He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Monday, February 8, 2010

Confession Is Good For The Soul

After the birth of my daughter I have wrestled with my body image. Overly concerned about my weight and how others view me. I was just talking to my husband this morning sharing with him, I remember in college and high school I never struggled in this area. I sat and remember the contentment, joy and freedom that I had during that time. Something happen, I gained weight after my pregnancy and begin to look around at all the other women who were having kids and dropping down to a smaller size than they were before they even had kids. Well, what was wrong with me? Why didn't my body do the same thing? Well, I confess my issue for one was not watching what I eat as well as not exercising as much as I should. I even confess my sense of emotional eating(esp. when I am bored). I have started reading Elyse Fitzpatrick book Love To Eat Hate To Eat. I read much of this book before, but I think now I am ready to finish it and allow the LORD to chisl away all the mess that I have in this area of eating.

Here is some of what I read this morning, here is a quote she has by David Powlison:
"What happens when someone embraces such values? They live out the logic of their faith in countless ways. Perhaps, most commonly, many women feel abiding,low grade anxiety about appearance. It might manifest as subtly as spending an unnecessary extra couple of minutes in front of the mirror trying to fix what is unacceptable....or stewing internally in regrets and "if onlys". Mental or actual tinkering with appearance can chew up amazing amounts of time and energy. Or perhaps upon walking into the fellowship hall after church a woman is instantly aware of what other women is wearing, and has sized up how she compares. Her very gaze at other people is conditioned to a status hierarchy defined by images of beauty and thus to attendant jealousy, self-loathing,competitiveness,inferiority/superiority comparisons and the like. Perhaps she obsessively pursues alterations in her appearance: hair color,make-up,weight loss, clothing, cosmetic operations. Perhaps she slides into a "eating disorder". Perhaps she plunges into despair and gives up, gaining 100 pounds, becoming unkempt,"uglifying"herself. "I'm a failure",simply registers a different manifestation of devotion to the lie. All such preoccupation rob her of the joy and freedom of faith in Christ the Lord, and sap energies that might be spent in loving concern for others"

Here are a few key principals I will think on throughout the day:
-There is no biblical command to be thin in the bible (just because God does not command thinness doesn't mean that we should ignore our health or our eating habits)
-Being "beautiful" is not the answer to all my problems. What a LIE!!!!
- Outward perfection (which can never be achieved) is not the key to inner peace,joy and happiness.
-This focus on outward appearance is a nifty distraction from my real character issues.
-God did not create me to find joy in my reflection in the mirrors. There will never be satisfaction in that pursuit.
-God desires I have the beauty that is described in 1 Peter 3:3-4:
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight

and Galatians 5:22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Each concept talked about in this chapter is summed up in the phrase "Fear God". Instead of believing the lies of the world-lies that tell me that outer beauty is the road to happiness- I am to learn to fear God and believe what He says about me. I am encouraged this morning to let His words tell me what I should value, what I should seek after, what I should fear. Instead of fearing others opinions about me, how I look, and my value, I should fear and seek after God.
Elyse ends with saying, "Don't settle for a mere 15-pound weight loss or even the good but temporary establishment of healthy eating habits. Submit yourself to His work in your life- rejoice in it like a "child who rejoices to see his father's wealth, his father's wisdom, his father's power"!
I STRONGLY RECOMMEND anyone who deals with the same struggles to read this book, You wont be disappointed!!
"But seek first his kingdom...." Matthew 6:33

Please remember to pray for me.