Voices & Choices

Congrats to the two winners from the Valentines Day Giveaway. If you are one of them, get your home address to me at [email protected] so I can mail you your prize!

Oh, how I wish I could pick you all. What great stories and ideas you shared! But alas, I only have two prizes so…..the winners are:

Single gals winner: Jeannette; time stamp Feb 14th at 2:31 pm

Married women’s winner: Amy Sabol; time stamp Feb 14th at 9:40 am


Okay girlfriends….I cannot start out this post without thanking all of you who prayed for me last week when I had the flu and thought I’d NEVER make it to Charlotte to be on the Made to Crave webcast and see our daughter for two days.

It was rough. Sucking a cough drop throughout my plane rides and also my entire segment on the show. I nearly had a coughing fit right during Lysa’s opening devotion. I was already sitting on the set with Tonia and sipping water that I had hidden behind the couch.

Thankfully, I only coughed a little and prayed her mic didn’t pick it up!

While in NC, I was able to hang with our daughter (who just finished cosmetology school) for the first day when she gave me a French manicure.

I stayed with Holly (who was on the show with me & is Kenz’s other mother) had lunch with LeAnn (also on the show) and my dear friend Marybeth and hung out with the FABULOUS women at the Proverbs 31 office (they even let me answer the phone!).

I got to have breakfast with Lysa & her daughter Hope when we went to see Kenz at her second job at Chic Fil-A (she also works for Lysa) and all in all—I had a WONDERFUL time just being me (not mom).

After the show, I hung with Kenz & Holly’s family watching a little reality TV and checking comments from many of you on my Facebook page and Twitter profile.

I nearly fainted when Mandisa Tweeted about me. TWICE!!!

She loves all things related to Made to Crave and I totally love me some Mandisa. Cried like a baby when she left American Idol.


The boys were fine when I was away. Normally, I am a “cook ahead and leave them great food” kind of gal.

I was so sick til right up until I went that I left them peanut butter Captain Crunch & the Main Street pizza phone number!

My return was not uneventful. I must have gotten a hold of a bad chicken breast at lunch and had myself a little…. ahem…stomach issue…right before I got on the plane.

Just let me say THANK YOU JESUS for both my stash of Amodium AD in my purse and for friends I can send quick “pray 4 me” text messages that include TMI words like “diarrhea” !!!!!

Although I LOVED beautiful Charlotte & the warm weather, I was glad to touch back down on the snowy Michigan tundra.

So….now it is Wednesday.

Weight Loss Wednesday gals….

Please leave a comment at the end of this post letting us know a little about you and how your week went. Feel free to hop back on the offer encouragement to others and check back in over the course of the week for new comments. Let’s encourage each other on the way DOWN the scale!!!

Now….let’s talk voices.

And choices.

Who are you listening to?

This was an important question that I have to ask myself often on the way down the scale.

For years I listened to the negative, echoing, and cutting comments from a handful of people from my past.

Like the cousin who, when I was about eight, once glanced around my grandma’s spare bedroom where we were playing and announced, “Someone in this room is fat.”

I was sitting on the floor with her and two other skin and bones relatives. I looked around at the four of us in our pastel summer shorts and determined that, since my legs were the thickest of the bunch, it must be me.

Then there was the cheerleading uniform fitting where the coach grabbed all of the skirts out of the storage bin from the year before and after peering at all of the tags on the insides, tossed the biggest one—size 10, my way and said, “Here. We’d better start with this one for you.”

I still recall the fat jokes by my brother. The mooing emitting from the mouths of some boys as I walked by the loooong wooden bench in my high school corridor. The well-meaning, but critical relatives who made back-handed or cleverly cloaked remarks about my size.

They made some bad choices. However, I made the worst choice of all.

I listened to every one of them.

Their words went straight to my heart. They stung my soul.

And I chose to replay them over and over again in my mind.

Ultimately, I chose to believe them and let their careless and sometimes cruel words defeat me.

When I finally let God have His way and rescue me from the life of slow suicide that I was living due to the horrible mistreatment of my body, I began to listen to the words of life instead.

Things clearly in the Bible. Like God has a plan for me. It is full of hope for my future. It is for my good, not my ruin. It will be a delight, not a disaster. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

But there were also many warnings in His word.

Warnings that my body is the very temple of the Holy Spirit. I should take care of it, not kill it. I am not my own. I was bought at a great price. Therefore, I must honor God with my body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

That I must note well what is before me when I eat and “put a knife to my throat” if I have a gluttonous appetite. (Psalm 23:1-3)

And the most haunting passage of all to me which I knew, if I didn’t change, would be my fate:

….And you mourn at last, When your flesh and your body are consumed, And say: “How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction! I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! I was on the verge of total ruin, In the midst of the assembly and congregation.” Proverbs 5:11-14

I had to let God’s Words, His perfect, flawless and TRUE words, become louder than the words of the world and the naysayers. There was just one slight problem.

The world shouts.

God whispers.

I had to get to the place where I was focused and intent on listening to His still, small voice over the negative cheers and jeers of the world.

I simply must share with you this little story that my leader at Weight Watchers read to us one day.

While scripture was where I got my strength to make my life changes, I have to tell you ladies, that next to the Bible, this little story was my greatest motivation.

I first discovered it right before a holiday gathering where there would be lots of food and lots of mental torment from a few “food pushers” and “naysayers” in my life.

The former tried to sabotage my eating by forcing foods on me or pouting when I didn’t eat large helpings of what they brought. Or they’d slather the veggies in butter before I could dish any out because they knew I was trying to watch what I ate.

The latter group of people just made their off-handed, cleverly disguised, but cutting comments that chipped away at my resolve and tempted me to just throw in the towel, give up and stay fat forever.

Then, I heard this wonderful story.

There once was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a climbing competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.

A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began. No one in the crowd really believed the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.

Heard throughout the race were statements such as, “Oh, way too difficult,” “They will never make it to the top,” “Not a chance they will succeed,” and “The tower is too high.”

The tiny frogs began collapsing, one by one—except for those who, in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher. The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult! No one will make it!”

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But ONE continued to climb higher and higher. This one refused to give up.

At the end of the race, all had given up climbing the tower except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

All of the other tiny frogs wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it. They asked him how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal, despite the horrible odds and the cruel taunts and jeers of the crowd.

It was simple. You see, it turns out that the one determined, focused, and disciplined frog …….was utterly and completely……….DEAF!!!!

My prayer for you is that you will turn a deaf ear to the discouraging words in your life whether they are from your present, your past, or even from your own self-talk as you think in your mind, “I can’t do this!!!!”

Yes, sweet one, you can. But only through Christ.

Are you ready to begin? He’s always been there waiting for you to get serious.

You can start right now.

No….not AFTER you go eat a bunch of junk from the fridge or cupboard.

No, not after your lunch out today when you order the most fattening thing on the menu and polish it off with a huge dessert.

Not after, on your way home, you swing by a drive thru to grab a huge cheeseburger and some jumbo french fries and quickly consume them in secret.

No, not first thing tomorrow morning.

Nope, not next Monday after you pig out all week.

Not even when you turn the calendar to March 1st.

I said now.

Believing You WILL Do It,


  1. I was thinking to myself, He must be wearing earplugs!

    Debbie- thanks for your honesty. It is good sometimes to have a message pierce to our heart. Maybe it’s the wake-up call we need! At the same time, I just want to encourage you to remmeber how much God loves you, no matter what size you are! Yes, we can work to be better each day and to change our focus off of food (something I am learning), but it never changes our VALUE. Don’t let a word of instruction become a voice of defeat, girlfriend! God loves you dearly and is there to give you strength for each new day. Be encouraged!

  2. Thank you, Karen, for your encouraging words! I also enjoyed seeing you on the webcast. You did a wonderful job speaking truth to all of us! A little about me – I have had trouble getting the weight off after turning 40 and after having my last child. It has been a roller coaster for me as well. Since reading Made to Crave, I am finally relying more on God for strength in my healthy eating/living journey but sometimes during particularly stressful times I still forget to lean on God. I keep reminding myself that it is a process and not to give up! My prayers are with all of you in your journeys too!!

  3. It was great to see you on the MTC webcast, so nice to be able to put a voice and person to your words! Thanks for WLW.

  4. Amen Karen! You looked wonderful on the webcast. I LOVED the orange jacket! The words you shared today really affirmed what God has been telling me through this journey. Not after this or that but now!

    Thank you!

  5. Thanks Karen, I loved also that the world shouts and God whispers. I am learning to listen to that whisper more and more. Through MTC I am learning to replace the lies with TRUTH. It is a daily decision, sometimes I falter but He is faithful. Thank you for your encouragement and I loved the MTC webcast. Thank God you were able to attend and didn’t cough through the recording. Glad you had a wonderful time with your daughter and “Sisters”.

  6. Wow! This is the second reminder for me to be deaf to the bad comments, thoughts.
    This verse helped me, too:
    From 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV
    5We destroy arguments and(A) every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to(B) obey Christ,

    Again, thanking God for you Karen!

  7. Oh, love that frog story!!! Wow, powerful, thank you for sharing that!
    I committed to daily exercising (minus the weekends) on the 4th, and my weigh in 9 days later showed down 3#! I was very surprised and so grateful to see some quick results. Eventually I will get into that favorite pair of jeans from pre-pregnancy.

  8. Karen,
    It was so good to hear and see you on MTC. Your post today was very good. I became very serious about my weight last April. I was doing really well with eating healthy and making good choices until December. I had lost 32lbs…….then came Christmas and it has been down hill ever since. I weighed Monday and have gained 13lbs back. Everyday since January 1 I have been starting over,tomorrow.,after I eat this one last thing…….After reading your post today I am committing to starting over RIGHT NOW.
    Thanks for allowing God to use you to encourage others.

  9. When I heard them say Kenzi, I wondered as well if that was YOUR Kenzi. Glad to know it was!! Thanks for your words Karen. I needed to heard them. I do feel kind of blessed because I was thin in HS. Didn’t start getting heavy until after I had children. Coarse, it’s been up the scale since then and they are 20 and 23!! And the only person who ever said anything was my dad. Things like…”I’ll pay for your to go to Nutri-System.” Well, I firmly believe that I know HOW to eat, I just can’t seem to get it done, so don’t really feel paying money is going to keep me from the pantry. I needed to work out the WHY I eat. And with God’s help, your help, my boyfriend and the support of my friends I am half way there!! 35 down and 35 to go. I had finally started making healthy choices and leaning on God for strength….then the holiday’s hit. I haven’t been able to get myself sorted since. We’ve had BIG stress in the last couple of months and that has pushed me right past my healthy choices and back to where I was before. It’s taken me a while, but today I actually feel strong and ready to get back to where I was. Thanks for the great words. Once again you’ve inspired me. Good luck ladies. You are all in my prayers.

  10. I love that you wrote “The world shouts. God whispers” because it’s so easy for God’s voice to be drowned by the louder, negative voices around us.

    I have always been under weight and so have always heard negative comments about being too skinny, having “chicken legs,” being bone ugly etc. I grew up in a family that told me I needed to eat more and frequently so I would look normal. I believe this created a “I-don’t-eat-enough” complex which eventually led to me always being conscious of eating, my weight etc. period. The more I recalled those voices; the more I resisted food and was determined to not put on weight or lose it if I did.

    Now I’m at a place in my life where unhealthy eating habits have consumed me and I have a hard time addressing them because those voices keep repeating through my head about how I need to eat more and I need to be some “meat on my bones” to look “normal.” I’m still underweight but I just don’t feel good and I know it has to do with a lack of discipline as to what I’m eating. My greatest struggle was fast food which I’m proud to say I have not had for almost a month now which is huge for me so I praise the Lord for victories; no matter how small they may be. Another great struggle is chocolate (isn’t that all women’s struggle?) I haven’t had much chocolate in the past few days but I had to really fight with myself because my wonderful husband who I have not yet shared my desire to eliminate chocolate out of my life (*gasp* the very sound of it is horrifying)bought me two boxes of chocolate this week in honor of Valentine’s Day (one of which you gave away in your single’s giveaway lol).

    Thanks for your thought-provoking and real encouragement. I have really enjoyed your blog these past few days.

    God bless!

  11. Karen, thank you so much for sharing this. I have been on this weight loss journey since 2002. I had lost almost 100 pounds (95 to be exact) and I just could not get that last 5 lbs. Then health issues hit & I gained some (50 back). I am now head strong back on that journey. I love the show the biggest loser, & it inspired me to want to do a 5K. But my health is not the best, but I have set this goal for myself & I am training hard!! (even through shin splints) I have my na-sayers too, who tell me it’s too hard on my knees, I don’t have to do this. But I cling to the fact that God tells me He is my strength in my weakness. He is my healer. He is my all in all!! And along comes these wonderful women who are encouragers and speak words of life to re-affirm His truth!!! May the Lord continue to bless you as you share your heart with all of us!!!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this story, it truly is inspirational.

    Thank you all for sharing your hearts. It is comforting to know that we are not alone.

    Big hugs for all of you and praying for all of us!

  13. karen, that was awesome. I love what you write and I can relate to some of your past hurts. I am so glad you are turning a deaf ear to what others say. I know there is something in Made to Crave where Lysa asks about a part of your body that you don’t like and where did that memory come from. I hate my arms. They really are too fat and if I could be brave enough to ever do cosmetic surgery, that is what I would do. I remember being a little girl and my friend saying, “Your arms are as big as my thighs.” I must have been 7 years old and remember exactly where I was whe she said it in her backyard playing on the swingset. Isn’t it amazing how we let others careless words affect us? Well, ha, ha, I do wear sleeveless and if anyone notices my fat arms and not my nice smile and fun personality, well, that is their problem now.
    Thank you for all you share, you are such a blessing and I loved seeing you on the webcast. The prayers for health worked! Was that your daughter that brough the puppy out? I heard them say Kenzie…couldn’t see her face though.

  14. Thank you Karen–I am so disgusted with myself and so very blue–I needed to read what you had to say today–God works in wonderful ways!!!!! Thanks I have a smile on my face and I am ready to face the day!!! Hope you have a very Blessed one!!! Barb Wall

  15. OK…….been there, done that to all of the above. Have been working on losing since Oct. with the help of my doctor..but not working very hard. Have lost some weight but without moving my behind more, am at a standstill. Will try to pump it up some. Am sending this article to my daughter who, for the past 5 weeks has been doing the Biggest Loser contest at the local Y and has lost 36lbs!!!! I am so happy for her and proud of her. I think she will relate to and love the story. Thanks Karen.

    Brenda Schiesser.

  16. First, let me say. I love you. You are beautiful, amazing, inspiring, encouraging, lovely… and so funny!!! I loved seeing you on MTC Webcast the other night. It was good to see that smiling face ‘in person’. I so badly wanted to meet you last year at sHe Speaks, but the line was so long and I had to get going.:-( Hoping for this year!

    As for today’s post, Oh, how you spoke all of my languages. Through the years, I truly believe I’ve been deing a slow death when it comes to food. I’ve been such an addict since I was young.Always having an unhealthy view of food. Whether it was to consume it or starve myself off it. I too have been up and down and up and down. And the voices in my head are from my brother and others, “Hey Thunder Thighs. Hey Bubble Butt.” But, one of my favorites, okay, well not really, “Hey Hunky Chunky Funky Fat Mama.” Yes they did! My brother and his friends thought it was hilarious. Not so to a struggle 11 year old. Those words kept me on an emoational slippery slope all my life.

    But, no more. I joined Weight Watchers at the beginning of the year and I love it! I’m down a good amount of weight already. I have a long way to go, but I am excited. Me and another mom are walking together Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons after school. To God be the glory!

    I still struggle with the voices at times… even those that call from the cabinets asking me to come and start a party with them!lol

    Anyway… Karen, thank you for being a vessel in which God reaches His children!

  17. Karen – I am such a “tomorrow” gal – I’ll eat better, get up earlier, read my Bible, exercise, organize…tomorrow. Thanks for your message.

  18. Karen you did GREAT on the webcast Monday evening. God sure answered all the prayers being lifted up for you! What an encouragement you are to me! Thank you for being real, for your blog and for being a cyber friend! I am so thankful to be a part of Weight Loss Wednesdays and for the renewed hope I have in my struggle with weight. Blessings on you and your family!

  19. I had never seen Proverbs 5:11-14 before. What an eye opener. I went to a site and looked at the verses in different translations. The Good New Translation for verse 14 says “And suddenly I found myself publicly disgraced.” Publicly disgraced. Is that how my husband, daughers and grandchildren feel when they are seen in public with their 140 pound overweight wife, mother and grandmother? I personally find excuses to avoid going places because I don’t want to be seen in public. I am at work right now and there are tears in my eyes. I think for the first time, I have been hit right in the face with my sin of gluttonous appetite. Thank you for this posting, Karen. It spoke right to my heart.

  20. WOW – I have been to church and heard the voice of Jesus! That was some good preaching and teaching sister Karen! Exactly what I needed to hear to make the next courageous choice today! The words “slow suicide” stopped me in my tracks. That is exactly what I am doing to my body and I want to stop with the help of the Holy Spirit living in me. So much good stuff here today. And I love how you ended with starting NOW – I have been eating my way through valentine treats every day this week – but no more! Going to the grocery store tonight to stock up on healthy options. God bless you Karen for speaking truth into our lives. You were great on Made to Crave too!

  21. I have started this journey so many times and given up in the past. I have been diligent since the end of October with only a few minor moments of meandering off the path. The scale has not often been my friend, but your words of encouragement have helped. We are so much more than what the scale says and as long as I persevere eating nutritiously and exercising and ignoring the negative comments, I will get to the top of that tower. William Feather said, “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” I look forward to seeing you at the top.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *