Are you ready to start craving less junk and more Jesus? This week we are featuring Jenna Parde’s WORD30 testimonial on the blog. We just love how God used this 30-day challenge to teach Jenna to trust Him (and provided a special, unexpected blessing at the end). This year at Living by Design Ministries, we are committed to helping you eliminate distractions so you can draw near to God. In order to help our readers “cut out the junk,” we’ve created a free WORD30 Challenge Kit. You’ll find all the details about the kit at the end of this article.
A Guest Blog by Jenna Parde of Scribbling Grace
I have always had a huge love for sweets.
When I turned 18 and graduated from high school, I went straight to culinary school and got my associates degree in Baking and Pastry.
After school, I worked in bakeries all around Los Angeles for years until I got married and moved to Japan (but that’s a story for another time).
So naturally, being surrounded by cookies, cakes, breads, and candies daily for years, I developed some not-so-healthy eating habits.
Eating habits that are NOT easy to crack.
When I heard about the WORD30 Challenge, I knew I immediately what my challenge had to be—I needed to “cut out the junk food”.
My goal behind the challenge was to spend the month paying more attention to the food I was putting into my body and to work on cutting out the sweets and junk food I tend to eat on a daily basis.
Basically, I wanted less junk food and more Jesus.
As I did this thirty-day challenge, I also read portions of Isaiah to help me when I was tempted to cave.Are you longing for less junk and more Jesus? Take this 30-day challenge and see what God can do in just 30 days.
How the WORD30 Challenge Changed Me
Of course, I knew I needed to make a change in my diet for a very long time.
I often would go through short seasons where I would try eating healthier, but nothing seemed to stick.
It has been one of my biggest struggles for years.
Though I had tried healthy eating challenges before, I had never tried to lean on God to help me through it.
It seems like such a no-brainer now.
The WORD30 Challenge was the first time I was reminded to actively seek God and read the Bible when I was struggling with my unhealthy food cravings.The WORD30 Challenge was the first time I was reminded to actively seek God and read the Bible when I was struggling with my unhealthy food cravings.
To be honest, I fell off the “healthy eating” wagon many, many, many times during this challenge.
BUT, I still learned so much about how God can help me when I choose to draw on His strength.
I was even able to make some changes that I am still sticking with a few months later.
I started eating fruits, yogurts, or oatmeal in the morning since they still have that sweetness I am used to in my breakfasts (from healthier and natural sources).
I got hooked on smoothies for lunch to curb my appetite.
And for dinners, I started meal planning and shopping on the outskirts of the grocery store aisle where the non-processed food are.<
I know that I was only able to make these improvements this time because I had the help of God.
When I struggled with my desire for junk foods, I used it as a cue to spend time in God’s Word instead.
And I found a different kind of satisfaction. One that filled and sustained me in a whole new way.
In return, I started craving fewer sweets and more Jesus.
What a beautiful thing!Through this 30-day challenge, I learned so much about how God can help me when I choose to draw on His strength.
Cut Out the Junk and Let God’s Word Satisfy Your Cravings
We can make huge strides in our weakest areas with the help of God and His Word.We can make huge strides in our weakest areas with the help of God and His Word.
I chose to feed my soul with the book of Isaiah (mainly the second half of the book) because it is full of so many encouraging verses.
It also is a very visual book, which is great for an avid Bible journaler like me.
My routine ended up looking something like this: When I was really struggling with my cravings, I went to my Bible, opened it up to Isaiah, read a few verses and said a simple a prayer.
I marked the verses that really spoke to me, and then later, I would journal those verses in my Bible.
Not only did my body (and my will-power) get a little stronger, my faith was strengthened as well.
I was also able to tie in my huge passion for Bible journaling into this project. Win!
In fact, I created a special Isaiah reading plan (with Bible journaling prompts) for our WORD30 Challenge kit.Not only did my body get stronger, my faith was strengthened as well.
Cut out the Junk and Make Room for Unexpected Blessings
Perhaps the coolest testament to God’s presence in this challenge for me is that right at the end of the challenge, I learned I was pregnant!
One of the biggest motivators for me to start eating healthier was that I knew I wanted to be a mom, and I wanted my body to be healthy when carrying a child.
I knew I would need to eat healthier when I got pregnant to ensure the baby and myself are getting all the nutrients that we need.
So it was amazing to me that just as I was finishing the WORD30 Challenge, where I learned a lot of tools to help me change my bad eating habits, God blessed us with the child we had been trying to conceive for over a year.
If my experience during the challenge wasn’t enough to encourage me to grow on what I had learned, God’s blessing of my pregnancy sure is.
I can’t wait to hear how God changes your life when you join us for the life-changing WORD30 Challenge.Join the Living by Design WORD30 Challenge and then share with our online community about how God is using it to change your life.
Be sure to grab your kit (below) before you go!
What is the WORD30 Challenge?
It is a 30-day “spiritual cleanse” where participants are inspired and equipped to exchange 2-3 worldly habits for 2-3 godly habits. Our free 20-page challenge kit is packed with resources to help you decide what you’ll give up what you’ll replace it with.
Here are a few examples:
- Replace Netflix at night with listening to Christian podcasts or sermons.
- Replace listening to the radio on your commute with Scripture memorization and prayer.
- Replace consumption with creation and hospitality.
- Replace watching sports on weekends with spending time in nature.
- Replace mindless scrolling on social media with reading God’s Word.
For some participants, success might mean achieving a 30/30 score on the challenge. For others, you may set your goal at 5-days a week, while giving yourself a bit more room and latitude on the weekend. Whichever measure of success you choose, be specific and make sure it is measurable and achievable in your current season of life.
We look forward to supporting you with tips, tools, and testimonials throughout the next thirty days.
– Jenna Parde
Jenna is a U.S. Navy spouse and blogger at ScribblingGrace.com where she teaches Bible journaling. She also runs an Etsy shop where she sells hand-painted Bibles and Bible journaling printables. She is passionate about sharing God’s Word through art; and loves how no matter how artistic you are, God’s light will always shine through! Connect with Jenna on social media: Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Youtube