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Tasting Truth

“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.”   Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

I am reading Taste for Truth and it has been a very enlightening journey.   Instead of using a specific diet plan or digging into the reasons why people overeat, this study focuses on the boundaries we may need and the renewing of the mind in order to gain freedom from the control of food.

I started drinking at age 15.  By age 18, I was using alcohol daily to cope with my home life.  I liked the way alcohol made me feel and how it made me more outgoing.

I continued drinking in my early to mid-20’s, but quit a couple of years before I became a mom.  I didn’t enjoy hangovers and had started to take notice of coworkers, family and friends whose lives were out of control because of alcohol or drug abuse.  I am one of the fortunate rare people who could stop using alcohol without support and have had less than 10 beers over the last 30 years.

Sometime in my late-20’s, I replaced my alcohol usage with food.  Unlike alcohol or drugs, our bodies need food so overeating is the acceptable addiction in our society.  I ate when my stress level went up because I took on too many volunteer positions.  Like many people, I often ate too much at celebrations.  My overeating was the most out of control when I had to deal with stressful family situations.

One particular time was the last time I saw my father.  My siblings and I were were physically, mentally and verbally abused by this man, so visiting him was extremely nerve-racking for me.  I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years, but my sister and I had to visit him before cancer took his life so we could ensure that our grandmother was taken care of.  I had a strong urge to get a drink after leaving his house, but thankfully my sister was doing the driving and wouldn’t allow it (thanks, Little Sis  ❤ ).  Instead of alcohol,  we both self-medicated with pasta and cannoli.   I can look back on that event now and realize that using food wasn’t any different than using booze.

day-23-tft

We have an enemy who wants to use our weaknesses so we are ineffective for the Lord’s work.  Through this study, I realized that I have spent more time overeating than renewing my mind.  By renewing my mind, this was my very first Thanksgiving that I DID NOT overeat and I feel I finally have gained control over food!!  Thank you, Jesus!!! 

If your story is similar and would like to learn how to break free from the stronghold of overeating, I will be leading an online study of Taste for Truth  beginning on January 2nd – February 24, 2017.  There is a companion book, I Deserve a Donut that is available in paperback, a Kindle version, and even an iPhone or android app (I purchased the Kindle version of Taste for Truth and the iPhone app of I Deserve a Donut for under $10).  You can click on the links to the books to look inside them and/or read the reviews.  The online study will take place in a secret Facebook group where only the members will be able to read your posts.  Feel free to email me at plewing@hotmail.com if you have any questions or visit http://barbraveling.com/  for more information on the author and her books.

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Determination

determination

Determination: a quality that makes you continue trying to do
or achieve something that is difficult.

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I just finished reading Leviticus in my Bible reading plan. The subheadings in Leviticus 26 are “Blessings for Obedience” and “Punishments for Disobedience”.  In this chapter, God warns the Israelites what would happen if they did not follow His commands:

“…and if your break my covenant by rejecting my decrees, treating my regulations with contempt, and refusing to obey my commands, I will punish you.” Leviticus 26:15-16a (NLT)

Fast forward through the books of Kings, and we read that God allowed the Israelites to be conquered and put in Babylonian captivity because of their rebellion to Him and their sins of idolatry. 

I have also suffered the consequences for my own sin of disobedience — I have a broken-down and overweight body because I have not cared for it the way I should have. I have overeaten and the weight I’ve put on has added stress to my very arthritic spine and joints. Some of the arthritis that ravages my body may have been caused by my over-indulgence of wheat products (I’ve read that gluten causes an inflammatory response).

My weight-loss struggle IS punishment for my own sin! Simply put — I overate and no one made me do it.  There may have been some psychological and/or spiritual reasons for my overeating, but I am still the one who made the bad choices through the years.

But — I have DETERMINATION to:

1. First and foremost, be obedient to God;
2. Eat only appropriate portions of food;
3. Remove all sugar, gluten, and dairy from my diet;
4. Exercise as much as my body will allow me to;
5. Keep track of my food intake and exercise;
6. Stay accountable with my sisters in Christ;
7. Get healthier so I may be used by the LORD!

In chapter 5 of Made to Crave, Lysa TerKeurst writes: “We were made for victory. Sometimes we just have to find our way to that truth.” (page 49)

The truth is that I was NOT made to be a slave to the sin of over-eating!!  I am determined to serve ONLY God and NOT the cravings of this world because I was made for more!! What are you determined to do?