Well, did you have the chance to go through chapter one and highlight, underline, and/or make a list of all of the attributes of God or his treatment of you asserted by the Hallidays? I did. Let’s compare lists. I am pretty sure this is only a partial listing:
- God has a plan and purpose for me.
- He has a future and a hope for me.
- God has brought me to these pages…NOW.
- He is a “mighty Way Maker.”
- He is the Lover of my soul.
- He is the Designer of my body.
- He purchased my liberty.
- He longs for me to see his handiwork.
- His love for me is unfathomable.
- His love for me is not based on my performance *or* size.
- God transforms me.
- God is crazy about me.
- God loves me the way I am.
- God is able and willing to lead me to freedom from food rules.
- God wants authentic living for me.
- He created me to be unique.
- The Lord will meet my needs.
- He wants to free me from worry and infuse my life with peace.
Again, this is likely only a partial listing. But…wow…if I BELIEVE these things…and I am pretty sure you could find support in scripture for all of them…I wonder how my life would be different?
If we are going to make this “leg of the journey” different than what has come before…we will have to focus on the Lord, focus on the Lord, focus on the Lord.
Let us allow him to remake our view of him, too, so that our focus is not on some false image of God. Let’s beg him daily that he would helps us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12). We have focused on “fixing ourselves” long enough! We have tried not to think about food long enough…it is like trying NOT to think of a pink elephant! What do you think about when I tell you “Don’t think about a pink elephant?” Probably about pink elephants! So trying NOT to think about food causes us to think about it more. We have to replace our thoughts of self, food, weight, body with other thoughts! Let’s replace “diet thoughts” with thoughts of exalting our God. Let’s make this journey about getting to know him and praising the God we get to know.
Trust me…as we do, we will see transformation from the inside out. He wants our hearts…let us make room for him by kicking out thoughts of self! Let’s press on to KNOW him…the REAL him…not what others have taught us about him. Many of us have views of God that are plain old WRONG! It is no wonder we don’t want to focus on him…he is a cosmic ogre in our minds! Let us allow him to reform and reshape our view of him in TRUTH and then let us set our minds on that…on Him. Let us lift HIM up and magnify HIM instead of magnifying our “issues.”
Right now, I must confess my sisters…I don’t know if it is hormones, lack of sleep or what, but I am feeling so weary…and all about me. I want to whine right now! :-/ I disappoint me a lot! So in the list above of all of God’s attributes or treatment of me, the one that resonates the most for me right now is that His love for me is not based on my performance. I am so thankful for that.
- Which from my list or yours from chapter 1 resonates the most for you?
Let us allow these things to be what our hearts are set on today…not on an image of health, thinness, or finally having our “issues” resolved. We want Jesus…we want Him high and lifted up. As we do that…I know that I know that I know that the rest will be worked out. I think, in a very real way, this is what Jesus meant when he said:
and all these things will be given to you as well.
– Matthew 6:33
Some other thoughts from the chapter that hit me afresh…on page 4, the Hallidays mention that we don’t want to go through this process resentfully. So often that is what we do when we diet. We should eat or not eat this or that and we hate it the entire time. How can we live like that? We can’t and don’t! (And shouldn’t!)
So, this time, we will develop a heart change…and if we make this all about God (as, indeed, it IS), then he will perform in us that which delights him…including the heart change! He transplants our hard hearts with a tender heart of flesh.
and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.
These are things HE promises that HE will do! And as he does, we will thrill to surrendering our lives, our food, our body, our minds to him!
One other important thought…Being involved with Thin Within for a long time now, I have heard many people “come and go” and some say, “I feel like quitting.” Others have said, “Oh, I quit Thin Within…”
Here is the deal…Stick with me here and I hope this makes sense…I am not sure how we can “quit” once we start…as this isn’t about our bodies or diets or about Thin Within at all! It is about pursuing Christ for all we are worth and giving him access to our hearts, our appetites, our lusts, our emptiness, our need, our emotions, our passions…EVERYTHING. This is discipleship!!! We can’t quit that. Not really.
Sure, you could stop eating 0 to 5 (and maybe that is what those people mean), but what are the options…eating when the world’s diets tell you to? So that means my body’s cues don’t matter? That God doesn’t get to have a say over my physical body, but other diet plans will? You see, this isn’t about “doing” Thin Within. This is about “doing” GOD! 🙂
I hope that makes sense–or I think it will as we go on. But if you think of this as “doing” Thin Within, I think you may be disappointed…”doing” Thin Within may not “work.” It will be like a diet.
But if you are “doing” God…well…GOD WORKS! 🙂 It gets back to that heart thing. This may seem like the long way around, but, again, we know how to lose weight (and to find it again). We want the heart change that diets don’t form in us. Only God can do that heart transplant.
Does this make sense? 🙂
More points from the reading:
…much of your eating has been triggered by something that food can’t really satisfy.
BINGO! As you “wait” for hunger (and, again, this is NOT going to be a “growl”…please don’t insist that it be a growl!!!)…turn it to waiting for GOD. Waiting ON God.
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
– Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
– Psalm 130:5-7
Waiting for the Lord will never leave us wanting. He WILL meet us. He WILL satisfy. This is where the wording of things is a bit awkward…If we wait for hunger, our focus is on our body, ourselves. But waiting on the Lord, our focus is on HIM. He will then say, “Guess what, dear one? Your body needs fuel now. Come and dine with Me!” Isn’t that a glorious thought? 🙂 No guilt, no condemnation, no self-focus. Then our meal time can be a time of praise and worship… “Lord, thank you for the amazing flavor and texture in this food. You are so creative! Thank you for the abundance. Thank you for supplying my needs. You are an awesome Provider! Thank you for my body that YOU have created–fearfully and wonderfully!”
Let’s DO Key to Conscious Eating #1: Today, how about if we diligently apply ourselves to this…to wait on the Lord and eat only when you are physically hungry. If you aren’t sure if you are hungry, ask Him. Don’t focus on your body by yourself (and definitely don’t obsess about it!), but take your questions about your body and how it feels to him and focus on Him and what HE says. “Lord, is this what my body feels like when it needs fuel?” He will give you a sense in your heart of hearts that “Yes, child…it is…” or not.
One final thing. The “Observation and Correction” tool is meant to be dispassionate and there will be a more detailed discussion of it in our reading ahead. If you find yourself straying…in any respect…in the way you treat your family, in something you did at work, in your eating, in your thinking or speaking…in ANY way…you can dispassionately observe. “I did _____. This doesn’t work if I want to maintain the godly goal of _____.” That is observation. Please don’t beat yourself up! That isn’t God’s way! Instead, plan a godly correction. “In the future, when that mean co-worker says she wants to meet with me, I will stop everything to pray for a moment and keep my mouth shut!” or “When my mom and I get together, I always feel so drawn to food after she leaves…I will plan some time with the Lord so that I don’t run to fridge the minute she leaves…”
It really is that simple (not EASY, but simple!).
Observe: “I get emotional when my mom comes over and eat as a response…”
Correct: “The minute she walks out the door, I will take a few moments to take my feelings to the Lord. I won’t even walk into the kitchen!”
None of this: “What a rotten, no good, ungodly person I am…I will be fat forever and I will probably die of a heart attack, so I may as well inhale the Oreo ice cream…”
NO WAY. None of that. We will allow God to transform our thinking and renew our minds according to His Word and He NEVER speaks to his children that way!!!”
As we continue into chapter 2 of the book, even though it is an opportunity to get to know ourselves a bit, I challenge all of us to continue making our lists of God’s attributes and how he relates to us according to the authors. See if you can add anything to your list.
I have out of town company coming today…so I am hoping to steal time away to prayerfully read chapter 2 and to blog tomorrow or Sunday. I may get behind a bit already in my blogging though! Hang in there, though! I am praying for all of us!