The more I get into the Word of God through the Thin Within classes, the more I want to whet my appetite for every spiritual blessing that is found in Christ. Barb Raveling’s bible study, Taste for Truth, is another one of her inspiring writings that have kept me motivated to stay within my boundaries.
At our church service this past weekend, I ministered on Psalm 16 emphasizing the boundary lines that God gives us. According to Psalm 16:6, the boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places. Often, I do not see these boundaries as pleasant, but when I look at the boundaries through spiritual eyes, I see the hand of God bringing nothing but good for my life.
Even though I lead studies, I still struggle with the temptation to eat outside of my boundaries. Daily mind renewing is a must for me. In the Preface of Taste for Truth, Barb Raveling discusses strongholds. I no longer want food to be my stronghold because it is a very unreliable one. I desire for God and His precious word to be my stronghold. When that happens, the stronghold of overeating comes tumbling down.
Barb Raveling discusses her struggle with gaining and losing weight, and her struggle sounds very much like my own. She discusses the amount of time change can take. No one wants to be told that releasing weight and overcoming food strongholds takes time, but when you think about it, it’s encouraging, especially when you’ve wanted progress to be quick like I have. Knowing that a certain amount of time is involved is actually comforting because the process has never been rapid for me. Thank God for His timing and His ways!
I believe that Taste for Truth will give us more than a taste of the living water and bread of life which brings true satisfaction and brings food into its proper perspective. I am ready for that “taste”! I am ready for my spiritual cup to be filled until it overflows with the truth of God’s word.
What about you? Are you ready for a taste of the truth of God’s word? If so, join me in this journey?
An invitation: I invite you and anyone you know to join me beginning July 28 to indulge in a Taste for Truth. The study will last for six weeks with the weekends off, and it will end on September 8. Facebook is required as I will be conducting the study in a secret/private Facebook group. Send me a friend request on Facebook (Allison Browning Mitchell) and join me in this amazing study that is sure to change your appetite.
Allison and her husband, Lanny, live in Hanover, West Virginia. They have two children, Aaron and Amber, and they are the pastors of The Haven of Rest, a church in their community. Allison is a recent graduate of Bluefield State College and loves teaching, writing, and reading.
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” Galatians 5:7-9
Do you ever feel like you are going along on this Thin Within journey at a good pace, and then all of a sudden you get stuck or something gets in your way? I know this has happened to me plenty of times. Sometimes we have to stop and allow God to dig up what needs to be dug up so we can continue on once again, or He needs to remove the roadblock.
There have been a lot of things that have stalled me on this journey. Mostly, it’s been lies I have believed or habits that I’ve had for numerous years. For me, it’s been the lies that I shouldn’t be eating a certain food group, or that a well-known diet is the only thing that will help me so I better go back to dieting, being fixated on food research, etc.
Currently, we are turning our carport into a garage. My husband and a friend have been working hard this week getting the prep-work done for the foundation before the concrete is poured. They were working along at a good pace and they had one last corner to finish, when they realized there was some roots underneath the ground. After several hours of digging around, what they found ended up being a tree trunk and it’s roots! They had dug about 4 feet down, and then our neighbor came over with a chain saw and finished the job. We had no idea there was a tree trunk under the ground!
What if they would have started at that corner first? Would they have felt defeated? I know I may have felt that way. I would have been imagining roots everywhere!
We can go along at a steady pace in our Thin Within journey, and then BAM, we hit something hard. And then we have to focus on digging around and working on hacking at something until that thing is removed. We cannot just leave it there because it will make for a faulty foundation later on. We can no longer pretend it’s not there. We have to deal with it. And we may have to ask a friend for some help.
Just like my husband and his friend, I have had to hack away at things that were giving me a faulty foundation–or that could perhaps do foundational damage later on. It’s a lot of work to dig and dig, but our muscles get strengthened and we come away a bit stronger than before. And for days after my muscles will remind me that I worked them out, but later on I won’t even remember. And the best thing is that later on my foundation won’t sink because I took care of what needed to be taken care of.
When they first found the roots and realized it was a tree trunk, I remembered thinking, “So what! Just work around it!” But when my husband explained that it wouldn’t be good to have that tree trunk rot someday and then have the corner of our foundation cracking or sinking because of it. Oh! And that’s when the Lord began to pour into me what I am sharing with you today: we don’t want a sinking foundation!
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. Matthew 7:24-27
I am guessing that you, like me, don’t want your foundation crumbling. The best foundation to build on (and really the only foundation) should be the Rock of Christ Jesus! Christ is our Corner Stone! Everything should be built off of that corner. If there’s anything else in place of the Rock, then everything is going to come sliding off and crumbling down just like the man who built his house on the sand. Sand shifts. The Rock stands forever. The Rock is Truth! In relating to Thin Within, “sand” could be the lies we have believed, diet mentalities, placing our security in false securities, etc. That tree trunk represented those things to me. It’s all the lies that will rot in my mind over time. So I have had to dig around the root system (the lies) and had to have some friends (accountability) help me as well. As we dug, we exposed more rotten lies!
We can look at these “tree trunks” and give up, or we can put on our gloves and pick up our shovels and dig! We can take the time to renew our mind and allow the Lord to dissolve every lie (sand) and replace with truth (the Rock), or we can leave the trunk there to rot and cause future problems. And if it’s too much for you to handle on your own, ask a friend (accountability partner) for help. Sometimes we need twice the strength to help us overcome.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
How about you?
Are you stuck? Do you need some help digging out the lies? Do you have an accountability partner? If not, Heidi has some great information about it here. Are you willing to renew your mind so God can replace those lies with truth? Would you like some help in starting? I would love to hear from you!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I have so many things on my heart that I want to share with you, but since I have “mom brain”, I’m having a hard time collecting some of those thoughts. But I want to write something. Anything! So I thought I would take some time to encourage you.
No matter how long you’ve been on this journey, God is STILL faithful! He watches over His word to perform it! He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us! Oh…and He LOVES us!
I know some of you are discouraged. You’ve been trying. You feel like giving up. You just don’t know how to make this all work. And some of you are down right ANGRY because you feel like you are a failure–or possibly because you may feel like God has failed you. You have spent many tears, crying out to God to just help you release the weight, to help you overcome your food addiction, to make all of this easy.
Can I tell you something?
Lean in closely…I’m about to tell you a tidbit of truth that has literally changed my life…
God wants to transform you!
He wants to help you! He wants to deliver you! He wants to help you overcome!
“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.” Romans 12:2
We don’t overcome by following our boundaries perfectly. It’s clinging to God’s Word. It’s spending time with Him. That’s how we are transformed. It’s not our own work. It’s His work. Our part is spending time with Him.
I have seen a HUGE change in my life in the area of food and body image because of what God has done and all it took was me taking the time to renew my mind. What does it look like to renew my mind? For me, it means reading my truth cards at least once a day. Usually that takes place in the morning along with reading my Bible. And then each time I felt like breaking a boundary, I sat down with my journal and ‘I Deserve a Donut’ app (or book) by Barb Raveling. I would write out the questions and answers. If I was in a hurry, I would just read the questions and answer them in my head or out loud. If I was journaling, I would write down a few of the scriptures that really stood out to me. And I still do this when needed.
I believe each time I took the time to renew my mind that the Lord was transforming me. And WOW, I’m so amazed at what He has done! I will share more about that later, but for now I want to encourage you in your own journey.
In Thin Within we get to enjoy whatever food we want when we are hungry–“0.” We stop eating when we reach a “5”–when the body has had “just enough” food…it isn’t full, but is satisfied. Usually, it will take about the same volume of food as the size of a loosely held fist (depending on the type of food eaten).
Sometimes, participants lament “I can’t find 5!” This typically refers to having eaten more than they needed and realizing it only too late. With Thin Within, this need not spell disaster. Simply wait for hunger before eating the next time. No more waiting for another Monday. 🙂
There is one primary reason why “Finding 5” may be difficult.
A distant relative lands on your doorstep, beaming with delight that he has decided to stay with you for a few nights. Oh, joy! We always liked Uncle Joe. Until…shucks…he has, unfortunately, taken up the habit of smoking a cigar–one in the morning and one in the evening–eachday. Content to do so out on your wonderful deck beneath the trees, the distinct odor of cigars is, nevertheless, carried upon his person when he re-enters the house. The scent hangs in each room–the living room, bathroom, guest bedroom. And now, Uncle Joe has lost his special butane torch lighter (the kind that any good self-respecting stogie soldier uses) and solicits the help of the family to find it. Hmm….how eager are we to join the search when doing so means something we aren’t particularly eager to experience–in this case, more pungent aroma wafting through the house?
The desire to find what is lost will determine the zeal of the search! How easy is it to find something that you aren’t really that interested in finding? If finding something means an end to what you find pleasant, why would you *want* to find it?
Cathy Maher, who is teaching one of our Thin Within Workbook Classes, pointed this out in her video recently. It is a REALLY good point!
We are SO eager to “find 0″…that point where we get to eat. YIPPEE!!!! We have little difficulty finding “0”–in fact, many of us “find” it before it really appears, if we are honest…calling every gurgle of digestion a hunger pang!
But if we don’t really want to “find” 5–that place of physical satisfaction where we have eaten enough food and it is time to stop eating–then we will have difficulty! It is because we don’t really want to find it…we aren’t looking that hard, just as with Uncle Joe’s lighter.
It will serve us well if we evaluate if what we REALLY want is to “find” 5 or if we would much prefer to continue eating instead. Are we really looking?
If this rings true for you, I want to encourage you to renew your mind with some of these truths:
My body is remarkably efficient. It doesn’t take much food to satisfy and as I stop at “just enough,” my body will become leaner and healthier.
God’s 0 to 5 boundaries provide a pleasant place for me to enjoy freedom in my eating.
It is best to live by design rather than by desire.
The portion allotted for me will be completely satisfying, physically. I may need to lean extra hard on the Lord to experience soul-satisfaction, though.
I can call on the Lord to give me the “want to” to find 5.
The Lord will grant me a willing spirit to sustain me (Psalm 51:12b)
How About You?
Do you look for 5 like you might look for Uncle Joe’s lost cigar lighter? Will you begin to pray today and renew your mind about the joy of eating within the godly boundaries of 0 and 5?
Image courtesy of anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In less than a week (give or take), I will be holding our newborn son in my arms for the very first time. A lot of changes are around the corner, and I’ve been reminding myself to take it all one moment at a time, even with the lack of sleep a baby can bring.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what my eating will look like after the baby comes. Most of my journey with Thin Within and overcoming the issues I was having before, took place during my pregnancy. I shared a little bit about this before in a post about Pregnancy & Thin Within. To be honest, there have been times when I’ve wondered if after I have the baby, I will be tempted to go back to Weight Watchers. My accountability partner knows this has been a concern of mine. I have seen the Lord do some amazing things in my life, mind and body throughout this journey while being pregnant. In so many ways, it’s been such a blessing. One blessing is that I have paid no attention to my weight. And now seeing how I look and feel with only a few weeks of pregnancy to go, I want to give Him all of the praise, honor, and glory for helping me stay at a healthy pregnancy weight (whatever it may be). I can tell I’ve honored my hunger within the boundaries God has given me, and He has helped me learn to delight in my boundaries. Praise God!
The other day I was reading in Barb Raveling’s book Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study. She was talking about how she was breaking boundaries right and left. She said that instead of renewing her mind, her response was “being frustrated and thinking my boundaries didn’t work” (page 95). This spoke volumes to me because that’s exactly what I start to think when I break a boundary. “Oh, I guess these boundaries aren’t working for me (since I broke them), so I might as well go back to Weight Watchers.” But these boundaries DO work!
So if it’s not the boundaries that are flawed, what is it? It’s the LIES I am believing! So then enters the importance of renewing my mind (which I keep on crowing about–ha!). Instead of wallowing in my mess (remember my potty training illustration from this post?), I need to renew my mind about whatever lie that caused the boundary breakage.
This is huge for me. HUGE! I’m getting closer and closer to completely cutting off the lie that I have to return to a diet when I choose not to following my boundaries. Praise God!
When I was spending time with the Lord this morning, He was showing me that eating between hunger and fullness works all of the time in helping one to lose or maintain weight. There is no special program I have to go on in order to lose weight after having a baby. Eating 0-5 will work! So I won’t need a diet! I won’t need to measure, track, weigh, or focus on food! My boundaries are perfect boundaries!
Maybe you are reading this and thinking, “Whoa, ‘perfect’ is a strong word to describe your boundaries!” But if I didn’t believe that, then I’d be in trouble. They are perfect for me because it’s what the Lord has asked me to do and it’s the only thing that He’s given me peace about. So basically, I know it’s His will for me. It’s been my prayer that I would see my boundaries as delightful.
Here are some truths I have in my truth cards pertaining to my boundaries:
I can stay within my boundaries in spite of temptation or even when I don’t feel like it.
“Boundaries aren’t restrictive fences meant to keep us from enjoying life, but gifts from a God Who cares about our well-being.” Lysa TerKeurst
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:7
I don’t need a diet when I can just listen to my body. I can eat within my boundaries.
Breaking my boundaries is not a reward.
Boundaries make my life better.
I feel immediate joy when I choose to honor my boundaries.
Not even one bite outside of my boundaries.
Boundaries DO make my life better. They keep me safe. Some boundaries that I have for eating are: eating 0-5, eating while sitting and without distraction, and eating slowly so I can enjoy my food. These are the boundaries God has given to me right now, and I am really starting to see how delightful these boundaries are. I CAN stay within my boundaries!
So as I proceed into the next chapter of my life (being a mommy of two!), I know I can persevere in what God has already showed me to do: delight in my boundaries!
How about you?
Do you believe your boundaries are perfect? Or are you tempted like I’ve been to go back to a diet when you break a boundary? What lies have you been believing? What truths can combat those lies? Will you join me in persevering and delighting in your God-given boundaries?
The LORD within her is righteous; he does no wrong.
Morning by morning he dispenses his justice, and every new day he does not fail…
~ Zephaniah 3:5
I have shared for years that forgiveness was pivotal for me on my Thin Within journey. And it continues to be. I had one very wise accountability partner who, when my eating was out of whack, asked me who I need to forgive.
After seven years of knowing about the hunger/satisfied approach to eating for weight loss and rarely, if ever, being consistent to do it, the thing that made the difference in my being able and willing to be more consistent was, simply, forgiveness. Being vulnerable with God in this important area kick-started my journey and took me from being merely a hearer of the truth to starting to DO the truth. Maybe the same can be true for you.
I have to admit, though, my way of sharing about this is easily misunderstood, easily misconstrued. So pardon me if I include disclaimers here *and* in the video. NOTE: I am not teaching THEOLOGY. I am, instead, sharing my experience. But my experience might be helpful to others of you and so I share it. As with everything I (or anyone) teach, please take all of it to the Lord and compare it to the Word of God. Where what I share seems to be at odds with the Word of God, always ALWAYS esteem the Word of God more highly than what I share. This has ALWAYS been important to me and it most assuredly is today as I share about this challenging topic. My experience or yours or anyone’s should never be the basis for TRUTH.
I can honestly say that what I will share here has been pivotal in enabling me to get rid of the largest road block hindering my obedience.
If you wonder what could be blocking your obedience, prayerfully consider if something I share here could be helpful to you.
Again, ALWAYS AND ONLY go to the Word of God and the Lord for understanding what is TRUE about God, life and you.
If you have a check in your spirit as you listen to this video, I suggest you STOP THE VIDEO and move on to the rest of the assignment. DO NOT IGNORE the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Any time you expose yourself to something I say, I hope you will do this. Check in the spirit? Then stop the video. End the audio. Close out of the blog post. Only continue if you sense God’s leadership to do so.
A final request, please understand…I share my experience with great vulnerability and at great risk. I didn’t weep while I was creating the footage for this video, but I wept all the way through the editing process as God reminded me of the pain of that place. Please tread with grace if you feel the urge to “correct” me. First ask the Lord, please, if there might be a log in your own eye before you insist on trying to pluck a splinter out of mine, ok? Sometimes when we don’t like the truth that God may want to bring home in our own lives…a truth that requires us to change…we want to shoot the messenger. But consider this…God used a donkey to speak his truth to Balaam. Before you beat this donkey :-), ask HIM if there is some tiny shred of truth that you should respond to, ok?
This Week’s Video:
1.) I knew about eating according to the boundaries of hunger and satisfaction in 1999. But it wasn’t until 2006 that I had a break-through that enabled me to be able to start walking in obedience in my eating. God laid on my heart why I had trouble with being obedient. What was it he shared with me? (You will find it at about 02:17)
2.) What did it feel like I needed to do with that realization.
3.) About 03:20 I share a lie that I believed…that affected my journey to that point. What is that lie? “You, God, have _________ me __________.”
4.) What can happen when our feelings are given too much sway and begin to “define” fact for us?
5.) (04:27) “I was living as if God had _____________ too __________ of me.” Have you ever felt that way? About what? Do you today?
6.) Is there anything that has so disappointed you about God that it might be affecting your willingness to surrender your food to him? God does no wrong…he hasn’t done you wrong! But is there any way that this *feels* like it is similar to needing to forgive someone who has done you wrong? If not, what can you do with this sense that God has required too much of you? How might dealing with it (somehow) help you to honor him, to delight in him?
7.) I mention 4 kinds of forgiveness (of 5) that have been included in my journey. What are the 4 types of forgiveness that I mention (keeping in mind that #4 is not literally forgiveness)? Do you have any idea what my 5th kind of forgiveness is (not mentioned in the video)? 🙂 Post here at the blog what you think it might be!
8.) At about 07:27 I ask you some questions. Stop the video and take time to ask the Lord what the TRUTH is for you.
9.) Everyone acts based on what they believe. If we believe that God has done us wrong, we will act on that belief. We have to go to the root of it…how can you do that today?
10.) In the closing minutes, I ask you to bring God your feelings and process them with him. Will you? If not, why not?
Renewing the Mind – Pressing On
What might you need to renew your mind about? Select one of these to speak truth to your soul about. Can you reference Scriptures to help you with this? What is true about night-time eating? What is true about eating when you feel wounded? What is true about this journey right now wherever you currently find yourself–IS God doing a “new thing” in you? Remember, renewing the mind with TRUTH is the point. BIG T truth…What GOD says is true. We want to think God’s thoughts after him. His Word sanctifies us.
Pick One (book or workbook):
Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by March 17th
Here is the Thin Within Study Guide Week 10. Feel free to discuss it at our Facebook group or here! THIS WEEK, we will have a drawing for Rebecca Bryan’s music! This is great music for renewing your mind. If you post a comment this week your name will be put in a drawing to win a downloadable version of Becky’s CD. Comment on this blog post (or any other this week) to be entered in the drawing. You can enter more than once, too. 🙂
Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by March 17th.
1. Read, highlight, mark 🙂 Lesson 10, Forgiveness, on pages D18 – D24 or listen to the “audio book” version of it at Sound Cloud. Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.
2. Complete the exercises for Lesson 10 on pages D26 – D32. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page D33 or even better–do so at our Facebook discussion group!
3. Have you been creating a God List? Have you been Praise-Festing? Gratitude is yet another way we get our eyes off of ourselves and place them firmly on God. If we want this experience to be different than our dieting days (or previous goes through the Thin Within material, perhaps) we want to change our thinking and change our focus. Exalting God intentionally through praise and gratitude may be one way of doing this.
4. Use the entries for Day 64 through Day 70 in the Temple Tool Kit. Have you been using any of the tools? How is this going? What is God showing you through the use of the tools?
5. Memorize Colossians 3:12-13. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards.
In these last few weeks of our study, you might experience the most profound changes to date. Invite God to help your heart to be wide open to whatever he may want to do be prepared to have new eyes to see. Forgiveness work is HARD WORK. But it is well worth it. Whether it is forgiveness of others, seeking their forgiveness for ways we have wronged them, asking God for forgiveness for our sin, forgiving ourselves or what I have called “forgiving” God. It is all hard work. But it is well worth it. As we put off bitterness and resentment, we are able then to put on kindness, compassion, and love.
Lesson 9’s (Boundaries) webinar recording is available here
Here are slides (in pdf form) from Lesson 9’s webinar: 09-Boundaries