Thin Again, but it does take one very deep into all the WHY behind what is going on with us. If someone has felt at a standstill in Thin Within, it could be that being set free from deeper issues is the call of God….and to do that, we have to be very intentional about it. It is scary. I can’t pretend it isn’t….to face all our fears, pain, disappointments…HURTS…a LOT. But we face them hand in hand with God. Whether they happened 35 years ago or 3 hours ago….and then he walks us through this valley of the SHADOW of death (only a shadow) and helps us work through releasing these things…forgiving as Christ has forgiven us…trusting him that vengeance belongs to him and he will repay….and coming out the other side, transformed, truly resurrected in more ways than one.

Chapter three is called Grace Not Legalism. Sounds pretty good, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚ “Grace is freedom that conforms us from within; legalism is bondage that constrains us from without.” (Page 52) powerful stuff! In this chapter, we go below the surface again, but also the Thin Within principles (keys to conscious eating) are discussed. The hunger scale is mentioned as well…and the Bodometer Process. The hunger graph is explained too. So this chapter helps a person see how the familiar TW principles apply in context. The chapter title fits because these are guidelines, not rigid rules. The Hallidays want us to see that clearly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chapter 4, “Conscious Eating Not Compulsive Eating” takes a deeper look at the flesh machinery (called “fat machinery”) and unworkable beliefs. As you can see, these are familiar to Thin Within, too, but again, the principles are discussed in a context of going much deeper, exposing the root. The Thin Within book couldn’t go into that detail…so where it gives a taste, Thin Again, goes down into it…finding the root of these things that cause us to struggle with being “normal” with regard to food and eating. This chapter, too, offers some of the familiar TW principles but with a deeper touch.

Chapter 5 is called Worth Not Shame. This is a HUGE HUGE HUGE chapter for me and I think for others. It exposes shame and ALL of the insidious ways that it hides and infiltrates our lives. This chapter helps us to plow into our shame head on with God as our comfort, guide, leader…and see through to the other side where we shake loose all of the shame we have embraced for so long. The Hallidays discuss the difference between biblical “shame” and the counterfeit. Here, the Hallidays do connect some of our current shame with our past. If we wear shame, there is a reason it feels so familiar to us. Often it is because it is all we knew as kids and teenagers. We emerge from our teen years so familiar with shame that we don’t even realize we gravitate toward people, situations that will continue to provide the impetus for further dwelling in shame. The Hallidays evaluate the affect of the media and other sources of our self-abasement. From pg. 87 there is a paragraph that begins with a quote from Dan Allendar, “‘shame often occurs when a failure in our performance, a dissatisfaction with our appearance, or some painful past experience is considered so important that it solidifies a negative self-concept.’ If we base our view of ourselves on these criteria long enough, we may eventually adopt them as the sole basis of our worth. Then we have (unconsciously) incorporated a lie into our belief system: that we have certain characteristics and flaws that can never be changed. When we take on an identity of shame, we are perpetuating an incorrect view of ourselves and denying God’s Word–that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ This chapter has a couple of diagrams and explanations that are helpful, the “Shame Belief Cycle” and “Renewed Belief Cycle.” Guilt is another topic addressed head on in this chapter.

Chapter 6 is Dependence Not Addiction. The sub-headings in this chapter include “Moving from Addiction to God’s Healing,” “Suffering and Character Building,” and “Freed to Depend on God.” A quote from this chapter (p. 107):

“In our wounded attempts to satisfy our legitimate cravings, we use food, people, money, objects, and experiences to gratify and serve us. We strive to hold on to these false gods, forgetting that nothing of this world can ultimately satisfy us. Being unable to trust, we will our way through life, denying our fundamental dependence on the true God of love, joy, and peace.

“Recognizing our wounded condition and our spiritually empty addictions, how do we open ourselves to God’s gracious healing? How do we stop grasping for the fruit that we hope will make us feel like gods and yield to a relationship that frees us and satisfies us?”

The rest of the chapter is spent answering these questions. Judy includes her testimony on this page. She identifies that what had been her *current* situation…had become her grave clothes. It helps a person to bring all of this stuff into the present, if it is tough to see it.

Chapter 7 is titled The Present Not the Past. This chapter opens with this (pp. 115-116): “Unwrapping our grave clothes involves resurrecting and resolving the past and being freed from the bondage of old memories, roles, and feelings. Then we can live unencumbered in the present. The weight we have struggled to release is only a symbol of the layers of wrappings we’ve been carrying–the compulsions, denial, shame, guilt and old unworkable beliefs and painful past experiences. As we become aware of our burdensome bindings, our patient Lord is always near, encouraging us to be unwrapped as quickly or as slowly as we are able to bear. Layer by Layer the loving hand of the Lord dismantles our crippling defense mechanisms and removes the self-protective devices we thought were necessary for survival.” The sub-headings are “Letting Go of the Past” and this is where the authors have lovingly, graciously made a way for us to work toward forgiving anyone who has wronged us. From page 117 “The process of letting go of the past involved grieving. Grief over any loss, or over an abusive or less-than-perfect past takes time.” For me, it took a full summer to manage it. Note the authors say “less than perfect past.” For those of us who think we don’t have any issues in our past to face into, the news is…if we have been in this world, we have been wronged…and those things often stick with us. My husband didn’t realize until he was 35 that he had a harbored a lot of resentment toward his pastor father. Before that time, he thought he had a great upbringing. The truth was that this wasn’t so. He found facing into these truths, while blowing the lid off of his “I had a great childhood” box, enabled him to break free of addictions that had captivated him since he was 14. Another sub-heading is “Release the Victim Role.” Many of us hang on to that role…we wear it like an old damp coat over God’s glory in us….it has been a part of us for so long (maybe it doesn’t seem like it to some)…and boy howdy… “Ain’t NO WAY TO LIVE!!!” When we step out of that old drab coat…we feel like we have lost 35904 pounds!!!! LOL! I have to tell you, for some…that is the start. “Forgiving and Forgetting” and “Feelings and Memories” are a couple more sub-headings. At this point, we get to see how some of the people whose stories we have followed practiced forgiveness and the changes it brought in their lives. Food for thought from page 134: “When we live an unexamined life, we cannot help but be only half alive. The place of shadows, the realm of forgotten feelings and memories, encroaches upon our daily lives until we make the conscious the unremembered. We have secreted away not only the memories but the accompanying intensity of emotions that, as children, we were not equipped to face. When the memory surfaces, the emotional intensity surfaces with it. It is important at these times, to know God is present and that he will give us the strength to deal with the situation.”

Chapter 8 is called “Holy Struggle.” This chapter focuses on the choices we make today, now. It exposes the struggle we have and helps us to evaluate how we can best MOVE FORWARD! ๐Ÿ™‚ It puts all of this stuff in context, too…For instance, “When making your choice about what and when to eat:
“Consider your motivation
Notice the way you think
Evaluate your daily lifestyle
Be vigilant and pray
Continue to be filled with the Spirit
These are all explained and elaborated upon. Great stuff. This isn’t just about what we weigh or eat…it is about WHY. As we go into the why, we break free from things that we haven’t been able to figure out about ourselves. God wants us to be willing to go deep enough to offer those empty places, those wounded places to him…In this chapter, we also focus on different ways of handling things as we move forward…will we be reactive? Or what the authors call “reflexive?” “Replacing old hungers with new hungers” is another subheading, followed by “Keeping New Hungers Satisfied.”

Chapter 9 is called Holy Action. This broadens all of the things we have worked through from the rest of the book into other areas of our lives. This is something that Judy does so well. She shows us repeatedly that nothing about us occurs in isolation from the rest. ALL of it impacts everything else. The subheadings in this chapter are:

Establishing Holy Action
Living Unwrapped
Spiritual Armor
Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Gospel of Peace
Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation
Sword of the Spirit
Present-Time Eating, Present-Time Living

Chapter 10 follows Holy Struggle (chapter 8) and Holy Action (chapter 9) with Holy Life. We again get a glimpse into one of the testimonies that have happened throughout the book. Some quotes from this chapter:

“Much about disordered eating is based on our inability to receive love, even more than our inability to give it. We often manipulate the people in our lives to give us what we didn’t get. As we are healed by God’s love, we are then able to accept love from others, freed from our expectations and demands that love come when we want it, in the exact form we want it, and from whom we want it.

“Maybe we feel ashamed or unworthy, or maybe we are still too bitter or too demanding. It is not always the case that love isn’t there; often it is. Those grave clothes block not only our ability to give love but to receive it.

โ€œBecause in the past we’ve missed the love we’ve wanted, we’re afraid of being vulnerable for fear of being hurt again. The fear of disappointment is so profound and the silent hunger is so acute that we will attempt to feed it with our addictions rather than risk exposing ourselves. By unwrapping our grave clothes, we reveal our true hunger, and the Holy Spirit moves in our lives and relationships so that we are fed.

“Our healing involves far more than just a resolution of our issues with food, eating, and weight. By allowing God to fulfill our inborn desire for intimacy and satisfy our need for security, significance, and self-worth, we can, in turn, glorify him in body, mind and soul. When we began this process, we committed ourselves to deal with attitudes, habits, and eating patterns that had accumulated as we tried unsuccessfully on our own to stifle the voice of our silent hunger. Little did we know how profoundly God wished to transform our character during our healing or how unsurpassed would be the delights he had in store for us.”

Some of you have emailed me privately about what was the difference this time in my life so that things have been changing inside and out for me…I have to say…this had to happen…working through this study had to happen before I could experience what I did this go….so when I refer to Thin Again in my testimony about “this time,” you will have a bit of a better idea of what that means….This process may not be for everyone, but if a person is on earth, then they have been the victim of sin…and often, we take on way more of that than God wants us to. He does want us to be set free from overeating, self-loathing, anger, and a bunch of other things too! He intends that we live life abundantly….not just “make it through.” For me, processing the material in Thin Again, was a vital part of that.

Raising Fit Kids in a Fat World is “done!”

Wow…what a marathon the past month has been–especially the past few days!!! But we are done, I think! Or *I* am! LOL!

Look for “Raising Fit Kids in a Fat World” by Judy Halliday and Joani Mack, published by Regal in January 2008!!! I am so excited. We have a GREAT book on our hands thanks to the LORD!!!!! The prayer support was FELT SO STRONGLY (some emailed me to get updates…thank you for caring!!!).

I am really excited and blessed to have been a part of this project.

Now, it is time to go play with my kids, cuddle them and hubby, and go horseback riding!!!!!! I miss my horses SO much (well, my family too…LOL!!!).

On another note, I got on the scale this morning and the total released for March is 8 pounds or so it appears. That really surprises me! (call me a skeptic!) God has removed 52 pounds from my body since mid-November and I am so incredibly grateful to Him. It still blows me away how he drew me back, transformed my heart, got a laptop in my hands, began overhauling my life inside and out and *then* Judy contacted me about this book project. I couldn’t have participated honestly one MINUTE before I did!!!! GOD IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I must admit…I am a bit rummy….headachey…yesterday was a “not beneficial” eating day as I was in such a rush. I can’t BELIEVE what I ate all between 0 and 5….started the day with a donut of all things…lunch was half a slice of winter wheat bread with peanut butter and granola on it and a half cup of milk…..OH SO YUMMY. WAY better than a donut!!!! Mid-afternoon I was hungry and had these tiny cookie things my daughter made. They are like tiny lemon merengue pies without the merengue (how do you spell that? LOL!!!) Last night my family went out to have a bonfire without me…I was still working….I tore myself away long enough to join them for an hour and was at 0 at the campfire so had a S’MORE for dinner!!!! No wonder I have a headache today!!!!!

Back to beneficial eating today I think. I actually look forward to it…



Starting an Online Support Group!

Hi, everyone. Wow…I can’t believe all that God has done just in the four months since I found myself riding the wave of this journey…never intending on going for the ride, but here I am anyhow. I am SO thankful!!!!

The book writing is mostly behind us now. Judy and the pediatrician will be doing the final details, preparing the manuscript of Raising Fit Kids in a Fat World for the publisher’s deadline of April 1. I have been SO blessed to be a part of another book project with Judy. She is such an amazing lady. God always shows me such unconditonal love through her. Grace flows from her. Even when I have been faithless, she has believed in me. She has looked past my failures and seen the potential that God can unleash in a heart set free. Thank you, Lord!

Anyhow, I have been involved in a wonderful online support group led by my dear friend, Pam Sneed. God seems to be prompting me to get involved in leading an online support group. I can hardly believe it given how skeptical I have been of such things! LOL! For me, face to face is MUCH better, but tonight in our support group chat, God showed up. Who was I to argue with that? Wow, it was amazing.

So now I get to try to follow in Pam’s amazing example. Joe Donaldson of Thin Within has given me a list of people who have inquired about a support group. I hope it works out and that we will be able to start the week of April 8–just two weeks away!

I can’t wait to see what God does.

Lord, please touch the hearts of the ladies that you want to have be a part of this new online support group. I pray that whoever you want will somehow be able to manage it in their schedule and be there. You have divinely orchestrated this time and this place. I am totally blown away at the privilege you have offered to me…that of facilitating a group. Thank you so much, Lord. May YOU be exalted. I trust you for what YOU will do and can’t wait to see the adventure unfold!

Thank you, Lord, for the amazing time I have had working with Judy these past 5 weeks or so. I trust this material to your care. I can’t wait until January 2008 to see it in print, Lord! May it be used of you to help 1000s of children from obesity and correlated diseases. Help parents to find hope, too.

Lord, help me to practice having a soft heart. I pray for the person who may be reading this prayer right now. I pray that her heart will be touched by the wind of your Spirit. I pray that they might know hope and godly conviction to press closer to you. I pray that she would invite you to remove the barriers in her life that stand against surrender and holy submission to your will and ways. May the reader of this prayer know deep in her heart it is SHE who is the heart of this prayer…may she sense the power of your presence and the provison of your unending grace. Give her victory over her enemies, Lord…even if she feels her number one enemy is herself. Show her that you delight over her with singing….you call her beautiful. In fact, you say in your word you are enthralled with her beauty.

Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice on the cross. It boggles my mind that you came to earth when you existed in holy perfect union with the Spirit and the Father. You took on flesh so that you might live the life of a servant and die the death of a criminal…all to set us free. May we walk in that freedom and never once look back. In your name I pray, Amen.

To Nurture a Soft Heart

While I was sick, God showed me something…I mean, it seems really obvious, but it still seems profound to me.

Each choice I make–every single one–if I hear His voice and do not heed it, I am “practicing” having a hardened heart. I am living as one who has a hard heart. The best way to cultivate a hard heart is to act like I have one now. To hear him say, “No…don’t eat now, you aren’t hungry” and to eat anyhow. To hear him say, “I don’t want you to drink a soda now” and to drink one anyhow. To hear him say “Call that friend” and to do something else with my time instead.

These are ways of cultivating or nuturing a hardened heart. I lived a long time in pride with a hard heart. Do I really want to “practice” having one again?

Instead, I choose to have a soft heart and when it doesn’t seem soft, to act like it is. If I hear his voice, rather than arguing “But, Lord, are you sure?” I will in humility say, “Yes, Lord. I choose to submit to your will.” It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant it seems to be. Or how illogical. I will choose to nurture a soft heart. A soft heart responds at the slightest prompting of the Lord.

I choose to practice having a soft heart!

New Clothes and No More Shame

The last couple of days have been interesting.

First of all, yesterday my daughter and I had a BLAST clothes shopping at Kohl’s! Oh my word! I can now buy clothes at a NORMAL store! This is VERY dangerous and will require that I submit my WILL to God who loves that I want to celebrate, but not that I would do it addictively! WHOO HOO!!!! I mean, how many comfy pair of jeans does a girl REALLY need? (Just one more, please, Lord???? I would love a pair of Levi’s next…LOL!)

Michaela and I have similar tastes so we even bought the same shorts (just Levi shorts) in vastly different sizes of course and the same tops. How fun is that? ๐Ÿ™‚ Additionally, i bought two more pairs of pants and a dressy shirt/jacket thing…well, not dressy compared to most peoples’ standards, but since I usually wear sweatshirts, it is dressy for ME! LOL!

It is amazing how easy it would be to go bonkers and spend a lot of money on clothes. We did more than our fair share. Fortunately, I have a very understanding hubby.

Today I realized something. But I have to back up for a minute. I don’t know if this is true or not, but in *my* experience it has seemed that as a heavy lady, most middle aged men treat heavy middle aged women almost with disdain. I have handled that by not looking at them or expecting anything of them. I have avoided them. But I think I have also generally just not looked at anyone…I realized that today when I thought, “Gosh, people–*men*–have been friendly and more chivalrous lately. I wonder why?” Well, maybe it is because I am looking UP and outward to others. Maybe *i* am being more friendly and so others are just reciprocating. I don’t know for sure. I do know that Tina Hutton, while helping me with Harley in December, commented to me that I don’t look up when I walk. I knew then it was shame…but it was also a way of avoiding that judgment that often seems to be there when people look at a heavy person with what sure seems to be disdain. i can avoid that when I don’t look up.

I know I look up more now. But it is sad to me that it takes me physically releasing weight to be willing to step out of shame…and to be willing to smile and be friendly with those who may need a friendly face. Goodness, the Lord of GLORY resides in me no matter WHAT size I am! if that isn’t a reason to look up and smile, I don’t know what IS!!!!!

Anyhow, NO MORE SHAME!!!!!



New thing to deal with…being sick. Haven’t been sick in over 6 months. Yesterday I couldn’t tell when I was hungry and when I wasn’t. I knew some of my misery was flu symptoms and some of it was hunger. It wasn’t the throw-up kind of flu, but the kind you need to be near the toilet. ๐Ÿ™ Anyhow, today I am asking God to really help me to hear His Spirit clearly. I am feeling pretty well.

The vacation didn’t happen. Well, hubby and Daniel went off to go to Monterey, but my daughter and I–the sickies–have been staying home. We hope to head into town today for lunch and shopping. Here’s hoping we don’t over do it!

Lord, please help me to be obedient and heed your still small voice with joy.


On Saturday morning, I felt God invite me to step on the scale to see what He had done. That surprised me as Sundays have been my “weigh day,” but I had promised the Lord I wouldn’t weigh even on Sundays until He gave me permission, since I had become rather fixated on numbers…

So, I stepped on and there it was…I had released enough weight to bring the total to 50 gone since mid-November! Talk about blown away! That was fun and encouraging, though I still wasn’t into the next “set” of numbers… ๐Ÿ™ There I was, being blessed by God and I was wondering why it couldn’t have been just one tiny pound more. What an ingrate!!!!


Yesterday, I felt like God tested me A LOT. I haven’t had a day like that before. The past couple of days have been intense for me with the writing deadline and the upcoming vacation. I have thought of food a lot when I wasn’t hungry…that old feeling of “I need something to eat.” It has surprised me. I have met it with “Am I hungry?” “No, I’m not…” Then I have wondered what is up with all of that! I still don’t know the answer, so maybe some of the testing has come because God wants me to see just how much He has accomplished in me.

Breakfast, he asked me to eat half of what I usually do. I knew that would be ok, since if I got hungry again before church, I could eat again. I did, on both accounts. So that went ok. But lunch…well, it was like I just started eating…and it was SOOOOOOO good. My half of the burger and fries that hubs and I split…I took the “small half” but nevertheless after about three bites (ARG!!!) God asked me almost audibly… “Do you love me more than these?” Oh nuts….well, I gave hubby the rest.

Later, it happened when I began to eat the tiniest brownie when I was hungry. Mid bite, he asked me to put the rest down….

I did.

Yes, Lord…these ARE demonstrations of a the amazing way you have been working in my life. Thank you so much for setting me free….

I waited all evening for hunger….and it didn’t come. I had planned what dinner would be. Everyone fended for themselves yesterday because of my being sequestered in my room to write, so there was no pressure on me to make something if I wasn’t hungry. I really thought I would get to eat dinner….it wasn’t until 9pm when I got hungry. I had a tiny something…really…tiny…and ate it…and God said to give half of THAT to the dogs!!!! WHAT????

I must say that while I obeyed, I didn’t do so with joy. I wish I could say it was with a joyful heart, but the joyful heart *did* come afterwards…long afterwards.

Yesterday was definitely a different sort of experience for me. I want my heart to be totally given away to God all the time, whether I am being tested or not. I want to respond to the Lord with joy all the time. That is my heart. I want to be grateful that it takes so little to sustain me. It really blows me away that, with as active as I am, it doesn’t take more to sustain me. It floors me. I am thankful for that and I am thankful for the ways he has been at work in me. I am also thankful that he has released me from the captivity of 50 pounds of weight.

Thank you, Lord.