Fire the Desire – 3 Day Challenge!

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

You can do ANYthing for three days.

Camping with a boatload of kids.

Having twelve in-laws invade your house.

Taking care of your friends’ pets.

ANYthing. I know you can!

This is no exception.

The idea for this three day challenge was inspired by something that my friend, Barb Raveling, said at her blog on her “Careless Eating” page. She issues a challenge there about staying within our boundaries for just three days. Can we do it? I know we can.

Here is what I propose:

1. Eat only when at a 0 – physical hunger

2. Stop when you are at a 5 or sooner.

3. Drink sweetened beverages only with a meal…when you are at a 0. For instance, if you drink a Chai Tea Latte in the morning on your way to work, can you plan it so that you have it when you are at a 0? Or, wait until you are at a 0 and enjoy the beverage with your breakfast?

4. Daily, select from the following to keep your focus on the Lord and exalting him: Add to your God List, have a Praise Fest, add to a Gratitude Journal.
I recommend that whatever you do, do it OUT LOUD. There is something powerful about writing it, seeing it, speaking it, and hearing it as you speak it.

If you want to keep yourself accountable for each hour of the 3 – Day Challenge, you can use this pdf file: Fire the Desire 3 Day Challenge. It is a pdf that looks a bit like this:

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 4.25.39 PM

Please PRAY about doing this! If God says YES, then let’s start tomorrow…well, officially tonight at midnight. If you feel like now may not be the time, be sure it is the leading of the Holy Spirit and not just a preference of the flesh. 😉

How About You?

So are you going to give this a shot? What questions or concerns do you have as you consider this?

What might be a GREAT reason (or 5!) to DO this!

What might you need to be cautious about?

Week 8 – That Darn Scale (Again) and Food Just TASTES Good!

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

This week we are investigating two things that spur us to eat outside of our primary boundary of physical hunger and satisfaction. One is our response to our weight on the bathroom scale…(I really hope you aren’t still hopping on your scale, though!) As we begin this week, I urge you to remember that your ideal size is whatever you land on when you faithfully eat according to the God given parameter of physical hunger and satisfaction. You don’t ever need to step on a scale again! So, if you haven’t yet, why not give your scale to someone else to keep for you? 🙂

Additionally, we will look at how often we can wait for physical hunger before eating. We may even be growing in our willingness and ability to process our emotions with the Lord instead of running to food instantly each time. But when we DO sit down to feed our “0” , we may zip on past our comfortable “5” or place of physical satisfaction. Let’s see what we can learn to help us stop it!

If we can take care of these two things, practically speaking, we will eliminate a bunch of our overeating!

I have broken this week’s assignments down again in the hopes that it will be helpful for you.

Visit Barb’s page: Bad Scale Eating at this link. She points out that we typically want to lose weight in a way that is fast, easy and fun and that when we have been dying to self for 8 weeks, it really is hard to get on the scale and see that we haven’t lost weight…but maybe we have even gained!

To be honest, with the Thin Within approach to landing on your God-given size, it often happens that way (sorry to break it to you now…). People may gain weight when they start off! Sometimes this happens at the beginning before the weight starts coming off.

That isn’t to say you should ignore that fact, shrug your shoulders, and just accept it. NOPE! Instead, re-evaluate and see what it is that needs to be tweaked. Instead of focusing on the man-made bathroom scale, how about focusing on the God-given HUNGER scale–that true physical “empty” or what we call “0” and that true physical SATISFIED or what Thin Within calls a “5?”

Chances are, if you aren’t feeling your clothes loosening up, you may be either deceiving yourself about eating between 0 and 5 or you may be drinking a lot of sweetened beverages throughout the day (stop it!–said with love!), or is it possible you are already at the size God intends for you?

Which do you think it is?

Barb has a section in her post about the scale called unrealistic expectations. She hits the nail on the head! We often have unrealistic expectations, but, again, I want to urge you to THROW OUT YOUR BATHROOM SCALE or, at the very least, have a friend take it and hide it. We can get so focused on it that we miss the thing that God IS doing and he promises that HE IS DOING A NEW THING!

Wouldn’t it be a “new thing” if we stopped weighing ourselves? At least it would be for many of us. Give it a try and after the typical week or so of panic, you will likely settle in to experiencing the peace and freedom that comes from refusing to let a man-made hunk of metal, plastic, springs, etc., arbitrarily assign a number to your size.

In Barb’s section called Unrealistic Expectations, can you identify with either option #1 or option #2? Which?

So how about doing what she suggests! In order to keep following your boundaries with a good attitude, take some time to renew your mind about the scale.

What other unrealistic expectations do you have? Can you find any truths in God’s Word that speak to this? Jot them down or share them with us here.

NOTE: Tomorrow, I will be posting about a “Fire the Desire: 3 Day Challenge.” We can do just about anything for three days. You may want to plan now for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — for joining the Fire the Desire 3 Day Challenge!


Barb includes an “Exercise for Journal” section at her Bad Scale Eating page (this is the same page as the one I had you visit yesterday). This is an OUTSTANDING exercise for us to do. Note her examples. (Again, please note that Barb uses dieting “lingo,” but you can trade the words and phrases out for ones that fit Thin Within and 0 to 5 eating.)

If you do this exercise, share with us here what the truths are that replaced any of the lies that you struggle(d) with!

Read today’s blog post about the “Fire the Desire 3 Day Challenge.” Are you going to give it a try? Do you have an accountability partner?  If you haven’t connected with your accountability partner in a while, you may want to! Will you check in here? Tell us your intention if you plan to do the Challenge!


Turn to Barb Raveling’s Good Food Eating study at this link.

If you are like most of us, you can wait for 0 most of the time before eating, but stopping at 5 (or before) is another story altogether! What do you think? Do you find yourself continuing to eat past that place of pleasant satisfaction just because the food available is so YUMMY?   Sometimes the food just is there and tastes so good that we want to keep on eating it.

Do Barb’s More is Better bible study. Summarize what God shows you.

Are there any truths you can add to your truth cards as a result of going through these two studies of Barb’s?

Barb asks “Do you need to set any secondary boundaries to protect yourself from good food eating? If so, what boundaries could you make?” As you consider this question, we rejoice hat we don’t need to have ANY food be off limits completely, but what about staying within the boundaries of 0 and 5? How can you set yourself up for success with your eating when Good Food abounds and you waited until 0? How can you plan ahead to help you succeed?

Are you joining in the Fire the Desire 3 – Day Challenge? If not, why not? 🙂 Today is Day 1! (You can start it any time, actually, but why not today?)


Complete the Good Food Eating section included in Barb’s blog post (again, this is the same post as yesterday’s).

What insights come to you as a result of going through this material?

How are you doing on the Fire the Desire 3 – Day Challenge?


This is the last day of the Fire the Desire 3 – Day Challenge. How is it going? Stay off the scale in keeping with this week’s study. Truth journal about the scale if it will help. What about stopping at 5? Are you recognizing a 5 as it approaches? Are you eating slowly enough so that you can stop after a reasonable amount of food? What plan can you have to be proactive?

Extra Credit: 🙂 Weekends are tough for many of us. Sometimes it is because weekends signal us to let up our boundaries. Our routines are typically set aside. Can you create a plan for this weekend–a routine for yourself, some way to be proactive about experiencing success? Even if you aren’t doing the 3-day challenge, I hope you will include adding to your God List, having a Praise Fest, and adding to your Gratitudes Journal this weekend! I really believe that we will not stay in rebellion when we exalt God.

Share here with us how it is going!

What’s It Gonna Take? Ending Rebellion…

Image Source: Creation Swap

Image Source: Creation Swap

We can keep on looking for a magic bullet.

We can keep reading the latest greatest “non-diet,” “intuitive eating” material on the web, but there comes a point in time when we have to live up to the light we have been given.

Has that time come for you?

I get emails from people all the time…many are involved in the Thin Within Facebook Accountability Group, the regular Thin Within Facebook page, have frequented the Thin Within forums on an off for years, done all the workbooks, read Thin Within and Thin Again. Yet they still struggle with obedience. They still are frustrated by themselves. Maybe struggle implies more challenge then there has been. Some of us, don’t even put up a fight against the gluttony that sucks us in. We just roll over and give in to the desire.

What’s it gonna take to for us to stop it? To END THE REBELLION?

I guess another question would be “What’s REALLY holding you (me) back?”

With the way I have been this past week (and longer), I know what is in this Sound Cloud file holds the antidote for what I suffer from. I would wager might for you, too:

[soundcloud url=”″ iframe=”true” /]

For Your Consideration:

1. Have you read a lot of Thin Within material and done a lot of the workbooks or bible studies? Have you tried the online resources (of course you have if you are here at this website! LOL!). Do you really–in your heart of hearts–feel like you lack knowledge? Is there really anything more that more inspiration could offer you? Or is it time to live according to the light you already have?

2. Can you do what the audio suggests at the end…open to Psalm 30 or Isaiah 30 and pull out attributes of God or answers to this question: “What is God like and/or what has He done for people?” Can you praise him out loud for those attributes? Can you find three gifts that God has blessed you with in this momentyes…even if your husband has just announced he is leaving, even if your daughter has admitted she is pregnant, even if you just got the news that you have cancer, even if your job is flushed because of your company’s “downsizing.” No matter what…can you find the gifts that God has offered you in this day, write them down and, out loud, thank him for them?

3. Are you willing to give THIS a try? Not another new bible study. Not another new accountability group, but the daily practice of praise and gratitude…and just see if it might not make a difference in the rebellion that has been living in your heart?

4. Do an experiment this weekend. Practice praise and gratitude this weekend. Build your God List. Use it for a Praise Fest. Keep a running list of the gifts God has given you. Speak these truths about God’s character and goodness OUT LOUD. See if, when you do this, you still have the same challenges in your eating…can you praise God at the same time you eat more food than he calls you to eat?

Let us know how it goes! Share your thoughts and insights here!


Image Source: Stock Exchange

Image Source: Stock Exchange

Have you ever died a piece of cloth? It is so important to be sure that the entire thing is completed saturated. If it isn’t, the change will be inconsistent or mottled, at best.

I want my heart, mind and life to be “dyed” with truth–totally 100% SATURATED.

I was struck–even in the middle of my tizzy fit–by how many times verses from Romans 8 are quoted to me. I have to admit…there are times when it makes me roll my eyes. Really? Someone is going to quote “God works all things together for good”…aGAIN?  Or “We are more than conquerors!” “Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ!” or ” There is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ.”

Really, when you think about it, Romans 8 may be one of the most quoted chapters in all of Scripture.

So, even with an attitude, I wondered with my journal and bible open to Romans 8, what TRUTH would I believe if I believed ONLY what Romans 8 has to say? This is the list I came up with:

  1. I am not condemned (v. 1)
  2. I am free from the law of sin and death (v.1)
  3. The righteous requirements of the law have been fully met in me (v. 4)
  4. I have my mind set on what the Spirit desires (v. 5)
  5. I have life and peace (v. 6) <–an important one for me since I tend to make peace and idol if left to my own devices!
  6. I am controlled by the Spirit (v. 9)
  7. I belong to Christ (v. 9)
  8. Christ is in me (v. 10)
  9. I am led by the Spirit of God (v.14)
  10. I am a child of God (v. 14)
  11. I received a Spirit of sonship (v. 15)
  12. I am God’s child. He is my Abba Daddy (vs. 15, 16)
  13. I am an heir of God (v. 17)
  14. I share in his suffering (v. 17) <— This made me wonder how much of my suffering in my current trials are my own doing and not about suffering with Christ at all?
  15. I will share in His glory (v. 17)
  16. There is a glory ahead that far outweighs my present suffering (v. 18)
  17. The Spirit helps me in my weakness (v. 16)
  18. The Spirit prays for me when I don’t know how/what to pray (v. 26)
  19. The Spirit prays according to God’s will (v. 27)
  20. God works all things for good for me (v. 28)
  21. I love God (v. 28)
  22. I have been called according to God’s purpose (v. 28)
  23. He has predestined me (v. 30)
  24. He has called me (v. 30)
  25. He has justified me (v. 30)
  26. He has glorified me (v. 30)
  27. God is FOR me (v. 31)
  28. God gave His son for me (v. 32)
  29. God graciously gives me all things! (v. 32)
  30. Jesus prays for me (v. 34)
  31. Nothing can separate me from God’s love (vs. 35, 39)
  32. I am more than a conqueror! (v. 37)

What, then, shall I say in response to this? (v. 31)

Truly… what would happen for me…for you…if we believed even one third of this list? How might it affect our eating? I know it would affect mine. I didn’t get to carry 100 extra pounds on my frame twice just by eating foods that sounded good. I ate because I was resentful and bitter, because I wanted to celebrate, commiserate. I ate for holidays, I ate for vacations, I ate after vacations and after holidays. I ate because of nice things said to me and mean things said to me. In short, I ate for a million lies that I believed…that somehow food was going to make whatever it was better. LIE.

So, any one of those statements above, could be like a sword (of the Spirit, the Word of God) challenging the right of the lie to exist in my life.

How About You?

Might some of these truths in the list above make good material for truth cards? 🙂

What impact would it have on your eating if you believed Romans 8?

The Heart of My Rebellion: EXPOSED


Image Source: iStockPhoto
Don’tcha Just Love a Happy Eater? 🙂

The pig has nothing to do with this blog post except he made me smile. 🙂

Which is saying something. You see…I am in the middle of a tantrum.

I know. I am not supposed to have those, right?

Well, I am. So there.

Why, you may wonder? Why am I pitching a major fit? Melting down? Having a conniption?

The answer–if anything I ever teach is true–is probably wrapped up in something ridiculous like “I believe a LIE” or a whole BOATLOAD of lies. Truly, the heart of rebellion often is found in the littlest seed of a lie that was coddled, nurtured and given a chance to grow and take over.

I hate even typing those words right now because I guess that next to that little seed of a lie (lies) is the fact that I WANT to get strength from my anger, frustration…I want to OVERINDULGE in resentment and bitterness.

You see, God seems to be saying NO to me so often about all manner of things…BIG things…things that I thought were his will for my life… In fact, things that I could make a great case from God’s Word about! I wouldn’t have to take anything out of context!

And since HE is saying NO to me in BIG ways, I just don’t want to say no to me.

So, if I want to make myself feel better by eating, I don’t want to say NO to me about it.

If I want to eat “just because,” then that is a good enough reason for me as far as I am concerned.

I sure hope you can’t relate.

Dismantling The Lies

1. Buried in my attitude is the belief that life should be peaceful, predictable, and go the way I think it should go.

2. Buried in my attitude is a judgment of God–I have found him wanting. (Really?

3. Buried in my attitude is short-sighted idiocy if I think that there will be no consequences to making choices about my eating ignoring God-given boundaries.

4. Buried in my attitude is a belief that eating whatever I want whenever I want will somehow offset my disappointment about other things in my life…that eating will make me happy in proportion to the heartache and frustration I feel. Or that eating that way will “get God back” or “change his mind.”

What Now?

This summer we have been studying recognizing the lies we believe and replacing them with truth.

So, let’s do look at the lies, replace them with truth, and see if we can come out the other side and call it a VICTORY.

1. The truth is that life isn’t peaceful, predictable and it often won’t go the way I think it should go. I believe this is why the bible tells me again and again things like “Set your minds on things above where Christ is seated…when Christ, who is your life, appears, you will also appear with him in glory,” “fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal,” “these light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all,”  fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of your faith who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross and scorned its shame.” All of these things tell me that if I focus on what I see–the heartache and pain and my interpretation of God’s Divine “NO!”–I am missing it. What is unseen is something far greater than unrestrained gluttonous indulgence in favorite foods could ever give me and far outweighs the challenges I face.

Is this true for you, too?

2. Who am I to judge God? Do I really want to “go there?” His ways are NOT my ways and while I still don’t understand how what is happening could possibly be his will, it apparently is. He has ordained it for his purposes. Maybe, as much as I don’t like it, it’s like John Piper says:  God so values our wholehearted faith that he will, graciously, take away everything else in the world that we might be tempted to rely on — even life itself. His aim is that we grow deeper and stronger in our confidence that he himself will be all we need.

Is this true for you, too?

3. My choices to eat outside of boundaries God has set for me have plenty of repercussions! I have been in that place before…where I kept on eating…I got physically unhealthier, loathed myself, was emotionally and spiritually numb (which isn’t a good thing, even though being emotionally numb may sound appealing right now). It is time to STOP IT THIS INSTANT!!!

Is this true for you, too?

4. The truth is eating whatever I want whenever I want will NOT offset my disappointment about other things in my life… eating will NOT make me happy in proportion to the heartache and frustration I feel. Not only that, but the situation that causes me such horrible disappointment, grief, frustration and heartache WILL NOT CHANGE FOR THE BETTER and I will go through it not being present to God and what HE wants to accomplish in me. It will be doubly AWFUL (if that is possible).

Is this true for you, too?

Do you have anything you are facing that is causing you to be frustrated, angry, to have a temper tantrum with God over your eating? What lies are at the heart of this? What truths ca you replace the lies with?

Lessons From My Dog About Expanding Boundaries

samson kids christmas dog (2)

Samson, Our Puppy Boy

This is Samson. He was my soul-mate dog. I think a girl is blessed to have even one dog like that in her life and he was mine. I have had other dogs that have meant a lot to me, but something about Samson was just unique. VERY unusual.

Samson was always willing and eager to come to me when I called. In fact, he didn’t like to leave my side. I could let him off lead and, assuming he had strayed any distance away from me at all, if I called, he would come.  He trained with me for the San Francisco marathon so we went on a lot of runs together at Ancil Hoffman Park and along the American River in Sacramento. One of my fastest run times was a “Mutt Strut” that we did. It was a 5k (3.1 mile) race in Davis, California. I had *never* run a 10 minute mile before, but Samson wanted to be at the head of the pack so badly that we went out at a sprint! Oh I miss those days!

Because Samson handled his freedom so well, I was able to allow him privileges that I wasn’t able to offer other dogs before or since.

Probably the most enjoyable of all of these privileges was offering Sammy the chance to go play at a neighbor’s house. “Ben,” a black lab, lived down the street. They LOVED each other. I would make a plan with Ben’s “mom” and, at the prearranged moment, I opened our front door, urging Samson, “Go play with Ben!” He typically hesitated for just a moment, as if to be SURE it was ok.  “Yes, Sam! Go have fun with Ben!” Off he ran out the front door and down the street where Ben’s mom had raised the garage door for Samson to enter.

Ben and Sam had their “play date” for a couple of hours and, after they were through, Ben’s mom called me to say the “boys” were done playing and to let me know she was sending Sammy home. She then lifted the garage door and Samson bounded out and came running home where I threw open the front door. I was greeted by the most wonderful doggy appreciation known to man (or woman)!

If Samson hadn’t been trustworthy with his boundaries, I couldn’t have take him on the great runs we did together. He wouldn’t have gotten a chance to play with Ben that way. Samson would have been on a leash a lot more. I would never send him down the street!

Even more than I longed for Samson to delight in romping with his buddy, Ben, God wants me to thrill in the wonderful gifts he gives. He sees what I do with the freedom he offers me, now. The way I abuse the freedom he has given me now, keeps me from experiencing the broadening of my boundaries, I think. With Samson, there was truly a safety issue. Had Samson not been trustworthy with his boundaries, safety would require that I keep him on a leash. I think it is the same way with me with God. Left to myself, I am not trustworthy with the boundaries he has given me. This is to my detriment. God wants me to be free and safe. The boundaries he has given me now are wonderful and yet I chafe. I abuse the freedom I have even now–how can he expand the boundary lines when he knows I couldn’t handle it?

How about you?

Can you identify more with me? Or with Samson? Are you the type of person who responds well to the boundaries that God has established for you?

If you are more like me, what truths can you tell yourself that will help you to delight more fully in the blessings of the boundaries God has established for you and to chafe less? (I am asking myself this question, too!)


Here is Samson’s memorial video. I share it with you because you will see what I mean about him. He wanted to be close to the one who loved him the most. I want that to be my heart for God. Not only will I experience greater joy, but I know that then he will be able to trust me with broader boundaries. I want all that he has for me.

(The other dog in the video is a wolf hybrid that Sammy rescued. 🙂 His heart broke when Samson went to rainbow bridge. Bo joined him almost exactly a year later. If you want to see his memorial video, it’s here:

Week 7 – I Don’t WANNA! (Revisited) Indulgent and Social Eating

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Here we are again. At the office party or in the kitchen after bible study and NUTS if the food isn’t just TOO tantalizing. It seems to have a magnetic pull on us.

We tell ourselves NO… we WON’T give in THIS time, but nevertheless before we know it we are laughing with the others, enjoying “fellowship” while holding (and eating from) a large plate of food.  And it isn’t about hunger. It is, quite simply, about I WANT IT AND I WILL EAT IT BECAUSE I WANT IT. We might even have the thought that “It isn’t fair that everyone else should get to eat and just because I am not hungry, I don’t get to…”

This week we turn our attention to two related types of eating, “Indulgent Eating” and “Social Eating.” Often, we just don’t feel like following our boundaries. Often, it may be because we are in a social situation and everyone else is laughing, having fun, so it is “only fair” that we should get to as well. Barb’s studies this week bring some very important thoughts to the forefront.

I am breaking this week’s assignment down into 5 mini-assignments. Of course, you can do it any way you choose. 🙂


1. Please visit Barb’s website and complete the Indulgent Eating bible study.

2. Select at least 3 statements from the first section under “This is what I learned” to add to your truth cards. Even better if you add all 5! Share with us which three you added. If you haven’t started a deck of truth cards yet, you can see a post about it here. Evaluate if this might be a tool that could be used by God to bring victory at a level you haven’t previously known. Is it worth it to try something new?

3. Use Barb’s journaling questions about Indulgent Eating to write statements that you can add to your truth cards. Here is an example:

The first journaling question, I use to frame my answer and to develop a statement that can go in my truth cards. Barb asks, “If you were to eat ‘what you want, when you want’ 100% of the time, how much do you think you’d weigh?”

My response:

“If I were to eat what I want when I want (in the quantities I want) 100% of the time, I would be at least 100 pounds overweight. I have been there before and I could get there easily again.”

Continue to use Barb’s Indulgent Eating material to frame statements for your truth cards. Share with us in the comments what you added to your truth cards today.


  1. Complete the rest of the journaling questions, including looking up the Scriptures that Barb supplied.  Which verse means the most to you or did God use to encourage or challenge you? Share with us.
  2. Answer Barb’s question: Is your life better or worse with boundaries?
  3. What percentage of the time do you feel like you live as if you don’t have boundaries?  Why do you think this is the case?
  4. Complete Barb’s Indulgence Eating questions. Again, use any of your answers that fit to create new truth cards. Share here any truths that you feel led to share so that others can be encouraged as well.
  5. Respond to Barb’s question: Do you think your best chance for happiness is to do what you want when you want? Why or why not?


  1. Visit Barb’s social eating bible study page found here. Please don’t be put off by the “salad vs pizza” dieting scenario. Instead, imagine the more likely situation for you, as a Thin Within participant, to be in a situation where everyone else at a party or get-together is eating four pieces of pizza when you either aren’t at a “0” yet and have to wait to eat or you are at a “0” but it takes only one piece of pizza to get to a “5.” The rest of the scenario she paints for us plays out. The situation is totally ripe for overindulging. You finally get this feeling of being “ripped off” and give in and eat along with and as much as everyone else.
  2. What is the lie that Barb says is present in the back of our minds?
  3. What is true about the notion that “Life should be fair”?
  4. Respond to Barb’s discussion of “The Fairness Line.”  What do you think about what she says?


  1. I want to join Barb in encouraging you to recognize the lies that our society feeds us. The lie that “Life should be fair” saturates everything! What are ways that you know you have bought this lie? Can you persevere in renewing your mind with truth about this today? This week? How will you do this?
  2. How are things going on your renewing of the mind plan? Maybe it’s time to recommit to your plan established in week 2! If you don’t have an accountability partner yet, please consider getting one today by visiting the Accountability Page and posting there. If you have had a partner, but haven’t been in touch, consider getting in touch with your partner and evaluating what you will do going forward or dissolve your partnership and let one another loose to find another partner.
  3. Complete Barb’s “Social Eating Bible Study” section at the bottom of the page.


  1. At the end of the Social Eating Bible Study, Barb asks: Think of an upcoming social gathering where you’ll have to control the way you eat if you want to follow your boundaries. If life is about indulging your desires, will you have much to be thankful for in that situation? Explain.
  2. If life is about loving God and others, will you have much to be thankful for in that situation? Why or why not? Explain.
  3. What is God laying on your heart today about Indulgent and Social eating? Are you happier when you live by design or desire?

Follow Up Comments

I know that the summer is filled with opportunities to enjoy friends, family, times in the sun, lots of fun! You can recommit to spending 15 minutes a day allowing God to change your thinking–even now in the middle of the summer. What do you think? I know lots of us started this study filled with promises to ourselves. If your heart is kindled to want to let the fire flare up again, why not just dive back in this week–today, even? There’s no need to throw in the towel until a new study starts. Don’t buy Satan’s big lie!

Grace and Golden Flowers

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Jesus called the children to him and said,

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,

for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

– Luke 18:16, 17

Once, while waiting in my car at a nearby elementary school, I witnessed something spectacular! Two little girls walked by my car. One of them exclaimed to the other, “Come here! Let me show you something!” The girls ran ahead to a vacant lot that was covered in yellow flowers. They took off their shoes and began dancing and playing amidst the flowers, smiling and giggling with glee.

I watched as they played, pretending they were fashion models with flowers between their teeth, in their hair, and wrapped like jewelry around their necks and arms. The little girls’ ecstasy was enchanting and exhilarating.

Soon, the twosome was skipping through the flowers and scooping up large handfuls of the blooms and throwing them in the air! At first, my heart broke at the thought of the flowers being yanked up by the roots…I wondered how other little girls could enjoy them? But the field was rich and healthy and I was soothed by the thought that other flowers would grow there. There will be more flowers and more girls and more dances.

Just then, one of the girls plunged headlong onto the ground, as though she couldn’t get close enough to the objects of her joy and delight. She lay there encircled by yellow flowers as her friend threw handfuls of the blossoms over her, showering her with what seemed to be small bursts of sunlight.

As I watched, I wondered…when did I change? When did I stop taking off my shoes? When did I stop skipping? When did I become more afraid of briars and stickers than of boredom? When did picking flowers become sacrilegious? I realized how much I want to recapture that sense of wonder, that joy, that adventure…the child-like heart that plunges into beauty and wallows in the joy it brings.

In Luke 18:16, 17 Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

I believe, in some mysterious way, that those little girls showed me how to receive the kingdom of God…I’m to receive it with reckless abandon, joy, and enthusiasm, putting aside my high and rigorous regard for “rules and regulations” and my desire for the “practical” or “sensible”.

I believe that the Lord is calling me to go barefoot more often and to worry less about stickers, to skip more, to pick more flowers, to smile and giggle more, and share it all with a friend. And I believe that He wants me to desire to be so close to the object of my joy and delight that I plunge myself headlong into His ever open arms.

In His sight, I am a “princess on parade” and His Kingdom has come! I will receive it with joy, gladness and wonder!

Thoughts to Consider:

1. What can you do to recapture that joy and delight in your Savior and the many gifts he has showered on you?

2. What role could joyfully moving your body play? What activity might you do to enjoy moving the marvelous body that God has given you? Turn on some great music and dance in your living room? Jump in your swimming pool and pretend to be a mermaid (or mer-man)? LOL! I used to pretend I was Peter Pan gliding through the air when I was gliding through the water. What might work for you today to recapture that youthful glee?

One BIG Reason You May Be Stumbling

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

This journey is filled with a variety of challenges. Some take us by surprise. Some are of our own doing. Some…both!

On Monday, I asked you to celebrate victories that God is doing by posting here to share with us. Could it be that you feel like that request may be terrific for someone else, but you feel like you haven’t seen any victories? Or maybe you feel like the setbacks have been so HUGE that they eclipse any sense that you might have had of forward progress?

If you feel stuck…like you can’t seem to string together several consecutive baby steps…I believe that you may be stumbling over a root. On a jungle trek, without warning, a root can change the nature of the excursion if it is stumbled over. Tripping over a hidden root causes pain, suffering and a need for rest, ice, and ibuprofen! Right there in the middle of somewhere. Forward progress just can’t happen until it is dealt with.

The root that I wonder about for me and for you is…well…bitterness.

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.

Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness

grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

– Hebrews 12:15 NLT

I think we trip over this root a lot on our Thin Within journey. Then, we sit down and grind it up and make it into a tea and drink it!

It’s POISONOUS! If there is any chance that this is going on in our lives, we want to deal with it.

I know that forgiveness is a common teaching. We are taught in church and  many secular programs that we need to receive forgiveness from God, from others, and extend it to others as well. That’s great.

But the root of bitterness that I am speaking of is one that I don’t see mentioned often. Yet I believe it exists for many of us. No, maybe “good little bible study girls” (and boys) aren’t supposed to feel this way. But to be honest, we do. I know from first hand experience that it can cause us not to be able to make the progress we could. Until we remove it, we may be stuck. Or we may feel like we keep bumping up against a dead end.

This isn’t your typical root of bitterness, though. It’s the root of bitterness toward …

(I am a bit nervous about saying this so boldly… you may think I am one of those reckless arm-chair theologians or, worse…you may feel I am some sort of heretic.)

It’s the root of bitterness we have toward… God.

Yes, you read right.

Many of us, many times, have bitterness that we harbor toward the Lord of the Universe.

Many of us feel like God has done us wrong.

No wait…before you blow me off as being off my nut :-), consider this!

We know in our heads that God does not actually DO any wrong, but we struggle with what He has assigned to us, at times. We feel like He has expected just too much of us. Maybe He gave us parents that were abusive, a husband that abandoned the faith (or that claimed to be a Christian and never was), a child who died of cancer, or no husband, wife, or child at all when that is what we have longed for so desperately. Maybe He gave us a boss who belittles us or a sister who grabbed the inheritance and ran, just as the bills were coming due. Whatever it may be…is there any way that you feel like God has asked just too much of you?

Or, are you all good with it? “God is God and I am not, so whatever he assigns me in life is fine.” Can you say those words? If I am truthful, right now I can’t.

Why am I referring to this as a root of bitterness that may trip you up on your Thin Within journey?

Well, because if there is some way that you feel God has “done you wrong,” then trusting Him with your food and your body might be just too much of a stretch. You may resent Him too much to give this over to Him to guide you and direct you.

If you know my testimony, you know that I first became aware of 0 to 5 eating in 1999 and began writing Thin Within material in 2000. I worked closely with the Hallidays in generating the Thin Within book manuscript in 2001/2002. Yet, it wasn’t until 2006 that everything that I knew and wrote about “clicked.” Prior to that, I would release some weight and then grab a hold of it again. 2 steps forward and 2 back. It didn’t feel like there was any forward progress.

The catalyst for the change that occurred in 2006, was God showing me that I was angry … at Him. I resented Him for what He had assigned to me. You see, I had dealt with the horrible upbringing I had, the sexual abuse, physical abuse and so on and so on–I had forgiven a boatload of people and released them to God’s hand, but it seemed plain IMPOSSIBLE that God would assign to me, a woman who had never seen decent parenting in action in my own life when I was a child, the responsibility of being a mom to a special needs child. When Daniel was born in 1992, within six weeks, I knew in my spirit that God had assigned me the challenging role of parenting a child on the autism spectrum.

I have a VERY different view of this now than I did back then, but back then, I figured being a parent at ALL would be hard enough. I lived in fear that I would abuse my own children just as my parents had me and their parents had them…I feared that I would just be one more generation of abuser in my family. I am so very grateful to my husband for his tender love, care, and demonstration of a different way to parent than the one that I knew. He and my precious mother-in-law made a difference that has transformed our family tree–I believe that.

But it didn’t mean that parenting a child on the autism spectrum was easy. It wasn’t. In 2006, 100 pounds overweight and fearful of dying from a stroke or heart attach, I decided it was time to really deal with my overeating, I lamented “What is WRONG with me that I can’t give You my eating, God?!?” He plainly impressed upon my heart, “You don’t trust Me. You resent Me for Daniel.” OUCH.

I didn’t want to submit to the Lord because I held this against Him. I felt that God had done me wrong even though I knew that God does no wrong. It just simply seemed like far too much to expect of me. It was a root of bitterness that I was tripping over again and again.

God and I began to deal with this a bit at a time. It wasn’t easy, but I began to develop a tender heart for God and whatever he ordained in my life–including being the mother of an autistic son. It didn’t seem fair to Daniel and that was hard for me, too, but through the nudging of the Holy Spirit  and a conversation with a wonderful woman in my church who had dealt with being the mom of a special needs child so beautifully (about Daniel’s age, too), my heart began to soften.

He used two songs to really nudge me to a place of releasing my hold on MY will, MY way. One, Steven Curtis Chapman’s God is God, and the other Draw Me Close by Kutless. It didn’t happen all at once, but over time. I did, however, need to come to a point of decision. “God, You are God and I am NOT.”

Can you relate? Is there something down deep inside of you that you resent God for appointing to you or, if you don’t like that way of thinking of it, that He has “allowed?” 

I believe that this can trip you again and again on your life’s journey–not just with Thin Within and applying the principles to break free from obsession with food, eating, and weight, but even more generally.

If this resonates for you, I urge you to sit down with God for a bit. Ask Him to help you to see with His eyes. Ask Him to give you His perspective on whatever it is He has seen fit to be a part of your life.

The truth is, what we see and experience on this planet is but a tiny “blip” on our eternal timeline. God takes the blip of time on this planet and uses it to create something that will be for glory for ETERNITY. It is hard to fathom because we are creatures who are SO linear and bound by time and space. But the reality is–this is NOT all there is. There is SO much more.

This is why the Scriptures tell us again and again to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal. And that our trials on this planet are accomplishing for us an eternal glory that far surpasses them all. And fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of our faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross and scorned its shame. And set our minds on things above where Christ is seated. When Christ, who is our life appears, we will also appear with Him in glory.

These are just off the top of my head. There is so much more than what we see or think or feel on this planet.

But if we resent God for what he has ordained for us on this planet, we will miss so much of what He intends…the good stuff. The joy. Even in the pain.

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,

I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

– Psalm 73:21-26 NIV

Is it possible that you have a root of bitterness toward God–something that you are tripping over–something that keeps you from trusting him with your eating? What will you do to begin to deal with it today?