Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

Who Controls Your Eating? ~ Grace and Truth Week 6

A few weeks ago my husband shared an illustration in one of his sermons that struck me in a new way, even though I had heard it before (based on My Heart, Christ’s Home by Robert Mounger).  He tells the story of Christ’s visit to a home. In the story, Jesus is shown from room to room, making various comments and pointing out sin and needs. But when He asks for a peak inside of the odorous hall closet, He’s denied.

We all have those closeted-off spaces in our hearts, areas we wish to keep to ourselves. Perhaps we feel the closet is too disgusting for Christ’s redemption. Perhaps we wish to maintain control over that area. Perhaps we simply don’t want to be told what to do with it.

When I heard the illustration told again, I recognized two areas that I’ve been unwilling to let the Lord have control of until recent years. Sure, I’ve given him bits and pieces here and there, but not the full access He is asking for.  One of these areas is my health, specifically my eating habits.

Lately, the Father has been teaching me how often sin comes into play in my eating. He’s making me call it what it is – sin.  He’s not letting me “off the hook” any longer.  He desires to free me from this slavery, and I’m beginning to yearn for that freedom myself!

So, I really appreciated Sarah Knepper’s post this week about emotional eating.  She was even brave enough to start a video diary and confess this problem face to face (well, digitally)!  I can relate to so much of what she wrote and said, so I’m happy to share it with you all.

emotional eating, over-eating, weight-loss-journey, Christian living

You can also find Sarah on facebook,twitter, and pinterest.

Thanks for the encouragement, Sarah!

Jen 🙂

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Fighting Weight-loss Failure

So, lately I’ve put myself out there in some big ways here at Being Confident of This.  I’ve told you why I hate speaking my goals aloud, why it frightens me.  Claiming that I’m working on losing weight, self-control, healthy living, is scary because it also makes me accountable to all who hear those words. It makes me accountable to myself and to my Lord, too.

And the Lord must be doing some sort of work in this area of health because He just won’t let it rest. 🙂

Last week, I wrote about the 5th cookie – how we can be like disobedient children who want our things our way. As I walked away from that post, and headed into Valentine’s weekend, I was pumped. I was ready!

Somewhere along the line, I decided that since it was Valentine’s Day, I would allow myself to cheat a little. It began with just a few pieces of candy that our children shared with me and extended right on into the evening with fried food. In fact, that sin snowballed right through the weekend and into Monday!

The problem wasn’t just that I failed to reach my healthy eating goals. The real problem with cheating on my plan is that I didn’t even ask the Lord if it was okay. I shut Him out.

Fighting-Weight-loss-Failure, when you cheat on your eating plan, sin, disobedience, failing in your weight-loss journey, failing to meet goals

I hadn’t really thought about this before until one of my readers pointed out that when she wants something, she takes it without asking, even if she knows punishment (such as gained weight) will follow, because it’s worth it at the time.  I think all too often, I like to live in denial of the punishment coming my way, not because I think God is going to be angry with me, but because natural consequences follow my unhealthy choices!

Truly, the worst part of falling off the healthy wagon this weekend wasn’t the over-full, bloated body but that I felt like such a hypocrite. Boy, did the Enemy seize on that feeling, too!  I knew I was wrong. I knew I had failed, disobeyed.

He knew it, too, that father of lies. Didn’t you just write about making healthy choices and respecting the boundaries God gives you?  Didn’t you just tell your readers that those boundaries are for your benefit?  You’re such a hypocrite!  You’ll never get a grip on this area. Success will always elude you when it comes to food… You’re doomed to life as a big girl…You might as well just give up now!

Whenever I start listening to the Enemy’s lies, I want to hide away like Eve in the Garden. Instead of running to the Father to confess my sin, I often try to deny it. I pretend it doesn’t exist. I blame others. I act like it’s not a big deal – just a “little” sin.

I justify the sin.

But somewhere deep inside, I know the truth of my own choices. I know, too, that my Father is gentle and patient and loving. I know He forgives sin as far as the East is from the West.  I know He’s waiting….just waiting. I don’t avoid Him because of His character but because of the wound to my own pride. I consistently fail on my own.

I need Him.

With each comment here and on facebook, with each share notification, I’m reminded of His lesson. He’s been calling me, using my own words to beckon me to His side. He’s relentless. He pursues without tiring.  He does all of this because He loves me.

He loves me.

He loves you, too, sister, even those of you wallowing in failure as I have been the past couple of days.  He loves those of you who feel you have no hope left. He loves those of you who struggle with doubts about His very goodness.

You see, the Enemy’s initial accusations were true – I was a hypocrite by choice, but the rest of what followed was all lies. I know that with the Father’s help, I can overcome, even in the area of healthy eating. I can say no to food. I can say yes to exercise.  I can learn to trust the Father’s boundaries, even after a failure, especially after a failure! I can trust His work-in-progress in me. 🙂

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

That promise always rings true. He is faithful, my sisters in Christ. Whatever boundary you’ve been struggling with, He is faithful.

Don’t wait any longer.

Confess.

Cry out to Jesus.

Let Him pick you up from this place.

Let Him be the author of your come-back.

When you do, the weight of sin will be lifted; the Accuser will be silenced.

And you…you will be white as snow.

Jen 🙂

Sharing with: Grace and Truth, Faith Filled Friday, Fellowship Friday,

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Fat Girl Insecurities and #TheLoft

I’ll never forget the first time I heard the word aimed at me.  He spewed it out like vomit, his eyes filled with disgust. “Fat,”  the boy accused me, and I believed it even though I wasn’t anywhere near “fat” back then.

I always was a strong girl, a tom-boy with a hearty appetite, a girl who loved sports and climbing trees and running races.  My feminine side appeared on occasion, though, and like every other girl, I wanted to be pretty, to be liked.  I never saw my body as much of a hindrance to those desires until that day, the day he called me fat in front of the whole lunch table.

I acted like I didn’t care about the word, but my eyes burned and so did my face.

I stuffed the word way deep down inside of my junior high self and tried so hard not to hear it anymore.

Not long after that, I remember surpassing my own mother’s weight on our bathroom scales and shame nearly smothered me.  How could I, at thirteen years old, weigh more than my mom?  It didn’t seem fair, somehow.

fat girl insecurities, insecure, overweight, fat, trying to lose weight, obese, heavy

During my high school years, I finally resigned myself to the fact that I just wasn’t built to be tiny.  I would never be a size 2-4-6 girl.  My healthy hangout would be the 10-12-14 range.  But my legs were built thick and strong for soccer, volleyball, softball, and basketball, so I called a sort of truce with myself.  I ignored the word within me and began to find things I actually liked about my body.

I liked my blue eyes and  long, dark hair.  I liked my smile. I even began to like some of my curves.  I liked my brain (it’s a good one!) and my athletic abilities.

So the word remained hidden for the most part, only whispering to the surface when my friends were all asked to attend banquet (missionary kid date night) and I sat at home by myself or when we tried on clothes at the second-hand shops in town.  Nevertheless, by junior year, I was growing in the confidence that comes from Christ alone and the word bothered me less and less. I thought I had won the battle, defeated the Enemy.

When I met my husband a few years later, I never felt more beautiful.  Even though I couldn’t call myself thin, I knew I was healthy, and I was alive in Christ.  He was tall, dark, and handsome, and he loved the Lord and he loved me.

And then I conceived our firstborn not long after our summer wedding and I found myself alone in our country home. My parents and siblings had returned to the mission field and my husband kept busy with classes and work and ministry.  I grew depressed.

I used my pregnancy as justification for eating anything and everything I wanted.  Instead of filling myself with Christ, I filled myself with food.  I had already gained about 20 lbs. before our wedding because like any girl in love, I spent all of my free time with my soon-to-be husband, not realizing I was failing to take care of my body.  By the time our sweet son was born, I had gained about 80-100 lbs. (give or take) in a little more than a year.  I can’t really be certain because at some point, I quit weighing myself.

I just gave up.

Then, one year our church offered a First Place for Christ class, focusing on putting Christ first in all areas but especially in the areas of nutrition and wellness.  It was just what I needed.  The idea that my body had been purchased at a price convicted me.  I knew I needed to quit filling my God-sized hole with food.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,

who is in you,whom you have received from God?

You are not your own; you were bought at a price.

Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Since then, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of healthy eating and exercise and fallen right off again. And back on, and then off, and back on, and so forth.  Healthy living will probably be a lifelong struggle for me, my personal thorn in the flesh.  🙂

In the meantime, I’ve birthed three more children, including a set of twins, my body changing with each pregnancy.  My weight and health are still a work-in-progress, and I’m okay with that.

The word still haunts me on occasion, it does.  It sneaks up on me when I walk at the gym or play soccer with my kids.  Occasionally, I hear it faintly in my ear when I look in the mirror, tempting me to give up, quit fighting, resign myself to the word.

But I recognize the Enemy for who he is and even more, I know the power of Christ within me.  I know the Father promises to never give up on me, but to complete the work He started (Phil. 1:6).  I know that man considers the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. I trust in my new creation status.  I believe His Word when He calls me “fearfully and wonderfully made.” He says the same thing about you, too, my sisters in Christ!

We are not the sum of our insecurities, for we were created for more than this!

We’ve talked before about how insecurities keep us fearful, and that’s just how the Enemy wants us to feel – alone, afraid, unworthy.  My sisters, our God is greater than he who is in the world.  He is greater than our deepest shame and insecurities.  Our God loves us, pursues us, redeems us, and calls us His beloved.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing can separate us from His love, not even our layers of fat. 🙂

We are daughters of the One True King, and the value He has placed on our lives is the blood, the life force, of His one and only Son.

Let us then live as children of the Light!

Jen 🙂

Also sharing this post with: Cornerstone Confessions

The Loft is open, come on up!

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

#TheLoft

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth. Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

Then, Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the link goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

To Participate:

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

The Loft Link Up

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Kimberly
Arabah
Jen

Now it’s time to link up!

This Week’s Topic: “Greatest Insecurity” (We are going vulnerable here, asking you to share your greatest insecurity. How do you recognize it when it creeps up? What does insecurity sound like to you? What do you do to silence it? Any scriptures that help you fight it?)


Next Week’s Topic: “Something Funny” (Laughter is good medicine and after this week’s topic, we all need a belly laugh. Or as one co-host put it, we need to spit in our coffee. Tell us a funny story, share a funny quote, post a funny picture or video, crack a funny joke. Just be careful with that coffee because this is going to be good 🙂 )

Add Your Link Here:

Also sharing this post with: Cornerstone Confessions, Jennifer Dukes Lee, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Wholehearted Home, Teaching What is Good, Sew Crafty AngelMessy Marriage, Missional Women, My Freshly Brewed LifeBeauty Through ImperfectionsRich Faith Rising, Beautiful Ashes, Grace & Truth Christian Living

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