Rising Up With Wings Like Eagles (or Jets, or Helicopters, or Zip-lining)

Rising Up With Wings Like Eagles (or Jets, or Helicopters, or Zip-lining)

Have you ever dreamed that you were flying ~ like literally flying?!?  I have, and ooooooooh my, it was exhilarating!!! With my arms stretched out front-and-side, in a mostly prone position, legs trailing weightlessly behind me, I flew a few feet above endless green rolling hills, with nothing carrying or pulling me! Just free-floating me, gently gliding over the rolling hills, soft breeze in my face! It was a most amaaaaazingly delightful experience!!!!!


One obviously can’t take pictures of one’s dreams, but I found this photo (above) on Pixabay that’s very similar to what I saw in my dreams. This is one thing ~ of many! ~ activities that I’m looking forward to in Heaven!

This has to be connected to my love of flying in a jet, which we did this last spring. Even though it’s not even close to being the same kind of flying experience as what I did in my dreams, it’s still a blast to take off (my fav!), and lift up off the ground…


Then rise up through the clouds…

(Dave and I take turns getting the window seat each trip we go on; if I really want to score points with him, I let him have it even if it’s my turn.)


And finally, we’re soaring above a soft carpet of clouds, looking down on them!


So it should be no surprise that Isaiah 40:31 is one of my favorite verses:

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall rise up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Because we are still encumbered by our human bodies, flying on our own physically is impossible. Man has tried, but never succeeded. We’ll just have to wait for Heaven to enjoy that!

Likewise, because we’re still encumbered by our “carnal nature,” rising up into the spiritual skies is not easy; impossible on our own strength.

But not like the physical, we actually have access in the spirit realm to the ability to “rise up with wings like eagles.” So what actually holds us down?

I’ve come to realize that there are two major reasons for why I have a hard time “rising up” and and why I “faint” and “grow weary.”



Many years ago when I was at my ideal weight and out on my walk, I got to the crest of a hill and suddenly realized that I had not even been straining to get there, nor that I was even going uphill! In fact, I looked back to make sure I had been!

(actual crest of actual hill on my actual walk)


That’s how easy it was to walk with the right amount of weight on my body, and with my muscles in shape from walking and exercising regularly.

Because of my optimal state of health at the time, carrying the weight that was on me did not feel burdensome.

Now, with this extra weight I’m currently carrying, walking is soooooo muuuuch harder!!! Uuuuuuugh!!! It’s a continual strain to carry these extra 60 pounds on my overburdened, under-worked-out frame. Getting to the crest of that very same hill today is only with huffing and puffing.

But my physical body is not the only place I carry extra weight; my tendency throughout my life has been to carry my daily life burdens and not even think to hand them over to the Lord ~ well, until they get so obvious and painful that I finally realize I don’t have to keep carrying all this!

I have to admit that sometimes I’m carrying them because I don’t want to surrender something. So burdens of all varieties ~ emotional, mental, and spiritual ~ pile up. It’s no wonder that, with all the extra hard-stuff-of-life-type burdens on my heart, I find it difficult to rise up and fly as Isaiah 40: 31 says those who wait on the Lord will do!



It usually just suddenly dawns on me that the Lord wants and is waiting to help me figure out what to do about all the stuff that I have allowed to pile up.

Then I remember His invitation:

Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-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.” (Matt. 11:28-30)


God never intended His loved ones to carry or deal with this hard stuff by ourselves! He wants us to yoke up with Him and allow Him to carry the weight of the burden. We still have to go through the situation itself, but He carries the weight ~ or heaviness ~ of it for us.

So, I sit down with Him, often in my favorite chair or on my bed, and allow one burden ~ one pain, frustration, difficult thing ~ at a time come to the surface of my mind. Which isn’t hard; they’re all clamoring for attention!

Once one burden has surfaced, along with the pain and/or frustration, or whatever it churns up, I then let the Lord help me process it. I ask Him to either:

a) show me how to deal with it, or

b) help me hand it over and release it to Him. And to show me which is which.

After unburdening myself of each extra emotional, mental, or spiritual piece of baggage, I just wait…  letting His presence sink deep into my spirit and my raw emotions. Even though some or even all of the situation itself is still there, I feel so much lighter and freer because I am now relating to it differently!

By the mighty power of the Spirit of the Lord at work within me

I am now rising above it. It’s no longer dragging me down into the quicksand of depression and hopelessness!

This isn’t usually a quick process; it takes time ~ at least a few minutes, longer if you have more to deal with ~ to thoroughly process this with the Lord. But if you’re busy mothering, working, driving, or whatever, and can’t take more than a few seconds, at least do a quick burden-release to the Lord. That’s certainly better than continuing to carry it! But do come back to it ~ to Him ~ when you can take some time to really process things with Him.



For reasons you can now understand, going on a helicopter ride has been on my Bucket List! On our recent trip, Dave arranged for us to go on one!

With the six of us passengers all buckled into our seats in the helicopter, the pilot turned on the engine and the blades atop the machine slowly started turning around. (See one of them below left.) After a minute or so, though, the pilot turned the engine off and told us that the blades were not starting up as quickly or strongly as he thought they should, so he wanted to have the mechanic check the engine to see if something was lugging it down. He told us: “I’d rather check this out now when we’re down on the ground than have problems when we’re up in the air!” We all fully agreed!

The delay gave me some extra time to get a few pictures…  Left: the helicopter blade in question. Right: Dave and I with our headphones on, waiting to take off.


After some checking, it was decided that the engine was good to go, and we were off ~ and up ~ on our ride!

Here we’re soaring ~ errrr, uuuuh ~ coptering(?) over Las Vegas! (And, by the way, there are plenty of “good clean fun” things to do there!)


The aforementioned headphones were not to merely muffle the loud sound of the helicopter! We were able to hear the pilot’s voice through them, telling us all sorts of interesting things about the sights we were seeing! This is a great analogy of how the Lord wants us to put on our “spiritual headphones” and let them muffle out the loud voices of the world so that we can more easily and clearly hear His voice!!!


As I thought back on the helicopter’s slow start, I got to pondering what was lugging me down in being unable to stay consistent in rising above temptation and get my disordered eating in order. This took me full-circle back to my tendency to carry extra burdens…

I found this photo (on Pixabay ~ an awesome free photo source!)…


… and had fun adding all of the various struggles I could think of to each of the bags!


Yep! That’s a pretty accurate picture of what I feel like some days! For those of us with disordered eating, these things can propel us toward food to find comfort, solutions, distraction, and avoidance of dealing with the problems head-on.

Here are all the above bag titles listed for you:

  • Wrong understanding of God
  • Wrong thinking about food
  • Overwhelmed by life
  • Frustrations with kids
  • Hurt or betrayed by a friend
  • Hard stuff going on at work
  • Painful stuff going on in marriage
  • Chronic illness
  • No idea what to do with my future
  • Broken-heartedness
  • Can’t get myself to stay focused on what I need/want to
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • More to do than I have time or energy for
  • Money problems


Next I funneled all of those into the following six areas. I’ll address several of these in future blog posts, but for now, I’ll put an “antidote” resource after each to at least help you (me!) get thinking in a better direction. (If you’re in Thin Within, much of this will be review.)


1) Wrong thinking or understanding about eating and how it relates to God

     “Intro to the Thin Within” message by Heidi Bylsma


2) Inadequate or inconsistent focus

    “Truth Cards – Thin Within Support” video by Heidi Bylsma


3) Difficult situations that are beyond us to fix or change

    “What Can God Redeem” blog post by Barb Shelton 


4) Trying to “figure it out” or “do it all” on our own power

    “Thin Within and Walking in the Spirit” video by Heidi Bylsma


5) Brokenness, broken heart, depression, or illness (not our choice)

    “Does Healing Hurt?” blog post by Allison Mitchell


6) Anger and unforgiveness (our choice)

    “What Place Anger?” blog post by Heidi Bylsma


Much more can be said about each of these, of course! Whole books are written about each one. If you have found something to be particularly helpful, feel free to share in the comments!

Healing and resolution in all of these areas involve renewing our heart and mind. And this is exactly what Thin Within is all about! I highly recommend getting connected in a group and becoming committed ~ to the group, and to getting this area dealt with once and for all!



This love of flying is why, upon first seeing the Zoom Zip-line in Vegas, I knew I wanted to DO IT!!! This ride starts out at 51 stories high, but the rider is completely secured in a cradle harness that encases the torso, with both legs secured in individual leg braces as well. You “fly” along a zipline that takes you 1/3 of a mile through the Fremont Street mall. This isn’t Dave and me, but it’s exactly what we looked like ~ with the sky a little darker ~ when we went about an hour later.


Here I am right before it was my turn to get attached to the cable and be launched through the big door, which the four flyers in the above photo had just launched out of!


Here I’m zooming along the zip-line, approaching the end (where the photographer awaits), having just thoroughly enjoyed the flight!


Now, to get to where, “by the mighty power of the Spirit of the Lord at work withing me,” the photo above becomes a picture of me being able to consistently rise up through ~ and not get stuck in ~ clouds of depression, hopelessness, or temptation, and actually soar above them with wings like eagles! ~ or even jets, helicopters, or ziplines!

It Finally Clicked / Don’t Give Up

It Finally Clicked / Don’t Give Up

Are you wondering if eating intuitively is ever going to work for you? Are you wondering if you will ever get “good at” renewing your mind, taking your eating and food issues to the Lord on a consistent basis, actually release some weight? I’m here to tell you to stick with it. Don’t get discouraged. Let God who began a good work in you be faithful to complete it. He has started a new thing in you; don’t give up before you see the miracle.

I’ve been a blog writer, a class leader, and a participant of Thin Within/Hunger Within since January of 2005. I released a bit of weight in my first year, but not enough by my standards. God had more work to do in me. I have a pride problem. He is breaking me. I have a self-sufficiency problem. He is showing me I can’t do this on my own. I’ve dealt with selfishness. He is putting me to work for His kingdom out of my comfort zone. All this time I’ve been waiting for my weight to release, but He had other plans for me. He asked me to step back for a bit. He asked me to let go of the reigns for awhile. He asked me to let go of control. It has been hard for me to do this, believe me, and even though I have stayed in contact with my Thin Within/Hunger Within friends, it has been a lonely road for me. But, I am not alone for I am walking with my loving Father. The difference is I am walking with Him by myself, and I needed to do just that.

In January of this year, I let go. I really did. I disappeared for a season and spent time with the Lord. I renewed my mind. He showed me that there were foods that I wouldn’t stop eating in excess even though they made me feel unwell. He helped me to let go of them. He showed me how I’ve still been trying to control people and situations. He opened my heart and mind to new ways of communicating that has ushered in healing. He has released 30 pounds of pain in my life and 2 clothing sizes since January 1. He did it. I didn’t. I let go.

Dear reader, I read all the literature. I led others in the literature. I read the right Scriptures and made my “Truth Cards”. I signed up for classes and taught classes. All of that was needed and beneficial. A wonderful and firm foundation was built in my life through this wonderful ministry. What I had to learn though was that even though we walk this journey together, our paths do not look the same. When I didn’t have the results I wanted, my normal knee jerk reaction kicked in and I wanted to run away (give up). God held me fast, and He wouldn’t let me run too far. Just far enough for Him to continue the work He so diligently and lovingly started in me.

The gist of all this is that I am proof positive that eating intuitively with God leading the way works. The only way it won’t is if we give up. I’m asking you all to stick with it as I did, even if you are doing it “behind the scenes” as I chose to this year. There will be times when you want to quit. There will be times when it feels too hard. But, there will never be a time when the Lord is not there. Hold fast to the Lord as He holds you fast. Your miracle will come.

Stay in the Lines

Stay in the Lines

“Try to stay inside the lines,” said my teacher when I colored the picture of an an apple.

“Stay inside the yard,” warned my mother me when I went outside to play.


As a people-pleaser and big-time rule keeper, I complied. And that mindset colored my Christian faith. “What are the rules? Where are the lines? What am I supposed to do, Lord, to get into heaven?”

I was in my mid-twenties before I realized I could never be good enough or do enough good deeds to earn my salvation. Imagine the weight off my shoulders to know my salvation was based on God’s grace and Christ’s finished work on the cross. 

However, I still tried to stay in the lines albeit most of them were self-imposed based on man-made rules. I didn’t always love the rules, but I wanted to earn God’s love and approval. I was in my forties before I realized God loves me as much today as yesterday. He loves me not because I’m good, but because God is good. And nothing—not even straying outside the lines—can snatch me out of my loving Father’s hands.

Only to say, I thought I understood freedom in Christ until Heidi sent me an email. She was concerned about me. Was I stuck in a diet mentality? Did I understand freedom? We never talked, but her question had me thinking. What does freedom look like? Am I enslaved to bad eating habits, faulty thinking, and idols that have nothing to do with my weight?

For the first time since I joined TW, I didn’t read the Lesson. I postponed listening to Heidi’s webinar on boundaries.  https://soundcloud.com/heidi-bylsma/webinar-09-boundaries.  

Perhaps that was God’s intervention. Because after a week of straying from TW principles, I realized I was going outside the lines because I have no boundaries when it comes to eating. I just think I do because I refuse to stock my pantry with soda and the junk food that I love.

Left to my own understanding and strength, I’ve lost weight with the help of TW principles, but I didn’t get the whole enchilada…the bigger picture…until I listened to another webinar by Heidi on the benefits of a Grace-Based Approached to Eating. She said, “We lose weight, but grow in character.”

Grow in character? Until now, my God list and Truth Cards had been eye-opening, but I saw them as a secondary benefit to my main goal: LOSE WEIGHT.

Then, Gina recapped Lesson Nine by quoting Jeremiah 2:25, But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.'” She might as well have hit me over the head with a watermelon.

Could it be the little girl (me) who grew up learning to stay inside the lines…who wanted the lines so I’d know how to live without fear of retribution or displeasing God and people…is really a rebel at heart? 

Is it possible that avoiding boundaries (or justifying them in favor of what I love) seems like a small thing when it comes to food. But in fact, points to a deeper heart problem

The gracious conviction of the Holy Spirit gave me this major Truth to chew on: I need to lose my rebellious pride and sense of entitlement, more than I need to lose weight.

If I’m ever going to stay in my boundaries while experiencing the freedom in Christ, I’ll need to follow Jesus more closely. And focus on Him instead of the lines.

Photo by: Pixabay

Looking for Victory?

Looking for Victory?

Am I alone in thinking this Thin Within journey is like the kids’ board game, Chutes and Ladders? Move your pawn forward to a particular space, then shoot up the ladder onto victory. Or land on a bad space (like eating too many cookies) and the pawn slides down the chute cause you have a tummy ache.

That’s me! One day, I’m moving ahead. Controlling my appetite. Tightening my belt. The next day, I over indulge and slide backwards. Drats! Foiled again! Takes forever to win. However, unlike the game whose progression is controlled by a spinning needle, I’m doing this to myself. Unless of course, the “devil made me do it.”

What is so difficult about not eating until I’m hungry and stopping when I’m a satisfied? The way I whine and limp along this 0-5 journey, you’d think someone asked me to race around the track in a wheelchair or swim freestyle with my eyes closed as though I’m blind. If anyone watched the Paralympic Games, you’ll understand. These disabled Olympians push their physical limits to win the race.

What’s my excuse for crossing my boundaries and giving up before I’ve reached my goal and won the prize? I’m not an athlete. But even the Apostle Paul writes in terms that inspires me to finish the race. 

“Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave….” (1 Cor. 9:26,27).

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Phil. 3:14).

Hebrews 12-1-3

The cost of reaching and maintaining my God-ordained weight means I may have to suffer. But what’s wrong with suffering if the prize is a thinner, healthier me who feels good in her skin from the inside out. What if suffering is the means to help me listen to God so He enables me to walk in the Spirit instead of submitting to my fickle flesh which entices me to eat…what I want when I want.

Besides, does an empty stomach cause more (or less) suffering than a bloated belly ache accompanied by a heavy dose of guilt and regret? And why should emotional comfort and eating to numb my pain override my common sense to do what’s best for my body?

Great questions to mull over when I’m salivating for that Godiva chocolate.

The wonderful thing about Thin Within is that no one expects me to fight this battle or win the race/game on my own strength. The lessons constantly bring me back to God’s Word which teaches and trains me in the way I should go. 

That said, I’m also realizing the victory isn’t about self-discipline and buffeting my body as much as focus. Where am I looking for victory?

If success depends on human efforts alone….doing every lesson, filling out truth cards, my God list, my hunger charts, my not eating too many cookies…I’ll keep slip sliding backwards.

Instead,I must look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith—who suffered and died for me—that I might live victoriously.

One step forward, and day at a time.

Bad Cloud Day

Bad Cloud Day

Bad Cloud DayEvery day I have a choice about what kind of day I am going to have. I have sunny days, and I have what I call “Bad Cloud Days”. What does having a “Bad Cloud Day” mean to me and what can I do about them?

Those “Bad Cloud Days” come about when I let little disturbances or inconveniences “cloud” my thinking and cause me to feel bad and often makes me run to food for solace. Excess food doesn’t bring out the sun over my mood. When I am allowing outside circumstances control my mood and I run to food, then I have two problems instead of one.

There are things I can do to turn my day around. I can choose to write about what is bothering me (truth journaling). I can renew my mind in God’s Word (Romans 12:1). I can pray (Philippians 4:6-7). I can read over my truth cards (Philippians 4:8). I can pick up the phone and call or text a friend (or accountability partner). All these choices are great ways to put things into perspective. These simple choices help me to seek out the truth (John 8:32) behind the annoyance instead of lashing out, which then destroys any peace I might hope to have (Romans 15:13).

Be a rainbowI can choose to allow those dark thoughts or feelings to build up and cause a storm cloud to cover my day, or I can clear away the dark clouds by writing, digging in God’s Word, talking it over with God in prayer, read uplifting notes, or phone a friend. I can choose to turn off the TV (the news today could put a cloud over anyone’s mood), put on some praise music and dance to the truth that today, I woke up and got out of bed. I can praise Him that this is the day that He has made. I can rejoice and be glad in it. As the sun (Son) starts shining over my heart, I can reach out and bring sunshine into someone else’s “Bad Cloud Day”.

How about you? Are you having too many “Bad Cloud Days”? A great question to ask: Is this going to matter in a week, a month, six months? One thing I know for sure…God will make a way when there seems to be no way (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Have a good day