This Changes Everything!

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There are times when I feel such frustration with myself—the struggle that Paul shares in Romans 7 about the very thing he doesn’t want to do is that which he keeps on doing and the good that he wants to do he doesn’t. There are times when I am frustrated by others or my circumstances. Times when I feel despair and such a lack of hope. At times like these, I wonder how I will ever see my way clear. Hope is elusive!

It is times like these when one thing…and one thing alone…changes EVERYTHING for me.

In fact, the biggest changes in my life—my eating, my other stronghold struggles, my relationships—have happened when I have integrated this one thing into my life.

It’s praise.

I believe that so often those of us who struggle with eating and eating disorders have an extreme case of self-focus. I know I do when I am left to my own devices. Dieting definitely contributed to me being this way…and sometimes, over the years, I have turned Thin Within into being less about honoring GOD and exalting him in all I do into being .all about me, my food, my hunger, my body, me me me, my my my.

This doesn’t result in anything but more despair and struggle.

When I move my focus from ME to the Lord, it is amazing what happens.

We were created to worship him, to exalt him. When I am doing what I was created to do, my spirit soars, hope floods even the darkest parts of my mind and heart and I experience a change…now. There is something wildly wonderful about exalting my Creator, my God, my King.

This week, I have been struggling with some circumstances in my life and I was reminded ever so lovingly by my Heavenly Father that I hadn’t been praising as much. So, I recommitted to this as a daily practice. In fact, as part of the “Set Your Timer” Challenge, I praise! How awesome is it to praise God—even if ever so briefly—for a moment every hour!

I recorded one of my praisefests in case it can encourage you as you do your own. As I listened to it, I realized that you can actually tell that I am experiencing a lifting of my spirit as I go farther on.

Here it is for you:

How About You?

Can you develop or add to a God List (this post at my other blog tells you about it if you haven’t seen me talk about it before) and then use it for your own praisefest? If not this, then how about opening to a favorite psalm and giving it a shot? 🙂 Just ask the question, “What is God like and what does He do for people?” and then say back to God what you find!

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12 Responses to This Changes Everything!

  1. Lesley UK October 18, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Wow…I sat still with my eyes closed and basked in who He is and who I am in Him as I listened to this wonderful praise fest – thank you Heidi.

    • Heidi Bylsma October 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      I am so glad it encouraged you, Lesley! Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

  2. Carrie (South Africa) October 18, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    God is also dealing with me about praise. I think once we’ve been delivered from stuff, the only way we can keep walking in that healing is praise. Praise is spiritual warfare! Something wonderful happens when we praise God in every situation we find ourselves in. Particularly those situations which seem to painful to even utter a thanks.

    • Heidi Bylsma October 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      Praise is vital for my consistency! If I stop giving gratitude and praising, I end up with my eyes on ME ME ME and then it is a matter of time (not much, either) until I have a downward spiral.

  3. Carrie (South Africa) October 19, 2013 at 3:37 am #

    I was just reminded about a book that was life changing for me. It’s called Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers. It’s a very old book and I’ve lent it out many times over the years. But almost everyone that I’ve spoken to who has read it, has been changed by it.

  4. Jamie Moe October 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    How wonderful Heidi!
    God’s word is such a blessing to my spirit to hear. Thank you for sharing this with us all. I will go make some more praise cards to put on my mirror. That way I can see God’s wonderful word and speak it out loud to myself and Jesus my Lord. : )

    1 Peter 2:9
    But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

  5. Lisa October 23, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    This is so true for me! I read this scripture almost a year ago
    2Timothy 3:1-2 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
    For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,”
    What stood out to me was the unthankful.
    It was Christmas time and I didn’t feel like decorating. From October 1 until the end of the year is especially busy. Relatives come to spend the holidays with us and guest rooms have to be prepared, menus decided, activities planned, etc. Last year my sister told me that I was acting like a Grinch. I was complaining about putting up the second tree. As I stood there staring at the tree and what seemed a daunting task ahead of me, a small voice starting speaking to me; Think about all the people who would love to have a tree to put up and a house to put it in. Here you have a lovely home and two trees. You are complaining about all the work, but think about those who would love to have their house full of people. You complain about vacuuming, why not praise God that not only do you have the strength and energy to vacuum, but you have 7 vacuums to choose from. This “conversation” went on and on throughout the Christmas season. Every time I started to complain about some thing the small voice started talking to me. It really made me realize how much I needed to change in this area. And how ungrateful I could be when I was focusing on what I didn’t have instead of all the blessings I do have. I have improved, but still have a long way to go.

    • Heidi Bylsma October 23, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      Wow, Lisa. How convicting. Thank you so much for your vulnerability and being willing to share this with us.

  6. Lisa October 23, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could plug our brains into a computer and then just highlight and delete all the mess and replace it with the good stuff. 🙂

  7. Lisa October 23, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    I know we are basically doing that with renewing out minds, but this would be faster! I would be a wonderful, loving, grateful, constant person in 24 hours! 🙂

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