Friday, January 3

But Victory Seems So Far Away

I started out this year with great determination to be victorious in my healthy eating resolutions. But then life happened.

Like when the upstairs toilet clogged and flooded my kitchen ceiling. Or when I got stuck in traffic, yelled at my kids, and missed an important meeting.

Those are the moments when my long-term goals to get healthy don’t feel as important as my need for immediate comfort.

I just want to blow my healthy eating plan out of frustration with something gooey, sweet, and cream laden.

I bet you’ve had something occur this week that doesn’t make you feel very victorious either. A sick child, a missed deadline, tension in a friendship, or a number on the scale that almost made you cry. I understand. But may I encourage you? Even in the midst of trying circumstances and bad days, you can be victorious.

You can be victorious even when the distance between your present reality and your desired goal seems so far apart.

How?

Set mini-goals.

Losing twenty, fifty, one hundred pounds, or more can seem so far away. And faraway goals are hard to hang onto when life drains us and it feels like those French fries sure could fill us.

Set mini-goals physically by getting a strategy for making healthy choices. How can you prepare now to drink eight glasses of water today? What is a healthy snack option you’ll turn to when those afternoon salty and sugary cravings start calling? Are you going out to eat at a restaurant? Use the Internet to look up the nutritional information for their menu so you can make informed healthy choices. If hit with an unexpected temptation today, what healthy go-to script or Bible verse can you arm yourself with in advance to combat justifications and compromises?

Each mini-goal you accomplish today is a moment of victory.

We can also set mini-goals spiritually. We will always be most victorious when we are in the center of God’s will. When we are in God’s will, we are able to see our trials from God’s perspective — through the lens of His grace and truth.

But what is God’s will? The apostle Paul wrote, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks . . . for this is God’s will” (1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18). This is an explicit description of what God’s will is. To be in the center of God’s will is to be a woman who is joyful, prayerful, and thankful.

Be joyful: Intentionally look around for measures of joy each day. There is joy in simply being alive and in being redeemed by God. Remember, joy is a choice we make, not a feeling we hope to get from our circumstances. It’s good to look for the good, to celebrate it even in small ways. Doing so is a moment of victory.

Be prayerful: Focus your thoughts on God through prayer. When I was tempted with unhealthy choices, it used to trigger a pity party. Now, I turn my temptations into triggers to pray. Turning to God rather than turning to food is a moment of victory.

Be thankful: When I focus on how much weight I still need to lose, it brings me down and I start entertaining thoughts of defeat. However, when I focus on all that I’m gaining with God through this process of losing the weight, it makes me all the more determined to keep going. What is something positive you’ve gained during your weight loss journey so far? God’s activity can be seen much more readily when we focus on what we do have rather than what we don’t have.

We can’t control our circumstances, but we can control our choices. Setting mini-goals physically and spiritually positions us for victory today. Indeed, you can be victorious even when the distance between your present reality and your desired goal seems so far apart.

Today, you can join 15,000+ women who are also claiming victory over their struggles in Proverbs 31 Ministries’ online Bible study of my book, Made to Crave. The study begins January 19th! Click here for more information or to sign up.

Leave a comment below sharing one mini-goal you’re setting in 2014. I’ll pick 5 winners to each receive a signed copy of Made to Crave.

Discussion

  1. 783
    Jenanne Smith says:

    I am so excited to be joining this online Bible study…

    Lysa, God has blessed you with the gift of writing and sharing His love for us. You have such an uplifting way of bringing His word across so that we can apply it to our everyday lives. I have been so encouraged by your books, and devotions, and I am so thankful for that. It is nice knowing that we all have the same struggles and can relate to one another, no matter our race, or our circumstance in life.
    My mini-goal for this study is “learn to really listen” to that craving, pray about that craving, and seek what I need, which is God, not the instant gratification of food. Upon reaching that mini goal, the others bigger goals of weight loss and becoming healthy, should fall into place. Thank you for making this available to everyone. I can not wait to get started on this new journey with all of the other participants. I pray God’s blessings on you, your staff, and each participant of this study. Have a wonderful day!
    Jenanne

  2. 784
    Lisa Darnell says:

    Lysa, my comment isn’t really about this particular post, but I can’t find where I could ask this question. I am so involved in our church that I don’t get to do small group Bible study. When praying about this, God provided the answer of facilitating an online Bible study, and has made it clear that Made to Crave is where we start. We are planning to just use the book. However, I was wondering if you had the dvd segments available through streaming, so that it could be linked to the private page we are using for the Bible study?

  3. 785

    My big goal is to find balance in my life. My mom has been very ill and I have been her main caretaker. I am sure others can relate to this. It has caused me to sink into depression. I try to focus on the positive, but the negative really piles up. Because I spend a lot of time with mom (an hour away from home) I have very little time for myself and when I do have time I don’t have the energy to do anything. So, here are my mini goals – I plan to basically tackle them one at a time and once I get one down, I will move to the next. First and foremost is to get more sleep. Sleep is important for all we do but especially to allow our bodies to heal. Next is to start writing down everything I eat. This holds me accountable to myself and just makes me stop and think. Finally, go to the gym 3 days a week with a goal of getting to 4 (I am at 2 days now). Prayers from you all would be appreciated.

  4. 786

    My mini-goal is to crave Jesus more and more every day by as spending quality time with Him each morning. In doing so, I am also going to also release some of my food cravings I struggle with. You and your devotions/blogs are always so uplifting! I look forward to the Bible study!

  5. 787

    My mini goal today is to be prayerful .
    I am struggling a lot with this weight issue!

  6. 788
    Samantha Stainer says:

    I will be praying Ephesians 6:12 over my marriage. My husband is struggling with his faith right now and it has been so hard for both of us. But recently God has shown me that it is not my husband that I should be frustrated with, but the enemy. I need to remember where my fight is needing to be focused. Thanks for this words this morning.

  7. 789

    Ephesians 6:12 My husband works in the medical field and his job is very stressful and often times they are very short staffed. It is hard for him to let that go when he comes home.

  8. 790

    “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 6:12.
    I’ve been married for 10 1/2 years now & 4 kids later.. :) we have been through a lot of crazy things. I’m so very thankful I am with the man I truly believe that God intended me to marry! We are still in a (small) storm & I really appreciate you posting this verse. I need to be reminded of satan being the one to cause all of this discourse & confusion. God is once again there for us, as always! Thank you!

  9. 791

    no weapon against my marriage will prosper inspite of all that’s trying to come up we are the head not the tail…after 27 years we cant let finances take us out…..I was in a building that catered to single/ low income parents the landlord didn’t pay rent for a wile building went into foreclose now I am stuck with huge bills and loans that I cant repay because of no income. I am praying for a 75,000 financial blessing/ miracle

  10. 792

    Thank you so much for this insightful, refreshing approach to marital harmony. I have a responsibility to this relationship just as I do the the relationships I have with my daughters, my sister, my father and my friends. I pray so rigorously and intentionally for all of these relationships, why not do the same for the man I love and the man God chose for me. It is so easy to pick up the phone to gripe to a friend about what annoying thing my man has done today but your blog has given me a new approach, a new response, a new attitude to the peaks and valleys in my marriage. I have been married to this husband of mine for twenty five years and I intend to log in another twenty five years! Your praying words over my marriage suggestion has given me hope for the next day, the next month and the next year. Peaks and valleys are ahead I’m sure, this will be my road map to stay the course!

  11. 793

    My goals are to spend more time in prayer, doing the online Made to Crave, being thankful “in” all circumstances.

  12. 794
    Debra Shipley says:

    Lysa,
    I so needed this today! God’s timing never ceases to amaze me! I am feeling especially down today about my marriage. 12 years ago today was my husband’s & I first date. We always go to Olive Garden for dinner. We have been doing this every year. We have had a really hard year this past year:(. I really want
    Our marriage to he everything that God’ wants it to be! I’m going to start this day praying over our marriage again. Tears are flowing down my cheeks as I put into words how I feel! I’m miserable. There is no joy in our relationship! Please pray for James & I! Thank you for Proverbs 31 ministry! I hear you on the radio and I love the blog!’ God Bless You as you continue your ministry for helping women become who God intends for us to be!

  13. 795
    Lori Belflower says:

    I have several mini goals drink water and get rid of sodas, begin running again first 3 days a week, lose weight with several mini weight lose goals, get finances back on track beginning with starting a budget and getting things paid off one at a time and saving money so much a month, and lastly grow closer to God spending a certain amount of time each day in pray and meditation on God’s word. I want to change my life for the better this year. I want to stop talking about it and just do it. This year I want to be the person who God wants me to be!!!

  14. 796

    Lysa,

    I am cramming a whole bunch of our blogs in this morning because my little one is still snoozing! Blessing.

    I have two mini goals for the day.
    Meditate/think about Colossians 4:6 -Conversations full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

    Choose a healthy snack before bed. I always have one, always. (Now that #2 is on the way, I can’t stop snacking!) An apple with peanut butter or something instead of a chocolate something that will keep me up and slow me down!

    Jeniece

  15. 797

    Making lasting changes….wow how that spoke to me! My mini goal is to make a lasting change in my eating habits! I know I turn to food for comfort, out of frustration and I so desire to turn to God and His word instead! Soooo excited for this Bible study to begin!

  16. 798
    Debi Schuhow says:

    My goal for this study is to quit smoking. Crave God and not cigarettes!

  17. 799
    Kim Malcolm says:

    I have so many areas to work on that I am overwhelmed. I know what to do but find it difficult to make it work. So my goal is to ask God to help me daily balance all areas of my life, to be intentional to seek Him daily and let Him direct me. I cannot go wrong, feel bad if He is directing me. So seeking Him for balance in doing what is best. Thx Lysa for living out loud for all of us. It does help. Hugs.

  18. 800

    Greetings Girls . . .
    I am thankful that my wife has invited me on this journey with some 15,000 wonderful sisters. I look forward to taking each day one step at a time. My first mini goal is to put one foot out in front of the other and allow the Holy Spirit to teach me as we begin this trip as a Two into One couple. Thank you for putting this online bible study together. My wife and I are very busy and unable to make the commitment to a multi week bible study that requires our physical attendance. This online study opens a new door for her and I to grow in Christ together as we both learn to turn our Craving over to HIM.

    Peace,

    Tim

    Happy to be on the ROAD!

  19. 801

    My first mini goal is to get onto my treadmill.

  20. 803

    Lysa,

    I have MANY goals and aspirations, period, regardless of calendar date changing to the new year, I also fail at these goals year round regardless of the calendar date. I am ready for some victorious moments! God brought me to a place of living with him “moment by moment” at the beginning of last year, unknowingly to me I was going to need it when our second daughter was born in April. Since then, much has happened, we were suppose to lose our daughter, but God miraculously saved her, my husband and I started marriage counselling, we lightened our schedules, dropping even good things in order to put our marriage first. Somewhere along the way, I have lost a little bit of the living moment by moment. I have gained a lot as well, as God has transformed my heart (and still is!) through it all..but there has been much I’ve been wrestling with still. ONE of those things…FOOD. I have many excuses….GOOD excuses, like everything that has happened, like my marriage needs more of my devotion than trying to “lose weight”. These things might be true, to a degree, but they are really subtle lies from the enemy. When I give in to them, I fall apart in all areas..instead of having momentary victories. I have been wanting to join your study on made to crave. I’ve been battling back and forth with whether it is the right time. God has also been teaching me that it’s better to FULLY commit to less, than half-heatedly commit to MANY things! One of my mini-goals (and the most important) is exactly what you said, with ALL the changes I need to make. I want to start living in the here and now, moment by moment again. Finding JOY in each moment, PRAYING for this moment of victory and not thinking about meeting my ultimate goal that is months, perhaps years away, And being THANKFUL for what I DO HAVE…which is a lot when I think about it. Infact, from a world view it can look like I have a lot to be angry about. But from a correct, Godly perspective. I HAVE EVERYTHING, I HAVE HOPE, I HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, The one who makes ALL things possible. I have it all!

  21. 804

    Today I am claiming the goal to honor and glorify God by the food I put into my body. I will make good choices today to take care of the temple of the Holy Spirit! “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

  22. 805

    Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess (possess), for he who promised is faithful.” After almost 40 years of marriage this Word is still true!

  23. 806
    Roberta Whitesell says:

    Hello Lysa,
    My most valuable mini-goal, that I chose to make this year is to truly die to self and live in Christ. For me this means to give up my unhealthy lifestyle, eating whatever and whenever; not exercising. This means to bring my life into submission to him and give up my words for his words, my deeds for his deeds and lately the realization of giving up my thoughts for his thoughts. To let his word reign supreme in my heart and mind. I am desperate to be used by him. However, the more I seek him, the more I find I live for me…my comfort, my likes and dislikes, my emotions. I have ruled my days for so long it hurts, to see all the wasted years, I have to believe that God can take these selfish years and turn them around to use for his benefit. I choose to believe I am a reflection of his light today, that he is using my willing and obedient heart. He alone is worthy of my praise.

  24. 807
    Anastasia says:

    My mini goal for this year to be a prayer warrior for my family. I am also trying to kill some bad habits in my life that have cropped up, due to a lot of changes in our lives this last year.

  25. 808
    Patti ouellette says:

    I am more than excited to start the Made To Crave online study. My husband is a Pastor and I want to be a better testimony for the ladies at our church. I love all three of you ladies and I am ready to begin my journey with the Lord’s help. My motto is ” I can do…” Thank you so much for caring for others ~ May God Bless You!

  26. 809

    Lysa, My mini-goal is to be more conscious of what I am putting in my mouth while I try to make better food choices. I find that more and more I eat whatever is convenient without giving it any thought. I survived breast cancer in 2013 and I really want to strive for better health in the years ahead.

  27. 810
    Ashley Nicole says:

    I loved “unglued”. I can’t wait to get the opportunity to read your other books!!! Thank you for your blogs, as well, that always encourage and inspire! :)

  28. 811

    This is an encouraging post! My mini-goal for 2014 is to make God smile by embracing His vision for my life. So I’m constantly reminding myself that my actions, reactions, hopes, dreams, strength, will and my intentions should reflect God’s heavenly rules and principles. God allowed me to accomplish a lot with my natural talent but I now aspire to achieve those good godly things that I can only receive so long as I am connected to God and focused on Him.

  29. 812

    I have joined the Made to Crave online Bible Study. I have gotten behind due to illness in my family and well, excuses. I am determined to get caught up. This is my third time doing the study but my first time doing it on-line. I have accomplished it in a ladies church group and I have accomplished it with a small group of friends. My mini goal for 2014: Finish the Made to Crave book this time around. Everytime I have started this book, I have let something get in the way. This time I am more determined. I need this for my health-physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

  30. 813

    I was suggested this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post
    is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem.
    You are amazing! Thanks!