In January of 2014. I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to offer my body to God, as a living and Holy sacrifice. I came to realize that the vessel God gave me, I was not taking care of. During my pregnancy with Devon in 2008/9 I gained fifty pounds, and only lost twenty. It took some time, but I got used to my new size and I was “ok” with it. During my pregnancy with Andrea 2011/12 I gained twenty-five and lost twenty-five. WOO HOO! Then during my pregnancy with Kaitlyn 2012/13 I gained twenty-five, and after I had her I gained ten more. What? Not ok! I couldn’t understand how I could gain weight after having a baby. Confused and frustrated I tried to just accept my new weight. Even my maternity clothes were too small and didn’t fit me anymore. From Devon to Kaitlyn, five years, I increased nine dress sizes. NOT ok with it, but I tried to embrace it. I told myself it’s just a part of having kids. I noticed that everyday activities were harder for me to do, just bending down to tie my shoes was exhausting. Finding myself tired all the time, worn out, and out of breath from five minutes of work was not ok with me. Something needed to give, something had to change. At that moment as I cried out to God for help, He revealed to me scripture and He reminded me of what I had forgotten.
Romans 12:1 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
My Body "a living and holy sacrifice to the Lord." Ouch!
I was not treating my body that way at all. In fact, I wasn’t treating myself with the dignity and respect I deserved. I found myself not liking how I looked. And made excuses for it. “Oh well, this is the new me. This stinks. I’m now fat, great. I can’t do anything about it. I have no discipline to exercise. I love food too much to change. I have no time to take care of me. Childbearing and I don’t get along. It’s just a part of life.” Justifying and rationalizing my way through this was not helping, it was a nice easy out in an attempt to make me feel better but it was not working. It was not changing what God was convicting me to do.
“Present my body to God a living and holy sacrifice.”
To forget all the reasons and excuses of “why not” and step out in faith, believing that with God - I can do anything. This was the body God had given me, to do the work He has called me to do. Then it hit me. I am not obeying God. I couldn’t do the simple things he had called me to do. When I stopped and looked around and saw my weight affecting the way I interact with my kids and husband and it hit me hard. I couldn’t be the mom and wife I was called to be because I had no energy. It was hard to play with my kids because, I was so out of breath all the time. It was really hard to get off the floor so I would have to sit in a chair to play with my kids. I was giving my family and God, not my best, but the worst of me and making excuses for it.
It’s time for a change. It’s time to do something different. It’s time to glorify God with all He has given me, and give my body back to Him. It’s time to become the best me, wife, and mom I can be with God’s help. God then revealed another piece of scripture to me.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT) Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
"Honor God with my WHOLE body."
That was my new goal. I started to think of foods and drinks I could cut out of my diet calorie wise, the first thing I thought of was soda. I drank anywhere from 4-8 sodas a day that’s 600- 1200 calories in soda.
”But my caffeine, I can’t live without my caffeine.” Lies from Satan.
No, I can. And God will give me the ability to do it! God has set me free from many things in my past. So I stepped out in faith believing I could break (let’s call it what it is) my addiction to caffeine, with His help.
Romans 6:13 (NLT) Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.
Gluttony, the over indulgence of food, is serving sin. My passion was serving God, yet I was serving sin in the way I ate and drank. I allowed soda and food to become idols in my life. Not that I worshiped them per se but I had to have them.
“I loved them. I needed them. They made me feel better. I couldn’t live without them”
Again more things I told myself and believed that were not of God but of Satan. Time to change the way I think. Time to take every thought captive and make it obedient to God. Time to fill my mind, my body, and my heart with the things of the Lord not the things of this world.
Next, better choices. Figuring out what is actually healthy to eat, and eating smaller amounts of it. There was no need to fill my body with processed, fried, sugary foods. Yes, they taste good, but where does the glory go? My goal was- no soda, smarter choices, smaller amounts, and putting God into my food choices. I was going to offer my body as a living and holy sacrifice. I was going to stop making excuses and start living.
The journey begins. It’s time to take all this and put it into action. In that same January our Church had a fast. A perfect way to jump start this new way of living. My husband and I chose to fast from television, fast food, sugar sweets and foods, fried foods, soda, empty calories, and snack food for 21 days. After the fast I felt good. In fact I felt great. During that time we focused our energy on God, asking God for the energy to persevere, asking God to fuel our bodies, praising Him for all he had done, and praying together. I told God this year I was going to live for Him and everything I did was to give Him glory. My vessel, my body was for Him to use and I was going to take care of it for Him. At the end of those first 21 days I lost eighteen pounds. Oh my goodness! Excited, overjoyed, thankful, humble, and in awe of God’s grace yet again. At the conclusion of the fast, my husband and I decided to keep up with better choices. We limited the amount of junk we bought or ordered out and we changed our habits for the whole family. Cooking more at home and cooking fresh foods, we found we actually enjoyed it more. Eating healthy was fun, tasted great, and made us feel great. Now even our kids eat better. We changed our family.
During the next couple of months I kept at it. Eating right, making smarter choices, and eating smaller amounts. Giving God the praise every day, thanking Him for the victory, and pressing on to fight through cravings. Determined to reach my goal, and to live for God in a new way excited me and gave me energy. Four months later, I am caffeine free, down 34 pounds, lost several inches (wished I had measured), and down 2 full dress sizes. Being able to play more actively with my family made my heart smile. Being able to tie my shoes or buckle them was easy, woohoo. I function better today without all the caffeine and junk, than I did with it. Feeling healthier and better all because I wanted to live scripture out in my life in a new way. Being obedient to God, living for Him, and giving my body back to Him is the best choice I ever made for me and my family. When I stopped making excuse and started believing truth, my life changed. To feel pretty again is something words cannot explain. To fit in my clothes again is so much fun, I feel like I went shopping, but in my own house.
All I can say is “Thank you to my Heavenly Father!”
Once again God has proven Himself faithful. In my obedience to the Lord, I was blessed. Scripture tells us to obey and God blesses the faithful
Luke 11:28 (NLT) Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
It is so easy for me to justify what I am doing. I serve in Church and lead Bible studies. I am doing what God has called me to do. But I wasn’t obeying all He has commanded in scripture for me to do. I am learning God wants complete obedience in all areas of my life, not just in the ones I want to give to Him.
Jeremiah 7:23 (NLT) But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’
Ephesians 4:1 (NLT) Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.
"Living a life worthy of my calling! Yes! Living a life worthy of Jesus Christ!"
Living my life in a way that honors God, myself and family, now that’s worth living. Now, I am setting the example for my children to cherish what God has given them and treat themselves and their body with dignity and respect.
I have almost reached my first goal and it's about time to make another. I will keep you posted.