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Transformation by Truth: Day 31

Day 31

Excerpts from Transformation by Truth: 30 Days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body by Noelle Dey © 2012

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey

Blessing:

Heavenly Father, today as we begin this study, please open our ears to hear Your voice. Please allow Your precious Spirit the freedom to us Your truths. Keep our minds, hearts and our ears focused on Your voice alone. For it's in Jesus name I pray ... Amen.

Scripture Reference:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Hebrews 12:1

Today’s Message:

When Sierra started first grade, she wanted to be an artist when she grew up. I loved the family portraits she used to draw. Inevitably we were missing our arms and feet; Ryan was shorter than me; and on a rare occasion, our eyelashes were where our eyebrows should have been (either that, or we were all in a desperate need to be plucked). So when her school announced that they were proudly presenting “Art Masters Night,” an evening where our children’s artwork would be framed and on display for purchase, we were all excited to go.

It was really a great fundraiser. The aisles were set up in a way where the kids must have felt like they were walking through a museum. My favorite part of the evening was seeing the satisfaction on Sierra’s face when she found her own painting which had been transformed by being matted and framed since she saw it last. After several minutes of us doting over Sierra and her masterpiece, Ryan took her painting off of its stand and we stood in line to pay.

On our way out, a PTA mom had asked us if we had checked out the activity center. It turned out, there was a room where Sierra could do a hands-on project. There were a couple of parents helping our kids make holiday pop-up cards. Sierra’s eyes grew big when she saw all of the sparkly paint pens.

The volunteering mom at the craft table showed Sierra the selection of cards she could choose from. I didn’t look at everything, but I saw one that had a turkey on the front for Thanksgiving and another card had a Christmas tree. As she was taking her time to decide, Ryan and I took a few steps back and got caught up on one another’s day.

My focus quickly shifted away from my conversation with Ryan when I heard the mom say to Sierra, “Wow! You’re the first person to choose this card!” Okay, that grabbed my attention. With all the kids that had already come through to do this craft, I wondered what she chose.

Ryan and I looked over Sierra’s shoulder to see a card with seven candles and the banner, “Happy Kwanzaa!” Ryan and I got eye contact with the mom and it took everything we had to not crack up. The next morning, I dropped Sierra off at school in the light rain.

After walking her to class, I was hurrying through the parking lot to get to my van. Parents can get a little crazy in our school’s parking lot, but there was a driver nice enough to let me cross. I waved to thank her, and then I noticed it was the volunteering PTA mom from the night before. With that recognition, I started really waving—you know what I mean, right? I’m talking make-a-rainbow-with-my-arm wave. No reaction back. I quickly realized I looked nothing like I did the night before. She would have remembered me if I had been dressed up in work clothes with my hair done and if I had my makeup intact. But that was so last night.

Fast forward to the scene in the parking lot where I became the in-the-rain-rainbow-waver. I was in a sweaty workout outfit, my hair was in a ponytail and I had no make-up. In other words, I took the grunge look to a new level. So what did I do? I found myself yelling (everyone’s windows were up, it was a rainy day) with even bigger hand gestures, “Hey! It’s me, the Kwanzaa lady!”

Nothing. At least, not from her. Do you know the feeling when you can literally feel the weight of people staring at you? Yeah… me too. It was coming from all the other parents who were walking in the parking lot. Holy guacamole. Did I just yell, “It’s me, the Kwanzaa lady?”

Really? That was the best way I could describe myself? As if it even mattered. The moment I got into my van, I sat there paralyzed and thought that life would be so much easier if I could just learn to let things go.

The Kwanzaa lady? Come on Noelle. Ugh!

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

I wish I could say this obsessive moment was an isolated incident. But that would be like saying Jan Brady doesn’t have issues (get on the 70’s sitcom bandwagon people!).

Do you have anything that is weighing your heart down today?

When I woke up this morning, I would have had a blank slate to create an amazing day. However, a past incident flooded my mind. It was a time when I hurt someone’s feelings. Although I had worked through it, apologized and was forgiven, I relived every step, every word, and I was beating myself up for it again. Even though I knew that I handled it properly the first time around, my heart still felt heavy.

How about you?

Do you have anything—big or small—that you’re having a hard time letting go?

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List it out in your journal.

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When you look at what you wrote, are there any actions you can take to resolve the issues?

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If so, get on it.

Do you need to ask for forgiveness from God and/or someone in particular?

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After you do, or if you already have done what is in your power, you’ll be looking at a list that is weighing you down by your choice.

Do you understand that you would be buying into the enemy’s plan, being rendered useless or less effective by this false guilt you are feeling?

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So, what does God want us to do with that list?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Hebrews 12:1

Picture in your mind that you are wearing a backpack.

Whatever you listed in your journal is a big, heavy rock. Even if you have only one rock, it’ll quickly wear you down.

By faith, take each of those rocks out one by one and let the issue go.

Look at how God forgives:

(A)s far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:12

Let go of the heaviness so you can run with endurance the race God has set before you. Not only will you feel free and lighter, you will also have an amazing testimony for your cloud of witnesses.

If God has removed your transgressions as far as the east is from the west, what gives you the authority to not follow God’s lead?

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Do you think your standards are better than His?

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Do you think you can judge better than God?

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Mind:

The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues.

Rene Descartes

When you are in a mind gridlock, like I was as I regretted yelling that I was the Kwanzaa lady, what does your inner dialogue sound like?

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For me, it sounded something like this, “What just came out of my mouth? I am a fool. How many people just heard that? Why can’t I let things go? Was it really necessary for that woman to recognize me in the first place? Will I ever learn to keep my big mouth shut?!”

Yes, obsession is quite a vice for my mind. But here’s the silver lining: it doesn’t take much to transform my neurotic mind into a faith powerhouse. I obviously have the ability to focus on things; I just need to center that energy on things that are worthwhile.

How can you change your inner dialogue into something productive instead of destructive?

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Or can you quiet the chatter altogether?

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Journal your findings.

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Body:

I spent the first 28 years of my life obsessing about what I didn’t like about my body. It wasn’t curvy. Actually, that’s not completely true. The one and only curve I seemed to have was under my belly button, and it was an outward curve. My arms were skinny; my legs were stocky for my height.

I could go on and on about my unhealthy views of my body until I lived through my heart failure and survival. From that point on, I celebrated all the reasons I loved my body. I quickly learned that my body is the most amazing gift to be marveled. My heart beats on its own. I can breathe without any conscious effort. And somehow, all the trillions of cells inside of me miraculously know what to do.

Once I got my strength back, I sculpted my body to maximize my unique build. Now I can say with sincerity that I love my toned arms and strong, lean legs. And guess what happened to the curve under my belly button? Absolutely nothing! It’s still there.

I have the body fat percentage of an athlete, yet I still have a pooch (not a dog reference). A nutritionist I once worked with explained that I could get rid of it if I got my body fat down to 11 percent. That was the moment I realized I had to let it go.

While you are in the process of maximizing your body’s potential, how can you make peace with your thighs, your excess curves or your lack of curves?

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What can you brag about?

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God purposely made your body wonderfully unique and beautiful.

Are you appreciating his masterpiece?

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Journal those thoughts.

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Do what you can. Let go of the rest.

Closing Prayer:

Father, thank You for this reminder… that there are certain things that are within my control and some things that are not. Lord, I pray that You will open my eyes to see those things that I can change. Give me the wisdom to know how to change them and the desire to persevere. I also pray that You will help me to embrace those things that I cannot change. I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, amen.

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.

Are you craving MORE? Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? He is waiting with open arms to comfort you in any situation. Click here for Extreme Encouragement: and five life-changing steps to eternal peace.

Encouragement Cafe was given permission by Noelle Dey to bring you this study via Encouragement Cafe. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from Noelle Dey. To purchase Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body in its entirety visit Amazon.com.

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