thebeaminmyeye.com

Made to Crave Blab: Talking Chapters 6-10 with Friends

https://blab.im/a1ceea57b7a34cf99364d3e2711306b0

I had so much fun chatting with these ladies again, and we truly are holding each other accountable for healthy choices and bearing one another’s burdens.  If you’ve missed the posts or the first chat, here they are for you.  It’s not too late to join in!

Be blessed and healthy!

www.thebeaminmyeye.com

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2016 Resolutions

Here we are at a new year again.  I’m going to keep it simple tonight.  I want to ponder on the steps that will help me reach these goals, and the scriptures that support them, but for now, here are my non-resolutions for 2016.  My resolve is never enough, so I’m depending on the Lord.  My challenge to you?  Go to canva.com and make your own beautiful goals. Then share the public link here.  I’ll post more about each of these soon!

Be blessed,

www.thebeaminmyeye.com

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Get Down On It: A Thirty-Day Lifestyle Change

As I was reading from my favorite place, Pinterest of course, Get Down On It:  A Thirty Day Lifestyle Change--Read more, pray more, move more, clean more--thebeaminmyeye.comI came across an amazing post and then from that, another blog where I read that there were other people in the world who didn’t like to clean.  What?  I always feel that I’m the only one, that everyone else’s house is perfect.  Or at least if they don’t have kids, their houses are perfect.  Sadly, I’m one of those who has to meet people at the door if I’m not expecting them, to avoid their seeing the dog-hair tumbleweeds or the dishes I haven’t gotten to yet.  As I shared in a previous post, part of the reason I started this blog is to encourage some public accountability, but none of you have come banging down my door yet, so…

It’s time for me to get down on it.  You know, like the disco song?  I find myself quoting it in everyday life, but not just about cleaning.   Cleaning is just what triggered my need to “get [my] back up off the wall.”  Anyone else dancing? Just me?  Okay, well…I have several areas where I need to just take action.  But I know me.  I know how many times I’ve tried EVERYTHING and failed at it.  And I also know I’m a multi-tasker, so I can’t just focus on one thing at a time.  Doesn’t work.

So, this is a four-part challenge.  It’s time for me (and hopefully, you) to pump ourselves up and participate in the

Get Down On It Thirty Day Lifestyle Change

I’ve decided that what makes an outfit cute is rarely the outfit itself but the person wearing it, and the one thing all the cute outfits have in common is that they’re worn by skinny people.  Anybody with me?  My husband is so kind to say that he doesn’t want a girl with a huge thigh-gap (Praise God!), but I wouldn’t mind a little draft blowing between the knees myself:)    So that makes two things, a clean house and physical fitness, that I need to change.

But what else?

I remember being in a revival where I had a vision.  I don’t care if anyone else thinks this is silly, but it was profound for me.  I had struggled for years and years with wanting to pray, and even praying about praying, but faithfulness in that area was not there for me.  I felt God say to me (He tells it like it is to those who do the same), “If I hung on that cross for you, you can get up at ________ in the morning and pray.  Stop being lazy.”  Part of the vision was also that I needed to put a sign over the numbers on my alarm clock that told me (in short form) what He spoke to my spirit.  I told my pastor’s wife, because as you read in my “Good Advice” post, accountability is key to follow through.  That vision carried me for a long time, and even though I have been (mostly) faithful with my morning prayers, they are not like they used to be.  I love Jesus more than anything else in my life, and I need to prove that to myself by acting on that love.  As my sweet friend Jamie and DC Talk remind us, “Love is a verb.”

Along with prayer, reading the Word is paramount.  I really want to get into scripture journaling that I’ve read about here (and and that I’m going to teach my friends about on our cabin weekend coming soon!), because I know that the same Word you’ve read many times really does come alive when, and only when, you couple it with prayer and read with a pen in hand.  A pretty pen nonetheless!

Are there more things I need to change in my life?  Absolutely.  Eating less is one of them that I hope to take with some of my readers using this Made to Crave post.  However, eating less is not something I need to do more of, so it doesn’t fit in this category.

My thirty-day lifestyle change is called a change, because I don’t just want another challenge.  I want to commit to something and do it.  What else is there to do in March anyway?  It’s blustery, as Pooh Bear would remind us, and it’s leading us into Spring, a time when we can start over, even if we didn’t quite get started in the New Year.

[Tweet “My thirty-day lifestyle change is called a change, because I don’t just want another challenge. I want to commit to something and do it.”]

So what is the change?  Are you ready?

It will have four parts and will start March 1:

  1. Read your Bible every day and record it on my printable tracker.  Read for meaning, not just for quantity, and with a pen in hand.  In 2007, I got a One Year Bible, which I finally finished two and a half years later.  I’ve since read it again.  However, this time I want to relish God’s Word and let it speak to me and take out at least some time to make a pretty journal page or two.
  2. Pray every day and record it on my printable tracker.  Don’t just pray to accomplish a checkbox.  That defeats the purpose. If you are worried, tell God.  If you are distracted, write down your distractions and get back to praying (do it all the time!)  God appreciates an honest and sincere prayer.  If you need a guide, here’s one I made for a twenty-four hour prayer meeting we had one time.  You’ll find that you have plenty to pray about once you start.
  3. Move more, and do it every day.  I am starting with ten minutes a day, and as I write this post on a cold February day, that doesn’t sound fun.  However, I have to do it.  My jiggle-belly is calling out to me to please do something!  Check off your exercise on my printable tracker (big enough for fun stickers!)
  4. Clean something every day.  I am asking for a ten-minute commitment, from you and from me.  I don’t care what the thing is.  I am posting a suggested list (you’ll see why I hate cleaning my house!), but you can clean whatever.  Set the microwave timer for ten minutes and then guess what…get down on it!  I bet you won’t want to stop when the timer goes off!  Even I don’t if I get in the groove.  Check off my tracker (linked below) each day to show your accomplishments!

lifestyle change tracker–Change your life by reading your Bible, praying, moving more, and cleaning–thebeaminmyeye.com

What will you get for all this?  Take a picture of your checklist-in-progress and post it to my fanpage for the blog every day.  More pictures (like every day!) equals more chances to win the items below.

  • Satisfaction!  Ha, ha.  Isn’t that what your parents always said you’d get?  You will, though.
  • A certificate of completion
  • A gift certificate to Mary Kay to pamper yourself for all this month’s hard work (two winners for this prize!)

Ready?  Let’s get down on it! Comment below if you are joining me in the lifestyle change.

www.thebeaminmyeye.com

 

 

How to Take Your Own Advice

“And I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”  How To Take Your Own Advice--Three Tips--www.thebeaminmyeye.comSuch is the lament of one of my favorite Disney
characters, Alice.  I often feel the same way.  This blog was intended to be a place where I gave myself very PUBLIC good advice, in hopes that I would actually act on it with Jesus’ help.  So how am I faring since I started blogging in the New Year?  I thought it might be time for an update, because I know we all enjoy other people’s confessions:)

How to Take Your Own Advice

Overeating:  I have been pretty good about this for about a week, no thanks to the fact that none of you signed up for Made to Crave with me…sniffle, sniffle.  I was excited to see Tisha win the book–send me your address, girl!  There is still time to sign up.  I don’t want to do the study unless some of you are going to join me, so just leave a comment on my original post “Made to Crave Giveaway” to let me know I can count on you.

Organization:  I have given away so much stuff lately, y’all, to the point that my mom cried and thought I was moving away without telling her.  No, I just needed to get rid of stuff.  However, there is still so much to do to get this house in shape.  I did take a trip to The Container Store (and La Madeleine) with my mom yesterday to buy a teabag organizer.  Does that count? And I also labeled it when I got home.  I can take organization a lot better than cleaning, which is especially miserable, because it is never done.  Anyone else with me?  Read my post about the why of organization here.

Money Management:  Okay, so Dusty tells me he budgets in his head.  I am not entirely, or at all, comfortable with that.  I want to see our debts being paid down and our savings increasing.  Maybe he can take what’s in his head and make me some charts:)  If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I like pretty!  I did download this pattern to make the Dave Ramsey money envelopes.  Perhaps I should read my Pinterest time-management article again to motivate myself to sew that pattern while I’m off this week.  What about today?!  Then I could post a picture here and at least feel accomplished in one area, ha ha.  Not in actual saving, but in the making-a-cute-envelope-intended-for saving way.

Wedding Planning:  First of all, let me say that this part of my blog has nothing to do with the rest of it.  I am hoping to host it elsewhere once I get some more pictures done.  I wanted to apprentice myself (offer my slave labor) to a wedding planner who managed a friend’s event last year.  And I received a rejection email!  What’s up with that?  She apparently didn’t have time to let me follow her around.  I’m sad:(  I am still the special events coordinator for Wildlife Action Center (see pretty pictures here), so if you know of anyone who would like FREE wedding planning services and is willing to take a chance on me, my first three brides are free.  I am also thinking of hosting an open house, so again, send me those contacts.  I guess I can say I’ve done my part in this area, so on one out of four, I have achieved!

So from my updates above, you can see I still have a long way to go, but here are some tips I think will help us both achieve our goals of Jesus-driven change:

1.  “Ask and ye shall receive.”  The first step is to ask Jesus to remind us of our commitments and why they are important to both Him and us.  Then we have to daily depend on Him to carry us through, confessing any missteps and asking Him to show us a better way.

2.  Make the goals public.  I have done that, but maybe you haven’t.  Or maybe you need to publicly discuss your struggles. When people think we’ve taken care of something, they lose the feeling that they still need to hold us accountable, so it’s good if we let them know we are still weak in an area.

3.  Which leads me to step three.  Have an accountability partner.  You need someone who has achieved the goal you are striving for, or someone who will actively work through your process with you.  It also needs to be someone who will actually remember to hold you accountable and who isn’t afraid to tell you to the truth with love.  Now recruiting…

What goals have you made and lost sight of in the New Year?  Which of these tips might help you?  Let me know by taking time to leave a comment below.  

 

Be blessed!

www.thebeaminmyeye.com

Made to Crave Giveaway!

When I was a student at North Cobb High School, we used to have a cheer that went something like this:  “When I say, ‘Go!’, you say, ‘Warriors!'”   The crowd would yell back in excited response.  Well, last week, I wrote a little blog post inviting all of my blogosphere friends (that’s you!) to read Made to Crave with me so that we could move past overeating together with Jesus.  It was like I was the NCHS cheerleader shouting, “When I say read, you say Made to Crave!”  Except the pep rally was silent.  I was all alone.  Crickets in the gym.

I’m not the only overeater out there who needs Jesus’ help.  I know that to be true.  So it must be something else.  My Made to Crave post was one of my top posts so far, so I know you’re reading.  Thank you!  It must be instead that you broke your leg and couldn’t drive, or that your car is dead, or that you were abducted by aliens last week and so you just got back and, for all those reasons, you couldn’t buy the book.  Whatever it is (or was), I’m here to save the day.

It’s a Made to Crave Giveaway!

http://thebeaminmyeye.com/2015/02/made-to-crave-giveaway/

There are several ways to enter the contest.  Use the rafflecopter below.  I’ll announce the winner on my hubby’s birthday, the 15th.  So join in the fun!

(And then we’re going to read this book together, daggone it!)

 Ready?  Go to the GIVEAWAY tab on my facebook page or use the Rafflecopter widget below.    

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Missed the first post in the Made to Crave series?  Check it out here.

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Made to Crave: A Sinner’s Confession and Action Steps

Truth Tuesday 11-15 (1)Truth Tuesday 11-15Truth Tuesday 11-15 (3)Truth Tuesday 11-15 (2)

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It is a sin to overeat.  I am a sinner.

As an English teacher, I know one hundred ways to start a post in a catchy way.  What I just did wasn’t about catchy.  It was about truth.  There’s a beam in my eye, and as I break it down into its splinters, its particles, one of the big ones is overeating.  If this blog is about being Jesus-dependent, then Jesus, I am asking you to help me conquer this very personal hurdle.  And I’m asking you publicly.

One of my friends in real life and in blog life is Carol, and another is Guinevere.  Isn’t it funny that these ladies and I, at different times recently, have all had conversations about what it means to be vulnerable, and why it’s so crucial?  Women are desperate for someone to show them that who they are is okay and that the women they look up to and respect aren’t perfect at all.  I will always appreciate those in my life who look up to me, but I am far from perfect, and one of my glaring imperfections is overeating.  I don’t have a big appetite at all.  I just like food–cooking it, tasting it, savoring it.  Can I get a witness?  And the  big problem is that I like lots of it.

Before I go any further in this post, I want to say that I am not overweight.  Some of you will not want to read this post because you are overweight and feel like I can’t relate to you.  Let me ask a question then:  who is more guilty of a sin, the one who gets caught or the one who doesn’t?  Exactly.  Just because I’m not currently overweight (I used to be) doesn’t mean that my overeating sin isn’t tearing me apart on the inside.  And it could lead me back to a bad place on the scales as well, if I don’t get it under control.

A few years ago, I was feeling desperate about my overeating and particularly whether Jesus would care about my non-spiritual problem.  That was back when we had cable, and I remember turning on the t.v. to something Christian.  There, a woman began to share about why Jesus did care about fitness and health.  I wish I had written down her name or the name of her book, but regardless, the thought that I was not in this struggle alone stuck with me.  Remember the post where I said that Jesus cares about it all?  Well, He also is willing to walk into this fire with us like he did with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  Our battle may not be spiritual persecution, but if anything, even our food, holds us back from God’s best, you had better believe that He cares.

Can you relate to anything I’m saying?

  • Maybe you eat in secret or are embarrassed at your empty plate at the end of a meal.
  • Maybe you have a problem that you think is too small or too “unspiritual” for God to care about.
  • Maybe you have struggled over and over with the same sin, only to cave in again.

If you agree with any of these statements, I want you to journey with me over the next several weeks through a book called Made to Crave.  I taught it as a Bible study for two groups of women over a six-week period each time,, and I’m hoping that, with your help, I can make it stick this time.  If you want to join me in the study, order or buy the book using the link above; you might also enjoy the DVD study.  We will meet back here on Saturday, February 7th for day one of an online study and encouragement.  This study is not just for those with a certain body size or type.  It’s for those who care about their health and want to make saying yes to God even easier than saying yes to food.

Here is just a teaser of some of the fun and encouraging things I will have to share with you:

  • A colorful food planner
  • Six weeks of Bible study notes that accompany the book and DVD study
  • A guide to fast-food eating
  • A pastor’s challenge to share with your pastor
  • Truth vs. trigger cards
  • Links to healthy recipes and a recipe analyzer

Are you ready to join in?  Leave a comment below and let me know you’ve ordered your book or DVD.  I can’t wait!

Check out the video below, which is embedded from the Facebook Live Truth Tuesday session I host every week at facebook.com/thebeaminmyeye at 8:30PM EST.

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‘Tis the Season…for Seeking

 

blog pray

It’s a good thing I hadn’t yet started my healthy eating posts during the holidays–that would have made me into my least favorite zoo animal, a HIPPO-crite.  I can’t wait to write about Made to Crave and to share with you all my printables and downloads.  However, this is not the time for either binging or healthy eating.

This is the time for seeking.

My church organization, along with many, aims to consecrate itself with twenty one days of prayer and fasting every January.  Let me first say that fasting and prayer are supposed to be private affairs for the most part.  However, many times in the Bible, leaders or the Lord called the people to a solemn assembly, one where all the people fasted together in an outward sign of their inner desperation.  Here are a few of those times:

“Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.”  Esther 4:16

Esther called the people to fast for two reasons:  to obey the Lord more than man’s (the king’s) law and to make sure she was prepared in the day of trouble. She was about to enter the king’s chamber unannounced and ask her royal husband to reverse his own decree.  Death was to be the obvious outcome, but she asked her people to join her in calling on a God who could reverse the inevitable.

In in the second chapter of Joel, there is another solemn assembly, one where God asks the fasters to do more than just the physical, but rather to take their hearts in hand and rip those instead, to really be burdened for the current state of their nation:

12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  13 Rend your heartand not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing—grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.

Fasting is not just an Old-Testament thing either.  Jesus also said that believers would need to fast once He had left the Earth:

“How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” Matthew 9:15

I will not be sharing my schedule of fasting.  That’s between me and the Lord.  However, I would like to share some wisdom I’ve learned from practicing the Biblical fast.

1.  Fasting means giving up food.  It is certainly possible to dedicate yourself to God by giving up television, facebook, or video games, and you should especially remove these things during a fast.  However, only fasting without food will put your body in a state to be submitted to the Lord’s will.  If you’re like me and ate like a T-rex over the holidays, a little fast wouldn’t hurt even from a health standpoint:)

2.  Fasting involves alone time with the Lord.  I have friends who fast regularly, and they are very involved in ministry.  I also have to work sometimes when I’m fasting.  In those situations and others, it is sometimes impossible to avoid people when you’re fasting.  However, we should not plan movie nights and get-togethers when we know we’ll be fasting.  The worst is when fasting people go out to eat and just stare at you while you eat your food…don’t be one of those if at all possible:)  Remember that Jesus went out into the wilderness for forty days to get alone with God.  If he needed that time in all his divinity, we need that alone time in all our frail humanity.   The point is to concentrate on God, and it’s hard to do that in a crowd of people.

3.  Fasting is a hard commandment.  Yes, I said it, a commandment.  Jesus says when you pray and when you fast and when you give (Matthew 6).  We can’t just pray and ignore the other two.  Jesus doesn’t say, “If”.  He says, “When,” meaning he just expects that we will do it.  In fact, He says that some demonic forces are only driven by the double-team combination of prayer AND fasting.  You can fast.  You will be tired and maybe woozy.  So was Jesus, but He did it anyway.  Start with a meal, but don’t stay there.  Build up to a day and then several days, as the Lord leads you.  Fasting is a discipline that you will have to develop, but it is possible, and the rewards are worth it.

4.  Fasting goes with prayer.  Download my Spiritual Disciplines Tracker if you’d like a way to track your consistency.  As my husband says, fasting without prayer is just the most miserable diet you’ve ever been on.  You want to use this time of submitting your body to also seek the Father.

blog prayer fast tracker

5.  The fast isn’t an excuse to go on a healthy diet.  This tip is sensitive.  As I’ve been on Pinterest recently, I’ve seen several people collecting Daniel Fast recipes.  Last year, I saw a cookbook of the same topic in the bookstore.  If the point is to sacrifice and focus on the Lord, just make sure you aren’t trying to take the easy way out.  The Daniel Fast is not easy by any means (research it here), but I am just encouraging all of us to check our motives.  The fast will mean to the Lord what it means to us.

Here are some more tips:

  • Switch to water and cut back on eating in the days leading up to a fast.  I know that when I’m starting a diet, I want to binge the night before, but when you are transitioning to no food, trust me, it’s not wise. Preparation is key, especially since the fast will release stored toxins into your blood stream after the third day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids during the fast.  Some people are sticklers for drinking just water.  If you’re on a one-day fast, water is great.  If you get into more days and start to feel weak, don’t feel guilty about adding in some juice.  Just stay away from Starbucks:)  It’s easy to give up on a fast when you feel weak, but juice can help you to keep going.
  • Carry plenty of minty gum.  As the toxins are released, your breath will get rank.  People around you will so appreciate your efforts not to kill them with your dragon breath:)
  • Don’t look or act depressed so that people feel sorry for you during the fast.  Jesus says we can either be rewarded here by men or in Heaven by God.  I choose the second one!

I have so much to say about fasting, because I truly believe it is one of the most underutilized yet powerful tools in the believer’s arsenal.  I have so much to say that I could write a book on the book on the subject.  But in the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t Nobody got time for that.”  Actually, Pastor Jentezen Franklin must have had the time, because he did write a book, which I am linking to here.  I have read it twice and will probably read it again.  It is both short and powerful.

I hope this post leaves you feeling equipped to take on some serious seeking in the new year.  If you need anything, feel free to contact me. I will be your girl-Barnabas and encourage you in this (perhaps) new challenge.

Is your church doing a corporate fast?  Is this new to you?  Any tips on fasting?  Leave them in the comments below.

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