…the continuing lessons that God has used to transform my life…IS using to transform my life, including my physical size. Yes, gratitude IS connected to “weight loss!” 🙂

Each moment I have a choice. I can practice gratitude–magnifying HIM and HIS purposes–or another approach. Typically it boils down to the path of self-pity or the path of praise! When I choose the path of praise and gratitude, I discover GOD’s purposes in my situation. I discover not only how awesome God is, but the things he has in store. Life truly DOES become an adventure.

Whatever we focus on or magnify–that will consume our vision. That will be all we can see.

I have a choice about what I will be consumed by…I can be Grandma #1 or Grandma#2…a son of Korah or Korah.

So how *has* God used gratitude in my life?

He has used gratitude to transform our family. First of all from making stupid decisions based on discontentment and bad attitudes! When we don’t know what God’s will might be in a situation and the answer to our prayers seems slow to come, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds me that we can HOLD tight and PRAISE and THANK him in ALL circumstances! This IS God’s will right now!

The biggest way that I feel God has used the practice of gratitude in my life is to enable me to overcome sinful patterns–even besetting sins. This is where the overeating, gluttony, overweight body comes in…or, rather, where it goes out.

The gluttony that led me to carrying 100 extra pounds on my frame was a direct result of allowing discontentment to breed in my life.

Let me back up…the reason for any sin in my life seems to be able to be reduced to a couple of simple truths…for me, anyhow:
1.) I believe a lie–that if I have x, y, or z, I will be happiest. This leads to the second:
2.) sin is often rooted in wanting something that isn’t mine to have!

This goes back of course to the first part of my lengthy story…where I wanted something that God had not called me to!

Here is how it plays out with regard to overeating (or not).

In every moment, I have a choice of magnifying on my desire for food that my body doesn’t need. I want a hot fudge sundae, but I am not hungry. I get irritated and frustrated and allow my thoughts to run away with me and before you know it, I have resentment toward the Lord that he is “holding out on me.” I want it and I should have it…and on and on my thoughts go, crescendoing into one big climactic binge…or it could go that way. This is the path of self-pity…Poor me. Everyone ELSE gets to eat, but I can’t…(do you hear the whine?). What am I magnifying if I do this? This is a CHOICE I can make!

On the other hand, the MOMENT I sense that I am not hungry but want whatever food, bite, taste, etc. of that food…if I in that moment refuse to MAGNIFY my want and, instead, choose to magnify what IS true–that God is worthy of PRAISE (this is the Path of Praise)…it will transform the moment. For instance, I can praise and thank God that my body is so efficient. It might go something like this:

“Lord, right now I want the chocolate chip cookies that I could make from the tub of dough that is in the refridgerator. But I am not hungry right now. You know, Lord, I praise you that my body is so efficient that I don’t need food very often to fuel me! I am able to make it for hours on just a little bit! Thank you that this means I am ‘cheap to feed!’ Lord, we *have* saved a lot of money since I began eating this way. Thank you so much for that added blessing. I am thrilled to know that my body is reliable and you will allow it to signal me when I need fuel again. I really *am* fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you, Lord! And thank you that I have the freedom to eat a cookie or two when I am at 0. There are no diet laws…I am free, Lord. What a joy that is to finally be FREE of all the dieting laws I was so ensnared by for all those years! THANK YOU, Jesus!”

At first, I may need to do this with an act of my will. I may not FEEL thank-FULL…but as I choose to GIVE THANKS for the many ways God is at work in my life now and in the past and will be in the future…anything and everything I can think of…I begin to realize that having what I thought I wanted is not the big lure that it would have been had I kept on thinking about it. Again, it is all about what I CHOOSE to magnify! What HE has given? Or what I want that is out of His will for me?

In this way, fostering a heart of gratitude has not only changed the moment for me…my NOW, if you will…but it has changed my hour, my day, and ultimately my LIFE!

More next time…to be continued…(I promise we are almost done!)…