Monday, December 2, 2019

Two Years Into My Journey-More Than Conquerors!




It was two years ago that God began to stir in my heart that He wanted to help me overcome this idol of loving food more than I should.  It had become an idol that I ran to instead of God.  He was so personal and persistent and I was overwhelmed with a desire to get this area right in my life.  I loved Him with my whole heart, but I had to learn how to run to HIM when I was happy, sad, excited, bored, anxious, instead of bowing down to food!  Though I desperately wanted to find the perfect plan that would do it all GOD wanted me to turn away from this world and to turn to HIM and so it began an imperfect journey of seeking Him, obedience, falling down, getting up, falling down, getting up, and every single time He would rescue me.  Here is what that looked like:

1-My first step was WHOLE30.  There is nothing magical about Whole30 itself, but God used it to have me FAST from foods that had become a distraction to me.  They temporarily satisfied an emotional state, but brought death to my health.  Whole30 was no grains, sugar, dairy, sweeteners.  I wanted to share how hard it was, but truthfully it wasn’t!  God so empowered me through that 30 days that I sat in awe of how quickly it flew by and I lost 15 pounds.  At the end of the 30 days I spent the next few months maintaining up and down, but stayed close to my loss.  Whole30 gave birth to more than weight loss...it kicked off the journey and fanned my flame to keep going and to be a student of what worked for me.

2-Step Two was a plan called TRANSFORM APP!  The premise of this plan was that you eat 5 smaller meals a day and exercise.  I know that the purpose of God leading me here was that it gave birth to falling in love with exercise for the first time in my entire life.  I still remember going to the gym the first time and how my husband who is a weight lifted and has worked out diligently for over 30 years would lovingly coach me through using weights.  I fell in love!  As I gained courage I began adding classes like Body Pump and Yoga, in addition to the weight training.  This took off about 15 more pounds for a total of 30 pounds.  Just in time for my oldest son’s wedding!

Next came a season of testing!  In the midst of all these exciting changes the Lord had me turn in my notice at my job as a Support Representative with Classical Conversations and little did I know why...but HE did!  Right after our oldest was married my grandmother’s health spiraled downwards and my life changed drastically.  It was probably the hardest and longest season from 8/2018 through 8/2019.  Grandma not only became physically ill, but she developed dementia.  My entire life became consumed with her care.  I lost my mentor, cheerleader, and matriarch and I had to cling to God like never before.  As grandma’s journey was winding down a new one began....my mom was diagnosed with stage IIIB lung cancer.  My grandmother died on 10/26/18 and my mom began her radiation on 10/29.  We were consumed with caring for my mother who has spent her whole life caring for others.  We asked her to move in with us so we could take her to Moffitt for her care.  The next three months were filled with radiation and chemotherapy.  (My mom was a hero)  For awhile I maintained my weight loss and even continued to workout.  My mom encouraged me in these things even though we were going back and forth to Tampa five days a week!  But once she finished and moved back home I began to have an affair with my flesh and in the aftermath I began allowing old habit to creep in. (Not consume, but creep in). I gained back 18 pounds of the 30 that had been lost.  I did not love how I felt and it scared me to see the weight coming back and I cried out to God and He answered.  A friend that I’ve known online since my kids were young began posting pictures of an incredible transformation.  The Lord moved on my heart to reach out and she introduced me to the next step in my journey...

3-BRIGHT LINE EATING!  As of this morning I have lost 23 pounds in about 8 weeks.  This next step has been teaching me practical ways to live a life of balance and self-control.  Where Transform App helped me to understand and love exercise...Bright Line is all about the food plan!  I feel such freedom and I love the simplicity.  

Every step of the last two years has had absolute purpose in teaching me to turn away from idols and to turn TO the living God!  

➡️I’m so thankful for Whole30 as it was the beginning of changing the way I think about my relationship with food.

➡️I loved how Transform App helped me to fall in love with exercise.

➡️I am now incredibly grateful to BLE (Bright Line Eating) for giving me a super easy, doable eating plan that has weight fall off fast and has a history of maintaining for a lifetime. 



I currently have a FB page where I post what I eat in Bright Line and links and encouragement.  Starting in January that page will become a community for those wanting to join me in their journey.  They can totally do BLE or whatever GOD leads them to.  It’s just a place of encouragement and accountability.  If you would like to follow my (imperfect) BLE journey just click HERE   


I have a long way to go and I will fall down over and over again!  But I am so grateful to God and HIS WORD which tells me...

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors”—Romans 8:37

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Emergency Action Plan!


I was watching a video this morning where a gal was talking about how important it is to have an EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN in place when temptation comes your way.  Whether it’s to overcome overeating, smoking, depression, or simply to stop and keep your focus on the Lord this is a tool that will help get you to God!


I began writing out verses in my spiral bound pack and carry it in my purse to help when I need to refocus.







I also have begun a play list on Apple Music called Emergency Action Plan
















Monday, September 23, 2019

WEEK TWO ESTHER WRAP-UP!

Last night was an incredible evening filled with awe and wonder at how God masterfully puts together HIS plans, in HIS timing, and how we can trust Him even when we can’t see where He is going.  

This Weeks Memory Verse

“You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”  
—Psalm 139:16


It was such a JOY to visit Holliday and Cathy’s group last night and to hear how God spoke to each woman using His Word to confirm and affirm what He was showing them in Esther and then how that lined up with our lives today.


๐Ÿ‘‘Jane’s Take-Away took her to other scriptures that God brought to mind:

๐Ÿ‘‘Esther 2:10: “Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, BECAUSE MORDECAI HAD FORBIDDEN HER TO DO SO”

๐Ÿ‘‘Exodus 20:12:  “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the lord your God is giving you”

๐Ÿ‘‘Application:  God always blesses OBEDIENCE and His Word is His Will.  Esther honored Mordecai who had become a father to her.


Holliday’s take-away took her back to our study last fall in 1 Peter:  As she thought about how young Esther must have been and how scary her life circumstances must have felt she remembered that suffering gives birth to eternal fruit...

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.  Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”  —1 Peter 3:14



She would not return to the King unless He delighted in her and she was SUMMONED by name” Esther 2:14

SUMMONED-To Call into the presence of another; to appear at a place

๐Ÿ‘‘God delights in us and SUMMONS us into His presence each and every morning and then asks us to be purposeful to STAY IN HIS PRESENCE ALL.DAY.LONG!  

๐Ÿ‘‘“I KNOW MY SHEEP and my sheep know me” — John 10:14

๐Ÿ‘‘“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have CALLED YOU BY NAME”  Isaiah 43:1

๐Ÿ‘‘“I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whosever ABIDES IN ME and I IN HIM, he bears much fruit.”  John 15:5

๐Ÿ‘‘“For we know, brothers (daughters) loved by God that HE HAS CHOSEN YOU.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4



400
And she FOUND FAVOR in the sight of all who saw her.”  Esther 2:15b

FAVOR-To promote, support, afford advantages—The Lords providential plan!

Now the king LOVED ESTHER more than all the other women, and she FOUND FAVOR and kindness with him more than all the other virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen in the place of Vashti.” —Esther 2:17

When her turn came to go into the king, she requested nothing except what Hegai the kings eunich who was in charge of the women, advised.  And Esther FOUND FAVOR in the sight of all who saw her.” —Esther 2:15b

“Now the young woman pleased Hagai and FOUND FAVOR with him” —Esther 2:9



Josie Dean and her walk in OBEDIENCE!

This week we had many conversations about Esther’s OBEDIENCE๐Ÿ‘‘

OBEDIENCE-Acting in patience and submission

This summer Josie humbly shared that she felt God calling her to step away from college this year.  There was lots of confusion as she waited for on the Lord to make His will crystal clear.  She had already completed one full year of college and was doing well, but God was moving in her spirit to WAIT ON HIM.  She was confused because there were no other plans at that time.  Just as we talked about with Esther...as she moved by faith and walked in obedience God gave her a new direction for this year.  If you are moved by the Holy Spirit to pray for or to financially support this God-Given dream here is a link:  




PUZZLE PIECES ๐Ÿงฉ 

This time last year Lani and her husband Chris were visiting from Oregon for my sons wedding.  While here Chris was being interviewed for a position in Illinois and he had made the top 3 out of 500 candidates.  We were positive that this is where God wanted their family and had been praying hard.  It was overwhelmingly disappointing when we discovered that Chris did not get the position...

BUT GOD❤️

Little did we know that just a few weeks later he was going to be offered a position right here! God was going to move their family back home after 11 years of traveling the country while Chris serves his country.  

GOD’S GOODNESS❤️

Lani’s mother had just been diagnosed with dementia and Today they find out if the lump in her mother’s breast is cancer.  Had God given them what they wanted her life would be filled with chaos and confusion as she would have to travel to be with her.  BUT GOD IN HIS INFINITE wisdom and ability to see beyond today, to know what’s coming, moved their family exactly where they are supposed to be.

Trust IN THE LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight”Proverbs 3:5-6


I don’t know what big decisions are looming in your life, but I know the ONE who does!  As you cry out without holding back and seek HIM with all your heart HE IS FAITHFUL and HE WILL SHOW YOU!







Monday, September 16, 2019

WEEK ONE ESTHER WRAP-UP



WOW!  What a P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L. night of take-away’s! We had such an amazing evening packed and FULL of big aha’s!  What I love most about Sunday nights is that we get to take what God has shown us and share...but then we get to take what He has shown others and we get to learn with them and from them.  I encourage you to read every word here!  Your heart will be so overcome by the Holy Spirit as you get to see HIM in action among your sisters.



FUN FACTS, POWERFUL PERSONAL APPLICATION, & DEFINED WORDS:  Each Sunday night your small group leaders send me some big aha’s that were discussed in your group.  It’s my joy to share just a few with you so that you get to see how much bigger and fuller God’s Word becomes when we walk in community...WE’RE BETTER TOGETHER! 

Take a moment to discover how scripture is truly living and breathing and active!  It’s not just a history lesson, but it applies personally to YOU today for whatever you are going through.  Oh how He loves us!  


I love the visual here of the round table.  In Salt & Light we do not have master teachers...we just know the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ.  We simply get to be Learners❤️



 

๐Ÿ‘‘FUN FACT: Ahasuerus is a title (like Cesar) and not his actual name. (Verse 1:1)





๐Ÿ‘‘FUN FACT:  Tammie from Angela’s group brought two tiny maps of the entire area that was under King Xerxes dominion.  One was the ancient map from when the story of Esther took place and the other modern was from modern day...it was HUGE and covered so much!(Think Greece, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, The question the group pondered was how long it took to get decrees out?  What type of transportation did they use?  A donkey?  A camel?  A horse?  (Verses 1:22)




๐Ÿ‘‘POWERFUL PERSONAL APPLICATION:  The details that were put into the banquet from the draperies to each goblet being completely different from the other and how each of us are unique and different.  (Verses 1:4-7)

You see ALL things; you saw me growing, changing in my mothers womb; every detail of my life was already written in your book; you established the length of it before I was born. Psalm 139:16




๐Ÿ‘‘POWERFUL PERSONAL APPLICATION:  Though it seemed unfair to some that Queen Vashti was banished or killed we were reminded that God had to remove Vashti so that Esther could carry out His plan to redeem His people. (Verse 1:19)

He controls the course of the world and all the events; He removes kings and sets up other kings.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.”  Daniel 2:21




๐Ÿ‘‘POWERFUL PERSONAL APPLICATION:  Xerxes was a show off, his life was extravagant, he loved to show off...Splendor, Glory, Majesty, but without God they mean nothing!  What are our hearts set on and chasing after?  Is it God or is it the beautiful things of this world? (Verses 1:4-7)

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21

๐Ÿ‘‘POWERFUL PERSONAL APPLICATION:  The King drank a lot of alcohol and while in that state made a request that he might not have made in a sober state.  Once that action took place consequences followed that could not be undone.  His heart was joyful with wine.  (Verse 1:10)  Alcohol can take us places we might never go in a sober state and though wine itself is not a sin...too much is.  

Does alcohol stir your sinful nature to want more?  Then hang onto 1 Corinthians 10:23...”All things are permissible, but not all things are profitable”.  Scripture tells us that as believers we are to be Holy as he is holy. (1 Peter 1:6)




๐Ÿ‘‘FUN FACT:  Vashti was the daughter of Belshazzar!  Belshazzar was the grandson of King Nebuchadnezzar. (Think Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego)






๐Ÿ‘‘BETH’S DEFINED WORD:  Crown-The 1828 dictionary quoted Proverbs:  A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.  Of course, Xerxes didn’t seem very interested in Vashti’s beauty and royalty.  God is concerned with the inside of the package, not the outside, and I need to be a “Crown” of virtue.
(Beth is in the red)





THIS WEEK:  We get to dive into Chapter two!  Get ready because it just keeps getting better and better!

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your Father’s family will perish and who knows, but that you have come to your Royal Position for such a time as this!”  Esther 4:14

Friday, September 13, 2019

FCC Esther Study—For Such A Time As This๐Ÿ‘‘



We are so excited to launch our FCC Salt & Light Style Esther Study.  Fifty four amazing women are gathering together every Sunday to seek the Lord through His Word and specifically through the book of Esther.  We were so excited to kick off our evening with food, fun, fellowship, and photo’s.



Week One Memory Verse


Sherry, Merri, Gail, Denise, Judy, Barbara, and Sue๐Ÿ‘‘

Melanie, Angela, Margaret, Susan, Tammie, Jolie, Gwen, Erika, and Angela๐Ÿ‘‘

Holliday, Michelle, Angel, Cathy, Cathy, and Aja๐Ÿ‘‘


Tammy, Kathy, Marsha, Lynn, Kaila, Carol, Marissa, and Valerie๐Ÿ‘‘


Beth, Amanda, Marjorie, Kim, Linda, Nancy, Kim, Lani, Marissa, and Mary๐Ÿ‘‘

Chelsea, Jenny, Patty, Kelly, Cindy, Camille, Leslie๐Ÿ‘‘

We spent the evening digging into the first three verses of Esther...it was powerful๐Ÿ‘‘


This week we began the journey of getting to know King Ahasuerus, Queen Vashti, Esther, and Mordecai๐Ÿ‘‘

I love these two ladies leading our worship...Build My Life, God, I look to you, and Great Are You, Lord ๐ŸŽถ 



“FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS”













Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Teach Me To TURN!


☕️Coffee W/Jesus☕️

Based on Romans 3:6-8



Oh how deceitful our hearts are!  I can relate to the Jews in Rome who were trying to manipulate scripture to justify their sinful actions.  We swing back and forth in our devotion and faithfulness to God.  We manipulate scripture to justify gratifying our flesh.  We want permission to indulge that which we think will make us happy, but in the end brings spiritual death.  

“If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases His glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner”? Romans 3:6

Because God’s Word cannot contradict itself:

“But your iniquities (sin) have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that He will not hear you.”  Isaiah 59:2

Lord, TEACH ME TO TURN!

Teach me to turn away from my sins.

Teach me to turn away from foxes that want to sneak in to my thoughts and whisper lies that lead to death.

Teach me to turn away from any other voice but yours!

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your life, daughter.  Then you won’t do what your sinful nature craves.”—Galatians 5:16


The Purpose Of Our FEELINGS


Feelings are REAL...but that does not necessarily make them TRUE!

Feelings are INDICATORS...They alert you when you’re off and remind you to turn away from how you’re feeling, but more importantly you turn TO God!