Set Free to be the Little Girl Again

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Remember that God wants to tell you the truth about who you are.

He wants to see the little girl in you come alive again,

to be healed and made whole by his love

and to rise up and fill the irreplaceable role on earth

he has for you and only you.

As you begin to bask in the truth that you are wonderfully made,

you will begin to discover where your true value lies,

and this will set you free.

Allie Smith and Judy Halliday, Healthy Eating & Abundant Living, page 20

Saturday Song Special – Draw Me Close to You – Kutless


Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

I am profoundly affected by music in my life. In 2006, when God issued an unmistakable call to me to commit to faithfulness in eating 0 to 5, he used music to begin to begin to renew my mind. He continues to use music to help me to think differently so I will act differently.

Today, I wanted to encourage you…if you have an MP3 player or iPod…consider creating a “New Thing” play list (or call it whatever you like). From time to time, I will share a song here that God has used to help me renew my mind and to propel me further down this path. Maybe you can get the song and it will do the same for you!

Today’s recommended song was used by God to woo my heart in 2006. I still remember where I was when God caused me to hear it as if for the first time (though I had led worship with this song numerous times).

Draw Me Close

Draw me close to you
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear you say that I’m your friend

Help me find a way to bring me back to you

You’re all I want, You’re all I’ve ever needed
You’re all I want,
Help me know you are near

You are my desire
No one else will do
Cause no one else
Can take your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace

Help me find a way to bring me back to you

You’re all I want, You’re all I’ve ever needed
You’re all I want,
Help me know you are near

Here is a video of the song (you have to wait through the ad, I think…sorry about that!):

To purchase the song at Amazon, click here.

To purchase the song at iTunes, click here.

What songs has the Lord used to minister to your heart or to challenge you to faithfulness?

HEAL “Group Session” #1


Much of today’s post will be written by YOU in the comments! I hope you are ready to join in! 🙂

First, put on your holy  imagination! Pretend we are on a picnic in the middle of nowhere…enjoying a crystal clear blue sky, the music of the meadowlark, the clouds drifting lazily by, and the majestic mountains in the distance. My living room wasn’t available this week!

Yes, I captured this week’s “group session”–our first for our study of Healthy Eating and Abundant Living–while on the road trip with my son! I was thinking of you non-stop as I drove over 4000 miles and so when I saw this view and the relatively quiet opportunity to record some thoughts roadside, I grabbed it!

So, please get your bible. Open to Psalm 139 because we will read it together! Just like we would in person! (If you are an email subscriber, you may have to visit the blog in order to view the video.) – In time, I hope to get better about lighting and all. For now, just know I was TOTALLY enraptured by the joy of being in that beautiful place, imagining you all with me and reading this glorious Psalm!

Are you beginning to believe what God says about you yet? That you are fearfully and wonderfully made? 🙂

If we were sitting together…all of us…on a lovely picnic blanket under the azure sky, I would ask you the questions in our books:

  • What does “wonderfully made” mean to you?

And just because I am a maverick, I might also ask:

  • What does being “fearfully made” mean to you?

This blog and website has been a wonderful place for many of us to share in ways we don’t often with people face-to-face. But in person, I would ask a challenging question, suggested, again, by the authors of our book:

  • In what areas of your life have you been living in the dark?

Some of us are giving in to tickling the back of our throats again…

Others of us are using laxatives in order to move the (usually large quantity of) food through our systems quicker so as not to absorb it.

Some of us may be “riding the zero”…more than we know God would have us.

We hide our eating by sneaking fast food in the car and then coming home and having dinner with the family as if we haven’t just had a full meal.

Or it might be another way completely.

Jesus tells us in John 8:32 that knowing the truth sets us free and, although he was talking about his teaching specifically, there IS a principle that we can draw from this verse…and it is that running from truth or hiding from truth is not the way to freedom. Facing IN to truth is.

Here is another thought…your truth…is with a little “t.” What if you were to let God TRUMP your little “t” truth with His BIG “T” TRUTH? Your truth may be true (then again, it may not be), but God’s Truth supersedes and overrides and commands all other little “t” truth.

What do you think?

  • What scares you about living in the light?
  • Have you hidden your struggles with food and your body from God and others?

Have you visited the Accountability page here? Do you have a prayer/accountability partner yet? How is that going? What can I do to help you with that so that you no longer feel the need to hide, but have someone that is praying you through and that you can support, too.

One of the amazing things in God’s Word is the principle that when we minister to others, our *own* healing takes wing! We experience healing in deep places in our lives when we support, encourage, and minister to others (see Isaiah 58:8-12). Connect with someone and give it a try!

  • What are your thoughts about being knit together, stitch by stitch, in your mother’s womb? What does that say to you about the God you serve?
  • How can we pray for you in the week ahead?

Get your typing fingers going and chip in below! 🙂 I love seeing you minister to one another!

For Guaranteed Lasting Success, Switch Your Focus!


Image Courtesy of Daniel Bylsma
Weather in Wells, Nevada

If you are like I was, you have dieted for years on and off and had “success” on and off, but have lost and gained the same weight. Even if you have been a Thin Within participant, this may be your experience with it, too–it was mine! Until 2006, that is.

There are a number of things that made a difference for me (three of them are mentioned in an audio link that I send you when you subscribe to my newsletter…what a shameless plug!). But I can summarize those three by saying the single key was a general shift in my mindset.

So…What made the difference for me so that I released the weight and then have stayed a healthy weight since?

And, more importantly, what will make the difference for you?

If you are doing the HEAL study with us, then you may have read the section entitled Breath of Fresh Air on page 15 (of the latest edition).

Even if you aren’t doing the study…the truth is the same! What you can do to experience a different, permanent result this time is, simply:

Change Your Focus

Think about it…in the past experiences with dieting or Thin Within, whether you were successful or struggling, what did you focus on? Was it, perhaps my weight, my success, my food, my eatingmy body, my deprivation…MY MY MY ME ME ME? 🙂

Think about it for a moment in another context… When you “fell off the wagon” was it perhaps my stress, my lack of support, my trials, my lack of self-discipline, my busyness?

Oh…shoot! **I** quit!!!

The solution to the problem of being caught in this cycle, again, is to:

Change Your Focus

Ok, I know I said that already. I want you to believe me. 🙂

So maybe you buy it, but you want to know what should you change your focus TO?

Bear with me on this one, too.

Simply… Change your focus to…God.

HIS power

HIS provision

HIS will

HIS way

HIS love

HIS character

HIS performance

HIS actions and activity


So, how practically can you do this?

Here are some tools you can use that will make all the difference in the world. In fact, these tools–no matter what I am going through–if I shift the focus from ME and “How ever will *I* make it?” to “God is strong enough, mighty enough, loving enough, caring enough to do ANYTHING!” I find that nothing is impossible.

This really is all about HIM, even if it FEELS like it is all about “me” (or YOU in this case!).

Like Allie and Judy say in the HEAL book, To experience authentic healing and restoration, we need to focus on something bigger than ourselves.


Here are the tools for you to try. And you just knew I would challenge you to choose one of them today!

  1. Each time you hear yourself saying “I will never be able to…” recognize it as a lie and one that is about YOU and trade it for a God-thought, “God, you are more than able to perform anything!” Write them down…keep track. One column is LIES and you cross those out as you go and the other column is TRUTH and you make those phrases big and bold and biblical!
  2. Develop a God List. Take a moment each day to jot down aspects of God’s character and his deeds. Here are some places where you can learn more about that: YouTube Video, How to Create a God List, Sample God List. You can use the inside of your HEAL book or, even better, a larger journal, or, for you techno-geeks (like myself), you can keep it in Evernote on your iDevices and computer! It is always at the ready that way!
  3. Have a Praise-Feast daily or during those moments when you are tempted. More about that at these locations:  What to do with the God List, Sample Praise-Fest
  4. Create a play list on your mp3 player or iPod that has songs that specifically state the truths about God and his character. I will be sharing some ideas for songs you can include here at the blog from time to time. Or you can have a look at my other blog to see the songs there that I have recommended for a similar play list.
  5. Memorize scriptures specifically praising God for His character. Put post it notes up around your car, office, kitchen, wherever would help to keep you remembering that this is *not* about your will-power, but about God’s work in you. HE is able and more than willing.
  6. Keep a growing list of gratitudes–things that you are thankful for. These are gifts that God has blessed you with. It’s different than the God List. The God List is for keeping a list of what God is like. The list of gratitudes is a list of the gifts that he gives you personally. The idea is that you take note throughout your day of things he gives. Have a look at my online gratitude blog to see what I mean (I don’t keep it up to date like I need to!). In fact, YOU could start an online gratitude blog and share the link with us here!
  7. Set the timer on your watch to go off every hour (I have been known to set mine to go off every 20 minutes…I am desperate!). Each time it goes off, I breath a prayer “All for your glory, Lord,” or “Jesus, help me honor you,” or…well, whatever you choose. Check in with the Lord this way and use your timer to remind you!

When we focus on the Lord, something happens…the attitudes of entitlement and justification that seem to cause us to reach for food dwindles. We are kept in a humble place. Instead of insisting on “my rights” we turn to the Lord and think  “For your glory!” We also aren’t so prone to “failure” eating, since we understand that this isn’t about MY performance, but about God doing a work in me that HE will complete. It takes time to create a thing of absolute perfection…God will take my entire life and do the finishing touches on it when I go through the door to heaven and not one moment before!

When I focus on him, I am not so prone to engage in “Keeping Boundaries is Hard” eating, either. Gosh, in fact, if you were to go through all of the different types of eating that Barb’s study had us look at, I bet a BUNCH of them would disappear if we took a proactive approach to focus on and exalt God instead of thinking of ourselves quite so much. Dieting does, by definition almost, insist that we be myopic…self-focused. Let’s transform our experience! Let’s try something radical!

Who is with me? Will you start today? Right now?

What tool will you begin with (or continue, or restart) today so that your focus is more on the Lord and less on you? Be sure to check in here again and tell us how it went. I can’t wait to hear!


Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – Do You Believe It?

DSC_1514 copy

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

– Psalm 139:14

How would it transform your life if you were to believe God…I didn’t say “Believe IN God.” I really did mean: “How would it transform your life if you were to believe God?” What if you were to believe what he says about you in His Word? What if you were to believe that you are

fearfully and wonderfully


Take a moment right now to imagine that.

Close your eyes and stop reading for a moment. And imagine…

I AM fearfully and wonderfully made. It is TRUE.

Are your eyes open again? 🙂 That’s ok. Now close them again and imagine knowing to the depths of your heart …

…I AM a demonstration of God’s creative and amazing power and love.

Can you rest in these thoughts for a moment? Can you allow the truth–what HE says is true–saturate your body, soul, and mind? Sit for a moment in this truth.

How would believing God that you are fearfully and wonderfully made affect other thoughts you have? How would it affect your actions? How would it affect the way you relate to your own body? To the food you eat? To the “failures” in your life?

What if what God says…really is…absolutely…


I believe that a lot of the difficulty we have with our eating, our obsessing about our weight, and other similar struggles is due in large part to what we believe about ourselves. If we really believed what God says about us, thoughts like these would evaporate:

– I am a failure and never will beat this.
– I will always be overweight and miserable.
– I deserve to be miserable.
– I am too undisciplined to ever lose weight.
– Even if I do manage to lose all the weight, I will never keep it all off
– etc…add your own.

If we believed what God says is true about us in His Word, this is what we might think, instead:

– I struggle with saying no to myself about eating when I am not hungry, but God says I am more than a conqueror. I know if HE says it, I can do it.
– I have everything I need for life and godliness, so somewhere here I must be able to beat my tendency to overeat.
– God promises that he has given me a spirit of love, power and self-discipline.
– God says that he has called things that are not as though they are.
– What is impossible with man is possible with God.
– I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
– etc…add your own.

What is the difference between these two lists? The focus of the first is ME and my performance.

The focus of the second is GOD and HIS “performance.”

When we focus on The Lord…HIS provision, HIS power, HIS character, HIS promises, HIS performance, HIS declaration of what is true, then we know that we are in good hands. It may seem like we have to do this all on our own and that we are the failure or success, but the honest truth is GOD wants to do it in me.

In fact he says His grace is sufficient and that we can boast all the more gladly in our weaknesses, because when we are weak his power–HIS strength–rests all the more on us. Perhaps the reason we struggle so much with our eating is so that we can learn that we are NOT enough, but HE is.

How can I go from the mindset where it is about me and what *I* can do and turn it around, believe what God says…that this is about HIM and what HE can do in and through me?

Renewing my mind. Barb Raveling has taught us a lot about that through her study (see the “Weight Loss Bible Study” page link in the menu bar above the blog posts). It really is as simple as that. Like Romans 12:2 says:

Be not conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Journaling activity:

  1. Write down what you believe and ask God to show you what is TRUE and what is LIE.
  2. Whatever is a LIE, scratch out–put a line through it. Scrawl the word, “LIE” over it!
  3. Then write next to each the TRUTH that you KNOW is from the LORD.
  4. Finish the activity by asking God to help you reject lies–even familiar ones–and to replace with HIS truth–even if the truth is, at times, uncomfortable.
  5. Practice saying the truth daily! Again, I suggest using this Who I Am in Christ file. This stuff is all in God’s Word and is an excellent way to bathe your mind (“brain wash”) with truth.

How will believing God and what He says about you–that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (and all the other great truths he says about you in his word)–affect you relative to eating, food, and body image?

Todays the DAY!!!! Week 1 of HEAL Study 2013


Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Welcome to our launch day for our study of the Healthy Eating and Abundant Living book by Allie Marie Smith and Judy Halliday (the founder of Thin Within).

If you haven’t yet gotten the book, check it out here.

First, a video to talk about where we are going (email subscribers may want to visit the blog site so that you can see the video if it doesn’t show up in your email):

Three things that I hope you will allow God to really bring home to your life through your study:

  1. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (See Psalm 139:14) You might want to renew your mind about this. Use this passage to think differently about YOU!
  2. For six weeks, consider committing to this path. Just a month and a half. That means you won’t quit. You won’t give up–even if you don’t do it “perfectly.” Just hang in there and keep on doing your lessons and showing up and sharing your thoughts here at the blog. Post here to encourage others. For six weeks…will you? 🙂 Pretty please? (Yes, I am shamelessly pleading!)
  3. Step into the light…no longer hiding anything from the Lord. To learn the truth about yourself. He is gentle, kind and loving. We don’t need to run from truth (which we sometimes tend to do). Invite him to shine his light on your heart and life.

Assignment this week:

  • Can you get an accountability partner? 🙂 Prayerfully consider it.
  • Look over the HEAL principles on pages 9 and 10 (and if you haven’t read the introductory material yet in the book, you might want to do that).
  • Consider starting a GOD List (more details to come). You can find an explanation here.
  • Adopt the primary boundary of eating 0 to 5 — waiting for physical hunger (in Thin Within we call that “0”) and selecting any food you desire (no dieting rules, good food/bad food lists). Stop eating when you approach “5” — physical satisfaction. If you aren’t sure about when that is, serve yourself about half as much food and eat twice as slow as you typically do. 🙂 It will feel like you are eating just as much.
  • Complete the personal study and group study for Lesson 1–this is through page 29 of my version of the book (second edition) or up to the place where it says TWO: The HEAL Basics.
  • Complete the WHERE I AM evaluation included in those pages.
  • Renew your mind. Replace lies with truth in a practical way…with scripture memory cards, with Barb’s app, with a list you prepare ahead of time. We will be talking more about that in the next 6 weeks.

How this will work – Each Monday, I will post the new assignment and also a video to preview what we have ahead. On Fridays, I will post about the material we have studied…even though some of you may not have finished the week’s material…that’s ok. Please don’t feel like you have to quit because you aren’t at the same place. TRULY, it is NOT a problem. I know some don’t check the blog on Saturday and so want to have it available for those who do on Friday. If you don’t get to it until Saturday, that’s fine. Remember to go at whatever pace God leads YOU.

Even if you aren’t going through the study with us, it is my intention to make the content here at the blog relevant to both those who are doing the study AND those who aren’t. So please keep on visiting!

So, how do you feel about this new leg of the journey? What is God impressing upon your heart even now? How can we be praying for you?