Monday, March 28, 2011

Made to Crave Mondays - Chapter 6

Let's Discuss Chapter 6
Hello, friend! Thanks for traveling with me on this journey! We're hyper-focusing lately on the fact that the FABULOUS woman Believes Healthy Habits are Crucial! Why so many weeks devoted to this one facet? BECAUSE IT'S SO HARD TO GET THERE!!! I think healthy habits are crucial. I think it's good to put food in my body that will fuel it in the proper way and to move my body on a regular basis. But, if I truly believe it...then my lifestyle will change. Honestly, I've been struggling in this area big time. And, I've found I absolutely 100% cannot do it on my own. I need help! So, I've been very thankful for the latest book by my friend Lysa TerKeurst, the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries. This New York Times bestseller has been kicking me in the a good way. I hope it's been doing the same for you. And, I'm really looking forward to what you have to say as we dive in to the reflection questions for this next chapter. Please join in on the discussion. If you haven't read chapter 6, that's OK. Heck, if you don't even have the book will definitely have something to add to this conversation. And, who knows, you may say the one thing that will be THE ONE THING someone needs to hear this week. And, that someone will probably be me. So, without further ado...let's get to it!

Discussion Questions for Chapter 6

1. What is your response to the idea that we grow closer to God when we deny ourselves something that is permissible but not beneficial? Have you ever had an experience of denying yourself that helped you to grow closer to God? Do you believe this could be true for you in your battle with food? Jill's answer: I totally agree with this. When we give up something that we've relied on, we find that we have to rely on God more in order to go without the thing we've let go of. As we rely on Him more, we're drawn more into Who He is and drawn closer to Him in general. When I was living on my own as a single woman, I sold my TV and lived for about 8 months w/o television. Well, I did go to a friend's apartment on Thursday nights for Seinfeld and Friends, but the other six days of the week, I was TV free. And, whoa, did I find myself with a LOT of free time. So, I read my Bible, prayed, listened to classical radio, and checked out inspirational tapes from the library. As I lived this way I noticed big changes in almost every area of my life. I was spending less money, eating out less, reading more, exercising more, and worrying less about my self image, the way I looked and the clothes I wore. Without TV influencing my actions in all of these areas, it was incredible to see the changes in my life! The most important difference was in the depth of my relationship with God. So, yes, I do believe this could be true in my battle with food. In fact, I'm expecting it!

2. The apostle Paul lists self-control among the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). Are there areas of life in which you experience self-control and feel that your self-discipline and wise choices honor God? For example, in your spending decisions or how you manage your time? What insights about your strengths in this area might help you to honor God and grow in self-control with your food choices? Jill's answer: I think the area of my own life in which I experience self-control in is parenting my 5-year-old daughter. I pray every day for patience and grace and I love experiencing the ability to exhibit self-control even in those few moments of the day when my last nerve has been stepped on and I want to let loose and scream. That is God's spirit at work, that is for sure! So, of course praying for strength and power to make right choices with food has been giving me a lot of help with self-control in this area too. I have a long way to go, but it is already making a difference every day!
3. Have you ever had the experience of the Holy Spirit nudging you in connection with your food choices? If so, what was that like? If not, how do you hope the Holy Spirit might help you now? Jill's answer: YES! I've been feeling that tug on my heart for several weeks if not a couple of months to take this drastic step that I've taken starting last Monday. This decision to go Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Grain-Free has been there for a while, just waiting for me to make it. I believe this has been the work of the Holy Spirit nudging me and now I believe it will also be the Holy Spirit enabling me to exercise self-control through these remaining 12 weeks.

4. As Christians, our calling - and our source of spiritual nourishment - is to do God's will and finish his work (Jn 4:34). To what degree have consuming thoughts about food impacted your ability to pursue your calling and receive spiritual nourishment? Jill's answer: Hoo boy, how long do I have to answer this one? Obviously, the hold food has had on my left has held me back in many areas. I don't believe I will be able to truly fulfill whatever work God has for me until I am at a much healthier weight and in much better health overall!

5. Would you say you are spiritually well fed, spiritually malnourished, or somewhere in between? Have you ever tried to use food to satisfy your feelings of spiritual hunger? What was the result? Jill's answer: Well, in connection with my answer to Question 1, I'd say that again, as I'm giving up something material in my food choices, I'm finding that my spiritual nourishment is improving as well. Definitely I have become quite malnourished at times and even recently. But, I'm beginning to see positive changes here as I lean on God more and more for my daily strength to travel along this path!

6. If we find certain foods impossible to walk away from, this is a clue that we are being ruled by food on some level. Are there foods you can't or won't deny yourself in order to make a healthier choice? Why are these foods especially important to you? What thoughts and feelings arise when you think about potentially giving them up? Jill's answer: There definitely have been foods I've refused to deny myself! I'm especially thinking of a special annual mother/daughter weekend I attend with my Mom and step-sister, Jill. (Yes, we have the same name!) Well, this Bed and Breakfast we go to every year has the best food ever. And, there are certain things I always look forward to. Fresh corn and fried chicken at an Amish woman's house on Friday night. Angel biscuits and pear muffins in the mornings - with lots of butter and whipped honey. (SIGH) I even entertained the thought of taking the weekend off from my fast during this year's mother/daughter weekend which is this coming weekend, by the way. But, I've decided this journey is more important than the foods I will go without in Arcola this year. Besides, it's all about seeing the friends we've grown close to for the 15+ years we've been attending this same weekend event. It's about spending time with my family and finding some downtown for my Mommy me and work me. These are the true benefits of the weekend, not the indulgent foods. Besides, I usually end up spending a lot of time in the restroom because of the rich foods I eat way too much of anyway. So, maybe this year I'll have even more time to spend with the people who are important to me. And, knowing that these foods don't control me is so important. That God is my God, not homemade grape juice or Belgian waffles with fresh whipped cream! OK, it's not going to be easy. But, it IS going to be empowering!!!! (please pray for strength!)

So, there you have my answer for chapter 6! I am really looking forward to what you will add to this discussion. Thanks for reading my blog and for taking time to comment! And, have a FABULOUS Monday!


  1. Jill,

    I hope your daughter is feeling better soon! It's definitely not fun having a sick child. I'm actually fighting a nasty cough right now which is disappointing because I was starting to get in an exercise routine and now I can't because it just makes me cough even more.

    I agree with your earlier post about weekends being more difficult. Saturday, I was out for the day with my husband which meant eating out. I was happy with my decision for a grilled chicken sandwich and side salad rather than a burger and fries, but I still had more calories than I should have. However, since I checked the calories when I got home, I just adjusted and had a very small dinner. Now, I just need to plan ahead and check calories BEFORE going out to eat.

    I'm really impressed that you're willing to give up Amish cooking to stay on your meal plan! That food is really good, but you're right that the weekend is about being with your family and friends rather than the food. Just think how great you're going to feel after that weekend accomplishing such a great victory!

    In this chapter, it really hit me when Lysa said, "We must see that inappropriate consumption can be Satan's lure to draw our heart into a place of defeat." I don't think I've ever seen my battle with food as being used by Satan to keep me from being all that I can, but it makes sense. Now that I realize that, it actually makes it more important to fight and win the battle!

  2. Hi, Cheri! Eating out is SO hard isn't it? That's why I have had to pretty much choose not to do it with this new eating plan. I guess for me right now avoidance is the better path. Ha ha! I don't trust myself...yet! Yes, it is going to be quite tough at the B&B this weekend, especially at Edna-Mae's house (the Amish woman). Those folks know how to cook a meal, that's for sure! But, it's one weekend in comparison to a lifetime of healthy habits. At least, that's the mantra I'll be repeating to myself! I loved those words from Lysa as well. It's a sobering way to view my struggle with food, definitely. But, like you, it's giving me even more purpose for this battle! Thanks so much for your comments and keep up the good fight!