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Reshaping It All: Chapter 17



Hi Ladies! Ashleigh here.

Counting this post, we only have three discussions left in our Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness book club selection. As I mentioned before, if you’ve fallen behind, we’re also still talking about the previous chapters here — so keep those comments coming.

In chapter 17, Candace addresses meekness, which she defines as “being strong yet controlled.” She points to the importance of bridling our passions. I love how Candace applies the topic of meekness to our eating habits. I was challenged as I read:

Each time you let your passions rule your choice, you are letting them rule over you. Isn’t that a discouraging thought? Can you imagine how great a force we could be if we could live a life of meekness in the same manner as Jesus? If we could bridle our passion to where the Spirit is taking the lead, we could become a conquering force able not only to reject the next binge but to stand up for our faith when the going gets tough.

While it doesn’t directly apply, as I read this I thought of James 3:2-4. In it, James addresses our words and how difficult it can be to control our tongues. He writes:

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

Just as controlling our words can be a struggle, so can keeping our appetites in check. Yet, with meekness — something that’s often underrated and seemingly small such as a “bridle” or “a rudder” — we can do just that! There’s power in strength under control!

Let’s hear what Darlene has to add.

Human beings are creatures of habit:

American Idol goes on — the fridge door opens;
You drive to the school, and suddenly you feel the urge to drive thru a Starbucks;
You rent a movie, you reach for the chips…

Over time we associate one thought with another, until the two become one in our minds. It’s one way our actions become habits.

Associative learning leads us into temptation time and time again, but it doesn’t have to. There are two things that we can do to combat this cycle. One is to avoid it, and the second is to use it to our advantage.


If the coffee’s calling every time you drive by a Starbucks, then try a new route. If the TV prompts you to sit at the trough, then grab a good book, or go for a walk. Make it impossible to respond to a stimuli, by removing it whenever possible.


Association can work against us, but it can also work for us if we are clever enough to find ways to use it. Start implementing new habits into your routine like grabbing a bottle of water anytime you go for a drive. The trick here is to piggyback good habits with routines that you already have in place.

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

Darlene Schacht

How about you? Share what stood out the most to you in this chapter.

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Ashleigh Slater is the author of the books Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard and Team Us: The Unifying Power of Grace, Commitment, and Cooperation in Marriage. With over twenty years of writing experience and a master’s degree in communication, she loves to combine the power of a good story with practical application to encourage and inspire readers. Ashleigh lives in Atlanta with her husband, Ted, and four daughters.

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Reshaping It All: Chapter 17

by Ashleigh Slater time to read: 3 min