"How To Not Feel Like a Failure" Your Weekly Healthy Voice Message

Happy almost end of the week everybody!

Guess what we're going to talk about today - failure. It's such an ugly word, isn't it? Yes I know. That's exactly why we're going to call it out and talk about it cause it's no fun to let it fester in us. I want to help you look at those places in your life where you're feeling like a failure (that you might not even notice). I'm doing this not because I want to make you feel bad about yourself but to help you see where the enemy does his hardest work on us - our fear and insecurities. 

 The more we're aware of his schemes - the more present we are to our own thought and actions - the more capable we are of hearing God's voice - and that's ultimately what we want.

Here's the video.....come back for the rest of the blog when you are done watching...

So... remember how on Monday I wrote about Lilly Pulitzer and Tuesday I wrote about food? I talked about how the "get" can be so consuming we don't even realize how much power we're giving to it - so much that we lose what really matters. I believe that at the root of this "get" is our feeling of failure. When we wonder why we have to have something so much - it's because somehow we believe it will fill us up. But it won't. There is only ONE who can fill us up. His name is Christ Jesus. So we can keep trying to fill our own cup, but it's never going to get there - which is exactly why all these "things" we run towards don't satisfy us. We can only get that by getting into relationship with Him, by getting in the Word. 

So the whole running towards things of this world or trying to make up for our feelings of insecurity only puts a band-aid on the parts of us HE wants to heal that we never give him a chance to when we're so busy "getting."

Maybe we need to stop being perfectionists, thinking we have to measure up to some standard and realize that no matter what is offered to us in the world - he is the only one who can make us whole. So, next time you reach, or even intend to reach ask God to give you some wisdom and grace to step away from it.

Ask him to reveal to you how that thing won't fill you. Sit down with Him in quiet. Read the verses I mention in my video and let Him heal your heart. Let him take you out of that constant cycle of "getting" and into receiving HIM.

I had to do it this week too. I turned to the Word instead of letting the failure feelings take me for a ride, and you know what? I found out that I've grown out of these times when I feel like a failure. Each time I get stronger. Each time I give that feeling or thought a little less power and I see how much God is truly working in my life. But it's a process and I've got to trust that He's guiding me through that process. Most of all - he CAME for that process. He came to heal my heart and yours, and sometimes we've just got to let him into our hearts so he can DO it! He knows our hearts are breaking and we have wounds. We just have to give him the space to do what he does BEST.

So I can tell you not to feel like a failure but the way you get that is by realizing that God doesn't create failures!!!!

Get with Him. Trust him. He can do more for you in the silence than anything else you can read about overcoming failure....

Is food the thing that takes priority in your life?

A pic of the Rehearsal Dinner Buffet at our wedding.

A pic of the Rehearsal Dinner Buffet at our wedding.

I know, it sounds crazy. But think about it - have you ever had those times in your life that you may not be running women over for a piece of clothing, but you'll do anything to get a bite of your favorite food to comfort you?

I bet so! And guess what...God loves you anyway. 

Yes, that little voice beating you up for wanting it - is not Him. It's a punishing voice making you believe you are wrong to want something that tastes good. It's a voice that wants you to constantly believe that you aren't measuring up to your perfect eating goals. I know you get what I'm talking about here.

Why am I talking about this? Because knowing that my drug is more food than clothing, I know it's power. I'm one of those people that addiction professionals like to call, "cross-addicted." I'm in recovery from multiple addictions - both substance and behavioral. When I was in treatment I was given a gift. We didn't pretend that I had one addiction - to food. We looked at the fact that I have an addictive personality and I can be addicted to anything I like - shopping, men, chocolate, drinking, exercise, and the list goes on. I can take any of it to an extreme. 

But guess where it all started? It all started with the food when I was a kid and my parents got divorced. I am not there anymore. I'm not who I was, but the enemy DEFINITELY took advantage and planted a seed when I needed comfort I couldn't get. 

On Monday I woke up with a tummy ache and I was reminded of God's love. I laid in bed and let the Lord speak. He reminded me of why it's about SEEKING him first and FIXING my eyes on him, why he wants us to have no other gods before him - because nothing that tastes, looks or feels good in the moment can EVER satisfy us or fill the hole in our hearts that is meant for Him. He created it. He fills it. And every time we reach for a Lilly skirt at Target or a piece of unfulfilling food, we aren't meant to be angry at ourselves, we're meant to remember who DOES fill and comfort us. That's a moment for God's grace to step in, not our self-punishing voice.

Think about the last time you did something, then beat yourself up about it. If it was food you were seeking comfort from - you know it didn't satisfy your deeper hunger. You and I both know the food won't give us comfort. But a God who loves us no matter how many times we make that wrong choice - WILL. Just read this verse below. Slowly.

Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of ALL comfort, who comforts us in ALL our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we abundantly share in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
— 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV

If you believe God is punishing you for those little choices then you don't believe in a loving God. He loves you no matter what choices you make because he created you. He's just waiting for you to know he LOVES you.

So we can either take this time to seek comfort from food and let the enemy tell us the lie that our biggest addiction or idol can comfort us - OR we can realize when we're ready that it is only GOD who can do that.

I was reading this article on Monday, “I was a Food Addict,” by Karen Rabbit. Check it out and see if you relate to some of what she says. She talks a lot about the feeling of failure, the feeling that she failed someone, that she ate to take the edge off her feelings. DANG do I relate!!! Of course I can be one who is ruled by my stomach and it takes a power much greater than me in God to fight it! I let my stomach rule my life as a kid because I didn't know how much God really loved me. I wasn't in the Word. I was simply relying on what other people told me and I never felt secure in that. So that attraction to food became a power so strong, it FELT like a god. It was and can still be a way for me to comfort myself when I have a feeling even when I don't know I have it!

But what I do know today - is that it is NOT more important than God. It is NOT a god. It can tempt me into believing it still has that power over me. But God comes first and I go to Him when it's fighting for the power. It may have been a safe harbor for me as a kid but my only safe power today is Christ Jesus.

Even recently, with my surgery last year. The enemy completely took advantage of me in my head when the weight came on as I ate as I normally do. It wasn't just a physical battle it was a mental battle and I am STRONGER for it in spirit because I relied on GOD. I am slowly but surely getting back to my old fit self in mind, body and mainly spirit. I will always have the enemy trying to attack me around food cause he knows it's where I'm most weak. Hello! Read below.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
— 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

The beauty is that the Lord is strong where I am weak. The world will tell me it's got a way to "fix" my weakness but God reminds me HE Is the only one who can heal my heart and soul. HE Is strong where I am weak.

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Take that devil. I may seek comfort from my fears, insecurities and failures but I ALWAYS will know that NONE OF that will give me what only GOD can give me. I already know I'm weak. I already know you are prowling like a lion trying to defeat me - ESPECIALLY since I'm giving God the glory. So you can keep attacking, but I've got a strong God who LOVES me. I AM a child of God. 

And THAT just made me think of THIS worship song.

Peace to you my friends! See you tomorrow.

Does Lilly Pulitzer at Target really mean that much to you?

I had to give a little reflection on this debacle with Lilly Pulitzer at Target yesterday...#LillyforTarget. Wow, just wow.  I mean the woman died two years ago and you'd think everyone who rushed the stores just got access to her own personal closet and a ticket to tea with her in heaven. 

Before I say anything more I'm not hating on Lilly Pulitzer. I've loved Lilly Pulitzer in my day. It's a little overly preppy for me now, but I have loved wearing it when I was a kid and in recent years. So I'm not hating on it. But I'm utterly mystified by the obsession with it that took place yesterday in Targets all across the country. 

When I saw the empty racks at our store (and I wasn't even going to look for it), all I could think about was how strong of a statement it made about our culture.

 We are a society completely focused on consuming things, and the fact that the line was out the door before they opened and the racks are empty shows just how far we'll go to get what we want.

In fact, it makes me kinda sad because I think so many people don't even realize that their intense focus on gaining a pink and green pattern skirt is more of an idol than a simple material thing.

What's funny is our church service before we arrived was all about the second commandment about not having any other gods before our God and here we stand looking at the god of material things. Evidence that the enemy is still alive and well, working as hard as he can to keep us from believing that there is a God who loves us more than the clothes we want that we think will make us happy.

I cannot believe some of the stuff I read in this Buzz Feed Article. The anger in the women on one end and the gloating on the other was sickening. I can't believe how caught up so many of us are in it! And we wonder why Social Media makes us envious of what other people have! HELLO! Here's our evidence! One chick even referred to it as the Hunger Games of Lilly. Insane in the membrane.

What is more crazy to me is - how have so many of us missed this? It got me more more fired up than ever to teach women about how much more rewarding it is to have a relationship with God than consume a piece of Lilly clothing. It is not worth all the energy women have put towards it!

If you are on either end of the spectrum - angry cause you didn't get any - or gloating because you did - think about it. It's the perfect time to call our your idol of cute clothing and take a step back to realize - this is stupid. Why am I doing this? Don't beat yourself about it. Instead, be gentle on yourself realizing that maybe you've become a little too obsessed, that maybe there is more to life, more to YOU, more to what God wants for you than this. 

This event was an extreme example of just how obsessed we are with things and with wanting what other people have. Material things and getting them are just ONE thing that we've let become a god in our lives. Don't you think it's time we step back and realize that God wants to be first in our lives, not have a material thing be that?

I am no saint by the way. I often say it's a blessing I live in South Bend because I can't shop for things I would buy that I can't afford. My Mom says she couldn't live here because there isn't a Nordstrom. I'm actually grateful there isn't, because I'd rather not be spending money I don't have on things that don't matter. I can drive an hour to Chicago and go shopping if I need to, but even then I get triggered with the desire for overconsumption of things!

This doesn't mean I never or don't like to shop, but I am supremely aware of my innate desire to buy things, with my addictive behavior intact. It is NOT easy to tame it, but one big way? Is not getting involved in crazy sales like this. So instead I stand back and think how grateful I am that there is no material thing I have a desire to run towards like that. It is only GOD I want to run to like that. 

So, in the next few days, I dare you to think about what consumes you, what's become an idol for you. Tomorrow I'll talk about food. Wednesday I'll talk in my video about how I believe feelings of inadequacy and failure are at the root of it, Thursday we'll talk about the consequences it can have and Friday I'll fill you up with just how much MORE God wants for us than these false idols.

Right now - let this be an inspiration for you to take a look at where your priorities are and realize that God's got more for you than this!!

Keep it real my friends.

Giving Yourself Permission to Be You: A Healthy Voice Conversation

Here's this week's video!Hope you enjoy it! It's all about giving yourself permission to be you!

A Little Video that made me think of this as I was re-watching it.

HV Devotional. Easter Week. "The Power of the Cross: What Have you Been Believing?"

This cross proudly rests on the wall in our dining room. It's the one my husband built for me to be on the altar overlooking the water on our wedding day. I like to show off God's handiwork in his hands. And those are the tulips I've been bragging about...

This cross proudly rests on the wall in our dining room. It's the one my husband built for me to be on the altar overlooking the water on our wedding day. I like to show off God's handiwork in his hands. And those are the tulips I've been bragging about...

Then Jesus said to his Disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
— Matthew 16:24-26, NIV

One more thing - this song is so incredibly powerful, especially this version. It's full orchestra and the imagery of Holy Week behind on the screens just makes it even better. If you want to worship right now, do it. But play it over the weekend. I dare you not stand up, jump up and down and raise your arms. 

Revealing the One True Healthy Voice, Healthy Voice Lenten Devotional

May you be enriched by the message, scripture and powerful lyrics in worship today from your Healthy Voice, xo Meredith

Hello Spring. Goodbye Scale = Self-Worth

Hello my Healthy Voice friends. Today is a Faith, Food and Fitness Friday Blog!

Today also marks the first day of Spring. March Madness is in full effect and I want to talk to you about your scale strategy. Yes, that's right, I said scale strategy. 

In the spirit of the season that many of us get focused on how we're going to look in a bathing suit, I just wanted to take this time to share with you how important it is to have the right mindset before you get on that scale.

Our society has made the scale that you weigh your body on, a barometer for worth, social standing and sometimes success. Many of us can remember the times that we let a stupid number ruin our day, maybe our week. That's why many of us aren't looking forward to getting back on that scale - simply because it sucks to have to go through the roller coaster ride again. Up and down. Up and down. If you choose to get on that scale you take the risk of letting it determine your destiny. 

Think about the person who has been the hardest in your life to please. You spent ages wanting to make them happy and no matter how hard you tried, it wasn't good enough. Not only that, if you did well, there was still more ground to cover. You always felt with that person like YOU are never enough.

That - my friends - is the scale.

You have given it the power to determine how you feel about yourself when the only one whose got the power to do that - is you. So. Here's the deal.

Stop giving your power away to a number on a piece of plastic that gauges ONE thing - NOT your worth - but your Weight. Friends, it is THE WORLD that has told you for years that number on the scale signifies your worth. Take a second to realize how much of our own power we've given away to a scale.

Here's the other deal. I don't care what your relationship is to that scale. I don't care if you never get on it, you get on it every day, you get on it twice a year, you get on it backwards, you get on it at every meal, or 20 times a day. It's not about how much - it's like a drink for an alcoholic. Never is it about how much, it's about what you think it's doing for you. 

Let it be a simple number if you do get on it. Do your best to NOT let it determine your worth and if you aren't there yet, pray that God relieves you of the attachment to that scale or the perfect number you envision that it will one day display. I am certainly not saying don't have goals. Let the number be a piece of the bigger picture. Let your goal be what you learn when you DON'T make that number your self-worth.

If you are on a journey of weight-loss or maintenance or even gain because you've lost too much to maintain health - know that the joy is in the journey. The joy is in letting God take it off as he works in you. The joy is not in how fast you can get it off or how big the number is. That's why we're never happy when we here it, because it triggers our desire for MORE. It's never enough. I'm never enough. That's where it can take us. 

I don't know about you - but I'd rather do the opposite of what everyone else is doing and NOT get on that roller coaster ride.

How do I know this? Well, like you I have years worth of "getting on the scale" stories. But more recently I went to my doctor's office, and got a weigh-in for medical evaluation. That "number" has barely moved. How easily can I put that judgement on myself. So I focus on how I feel. I look to her to measure my waist. Maybe that will be better. Two inches. Awesome. 

It's the little things my friends. I didn't have to walk out of that room and let the day ruin me because of what the scale told me. I could realize two inches is great and still not make it the focus of my day. I can walk out of there and just keep walking, keep doing what I'm doing, make some adjustments that may need to be made but trust that it's all in the journey - cause the weight?

Is not the fix. All I know is that it's my relationship with God that carries me through the day and the journey of weight. I'd certainly rather have HIS Healthy Voice encouraging me in his still small voice than a loud, punishing Unhealthy Voice telling me I'm not good enough. I just know if he was sitting with you or I right now, he'd be going, "I love you. I'm for you. Don't let that scale determine your value. Let me take care of that, cause I love you with a love so great, that scale can't even come close."

Have a blessed day and weekend my friends. Until next time.