Surrender 2016 to Jesus!

Happy New Year! Here at the beginning of 2016 I would very much like to share a piece from my online program that focuses specifically on SURRENDER with you. “Breaking away from my idols was very difficult for me simply because Satan wouldn’t just let me take back my heart without a fight. What helped me tremendously was to take 40 days out of my life and commit it to God. During these 40 days, my main focus was to surrender  to God, because without Him I knew that I honestly couldn’t even do one day (I’ve tried this in my own strength countless times before without success). During this time the enemy’s number one strategy was to keep me from God’s presence, because he knew, probably better than I did, that in the presence of the Almighty God I would finally find healing and permanent change. I  wanted to really see if it would make a difference to have my main motivation be: Surrender to God. I wanted to set aside a block of time to untangle my heart from the idol of food (the love affair) and surrender all of my heart to Jesus(James 4:7) and  at the same time get rid of the shame and guilt in my mind (“…resist the enemy and he will flee from you” James 4:7 NIV). I never realized how my past efforts have been thwarted by the enemy. Each time I committed in the past, the enemy attacks would increase to stop me, and I would become discouraged and fall back; defeated and stripped from all faith that I would ever be free. This time I was ready and armed and I realized, maybe for the first time, that I didn’t have to fight so hard but rather get in behind my strong and powerful God and let Him fight for me. I finally stretched out …

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About runaway trains and rescue boats

Does your life sometimes feel like a runaway train? The feeling that you desperately need to get off, but it’s impossible because the train is not stopping for anything?  I was on a runaway train for quite some time, in fact only now, here at the end of 2015, do I feel that I can simply breathe again. Almost two years ago I started the tedious process of getting licensed as a counselor in my state, and almost immediately as I set foot on campus the drama in my life started. Not so much because of college, even though the work is time consuming and stress producing, but other things that I had no control over were happening all around me. I wrote here on my blog about my Dad’s sudden passing which shook me so much harder than I could ever imagine. Around the same time some issues surfaced in my family that made me seriously question the depth of my faith and my love for others. When I also experienced a health scare and found myself bursting into tears at the drop of a hat I knew it was time to get help. I told my counselor about the runaway train that is impossible to stop and he said something that I want to share with you: “Somewhere on that train, there is a cart, a dining room with soft lighting, good food, and classical music. A space  where you could just sit, rest, and dine in peace. You don’t have to get off the train, or wait for it to stop, you just need to find that space…” I needed some godly counsel and medication, but I especially needed the reminder that Jesus was and always will be my Prince of Peace, my place of quiet in the midst of the storm. I needed a reminder that GOD IS ALWAYS WITH ME, through the water and the fire. When I had nothing to give …

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The passing of a hero

Last year my Dad passed away at the age of 69. It was a very sudden death and words can not express the shock or pain that this brought to our family. I am still grieving, but I wanted to write my tribute here on my blog to salute the passing of a hero of faith. I grew up under my Dad’s teaching of the Word, and experienced many evangelistic outreaches and church plants that he undertook during my formative years. For most of those years my mom, brother, and I played in the church band, and were actively involved in all of my Dad’s endevours. As  a child you don’t think much about any of these things, but today I recognize that all of those experiences shaped me and prepared me for the life I was to lead. If I can pin point the single thing about my Dad that impacted me most, was that HE CLUNG TO JESUS. I saw my Dad struggle with his own personal issues all of his life, and go through seasons of deep pain, rejection, and sorrow, and through all of this he never once took His eyes off his Deliverer. I’ve also seen God bringing Him through the water and the fire, and never leaving Him stranded. He once told me that I should love God for who He is, and not for what He could do for me. He based this on that familiar passage in Habakkuk 3:16-19 ” “Though the fig tree does not bud     and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails     and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen     and no cattle in the stalls,  yet I will rejoice in the Lord,  I will be joyful in God my Savior. The …

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About Grandmas and Mashed Potatoes

March is my beloved grandma’s birthday month, so my thoughts tend to linger on her this time of year.  She now celebrates in heaven with Jesus, where I’m sure she is cooking and sewing up a storm:) I was actually making mashed potatoes this week when my thoughts started wandering to the two women who shaped my life in so many ways; my Mom and Grandma. Not because they are necessarily known for their mashed potatoes, they are much rather renowned for South African favorites such as vetkoek, kookkos, and kerrie&rys (sorry you have to be South African to know what I’m talking about). No, the mashed potatoes made me think of them for a reason that had nothing to do with cooking at all… Beth Moore once said that we find ourselves in a good place when Jesus is our “mashed potatoes” and everything or everyone else is simply gravy. I’ve always loved that analogy because, if you think about it, we can in fact eat mashed potatoes all by itself and be totally satisfied. Yes, definitely true that the gravy makes it extra delicious, but we don’t “need” the gravy. I so desire this kind of relationships with Jesus: One where I am grateful for the people and things He put in my life, but I don’t desperately cling to those things for dear life. The kind of relationship where I truly know that HE IS ENOUGH, perhaps because I acknowledge that in the end it will only be HIM and I… I saw over the years how my sweet Grandma and also my Mom gravitated towards this kind of “mashed potato relationship” with Jesus. The three of us are all cut from the same cloth really. We have tender hearts for people, and very often find ourselves hurt and trampled upon for that …

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Do You Fear Rejection?

I was desperately afraid of rejection for the biggest part of my life. I was rejected early on for not being pretty enough, not quiet enough, and definitely not skinny enough. I was rejected by peers, boyfriends, and family members in both big and small ways. However, the most important rejection was one I was not even consciously aware of: I REJECTED MYSELF COMPLETELY. The fear of rejection became the driving force behind my vow to avoid rejection at all cost. I remade my appearance to the best of my ability,  and surrounded myself with “safe” people who would or could not easily reject me; mainly people with wounds, obsessions, and weaknesses of their own. I also made sure that I became irreplaceable in the lives of these friends, so they would never want to leave me. Through manipulation and lies I kept this all alive. I pleased, begged, fought, over committed myself, did things I hated, smiled when I wanted to cry, stayed awake when I wanted to sleep, had long talks when I had nothing more to say, bribed, gave advice, bent over backwards, and last but certainly not least,  rescued everyone around me. God saw all of this of course, and placed ever so strategically four little beings in my life who would challenge my authenticity from the start. They grew up way too fast, and as young adults refused  to any longer be coerced into Mom’s perfection and people pleasing. They wanted to spread their  wings and fly, and they especially wanted to love me on their own terms. So I felt again the stabbing pain of rejection that I carefully tried to dodged for so long. I cried before God, tried to think and rethink the situation, made a new plan, did everything I knew to keep the …

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The Miracle of a Soft Heart

So happy to finally get back to blogging. A long stretch of influenza and some unrelenting coughing caused me to take a two week break from the webinars. However, it seems that a person can actually cough and type without too much effort, so I thought I would write to you ladies instead.  2013 has been a memorable year for my family and I. Not because of great milestones I’m afraid, but because of deep valleys and a great miracle along the way. So today seemed like a good day to tell you about it… For a while now I’ve been observing a heart of stone in one of my loved ones. It breaks my heart over and over again, to see someone once so filled with love and zeal for the Lord now so bitter, angry, and stumbling around in the dark. I have talked, cried, prayed, fought, begged, and pleaded with God for months, and then finally I stopped. It might have looked like surrender on the outside, and I even uttered the intention of surrender to a few friends, but only God knew what really happened… my heart became hard as well.  It’s amazing how gradually this can happen. Over a period of time we start relying on our own efforts again. We start making plans for our food struggle, our lost loved ones, or our circumstances. We start trusting in those plans, and when they inevitably fail, we become discourage, angry, bitter, and numb…  You may know exactly what I’m talking about. We can not deny the fruit of a hard heart. According to Luke 6:45 “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” My mouth was …

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Warning: You will have trouble!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So there we have it! We were warned about TROUBLE right there in John 16:33! And yet, I continue to be shocked and surprised at the amount of trouble that can roll into my life on any given day. I love trouble free days, but seriously, with a job, kids, a husband, and other forms of frequent human interaction, those days are very rare.  Now for the most part, I can just shake off trouble,  forgive the people involved, and keep focusing on the big picture. However, from time to time I get those days where my own weakness (in body or mind) collides head-to-head with some “trouble”, and I’m just fed-up with all the drama. Then, if I let these troubles fester for more than two seconds without taking it to God, I can find myself nose-diving into a full fledged pity-party. To these parties I usually invite only three guests: Self-pity, Discontentment, and Unforgiveness. During these times I am so grateful for a handful of trusted girl friends! They will allow me to vent, without judging me or judging the other people involved. And afterwards they will gently point me in the right direction… the path of forgiveness that leads me back to intimacy with Christ. When I’m finally ready to lay down my long list of rights and whisper “Okay I will forgive…” PEACE comes rushing back into my life and I remember again… TROUBLE IS PART OF MY PROCESS… Sarah Young explains this so well in her book Jesus Calling: “MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE PROBLEMS IN YOUR LIFE. Though many things feel random and wrong, remember that I am sovereign …

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2012 – Year of Great Provision and Pain

I wanted to give a big shout-out to all of my faithful readers: Thank you so much for reading my very infrequent posts during 2012! It was indeed a year to remember, so please forgive me if I spend a moment reminiscing… My second son, Terrance, graduated from high school and started Bible College. My little girl started first grade and I took up the challenge of homeschooling her and my 13 year old son again this year. My husband started up a new business outside the family home, and we also celebrated 20 years of marriage just recently on 12/12/12. As many of you might have seen and heard, God also opened huge doors for my ministry this year. I had an opportunity to record small group material, Appetite for Freedom, which changed the whole face and even name of my ministry. What you may not know though is that ALL OF IT was ONE INCREDIBLE MIRACLE RIDE! I can still not even believe that it all happened in one year! I have had it on my heart for a long time to create material that ladies could use in small group setting. I have even had several churches, universities, and healing ministries ask me about this in years past, but never seemed to have the finances or resources to pull off the publication of a book and a professionally recorded DVD. Then my husband and I started attending a small group at our church in 2011 for businesses. Through a series of events, including a challenge from our church for small groups to reach out to the community, this small group that we’ve just joined offered to help us raise the funds and gather the resources to take my ministry to the next level. It came as such an answer to …

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Temptation

Week 11 of my 12 Week Online Program for Women Struggling with Food deals with the issue of Temptation. We are discussing this on the Members Forum this week. Come learn how you can find victory in those moment when you are tempted.  Here is a previous post I wrote that goes well with this week’s lesson:   How do you find victory in your WEAK MOMENTS? I wanted to share this excerpt out of the new Breaking Free Bible Study by Beth Moore with you: “God has reserved momentous victories and great rewards for us. But we’ll never make it to our milestones if we cant’ make through our moments“ Isn’t that so true? We set these milestones and we even have faith for it – but then we get to that ‘MOMENT”, that excruciating moment of temptation or weakness, and we cave… and then we lose hope… SO HOW DO WE GET THROUGH OUR WEAK MOMENTS? Beth goes on to say that 2 reasons exist that we don’t take the “exit” God offers in our weak moments (1 Cor 10:13) 1. We don’t want to 2. We don’t feel like we deserve to We have to ask God in that MOMENT: “God I don’t want to stop eating, but please change my WANT TO” or “God I don’t think I deserve healthy food/taking care of my body, but please help me see that I am a princess of the only true King and I do deserve it” If you have been following along on our MEMBERS FORUM, you will know that I am struggling at this time in my life with “keeping my mouth under control”. Our family life has become very challenging because (as I mentioned before) my husband and I have a few businesses that we now run from …

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Controlling People and Situations can Feed you Food Addiction

We’ve just completed Week 9  on the forum that deals with PEOPLE PLEASING and CONTROL. If you find yourself reaching for food because of stress and turmoil in your relationships then this week might clear up a lot of issues for you. Please have a look at my 12 Week Online Program to find out more. Here is a previous post I wrote that goes well with this week’s lesson:   This past weekend I was reminded that self-control and controlling other people can not co-exist in my life. I was getting anxious about situations in our family and fell back into my old pattern of controlling people and circumstances. Of course I’m pretty good at “whipping” everything and everybody into shape, but things started unraveling fast inside of me. I was restless. I wanted to eat all sorts of things and I was avoiding God. Fortunately I’ve learned, through much tears and many heartaches, to recognize these patterns in myself. So I was back at the drawing board with God: The Bible clearly says that self-control is part of the Fruit of the Spirit and “should” thus be part of every spirit filled Christian’s life. According to John 15 we will bear much fruit (including self-control) if we are plugged into the vine (Jesus). So having self-control means staying close to God, OBEYING GOD, and daily asking the Holy Spirit to fill us and give us control of ourselves. However, no where in the Bible will you find any kind of command or even an indication that we are suppose to control other people and circumstances. Now if you are immediately thinking  “I’m not a control-freak” you might want to first read the following to make sure: Controlling can be blatant or subtle. Trying to please people and keep everybody happy doesn’t …

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