June 14, 2018

What Does My WEIGHT Have To Do With My HEART?

by healthybydesignblog
affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

So today, I got dressed and my pants are all baggy. Great right? I’ve recently lost 9 lbs in about a week, but don’t celebrate that. It’s because my heart is broken. I recently was cheated on by my husband, who I still happen to love very much. Yeah… so… right… that sucks. Hey, let’s get real and personal and raw right in the first paragraph! Now most of my life, aspects of stress and a broken heart have led to weight GAIN. This is the first time in my life a broken heart has been so devastating that it has resulted in weight LOSS.

(By the way, if you’re in a hurry for the answer to the question in the article’s title, scroll down until you see the headline in red, but be sure to come back and read the rest for a better understanding.)

You know, I didn’t sit down today and decide to write about this topic, but I’ve learned to write when inspiration hits. I believe this is stuff the Lord wants me to share, so that while He’s setting me free, others can be set free as well. I am not going to delve into the pit of despair over my husband in THIS article. I’ve done that in another article I have yet to share, and have a whole other blog devoted to the heart break of my marriage, which I may choose to share at a later date. It’s still too raw to put out there. So understand that I am not being flip about this, just trying to be real, while at the same time, not bleeding all over this blog.

Now, I have a pretty amazing weight loss story prior to this, which you can read more about here if you like, but just to give you an idea of how far I’ve come, I’ve attached some long term before/afters in this post. But that’s not the main thing that I want to talk about. Please don’t get too distracted here. I just want you to see that I know a little bit about this topic of how our heart effects our waistline.

Tammy-ba-2018

So, as you can see from the first picture, I had a significant issue with my weight earlier. This has been something I struggled with most of my adult life, really noticeably starting with the “freshman 15” pounds that most college freshman gain from eating junk at college. I was heavier than I’d have liked in high school as well, but when I look at those pictures now, I think how I wish I had appreciated how thin and healthy I was then. I thought I was a total cow. If I could go back and tell my younger self a few things… well that’s part of why I’m writing this article.

Why Losing Weight Is More Than Counting Calories
& Exercising At The Gym

Jacqui McCoyFor a moment, I am going to depart from my own story, and share a friend’s story. The details of my own pain still need to be kept private for now. My friend’s story however, has already been made public, and I asked her permission to share it here. This friend was rather famous because she was featured on the tv show Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition. Her name is Jacqui McCoy. She lost over 200 lbs on the show. She was a young woman who desperately wanted to have a baby. However, she had been told that due to her PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my daughter also has this) which was supposedly caused by her obesity, she would not be able to conceive. The HOPE of being able to have a child is what fueled her determination to audition for the show. This was an incredible motivation to lose weight, but it has to go even deeper than motivation to not only lose the weight, but to KEEP IT OFF.

So back to the topic at hand. What had originally caused Jacqui to gain so much weight to begin with? If you see pictures of Jacqui growing up, she did not start out as an obese child. Her parents are not obese either. But around the age of 14 she began to gain a significant amount of weight. What changed? She had been at a party and had been raped! She never told anyone. The shame, the guilt, the trauma, the self-blame was more than she could bear. She cut have turned to self harm and become a cutter. She could have just as easily become an alcoholic, a drug user, even a workaholic. So she did what many people do who have experienced a trauma, she began to self-medicate. Her
“drug of choice” was food. (So is mine. Especially chocolate and sugar.)

Thin & Happily Ever After?

Not quite. Losing the weight is one thing. KEEPING IT OFF is entirely another demon to wrestle. Why do we almost always gain the weight back? I have kept off the majority of my own weight loss for a period of about 6 years, except for when my father died and my marriage began to unravel. That was in 2016-2017. You can see my pics here. I was in tremendous pain, was experiencing heart break at so many different levels, was out of my routine, life had been turned upside down, and so… What did I do? I self-medicated with my favorite drug of choice. Food! Chocolate & Carbs. I got back on track and many of us do, but many of us fall off the wagon and simply give up.

So back to Jacqui’s story. Surely after being coached by the best personal trainers in the business and having such incredible support from the show, from family and friends…. surely she never, ever would fall back into unhealthy habits, right? Wrong.

Not long after the show was over, Jacqui gained back (if I’m not mistaken) about 80 of the 200 lbs she had lost, and it came back FAST! She knew how to count calories. She knew how to exercise. She had a tremendous reason to be motivated. But none of that kept the weight from coming back on. How many of us have experienced that absolute same thing?

Trauma & Heart Break

Do not wave this off and think I am just “talking to hear myself talk” about this. Jacqui said something at a convention I attended. She was one of the featured speakers due to her recent “stardom” and weight loss story. She said you have to “love yourself thinner.” I attached a clip of her talk here, the first few minutes are a brief repeat of the show itself, and then she starts talking.  I was one of those applauding wildly for her, but the impact of that statement has sunk deeper and deeper in my understanding as life just kept throwing some hard stuff at me.

I work with people a lot on their “self talk” when they come to me wanting help losing weight. Most people, especially women, talk to themselves in such a manner they’d NEVER tolerate someone else doing to their best friend or to their children. But they do it to themselves. This is usually an indicator of much deeper issues.

You don’t have to have been cheated on or raped to have “heart issues” that impact your weight and overall health. Maybe you just felt unwanted as a child, that’s a pretty awful thing to have happened to you. Maybe your parents got divorced. Maybe one of your parents was an alcoholic. Maybe your father abandoned your family. See where I’m going with this? Maybe one of them was a great person, but was a workaholic. Maybe you were raised by a single mom, and there just wasn’t enough of her to go around. Or on a lighter note, maybe you’ve just put everyone you love and their well-being ahead of your own for so long, that you don’t remember how to take care of yourself.

Learning How to Love Yourself
& Healing Your Heart/Trauma Is The Missing Piece!!!

Why do alcoholics keep drinking when their organs are shutting down and they KNOW they are drinking themselves to death? Why do heroine addicts keep putting that needle in their veins? Why does chocolate and sugar call my name – especially Nutella – if it’s in my house? Why can’t I leave it alone? You may think I’m crazy, but it’s the same reason I’ve stayed in a toxic relationship far too long. I not only did not value myself enough, and the TRAUMA in our hearts, whatever caused us to undervalue ourselves originally, is operating in our sub-conscious and DRIVING THE ADDICTION, in my case, and maybe yours, to food.

***** To over-simplify this, imagine that your jugular vein has been cut in your neck, but only a band-aid was placed to hide the cut while no surgery was done to heal the vein underneath.*****

We are all in various stages of understanding where we are now and why, and where we have come from. Most of us feel that we have no control over where we are going, and spend our lives reacting to whatever life throws at us. Many of us will give up trying to lose weight all together with reasons that sound sensible like, “Obesity runs in my family. There must be a ‘fat gene’,” or “It’s just too hard to go to the gym every single day!” or “I don’t drink, gamble or fool around. I’m gonna eat what I want!” or my all-time favorite and I think DUMBEST excuse ever, “It costs too much to eat healthy!” Face it. You’re either gonna pay now or later. I’d rather pay a little more to be healthier now and invest in long term health results, than to pay DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS LATER! I’d rather learn and do some hard things now, than sacrifice time in a waiting room of some doctor or hospital later when I could have been playing with grandbabies or something lots more fun!

Okay to wrap this up, there are many, many ways to go about losing weight. Please do so in a HEALTHY MANNER. If you go to some of the links I’ve shared with you, I will tell you more about my own story and what I chose to lose and maintain my weight, and also heal from the inside out. You don’t HAVE to go to the gym and exercise like crazy, I didn’t. BUT, I will tell you that going to the gym will make you feel better (releases those fabulous endorphins) and is a great stress reliever, which I think is a couple of reasons that I think facilitate weight loss at least as much as the physical activity. That’s my opinion. BUT WHATEVER WAY you choose, remember what Jacqui said, “You have to love yourself thinner.”

For some of us, that will be simply deciding that we will devote 30 minutes a day to go for a walk, maybe spending more time with good friends, maybe even changing jobs, but somehow making ourselves a priority regardless of what else in on our plate. Sometimes it makes a great difference just to watch that self talk. Encouraging ourselves the same way we would for any friend in how we talk to ourselves is HUGE!!!

For others of us, who have been dealt some really gnarly blows in life, some professional counseling or prayer ministry may be in order. But one thing’s for sure, ignoring the ROOT of the overeating does not work. Looking at this as a discipline doesn’t work unless you are already really healthy emotionally. Counting calories won’t work except short term, unless you get a handle on your emotional issues. Potions and pills that “make” you lose weight CAN HURT OR KILL YOU.

Addressing your trauma and emotional wounds will have ramifications much farther than your pants size my dear. I have really found this to be true recently with my latest heart break. Learn this concept now, and teach it to your children and your grandchildren.

One of my favorite lines from any movie is from “The Help” where the maid tells the little girl she takes care of, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” She knew the little girl’s mama was telling her she wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc and etc. Do what you gotta do to heal your heart, and other things – including weight loss – will be much more attainable and sustainable.

(If this article was helpful to you somehow, I’d love it if you’d friend me on Facebook, or check out my YouTube channel. I’m on Instagram a little,

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June 14, 2018

So, I Lost Some Weight…

by healthybydesignblog

I talk about this a lot. Sometimes I think people are already familiar with my story, only to find out that they have no idea. So I decided doing this post was a good way to try to organize my story here. Please note in the pictures below, that the first row is a transformation that occurred in only 2.5 months!

180 pics Tammy

And the pictures only tell half the story. It all started with my daughter being diagnosed with PCOS. That’s the subject of another blog post, which I’ll write soon… But the short version is that in my efforts to help HER get healthier and lose weight, I ended up getting healthier and losing weight, too! I also reversed Rheumatoid Arthritis and have been pain free since 2011. It’s June of 2018 right now. Not only that, I got rid of “brain fog” and was sharper than I had been since college. AND, I kept looking younger! Bonus!!! You can see for yourself in the pictures below. I think I actually look younger in 2018 than I did in 2011. I certainly look BETTER and healthier.

I also think it is important to point out, what I wasn’t willing to do for MYSELF, which was changing my eating habits and getting healthier I WAS WILLING TO DO FOR MY CHILD. Isn’t that typical? I was not motivated to take care of myself at all at that time. I had been through some tough stuff. Again, a topic for another blog article at another time. However, at the time that the Aug 2011 pic was taken, I had been through a house fire and a miserable, toxic 11-year marriage that ended in divorce. I was self-employed, working 80+ hrs a week, and was homeschooling my little girl. Simply put, taking care of myself came dead last on my priority list. I was in survival mode, pure and simple. You ever been there?

June 5, 2018

Unfaithful

by healthybydesignblog

I hadn’t planned to write this today. Didn’t want to write this today. Didn’t want to dive into these feelings. Has someone you loved ever been unfaithful to you?

About three days ago, my husband was unfaithful to me. Deliberately. You know, sometimes hurting people “fall into” situations over time, and the unfaithfulness occurs a little at a time, until it culminates in the irreversible. But this was not like that. This was done to hurt me. Period.

At first, I was in shock. My brain could not, no it REFUSED to accept the information. I simply did not believe it. At first I thought he was just saying it to hurt me, because he seems to enjoy doing that lately. He could tell I did not believe him. We’ve been separated for some time, but have been working towards reconciling, so I am not currently living there. When he saw that I didn’t believe him, when he saw that I was not crumpled on the ground, he went into the house and got a piece of clothing that had been left by the woman. I had to face the truth, but even then, my brain just would not compute.

Knowing that he could have called me, and simply expressed that he needed me to be a wife to him and I would have RUSHED right over to fill that need, he DELIBERATELY went to a bar, DELIBERATELY got drunk, and DELIBERATELY brought a strange woman into our bed. Then he didn’t just confess it, he threw it in my face (in front of one of his buddies) with absolute relish and fury. And all I could do was say, “Don’t you love me anymore?” I know he does. He did. Thirty days ago, he was confessing his adoration and love for me, apologizing for past hurts, and declaring, giving his WORD that he would allow nothing to come between us again. Just 30-40 days ago. So, as you can imagine, I was not just a little shocked, I was floored.

You know what happened next. I had an hour drive back to my place. I could not drive over 45 mph, so it took even longer. Once home, I began to let the information sink it. The images of the love of my life, naked, with some strange woman, in the bed that I had shared with him – in that bed where he had declared his love for me so often – fractured my mind and heart. Wave after wave of grief. I had emotional vertigo. I felt like I would throw up. I’d go numb for a few minutes, then it would start all over again. Then the anger flared. How could he have done this to me. What about all his promises? What about him giving me HIS WORD. I felt abandoned, rejected, and soooo disappointed.

Has someone YOU loved been unfaithful to you? Stop and revisit those feelings for just a moment…

In the Bible, God refers to our relationship with him, especially with Jesus, as a Bride and a Bridegroom. He uses marriage as an illustration throughout His Word. Beulah Land, the song our grandparents used to sing, is referring to a “Marriage” Land. When the word says that Jesus did not scorn the shame of the cross, for the “joy” set before him, I think it was that he, the groom, knew that when he got through this suffering, he had the JOY of meeting his bride (us) to look forward to. How many movies have we seen where the hero goes through incredible odds for his love, or even sacrifices his very life for her. It was never a question to Him if we were worth it or not!

So when we put anything other than God first in our lives, he is jealous for us. Over and over in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, the Lord equates idol worship with a wife’s unfaithfulness. I thought I knew what he felt. I thought I understood. But until my husband hit me with his statement of his own unfaithfulness, I had a new appreciation for how God feels when we are unfaithful to him. I hope you will pause here, and let that sink in. Especially if you yourself have experienced this in your own life.

God doesn’t just love us as apart of an adoring crowd. He doesn’t see us just as “fans”. He loves us intimately as a groom loves his new bride. Do you remember what it’s like to be in love like that? Have you forgotten? Our love as humans waxes and wanes, but God is not a man. He is faithful and true regardless of how we choose to be.

So, where do we go from here?

Today, and yesterday, I have found myself repenting to the Lord for causing him the kind of pain that I have now feeling with my own husband’s infidelity. Especially when I have tried SO HARD to love him and love him well. Even as I type that, I am reminded of all the times I have read in the Bible with the Lord saying he had been so good to Israel (us) and that had lain naked in open fields and prostituted themselves with other gods. How soon we forget His Faithfulness.

Even when I met my husband, I made him an idol ahead of my God. I had been a single mother for ten years. The last time I had been intimate with a man, had been with my former husband, TEN YEARS PREVIOUS! Then this handsome, charming man fell madly in love with me, and I him. I got so swept up in his adoration (due to my own dysfunction and neediness) that I asked my Lord Jesus to please step down from the throne in my heart, and I replaced Him with my husband. Now I could have kept them both obviously, and still had Jesus on the throne and my husband and I probably be in a much different place right now. Either he would have recognized that Jesus was first and been drawn more to Him himself, or he would have chosen to leave the relationship. Either way, I would have been better off.

Now, I try to admit this pretty often when I write anything and put it out there for public view. I don’t know much at all. I don’t have a bunch of answers for you. I don’t know what tomorrow is gonna look like. I have no plan to wrap this all up and make it all better. ALL I KNOW is WHO I need to turn to. Thankfully, we are under a new covenant, and all the Father’s jealous wrath was exhausted at the cross. If we repent of our own unfaithfulness and ask His forgiveness, it is a done deal, and He doesn’t treat us like a jilted husband would. He welcomes us back with open arms and the relationship is as if the infidelity never occurred. Now that’s restoration.

I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough. I did not want to go here today, but He impressed it upon me that I needed to write this while my own pain was still fresh and raw and pulsating like a fresh wound. If you’ve asked the Lord Jesus to step down from the throne of your heart, won’t you give Him His rightful place again?

May 28, 2016

My God Is Jealous For Me

by healthybydesignblog

… I have heard somewhere that it was this concept – the concept of God being jealous – that caused Oprah Winfrey to turn away from Christianity, but I don’t know this for certain.

… Have you ever held your new born baby and hoped that the child would prefer you to everyone else, even the child’s father? Does this seem odd to you? Is it just me?

I had experienced infertility for a number of years. I was 34, almost 35,  when I had my first and only child, a daughter. I named her Rachel. When I would rock her to sleep and look down into her sweet little face, I knew that no one else in the universe was loved as much as this child was loved by me. I wanted her to love her father, her grandparents, her step-brother and sister, but most of all I wanted her to love me as much as I loved her, and I love her immensely. I wanted her to prefer my company as I preferred hers, above anyone else in the world.

That’s when God spoke to me and reminded me that He was jealous. Not as an insecure and selfish lover is jealous. He was jealous FOR me. He loved me so very much, that it would break His heart for me to prefer another’s company to His. He wanted me to prefer to spend my time with Him. To tell my secrets to Him first. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that lovely? I began to better understand Him as a Good Father, and what a Father’s heart was all about.

Recently, I was married for the second time. I had been a single mom for over nine years after my divorce. My first marriage pales in comparison to this one. My first husband was emotionally absent, and I am convinced that he never loved me. I have NO IDEA why someone would get married if they were not in love, but I believe that’s what happened. My second husband literally ADORES me. In fact it blows my mind how much this man loves me. And once again, I am reminded about a jealous God. God could not use my previous husband as a way to parallel His love for me, because all that man did was hurt me. But my current husband shows me in a million different small thoughtful ways how much he loves me – in the way he looks at me, the way he speaks to me, the way he can’t sleep unless his arms are around me, etc. It’s easy to see that his thoughts are always about me. I am continuously thrilled that His love is just as intensely felt now as when he first declared it to me. It has not waned.

Don’t ask me! I have NO IDEA why He loves me so much. But I KNOW he does. It’s very obvious and it’s absolutely wonderful. And again, God says to me that my husband’s love for me is a small fraction of His own love for me. This level of intimacy, and I’m talking about KNOWING someone, is what our God desires with us. Over and over the Bible speaks of a Groom and His bride. Over and over the wedding and consummation of a great love story is used to help illustrate who Jesus wants to be to us. He delights in us. His thoughts are always about us. He is jealous for us!

But what about the parts of the Bible that don’t seem so romantic? Beloved, realize that we are in the time of the NEW Covenant. Our Groom has paid our bride’s price. There is no more debt to be paid, if you have accepted His proposal. He has taken your debt on as His own. He has promised to take care of you for ever and ever, and to never leave your side. He has even promised to love you when your youth fades and your strength is gone. He is Faithful and True.

Our culture has few examples of anything so pure and lovely these days. I have to search back in my mind to childhood thoughts of a handsome prince, or a shining knight on a white horse. Images that seem kinda corny nowadays to us skeptical, hard-hearted, broken and battered folks. But in our heart of hearts, back before the world – or rather, before our enemy shattered our hopes and dreams, the hope of that sort of unselfish, courageous love lives on. We may have forgotten, but it’s still there, buried under lies and hurts.

Have you noticed that I have only bragged on my husband’s love for me? Not my love for him? Does it seem unfair? Is our love one sided? Not at all. Too often as Christians, we brag on our love for Jesus, all the time having other lovers that we prefer, at least for a time, if we’re honest. We brag on how much we do to prove our love to Him, but even our Groom has said our righteousness is as filthy rags. This is nothing more than a religion of works people. It is much more appropriate to brag on His love for us, and all that HE has done to prove His love for us. If we are going to boast, we simply boast about Him.

Grace is an amazing thing. It is the word used for the greatest love there ever was. The greatest love story ever told. He ADORES us, and has done everything necessary to provide for you, to have you and to hold you. He will not remind you of your former lovers, of your past mistakes. He will simply love you and that love makes you as pure as if you had never messed up at all. All your weaknesses, all your mistakes, all your faults, all your less-than-perfectness is forgotten after His proposal is accepted. Your are forever His, and He is yours. And He will always be just as jealous for you as He was in the beginning of time. He is for you friend, and not against you. He is not like your ex-husband.  🙂

Exodus 34:14
–for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God–
2 Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
May 8, 2015

Wanna Be Home With Your Kids AND Save The World?

by healthybydesignblog

I’m a single mom. I certainly didn’t expect to be. It’s hard sometimes, a lot of the time really. I’m still figuring things out, but about two years ago I made a huge leap of faith in regards to my career. I shut down my small home-based advertising agency and web-design company to literally save the world, or as many people as I could anyway. As many as who would listen.

I need to provide a little background. My daughter is now 13, but at age 5 she was diagnosed with a hormonal disorder called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). The most urgent aspect of this was her blood sugar, she was pre-diabetic. Picture this, at that time I was about 250 lbs, addicted to Mt. Dew, stubborn as heck, and my body was racked with both Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had just gone through a house fire and a traumatic marriage which ended in divorce. I had little hope, few resources, and was just surviving emotionally from one day to the next. I hope you have never been there, or somewhere similar, but perhaps you have.

Shortly thereafter, more bad news. My father was diagnosed with Parkinsons, my mother with a blood disorder, and my younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41. I’m not one to always follow the rules in the first place, and after seeing my grandfather suffer through traditional cancer treatment, I was actively reading, researching and asking questions about NATURAL ways to help the people I loved. I learned that NUTRITION could not only PREVENT much of what my family was going through, but could possibly stop the progression of some of their symptoms, and even possibly REVERSE some of it. I was so excited!!!!

This is really where the Lord stepped in. As a single mom, I was working terribly long hours with my advertising biz, and was always feeling guilty for not having more time to spend with my daughter, even though we were homeshooling. It was fun when I started, but then the housing market crashed, it really impacted my business, and mommy wasn’t so much fun anymore. She was wiggin’ out! SO, I was considering a part-time job or in-home biz to add to my already crazy schedule. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see myself as a salesperson. I hated even selling Girl Scout cookies as a kid. The idea of running up and down the road begging friends to buy stuff they may not even need in the first place just didn’t appeal to me. However, my cousin Teresa had told me about Shaklee vitamins when I was in my 20’s, and I never paid her any mind. After all, I wasn’t gonna ever get old or sick, right? Fast forward into my 40’s, I’m getting old and I’m definitely sick, and so is everyone I care about. For the first time, I was ready to listen about nutrition and this Shaklee company she told me about.

Turns out, the founder, Dr. Forrest Shaklee, invented the very first multi-vitamin and he was a pretty incredible guy. Turns out, they have a zero tolerance for contamination in their products with higher standards than the FDA, AND they were environmentally proactive before being “green” was cool. I have heard all kinds of testimonies from regular folks just like you and me. One day everything in life was okay, the next day, either they – or someone they loved – got a scary diagnosis and their universe was rocked. Their lives or the lives of someone they loved was spared or improved by this company and their science. This is something I am excited about and can’t help but share with friends and neighbors, and you. This company loves fostering healthy happy homes, where moms can raise their own kids and make a salary replacement income while working part-time from home.

SO, if you are one of those, who like me, want to save the world, even if sometimes it doesn’t want to be saved, AND you’d really like to be home more with your kids, I suggest you consider Shaklee. I am more in love with the MISSION of this company than when I started four years ago. AND, I have lost 60 lbs, no longer need ANY pain meds for my arthritis – in fact, I don’t even consider myself to have it any longer! I am still trying to help my family, and my neighbors, and my friends, and again, anyone who will listen. I have awesome stories to share that are forthcoming. I hope you will be as inspired as I have been!

April 1, 2014

Jesus Sent Me Roses For My Birthday

by healthybydesignblog

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.25.56 AMToday is April 1st, and no, this is not an April Fool’s joke! As my birthday falls in this month, I was reminded of a very special gift.

Several years ago, I had just had a house fire, lost my home and it’s contents and was recently divorced. Although I had a new house, twice as nice as the one I lost, I could not enjoy it because I just felt like such a failure. A vague but persistent condemnation was always hanging over my head, and at that time, I thought those feelings were telling me how God felt about me. I was worried that perhaps I did not deserve such a nice house, that somehow I had been selfish, and I just didn’t really deserve anything nice. It FELT so real. It was SO oppressive; it was suffocating my hope and I had little expectation for a better tomorrow. Really and truly, I had little desire to live. I was not suicidal so much as just exhausted from disappointment. I felt unloved, unattractive, unsuccessful, unintelligent, unprepared, unworthy, etc. and etc.

One morning as I was getting ready for the day, I thought about my upcoming birthday. I had recently studied about the story of Gideon in the Bible, and he had asked God for a sign, and not just one, but two. I thought to myself, “If I could just know that I was not out of God’s favor, that He still loved me, and that I had not done anything to sever our relationship, I can handle the rest.” So I thought about asking God for a sign. I thought what kind of sign should I ask for? I decided to ask for something that would be highly unlikely to happen, that way, I would KNOW it was God.

Just so you know, I’ve also received more “holy” type answers to prayer. I wanted a baby in spite of a doctor’s report, and I was blessed with one. I was sick with fibromyalgia and given no hope of a cure, but Jesus healed me. I gave money to a missionary when I really needed it myself, and got a ten times bigger return on that gift within a week’s time. I have all kinds of stories!

So I decided to ask for cut flowers for my birthday. I really don’t care if any religious types think this was silly, that’s what I asked for! 🙂 I knew my mom would most likely get me hanging baskets for my birthday, or something to plant in my yard, but cut flowers are something generally reserved for boyfriends, husbands, etc and I had neither. I also didn’t want to just ask for flowers, and then have the devil steal my blessing, when it could be easily said, “Your mama gets you flowers every birthday.” It was also a somewhat frivolous expense, and I didn’t know anyone who would do such a thing. I thought maybe I’d get one of those roses in plastic that you see at a gas station or something. Maybe my young daughter would ask someone to help her pay for it, so that she could give it to me. That was pretty much my expectation, nothing fabulous, just any cut flower would do.

Well a few days passed and I completely forgot about this request, in fact, within minutes of the request I had forgotten all about it. I have gone into a bit of explanation about all this, but honestly, the thought process probably only took a few seconds at the most, and as I’ve already said, I completely forgot about it almost as soon as I prayed for it.

In fact, my birthday came and went, and my mom brought me some hanging baskets, and I still hadn’t thought about my request for a sign that God and I were on good terms, that He wasn’t mad at me. The day AFTER my birthday, I woke up at 4am with a friend from church on my heart who was struggling with a diagnosis of MS (Multiple Sclerosis). I got up to write her a letter of encouragement. It was still dark outside when I started the letter, but about the crack of dawn, I walked from my home office to my living room for something. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something propped up on my front door, which is mostly panes of glass. Strange, it was a skinny long rectangular cardboard box.  As soon as I open the door, I see the FTD symbol, and recalled my prayer request!

I was shocked! I had forgotten, but the Lord had not. I crumpled on the floor and began to bawl. “OMG, He remembered! He cares, and He’s not mad at me!” My emotions were all over the place– extreme joy, disbelief, and OMG! This was an outrageous, silly, off the wall request, and when I made it, I couldn’t imagine who might send me flowers, but He had remembered my desperate need to know that our relationship was intact.

Then I opened the box…….. oh my! I would have been happy with a wilted, pitiful flower from a gas station, but what I had in front of me, was a bouquet of 40 miniature roses of all kinds of colors! (I turned 40 that year.) Roses are my favorite flower by the way, and not only for how they look, but for how they smell. The friend who sent them to me had no idea, but God did. I took in a deep breath, expecting them to be pretty, but maybe not really have much smell, because sometimes they just don’t. My lungs were full of rose perfume and tears streamed down my face. They even smelled good!

A creative director at a local advertising agency had sent them! I hadn’t known her that long or all that well at the time, but she did it just because she felt like it. Little did she know, that Jesus had set up that whole thing! The flowers HAD arrived on my birthday, I just hadn’t seen them until the next morning!

This answered prayer blessed a deep place in my heart, because it answered a deep need to know that I wasn’t just loved a little bit, that I wasn’t just a faceless girl in the crowd, but that I was ADORED by the creator of the universe and that He delighted in blessing my heart. Our heart aches really matter to Him, and the need to know that we are truly and deeply loved matters to him. I am still trying to grasp that, and need a lot of reminding, so I adore the Word of God and my church who gives me regular doses of the Good News, the “almost too good to be true good news”. He ADORES us! And what’s more, He adores me and knows me personally and intimately. He knows what I like!

My birthday is coming around again, and this year, I am more secure in that love now than I was then. However, I am so hungry for more! As a single mom, it blesses me to read that He is not only my Savior and my Healer, but He is also my Husband and I am His Bride. It also says that He delights in me. Imagine that!

You may need your mortgage paid this month, heck you may need groceries, or a child healed, or you may need hope and strength to just keep going one more day. Know this, that He is FOR YOU! Anything that says otherwise is a lie. When the enemy tries to tell me that I don’t matter to God, remembering that bouquet tells me not only that I matter, but that He’s actually pretty crazy about me. How awesome is that? I hope you know, that because God is “no respecter of persons”, that means if He’s crazy about me, He’s crazy about you, too. Hard to believe, I know, but maybe you need to ask the Lord to show you just how crazy He is about you someday soon. If you do, I would LOVE to hear about it.

January 16, 2014

“It’s All Right.”

by healthybydesignblog

Couldn’t sleep tonight, and just opened my Bible kinda randomly. I began reading and the first words I saw was, “It’s all right.” This was a mother’s response, called the Shunamite, to her son’s death. But that’s not the end! In 2nd Kings Chapter 4, beginning with verse 8, we begin reading this woman’s story, she had been kind to the prophet Elisha, so he wanted to bless her, and his servant suggested that he pray for her to have a son, as she was childless. So that’s exactly what happened. However, one day the boy was in the field with his father and complained that his head hurt, so a servant carried him to his mother. She held him in her lap, and there he died.

What would I have done? Freaked completely out, maybe passed out, stopped breathing myself from grief and shock??? What did she do? She asked her husband to have a servant prepare a donkey for her to go see the man of God. He said why, it’s not Sunday? She said, “It’s alright.” This is not to say that the woman was not in great distress, but she still had hope, and did not agree with the facts, the circumstances, what she could see with her eyes.

As she got closer to where the prophet was, he recognized her from a distance and sent his servant ahead to ask if everything was alright at home. She answered his servant, “Everything is all right.” When she came before Elisha however, she got down on her knees, grabbed his feet, and said, “Did I ask you for a son? Didn’t I tell you not to get my hopes up?” (paraphrased)

The story ends with Elisha going to her home to find her son dead. He prayed, and then laid on top of the boy twice, the boy sneezed and woke up and was restored to his mother. I have learned a lot recently about agreeing with the Lord’s report and not the enemy’s. I am thinking had the woman reacted to what she knew to be fact, and gave into her feelings, perhaps she would not have gotten this miracle, because she would have already have agreed with the world’s report, with the evidence that presented itself.

A preacher I know of, Andrew Womack raised his own son from the dead in very similar circumstances. His younger son called him to tell him his oldest son was dead, and had been dead several hours. They had a long drive to where his son’s body lay in a morgue. But he never gave into his grief, never agreed with his son’s report, and when he got to the morgue, he raised his son from the dead. He’s raised others as well, but my point is how important it is to first shut our mouths when we get a diagnosis, or distressful news of any kind. Yes, you may be presented with FACTS, but hey, facts can change! In the presence of the Almighty God who loves you, who is FOR YOU, miracles can abound. But right now, TODAY, we need to decide whose report we will agree with, the God who loves us, or the enemy whose sole purpose is to kill, steal and destroy.

As is often the case, I am writing this for my own benefit, as well as for anyone else who may stumble along and find it. Your words have power. Agree with the God who is FOR YOU, who loves you, who knitted you together in your mother’s womb. The enemy’s favorite weapon is to convince you that the disaster that just fell in your lap was authored by God. He gets to do the crime and blame the Father, and way too often we buy this crap and AGREE WITH THE ENEMY OF OUR SOULS!!  We are under condemnation for this or that, and we think that’s God as well. If we ever understood, really truly, that God is good, and that he ADORES us, then we’d be like a royal prince, who when abducted by crooks, knows if he could just get word to his powerful, loving Father, that all would be well. That heaven and earth would be moved, all his Father’s resources put behind the effort to save him. He would need only rest and wait for him to come.

Christ bore IT ALL on the cross. Past, present & future. He knew there was nothing you could do, so he did it all. #heisforyou

October 26, 2013

Relay For Life – But Not Pro-Life?

by healthybydesignblog

Relay For Life logoSusan G Komen logo If you’ve ever been to a local Relay For Life event, you know how heart warming it can be. My younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41, and she is now 45. I think this sort of community support for cancer patients and care givers is enormously beneficial. I am 100% FOR the eradication of cancer and have attended a couple of these events in the past, but after what I’ve learned since my sister’s diagnosis, I am NOT in favor of sending money to Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society or the pharmaceutical industry in general and there are several reasons why, but I am only going to cover one here.

Initially I greatly admired the Susan G. Komen Foundation, because my understanding is that like me, the founder was moved to make a difference by her sister’s battle with breast cancer. However, I found out in the last year or so that both Susan G. Komen AND the American Cancer Society both give money to Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the nation, under the guise of it being a women’s health issue. Thus the title of my post.  Had I given money to help save women from breast cancer, only to find out that some of that money went to an abortion provider, I’d want it back. The fact that my money, given with the intention to help preserve a life, could’ve been used to brutally end one would be infuriating and horrifying.

Founder of Freedom and Faith, Ralph Reed wrote “Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation for numerous alleged violations of the law, do not offer mammography services to women, and have failed to comply with Komen’s guidelines and metrics for grantees.” In addition, Lifeway Christian bookstores pulled all their pink Bibles back in 2011 after they discovered that $1 from the sale of each of those Bibles went to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

And don’t you find it ironic, that a group called Relay For Life, would not think an unborn baby’s life just as worthwhile as a woman battling breast cancer? Is life only valuable for some, but not all? To me, this is a sinister thread, woven into a message of hope, that simply cannot be ignored. Why is it valiant for one person to fight for survival, but inconvenient for a child to be granted the same opportunity to life?  

For more information:

http://www.lifenews.com/2011/04/01/pro-lifers-dont-support-american-cancer-society-relay-for-life/

http://www.christianpost.com/news/pro-life-groups-dumbfounded-by-komens-reversal-on-planned-parenthood-funding-68644/

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/07/03/march-of-dimes-american-cancer-society-spina-bifida-association-back-planned-parenthood/

In closing, I repeat, I am 100% FOR the eradication of cancer, and supporting cancer patients in a multitude of capacities. I am especially for more education on this topic about prevention, and a more holistic approach to treatment. There are many other reasons I choose personally NOT to support these institutions, there may possibly be more blog posts to address other reasons in the future. I have written another blog on some resources that explain how our diets either make us stronger in our resistance to cancer, or can make us weaker, and therefore more vulnerable to cancer. Please check out my earlier blog entitled “Holistic Cancer Resources.” And if you or someone you love has had a cancer diagnosis, know that you were DESIGNED TO HEAL, that facts can change and so can doctor reports, and that God is for you and not against you.

I also know that many Christians have supported Relay For Life completely unaware of their alignment, financially and politically for Planned Parenthood. I am not attempting to lay condemnation on anyone, just to inform well-meaning folks that they might want to reconsider where they send their money. I want all of us to try to be more informed.

If you would like to express your opinion on this topic to these institutions directly, here is a link with their contact information:

http://ww5.komen.org/contact.aspx

http://www.cancer.org/aboutus/howwehelpyou/contactus/index

October 19, 2013

The Logical Approach Is Not Necessarily The Best Approach

by healthybydesignblog

iStock_000004889191XSmallRecently, I have been absolutely fascinated with the subject of treatments that seem logical, but don’t necessarily work, or at least don’t work as well as another treatment that may seem completely illogical.

Let me remind you, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. I am simply a mom, a daughter, a sister and friend to people who are struggling with their health every day. I have had my own health struggles as well. My purpose for writing this article is simply to open your mind to possibilities, and to share what I feel is useful information for people who may be suffering with any of these conditions. I often forget that there are many people today who are hearing about alternative approaches to health conditions for the very first time. It’s even funny to me that using nutrition to heal your body is considered alternative. It would seem more appropriate to call a man-made drug therapy approach “alternative”. But I digress…

“Lorenzo’s Oil”

The first time I was introduced to this concept of an illogical approach to treatment working was while watching the movie, “Lorenzo’s Oil”, starring Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte. The young man in the movie, is diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy, which is a disorder which results in the accumulation of very-long chain fatty acids in tissues throughout the body. The doctors told her the logical thing to do was to limit fats in her sons diet, but when she went against that recommendation and actually gave him an oil that was a combination of two specific long chain fatty acids, one of them being olive oil, he showed improvement. Normally someone would die within two years of this diagnosis, but Lorenzo lived to be 30 years old, thanks to an illogical approach to his condition, and one brave and determined set of parents.

ADD/ADHD

For anyone whose kids are not having issues with ADD/ADHD, you might assume that the “medication” these kids are put on is a medication that would slow them down or mellow them out, right? They’re frequently all over the place, so it seems logical, to give them a sedative. But the drugs that are given to kids with ADD/ADHD is actually the equivalent of SPEED. These drugs accelerate their minds, and causes the manifestation of the “problem behavior” to minimize.  Most kids with ADD/ADHD are quite brilliant. It’s like having a high perforance engine in a luxury car, but giving it cheap gas. However, if you’re shocked that kids are given speed, join the club. I have been told by experts that improving nutrition and eliminating junk food, fast food, chemicals, dyes, etc can accomplish similar results. But this is not an article on how to help ADD/ADHD. This is however, an article about a treatment that seems illogical at first glance – such as giving speed to a hyperactive child – working,  when a logical treatment, such as giving that same child a sedative, would not work.

Reflux / GERD

People who are suffering from reflux or GERD are plagued by what seems like too much acid. So the logical solution is to put them on acid blockers, right? Wrong! Because of a lack of nutrition, stress and/or the body not getting enough acidic foods in the diet, the acid pumps in the stomach are not so much over-producing acid as they are malfunctioning. Instead of a steady stream, or the regular functioning, they are putting off surges of acid which is actually just a manifestation of the acid pumps not having what they need to do their job properly. Acid blockers make the problem worse, and you are even less able to digest your food. This means fewer nutrients are actually being absorbed by your body to feed your organs, cells, etc. But again, this article is about what does work. A friend of mine and I began researching natural ways to deal with this, and we found that taking a teaspoon of vinegar, yes vinegar, a couple times a week, eating apples, and using fish oil and resveratrol supplements completely healed her stomach. She had been on an acid blocker for years and had felt terrible, and her hair had started getting really thin. Now she rarely has issues with reflux at all and feels great!

Kidney Stones

Dr. Stephen Chaney, a professor of nutrition at UNC-Chapel Hill told me once that Eastern North Carolina (where I live) is the “kidney stone belt.” A good friend of mine suffers with them frequently. Often what can cause kidney stones is drinking water that has calcium in it. There is more than one form of calcium by the way. There are forms that our body can absorb and forms it can’t. The calcium in our water in this area, is a kind that is not absorbable by our bodies and so it ends up collecting in our kidneys and forming stones. It might seem logical to reduce a person’s calcium intake if they were suffering with kidney stones, but actually, they need MORE calcium, as long as it’s a kind that the body can easily absorb and put to work. The bad calcium causes the good calcium to be leeched from bones and teeth. (A good water filter is also highly recommended!)

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

In the last several years, I have known several people who were diagnosed with MS. One of the first was a friend of mine from church. She was a young mother in her 30’s, and she actually died not from the MS, but from an experimental drug that she had agreed to try. Her immune system was so severely depressed, that a dormant virus that lives in all of us rose up and destroyed her brain. This made a HUGE impact on me, not only because her life ended way too soon, but she left three little girls behind. I felt that she had been given false hope, and had merely been a human guinea pig for the pharmaceutical industry. Shortly thereafter, I lost another friend, but whether it was the condition itself or the meds, I do not know. However, my cousin had a friend who was also diagnosed with MS and she referred him to her Shaklee lady. This man is using one pharmaceutical, Avonex, but also using Shaklee nutrition to manage this condition. He is doing SO WELL, that his doctors gave him a free MRI, because they could not explain why he was doing so well. This young man believes, and I believe the difference is the supplements that he’s using to “feed” his immune system. I have heard others who were bed-ridden and wheel chair bound tell of remarkable recoveries using pretty much the same regimen he has used.

MS is an autoimmune disease. This means the immune system appears to be attacking it’s own body as if it were an outside invader. Many MS treatments these days are immune suppressant pharmaceuticals, because it seems logical that if the immune system is hurting the body, it should be suppressed, right? No! When you feed the immune system with the nutrition that strengthens it, rather than rising up and hurting the body more, it is better able to regulate itself, and symptoms are greatly minimized.

I find this absolutely fascinating!

First of all, it only shows me once again that although man’s wisdom is remarkable, it’s still very limited in regards to God’s amazing creation of the human body. I am also in awe of the lengths we will go to fix what’s wrong with this incredible creation with a man-made solution, when simply giving the body what it was DESIGNED TO USE AS FUEL IN THE FIRST PLACE, reducing stress, and eliminating toxins will solve many of our health problems.

Again, as I said in the beginning of this article. I am searching for answers like many others. I am not the final authority on ANYTHING. But I hope these examples will broaden your thinking on what may truly work, versus what seems to be logical.

August 17, 2013

Fear Is The Enemy

by healthybydesignblog

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 12.50.08 PMOur health is not only affected by what we eat and drink, what we’re exposed to, and the DNA we may have inherited from our parents, but it is also very much affected by what we think, and in particular what we fear. Fear is like a web of invisible chains on our mind and our heart. It causes certain chemicals to be released that contribute to disease. However, I want to talk to you today about the root of fear.

I went to Russia on a couple of mission trips and during my time there, I wrote these words in great big letters in the front cover of my Bible: “KNOW WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST!” The Lord also made the verse Joshua 1:9 really jump out at me, and has continually used that verse up until today. This verse says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” This verse really jumped out at me then, because I had been terrified of making this trip, flying over an ocean, and going into a country where my rights could be snatched away at any time. It means as much to me today as it did then, but my understanding of it has grown deeper, as has the knowledge of who I am in Christ.

As a single mom, I have been fearful of many things. First I was afraid to get divorced, but more afraid of losing my mind if I didn’t. I was afraid of what people would think of me after the divorce. I didn’t even believe in divorce! I was fearful of how the bills would be paid in a big way, because I had gone from career woman to stay at home mom and had not done anything but freelance for four years. Back when I had fibromyalgia, I was afraid I’d be a walking zombie the rest of my life, because all the life had literally been sucked out of me. When I had the house fire, I was afraid of being called stupid for hiring a man who I now believe is responsible for burning it down.  I was also afraid of condemnation and humiliation. I was first in my class in high school, and went to college on scholarships, moved far away and got a cool job doing cool things. Then I moved home and it seemed as if my life disintegrated in front of family and friends. My belief in myself and hope for a happier future evaporated after the failed marriage and the house fire. I was simply surviving, simply existing.

My confidence was completely gone. Somehow, I had crossed over into thinking that truly, I was nothing special. In fact I was a failure. After the house fire, I would fall in bed completely exhausted from the day of trying to figure out how to put my life back together, then I’d wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air as if I’d been held under water. I was working just as hard in my sleep trying to figure out how to survive as I was during the day and I was exhausted. I had no hope. I felt like the universe had spit me out as rejected, and that somehow I must’ve done something bad to bring this on me. Perhaps I had been too proud? Too confident earlier?

Shame and condemnation ruled the thoughts in my head. I gained even more weight. I didn’t know how to pray at this point. Sometimes I would just sit in God’s presence and cry, not saying a word.  How had I gone to feeling like I was one of His favorites, to feeling so ashamed and burdened? I had begun to think the circumstances in my life were indications of how much He loved me. Instead of seeing that these attacks were from the enemy of my soul, I had attributed them to my Father! That’s why I couldn’t really pray for help, because I thought I was being punished by my Father. Had I realized I was being attacked by the enemy of my soul, I could have risen up in indignation, called on my Father, and given the enemy a black eye!!! Yeah!!!!

Then I began to get more of a glimpse of the true nature of God. I had so many misconceptions of Him. I was giving him human traits from people I knew on earth. I was equating weaknesses in my own parents with Him. I also thought of Him as passive and generally disapproving. But the more I began to see the TRUE nature of God, the more I understood that he is the hero on the white horse, not the task master. I began to understand that my Father BANKRUPTED Heaven when Jesus died on the cross for us. I have since been told that if I had been kidnapped, and the ransom had been $10,000, that Jesus paid ONE BILLION for me, because he declared my value much more than my enemy had, and he paid over and above my ransom. Isn’t that an awesome illustration?

What was the first thing Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden after they disobeyed? It was FEAR. But let’s back up just a moment. How did the enemy get them to consider disobeying God in the first place? He got them to question God’s character! He told them that God was keeping the best for Himself, and that it was out of selfishness that He had advised them not to eat from that particular tree. That tree was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They already had much knowledge of good, they had seen the Father face to face, had been created in His Image, they even resembled Him. When they were confused and deceived by the enemy, all they received new was the Knowledge of Evil, and with that came fear.

So, I believe that much of the stress we experience in this world, is due to our mistaken idea about the true character of our Heavenly Father and how he truly feels about us. Think of a cancer diagnosis. The first thing you experience is fear, right? If you KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God really loved you, and was not mad at you, and that this in no way came from Him, couldn’t you pray with a little more boldness for healing? But if you feel somehow whispered in the back of your mind, and deep in your heart, that you must’ve failed somehow and that God was punishing you, how do you pray for healing and truly expect to be healed? (I have been miraculously healed of fibromyalgia, so it still happens today!)

We all say we know God loves us, but do we BELIEVE it in our hearts? I know I didn’t for a long time. It kept me in bondage to an eating addiction to comfort my broken heart, it kept me in isolation because I began to expect to be rejected, it kept me in a sea of condemnation and confusion and chaos, and here’s a big one, trying to EARN my approval from God. Oh Lord, was I a workaholic, and still struggle with this. God is not mad at us. Earlier in the same chapter of Joshua 1, it talks about how God GAVE the Israelites houses that they did not build, vineyards that they did not plant. He GAVE it to them and did not require them to toil at all for these things. The earlier generation had not been allowed to experience this, and had wandered for forty years in the desert. And why was this? They did not believe God. They agreed with the enemy, and WERE AFRAID! After all the miracles they had seen, including the parting of the Red Sea, they were afraid to go TAKE what the Lord had already declared was theirs.

So I believe fear in His children, breaks the heart of God. Because when we are fearful, we are literally choosing to stand on the side of the enemy and agree with him in saying, “You’re right, He doesn’t really love me.” and to say this, after He gave the best that heaven had to offer in the person of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine your child, choosing to believe a drug dealer had their best interests at heart, rather than you? I think if we can conquer fear, we can conquer the world and everything in it. But we cannot conquer fear, until we can clearly see the true nature and character of our Father.

I do not feel that I have written this anywhere near as eloquently as I had hoped. But if you could imagine God the way He is described in Psalm 18 the next time you feel alone and desperate, I will have accomplished giving the devil a black eye today:

Psalm 18: 6–19:

“In my distress, I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before Him into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostril; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. he made darkness his covering, his canopy around Him – the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightening. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies, great bolts of lightening and routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of the deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”

This Psalm was written by David prior to what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Our enemy is no longer powerful, but has BEEN DEFEATED!!! We are no longer powerless but powerful because the Holy Spirit of God lives on the inside of us! Ask God, as I have to do often, to help me focus more on His love for me and it’s abundance, rather than on how often I fail in my efforts at loving Him as He deserves.  What could you accomplish, knowing that the God of the universe was putting His every resource at your disposal? Who would you be afraid of if you truly understood who you were in Christ? So kick fear in the teeth today, and declare the victory that has already been GIVEN to you. You can’t defend property or territory or possessions that you don’t realize is yours, so figure out what’s yours in the Lord and when the enemy tries to claim it as his, rise up!! You have EVERYTHING you need in Christ, once you realize that you are his Beloved, precious in His eyes. His death assured you that you’d never have to wear the garment of condemnation again. He paid it ALL. Now step into your rightful place! Be BOLD AND COURAGEOUS and believe God for your health, your family and your future. Believe God and His report, not the report of the enemy of your soul.

In closing, here is another verse from Joshua 24: 15, “…, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” You serve the one you AGREE WITH, so agree with God. He has a plan and a purpose for your life, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) You can do it!