Counterfeit Hunger

Counterfeit Hunger

Many months ago (before I found out I was pregnant with Baby #3), I discovered something that changed my outlook on my Thin Within journey. It was sort of like a paradigm shift.  I’ll sum it up in two words: counterfeit hunger.

It’s obvious that I’ve known about such a thing through my journey of Thin Within, but the way it was described in a book I had been reading at the time (How to Have Your Cake & Your Skinny Jeans Too by Josie Spinardi). It’s a secular book all about the non-diet approach and God used what she said about “counterfeit hunger” to do something transforming.  I could tell my body still had some weight to release after having my second child based on how certain clothes fit.  I did happen to know my weight, but I wasn’t weighing myself often and only when I felt peace to do so.  So once this truth about counterfeit hunger sunk in, I began to experiment and realized that I had been eating based on this fake hunger instead of truly waiting for true hunger (0 on the hunger scale).  It wasn’t happening all of the time, but there were parts of my day this was happening more.  So I began to distinguish between fake and true hunger and I learned to wait for that true 0.  And almost immediately, I released 3 pounds and put me very close or even at my ideal weight (it’s hard to say because shortly after this revelation and release, I found out I was pregnant).

So what is counterfeit hunger? Well, it’s not true hunger.  It’s a craving.  Something smells good and we eat based on that sense of smell (think popcorn or freshly baked cinnamon roll).  There is this urge to eat.  It can be a learned response to emotional distress, diet restriction, or conditioned cues.  That was one that would get me—even thinking about going on a diet or restricting certain foods would bring on the counterfeit hunger.  Counterfeit hunger is also habitually eating such as always eating in front of the TV.  One that really got me was the space of time between activities, such as putting my kids to bed and my own bed time.  It was like, “The kids are asleep!  Now I can eat!”  Counterfeit hunger is never satisfied.  Think of those times when you’ve eaten one thing after another, but you are still not satisfied.  And fake hunger is marked with urgency (hurry up and eat it now!), guilt and indecision.

So what does true hunger feel and “look” like? It’s a quiet, gentle feeling (unless you’ve waited too long).  It’s a hollow, warm sensation in your stomach (it may be a different feeling for you—it takes some trial and error and getting to know your body’s signals to know for sure).  There is a heightened taste and sense of smell accompanied with hunger.  And true hunger comes on gradually (no urgency).

I really like the way Hunger Within describes hunger: “Sometimes hunger is like a snooze alarm: it goes off and on until finally the signal is constant and clear.  That’s your 0.  It won’t be a maybe or sort of; it will be a definite yes, a clear call for food.”

When in doubt, leave it out! That’s a motto that I’ve been trying to live by for many  months now and it makes a huge difference!  I’ve realized that if I have to question “Am I hungry?” then I’m most likely not hungry.  I like the way the Halliday’s put it in Thin Within, “There’s no such thing as “I’m just a little bit hungry.” You’re either at a 0 or you’re not.  Eat only when you are clearly at 0.  It’s really that simple.”  It really is that simple.

If we could really hold to that truth, just think of the weight that would be released and the changes that would take place.

How do we remedy this “counterfeit hunger”? Something the Lord has shown me is waiting upon Him and being satisfied with His provision.  His provision for us is eating within hunger and satisfaction (0-5 on hunger scale).  So whenever I am eating outside of 0-5, it’s like I’m saying His provision isn’t enough for me.  So I’m learning to wait upon His provision.  I pray almost every day that I would be satisfied with His provision for me.  I declare daily that His design of hunger and satisfaction is perfect for me.  It’s waiting on that 0 and being satisfied with His provision for our spiritual hunger when we aren’t physically hungry, and trusting that He has perfect provision for us in the physical hunger and stopping when we are satisfied, trusting that He will meet our needs.

What are you really hungry for if it’s not true hunger? Is it spiritual hunger?  Is it your body needing rest?  Sleep?  Or maybe you need to schedule activities so you aren’t spending it in idleness and filling it with eating outside of physical hunger.  Pray and ask the Lord to show you what it is that you really need during these times.  I can guarantee it’s not food if it’s not physical hunger.  And if it’s not physical hunger and you choose to eat anyway, well, you won’t release weight.  And…you won’t be getting to the true heart of the matter that needs to be addressed anyway.

Can you see how identifying counterfeit hunger can be so helpful? And how understanding what true physical hunger feels like can be so beneficial?  I want to encourage you to test this out for yourself.  And don’t be afraid if it’s not true hunger because it simply means you need to go to the Lord.  He is that well-spring of life.  He will quench that thirst and fulfill that hunger.  He wants to meet that need with His provision.

P.S. I’ve created a Sound Cloud recording about counterfeit eating. Click on the link below.

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Don’t Look Back

Don’t Look Back


You are going along happily in your Thin Within journey and you are finding freedom from diets, when BAM, you are tempted to look back at those diets.  There are situations that can tempt us to look back (not being happy with the number on the scale, breaking your boundaries too often, feeling like you will never overcome, and so on).  We think, “Oh, maybe my set of boundaries (0-5) don’t work, so maybe I should go back to _______, or maybe I should try ______.”  Sound familiar?  I know it’s very familiar to me since I have essentially looked back SO many times.  In April of this year (2014), I was sharing with my husband about how I was thinking and felt tempted about going back to Weight Watchers because I knew it worked (even though I had sought freedom from tracking points).  He said, “Going back to Weight Watchers would be like Lot’s wife looking back.”  Ouch!  It was something I needed to hear though.  And then he said, “Weight Watchers is like a Band-Aid.”  He has seen me walk my Thin Within journey, overcoming obstacles, gaining a healthy pregnancy weight, releasing inches and weight after baby was born, being free from obsessing, etc.  He KNOWS this works!  He has seen the transformation work God has done resulting from me choosing to renew my mind and letting myself to be free from the chains of captivity.  And I needed to see through my husband’s eyes as he shared this wisdom with me: don’t look back.

Luke 17:32 says, “Remember Lot’s wife.”  That’s seriously all it says.  This was a scripture the Lord led me to after my husband shared that truth with me.  I felt like it was a warning, a word of caution from the Lord about how very serious He is that I don’t look back, but to press on, to persevere. (The Lord gave me a word for 2014: persevere.  And He has shown me He wants me to continue on this year with what He showed me last year, that He has brought CHANGE to my eating and is helping me overcome.  God’s reminder to me to persevere has helped me climb out of some ruts).

So why should we remember Lot’s wife?  What happened to her?

In Genesis 19:12-29, the story about this account is found.  The summary of what happened was that God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin.  Angels told Lot and his family to flee the city:

When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed (verses 15-17).

And then the Lord did exactly what He said he would, “Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens.  So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground” (verses 24-25).

But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt (verse 26).

That’s some pretty serious stuff!  She looked back, after God had told them, “Do not look behind you!”  And then she turned into a pillar of salt.  Yikes!

I wonder why she looked back?  Maybe she had fond memories of the place?  But you know what, it doesn’t matter why she looked back, but that by looking back she was disobeying God.

So when God tells me, through my husband, to not look back like Lot’s wife did, I would have to say He’s pretty serious.  I don’t believe God is going to turn me into a pillar of salt, but He is showing me how detrimental it is that I obey Him and submit to Him.  Did you notice that Lot’s wife “looked back behind him?”  Who was this ‘him’?  It was her husband.  And I’m guessing she was not only disobeying God, but she was not submitting to Lot.  God instructed Lot and Lot led his family out of the city that was going to be destroyed.  Lot’s wife looked past her husband and God and looked back.  And POOF, she was a pillar of salt.

So why would Jesus say, “Remember Lot’s wife”?  Because He doesn’t want us looking back.  He doesn’t want us going back to those things that He has called us away from.  For me, He’s asking me to persevere and continue on in what He’s shown me to do, to not look back.  Christ came to save us from our sin and set us free from those things that held us captive.  God was saving Lot and his family from the destruction of the city.  He told them to “escape for your life!”  It was for freedom that Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1).  Don’t look back.  Why would we want to look back?  But we are tempted to look back and sometimes we do look back.

I’m not sure where you are in your Thin Within journey, but I do know this, God doesn’t want us held down, ensnared, or under any kind of captivity.  There are plenty of areas in our life that this can touch on, but what I want to deal with is the area of looking back at the diets and the food restrictions that have held us captive for so long.  I’m not saying “looking back” for you is disobeying God, but I am saying for myself that looking back for me has meant that I have not submitted to God.  It’s like saying, “God, I know you don’t want me looking back, but that life worked for me.  That diet worked for me (and failed me).  Just let me go back.  I can’t believe you are taking this away from me.”  It’s pride.  It’s basically saying, “God, my way is better than your way.”  Ouch.  It’s saying, “Lord, I don’t trust that Your way will get me what I want, so I’m going to make sure that I am happy, so I will do it my way.”.  Has God given you a clear direction of not going back to diets?  Is He asking you to submit to Him about this area of your life, or even other areas?


Just trust Me

Unknown source and author

I saw that cartoon (above) recently on Facebook and it brought tears to my eyes.  What a beautiful illustration of what God wants to do in our lives.  We think when He asks us to give up something that it’s doing us a disservice, but really, He has something so much greater that He wants to give us in place of our sacrifice.  He says to die to ourselves so we can gain Christ (Galatians 2:20).

Through what the Lord spoke through my husband to me, it’s very clear to me that I am not to go back to a diet…unless I want to be like Lot’s wife.  And, um, looking back didn’t really work out for her.  So why would I want to go against what God has said?

Another scripture God has encouraged me with is James 4:7, which says, “Submit to God.  Resist the devil and he must flee.”  So when the enemy tempts me with looking back, the Holy Spirit brings this scripture to my remembrance.  It reminds me that I am to submit to God, to follow His lead (away from diets) and to not look back.  God is looking out for me.  He has a big ole teddy bear hiding behind His back that He wants to give me.  *smile*

The enemy’s temptations to look back are becoming more and more quiet as I continue to submit to God.  I have a lot more to say about the topic of submission, but I will save that for a future post.  I am tasting more and more freedom as I continue to renew my mind and put my thoughts under the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians  10:5).

As far as the lie about thinking my Thin Within boundaries weren’t working: of course they work (I see the physical evidence as well).  I like the way Barb Raveling puts it in her book Taste for Truth (Day 15), “When we find ourselves breaking our boundaries right and left, we don’t think, I need to renew my mind so I have the strength to follow my boundaries.  Instead we think, I need to find a new set of boundaries because these boundaries obviously don’t work.  Here’s what we are doing: we’re trusting the boundaries [we are looking back].  We’re believing the lie that somewhere out there is the perfect set of boundaries.  And when we find them, they’ll be easy to follow.  The sooner we get that lie out of our system, the better.  We’re transformed by the renewing of the mind.  Not by the boundaries.” This is exactly what would happen to me when I was breaking boundaries right and left.  Instead of renewing my mind, I would think my boundaries must be broken, so I better go back to Weight Watchers, or not eating carbs or sugar.  Lies!  We think our boundaries will save us, but only God can save us.  Only God can transform us.  So the more we renew our mind and put on God’s truth, the more we actually do follow our boundaries.  It works together, hand-in-hand.  We follow our boundaries because God transforms us.  We are transformed because of renewing our mind.

Renewing mind —-> Transformation —-> Following  Boundaries

Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

My boundaries do work.  I will submit to God.  The devil will flee.  I will follow the boundaries God has given me (0-5).  I will walk in freedom!

How about you?  Have you tasted freedom from dieting, but you are tempted to go back into dieting because you keep breaking your boundaries?  Breaking your boundaries is an opportunity to draw closer to God.  Go to Him.  Pray.  Praise Him.  Renew your mind.  Submit to Him.  Walk in freedom!  Don’t look back!  God is doing a NEW thing!

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Renewing-of-the-mind Alarm

Renewing-of-the-mind Alarm


CHIRP!  The purpose of smoke alarms in our home is to let us know there is smoke hot enough, born from a fire, and that we need to get out!  The alarms tell us to find safety, and that our lives are endangered.  Their purpose is to save lives.  So when a smoke alarm’s battery runs low, it lets us know that we need to change the battery with an annoying, inconsistent, “chirp!”  That little chirp means, “If you don’t take care of this now, I’m just going to get more and more obnoxious.  And if you fail to change my battery, I won’t be able to help you in case of an emergency.”  In reference to our Thin Within journey of finding freedom from the control of food, there are situations (“fire”) that arise (like smoke rising), that sets off the “renewing-of-the-mind” alarm saying CHIRP!–YOU NEED TO RENEW YOUR MIND!

Last week, a smoke alarm in our house was chirping at me and letting me know its battery needed to be changed.  The chirping sound is not something one can easily ignore.  And the longer I put off changing the battery, the more often it chirped.  I believe life has these same “chirps”, letting us know something needs to change or be recharged.  From this chirping episode, the Lord showed me that there are “chirps” and alarms that go off in our life telling us that we need to change something.  He showed me that there are things that tell me I need to stop and renew my mind.

Some of the “alarms” could be anything that trigger overeating or disorder in our eating.  Maybe it’s after a stressful day and you just want to come home, grab the cookie jar, plop your feet up on your recliner, and shovel in the cookies.  Maybe it’s finding out some upsetting news and you drive to the nearest fast-food drive-thru, knowing full-well that you are going to “super-size” and try to numb yourself with food.  Maybe you put your jeans on and they are a little tighter than you remember and you feel tempted to try that new diet your friends were talking about.  There are hundreds of things that can trigger our own personal out-of-order eating experience.

What kind of “smoke” sets off your alarm for needing to “recharge” or to renew your mind?

You aren’t hungry, but those brownies are screaming your name!!  CHIRP!

You are at a “5”, but you really want another serving of salad from the buffet.  CHIRP!

You ate an entire package of Oreos.  CHIRP!

You want to eat your way through your emotions.  CHIRP!

You weighed yourself and you gained.  CHIRP!

You know what’s so cool about renewing our mind?  Because, ultimately, it’s the LORD who does the work!  Even recently, the Lord has been reminding me that I am transformed through HIS work, not me behaving better or making all of the perfect choices.  It’s GOD!  That revelation is oh so freeing!

Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

When you hear a CHIRP!, renew your mind!  Grab your Bible, your truth cards, your journal, or get up and have a dance praise fest!  Or use whatever tools or ways that work for you to put on God’s truth!

How about you? What’s setting off your “renewing-of-the-mind” alarm?  Are you trying to overcome by your own strength and will-power?  Christ said that we can do all things through His strength!  Let’s strengthen our spiritual muscles by getting into His Word!  Do you need to change your “battery” by renewing your mind?

Failure Leads to Victory

Failure Leads to Victory

Image courtesy of nongpimmy at

Image courtesy of nongpimmy at

We get so discouraged when we break a boundary.  We eat when we aren’t hungry (zero).  We blow past satisfaction (5).  We bring out that “club of condemnation” one more time (sigh). But wait!  STOP!  Pause.  Freeze it right there!  Come a little closer to the screen.  Yes, there.   Now let me tell you a little secret (hands cupped over your ear): Failure leads to victory!  Sorry, did I shout that into your ear instead of whispering.  Sorry!  I just get a little excited!

It’s true!  It’s not about following your boundaries 100% all.of.the.time.  It’s about going to God if you break your boundaries.   We get so upset when we break our boundaries.  We feel bad about ourselves.  We think we will never be able to follow our boundaries.  So then we overeat because we feel bad about ourselves.  It’s like this vicious cycle that is perpetuated by our thoughts, beliefs, despair, thinking we will never be skinny anyway, so we might as well eat.  Sound familiar?

But what would happen if we looked at every boundary breakage (aka failure) and renewed our mind instead?  What if instead of feeling bad about ourselves and discouraged, we got really excited because we get to get closer to the Lord because of our failure?

I tell you what would happen: we would have victory!

I’ve seen it!  I’ve experienced this!  I’ve tasted it!  When I break a boundary, I get so excited that I get to sit with Jesus and talk things over.  Maybe I’m just an odd one…wait…I KNOW I’m an odd one!  But really, I do get excited to renew my mind and bring all of my thoughts and feelings before the Lord.  I love that as I am real with Him, He shows me His truth.

So how does this work?  How does failure turn into victory?

Here’s an example: Evening was the most tempting time for me to want to overeat.  I had a really hard time breaking the habit of eating outside of my boundaries in the evening.  I would put my daughter to bed and then immediately I would make some popcorn or grab some sort of snack, and then eat it in front of the TV (distraction, mindless eating).  It wouldn’t matter if I was hungry or not, that’s the habit I had developed over the years (and well before my daughter).  I knew I wanted to change it, but I kept on doing it.  I would feel so bad and would feel like I failed yet again.  My solution (well, God’s solution) was that after I put my daughter to bed, I would sit and read through my truth cards, or I would answer a set of questions from I Deserve a Donut in my journal, and reading scriptures.  I took that time to renew my mind.  Change didn’t happen right away, but as I took the time each night to renew my mind, little by little, day by day, the Lord was transforming me, until one day I no longer had the urge to grab something to eat after putting my daughter to bed.  And since then, I just wait until I’m hungry to have an evening snack.  And sometimes I am not hungry for a snack, and I’m totally ok with that.  That’s a huge change!  Victory!

It wasn’t self-control.  It wasn’t will-power.  It was GOD who changed me!  My part was being self-disciplined in taking the time to sit with Him and renew my mind.

Failure led to victory!

We try to change our outcome through our own strength.  We think if we change our habit or behavior first, then our thoughts and beliefs will line up.  But it’s actually the other way around.  First, we have to change our thoughts and beliefs, and THEN we will change our habits and behavior.  We tell ourselves that we will “do better next time.”  We strive and put forth all of our own human effort to see change in our eating habits, but when we lean upon ourselves to make it happen, we will only become weak and tired.  It’s God who helps us overcome.  It’s not in our own strength.  So each time we go to Him and repent after we’ve sinned, we are transformed more and more to His likeness.  When we renew our mind after overeating, we are transformed.

I look at failure as opportunity to grow.  I look at failure as practice.

It took Thomas Edison 1,000+ times before he had the invention of the light bulb “perfected”.  Every failure led to victory.  He didn’t give up.  And just because we overate just now or last night, it doesn’t mean we smash all of the light bulbs and give up.  It means we keep going forward.  We renew our mind.  We go to God.  We think that because of failing to follow our boundaries, that we need new boundaries.  Maybe you’ve been really trying your best to follow your boundaries of eating between hunger and satisfaction, but you keep overeating.  Does that mean your boundaries don’t work?  No way!  It means it’s time to renew your mind.  It’s time to go sit at the feet of Jesus and drink in His truth.

So the next time you are tempted to fail: go to Jesus.  Renew your mind.  The next time you break a boundary: seek His truth.  And know that each time you do, you are one step closer to victory!  Sweet, sweet victory!!

Would you like to know more about renewing your mind?  There are so many great resources on this website and blog about doing just that.  Do you have a set of truth cards?  If not, you can learn more about it here.  I also have recorded a set of my truth cards on a Sound Cloud file that you can find here.  Do you have a set of questions to help aid you in renewing your mind such as Barb Raveling’s I Deserve a Donut?  How else can we, at Thin Within, help to encourage you to renew your mind and see failure as victory?





It’s Not About the Food

It’s Not About the Food

Image courtesy of Apolonia at

Image courtesy of Apolonia at

It may be controversial, but I think we blame the food too much when it comes to our weight.  When it comes to releasing weight and getting thin within, I personally believe it’s not about the food.  In the past, when we want to shed the pounds, we change the way we eat.  We count.  We measure.  We weigh.  We change what we eat.  Essentially, we blame the food and start to label food as “good” or “bad”.  There’s way too much emphasis put on the food, but not about the emotions or the habits…or the heart and mind.  Our physical weight and even the mental “weight” is just a symptom of what’s going on deep inside of us.  It’s not about the food itself.

People can get really defensive about food.  It has become a really personal and passionate topic.  The opinions on food changes day to day from person to person.

We can have all sorts rules when it comes to food.  We can limit our food intake.  We can count and track, but ultimately, that’s just an external change.  The thing that sticks is the internal change, in our heart, mind, and soul.  Because really, how many diets exist in this world?  Hundreds upon hundreds!  And some of us have gone from one diet to the next, from one eating style to the next, from one restrictive plan to the next, and we lose weight, we gain it back, and then we lose, and then we gain MORE back.  Why is that?  I personally believe it’s because it’s not about the food; it’s about our heart.  When we don’t get to the core issue of our eating habits, we lose sight of what’s truly important.  Our eyes are on the types of food we eat and the quantity of food we eat, and we never glance at the condition of our heart and the patterns of our thinking.  So if food isn’t the issue, why do we keep blaming the food?

When I first started this journey, I had a lot of fear about food.  I thought that if I ate sugar, that I was tempting God and that it would kill my body.  I had an extremely hard time pushing past the fears and the thoughts that plagued my mind.  I cried out to the Lord for help and He answered my prayer.  He showed me His truth.  Even before this part of the journey started, I tried all sorts of ways of eating: food combining, eating right for my blood type, eating only raw foods, juicing, counting, weighing, measuring, etc.

We know what the always-and-forever-changing opinions of this world say about food, but what does God say about food in His Word?

  • He has given us every herb and tree to eat of. (Genesis 1:29)
  • Every animal is food along with herbs. (Genesis 9:3)
  • Food has taste. (Job 6:6)
  • He causes it to grow for the service of man. (Psalm 104:14)
  • He gives all animals as food. (Psalm 136:25, Psalm 147:9)
  • He gives food to the hungry. (Psalm 146:7)
  • Eat only as much food as you need. (Proverbs 25:16)
  • Food is for nourishment. (Proverbs 27:27)
  • He gives us food. (Ezekiel 16:19)
  • We aren’t to worry about what we eat. (Matthew 6:25)
  • Food doesn’t defile a man. (Mark 7:19)
  • Life is more than food. (Luke 12:23)
  • Food strengthens. (Acts 9:19)
  • All food is pure.  Don’t eat with offense. (Romans 14:20)
  • Food is for the stomach and vice versa. (1 Cor. 6:13)
  • Food doesn’t make a difference in our relationship with God. (1 Cor. 8:13)
  • No one is to judge us in food and drink. (Colossians 2:16)
  • God created food to be received with thanksgiving. (1 Timothy 4:3)

I wrote down scriptures on notecards and read them each day until those fears dissipated.  I knew from His Word that I can eat and enjoy all foods, but I needed more of an understanding of what God meant.

I looked up Galatians 5:1, which says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

And 1 Timothy 4:1-5, which says, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;  for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

And then I looked up both sets of scriptures in the Matthew Henry’s commentaries.  These are the notes I wrote down in my journal:

  • We are to look upon food as that which God has created; we have it from Him, and therefore must use it for Him.
  • What God has created is to be received with thanksgiving.  We must not refuse the gifts of God’s bounty, nor be scrupulous (strict) in making differences about food where God has made none; but receive them, be thankful, acknowledging the power of God, the Maker of them.
  • Not only has He given us permission to eat all foods, allowing us the liberty of the use of these things, but He also promises to feed us with food that’s convenient for us.
  • Every creature is God’s, for He made all.  Every creature of God is good.
  • The blessing of God makes every creature nourishing to us.

God also says in His Word, “Have you found honey?  Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit” (Proverbs 25:16).  This is what Matthew Henry has to say about this verse (what I wrote in my journal): He talks about how we are allowed a sober and moderate use of the delights of sense.  Honey is not forbidden.  We may eat of it with thanksgiving.  God has given us permission to make use of our taste buds.  “Eat as much as is sufficient, and no more.  The pleasures of sense lose their sweetness by the excessive use of them.  Eat food with sobriety.”  Eat between hunger and satisfaction (0-5).

Before anyone throws rotten tomatoes at me for sticking up for ALL foods–I also want to add that everyone has different convictions and preferences when it comes to food.  When Paul was addressing the food issues in Romans 14 (it’s a really good read on this topic), he was letting us know that Christ has given us the liberty to enjoy all foods.  He says not to be judgmental about it.  He says not to eat food offered to idols.  He says to eat with thanksgiving.  He says not to make others stumble by what we eat.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink. Colossians 2:16a

When I was at a certain place in my journey where the Lord was showing me that I can eat all foods, I was so tempted to go back to some of my old ways of completely cutting out sugar because the lie was still there that sugar is evil.  So as the Lord was showing me His truth that I could eat sweets within my boundaries (eating between 0-5 of hunger and satisfaction), the enemy was also trying to ensnare me with the lies that if I ate sugar then something really bad would happen.  Someone even made a comment to me that sugar is “poison”.  Wow!  And they compared it to drugs.  Ouch.  Honestly, that was another hurdle I had to jump over with the Lord’s help.  We have to be SO careful about our convictions and what we say to others.  I bet that person had no idea that what they said would trip me up and cause me to stumble.  Obviously, that person is passionate about not eating sugar, but God has been working so hard to free me from any rules man has made about food.  Now, this doesn’t mean that all I eat are sweets; I believe in eating in moderation.  What we eat over a long period of time is what counts; it’s not one meal or one day of eating that makes or breaks us.

Image courtesy of akeeris at

Image courtesy of akeeris at

And then there’s also foods that some of us cannot eat because it makes us physically ill.  Maybe you have a gluten intolerance.  Or maybe you are lactose intolerant.  Whatever the case may be, I think we can be mindful of the food our body enjoys and be careful and considerate about sharing our convictions when it comes to food.

On pages 186-189 in Thin Within, it talks about how there are pleasers, teasers, total rejects and whole-body pleasers when it comes to food.  The pleasers are foods you know you enjoy, maybe even by specific brand.  They “hit the spot and bring physical satisfaction” (page 186).  The teasers are foods that you don’t really think about until you see a picture of the food or someone mentions the food.  They aren’t as satisfying of foods, so we may think that “more is better”.  Total rejects are foods that are “simply not worth eating”.  They may be too sweet, salty, artificially flavored, etc.  Whole-body pleasers are “foods that make you feel good overall”.  It’s the “foods that your body calls out for, are enjoyable while you eat them, and they leave you feeling energized afterward” (pages 188-189). I really like how Thin Within talks about these different ways we respond to foods.  I believe different foods will fit in different categories for different people.  What may be a whole-body pleaser for me may be different for someone else.  Most of all, I just love the freedom God gives us when it comes to food.

I can either listen to what the world and the diet creators say about what I should or shouldn’t eat, or I can listen to what the Creator says about food.  I will choose the latter because that’s where my peace resides.  I’m choosing to turn my eyes away from all of the babble and confusion about it, and I’m choosing to fix my eyes on Jesus.  He won’t lead me astray.  I will listen to His voice.  This is where it all boils down to–Jesus.  He came to set us free from the law.   And I believe in that freedom, He meant for us to be free even in what we eat.  The world makes laws and rules about food, but God gives us the liberty to choose what is satisfying to us.

How about you?  Have you been bombarded with all of the “billboards” about what the world says about food?  Will you take a stand with me and turn a deaf ear to it and listen to the One who knows your needs when it comes to nourishing your body?  Maybe you do have some passionate opinions and convictions on this subject, would you be willing to join me in being extra careful about sharing those convictions?  Let’s walk in love!

P.S. Heidi wrote a great post about this a little while back.  Click here to read!

Starving the Skinny Idol

Starving the Skinny Idol


A few weeks ago, the Lord told me to “starve the skinny idol”.  This was shortly after He showed me that I had made “skinny” an idol in my life.  It was quite shocking news!  Me?  Serving an idol?  Yup!

I dreamed of having “rock hard abs” or “flat abs”.  I had envisioned myself looking like Denise Austen or other exercise gurus.  I sought after it.  I deemed myself too flabby and went on a quest to “live the dream”.  Well, that so-called dream became my master.

“That other person, idea, or dream is your master, and it takes you over without your being aware of it.”*

That’s exactly what happened to me.  I lived and breathed this desire to have a certain look.  I wanted to be strong and to be at a certain weight.  If there was a book about it, I read it.  If there was a diet to help me live out my dream, I tried it or at least considered it.  I joined a fitness forum online so I could discuss this dream.  I counted calories.  I tracked points.  I stopped eating certain foods.  I tried to eat only raw foods.  And on and on and on.

I made skinny my “functional god”.

“They’re trapped, they’re deceived, and they’re miserable because they made a functional god of something or someone other than the one true living God.”*

I thought, when I am skinny, I will be happy.  I wouldn’t be satisfied until I lost a certain amount of weight or looked a certain way.  But even when I lost the desired weight, I thought, “How about 5 more pounds?”  You see, the enemy loves that we serve the skinny idol, or any idol for that matter.  He wants us to feel like we are never enough.  So I thought if I tried a different method, diet, technique, workout program, etc., that then I would have what I wanted.  Sure, I asked God for help, but “God won’t help us chase our idols.”*

My heart was set on being skinny.  “Idolatry is who or what you worship, what you long for, what your heart is set on.”*  And the sad thing is that back in the day, when I started on this quest, I was completely fine the way I was.  I believed the lies of the enemy that I needed to be more or less.  I didn’t think I was good enough where I was; so without realizing it, I built up my altar and started serving the skinny idol.

This is a photo of me from 2005, when I thought I needed to lose weight:


Oh how I wish I could go back to that young lady (myself) and tell myself that I was fine and to STOP obsessing.  I wish I could go back and tell her the truth.  I know different ones in my life did try, but I wasn’t convinced.  I really thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t have rock-hard abs.  I remember asking my husband to take pictures of me when I was sitting down so I could see if my stomach stuck out and rolled out as I was imagining it to be (it wasn’t).  The funny thing is, after having two babies, and looking back, those abs look great!  Ha!

So when the Lord revealed this idol to me about a month ago, I started to sort of panic.  I have served this idol and it has served me.  It’s been my familiar friend, my companion, my security blanket all of these years.  It’s what I could obsess over; and boy, have I obsessed!  “It’s hard [to demolish the idol], not only because they don’t want to leave, but also because we don’t really want to lose them.”*  Exactly!

This idol has kept me “fixed”.  It’s like a drug.  I feel “high” when I focus on the things that feed this idol: like thinking about starting a new diet.  “We may experience initial relief, so then we cling to them, making them the objects of our desire.  As these objects grow in importance, our behavior becomes habitual and we can no longer satisfy or relieve our needs in healthy ways.  Even if we want to break free, we find ourselves enslaved.”**  I have looked to my idol to fulfill me; but only God can fulfill me.

I’ve often asked myself why I would give into this idol, this addiction.  When I look back to when I erected this idol, there were a lot of things in my life that I felt were spinning out of control.  Relationships were changing.  Boundaries had to be placed.  There was a lot of emotional uneasiness.  Looking back, I am beginning to see that instead of depending on God completely, I began to place trust in this idol to help me through.  I grasped onto anything that felt solid at the time to hold me up.

Now that He’s revealed this idol to me, I’m accountable to tear it down.  In 1st and 2nd Chronicles,  it talks about how there would be a new king on the throne and it would say if that king demolished the high places and idol altars or not.  Kings built, tore down, and built them up again.  I want this idol to come down for good and not ever be built up again.  I’m starting to see that it comes down to 2 choices: either I can trust God or I can trust the “golden calves” of the skinny idol.  I can serve God or “mammon”, but I cannot serve both.

I didn’t trust God to take care of this area of my life.  Oh, I would claim He was leading me (which I think He did at times–to turn away from the idol), but I did NOT want to give up the control of this area of my life.  It’s ridiculous because idols only hurt us.  “We think they’re more predictable than God is, and they keep us in the driver’s seat.”*  Oh yes, I have told God to move over plenty of times.  I’m driving!  I will get my rock-hard abs no matter what!  Trust God?  Whatever!

I didn’t want to wait on God.  “And so we turn to idols, often just to remove the uneasy feeling of waiting and depending on God.”*  I think a lie I have believed is, “God won’t help me, so I will do this myself.  He probably just wants me to be fat.”  Yeah…not cool!  “We are anxious about our idols.  We think, “What if I don’t get what I want?  What if I lose it?””  I held on dearly to what I wanted because I was afraid God wouldn’t give it to me in my way and in my time.  Truth is, God is more concerned about my heart than my outward appearance.  Of course He wants us healthy and at our God-given weight, BUT He wants my heart.  He is a jealous God.  He doesn’t want us bowing down to any other gods.  And I certainly made a god, an idol, out of skinny.

Addiction and disordered eating end and dependence begins when we stop relying on our own will to get what we want and begin trusting God to give us what he knows we need.”**

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be slim, but it’s not ok when it’s ruling my life.

I want the guarantee that I will never be overweight again and that I will lose the “fluff” if I am going to follow God’s ways.  But the thing is–nothing in this life is a guarantee!  Only God is unshakable and unchangeable.  He is our only guarantee.

So what it all boils down to is this–is God enough for me?  If I never release another pound, is He enough?  If I never have rock-hard abs, is He enough?  Yes, yes, yes!!

What does it mean to “starve the skinny idol”?  That’s something I’ve been asking the Lord and learning about.  When you starve something, you don’t give it anything that will keep it alive, not even a crumb.  So what’s kept this idol alive in my life?  I can name a few things: obsessing over food, researching food and diets, being fixated on my body, reading anything that brings on the obsession, etc.  So by starving the idol, that means not doing any of those things.  And it also means changing my focus.  We were all meant to serve God and have a relationship with Him.  There is a yearning in every person’s heart for Him.  But we find things that become “functional gods” to us.  I want to serve God.  I want to give Him all of my heart, mind and soul.  I don’t want to give anymore of my time, heart, mind, or soul to “skinny”.  My focus needs to get back onto Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, my Deliverer!

So as I’ve been working on taking down this idol and demolishing it, the idol has tried to remake itself in my life using what I listed above.  And the areas this idol has served me has been tricky to pin down at times and it seems like it has 1,000 lives.  I wrote this in my journal, “I have to ask God for help if I’m going to spot them, pin them down, and kill them as fast as they appear.”

“Whenever we erect and bow down to an idol, we displace our dependency on God.  We struggle to stay at the center of it all through willpower, manipulating people, doing everything in our own strength, trying to look just right, and falsely believing that we are in charge of our life.  We think we can do anything through willpower, even control our addictions, but the blessed gift of addiction is that it fails us.  If we are honest with ourselves, we eventually reach a point where we must admit we can’t go on like this; that we are out of control.  It is God who allows us to see the futility of placing our hope and trust in the false idols of our own making.  Then he helps us discover and articulate the aching, unfulfilled emptiness at the core of our being and invites us to take the first step toward God-centered healing.”**

And that’s the thing, I was placing my dependency on this idol, not on God.  I thought if I could just control my eating, that then I would get what I wanted.  But what I truly needed was the Lord.  I’m coming to realize that if there’s an idol, an addiction, or something is just plain wrong, that’s an indication that something within me needs more of God.

The lie is that the idol will make us happy, that it will fuel us.  But the truth is that we cannot live on substitutes.  My heart will “never be satisfied apart from God in Christ Jesus.”*  Only God can satisfy.  Substitutes never satisfy.  The skinny idol just made me lust for more, more, more.  And I was left wanting more.

This is like Paul, in Philippians chapter 4, saying, I will be content whether well-fed or hungry.  It’s choosing to be content.  It’s getting to that place, that no matter what, we are satisfied in God alone and that He is enough.

Something else I wrote in my journal was this: Going to an idol instead of God is committing spiritual adultery.  Ouch!

After the Lord revealed truth to me about this idol in my heart, I realized that I needed a plan to starve this idol and to renew my mind, because there were literally days where “skinny” was on my mind consistently all throughout the day.  I didn’t know how to pinpoint the thoughts and take them captive to the obedience of Christ.  And so I figured that starting somewhere is better than doing nothing.  Part of my plan (and what I’ve been doing) is putting my focus more on Christ.  I’m reading through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and I’ve been reading Galatians over and over again.  It’s been awesome!  I wake up and instead of thinking about “skinny”, I get so excited to be in the Word and to get to know Jesus more.  I’ve also been reading my truth cards more often.  I also picked out sets of questions from the I Deserve a Donut app by Barb Raveling to answer in my journal: which has been extremely helpful in renewing my mind (the sets of questions I’ve been using are: Discontentment, Greed & Lust, Envy, Insecurity: Feeling Inadequate, Insecurity: Living Up to Expectations, Insecurity: People Pleasing, and Insecurity: Self-Condemnation).  And when I look in the mirror and feel any sense of dissatisfaction, I thank the Lord for my body.  Through all of this, and putting my focus on Christ, I have noticed that I’m no longer focused on skinny like I once was.  Praise God!

I still have work to do.  There are times I’m tempted to go on a diet to have my “guarantee”, so I have to keep pressing on and looking to the Lord and His truth.  This is a journey.  We learn and grow every day.

How about you?  Have you made skinny an idol in your life?  Have you served the scale or the food?  Where do you turn when the going gets tough?  Are you clinging to a “functional God” or the one true living God?  Ask the Lord to search your heart and He will show you.  If you are afraid you won’t like what you see, know that He is there to forgive as we repent, and He is there to help to get us where we need to be.  He will help us follow Him, but He won’t help us chase our idols.

P.S. You can hear more about what God has revealed to me in this Sound Cloud file I recorded:

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

*Quoted from Gospel Treason by Brad Bigney

** Quoted from Hunger Within by Arthur & Judy Halliday (chapter 6)


Goodbye Scale!

Goodbye Scale!

Photo courtesy to

Photo courtesy to

Dear Scale, I’m done with you!  I’m finished!  You no longer get to tell me who you think I am or how well I am doing.  You do NOT define me!  You are not my friend anymore. Goodbye!  Sincerely, Christina

This is overdue.  I meant to write this weeks ago.

It’s Sunday night, July 13, 2014.  We had a glorious weekend with BEAUTIFUL weather!  We live in Southeast Alaska.  It rains a lot here.  We get 14-feet of precipitation a year.  Yes, you read that right, 14 FEET!  Our temperatures this weekend were in the upper 70’s.  That is warm for us.  It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

Last night, I had this idea that I would weigh myself this morning.  About a month ago, I removed the scale from my bathroom and put it in this storage space we have below our house, which is in a room above our cistern.  (Because of all the rain we get, we collect the rain water into our cistern tanks, which is then filtered, and that’s the water we use for drinking and bathing).  The room above the cistern is like an above ground crawl space.  That’s where the scale lived for a few weeks…until last night when I got that [evil] thing out.  Some of you may be wondering if I prayed about this: NOPE!  I was full-throttle on-a-mission and I think the Lord was like, “Okay, have your way.  You shall see…”

Mirror, mirror…who is the most beautiful of all?  Well, let’s just say it’s, “Scale, scale, tell me, am I beautiful?  Have I been good?  Am I too much?  Or not enough?”

I thought, “I’ve been doing really well (I’ve been good).  I’m following my boundaries pretty consistently.  God is changing me and transforming me.  Let’s see the proof in the puddin’!”

I woke up.  I got out of bed.  I went (yeah, you know what I mean, let’s empty everything so no ounce counts against us).  I put my 8-pound weight on the scale just to be sure it’s accurate (oh boy!).  I stepped on the scale.

I gained 2 pounds!  TWO pounds!  GAINED!

Wait!  This can’t be right.

Step off the scale.

Let’s try that 8-pound weight again.

Ready.  Let’s try this again.

Step up.

Still a 2-pound gain.  Sigh.

Now remember, it’s a beautiful day.  But the majority of my day was spent in with this cloud hanging over me, all because of a number.  A number.  Two measly pounds.  I let it define me.  I let it steal my joy.  I let it steal my whole day.  I was grumpy.  I set the mood for my home and my husband was affected, and so was my daughter.  I was in a stinkin’, rotten mood all because of a contraption that spits out a number.

Really?  I’m going to let it have that much leverage?

I’m DONE with it!

I am NOT what I weigh.  I am defined by Jesus Christ.

So hours later, which really should have been right away, I sat down and renewed my mind using the Dumb Scale Eating questions from I Deserve a Donut app (there’s also the book) by Barb Raveling.  That helped, but I still had a bad attitude.  So then a little while later, I renewed my mind with the Discontentment questions from the same app.  One of the questions asks what God wants me to do, and right away He showed me that I needed to apologize to my family for having such a bad attitude.  And so I did, and they forgave me (along with hugs and kisses).

I’ve never walked away from the scale feeling better.  Even if I had a weight loss, I still felt discontentment rising up in me.  It will never be enough.  It’s a tool the enemy has used in my life to make me feel like the scum of the earth.  Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but really, I have allowed it to define me.  I am not my weight.  I am more than a number!

So this is what I’m going to do.  I’m going to ask my husband to hide the scale and I’m going to ask him to not let me have it back–ever!  (Unless the Lord clearly gives me the “ok” to weigh).  Really, I’m so done with it!  We actually have a use for the scale for weighing our luggage when leaving town since Alaska Airlines doesn’t really like a bag to be over 50-pounds (sometimes we are just tired of the rain and we would rather see snow or sun, you know?).  We aren’t light packers, what can I say?  So…he’s going to hide it and I’m going to be done with it.

Will you join me in this?  Will you get rid of or ask a family member to hide the scale?  Or wean yourself off the number-spitting contraption?  Maybe instead of every day, how about once a week?  And then once a month, and then every 3 months?  And then never?  The number isn’t important.  You are important!

This is a scripture that was included with the Discontentment questions from I Deserve a Donut.  It really spoke to me:

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being RENEWED day by day. For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:16-18

I don’t want to look at what is seen (the scale).  I want to believe by faith that God is doing a work in me.  Because He is transforming me, from the inside out.  One of the questions asked in the Dumb Scale Eating questions is: Is it more important to lose weight, or to consistently renew your mind so you change the way you think about food?

Well, obviously it’s more important to consistently renew my mind.  Because I have chosen to renew my mind and because God has transformed me (and continues to do so), I have seen some amazing changes take place.  I no longer think about food like I used to.  I used to lust after hunger (being at 0), but now sometimes when I’m hungry, I feel like it’s an inconvenience because I’m working on a project or spending time with my family.  I’m no longer fearful about food (I used to think that sugar and carbs were doing deathly damage to my body).  I eat smaller portions at restaurants (this is a new change).  I don’t like feeling full, which for me is a “6”, where before, I used to numb myself with food.  I no longer immediately think about eating after my kids are in bed (that is a HUGE transformation change–praise God!).  And by following my boundaries, I was able to stay at a very healthy weight during my pregnancy.  So WHY would I let a number make me feel like a failure?  No way!  I’m not doing that anymore!

I don’t know why I gained 2 pounds.  But I’m not going to spend my time focusing on why.  I’m just going to continue doing what I am doing: following my boundaries and most importantly renewing my mind.  Taking the time to renew my mind about this got my attention today.  God exposed the lies and revealed truth.  The lie: you are what you weigh.  The truth: the scale doesn’t define me; Christ defines me.

So would you join me on this quest to say goodbye to the scale?  Let’s do it!

P.S. About 1-1/2 weeks after I weighed myself, I was able to tighten my belt one more notch.  Praise God!  So obviously something is happening.  A new thing is happening!  God is doing work from the inside out!



Image courtesy of Master isolated images /

Image courtesy of Master isolated images /

We all want to be accepted for who we truly are.  But the truth is that not everyone will accept us.  We cannot please everyone.  These are truths the Lord taught me years ago and continues to do so.  He showed me that He is pleased with me and that if I am living my life focusing on pleasing Him and Him alone, that He will work on the rest.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

A few weeks ago, when my son was 3-1/2 months old, we brought him to my husband’s workplace so everyone could meet Joshua.  After returning home, I was thinking about how some of my husband’s coworkers were so excited to meet Joshua, but there were also some who hardly even looked his way.  This is a 3-1/2 month old, who wouldn’t drool over a sweet little baby who coos and smiles?  Apparently not everyone.  I was not offended in the least bit.  If anything, it inspired this post.  The Lord likes to use “life” to teach me important principles and truth.

My son does the basic things in life.  He sleeps, he eats, he poops, and it’s usually in that order.  When he was in my womb, before I ever laid my eyes upon him, I loved him and delighted in him.  He does not need to perform in order for me to love him–I just love him.  I think he’s the cutest baby boy ever, but I’m bias because I’m his mother.  I want everyone to look at him and go “gaga” over how adorable and sweet my little boy is.

And you know what?  I am pretty sure that’s how the Lord, our Heavenly Father, feels about us.  He’s like, “See my child?  Isn’t she beautiful?  I made her?  I weaved her together in her mother’s womb.  Isn’t she amazing?”  But just like what happened when I brought my son to my husband’s work, not everyone feels the same way I do.  But it doesn’t mean he’s not cute and super adorable (because, hello, he is!).  I mean, look at this face:


Who could resist that?

But you know what, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about my son, because he is loved!

There are going to be people who get really excited about you and they are going to think you are great, but there are also people who won’t give you a second-glance or think much of you.  I think we tend to focus on the people who don’t accept us, instead of focusing on the One who loves us and delights in us.  Joyce Meyer says in her book, Approval Addiction (which is a really great read on this subject and I highly recommend it), that 2% of the population won’t like us.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather focus on the 98% of the population who does like me!  And better yet, on the Lord who loves and accepts me 100% of the time!

Your Heavenly Father thinks so much of you that He sent His One and Only Son to die for you, to save you from your sins, to redeem you from eternal death, to give you power to tread on serpents, and the list goes on and on.  Sacrificing His only Son was THE ultimate sacrifice!  Your Heavenly Father said you are WORTH it!  He likes you!

“The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”  

Zephaniah 3:17

For many years of my life, I felt that I had to perform in order to earn love.  If I worked hard enough, I would be loved.  If I did the job right, I would be accepted.  But I have learned that I’m not going to please everyone at the same time, and getting man’s approval is going to set me up for disappointment later on.  I had to get to the place where I saw myself in God’s eyes and focused on what HE says about me instead of what the world says about me or thinks I should be.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, God loves me and He cares about me.  That’s what counts!

And really, I just have to say that this world has problems if they can’t pause and take in the wonder of a cute 3-1/2 month old, right?

I mean, look at him:


God thinks you are pretty cute too!


Maybe you don’t think you are too cute.  Maybe your parents or someone who should have loved you unconditionally showed you or even told you that they would love you when you were smarter, prettier, skinny, worked harder, got better grades, etc.  Sometimes people in our life don’t love us the way God intended for them to love us.  But that doesn’t mean we aren’t loveable.  God says you are lovable.  And He loves you!  Maybe you were rejected by those who should have stood by your side.  God will never leave you nor forsake you.  Christ understands that rejection.  He was rejected every day of His life when He was on this earth; and people continue to reject Him and His love every single day.  He knows what it feels like to be despised.  But He knew that His Heavenly Father loved Him and that’s all that mattered to Him.  He was here to do the will of His Father.  He was going to do what He came to do for us with JOY, no matter what anyone thought of Him.

“Our worth is not based on what we do, which life path we choose, or what we believe [or how much we weigh or our size].  Our worth is inherent in the fact that we are image bearers of the living God.  Our worth is based on the fact that we are alive.  We are human beings.  Our worth is immeasurable.”*  Isn’t that awesome?  He made us in His image.  When He created you, He said, “Very good!”  When I held my son for the very first time, there was this huge, unmeasurable love radiating from my heart for this sweet, little baby!  And I know the Lord’s love for my son is even greater, even deeper, even wider.  God is enamored by you!  He is in deep, deep love with you!

“The only reflection that really matters is the reflection we see in his loving and joyous eyes.”*  Look into His Word and see what He says about you!

“How beautiful you are, my darling!  Oh, how beautiful!” Song of Solomon 4:1a

“Let me hear your voice;for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.”  Song of Solomon 2:14

“I have learned that being beautiful, feeling lovely, and enjoying who we uniquely are have absolutely nothing to do with our weight, our age, or the shape of our bodies”*  Amen!!

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands,  like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”  1 Peter 3:3-6

“Being beautiful is a quality of spirit recognized primarily in a woman whose soul is at rest because she believes her God when he calls her lovely  She is no longer striving to reach the world’s unattainable standards of beauty and acceptance but instead is receiving the inheritance that is hers as an image bearer of the living God.  She is embracing who God has made her to be.”*

Do believe you are lovely?  Are you embracing who God has made you to be?

“Jesus is the only one who can meet the deepest needs of your heart, and he wants you to know how deeply he loves you so badly that he’s moved heaven and earth to do it.  He is the only one who will never disappoint you, never ever leave you, comfort you intimately, and love you perfectly every single moment of your life.  Invite him in.”*

I will disappoint my son at times.  Even though I love him SO MUCH and I delight in him, I won’t be the perfect mother (even at my best).  But that doesn’t mean he’s not worthy of love.  God is the only perfect parent.  People will disappoint us.  But God will never disappoint us.

God loves you unconditionally.  He accepts you.  He will never disappoint you.  He says you are beautiful, you are worth it, and you are loved.

How about you?  Have you felt rejected by people in your life?  Are you ready to embrace the One true Love and all He has to offer you?  Spend time in His Word, ask Him what He says about you, what He thinks about you.  You can get started by looking up these verses: Psalm 139 and Psalm 18.

*Becoming Myself: Embracing God’s Dream of You by Stasi Eldredge

Letting Myself Be Free

Letting Myself Be Free

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

On June 6, 2014 at 3:00 am, the Lord gave me a dream.  My son woke up shortly after I had the dream for a feeding.  As I was feeding him his bottle, the Lord gave me the interpretation to the dream.  I couldn’t wait to write the dream and the interpretation in my journal.  This has been monumental truth in my life!  I pray that this will encourage you as well!

In the dream, some other girls and I were kidnapped.  I won’t go into the details, but I could tell that we had been with these kidnappers for quite awhile because we got used to them and after awhile we were looking to them to take care of us and protect us–even though they were still evil.

This is what I wrote in my journal at 3:30 am:

We are held captive for so long that we become friends with and trust our captors.  We begin to rely heavily upon their “protection” even though they are harmful to us.  And when we are actually free to run away or get help, we stay captive  because we become like the elephant and think the rope is still tied to us–but we are actually free.  We are actually strong enough to escape captivity, but being held captive is all we know.  (I think it was Ginger that Heidi posted on Facebook about writing a book and she shared a story about how when they are training baby elephants to be in the circus or maybe the zoo, they tie a rope around one of their legs so they can’t go anywhere.  As the elephant gets older, it stays in one place and doesn’t think it can move, but the rope has been removed a long time ago).  It becomes a comfort to us.  We get hurt because we are held captive, but we cling to our captors for help.  It doesn’t make sense.

So this is what the Lord showed me–this is what I am doing with the diets and obsessive researching and thinking about trying to change things with what I am eating all the time.  These are the things that held me captive for so long, and now I am free, but I’m like that elephant–I’m strong, but I am so used to being in one place and thinking that I am stuck in one place, that I haven’t moved.  So even though the obsessive thoughts and diets have been harmful, it’s a comfort zone for me, so I keep on wanting to stick around.  And even though in the dream I could have jumped out of a car, made a phone call, or cried out for others to help me get away from the kidnappers, I chose to stay because it was safer that way and didn’t cause me as much harm–even though these kidnappers could have harmed or killed me just like that and without even a care in the world.  I have put my trust in my captors–in these programs, obsessive thoughts, etc.

“Prisons can be safe and comfortable.  They can become a known life, a familiar way.  Resignation is safe; dreaming is dangerous.  Letting someone else control your life is easier than rising up to deny them control; the relationship will never be the same…The known is always more comfortable and less risky than the unknown…Not a one of us was created to live in captivity.”*

So I am free!  God has thrown the prison doors wide open.  The shackles have been removed.  I can walk in freedom!  I just have to choose it!  “We will have to choose freedom and fight for our freedom as the Scripture urges…You pay too high a price to stay in chains.  Freedom is what you are made for; freedom is good.”*

Just like I posted about Galatians 5:1, I have to LET myself be free!  I’m still learning this.  (Even the night before this is being posted, I’m still trying to keep myself from being free by giving myself another food rule; this has got to stop!  I have to choose to stop it!)  It baffles me that I would even let myself be held captive when I really am totally free!  The prison doors are open, so why don’t I just run out?  Probably because this has been 12 years of familiarity to me.  And honestly, it’s sort of scary!  I’m sure the Israelites felt the same way when they were out wandering in the wilderness.  Egypt was slavery, but it was what they were familiar with.  For some, it was all they knew.  They had never lived a life of freedom before.  So why is freedom so scary to us?

“A known captivity is more comfortable than an unknown freedom.”

–author unknown

How do we hold ourselves captive when it comes to our eating and body image?  For me, it’s been opening links to before/after pictures of someone’s success with a particular diet or exercise program, it’s thinking critical thoughts of my body, researching different ways of eating, focusing on a body part that I’ve never really liked (but I’m learning to love), etc.  It’s also been thinking I need to change the way I eat, do an exercise challenge, or thinking I need to be skinny (I will be sharing another post about this some time soon).  These are all things that hold me back from experiencing the freedom God meant for me.  Being critical of myself and my body holds me back from loving who God has created me to be.  Reading about diets or thinking that I need to change my eating is me searching for some perfect set of boundaries.  Thinking I need to do some intense exercise program puts my eyes back on me, me, me, me, me–instead of Christ.  These are the things that trip me up.  The excessive focus and the obsession with food, my body, and thinking I need to be ‘skinny’ is like slapping the chains right back on.  Christ is like, “You’re free!”  And I’m like, “I’m scared of this freedom!”  Christ is like, “Follow these simple boundaries.”  And I’m like, “But Lord, I know these other paths will lead me to where I want to be (worshipping the ‘skinny’ idol).”  I put the shackles back on.

You see, I have been comfortable with those things that held me captive for so long.  It’s become like a friend.  I could run away, but this is all I’ve known for a long, long time.  For some of us, being overweight has felt comfortable because it’s sort of like a wall we have put up, a defense mechanism to keep the people away that could hurt us.  For some of us, driving through drive-thru after drive-thru is comforting because we get to eat and numb ourselves.  For some, not eating brings us comfort because we are in control (even though it’s completely out of control).  I don’t know your particular reason, but I know that Christ wants to free you from those chains.  The devil has spewed out his lies upon you long enough.  It’s time to bruise him under our feet (Romans 16:20) and throw off those chains and RUN out of captivity!

Shake off your dust;
    rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
    Daughter Zion, now a captive. 

Isaiah 52:2

Sometimes, I think, in a humorous way, that the Lord must slap His hand to His forehead in disbelief that I’m doing it again.  But there I am, looking back at Egypt.  “Those leeks and onions sure look good!  What is this manna anyway?” 

So how to I stop being so stubborn and free myself?  I am already free, so how do I walk out that freedom?  This is probably going to come as a big surprise to you (not really):

I need to renew my mind!

Big shocker there, right?  *wink*

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

What’s God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for me?  FREEDOM!

How will I be transformed and be free from the pattern of this world?  RENEWING MY MIND!

What is the pattern of this world?  To be selfish, proud, serving other gods, envy, greed, lust, etc.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the “pattern” of this world.  I’m tired of the world telling me that I *have* to be skinny, that I *have* to eat a certain way, that I *have* to bow down to the gods of this world if I want to be happy and blah, blah, blah.

Can you tell I’m getting feisty?

So I’m doing it!  I’m taking off the chains and taking those steps in my newfound freedom!  I’m renewing my mind every time I am tempted to go back to captivity.  I’m going to choose not to open the books or sites on the internet that would trip me up.  I have to keep my eyes on what Christ has asked me to do, not what the world is beckoning me to do.  It also might mean excusing myself from conversations that would only ensnare me.

I’m going to fix my eyes on Christ!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:1-3

Are  you with me on this?  Are you ready to release yourself from what has held you captive for so long and live your life in freedom?  Freedom from diets, from being critical of your body, from counting, weighing, etc.?  We can do this together!  Let’s throw off those chains and RUN to Jesus!!!  Let’s renew our minds together and watch the beautiful transformation take place!

*Becoming Myself: Embracing God’s Dream of You by Stasi Eldredge