WOW! After dreaming about doing this for almost two years now since attending a SheSpeaks conference in North Carolina with Proverbs 31 Ministries, I made the jump and started my blog!
Let me tell you a little bit about myself and why I named this site “Loaves & Fishes” ~ Broken & Blessed.
My name is Rene’ Bancroft and I’m 44. I have been a Christian since I was a child and am blessed to have been raised in a home where Jesus Christ became much more than just a name, He became my Savior. I’ve been married to the absolute best husband in the world, Tony Bancroft, for 22 1/2 years now and love him more every day ~ really I do!! We have three of the most beautiful daughters on the planet ~ Caitlin-19, Savannah-17 and Sierra-13. They all keep me very busy and very motivated. They are a big part of the reason that I want to start writing a blog. There are so many things that they teach me, encourage me to do and try, and are just all out fantastic cheerleaders for me! I am beyond blessed that I have these amazing people in my life to call my family! And I’m also a 6th generation Southern Californian!!
A good portion of my blogs will be about the one thing that has haunted me for most of my life ~ my weight! I have been encouraged by so many people who I know it’s my turn to give back and encourage you! I also love to write devotional teachings and bible study material, so that will also be the other portion of what my blogs will cover.
And now we are getting to the two-fold reason I chose my tag line…..
I was recently listening to a pastor on KKLA morning radio and he was talking about the story in Matthew 14:13-21
(* verses can be found below and also on http://www.crosswalk.com) about the miracle “Feeding of the 5000” that Jesus did one day, to a crowd of 5000 men, plus all the women and children that were present. I have heard that story so many times, but that day, it struck me completely different! It was the proverbial “light bulb” moment when God whispered to my heart, “You are that loaf of bread and those fish!” At first, I will admit, I thought that was a very odd concept! Isn’t the point of the story to trust that God will provide for me no matter what? Or to be like the little boy who offered all he had and trust that God would honor the gift?
Yes, although both of those statements are true, today’s heart lesson was to see things from a new perspective!
Before I can offer all that I have to give, I have to become like the “loaves and fishes.” Before anything was offered, Jesus first called the people to Him and quieted them. When we are flailing about and causing a commotion, we can very easily miss the opportunity to learn what the Lord has for us that day. He wants us to come to Him with a quiet and content heart! They were still hungry, but they allowed themself to be quiet.
So now the people were calmed and waiting ~ this feeding didn’t happen quickly! You know how long it takes to get a meal ready for your family or even a small dinner party of 20 ~ try 5000+!! When the boy gave Jesus his little sack lunch, the first thing that Jesus did was to look up towards heaven and have a moment with His Heavenly Father and He blessed the five loaves and two fish. He BLESSED them!! Before any breaking occurred, Jesus blessed them!
My heart soared at the thought! Before I am asked to undertake a difficult task by the Lord, He goes before His Father and blesses me first. It may not always feel like we are being blessed (and in time, there will be plenty of blogs to show that I speak from major experience on that front!) but we are! He cares for us and wants to bless us. That doesn’t mean that we are exempt from hardships, it means that we can be held up by His strength! Psalm 28:7-8 says “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give things to him in song. The LORD is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.”
Once Jesus blessed the loaves and fish, He then broke them so that they could be distributed to the multitudes in the crowd. They had to be broken so that the food could be useful and bring fulfillment to the people.
To admit that I need to be “broken” of things in my life and to be available to those things that the Lord wants to free me of, is not an easy thing to say. And it is definitely not something to just blurt out there unless you are ready for what the Lord has in store for you. If I cling to those parts of me that disable me from being an effective witness for Him, or a devoted wife, mother and friend, then I’m missing out on the full blessing of how God can use my life. That little boy could have chosen to keep the food for himself and sneak off to the outskirts of the crowd and eat to fill his hungry belly. I’m sure his mother packed that lunch for him in order that he would be taken care of while he was out that day. But he followed the tugging he felt in his heart to trust this man Jesus, and trust that He would take care of providing for him.
I know that when I have allowed the Lord to break off those parts of me ~ anger, resentment, jealousy, feelings of betrayal, over-eating, lack of discipline, unforgiveness….and the list goes on…….well, when those things aren’t there to crowd out His voice, my life is much more productive and blessed! And so are the lives of those around me! Not because of anything I have done or proved, but only because of what the Lord can do through me! I can only be satisfied with what He does in and through me ~ there is not a remote speck of self-satisfaction that I can come up with that will truly make my life a fulfilled one! And yes, even those little cute pints of Ben & Jerry’s can do that!!
So today, I am putting myself out here to the blog world. To trust God with His plan for my life and to move forward in this new writing/blogging adventure. I want to encourage you in your journey.
Today also marks the end of part of my weight loss journey and the beginning of a new phase! I just finished the 28 day plan from Haylie Pomroy’s The Fast Metabolism Diet. Things were going great, then my body kinda freaked out in the third week, but I stayed firm and finished the plan! That in itself was a HUGE accomplishment!! I lost a total of 13.6 pounds and a total of 8.5 inches off my body! Can I hear an “AMEN!” More to come on this later. If you are in the midst of a weight loss plan or intimidated by a plan to lose the weight ~ let me tell you it’s totally worth it and if I can do it, you can do it too!!
I look forward to connecting with you dear Reader and hope that all that I have journeyed through in my life can be a positive influence in your life to dive into that change!
Matthew 14:13 “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied,”They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”