Being Honest With Myself

Being Honest With Myself

Some of you reading this may have just heard of Thin Within. Some may have done a few of the studies and others may be “Veterans”.  No matter where we are on this journey, in order for this way of life to “work”, we have to be honest with ourselves.

I realized this recently AGAIN. It is so easy to slip back into “bad habits” and old ways to cope with life. Although I no longer go on a binge like I used to and am not tempted by the idea of going back on a diet, I still find myself sometimes breaking my 0-5 boundaries when I am stressed.

I also have “secondary boundaries” that help me stay in the bounds of 0-5 eating. They are basically that I don’t put any more on my plate than a fist sized portion, I don’t eat from a bag of anything (chips, candy, whatever….) and I don’t “graze” after a meal (you know, pick here and there while cleaning up from dinner, etc.). I try to stop when I am no longer hungry instead of “full”.

As I looked back over a week or so, I had a moment of honesty.  I realized that a sort of “fog” had slipped over my eyes.

I asked myself some questions:woman-thinking

  • Am I drawing closer to God right now?
  • Do I feel His presence?
  • What do I REALLY feel?
  • What am I trying to escape with food or TV or Facebook?
  • Where am I spending my time? (is it REALLY in prayer and in the WORD?)
  • Where are my eyes looking?
  • What is my mind thinking?
  • What has been my heart’s desire lately?

 

FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO    Matthew 6:21

 

After I asked those hard questions to myself, I found that I wasn’t really seeking Him.  I saw that I WAS trying to escape. I was tired. And JESUS said to ME…..

 

COME TO ME ALL YOU ARE WEARY AND HEAVY BURDENED AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.     Matthew 11:28

 

12487314_10153883040406079_1674193705797965873_oWhen I realized what I had been doing, I saw Jesus right there reaching out to me, pulling me close to Him. He didn’t condemn me for walking in a fog. He didn’t reprimand me for not being perfect. He didn’t let me sit and wallow in the mud of self condemnation. He pulled me up and said, “I wash you anew.  We are walking forward on this journey.”  He called me back to the boundaries He has given me.

That’s the beauty of this way of living.  In the past (when I was dieting and was addicted to exercise) if I wasn’t perfect, I would beat myself up.  This way of living is HOPE and GRACE and LOVE that comes from God.  The truth is in Him.  Only in HIM can I keep any kind of boundary that He has set for me. Only by focusing on HIM can I walk this journey.

Yes, He was holding me up and leading me forward and giving me the guidance.  All I had to do was stop, and look and listen for Him.

 

Right now.  

This morning.  

This day.  

This moment.

I can start over. I can reach my hand for HIM and we can walk this journey together.

So, no matter where you are on this journey (and remember this is a journey, not a diet or a destination), we must be honest with ourselves.

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What are we really worshiping? (could it be “skinny” or a number on a scale?)
  • Where am I placing my heart and mind?

 

Let me be honest with you, Dear Readers.

ONLY THRU HIM AND HIS TRUTH CAN WE DO THIS!

OH! It is so worth the journey!

Reach for Jesus. Leave behind the accusations and lies of the enemy.  Leave behind the world and their idea of beauty.

Be honest with yourself and listen for Jesus.  

He says to you “my daughter, walk with me and be fulfilled.”

Are you doubting?

Are you doubting?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I believe that 0-5 works all the time, no matter what.  Like for instance, I know that eating 0-5 works during pregnancy, but I find myself doubting my ability to truly do that.  Why is that? Because it’s hard to SEE the evidence of it working, because well, one gains weight while pregnant.  It’s just part of the process and every body is different.  So throughout my pregnancy I’m constantly wondering, “Is this working?”  And then I’ll feel like the rubber doesn’t really meet the road until post-pregnancy.  It’s sort of silly, but that’s how it’s been for me the last 2 pregnancies.  I guess it’s that unknown.  It’s trusting the Lord even when we don’t really SEE the proof.
28 weeks + 5 days pregnant with 3rd baby

28 weeks + 5 days pregnant with 3rd baby

Throughout my pregnancy, to be honest, I’ve battled with thoughts of this working after the baby comes.  But I KNOW it does!  I’ve already done this with my second pregnancy.  He’s already been faithful to see me through and to prove to me His ability to help me release excess baby weight.  But the thoughts are there, again, this pregnancy.  “Does this work?  Will I release the weight?”  So the diet thoughts pop up.  Doubts.
“Sometimes we are like the Israelites.  Our newly aquired freedom may feel unsettling, even frightening.  At first we may not trust it.  We may be tempted to go back to the bondage, sitting around the “pots of meet”–the meal plans and calorie counting–to have something external dictate when, what, and how much we should eat” (Hunger Within, Chapter 3: Grace Not Legalism).
This morning I opened Hunger Within and the Lord showed me that I haven’t been putting my security and trust in Him in this area.  He wants me to be so confident in Him and what He’s shown me even if this feels like a weak area.  He showed me that I compare myself to others.  My mom said something to me recently pertaining to something she and I both read about someone’s weight/health testimony.  She said what works for one may not work for another.  So true.  What she said made me realize that I keep on comparing myself to others and thinking that their way should work for me too, when it clearly doesn’t. And most importantly, I need to lean upon what the LORD has shown me.  There are areas of my life that I’m confident in and I feel very strongly and passionate about because the Lord has clearly shown me something.  Like for instance, homeschooling: I know the Lord has called me to homeschool and I believe it’s for the long haul.  I have peace in that.  There are those rare times I question it, but otherwise I’m strong in my conviction of what the Lord has shown me.  But when it comes to this food thing, I don’t feel as strong.  I waver based on what is before my eyes, what I hear, etc.  And it’s interesting, because I know the Lord has clearly shown me that eating 0-5 is His way for me, but I still have moments of doubt.  I want to walk in that confidence, trusting Him and not leaning on my own understanding or what the world around me is saying.

IMG_6435

Last week, I was looking for a photo in my photos on my phone and I happened upon this photo (above) of myself from last spring (May 25, 2015).  Now, when I saw this photo, I was like, “Wow, I looked pretty good!”  But then I remembered still struggling with accepting my body.  And now I see how ridiculous it was for me to be so hard on myself.  At this time, I had recently released about 3 more pounds (I talked about this in my Counterfeit Hunger post).  I believe I was very close to my natural, God-given size.  But I still found myself doubting.  The enemy was right there saying it still wasn’t enough…that *I* wasn’t enough.  What a stinkin’ liar!  He wants us to doubt and he uses the same ole lie, “Did God really say?”  You know, the same lie he used in the Garden of Eden.  In this example, the lies would be, “Does eating 0-5 really help release weight?”  “Do you really think you look good?  Look at [name that body part].”

I’m sharing this picture not to be like, “Oh look at me!” But because I want to share how the enemy gets in there and tells us we aren’t okay when we really are.  I know why I still wasn’t satisfied with where my body was; it was because I was comparing it to the images of the “perfect body” we see splattered around.  You know, those Photoshopped, air-brushed photos.  But it wasn’t just those images, it was what I was seeing on social media.  Or it was me comparing myself to the fitness gurus I’ve seen on workout videos.  The enemy will always give us something in which to compare ourselves if we are not satisfied in our present circumstances.  I felt that my body wasn’t good enough, that I needed to try harder.  I was doubting.  I didn’t feel good enough–and that I shouldn’t be satisfied until I reached some level of fitness or “skinny”.

“Let’s face it, there always will be someone prettier, stronger, more handsome, or more successful than you, and the media images will continue to hold up standards of beauty and perfection that no one can match” (Hunger Within, Chapter 5: Worth Not Shame).

On May 27, 2015 (two days after that photo was taken) I wrote this in my journal: “I am doubting God when I am thinking about eating another way (diet).  I am saying I would rather trust the world and have no peace and have confusion than to trust God and have faith and peace.  Do NOT be conformed to this world!  The world’s way changes.”

And that’s so true.  The “image” the world accepts has changed SO much over the years, but that’s a whole other discussion.

I really want to stand securely in what the Lord has shown me.  I don’t want to waver when my eyes don’t SEE the proof.  I have to walk by faith and not by sight.  I have to believe God’s way for me is perfect.  He doesn’t want me to obsess.  He wants me to follow His peace.  He wants me to trust Him and rest in Him.  In fact, that’s His one little word He’s given me this year for 2016: REST.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. 
Matthew 11:28-30
My one little word(s) for 2015 was: BE FREE and SERVE.  I most definitely feel more FREE than I have in a long time.  I’m not feeling as burdened by the heaviness of food obsession or body occupation.  My journal is filled with less “woe is me I ate too much” and more of scripture prayer declaring what the Lord has done, is doing, and will do.  My relationship with Him has been strengthened. I understand His grace so much more than I have ever in my 34 years of life.  He has definitely been at work!  And now He wants me to REST in Him.
Resting means putting my confidence and security in Him.  Is He faithful to watch over His word?  Yes!  Is He faithful to fulfill His promises?  YES!!!  God is able.  So I need to stop comparing myself to others.  I need to be completely confident in what He has shown me and stop wavering based on what someone else says or does or looks like.
I spent most of 2015 off of Facebook and, at times, Instagram because it creates doubt, comparison, and obsession.  Right now, it’s not a safe or healthy place for me to be.  This is a personal issue.  I’m just not strong enough (yet) to see all of that stuff in my face (especially this time of year) and to be able to turn down the temptation to research about diets.  It’s been a stronghold that the Lord has been helping me overcome.  I share that to encourage you that if there’s something in your life that is feeding the doubt, then back away from it. Prayerfully consider eliminating it.  Doubt is like temptation to not believe what God says.  And temptation leads to sin.  The Lord showed me that the social media arena is an area of weakness for me.  I do so much better without it.  Again, that is my personal struggle with social media; it may be something completely different for the next person. 
What causes you to doubt success in your Thin Within journey?  Are you doubting that 0-5 works?  There are lots of testimonies to read if you want to see “proof”.  Build up your faith by renewing your mind in God’s word.  Ask Him to show you His truth about what He wants for you in this journey toward freedom from comparison, food indulgence, not being satisfied, etc.  He will be faithful to show you.
Peace and grace to you!
 

Positive – My Word for the Year

PositiveI follow a blog where the writer has shared that each year she asks God to give her a word. This word is her focus for the year. For the last couple of years, I have followed suit and asked God for a word of my own to focus on through the New Year. This year’s word came with some conviction from the Holy Spirit. I really wasn’t surprised. The conviction is for something that has been on my heart and in my mind for a while now. You see, I am seeing how very negative I can be. I like to appear as a positive person, but if you would hide in the back of my car while I’m driving anywhere, you would hear that I am not. crossroads.238131849_stdGod tells us in His Word that out of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) and I am sad to say that when I am driving by myself, I hear myself speaking very negatively. I won’t speak this way around you. It is when it is just God and me, and it breaks my heart when I hear it. If I’m not careful, I can be led into eating outside of my God given boundaries of 0 to 5, and then I have two trials instead of one. I am grateful for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I hear His voice and He leads me to confession and repentance for my words.

I always have a choice with how to handle these attributes about myself that I am troubled by. I can let them make me want to drown my sorrows in food, or I can let them take me to God’s Word. Because of all the work God have done through me around my eating issues and all that I have learned through being in the Thin Within Community I know that food is not the answer. Wanting to overeat is a symptom of a deeper issue. I need to go to God’s Word instead.

I love when God leads me into His Word and shows me the depth of what can be found there for my every trial and sorrow. Through dealing with my negative emotions and feelings, He led me to Hebrews 12:1-15. This is what I heard Him telling me through His Scriptures about how He wanted me to handle my feelings and what He wants me to get out of them:

  1. He wants me to lay aside the weight of this issue.
  2. He does not want me to sin because of this issue.
  3. He wants me to endure.
  4. He wants me to run the race.
  5. He wants me to look to Jesus Who authored and finished my faith.
  6. He wants me to experience joy.
  7. He does not want me to become weary or discouraged in my soul.
  8. He does not want me to despise His chastening.
  9. He does not want me to be discouraged.
  10. He wants me to accept discipline because I am His daughter.
  11. He wants me to accept the profit of His discipline.
  12. He wants me to partake of His holiness.
  13. He wants me to accept this momentary pain with a glad heart.
  14. He wants me to yield to the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
  15. He wants me to be trained by my trial.
  16. He wants to strengthen my hands and feeble knees.
  17. He wants to make my paths straight.
  18. He wants to heal me.
  19. He wants me to pursue peace.
  20. He wants me to pursue holiness.
  21. He wants my life to reflect Him, the Lord, so others will see Him.
  22. He wants me to fully experience His grace.
  23. He wants me to let go of bitterness.
  24. He wants me to forgo any trouble.
  25. He doesn’t want my actions to cause anyone to be defiled.
  26. And, He wants me to seek Him first.

i-feel-the-start-of-something-new

So, my word of the year is Positive. I know from Hebrews how God wants me to handle my negative emotions and feelings and what He wants me to get from them, but in my daily life, how am I going to experience the power of being positive? Once again, I go to God and His Word. He has given me Philippians 4:6-8 as my life verse this year, and I know it will give me guidance with living out my word Positive. The Apostle Paul tells me, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Living any other way is not bringing me into God’s will and is not honoring to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What about you? Can you claim the truth and promises found in Hebrews 12:1-15 for yourself for whatever trials you are dealing with, whether they are food issues, relationship issues or other struggles? And will you, like me, let Philippians 4:6-8 be your life verse for this New Year? Our loving and gracious Father wants so much for us. Will you join me in allowing Him to work in us this year? 2016 is going to be a year for change, and I believe with God, all things are possible.

Facing Challenges/Keep Practicing

Facing Challenges/Keep Practicing

3023_10153859066186079_4312427224707664508_n“If you faced any challenges in this last month, raise your hand!”

Let’s imagine that all of us who read this are in a big room together and I just said that first sentence from a podium.  Glance around the room and you will probably see all of us raising our hands!  In one way or another, every one of us can relate to challenges that happen over holiday times. I certainly had some challenges over Christmas time that I did not expect.

 

One BIG challenge I faced was with my body. I am currently going through menopause 12418973_10153859541921079_5833411141146273592_oand my body decided to do some strange (and unexpected) things over this last month!  Believe me, you don’t want any details, but let’s just say it was a bit crazy!   This made my appetite do weird things, too. So, 0-5 eating has been a challenge at times over this last month.

I also had challenges staying focused because of the crazy hot weather that we had this Christmas. I’m sure if I were to ask about THAT  to our room of readers, many could raise hands to testify how weird the weather has been this year!

So we have hot weather in the middle of winter and THEN our air conditioner decided that it would stop working right before we had a group of friends 1412637_10153859542021079_333653843032504061_ocome over to celebrate with us on Christmas Eve!

Yes, I had all my windows open and fans galore blowing around in the house so that we wouldn’t be hot! On top of all of that we had the oven on for baking and all the other things that we did during the day and ….well….. you get the idea of a sweltering swamp.

I found it was difficult to renew my mind with the craziness of my menopausal weirdness going on body and crazy heat in my house.  Add to that the stress of trying not to freak out because I had a group of friends coming over to enter my “swamp land”.  Yep, there were times it was really hard to keep myself focused on God.

I know that there are a lot of you out there who can relate to the struggles of life.

  • You might have three little ones running around and pulling at you from every direction.
  • You might be one of those people that have to carpool all over the place and that is your life.
  • you might be someone who has a sickness in your family or you are a caregiver for your aging parent.
  • you can fill in the blank.

We all know that life can be stressful and unpredictable

So, how in the world do we stay focused? How in the world do we not just jump right back into a pan of brownies and swim around while throwing it all in our mouths? How do we keep from going back to food for comfort and sanity?

Although, I don’t have the answers to all of these questions, I can tell you what I do.

I just keep practicing.

  • I practice saying “no” when deep in my heart I already know that I don’t need the food.
  • I practice eating 0 to 5.
  • I practice the different keys to conscious eating that help me stay in my boundaries.

I can only do this in HIS strength, which means I also practice some other important things!

I surrender things to the Lord every morning and during the day.  Sometimes I am giving the Lord the same thing over and over a girl's hands are uplifted in prayer.because I’m going through a hard time. That’s what I have to do. I surrender it up to the Lord and I lay it down at his feet.

I take time to spend with the Lord. Even if it’s just a sentence prayer in the shower or praying while I’m washing the dishes. It may even be just singing a simple praise song over and over again. It may be renewing my mind with His word or listening to worship music.

I know that if I seek Him, keep renewing my mind with His truth and try to follow Him as best I can then I will remember: HE IS BY MY SIDE. ALWAYS. NO MATTER WHAT. He will meet me where I am and give me the strength to carry on.

 

What I DO NOT practice is beating myself up when I mess up. I have to stop and I have to just take a moment to say,

“Lord I knew that that extra piece of pie was not going to make me feel better. I thank you that after I took one bite, I realized it and I knew I wasn’t hungry and so I stopped.”

I don’t beat myself up about the one bite. I celebrate the fact that I only took one and I walked away.

Maybe for you it’s that you ate the whole piece of pie (or whatever). BUT you don’t have to beat yourself up for the one piece. Celebrate the fact that you didn’t eat the whole pie! Try to look at the positive and cling to what God is doing in you!

I try to focus on the good things that God is doing. I try to thank him.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  -Philippians 4:6

This peace that he talks about may not be something that’s instantaneous in my soul when I’m sitting there sweltering and dripping sweat over my Christmas dinner. But it is a peace that’s deep in my soul knowing that no matter what, He is still there with me.

Basically, it comes from building a relationship with the Lord. Relationships don’t come easy and they don’t come instantaneously. There’s a give and take in relationships. And it is the same with the Lord. I’m not going to be perfect. Only God is.  I can rely on His perfection to help me get through the rough times.

So, no matter what rough time you might be facing….how big or how little… remember to PRACTICE.

PRACTICE relying on Him, renewing your mind with His truth, surrendering to Him and allowing Him to love you through it all.

 

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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Expect Miracles instead of Making Resolutions

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know” written by Mark Lowry and one of my new favorite renditions of this song is the one performed by Danny Gokey (see it here: Danny Gokey – Mary, Did You Know? (Live) ). It is so powerful, but the true power in this song is in Whom it is speaking about. This song is all about Jesus: what He did, and what He still does today.

I believe in MiraclesIt saddens me that as we go into the New Year, there will be many of us who will make a list of New Year’s Resolutions. These lists will include things like eating better, new diets to try or old tried and true ones to go back to (they really aren’t tried and true if you are still seeking to lose weight and keep it lost!), diligent exercise plans, self-improvements galore and many things of the same nature. Maybe your list includes wonderful things like praying more and reading the Bible daily. Those are great things to do and I keep those resolutions myself each New Year. The problem with making resolutions about weight loss and fitness is that they seldom stick. We keep trying to make ourselves fit into a mold of health and vitality and we just don’t get there. And when we fail year after year, we keep beating ourselves up and our feelings of failure just keep us living our lives the same way we always do. Do you want this year to be different? I know I did last year at this time, and I would like to invite you on a journey with me for this New Year. It starts with placing “Know Jesus Better” at the top of your resolution list, followed by “Know Who I am in Christ Better.” It is in these two resolutions that you will find the strength for change.

I really believe that we forget that our God is a miracle worker. Our Lord Jesus who healed the sick and cured the incurable still does that today. In the words of “Mary Did You Know” we hear “The blind will see; the deaf will hear; and the dead will live again! The lame will leap; the dumb will speak the praises of the Lamb!“ When you hear those words in this song or when you read this truth in God’s Word, do you believe them? knowing-he-willOr, do you believe that was then, and this is now? Do you believe that those healed by our Savior deserved to be healed for some reason and in your own thinking you believe you don’t deserve healing? Maybe you don’t think God cares about healing or fixing problems that we see as things we suffer though because of our own making? Well, I’ve got news for you! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God is the same today as He was then and as He will be tomorrow. Jesus Christ performed miracles before He walked the earth, as He walked the earth and as He sits at God’s right hand today. This year let’s develop our FAITH muscle and start truly believing!

Our issues and problems matter to God. He loves having those very things draw us closer to Him. It is through drawing closer to Him that we develop perseverance for this journey. It is through trusting Him to handle the decisions and temptations that He proves Himself faithful and loving. Jesus did heal the sick, cure the dumb and lame, brought the dead back to life and calmed the storm with just a wave of His hand or a word from His lips. FAITH AcrosticThis New Year, will you allow, once and for all, your Savior and Lord Jesus to calm the storms in your heart? Will you let go of trying to change your own life by making a list of New Year’s resolutions and instead make it your desire to know Him better and to fully accept who you are in Him? Believe me when I say that I now know I can’t change myself. Believe me; I tried more times than I’d like to admit! FaithWhat I can tell you for sure is that God changed my life this past year and I never want to go back to the way it was before. It started with looking for a Biblical way to lose weight and ended up with me fully surrendering the whole issue of weight loss/gain, food focus and disordered eating patterns over to Him. Each act of surrender on my part was met with a greater blessing of the Holy Spirit’s work in my heart and mind. This time last year, I was in your shoes: fearing God would never heal my heart around issues with food and weight. He led me first into a Bible Study that was deep in the Word, but soft around food boundaries. I found I still had too much leeway to try and control food to my own whims and wishes. Through that study, He led me into Hunger Within and the God designed boundaries of eating when hungry and stopping when satisfied. He introduced me to His pleasant boundaries, but I didn’t totally surrender to Him until I woke up to the fact that what was coming out of my mouth in words didn’t match my actions. You see, I was still trying to live up to my list of things to do instead of allowing God’s list for me to take effect. I gave up trying to do this myself and gave control over to God. This change in me has taken work on my part. I have had to use the tools of daily Bible reading/study, renewing my mind through truth journaling, truth cards and scripture praying and I have been involved in the TW/HW community. Doing those things took the focus off of me and placed my focus where it needed to be…on God, the Miracle Worker. The work is simple but not always easy, but the miracle that God has done in my heart is real and a tribute to how He still works miracles today!

Let this New Year be one of great growth and change! Let this be the year to delete, “I blew it again!” from your vocabulary and exchange it for, “Christ Jesus is working a miracle in my life!” Join the journey to true freedom in Christ this year and every year!! Join me in singing these words,

“Oh, the blind will see; the deaf will hear; and the dead will live again!
He’s the great I Am!

He’s for me.
He’s healed me.

He’s the great I Am!
He shall be called Wonderful and Counselor!
He’s the great I Am!
There’s healing in His hands, lightning in His eyes.

Truly this man is… He’s the great I Am, the great I Am!”