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 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.

irrational rationalizations

As I reflect on this beginning of my journey to wellness, I notice habits that I need to keep aware. I pray for the insight to understand myself more, and the strength to change my self destructive behaviors.

I had planned ahead for the chaos. I made my family dinner ahead of time, and partially prepared a yummy salad for me.

Dinner hour arrived, and somehow time crunched. Somewhere amidst the 18 month old demanding dinner, a vehicle fiasco with dead batteries and car seat issues, the baby needing to nurse, and everyone running late to our Bible studies …. my salad plans were long gone.

What am I doing???? I thought as the third cookie entered my mouth. My tummy growled, and I went into survival mode. Apparently, that means grabbing whatever to eat. I quickly checked the calories and serving size. Then, the irrational rationalizations began…

“I have enough calories left today. I am not eating dinner anyway. These cookies are small. They never have food at Bible Study, so nows my only chance. Well, I’ve already ate 4, I mind as well eat 2 more so I have 2 complete servings to enter into my food diary. I deserve it, I’ve been eating well lately. I did exercise today.”

Realizing I didn’t eat well, and might get hungry – I ate a cheese stick on the drive over. I like this thoughtful attempt to eat something healthy!

Did satan tell them I was coming and was weak and weary? As I entered the home hosting Bible study, I was greeted with the fresh smell of chocolate chip cookies!

The irrational rationalizations again …. “I already ate bad today, so I might as well enjoy these cookies!”

I ate two!

Thankfully, I did not eat the other chocolate chip cookies my husband brought home that evening as I normally would.

In hindsight, I can see the break down began at the chaos and stress. I could have easily grabbed fruit, cheese, or nuts as a dinner substitute. Instead, I chose to “let it all go” and be overcome by temptation. This was psychological, as I don’t even like the cookies I had at home!

In the past, this “slip up” would send me into a downward spiral of defeat. The cycle of sin, guilt, more poor choices and feeling defeated. One evening of poor choices would lead me to more poor choices, and before I knew it I would have days of living in defeat. Many times I’d end up controlled by my stronghold and in a pit.

Thankfully, I renewed my mind.

Romans 8:1 teaches, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

I must not be deceived into the guilt – sin cycle of self destruction.

Praise God, I started afresh the next day.

“Lord, I ask for discernment to notice these irrational rationalizations. When I slip up, as I know will happen, I purpose in Christ’s strength to start the next moment anew and recommit to my journey of wellness.

fellowship, not food

Which deserves my focus – fellowship or food?

In planning a much anticipated meeting with a new friend, I was asked to make the arrangements.

My thought pattern shocked me…

“What restaurant do I want to go to? This is a great opportunity to EAT what I desire. How can I arrange the seating arrangements we need, and make that work at the restaurant I want to eat at?”

When I realized she didn’t want to eat dinner, but just meat with me – I was disappointed. When I decided that I would still meet her, but would also not eat, I was upset. I could NOT go to my favorite place and just not eat?!?

I was anticipating the food more than the person I was meeting. And, this person was someone I had prayed for 2 months to be able to meet!

I don’t think is normal, but I do this all the time. Anyone else?

Life isn’t about food – it’s about Jesus and loving people.

Fellowship deserves my focus, not food.

I pray for continued insight into my strange behaviors and prominence I give to food.

I am beautiful

Often, God speaks to me in themes. I need repetition to “get it”. The topic of “beauty”, keeps arising all around me! This has caused me to reflect….

I feel beautiful. I believe I am beautiful. I guess this is a good thing. I don’t really focus on beauty, think about it much, look in the mirror often, and can go an entire day without even brushing my hair and tending to my “beauty” (well, until my hubby comes home). My point is, I am not overly concerned with the topic.

Recently when conversing with a friend about weight issues, she commented that her personal self confidence and image are in direct correlation to her weight.

I could not relate to her feelings. I responded, “I think I am 50# lighter than I really am. When I look in the mirror, I can’t even believe that it is me!”

Our wonderful conversation reminded me that our sins and “food issues” have different affects on our personhood.

I don’t feel that my personal confidence or worth has waivered in correlation to my weight gain and lack of wellness. I am thankful for that. The one negative thought I do have is I feel less “sexy” for my hubby. He assures me I am sexy, for that I am grateful. However I’d like to be “more sexy” for him:).

I’ve been pondering…. what makes me beautiful? What does GOD think is beautiful?

I have realized there is a difference between feeling beautiful vs knowing “I am beautiful” because of who I am in Christ, vs. thinking I am beautiful.

I believe underneath it all I do think I am beautiful and know I am beautiful in Christ. Yet, I admit, I do not always feel beautiful… perhaps this has some affect on my entering into self-destructive choices in the area of wellness?

It has been great to renew my mind with His truths.

Psalm 139 speaks that we are each “fearfully and wonderfully made”. We are individually created in God’s image, and He is King of Kings. We are royalty, bought with the precious blood of Jesus. We are princesses, and we should act like one!

See my post, FREEDOM for yesterdays thoughts, and visit my dear friend Melissa Taylor’s blog I am beautiful for more information and encouragement.

Be still, and reflect on your beauty!

What makes you beautiful?

We are beautiful!!! …. thank you JESUS!