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Reshaping It All: Chapter 4



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Hi Friends! Ashleigh here.

Today we start our discussion on chapter 4 from Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness. We’re still talking about chapters 1, 2, and 3 — so keep those comments coming.

In chapter 4, Candace shares with us the five steps she uses to reach goals.

  1. Envision your goal.
  2. Formulate a plan.
  3. Consider the gain.
  4. Count the cost.
  5. Do the necessary work to achieve it.

I love how practical these steps are, but I admit that I wasn’t able to relate to Candace as well in this chapter. Until now, we’ve shared much common ground – Jesus follower, wife, mom – but here I’m more acutely reminded of her “Hollywood upbringing,” for lack of a better term. For most of us, the hard work needed to earn the money for a SUV would be years, not months. So she lost me a bit with this. I wonder if perhaps a different story would have worked better here.

But, that aside, this is a great chapter.

My favorite part is when Candace addresses what I’ve heard others — such as Money Saving Mom’s Crystal Paine and author Arlene Pellicane — state: the importance of breaking big goals into what Mark Twain called “small manageable ones.” I’ve found this to be helpful in my own life – whether I apply it to keeping my house clean, taking care of a newborn, or meeting multiple writing deadlines.

Before I ask you to weigh in with your thoughts, let’s hear from Darlene.

Since chapter 4 is all about mapping out a “plan,” I hope that you were able to decide on one that you will stick to for life.

When mapping out mine, I consider this verse, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Since God has given us life and the things that pertain to it, it’s OK to enjoy ourselves. The problem resides when we are controlled by those things we enjoy. Take chocolate brownies for instance. There’s nothing wrong with having a little piece every now and then, but if our appetite has control over us to the point where we can’t stop when we know we’ve had enough then our flesh is ruling our spirit. Not good.

Candace encourages us to choose a plan that includes an occasional treat, while our focus is on living a life of moderation that is pleasing to the Lord. This doesn’t mean that we all be a size two, in fact you might be a very healthy size twelve — that’s OK. But I do pray that all of us are seeking to reshape our bodies from the inside out, including an intimate relationship with the Lord.

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

Darlene Schacht

OK, here are the questions to start off our chapter 4 discussion:

  • Were you able to relate to Candace in this chapter? Or, did you struggle, as I did?
  • What goal do you hope to attain?
  • What do you hope to gain by reading your goal?
  • What is the cost?
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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.

  • Kerrye

    I did have the nagging idea of “California girl” in my head throughout the book. Not so much the “actor” image, but more the image of California in general. (Like the commercial, they all do yoga, wear bikinis, drive convertables, eat weird health foods…)

    Mapping out a plan… I actually got out a calendar and figured out if I only lost 1 pound a week, that would total 20 pounds by the time my son got out of school for summer. I’ve always aimed for much more loss, more quickly, so this seemed so doable, and helped me relax about it. And refocus on living HEALTHY, rather than losing crazy amounts of weight. With some occasional treats worked in!

    The cost… Well, to be honest, there ARE some big costs. My grocery bill has increased a bit. And I need to shop a bit more often, to keep fresh fruits and vegi’s on hand. My time in the kitchen has increased a bit too – mainly for breakfast and lunch (those were my slacker meals). Less eating out (although a money saver) is considered a cost, to me. And the biggie – the time I’m spending exercising now. It makes me feel so good, but it does take a lot of time out of my busy schedule…

    I had to sit and think about the costs, though. Because, right now I’ve lost some weight and am feeling so much better physically, the costs are taking a back-seat in my mind.

    • Kerrye, I’ve been struggling this week sticking to my plan. Your comment encouraged me BIG time — reading how 1 pound a week would equal 20 by summer. That reminded me how doable losing my extra weight really is.

  • Carla

    I actually could relate to Candace throughout this whole book because I’m from So Cal as well, born and raised in Manhattan Beach/South Bay area, about 40 minutes from Hollywood. It definitely was an advantage to grow up at the beach because the lifestyles are a lot healthier than some, with more opportunities to be active and healthy food options/resturants. And I applaud her parents for teaching her responsibilty- yes it only took a couple of months for her to earn her SUV, but did the work and set a goal and achieved it, a great life lesson! It wasn’t handed to her just because she had the money. My dad was the same way with my brothers and I and I feel it has kept me responsible with how I handle my finances today.
    As for setting the goals, which I have done before, I never sat down and wrote out the gain/costs until now. I took her suggestion and mapped them out. It was very different to see them on paper than to just think of them. I felt it helped me a lot and I have more motivation and faith that I can stick to my goals. But I also learned that besides being consistent, I need to be patient as well. Like Kerrye said, 1 pound a week is a great goal to lose 20 pounds by Summer. But I must remind myself not to get frustrated by week 4 for having lost only 4 pounds. I must keep to my plan and let the work happen, not expect all the results right away. This book has really helped me change the way I view food and exercise, I’m excited for the changes taking place in my life :)

    • Carla, I really appreciate your perspective on how you could relate to Candace throughout the book. You make a great point on how, sure, she may have only worked a few months, but regardless she had to learn how to set a goal and work toward it. And — in the end, she learned that the cost was worth it.

  • I could relate to the concept of her parents making her work for her goal. Being an Army brat and having a strong Dutch mother- nothing was handed to us. So, that part was right up my alley. LOL

    I am struggling with feeling that my weight is ok. I just need to tone and maintain. I am learning to keep my body fueled and energized for the day. I want to make a plan that has small, simple steps.
    I hope to gain wisdom on being able to read the signals my body sends me when it needs more water, veggies, fruit, and protein without eating in a haphazard way. Does that make sense?

    What is the cost?- denying myself the pleasure of being lazy. I sometimes dread going to walk or run, but the feeling afterward is so awesome, and I tell myself out loud– “this feels good!”

    Also, I am a compulsive list maker and the idea of making a plan and crossing things off as I accomplish them sounds pretty amazing!!!!

    Happy eating and reading….see you at the end of Chapter 5!

    • I love that you are making a plan with small, simple steps. How’s it going?

  • Ellison

    I struggled to relate to Cameron this week. I didn’t have close parents who really taught me anything other than what not to do. But I have learned to make a plan and focus on the goal. First up is to lose 20 lbs by the end of April. I have about 15 lbs to go. It’s a little on the high side of weight loss for the time period so I am already focusing on preparing myself that if it’s only 10 more pounds not to get discouraged. I tend to get so focused on the number I ignore what I have already accomplished.

    The cost would be giving up treats like ice cream with my family. They are all fit so they don’t have the problems I do. I am also focusing on the fact the healthy I get the more I can do with them.

    • Ellison, congrats on already losing the 5lbs! Keep up the good work!


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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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.

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Reshaping It All: Chapter 4

by Ashleigh Slater time to read: 2 min