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Reshaping It All: Chapter 3

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Hi Friends! Ashleigh here.

I can’t believe we’re already on chapter 3 from Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness.

If you haven’t had time to weigh in on chapter 2 yet, don’t worry. We’re still talking about it here. Because of the way our schedule for this book club is set up, we’ll chat about multiple chapters at a time.

Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started on chapter 3. This time, we’ll hear from Darlene first.

Moving on to chapter 3, we get a background view of Candace’s eating habits. By the way she was raised, she’d come to believe that food was one of two things: healthy and tasteless, or unhealthy and delicious.

In Reshaping It All, we learn that there is a better alternative, which is delicious food that works to benefit our bodies — yum! With a deeper understanding of what works to benefit our bodies, we increase our chance of success.

Healthy food is not the enemy, and neither are treats. When we teach our body to enjoy food in moderation while seeking a balanced diet that includes both fruit and vegetables, we are building a lifestyle change rather than seeking a quick fix.

In laying this foundation of good eating habits, I’m reminded of Matthew 7:24-25:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

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

Blessings,
Darlene Schacht
www.timewarpwife.com

When it comes to my history with food, I’m thankful to have a mom who taught me moderation. She prepared healthy meals for us — in fact, I developed my love of spinach, brussel sprouts, and broccoli from her — but she also allowed sweets. We had a “chocolate drawer.” In it, she would keep a bag of Hershey’s miniatures. This way we could have a taste of chocolate — enough to fill a sweet tooth craving — without going overboard. Although, I admit, I’ve become spoiled and allowed myself more sweets than I should.

My mom also modeled for me the importance of daily exercise. I just wish I’d followed her example more consistently the last year or two. If I had, I’d probably fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans by now.

I gained a lot of healthy habits growing up, except the discipline of drinking water. It just wasn’t something I remember us doing regularly. To this day, it’s still a struggle. I’d much rather grab something with flavor from the fridge then fill up my water jug. But, as I mention in this chapter’s vlog, I’m being intentional about getting more aqua.

Drinking more water is one of the five tips in this chapters “A Pinch of Practicality.” I love these practical ideas for slowing down and improving meals. I’m already incorporating several — which include having a glass of cold water with my food and using a smaller plate.

So, what are your thoughts on chapter 3? Here are a few questions to get the discussion going:

  1. What is your “food history”?
  2. Which tip from the “A Pinch of Practicality” can you add to your daily life and how do you plan on doing so?
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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.

12 Comments
  • Kerrye

    My food history: I’m from the south. The stereotypes about our food, well, they’re true. (Imagine growing up with Paula Deen cooking your meals… Pretty much that. However, my mom has never had any issues with food or weight. Little petite energizer bunny… With never actually “dieting”…)

    My favorite take-away from Chapter 3 – The recipe for Turkey Tacos!!! My family LOVED it, and have already made it a weekly favorite.

    • Kerrye, I love turkey tacos too! I first heard about them when I read Barbara Cameron’s book, A Full House of Growing Pains. I didn’t realize what they were — ground turkey in place of ground beef — so when I had the privilege of interviewing Barbara that same year, I asked her. We’ve been making them ever since. I’ve come to prefer them to regular tacos. I love how lite they are!

  • I haven’t read the chapters yet, but what I can gather from your summaries it sounds very practical and motivating. I would say my food history is- watching the strong, independent family women in my life struggle greatly with food/dieting. So, much so that I gained an eating disorder in college. Not good. But through marriage, children and work, I have learned to eat better and not be an emotional “non-eater.”

    Also, I would have to say that I have made more of an effort to drink lots of water and always eat breakfast.
    I try to y myself… “we are fearfully and wonderfully made”. . .

    • Thea, I never thought about eating disorders such as anorexia in the terms of being an “emotional non-eater,” but that makes a lot of sense. I’ve been there — so I can definitely relate. Although now that I no longer struggle with anorexia, I find myself being an “emotional eater.” My desire — and something I hope this book helps me with — is to find the balance between the two.

  • Sarah

    My “food history” is a great one. I was home-schooled along with my brother until we were high school age. I grew up on a farm with loving parents & a mom who was a stay-at-home mom. She taught me how to bake & cook at a young age, & “eating out” was a treat, rather than a convenience. But as I grew up & moved away from home, my habits changed towards more unhealthy ones. I went for fast & convenient more than healthy & wise choices.

    In the past year, I’ve started to come back more to my roots & home-made goodness. Making my own bread, & just being a lot more conscience of what it is that I’m truly putting in my body. I still don’t make the best choices 100% of the time, but I’m making an effort to think thru my choices more.

    One of the tips that I really plan to take to heart is drinking a glass of cold water with each meal. I don’t drink enough water the way it is, so I know this will be helpful. Also, I can definitely use smaller plates when eating at home!

    • Sarah, I love how you are coming back to your roots of healthier eating choices!

  • Jen

    I’m an emotional eater- example from today. I’m driving home from running errands with my two little boys in the backseat when an awful hail storm hits. Scary experience! I’ve never seen so much quarter+ size hail! Anyway, I pray as it is happening, but then…go home, calm down a little and make s’mores croissants! Whew!!! I so need to practice my “focus on God” muscle to continue it past the crisis!

    • Jen, even though you went home and ate the s’mores croissants, at least the first thing you did was pray and not eat! Sometimes the first thing I do is eat and then I realize some time later that I didn’t pray.

  • Ellison

    Food history is poor. When I was growing up my childhood wasn’t ideal. If I was left at my grandmother’s I ate whatever we grew in the garden and purchased/traded from neighboring farms. If I was with my mother then it was whatever I could beg/borrow/steal..literally. So I became a very erratic eater. If we had food I felt that I needed to eat it all quickly to “store up” for when we didn’t have any at all. Then on my own I would buy food but eat fast foods in order to keep what I had in case. I am breaking that habit and learning to cook at home all the time now. I had tried several of the recipes and my family’s favorite so far are the grilled veggies and chicken noodle soup.

    • Ellison, wow, that must have been difficult to grow up not knowing when you would have food. It sound like you are taking great steps to break your previous habits.

  • Natasja Sambale

    My food history… Well, compared to other families, I guess our dinner was late. Dad finished work at 6pm so by 6.30pm we would have our dinner. Neither mom nor dad emphasized on eating healthy. Once a week we would eat fries with either a burger or steak. Sometimes mom would just prepare lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and cook the burger meat and we would create our own burger. It always ended up looking bigger than my mouth. And once a week we would have pasta. All the other days, dinner started with soup followed by meat, potatoes (either mashed, plain or baked and I wasn’t a fan of the baked or plain ones) with some veggies ranging from cucumber to carrots and peas. Mom did try some veggies on us, at least to take a bite. But Brussel sprouts, until this day I don’t like them at all. I wasn’t a fan of some other vegetables like tomato either but I’ve grown into them. Funny how one eats tomato soup or tomato ketchup but avoids the tomato in a salad. Candy had its place in the cupboard and we took as we pleased. At some point I started drinking water. A lot and leaving the soft drinks for occasions. Then I became a flight attendant and though I should drink a glass of water at least every 30 minutes during a flight (prevents dehydration and headaches), I somehow got lost. Now I only drink whenever thirsty and not necessarily water. While before I had no problems with the big bottles, I now resort to a small bottle and fill it up once empty. Using a small bottle seems less intimidating. Recently I bought a juicer, so I try to make fresh juices before work. So instead of drinking lots of sugary juice from the aircraft, I get creative with my fruits. Sometimes I add some vegetables and some fresh ginger or mint as well. I actually enjoy experimenting with it. I wish I could implement the use of smaller plates every day but that’s not easy when you order room service or go to a restaurant. But I’ll definitely start doing when home. One tip I can add, is drinking water with my meal.

    • Natasja, I love fresh ginger and mint! What’s your favorite drink to make in the juicer?

Articles

When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds

If your compassion far exceeds your capacity, here’s one way you can be sure to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

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One of my life verses is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

It is one of my favorite verses because my heart has been so moved by the love Jesus has for me and the sacrifice He made for me that I am grateful to have a way to express my gratitude through acts of justice and mercy while walking humbly with God.

I have found at times, however, the call to do justice and love mercy come in conflict with the call to walk humbly with God. For me, one of the ways to walk humbly with God is to recognize my limitations. I have to put skin to the fact that I am not God which means saying, “no” to ministry requests. It means going to sleep when I could be spending time advocating for the harrowed and helpless in the world. It means limited seats at my table, limited funds in my bank account, and limited energy in my body cannot be ignored but respected and adhered to.

This is hard for me at times, especially when I scroll my Facebook feed and see friends who are caring for their really sick children, spouse, or other family member all while millions of refugees flee war torn countries and babies are slaughtered by the hundreds each day in our country through the abortion industry.

As I scroll, I receive texts about one family member’s surgery gone wrong and another family member announcing a new baby is on the way. I have in mind my neighbor who has inpatient surgery scheduled this week and another neighbor who is trying to hold down a full-time job, care for twins all while battling profound “morning” sickness.

Folks at church are fighting for their lives in physical and spiritual ways, and strangers who pass me on the road are clearly battling something as demonstrated by their impatient honking because I won’t take a right turn on red. I want to meet the needs of all; I want to do justice and love mercy, but I’m daily confronted by the fact that I am so limited.

What am I to do when doing justly and/or loving mercy seem to come in conflict with walking humbly with my God?

God keeps bringing me to this answer: prayer.

God invites us to cast our cares before Him because He cares for us.
God tells us to be anxious for nothing BUT WITH PRAYER present our requests before Him.
God commands us to pray without ceasing.

And, when I walk humbly with God, I see the immense kindness in His command.
He gives us a way to do justly, love mercy WHILE walking humbly with Him.
It is by praying without ceasing.

I cannot take a meal or give money to every sick person or family I know. I cannot extend kindness to all my neighbors all at the same time they’re in need nor conjure up sustainable solutions for the refugee crisis and contact all the necessary world powers to make it happen.

I cannot heal all, but I know the Healer.

I cannot provide for all the needs, but I know the Provider.

I cannot rescue everyone in need, but I know the Rescuer.

I cannot comfort all the broken, but I know the Comforter.

I cannot speak peace over every situation, but I know the Prince of Peace.

I cannot be all to all, but I can go to the Great I Am through prayer, lay all the people, problems and pleas for help before the Omniscient and Omnipresent God of all Creation.

I can do this through prayer.

Recently, via an Instagram contest of all things, I came upon A–Z prayer cards designed by blogger/author/speaker, Amelia Rhodes. It is a simple concept packed with a powerful prayer punch. It has served me personally in this tension of wanting to do far more than I practically can do. It provides prayer prompts starting with each letter of the alphabet along with a scripture that coincides with the prayer focus. It ranges from Adoption to a creative “Zero Prejudice” for the letter “Z.”

The cards are well thought out, color printed on sturdy cardstock with blank lines for the user to write in the names of people and/or organizations that are personal to them.

If, like me, your compassion far exceeds your capacity, pick up a set of these prayer cards and unload your burdens onto a God whose competence matches His kindness, both boundless.

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Articles

Facing Our Fears in Motherhood

Do you have fears tied to motherhood? If so, here’s encouragement for you.

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“Are you scared?”

I was taken aback by his question. Scared? Of what?

“Of anything,” he answered.

I had just shared my due date with a new class of trainees.

“He has three boys,” another new hire volunteered. So fear is to be expected, I reasoned. I’m just about to face the most frightening experience in my life.

Of course I was scared.

I was scared…

  • I’ll lose my temper.
  • I’ll whine about sleepless nights.
  • I’ll breastfeed too often or not often enough.
  • I’ll leave piles of unfolded onesies in the middle of the nursery floor because I’m too tired (or lazy?) to fold teeny-tiny baby clothes for the upteenth time.
  • I’ll go with disposable diapers when the better choice would be cloth.
  • I’ll work too many long hours at the office and miss precious moments with her.
  • I’ll sign her up for too many activities and push her to become Miss Achieve-It-All.
  • I’ll pass on to her my ugly pride, self-righteousness, and perfectionism like a dreadful contagious disease.
  • I’ll miss countless little joys in life while pursuing worthless dreams.

Facing Our Fears in MotherhoodIn short… I was afraid I was going to fail miserably as a parent.

And now, holding my second-born daughter in my arms, thinking back on that brief exchange just a few years ago, I realize those fears were well-founded. I’ve failed many times. I’ve lost my temper. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve worked too much and played too little. I’ve seen my own sinfulness reflected in my daughter.

Yes, I’ve failed, but over and above it all, God’s grace has covered my parenting imperfections and made me run to the cross day after day. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way:

Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

When it comes to fears, we have two choices: Will we fear the unknown or will we fear the Lord? Will we allow the uncertain to grip us in its clutch or will we turn to God’s Truth to set us free?

Scared? Oh yeah. There was so much to be scared of that day. And even now, if I’m completely honest, there are still fears nibbling at the edges of my consciousness. Fear that we won’t outgrow the temper tantrums. Fear that the two girls won’t get along. Fear that I’ll mess them up and cause them interminable hours on a psychologist’s couch.

I’m sure you have fears, too.

But rather than allow those fears to consume and paralyze us, we can take them to the Lord, acknowledging His sovereignty over our parenting, pleading His grace over our mistakes, and entrusting His provision over their futures. He is not only able to handle it all — He is far more capable to be trusted with it all.

If I say one thing to that frightened 9-month-pregnant me standing in that room years ago, I would say this: Don’t let fear rob today’s joy with tomorrow’s unknowns. Each day has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34).

Instead, let us keep seeking God, running to Him as our secure fortress and resting in the knowledge that He will care for us and our children one day at a time.

What are you scared of today? Name your fears and bring them to the Lord, allowing Him to replace them with His peace that passes all understanding.

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He Gives Shade To The Weary

If anxiety is a struggle for you right now, remember that He gives shade to the weary.

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Do you ever have those moments of fear because you don’t know what lies ahead? When do those thoughts tend to happen to you?

For me, most of those thoughts happen when I lay my head down to sleep at night. The vulnerability comes forth every time. That’s what happened the other night to me. I shut my eyes and immediately anxiety welled up inside me.

What if we don’t succeed in this new venture? What if we have to move? What if we can’t pay our bills?

I laid there with the covers drawn tight over my head (I still think that I am safer if the covers are over my head), praying scripture over my anxious heart. Assuring myself that God sees me and that He cares.

In the morning, I turned to Isaiah 41, specifically verses 10-20.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NASB)

Yesterday, the “what if’s” piled up as I anxiously looked about me. My daughter needs tutoring, however at this point in life, tutoring feels like a luxury we can’t afford. So I listed some items online to sell hoping to make just enough to cover the tutoring. I’m buying groceries on a Visa reward card. I’m holding my breath until the next paycheck comes. But what did God speak over me: Do not fear. Do not look anxiously about you.

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14 NASB)

Why shouldn’t I be anxious? Because God will hold me up. God will help me. When I first read the word “worm” as a description, I took it as a slam against Israel. Like, gesh, God. What animal does He relate me to? But through further study, He calls them a worm because worms are helpless. They are viewed as insignificant, despised and weak. God will help me — seemingly insignificant, helpless me — because He is my Redeemer. He is my go’el — my next of kin. The Redeemer is the one who provides for all my needs. Rent. Car payment. Credit card bill. Gas. Food. Clothes. Debt. God will redeem.

He Gives Shade to the Weary

“Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:15-16 NASB).

God is transforming me from a helpless one to a powerful one. The description of that type of threshing sledge is like a modern day earth mover. Powerful. Strong. Immovable.

“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17, NASB)

He will come to our rescue. God, Himself, will answer you and me. Can you hear how personal that sounds? Have you ever pleaded with someone important whether your boss, public figure, or even a parent, and they responded to the need themselves? You expected for them to send their assistant, but instead they — the most important one — responded to you.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress.” (Isaiah 41:18-19, NASB)

This passage describes the wilderness-like times in life. You are barren. You are thirsty. You are hot. You are in need. God will provide what you need. God will quench your thirst. He will provide shade when you are weary. During those times, God can provide in creative, innovative ways. He can provide something out of nothing. Doesn’t that give you great hope? Even when you can’t answer how He will do it, He is creative enough to figure it out even when the odds are stacked against you.

“That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:20 NASB).

God will do all of this so that His glory will be put on display. People — including yourself — will see that He is powerful.

So you can see how after a night of wrestling with fear and anxiety, reading this was like shade and water for my soul. God is a god who sees. And God is a god who acts on your behalf.

What do you need His help with today? What are you fearful about today? What keeps you awake at night? Where do you need some shade?

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Hi, I'm Ashleigh Slater, founder and editor of Ungrind. Here at Ungrind, it’s our goal to churn out biblically-based encouragement for women. We strive to be honest and transparent about our struggles in a way that inspires hope, faith, and perseverance.

As you read, we hope you consider us friends, the kind you feel comfortable sitting across the table with at the local coffee shop. You can read more about me HERE and our team of writers HERE.

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Reshaping It All: Chapter 3

by Ashleigh Slater time to read: 2 min
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