about a skinny girl who wrote an eating disorder book

Maybe it’s one of the reasons I whisper hallelujah each time I find a boy in my womb growing long and limber, although I know eating disorders are just as real for them, 25 per cent real in fact, and we just don’t realize it…

That men sometimes hide in toilet bowls and candy wrappers and weigh scales, but 75 % of women struggle with disordered eating and I never really wanted to have a girl. I never really liked the color pink, and I still struggle with OCD and I joke that it’s like ADD only different acronyms but when the stress becomes high it’s truly debilitating.

Prayer is the only antidote and if I did have a girl, I fear I’d always be adjusting her pink ribbons….

(for the rest of this post, and a chance to win a copy of Chasing Silhouettes, won’t you join me at my friend Amber’s place tonight? love to you all…)

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on what it means to be real (guest post by amy hunt)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This space here where I write has been practice for real life.

It’s bended me and mended me.

I’ve been challenged and inspired. Encouraged and admittedly, even admired.

The words that string together from these fingers at, {ahem}, five-twenty-ish in the a.m., are nothing less than a remarkable act of God.

Proof that He provokes this passion in me to write. To share. To make mention of His oh, so Amazing Grace.

Many notes from readers of my writing have humbled me as I have been considered *authentic*.

Those kinds of comments have untied me.

Unraveled the pretty ribbon that has kept together this sometimes *seemingly perfect* try-hard life.

*Authentic* is exactly what I have struggled to live out loud.

Real life has found me cowering in the self-constructed prison of isolation from community.

This truth is hard to admit, yet I’m believing my obedience to telling is a must for me. Worship to Him.

For so long I’ve shirked back when a real friendship has been what I most want.

People in my life have missed out on seeing the real Me.

And mostly, I have missed out on letting them accept all of me.

Though I have always believed God doesn’t make mistakes, I’ve thought maybe I wreck a little bit of who I am supposed be every time I fail to do life right.

It has aggravated me, angered me, and mostly shamed me when I have made a mistake or disappointed someone. Every time someone would say they needed to talk with me, I would assume I’ve done something wrong.

There has been “zero room for error” in my perception of how my living should be.

Perhaps that is why I was hired–twice–at the place where I hear my boss speak that phrase nearly every day.

I fit into that culture mold and let it enable my expectations of perfection.

It’s that perspective that I let box up my writing for so many years, considering myself as never good enough

that has made so many people label me as intense

and that I feel shame for, and rename as passion when I know it’s really a disguise for what is true.

I have lived laser-focused on getting life right. Though not always knowing how to make myself *do* right

So I made rules and restrictions. For me and for others.

Eventually the *Manufactured Me* went defunct. Because you can only keep up charades for so long.

I wounded by myself–constantly living according to how I should act, and never quite knowing all the right rules.

When I have been in the company of friends, or even family, I have expected that they will think I am still intense and that I haven’t changed. And so I’ve often run and hidden, and even scoured to find different friends who don’t know the Me who flops and flails to be herself.

I have struggled with fear that people I know well won’t see the changes in me.

I have feared they will make assumptions of who I am.

That they will look past the softening–the even slight bending I am more willing to allow.

The pouring of my heart here in this space–a place that I know people in my real community sometimes visits–makes me want to dart my eyes away from them in the hallway at my child’s Open House. In real life we don’t talk hardly at all about what is truly real. And yet, my heart is sprawled out right here in this space.

Naked. Exposed. Me.

I’ve said I slink back into hiding because I don’t trust people to be genuine. When really, it’s that I haven’t trusted Him–

that He uses All. For. Purpose.

I haven’t really trusted that our paths connect for purpose and that I haven’t broken the *Me* He created.

That I’m just as He allows me–floppy and flaily and a little bit of crazy.

Reuniting with high school friends this summer was scary for me. I was tempted to feel shame for who I was all those years ago, and fear they might not like who I am now. But He gave me courage to stand with my friends and let them accept the real Me.

It’s taken me years to let myself know genuine love and friendship. 

     The kind that says, I like being around you, just. the. way. you. are

God is growing my acceptance of the peace in me about who I really am.

Authentic-Me is beginning to emerge in my every day real living.

I am learning to wrestle fear and shame to the ground.

He is doing amazing work in me.

He’s making the real Me bubble up.

I am no longer strong enough to keep the lid tight and the pressure of His grace is making the *authentic* Me boil over.

I am discovering beauty in me as I admit that I will make some kind of mistake every day.

As odd as it may seem, this is a truth that I have only recently considered.

A truth that has begun to set me free from the try-hard Me.

I am ready for people to see the real Me, now that I am finally discovering who she is. 

And I’m ready to be kinder and gentler with Me. To become my own friend.

The words He leads me to write make this heart He’s healing and refining–authenticity–boil over the stone pot I’ve kept sealed tight.

What you see here is the Me who has been freed.

And hopefully what you *see* is an outpouring of the same–in Real Life.

The *perfect* I’ve for too long thought I should be, is {finally} coming untied.

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on Stephen King, God and Writing (and giclee print giveaway!)

It’s the seventh day of vacation and I’m resting after six days of creating, like God did in the beginning, only I suspect God wasn’t drinking a beer and reading Stephen King’s Bag of Bones.

But he may have been sitting by the water like I am. Staring at the way it ripples like gold-spun threads and thinking about the way it makes me feel rested and whole, in the same way creating does.

I’m writing books these days and it’s a dream come true except for the fear in it all. The fear of not doing it well. The fear of being exposed for the mess I am. But it’s relieving as well, kind of like a long run or meditation. It’s relieving in the way that anything good for you is, even when it’s hard…

(join me for the rest of this post over at Prodigal Magazine, where i’m giving away a copy of my book-Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder-releasing NEXT week!! woot!)

She learned that from me (Guest Post by Kim Van Brunt)

She — the girl closer than my skin, the one I love as deep as an ocean and higher than the mountaintops and everything big and bold and bright — she is so much like me that I ache.

Feelings hurt, she explodes back into the house, taking it out on anyone, anything, screaming to diffuse some of the pain twisting her heart.

She learned that from me.

Proud of the outfit she put together, she marches into the van for school, sparkly sequined hat and all, and then just before we pull up to school drop-off she pulls the hat off, casts it aside, smooths her hair, wary.

She learned that from me.

Asking tentatively, because she’s already put it on, if she can wear eyeshadow today because “I want to look pretty today, mama,” and my heart breaks open and I even get a little angry as I repeat “You are ALWAYS pretty, honey,” and not today.

She learned that from me.

And just tonight, when I encouraged her to eat her last bites of dinner because she’s growing and I don’t want her to be hungry later, she says she needs to lose weight because her tummy sticks out too much.

My heart drops completely through the floor, my protective instincts rear up and I want to defend her from this lie, from whoever told her this, from the evil lurking, from the cynicism and pain that’s already knocking at her door — and then I realize that it’s me. It’s me she needs protection from. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my desire to drop these extra 20 pounds in her presence, because I’m fairly careful, but even if I didn’t say those words, I know:

She learned that from me.

And it all crystallizes: I cannot give her what I do not have. What I do have, I pass on to her whether I mean to or not.

The hardest part? Is that the solution can’t be motivated by her. I have to cultivate self-love and self-compassion from within, and it has to be directed within. She can inspire it, but it can’t be about her. How easy that would be — I would scale that mountain in a day if I knew it was for her. But for it to really be genuine and true, it has to be for me. For me, in me, so that it can naturally flow out of me.

So that when I see her show such amazing empathy for people around her, I can say

She learned that from me.

When she becomes bolder in her choices and surer of her own likes, I’ll guess that maybe

She learned that from me.

When she cares about health because of a respectful relationship with her body and with food, oh how I long to be able to say

She learned that from me.

This — this learning self-love because I cannot afford to be selfish about not caring anymore — this is one of the hardest things I will ever do. But I’m inspired by the love I have for her, and pushed on by the love I see in all of their eyes, love for me, acceptance of me, embracing of me, and I know I’m on step one of a marathon, but I will keep going,

And then the perseverance, the hope and leaning into the pain

She can learn that from me, too.

Kim Van Brunt blogs regularly at kimvanbrunt.com.

grace (eventually)…. thoughts on binging and dieting by anne lamott

i’ve been reading her, again, this anne lamott who says things i believe. it’s like she’s in my head, and i want to share her thoughts on binging and self-worth and Jesus with you, here below. (love to you all, on this healing journey…)

“whenever i want to either binge or diet, it means that there is some part of me that is deeply afraid. i had been worrying about (my son) more than usual, and only partly because he had just begun to drive. i had been worried sick about Bush for five years now. there was a terrifying epidemic of breast cancer in my county; like so many others, i had friends who were trying to survive. and lately i’d fallen back into my old habit of acting like classroom helper to the world, doing too many favors for people… i had been to a funeral. i had had a molar pulled. i had recently seen the skin on the back of my neck under fluorescent lights in a hotel mirror. i hadn’t seen it in years; not it looked like it was upholstered in a few inches of the Utah desert. everything was too much.

“all i could think to do was what every addict thinks of doing: kill the pain… anyone would understand if you binged every so often… even Jesus would, although somehow i don’t see him ripping open a package of Hostess Ding Dongs for me. but thinking of him reminded me that food would not fill the holes or quiet the fear. only love would; only my own imperfect love would.” (anne lamott, grace eventually, 53-54)

on messing up our children

in many ways, i am glad i have boys.

i am worried i would mess up a girl. i am worried she would see me worrying and think she needed to worry too: about life, about God maybe not being as good as she hoped he was, about boys and school and everything in life that weighs a person down.

and i’m worried these fears would make her try to hurt herself, for her not being able to save the world.

yet boys are people too and they have feelings and hearts and what it comes down to is this: i need to stop worrying, so i don’t mess up my children.

i need to learn to trust God more and take myself more lightly. i need to learn to laugh at myself. to take that shame and fear and turn them into humility and hope.

and in some strange way, i think i need to think LESS of myself so i stop thinking i could ever save the world, and start thinking a whole heck of a lot MORE of God.

less of me. more of him. less of me. more of him.

this is my mantra this week.

this is my mantra for life, and one of these days, i’ll stop worrying about how much i worry, and i’ll learn to just live.