Reshaping It All: Chapter 13


Hi Friends! Ashleigh here.

We start our discussion of chapter 13 Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness today. We’re also still talking about the previous chapters here — so keep those comments coming.

In chapter 13, Candace addresses the issue of contentment. She encourages us to put aside the “ifs” and “buts” and enjoy life. This chapter brings to mind one of my favorite quotes. It comes from English writer G.K. Chesterton. He said:

Being contented ought to mean in English, as it does in French, being pleased. Being content with an attic ought not to mean being unable to move from it and resigned to living in it; it ought to mean appreciating all there is in such a position.”

Chesterton’s quote ties well with Candace’s exhortation to “count your blessings.” I love how she says, “Discouragement is a roadblock that too many of us are staring at, hoping that someone will shove it out of the way so we can move on with our journey…. Live outward instead of living an inward-focused life. We accomplish this by letting go of the ‘I wants’ for a focus on the ‘I haves.'”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found this to be effective. When I start appreciating all that I can in my current “attic,” life is more enjoyable.

Let’s hear from Darlene.

I remember our first year of marriage. My husband and I had a french door in our living room that we picked up at the local hardware store. Anxious to set it up, I painted the door with white latex. The next day I painted it again — and the next day, and the next day after that…

After about ten coats of paint, my husband and I realized that there was a good reason that painters use primer. The wood wasn’t going to cooperate without first being sealed.

In much the same way, our bodies aren’t always willing to cooperate with our brains if we don’t tend to those things of importance first. Setting out to lose weight won’t do anyone an ounce of good, but setting out to change the way one lives and the way they relate to food will.

Good intentions can easily be stifled by impatience, gluttony, and a tendency to be lazy. But if you work on those things by fortifying your spirit, the fruit of your spirit each become an asset that powers your intent.

Enjoy the journey, and until next time, live well!!

Darlene Schacht

OK, your turn. Here are some discussion starters:

  1. Do you look back? How has this hindered you?
  2. List five blessings.
  3. How do you delight in the Lord?
  4. Do you compare yourself too often? I do (read my story here). If so, how can you work on quitting the comparison game?
  5. Share this article: Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Share on Google+0Email this to someone


Ashleigh Slater is the author of Team Us: Marriage Together and the editor of Ungrind. As a regular contributor at several blogs and websites, she loves to unite the power of a good story with biblical truth and practical application to encourage others. She has 20 years of writing experience and a master’s degree in communication. Ashleigh lives in Atlanta with her husband Ted and four daughters. You can follow her on Instagram here.

  • I really like the emphasis on contentment here. I’ve been struggling with keeping a positive attitude. I’ve ran over 45 miles this month (which is more than usual for me), am looking thinner, and am fitting into smaller clothing sizes, but the scale isn’t really reflecting these changes. At the same time, my sister is one month postpartum with her first child, and has been publicizing that she has lost all but 5 or so pounds of her pregnancy weight, whereas it took me about a year to lose mine (now I’m working on losing my early marriage pre-pregnancy weight :) It’s hard not to compare myself to my sister, and easy to be discouraged about the numbers on the scale. I know that I must be content with my own successes, and am working on doing just that. How is everyone else doing? It’s been quiet in the book club for a while now!

    • Betsy, WOW! 45 miles in the last month is awesome. I’m so impressed.

      I’ve been trying to be consistent in doing Pilates and walking. I’ve noticed that my jeans are fitting better, but like you, the scale hasn’t reflected this. It can be discouraging, but then I remind myself my goal is to fit into my clothes better so I should rejoice in that.

    • Kerrye

      I’m the same Betsy. I’ve started running again, am making good food choices, doing everything right. But that darn scale is just refusing to recognize! (maybe a pound every 2 weeks or so…) Trying to focus on the healthy lifestyle changes I am making that will stick, and ignoring my impatient flesh whining… It’s tough when you see faster results around you…

      • Kerrye

        I should add, when I get impatient I tend to “double down ” and end up depriving myself more, running more, eating too Little, and my body goes into starvation mode and refuses to let go of anything… It’s a delicate balance with me – to not get frustrated and give up. Finding that happy place of moderation and contentment…

        • Thanks for the encouragement Kerrye! I guess a pound every 2 weeks could add up to a lot – over 20 pounds in a year! My reaction to being discouraged is usually to fall off the bandwagon, which then REALLY makes the scale not budge. It’s great to share in this journey!

  • That’s great Ashleigh – it sounds like you’re meeting your goals!

    • I wish! I’ve been failing on so many of them. I’m just trying to find the positives.

  • Hi there Ashleigh,

    Sorry, I have been missing. . .as a teacher I have been busy with testing schedules, performances, etc… However, I have been on top of my reading. Just skipped the commenting, but I am back ( we are on Spring Break- so catching up is easier now).

    Well, I have definitely learned to be content. We were living with my in-laws for a year and half until my hubs found work…WHEW!!! THis totally turned our lives upside down. I was angry and food was my comfort.

    But, now God has given us some great blessings:
    1. Our OWN place to live.
    2. Full-time jobs.
    3. Healthy children.
    4. Great church
    5. Friendly neighbors

    I am very DELIGHTED!! Reading my Bible each day and praying for my family and thanking God for EVERYTHING has really helped me live a delightful life!

    I am still dealing with some emotional issues from that time of living with them, but I do not look back on the negative and focus on where God has brought me today!

    ( Now, I am off to comment on Ch. 14 & 15. Does typing count as my exercise for the day..? LOL)

  • By the way, my walking neighbor/friend/walking partner, made the Black Bean Pineapple Enchiladas at the end of Ch. 12. Delish!!!!

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Reshaping It All: Chapter 13

by Ashleigh Slater time to read: 2 min