Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I think the first time I heard this was on KLOVE. But I'm not positive. But for whatever reason it has stuck with me.

We end our prayers with Amen. Mostly we whisper them, as if we are afraid or maybe awed. But we should shout it with expectation and enthusiasm. I first heard that Amen means "so be it". We are ending our prayers with "so be it!" Something that we have an expectation to happen. It should be shouted from the treetops and we should let everyone know jut how serious we are about trusting in the strength of our God. My God! 

But as I was writing this is was trying to come up with where I first heard this. I went off to the internet and found some interesting things. Some people think that we should not say it at the end of our own benedictions, but as a response of others, an affirmation of what you heard.  Then I found what I was looking for... The Hebrew meaning.  "Truly!" That is what it means. Truly! I believe that what was said will be!  So be it! Amen isn't an ending, but rather the beginning of the great things that God is about to do in your life.

So when you pray, pray with confidence and know that you are ending with "Truly, so be it!"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

P31 OBS: Living So That. Week 1

After completely failing at the Made to Crave Action Plan (as in- never even opened the book), I missed the time that I had with God. I think that I wasn't able to do it because my heart just was not prepared to do the work. And that is ok, I will get to it. But the new Bible study will help me prepare my heart a little more. We are using the book "Living So That" by Wendy Blight, and this past week I have gained so much more insight than I have ever had about the reason behind the Law and how it has influenced our lives, and why we are truly freed from ourselves!!

In the first week we memorized John 3:16, which honestly wasn't very hard for me because it is probably the ONLY verse I have ever completely memorized.  But never through the lense why God has done something. Then I had to get over my apprehension of having wrong answers and writing in books because she doesn't always give answers to questions she poses, and that is ok... I am coming to grips with it. It makes sense, we all gain something new each time we enter into God's word. He speaks to us through it.  I have a lot written about the struggles I have with food, because that is the one place I struggle, with myself, and to go to the One that can truly set me free.

But the one thing that I wanted to share from this week was what Wendy said on page 30.  When I make a wrong decision (and that right now has been apple fritters from our local donut shop- supper yummy!) I am often riddled with GUILT and then am so ashamed because I went ahead and drove to the shop and bought it and then ate the WHOLE thing. I feel miserable.... Miserable that I didn't make a better choice, miserable from all the sugar, and miserable that I didn't do what I know I should have and that was to ask for strength. But being a Christain, I am not supposed drown in that guilt and shame. That is because I was given a gift from God, and that was the Holy Spirit, and that CONVICTS me to change. The shame that I feel is because I know it was wrong, but God doesn't want that for me, he wants SO MUCH MORE, he wants me convicted to change. It was only a small paragraph, but it stuck with me all through the week.  And it still does. This is what I wrote in my book " know the difference between guilt & shame :( and conviction (DO SOMETHING!!!)"

My goal is to stop feeling shame and to do something! What about you, do you have something in your life that just pulls you down? Remember that God didn't give us rules for that reason, they we're given to us to keep us safe from ourselves. Can you let it go? Can you listen to the Holy Spirit, acknowledge that thing and then, with God's strength, change it? Please pray for me as I continue on this journey. And if you need prayers ask for them too, from me, from your friends, and pray for yourself. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

M2C Week 5: #Beneficial

Permissible But Not Beneficial

I've written about this a few times during this M2C OBS in my journal.  The first time that I got 3 chapters into Made to Crave, this was the scripture that spoke to me immediately.  And it still does.  I write it on post-it notes, it is on my calendar, I even set it as the background on my phone once.  It is a simple reminder that I can do (or eat) anything that I want but that doesn’t mean that it is good for me.

But a few weeks ago I had an epiphany.  This goes much further than this is good and that isn’t good.  It is different for each one of us.  What is ok for my hubby is NOT ok for me.  He can eat nearly anything he wants, but it sends me down the wrong path.  It sets of a series of events that is not healthy for me.  It takes me further away form the one and only God that can give me what I need to survive.  Did you see that, survive.  I promise, I'm trying not to be overly dramatic.  But the reality is that food is my struggle.  Food is what I need to overcome.  And the only way that I can do that is to recognize four very important truths.  

1) I cannot do this alone.  While I have a great support team at home, it is the support team in my heart that I need more.  Face it, there will always be that super-yummy-instantly-satisfying-food that everyone is eating.  Everyone but me. And I am going to need God's strength and grace to turn away from it.  Because once I eat that one delicious piece of cake covered in icing, I will get another. Which rounds me back to right now, that stuff is not beneficial for me and the next truth.

2) Just because everyone else is getting it, I don't.  God isn't doing this to punish me (although I have had my doubts about that).  To be honest, I don't really get it, in my heart.  I'm still working on it.  What I do know in my head is that just like I put boundaries on my kids and my students, for two very good reasons, to keep them safe and to help them mature, God has set these boundaries for me.  To protect me, not to cage me (oh, this is a hard one for me to take in).  And to help me mature past my desire for instant gratification (yeah, I get on people all the time about this, but have never taken the time to apply it to me in the one place that I struggle most).

3) This is not going to be easy. 'Nuff said.

4) While I need food to survive in the bodily sense, I need God to survive spiritually and eternally. If my body was to give out before I finished this sentence, there is a part of me that will continue on.  I need to worry more about nourishing that part of me and not the fleshy part.  I like the way that 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 was put in the Message translation. "Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."  And there it is again my friends.  See what I put in bold AND italics.  I was made for more!

The reality of this is the more I say this "permissible, not benifical" each time I want something that I already know I shouldn't have it gets a itsy-bitsy-tiny-whiny-little-bit easier.  And when I don't, I get just that much more defeated and discourages (and a little bit of a pity-party starts to happen).  I just don't know why it has taken me all this time to figure this out.  But I am glad that I finally did.  When did it finally sink in for you?  What were your epiphanies?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

M2C Week 4: Afternoon Acts of Kindness

Acts Of Kindness.

I think my husband was going to rename them: How Our Family Went Broke.

I was in a particularly dark time, both in my head and in my job.  I am a high school,teacher in a small school and the dark time in my job was taking over my head; I just couldn't see a way out. I contemplated quitting my job, but didn't want to leave my students (that I adored) behind. But I couldn't keep going to work crying everyday either.

Now for the irony. Remember I am doing the Made To Crave Bible Study over in Proverbs 31, and it is about getting healthy and moving closer to craving God instead of food.  Well, this was before all of that.  I was having another miserable day, we're talking one of those days where I knew that the moment I got home, I was going to crawl into bed.  And I might not get up in the morning to go to work. So I headed over to Taco Bell for lunch. As I was in the drive-thru line, I decided that I needed to get my focus on something other than my miserable day. In a split second I bought lunch for the entire car behind me.  I don't remember how much it was, just the look on my students' face when they got to the window. And you know what else happened, my miserable day wasn't that miserable anymore. Sure, I was still having to put up with a lot of garbage and I wasn't happy about things, but I had perspective.

And that started a long line of Mrs. T-sometimes-buys-lunch-for-the-car-behind-her moments. Sometimes it was kids that had a special place in my heart.  Other times is was students that didn't know by name, or a complete stranger from the freeway. And every now and then, it was students that drove me crazy earlier in the day or that I just didn't care for. Not all of them said thank you, some did. Once in a while, someone would by me lunch. I will still head off to one of the drive-thrus in town, just to buy the car behind me lunch.

But then this year the garbage came to a head. I was getting nasty emails and face-to-face barbings. It was NOT fun, and while the tears had stopped, I was spending a lot of time being angry and wanting to say something to shut these people up, even though I knew it wouldn't help. At one of those times that I was ready to fire off an email, I distinctly remember hearing "Stop" but had no idea why. But I dug around my desk and found a note card, and wrote a quick note to our school secretary. She takes so much of the front line garbage, and just wanted to thank her. My heart was released from the anger, and I found myself re-framed again.  I was reminded of what really matted to me. So I went and got some more notecards and kept writing to people: coworkers, people from church, students... Lots of students.
My not-so random acts of kindness started out of sheer desperation, but I still think that it was born out of God's love for me.  Because I was confident in His love, I did not hesitate to share it. I never checked our finances before acting because I knew that I was in God's hands. And I was never let down, not monetarily and not by the feeling I got when I saw other people's faces. And it never ceased to make me stop wallowing in my own problems.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

M2C Week 3: Delighting in Obedience


It makes me think of a dog. It isn't something that I'm good at. In fact I've spent most of my life pushing the boundaries of being an obedience because I have always thought if it as a weakness. As if I shouldn't listen when someone says I shouldn't do something. I was told girls don't do math, so I got my bachelor's in math. I was told to let a lawyer do his job, I researched education code (with my husband) to keep my job... and made my own statements... and kept my job.


That's what people call me.

But I have seemed to misunderstand is how God frames obedience. It isn't doing the possible, it's doing the impossible with His help. It isn't weakness, it's trusting something more than me. It's trusting, and following, not really knowing where the path is going to lead. It's courage to trust the path is leading where I need it to go. Obedience is trusting God's path, and not insisting on my own.  And it is freeing... In an odd way.

I am free to no longer worry about the scale, or what others think of me, or what my finances are. I am free to trust God and live a more balanced life.

And this week, God brought the subject of obedience to me because I NEEDED IT. Due to the lack of going straight to God with righteous anger,  I plowed through all the Super Bowl leftovers on Monday (that I was able to ignore on Sunday). I know that come my weigh in Saturday, the scale is not going to be kind.  But I don't really care because every-stinking-day this week I have (eventually) turned from food and to God. And that, my friends, is all that God wants from me.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

M2C OBS Week 2: Anxiety (1Peter 5:7-8)

1Peter 5:7-8
Cast all your anxieties to the Lord.  All of them.  Every last one! YIKES!

I always struggle with this. Not because I don’t think God can handle them, but because I think I can handle them.  If I sat here and made a list of what I become anxious over, I would never get this done.  One thing leads to the next, which leads to the next, until my life is overcome with anxiety over things that I have no control over, and it robs me of the glorious things happening right now.

I find it ironic that I get anxious over things that should be good for me.  Last Thursday, I had already told my sweet hubby that I wanted to get on Face Book so that I could participate live on the M2C OBS.  And he supported it 100%. Then life happened.  Extra kids ended up at our house, dinner was NOT being made as planned, Hubby was late getting home, and I was tired.  The result was me running around getting nothing accomplished while yelling at everyone that dared to enter the kitchen.  I wanted to get everything done so I could get to my M2C OBS!  Do you see the irony here?  I was ready to hurt the people right there next to me, who love and care for me, because I was anxious about making it on time… to a Bible study.

What should have I done?  Slowed down for 30 seconds, said a breath-prayer and asked God to calm my fears.  I was afraid that if I missed the OBS, I would be behind, that I would disappoint people.  Looking back, how foolish I was to mistreat my family.  No one would have been disappointed.  I wouldn’t be behind. The end result was that Hubby walked up to me and asked what was wrong. He took the dish towel from my hands and told me to go do my M2C OBS.  And I did…

I have the same anxiety behind having a healthier life.  I am not saying I am on a diet; this is a permanent lifestyle that I need to adapt and embrace. And I have anxiety over food. Daily. Is this food good for me, how much of it should I eat, when should I eat?  Then add into the exercising. UGH. But God wants to share in the burden that this is for me.  This fight. My fears over being overweight forever.  So I need to give it all to Him.  He has the strength that I don’t have alone. Be alert and of sober mind. I need to be aware of when anxiety over food is overtaking me. It doesn’t help, in fact it makes it worse.  I end up racing for the bag of peanut butter M&M’s.  Rather than reaching for food, I need to remember to give it to God through prayer.

Lord, help me to reach out to you when I am anxious over the changes I am embracing.  Help alleviate my fears of failure and the long battle that I have ahead.  I know that this is not an overnight change, and it may take a lifetime for me.  Please help me to understand that I can do this and fill me with you peace.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Victory! M2C OBS

As I said before I am doing the OBS from Proverbs 31, Made to Crave. And it has been a long time since I have done a Bible study.  I forgot just how good it feels to be talking with other people about God, and what God has done, is doing, and will do for me.  I also forgot what it feels like to be moving in the same direction and have the support that I need in order to find my way (and stay on my path).

So, I wanted to share my victory for today.  I have a monthly meeting that takes place at a super-yummy pizza parlor.  I mean, this is one of those places that I LOVE to eat at.  And once a month, I get to go there.


I am just starting down this path, and it isn't paved yet.  Lysa talks about tearing down the tower and paving our path towards victory.  Uhhhhh... what!?! I don't even think that I had the path cleared, let alone laying any bricks.

So this morning, before my eyes had barely opened, I took my phone and went to the OBS.  And before my feet hit the ground, I said a prayer... and waited in expectation.  I asked God to see me through the day.  And I was anxious for the meeting most of the day.  I'll admit it, I wasn't fully trusting God.  I mean, I did... but I didn't want to feel the deprivation from one of my favorite things (oops, this make it sound more like an idol that I would like to admit).  So, as I got in my car to go to the meeting, I said another prayer.  No sooner than I said my "Amen", the radio played Overcomer - by Mandisa.  Now, why is this such a big deal?  Well, I found the OBS from one of her Facebook posts, and it has been a theme song for the Made 2 Crave OBS.  "Got it God! Stop worrying about this.  You've got it!"  I don't think it could have been much clearer!  Until I got to the meeting and the pizza was put down less than 2 inches from my hand.  "WHAT?!?! Come on......... I thought you had this God?"  But you know what, with another quick prayer and 1 Corinthians 10:23 firmly on my mind, heart, and lips from the moment I woke today, that pizza did NOT have the same pull.

God is with us, and we only have to look at Him.  We find Him through our prayers and scriptures.