self-sufficiency < deeper dependence

This week a friend encouraged me that in a time of prayer for our family she felt like God gave her the word “digital journaling”. She believed God wanted to encourage us to be willing to be raw and open about what He is doing in and through us.

I received that word and am here to say that God is working, helping me to identify areas that need to be more closely focused on His face and asking me to set aside some good things for His best things. Conceptually it sounds amazing and holy and pure and right. In reality, it’s not so easy.

OBEDIENCE OVER UNDERSTANDING

Recently our family attended The Send in Orlando, Florida. Perhaps I will write in more detail about the event itself in the future, but for the purpose of today’s topic, I’ll hone in on a specific aspect that was encouraged by one of the speakers—an invitation to enter into a 40 day fast.

As I prayerfully reflected on what might be the best thing for me to fast from, the answer that rose up in my heart was a little unexpected: fast from social media and step back from building my health coaching business. Immediately, I recognized the time that this could free up for focused prayer and study in God’s word as well as pouring more into those closest to me. However, the subsequent wave of thoughts has required more soul searching.

If I step away from my business for 40 days:
-I’ll lose traction and my consistent investment of time will crumble.
-The women I work with may feel abandoned.
-What will be left when I return? Continue reading “self-sufficiency < deeper dependence"

just how bad are the mosquitoes in the Yukon?

Hi! It’s been a while. Remember me? We are currently in Florida working in the panhandle with Samaritan’s Purse for the Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. You are welcome to hop over to my Instagram Page and view my daily stories to see more about what that is like (be sure to say hi while you are there).

Where are you at? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to since my last post! Today I am going to do a time hop back to a post that I wrote in route to Alaska this last summer. I’d waited to post it until Trent had time to edit the accompanying video. I hope you enjoy!

When we started telling others about our plans to spend the summer in Alaska, one subject inevitably surfaced again and again: mosquitoes. People really felt it was important to let us know how bad they were.

However, I’ve learned to use caution when fear is involved. After all, it almost kept me from visiting Florida the first year we wintered in the RV. Plus there are these two strong factors that we believed set us squarely in a category devoid of any mosquito naivety:

Trent grew up in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes and millions of mosquitoes.

We’ve been to the Everglades!

However, we haven’t even crossed the border into Alaska and we’ve already learned some major mosquito lessons. Just how bad are the mosquitoes in the Yukon? You be the judge. Continue reading “just how bad are the mosquitoes in the Yukon?”

i quit exercising for 20 years

While I’d been living in freedom from my eating disorder for well over a decade, it took much longer to freely engage in exercise. I recognized that in the past my exercise levels had become obsessive. Fearful that I’d slip back into the same obsessive mindset if I started exercising, I largely avoided it altogether. Occasionally I’d dip my toes in the water with a gym membership here and a workout DVD there. However, for the most part, I nestled right into the bosom of my fear, finding a convenient excuse to quit exercise for 20 years.

THE SHIFT

Two years ago things started to shift. We embraced a new lifestyle of RV living and I vowed to start praying through my fears and embracing discomfort. Three months into our travels, the topic of exercise rose to the top. Not only had my husband started running a few days a week, but we found ourselves parked adjacent to a couple that seemed to think daily exercise was part of their full-time job (I later found out that it was). I’d stare out my window watching them take turns working out in the Florida heat and think, “That looks hard, why would anyone want to do that?” or “I think they are taking that exercise stuff a little too seriously.

THE QUESTIONS

In defense of my own personal fears, justified myself right out of taking action on my own health. As the days passed and their consistency remained, my resolve started to waver. Instead of directing my thoughts at them, I found myself starting to look at myself. A flurry of thoughts started swirling through my mind:

What would happen if I gave myself another chance at this?
But what if I started obsessing again? What if I backslid into my old ways?

My food mindset has been healthy and whole for a long time.
What if my mindset was focused on being strong instead of being skinny?

How could I maintain a regular exercise routine while on the road?
My husband was doing it. My crazy neighbors were doing it. It must be possible.

What would happen if I committed to regular exercise?
How would that feel 6 months from now, a year from now if I didn’t quit?

Not typically one to tread lightly into new terrain, I sat on these thoughts for a few months, pulling them out every now and then to re-examine them from new angles. Out of curiosity, I researched the workout programs my neighbors were using. I discovered that they were health coaches who supported people using their programs with online accountability in the area of exercise and nutrition. I looked into the costs and discovered they were markedly less than I’d anticipated. I wondered and wavered some more.

THE CHALLENGE

On Super Bowl Sunday the men were outside in camp chairs watching a TV mounted in the bed of a truck while I found myself inside an RV surrounded by women munching on snacks and sipping wine. The topic of exercise came up. Many chimed in that this was an area they could use some accountability in. The idea of a plank challenge surfaced. Each woman would put in $25 and for one month we would practice our planks at home. We’d check in with each other and report our progress. At the end of the month, the woman with the best time overall and the woman who saw the greatest improvement would spilt the pot.

I was in.

Perhaps now would be a good time to mention that I’d never done a plank before. In fact, I had to google the term to be sure that what I thought I’d just agreed to was actually accurate. My starting time was piddly but I didn’t really care.

I was going to do this. Continue reading “i quit exercising for 20 years”

my eating disorder

I was fearful.

I was insecure.

I was chasing an ideal that was destructive.

This is the story of my eating disorder.

HELLO LIE

It started in my childhood with this simple lie: “Being pretty is important.” As I chased an unobtainable ideal, another seed was planted within my heart: “In order to be pretty, you must be skinny.”

It may sound trivial or trite but this singular idea dominated my thinking, decisions and focus for the better portion of my school age years.

This twisted truth first germinated in my heart during grade school. While I was learning how to make friendship bracelets and play dodgeball, I was simultaneously watching my mom fight an ever-shifting battle with food. Seeing her ongoing struggle with weight impacted me at a root level and I proactively determined that her reality would not become my future.

my eating disorder Continue reading “my eating disorder”

i am an attempted murderer

When I was 6 years old I was so jealous of another girl’s beauty that first I cut off her hair and then I tried to kill her.

Yes, you read that right.

No, it is not an exaggeration.

Friends, this is why I was a little scared terrified to start sharing the lies I’ve believed but whatever, i’m doing this because of a request from God, not to win your approval so let’s proceed. (Quick disclaimer: if you are jumping in on my blog for the very first time, you might want to head on back to this post to quickly bring yourself up to speed.)

Photo: My younger brother and I

PLAYING SECOND FIDDLE

Her name was Charlie. Her parents were going through a bit of a rough spot so my parents offered to let her stay at our house for a bit. I didn’t know Charlie very well but it didn’t take me long to decide that I didn’t like her. I don’t recall Charlie directly doing anything to make me not like her. What she did do was redirect my parents attention off of me and on to her. I stood back and saw my mom and dad fussing over her, attending to her needs, talking about how cute she was and all kinds of revolting things. I didn’t really get it because Charlie had just barely arrived and I’d be there like, forever, so what in the world would make my parents suddenly change sides like that?

Clearly, my perspective as an adult shines a laser beam of clarity on the situation. In an effort to make Charlie feel comfortable in what must have been a potentially sad or scary situation, my parents went above and beyond to shower her with welcome. My 6 year old self did not understand this. What I did know was that suddenly I was playing second fiddle to the new North Star. In my feeble attempt to rationalize their behavior I scrutinized the situation. What I saw was illuminating. Charlie was in fact very pretty and she possessed the most remarkable blond, curly hair that I’d ever seen. As I reflected on my own appearance, it was painfully clear that my straight brown hair could never compare. The lie stealthily slipped in: the pretty girls get all the attention.

Continue reading “i am an attempted murderer”