Chapter 6 Reflection Questions: Made To Crave

Today’s Bible Study reflection for M2C is deep.  Here is a link to it so you all can enjoy it as well:  Close is a Choice

Chapter 6 Reflection Questions:

 What is your response to the idea that we grow closer to God when we deny ourselves something that is permissible but not beneficial?  Have you ever had an experience of denying yourself that helped you to grow closer to God?  Do you believe this could be true for you in your battle with food?

 

Oh yes.  A number of years ago, after I was divorced, I started dating…a lot.  Now, I was doing things that were NOT permissible, but dating in and of itself is permissible.  After about a year of this, God prompted me to go to a different church.  After being in a Bible study there for four months, God prompted me to give up dating for Lent.  The time I was spending going out and having fun now became my time in the Word, time with the Lord.  He cleansed me of so much in that short period of time, and revealed so much of Satan’s lies as well!  So, the day after Easter that year, I went on one coffee date.  I didn’t really date again until I met my husband.  I had time to be involved in a number of Bible studies!  It was so refreshing, encouraging, revealing…  This entire period of time was about 3 years.  Actually, I met Brandon almost exactly 3 years after that Lenten season began.  Amazing, huh?  God really took that time and revealed to me His plan in my life, and in the life of the man I was to ultimately marry.

I never thought about trying this with food.  I know there are many benefits to “denying myself sweets,” especially as a type 1 diabetic.  I never thought about it from a spiritual perspective though.

 

The apostle Paul lists self-control among the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).  Are there areas of life in which you experience self-control and feel that your self-discipline and wise choices honor God?  For example, in your spending decisions or how you manage your time?  What insights about your strengths in those areas might help you to honor God and grow in self-control with your food choices?

Self-Control is an area I keep praying about!  I am praying for the Lord to cultivate the fruit of Self-Control in many areas of my life.  You know how people say “Don’t pray for patience!  The Lord will just bring you opportunities in which you HAVE to be patient, and you just end up impatient!”  Yeah, the same is true for Self-Control.  He is bringing me opportunities to exercise self-control, and I have failed time and time again.  Eventually, I will turn to the Lord’s strength and He will guide me through.  I have to remember that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5-6)

 

Have you ever had the experience of the Holy Spirit nudging you in connection with your food choices?  If so, what was that like?  If not, how do you hope the Holy Spirit might help you now?

I have not experienced this, though He has nudged me about people, events, which church to attend…but I have not even thought about listening for that still, small voice when it comes to food, or when I randomly open the fridge for no reason.  Yeah, you all know what I am talking about there.  Seriously though, I want to start praying before I begin cooking, before I meal plan for the week, before I go grocery shopping and pass the candy bars at the check out counter, before I put food on my plate.  “Lord, give me your wisdom in my food choices. Give me your strength as the fruit of Self-Control grows in my life.”

 

As Christians, our calling—and our sources of spiritual nourishment—is to do God’s will and finish His work (John 4:34).  To what degree have consuming thoughts about food impacted your ability to pursue your calling and receive spiritual nourishment?

One area I can think of is when I am overly emotional or stressed and am eating emotionally.  Instead of opening the Bible and immersing myself in His Word, I open a bag of pretzels or devour three bowls of cereal.  Stress-eating has been a battle fought for a long time.  Victory will come.  Each day brings me a little more victory in this area.  Blogging about my faith and health journey has helped me avoid food and focus on what the Lord is doing in my life.  He has led me to amazing passages of scripture during this past two weeks alone!

 

Would you say you are spiritually well-fed, spiritually malnourished, or somewhere in between?  Have you tried to use food to satisfy your feelings of spiritual hunger?  What was the result?

At the moment, I’d say I am being fed.  Of course, I am fed because I am choosing to be in the Word.  I’ve been writing children’s devotionals for my church, writing 5 days’ worth of devotions at a time.  I am doing this study, and about to begin Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss with my women’s Bible study at church.  This is causing me to reflect on God’s Word more and more, and seeking to understand at a deeper level so that I can share these truths with children ages 1 to 12.  Wow, it just hit me:  I am fed because I choose to be in the Word.  I choose.  God, you have brought me here to give me choices, and I choose YOU.

 

If we find certain foods impossible to walk away from, this is a clue that we are being ruled by food on some level.  Are there foods you can’t or won’t deny yourself in order to make a healthier choice?  Why are these foods especially important to you?  What thoughts and feelings arise when you think about potentially giving them up?

I struggle with sweets.  I think it is a defiance thing, being diabetic and all.  For the longest time, I could not have ANY sweets.  So I began to sneak them when I was younger (I have been diabetic since the age of 6).  And they were sooooo good!!!!!  So I continued to eat them in secret.  Now, I eat them openly.  I think that being told I am NOT ALLOWED to eat something really backfired on my psyche.  Now, I crave it, because it is “forbidden.”

This calls for a mindset change.  I have to remember that no food is forbidden.  I like the “permissible but not beneficial” statement.  I think if the Lord can help me wrap my brain around sweets as “permissible but not beneficial,” I will have more confidence in turning away and drinking water or tea instead, or having an apple instead of a snickers bar.

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STRESS!!!! (Reflections on Diabetes Burnout Ch 16 and Made to Crave Ch 15)

Oh, lots of truth in today’s readings!

I’ll start with Diabetes Burnout.  Chapter 16 talks about the possible correlation between stress management and glucose levels.  I didn’t even need to do the exercises to know that I fall into the category where my glucose levels rise when I am stressed.  How do I know this?  I have LIVED it!  For as long as I can remember, I have been an emotional eater.  This is another reason I am doing the Made To Crave study also.  As I face the trials of life and feel overwhelmed, I escape with a lengthy series of novels (last time it was Karen Kingsbury’s 2-series sets about the Baxter Family (15 books total!)) and a bag of pretzels, cookies, ice cream, 24-pack of Diet Coke…you get the picture.  I live in a fantasy world and eat my way through each novel.  I cry, I laugh, I become the characters I read.

So, my default coping mechanism is to escape and ignore, stuffing my face in the process.

I have since learned this is NOT the best set of coping skills to have, and have been building my Toolbox of Coping Skills while I have been in and out of counseling the last 13 years.  I write.  This blog has been AWESOME in helping me get control of my thoughts and process what I am reading, experiencing, and learning.  I talk.  My husband is an amazing listener.  I am a blessed woman.  Thank you, Lord, for preparing my husband for this!  I am on medication (Sertraline, the generic for Zoloft).

There are more tools I would like to add to my toolbox, like walking, swimming, playing tennis or badminton (activities I actually enjoy), and am looking forward to warmer weather so I can put these into practice!

Polonsky recommends the following strategies for overcoming stress (pg 177).  All, some, or none may work for you.  Again, we all have to build our own toolbox of coping skills.

  1. Begin a regular exercise program
  2. Make a friend (or more!)
  3. Take a break every day (Polonsky recommends a form of meditation.  Bible study works for me)
  4. Challenge your automatic way of thinking about stress (For me, Kara, this means not falling into Shut-Down mode…)
  5. Avoid dangerous approaches to stress management (drugs and alcohol).  Yep, tried the alcohol route in my early 20’s.  Not a good idea, people!

Made To Crave‘s chapter 15 (The Demon in the Chips Poster) is about fighting temptations.  Lysa starts with this common excuse:  “If no one sees you then the calories don’t count, right?”  On page 115, she takes it deeper:  “Remember, this isn’t just a battle in the physical and mental realm.  This battle is spiritual as well.  Satan wants us to sneak things in secret.  Things hidden and done in secret clues the father of darkness into our weaknesses and opens the door for him to assault us with targeted schemes.  That’s why Paul wrote, ‘Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’ (Ephesians 6:10-11)”

Lysa quotes Chip Ingram on page 115 as well, and I have to share this.  It hits home for sure!  In referring to the word “schemes”:  “That means our temptations are not random.  The false perspectives we encounter do not come at us haphazardly.  The lies we hear, the conflicts we have with others, the cravings that consume us when we are at our weakest points–they are all part of a plan to make us casualties in the invisible war.  They are organized, below-the-belt assaults designed to neutralize the very people God has filled with his awesome power.”

Intense, right?  It does not matter what we crave.  It is a temptation from the enemy to draw us away from God.  James 4:6-10 says, But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”  Another passage says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found.” (Isaiah 55:6)  It takes self-control and the Lord’s strength to keep our eyes focused on Him and to not the things of this world.  Romans 12:1-2 summarizes this:  “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

One other thing that Lysa address in this chapter that is very important for me to remember is the purpose of BOUNDARIES.  Why do we have boundaries?  This is something non-Christians and those who have fallen away from the faith struggle with, I think…just from my perspective…But here’s the point:  boundaries or rules sometimes make us feel “trapped” or “limited.”  When we are confined within boundaries, we can’t have any fun.  Is this a true statement?

I’ve been reflecting on boundaries a lot over the last decade.  I have pushed the boundaries A LOT in my walk with the Lord.  I am going to make a big confession here:  for the longest time I struggled with my self-worth, and thought I had to be physically loved in order to feel loved and accepted.  I was afraid that once I was in a relationship with a man, I wouldn’t be loved unless I did everything he wanted.  Didn’t matter my stance on it.  I was afraid to be alone.  So, I gave into sexual temptation at the young age of 19.   Yes, I waited until I was 19.  This physical act got me so twisted up inside that I began to CRAVE sex.  It became the only way I felt acceptable or loved by someone.  This was all lies from the enemy.  What really happened in my soul is the downward spiral into depression, fear, and even more loneliness than I felt before sex.  I had to break this cycle.  Eventually, the Lord brought me to my knees, and gave me an opportunity to draw near to Him, to be in His presence, and to find grace and redemption in HIS arms.  This began shortly after I started attending First Presbyterian Church.  Here, the Lord spoke to my heart, giving more opportunities to dive into His Word, to confess my sins and struggles, to walk alongside supportive people.  This journey began in September of 2008.  By January, the Lord led me to give up dating for Lent.  Yes, dating.  The time I spent dancing, drinking, talking to men (or doing other things), I spent with the Lord.  He led me through multiple Bible studies during this time period:  He is My Freedom, Seeking Him, and Lady In Waiting.  He really started pulling the weeds from my heart!  After Easter that year, I went on one coffee date, then decided I needed more time.  It was almost 3 years later before I met this great guy online, and he and I got married just over a year later!  God is so good!  He gave me the promise that the next man HE brought into my life would be the man I married.  Now, had I listened to God from the get-go at age 19, I never would have married and divorced by the age of 26.  Live and learn!

The point here is this:  Boundaries are not all bad.  Boundaries actually can keep us safe, protected, loved.  The Lord sets the limitations He does to protect our hearts and souls from the enemy.  All those “laws” in Leviticus:  yeah, it keeps food clean and unspoiled, keeps mold off the walls, keeps the home and heart pure.  The enemy likes to convince us that “boundaries” means “jail” and “restriction.”  These are lies!

The enemy goes beyond food cravings though (yes, even Eve had her own battles with food, thus the fall of man in the Garden of Eden).  We can crave more than food.  What are YOU craving?  What does that craving say about your walk with the Lord?  I fight my cravings:  food (sweets, definitely NOT good for the diabetic), crime shows, sleep…And my walk with the Lord has its ups and downs.  I am far from perfect.  And the Lord continues to work on my heart.  Lord, my flesh is weak, but my spirit is willing!  Let Your Spirit fill my heart, mind, and soul!

I refuse!

 

Listen to the lyrics of this song!  So powerful!  The last third of the song in particular hit me pretty strongly while I was driving yesterday:

I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I refuse
I refuse

It reminded me of yesterday’s Made To Crave Bible Study lesson:  #Overruled!  No excuse!  Just do this!  Dive into the presence of the Lord, and let HIS strength transform my life!  I am not meant to do this alone.  Only with Him.  Philippians 4:10-13  “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  (Emphasis added)

Thank you, Josh Wilson, for sharing this song and speaking truth into my life!  Thank you, Proverbs 31 Ministries, Online Bible Study for giving me something to help make these spiritual connections in my life.  Praise the Lord for inspiring you all and inspiring us to lean on Him!

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
 It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.

1 Peter 5:7-8a: Blog Hop for Made To Crave

Let’s start by reading this passage in a variety of translations:

NRSV:  Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert.

ESV:  …casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful.

HCSB:  casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.Be serious! Be alert!

 

This is a verse I have reflected on for a while now.  Verse 7 was a memory verse for a vacation bible school I taught one year, and it just stuck with me.  Here’s why:  when I think about casting my cares upon the Lord, the image I have is that of standing on a pier with a fishing rod in hand, getting ready to cast my hook loaded with all my cares, burdens, anxieties upon it.  The hook flies through the air and there is a large “splash!” where my burdens hit the surface of the water beneath the throne of my God.  Seems simple enough, right?  And then…I begin to reel it all back in.  I still have the rod in my hands, and I turn the knob that pulls the line closer and closer and closer…

Over the years, I realized that to cast my cares upon the Lord, I have to throw the whole rod in the lake too.  I can’t just cast and reel back in.  I have to fully let go!  So often we do that, cast our cares before the Lord only to pick them back up again before we move forward.  Then we find ourselves stuck because of our heavy burdens.

Next, I have to remember that God truly does CARE FOR ME.  In all the hurt, the disease, the death, the grief, the uncertainty I have faced in my life, God has brought me this far.  Each trial I encounter I learn through the process that God is preparing me.  He is demonstrating His power in my weaknesses.  He has filled my life at just the right moments with people to love and embrace me physically all while He embraces my soul.  I like to reflect back and describe what I see now as God’s safety net.  Each time I feel myself falling, in time I am able to see God’s hand catch me.  He lets me fall, and He catches me before all is lost.  Even in pain and suffering, I can see that God truly does care for me.

Verse 8 is one I used to read to my students when I taught in the Christian school.   Be SELF-CONTROLLED!  I taught middle school students.  🙂 They did not like to be self-controlled.  But, they would listen when I read scripture to them.  I have this little booklet of lists of verses about each of the fruit of the Spirit, and this was #1 under SELF-CONTROL.  Sober-minded, alert, serious, disciplined.  All these fall into the self-controlled category.  And I also struggle with self-control.

So I often read the verses in this little booklet about self-control.  Here are a few more:

2 Timothy 1:7  God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.

1 Peter 4:7  Be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Titus 2:11-12  The grace of God that brings salvation…teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

1 Peter 1: 13-15  Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled ; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as He who called you is Holy, so be holy in all you do.

Self-Control is a FRUIT of the Spirit.  For it to grow and ripen in our hearts and lives, we must spend TIME in the Spirit.  God desires us to be in fellowship with Him, and as we are, the fruits of His Spirit, of His Love, will grow in our hearts and souls.  This is not an immediate process.  Just as our health is not immediate:  it is a process.  This is a life-long journey to spiritual and physical health and wholeness.

Lord, I praise You for Your sovereignty.  In the darkest moments in my life, You are there.  In the most joyous of moments, You are there.  You are a mighty fortress, a place of refuge.  Thank you.  As I continue on this journey to cleanse this temple of Yours, may your Spirit guide me.  Greatest of gardeners, cultivate Your fruit in my life.  I ask for self-control, for peace, for JOY to fill me as I fight cravings for food, television, sleep, anything that is not worthy of YOU.  I seek Your wisdom as I continue this journey.  Guide me steps, Lord Jesus.  Amen.

P31 OBS Blog Hop

This link takes you to the thoughts of others as they reflect on this week’s journey through 1 Peter 5:7-8a, through #Determination, through breakthroughs and identity revelations.

My heart is saddened…

There is a news article circulating around my hometown about an 11-yr old boy who died from a gunshot wound.  The authorities suspect it was suicide, with bullying as a main factor in the situation.  My heart breaks!

First, bullying is no laughing matter.  People respond in different ways, and the issues stemming from bullying will manifest at various times throughout our lifetimes.  We need to be reminded, and teach our young people, that our actions and words have consequences.  Matt 22:36-40 says:   “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Whether one is a follower of Christ or not, the second part of this passage is common sense:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Later in scripture, the question, “Who is my neighbor?” is answered.  Everyone.  Flat out, any one you encounter is your neighbor.  Does not matter race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Second, suicide is not something from which we can hide.  I guarantee you know someone who has been struggling with suicidal thoughts or who has lost someone they love to suicide.  Don’t be afraid to talk about this serious issue!  Talk to your children.  Talk to each other.  If you are someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts, ask for help!  I promise, you are not alone in the struggles.  I also have battled suicidal thoughts, depression, and the loss of a loved one to suicide.  My suicidal thoughts began back when I was in 8th grade (1993-1994), and I have battled them on and off over the years.  Through counseling, journaling, rediscovering my faith, finding some amazing friends, and taking medication (I just started taking antidepressants again for the 5th time…), I am making it through.  In the journey through grief, I find that there are still turbulent times even after 13 years after my sister passed away.  Just as surprising to me though is the fact that I find moments of peace on this grief journey as well.  I can’t tell you which bothers me more, however.  Sometimes, when I feel at peace, I battle a feeling of guilt.  I know there is no reason to feel guilty, and that is part of the struggle.

Thus, I talk about it.  That is one of the tools in my toolbox of sanity that I utilize often.  That is something I learned through counseling.  Truly, I highly recommend it!

If you are struggling, please, ask for help.  If you don’t know where to begin, start here:  Suicide Prevention Services.  If you know someone struggling, reach out and share the information.

No matter how young or how old we are, it is ok to ask for help.  It is ok to struggle.  It is ok to talk about it.  You are worth it.  Press on.

M2C assignment for Jan 28, 2014

As I have already read much of Made To Crave, some of the following post is from an older blog post.  But, there is new information woven in, so enjoy the post!

 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Make a list of excuses you have been giving yourself for not making healthy choices. Then OVERRULE them with truth and a solution.
1. Excuse: I am too tired. Overruled: do it anyway. Get up. Go to bed earlier if needed. Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
2. Excuse: I hate to exercise. Overruled: I am always telling my son, “There will be foods I ask you to eat that you don’t like. There will be foods I ask you to eat that you absolutely love. I need to eat what I give you. You don’t always get what you love.” I think I need to say the same thing to myself about activity levels.  It is good for me, it is healthy, and even though I don’t like it, I should do it anyway. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 says “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. [emphasis mine]”
3. Excuse: I have to take care of Zander first. Overruled: If I am not healthy, how can I care for my son? I have to get my health in order so that I can BE here for him. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Reflecting on Chapter 5: Made to Crave
Psalm 139 reminds me that God created me. Starting at verse 13:
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
God knows my days, ALL of them.
Lysa TerKeurst writes that in the face of temptation, she is reminded of these words: “You were made for more than this.” She whispers them over and over to herself, and finds the strength to overcome temptation, as small or as mighty as that temptation might be. Temptations of food seem petty as compared to sexual temptations, or drugs, but still temptation. His Word promises us, “13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor 10:13)
Paul writes in Ephesians 1:15-23 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
I quote this because Lysa uses it as a guideline for facing and overcoming temptation:
1. Be Persistent: “I do not cease to give thanks…” Don’t be afraid to ask God to join us in this journey! He never intended for us to walk alone. He created us to be IN COMMUNITY! We walk alongside each other, and He wants us to walk alongside Him as well.
2. Embrace a True Identity: Truth is, WE ARE HIS CHILDREN! Claim that! Own it! HE created us! He knit each and every one of us together in our mothers’ wombs. He IS our Glorious Father! Our past does not define us. Illnesses we have do not define us. Our identity is in CHRIST ALONE! Give to Him all the baggage that you have from past and present, from broken relationships, from illness, fatigue, and burnout. He can transform us, and create opportunities to heal, to bless others through our own pain. Look up and reflect on these verses that Lysa shares: Romans 3:24, Romans 8:1-2, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 1:4, Ephesians 2:13, Ephesians 3:12, Romans 8:37.
Reflection Question #4 really got me thinking:
Take a moment to review the following list of statements, inserting your name before each one. How does this understanding of how God sees you impact the circumstance-based view of your identity you listed in response to question 3?
• Kara, the forgiven child of God (Romans 3:24)
• Kara, the set-free child of God (Romans 8:1-2)
• Kara, the accepted child of God (1 Corinthians 1:2)
• Kara, the holy child of God (1 Corinthians 1:30)
• Kara, the made-new child of God (2 Corinthians 5:17)
• Kara, the loved child of God (Ephesians 1:4)
• Kara, the close child of God (Ephesians 2:13)
• Kara, the confident child of God (Ephesians 3:12)
• Kara, the victorious child of God (Romans 8:37)
This teaches me much about being an Overcomer! I am not defined by what I see, what others see, in me, The Lord alone transforms me, and each obstacle I face is another opportunity to allow the Potter to do His thing. He shapes me and molds me, He removed the impurities and strengthens and reinforces the clay in His hands. I am the clay. I am HIS CREATION, and He has written ALL of my days. I proclaim victory over the doubt, the depression, the history because I know He renews me every day. This mindset is a work in progress, and I know I will have to be reminded of it often. And I trust that God will whisper these truths to me daily. I know without my past, I would not be who I am today. That is only true because of who God is, and what He has done in my life. To God be the glory!

Lysa writes, “I was made to be set free, holy, new, loved, and confident. Because of this, I can’t allow myself to partake in anything that negates my true identity…The truth of my identity as a child of God empowers me to believe that living in victory tastes sweeter than any unhealthy delicacy.” (pg 40)
3. Find the Deeper Reason: everything we do draws us closer to HIM. “So that we may know him better” gives purpose to our training, to our discipline.
4. Discover a Hope and Power Like No Other: Pray that our hearts and eyes will be open. Open to the truth that we do not walk this path alone, to the truth that in our weakness, His power is made perfect. I reflect a lot on 2 Corinthians 12. We really cannot do this alone. I am not strong enough to stand up to the taunting of temptation. But my Savior is! He BEAT Temptation with a STICK! A cross, a grave, and a CONQUERING of DEATH! So I will cling to Him in this journey, and proclaim His Power!
I was made for more. I was made to be in the throne room of the King of Kings!
Now, for Body By Buck: I printed it. I am reading through it and highlighting those things that speak to my heart. Some of those things are You’ll have more energy and You’ll feel great. I need more energy and I know in the LONG RUN, I will feel great. I need to get through the SHORT TERM in order to cling to this truth. Pray for me that I press on toward the goal!

 

♥••*´¨`*•.☆• LetsDoThisTogether •☆.•*´¨`*••♥

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Reflecting on my reading: Chapter 15 Diabetes Burnout, Chapter 14 Made To Crave

In Diabetes Burnout Chapter 15, we read about working with our healthcare team.  I am in the midst of rebuilding my healthcare team, since we moved three hours south of where I had been going.  I am sad about that, because I had a great team!  So far, I like my new Ophthalmologist, though I had been seeing Dr. Kekish since I was 12!  I’ll miss her terribly!  I miss Dr. Karas, my endocrinologist, as well.  My new endocrinologist I meet February 6th, so we will see how that goes. I’ll get to put into practice what I read in Chapter 15!  🙂

I’ll be writing an outline of what I want to cover in my appointment, as suggested by the author of Diabetes Burnout.  Here is the generic framework, as outlined on page 168.  I am also filling in my issues and questions.

Dear Doctor,

During our brief visit today, I would like to cover the following issues with you:

Information that I need to share with you:     I have been struggling with diabetes burnout for a while.  I was able to get my levels under control while pregnant, but have been struggling again since the birth of my son.  I am taking steps to address this, like reading Diabetes Burnout and seeking accountability in monitoring my glucose levels.  I noticed a series of overnight lows, so I backed 1 unit off each of my Lantus injections every 12 hours.  I am also looking for dietary suggestions as I am struggling with my weight and have been for years.

Significant Diabetes-related problems that I am facing:  My A1C level is too high right now (8.8 on January 8).  I struggle with glucose monitoring, and struggle even more with recording the data.  I am also being monitored for possible glaucoma.  My pressures are elevated, but I do have thick corneas.  The Ophthalmologist is running tests again in July at my next appointment.

Self-care solutions that I am considering (regarding the issues in B.):  I am working on monitoring my glucose levels better, and still need to work on recording my data.  I did find an app for my phone, and now need to enter the data. (The app I found is OnTrack Diabetes)

Questions I need answered:  What are your expectations of me, and what may I expect of you in this journey toward health?  What is a reasonable decrease of A1C levels?  What suggestions do you have in terms of recording glucose levels and fighting burnout?  Is there a support group in the area for Type 1 diabetics, or even diabetics in general?  If not, how can we go about starting one, or what other suggestions do you have for support and accountability?  How frequently do you do A1C checks?

Of course, I will share with you all my endocrinologist’s responses, so that you can help keep me accountable!

Another topic Polonsky covered was when to “fire” your physician.  When we have personality blends that just don’t blend (like oil and water), consider if there is anything we are contributing to the butting of heads, and if our physician is simply not meeting our needs nor bringing anything of value to the table.  We can expect our endocrinologist to be knowledgeable about diabetes and to offer reasonable treatment plans.  We need to be willing to either communicate our issues with the preferred treatment plan or communicate through a game plan to put the treatment plan into place.  We have to work together to achieve positive results.  If we are putting forth maximum communication and implementation and still not seeing results, there is a serious issue.  Pray about this, and seek wisdom from others.  If the consensus is to seek a new doctor, look for one.  But, keep up with self-care in the meantime.  🙂

Now, for Made to Crave:  Lysa walks us through Philippians 4:8 and how that helps her avoid the emotional lows that bring us to the pit of eating despair.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

When we find ourselves in our dark moments emotionally, cling to God’s Truth and good, pleasing memories.  I wrote earlier today about some of my baggage that I used for too long as part of my identity.  When the enemy brings those failures and tragedies back to the forefront, I have to fight them back with God’s truth.  God’s Word is the truth, honor, justice, purity, lovely, commendable, excellence upon which I need to focus.  The joyous memories with family and friends can greatly overpower the hurt, pain, and grief of my past struggles.  So, as you continue to read Made to Crave, if you are, start thinking about what brings you joy, what truth in God’s Word helps you OVERCOME your past and current struggles.

 

 

♥••*´¨`*•.☆• LetsDoThisTogether •☆.•*´¨`*••♥

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