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 prayer and from such an unsuspected source, that we just knew it had to be God. I am still so amazed at how God has forged friendships in our lives during this past year and poured out His provision in the most amazing way. Some of my friends (old and new) heard about the door that God has opened and they started adding their resources to the project in ways that I could never imagined or even thought about.  As the project unfolded I had ladies take me to buy outfits for the recordings at stores I’ve only dreamed of shopping at. Other of my friends volunteered to help edit my book, babysit my children, prepare meals for my family, lead tables, attend the recordings, bring flowers, lend me jewelry, pray for me, counsel me, the list goes on. It was simply a miracle ride which I will forever be SO GRATEFUL for!

We went out during the last stretch of 2012 with a bang when the book was published and the videos were released. What a year!

However, you surely know that so far I have only painted one side of the picture. I have not experienced so much stress in a 12 month period in all of my life. Just showing up that first night for the DVD recordings almost gave me a heart attack. I found myself hiding in the bathroom, unwilling to come out. I would probably never have recorded a word if God didn’t somehow got me out of there and planted me behind that podium. It was easily one of the most difficult things I had to do, and it stretched and grew me in every way possible. Every single thing that I have ever taught was being tested in my life. I didn’t just preach about things, I lived it! There is nothing like stress to bring all of your worst characteristics to the surface and shake out everything that is not real in your life. I can assure you that in 2012 I’ve experienced financial difficulty, marriage problems, problems with my kids like I’ve never had before, and an overwhelming desire to just take the easy way out and EAT!

I’m so grateful to God that He pulled me through! I have learned for sure that nothing in life that is truly worth having comes without a fight. I am so incredible grateful for every prayer that went up for me and my family, and for those who are still praying for us. We are being held up by the everlasting arms of God! I know that none of the pain or anguish was for nothing, because this fight is for FREEDOM IN JESUS. I’m so excited to see what God is going to do in the lives of ladies who need to experience the love and freedom that comes by living in close relationship with Jesus.

Thank you so much for each and everyone of you ladies who prayed for me, loved me, and supported me this past year. Thank you Jesus for never leaving me and for continuing to use this humble broken vessel. I am, and will be, forever grateful…

A most blessed 2013 to you beautiful women of God and your families!

In His Everlasting Love
Heleen

 

 

Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food

Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?

 

Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD. Great resource for small groups or for individual use.
Click on the image below to find out more

Zumba Baby!

I’m breaking out of my tightly sealed exercise box! I’ve had enough and I’m breaking out! After seeing some of my friends embark on all sorts of exercise adventures this summer, and actually enjoying it, I knew it was time for my box to go. I’ve been feeling less motivated to get on the elliptical or go for a walk as the days went by, and I knew something had to give.

A few weeks back a friend casually mentioned Zumba. Why didn’t anybody tell me about this before? It seems like everyone on the planet knows about it except me. When I mention it enthusiastically to others, they shrug it off with a “Oh yeah, so-and-so does it” or “Yeah, I do it”.  Now for the few of you out there who are as uninformed as I; it’s a class that combines all kinds of dancing from all over the world with loud music, and it promises to be super duper fun. In fact the slogan at zumba.com reads “Zumba, join the party!”

So I sort of checked it out, and kept procrastinating for a few weeks before I finally mustered up the courage and went to a class. It was very awkward, as all first classes go, but lucky for me we had the most popular, prettiest, fittest, (and I’m sure youngest) instructor that evening, and oh my goodness, was she at her best! I had no idea what I was doing, my body absolutely refused to move in the way she proposed we move our bodies. I looked like a yard stick surrounded by spaghetti bodies. So I did the only thing I could do: I started laughing and I didn’t stop for 60 minutes. I laughed and I sweat and before I knew it the hour was over. I probably needed a good laugh more than I needed exercise, because I couldn’t stop talking about it that evening, and Tony looked on in amusement as I tried to demonstrate some of the moves. Needless to say, I had fun, and I could hardly move the next morning, which meant it actually worked (while I was laughing!) I’m going back for sure and I’m taking some girlfriends with me (they just don’t know it yet:)

Now my point with all this ranting is not to advertise Zumba or even slightly suggest that you may have the same experience. My goal is simply to inspire you again to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. Better yet, pray that God will show you something outside your box. Remember, IT’S NOT ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS. You have to break your back and almost kill yourself to really get weight loss results with exercise. No, it’s SO MUCH MORE! Exercise truly bumps us into that upward cycle that I always talk about. It reminds us that we actually have limbs that can move, and that we’re not nearly as old as we thought we were. In fact, exercise, at any weight, can make you feel less self conscious and more in touch with your body. It gives depression a serious kick in the behind, and it makes you want to take care of your body. Another huge plus point for me is the motivational factor when I find myself surrounded by a group of women. I recognize that others, same age and weight as me, are confident in their own skin JUST THE WAY THEY ARE. It also hugely motivate me to see other ladies twice my age maintaining a healthy body by showing up at that class every week, come rain or sunshine.

Some of my non-athletic friends, who also struggle with food, astonished me when they broke out of their boxes in the past. One friend joined a rowing team and became super fit and toned while LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT! Another friend started cycling with her husband, after vowing that she will never do it, and now she is showing him a thing or two. I have a friend who started horse back riding, and another joined a women’s softball team and she’s having the time of her life. All of these ladies have not merely started exercising, they have changed their lives! God has showed them what to do to get them into an upward cycle of living healthy, eating right, having confidence, spending more time with God, and being the best women they can be.

What about you? You are a princess of the King you know. He has good plans for you according to His Word, and there is no reason that you have to live inside a box or keep doing something that you absolutely hate. Let’s be honest about this, if we hate the exercise we set out to do, we’re not going to continue doing it. This totally defeat the purpose, because as you and I both know, in our struggle with food CONSISTENCY IS EVERYTHING.

So what can you do consistently, that you can also enjoy? I don’t have the answer to that, and maybe you don’t even know right now, but God has a storeroom jam-packed with ideas that will fit you like a glove. Why not ask Him?

We were made to move ladies. According to the Bible exercise is of some use, not as important as taking care of our spiritual well-being mind you, but it is still an important part of our allover make-up. In fact, it can be instrumental in helping us take back our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

Please tell us how you are breaking out of your own exercise box these days. You never know how God can use your testimony to help another lady break out of her box, and as a result start spiraling upward out of her struggle with food.

Love you ladies, and hope to see some of you at Zumba:)
Heleen

 

Resources for You:

Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
Please follow me on Twitter
Please link with me if you have a professional profile on Linkedin


Don’t let a binge ruin your life!

I have been getting a few heart breaking emails lately from ladies who have lost some weight on programs and now find themselves back in the clutches of binging and purging. If you’ve deprived your body, or yearned for certain addictive food (because you still need to deal with the idol in your heart) then you might find yourself binging again at some point (even after months or years of eating right).

A binge is fertile ground for the enemy to come sow lies of shame and guilt. In that place we may start to believe that we can not recover from this binge, or that we might as well give up, or that our only option is to turn again to dangerous methods (starvation, purging, etc). I’ve re-posted this post here for you because it speaks of a way to become victorious over those binges and it has helped me and other ladies be victorious in this area.

Please read this post to encourage you that we all fall, but THOSE WHO GET UP, refuse to listen to the enemy, and carry on, find victory.

How do you prevent a Binge from turning into a whole day (or month) of overeating?

A friend asked this question on our forum, and I realized that it is a very common question that I might best answer here on my blog.

Of course it would be best to not binge at all. However, preventing a binge is easier said than done. If you are on a journey of finding healing for the root issues behind your eating disorder, you might not quite be at the place where you recognize the early signs of a binge (starting in the thoughts and emotions) and thus find yourself still binging from time to time.

You can easily undo all the progress you’ve made with one lousy binge! So how do you keep a binge from taking over your life?

The answer lies in TURNING YOUR BACK ON PERFECTION FOR GOOD!

In Week 10 of my 12 Week Online Program for women with food struggles I speak about the huge link between Perfectionism and Eating Disorders. If you have strong perfectionist tendencies then you might have a very difficult time trying to break away from binging. The reason: You want to have a 100% perfect day or NOTHING – No middle ground.

In order to find healing in this struggle and to BREAK THE POWER OF THE BINGE, our focus has to shift. We have to ask the Holy Spirit DAILY (maybe even hourly) to help us shift our focus from:

WEIGHT LOSS to HEALTH

AND

24 HOURS OF PERFECTION to A YEAR OF HEALTH

So what am I trying to say?

If you can change your focus (only with the help of God of course) to not see your life in 24 hour compartments of “today-I-will-have-a-perfect-day” but rather view your progress over a period of a year, you will not be so devastated by a binge. As soon as a binge loses it’s power over you, it will start fading into the background of your life, until you don’t binge anymore.

We are so scared of those binges because it makes us spiral down. But if we remember every day that a 90% successful day will give us a 90% month, which in turn will give us a 90% year, things will start to change.

Do you realize that if you throw every binge in the 10% “failure-basket” and just get on with doing the 90% of healthy eating, exercise, rest, and drinking a lot of water YOU WILL HAVE AN AMAZING YEAR? You will be healthy, stronger, peaceful and yes some weight loss will be on the agenda.

However, if you keep having “100% success days” and “100% failure days” (the days when you binge and just keep eating because you’ve already “failed”) then you either end up at the same place after a year, or worse…

Ask God today to help you change your focus FOR GOOD! A binge has no power over you if you know exactly where to “file” it and remember that it’s just a drop in your big sea of 365 days!

Don’t wait for January ladies, start asking God now for that CHANGE OF FOCUS AND CHANGE OF HEART. Even if you don’t do everything perfect (like eat some pumpkin pie), if you start focusing on ways to get yourself healthy 90% of the time, you’ll feel peace return to your life!

Lots of Love to all of you beautiful women of God!
Heleen

 

 

 

Resources for you

Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food

Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?

 

Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD. Great resource for small groups or for individual use.
Click on the image below to find out more


 

Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
Please follow me on Twitter
Please link with me if you have a professional profile on Linkedin


Are you running from God?

I’m asking this questions ONLY because I’ve found myself in those running shoes (the kind that runs from the only One who can save me) quite a few times in my life.

Why in the world do we do that? We know better! Most of us have gone around this mountain before, and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when all is said and done, there’s ONLY GOD, nothing else compares, and no one else can save us from ourselves.

Nonetheless, when we’re back in the clutches of pride and denial we tend to keep running, even though we know we’re going the wrong way. Through the years I came to recognize that when I’m running, SIN is present, and like my very distant ancestors, Adam and Eve, I’m trying to hide it from an all-knowing-all-seeing God. Also, I may be running because I’m reluctant to give it up. Frankly, I may still love that sin and I’m afraid that God will pluck it from my hand if I came too close to Him.

How about you? Do you find yourself binging mindlessly while trying to hide it from others and God (by avoiding Him)? Are you keeping yourself busy every moment of every day while ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit? Have you put all your trust, time, and money into a food program and now the old familiar conflict between eating and being skinny is back? Are you shopping, working, and going out with friends to distract yourself from the emptiness inside?  Are you purging, restricting food, and going to the gym for hours? Are you avoiding people, spending long hours in front of the TV, or mindlessly surfing the internet? Are you running…?

Listen, there is no condemnation from this girl, I really do understand. It’s an age old master plan of our enemy. We get lured in with a single prideful thought of “surely I can handle it” and before we know it we are occupying a deep pit and we can not hoist ourselves out with all the will-power in the world. You may be somewhere in between where you have not picked up your Bible in weeks; maybe you have not prayed for a few months; maybe you have a very short fuse these days and you start to feel resentment and anger towards those “hypocrites” at church; maybe you wish you had your own personal island, away from all mankind. These are all warning signs that you are running on empty, and you are running in the wrong direction.

Maybe you didn’t run far, and all you need to do is turn around to that warm cup of coffee and Bible study that you’ve neglected to pick up for a few days. On the other hand, you may have run so far that you have no clue how to get back. You may not have the slightest desire to pick up the Bible, and prayer might be the last thing on your mind. You may be looking for something “substantial” and “real” to fix your situation, and the spiritual things I talk about may seem nice, but not really helpful to you.

I want to assure you today, through humbling trial and error, that freedom from food struggles is ONLY found in a real relationship with Jesus. Actually freedom from any bondage, healing for any brokenness, and basically everything we need for living on this earth is wrapped up in relationship with Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to say that Jesus is to be “used” as a magic wand to fix all of our problems and turn our lives into a fairytale. If this was true then only the people with problems needed Jesus, right? No, Jesus is not a crutch, He is everything!  I’m talking about a RELATIONSHIP that can see you through the deepest waters and the biggest fires of your life (Isaiah 43:2), yet this relationship is so much more…even if you have everything this world could offer, you will not be okay without it.

Never mind how far you’ve wandered off: If you stop running and come before God in true repentance, you can step back into relationship with Jesus RIGHT NOW.

Unfortunately many Christians still downplay the sin that surrounds a struggle with food. We pretend it’s not that big a deal to put food, starvation, or purging in the place of God. We put a band-aid on it with a quick diet or we call it a fast, when we’re really sinning and running from our only Savior.

I pray today, as you read this, that you will be stopped in your tracks. I pray that the Holy Spirit will shine His spotlight on the sin of pride and idolatry, and that you will no longer try to hide it, but start to hate that sin in your life. Only true sorrow for the SIN not the SYMPTOMS bring lasting change to our hearts and  lives. I’m praying that God will show you the difference today, and that you will fall to your knees before Him, next to me, and return to the One who gave His life for you and I.

I wrote an ebook “God will I ever be free?’ a few years ago on the subject of surrender and based it on the verse in James 4:7 “Submit to God, resist the enemy, and he will flee from you”. In Beth Moore’s latest Bible study, James, Mercy Triumphs, she has the following to say about this verse:

  • God knows everything about you and every matter concerning you. Nothing is hidden from His sight. So submit to God.
  • He is always looking out for your ultimate good and takes your hurts personally. So submit to God.
  • He is holy and worthy and incapable of abusing His divine authority over you. So submit to god.
  • He knows when your motive was right but your mouth messed up. So submit to God.
  • He knows exactly how to work terrible into good. So submit to God.
  • He loves you completely and unconditionally and will never let you go. So submit to God.
  • He knows the well-deliberated plan for your life and how all things must fall into place for you to fulfill your destiny. So submit to God.
  • He will never put to shame those who trust in Him. So submit to God.

She ends this segment with the following words: “The Devil is trying to steal from you and destroy you and make it look like it was all your idea. So girlfriend, submit to God.”

All I can do is shout a big AMEN! to all the above.

 

In your struggle with food something needs to change: Your heart, your mind, and your attitude, yes! But maybe there are also physiological problems such as depression or hormonal imbalances; it may be that you need to find healing from past hurts by working with a counselor, or maybe you need to forgive and learn to make changes to your current relationships to move out of the pit of food struggles. WHATEVER THE CASE MIGHT BE, JESUS HAS THE ANSWERS! If you step into relationship with Him, He will lead you every step of the way. Take the first step today, submit to God.

Please read my free eBook if you are ready to submit: “God will I ever be free?”

Love you ladies
Heleen

 

Resources for You:

Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
Please follow me on Twitter
Please link with me if you have a professional profile on Linkedin


Kindness goes a long way…

I’m taking a break from all the craziness surrounding writing a book and recording a DVD. Who knew it’s so difficult to have 12 good-hair Tuesdays in a row!

So today I’m just taking a breather to reminisce and pay some tribute to a  very special someone in my life. The one in the humble spotlight of my little blog is my second son Terrance. He just graduated from high school last week, and I can hardly believe it! I know, I know… it’s a total lame “mom-cliche” but I’m honestly never quite prepared for the roller coaster ride that me and my four kiddos are on.

I love the name Terrance. Not only because it’s my husband’s middle name (and he’s a pretty cool guy) but also because of it’s meaning: Tender hearted. It’s such a sweet  meaning for such a strong name, and that is exactly what I can say about my Terrance. Never have you found a more tender hearted guy, coupled with a tenacious strong spirit.

He is always fighting for the underdog, finding something good to say about the least popular person, and of course, defending his Dad in arguments where the guy is obviously unfairly matched (with me that is:). In the thirteen years that we’ve been in the US we were only able to go back to visit family and friends in South Africa once, now seven years ago. It was (of course) Terrance who cried on our plane ride back about every single person and animal that we had to say good-bye to. It just melts my heart to see him treat all people (especially the most vulnerable human beings among us) with such tender care and compassion.

I know when he reads this he will be embarrassed and accuse me of making him out to be a total wimp, but that would be the furthest thing from the truth.  God has placed in this tender hearted young man a spirit of steel. He knows what He wants and where he wants to go. He took up the guitar only a  few years ago, and started practicing from dusk till dawn. He simply didn’t stop until it became a vessel of both corporate and personal worship in his life.  I’m so excited to see where God will be taking him…

What I see in Terrance is what I desire for myself. It’s something very attainable, and something I know he allows to grow in Him by abiding in God’s presence:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control
(Galatians 5:21-23)

This Mom is so very proud and so very grateful to God for undeserved blessings…

Do you need a miracle?

 

According to Oxford dictionaries a miracle is …”an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency”

There are some areas in our lives where we just KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that we have NOTHING and we are in need of an “extraordinary and welcome event” that is beyond our human strength or even understanding. I know we don’t always get the miracles that we pray for, and we most certainly don’t always receive them in our time frame.  However, let me boost your faith a little today to keep asking and reaching for your miracle. God still has the final say in our lives, but even by surrendering our struggles to His divine intervention and time table, we receive peace and hope to carry on.

Please read this post I’ve written a while back, to inspire you to keep reaching for your miracle.

 

What’s going on in your life?

  • Do you need a miracle of healing in your body?
  • Do you need God to perform a miracle in your marriage or your finances?
  • How about a miracle of deliverance from food, alcohol, pornography, drugs, shopping, TV, internet, or gossip?
  • Maybe you are unable to bring any change to a very difficult relationships in your life, and you need a miracle to just keep on forgiving and loving that person…

 

Let me say this: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT IT IS, OUR GOD IS BIGGER!!!

God is calling you, just as you are. You might be dealing with incredible pain, shame, or anxiety at this very moment. You might have just eaten so much food that you are in physical pain. Maybe you just purged and you feel shame hanging like a cloak around your shoulders. You may be angry and at your wits end with a relationship, or in a pit of pain because of ongoing stress and anxiety in your life. Maybe you are past all these feelings and you just feel a great numbness inside of you…

Seriously, God is waiting for you! He saw everything you did and everything you’re going through, and He is waiting and calling…

The voices of condemnation, guilt, hopelessness, and shame that you hear are not of God but from the enemy who wants to destroy you (John10:10)

I would like to remind you today of our Father’s heart. The parable in Luke 15 about the prodigal son gives us a peek into the heart of our heavenly father. He is looking for you, waiting for you to return to Him. He doesn’t insist that you first clean up your act or that you get rid of your filth before you come to Him. On the contrary, when He sees you taking the first few steps, He will run to you with open arms, welcoming you and showering you with love.

Please don’t try to first get “better” before you come to God. It’s the enemy’s age old trick to keep us in bondage. It is only in God’s presence that we are cleaned and changed. You can not change yourself, but He has all the power to heal your broken heart and help you change the habits and addictions you’ve picked up to numb the pain. Better yet… He wants to heal the pain you are trying to numb…

Listen to what the Amplified Bible says about the father of the prodigal son:

“So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently]” (Luke 15:20)(emphasis mine)

Do you see that the father was moved with pity and tenderness! Our heavenly Father has that same pity and tenderness towards us every time we come to Him, even in our filthy state. This might not be the first time you come to Him, but PLEASE don’t stop coming.

I found freedom from bulimia when I started crying out to God EVERY TIME I was binging or purging. I would cry and tell Him how bad I felt about myself, how ashamed I was, and how I needed Him to help me. He heard, He took pity on me, and drew me close to his heart with tenderness. You are his child too, He has no favorites, He wants to do the same for you!

I pray that you will experience a  miracle right from the hand of our Father. He wants to give you the miracle of life in that place of your heart where you now experience only death. The best part, you don’t have to do anything to earn this miracle… simply turn to God…

In His Love,
Heleen

 

 

Resources for You:

Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
Please follow me on Twitter
Please link with me if you have a professional profile on Linkedin


I CAN NOT do it!

 

How’s your New Years resolutions coming along? Have you already failed at it? Maybe you didn’t even bother making any because it’s the same story of disappointment year after year…

 

I’m reading Andrew Murray’s little book “Absolute Surrender” again this January.  An age old message jumped out at me and hit me square between the eyes again: I CAN NOT DO IT! and the simple truth: GOD CAN DO IT!

Read it for yourself: “And yet we are some of us wanting God to give us a little help while we do our best, instead of coming to understand what God wants, and to say: “I can do nothing. God must and will do all.” Have you said: “In worship, in work, in sanctification, in obedience to God, I can do nothing of myself, and so my place is to worship the omnipotent God, and to believe that He will work in me every moment”? Oh, may God teach us this! Oh, that God would by His grace show you what a God you have, and to what a God you have entrusted yourself — an omnipotent God, willing with His whole omnipotence to place Himself at the disposal of every child of His! Shall we not take the lesson of the Lord Jesus and say: “Amen; the things which are impossible with men are possible with God?”

 

Every time we make a decision that WE will accomplish something by ourselves, we dive right into a forever downward cycle. Let me illustrate this CYCLE OF EMPTINESS through a food struggle (it can really apply to any addiction or bondage)

  • We have an emptiness inside that CAN ONLY BE FILLED BY GOD, and yet we try to fill it daily with food. We use food for various reasons (that are better explained in my 12 Week Online Program) but the bottom line is the same: We are empty and we need to be filled. The problem is that this method of finding satisfactions only helps for a few minutes, and it usually backfires into severe physical problems and other consequences, so the emptiness deepens.
  • To get away from this we try to find a food plan with which we can occupy ourselves and which we hope will get us to another place that might satisfy: to be thin and beautiful. Problem is that most of these plans fail us too, because we were supposed to use them (the balanced ones) ONLY to get our physical bodies into shape, not to satisfy our soul hunger.
  • Even if a program works to rid us of the consequences of food addiction or compulsive overeating, and we lose all of our weight, it can not take care of the emptiness. We  may now find ourselves trying to find satisfaction in clothes, having the perfect appearance, looking for skin lotions and procedures to make us prettier, and other ways to impress people. This too will fail us because there is always someone prettier or skinnier out there to compete with. We might turn to prestige, riches, fame, or studying to get more honor and respect at our workplace. All this added stress we put on our lives to strive for satisfaction might actually push us right back to where we’ve started; mindless overeating or binging to try and fill a deep emptiness inside.
  • In this very low place we might even turn to drugs, alcohol, pornography, or any other idol because we’re so ashamed that we couldn’t “get it together” or “do better”.

 

THE TRUTH:
We will never be able to “do better” or “get our lives together”, even if our New Years resolutions or plans are all wonderful Godly ones.

 

WHY?

Our own self-will is corrupted by the desires of this world, and fickle at best. Even though we may have more self-discipline at times and find ourselves pumped and motivated, it can change at the drop of a hat. You know it! All it takes is our haywire hormones, for our circumstances to get complicated, or a sudden crisis to strike. During these times we either feel so ashamed of our own weakness and believe the enemy’s lies that we are total losers, or our eyes are opened to Jesus’s words in Luke 18:27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

 

 

Now let’s get practical, how does this play out in daily life?

 

Two things needs to happen DAILY  in order to give God full control:

1. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE
It seems so simply but it’s not so easy for our faith to raise up, simply because our society is so focused on “doing it ourselves” that many of us have lost faith in a mighty God that can SET PEOPLE FREE FROM ANY STRUGGLE, ADDICTION, OR FORM OF BONDAGE! We need to repent from our unbelief and ASK GOD FOR FAITH to surrender TOTALLY, instead of doing our best and just asking God to help us a little (as Murray says). This should be a MOMENT by MOMENT thing. It’s so easy to fall back into the trap of unbelief. Set alarms on your phone to remind you, make note cards, make pop-ups on your computers that says: What is impossible with man is possible with God
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Romans 10:17 (NKJV) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

2. The only plan you should have: WORSHIP GOD!
Take your hands off the wheel, give God control. Stop all the plans that you have in your head to “fix things” and rather use that valuable time to pick up the Bible, pray, sit in God’s presence, worship Him through music, go to church, etc. Most of us already know which food plan works for us, which exercise we should do, which steps we should take to accomplish God purpose and calling for our lives, BUT WE SIMPLY CAN NOT DO IT CONSISTENTLY! HOWEVER, ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE GOD CAN DO THAT WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH US. The problem: If we still think we can do it, or we “should” do better by picking ourselves up by the bootstraps, or reading the next best self help book, we will keep going around in circles. We have to admit once and for all that WE CAN NOT DO IT! Then, finally we are ready to let God do it for us.

 

OUR JOB: SEARCH GOD

Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV) Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Please get yourself out of the horrible cycle of  “TRYING TO DO BETTER” and “FAILING”! Please have a look at my resource below that might help you with this.

In His Love
Heleen

 

RESOURCES FOR YOU
NEW!!
Please be on the look-out for a WEEKLY CLASS on Food Struggles that I will be teaching, starting Feb 21st, 2012 at CITY BIBLE CHURCH in Portland OREGON. I will have the event up on Women Struggling with Food’s Face Book page soon. 
If you can not attend these classes (small group style setting) then please check back here on my blog and forum for DVD’s and workbooks that will be coming out this Summer (July 2012)


 

 

 

Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
Please follow me on Twitter
Please link with me if you have a professional profile on Linkedin



Christian Based Eating Disorder Treatment: Do you need it?

You might have seen my blogs about Christian based eating disorder treatment and wondered if you really have a  “problem”.  Maybe you just need another diet or need to pray more about this…

This question of whether one really has an eating disorder is actually quite common, also in Christian circles. It is plain to see that a person with anorexia or bulimia needs help, but other eating disorders such as compulsive overeating or binge eating disorder tend to be outright denied or minimized by the person who struggle with this as well as the people surrounding her life.

For years I wasn’t sure what to make of it either because as Christians we tend to do one of two things:

ONE
We look at our eating problem only from a spiritual perspective. We neglect to face the fact that God has made us stewards over our bodies and emotions: So we pray and we fast yet nothing seems to change and we stay stuck in a cycle of  promising ourselves and God that we will do better, just to fail again the next day.

TWO
On the flip side, we tend to totally deny that food struggles might have a spiritual root such as idolatry or gluttony. We play it down as something insignificant, something we have to take care of ourselves and not “bother” God with. We are convinced that we should just “find the right diet and get a grip” or “have some self-control already!” So we stay stuck in this place year after year, feeling condemned and convinced that we are “second-class Christians”


Have you considered that what you are dealing with might be an eating disorder?

You don’t have to vomit or sneak food to have an eating disorder.  A disordered way of relating to food can rear its ugly head in many other ways.

See if you can relate…

  • Every birthday we promise ourselves that we will start a diet as soon as the cake is eaten.
  • Every Christmas we wish that we could fit in a nice Christmas dress or sweater, but we drink our gingerbread-lattes, eat our pumpkin pie, stay hidden in our houses and promise ourselves that next Christmas we will be thin.
  • Every Spring we find ourselves staring at the breath taking summer dresses and we make plans to go on a diet that can take off 50 pounds in two weeks.
  • Every Summer we hate wearing Capri pants when others wear shorts, we hate wearing cotton shirts when others wear tank tops and we decide that we will try it too. So we buy it, but we cringe and we promise ourselves that next summer will be different.
  • Every wedding invitation makes our hearts skip a beat, not because of excitement, but because of stress. We get on the computer and search into the wee morning hours for a diet, the perfect diet potion, or the perfect pill to get us thin before the dreaded wedding date.
  • Every day we promise ourselves that tomorrow will be different, and every night we cry ourselves to sleep because we did it again…

If any of this sounds familiar then you might be at a crossroads with your eating. It’s time to face the music: You need the help of God and people who understand.

Overeating and food addiction are actually very common among Christians. For years gluttony has been the “acceptable sin”. The truth is that it hurts our relationships with God and it harms our health and our families, just like any other sin. You can read more about Weight problems in the church on my website.
If you keep denying that this is a sin or a serious matter in your life, you will stay stuck. Please let the Holy Spirit search your heart. Start today on your journey to freedom by facing the seriousness of this matter. Then bring it before God, repent and ask Him to show you which way you should take to get out of this sinful pattern.

From a girl who lived in denial for many years and wants you to be free as well
Heleen

If you are looking for Christian based eating disorder treatment, you will find a bunch of free material and a very affordable 12 Week Program on my website. Here are some resources for you:

 

Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
Please follow me on Twitter
Please link with me if you have a professional profile on Linkedin

What will Motivate you to Stop Overeating or Binging?


Please read this quote from Phillip Yancey’s book What’s so Amazing about Grace? carefully.
It contains valuable information as far as answering the question: What will motivate you to stop overeating and binging?

The best reason to be good is to want to be good. Internal change requires relationship. It requires love. “Who can be good, if not made so by loving?” asked Augustine. When Augustine made the famous statement, “If you but love God you may do as you incline” he was perfectly serious.  A person who truly loves God will be inclined to please God, which is why Jesus and Paul both summed up the entire law in the simple command, “Love God.”

If you are still going around the same mountain even though you’ve gone through counseling and found a solid food program, if you still find yourself bound in the chains of food addiction and eating disorders even though you’ve gone through my 12 Week Online Program and you’ve made great strides in dealing with past hurts, then it might be time to look at the MOTIVATION behind it all.

 

ONLY TRUE LOVE MOTIVATES OBEDIENCE

Please read this excerpt from a previous post I wrote to find out how you can FALL IN LOVE AND BE CHANGED FOREVER!

 

In her well-known Bible study “Breaking Free” Beth Moore asks us to answer the following few questions to determine if we’re really in love with God:

IDENTIFYING TRUE LOVE:

  • Does God regularly circulate into my thoughts? (Ps 63:6)
  • Am I often drawn to spend time with Him?  (Ps 27:4)
  • Does my life demonstrate a love for God? (Rom 5:8)
  • Do I often enjoy God? (Ps 16:11)
  • Do I ultimately find relief or satisfaction in obedience? (John 14:12)

How did you score on the TRUE LOVE TEST? Sometimes we really fool ourselves by thinking that we love God, when we simply don’t.


I have loved Jesus since I was a little girl. I see my sweet little girl praying to Jesus and hear her talk about Him and I can imagine myself at that age, growing up in a Christian home, praying to God in that same manner. So if you asked me in the past if I loved Jesus I would have quickly responded “YES, I’ve loved Him all my life”

However, through the years some questions formulated in my mind (much of these triggered by pastors an Bible teachers) about my LOVE for Christ: Do I love Him enough? Why do I still lack self-control? Why am I still rude and proud at times? Why do I not have patience in times of testing? Where is my joy and peace in trying circumstances? Why is it still so hard for me to obey…?

WE NEED MORE OF JESUS. When the night is dark and the valley deep WE NEED MORE! When our circumstances change and we can hardly breathe WE NEED MORE! When the waters are calm and we find ourselves almost bored with riches and prosperity WE NEED MORE OF JESUS!

Unfortunately our lives have become so busy and full of things that we hardly have time for anything, and sadly Jesus gets pushed down on our list of priorities.
However, if we want to break free and stay free from any kind of bondage WE NEED TO OBEY. Lasting obedience will always be linked to True Love. We might be able to obey once or twice out of obligation and legalism, but it never lasts and we always seem to slip back into our bondage.

NOW FOR THE BIG QUESTION:

IF I DON’T REALLY LOVE GOD WITH ALL MY HEART – HOW CAN I FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM?

  • Ask God to give you a love for Him. God is the source of  love, and the only one who can give you true agape love for Him and other people (1John 4: 7-8,19)
    Ask Him DAILY to increase your love for Him!!  Set an alarm on your cellphone to go off and remind you to pray. Even short prayers at first where you ask Him to give you a true love and desire for Him and His Word
  • Be accountable about your time with Him – Join women’s Bible studies on a regular basis to keep your accountable. Meet with other people to pray. Find a friend that will hold you accountable, and surround yourself with people who obviously love JESUS. THE MORE WE LEARN ABOUT GOD AND OPEN OUR HEARTS TO HIM – THE MORE WE LOVE HIM – AND THE MORE WE LOVE HIM THE MORE WE WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH HIM. Get yourself into that blessed upward cycle!

I need more of Jesus – the love that I had for Him last year can not sustain  me now. Fortunately there is so much more to my God than the little I have come to know up until this point in my life.

God is enough. His love for us is perfect and everlasting, however we have to keep asking and reaching to love Him more.

In His Amazing Love,

Heleen

 

 

 

Resources to help you surrender to God and fall deeply in love with Him
Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
Please follow me on Twitter
Please link with me if you have a professional profile on Linkedin

This mom is not ready to let go…

He could always make my heart melt with his chocolate brown eyes. Even at age three he was a little grown-up with a huge vocabulary. People always smiled at the eloquent way the little guy spoke Afrikaans (our first language), and he wrote his first poem before he could spell. 

My sweet little boy, Jean, is now a man of 21  who is ready to spread his wings and fly. He graduated from college, found a great job, and is looking for his own place to stay.

It’s all so wonderful! Just one problem: I’m not ready…

It’s not that I don’t want him to enjoy every minute of his new and exiting journey – because I do! It’s not that I’m not grateful – because I am so grateful for the positive direction his life is taking. It’s simply a matter of me not being ready to let go…

Nothing really prepares us for this, does it?

I’m not ready for his little red car to no longer be parked outside my window. I’m not ready to stop falling over his shoes in the hallway. I still want to see him snuggle with his little sister Christie, huddle over a piece of artwork with Jason, and I still want to lay in bed and hear him laugh with Terrance into the early morning hours. I’m not ready to let go of the long and rich conversation we have about anything from politics to pumpkin. I’m so not ready to cook authentic South African food without my oldest chopping, stirring, and adding things to age old recipes.

I really don’t want to be a mother who keeps controlling until she’s resented, but I also don’t want him to think that I stopped caring. Because the truth is that I lay awake wondering, worrying, and praying that God will keep him safe, give him wisdom, help him choose wisely, and especially that our Father will always keep him close…

A dear friend reminded me recently that when separation is most difficult for me, it is probably most crucial for his future.

It’s still hard but I’m learning slowly that separating from my young adult or teenager is a balancing act between CONTROL and FREEDOM

By slowly letting go (even if it’s super difficult for me) I am…

  • Equipping him to face the world out there while I’m still close enough to help
  • Letting him find out who he is and what he truly likes
  • Letting him develop his own relationship with God
  • Keeping my door open if he wants to talk or ask for advice in the future
  • Forging and preserving a new relationship with him that will go the distance

I wrote this poem a while ago when the “letting-go” process started. I believe there is only one way for us moms to endure these deep emotions: Hiding under the everlasting wing of the One who sees us. Jean is my oldest, so I still have to let go THREE MORE TIMES – Lord have mercy on this poor mama! For now I’ll pretend I have plenty of time and enjoy the sweeties I still have close to home.

 

He sees me…


invisible I am
in the kitchen
doing the laundry
picking up their shoes


watching, always watching
for a smile, a tear, a frown
waiting, always waiting
for the right time to talk


and I hurt, because they go
and I stay
and I cry, because they reach for tomorrow
and I still sit quietly with yesterday in my hand…


I long for the revealing of their greatness
I pray for their dreams to come true
every day they strive, hurt, laugh, dream, cry, love
and invisible I watch and I hold my breath


they don’t know it
they don’t see me
and yet
, He sees me…

and He smiles…


a mom