Monday, January 31, 2011

What if I Stumble?



Not a Fun Trip to the Scale:   

Last week, I blogged about my recent success and how hopeful I felt about my ability to find lasting victory over my weight and food issues.  Almost immediately after pushing "Publish Post", however, I began to slide into a week of very little victory and much struggle.   

The January winter blues hit their climax, my husband started a new work shift that I was unhappy about, I went out of town for a women's retreat with lots of yummy treats, and that joyful event of every woman's month (an event I've seen Lysa label the "Princess Must Scream" syndrome) hit all at once.  I was tested to put into practice what I've been learning.


I didn't pass the test. 

I gained weight this week.

This is the point in the past when my perfectionism and "all or nothing" approach to everything would take over and start the whispers of "why try?"  

This is the point where traditionally I may not say it out loud or even put it into words for myself, but I would begin to quit.  I don't want to do that this time.  Because I'm learning I was made for more

But What if I Stumble?


I started to worry.  People are watching.  I've made my weight loss journey public again, and I've put a spiritual label on this effort.  Will I fail you, Lord? 


Lines from an old D.C. Talk song from the '90's ran through my head:
What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?
And then I started thinking about other areas of my life- ministry, writing, speaking- where more fear creeps in and whispers, Will I fail you, Lord?

More lines from the song run through my head:

I hear You whispering my name [You say] My love for You will never change" [never change]
Then Jesus whispers more to my heart:
What if you stumble? What if you fail at this (or anything else)?  Then you'll grab my hand, I'll pick you up, and with my help you'll keep pressing on to win the prize that I'm calling you toward (Philippians 3:14).  You won't fail me because I am in the process of shaping you into my image, not the world's image, and I have promised you that I will finish the work I've started in you  (Philippians 1:6). 

So this week:
  • I'm learning to press on without fear. 
  • I'm remembering from the first webcast, "A setback is a setup for a comeback." 
  • I'm believing I am not defined by the numbers.  
This time is different, because this time I have a different end goal. 

Not skinniness
Not admiration
Not a number on the scale

But PEACE

"I was no longer defined by a number on the scale, because my weight loss goal was peace." - Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave Chapter 7.   

________________________________________
Tonight's webcast will be at 8 PM (EST).  You can watch it from the
Made to Crave website or http://www.ksbj.org/  It will re-air several times on Tuesday if you miss it tonight.  Don't forget to adjust for your time zone. 

Love,

 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Down in the January Dumps

After I wrote my last post and hit the publish button, I realized it sounded so chipper and as if I've got this weight battle and everything else licked.  I am very grateful for what I'm learning from Lysa's book and for the success I've had lately, but I'm also all about transparency.  After I hit publish, the rest of my week has truthfully felt far less than victorious.   


Because December went so well, I thought I had somehow sidestepped the winter blues.  Ha Ha.  They're laughing at me now.  No sidestepping allowed, I guess.  January kicks my hiney every year, and here I am again.

When it comes to the blues, I know I can't be passive about getting better, and I know the things I need to do that I haven't been doing lately.  But I thought I'd throw it out to all of you, too.  Do you struggle with winter blues?  What helps? 
 
January is hard but thankfully January is temporary.  Spring always come! 

Love, 


Monday, January 24, 2011

Made to Crave Monday: A Pot of Stew and my Tower of Bricks




I lost 3.1 pounds this week. 

I've lost 10 pounds since Christmas. 

And I'm excited about this, I really am, but not in the same way I have been with past diets.  This time around I'm happy about the pounds coming off, but I'm even more excited about how I'm changing in a way you can't see or measure.   

Last night I went out to dinner with some girlfriends to celebrate our friend's birthday.  While we were chatting, I shared a little about my weight loss and the success I'm having.  They congratulated me like good friends do, but I told them, "Losing weight is something I've done before.  The true success will be if I am able to keep it off." 

And the most amazing thing happened after I said that.  As the words came out of my mouth I realized that for the first time in my life I truly believed I could keep it off this time.  I felt something connected with my weight loss journey that I've never felt before: 

HOPE

I'm working my way through the Made to Crave book, I'm reading Lysa's e-book devotional Craving God (which by the way Amazon is still offering for free here), and I'm watching the free webcasts each week on the Made to Crave website

I've enlisted two people I love to hold me accountable, and I'm following the new Weight Watchers Points Plus plan which is the perfect fit for my body. 

And I'm learning how to replace my craving for food with a craving for God. 

And I'm learning how to have victory over this cycle that has owned me for way too long. 

Thank you, Lord.  : ) 

Not a Wise Trade

Lysa's guest post last week really spoke to me and the image of Esau trading his birthright away for a pot of stew hit hard.  How many times have I traded the good things God wants for me, the abundant life Jesus offers me, for a pot of stew?  For something of far lesser value?  I have many, many times. 

So my mantra lately when I'm faced with the temptation of something off my plan is, "I do not want to trade my birthright for a pot of stew." 

I'm learning I'm "made for more" than a cycle of defeat and I'm not making that foolish trade anymore. 

My Tower of Bricks

But I'm weak and I still stumble when I am faced with temptation, so the other lesson I'm learning from Lysa is to run to prayer when I'm faced with the temptation.  

This is not easy.  Most of the time I don't want to pray because I don't really want the help.  I want the cupcake.  : )  

But in the book she offers a mental picture that I grabbed on to.  It's the picture of a tall tower of bricks- my issues with food.  Every time I'm faced with temptation and pray for help instead of giving in, I see myself pulling off one of those bricks and laying it down where I'm paving my path to victory.  I love that picture, and have been leaning on that concept a lot lately. 

I'll share more next Monday.

Book Winner:

I was so sad that I could not locate the winner of my book drawing.  Without an email to contact her, I tried searching for her on Twitter and elsewhere without success.  

So somebody else gets to be a lucky winner today.  

Random.org said the lucky number was 3, and here's the winning comment:

Evan and Nathan said...
             I would love to read this book. Sounds like a book I'll read even if I don't win the giveaway.
- January 10, 2011 6:41 AM

Congrats!  I'll email  you to get your mailing address!     : )

Don't forget the webcast tonight at 8 Eastern.  (If you are like me, you'll need to adjust for your time zone)  You can view it here or here and it will be replayed several times throughout the day on Tuesday if you miss it. 

See you there! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New

Stepping out my door           
Escaping January blahs and
Walls closing in
      I need fresh air and          
            Sanity

I expect nothing more         
Than suburban asphalt
And cookie cutter houses
     Yet unknowingly I enter a
           Sanctuary

Icy Wind greets me
Pushing away apathy
Waking me from winter slumber
     While sunshine kisses, reflecting 
           Grace

I see slender Birch
Bending, swaying
As Wind whispers through her
    Raised hands a hymn of
           Praise

I see purple mountains
Robed in snowy prayer shawls
Majestic in their own right they  
    Kneel humbly before their
           King

I hear wind chimes beckoning and
Geese inviting as dry
Leaves skip past pointing
     My heart to childlike
           Joy

Home again,
I open the door and step in
         

         New

 





Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sometimes a Princess Just Needs a Day at the Spa

Lately, I've felt a little disconnected from my girls.  

I don't know if it is busyness or grumpiness or hormones (theirs and mine, LOL), but I felt like we needed some good old fashioned girl fun.  

So I declared a spa day.  Because sometimes princesses just need a day at the spa, and so does their mama.  : ) 

We piled in the car and shopped the Wal-Mart cosmetic isle then came home and put Princess Charming down for a nap because boys weren't invited.  

First, I greeted them and told them to put on one of our comfy red robes and to relax and let the stresses of princess life fade away.  They decided to stretch out on the kitchen floor where the sun was streaming through the windows for a little Vitamin D Therapy.  


Next, the princesses were served cocoa with whip cream. 


Next they were treated to an apricot exfoliating scrub, an avocado mud mask, and a hot oil treatment for their hair. 



Here the princesses enjoy some leisure reading while waiting for their mud masks to set. 


And of course no spa day is complete without a manicure.  It was definitely a bonding afternoon and a memory to remember.   For a few dollars at Wal-Mart we ended up having a very special time. 

And now they want to know if we can make "Spa Day" a Saturday tradition.  I'm afraid I may have created two spa monsters, but our pampering did our spirits good.     : ) 


Monday, January 17, 2011

Guest Blogger: Lysa TerKeurst



I'm so excited and honored to have Lysa TerKeurst, author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, here today as a guest blogger.  Don't forget that tonight is the next installment of her free 10-week webcast series based on the Made to Crave book.  I'll have more info at the bottom of the post about the webcast. 


Desperation Breeds Defeat
Based on Chapter 16 of Made to Crave

Thought for the Day:
 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)


I was walking through the airport when an incredible aroma suddenly grabbed my attention and taunted, “Do you know how happy I can make you?” A candy shop had just made a fresh batch of nutty, caramel popcorn.

I felt my knees get weak, because I love caramel popcorn. I started to rationalize buying this special, thinking, “I can’t get this flavor at home, and I’ll take half home to my kids.” In that moment, a new truth God taught me during my healthy eating journey popped into my mind and saved the day: desperation breeds defeat.

In the book of Genesis, the Bible tells an interesting story about twin brothers who illustrate this point. The elder son, Esau, was favored by his father, Isaac, because of his prowess as a hunter. In contrast, the younger son, Jacob, was a quiet homebody. One day, Esau returned home from an unsuccessful hunting trip totally famished, and demanded some stew from his brother. “I’ll give you food,” agreed Jacob, “but first, trade me your birthright.” Esau replied, “Okay, I’m so hungry, I’m about to die.” So Esau traded the honors due to him as the firstborn son for a simple meal of stew.

Upon first glance, it’s easy to ridicule Esau’s decision. I cannot imagine selling your whole birthright for a pot of soup. But I had to look at my own life and ask, “What great thing have I traded for so little in return? How often do I trade healthy food for junk food? What temporary pleasure have I craved so much that I gave up lasting victory?”

Desperation does indeed breed defeat. But God promises answers for desperate situations in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

The “way out” that God provides is the ability to decide in advance what I will and will not eat each day. I plan my meals right after breakfast when I’m feeling full and satisfied. The absolute worst time for me to decide what I’m going to eat is when I’ve waited until I’m depleted and feeling hungry. So I prepare a healthy snack to have on hand or keep in my purse.

When I’m unprepared or I’ve rushed through a proper meal, my stomach screams for something quick. And quick options usually come in a variety of unhealthy temptations, just as I experienced at the airport. However, that day I had decided ahead of time that I would keep an apple in my purse for a snack, rather than trade my healthy progress for something like caramel popcorn.

Let me be clear. I’m not saying that we should flee food. However, we must prevent the control that food can take over our lives. If we purposely begin to think before we eat, we’ll be better able to see the way out that God promises when we are tempted.


For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit:

www.MadetoCrave.org

Thank you so much Lysa!  If you'd like to participate in the free Made to Crave webcast series Lysa is offering, you can watch it tonight on the Made to Crave website or at http://www.ksbj.org/ at 8:00 EST (adjust for your timezone).

They'll also replay it again on Tuesday at 12 noon EST, 3pm EST, 8pm EST, and 10pm EST for anyone who misses the live show.

And I'll be back next Monday to share more about the book, the webcasts, and how they are impacting me personally

Also, JenD. you were the winner of the Made to Crave book giveaway, but unfortunately I don't have a way to contact you. Please let me know how to get you your prize. If I don't hear from Jen before next Monday, I'll announce a new winner.


Thanks again, Lysa!  Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Made To Crave: Winner Announced and A Free Kindle Book

It was exciting for me to see the great response to this giveaway, and the great response to Lysa's new book in general.  The webcast last week seem to be a huge success, and I'm excited about the impact her message is going to have on all of us. 

Personally, I'm hopeful about what I'm learning as I'm reading this book, and I look forward to more growth in this area of my life.  I'm honored that Lysa allowed me to be a part of her blog tour.  Thank you, Lysa!

I hope you'll continue to join me each Monday for my blog series "Made to Crave Mondays."  I'll be sharing what I'm learning from the book and the webcasts and other extras relating to Made to Crave.   

Next Monday, Lysa will be here as a guest blogger sharing a devotion on temptation, something I'm discovering I need help with in a big way.  : ) 

The Winner

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...The Winner!

I used Random.org to help me select the winning comment and here was the result:


True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 10

Comment #10 was:
JenD. said...
I would LOVE a copy of this book...just saw the webcast and it was great!   January 10, 2011 6:06 PM
Congratulations!  Unfortunately, Jen, I couldn't find a way to contact you from your comment.  Please email me at everydaybecky (at) gmail (dot) come and let me know your mailing address.  I hope you enjoy the book as much as I am enjoying it.   

Free Kindle Book:

And for those of you who did not win, I have another gift for you.  I just discovered last night a free Kindle book by Lysa on Amazon.com called, Craving God: A 21 Day Devotional Challenge to Accompany Made to Crave.   Click
here to get your own from Amazon.com while it is still free.  You can get Kindle for PC to read it on your computer if you don't own a Kindle. 

Happy Friday!  See you on Monday!

Love,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

When a Princess has a Crisis of Faith

Make sure you don't miss your chance to win Lysa TerKeurst's newest book, Made to Crave by clicking here. The winner will be announced on Friday.


I've always said I didn't want to shelter my kids or give them an unintentional message that I was afraid for their faith to be challenged.

I wanted to raise them to not be afraid of the tough questions because what we believe is True, therefore it can stand up to skepticism and challenge and still be True.


Both King Charming and I have also raised them to be critical thinkers, to not just take something as true because someone (or the Internet) says it is true, but to test what they are told.

We want them to use their minds and although it is an act of faith, they do not need to check their intellect at the door in order to place that faith in Jesus. Faith in Him is reasonable.

All of that sounded great in theory, but recently I had to put that confidence into practice and I must admit my gut reaction was to panic.


Sometime in mid-November, I began to notice changes in one of my princesses. In order to protect her privacy, I won't go into great detail, but I was so worried about how resistant she suddenly became to any activity that had to do with church, the Bible, praise, or prayer. For two months I fretted and worried and tried to get it out of her what was wrong, but she wasn't letting me in.


And then I finally got smart enough to pray about the issue. Why, Oh why don't I remember that is where I'm supposed to go first?


The answer was to pray more. Somewhere along the way this past year I got off course with my prayer life and I realized I had stopped consistently covering my family in prayer. And when I started praying for her, the guard came down one night at bedtime, and in tears she started sharing a list of questions she had and let me see how doubt had crept in and how she was afraid and not so sure that what we believed was true anymore.


I wish I could say I was able to calmly and rationally reassure her, but emotion crept in and turned my mind to mush. I didn't have all the right answers. I just tucked her in to bed and ran to King Charming for help. : )


The next morning, I sat back in awe and listened as he led her through a set of questions that helped her come to logical conclusions on her own about the real evidence her faith was built upon. He also praised her for being a critical thinker and let her know he was proud of her for thinking through this stuff. Later that night she prayed, "Thank you, Lord for showing me you are the true God."


And then I breathed a gigantic sigh of relief. : ) I was so thankful for the answers to my prayers for her. And I'm so thankful for the continued peace I see in her lately.


She is such a smart little girl and so young to already be going through these times of doubt. But it was so cool to see how God carried her through and encouraged her. I believe her faith will be stronger now then ever because she is learning that He is worthy of her trust, and I'm glad that her faith is becoming her own, not just something she believes because her parents do.


I learned a lot going through this first little crisis of faith with one of my children. Here are some highlights:


• Don't stop praying for them. I pulled out this list again to help focus my prayers.

• Don't panic, just pray even more. The more I panicked, the worse pressure I put on her.

• Remember God will cover where I fail. He answered her questions even when my stumbling and stammering couldn't.

• I'm thankful my husband is so smart. : )


Thank you, Lord, that you are worthy of our trust. Thank you that you are real and what we believe is True with a capital T. Thank you for loving my family even more than I do, and for answering my prayers. Thank you for helping my sweet princesses grow up to be beautiful women of God.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Made to Crave Giveaway


This giveaway is now closed.  The winner will be announced later today- 1/14/11. 



I remember as early as the second grade being aware of my weight and sucking in my tummy so I would look prettier to the little boy I had a crush on.     

By the time I was twelve, I went on my first real diet, beginning a cycle of gaining and losing, gaining and losing, that spanned the decades from that 12-year-old version of myself walking into my first Weight Watchers meeting ,to the "34-year-old, 30 pounds over my ideal weight" self I am today.  Believe me when I say, I have tried them all. 


The last thing I need is another diet book.


Although I am a huge fan of Lysa TerKeurst and Proverbs 31 Ministries, when I heard Lysa's latest book was to be on weight loss, I have to admit I rolled my eyes. 

(Please forgive me, Lysa)  

The idea of reading one more book on this subject felt painful, and I doubted Lysa, a pretty Southern girl, could really understand those of us who have battled this issue our whole lives.  But I'm happy to say I was wrong!

For one thing, as I'm reading Made to Crave, I'm learning Lysa does "get" it.  And for another thing, this isn't another diet book.  It's a Bible study designed to help find satisfaction in God instead of food.  It's a Bible study designed to point the way to victory and to discover keys to lasting change.


And that is definitely something I need. 
(long for, desire greatly)
        



Lysa explains the purpose of Made to Crave here: 



So, I'm reading Made to Crave and I hope you'll join me. 


Three Exciting Announcements: 

1.  Lysa is offering a FREE 10-week Made to Crave webcast series for anyone with access to a computer.  All you have to do is go to www.MadetoCrave.org  at 8:00pm EST every Monday, and you’ll be able to participate from there. (Please note these times are Eastern Standard Times. You will need to adjust for whichever time zone you are in.)

2.  Each Monday between now and February 14th, I will be hosting a blog series called, Made to Crave Mondays where I'll be sharing my personal journey reading the book and participating in the webcasts, as well as guest blog posts and video segments from Lysa about Made to Crave.

3.  Lysa gave me an extra book to giveaway to one of you!  Just leave a comment below letting me know that you would like to read Made to Crave and you will be entered into the drawing. 

The drawing is open to U.S. residents only and will end Thursday, January 13th.  I'll announce the winner on Friday, January 14th. 


Additional Entry Options:   

All you have to do is leave a comment below to be entered, but if you want extra chances to win, leave a separate comment for each of the things you do below. Each comment is an entry.

1.  Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect or Networked Blogs (see sidebar) or let me know you already do.

2.  Follow me on Twitter @BeckyAvella and Tweet about this giveaway.

3.  Follow @LysaTerKeurst on Twitter

4.  Like Lysa TerKeurst on Facebook by clicking here

5.  Blog about the giveaway and leave me a link to the post

I'm excited and hopeful about this journey for you and for me. 


Is anything too hard for the Lord?  - Genesis 18:14 


Love,

Friday, January 7, 2011

This One's For You, Grandpa!

If you are looking for the winner of the Read and Share Bible giveaway, my two princesses announced the winner via video in an earlier post this morning.  Click here to see if you are a winner.  : ) 

Wow!  Two blog posts in one day!  This morning's post and this post are evidence that I am enjoying the new Flip video camera I bought King Charming for Christmas.  I'm having so much fun in fact, I have to remind myself that I got it for HIM, not for me.  : )   

This post is dedicated to Grandpa.  Grandma gets a lot of air time here on this blog, and Prince Charming and I decided that Grandpa needed some blog love.

Here you go Grandpa, some love from your grandson and a little showin' off of his hoop skills. 

(And the video's also for everyone else who wants to see the cutest 2-year-old on the planet.  No, I'm  not at all biased, hee hee) 


video


video



Make sure you stop by on Monday for a new series and a giveaway.  Happy Friday Everyone!

Love,

And the Winner is...

I have another great giveaway coming up on Monday morning and will be kicking off a series featuring Lysa TerKeurst's newest book, Made to Crave.  Make sure you stop by again on Monday so you don't miss it. 


Thank you to everyone who entered to win the Tommy Nelson Read and Share Bible

I thought a video announcing the winner would be fun, but decided to spare you all seeing my "Washinton State Cougar sweatshirt from 1994 wearing, puffy eyed, haven't had my coffee yet" self, and let my future Vanna Whites who were all dressed and ready for school reveal the winner.

So without further ado.  Drum roll...  


video


Congrats! Amy!  Your comment cracked me up.  I'm sorry you had such a rough night, but now you can thank Olivia for waking you up so you could enter in the middle of the night so you could win.  See, she just had your best interests at heart all along.  : )  Hope this little prize cheers you up after a sleepless night.  Email me your mailing address and I'll get the Bible to your right away. 


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Read and Share Bible Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.  I'll be back later today to announce the winner.  : ) 

Happy New Year!!  It's 2011 and I can't think of a better way to kick off the New Year here on Everyday Becky than with a giveaway, can you?. : )


Tommy Nelson's Read and Share Bible

Recently, I was looking at my girls and thanking the Lord that they are growing up to be His, with a good understanding of the Bible and faith that is their own.  Then I looked at Prince Charming and remembered that we need to be intentional about building that same foundation in him. 

About that same time, Tommy Nelson Publishers contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing their children's Bible, The Read and Share Bible.  I jumped at the chance to add another resource to our library for introducing Prince Charming to the Bible. 

He loves his new Bible and calls it "Mine".  : )  We just spent some time this morning snuggling on the couch and reading one of the stories. 

These are the features I enjoy the most: 
  • The Simplicity of the Stories-  Each two page spread is its own story which is a length consistent with my two-year-old's attention span.  He won't sit still for longer stories in other children's Bible's yet.
     
  • The Discussion Starters-  At the end of each story is a discussion starter or question to involve the child in the story.  I love this because I'm trying to learn myself to "not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22) and want to teach my kids to not just read but apply what they see in the Bible.
     
  • The Illustrations-  The illustrations are Prince Charming's favorite feature.  He is still so young for understanding all that we are reading if he will even sit still that long, but he loves the pictures.  He will turn the pages and point out different details he likes.  I enjoy seeing him engaging with the Bible stories in a positive way even when he is so little.
See For Yourself:

The Christmas Story as found in the Read and Share Bible

Here's How to Win One! 
Tommy Nelson has generously donated a copy for me to give away to one of you and I do love to give things away.  Thank you, Tommy Nelson!  : ) 

Just leave me a comment below telling me of a child in your life that you'd like to share this with or if you plan on donating it to your church's children's ministry, tell me that, too.  Each comment will be an entry.

 Contest is open to U.S. residents only and will end Friday, January 7, 2011 @ 6:00 AM (Mountain Standard Time).  I'll post the winner on Friday.

Additional Entry Options- 

If you want extra chances to win, leave a separate comment for each of the things you do below.  Each comment is an entry.  Lot's of extra chances to win!  : ) 

1.  Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect or Networked Blogs (see sidebar) or let me know you already do. 

2.  Follow me on Twitter @BeckyAvella and Tweet about this giveaway. 

3.  Follow @TommyNelson on Twitter

4.  Blog about the giveaway and leave me a link to the post

5.  Visit http://www.tommynelson.com/ and tell me what you like.  (Hint: There are some Free Goodies on there)

6.  Like  Tommy Nelson on Facebook. 

I'll be back on Friday to announce the winner! 

Disclaimer: ** I received a copy of this book for the purpose of review.  All of the opinions expressed are my own or those of my children.