Monthly Archives: June 2013

Spirit Seeker Sunday 9

Spirit 10 stephen

Let His Spirit move us. Fresh, Flowing, Bubbling. (Photo by Stephen Moldenhauer)

Good ole Eve. She didn’t consider the choice or the consequences in that famous story of taking the forbidden fruit. The serpent tempted her. “She saw it. She wanted it. She bought the lie. She took it. And she suffered for it.”*

Sounds all too familiar.

But the enemy tried the same tactics on Jesus, and He walked away victorious.

We, like Eve, are imperfect beings. We know what it means to give into temptation. But here’s the deal. As believers in Jesus we also have the Spirit living inside us. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead, the same power that gave Him the ability to overcome temptation, dwells in US!

A while back my youngest took driver’s ed. The last day the kids did a driving exhibition. Before they began the teachers gave the parents a bit of driving instruction. It was about focus. They told us they teach the kids to keep their eyes focused on where they want to go, even if they are in a skid, because if they are looking toward where they should be, the car will follow automatically.

My mind turned to food. And then to life. The application was clear. Where I want to be is where Jesus is. Where I want to be is where He wants me to be. I want to keep my focus on where I want to go–intimacy with Christ, being transformed inside and outside to be like Him, following HIS Spirit and direction . . . and specific to this journey, becoming the size He created me to be.

But I go where my focus is. For Eve it was fruit. For me the other day it was a cherry chocolate.cherry chocolate

If I’m focused on that cherry chocolate on the table (like I was the other day) and I’m fueled by my worries, (like that day), I’m going to eat the cherry chocolate, (like I did that day). But if I had slowed down and considered the choices and consequences, if I’d looked to Jesus to take care of the worries that had me in turmoil, I may or may not have eaten that chocolate.

If I did, it would have been a choice made with peace. Instead it was a choice made with rebellion. I pushed away any chance of conviction or refocus and just saw, wanted, and ate. If I do that too many more times I’m going to be pretty disappointed because it will start affecting my goals and my hard earned weight loss. Too much more, and it will affect my health.

But beyond all that, I will also miss the opportunity for deeper communion with Jesus. I will miss peace and joy of enjoying a cherry chocolate because I have His blessing–or the victory of walking away from it because He empowered me and surrendering to His prompting was more important than eating that candy.

Jesus,
We need help with our focus. Please help us to keep our eyes on YOU, to want what YOU want, to stop, consider, and dialogue with You in all of our lives, including this crazy journey to the healthier, trimmer selves you created us to be.

What about you?

What’s your take on this? Do you think we’re overspiritualizing to talk about craving Jesus instead of food? Do you think He cares about your journey to a healthier, trimmer self? What do you think of the car analogy? If you focus differently how will that affect your choices?

Tweetable:

It’s about the focus

*From The Made to Crave Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst

Attack Visceral Fat Before it Wins Its Attack on You!

Talk about ugly stuff! It took me a while to look at the model of visceral fat, much less pick it up! And to think I’ve been carrying it around in large quantities, that’s just WORSE than the sugar picture I took a while back.

What is visceral fat? WiseGEEK does a great job of explaining not only what it is but why it is scary stuff. Here’s an excerpt, but I’d encourage you to read the whole link:

“Visceral fat, or abdominal fat, is a type of body fat that exists in the abdomen and surrounds the internal organs. Everyone has some, especially those who are sedentary, chronically stressed, or maintain unhealthy diets. A different type of fat — subcutaneous fat — which builds up under the skin, has less of a negative impact on health and is easier to lose than visceral fat. In fact, excessive deposits of visceral fat are associated with many serious health problems including cardiovascular disease, types 2 diabetes, and increased blood pressure.”

One of the things I love about BeNew is that the product is designed to go after the subcutaneous fat AND the harder to fight visceral fat! That’s part of what makes this product about HEALTH and not just losing weight. When you understand the ramifications of the damage visceral fat does, suddenly losing weight becomes less of a vanity issue and more about life-saving changes.

Below is my off-the-cuff attempt at talking about visceral fat. I was just winging it and said a couple of things incorrectly. The main one is I said I’d carried around 50 pounds of visceral fat. NOT true. It just sort of popped out of my mouth and I realized what I said too late to pull it back. I just dropped 50 plus pounds of fat, most of it subcutaneous and some of it visceral! But the fat blob in my hand still makes an impacting statement.

I almost didn’t share this due to the mistakes, but hey, we’re all friends here, right? The point is I want YOU to know about the dangers of this nasty killer and take back your health!

Tweetables:

Attack visceral fat before it wins its attack on you!

What’s that icky stuff?

Tellin’ My Story Live

Doing something a little different today!

Recently, I was asked (impromptu) to share my story. Hubby captured it on video so I thought I’d share it with you. (And yes, I have on the flowered pants I’ve been teased so much about!)

I wish hubby had recorded the other three speakers. He does, too, but he was too focused on watching me. Good husband. lol

Those speakers were inspiring. One even shared how he was doing yard work last week and didn’t realize his too big shorts were around his ankles! Go BeNew!

Everything was unplanned, so I didn’t know what was going to come out of my mouth, but here’s my favorite quote from that day: “You never know how much of yourself you’ve given up until you begin to return to the size you were created to be.”

I like that so much because I hope it is something you’re hearing on this blog. As you lose weight you’re going to be thrilled with the changes–inside and out!

Tweetables:

Success in weight loss is possible

You never realize how much you’ve given up until you start to get it back

Spirit Seeker Sunday 8

Spirit 12 stephen

Let His Spirit move you like water in a stream. Fresh. Flowing. Bubbling. (Photo by Stephen Moldenhauer)

“I am made to live the reality of God’s promises.”

Wow, Lysa, do you have to step on my toes every time? 

Such were my thoughts as I read through Day 9 of the Made to Crave Devotional. It was a few months ago, but I thought I’d share my reaction. You might relate to what I wrote then:

Here’s the honest truth. I’m struggling today. Fighting to focus on God’s promises, to believe His heart for me in the midst of disappointments and stresses. And somehow that all snowballs into not wanting to care about my eating choices. I did a lot of compromises today–eating without being mindful. Eating because I was in a bad mood instead of because I slowed down, thought it through, and chose what to eat.

What’s bugging me as I read today’s devotional is how hard my heart can be even as I read one of my favorite verses, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).

Oh, Lord! You have given me blessing upon blessing. You have cared for me, showered me with your love, met my needs time and time again. Yet I so quickly let my heart harden, throw my little temper tantrums when things don’t go the way I want, and forget that abundance is from you. I forget all that destroys is not of your hand at all. Forgive me for my lack of faith, for listening to the lies of the enemy, for neglecting instead of embracing all the abundant, life-giving facets of my relationship with you. Come! Fill me with your hope! Take the blinders off my eyes so that I can see the abundance and have life and live it to the full!

Jesus, help me to live in the reality of your promises, not the weakness of compromise.

As I process where I was a few months ago, a couple of thoughts come to mind. The first is how my weakness in compromising, my decision to eat mindlessly to fill emotional pain, is of itself a tool of the one who destroys.

How twisted is that? I reach for food because I’m not looking to the Giver of Good Gift. As I fill my body with what it doesn’t need, my emotions don’t get a bit better. But I play right into the destruction of my goals and of the abundant life God wants to give me by leading me to a physically and emotionally healthier place.

The second thought that comes to mind is how even after days like the one I described, there is victory. Turning to Jesus, one day at a time. Choosing not to let a bad day or two stretch into a bad month or two. Reaching for God’s hand up each time I fall, forgiving myself, and getting back on the road to victory. That’s something easier to see as I write this post now in June. The victory is in my physical health, my new clothes size, and on the scale.

I think it’s in my heart, my mind, and my spirit, too. I think I’m learning to look to God, not food. To press on in hardship. To stand a little taller in my identity as one He loves.

I still trip up sometimes. I probably always will. But the new behavior is becoming more natural and so I choose the path forward one step at a time.

How about you?

What does living in the promises verses the compromises mean in every day life and in weight loss?

Are you intentional about looking to Jesus instead of food to fill those empty places?

Can you forgive yourself when you blow it, reach for God’s hand, and get back on the path to healing?

Sharing:

What does it look like to live in the reality of promise, not compromise?

Extravagant Simplicity

Extravagant simplicity.

That’s the only way I can describe this evening, a time of simple pleasures sprinkled with extravagance.

It started because I blew off cooking supper, and Stephen was hungry.

No, I must go back further. It started when Jerry got some amazing finds at the discount food place we frequent. It’s the kind of place that doesn’t stock everything, just what comes to them inexpensively. But oh the extravagance of this shopping trip! He came home with what might be my single most favorite thing in the world.

Perfectly ripened, red with a pink hue . . . raspberries!

I feel in love with raspberries when I was nine months pregnant with Sam. I’d prayed and asked the Lord forgod answers moms prayers a little time alone with hubby before the baby arrived. He gave us an all expense paid vacation to a 5 start resort in Arizona. (I’m NOT making this up!) I’d tell you the whole crazy story about a Denver blizzard and our plane being the ONLY one that got to Arizona that day, but that’s not the purpose of this blog. Besides  you can read it in God Answers Mom’s Prayers, published by the wonderful people at Harvest House.

But back to today’s story. Stephen was hungry. I was away from home chatting with the very cute Trehey girls. Stephen decided to grill burgers on our brand new, used only once, extravagant anniversary present from our dear neighbor who just decided this year that we needed a big, huge gift.

There’s nothing like the scent of meat on a grill, and that is what wafted out to meet me as I arrived home. I made my burger, choosing to eat it on a bun, which I don’t do when I’ve had a lot of calories already in a day. Then I pulled out the treats Jerry brought home and made myself a spinach, raspberry and walnut salad.

hamburger and raspberries

Mmmmm….

For desert I filled a little bowl with raspberries and topped it off with a few squares of 70% cocoa chocolate.

raspberries and chocolate

Because the treat was so succulent, I decided it couldn’t be eaten from an ordinary bowl, so I slipped to the china cabinet for my Grandmother Linville’s china, which I presume was purchased through my Grandpa Linville’s jewelry store many years ago. I wish I knew the year this picture was taken, but am very grateful for my friend Susan O’Neal who shared it with me.

Linville jewelry store.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, my very fabulous new son-in-law arrived with a rosè all the way from Italy, which he purchased on Mt. Vesuvius and now chose to share with us! (The Label was super cool saying, “Lacrima Christi DeL vesuvio . . . Portici – Italia.” I was impressed anyway.) It tasted more extravagant just knowing it was hand-carried by someone we loved all the way across the Atlantic.

wine

Sometimes it’s the little things.

What I love about tonight’s extravagance is it was simple, unplanned, and came through the gifts of loved ones, presents piled atop presents. (And (with the exception of the bun) it was basically low calorie and healthy, but NOT short on flavor.)

Life has enough tough spots, don’t you think? That’s why it’s important to pause and savor the little things–like a burger with grill lines across the top or the unexpected glory of raspberries.

The journey to better health doesn’t have to be dull.

It can be simply extravagant.

(BTW, I’ve made some decisions about sage flavored water. I don’t love it just to sip on, but it is very nice paired with popcorn or Italian food!)

Sharing:

Embrace the little things and live a simply extravagant life

Healing

Today’s post is a little off topic. It is mostly a cry for your prayers.prayer maniquin

If you’ve been around A Benew Journey since the beginning, you know that in 2012 I was in two car accidents. The first resulted in whip lash, the second in some undiagnosed head malady. I sort of quit talking about that.

After seeing several specialists and getting no real help my family doc and I decided to accept where I was. He told me I may never be completely normal again, and that I needed to figure out how to live in a way that compensated for what I’d lost. That was earlier this year. Meanwhile, the very nice (NOT) insurance adjuster pretty much accused me of making it all up. I asked him to never call again and tried to just live my life in my new normal.

Over time the symptoms have lessened, but they never went away completely. They return on days I am at the computer a lot. I try to take breaks and take a walk or something when it gets especially bad. Often the symptoms are relieved short-term, only to return again when I return to work. The symptoms also act up during high stress moments.

The reason I’m talking about this again is to ask for prayer. My hope that there might be a solution was stirred on Wednesday when I went to the chiropractor. (He’s treated me since my first car accident and has tried different things for these symptoms I was experiencing.) He’d just returned from a class on using cranial manipulation to help people who’ve had concussions or similar experiences. He did this new technique on me. I felt woosy afterwards, flushed, and had a rush of emotion.

weird head test

One of the weird tests on January 11th. I thought it looked like something from an old Sci-fi movie.

An interesting aside is that one of the tests at the ENT specialist last January was supposed to make me dizzy. It didn’t, but they couldn’t explain why my results were so abnormal. I found the instant dizziness today very interesting.

So today I sat crying and dizzy in the waiting room at the chiropractors, too affected to drive home. One of the chiropractor’s workers went through a car accident that caused a concussion a while back, and Dr. Snyder had done this technique on her. She laughed as she handed me tissue, assured me the response was normal, and said she has received a lot of help from the cranial treatments she’s received.

After I settled enough to drive I got really excited at the idea that treatment had obviously done SOMETHING. On the drive home I felt clearer that I have in a long time, my thinking more sharp. However, a headache soon followed. Once home, I laid down. When I got up I had symptoms I used to get several months ago but haven’t had much lately. I’ve heard that as you heal you can sometimes go backward through the stages of injury. I’m praying this is why I feel what I’m feeling.

sunHonestly, all this stuff has stirred up hope, and I’m afraid to be hopeful. Sometimes it hurts to hope in an area that has such long-term hopelessness.

But then again, isn’t a whole lot of life–persevering in hope, falling back on Jesus when we’re afraid? Believing in the sun even when we don’t see it?

An interesting aside: As I drove to the chiropractor this morning I prayed more than I usually do about it. I asked that Dr. Snyder would be especially attuned to what my body needed. I also talked to the Lord about how frustrating it is to be in charge of events but to be unable to remember details, like times and who I’ve delegated what to. I prayed that He would help me figure out a system to aid in this deficit or to give me more clarity of mind. I remembered those prayers as I drove home with that new sharpness of thought. Unfortunately it is gone again now, but I at least I felt it for a fleeting moment. At least I know what it feels like, know it can happen for me.

Now you know the story. Would you pray for my healing? And while you’re at it, I’m in charge of an all day writer’s workshop this weekend. I’d love prayers that I can think clearly and that the workshop will be beneficial to the attendees–and if you live on the western slope and love to write, join us!

(PS Just an aside since this blog IS about weight loss. The chiropractor asked if I had reached my high school weight yet. We both laughed. Here’s the gospel truth, folks. I am a momma of 4. I carried and nursed four babies. My body will never again look like it did at 17, and I don’t care!! Just for fun I dug out an old picture before children. This was my wedding shower. I was 23. I’m standing between two of my bridesmaids, Kristin and Elizabeth. Don’t you love the big hair?)

shower 1989

 

Sage Advice

sage - CopyStill looking for a way to hydrate without being bored? When I posted my Lavender and Mint blog about a lovely, no calorie simple pleasure, my friend Monique mentioned she flavors her water with sage.

When I was grumpy on Monday morning, even after my walk, I fought back by getting my hands in the dirt, replanting my sage bush from the old garden area to a new home. (Okay, it was actually my burly son Stephen who got the shovel and dug it out, long, strong roots and all. This is probably why a few minutes working in the backyard helped my mood; he did the heavy lifting. That sage is hearty stuff. My husband had mowed down the old garden, sage and all, and it came right back!)

After the transplant,  I picked a few springs of sage, washed them, and plopped them into a pitcher of water. The jury is still out about whether or not this new water flavor will become a staple in our home. I loved the mint and lavender water from day one. The fragrance alone made me happy. But I’m still trying to decide whether sage belongs in water or should stay relegated to homemade chicken soup and beef breakfast sausage.

It could be I’m prejudiced against sage from my childhood. My grandmother was convinced it cured the common cold. Sweet little thing she was she rarely asked me to do anything unpleasant, but oh how she cajoled me to get a cup of hot sage tea down when I was sick!

It was very strong.

And gross.

I’ve chosen not to foist sage tea on my children, but am not above making them chicken soup hiding an extra portion of sage when they don’t feel well.

But back to the point. How do you get your water down? I also love lemon or lime squeezed into my water, as well as water flavored with cucumber slices or berries.water with sage

Remember, drinking two large glasses of water first thing in the morning helps you feel more full the rest of the day! Another fact: sometimes when we feel hungry, it’s actually our thirst censor going off! Next time you’re hungry and it’s not mealtime, consider drinking a big glass of water. Are you still feel hungry in five minutes?

Tweetables:

Sage advice for hydration

Are you truly hungry, or is it thirst?