Another Problem, the same deceiver

Another problem-The same deceiver
Satan is so very good at deceiving us. He will use anything he can but one of his favorite ways to bring us down is to use our own minds against us.
I love God, I am heavy. Nothing about those two things has changed very much for very long. I struggle with both at times but at the end of the day, both remain with me.
These struggles, God and weight,seem to come together in certain ways. Satan loves to plant a little seed in my mind and watch as I take that seed, give it all the water and food it needs to go from seed to full blown vegetative bush that bears rotten fruit.
Let me give you an example. I have let my weight be a deterrent to sharing the Word of God. In my mind a good evangelist has to be thin. To be an overweight evangelist seems counter productive. I may be talking to someone about the joy of what Jesus has done for me but in my mind I am thinking that this person is never going to listen to me because what this person is looking at (an overweight me) proves that I talk the talk but do not walk the walk. My mind is throwing out erroneous thinking at a break neck pace. She must not believe in what she is telling me, has she never heard that self-control is a virtue, did she miss that one in her bible reading?
Oh Satan is good, don’t forget he can use everything available to him to fight for what he wants, even scripture. He will distort your thinking. Believe it because he is doing it every day.
He has used Romans 12:1 in that way in my life. I pounded the part of the scripture that told me to take my everyday habits, sleeping, eating working (emphasis on eating for this purpose) and use it as an offering to God beecause embracing what God does for me is the best thing I can do for him.
All it brought was shame because I could not seem to get my eating under control and my weight climbed and climbed. How could I offer to God my eating habits when they were in deplorable condition?
Somehow I never saw the second half to that verse. I had blinders on and you can bet those blinders were manufactured by Satan.
I completely disregarded that sound advice that followed. It says to look up before we look around. We are told to quit conforming to the things of the world we live in. God will tell us what He wants from us if we look for it. Most importantly, He wants us to fix our attention on Him and let His healing change us from the inside out, not the other way around. This scripture also offers the biggest blast of fresh air and good news to those of us who hate ourselves from the outside in. We are reminded that God brings out the best in us.
Scripture does speak clearly to us about honoring our bodies and how wonderfully we are made. It is a beautiful verse.
Psalm 139:13-16
Let’s take a minute to read this. “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out’ you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God- you are breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration- what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body’ You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth’ all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I had even lived one day.
So tell me, are we taking God’s word for who we are or are we applying social conventions for what society thinks should be the proper size and what we should weigh?
I know it is hard to undo the detrimental thinking that has ingrained itself in our minds since childhood. However, society buys into the lies that Satan peppers our path with. Society not only buys in to his lies, they have made it big business.
Satan says- You are fat, you are worthless and every word you say is tinged by those things.
God says- You are marvelously made. I know you inside and out because I made you. I will bring out the best in you……………if you let me.
Digging deeper into Psalm 139: 13-16
In our mother’s womb what was formed first, our inside or our outside? __________________________How and why is this significant in your life? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
We often berate ourselves for how we look on the outside and what the scale says. Take the part of the scripture that says “I am marvelously made” and thoughtfully, slowly, methodically and truthfully name each part of your body and why it is a marvelous and miraculous creation of God’s hand. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What does it mean to you personally that God knows you inside and out and knows every bone in your body?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why do you think it was important enough to mention in scripture that God did not throw us together in assembly line fashion but rather created us “bit by bit from nothing into something” ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth’ all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I had even lived one day.” Taking all that you have just worked through about the way in which you were created, name your book. __________________________________________
Dottie

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Are you searching for what you lost or searching for what you never knew you had?

1 Peter 3:4
The loveliness that lives inside you.
“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within. The unending beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God.”

Looking for what you have lost

We as women spend our whole lives trying to define ourselves by the unrealistic expectations that we have either set for ourselves, or have let society set for us. Myself, being one of the female persuasion, often wonder why I do that? I will take my Mom’s view, my neighbors view, the latest trend on social media and televisions view on what a woman should look like. Most if not all of those opinions are based on nothing but a personal judgement and competition. No researched facts, nothing but trends and fads and what feels right at the moment. We fear looking like anything except what everyone else looks like. Once again we are looking around before or we look up for answers. If everyone else isn’t doing it then by golly, it can’t be right. I need the latest book, fashion, exercise equipment etc, then I will be whole and finally happy. If I follow this or that diet and this or that exercise program I can be proud of myself.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that you cannot invent a new kind of diet or exercise program, buy all the latest fashions, there is nothing that is going to work wonders for you long term unless you stop searching fruitlessly for what has thus far eluded you. As Dr. Phil says, how is that working for you?
If we lose ourselves to what society says we must, we are gaining nothing even if the latest program is successful. It won’t last. How many times have we lost 5, 10, 20 or even 100 pounds just to find ourselves putting it all back on and a few more to boot?
Could it possibly be that we are looking for what we need in all the wrong places? We all know the void we feel, you know, the one we try to fill with food or fancy clothes, exercise equipment that we never use. We are so inventive with the things we try to fill the void with but that is because we buy into what society says beautiful looks like and not the truth. It is important to remember where our beauty really comes from.
There are a lot of things that the void inside us can be filled with, but for the purposes of this writing I am speaking only of using food and weight loss to fill the empty place that resides in us. I speak of this because it is a subject that I have some expertise in and have in fact, lived with for every day of my life.
We are looking for what we have lost and the crazy thing is most of the time we don’t know that we have misplaced it. We feel the void but we attribute it to stress of life. This way of living is so ingrained in us that we are unaware we are on a one way trip to nowhere, or at the very least another trip to the Ice Cream Café. The thing is, after the ice cream excursion, we feel emptier than before. We feel guilt for being so weak. We feel stupid in our fat clothes. We feel there is nothing on this earth that is going to fix this for us. Well at least the last thought is correct.
There is sisters, a way forward, there are answers to finding what we have lost, if we know where to look for them. There is victory to be found.
In most cases the lives we live now are all we have ever known. We keep doing the same thing and getting the same results but expecting something different. Maybe the name of this chapter ia a little misleading. We spend our lives not so much looking for what we have lost but searching for what we never knew we had. The thing is we can have no hope of finding what has been eluding us for so long until we figure out just what we are looking for, where we can find it and how to keep it once we find it.
If we are honest with ourselves we ARE concerned with what we look like when we venture into the world. We adorn ourselves with the latest fashion, coordinating jewelry, and shoes. To be sure there is nothing wrong with this as long as it is not our primary goal. We were created to worship the God who created us. We were not created to be thin, fashion horses, exercise goddesses or anything else we try to mold ourselves into.
Romans 12:1
I have to believe that we are all looking for the beautiful, lovely, gentle and strong person who is inside us. The Bible tells us there is an unending gentle and quiet spirit in all of us. God has placed a beauty in each and every one of us that absolutely shines if we let it. The fact is, we are beautiful simply because we have been created that way. Why is it so hard for us to believe that. Why is it so hard for us to take God at His word?
Because sisters, we live in a human world that treats God’s word as an afterthought and not the unerring Book of Life that it is. Like Ronald Reagan said, within the covers of the Bible lie the answers for all our problems.
I want to open that well inside me that boils with unending gentleness and beauty. I want the loveliness that lives inside me. I want to know it is there and I want to know it will never fail me. Let’s start with what the Bible says about this subject.
In 1 Peter 3:3-4 the apostle Peter wrote the following to Christian wives.
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

I asked earlier how we can take what the Bible says about Christ living inside us and make it our own story. The answer is probably not what you want to hear and is certainly not easy to live out. However, the truth is that you simply decide to live as God would want you to. Period, that is it. You make the choice to look to God first and the world second. We decide to weave our lives with purity, reverence and holiness. We must clothe ourselves with the things God has called us to do.
I am so glad that I can look at my world with glasses colored with His glory. I stand tall knowing that I am ALL that God created me to be. God does not love me in spite of who I am, He loves me because of who I am! I can live a successful and joyous life because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Getting Real

Things are going to get real for me today. I am going to venture off the path I usually take in my writing and cautiously step out of my self imposed box. It is scary for me. Laying a soul open is never easy but often necessary. Getting to the bare truth of a situation means venturing uncomfortable places and even places that are muddy. To get to the absolute bare truth one must shine the light of brutal honesty. Leaving oneself vulnerable can be brutal but beneficial. It is only then that we can start to live with honesty and start the journey that God has long ago assigned to us.

To coin an old and often used phrase, today, I will start the first truly honest day of the rest of my life.

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Weight has been an issue for me my whole life. I was not overweight in grade school or in high school but I can remember many diets. I was trying to get weight off that was only in my imagination. My Mom (who was overweight) even took me to Weight Watchers with her when I was in grade school. They refused to let me join because in their words, I was not overweight. That did not deter my Mom or myself, it was still diet after diet to get to a weight that was acceptable. I suppose this was my Mom’s way to make sure I always stayed at a “normal” weight and would never have to deal with the weight issues she did. It backfired, big time. Diets, binges, diets, binges and over the years my weight went nowhere except up. Oh there were times that I lost weight and felt wonderful. However, there was never a time that the weight did not return and along with the original pounds came a few extra.
Fast forward to my late forties and I finally found the solution. Barbaric surgery, in my case, Lap Band. Starting at a high weight of 236 I lost about a hundred pounds. I looked great, felt great and basked in the attention. Then life did what it always does. Times got hard, really hard and I went scampering back to the only thing that I could ever count on for comfort, food. Eight years post surgery I find myself having regained 50 of my 100 pounds.

My relationship with food was what gave me a weight problem. The surgeon had fixed my stomach. He did not fix my head. Actually, the surgeon did his job. My band worked well and did its job. It was my self image,emotions and erroneous thinking that failed me. I was looking to a diet and a surgeon for something that was life-changing. I was looking in the wrong place.

I have always hated myself for being heavy and have never forgiven myself for my sinful relationship with food. However, nothing is as bad as regaining weight after bariatric surgery. That holds a special kind of shame.

I have been trying to figure out why I am getting no-where in my efforts to lose the extra weight. I can not keep motivation, food literally speaks to me, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort and it seems easier to live life as a plus size woman. Except and this is a big except, I feel tired, my muscles hurt, my knees and feet kill me, I waddle like a duck and feel like I need a crane as am unfolding myself from a sitting position. Getting out of a low vehicle probably looks comical but is anything but. I am on a fast road to diabetes and many other diseases related to obesity. However, the biggest thing is that I know that God wants me to come to Him for all the things I think I receive from food. I know this with a certainty that comes from deep inside me and that I can actually feel burning. My relationship with food is a sin I need to repent of.

I have felt like a failure my whole life and I have a deep seated hatred for the weakness inside me that makes me seek food for comfort. I have never forgiven myself for being weak, self destructive and selfish.I have never forgiven myself for finding a remedy to obesity then blowing that opportunity and regaining weight.

There is only one solution to this problem and it starts today.

It starts with this verse.
Isaiah 43: 25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.

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Can you feel the hope and cleansing whiteness in that verse?

I CHOOSE to hate myself and live in self-condemnation. God does exactly the opposite. My unforgiveness only hinders my efforts to become healthy. How can I be healthy when the cancer of unforgiveness festers in my soul and poisons everything around me?

Today is a new day and I am a new being in Christ. I will CHOOSE to wear that robe proudly. God CHOOSES to forgive me, forget my sin and the gloriously wipes the slate clean. This is a very important piece of the puzzle. I need to choose to forgive myself for the weight gain and then forget it and move on………. from this day forward.

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I am no longer who I once was. I will walk forth as the wonderful women of God I am. I am clean and pure and will start living that way from today. I truly believe that only when we have forgiven and forgotten our past transgressions can we give ourselves the best chance for success in our walk to health and in our role as children of a FORGIVING God.
I will take my cues on behavior from Him.
From this day forward my relationship with food will be replaced with a hunger for God. How I fill my soul is up to me. I will make wise choices.

Dottie
……………and so I ride

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