I have taken in so many wonderful tips and ideas from Thin Within over the years. But I have a hard time actually implementing some of them at the moment I most need them, especially if I’m dealing with something hard – or a pile-up of “something hard’s”! You know what, I don’t even have to have anything hard going on; just wanting to eat when I’m not yet hungry is plenty hard enough!
I wanted something to help me better connect what I’ve learned in Thin Within with my “heart hunger” that was compelling me to eat when I wasn’t hungry. In these times, the struggle is real, and it’s when I’m most likely to lose my vision and resolve. The churning in my heart makes me want to eat to assuage it.
Self-control is good, and is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and it’s something that will come – is coming – the more I go to the Lord with my needs and the more deeply I connect with Him. But I needed a practical way to connect my hard stuff with God, something tangible that enabled me to actually DO something with my frustrations and anxieties.
So I pulled together several of the tools, tips and concepts I have learned in Thin Within along with several things the Lord has been showing me, and came up with what I call “W.A.T.E.R.ing My Hunger.”
It serves three purposes:
- It’s a screening process to help break my habit of thoughtless, compulsive eating.
- It gives me a way to deal with anxieties that rise up in me.
- It draws me closer to the Lord!
I don’t use it every time I eat, although that would probably be a good idea. I’m just not always in a position to use it. And I don’t always need to. I use it here ‘n’ there, especially when my thoughts about whether or not I’m really at a zero are muddled and I’m just not sure. Am I just wishing myself to a zero?
This system helps me process my feelings and inclinations. And I’m finding that it spreads to my state of mind all the time, not just when I use it before I eat. Because the hunger I’m actually watering isn’t just my physical hunger for food; it’s my spiritual/heart hunger for God! But it’s most likely to make itself loudly and unpleasantly known as I approach mealtime, making me just want to EAT it away rather than tending to my true, deeper spiritual needs.
So let’s jump into the deep-end and I’ll walk – or wade – you through how it works!
FIRST, ASK MYSELF:
What do I really want by the end of this day?
I want to have a sweet and deep peace with the Lord and
(also therefore) peace deep in the core of my heart.
What I do the next time I eat will totally affect
the fruition (or not) of my above desire.
Wait for a true zero before eating.
When I first start feeling hunger,
Water it, literally, with a glass of water.
I want to make sure I’m not eating out of anxiety, but out of true physical hunger. The best way to fight anxiety is, of course, with the Word of God and prayer. Focused prayer. In other words, prayer that is focused on the anxiety. And I have a holy arsenal for you! Further down this page you will find a plethora of Anti-Anxiety Scripture verses as well as an Anti-Anxiety Prayer below that.
Ask myself: Am I giving up my birthright
for a bowl of soup (or ice cream, or Corn Chex, or…)?
Truth about eating:
Read one or more points in the “Truths About Eating” list.
Think: What am I hungry for?
Engage with God on an
Emotion I’m Experiencing.
Renewed, Ready, and Released to Refuel!
Restrain myself when I Reach 5.
Lord, here I am. You know all about the anxiety(s) that I’m experiencing right now. [Tell Him specifically what’s on your heart, or, if your emotions are just a tangled-up mess and you haven’t sorted them out or gathered them up, refer to Anxiety Corral.] And I’m sure this is part of what’s drawing me so strongly to want to go to food [or…] – to try to avoid dealing with it, or to mask or smother it or, or “D: All the above. Of course I know full-well that none of those will work, but that doesn’t mean I won’t fall for it, again, as my flesh likes to be appeased and pleasured – right now. But, Lord, I want to be honoring to You in how I eat. I want that area of my life to function easily and correctly, as You designed it to. So I come to You with the weightiness of my anxieties – my emotions, my selfishness, my confusion, my frustrations, my anger, and my insecurities. I pour them out to – and lay them before You because You have invited me to do so! (I’m going to personalize these verses…)
I pour out my heart to You, Lord, for You can help. I will make my needs known to You.”
I will cast all my cares upon You, Lord, because You care for me.”
I come to You, weary and overburdened, for I know You will give me rest.”
My heart has heard You say ‘Come and talk with Me, oh my people,’ and my heart responds: ‘Lord, I am coming!’”
🌺 Meals are a time to refuel simply because my body is in need in of food.
🌺 The Lord has made the refueling experience pleasant by giving me taste buds and the ability to enjoy a variety of textures and flavors of food. But I have made a pastime out of the eating experience. 😞
🌺 God wants to use even this very next eating experience to retrain me and reign in my run-away greed for food.
🌺 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent [created] Me, and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34)
🌺 My body is not my own; I was bought at a great price by the precious blood of Jesus. I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. … I too easily forget this and therefore do not live by it. Lord, I need You to impress this into my heart and my thinking.
🌺 Gas station analogy: When my vehicle’s gas tank is on full, or even 1/2 or 1/4 full, and I drive by a gas station, I don’t look longingly at the gas station and think “Oh I want to go gas up!” My tank does not need to be filled until it is on empty. Likewise with my hunger, just because I spot food does not mean I need to go and fill up – not until I’m hungry!
I created a simple “corral” hemmed in with a Bible verse in the fences on each side. (But you can just use a blank piece of paper!) There is nothing artsy, fancy, or neat about this. And it’s just for my own use; not something I will ever show anyone – well, other than in this article, showing you how to use it!
There are two steps to using this tool:
1) Pour out your heart to the Lord, for He can help. Make your needs known to Him.”
As you see in my example below, I just started writing – not even neatly – all the things that were on my heart at that time.
I don’t use this every time I “W.A.T.E.R. my hunger”; it’s something I refer to and add to as I go along. So it starts out with just whatever anxieties are weighing on my heart at the time. Might be one or two, maybe five or six… The goal is not to fill up the space; just to have a place to “round up” all my anxieties as they come to me and put them inside so that they don’t just pile up and then bombard me – like a swarm of hornets!
Here’s one of mine, which I filled in all at once because there was that much stuff that had piled up! (I don’t recommend waiting this long before “casting all my cares on the Lord” and into my corral; it’s like a pile-up crash on the freeway.)
2) My heart has heard You say ‘Come and talk with Me, oh my people,’ and my heart responds: ‘Lord, I am coming!’” (Psalm 27:8)
We don’t want all this stuff to just sit in our heart and mind and fester, so second step is to process all these anxieties with the Lord, based on the above verse. Here are several options for how to “come and talk with God” about these anxieties:
Ask God to breathe life, vitality and energy into me.
Ask God to heal me or the other person.
Let God speak His truth to me about this.
Ask God to show me what I can do about this, if anything.
Let God help me process this.
Let God hold, heal, and comfort me.
If it’s sin,repent, ask forgiveness, then walk in obedience
Just lay it down; surrender it to the Lord.
Put it in the Lord’s hands (and leave it there).
Put it in the pot on my back burner.
I should explain last one. I have what I call a “pot on the back burner of my mind” where I put things that I do NOT understand, that I disagree with, and have a hard time with. Things that I do NOT understand why God allows to happen. I come to the Lord with them and put them in this boiling pot, and accept that it will probably not be until I’m in Heaven that I understand these things…
They need to stay in the pot, away from me, because I do not want to allow them to become a barrier between God and me, or to erode my faith.
So just go through one anxiety in your corral at a time, asking the Lord to show you what to do with it. Keep the above list nearby if you get stuck figuring something out.
Here’s what the form looks like blank, ready for you dump- I mean fill in and use to pour your heart out to the Lord!
Click here to download the Anxiety Corral PDF file of this document.
God has not given us a spirit of fear… For the Spirit that God gave us does not make us fearful or timid, but gives us power, love, a sound mind, and self/discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will rise up and soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous [victorious] right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears [anxieties, concerns, feelings of dread or impending doom, weightiness, heavy-heartedness – caused by all the things in my Anxiety Corral.].” (Psalms 34:4)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge and submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.…” (Psalm 23:1-3)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [See Anxiety Corral below!]And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, [Barb], He who formed you: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not kindle upon you or set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:1-3)
In righteousness you will be established; tyranny [being enslaved to sinful desires] will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.” (Isaiah 54:14)