friends ….

Thank you Jesus for my friends! (And my new ones in blogosphere.)

I am enjoying some morning quiet, and feel overflowing with gratitude for my friends. I have enjoyed reading the comments and encouragement that I have received from this blog – thank you so much. I was shocked. Many tears have filled my eyes reading my friends heart bearing words. Thank you Jesus!

I prayed for each of you by name. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing and loving me. I pray we can keep encouraging one another, glorifying Jesus, and journeying along God’s will for each of us.

As I read the comments this morning, I reflected on scriptures regarding friends, and I learned there are 49 verses containing the word friend in the Bible. I like to use a parallel Bible and read multiple translations, and here are the two I meditated on today:

1) Proverbs 27:9 – My Soul is refreshed!

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. (KJV)

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. (NLT)

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel. (NIV)

Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. (MSG)

2) Proverbs 27:17 – I have been sharpened!

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (KJV)

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (NIV)

You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another. (MSG)

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (NLT)

After reading these scriptures, my soul began singing one of my favorite hymns, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” I am reminded. I thanked Jesus for my earthly friends as they are gift to me from Him. However, HE really is my ultimate friend. The friend I take all my issues to first and foremost, and whom I ultimately write my blog to. He’s our most faithful friend. Do you know Him? Take a moment to read and sing these lyrics to Jesus ….

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

I pray we keep refreshing and sharpening one another. I am overwhelmed with the insight, encouragement, and advice from the comments. I plan to blog some upcoming posts of how they are working in my life.

What a friend we have in Jesus! Praise the LORD.

Have a wonderful weekend my refreshing and sharpening friends!

insanity

Over the past 20 years, I’ve done my share of weight loss programs: Weight Watchers (a few times), Trim for Life, LA Weight Loss, Atkins, South Beach, The Zone, Diabetic Pregnancy Diet, and the Christian options of Weigh Down and First Place. I’ve discovered that they all work!

Go figure, implementing and following a healthy eating plan works! I can lose pounds, I know how. However, I have never reached my goal weight. I’ve either reached a weight I am happy with or gotten pregnant. Soon after, I revert back to my habits and then fall into my pit being held tightly by my stronghold. Food draws me. In the end up in the same place – pit dwelling.

I am praying for wisdom to address my issues of the heart on this journey. I want freedom. I want to live in my Promiseland. With Jesus’ intervention and power I want to stop the cycle.

One might wonder, what program is darci on to lose weight? I have asked myself this same question many times, thinking “I just need a program!” Programs are great for weight loss, accountability, and education.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I purpose this journey to be different than the past. I must not do the same thing and expect different results. Since beginning this journey to wellness, I’ve asked the Lord for insight into my habits and insanities. I felt His strong leading to not do a program, but “do Jesus”. At this point, these are my directions….

1) Fill myself up spiritually by spending time in God’s word and praying.

2) Collect scriptures to battle. Write them on index cards and carry them with me. Speak them outloud as I battle my issues.

3) One meal at a time, make healthy choices. Implement the nutrition education I have from my many programs and the education as a Physician Assistant.  Eat minimal simple carbohydrates.  I can use my online food journal and calorie counter to help keep me on track.

4) Be active daily.

God has a different plan for each of us on our journeys. May we continue to seek His best plans for us.

What directions has HE given you?

you’re not expecting are you?

Grace, grace, grace! Tonight is my evening to extend it.

Yup, you guessed it. I should have known the words to soon follow her look of surprise as her hands gestured towards my middle. “You’re not expecting are you?”

This is a first for me. Being on the receiving end, that is. My son has asked other woman about their expanding bellies and babies on three separate occasions. As awkward as it was to have my son put both of our feet in our mouths (that’s how us mom’s feel when our kids embarrass us in public), it was worse being on the receiving end. Perhaps it was worse because there were on-listeners, I was taken by surprise, or even startled at the possibility!

I pray I did extend grace, grace, grace to my dear friend. It probably would have been better for me to be silent and use less words; however, if humor and laughter were ever needed, it was amidst this awkward conversation!

After exiting the scene, I had many thoughts. Funny, God. I twirled in front of my bathroom mirror, not agreeing with her assessment. I did have a maternity skirt still on, but she didn’t know that. My shirt was for real. The timing was interesting, as today I recommitted my wellness journey to the Lord and lived in freedom.  It has been so difficult.  I will not be stumbled …. God will use this for good.

Have you ever been the bearer, or on the receiving end of such a compliment?

My evening closes with a tiny bit of motivation. I have words of encouragement as I face tomorrow – “Don’t eat too much darci, you are looking pregnant!”

Scary. It’s good to be real. Grace, grace, grace.

the Joy of the LORD is my strength

Today I am thankful for life. I am tanked up on Jesus! I’ve seen much of His Kingdom activity this week, and for that I am blessed and feeling alive.

I just had a bout of continuous singing. Praise. It was overwhelming. Over and over as I rocked the baby, smooshing his check close to mine, and singing…

The joy of the LORD, is my strength! The joy of the Lord is my strength. The joy of the LORD is my strength … the joy of the LORD is my strength.

He gives me living water and I thirst no more! He gives me living water and I thirst no more. He gives me living water and I thirst no more…

The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

I sang, rocked, and enjoyed watching my big boys and daddy do a Friday night spelling bee. They love it. It is fun, and a result of a busy Friday. (My fellow home schoolers know that means we didn’t do our written spelling tests today! It’s good to change it up.)

I’ve lost a few more pounds, for a total of 13. I pray I never find them.

I remained faithful to myfooddiary.com this week. I went over on calories some days, but it was a result of eating out. For restaurants I think I did well. In the beginning of this journey, I was concerned I may be too legalistic about the calorie thing, and that has not happened. That’s a good thing, but it would help me lose more if I was!

The food diary is $9.00 a month, and has been a great tool. Restaurants and Wegmans are included, and all I have to do is enter the items I eat. It automatically finds the nutritional information, and I click on it, and it adds to my daily selections. (recently I learned about another site that is free and I’ll have to check it out soon, thanks april!)

This is educational on the reality of caloric summations. Today, I ordered a barbeque GRILLED chicken wrap at Red Robin, what I considered a very healthy option, and it totaled 1200 calories. That’s just crazy. I will be eating at home as much as possible.

I embrace my choices as a journey to wellness, and feel called to be picking up my mat – making choices for wellness. This includes mind, body, and soul. This week was heavy on the spirit – the utmost importance.

a PIT stop

I know the shortest distance from one place to another is a straight line. However, I have never traveled to any destination via that straight line. Air travel is as close as I have ever come, and even aviators don’t fly straight.

I don’t know why, but I’ve expected this journey of wellness to not have detours. I desire a straight line to my final destination: living in freedom from self destruction and honoring the Lord with my body – resulting in much weight loss.

I suppose journeying along the straight line to freedom would be the fastest route to my Promiseland. But I know that is not realistic, and I am definetley not on that straight line! I have been all over the map on this journey to wellness.

I am wandering about in the wilderness on my way to my Promiseland. I started this journey inside my pit of defeat. In Christ’s strength I climbed out, made choices for wellness, felt free from the grip of food and self destruction, and journied along to a 13# weight loss.

Today, I’ve made a PIT-stop. My journeying these past days have brought me back to my pit.

I am hovering over my pit. Actually, I am firmly gripping a dying root, dangling into my pit.

I look around me and recognize the wallpaper lining these walls. I’ve been here before. I don’t want to be in here. I don’t want to live like this. Yet, to be honest I desire to make these familiar choices of comfort that put me here. This seems like the easy way. It IS the easy way – self indulgence and satisfying fleshly cravings.

I can hear the voices – “You cannot live out there, it is too tough. The comfort is in here. What do you desire? Satisfy your desires. Go ahead, you deserve it. You are tiered, your back injury hurts, you’ve mothered busy today. You don’t have time or energy to exercise. You’ll never lose all the weight. You’ll just get pregnant anyway and get fat again. It’s too hard. Just curl up here, relax, and indulge.”

Where’s the voice of truth? I MUST hear it.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” Galations 5:1

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:13

“Help me Jesus! Help me chose You, life, and turn away from self indulgence. Help me not accept the lie of being defeated.” Amen.

Usually, after short bursts of living free from my stronghold, I meet temptation, and then defeat. I find myself back in the hold of sin. I’ve prayed for discernment and understanding into my behavior cycles.

Recently I’ve learned about the cycle of defeat in my Beth Moore Bible Study, Believing God.

Slavery –> Deliverance –> Testing (success and failures) –> prevailing unbelief –> slavery= The Cycle of Bondage

Slavery –> Deliverance –> Testing (success and failures) –> prevailing BELIEF –> Promiseland = The Cycle of Victory

Beth Moore says, “How we come out of the testing and defeat determines our future. It is our prevailing attitude of belief or unbelief that determines reaching our Promiseland. Everyone has success and failures. The Isrealites died in the wilderness, in their cycle of defeat. We can be saved as can be and die in our own wilderness. No one gets to their place of promise accidently”

I ate out Friday night, and ate more than I had planned. I didn’t log it. Saturday came, and I ate out again and ate more than I had planned. I didn’t log it. Sunday I awoke feeling defeated from the previous 2 days – I ate unhealthy left overs for breakfast, ate out with indulging choices for lunch, and by evening was binging. I didn’t log it. Today, I arose purposed to re-commit. I ate a good breakfast. I found myself in the midst of a stressful public situation, with two tiered babies at nap time – with a buffet of food. I munched on toddler leftovers, and hobbled to my car with back pain. I next uncessesarily snacked at the bookstore when I wasnt’ hungry – felt guilty -and then ordered chinese for dinner! Then I feel condemmed and defeated. Giving up! And now here I am blogging about it all.

A little glimpse into the life of Darci!

What happened? Where did I go wrong?

I believe it is okay to eat out. It is okay to have a treat. Yet, I went into to auto self destruction and irrational rationalizations. I admit, I barely noticed all this was happening.

In tandem I chose to miss my devotions and Bible reading for these 3 days. I did think about it, and was going to do it , but I didn’t make it a priority and therefore it didn’t happen!

I was weak and weary. I fell in my own strength.

Help me JESUS!

Next time, no matter what I eat I purpose to record it. To stop and acknowledge the facts. I also need to recognize my emptiness and fill my self with God’s word that very moment.

In the power of Christ, I desire prevailing BELIEF and Victory to my Promiseland.

May I learn from this PIT-stop. May I accept this momentary failure, and choose prevailing BELIEF.

I believe that I can succeed on this journey of wellness.

I am on a journey, not a straight line! There will be curves, bumps, and detours.

It is what I do with these failures that determines my future.