Why I couldn’t get undressed on my wedding night (and Mom in the Mirror giveaway!)

We borrowed my aunt’s cabin, by the water.

We arrived late with a bottle of wine and I stepped on the back of my wedding dress as we crossed the threshold.

I didn’t see anything but the bed, with its nicely folded corners and my new husband already in his boxers and grabbing us glasses from the kitchen cupboard.

I leaned against the wall, drinking the white, in white, and we were 23-year-old virgins who’d never seen each other naked, had only felt each other’s skin and I couldn’t unzip my dress.

I stalled, pulling out my bobby pins and he helped me, and we made a nice little pile of pins and then he asked if he could help me with my zipper.

And I asked him if he wanted another glass of wine.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to make love with him.

It’s that I didn’t want him to see me. All of me.

(For the rest of this post, and for the LAUNCH of Mom in the Mirror, which we’re giving away, join me over HERE at Prodigal, friends? Thank you!!)

Today’s giveaway:


(this will be the last post that will run on this blog; you can keep up with me at my personal blog HERE. thank you)

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My interview on The Drew Marshall Show

Please click HERE to listen to a recent  interview I did on The Drew Marshall Show (Canada’s most listened to spiritual talk-back show).

Also, Chasing Silhouettes has sold out FOUR times in its first four weeks on Amazon! Praise God! Thank you for helping spread the word that Christ alone is the one who heals.
Have a wonderful week, friends!

the boy who wanted to kill his brother


(guest post by duane scott)

He’s not a tall boy, I notice, and so thin.

Almost sickly. His arms look like a boy half his age.

We’re in Canada at a boy’s retreat and my heart goes out to him so I look him square with empathy because I’m ready to hear his story, whatever it might be. Because there is healing in the telling, in the opening of one’s heart and mouth to give voice to the fears residing there.

Fear exposed is fear crippled, so he opened his mouth and began.

“It started a year ago… and it nearly ended one night in the emergency room five months after.”

Twenty boys sit quiet, listening.

“I have a twin brother. He’s the popular one. He’s more accomplished. Girls liked him better. I think my parents did too. And I hated him for it.” …

(for the rest of this post, and a giveaway, follow me to Duane Scott’s place HERE?)

Redemption Outside the Shadows (Review of CS by Elizabeth Marshall)

There is a book written by a friend.

Her story is her’s but she is brave and bold in her sharing. Her desire for other’s healing.

Her heart longs for a collective healing from the disease that pounces and robs.

As I work my way through the book, its a work of the heart. I think of the spokes of my life’s wheel, the intersection. The place where broken shows up in our lives.

How the spokes radiate out and poke holes in wholeness. Push through places, bruising flesh, heart, soul, and mind. Our life.

This is a labor of love, this working my way through her words, treading lightly and gently through a fragile piece such as this.

You know that God worked redemptively and tenderly through the hearts of these. So you rush not in, to speak. No quietly with a reverence.

You nod and bend and bow to the boldness. You open up a burning heart for truth.  Hungry for healing. Searching. Longing. Looking for places that reveal God in and all around.

And I am seeing,

How her story is uniquely her’s. It is.

How it intersects my life. It does.

What I am left celebrating in her story. So very much.

I have not completed winding my eyes through the lines of her heart and life, laid out in hope in the telling. I know much from her beautiful book trailer, other’s words about her words, the proclamations of healing on her web sight and on her blog.

A story goes out and forth in its telling, testifiying of a work, magnifying the redemption and hope. Doubles down and  carries on its back those who tell of the wounded’s hope.

Like the pointed metal spokes that roll on rim of traveling tire time, the pointed tips of Emily’s time in shackles rolls right over where we’ve treaded, my co-travellers. Those I love.

I know of  gaunt and rail thin, pushing back from food, leaning in to porcelain rims, throwing out a single calorie breath mint to forgo the stomach-bound disc.

And souls locked in weak weary battle of control. Left wounded, weak. Weary.

But all that’s hurt and broken diminishes in the Light of honest, light of the telling.

Where story walks out new life, while scars are healing, scars close up at the hands of The Great Physician.

My daughter is almost 17 and I look questioning into the eyes and onto the bones and flesh of her friends. Speaking into her beauty, inside and out. Loving the wholeness and relationship with nourishment I see.

She is passionate about life and living and her hopes and dreams for the future. She has not known a weakened war of wills with disease or addiction. But a mother watches and prays and hopes for wholeness in her child of mind, body, and spirit.

The happy faces beam over greens and fruits, protein, sweets, a balance of all the goodness  He provides. The energy drawn from food sources, from the good gifts He gives for nourishment.

And I know the weak and weary from cutting off the calories, reducing down the intake to a slow and painful walk on barely enough. The damage unkown exactly to me. I could ask Emily, ask  a doctor, ask the authorities.

I want my daughter mighty and strong. I want the highest and best for her life.

I long for her to see the beauty and completeness in what God created in her,  formed in her woman flesh. That taking it down and whittling it away to thin frail gaunt is not a life goal. Not an elusive idol, to be rail thin and shadowy.

We women can go and do much in a day, there is loving and living for us, mighty work. God work. God ordained.

Emily is a beautiful friend. I want her words to go forth, her words, a healing ministry.

I long for her words to be available in church libraries, school libraries, counselor’s shelves, on the bedside table of hurting women and teens.

Yesterday Duane wrote a piece you really do not want to miss at his place and at Emily’s
blog. It’s here. It involves the pain and struggle of a teenage boy.

As a mother of boys , I long for healthy body images for them too. Read Emily’s words here:

Chasing Silhouettes is intended to be a spiritual guide to help families redefine body image, as well as to offer insight for caregivers into the minds and hearts of those battling an eating disorder. As someone who battled  anorexia nervosa, both as a child and as an adult, I am here to offer you hope. Our young people, our loved ones, do not have to be defeated by the lies that permeate culture today. But in order to defeat these lies, we need to understand truth.


Please leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for two copies of Emily’s book. You may choose to comment on why you’d like a copy, or simply speak to what’s on your heart on this subject. I will email the winner by week’s end.

“Emily Wierenga is one of Canada’s writing gems.” –  Drew Marshall, The Drew Marshall show.

To purchase Emily’s book go HERE

Or Here or to Chasing Silhouettes web sight to read more.

From the web sight, read these words of hope:

Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help A Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder is the story of a broken family that finds healing through an eating disorder. It’s the story of how even good Christians need redemption, and how eating disorders pervade all homes- even the seemingly perfect ones.

A unique resource, it addresses the whole of the illness: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, providing shocking insight into the disordered eater’s mind that no other book will offer.

This is Day 18 in a 31 Day Series. To read the collective go here or the 31 Day Series page at the top of the page. Today’s word is Healing.

If you’d like to follow all posts in the series and those published at wynnegraceappears, subscribe to follow by email or in a reader. I post daily in October and several times a week in other months.

Its a JOY to think of having you along on the journey.

 

(to enter the giveaway, please visit Elizabeth’s blog here)

A Review of Chasing Silhouettes (plus a Giveaway & an Invitation)

My friend, Emily Wierenga, not only shares her personal struggles with one of the enemy’s favorite take-down maneuvers, otherwise known as an eating disorder (ED), but she also shows how healing is found only at the foot of the cross.

 

Since an eating disorder whacks!-smacks! its victim and his/her family and friends flat to the mat, oftentimes in tangled, bloody messes, Emily also includes their stories, their hearts, their confusion, and how they’ve found ultimate victory over this far-reaching disease.

 

“So, while it is understandable that you’re worrying about the physical toll this illness might have on your child, take a moment to look more closely at his or her soul… Your child wants to be loved. He or she may not know it, but refusal to eat is a desperate attempt to draw you close.”

 

To tell you the truth, when I first cracked the pages of Chasing Silhouettes I expected nothing less than a beautiful story of pain & confusion & sadness that was set right by God’s immeasurable mercy & grace & love. I got that – plus a whole lot more.

 

Emily’s book follows a pattern that gives readers a birds-eye view into the hearts and minds of herself, her family, and her friends, but also a glimpse of several other ED victims, one of which is a doctor. Chasing Silhouettes offers practical advice, dos & don’ts, statistics, medical facts, and suggestions for the everyday situations, dilemmas, and struggles – all geared toward those who know and/or live with a person who suffers from this disease.

 

“Ask God to show you where your own identity has been broken, fragmented or bruised, and invite Him to work in your life to create a confident, caring, loving person who can then serve his/her family.”

 

Because of my higher education areas of study (School & Community Health Education, Athletic Training), I was both taught about and dealt with anorexia’s vise-grip on collegiate athletes and classmates. I could recognize symptoms and knew the practical dos and don’ts, as well as the dire outcomes of the body if the disease was left unchecked. Of course, being a secular state college, there was no mention of the spiritual side of it and/or its treatment.

 

I remember one terrifically hard exercise physiology class that had a lot of hands-on lab work. The students were primarily fellow student athletic trainers and superb athletes, at least two of them later played in the NFL and one later earned multiple Olympic gold medals in cycling. And within that group was an elite distance runner. All the student athletes knew she suffered from anorexia and had worked had at assisting her in her recovery.

 

 

“At 18, a coach took interest in Andrew. ‘He gave dietary suggestions to maximize performance,’ recalls Harold. ‘Andrew took these very seriously and almost became obsessed by them.”

 

One day the professor accepted volunteers to undergo body fat – muscle ratio testing via different methods. Some of us tried to get to the professor to warn him not to accept the runner if she volunteered. We were unsuccessful in our attempts and before we knew it, she was in the tank for a hydrostatic body fat test. Today I cannot even remember the science behind the test, let alone her numbers, but these fifteen years after college, I still recall the look on her face as she went from excitement (to learn her numbers) to sadness (that they weren’t good enough) to determination (to do something about it).

 

In just those few moments we lost great ground with her recovery that day.

 

That instance showed me that a team effort is needed for ED recovery. And in hindsight, and as a child of God, it was a clear demonstration that without the Lord God Almighty as part of the healing, it’s a near impossible task.

 

“Yet the only way to make the truth sink in is through God’s Word. ‘The Scriptures are the only tools I know that can completely change a person’s heart,’ he says. ‘Meditating on them daily is the best medication for the soul.’”

 

Chasing Silhouettes is a book, a tool, a friend between the pages that offers prayer after prayer and scriptures galore; unfortunately not something I ever found and/or was given access to in college textbooks or instruction.

 

Although written about her struggles with anorexia, Miss Emily’s book isn’t just for folks dealing with EDs – nope, it is for anyone who has suffered at the stranglehold of addiction – and  maybe that’s why it spoke so much to me.

 

Like the author, I was bound, gagged, and controlled by an addictive disease. Mine started around age twelve and lasted about nine years.

 

Similar to Emily’s realization and choice to untangle from the snare of her disease, I also had a “Jesus take the wheel” moment when I knew I couldn’t do it alone. Even though I was far from accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I knew He was there, and I knew I needed help bigger than me. I needed immeasurable strength to lay the bottle down.

 

“Disordered eating stems from seeing oneself through the eyes of the mirror; healthy eating, through the eyes of Christ.”

 

When I look back to that moment, I realize now that the promise I made to God that I’d never take a drink again is also when I started the process of not only my healing, but also when I started to know Him as my Abba Father (which ultimately led to my salvation and my continuing sanctification).

 

Praise God for the trials that bring us to the foot of His cross.

 

In the dark corners of our minds where doubt and comparison lurk and live, that nasty ole enemy sets temptations, lies, and traps because he wants nothing other than to devour and destroy those akin with God. That’s why we all need to keep armed with Truth and mercy and love and strength – each and every single day.

 

“I believe in full recovery, but I also believe it is only possible through God’s supernatural power, and that it is necessary to choose this healing, every day… I need to let God renew my mind daily. And in order to do that, I need to walk in holiness and in light…”

 

All in all, I’m very impressed with Chasing Silhouettes and I agree with Emily’s outright claim that it’s not a manual or a how-to guide – it’s more. Much more.

 

“Teach your children God’s ways. Help them see that God made each of them uniquely, and He loves each of creations (flaws and all!).”

 

It’s encouragement.

It’s Truth.

It’s hope.

It’s love.

 

And ain’t nobody gonna get through, over, around, above, or healed (from whatever their addiction or affliction may be) without something like this… something that continually guides hearts and minds to the One who holds the ultimate healing.

 

~ To buy the book, go HERE.

~ To visit miss Emily’s site, go HERE.

 

(Review by Simply Darlene)

An Interview with the Woman Behind the Book (by Glynn Young)

Someone tweeted a link, and, liking the title, I clicked. I found a fine writer and a gifted artist at Imperfect Prose. I found a wife and mother. And over time, I found a young woman who was brutally honest about her eating disorder. She didn’t dwell on it in her blog posts, but she was open and vulnerable. And I remember thinking how that openness, that vulnerability, could help a lot of people.

Eating disorders are one tough group of diseases, wreaking havoc on the sufferer, the family, and friends. Emily Wierenga has worked her way through, but it’s still not easy. And what she’s learned can be of enormous benefit to others.

Welcome to Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder, Emily’s new book that is equal parts story, vulnerability, information, encouragement, and hope. I caught up with her recently, and she found the time to answer a few questions.

Q: Reading this book is having one’s eyes opened to what is clearly a terrible and life-threatening situation. There were parts of this story that chilled my heart, and none more than the image of a nine-year-old Emily beginning the process of starving herself. A nine-year-old child?

I agree; it’s a young age. Yet I didn’t feel young. I felt very, very old. I had absorbed so much by that point, and constantly over-thought everything, and my parents had put a lot of responsibility on my shoulders (me being the oldest of four). So in my mind, I was much older than my age.

Sadly, mine is not an uncommon story. As I note in my book, “Recent surveys indicated that four out of five ten-year-old American girls have been on a diet; and children as young as six are dieting. Many seven-year-old girls are refusing to eat birthday cake because it contains too many calories.”

Q: Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia have deep roots in family dynamics and relationships. Your parents and siblings clearly participated in the writing of the book. How did they respond to reading what you had written?

I cannot begin to express the admiration I have for my parents, siblings, and husband. Even now, their humility and openness to sharing their hurts, their memories, and their forgiveness brings tears to my eyes. It took me so long to realize the damage I’d inflicted; so long to gain the strength to look back and see what I’d done, the rubble I’d left in the wake of my destructive behavior. They picked themselves up with God’s grace, dusted themselves off, and helped me to rebuild my confidence and our family. I couldn’t have done this without them…

(for more of this interview which Glynn Young conducted, won’t you join me over here at The High Calling? thank you friends.)