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Thursday, August 5, 2010

We're Moving

True Reflections blog is moving to www.truereflectionsinchrist.com

In addition to regular blog posts, this website will update you with information and content for our classes, scheduled to run September 21 through December 14, 2010.

Thanks for reading and subscribing!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bearing Fruit

Lately, I have been fascinated by a small pear tree behind my house...

We planted a pear tree in our backyard 1 year ago. Already, this tree has produced an ample amount of fruit. In fact, our pear tree has produced so much fruit that one of the branches was falling over, about to break off the tree. Before the branch could break, we picked a bounty of pears for our whole family to enjoy.

That got me thinking about God and how he asks us to be like a pear tree, bearing fruit. Aren't we called as Christians to bear fruit? In John 15:8 it says that "by this my Father is glorifed, that you bear fruit." When we bear fruit like a pear tree, we bring glory to God.

Our pear tree receives life from the sun and water. It's roots are nourished and replenished with life giving food so that it can produce fruit.

In Psalm 1:3 it says that a tree planted by the stream will not wither, that it will always bear fruit and prosper. When we are planted firmly in God's word and His life giving water, we will be like a tree that bears fruit.

While I struggled with an eating disorder there was no fruit on my tree. I was like a tree that sucked up every ounce of water I could find, but was left dry and withered; dying. But in recovery, I have begun to plant my tree by the stream of God's living water. My tree isn't full yet, but my roots are being filled and the leaves are green.

I desire to be more like my pear tree. I want to be so full of fruit that my branches are falling over, about to break off. I want my fruit to fill up a large kitchen bowl, with plenty left to share with others.

I want to bear fruit in order to glorify the one who gives me life.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tears of Joy

We have all heard the saying at some point in our lives, "I was crying tears of joy."

I never much understood this saying myself. Tears are for crying and joy brings laughter. Straightforward and simple. I don't like mixed messages or confusing sayings that don't make sense.

Yet lately, I've started to understand and even embrace tears of joy. And yes, of course there is a story behind it...

Until recently, I would have considered myself the strong, stoic type. I wasn't an emotional, crazy person like some women :) I always held it together, regardless of how I felt on the inside. I saw strength and courage in being able to hide my feelings and keep them inside. I didn't want anyone to see the hurt or pain that I was feeling. What I felt inside stayed inside, never to come out.

Not only did I bottle my hurt inside, but I kept it there with eating disorder behaviors like starving, bingeing, or overexercising. Those behaviors kept my feelings under control, or so I thought. If my mind was consumed with food or exercise, then my feelings couldn't come out. I didn't have the time or energy to deal with what was really going on inside my heart and in my mind.

In recovery from an eating disorder, you have to give up using eating disorder behaviors to deal with your hurts. So, the question is... if you're not using the eating disorder to cope with life, what happens?

I'll tell you what happened to me... I turned into a crazy, emotional, hormonal woman that I never imagined I would be. I cry at the blink of an eye. A few months ago I was starting to worry that I was losing my marbles. How in the world could I get so emotional, so quickly?

It took me a while, but I've started to put together the puzzle. I am an emotional being because I am no longer turning to my eating disorder to cope with life. Instead, I feel real emotions and they come out in real ways. I've learned that my emotions can be a sign of strength and not weakness.

So now, I cry tears of joy because when tears fall (as often they do), it is a sign that I'm trusting in God instead of ed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fail Us Not

The worship team at Daybreak introduced us to a new song called, Fail Us Not. I have found myself playing this song over and over again, soaking in every word. This song is a powerful reminder that our God will never fail us, no matter what the circumstance.


God is so much bigger than the battle with ED.
Did you get that? GOD is BIGGER than ed.

In the battle against ED you may face fear, insecurity, worry, anxiety, shame, guilt, and loneliness at times. But, you aren't the only one who has ever faced these things. Jesus Christ knows all of your inadequacies and insecurities. He saw them and He felt them... as He died for them. He saw it all and he took it all on his shoulders. He never fails you. Whatever it is that you are facing, God is there.

On the cross, Jesus defeated ED. In the ultimate sacrifice, he said that nothing we could ever say, think or do could keep us from His love. Even though we may not understand the battles we face, God will not fail us in them... He will use them for good in your life and for the good of others. That may seem hard to believe, but there is NOTHING He can't do. He gives strength to rise above whatever it may be so that you can live in freedom - knowing that your hope is secure in Him.

It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him
- Lam. 3:22-25

Monday, May 31, 2010

First Time Obedience

First time obedience is something that I talk about frequently in my home. My son is 3, so this is a daily topic of instruction and conversation. He has been learning the benefits of first time obedience for his life, his walk with Jesus, to his family and all those around him. As his parent, I can clearly see the benefits of first time obedience in his life. Ephesians 6:1-3 says that children should honor and obey, so that things will go well for them and that they will have a good life. When Connor obeys right away, there is more laughter and smiles in our interactions. Our entire family is happy and life is good. There is a blessing in first time obedience.

Today I wondered... if I can see the benefits of first time obedience so clearly in my son's life, why don't I get it myself? I expect him to obey right away when asked to do something, but so often I don't interact the same way with God.

I've learned 2 lessons from my 3 year old about obedience.

First lesson learned...
My obedience to God should be the same as what I expect from my son. When God speaks that I should do something, nothing else should come before Him or what He is asking of me. Even when I don't understand, I must obey. Even when I don't like it, I must obey. Even when it's uncomfortable, I must obey.

I don't want my son to obey out of obligation or fear, but because he loves us and because he loves God. I want my obedience to God to be with the same heart; a heart that I love God so much that I have no other choice but to immediately obey His word by laying aside my rules, expectations, or ideas. His plans are bigger than I will ever understand or imagine, and only He can see the ending. My obedience shows trust that He knows the plans He has for me, that they are good and that He will work out in me what He has started.

2nd Lesson learned...
There is grace through Christ when we fall short on first time obedience. When my son doesn't obey the first time I too quickly resort to frustration that he isn't getting it. I think that it should be easy for him to listen and obey. Yet in my own life, I often just don't get it. I wrestle with God and avoid talking to Him because maybe I might not like his answer. All the while, I am teaching my son that he needs to obey my words because I know what is best for him, even when he doesn't understand or like my answer. What a contradiction. Sometimes my son just doesn't get it. More often, I just don't get it.

Thank God, that there is grace when we don't obey Him. I am thankful that his grace covers my failings. I am thankful that he relentlessly pursues me and calls me back to obedience time and time again. Maybe I should begin practicing the same grace with my son as God daily shows to me. With any parent and with God, there is firmness in discipline that strengthens and trains us, but His grace shows that firmness is done with love and a quiet, guiding hand.

How different would my life look if I simply practiced first time obedience? Instead of debating, arguing, avoiding or second guessing God's directions, what if I obeyed right away? Even if I didn't understand, or didn't like the answer, or simply didn't want to do it - what if I obeyed anyway? I can think of many situations in my life that could have been avoided or been less painful had I simply obeyed him right away instead of trying my way first.

Remember the story of Jonah? He loved God, but he didn't want to go to Nineveh. He was afraid, he didn't understand why he was being sent there and he simply didn't want to do it. He didn't obey God right away. Because of this, he went through a painful experience before he learned that God's ways are always right and good. Jonah learned the benefits of first time obedience.

There is benefit in those painful journeys. None of us are perfect because we are human. We are going to struggle from time to time at first time obedience. In the struggles of not obeying God, I have learned so much, I have been renewed and my faith has been strengthened. There is great benefit to painful experiences and in the firm discipline that God provides to us, just as we show to our children. We all go through seasons of life that have painful experiences that grow us more like Him.

God welcomes our questions and He tells us that we can test Him. He is big enough to handle anything we bring to the table. Even with first time obedience, we will face trials and struggles. But in obeying him right away, we waste less time in fear and worry. In first time obedience we show faith in saying to Him, because you say so, I will.

In Luke 5:5, Peter was called by Jesus to put down his net to catch fish. Jesus asked him to put his net down at a time and place that made no sense. Peter responded by simply saying, "because you say so, I will." He may have asked questions later, but immediately, Peter responded with obedience.

I desire to be more like Peter. I want my daily prayer to be,
"God because I know that you are good, I understand that you only have good in mind for me. I may not understand your ways, but I trust in you. In whatever the day brings, help me to say, "because you say so, I will."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 11

Chapter 11: Crossing the Finish Line

In the final chapter, Fitzpatrick encourages us to keep going on the journey of learning to please God with our eating habits. While this is not an easy process, she encourages us to strive towards a heart that reflects Jesus.

In our relationship of learning to please God, she points out similarities in differences with a marriage relationship. Similarly, learning to please your spouse and God is a learning process. You may know that you love them both, but it takes time to figure out how to love them. As well, in both relationships, learning involves more than just knowing what to do, it is doing it with action.

But loving God is also very different from loving a spouse. There is no need to second guess what God needs or wants, because He gives us answers in the Bible. While we may misunderstand or miscommunicate with a spouse, God always provides us with answers in His Word. God also knows our heart, when no one else can. Even in our weakness, God can see the motives of our heart and blesses us when we try to do right, even when we fall short.

When we strive to please God we will always be blessed. A spouse may have sinful motives for asking us to do something, but God never does. As we obey God's word, we learn how to please Him, thus bringing about blessings in our life. God's word is filled with promises that he will reward us with blessing when we obey Him.

Learning to please God is an long, ongoing journey. In Colossians 1:9-12, Paul speaks of this process, knowing that we don't have much knowledge of God when we become believers, but praying that each Christian would gain it.

The journey is hard and many temptations lay along the path. Fitzpatrick points out encouragement in Isaiah 41:10, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Fitzpatrick states, "When you're sorely tempted to give up, when you think it just isn't worth it, when you start to believe the lie that you'll never change, remember this verse. If you are His child, He promises that He is with you - to strengthen, help and uphold you."

If you are struggling now, take heart. Hebrews 12:11 states, "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." When God disciplines us it is meant for a greater purpose that is for our good. You can be encouraged that when God disciplines us, it is because we belong to Him. As we trust in Him through the pain, he will produce a crop of righteousness and peace in our lives that will overflow to others.

You can find encouragement to finish the journey you have started in these Scripture verses...

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win." (1 Corinthians 9:24) Run the race to please Him and to not be distracted by anything else!

Hebrews 12:1-3 says,
"Since we have a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet ad trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him."

Consider what this Scripture is saying...

"... a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands..."
Imagine all those who have gone before you, cheering you on. Picture Moses saying, "I know what it's like, I wandered in the desert for 40 years, but God kept His promise to me."

"...strip off everything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up..."
Hopefully you can identify the thoughts in your mind that trip you up. As you identify those areas that cause you to struggle, strip them off.

"... let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us..."
This journey will take time, but what better than to be running the race towards Jesus. Your life will be over in the blink of an eye so take heart in knowing that this struggle won't last forever. While this life is short, don't waste time wishing that you didn't have this pain in your life, or that you struggled with something different. God knows all about you and knows that you can learn through this trial.

"... keep your eyes set on Jesus..."
Don't look anywhere but at Jesus - not yourself or those around you. He suffered, bled and died for you. He took on your sin so that you could live in peace and joy.

The book ends with this prayer that you can offer to God...
"I hunger and thirst, my Lord, only for you. I long for my entire being-my heart, my mind, my emotions, my body-to glorify you and bring you joy. I put aside the meager pleasures of this life, especially those that I find in eating, and desire only you. You are my chief joy, my wonderful Shepherd. you've spread a banqueting table before me and I anxiously await the time when I'll be there, with you. Until then, I pledge to patiently run towards You, shunning anything that would keep me from my goal or cloud my sight. Keep me in your loving arms, my Father. I'm on my way home."

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Elyse Fitzpatrick
Copyright 1999

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 11

Chapter 11: A Word Specifically For You

"Little children, guard yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21

In this chapter, Fitzgerald revisits the topic of idolatry. She redefines the word, idol, as anything that "usurps your love" for the one, true God. If there is anything that you seek after, love, or worship more than God, it is an idol.

She shares a story about a woman named, Marlene. Marlene was a bulimic and her goal was always to be thinner than her sisters, no matter what the cost. This desire was a god in her life because it dominated her thoughts, actions and heart. Her thoughts were focused on, "What do I look like? Am I gaining weight? Am I as good as they are?" She constantly lived with fear, anxiety, despair, bitterness, and self loathing.

Marlene was worshiping the god of being thin, not the one true God. With any god that isn't the one true God, there are certain rules that must be followed. Her god's rules were "Thou shall not eat sugar, thou shall not eat potato chips and thou shall exercise off 500 calories per day." If she violated any of these laws (sin), she would feel angry, worry and fear because she failed to be perfect.

Marlene's thoughts that she had to be perfect were false. Maybe you can relate to other lies that our culture tells us...

  • "You only have worth if you are thin. Only thin people are truly happy."
  • "I'll never be out of control like that other person... they are so weak. I am stronger because weak women are failures."
  • "I deserve the pleasure of food, but I don't want to pay the consequences of gaining weight because fat people are disgusting."
  • "I will only deserve to be loved if I am thin. People will think that I'm worthless if I'm not a certain size or weight."
  • "I have to be perfect."
  • "Life is so chaotic, I must be in control of something."
  • "I feel unloved and I deserve to be ugly so I will binge."
All of these thoughts are lies and if they consume our minds and lives, they can become idols to us. Instead of living in fear, self hatred, and dissatisfaction, you can turn your eyes to the one true God. Only He can bring you hope to change. God is able to bring about change in us when we replace the worship of the lies with worship of Him.

To replace the lies we must think of things that are true. Philippians 4:8 says that we should only think of these things, "whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things."

You may be filled with fear at the thought of change. Ask yourself these questions:
"What is the worst thing that could possibly happen if I gave up these idols? Will that stop me from reaching my goal of worshiping God? What would happen if I would run to Christ instead of the refrigerator to save me from trouble?"

Consider the laws that you have made for yourself. Do your laws help you to love God with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength? Do your laws help you to love your neighbor as yourself?

Working at change is a battle worth fighting. If you struggle with an eating disorder you will need to force yourself to eat in a way that pleases God. As you attempt to do this it will be a huge struggle. If you keep fighting, God promises to be with you. God will continue to work with you, even in your imperfections.

Just as he embraces you, you can embrace what God says in Isaiah 45:21-22,
"There is no other God besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, there is no other." Only the one true God can bring you fulfillment and purpose. He's always waiting for you to turn to Him.

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Elyse Fitzpatrick
Copyright 1999

Monday, May 3, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Practice, Practice, Practice

"You shall keep my statutes and practice them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you."
Leviticus 20:8

In this chapter, Fitzgerald talks about the challenges of addressing a continual sin pattern. It can be frustrating to continually be caught in the same cycles of behavior and feel like you aren't getting anywhere. She shared that change began in her life when she embraced a verse from 2 Peter 1:3 that says, "His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness; through the true knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence." She didn't need to keep searching for contentment, peace, or comfort from food because she learned that God had already given her exactly what she needed to overcome her struggles through the power of the Holy Spirit and His Word. Change doesn't happen overnight, instead it takes a lifetime. She reminds us that our goal in this lifetime is to glorify Him through the victories in our life. In every small victory that we have towards removing food as an idol in our lives, we can give glory and honor to the one that empowered real change in us. A lifetime of change is possible because He is always with us, guiding and encouraging us along the way.

It is possible for God to bring about immediate change, but the New Testament often shows change as a process that is practiced. God uses our struggles to cause hatred of your sin and to increase your love and dependence on Him. Fitzpatrick says that He "trains your hands for war." She reminds us that God has many uses for our struggles, if we continually depend on Him to bring about change in those circumstances rather than trying to find a way on our own.

She moves on to talk about Step 4 of the change process that states,
"Continue to practice these new thoughts and behaviors, even when the struggle gets hard."

Practicing Godliness...
The Bible includes many Scriptures that talk about practicing godliness. 1 Timothy 4:7 says to train yourself to be godly. Fitzgerald defines the word "train" as exercise or discipline; or in the greek to "train naked." The point Paul is trying to make is that we must take away anything that is causing us to stray from godliness in our lives. We must pursue life with thinking and actions that won't distract us from the goal of glorifying God in all that we do. She gives the example of a runner wearing clothes that wouldn't trip or negatively hinder his performance for a race, just as we should not hinder our pursuit of godliness in our eating habits.

Hearing the truth is important, but to be changed by it we must respond to it. In Phillippians 4:9, Paul states "the things you have learned and received from me, practice these things, and the God of peace shall be with you."

It takes a lot of time to continually practice creating new habits. However, after some time of being intentional and deliberate about your thoughts, eventually you will train yourself to a new way of thinking automatically.

Fitzgerald recommends keeping a journal, which is something that we encourage in the True Reflections classes. In this journal, address the D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E-D eating questions. When you eat, are you violating any of these things? Memorize these questions and the Scripture verses that go along with them. As your journal these things, you will begin to see what areas cause you the most trouble. As God reveals those areas to you, you can begin to pray for God to change your thinking in this area. As you journal about your thought patterns and eating habits, you will discover your weaknesses so that God can change you.

As you spend time in prayer each day, consider praying at the same time each day. Praying at the same time every day will make this become more of a habit. If you're not sure how to pray, use the acrostic, ACTS. The letters in the acrostic are for adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

She also encourages daily bible reading. Bible reading is just as important as our mealtimes. We are not meant to live by bread alone, but the word of God. You will only change your thinking if your mind is consumed with truth from His word. You can read it out loud or journal what you are reading . Try to do this as well at the same time every day.

Journal your victories. What areas has God been changing you? Write down areas that still need growth, then ask God to help you in those areas.

Find an accountability partner. Discuss your journals together. Share your victories and weaknesses together. Pray for each other as you travel on your journey towards real change.

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Elyse Fitzpatrick
Copyright 1999

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Food and Your Thought Life

Our eating habits reflect our thoughts. When all of our thoughts are consumed by food, we need to change our thoughts; but how? Our hearts influence our behavior, emotions and even our health.

During this chapter, Fitzgerald digs deeper into the third step of the change process and what the Bible has to say about our thoughts.

We often think of head knowledge and heart knowledge being two different things. We think that we can believe something in our heads, but that our hearts could feel differently. The Scriptures, however, show that there is no distinction between the heart and the head...
"Out of the heart come evil thoughts." Matthew 15:19

"The Word of God is living and active... it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
According to the Bible, we have an inner person and an outer person. The inner person is composed of thoughts, desires, intentions, and will. The outer person includes our appearance, actions, words and deeds.

Our thoughts and emotions are completely influenced by each other. Our behavior is then influenced by our thoughts and emotions as well. She gives an example of this cycle...
  • Your emotions influence your thoughts (thoughts --> emotions)
Thinking that "What happened to me isn't fair!" leads to feelings of anger, depression, and fear
I'm going to punish myself by starving, or comfort myself by eating

  • Our thoughts then are influenced by our emotions (emotions --> thoughts)
Depressed feelings lead to thinking that nothing will ever change
I'm so depressed, that I need to eat

  • Your physical health influences your emotions (thoughts and emotions --> physical health)
Thinking that things aren't fair and feeling angry leads to ulcers
I'm so angry that I'm going to starve, binge, or purge
  • Thoughts and emotions influence your physical health (physical health --> thoughts and emotions)
Being in poor health leads to thinking that my life is awful and I feel depressed
Health problems result from bingeing, starving and purging, which leads to
sinful thoughts and emotions

The 3rd step to godly change is this: Seek diligently to change our mind and be conformed to God's thinking, especially in the area of our eating habits

God gives us specific instructions about how we are to think in Philippians 4:8...
"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute; if there is anything excellent or praiseworthy, let your mind dwell on these things."

Whenever a thought comes into our minds, we must judge it with these standards. We must continually ask ourselves if our thoughts reflect these things so that we can train our minds. If we think sinful thoughts for too long, we will follow through with action. But when we train our minds to think of things that reflect Philippians 4:8, our actions will be changed.

Our thoughts are sometimes so habitual that we don't even know we're thinking of them, which makes them hard to change. These thoughts can be changed, however. The first step is to ask God to make you aware of your sinful thoughts through the power of the Holy Spirit. Another way to change your habitual thoughts is to work backwards. Once you realize that you are eating in a sinful manner, go back and see what thoughts led to that behavior.

We can change our thought patterns by dwelling on godly thoughts. When we find ourselves going down a road of sinful thoughts, we can ask God to help us stop and redirect our thoughts to the things of Philippians 4:8. When our thoughts are godly, our attitudes are changed, others around us are changed, and we glorify God.

There will be times that we will stumble, but we can take heart because God is always on our side and he will continually work to renew our thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 states that, "You need to bring all of your thoughts under submission to Christ's lordship."

We can also change our thought patterns when we soak in God's word. Memorize His word and recite it all day long. We can stop feeding our mouths with food and instead feed our hunger with God's word. Man does not live by bread alone, but the very word of God (Matthew 4:4).

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Elyse Fitzpatrick
Copyright 1999

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Finding Power in Truth

Last night I posted on facebook:

Whatever we are facing in this moment we can choose to grab on to the truth. Let everything else go. Let go of the anxiety- fear- uncertainty- and frustration. Park our mind with what is true. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free," (John 8:32).

What truth can do for us is really amazing.

This past weekend as we were wrapping up at the E-Women conference in Pensacola my friend Beth, Holly and I were talking about where the team would be meeting for dinner that night. Suddenly, a very frantic arena staff member came over and told us there was an emergency and we were needed right away.

A lady attending the conference had just been told her two grandchildren had been killed in a fire that day.

We rushed over to find a lady surrounded by her friends. She was sobbing to the point she could hardly breathe. She'd just been with her grandbabbies ages 8 and 4. They'd spent spring break with her last week. She'd held them, rocked them, stroked their hair, and kissed them all over their faces. How could they be gone?

It was too much for her brain to process.

The EMT stepped aside so we could hold her hands and pray over her. At first I stumbled my way through requests for Jesus to pour His most tender mercies into this situation. I prayed for comfort and the reassurance that these children were being held by Jesus in this moment.

It was so hard. My mommy heart ached so deeply for this woman. My eyes welled up with tears refusing to stay contained.

As Beth took her turn to pray I noticed something miraculous. Every time we said, "Jesus" her body calmed, her crying slowed, her breathing stopped sounding so panicked.

So, when it was my turn to pray again I just said His name over and over and over. This sweet grandmother joined me, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."

As we said, "Jesus" over and over- truth flooded my mind.

I remembered what I'd written last week about death... Death is only a temporary separation. We will be reunited again.

I remembered this truth from 2 Samuel 12... When David's infant child died, David confidently said, "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me" (v. 23). David knew he would see his child again--not just a nameless, faceless soul without an identity, but his very child. He would know him, hold him, kiss him, and the separation death caused would be over.

The only thing that seemed to calm my devastated sister was the name of Jesus and His truth.

What a powerful reminder to us all.

In John 17 verses 6-17 we read some of Jesus' last words before He died. Four times in these verses He reminds us of the gift of God's Word.

Hold on to His Word sweet sister. Speak His truth and the name of Jesus out loud in the midst of whatever you are facing today. Our souls were formed to
recognize andrespond to the calm assurance of Jesus and truth.

Never has this been more clear to me.

Please pray for my friend and her family.

And remember in the midst of whatever you face today...

We can choose to grab on to the truth. Let everything else go. Park our mind with what is true. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free," (John 8:32).

Monday, April 19, 2010

YouTube Playlist...

We use songs a lot during True Reflections. When you are listening to the words of a song, your mind escapes to the images and stories being told. Your heart is free to feel the emotions in the song. Songs take real life experiences and connect them with God's heart so that they can touch yours.

Because songs are so powerful, I love to fill my mind with ones that make me reflect on Christ and my identity in Him. One of my YouTube playlists is specifically geared towards just that. There are times when it's hard to put my identity in Him. Or sometimes I'm just confused by things of this world. At those times, I turn to these songs and I am reminded of God's Word and His truths.

There are many other wonderful songs out there addressing God's great love for us and who we are in Him. But these are some of my current favorites.

Listen to these songs and soak in God's truth for you today...
that He loves you and He wants you to find everything you need in Him; nothing and no one else.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Making Godly Food Choices

This chapter highlights the second step towards godly change.

Step 2 says,
"Become convinced that God's methods for disciplined eating are right and begin practicing them"

While the Bible doesn't appear to speak much of eating habits, the Bible does teach us principles that apply to so many different aspects of life. In respect to eating, the Bible speaks a lot about self control and self discipline.

The Results of the Spirit's Work...
In Galatians, Paul speaks of the fruits of the Spirit. When the Spirit is at work in our lives one of the results is self control. In 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 he speaks more about his struggle against the desires of his body. In this scripture he states,
Everyone who competes in the games exercises self control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way , as not without aim; I box in such a way; as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
We can't earn God's love or His grace by living a self disciplined life. There is nothing that we can do to pay for the debt of our sin. When we become saved through His sacrifice, He works to sanctify and change us. We are enabled to change through the work of the Holy Spirit as we choose to put off our old habits and put on new godly habits through the practice of self control.
The Need for Self Control...
Even Peter speaks of the need for self control in 2 Peter 1:5-7. He says that Christians must strive to grow in moral excellence, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love. He says that these things are necessary to be useful and fruitful for the kingdom of God.
Guidelines for Self Controlled Eating...
To determine whether or not your eating displays self control, Fitzpatrick outlines 12 questions to ask of yourself. As you consider these questions, ask God to show you how your eating can be more pleasing to Him.
To remember these points, you can remember the acrostic, D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E-D Eating.
12 Questions...
Doubt - Do I doubt that I can eat this food without eating? * If you believe that it is sinful to eat something, you should abstain from eating it because faithless eating is sinful
Idolatry - Does eating this food demonstrate a heart for independence to do whatever I want or a heart longing for pleasure? * If you are eating for reasons that pull you away from the desires God has for you, then you are serving another god
Stumble - If I eat this, will it cause a weaker Christian to stumble? * If we love each other enough we will avoid foods that would cause someone else to sin
Coveting - Am I eating this simply because I saw someone else with it and I'm coveting it? *TV commercials often cause us to covet foods that we don't need
Inroad - If I eat this will it create an inroad for sin? *If you eat something that causes you to desire more and more, you should abstain from it completely.
Praise - Can I eat this food with thanks and gratitude? *If you can't thank God for what you are about to eat, you shouldn't eat it at all
Life - Would eating this food be harmful to my health in any way? *This can be different for every person, but each of us must eat, what for us is a healthy diet that shows care for the bodies God has given us
Illustrate - Am I modeling good habits for others and encouraging them to be self disciplined? *It's important to witness to others with the habit of self controlled eating
No - Can I say no to this food even if I can do so without sinning? *We must keep our bodily desires in submission to our hearts desires
Emotions - Does the desire to eat this flow from a heart of anger, fear frustration or depression? *If you eat for these reasons, sin ends up mastering over you
Distract - Will preparing this food distract me from something better that God has for me to do? *Maybe you need to be ministering to someone instead of worrying about cooking an elaborate meal
Enslaved - Does this food bring me under any kind of bondage? *If you feel a need for a particular food, you should abstain from it so that it does not master over you

All of these things can be summed up with one question...
"With my eating and drinking, am I glorifying God?" 1 Corinthians 10:31

Monday, April 5, 2010

A New Label

Today I was thinking about labels. Shirt labels aren't permanent. You can cut them out if they're itchy. You can scratch out the words if you don't like the size or maker. You can even put a new label in to make it new.

I was thinking about shirt labels today because today I was faced with my own label.

I checked in at the doctor's office for a routine checkup today. I stated my name and the receptionist pulled my chart. As she opened it, there it was; a label. The top of my chart clearly stated, "eating disorder." I've talked about eating disorders, read books about them, and contemplated them extensively over the past few years. This was not a word that I've removed from my vocabulary.

As I kept reading and rereading those words in my chart, I felt so many emotions. But the longer I stood there the happier I became. I realized that my shock and disbelief at reading those words was because I didn't label myself that way anymore. An eating disorder no longer defines who I am. Feeling that label placed on me again felt foreign because that label has been removed from my life.

A smile came over my face. It was an exciting moment for me. It wasn't just words coming from my mouth, but a feeling in my heart that I no longer viewed myself as the eating disorder that once enslaved me.

I left the doctor's office with a thankful, joyful heart. God removed the tag of my life that said eating disorder. He crossed it out with black sharpie and changed the label to say, "Mine." He took His label and permanently attached it to me, so that no one and nothing can ever remove it.

Whenever I lose my way or make a mistake, I know that I can simply look at my new label. I am HIS.

Does the label of your life say that you are "His"? If it doesn't, God loves to change labels.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 7

Chapter 7: A Right Perspective of Food

In this chapter, Fitzgerald more closely explores the first step towards godly change from Chapter 6. Step one stated that we must "become convinced that our present method of eating is sinful and cease from it."

Too many of us don't see our eating habits, at times, as sinful. Our society has developed a skewed idea of what sin is. God's truth is found in the Bible and we have a God who hates sin. For any of us to truly change, we must acknowledge that overeating, starving or purguing is sin. These behaviors are not merely bad habits, but sin habits. These behaviors are as much sin as drunkenness, adultery, or murder. We must begin to hate these behaviors because they are sinful and take us away from the heart of God, not simply because we are embarressed or ashamed by them.

Anything can be sinful if we allow it to enslave us. Paul speaks of this in 1 Corinthians 6:12-13,
"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food; but God will do away with both of them."
When we allow ourselves to practice extreme dietary habits, such as starvation, bingeing, purging or overeating of any kind, our heart becomes enslaved to those habits. If our bodies will not last for eternity, should we be enslaved to them in this present life? If food has power over you, it has become an idol in your life. The first commandment states, "you shall have no other gods before me."

There is no particular food that is considered sinful. You must first determine the motives of your heart as you eat to know if your habits are sinful. To help you determine whether or not your eating is sinful think about these questions...

When you eat, are you being enslaved to your appetite?
Will this food bring me into bondage?
Am I eating for wrongful desires and pleasures? or control?
Will eating this send me into a binge? or starvation?

When we compromise our consciences, we are sinning. What may be sinful for you may not be for someone else. Faithless eating is sinful.

Fitzgerald then takes a look at gluttony and it's biblical meaning. When the Bible talks about gluttony it is referring to someone who is excessive in his eating habits. The sin of gluttony isn't merely overeating, but refers to someone who is only living for himself; wanting whatever we want, in whatever quantity, whenever we want it. The habit of living in slavery to excess and self indulgence is gluttony.

The Old Testament addresses gluttony in Deuterononmy 21:18-20 and again in Proverbs 23:20-21. In both of these passages the sin of gluttony was accompanied by sins of self indulgence, laziness, drunkenness, stubbornness and rebelliousness.

In Luke 7:34 we see people accusing Jesus of being a glutton because he ate and drank freely with sinners. Yet, Jesus knew no sin. He ate and drank without giving in to gluttony or drunkenness.

We see Jesus eating at many points in the Bible because food itself is not a bad thing. In 1 Timothy Paul states that food is created by God to be enjoyed for the health of our bodies. He says, "Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer." When we are thankful for the food we eat and ask God's blessings for our body, food is a good thing. However, we are being sinful in our eating if we are not thankful for the food we have and give no regard to God's provision of it.

"As long as what you eat dominates your affections, thoughts and behavior - even if you are eating small portions, starving yourself, or insisting on eating only "healthy" foods, your eating is gluttonous because your life is focused on food."

The measure of gluttony is your heart. You can be ruled by your appetite whether you are thin or overweight.

God gives us the ability to break old habits and learn new ones. Old habits can be comfortable and hard to break. But, the power of the Holy Spirit can change and transform us, as well as our ungodly habits.

Paul discusses this struggle with desiring to keep our old habits in conjunction with our desire to serve God. Romans 6:12-13 says,
"Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness of God."
In these verses Paul is saying that we should no longer use our body (hands, mouth, eyes) for sin. When we use our body for sinful purposes we are giving Satan the power to hurt us. When you resist Satan by fighting your temptations, your sin habit will become less and less. We can move from sinful habits to godly habits because of God's grace. Romans 6:14 says that "sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace."

The first step in changing your sin habits to godly habits is to stop the sin patterns in your life. When you recognize that you are struggling or about to sin, say to yourself, "sin will not master over me." God is good and powerful. He has the power to change you.

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Elyse Fitzpatrick
Copyright 1999

Friday, April 2, 2010

Changed Lives

With God's strength in recovery, we all have a story to tell of how God takes us from broken to redeemed.

Here is a story from a True Reflections participant, Jackie, about her changed life...

"Over the past year, God has used people from Daybreak to be his hands, feet, and voice in my life in ways that have made a huge impact on my life. Last Spring, I was falling quickly into a relapse of my eating disorder, which I have struggled with for seven years. I smiled constantly, but inwardly felt alone and terrified. When I did not even have the strength to ask God to rescue me, I received cards and emails from Daybreak prayer team members with prayers and song lyrics that encouraged me and reminded me that God was still with me and others were praying for me.

Though I was struggling, I had a sense that God was walking alongside me, showing me where to place each step as I fought against the monster in my head. I decided to enter a treatment program over the summer to help me beat the eating disorder, but was again terrified of the idea of giving up this huge part of myself. I remember driving to my intake appointment in Philadelphia and receiving a call from someone, who had called me several times before to pray for me. She prayed for me over the phone, and I felt so wrapped in God’s love which gave me the courage to proceed to the appointment and face my biggest fears. At a time when I did not feel like I deserved to bother anyone with my problems or that anyone should have to care about me, it meant more than I can put into words to have someone call and pray over me. I couldn’t believe that I had found a church that would actually care that much about people.

Coming back to school in the fall, I had made incredible progress, but knew I needed support to continue in recovery. I read Bible verses about being cherished by God, but had trouble believing that I could ever really be precious to Him. I could know it in my mind, but struggled to accept my value in Him.

God provided wonderful support in His perfect timing through the True Reflections group. The leaders helped us to discover and soak in our identities in Christ. The freedom and honesty was amazing. I could be completely real with these other women and with God. The most amazing thing is that, through seeking God’s truth about my identity and worth, I started slowly to discover it and very slowly to accept and claim it.

We talked about letting go of fear and control and instead trusting God with our bodies, our schedules, and our relationships. I participated in True Reflections in the Fall and the Spring, which allowed me to look back on my journal entries from the Fall and see how much I have grown. Many of those entries are prayers asking God to help me accept what he was telling me. I am so excited to see how he is answering my prayers. I used to believe I was bad, awkward, undeserving, andunbeautiful. Now I honestly believe that I might be a good creation who sometimes makes mistakes, but who has some unique gifts and special opportunities to touch others’ lives as our leaders touched mine. I am still undeserving of God’s love, but I can accept it anyway, and that is so cool! It amazes me that others are willing to listen to me, love me, and pray over me. The many cards and emails I received from the Daybreak care team remind me of this. I feel surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and absolutely blessed. Thank you so much for letting God use you in a powerful way in my life."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 6

Chapter 6: God's Life Changing Power

Bringing About Real Change

God's Word says that He has the power to change us. His plans for us are for our good, not to harm us. Because He wants good for us, he does not want us to be stuck in sin, but to persevere through struggles and continually seek Him. He promises to help us in this work, "he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion" (Philippians 1:6).

Fitzgerald believes that there are 4 basic steps we can follow to bring about godly change in our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit...

  1. Become convinced that your present method of eating is sinful and cease from it
  2. Become convinced that God's methods for disciplined eating are right and begin practicing them
  3. Seek diligently to change your mind and become conformed to God's thinking, especially in the area of your eating habits
  4. Continue to practice these new thoughts and behaviors, even when the struggle gets hard

The foundation for this change is found in the Holy Spirit working in you. If your goal is to be conformed to the image of Christ, none of us can bring about real change on our own. To truly change our hearts in a way that pleases God and conforms us to look like Christ, the Holy Spirit must work through us. The fruit of the Spirit's work in you is self control, even as it pertains to your eating habits.

Let's take a look at how the Spirit can help in each of the above steps for change...

Step 1:
"Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." Hebrews 5:14

The Spirit convicts us of sin and leads us to recognize good from evil. The Holy Spirit can also guide us to eat in godly ways, that don't lead us into sin. The Spirit enables us to put the desires of our flesh to death. His power is mighty to help you discern godly ways of eating from sinful ways of eating.

Step 2:
"When the Spirit of truth comes He will guide you into all the truth." John 16:13

Any change in your outward behavior and in your heart, must come from the work of the Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit can guide you in truth so that you can display godly eating habits. After accepting Christ into your life, God does not want to leave you as the same person. He desires to change us into his likeness, to sanctify us. To make this change possible, He uses the Spirit in you.

Step 3:
"Lay aside your old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God, being changed in his image, has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth, that the Holy Spirit is creating in you." Ephesians 4:22-24

Putting off our old ways of eating and thinking is a process that takes time. Throughout the entire process, as the Spirit guides, change occurs. The spirit changes the way that we think about ourselves and about Him and about our eating habits. The Spirit works through God's Word. The Bible is a lamp to light our way so that we can better understand God's purposes in our lives. And as we read, we must also pray and ask that the Spirit would help us gain understanding.

Step 4:
Too often we start a new "plan" with hope and excitement, only to feel like a failure days or weeks after starting. Or we get tired of the routine and search for something else that might be better. Fitzgerald states that "the practice of godliness that the Spirit is working in us is the only solution that is going to have true and lasting results."

Have HOPE...
We can have hope as believers because the Spirit protects us and seals are fate. The Spirit watches diligently and guards us so that we will someday be delivered safely back to the Father's hands. Our struggle with sin will not end until this life is over, but God is powerful enough to change us while we are here, give us strength during the process, and continue the work He started in us until He calls us home to be with Him.

We can also have hope in our struggles and be joyful for them...

"We exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. " Romans 5:3-5

As we trust in God to change us, even as we continue to struggle, we will be filled with God's unconditional, overflowing love. You can release fears and worry that you won't be able to do it because God has already chosen to give up his very own Son, to death on a cross, so that He could do this work in you. He will do anything for you!

Even in times that you feel too weary, tired or weak to pray, the Spirit prays on your behalf. The Spirit knows exactly how to pray for you. And in these times we can look to the Spirit for comfort, peace and strength. Galatians 5:6 states that as we "walk by the Spirit, you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." We can walk by the Spirit when we "set our affections on Him, rely on Him, please Him, rest in Him, trust Him, pray to Him, worship Him, and obey Him." When we do these things we will be guided by the Spirit and our fleshly desires will be put to death.

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Elyse Fitzpatrick
Copyright 1999

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Why We Do What We Do

This chapter addresses the question of...
"Why do I do what I do?"
What are the motivations of your heart?

Our society gives us these reasons for doing what we do...

1. My Mama made me do it
  • the way we act today is a result of subconscious roots from something that happened in our childhood
2. My computer has a virus
  • man is simply a machine; the input will always result in corresponding behaviors
3. Help me doctor, I think I'm sick
  • people who believe that eating disorders are diseases think that we do things because of our genes, allergies or chemicals in our brain
4. Feel the force within you
  • these people believe in eastern philosophies and mysticism for the answers to motivation and healthy behavior
5. The devil made me do it
  • people who believe that demons and spirits inhabit our bodies, causing people to struggle continually with sin
6. I don't love myself enough
  • inside each of us is the power to love and accept ourselves, but these people have low self-esteem and instead choose to punish themselves instead of loving themselves
Every motivation mentioned thus far has blamed an outside force for our behavior, instead of self. Generally speaking our society says that we aren't responsible for our own behaviors. All of our behaviors must be a result of something or someone else - your parents, lack of self-esteem, the devil, etc.

However, the Bible states that one day we will be accountable to God for our actions. God has forgiven us of our sins through Jesus Christ, but the same God has also called us to trust and obey Him.

Taking Responsibility... with God's Grace

God calls us to obey His Word. He has the ability to ask this of us because He alone can give us the strength to do so. Regardless of our past experiences or present circumstances, God delights in showering us with His grace so that we can boast in Him and glorify in Him in all things.

If you are in Christ, why not begin today to ask God to show you how He redeems your past and uses it for His glory? The thought that God arranged your history to happen exactly the way it has so that He could turn your mourning into dancing. His grace should fill you with hope and joy.

What the Bible teaches about "why we do what we do"

The Bible says that while we all have different pasts and different histories, we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). God created us all innately the same. Because of this, we can know that the Bible holds truth for everyone.

Our first peek into what the Bible has to say about this comes from James 1:14, "Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust." Each of us have lusts in our heart that cause us to see certain temptations as very inviting. These lusts then are strong motivators of our behavior. When you find yourself tempted to sin, ask "What desire is motivating this behavior? What desire is it that I'm trying to satisfy by eating or not eating this?"

The Condition of our Hearts

Only God can truly know the condition of our hearts. Only God has enough insight and wisdom to see us as we truly are. Our hearts can deceive us at times. Sin can speak in our hearts and tell us that the wrong we are planning is right. We make excuses and rationalizations. The only way to truly understand the temptations of our heart is to be in the Word. When we learn the Word, we gain the ability to understand our thoughts and intentions.

God can help us understand our own heart through prayer. When Jesus was facing his death, he prayed and even guided his disciples to pray, that they would not fall into temptation. God can show you what areas you are particularly tempted by. The Holy Spirit in you can then give you the strength you need to resist temptations. Pray before the temptation comes if you are aware of specific temptation areas are in your life.

Temptations do not come from God. In James 1:13 it states, "let no one say when he is tempted I am being tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil and He Himself does not tempt anyone." Outward temptations come from the world or the devil while inward temptations come from our fleshly desires. We fall into sin when the selfish desires of our hearts are matched with outside temptations that are ungodly.

Some ungodly desires include...

1. Love of Independence
  • we have a desire to have what we want when we want it
  • we make statements like, "You cannot tell me what to eat or not eat." "Everything in my life is out of control and food is the only area that I can do what I want."
  • this desire to have control started in the garden when Eve ate from the apple

2. Love of Pleasure
  • desiring to experience pleasure simply for the reason of greedy enjoyment, rather than for it's given purpose
  • eating to fuel your body is not wrong, however eating for other motivations such as loving the pleasure of food for comfort, peace, love are wrong

Cultivating Godly desires...

What are the true desires of your heart? Do you long for God the way that you long for a drink or a certain kind of food? When we seek God alone as our only source of pleasure, we will find joy beyond description.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisified." Matthew 5:6

If we hunger and thirst for anything but God, we will never be satisified. But if we seek Him first, we will be blessed, satisfied and joyful. Our stomachs will never be satisfied in this life, but we can store up treasures in heaven when we have an appetite for Him that can remain satisfied.

Leave behind things that bring lesser joys. Too often we seek after food and drink for joy and contentment, when God wants to offer us His pure, everlasting, unconditional, infinite joy. Lust is content with nothing, and the more it is fed, the hungrier it becomes. In God we are always satisfied and our deepest hungers are fulfilled.

Let Psalm 73:25 be your prayer today,
"the earth has nothing I desire besides you."

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Elyse Fitzpatrick
Copyright 1999

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Give It Up

I've recently been taught yet another life lesson in giving every circumstance up to God, thanks to Emily.

My daughter, Emily, has always been on the very petite side. I lovingly refer to her as my little peanut. She is nearly 11 months old, but she could easily pass as 8 months. She is just so tiny.

As a result of her slow weight and small stature, we scheduled a doctor visit to check for any underlying medical conditions. I was suspecting the doctor to laugh and say that I had nothing to worry about. Instead, the doctor proceeded to ask a birage of questions and sent us for bloodwork to rule everything out. Not the response I was expecting.

As a mother I wanted to hear that nothing could possibly be wrong with my daughter. That's not what I heard. My immediate response was to worry.

But God is oh so good. He immediately started working on my heart. Through this experience and many others, God is slowly teaching me to release my worries to Him.

Matthew 5:31-34 immediately rang loud and clear in my mind, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

God has a lot to say about worry. Primarily he says not to do it. Ever. When I worry I'm not trusting Him. Being stuck in worry says that somehow I can control the situation better than He can.

But in that moment I took a step back to remind myself of Who He is. He spoke the universe into being. He created human life from the dust of the earth. He is all knowing, all powerful, and all present. Those truths are enough for me to trust Him. In so many ways he has proven Himself faithful to His promises. I can trust Him.

God sent me a few other reminders about MY daughter too. That was just the reminder, that she is not as much my daughter as she is HIS. I am an earthly vessel, gifted with the great responsibility of caring for her and pointing her to Christ in this lifetime, but HE is her Father. He had good and perfect plans for her long before she even came into being. He loves and comforts her in ways that I am not capable of. I will fail her, but He never will. She is not mine, but His.

His voice calmed my spirit. He took my burdens upon himself and I felt light as a feather. He alone holds tomorrow in His hands. Worrying about the future will not change the perfectly laid out plans He has for me or my daughter. What a relief. Not only did I let go of worry, but I found joy in doing so. What great joy in knowing that He had and always will have everything under control. I have nothing left to do, but trust Him.

"Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."