MTC Victories & Prayers ~ Week 6

Online Bible Study Ladies ~ This is Melissa. Before you read Ginny’s post today, I want to say a few words. Ginny has served faithfully in this ministry for two years. As you’ll read below, she is moving on and listening to God for His purpose for her. We celebrate all God has done through Ginny here at OBS. She has blessed as a group leader, OBS Social Media Coordinator, and as you know so well, our Prayer & Praises leader each Saturday here on the blog. We are so grateful that God brought Ginny to us for a season and we are grateful for all she will do as she says “yes to God” and serves her family and local church. I’m not gonna lie…this is a tough one! We are happy for Ginny, but we will also miss her so much.

Ginny~ I love you. I’m thankful for your friendship and service here in OBS. Thank you sweet friend for loving and caring so much for our OBS ladies and for serving sacrificially in this ministry. I love you, your OBS sisters love you, and we will miss the heck out of you!

And now, here’s Ginny~

We made it!  As I type that I keep hearing the chorus of “We are the Champions” in my head. {smile}  Six weeks ago, is this where you thought you would be?  It wasn’t where I thought I would be.  I was picturing BIG weight loss along with a closer walk with Jesus.  Instead I’m sitting here writing to you with 6.2 lbs gone and a much more humble, thankful heart because I better understand my relationship with Jesus.  As a result of that better understanding, we have worked out a few issues (all mine, I must admit), smoothed over some rough patches (that I created), and have grown much closer.  So while I may not be where I thought I would be, the place I am in is better than I imagined it would be.  Funny how He works that for us sometimes.

A lot of things have changed for me over the last six weeks.  Some I expected, but some have come as a surprise.  Can I share with you?  In December, my family made the decision to begin homeschooling my middle school daughter.  I have been homeschooling our 5 year old this year, but we had no intentions of pulling our older children out of school as they wished to remain in public school with their friends.  However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, we really felt like it was in our daughter’s best interest for her to homeschool the rest of this year.  That has been a BIG adjustment for all of us.  Some days are really, really great.  Some……not so much.

In January, I found out from my oldest daughter that I am going to be a grandma….at 40.  It came as a surprise to everyone.  She has miscarried twice before, but she has now reached a point in the pregnancy that we are hopefully expectant.  Still, there are a lot of concerns and fears.  Could you please pray for her?

And the final thing that is changing is my position here with Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.  I have been with these wonderful women for two years and served in various positions since joining them.  The women I have served with are some of the most God-honoring people I have known.  Their hearts long to share God’s love with the world and they really do care about each and every one of you.  If only you knew how many times we have prayed for you, how many times we have read one of your emails or comments and our hearts have broken or rejoiced with you.  When one of them tells you that they love you, you can believe it.  I’ve seen it.  That is why it breaks my heart to step away.  This is my last post.

God is calling me to devote more time to my family and to the needs of my local church.  I have wrestled with it and, to be honest, I even tried to get Him to change His mind.  But I trust that He knows better than I.  Just as He knew this M2C journey wouldn’t end with a huge weight loss, but a better reward of a deeper closer relationship with Him, I believe that He has a plan that is good for me in this, as well.  And I know that He has a plan that is good for this ministry, and you, too.

Father, my heart is breaking as I say goodbye to all of these wonderful people, but I am trusting in Your plan for my life.  Please continue to bless this ministry and to use these awesome women to reach out with Your love to this world that is so desperate for it.  I pray for those who have been participating in this study, Lord, that they continue to grow closer to You every day.  That their hearts never stop craving You above all.  I pray that you bless Melissa and continue to give her Your words to share.  Protect them for all that may rise against them.  In your Son’s name.  Amen.

Join the Conversation | 199 Responses

M2C Victories & Prayers ~ Week 5

Image3

Lysa sums it all up for me in that short, three-sentence quote.  You see, I’ve spent 18 years in that cycle of defeat.  Losing weight, gaining weight, feeling great, feeling….not so great.  I was allowing a lot of poor choices make me a victim.  I was an emotional eater.  And, boy oh boy, were there some emotional times!   Now before you think I am complaining and making excuses (I know–OVERRULED!), I promise I am not.  Pinky swear and everything! You see, I just hadn’t realized who I was yet.  I didn’t understand that I had not been created to be tossed about by my circumstances. Rather, I was created to cling to the ROCK and stay in His shelter and protection.  Problem was, I wandered around quite a bit, rejected God quite a bit, and got a bit battered and bruised quite a bit.  Let me tell you, it wasn’t a pretty time in my life.  Not physically, emotionally or spiritually. Thankfully, God never gave up on me and kept working on my heart, which brings me to today’s TRUTH.

We were created to be victorious children of God.  You. Me. All of us.  Don’t believe me?  Read this: You are all God’s children through faith in Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:26)  Or this one: The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16). And then there is this one: For the Lord your God is going with you! …he will give you victory! (Deuteronomy 20:4).  And if that is not enough, you can read a couple more here.  So, I am sure you are wondering where I am going with this.  Here is my ah-ha moment after processing this week–I know God’s promises.  I know that with Him I can overcome.  I have been given really good advice on how to fight the battle against my cravings (thank you bunches Lysa, Melissa and Nicki!).  But I had forgotten James 1:22. Go ahead and look it up.  I’ll wait for you.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves

That one hurts doesn’t it?  It did me.  You see, I have all the tools I need to be victorious in this battle.  You do, too.  But I believe God loves us to much to just swoop down and give us that awesome magic pill that Lysa prayed for.  (Okay, I did too….a LOT!)  If He were to just fix the outward problem that results from our cravings, our inside heart condition would never be corrected.  And that’s what is important to God.  Not the number on our scale, or the number of hours we watch T.V. or the amount we gamble away, or the number of cigarettes we smoke or whatever your craving is.  What matters is that that thing is more important to us than He is.  So it is time to walk the walk and talk the talk, to stop deceiving ourselves that the calories we consume in secret don’t count.  Because you know what?  God sees our heart.  And I, for one, want Him to see a heart totally devoted to Him.

Father, first I want to thank you for the blessings you have given to me and so many through the obedience of those who are openly sharing and addressing their heart conditions.  For the leaders, to the prayer warriors, to the blog hop participants and those commenting.  I pray that You continue to reveal those areas that keep us from fully loving You.  Lord, I pray that you strengthen all of us to begin walking more in the Spirit, and I claim your promise in Galatians 5:16 that, by doing so, we will not gratify the desires of our flesh.  Amen.

Join the Conversation | 171 Responses

M2C Victories & Prayers ~ Week 4

Did you make your word art picture from yesterday’s post?  How much fun was that?!  I think I made about a dozen of them!  I finally settled on this one:
download
Totally fun way to visualize the lesson!  Speaking of lessons, help me out here Jesus girls.  Am I the only one that is finding this study is touching so many more areas of my life than just cravings?  The Go-To scripts from chapter 10 work with so much more than just food.  Chapter 11 really helped my prayer life, and I have some old lies that have stuck around that aren’t related to my cravings that I was able to start replacing with God’s truth, thank you very much.  But chapter 12…..girls that one really hit home.  I have been tying my happy to so many things over the last 40 years (okay, 40 years in about 7 days, but who’s counting!) that I had begun to lose track of what my happy was tied to!

We have been saying that this study was about so much more than just food since before we even began, and I hope that you are starting to see that.  Jesus sisters, God wants to touch every area of our lives, He wants us to surrender to Him completely.  That is why Lysa’s message in this book is so universal.  It’s not about what we are struggling with–it’s about giving it to God and turning to Him for everything first.  In our eating choices, our exercise choices, our friendships, our marriages, our family decisions–everything.  It is so easy to walk in this world and forget why we are here.  Matthew 6:33 tells us that our purpose, what we should be striving to do, is to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness first then He will provide everything else–love, contentment, peace, physical needs, etc.  It’s when we try to fulfill our desires on our own that things take a turn south.

So, let me be honest with you.  I don’t care if I fit in my skinny jeans again.  Do I want to?  Sure do!  But it isn’t my goal anymore.  My goal is to seek God’s will first and foremost.  The good news is that I’m pretty confident that those skinny jeans will end up on my body comfortably as a result, and I’m sure yours will, too.  But even if they don’t, I’m okay with that.  How about you?

God, thanks for this reminder of what I need to focus on–not a number or a pair of jeans or even what I am eating or how much I am exercising–but You.  I love you, Abba, and I want to live like that is true for all the world to see.  I’m trusting you to fulfill my needs from this point on in every area of my life.  Please give me the strength to stand strong when I have the stinkin’, rotten, horrible, no good very bad days.  Help me to trust that even on those days You see me, You have a plan for me, and that You will guide me through if I will only be still and listen.  I pray these things not only for myself, but for all the Jesus girls out there who are struggling, who lost sight of the goal.  Help us refocus.  Help us surrender.  Help us to be complete and find our happy solely in You.  Amen.

Join the Conversation | 228 Responses

M2C Victories and Prayers ~ Week 3

Can you believe we have reached the half way point of our study?!?!  It feels like we just started yesterday, and I was sure that my body was going to show some major changes by now….only it hasn’t…..not MAJOR.  You know something though, that’s okay.   Sarah Rose summed it up best when she wrote in Thursday’s blog hop, “This journey is not about ‘not being fat’ for me.  It’s about being healthy and living long and serving God the best I can”.

The numbers on my scale and tape measure may have only changed slightly, but my heart feels brand new.  Stopping to pray every time I have a craving has improved my prayer life.  Trusting that God has something better for me, and then reading His word so He can reveal that plan to me, has given me a new sense of hope.  Not hope that one day I’ll be a skinny girl again, but hope in that His love for me is enough.  Hope that a healthier lifestyle will make me a better child of God.  Hope in that my story will point others to Him.  And that is my goal in everything I do now.

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:16

It’s not our weight, or our nicotine habit, our time on social media or anything else that keeps us from doing the good work that gives glory to God.  I honestly don’t believe that God looks at us and says, “Your (fill in the blank) keeps me from using you”.  I think it’s is more along the lines of, “Your choice to (fill in the blank) rather than focus on Me keeps me from using you” (see 1 Corinthians 10:23).  Today, take some time to remember why you started this journey.  What was your goal?  If it was to kick a habit, I wish you the best of luck, but perhaps this study isn’t the one for you.  If it was to grow closer to God, to learn to be obedient to Him with our choices and our bodies, then that is the yardstick by which you should be measuring your successes.

1013846_726982923981050_929071028_n

For me, I trust that as I remain obedient, as I continue to keep my eyes on Him and build my relationship with Him, I will see results in this physical realm.  And if those results don’t come as fast as I would like, or in the way that I would like, well, I’m okay with that.  I’m still going to be obedient and I know that that is what matters.  How about you?

Thank you Lord, for creating us in such a way that we would crave, that we would long to be filled.  Most importantly, thank you for being the perfect fit for our longings.  Help us to live in such a way that others may see how You perfectly fit that space in our hearts.  Guide us to the proper choices that will draw us to you.  Many are reaching a point where they will have to decide to truly give up their physical cravings, to change the yardstick by which they measure their lives.  Father, I pray that you place in their hearts the knowledge they need as well as the desire to turn to Truth.  I pray that this week you give each and every participant a personal reminder of the purpose of this journey as an encouragement to continue.  Amen.

It’s your turn.  What are you struggling with?  What successes have you had in the last week?

Join the Conversation | 390 Responses

M2C Victories and Prayers ~ Week 2

We did it!  We have made a plan, faced our excuses, and we are beginning to see how this journey can bring us closer to God.  As Nicki said yesterday, we are choosing to move one step away from the chains of our past and one step closer to all that our Father offers us.  That alone is a victory!  And so many of you are seeing victories!  Like this post we shared on our Facebook page yesterday:

“This Bible study has helped me realize that changing my body only happens when I change my heart and my mind. I was struggling last night because the old me wouldn’t leave me alone about getting a Snickers or some Oreos or a Butterfinger. I was like, ‘Do you know how long I’d have to exercise to burn those calories?!? No way! I’d rather be fit!’ And that’s when it hit me that I would be successful this time because I have stopped being bitter about all the foods I don’t eat anymore and I have embraced the benefits of giving those foods up. Each day of this study is helping me become more fit; spiritually, mentally, and physically. I can’t thank you enough!” ~Shirley H.

or this comment from Misty B.:

After much prayer and encouragement from reading the posts yesterday about accountability partners, I got real with what is going on in my life. I emailed everyone that was in my address book and pour my heart out to them about what has been going on for the last year and half. I admitted my addiction to food. I asked for help. It was hard, I cried many tears. I decided I wasn’t letting pride get in my way anymore. I was doing this God’s way! Most of those people probably weren’t even aware, because I always have a smile on my face and an encouraging word for them. I can’t tell you how freeing that was. I asked them to walk this journey in prayer with me and for me. I’m not sure how many will respond but I have hope that being transparent with them may be of encouragement to them.

I LOVE that we are stepping outside of our comfort zones and stepping into the plan God has for our lives.  THIS is what we were made for! Now, I know that some of you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “yeah, that’s great for them and I’m happy that they are seeing results. But I’m not.  What about me?”  Sister, I so feel your pain.  My struggle is poor food choices that have led to a number on the scale much higher than I EVER thought it would be.  I’m making better choices, praying rather than mindlessly eating, and exercising.  Only the number on the scale hasn’t moved.  Now, I know in my head that there are lots of things that can cause this, even positive things like replacing fat pounds with muscle pounds.  My heart though, feels everything but positive.  I begin to be filled with doubt about my ability to really do this.  Has that happened to you this past week?

This is where our memory verse for the week has been really helpful to me. image2

You see, every time I found myself focusing on what I felt like wasn’t working, I was reminded that our enemy is seeking to devour me and rather than let him, I would turn those thoughts over to God and chose to focus instead on what was working – I am not as tired, I feel better, I feel stronger, I am happier. I bet if you give those nasty negative thoughts to God you will find a lot of positives too, even if they aren’t the ones you expected.

If you are one of those who has seen the positive shining in your life this past week, I’d love it if you shared your victories with us. I find them so encouraging, and it reminds me that EVERYTHING is possible when we let God have the reigns. And if you are still struggling with those negative thoughts, share them with us, and we will join with you in prayer. Together we can do this!

Father God, I thank you so much for allowing us to come to you and cast our cares on your broad shoulders; for being a Father that sets us up to succeed if we just allow you to lead. Help us to renew our minds as we attempt to renew our bodies, to let go of the negative thoughts that the enemy is so quick to offer and replace them with Your truths. Help us to internalize the truth that we were made for much more than the life we are living and give us the courage and strength to make the sacrifices necessary to truly live the life we were created for. I pray for each of the men and women who have stepped forward and decided to make a change. Protect them on this journey and surround them with a support system that will help them to succeed. Amen.

Join the Conversation | 458 Responses
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!