Stir Me Up Lord!

Stir Me Up Lord!: February 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Food is NOT My Deliverer

This is very painful and personal for me and it’s something I know a few of my fellow Sisters in Christ struggle with, so please bear with me while I share some back story before I get to ‘the point’ of this particular post.

Five years ago when my husband started contracting – then it was in Iraq, I had decided to get serious about my health, so I changed my eating habits and woke up at 4am on work days just so I could exercise. We had a home gym in our garage and with being a ‘single parent’ and two sons in school and in karate plus me working a full-time job – I didn't want to take from my sons time, so I took from mine (believe me I’m not a morning person, so that was a huge sacrifice on my part). My efforts were well rewarded by losing 40 lbs and going from a size 14 to a size 8 in the first four months. Any mother knows how pregnancy can warp a woman’s body (especially if she doesn't take such good care of it during those pregnancies – in my case). 

I had long dreamed of a Mommy Makeover and after a year of my workouts, I couldn't get rid of that dang ‘pooch’, so after much prayer, I asked my wonderful and loving husband if I could have the procedure, to which he said that if I wanted it, I could have it. Now before any one gets upset, this is NOT what this is about – back story, remember - I've heard from many people who gave me a speech about how vain and selfish that was, so this is not up for debate – it simply was the best thing I could do for myself and since I am a researcher, I researched for over a year before I started going to consultations.  Did I mention they discovered during the surgery that I had over 4 inches of muscle separation in my abs from my pregnancies – i.e. no matter how much ab workouts I did those muscles would not go back together, so not having a droopy hangy belly did wonders for my marital self-esteem….sorry I digress!.

After my surgery (since that pooch of skin was keeping me in a size 8, I went down to a size 2) so I worked even harder to keep myself in shape – this was a wonderful gift getting my body back and I was NOT going to take it for granted!

Now a year later my husband blessed me with being able to quit work and be a stay at home mom and I admit, I was so excited to be able to sleep in since I didn't need to wake up early to work out. Unfortunately, because I was no longer on a schedule I ended up not working out as frequently or regularly. Seeing that I needed to make some changes again, I started Cross Fit, which was awesome I now was really in the best in shape I had ever been – for at least another six months. Again another – but - after buying our new home, I couldn't justify the expense of Cross Fit when I had my own indoor home gym (no more freezing or burning up in the garage home gym at the old house), so I quit Cross Fit and tried doing work outs on my own…unsuccessfully.

Apparently I need accountability, because my weight fluctuated, and my eating was out of control – I don’t think it was the Primal/Paleo eating that messed with my mind – makes you extremely aware of what you are eating and questioning everything you put in your mouth, but I would go without eating (since Primal said skipping meals and fasting was appropriate) I would end up starving myself for fear of eating the wrong thing, only to binge eating the worst foods the next day – so yes I realized recently that I have a bit of an eating disorder, at least in my thought process and self-control.

Honestly my biggest eating disorder is really a spiritual disorder – you see I really did let food become my comforter; I was allowing food to soothe my pain instead of feeding on the Word of God. Even after reading most of ‘Made to Crave’ (I have a terrible problem not finishing books) and that is a book I wished I would have finished! I almost laughed when she said she would cry in a ball wanting to eat some fattening food, thinking I have never had that problem BUT now here I am finding myself so consumed with the desire for some chocolate substance, that during an 8 day migraine, I got up in the middle of the night and left the house to get chocolate and ice cream. Shaking my head at myself, thinking what has happened to me!?!

I have been dealing with so much and even though I was able to give our financial situation to God – I hadn't given Him everything - the stress of having a husband in a war zone for 9 months out of every year for the past 5 years, playing Mommy/Daddy, not wanting to burden my husband with anything because of all he has to deal with, starting homeschooling now (even when you know it's the right thing, can still be stressful when you're constantly worried that you're doing the right thing) and then putting on a smile and pretending you're fine and it’s really nothing that I can’t handle, but that's all a big lie because I can’t handle it, I have to admit that to myself and to God – I can’t any handle of it, but He can - I don’t have the strength on my own to do this, but only through Christ can have the strength.

I stepped on the scale today and got really mad, mad at myself and what I’ve done to myself. Mad that I let the enemy do this to me.  Last week when I was suffering from that migraine, I had been working out diligently and even eating better for 3 weeks straight – then that migraine came and you can’t exactly exercise, let alone prepare healthy meals when you’re that miserable. You see I KNOW that any illness or pain is from the devil – not God, God is Jehovah-Rapha – the great physician and Jesus has healed us by His stripes – so whatever sickness or pain that comes, it’s from the enemy; God wants us healed, Jesus already paid the price for that healing, we just have to receive it.

I don’t know what the enemy’s total game plan was for me, I know I missed out on church all week, I know I was weakened spiritually even though I was praying and believing for healing, but I also know that God’s timing is perfect and that He can use anything the enemy means for harm, for His good. And I’m declaring now that I am giving my eating disorder, my self-control and will power with food and working out over to God, because there’s no way I can do this on my own, I NEED God to sustain me, I NEED God to comfort me, and I NEED God to strengthen me because I just can’t do it anymore.

You see I've just realized, I've had to give our finances over to God, because there’s no way I can make it all work anymore – and when I did that, miracles started happening, financial blessings started coming in. As I was just praying after writing this, I was crying and telling God to take this, I said to God, “I’m having to give you something else in my life” so while I was feeling like a complete failure for ‘having’ to do this yet again, He spoke to my spirit and said ‘That’s what you’re supposed to do, you’re supposed to give it ALL to me, every part of your life, ALL of you’!!! Can I tell you, at that moment, at that revelation, I felt peace – you know God’s peace, the peace where you know no matter what, it’s going to be all right.

Sorry for the long winded-ness of this post, each time I write, if I help even one person, that’s more than enough for me. I usually don’t get a lot of comments on my blogs, but I’d love to hear from you, especially if this is something you've been struggling with. And remember there’s a page on my blog specifically for Scriptures for Encouragement and Strength – I’m including below the ones I’ll be clinging to especially during this time, thank you and God Bless ~ dawn

“He gives power to the weak. He increases the strength of him who has no might” (Isaiah 40:29)
“For God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
“In that day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul.” (Psalm 138:3)
“The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from ALL their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.” (Psalm 34:17-19) {Caps my emphasis}
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16)
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Another Miracle

God can show us His blessings just by being still and standing in Faith. God is so faithful, I’m just blown away by His mercies and grace for my family, and recently He gave us a new miracle that I must share.

When we purchased our new home, it was only because of standing on Faith and believing for a miracle because of changes enacted by the worldly wisdom of congress - our financing went from 100% approved to 1% - but because we serve a mighty God, we received a miracle. With our miracle came renters for our other home that we were unable to sell. All we wanted was to bless someone else, so we did everything we could for the renters but unfortunately this January they were unable to complete the lease-to-buy, due to their personal issues. Even in their extended circumstances we graced them with staying in the home without paying while we prayed for a blessing to this situation. I felt burdened that I was not to do anything, only pray and stand in faith.  This was incredibly difficult to me, I’m used to trying to fix situations and doing everything I could to take care of this, only to discover when I did I was really only making the situation worse. So finally I broke down and gave it to God, because it was more than I could bear and He gave me this word – He told me that I just needed to trust Him and have faith, be still.

So I did, I was still, and just when the world would think all hope was lost – I received a phone call.  A neighbor to our old home called and asked if I was looking for new renters, she said her best friend would LOVE to move into our home and asked if she could give them my phone number. After I spoke with the family that was interested, I was in shock – after speaking to the bank earlier, I knew I was only able to renew the loan on the rent house for 6 months (balloon note, not a mortgage) and this family said that they would like to move in immediately and could rent for 6 months before they purchased the home (she works for a mortgage company). People say God works in mysterious ways – I wouldn’t call them mysterious, I’d just refer to them as His perfect timing.

This sweet family also goes to my church and we have been joining together to pray for the family that was living in the house – because they still needed to find a place to move into. Needless to say right before the ‘deadline’ they were able to find a new home and move out, with the new family able to move in. I have no teaching moment here, just something I needed to share. I really shouldn’t be surprised by all of God’s blessings – but I’m continuously humbled by his grace & mercy for me and my family and I just want to give Him all the honor & glory only He is due! 

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

God Knows Best

“…But those who ·follow the true way [do what is true; live by the truth] come to the light, and it ·shows [may be seen] that the things they do were done ·through [or in the sight of; or in obedience to;  in] God.” (John 3:21 EXB)

It seems God has placed this specific verse on my heart; unable to sleep I woke at 3am and after watching the clock, trying to convince God that I needed sleep. I was avoiding what God had been stirring in me for the past few days (to write my blog) but at 430am I finally gave in and turned on the light. I grabbed my laptop and Bible, sat down and started to pray for direction, I needed a verse so I could know what He wanted me to write and immediately ‘John 3:21’ was given to me. I know John 3:16-17, but didn’t even know what John 3:21 was about.

After opening my Bible and reading the verse, I was reminded of one of the prayers we had today at our Ladies Prayer meeting – about having a purpose given to us by God, and fulfilling that purpose. In my Bible I read from the New King James Version - Jesus said, “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” The bolded ‘been done’ has a note that says this is from the word ‘ergazomai’ compare to the word ‘energy’, to work, be busy, accomplish something, carry on a trade, produce things, be engaged in, toil, perform, to do business – ‘ergazomai’ is the opposite of idleness, laziness, or inactivity.

I’ve been praying for guidance and specific direction with my business and recently God has shown me what I was seeking. When I first started with Scentsy, it wasn’t meant to be anything more than just getting discounts on warmers and wax for our home, but God has used my business to change me. I’m a shy person, I do not like to step out of my comfort zone, but I soon learned that when I shared Scentsy with people, I was sharing more than just wax – I was witnessing to people. Since I had been writing my blog for a few months when I started with Scentsy, I  felt that God wanted me to have my business cards two-sided with information on my blog and FB page on the other side. I was nervous about sending the business cards for approval, but of course with prayer, my two-sided cards were approved. I took that as further encouragement and began to share more boldly than I had before and began to notice that either I was good at selling or I was blessed (here’s a hint, I’m not good at ‘selling’).

This weekend I went to my first Scentsy event and even though it seemed I shouldn’t go, I had to drive by myself over 300 miles and my husband wasn't comfortable with me going by myself – but God had a plan for that trip. I had some great worship time alone with God, just talking and thanking Him for all He’s done – trusting that He had a plan for why everything worked out as they did. I soon was shown how God wanted to work this event for His glory - sowing seeds and watering seeds among other consultants. I had thought His purpose was just witnessing to customers, so sharing with other consultants hadn’t even occurred to me! I had a guest ticket that I didn’t get to use for the event, so that morning I had posted on the event page that I wanted to bless someone with that ticket. A consultant requested the ticket and when I met her, we talked and she mentioned she homeschooled – so I of course told her I was homeschooling my children as well and felt the need to give her my business card, where I quickly pointed out my blog on the back. She was immediately excited and said she didn’t know we could do such things, she said she wanted to share a scripture on her business cards and catalogs as well. I told her that my card was approved through compliance, so she should have hers done as well! I didn't see her again after that, but I believe that was the whole purpose of our meeting, allowing her to know she can share a verse on her cards so she can sow and water seeds also. Next I met two wonderful ladies, whom I was able to share and talk with over the next 7 hours – I believe I was able to sow seeds with them and it was on the trip home that God shared with me that He can use anything, even my Scentsy adventure for His glory.

What does this all have to do with John 3:21 you might ask, well – everything! God gives us a purpose, He doesn’t change His mind, that purpose stays the same. God wants me to raise our sons as men of God, He’s allowing me to show them how to be a witness to others, how to care for others, and how to walk in the light. Of course, I’ll make mistakes, but I have two boys watching me – keeping me on my toes, so I’m getting much better at apologizing when I do make those mistakes because I want them to learn to do the right thing, even when it’s the last thing you want to do.

Sharing God isn’t about going to church on Sundays, it’s about living for God 24/7, so when I’m ‘working’, I’m still sharing God. I want them to know Colossians 3:23 “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”  We have a purpose, my purpose isn’t Scentsy, my purpose is raising our sons – my work is Scentsy, and I’m doing that as if I was doing it for God and not for me. God is using Scentsy as a vehicle for sharing His message, He is using it as an example of how God can use ANYTHING for His glory, and God will bless us when we put Him in all that we do.

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