(Days 23 & 24) Temptations Galore!

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday but I have been away at a training and there was just no time to get my blog done. Now that I am back home, I just have to share my win over the past couple days. I am really proud of myself. I set up some goals on Day 1 and while I have not followed every single one, I have actually been doing very good with not eating sweets and that is huge for me! Since I am pretty picky about the kinds of sweets I like anyway it really has been easy for me over the past 24 days. So at the training there was coffee cake and candy on the table along with apples and grapes that were set out for breakfast. It was a no-brainer, the grapes were my choice. But then it happened, my first real temptation, a Panera Toffee Nut Cookie! 440 calories of deliciousness! I mean look at this beauty of a cookie:

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My local Panera has not had this cookie available the last few times I have been there so when I saw this cookie on the table when lunch was served, my mouth just watered. I said “sure, my favorite cookie is here and I can’t eat it!” So I grabbed a tuna sandwich along with some salad and went to my seat. Let me tell you, my mind was trying to find a way to convince me to break my 31 days and eat that cookie. “It’s a favorite for me, I haven’t had one in so long, I can just eat it today and then get back on track tomorrow.” My friend suggested that I take it home and throw it in the freezer and have it after my 31 days have passed. That’s exactly what I have done. It’s in the freezer behind a bag of vegetables so I won’t see it when I go into the freezer. I doubt that it will bother me anyway because I made up my mind that I can wait for it.

I’m being consistent with two things in my life right now and that’s huge for me. I drink my water every day and I’m sticking to my commitment to not eat desserts for 31 days. It’s an encouragement and motivation to see that I can actually stick to these things. If I can do these small changes over time and continue to add changes to my life, there’s no telling how much success I will see in this journey. I just praise God for these small victories in my life.

Thank you for stopping by today.

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(Day 21) A New Shopping Experience

Tuesday evening I got together with a friend which when I think about it was a great way of celebrating my small victories. We had no set plans just a time and day when we both were available. She initially suggested that we go to a gourmet chocolate place in our town but I told her that I was in the middle of 31 days of no dessert so that wouldn’t work. Her next suggestion was that we go to Fresh Thyme. I had no idea what that was but I agreed. She picked me up and we went to this amazing Farmer’s Market Natural, Organic Grocery Store. I am used to shopping at Wal-Mart so this was a real treat for me.

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The sales in the store were great and I just loved all the ways they offered fresh, natural, healthy choices. They have fresh juices, fresh nut butters, bulk grains, oils, honey, etc. I realized that this trip to the store was an excellent way to celebrate those small victories. Spending time with a friend and not eating was just what I needed. I am pretty sure that I will be frequenting this store a lot! What a gift! I am so thankful for a friend that will come along side me to support my journey.

Thank you for stopping by today!

(Day 19) Celebrate Small Victories

Yesterday I was stressing about this week and I am so glad that I actually wrote about it and applied the Word of God to my situation. I believe the Lord wanted me to rest and not stress so that is what I did. This morning I woke up on time, I spent time praying about my schedule. I talked to and prayed with my accountability partner. Not surprisingly the day went well. I was able to get some exercise done in the morning and by the end of the day I had accomplished much. It was the kind of day that I would like to have every day! It was a day of victory! So I think it is a good time to really look at some of my small victories and celebrate them.

  1. It has been over two months since I drank soda and I now drink upwards of 3-4 liters of water a day.
  2. It has been 19 days since I have eaten any type of desserts or sweets.
  3. I have been transparent with my accountability partner for 19 days.
  4. I released 4 pounds that I don’t plan on getting back

Not bad for someone who is really learning how to transform my temple and not just go on a diet. I am proud of my accomplishments. It’s not about perfection or how quickly I can get results. It’s really learning how to rely on the Lord. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV. I am doing it this time and no matter how slow the progress may be, I will be content because this is a lifetime journey. I am reminded of a quote from Lysa Terkeurst:

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That’s what I am doing. I’m on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness. I will take it one step at a time, one day at a time and never turn around to go back.

Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Thank you for stopping by today!

(Day 18) Be Still

photo-1425969195258-f23f055ef995This morning at church we had a few minutes of being still in the Presence of God. It was such a time of refreshing for me personally since my life has been so overwhelmingly busy. We live in such a fast paced society that many times we have trouble finding the time to really slow down and spend an intentional time of stillness. We read in Psalm 46 verse 10 –  “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Do you sense the heart of God beckoning you in this verse?

Today as I read this verse I am seeing Father God extending His hand toward me inviting me to sit on His lap and just listen to Him. He says, “Be still and know that I am God”. I feel a sense of protection in this verse. He is God and He will be exalted among the nations and in the earth. God is the highest level authority there is. He is in charge of it all. I take comfort in that knowledge and I rest today.

As I look at my schedule for this week, I see so much to do and yet so little time. Just thinking about it all causes me to feel heavy and burdened. How can I balance it all out to put God first and make time for exercise and healthy meals? My intentions were to prepare meals in advance this weekend and yet it was not done. Already I am feeling overwhelmed, then I read what Jesus said,  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

Deep breaths.

I will be still. I will take Jesus’ yoke upon me and learn from Him and find rest for my soul. I cannot go into this week feeling stressed. I will not go into this week feeling stressed! Philippians 4:6-7 says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I will take my schedule to the Lord and ask Him to help me to walk out my week with a peace that surpasses all understanding. I will be anxious for nothing and be still. I am not perfect and I don’t have to be. I just need to take it one step at a time.

(Days 16 & 17) That’s It I Surrender!

Image-1I cannot get away from the planning and balance phase of this journey. I am just not getting it. I try to do well and it works for a couple of days but then life just happens and gets in the way. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 ESV

Last week I shared the following verse in my Days 8-12 post: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV. My intention was to learn to plan better, my days get away from me and at the end of some days I just say “what happened?”. Today was one of those days. Yesterday was another one of those days. So now I am looking at this and saying “OK God, what are you saying to me?” Then I look a few verses down from Proverbs 16:3 and read “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 ESV

So now I am assessing my week and I see a pattern of 3 good days and 2 not so good days. The common denominator for the 3 good days is that I started me day with my planner at the place of prayer and sought the Lord to help me plan the day. Then at the end of those days I moved over anything that wasn’t accomplished to the next day. No condemnation, no guilt, no stress just grace and mercy. On the other 2 days, I woke up late, jumped into my day without my morning prayer time. I had times of prayer during those days but there was no plan for the day. The day just started and before I knew it I was in the fast lane of busyness.

That’s it, I surrender! I surrender! I can’t do this one my own. I need to depend more on Jesus! I know what my goals are, I know what my why is, I know what the plans in my heart that I want to accomplish are to get to the next level in my journey. I cannot do it alone. I have to consistently bring the Lord into my plans. Today’s verse says “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 ESV. Last week’s verse says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV. I thought just committing to the Lord whatever I do would cause the Lord to establish my plans and that is true. But when I look further and see that I can plan my way but the Lord will establish my steps, oh that brings a peace to my heart. So I surrender to this truth today.

Lord you know the plans and intentions of my heart. Establish my steps so that my life brings you glory. Help me to rise early and bring my schedule to you so that I truly learn to walk this journey with you depending on you every step of the way. Thank you for being patient with me as I learn each day to apply what I am learning. It’s all about you Jesus. Thank you for grace and mercy. Thank you for teaching me and training me by your Word. Amen.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Oh by the way before you leave, DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

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(Day 14) Distractions

Yesterday I talked about balance starting in the mind and applying the scriptures Philippians 4:4-8 to our lives which would result in Jesus guarding our hearts and minds.

Today I want to look at distractions and I’m sure this is a very familiar passage of scripture:

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:38-42‬ ‭ESV‬‬http://bible.com/59/luk.10.38-42.esv

Many times I’ve heard people talk about this passage of scripture and Martha gets a bad rap. They focus on Mary because Jesus defended her sitting at His feet to learn from Him. Well let’s think about this for a minute. The scripture tells us that Martha was distracted with much serving. You know what it’s like, right? You plan a Holiday at your place and invite let’s say 20 guests. You are responsible for getting the house cleaned, shopping for the meal prep, decorating, cooking, baking, serving, entertaining and on and on it goes. You know how it is, I’m sure. We have all been there at some point.

So Martha was just doing what she had to do to take care of her guests and apparently she did not plan well with Mary because Mary left her alone to do all the work. Martha was frustrated because she was doing all the work. I’m sure every wife, mother, grandmother totally gets that picture and says “been there, done that”, amen?

I checked the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon to see what is said about the word distracted from the verse above and it said “to draw away, to be driven mentally, to be over-occupied and too busy.” Hello! Welcome to my world and I’m willing to bet it’s your world too! We have so many things that distract us – good things, bad things, simple things, complicated things, work things, family things, recreational things, etc. We have technology that is great and provides us instant access to everything we could possibly want right at our fingertips. But if we are not careful all these things can take us away from the most important things.

This is what I believe Jesus was trying to get through to Martha. She was so busy taking care of the serving and the preparations that she allowed it to bring her anxiety. All the distractions were good and most were necessary. I’m reminded of the story where Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman at the well and his disciples had gone to get food and when they returned they urged Him to eat but His response was “But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”” ‭John‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭ESV‬‬ http://bible.com/59/jhn.4.32.esv

Could it be that He wanted Martha to take the position that Mary had chosen? To sit at His feet and soak up all the things He said and taught? I think so. I’m talking about distractions here but it still goes back to balance because we have to be intentional about spending time feeding ourselves with the Bread of Life and drinking of the Living Water. We cannot sit at Jesus literal feet today but as we dive deep into our Bibles and spend time in prayer and worship then everything else will fall into place.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭ESV‬‬ http://bible.com/59/mat.6.33.esv

I’m convinced putting Jesus first will help us have balance and will also keep those distractions from causing us to have anxiety. It’s being intentional. Mary was intentional about sitting at the feet of Jesus. Martha was caught up in the serving. Both are necessary but truly there can be a balance where we can incorporate both of these things in our lives.  Let’s start now!

God Bless and thank you for reading today.

(Day 6) Moving Forward

Today’s blog is the result of a post I made in an accountability group I am involved in on Facebook. I believe that it is good for you to read as well since I have a suspicion that if you are reading my blog today that you may be on your own journey to health and wellness. So the following is for you too!

xfv4Ek6qRre3Ud7p9row_sylwiabartyzel_unsplash_08“For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables. But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” ‭‭Deuteronomy ‭11:10-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I believe we can pull application from these verses for our journey to healthy living. Some of us are literally entering new territory, our journey is beginning and we have come from places of bondage and defeat. “But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the Lord your God cares for.” Can you see what that looks like for you today?

There is a land of hills and valleys ahead which means that we will have our ups and downs, we will have our days of victory and our days of weakness but what does it say? The Lord your God cares! Oh hallelujah! Can you sense the joy in the journey?

The next verse says “The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” Oh sisters our God is watching over our journey. He is watching over the land we are entering into not just today but from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

We are set up for success! We just have to allow the Lord to guide our footsteps and keep our eyes fixed and focused on Jesus! We cannot look back to our own personal Egypt because there’s no room for us there anymore. When things get hard while moving forward push through! Push through! Why? Because we are not to go back to the land of defeat and bondage. Amen?

Amen!! Hallelujah!!