The Love Dare: On How God Sees Us, as Mothers (by author Jena Morrow)

(Guest post by author Jena Morrow)

All my life I had dreamt of becoming a mommy. It wasn’t my only dream, but it was certainly the most important dream in my little girl heart. I was the child who never went anywhere without a baby doll tucked under my arm — and I wasn’t the type to toss my baby doll aside when the ice cream man came down the street or when my favorite TV show came on. No, Annie came along with me, and I included her in every detail. It mattered to me what Annie wanted from the ice cream man (snow cones were her favorite) and if she understood the jokes in that week’s episode of Punky Brewster (and as I recall, I often had to explain them to her).

Some women come into motherhood by accident, and others are ambivalent throughout their young adult lives about whether or not they want children. And both of these types of women can become amazing mothers despite how they come into the role. But for me, as sappy as it may sound, I had always believed I was born to be a wife and a mom, and I had it penned into my life checklist early on: Finish undergrad (majoring in Music Education) by 22, by which time I would have met Mr. Right (who would also be an education major so we could teach in the same school district, which would be adorable); get married by 23, take two years for grad school, and be blissfully pregnant by age 25 with my MA on the wall and my hunky husband at my side. Then we’d have our second child two years later, and if we had the finances and the energy, a third two years after that. Voila: two degrees, a fulfilling career, a healthy marriage, and three kiddos — and all in time for my 30th birthday. Nothin’ to it.

I once read a bumper sticker that said “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” And while I don’t believe for a minute that our compassionate, perfect Father laughs at our dreams and plans, He certainly doesn’t seem to hesitate to rearrange them for our good. 

My carefully calculated life plan had derailed before I was even to have completed step one. There was no undergrad degree by age 22, because the anorexia that had chased me all my adolescent life had caught up to me by age 18 and nearly killed me. Instead, I found myself hospitalized for most of 1996, with a tube in my nose and a weight on my heart far heavier than the sad, sickly weight on the scale. I left the hospital the day before my 19th birthday, owing around four hundred thousand dollars in treatment costs. There would be no college — and worse, within six weeks of my discharge from treatment, I had lost thirty of the forty pounds that had been put on me. I had gained the necessary weight, but I had not learned to feed myself — because I had not learned to love myself. 

Fast forward just a few years, to age 24. Steps one and two of my checklist had not come to pass, and as I approached 25 — the age by which I HAD to be married and pregnant — I panicked. I met a guy at church, and figured that since my pastor approved of him and we quickly became the iconic church couple, mascots almost, surely God would bless our union despite the fact that we were completely wrong for one another and both brought unresolved emotional baggage into the marriage. I mean, we met at church; if it didn’t work out, that would make God look bad.

For a few months, the courtship was exciting. Even though I wasn’t in love with my fiancé, I was madly in love with the idea of marriage and family. My dream was coming true — even if I had to force it. And since I wanted children and felt I was running out of time (according to my checklist), I began eating healthily and increased my food intake enough to restore myself to a healthy weight. A grown-up weight. A mommy weight. I absolutely hated my body during this time –but I believed this was the one thing that meant more to me than the sense of control I felt from starving myself. In exchange for the fulfilled dream of marriage and family, I would surrender.

The naive little girl inside of me, still clutching her original childhood dream for dear life, cried tears of grief and confusion when the honeymoon ended before it had ever begun, and the marriage became unsafe. This was not the plan. What had I done wrong? But in the midst of my darkest hour, I was to meet my greatest joy. A month into our marriage, we were expecting a baby.

Those around me were unsure how pregnancy would effect me, having never made peace with my body image before the pregnancy began. But to their surprise and my delight, I loved every minute. As I wrote years later in my memoir, Hollow, “This expanding, itching, stretching, round, swollen body of mine was suddenly a great pleasure to me. The same body I hated and despaired of and punished and starved and cut and cursed for years was now doing me the ultimate favor, by fostering life and turned me into something I had always wanted to be: someone’s mom.”

The challenge to love the mom in the mirror came after my son was born. By the time my son was eight months old, his father and I had separated. And while we worked to reconcile through marital counseling, it was becoming progressively clear to me that I was going to be a divorced woman.

A divorced woman. A single mother. A divorced single mother who never went to college. The checklist had been abandoned. And in my rigid perfectionist mind, the same mind that had driven me to starve myself for so many years, I was a failure. It was then that it became especially hard to look at myself in the mirror.

But the story gets brighter. It always does, at some point, friends — because we have a God whose love pursues us tenaciously and tirelessly. 

In the darkest time of despair, when I was hardest on myself for having seemingly ruined everything, God provided me with moments of peace that were as overwhelming as they were fleeting. They usually occurred in the quiet moments of nursing my baby boy. Nursing infants have a way of communicating love to their mothers in such a way that even I could not argue with the force of that love. My baby needed me — but beyond that, he longed for me. He was jealous for me. He wanted to be near to me, to feel my heart beat next to his. 

Credit the hormones if you must, but those moments became spiritual experiences for me. They reminded me that God Himself is jealous for me. Longs for me. Wants to be near enough that my heart can begin to beat in sync with His. I could not love “the mom in the mirror” on my own; I needed to borrow from the love that God had for me. I had made terrible, life-altering mistakes — and none of them had shaken or even touched His love for me. My checklist had never mattered to Him, in that He had never had such rigid standards for me as I had had for myself.

My baby boy, Jaden, didn’t care that his mommy only had a high school education. He didn’t care that his mommy was carrying a little post-baby weight; in fact, if anything, he rather enjoyed it because those were the pounds of selfless love which allowed him to be fed and nurtured. When Jaden looked at me, both then and now, he didn’t see an imperfect body to be tweaked and sculpted or a failure at life in general. He sees his mom. He looks at me through love. 

When God looked at me, both then and now and forever and always, he sees His daughter. He looks at me through love and through the blood of Jesus, which has erased the sin of those life-altering mistakes of mine. 

My son is eleven years old now. I never had another child, never remarried. I still get angry at the mom in the mirror sometimes — and it is in those moments that I know what has happened: I’ve moved away from God, and I need to scoot back over to where I can hear His heart beat.

His heartbeat always sounds the same: You. Are. Loved. You. Are. Mine. 

My part is simply to take His word for it.

Jena Morrow’s debut book, “Hollow”, chronicles her nearly three-decade-long battle with eating and body image issues. In her second book, “Hope for the Hollow”, Jena takes readers on a thirty-day devotional journey to challenge eating disordered thoughts and beliefs in light of God’s Word. In addition to being a writer, speaker, and activist for eating disorder awareness and prevention, Jena works as the Alumnae Coordinator at Timberline Knolls in Lemont, IL, a premiere residential treatment center for women and girls battling eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, self-injury, and PTSD. Jena makes her home in a suburb of Chicago with her son, Jaden, his pet snake Stephanie, and a mischievous cat named Prim.

***

Pre-order Emily’s new book, Mom in the Mirror, for 42% off, here.

Holidays tough for those with eating disorders

(article by Shawn Loughlin, The Citizen)

The holidays can be a time of excess. For many there are a large number of gifts under the tree and many are welcomed into countless feasts featuring dozens of different options.

For someone with an eating disorder, however, the holidays can be the most challenging time of the year.

Emily Wierenga, author of several books and daughter of Blyth’s Ernest Dow, pastor at Living Water Christian Fellowship, has had her struggles with eating disorders (anorexia nervosa) and she confirms that the holidays were a tough time for her, but there are ways to handle the temptation and not give in to symptoms of an eating disorder.

Wierenga says the reason the holidays are such a hard time for those with eating disorders is simple. It is a very emotional time of year, coupled with the fact that there is always plenty of food around during the holidays.

“There is always a lot of food combined with a lot of emotion,” Wierenga said in an interview with The Citizen from her Alberta home. “The holidays can be joyous times, but they can also be very lonely times for some people.”

With large feasts around every corner during the holidays, Wierenga says, someone who has struggled with food before has many pitfalls they have to be aware of. She says that portion control can be a particular concern to some people, while others can go the complete other way and binge eat and purge later.

“Portion size is easy for most people to figure out,” Wierenga said, “I still struggle with it, so in buffet lines I don’t know what to put on my plate so I’ll often copy the person in front of me.”

Wierenga says that someone with an eating disorder approaches food differently, and therefore their concept of food is warped.

She says that while most people look at food as something to enjoy, those with eating disorders approach food as something that needs to be controlled.

“You’re constantly evaluating how what you eat is going to affect your body,” Wierenga said. “That’s something you need to combat and remember that food is something to enjoy.”

She says that it’s a constant mental battle that is ongoing for those with eating disorders.

She says it’s also important to remember the social aspect of eating, especially during the holidays.

She said that often meals are served with family members and friends as a way to connect and communicate with one another, so not running from the table as soon as the meal is done is important for someone who has struggled with food in the past to remember as well.

“You need to remember to stay at the table after the main course,” she said. “Meals are about conversation, they’re not about food.

“Food is a vessel for celebration and for community. You have to remember and allow yourself to enjoy the time, remember that it’s not a threat and that it helps you to build relationships.”

Wierenga says that often those struggling with eating disorders use food as a means of self-abuse. She said the way to combat those thoughts, that can come naturally to some people, is to remember that you’re valuable and that you deserve happiness.

“You need to keep telling yourself that you’re worth eating for,” she said.

When approaching the holidays, Wierenga says the best thing for someone struggling with food to do is to be aware of their own personal triggers. She said you have to go into meals having a game plan and keep your positivity high.

She says one way to stay positive and to not sink into an emotional hole is to think positive thoughts, listen to some positive music and, if you’re spiritual, to pray.

Wierenga’s recently released book Chasing Silhouettes deals with helping a loved on through an eating disorder. It includes several personal stories of her struggle, interviews with members of her family and friends and a guide to help those through the dangerous world of eating disorders. It can be found on http://www.amazon.ca.

Her new book The Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty, and Life After Pregnancy will be released on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 12, 2013). It deals with, among many other things, struggling with body image and eating disorders during and after pregnancy.

Wierenga has four children and currently in Alberta lives with her husband and family.

Here are 12 ideas to help people with eating disorders negotiate the holidays – courtesy of The Centre for Change compiled by Michael E. Berrett, PhD.

• Eat regularly and in some kind of reasonable pattern. Avoid “preparing for the last supper.” Don’t skip meals and starve in attempt to make up for what you recently ate or are about to eat. Keep a regular and moderate pattern.
Worry more about the size of your heart than the size of your hips! It is the holiday season, a great time to reflect, enjoy relationships with loved ones and most importantly a time to feel gratitude for blessings received and a time to give back through loving service to others.
• Discuss your anticipations of the holidays with your therapist, physician, dietitian or other members of your treatment team so that they can help you predict, prepare for and get through any uncomfortable family interactions without self-destructive coping attempts.
• Have a well-thought-out game plan before you go home or invite others into your home. Know “where the exits are,” where your support persons are and how you’ll know when it’s time to make a brief exit and get connected with needed support.
• Talk with loved ones about important issues: decisions, victories, challenges, fears, concerns, dreams, goals, special moments, spirituality, relationships and your feelings about them. Allow important themes to be present and allow yourself to have fun rather than rigidly focusing on food or body concerns.
• Choose, ahead of time, someone to call if you are struggling with addictive behaviours, or with negative thoughts, or difficult emotions. Call them ahead of time and let them know of your concerns, needs and the possibility of them receiving a call from you.
• If it would be a support or help to you, consider choosing one loved one to be your “reality check” with food, to either help plate up food for you or to give you a reality check on the food portions which you dish up for yourself.
• Write down your vision of where you would like your mind and heart to be during this holiday time with loved ones. Take time, several times per day, to find a quiet place to become in tune again with your vision, to remember, to nurture, and to centre yourself into those thoughts, feelings, and actions which are congruent with your vision for yourself.
• If you have personal goals for your time with loved ones during the holidays, focus the goals around what you would like to do. Make your goals about “doing something” rather than about trying to prevent something. If you have food goals, then make sure you also add personal emotional, spiritual, and relationship goals as well.
• Work on being flexible in your thoughts. Learn to be flexible in guidelines for yourself, and in expectations of yourself and others. Strive to be flexible in what you can eat during the holidays. Take a holiday from self imposed criticism, rigidity, and perfectionism.
• Stay active in your support group, or begin activity if you are currently not involved. Many support groups can be helpful. 12-step group, co-dependency group, eating disorder therapy group, neighborhood “Bunco” game group, and religious or spiritually oriented groups are examples of groups which may give real support. Isolation and withdrawal from positive support is not the right answer for getting through trying times.
• Avoid “overstressing” and “overbooking” yourself and avoid the temptation and pattern of becoming “too busy.” A lower sense of stress can decrease a felt need to go to eating disorder behaviors or other unhelpful coping strategies. Cut down on unnecessary events and obligations and leave time for relaxation, contemplation, reflection, spiritual renewal, simple service, and enjoying the small yet most important things in life. This will help you experience and enjoy a sense of gratitude and peace.

the weight of the scale (by Barbara @ My Life as an Adventure)

(Guest post by Barbara Isaac Croce at www.mylifeasanadventure.com)

This is a very hard post to write. Because I have to be real down to my toes, and then some. But here is goes.

I lost 20 pounds and kept most of them off. I dared to face the lady in the mirror. I even smiled at her without cringing. I took hundreds of women with me on this journey, and we worked with each other, speaking truth to our spirits, minds and bodies, attending to this shell we live in, and now we all stand up a bit taller, more accepting of who we are, less degraded by the media. I ought to be pleased with myself. I know my stuff. I’m successful at it.

I said it at least a thousand times: “Don’t let the scale talk to you; it plays mind games with you, it seeks to poison the very core of you. It tells you lies about who you are, what matters, what your future is, where your beauty stands.” And we all agree.

And then, I step on the scale.

And it feels like my world is coming to an end. I forget who I am. I forget what truly matters. I forget that I am uncommonly beautiful. Wonderfully becoming.

How can these three little numbers on the scale have such power on me? My feelings take a ride on a wicked roller coaster and I wind up sick to my stomach, and I throw up from the ride. I lose all common sense, and the numbers convince me that I have no hope and I might as well dive into those cookies I have not touched in two months and I don’t really like anyway. And while I eat those cookies that I don’t like and I am not even hungry, I decide that I am going to lose these last few pounds once and for all, even if it kills me.
I have lost my mind.

And no matter how hard I try doing all the things that always worked before, the scale won’t budge for me. And I drive myself insane; I am the lady who teaches by example, you know. I not only talk the talk but I walk the walk. How am I supposed to continue if I myself can’t lose the weight?

And when the tears are gone and I lost all my anger, the answer comes in the quietness of my soul. I hear my very heart repeat it time and time again:

I teach by example; I walk the walk. That’s what works.

Real when things go well, real when things don’t go as I want. Real life with its pretenses peeled away.

Humbling, nitty-gritty life. The kind of life where it might be necessary to put the scale in solitary confinement for a while so that I can work against the power of its numbers. The kind of life where I own to and accept gracefully the lady in the mirror, even when she doesn’t match up with the one in my head. The kind of life where I don’t give myself excuses, but I don’t lie to myself either, pretending that size is where my worth comes. The kind of life that fights against the incessant need to be admired. The kind of life that is fulfilled because of the here and now, and the God who sustains.

Wonderfully becoming. That’s what I am. May I continue to teach by example, aging gracefully without hiding. Ever.

in which i boast of my weakness (guest post by anita mathias)

I have steadily gained weight since I left school which means I am now 115 pounds heavier than I was then! I have been tempted to consider my tendency to gain weight as a thorn in my (literal) flesh, a weakness. You know, bad metabolism, low thyroid, la-di-da.

Well, all somewhat true, and I could accept it as a thorn in the flesh to live with, as people accept ME or CFS—except that, in my case, there is sin involved, and sin is never, never to be accepted, but to be striven against, and conquered (I believe!).

I recently admitted the part sin had played in my weight gain and repented deeply. For me, eating chocolate or sweet treats is sin because my body simply does not need it. So I am abusing a body which is already slowed down with extra weight. Similarly, eating for pleasure when not hungry, or to medicate low spirits, stress or boredom–especially eating things not super-nutritious for my body–is abusing the body and “temple” God gave me.

Or to put it another way, it’s the sin of seeking comfort in anything except other than the Comforter. Idolatry: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. (Jer. 2:13).

(And since that deep repentance in mid-October, I have not bought chocolate or sugary treats, save for a magnificent Pere Noel Stollen in Luxembourg, shaped like a huge Santa Claus that ogled me!!)

Believe it or not, I only acknowledged that comfort eating or emotional eating was a weakness of mine earlier this year. I am not yet wholly free of it–it was a habit of decades after all–but do substitute raisins or popcorn for chocolate or crisps (potato chips for Indian and American readers!)

And perhaps the next step will be not to eat at all if I am not hungry, but do something else. Run, perhaps, which also gives a high and a healthy one. Garden. Pray!

* * *

This is how I am now training myself to think about food: Is what I am planning to eat a blessing or a curse to my body?

What’s a curse to my body? Sugar, chocolate, white flour, white rice, high-fat foods, or, indeed, anything eaten when I am not hungry (since I am overweight). What is a blessing to my body? Fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, and seeds, in particular

I’ve been largely vegan for 3 weeks, following Dr. Furhman’s brilliant diet (which is fruit, vegetables, beans, soups, and salads as a main meal) but not entirely so.
* * *

Peter in Acts 10 sees a great sheet lowered from heaven with clean and unclean animals. He refuses to eat.
“Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. 1 Tim 4:4.

No food God made is “bad.” On the other hand, many foods man has made are not good for us. Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, which is smuggled into pretty much every processed or fast food, are deeply addictive, and according to the New York Times, toxic, and so our family is cutting out sugar and as many processed foods as possible, even making our own hummus and dressings. Yeah, hard-core!!
* * *

Alcoholics Anonymous is a brilliant organization, and much of their wisdom can be applied to self-medication with food. Realize that you cannot break this habit on your own, and that you need help.

They have an acronym HALT for times when alcoholics might be most tempted to have a drink—when they are hungry, angry, lonely or tired. These are also times when those who seek comfort in food might be tempted to a massive food blowout.

My struggle for health is now becoming so entwined with my spiritual life that they are becoming almost one and the same. It’s like a conversion experience—being transformed by the renewal of the mind. Cultivating new responses. Practicing a new way of living. Tuning in to how I am really feeling instead of numbing my emotions with a bar of chocolate, or a high carb numbing feast.
* * *

You know how David prayed seven times a day. Well, I have an inbuilt call to prayer now that I have given up sugar and chocolate and white carbs and am trying to stop all “comfort eating”. Cravings become a reminder to pray.

Feel the need to eat when sad or bored or stressed or angry—but not hungry? Well, I try to slow down and take the time to “eat Jesus”. Eat his flesh, drink his blood. Ask his Holy Spirit the Comforter to fill me.

And so my weakness provides a reminder and pathway for me to seek God and experience his power. And so, when I am weak, I will be strong.

(Post by Anita Mathias; read more of Anita’s work HERE)

image001

Friends,

As you might know, I have pledged to help raise support for FINDINGbalance this month. Fb is a Christian non-profit that helps people eat well and live free from eating and body image issues. I have personally benefited from the work of Fb over the years and am committed this month to help give back.

I need your help to meet my goal.

I have pledged to raise $1000 this month and if I’m able to raise this amount, it will not only be a huge blessing to Fb, but I will also receive a scholarship to their Hungry for Hope conference next May here in Nashville, which would be a huge blessing to me personally.

Will you consider giving $15, $25, $50 or any other amount of your choice TODAY to help me meet my goal?

You can do it in just a few clicks HERE.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

Emily

Tips for staying healthy through the holiday

If you need support for staying healthy with food during the holiday season, here are a few quick tips:

1. Anticipate the pitfalls – holidays can be triggering times. Be mentally prepared for that.

2. At the buffet table, choose what’s “Most Special”. You don’t have to eat everything just because it’s there. Enjoy what you like and leave the rest.

3. Don’t walk alone – be sure you’re talking to at least one friend about holiday ups and downs, and I’m not talking about Ben or Jerry.

~For more tips like these, watch nutritionist Eileen Myers on “Holiday Food Strategies” HERE.

~Chasing Silhouettes now only $10 at Amazon.com; also available at Amazon.ca, ChristianBook.com and Barnes and Noble.

~My interview on Blog Talk Radio can be heard HERE (thank you for praying–they said it was a fantastic show).

the curtain is torn (guest post by holly grantham)

I take my shower in a bathroom small
there is no vent so
the steam
it billows and rolls
about the space
the hot water
pricks
my skin
and it is at once
pain
and
pleasure
Here
in this private space
I practice
once again
the dance of
love
and
hate
I try
desperately
to scrub away the proof
of my erring ways
the fact that
I have lived on sugar and chocolate
for the last
seven days
And it is confusing
because the act of putting
hand to mouth
is supposed to be
sacred
but I seem to always
ruin it
It is the nakedness
I think
that hollers loud
The baring
wide open and needy
that
renders me
undone
And I murmur prayer words
but they get lost
in the rushing
and I can’t escape
my skin
ever
The water
it washes over
my shell
this casing that
houses my
soul
and
I know that it
is a temple
but I
don’t believe it
I shut off
the flowing cataract
stand silent
and
brooding
I step out
of that
confessional
the one
that sometimes
spins dizzy
and it happens
In that moment
the curtain
is
torn
in
two
and I stand
foot bare
on
holy ground
For
John baptized
in the desert places
and
even if there is still
sand between my toes
I can now speak
the tongue of
saints
(my beautiful poet-friend, Holly Grantham blogs at a lifetime of days)
*Chasing Silhouettes now only $10 at Amazon.com; also available at Amazon.ca, ChristianBook.com and Barnes and Noble.

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)