Tuesday, January 12, 2010
See, I am doing a new thing!
January ushers in second chances, new changes, and fresh starts. I love January as much as I love slipping into fresh, clean sheets or writing on a blank sheet of paper. Changes make some people uncomfortable, but I thrive on them. Others avoid new beginnings, but I welcome the adventure.
As January approaches, I begin cleaning and organizing closets, drawers, and desks. I seek God for his direction and plan as I make goals for a new year. January is an opportunity to continue in what is already blessed, prune what lacks fruit, and begin new things. I take a fresh sweep through my life, scoop up the crumbs into a dustpan, and start the new year with a shiny, clean floor, so to speak.
On the other hand, challenges accompany change, and frustration or discouragement can be a new-beginning’s shadow. Learning a new habit or skill is not easy. Often, we notice someone who has excelled in a particular field and take for granted they have always been on top. Without witnessing their rise to the top, perhaps we think they “arrived” at their specialty.
For example, drama school dismissed Lucille Ball for being too shy to put her best foot forward. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. And, a teacher told Thomas Edison he was too stupid to learn anything. They achieved success through hard work, diligence, and practice. For these infamous people, as well as you and me, we experience days of physical and emotional triumph and days of discouragement in our quest to excel.
What is your new endeavor? What new thing is God doing in your life? My new adventure this year includes the role of Christian Authors Guild's WAVE Editor and a diet free of gluten, sugar, and yeast. In the eyes of society, I am not famous. However, we are famous in the eyes of Jesus, our Savior. He desires that we succeed and excel, with our eyes fixed on him, through hard work, practice, and perseverance. Embrace your second chances, new changes, and fresh starts.
God is doing a new thing!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I'm not much of a girlie girl, choosing not to spend the money, or the time, and not having the fashion sense to get dolled up. But, my red cross necklace was an infrequent splurge and made me feel pretty. In front of my mirror with necklace in both hands ready to clasp behind my neck, I heard God speak to my heart and ask me to give away my necklace. I paused. I sighed. I looked at my reflection with one eye brow cocked wondering what God was doing. I returned the necklace to its place, told God we would talk about this later, and went to church without my special girlie adornment.
My conversation with God in the car sounded something like this: "God, it's my favorite necklace. And you know I don't have that many anyway. It's the only piece of jewelry that matches my red blouse."
I would like to say I immediately obeyed, but I argued with God for two weeks while he patiently waited for me to surrender. A missionary friend traveling to Peru requested jewelry donations as gifts for the Pastor's wives. So, I donated my favorite red cross necklace to an unknown Peruvian 'princess' whom God wanted to bless.
Another seemingly ordinary Sunday arrived. Again, I stood in front of my mirror adding final touches before leaving for church. With an earring in one hand and the back in the other, I started to put them into my ears...then God stopped me. It seems I conveniently forgot my prized necklace had matching earrings. Again, I reasoned with God, "Whoever, gets my necklace probably doesn't have pierced ears and won't be able to wear these."
This time, I surrendered more quickly, and with less of a fight, and donated the matching earrings to my missionary friend.
What is God asking you to give up? This time for me, it was a prided necklace. But, maybe He is asking you to give up an unhealthy friendship, or sugary sweets, or a television show. God is asking us to surrender someone or something because He loves us and wants to enrichen our lives, not because He wants to take things away. When we surrender, God will usher in something better.
I purchased another necklace, but this time I thanked God for letting me borrow it until He asks me to give it away.
Today, hear His voice, obey, then trust God.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I am not a born and bred Southern girl, but I have been adopted as one after living in Georgia for 13 years. Not only that, but I have just spent an entire weekend in North Carolina with 600 other women at the She Speaks conference. Being in the company of so many Southern women, amid sweet tea and humidity, I became more in touch with my own inner Southern woman. So for the purposes of this post, y'all, I will ooze southern drawl.
What does all this have to do with resisting tempting foods? It all started with the Krispy Kreme chocolate covered donut on Sunday morning. With hormone imbalance and nervous energy, those donuts were calling my name y'all. After all, I had been a good girl for most of the weekend. I left food on my plate at every meal (sorry mama!), I didn't eat late at night, and I had made good food choices over the past three days of travel. So, one donut wasn't gonna hurt, and I deserved it after a long weekend improving myself at a conference.
Then...on the drive home we stopped for lunch. The menu boasted a yummy picture of peach cobbler. PEACH COBBLER, Y'ALL! I would be a good girl and order a salad for lunch, so I could save tummy room for yummy peach cobbler. PEACH COBBLER Y'ALL! This was a special occasion, and I can't remember the last time I ate peach cobbler.
The cobbler tasted good, but not great. Did you know...have you learned yet, the picture is never as good as the real food? A few years ago, I watched a food photo shoot and learned their tricks to make the food look so delicious. The picture is a fake, y'all. And, so were all my justifications for having that big bowl of peach cobbler.
What is real are the feelings of guilt and remorse on Monday morning. What is real is the one pound I'm fixin' to lose this week during exercise. Can I enjoy a treat on occasion? Yes, but this was not one of those times and my continual justifications should have been my clue. Stopping Sunday morning with the donut would have qualified as enjoying an occasional treat without guilt. But, I over indulged on the cobbler.
To resist tempting foods:
Know your boundaries (look away and walk away). This takes time and practice.
Recognize self-talk justifications convincing you of deserving a treat.
Use scripture to battle temptation.
Now, I press on. Come with me. We can do this together. This week, choose food wisely, study scripture, and resist tempting situations. Comment and share your victories and defeats.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
How do you travel to unfamiliar locations? Some people use a GPS like Garmin and others use a map search engine like Google maps. If you are old-school, you refer to an atlas. It would be silly to get in your car and start driving without clear directions to your new destination. This would leave you wandering aimlessly with little chance of arriving where you intended.
If you are a parent of a young child, Dora the Explorer's familiar question sings in your head, "Who do we ask when we don't know which way to go?" That's right, the map!
Each day is unchartered territory unless you are stuck in the movie Ground Hog Day. Without clear direction, our days often lack focus leaving us wandering aimlessly unable to be fully productive. I recently felt this way when the afternoon rolled around and I had gotten little accomplished - me and my children had eaten breakfast, gotten dressed and I checked my email. Some days, it's acceptable to be foot loose and fancy free, but this was not one of those days. I had a list to cross off, deadlines to meet, and no time to waste.
As I stood outside watching my kids play, I asked myself, "How did the day get away from me?" Then I realized, I had started my day without consulting my map - God.
Psalm 5:3 says:
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Seeking God upon waking helps my day run more smooth, makes me more productive, and gives me peace that God is in control and what doesn't get accomplished, wasn't meant to be. If you aren't a morning person (like me), make your prayer simple and sweet. Longer conversations with God and reading the Bible can wait until we are fully awake.
If you have a habit of starting your day without God, this week I encourage you to surrender your day as soon as you roll out of bed when your feet hit the ground, while you are brushing your teeth, or during your shower. Thank God for your new day, praise Him for who He is and what He does, then wait in expectation until you arrive at the end of your day to count your blessings.
Friday, June 19, 2009
While reading Eating Well magazine, I noticed an interesting article relating to my last post about food addiction and overeating. David A. Kessler, M.D., author of The End of Overeating, explains the reasons behind the American diet, how the food industry manipulates our senses and choices about food, and how to break free from the vicious cycle of unhealthy eating. I have not read the book, only the article and watched a video on Amazon.com, but it appears to clinically and scientifically illuminate and expose the reason we are compelled to eat the way we do. This book, however, seems to ignore the spiritual element, but his research and findings make it even more clear to me how the enemy uses food against us.
A three-pronged approach to battling food issues is most effective. First, it’s important to be knowledgeable of the physical body, understand the way your body processes food, and how food companies can manipulate your desire for food. Dr. Kessler’s book seems to effectively tackle these realities in his book.
Second, changing your mindset and your behavior is crucial to overcome food issues. Change your mindset by letting food be your slave rather than you being a slave to food. Does food occupy your thoughts? Are you constantly drawn to unhealthy snacks and sweets? Food is your fuel, not your friend. Behavior modification is necessary to either, remove you from a tempting situation, or change your habits and hang-ups with food. For instance, stay out of the junk and snack food aisle at the grocery store. Will not buying a bag of chips really kill you? By the way, warn your children changes are coming to your household. This lowers the amount of confrontation with whining children.
Finally, and most importantly, is prayer. God wants you to have a healthy relationship with food. He is your biggest cheerleader. Trust Him to help you by finding scripture on which to meditate that counteracts the darts of the devil. Jesus, tempted by Satan with food, used His Word to battle, so how much more so will we be tempted and overcome in this same regard. Food is not the answer to our crummy day; Jesus provides us comfort through his word, through the listening ear and reassuring voice of a friend, or through a therapeutic hobby, for instance. My favorite scripture is John 4:34, “My food,” said Jesus “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” Find a scripture, which speaks to your need, and use it when the enemy tempts you.
Be proactive and take charge of your eating with three simple, but challenging tasks:
1.. Be aware what you choose to eat and why you choose to eat and pay attention to hunger cues. Are you eating when you are hungry, sad, excited, etc.
2. Keep away from tempting situations for now. Stay out of the sweet or baking, or snack food aisle at the grocery store, for example.
3. Find a scripture and meditate on it daily, especially in tempting situations.
Share with me your stories of triumph or tragedy related to food. I love to hear from you.
God Bless,Theresa Anderson
Thursday, June 11, 2009
For those of you not familiar with Proverbs 31 Ministries, let me introduce you. They have an awesome online daily devotion and today's devotion inspired me to leave a comment. Read today's devotion titled Honestly by Lysa Terkeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and fearless leader to many great ladies on the Proverbs 31 team. I discovered these women to be gracious and giving with the servant heart of Jesus. Please visit their website and today's devotion by clicking here.
I have also copied my comment below which gives a glimpse of my own tale of honestly, related to Lysa's devotion.
Thank you for your honesty, transparency and courage to post your own spiritual and physical struggles. For several years, I experienced the roller coaster weight problems and spiritual convictions associated with food addiction. There, I said it - addiction. Some food, like ooyey, gooyey brownies and warm chocolate chip cookies call my name and compel me to eat them, until they are gone. I'm going to eat them anyway, why not get it over with a little quicker.
Today, by the Grace of God, I am back on track. However, with every meal, I need to make a decision and when wise choices prevail, I praise the Lord. Yesterday, my children and I ate at Moe's (welcome to Moe's!). My daughter ordered a kid's meal which came with a cookie. My son, who didn't get the kid's meal, was not happy and cried big tears to guilt his sister into sharing. After hearing his repeated pleas for that cookie, I decided to let my daughter enjoy her cookie all by herself while my son and I watched. Cruel, some would say, but I told my son - who also derives much pleasure from food at 7 years old - it is good for our character to resist the urge to eat every sweet which looks good. I am happy to say, my son and I both survived without eating the cookie and my daughter enjoyed the entire portion.
Another recent victory came when a plate of chips were placed smack dab in front of my face during an entire meal with friends. I, without guilt, enjoyed 3 or 4 chips then was able to say, "no more and you wimpy chips have no power over me!"
I will revel in the victories my Good Lord gives me until I stand on top of a mountain of victories and look down upon the valley of chips, brownies, and donuts which I willingly denied through the power of Christ!
God Bless You Lysa,