Stop the Nonsense: Chase your Dream!

Little boy [1280x768]Remember when you were just a little kid and you had big dreams and wonderful aspirations for your future? What happened to those dreams? Do you still have a dream?

A friend recently recommended a book: Crazy Love by Francis Chan. The book really touched my heart, and I was surprised when I saw one of my favorite quotes in there.

The quote is by George Bernard Shaw:”This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

This quote meant a lot to me during a season when I was praying and seeking to find God’s purpose for my life. This is a crucial step in the process of breaking free from food struggles. People who have any form of addiction are usually so consumed by the addiction that they loose track of their identity and purpose in life.

While reading the book Crazy Love, I pondered over my purpose once more. Here I was after many years of freedom from food addiction and it seemed that I was at a crossroads again. I know that my greatest purpose in life is to love God with all my heart, soul and strength. But I felt sort of lost again in the day by day grind:

So what am I suppose to do again?
Why do I feel so without direction?
Why doesn’t my life make sense?
Why do I just go through the motions every day?
What happened to my passion, my dream of helping others?

Two things started to surface

Number one has to do with the above quote:
My dream has to be SOMETHING THAT I PERCEIVE AS GREAT!! Not my husband, my friend, my parents, my pastor or anybody else that has influence over my life. It has to be my passion related to gifts God gave me and desires He alone placed in my heart.

I can clearly see where things went wrong again. I started looking to others (again). I wanted to please those around me. I craved their praise and compliments more than the smile of God over my life.

Here’s what happens if it’s not YOUR DREAM:

1. You will have no passion for it
2. You will start to resent the person you hope to please
3. You will find any excuse to procrastinate
4. You will blame anything and anyone for your lack of motivation
5. You will feel like a failure and become depressed

The other thing I was reminded of: EXCUSES!

When I found God’s unique dream and purpose for my life I started out with a BANG! I had so much zeal and loved the feeling of being consumed with my purpose. It made everything so much easier. I could handle the mundane and challenging things life threw at me, because when I sat down to write or to counsel someone it brought joy to my life. I was a better friend, a patient mom and a fun wife. I didn’t even moan and groan about the dishes so much (seriously!)

However, dreams are not built over night. Our patience gets tested, our faith starts to waver. In the end it basically comes down to rolling up your sleeves and keeping at it. Just to clarify, I don’t like this part, but it is what it is:)

As far as the excuses go, they can sneak into your life in a very subtle way:

1. It usually comes in pretty packages with pretty bows: A prayer meeting, a woman’s tea, a manicure or a long phone conversation with a friend
2. It can also come in package marked IMPORTANT, OPEN RIGHT AWAY such as: A mountain of dirty laundry, a child’s request, a last minute report or grocery shopping

HOWEVER, IT’S ALL JUST EXCUSES! HOLDING YOU BACK FROM FULFILLING YOUR DREAM!

So I asked God to quicken His dream again in my heart, the real one, the reason He created me. Then I asked for my eyes to be opened to the excuses. It’s one thing to ramble off excuses to my friends, but it’s another story to try and sell it to an all seeing, all knowing God.

The people I know that are passionate about their goal in life don’t make excuses. They have busy and difficult lives too. They also have businesses, kids, husbands, pets and houses, but they’ve set their eyes on their dreams and they refuse to be moved!

A person who is not passionate about life, don’t have any time for anything, but the one who found her true calling always has time somehow to do more and serve more. It seems upside down, but honestly, it’s true! I’ve been both those people at different times in my life.

The best part for me: My relationship with God always seems to take off and grow deeper when I follow the path He has prepared for my life.

So I’ve decided to focus in again. I made up my mind to not get distracted from my dream, and stop making excuses. No more time for negative thoughts, fights about nonsense, wondering if people like me or not, thinking about a hurtful comment and brooding over my own shortcomings and inabilities.

God said to seek His Kingdom FIRST and all these other things will be added. So, it’s time again to zoom in on my dream and it starts with making time for the Dream Maker!

What about you dear sister. There is something about you… Nobody like you has ever been created and there will not be one like you again… You are unique in every way and you have a purpose over your life. I dare you to take up that purpose and run with it… It may be the thing that changes your life forever and makes the shackles of bondage fall from your ankles for good!

Lots of Love, Heleen

PS: I devoted a Week in my 12 Week Online Program to this topic.

I also recommend that you read the following books if you need guidance and encouragement to find the purpose God has for your life:
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God by Francis Chan
Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

My Weekend VOW OF SILENCE…

I am fascinated by people who have the strength to take a vow of silence. Maybe you are not impressed at all. You might even need a “vow to speak up”, but for me, the self proclaimed chatterbox, being silent for a while seemed almost impossible.

So this past weekend, I did it.

Okay, of course I didn’t stop talking all together. That would really be impossible in my life and my house! There are little children running around, asking their mother all sorts of life altering questions such as “Where’s my pants” “Can I have some candy?” and “I’m bored, what can I do?”

No, my “vow of silence” more entailed not saying anything unless someone asked me a direct question.

Boy, did this turn my world upside down! I found myself with all these thoughts in my head that I had no way of getting out. It’s excruciating!

Weighing my thoughts and stopping them before they found their way out of my mouth turned out to be an eye opener to say the least. It was more like… an epiphany. I never realized how many of the things I say on a daily basis can be categorized as nagging, controlling, manipulating, hurtful or just plain idle.

I didn’t mean for it to be this way. I certainly don’t walk around cussing and yelling (just making sure you’re not picturing me as this cave woman with wild hair and crazy eyes:) However, I allowed little things to slip through the cracks and it became part of my speech.

The Bible says in James 3:5-6 that our tongue is a little flame that can cause a big wild fire (my translation)

I forgot all about taking control of my tongue. Sometimes I’m too late to take a thought captive, but then I can still stop a great fire by not letting that thought out of my mouth!

I’m just a Mom who runs a tight ship, right? Actually, as this little experiment proved, I can do a lot of damage, wildfire type damage, if I don’t double check the motives behind my words.

The thing that actually prompted me to do this experiment was the little issue of “control”. I know there’s a big link between control and food addiction in my life, so I read about it, studied the subject, prayed about it and wrote about it. However, it tends to sneak up on me and before I know it I’m trying to rule my little world again.

Before the Holy Spirit gently nudged me to do this little experiment, I never realized how many things would probably sort itself out if I just said…nothing…

I didn’t quite make it through the weekend.
It was my husband’s birthday and I just couldn’t help myself. I simply had to help. There is no way that he could know exactly what he wanted to do with his own birthday, right?

Oh well… I have decided to extend my project into the coming weeks seeing that I still have a lot to learn about keeping my tongue. My family members are looking at me funny. Some are wondering out loud if I might be sick. I just smile and hug them. I have a secret…and I’m not telling…

 

Please make use of my resources if you need help with what goes in and out of your mouth:

  • 12 Week Online Program and Private Forum for Women Struggling with Food

  • Health Coaching – For women who need to lose weight while dealing with the spiritual and emotional issues behind their food struggle. A great tool to use with the 12 week online program.
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How to Get UP when you Fall…

Seriously, let me get this off my chest and let you off the hook at the same time: It’s not IF we fall, but rather WHEN we fall. All of the people around you that seem to have it so together and make huge successes of their lives have learned only ONE thing that you didn’t: HOW TO GET UP!

We live in such a broken world, and yes it’s not fair that we have to carry our cross on our hips (literally) while others hide theirs under their tiny sweaters, but we all struggle with something. Everybody has bad days and EVERYBODY FALLS!

If you have an eating disorder or struggle with food addiction you need to realize that RECOVERY IS A JOURNEY, and yes, the journey can be long and exhausting.
In spite of great victories and years without sugar you might find yourself in front of the freezer, eating ice cream straight from the tub when life throws you a curve ball.

Now don’t think for a minute that I don’t believe in miraculous healing. I believe that God can and will heal you from food addiction in an instant if He so chooses. However, if His will for you is to walk out your journey to freedom, then I would advise you to not live in denial, but rather arm yourself for the journey. To say “I will never, ever, ever fall for that again” is just setting yourself up for failure, self condemnation, guilt and shame.

So now that we’ve established that you and I are not the only ones with wobbly legs, the question remains: How do you get up?

What is the first thing that comes to mind after you have fallen and your eating is spiraling out of control? I’m not talking about the pre-fall-stage where you’re still toying with a bite of this here and a morsel of that there, because at that point you might still feel that you have things under control. No, I’m talking about the flat-on-you-face-stage where you know you’ve once again lost all control, you binged for one week straight, all you can think of is your next meal and you’ve easily gaining five to ten pounds. When you hit that place, you know you’re on your knees, you don’t wonder anymore.

Usually I experience the following emotions and thoughts after a fall: First guilt, then shame, followed by it’s evil twin; self condemnation. Then I usually I start looking around for someone to blame. In the end despair and hopelessness will sweep over me, and the enemy will whisper in my ear “You will never overcome this, you might as well give up.”

I know all to well how intense these emotions of hopelessness can be and therefor I want to reach out my hand to you in your place of despair and tell you: VICTORY IS NOT FAR AWAY, BUT YOU HAVE TO ACT QUICKLY!

The enemy can gain so much ground in our lives if we stay down. The longer you stay in that place the deeper you will sink. That place where you have fallen can change into a pit of captivity that can be your home for the next few months or even years.

WHAT NOT TO DO:

1. Don’t look for a diet. Resist the urge to go on the internet and read up for hours on the latest diets out there. You will end up eating stacks of food while trying to find a “quick-fix” that DOES NOT EXIST.
2. Don’t go over every little detail trying to figure out how it happened. It probably happened gradually and you can not change the past. Rather spend you energy on getting up and moving forward.
3. Don’t blame your husband, your kids, your friends, my program! or God for your fall. Okay if you have to blame someone, start with the devil and then take responsibility. The blame game will just ruin your relationships and keep you laying down longer…

WHAT TO DO:

1. ALWAYS GET BACK TO BASICS! Diets don’t work, pills don’t work, excessive exercise don’t work, and starvation just end in binging and purging. So throw out those Chinese food and chocolates and go stock up on vegetables, fruit, lean meats, granola bars for those weak moments and oatmeal for those carb cravings. Make a few salads, cut up some fruit and cook a chicken to be prepared for the first three tough days. YOU ONLY NEED THAT FIRST DAY OF VICTORY TO TURN THIS THING AROUND! You might have a week of working it up to that FIRST DAY, and that’s okay, but keep trying until you get there…

2. TAKE IT TO GOD: Number One will not work if you don’t give it over to God! LIVING HEALTHY IS JUST ANOTHER DIET IF YOU DON’T SURRENDER IT TO GOD! Believe me, after a fall you need a good cry before God. You might not know it, but at this point you might be avoiding God because you are so ashamed and you might be disappointed in Him for letting you down, AGAIN.
Tell God how you feel, it’s not He who fails us, but He does understand that we feel that way sometimes, because He so understands our human nature. Not only did He create you dear sister, He became flesh and although He never sinned, He understands. ESTABLISHING A DAILY TIME WITH GOD WILL BE THE ONLY THING THAT WILL HELP YOU UP EVERY TIME YOU FALL, PLEASE TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!

3. GET MOVING! You know it, there’s no easy way to say it, YOU HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO GET ACTIVE! Read my article on “Hate to Exercise?”. Exercise is a huge motivator to eat healthy. It also helps you fight depression and lack of energy that usually accompanies this struggle. Don’t make anymore excuses! Never mind how great your obstacle, someone else has a bigger one, and God has an answer. So ask Him to help you find a way to get active DAILY!

5. TELL SOMEONE! After talking to God about it, tell a friend, a spouse or a counselor that you’ve fallen. If you don’t have anybody, please email me about it. I will be happy to pray for you and encourage you in any way I can. It is so important to tell someone else because there is freedom in getting the truth out there. It also gives us a clean slate to start fresh, and it always helps to be accountable to someone else. Don’t let the enemy have a field day because you are to proud to admit that you have fallen. We all fall! I write about all my failures and nose dives on this blog for exactly this reason: To not give any room to the enemy by living a lie, and to encourage you to NOT FOCUS ON THE FALL, BUT IMMEDIATELY GET BUSY WITH GETTING UP!

Don’t keep laying down sister, it only opens a door for bitterness and unbelief. You don’t need those in your life: YOUR GOD IS JEHOVAH RAPHA (THE LORD YOUR HEALER) AND HE’S STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU WITH HIS HAND EXTENDED, JUST WAITING FOR YOU TO TAKE IT, GET UP, REPENT, FORGIVE YOURSELF AND KEEP GOING!

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)
“for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity”.

You can do it girl, get up again!

Heleen

 

More Resources for you – Please Click on the Links to learn more:
  • 12 Week Online Program and Private Forum for Women Struggling with Food – Get the FIRST WEEK FREE to try it out
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