Just Be

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

I often tell myself and others that I am in a season of waiting. Discerning. Figuring out what’s next. That’s easier to wrap my head around than the truth. The truth is that I believe God has called me to a season of being- not waiting. Waiting implies that I’m not where I’m meant to yet but I will be soon. So no, I am actually in a season of being. I am exactly where I’m meant to be. And oh my goodness, it is hard in this head of mine.

I have fought “just” being home with my child in lots of ways. I’ll sell skincare! So I tried to be all in with that. And then came the whisper “No… just be.” I’ll work part time! So I looked into a job that was late afternoons 3 days a week. “No… your child needs you here at bedtime.” (That whisper was actually a very loud one from my husband, but I think it was from God through him.) So I’ll make a living from my blog! “No…. just write when you can.” Which turns out to be not as often as I originally thought.

Just be still. Just be with. Just be. Be.

The hardest things in this life for me in no particular order: Being still. Being present. Being with. Not knowing what’s next. Not doing it all. Not being “perfect”. Not controlling my future.
I am in the midst of doing each of these on a daily basis- or at least trying to do them. Some days I do okay and those days are filled with many gifts and so much joy. Other days I fail miserably and I am filled with anxiety and irritability. I get focused on the future. I have no idea what I will do when the time comes for me to go back to work. Staying home for now means a change in career for future. I absolutely believe this also to be exactly where I’m meant to be, but again, oh so hard to not know. To let go.

I know some of you may be thinking…. What?? Hard?? Try working AND being a mom! So please don’t read this as a comparison. It is not. I have absolute admiration for those of you who are doing it all whether by choice or necessity. My mother did it all. And I mean ALL. I do not use that phrase loosely. My oldest and dearest friend is currently doing it all. And again- I really mean ALL.
I have so much admiration and respect for those two. And when I envisioned myself as a mother, that was the vision.

So why am I in a completely different place? Maybe because I still have some inner healing to do. I am a type A, perfectionistic Martha who has always struggled to find my worth outside of achievements. You find this in many of us eating disordered folk who turn to the “achievement” of weight loss and food perfection. So I believe God is using this time to teach me to be more like Mary. And who could be more motivating than my own child to teach me what I still so desperately need to learn. To be still and with. To connect. To be fully present. To let go of perfectionism. To let go of how things look on the outside. To learn to be okay with being late or even having to cancel plans when I have a sick little one. To leave the dishes in the sink. To let friends see the copious amounts of dog hair that appear daily on my floors. The stains on my white couches. My hair that was not washed or straightened because my toddler was being particularly fun that morning. The extra baby weight I have yet to shed. I believe God is teaching me about the gift of relationship. And I am learning that showing my vulnerabilities and imperfections tends to strengthen relationships instead of destroy them. Hmm.. who knew? So for now my job is to be present with my child. Present with my husband. My goal is to serve in my church. Build relationships with others. Create a community for our family. And to trust God with the rest. Let go. Be still. Be with. Be. The hardest things are often the simplest.

Just. Be.
**Let it be known that being a mom to a toddler means you are never actually still. I’m speaking to more of a mindset here.

Eating Through The Fear

A young man was having a terrible year…. With nowhere else to turn, the young man finally decided to do the one thing he hadn’t yet tried – he prayed. He drove his car to his childhood church and found a pew in the back rows of the quiet chapel. He got down on his knees and he prayed. “Dear God, please help me win the lottery. I really need the money, so please help me win.” The young man waited several days and nothing happened. He returned to the church. “Dear God, I’m not sure if you received my last prayer, but I really need your help to win the lottery. Please help me out here.” Again, the young man waited several days with no results. He returned to the church once again. “Alright, God, I’ve asked you twice, but it really seems like you aren’t listening to me. I asked you to help me win the lottery, but I still haven’t won. Are you even listening to me?” What happened next truly shocked the young man. He heard a voice. Perhaps the clouds parted and God spoke from above, or perhaps a priest overheard his prayer and spoke up, but the young man finally got his answer. “BUY A LOTTERY TICKET!”

A couple of weeks ago I told the story of how I started to eat. I suffered long and hard and I pray someone will find hope in my story. There are so many things I want to share with those who are struggling but this may be the most important… this is the bottom line: You cannot recover without eating. Believe me- I tried. And tried. I kept waiting for some miracle, some new treatment philosophy, some deep inner healing to happen and then I would magically be able to eat without fear. I searched high and low. Maybe this treatment or that therapist. This intervention. Uncovering that hurt or rejection. I wanted to be well but I didn’t want it to hurt so much. Every time I tried, the fear would take over. Trying to recover without eating is like trying to win the lottery without buying a ticket.

Take a minute and imagine your greatest fear. Close your eyes and picture it. Try to feel it. Does your body get tense? Do you hold your breath? Fists clench? Do you feel numb? Want to run? Want to fight? Would you do anything possible to get out of the situation? This is what keeping food down felt like to me. If you asked me why it was so terrifying, my response would have been that I was afraid of weight gain. But it’s not really about that. It’s never really about that. It’s fear alright, but not of weight. More like fear of failure. Fear of being alone. Fear of rejection. Fear of feeling. Fear of what others think. Fear of growing up. Fear of being exposed. Fear of vulnerability. Fear of not being enough. It’s also shame. But I believe shame to be a deeper level of fear. Shame is fear that I am bad or worthless or unlovable. Fear of God not being God. Because if God is love and I am unlovable, then God is not who He says He is. That’s bone-deep fear.

But here’s the thing…. You can’t ask God to hold you and carry you while constantly rejecting him. You see, eating disorder behavior says I don’t trust you. It is taking matters into my own hands. A way of taking care of myself, albeit not so well. For many years while wanting to recover, I didn’t give God a chance. The fear took over and so I took care of it myself. The problem with this is that my way of taking care of myself just reinforced all the fear. I proved to myself over and over again that I was a failure…. I definitely wasn’t doing anything productive. I was alone… nothing is lonelier than an eating disorder. I was rejected…. I didn’t allow anyone near me long enough to be accepted. I could not feel… I was so detached and numb. I would not let myself be seen. If you don’t know me, you can’t hurt me. That goes for you, too, God! …I would not allow Him the chance to hold me and carry me through it.

So how do you get better? You EAT. No matter what. You surround yourself with people who can hold you accountable. Those people should also be able to show you a ton of grace because you will be angry. And sad. You cry a lot. Scream if you need too. You have to talk. Constantly. You have to get it all out through words and tears. You have to make a gratitude list. Everyday. You pray to be relieved of the bondage of self. All day long. You will want to crawl out of your skin. You will feel like you are going to shatter into a million pieces for about 70 days (more or less). And then one day- day 71 for me- it will feel a little less brutal. And then a little less. Until you begin to see that your life now consists of more. It’s bigger. It’s better. And…. you’re okay! So you start to trust a little. And then you keep going- hitting the ups and downs and gaining some confidence. Until it feels more normal to eat 3-4 times a day and have a job and friends. Until it feels more normal to talk about your feelings instead of act them out. Until you realize that life really isn’t all bad and scary- maybe there’s even some good.

And at some point along the way I realized that maybe God IS God after all. Maybe He IS a God of love and grace. And He WAS there all along. And maybe, just maybe, it’s best if I allow Him to do His job. Cause man… I really sucked at it.

Hey Mommas: What If?

I read a blog post this week about a woman who suffered from post-partum depression. She wrote about how difficult it is to speak up. She wrote about the importance of getting help. Here was a perfect little new life and this mom was filled with despair. New moms are SUPPOSED to be overjoyed and grateful! So she suffered in silence because what will people think?

I recently read a dear friend’s blog post where she announced she is moving closer to family and friends. She and her husband foster and have adopted kids in need. They have moved a good bit in the past few years. They have five kids and a sixth on the way. She needs help. I need help with one child so I can’t even imagine… In her post she said she worried about what people would think about them moving again. Would it be viewed as failure? She has been told she brought this on herself. She has been told she SHOULD have known better! This friend is the hands and feet of Jesus to her kids. What she does each day is unimaginable to some. And yet she hesitated to move closer to home- closer to help- because what will people think?

I am a nursing mother. Exclusively breastfeeding is hard work- I admit I had no idea how hard. I have been reprimanded for allowing him to nurse to sleep because newborns MUST self soothe! I have been shamed for letting him nurse for more than fifteen minutes at a time because everyone’s milk shuts down RIGHT AT fifteen minutes! AND every baby suckles at the same pace! (Ummm… no.) Now that he is fourteen months I am embarrassed to tell you I am still a nursing mother. I am embarrassed to say that my 14 month old is still getting the highest form of nutrition daily. This milk that is made just for him. Even creating antibodies for when he gets sick. I keep thinking I need to wean him before he ready because I worry what people will think. I have yet to find one research article saying that breastfeeding past a year is harmful to the child. In fact, I have only found articles saying the opposite is true. And yet I worry. What will people think?

I’m writing about mommas because that’s my world right now. But the judgement is not reserved for the moms – unfortunately, no one is spared. We judge each other for everything. Judged if you look old but heckled if you attempt to look younger. You’re lazy if you’re overweight but heaven forbid you lose too much weight. You’re selfish if you choose not to breastfeed your child but definitely do not breastfeed past twelve months. Judged if you co-sleep or if you choose to let him cry. You’re too rigid if you choose to sleep train yet you’re a bad mom if your child doesn’t sleep. Never let your kids play with your iPhone, yet they better be quiet and still at the restaurant. Buy all organic and goodness knows you should never give them sugar. Judged for being a helicopter parent and then ripped to shreds if something happens to your child because you SHOULD HAVE BEEN HELICOPTERING. Does your head hurt yet? It’s enough to leave a momma isolated, confused, and afraid to ask for help. We were created for community, yet we work tirelessly to divide and conquer instead of to commune.

Why all the judgement? Why can’t we mommas join together and support each other instead of tearing each other down? What if we connect over mom-woes and fears instead of creating division? What if we love each others’ kids instead of rolling our eyes about the tantrum at playgroup? What if we offer a hand or a hug to the distraught mom at the grocery? What if we speak a word of encouragement to the mom whose kid is running around the restaurant? What if we hold a foster mother up in prayer instead of telling her she should have known it would be hard? What if we cling to her traumatized children in love instead of shaking our heads? What if we simply say “me too” when another mom says how tired she is? What if we show compassion and mercy to the mom who unknowingly let her child play too close to danger? What if we all stop judging one another and start connecting and loving instead?

But wait…. there is a caveat to this sort of behavior: it will not make you feel “better than” the mom next to you. Because that’s what it all comes down to, right? We are all so afraid we are failing that we need to think we are at least doing it better than that mom. But what if we all stop judging one another and start supporting each other instead? I wonder what kind of change we would see in our children if we as parents join together? Children tend to follow in our footsteps. Would we see more empathy? More compassion? More connection? Stronger relationships? The ability to talk about the hard stuff? Possibly less shame? Less self hatred? Less loneliness? And in turn less depression, anxiety, and addiction? I don’t know. But it’s sure worth a shot.

Eat Or Leave

“God has already caught me. His goodness and love have pursued me and won me. I just need to jump into that reality” Lysa Terkeurst in Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

“You’re going to eat or you’re going to leave.” I sat stunned as these words were being said to me. Silenced. Empty. Numb. They were being said by the director of my treatment center. I had a choice to make.

Treatment was nothing new. I had done this before. Many times, in fact. I had been through treatment center after treatment center. I knew the rules. I would eat. I wouldn’t purge. I would smile and say how much better I felt now that I was nourished. I would excitedly plan for my future now that there was hope for one. I was a perfect patient…. until I wasn’t. Until I couldn’t take it anymore. I would then find a way to sneak around. I would lie. This was usually only a few days in. I knew the rules. I also knew the games.

It’s not that I didn’t want help. I wanted nothing more than to be free from the disease that had taken so much away. It took my friends and my dreams. It took school and jobs. It came close to taking my family. I wanted help. But I couldn’t. I could not face the day without my eating disorder. It was such a part of me. By my early 30s, after 20 years with an eating disorder, I feared it was all of me. If you took it away, there would be nothing left. A hollow soul.

The ‘could not’ eventually became a ‘would not’. I didn’t know this yet though. I didn’t know I was stronger. I didn’t know I was ready. I was still playing the game that I had played for years. The game that said I wanted help, but I was not willing to trust the Helper. I was still relying on my own self-will to take care of me. My eating disorder was my best friend. My identity. My savior. How could I let that go? How would I survive? I had not yet truly said help. I didn’t know how. And so here were those words “Eat or leave.” I had a choice to make.

I remained stunned and numb that night. This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen- this was not how the game was played. This director clearly did not get the memo. I am always sent out with words of praise and admiration from my group. Everyone saying I have a bright future and a strong recovery. I always get a beautiful sendoff as I walk out the treatment doors- no one knowing that I was still submerged in the depth of my disease. Waves taking me out one by one as I smile and thank everyone for all they have done for me. As I walk right back into the loneliness and isolation that is an eating disorder. Not this time. This time I had to make a choice. “Eat or leave.” There would no charade here.

I honestly don’t know why I made the choice to eat four years ago. Maybe it was my desire to be liked- I had never been kicked out of anywhere before. Maybe it was the group of friends I had started to make- it had been a long time since I had friends. Maybe somewhere deep inside I did have hope of a different life. I don’t know. But I woke up the next morning and did the most terrifying thing- I jumped. And I jumped again the next morning. And the next. It was excruciating. Layer after layer was peeling off and I was left feeling naked and afraid and oh so vulnerable. And I was also being caught. Day after day. I was being held up, loved, and affirmed by people who cared. People who showed love and grace to me. I began to trust. And as I began to trust them, I knew that God had led me here. To this place, to these people. They held me until I could see that God had already caught me. He caught me a long time ago- I just never knew it. I just had to jump into that reality.

I just spent a beautiful Easter weekend with my husband and son. I would go through it all again to end up in this place. My husband is smart and funny and stubborn as a mule. Even when he is at his worst- I’m grateful he’s mine. I hope he feels the same way about me- my worst is seriously…. the worst. I’m more stubborn than a mule. Our child is smart and funny. He is highly sensitive and is the most strong willed child I have ever seen. I can’t imagine where he gets it… And I love every single sensitive, strong willed hair on his head. Recovery hasn’t been perfect and it’s still not easy, but it’s life. Life after many, many years of dying. And on this Easter weekend where we celebrate life after death- I am grateful. Grateful for the cross. Grateful for the resurrection. And grateful that God continues to be a God of miracles.
**I have posted the link to Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst on my Let’s Read page. This book is a must read for anyone who has ever been afraid to jump.

In This Together

I’ve had loved ones ask if I’m ok since starting this blog. I always appreciate being checked on, but rest assured- I am better than I’ve ever been. I live a life full of joy and grace today. This blog is about life in recovery. Which looks a lot like just…. life. An honest, authentic life which includes both the joy and the difficulties. Many people have never been forced to be brutally honest about how hard life can be. I believe that what I write about is universal. Some struggle more and some less. I think we are so used to relating to each other through perfect Facebook pages that it can be unnerving for someone to write about the hard truths of life. My hope is that someone, somewhere will read this and think, “me too”. We are put on this earth to be in relationship with one another. Being emotionally honest in relationships is extremely difficult and very rare. And relationships are what addictions are really about- the eating disorder and/ or other substance(s) fill the need for connection. Until they don’t.

Relationships are messy and hard. I have someone in my life who tends to make fun of things I do. I struggle with this person. Do you struggle with people in your life? Do you leave some interactions feeling bad? My initial reaction is to cut people off- if not physical detachment then emotional detachment. Then they can’t hurt me. But this was so much easier when I had an active eating disorder. It’s not so easy these days. And it’s not a healthy reaction. Being in recovery means I must have relationships. I must be connected. Plus… I actually really like and care about people. I am highly sensitive and can’t shake things off as easily as some. I have been this way my entire life. If you knew me growing up you did not know the eating disordered, detached me. You probably knew someone who loved big. I created ways to cope with being highly sensitive as a child, as children do. Children are very resilient and use creative ways to cope. If only the coping could stay child-like, right? But when the creative healthy coping stopped working and I still felt so intensely, I started using bulimia and anorexia. The pendulum tends to swing back and forth in eating disorders- everything is too much then not enough then too much again (symbolic through restricting, bingeing, and purging). And the thing about any addiction is that it works at first. But eventually it becomes unmanageable and harmful to the addict as well as the people around her/ him.

So now that I don’t use eating disordered behaviors to cope, I feel. And I mean… I FEEL. I get to be present in this life- sometimes it’s more like an ugggghhhh… I HAVE to be present?!? Because being present can be brutal. Think about it- the normal person may eat a lot of ice cream after a break up or have some wine after a tough day. We have all used substances and/ or obsessive behavior to cope. I don’t know many people who really know how to just feel and express the feelings. Some detach. Some may explode and spill messily onto their loved ones. And still some explode and spill violently onto strangers. Feeling is hard. Yet we are created to feel. Feelings give us information. And feelings are how we connect to others. Sure- I may like someone because they also like football. But I will feel connected to that person if she cries when Ole Miss loses a football game. See how that works?? I connect to her sadness because I too feel so very sad after a loss. We see each other. We are in this together (if you are a Rebel fan, you know what I mean. In. This. Together.) But if she just talks about football from an intellectual standpoint- I may appreciate her knowledge. I may ask her questions. But I will not feel connected. Connection comes from vulnerability. Being vulnerable means allowing someone to see who I am. And the core of being human- what we all share- is feelings. Circumstances can be very different, but sadness is sadness. Joy is joy. Anger is anger. Excitement is excitement. Feelings are what connect us to each other.

So what do we do when people make us feel bad? Because that is what makes connection scary. I always need to remember it’s not about me. I have to remember this over and over again. It’s not about me. The way you treat me has nothing to do with me. It may be directed at me, but it’s not really about me. I’m just being me. You are just being you. And our reactions are about what we bring up in each other. For example, my toddler was being clingy and needy this morning and I felt frustrated. If I raise my voice at him, he will think he did something wrong. He’s just being a one year old who is completely dependent on his caregiver. He was just as needy yesterday as today. So what’s different? Me. I had things I needed to do. So my frustration had nothing to do with him even though it was a reaction to his behavior. It was about me. It’s easier to see when it’s a child but you could insert this into any given situation. An argument with your spouse. A rude comment from a stranger. Once I remember it’s not really about me I can drop my defenses. I can listen for feelings. I can work to be kind and loving toward that person. But this can only happen when I take me out of the equation- only then can I hear truth. Then we can leave the conflict more connected than before instead of creating another wall. Sounds nice, huh? It’s not about me. I’m just being me. You are just being you. And thank the good Lord each of us is a work in progress!

Sweet Surrender

I struggle every day with surrender. With turning everything over to God. With letting go of control and seeking His will instead of my own. And I have suffered long and hard because of my refusal to let go.

My refusal doesn’t come from not wanting to- it comes from the fear of not knowing that I will be ok. It’s a lack of trust. My actions have often shown that I do not believe God will take care of me. His Word says He is love. It says every good and perfect gift comes from Him. That He has plans for me- plans to prosper and not to harm me. Believing what God says means trusting. And I don’t do that very well. People either. But I guess our relationships with people are a reflection of our relationship with God. If I felt secure- held in the everlasting arms of my Heavenly Father- I would feel secure in relationships here on Earth. Do you ever feel unloved even when everything around you proves otherwise? I do. Lack of trust. So I struggle to turn my will over and I suffer because of it. You would think I would eventually see that His will has to be better than my own pit of loneliness and self loathing. I’m working on it. I am much much better today than I was in the midst of my eating disorder. Everyday I eat is a step of faith. An act of surrender. It says “I’m trusting you, God. I’m not sure I know you will catch me yet, but I sure HOPE you will.” Today I may not fully trust, but I have found hope.

I now have a baby boy. This child is a gift of my attempt at surrender. My first major step in surrender came 4 years ago as I started eating and keeping it down. And it was a giant first step. My life is more fulfilling and beautiful than ever before. Blessing upon blessing. The greatest being the gifts of my husband and now 13 month old baby boy. I never imagined. If my life has gotten this much bigger and beautiful in just 4 years- imagine what it will be if I just keep stepping! But doubt and fear still take over daily.

And then there’s this child…. When I look at him I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is who He says He is. That His will and plan are so much better than mine. And the reason I know I believe is not because I have let go of my fears and attempts to stay in control- nope. Still there. The reason I know I believe is because when I look at him I pray. I can’t help it- it just flows out. And my prayer is “God, please take care of him”. Without even thinking about it, my constant prayers for my child show me that I do believe God to be the One who can take care of us the best. He is the ultimate caregiver. Not me. I don’t know what’s best. I have no control over my child’s future. I can decide between breastfeeding and formula, pampers and huggies… I can decide to co-sleep. I can choose baby led weaning. I can do what I think is best and love him with all I am. But my love and my attempts to take care for him are nothing compared to our heavenly, perfect Parent. This child belongs to God. He is not ours. He has been entrusted to us for this time. And thank God for that. Goodness knows I will screw it all up. Cause that is what we do y’all. That’s why there are giant messes all over the place. Just turn on the news for 5 minutes- you’ll see. It’s why relationships are broken and so messy. We- on our own- make one giant hot mess.

So please baby boy- don’t fight the One who can give you all the desires of your sweet little heart. Stay in that childlike faith and surrender. Trust Him. Depend on Him first and foremost. I am only a reflection of God’s love for you. A reflection is never as bright and clear as the real thing. I will mess up. Over and over and over again. I already have messed up more times than I can count in your short 13 months of life. And I will continue. I am imperfect. My love for you is as perfect as anything I’ve known and yet it is still so imperfect and fallible. Allow God’s perfect will and His perfect love to encompass you all the days of your life.

The Great Divide

I go to the gym in the mornings. I am so grateful my husband gives this gift to me by getting up to take care of our child. But my son is teething and for a week straight he has been grunting and whining if not in my arms. I haven’t slept in days. First year molars are no joke. So this morning I drove straight past the gym to Starbucks, got a latte, and savored the caffeine and the quiet. And now I sit writing and breathing. It’s beautiful here, people. One hour of quiet time to pray and write can make all the difference in the world. By the end of the hour- I will be missing my little guy and ready to give for the rest of the day.

There are days when I don’t recognize the depletion. Days when I would have pushed myself to go to the gym anyway, worn myself out even more, and proceeded to be a grumpy, impatient mom resentful of everyone – including the dogs- for needing so much. Actually, especially the dogs. Does my ten year old cocker spaniel really need to go to the bathroom with me? I understand the one year old human, but the dog?!? And then there are days when its not possible to take an hour to be still. Days when my husband works long hours or is out of town. And to be honest, I don’t really buy into all this “mommy break time”. I am not entitled to self care breaks from raising my kid. You think mothers in war zones are crying “I need mommy time!”? In the countries where the focus is survival? I think they just take care of their families. So there are times when I have to push through on no sleep and just take care of my family (woe is me, right? Please.)

Today in this glorious time of caffeine and quiet, I realized I am trying to do it all on my own. Again. I often land in this place. How many times did I turn down help from a friend last week? “Thank you, but I got it” is my standard answer. Yeah…. no. I don’t “got it.” I cannot go it alone. Just the same as the mom whose only focus is survival cannot go it alone. I don’t NEED to go to Starbucks and drink a $5 latte in order to be a good mom. What I need is connection. I need people. I need to know I’m not alone even when the needs within my home render me unable to get out or pick up the phone. I believe we were put on this earth to be in relationship with our Creator. And in relationship with those around us. This is the deepest longing and often the deepest pain in us all. It is the common thread. Crosses every divide. The irony? It is also the great divide. Those with the deepest pain of alone-ness (different from loneliness)- those who have had to go it alone- are often the same ones to inflict great heartache on others. From creating an emotional wall to a physical one to a violent one, these walls are created out of alone-ness. “I am alone so I will turn against you. I will prove I don’t need you.” And so we are a world full of people trying to prove they don’t need each other. I tried to deny the need with anorexia and then tried to fill it with bulimia. Maybe we fill it with other addictions. Or we try to fill it with perfectionism or achievements- I struggle with this one too. Or we try to fill it with a false sense of connection through social media and technology. Or we join a divisive group through religion or politics or activism. The need is so basic. The solution is so simple. And yet it is most difficult. We need connection to the One who created us and we need connection with the ones who are created in His image. That’s all of us y’all. Every. Single. Person. We are all created in His image. And we are all created with this need. This common thread. This great divide.

My question today for myself and for you: How can we work to heal each other instead of hurt each other?

And so I begin again…

Always we can begin again. Thank goodness, right? I don’t know about you but I am needing to begin again on the regular. As a Christ follower, thank God His mercies are new every morning cause I sure need those new mercies. As a woman in recovery, I am grateful for the chance to begin again and again and again. As a wife… oh my. Do you ever hear yourself saying something and as it comes out you think NOOOOOOO! You wish you could grab it and put it right back in?? Ugh. Thank you, Husband, for allowing me to always begin again. As a mom, thank the good Lord I can begin again sometimes every hour. I’m not the most patient mommy when I’m up for the 6th time that night (you read that right. 6. Sleep is not high on my child’s list of priorities.) And as a blogger, today, I begin again.

Some of you may remember my blog from years ago. It was focused on recovery from my eating disorder. And then I relapsed and hit rock bottom. Again. Can you have multiple rock bottoms? Cause I did. And I didn’t write again… until now. Eating disorders shut you down and shut you up. That is their purpose. To silence. Fuel shame. They want you to hide. Do not speak truth. They feed on lies. If I speak up, if I speak out, if I show others who I am- then I have no need to wear that protective armor. Having said that, my writing this time around will not be specifically about eating disorders- it will be about life. Cause y’all… I don’t have a food issue. I didn’t ever have a food issue. I have a living issue. Life. Living. People. Relationships. And God. Those are my issues. And I still have them. A few years of eating well, a loving husband, and a beautiful baby and I still have those issues.

For those of us that have those issues- the life, living, people, relationships, God issues- it is extremely difficult to put anything out there for others to see. Even a picture on Facebook. I’ve been described before as private. I’m not really private- I’m scared. Big difference. But writing is tugging at me again. I have a lot to say. I have big thoughts. Many people describe big feelings (trust me, I have those too) but I also have big thoughts. Just go with the image cause that’s what it feels like (insert head exploding emoji here). Not right thoughts or wrong thoughts- just BIG. And if you will humor me and allow me to speak here, my husband will be ever so grateful.

About the scared. Or, really, about the God issue. Cause they are one in the same. I don’t have trouble believing in God. Believing Jesus is the Son of God. But I do struggle with trusting God. Isn’t that the root of all fear? Lack of trusting God? And when we humans struggle to trust God, it causes us to look for someone on earth to trust. There were many someones I tried to find trust in along the way. But someones always always fail. Always. So then it becomes a lack of trusting people. And if I can’t trust God and I can’t trust people then I am alone. NO one person can be perfectly trustworthy. Only God can. Oh… and food and weight loss. Or maybe alcohol. Or maybe drugs. Right?? They don’t ever leave. Always there. Always predictable. And ever so safe. So it seems. The problem with the food, weight loss, alcohol, drugs (or work, relationships, money, etc) is that eventually they tear us apart and destroy the soul. They attack the very core of who we are: God’s children. Wholly loved. Wholly treasured. Wholly made in His image. His beloved.

So this is the new blog: it’s about a woman, wife, and mom struggling with life, living, people, relationships, and God. Willing to be open about it, taking one new step at a time, and trying hard to love people along the way. Join me?