what would Jesus do? but no, like, really.

what would Jesus do?  but no, like, really.

I was reading in Acts about the stoning of Stephen, and I came to a realization concerning the incident.¬† Right before he “fell asleep”, he cried out to the Lord asking Him to “not hold this in against them [his murderers].”¬† Acts 7:60a¬† Does this ring a bell?¬† “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”¬† Luke 23:34a¬† Jesus said those words as he was hanging on the Cross, dying in innocence.

Many times we use the phrase, “What would Jesus do?”¬† It has become trendy and millions of bracelets have been sold donning the acronym “W.W.J.D.” on them.¬† When we think of this phrase, what comes to mind?¬† Let me throw some common struggles/dilemmas out there to ya:

How should I treat people?  W.W.J.D.?

Should I watch that movie?  W.W.J.D.?

Should I use that word?  W.W.J.D?

These are all certainly situations in which to ask that question.¬† But they are kind of first world dilemmas.¬† What if we were in Stephen’s position?¬† What if we were being martyred for Christ?¬† To put it more in the context of current events… what if we were being beheaded for our faith?¬† How would we react?

Would we, too, ask that God not hold our enemies’ sins against them after they killed us?¬† Honestly, that is a hard thing to consider.¬† I mean, I see the way we tear into each other over trivial, worldly opinions on social media and wonder if we could conduct ourselves with love and grace in our darkest, last moments?

Let’s try to remember Stephen when we go through our trivial day-to-day “trials” and interactions.¬† If Stephen could live out “W.W.J.D.” until his very last breath, we certainly can do better when dealing with our general, day-to-day issues… right, Christians?

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salvation

salvation

Can we get excited about God’s Word together for a second?¬† Before the ascension of Christ, He replied to His followers question about when He would return in this way:

“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.¬† But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'”¬† Acts 1:7-8 (ESV)

Pay attention.  We are given power by God through the Holy Spirit!  We have power.  And with this, we receive the great commission to bring Christ to the ends of the earth.  How cool is that?  God wanted us to help Him with this grand mission.  What an honor!  We, who are not capable of saving ourselves get to help the One who saved us!  A tall order, but a great honor.

Now let’s take a look at what happened after this promise was fulfilled during the day of Pentecost when Christ’s followers were filled with the Holy Spirit.¬† Everyone began speaking in tongues and people started hearing them and understanding in their own native languages!¬† Visualize that for a second.¬† What an amazing display of the flowing forth of the Holy Spirit from these believers!¬† And yet… the response was not unanimous:

“And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’¬† But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.'”¬† Acts 2:12-13 (ESV)

Sometimes, in this day and age, the thought of sharing our belief in Jesus Christ seems daunting because people are relying less and less on faith and leaning more on their own understanding.  If they in their own prideful, fallible human minds cannot comprehend something, they toss it aside as falsehood.  However, here in these verses lies proof that even back before the age of modern technology and science, there were always those who spread doubt and mocked believers.  The believers were accused of being drunk!

Therefore, go forth boldly.  Use the power Christ has given you through the Holy Spirit, spread the gospel knowing full well that there will be mockers and doubters.  God did not give you a spirit of fear, He gave you His Holy Spirit to guide you in the greatest quest we have set out before us.  How awesome is that?

So I proclaim: I believe in Jesus Christ and am a slave to Him.¬† I love Him, and I am His disciple.¬† I will go where He wants me to go and do what He wants me to do because I have given my life to Him for His eternal Kingdom.¬† You can think I am crazy and believe in fairy tales… you can believe I am drunk… you can believe I am uninformed and stupid.¬† It won’t change what I know to be true.¬† Jesus is the Son of God.¬† Jesus is God.¬† One and all in the trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.¬† He died on the cross as a ransom to save the souls of anyone who will reach out and take the gift He is offering- the gift He chose to offer to us by the outpouring of His blood.

Someday, when I die, I will be with Him for eternity.¬† Will you?¬† If you will, then I urge you to stay close to Him… realize that your eternity with Him doesn’t start when you die, but rather it started the moment you accepted His gift of salvation and decided to recognize Him as Lord of your life.¬† Make sure you follow your calling as His child: spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.¬† Help bring more souls into His Kingdom.

If you don’t know that you know that you know that you will spend eternity with Christ, I urge you to change that today.¬† Can science prove it?¬† No.¬† Will there be plenty of mockers and scoffers?¬† Yes.¬† That is why we need faith.¬† God’s Word says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”¬† Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

Are you willing to let your pride die for the sake of your eternal life?¬† Are you willing to say “Maybe I don’t know it all… maybe I can’t know it all because I am a created being with limitations… but I am willing to have faith to accept this gift that was paid for by Christ Jesus.”?¬† I can’t give you scientific proof that Jesus is God.¬† But I know what He has done for those who have believed in Him, including me.¬† Trust me, you may not know now, but if you decide to follow Christ, you will have all the proof you need living inside of you.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.¬† For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”¬† Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)

a changed perspective

a changed perspective

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” ¬†Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ¬†2¬†Corinthians¬†12:9 (ESV)

Travis’s grandfather had a stroke a few years back, which for any typical man in his 80’s doesn’t sound too unusual. ¬†However, for Grandfather, it was unusual. ¬†This is a man who up until the stroke had not been on even¬†one medication- not one! ¬†Healthy as a horse! ¬†Here’s the kicker: not only is he on multiple medications now, but he is also pretty much sedentary. ¬†The man who was still doing yard work, volunteering, and fixing things in the heat of the Florida summer when I met Travis back in 2004, is now having to use a walker to be able to move around very slowly. ¬†He cannot drive. ¬†He is completely reliant on others’ help whereas¬†he used to be the one to lend a helping hand. ¬†He used to take care of others. ¬†Now he can’t. ¬†Everything takes effort. ¬†When he started getting a little depressed, I understood to some extent. ¬†Sympathized some. ¬†That has changed recently.

As many of you know, two and a half weeks ago I wrecked my ankle at a local trampoline park because I evidently have no boundaries. ¬†I was trying to get off of a professional grade trampoline when I landed wrong on the edge mat. ¬†I got a third degree sprain which basically means I tore my ligaments (possibly tendons) to the point where it pulled at a bone in my foot causing a tiny hairline fracture (which is actually not even a huge deal- the bad part is the ligament damage). ¬†The doctors basically said it would have been better for me to have broken my ankle instead of what I did. ¬†Awesome. ¬†Therefore, now I am in a boot for 8-12 weeks ordered to completely immobilize my foot and keep it elevated. ¬†Thankfully, Travis bought a scooter for me that works by me resting my knee on a seat-looking part, while my free foot scoots me along. ¬†It has a basket on the front. ¬†It’s pretty sexy.

Now before I launch into this, please understand that I am not saying I understand grandfather’s or¬†any other disabled person’s plight at¬†all. ¬†So don’t send me e-mails.

What I will say is that since spraining my foot, I am getting the tiniest, slightest taste of what it means to live with a disability.  Just a slight taste.

I don’t know what I would do if I was told that this was it. ¬†“This is how you have to live for the rest of your life.” ¬†Rolling around on a device to make it from point A to point B. ¬†Everything taking 3 times as long. ¬†Struggling with simple things like putting your child down for a nap or bathing. ¬†I would be… depressed. ¬†Just like grandfather. ¬†I understand that more now. ¬†I can’t completely fathom it because in 5 & 1/2- 9 & 1/2 weeks, I will be out of my boot and able to get back to normal life (potentially with some muscle therapy). ¬†But that is the rest of his life. ¬†Immobile for the most part. ¬†After 80-some years of doing everything and keeping active, he was asked to sit down. ¬†I can hardly stand it for 8-12 weeks, much less the rest of my life. ¬†And there are people who are born without ever being able to experience complete, uninhibited mobility. ¬†There are some who get a sample of mobility before having it taken away as young children. ¬†And that’s it. ¬†Forever.

That being said, here are some things I have learned so far from my much less severe experience:

1. It is depressing. ¬†I have cried, I have been frustrated, and I have been angry. ¬†Don’t be surprised if someone who can’t get up and move around gets snippy or sad. ¬†It is really hard not to get emotional when something as small as clothing left on the floor can make your trip to the restroom a difficult, time-consuming process of getting a wheel stuck, having to balance and pick something up move it, etc. ¬†When you feel helpless to what is happening around you.

2. Sitting on your butt for hours and hours catching up on Netflix is awesome for a day.  After that, it is pretty boring.

3. Cleaning and organizing your own home is a gift.  Yes, I appreciate everything my parents have done.  They have been saints!  But, there is just something about cleaning my own house exactly how I want to with my own two hands that I miss.  Thankfully I can clean some with the use of my scooter, but I can forget about vacumming and mopping.

4. Getting clean is a lot easier on two solid feet.  I have been taking baths rather than showers since I cannot stand on both feet, and it takes forever.  Be grateful for your quick showers!

5. Visitors are awesome. ¬†If you have a friend or family member with a disability… go spend time with them. ¬†Even though it is great to have people come over to “help”, I have really enjoyed when people come over and just sit with me and talk to me. ¬†Getting out and about is more difficult right now, so I appreciate when people sacrifice and come to me.

6.¬†This situation has given me a greater appreciation of things like wheelchair ramps, handicap bathrooms, etc. ¬†When I have healed, I will bound up steps with a greater appreciation for my ability to do so. ¬†On our drive up to Tennessee, we stopped at a Starbucks to use the restroom, and pulled right up to an entrance- perfect! ¬†I was happy we were close to an entrance before I realized there was no ramp… the only way to enter was through the main entrance. ¬†Now I am not going to harp about needing more ramps and such, but I guess I am just trying to point out how nice it is to have a ramp when it is available. ¬†Those parking spaces in the front of stores specifically reserved for people with disabilities? ¬†They really help! ¬†I was grateful to have a handicap bathroom stall that was big enough to fit my scooter! ¬†When people demand handicap ramps and such, I kind of understand why now. ¬†It didn’t seem as big of a deal until I experienced needing to use them.

7. Asking people to serve you gets tiresome.  Asking people to get me things and do things for me was nice at first.  Now I am just over it.  It would take me less time to actually do what I am asking someone to do for me if I had two working feet than to ask them to do it for me and wait for them to complete the task.  Also you start to feel a little guilty for asking someone to continuously serve you, even if they are the most giving person.

8. Sometimes I am going to move slower, be more cumbersome, be “in the way”, or accidentally bump into something or someone. ¬†It is so easy to get frustrated when someone in a wheelchair is moving slowly right in front of you at a theme park or in the store, but just remember that (in most cases) they don’t have a choice. ¬†They are just as or more frustrated than you because they have to experience the slowness and difficulty moving ¬†24/7. ¬†You have to endure it for a few seconds. ¬†Be patient. ¬†I definitely need to work on this with myself.

Overall, I have a gained a much greater appreciation and respect for people who live with disabilities every day of their lives.  Your strength inspires me.

 

quick look: psalms 7:9-10

quick look: psalms 7:9-10

I was reading Psalm 7 today, and these verses stood out to me.  I would like to share:

“Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just; for the righteous God tests the hearts and minds. ¬†My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart.” ¬†Psalm 7:9-10

I thought this verse was so important. ¬†“God tests the hearts and minds…” ¬†So often as moms, we make mistakes even though we have the best intentions; or we do something that on the surface looks great, but we¬†don’t¬†have the best intentions.

How often do we make a meal that is healthy and nutritious only to receive scowls back at us?  The whole thing may blow up into a fit of yelling, timeouts, and tears.  God sees your heart, Momma.  He knows that you were doing your best to feed your children something healthy- putting forth effort to this whole mothering thing.  It blew up.  Mistakes were made.  Apologize and move on.  Forgive others and yourself.  God sees you and your intentions.

On the flip side, He sees when you begrudgingly clean the house, replaying a destructive thought pattern in your head, “No one is going to care. ¬†No one give a crud whether or not I clean this house. ¬†My ungrateful children will destroy it in two seconds and my husband won’t even notice the clean floors! ¬†What’s the point?” ¬†You’ve done a valiant, inherently good thing that would normally glorify God, but He sees your heart, Momma. ¬†Better to not even clean the house rather than do it with bitter intentions and thoughts.

I encourage you to be intentional today. ¬†Think before you act. ¬†Forgive for the things that were done with a good heart but blew up in your face, and face the truth of your wrong intentions for things that are good and have great potential for pleasing and glorifying the Lord. ¬†Be the “upright in heart”. ¬†God sees your heart- let that be a comfort and a conviction to you today.

omniscience

omniscience

Sometimes I struggle, as many do, with that quintessential question: how could a loving God punish so fiercely? ¬†Currently we are studying¬†Revelation at our church, and the study really brings into perspective for me what is going to happen to those that don’t accept Christ. ¬†It hurts me. ¬†It haunts me. ¬†Why? ¬†Why God? ¬†I understand the punishment for child rapists, serial killers, etc. ¬†But what about the person who simply doesn’t accept salvation before the end? ¬†Do they really deserve eternal damnation and punishment? ¬†Gnashing of teeth? ¬†I read Isaiah 13 and think of the women and children dashed to pieces. ¬†Why? ¬†What could children have done to deserve that fate?

I have come to a conclusion of sorts.  Not one that is going to make you any more settled or enlightened, but a conclusion either way.

I don’t think we can truly grasp our depravity because¬†we cannot fully understand God’s holiness. ¬†I know this seems obvious and uninspiring. ¬†But really think about it for a second. ¬†I don’t think we even understand¬†just how holy the Lord is. ¬†We say He is holy. ¬†We praise Him for His holiness. ¬†But do we really¬†fathom that level of holiness? ¬†No. ¬†It is in a realm beyond our comprehension. ¬†It is comparable¬†to trying to¬†understand God’s eternal existence. ¬† If you want to induce a headache, start to really concentrate on the fact that God was¬†always there. ¬†Uncreated. ¬†Never “poofing”¬†into existence or being created… He was always there… always. ¬†Okay, I need to stop or I am going to give¬†myself a headache!

We cannot know just how messed up we as humans are in general (I’m not even speaking of the obviously evil people in this world) because we cannot understand the perfect holiness that is our Heavenly Father. ¬†This is why Isaiah 64:6 (ESV) says, “We have all become like one who is unclean,¬†and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” ¬†Don’t misunderstand. ¬†God¬†loves when we worship Him through righteous acts and works, but this puts into¬†perspective that His holiness is so vast, that our righteousness doesn’t even compare. ¬†Mother Theresa may have been amazing through human eyes, but compared to God’s holiness, her good deeds were less than nothing! ¬†Hard to imagine, right?

There are simply some things we don’t understand. ¬†I know that seems shallow, unexciting, and like an¬†easy way to get out of answering the hard questions, but is it? ¬†Is it really easier to accept that we may never truly know and understand something than to believe we can somehow study and think our way into understanding and enlightenment. ¬†History of human behavior would probably point toward the latter as being our leaning. ¬†This is both good and bad.

I think having a thirst for knowledge, especially knowledge of our Lord is a wonderful craving we (thankfully) can never satiate! ¬†However, we as fallible, small-minded humans must come to the conclusion in¬†certain areas of divine knowledge that we cannot and will not fathom or¬†fully grasp certain heavenly concepts. ¬†Even the angels don’t have full understanding of all the ways of God. It is a thing of pride to think we are capable of knowing all of His ways. ¬†That kind of self-worship leads to dissatisfaction, doubt, and pride. ¬†When we assume we are able to or should understand all the ways of God, are we not again attempting to eat from the Tree¬†of the Knowledge of Good and Evil to make ourselves¬†like God? ¬†Rather, to make ourselves into gods?

My head is swirling, but that is okay because I am safe in the knowledge that my God understands all, even if I don’t. ¬†In my fallible stupidity and na√Įvet√©, He is knowledge perfected. ¬†Just as I cannot attempt to teach my 2-year-old algebra because he simply (according to Piaget) is not at that developmental level, I will never be at a high enough developmental¬†level to understand¬†all the choices and actions God has made. ¬†That is okay. ¬†I must rest in that.

I must abide in the peace that Christ gives me simply by knowing that¬†He knows. ¬†Even if I don’t. ¬†He knows.

“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;¬†his understanding is beyond measure.” ¬†Psalm 147:5 (ESV)

“Even before a word is on my tongue,¬†behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” ¬†Psalm 139:4 (ESV)

an open letter to my son, daniel

engebretsen-3731

Photo by Erica J Photography

What follows is a purely sarcastic, in jest open letter to my littlest love. ¬†Please don’t take it seriously and report me. ¬†Thanks.

Dearest Daniel,

The past 21 months with you have been lovely. ¬†Your sweet nature¬†is like a dream, and your silly personality is so precious, sometimes I don’t know whether to grab a camera or just stop and enjoy the show.

That being said, I have a serious bone to pick with you. ¬†That’s right, little one. ¬†I have some complaints and questions.

Let’s begin with one that pertains to this past or so when you’ve been sick. ¬†If someone were to come to me and sacrificially excavate my nostrils so I could breathe and look less grotesque, I think I would be eternally grateful to that person. ¬†These words come to mind: “Wow, thank you so much for wiping my disgusting, revolting mucous off of my nose and face so that I don’t need to walk around looking sticky and snotty. ¬†FURTHERMORE, may I give an extra thank you to the time when you had to use your bare fingers to ‘go the extra mile’ on some of the stubborn nuggets of germs. ¬†I just want to thank you for that and give you a day of pampering so that somehow the solitude and relaxation will magically purge my nostril discharge from your memory.”

But what do I receive as my thanks? ¬†Outrage, screaming, tears. ¬†As if this is something I purely¬†want to do and am forcing upon you for my own selfish joy and fulfillment. ¬†Let me make myself clear: I DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH YOUR MUCOUS. ¬†I do it out of love only to receive ungratefulness and angst in return!

Let’s continue. ¬†There are times when you need a nap, are begging for a nap, and yet… I¬†am treated like Satan himself when I try to give you your much needed rest. ¬†I have two options: let you cry in your crib or let you cry in the house. ¬†Notice that neither of these options include “let you play peacefully” or “let you snuggle lovingly with me”. ¬†My only option is chaos, and I am somehow, amazingly at fault for this! ¬†I will put it simply as if you¬†were saying it, Daniel: “I¬†am sad because I¬†am tired. ¬†I don’t want to sleep, though.¬†Now, I¬†am crying around the house because nothing will soothe me¬†because I¬†just need a nap I¬†don’t want to take, and, oh by the way, you¬†are to blame, Mom. ¬†You stink, Mom.”

what. the. junk.

How about the times when you decide you want to throw your toy on the floor from the highchair and then demand and insist that I pick it up for you? ¬†Let’s review: You throw on your own volition. ¬†I am forced to pick it up against my will or you will scream and cry. ¬†This is some sick, twisted involuntary version of fetch! ¬†May I remind you that I am not a dog?

Which reminds me, we don’t have a dog. ¬†So if you could stop that whole “throwing all food off your highchair” thing, that would be just great. ¬†Considering I am not big on wasting food, a little part of my soul dies when I sweep up enough food under your highchair to feed the city of Port Saint Lucie.

Now, moving on to my personal favorite. ¬†The beloved diaper change. ¬†Do you honestly and truly believe that I as your mother¬†like to change your stinky, poopy diaper? ¬†Can you fathom a time when that would give me personal satisfaction, joy, and/or exhilaration? ¬†Because you act like I am some sadist¬†who loves to unnecessarily wipe poop that could make a marine hurl when I don’t actually have to. ¬†As if the poop will just magically reabsorb and disappear much to the happiness of anyone who has had the pleasure of catching a whiff of it.

You squirm, you scream, you thrash out of my grip only to fall back on… the poop I have just lifted you out of!!!!! ¬†I have taken you out of filth and yet you want to return! ¬†One word, buddy: rash. ¬†But do you think of the future? ¬†No! ¬†You only think of instant gratification¬†of not having your little bum raised in the air and your ankles held by me. ¬†Does it occur to you that it will only take¬†longer and make me hold¬†tighter¬†when you squirm and thrash and get poop all over everything?! ¬†I know you are only a year and a half, but COME ON! ¬†Let’s think logically, man!

These are my complaints. ¬†If you could deal with them in a timely manner, it would really make things run smoother with a lot less drama. ¬†If you have any further questions, have your people contact my people… which really just looks like me talking to myself like a psychopath. ¬†So basically, just normal stuff around here.

Sincerely,

Your Tired, Confused Mother

made to crave: a book review

made to crave: a book review

I have recently been co-leading a life group at my church based on¬†Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Made to Crave. ¬†Before even the first study, I had devoured the book, so you can probably guess that my review is going to be a favorable one. ¬†I will try to make this brief yet thorough.

Made to Crave was a delightfully easy read that felt more like sitting down and chatting with a friend than reading at all!  TerKeurst has a lighthearted, humorous way of bringing truth to a sensitive topic: obesity brought on by gluttony and lack of self-control.  Her candor is paired with her empathy due to a past ridden with food-related struggles and low self-esteem.  In a word, she is relatable.

Despite a coffee date feel, she dropped some serious, Bible-supported truth that is hard for those of us struggling with food addiction to swallow (no pun intended). ¬†Using God’s Word, she explained that obesity is an outward manifestation of spiritual deprivation. ¬†She discussed how it is wrong for us to use¬†anything else, food included, as a substitute for God. ¬†This resonated with me deeply as I have often found myself using food as a salve and reward for my emotions. ¬†When I was¬†depressed or stressed? ¬†Food was¬†my comfort. ¬†When I was¬†happy or excited? ¬†Food was¬†my joy. ¬†That should not be.

The reason I used past tense in those last few sentences is because, God used this book to change me.  It has changed the way I look at food.  It has alerted me on more than one occasion of my reliance and obsession with food, especially when I am going through a difficult time.

All of that being said, this book is not a “How To” or dieting book by any means. ¬†In Lysa’s words, this book is not for finding your “how to” but rather for finding your “want to” (p. 11). ¬†As you can imagine, your “want to” is all about the Lord.

It is a very quick and easy read- the chapters are short and include “Personal Reflection” questions at the end of each. ¬†She emphasizes¬†important quotes¬†on the pages which helps the reader remember and focus on the main points. ¬†She includes verses throughout to support her views- this is very important to me as a Christian woman. ¬†I want to make sure everything¬†that I read for guidance lines up with God’s Word.

There is one thing I want to mention that was the one issue I had with the book. ¬†Beginning on page 113, TerKeurst begins a small portion entitled, “Prayers Where I Don’t Speak at All” in which she discusses her prayer time in which she sits silently waiting for God to “speak” to her. ¬†This is “contemplative prayer” or “centering prayer” and is more of a pagan mystical¬†meditative method of praying. ¬†When we as Christians pray, we need to “meditate” on the Word of God. ¬†God has given us every word we need to “hear”… in the Bible. ¬†His¬†perfect Word. ¬†We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit as we meditate on God’s Word rather than empty our mind so God can “speak “directly to us words that we cannot discern as His verses ours.

Let me clarify. ¬†If I sit silently waiting for God to speak to me personally in sentences hand-crafted for me, I cannot discern whether it is actually, truly¬†His¬†voice or if it is¬†my¬†voice brought on by¬†my¬†own thoughts. ¬†God isn’t going to say something to me that doesn’t come in the form of His Word. ¬†If He reveals something only to me through my contemplative prayer time, then I should go to the people who print the Bible and let them know that God breathed those words into me.

What would be the difference between Him speaking to me and Him revealing His Words years ago to the people He chose to write the Bible through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. ¬†Anything that He breathes out to me should be just as weighty, right? ¬†Wrong. ¬†His Word is perfect. ¬†We must rely on His perfect Word to speak to our hearts, not some special conversation and revelation during our prayer time. ¬†For example,¬†I am not going to “hear” Him say “Brittany, you can do this! ¬†You can lose this weight!”, but I may meditate on His Word and pray and feel¬†God speak Philippians 4:13 into my heart, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,¬†that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” ¬†2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)

“I will meditate on Your precepts¬†and fix my eyes on Your ways.” Psalm 119:15 (ESV)

Contemplative prayer is a little complicated to explain, but all you need to know is that it is not Biblical. ¬†Yes, you should pray. ¬†Yes, you should meditate on God’s Word (remember: “on Your precepts”). ¬†Yes, God will speak to you¬†through His perfect Word. ¬†However, you should¬†not sit in silence waiting for God to speak to you directly. ¬†This could easily lead to confusion: is¬†He¬†speaking to you or are¬†you¬†speaking what you¬†want to hear to yourself under the guise of it being God speaking into your heart. ¬†Ya feel me?

Other than that one¬†very small section, I thought the book was awesome, and I have been recommending it like crazy! ¬†If you have ever struggled with the rollercoaster weight issues associated with many women stuck in the dieting cycle, I encourage¬†you pick up a copy! ¬†Honestly, even if you don’t struggle with your weight, it is still an awesome read with a lot of great, Biblically sound points that can help you take a closer look at your walk with the Lord and your relationship with food (In my case, it opened my eyes to other things I was using as coping methods as well).

We are absolutely made to craveРnot food, but Christ alone.

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;¬†my soul thirsts for you;¬†my flesh faints for you,¬†as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 (ESV)