Thursday, January 30, 2014

My "Breakthrough"

Hey there friends,

This week as we are moving along in our Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study, using the book, Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. We are covering lots of material and building our confidence that we can do this. No matter what it is we need to turn away from to #CraveGod. As we cling to Him with #Determination we can do this!

Our verse this week is:
1Peter 5:7-8 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

In Chapter 4 of the book Made To Crave, author Lysa TerKeurst, talks about starting this journey of getting healthy. She had reached a point where she just didn’t think she could resist the cravings. Fortunately, Lysa had a friend who held her accountable. Lysa also turned to God, praying earnestly asking God to help her resist the temptation of the food she didn’t need.

Lysa got up the next morning feeling great and the cravings were gone. Isn’t it awesome how God kept his promise from 1Peter.

One of the topics we were asked to write about was “Sweet Place of Breakthrough.” My breakthrough is quite different from Lysa’s. My Breakthrough came when it finally hit me that I HAD to change my lifestyle or I might not live long enough to see my children marry and have children of their own.

Today I want to share that story with you. For as long as I can remember, I have been overweight. The chubby kid in class, difficult to buy clothes for, never quite fitting in because I wasn’t like everyone else. Oh sure, I was liked for my bubbly personality and constant smile on my face, but I always seemed to be the odd man out. As far as I was concerned it was because I was different, chubby, overweight, obese. Such ugly words, but so true that caused so much pain in the heart of a little girl, a teenager and even a woman. Even though it hurt, it didn’t seem to matter what I did, the weight never came off. So, I lived with it and the shame of it.

One day, while I was living in Texas and my parents were living in Oklahoma, my daddy was diagnosed with diabetes. He had been overweight for many years and it had taken a toll on his body. Now his body had become insulin resistant, not able use insulin in the right way when it needed it. He had damage to his eyes, his kidneys and his heart. However, my mom and dad committed to a lifestyle change and prayer. Daddy spent many years happy and much healthier. Unfortunately, for me and the rest of the family, on November, 16th 2008 his heart gave out and daddy died. The following day, November 17th, my daddy would have turned 64. Though we know daddy is with Jesus and no longer in any pain, it is still a devastating loss to us all.

In September 2012, no quite 4 years after my daddy met Jesus, I had my Breakthrough. Because of my family history of diabetes, my doctor keeps a close watch on my blood sugar levels. In particular he likes to periodically do a blood test called an A1C. This blood test measures the patient’s insulin level over the past 3 months. Depending on the number that comes back, the doctor will know if the patient’s blood sugar over the prior 3 months has been in the low range, the middle range or the high (diabetic) range. Prior to this, I had taken this test several times before and the results had always been in the middle range. But this particular day, when we received the results, my doctor looked at me and said “Angie, this test indicates that you are pre-diabetic.” All I could hear was “diabetic”, he said “DIABETIC”!!!! At the time I stayed calm, we discussed medications, but I looked at him and said “NO! Give me the chance to change this on my own with diet and exercise. If after 3 months, I am unsuccessful, then I will go on medication, but not before.” He agreed. As I left his office, I was numb, in shock I guess. Then came the tears. All I could do was cry, because in my mind, this was a death sentence. I was 46 years old and if I lived to be as old as my dad, then I had less than 20 years left. That was it 20 YEARS, maybe!!! That’s not much time! Will my kids get married? Will I have grandchildren? What am I going to miss, just because I won’t eat right and exercise!

That was it! I was done! Done wasting my life! Done living frivolously! Done throwing years away! It was time for change! So in October of 2012 I joined Weight Watchers. Over the next 3 months I lost almost 20lbs. When I went back to the doctor and he did the A1C, this time the numbers were better than they had ever been. No more pre-diabetes. I even got to get off of ALL my blood pressure medication. It was so exciting! Then, I let life get in the way. Since then I’ve gained 16 of it back, but 2 weeks ago I started back with WW and Made to Crave and I’m back on track. I’ve already lost 4.6lbs. With much prayer, following God first and making wise food choices. I will stay on track this time. It may be slow going and that’s ok, because this time my Breakthrough is for God and for good!!!

Living in Grace,


Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Raging Battle


So good to come back and write once again! I have joined yet another Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study. During this study we are using the book Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. Lysa is also the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. If you are reading this from my Angie’s Notes of Grace blog and would like more information on Proverbs 31 Ministries or their Online Bible Studies feel free to shoot me an email, or click here for more information.

This journey is about learning how to, and consciously putting into practice, the act of choosing God above all. Even though the book directly addresses food, I know there are countless ways that Satan wants me to be distracted so that I do not place God in His correct position in my life. NUMBER #1 OVER ALL!!!
Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
We all know that verse. It’s the first of the ten commandments. If God placed it first don’t you think it’s pretty important? I did a search on Bible under keyword(s) for “no other gods”. It came back with 77 results. To me that was a lot. Especially when you consider I told it that it had to match ALL 3 words in the verse. So 77 times in the Bible God says “no other gods”. I think He means it! God has no tolerance for those who worship gods other than HIM! So, maybe your like I’ve been for so many years, foolishly telling myself, “Well, I’m not like the Muslim who worships Allah, or the Buddhist who worships Buddha, or those who worship Mother Earth, or so many others who have a “god” to bow down to and literally worship. I proclaim to all that I worship the One True God. So I’m sure He’s ok with me. Right?” Wrong? Yes I said, WRONG!!! Let’s look at another scripture on how God feels about His place in our lives.
Deuteronomy 13:6-11 “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known,some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him. But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.11 And all Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.
Ok, did you just like swallow hard when you read that? Boy, I did! It says, “nor shall your eye pity him”. Don’t feel sorry for those who worship other gods. Ouch! This putting other gods before our God is serious business!

So here is the way I look at it, just as has been mentioned in our blogs this week and in our reading, this is not going to be easy. Why? Because this is A RAGING BATTLE!!! Not just over food, nicotine, television, the computer, facebook or whatever it is, but it is a spiritual battle!!!

Let me tell you what I have learned this week about God, myself, and Satan. I have been through this battle many times and I’m still fighting it! Yes, this time around, my perspective is new and fresh. I’m ready to resist the cravings with prayer and scripture and the power of God. But guess what? The cravings aren’t coming, at least not yet. Yes, I’m sure they will. Because Satan knew I was armed and ready for him to attack me with cravings, he changed his tactics. Isn’t that what a smart and clever warrior does in battle? A surprise attack, get you in your weakest place and where you are NOT defended. So I’m going along in the week and I’m amazed at how smoothly my food choices are. Then it hits me, or the Holy Spirit hits me and I realize, how much time are you spending on the computer? How much time are you watching tv? How much time are you thinking about me (God)? Then I realize, Satan has done it to me again! Sneak attack. Now I am keeping my eyes open and on my Savior, asking Him to help me see those temptations as they arise instead of falling for Satan’s tricks.
1Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The conclusion I’ve come to is I can’t ever let my guard down. Yeah, that was something I should have known, but I’m human and I slipped. The wonderful thing about Jesus and grace is He knows that about us and He continues to extend His grace to us every time I slip and fall. Just like this week, Jesus was there with His hand outstretched ready to pick me up. All I had to do was ask for His forgiveness and take His hand. He picks me up and I get back on track. I am so thankful for His Grace!

Living in Grace,