Tag Archive | happiness

What Are You Afraid Of?

I used to be afraid at night. Afraid of the dark. Afraid that just beyond the point my eyesight allowed me to see that there was something lurking. Afraid that the darkness itself would somehow surround me and swallow me up…as if darkness were anything more than simply the absence of light.

I used to be afraid of tomorrow. Afraid that who I was would continually dictate who I am, and that who I would be might be someone who I didn’t like very much at all…as though there was no such thing as being made new.

I used to be afraid of opinions. Afraid that though words would not break my bones, they certainly would shatter my dreams…as though I started doing this for the approval of many, rather than the glory of One.

I used to be afraid of failure. Afraid of losing. Afraid of falling. Afraid of being wrong, creating busts, and looking absolutely stupid, because who am I to think that I could ever actually make a difference? As if those setbacks were anything more than the laying down of stepping stones on the path to success.

I used to be afraid.  Used to.

But then I did a little research.  And by that, I mean I re-searched, and I re-searched, and I re-searched, over and over again, and through all of my re-searching, I kept coming up with the same exact question:

What room does fear have?

What room does fear have when I cling to TRUST? What room does fear have when I lean on HOPE? What room does fear have when I search for something more, when I discover and realize what’s good, and when I stand in AWE? When I run with PERSEVERANCE, when I walk by FAITH, and when I rest in COMFORT. What room does fear have when I sing with PRAISE, when I take hold of INSPIRATION, explore the POSSIBILITIES, and step into FREEDOM? What room does fear have when I discover STRENGTH, EMBRACE COURAGE, REMEMBER PEACE, DECLARE TRUTH, CHOOSE JOY, EXPERIENCE LIFE and CONQUER DEATH? What room does fear have when I find perfection in the one place I never thought to look? In weakness, when I’m saved by the most unlikely of heroes. By grace, when I’m invited into a relationship more loving and intimate than I could ever imagine, as a child of God.

I’ll ask you again: what room does fear have when I step out of the darkness, and I bask in the light? When I let the past be the past and the future has no limit. When they can talk all they want, but their opinion doesn’t matter! And when failure is nothing more and nothing less than the road by which I walk my path to success.

I’ll ask you one last time: what room does fear have when in His Word, He tells me three hundred and sixty-five times DO. NOT. BE. AFRAID. As if I needed to hear that every single day. And as if that’s how many times I needed to hear it before I finally believed it.

What room does fear have when I make room for LOVE?

What are you afraid of? 

 

-Jon Jorgenson

 

Here is the video if you want to watch him speak it.

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Faithfully His

As I think back to how I managed the last long, hard stretch of recovery, I know that what did it for me was my faith. It doesn’t matter if you’re in recovery from an eating disorder like I was, or if your addiction is alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, gambling, or something else. What I learned is that, with my strong-hold, I had to submit myself to a higher power, and realize that I could not do it all myself – I needed to seek strength from God. In doing so, my recovery took a turn, and I had the strength to get through times that felt unbearable. No longer did I need to find my own strength to endure because I had His. Through recovery, I learned that I am Faithfully His.

God has given his Word to learn from and enjoy. To refresh us. To call out the desire for relationship with Him that He’s planted deep within our souls. To speak to our hearts. To show us who He is. To awaken us to our failings, but then to draw us toward the restorative, redemptive blessings.

His Word is not a chore. It’s life. It’s love. It’s the living truth. It’s not just to read. It’s to be absorbed. To bathe in. To breathe in. To live by. To inspire us, to reshape us. To define us. That’s because it’s alive. It’s not a book written with historical data for your information but animated by His Spirit for your edification – to speak intimately and personally to you regarding His purposes for your life.

The Word is there to help us keep our way, and without it we can lose our strength. In a world inundated with ideas to the contrary, it is our constant reminder of who we really are, why we are here, and who we really belong to.

You are His, and His Word helps to keep your sure of that. Just as she stated, here is a lengthy list of affirmation statements created by Priscila Shirer from her book The Resolution for Women, taken directly from the Word of the living God. They’re not direct quotes, but they recast the theme of the referenced verse so you can declare it in first person.

As you audibly speak these biblical statements over your life (or your loved ones) your mind will be renewed, your faith will be strengthened, and your attitude will be transformed. “Faith come from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.”

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This lengthy list doesn’t have to be read or spoken all at once, but it’s there if you need something fast and short to speak aloud to get through difficult moments. (I actually wrote scriptures on note cards, put them on a key ring, and kept them in my purse for easy access).

Without further ado: 

  • I love the Lord my God with my whole heart, soul, and mind (Mark 12:30)
  • I walk by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)
  • The Lord is on my side; I will not fear what man can do to me (Psalm 118:6)
  • I am competent not in my own abilities but he has made me competent by His spirit that gives me life (2 Corinthians 3: 5-6)
  • I abide in Christ, He abides in me and I bear much fruit. Apart from Him, I can do nothing (John 15:5)
  • I have the mind of Christ; therefore I act in a way that is consistent with His actions (1 Corinthians 2:16)
  • You will never leave me nor for sake me (Hebrews 13:5)
  • I do not look with disdain upon my weaknesses. I see them as opportunities for God to display his powerful strength and grace through me (2 Corinthians 12:10)
  • No weapon formed against me can prosper, and every tongue that rises up against me in judgment will be condemned (Isaiah 54:17)
  • I will be hospitable without complaint (1 Peter 4:9)
  • I will not use my tongue to speak cursing, but rather I will speak life-giving blessings to everyone I meet any and every situation I face (James 3:8-10)
  • The Spirit in dwells me; therefore I am the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16)
  • I am faithful over a few things, and I will be made ruler over many (Matthew 25:23)
  • I humbly submit to God, and actively resist the work of the devil, knowing he must flee from me (James 4:7)
  • I will not give the enemy opportunity or foothold in my life (Ephesians 4:27)
  • The One who is in me is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)
  • I choose to obey the Lord and receive the prosperous abundance and blessing He will bestow on me (Deuteronomy 30:8-9)
  • My heart keeps the Commandments of God. They will add length of days and peace to my life (Proverbs 3:2)
  • I walk by the Spirit and do not fulfill the desires of my flesh (Galatians 5:16)
  • I am enabled to exhibit the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • The Lord guards my going out and my coming in, today and forever (Psalm 121:8)
  • I rejoice in the Lord wheter circumstances are good or bad (Phillipians 4:4)
  • I will not be afraid when I lie down and my sleep shall be sweet (Proverbs 3: 24)
  • I obtain the favor of the Lord (Proverbs 12:2)
  • The Lord is in my midst, and He sings over me with joy (Zephaniah 3:17)
  • I am the apple of my Father’s eye (Deuteronomy 32:10)
  • Goodness and mercy will follow me not only today but all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6)
  • I have been made in the image and likeness of God himself. This is my heritage (Genesis 1:27)
  • I have not been given the spirit of this world, rather, I have the Spirit of God that I might know the mind and will of God for me (1 Corinthians 1:12)
  • I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16)
  • My steps have been ordained and ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23)
  • I only allow my mind to entertain what is honorable, right, pure, lovely, noble, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8)
  • I long for the pure milk of the Word that I may grow to spiritual maturity (1Peter 2:2)
  • I seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14)
  • I am a necessary and useful part of the body of Christ, and I will use my spiritual gifts to edify others (1 Corinthians 12:7)
  • Faith, hope, and love -especially love- abide in me (1 Corinthians 13:13)
  • I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • I have been given victory in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 15:57)
  • I am meek, and I will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)
  • I extend mercy to others, and I will in turn receive mercy (Matthew 5:7)
  • I have a pure heart before God, and I expect to see His manifest presence in my life (Matthew 5:8)
  • I discipline myself for the purpose of godliness since it holds promise for the present life as well as the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8)
  • My ambition is to be pleasing to Him and him alone (2 Corinthians 5:9)
  • I do not judge fellow believers so that I will not bring judgment on myself (Romans 2:1)
  • My priority is to seek first the kingdom of God’s righteousness, and I expect all needed, secondary things to be added onto me (Matthew 6:33)
  • I am a true worshiper I worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23)
  • I do not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3)
  • Rivers of living water flow out of my inner being (John 7:38)
  • I have been chosen by God to bring forth fruit that shall remain (John 15:16)
  • I am a brand-new person my old sin nature has passed away, and everything has become new (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • No matter my past, I am forgiven of my sins because of His grace upon me (Ephesians 1:7)
  • I have been given every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3)
  • Because he was wounded, I am healed (Isaiah 53:5)
  • In Christ, I am whole and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4)
  • Whatever I ask for in prayer according to the fathers will, I believe that I have received it (Mark 11:24)
  • I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. I am one of God’s own people (1 Peter 2:9)
  • I will not be afraid because I know the spirit of fear is not from Him. He has given me the spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • I am not a stranger to God. I am a citizen of God’s kingdom and a member of his household (Ephesians 2:19)
  • I have been sealed by the Holy Spirit who indwells me. He is a pledge from the Father of my coming inheritance (Ephesians 1:13–14)
  • I am a masterpiece created in Christ Jesus in order to walk in the good works He has prepared for me to do (Ephesians 2:10)
  • For freedom I have been made free. I walk daily in this gift of freedom (Galatians 5:1)
  • I am dead to the power of sin (Romans 6:11)
  • I have been raised with Christ, and I sit with him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6)
  • I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13–14)
  • I will not fear because the Lord is my light, my salvation, and the strength of my life (Psalm 27:1)
  • The joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • I trust completely in the Lord; therefore I will be like a fruit-bearing tree that continually finds nourishment despite dry, parched weather (Jeremiah 17:7–8)
  • No good thing will the Lord withhold from me as I walk uprightly before Him (Psalm 84:11)
  • Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and I will do the worlds that He did (John 14:12)
  • In Christ I have become a child of God, and I receive the blessings God has for me(John 1:2; Romans 16:17)
  • In Christ, God has chosen me as His own and made me strong. He has placed His mark on me. He has placed His Spirit in my heart as a guarantee for all he has promised (2 Corinthians 1:21– 22)
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)

believe

Today God invites you to live a life marked by faithfulness. By his Spirit and with the guidance and encouragement of His Word, this is an absolutely attainable goal for you. No matter what your past has held, this resolution can mark a new beginning. Read the resolution prayerfully and hold it in your heart when you are ready. You are Faithfully His.

Body Respect

What if you’re not ready to love your body?

I tried to think back, and I don’t know when I stopped glancing at my body in the glass as I passed by windows, but I know it has happened somewhere between when I didn’t like my body, and now, when I accept and like it. As I thought back to how I am now able to not check out my size in the glass as I pass, I think that middle ground that I learned to find was a neutral relationship of respect with my body.

body     keep-calm-and-love-your-body      beautiful

While “Love Your Body” mantras and “Everyone Is Beautiful” Band-Aids are wielded by people with their hearts in the right places, it puts a lot of undue pressure on people when we provide a “what” without the “how.” Sometimes it seems like we expect them to miraculously jump from hatred to unconditional love in a single bound. While I’m all for a world where people of all shapes, sizes flaunt their stuff, while dripping with self-confidence, I also think it’s an unfair expectation to say, “just love your body,” because it isn’t that easy.

As I started the journey of turning away from hating my body, and leaning more toward respecting my body, I found that I constantly asked my psychologist, How am I supposed to love my body? What if I never love my body? ” It really felt like this journey of loving and accepting my body was supposed to happen in some large catapult. This is not the case! Accepting your body comes with intentional work over time, and you just have to take baby steps. I found that as I started respecting it for what it could do, I began to find neutral ground that we (my body and my thoughts) could stand on….. Essentially, I started to actually feel the respect my body, and not just say it. It’s definitely NOT a catapult from one place to the other!

catapult

Body respect might look like waking up in the morning and asking yourself, first thing, simply, “How do I feel in my body?” It’s figuring out what you need to feel good in that moment – whether it’s oatmeal for breakfast, a few more minutes of sleep, or an extra cup of coffee. When you respect your body you are assessing how you feel in it, and doing something to make it more positive. That can be jazzing up your outfit with a fun scarf, or deciding you feel so tired, it’s a flat shoe kind of day. It is also intentionally choosing clothing that fits appropriately as to not make you feel bad throughout the day – sometimes, for me, it just was not a dress kind of day because I didn’t want the distraction of my thighs touching, so I would reach for the pants in the closet, and find a way to spice that up and enjoy what I was wearing with cute shoes and a scarf. As time went on, I wore the dresses a little here and there and now I love them. I worked to not be defeated by wearing pants, it was just where I was at that day. I

Body respect is neither scrutinizing your body, nor necessarily admiring yourself, but finding a way to respect the body you have right now (especially for what it does for you). It’s self-talk that is positive because you know someday you will accept your body. It’s going to the gym because you want to feel healthier and more energized, not because you feel guilty and like you have to work out because you had cake at a work party. It’s eating all the necessary calories because you know your body is a complex system that wants to run efficiently. It’s not thinking twice about that craving you have for a grande Mocha Latte because it is neither a source of shame (“If I get it, I’ll get a non-fat, no-whip tall”) nor pride (“Let me post this on instagram so everyone knows how not worried about food I am!”). It’s simply satisfying a craving.

Body respect is putting it on a blank slate each day. It’s saying, “I respect my body enough for all the functions it does for me each day, and I will keep respecting it.” It’s no longer waging war, yet not necessarily having to say, “I love you and you are my best friend!” It’s also the ability to wait, and allow for that growth of acceptance to happen (and with work and patience, it will). It’s being fair enough to say, “I might not love you right now, but I respect all that you do for me and what you need.”

Body respect really is a form body acceptance. It’s a stop on the train to body love. You can get off there or stay on for the ride toward the final destination. The point is, once you’re there, you’ll never look back and long for the place that you left.

And maybe…. Just maybe…. if we teach people body respect, and how to inch toward body love, rather than implying that the only way there is a catapult — they’ll (more comfortably, daringly, courageously) feel empowered to leave their body hate behind.

The Things Ed (and Addiction) Steals From Us

The eating disorder, or any addiction for that matter, is much more than a psychological or physical reliance on behavior or substances; it’s a physical, emotional and spiritual issue that puts blinders on our perspective, corrodes our value systems, and compromises our ability to prioritize normally. It literally takes over our life slowly and begins to damage every part of our being.

Over time, the eating disorder (or addiction) becomes our most important priority. And in order to continue fueling its demanding and ravenous needs, we must sacrifice other important aspects of our lives.

As I looked back on recovery and though about the damage it has done, I’ve realize that, like any other addiction, the eating disorder had affected everything in my life that was meaningful. I’m so thankful that I am recovered and that the eating disorder no longer has the control over any aspect of my life.

Ed (and addiction) is a thief, and these seven things are its most common targets:

  1. Relationships

relationship Relationships2

Watching someone suffer from an eating disorder or addiction can be both heart wrenching and infuriating. Although no one wants to isolate someone they love, our behaviors and mentality during active addiction often force family and friends to want to walk away. Our refusal for help and the want to engage in unhealthy behaviors makes for the worst combination. Ed quickly steals our most cherished relationships.

  1. Success

success success2

Whether it’s performing well at work, honing our talents or continuing to learn, things that once made us feel successful are replaced by the eating disorder. The eating disorder is very good at stealing our passions and diminishing the quality of our efforts. It makes us feel like we aren’t good at anything and we will never be worthy. This is a lie.

  1. Time

time - Copy time2 - Copy

Possibly the most important commodity in life, our time is forever fleeting. Every minute, day or decade that we sacrifice to the eating disorder becomes stolen time we’ll never get back.

Aside from the life-shortening, physical consequences of our destructive behaviors, being active in our eating disorder also steals the quality, purpose and value of our time. I never realized how much time was lost until I was far in recovery and actually productive with my time and enjoying things. I was so wrapped up and consumed in the rituals of the eating disorder and I didn’t have any real time to actually live!

  1. Gratitude

gratitude gratitude2

Addiction rewires the pleasure centers of our brain. Whether it’s a sunset, a child playing, or a good friend’s contagious laugh, we slowly become unappreciative to the meaningful moments in our lives. Experiencing the world through a veil of the eating disorder makes seeing or feeling things we once loved increasingly more difficult. The eating disorder makes us lose meaning in what is important in life.

  1. Spirituality

spirituality spirituality2

Whether it’s through religion, nature, philosophy, art or anything else, spirituality is an important aspect of our human experience. The eating disorder quickly steals our wonder and peace; it destroys our ability to dream. In the deepest of my eating disorder, trying to dig myself out, I realized that I was drawn so far from my faith that I didn’t know who I was anymore. This may have been the most detrimental loss for a period of time. Everything loses meaning when you lose your faith. Finding my faith and my relationship with God again is what saved my life. There is a reason why Alcoholics Anonymous has a focus on a higher power.

  1. Happiness

happiness happiness2

Once we lose our loved ones, our ambition, our gratitude and our spirit, happiness becomes harder and harder to hold onto.The eating disorder promises us happiness, but simply supplements our discontent with short-term escapes. It continues to raise the bar on us as we continue to strive for what is promised. As we work harder for the happiness, it seems to get farther and farther away. As we begin to lose our happiness, it also becomes easier to steal our hope.

  1. Hope

hope hope2

Once addiction steals everything else, the only remaining thing to steal is our hope. From recommitting to future goals, to mending our broken relationships, the hope of regaining our lives is continually taken as we remain in active in the eating disorder. To regain hope, we must first recognize the culprit that has taken everything away. Not everyone experiences addiction the same, but the disease is predictable in terms of what it steals from us. The eating disorder and addiction is a thief of our time, our minds, our hearts and our relationships. After taking everything else, addiction also tries to steal the hope of our recovery. These are the points in recovery when you want to give up, turn and run or feel like you can’t go on anymore. I saw a pattern in my recovery when I frequently said, “I need to take a break from all of this.” What that really meant was that I was beaten down, tired of fighting, and worn out from the loss of hope for being fully recovered. However, quality treatment programs offer millions of individuals hope when there seems to be none. I was very lucky enough to have a treatment team that recognized those statements and didn’t allow me to “take a break” from appointments. I think when we journey in recovery, this is one of the firs things we get back. Once we begin to regain our hope of recovery, we can also begin to recover the other stolen parts of our lives.

The good thing is, these things can be given back. Although we can never get back the time that was lost in the eating disorder or addiction, we can spend time building new relationships, memories and successes. Once we decided we want a healthy life (and it is possible) we can immediately have hope as we enter treatment to begin the journey toward finding our self. As we find success in recovery we learn to value gratitude and see the little things in life, feel true happiness, regain our sense of spirituality and everything comes back around, full-circle. Although we momentarily lose some things, through recovery we learn valuable lessons and become stronger for it.

Beach Bodies

I should be doing school work, or going out for a run in prep for a 10 miler coming up, but instead I felt the need to write about summer beach bodies! 🙂

I’m going on vacation to Aruba this Sunday and I couldn’t care less what I look like in my bathing suit because I’ll be reading some books on the beach in between my sangrias and dips in the ocean. I’ve come to accept my athletic build as part of who I am, but that hasn’t come easy. It came with many sessions of my therapist screaming in my face gently reminding me that body mass index, or BMI, is bogus and that it isn’t a real measure of how healthy a person really is.

She may have talked to me two, three, four, ten, twelve times and it may have looked like this by the end:

screaming

Let’s be honest, people! We don’t hear the crap they say the first time they say it!!! 🙂

Just kidding (but she probably looked like that on the inside). BMI did come up a lot, and I’m sure it was exhausting to repeat before it sank in and I could finally “hear” it. I finally had to do my own research and I talked a lot about BMI and how bogus it is in a previous post here.

After many rounds at the doctors, I realized that I will probably always be tipping the scales close to, or in the overweight category simply because I have a strong athletic build. I’ve had my fair share of doctors tell me that my glutes are strong and well developed and that my hamstrings and quads are as well (hence why they are always tight and I have issues). Oh the life of a field hockey player with strong legs and glutes!!

legs

OK – Back to our beach bodies!

I came across this image about beach bodies and BMI.

beach body

The illustrations were created from scans of six people in New York, who were all 5 feet 9 inches tall and 172 pounds. This means that though their bodies look very different, they all have exactly the same BMI. At 25.4, technically each of them could be considered overweight. (By the most common definition people with a BMI over 25 are overweight and those with a BMI over 30 are considered obese.)

How is it possible, you say? The simple explanation is that muscle and bone are denser than fat and some people carry more or less weight in their torso or legs.

BMI only considers height and weight, so it won’t consider the athletic guy’s muscle mass sitting on the beach next to the guy with the beer belly weighing the same, who is secretly chugging that beer from a soda can.

Alas, research is starting to catch up! A really boring research article that’s tough to read came out! You can read it here if you have all the time in the world to figure out what all the numbers mean! It is basically suggesting that body fat percentage and body composition are more important indicators of health than weight alone. DUH! It also means that burning calories and losing weight for a beach body isn’t the answer, and that building muscle is also part of a healthy body. woo hoo – I’m on track for health! 🙂

So, as I lay on the beach in my healthy body, wearing my SPF 100 (so I don’t burn), I’ll appreciate that I don’t give a crap about BMI, and that I just laugh in my doctor’s face each time they try to tell me that I’m overweight. I’m still eating my ice cream, doc!

And when they finally do away with BMI, I’ll be the one laughing considering I have done away with it long before! 🙂

laughing

And because everyone needs a laugh mid-week…. this will be me on the beach…. for real!

irish girlThe sad part is, I’m not even kidding… that’s why I buy SPF 100! 🙂 But with that SPF 100, I’ll be gettin’ my tan peach on!

Faith In Your Body

misty

In our society today, body confidence can sometimes be hard to find. Any person would be a liar if they said they had confidence all the time with absolutely no problems. Body confidence is something we can have, but sadly seems like something we have to work for.

Misty Copeland is a pioneer in the field of body confidence and a woman whom I love! Maybe I love her because my body looks like hers. I grew up as a dancer and struggled to make sense of my athletic build in the mirror, whereas Misty has embraced it and has made a movement and danced all the way to become the very first African-American principal dancer with the American Ballet Academy.

For anyone who has no idea what this means… it’s kind of a big freaking deal! J In the past, Misty had often been rejected due to her outer appearance and body proportions. In an interview Misty said, “As an adult, I was told that I didn’t have the right skin color. I was too muscular. I was too curvy. My breasts were too big. I was too short.” In a world where your body is your tool, and often scrutinized, this is hard to hear, but she didn’t stop.

Misty told NPR in September that breaking into ballet as an African-American is immensely difficult due a combination of racism and reluctance to change a traditional art form. “I think it’s just something maybe that I will never escape from those people who are narrow-minded,” Misty told NPR. “But my mission, my voice, my story, my message is not for them. And I think it’s more important to think of the people that I am influencing and helping to see a broader picture of what beauty is.”

I’ll give the quick reasons why Misty making principal ballerina is SO important :

  • Misty came from a very tough background
  • Misty only started dancing when she was 13, far past the age when dancers start (I started at 6)
  • Misty is an African American woman in a world of ballerinas dominated by white women
  • Misty is curvy and has an awesome athletic build
  • Misty has a bust which is highly uncommon for ballerinas

misty2

We all know what the common ballerina looks like and Misty is not that. When you see her dance, she proves that she is just as good, if not better than any other ballerina out there. This video speaks for itself. It goes to show that there is no mold for beauty and the traditional standards are being broken. If we stand in confidence of our bodies, there will be a shift in what is expected. Misty has started that revolution in the ballet community just as many others have in other communities. The more we work at loving ourselves the less power the world has at telling us we shouldn’t. Her unchartered rise to greatness shows that faith in your body can take you places that you never imagined! Imagine what you could do!

Super Soul Sunday: Ballerina Misty Copeland [Original Short] from Zachary D. Perlinski on Vimeo.

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The Frogs In Our Lives

I was in Bible study the other week and we were discussing the plagues God brought down on the Pharaoh until he let Moses and the people of Israel free. We specifically talked about the story of the Pharaoh and the frogs. As we discussed this story I couldn’t help but think about how it relates directly with what we do in life and in recovery.

The Scripture:

9 “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.” 10 “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.  – Exodus 8:9-10

Just try to picture it! There were frogs everywhere. They were in the bed, in the kitchen, in the sitting rooms, in the oven, even mixed in the bread dough. God had said to Pharaoh, through Moses, “If you refuse to let my people go, I will smite all your borders with frogs.” Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go, and now there were frogs everywhere! His pride was too much to believe what this God could do.

Imagine frogs jumping in your bed, clothes, on your lap and even on your body at all times. Everywhere you turn and every door you open is filled with frogs and you can’t get away from them. When you get in bed and pull the covers up, frogs come pouring out! When you open a cupboard door for something to eat, frogs come pouring out! When you try to sit on the toilet, frogs come pouring out!

frogs

Pharaoh could no longer stand it so he called Moses and Moses said to Pharaoh, “I will ask God to take the frogs out of the land, you just tell me when shall God remove the frogs?” And, Pharaoh told Moses, “Wait until tomorrow, give me one more night with the frogs!”

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There were millions of big disgusting smelly frogs all over the land of Egypt and, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out the Pharaoh’s response. There were frogs everywhere –  in the bed, in the food, in all the houses and even in the Egyptian’s clothing. God was ready to remove them all and Pharaoh said, “Wait until tomorrow, give me one more night with the frogs!” This man was nuts! This day in age he could be admitted into a psych ward for observation for responding like that! At first, I thought it was just pride – he was too proud to admit that this mighty God could remove them all and save him from these menacing frogs. I was wrong. This is the picture of an unbeliever who is not only rebellious and proud, but also procrastinating.

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(So gross!!!! Can you even imagine being surrounded by these nasty things?)

How it relates to life and recovery:

This made me think about who we are as people in life and recovery. We are famous for the word “tomorrow”. We are famous for saying that what we have to do can be started tomorrow, and we forget that it should be started now. We have frogs, you know. I’m talking about the frogs of troubles, doubt, burdens, suffering, sickness, sorrow, disappointments and heartaches. Frogs of difficulty, grief, strife, confusion and stress; they plague us morning, noon and night. They are constant in our life. We get so caught up and used to the “frogs” that are around us that we are okay with spending another night with them. We say, “eeehh… I’ll spend one more night with them, I’ll take the leap tomorrow because I’m so used to them that I don’t have to change right now”. And maybe the change that has to happen is harder than dealing with the frogs that are there. Can you imagine being a pompous Pharaoh having to admit that this God he denied is real and powerful? The thing is, we don’t have to live with the frogs, and we aren’t supposed to live with the frogs! We are supposed to live a happy and healthy life and waiting to start tomorrow prevents us from doing that! The frogs are menacing and the change that comes with the frogs is typically a type of good or positive change! When you go through something tough, rarely do you say “I learned nothing from that! What a waste of my time!” We usually learn a lot which is why we have the old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

There are times when we are so focused on the situation in front of us that we don’t ask for help from anyone to help us remove the frogs. When we don’t ask for help, we sit with the frogs when we don’t have to. When we keep the frogs in our lives, we also keep unhappiness and everything else that comes with it.

In regards to recovery, the eating disorder frog is not going to go away overnight, but the longer we say we will start tomorrow, the harder it will be to overcome. This is also true with anything in our lives. The longer we let anything fester, the bigger and uglier it can become. If it’s dealt with right away, it has a better change of healing and healing fast. The more we put anything off, the more painful the process becomes.

Do any of these statements sound familiar, or are they close to other statements you’ve made?

“I know I should. I’m planning to do it sometime. Maybe I will do it tomorrow.”

“I’ll get to it.”

“I don’t feel like it right now. It will get done eventually.”

“I’ll start going to church tomorrow.”

“I’ll start recovery tomorrow.”  Or “I’ll get back on my meal plan tomorrow.”    (or any variation of that)

“I’ll start working out to eat healthy tomorrow.”

“I’ll start fixing my relationships with people tomorrow.”

“I’ll clean up tomorrow.”

“I’ll start looking for a new job tomorrow.”

“My legs are sore, I’ll stop running and take some rest days tomorrow.”

“I haven’t seen my family much, I’ll work less starting tomorrow.”

“I’ll call the bank/credit company and work out the problems tomorrow.”

The problem with “tomorrow” is that tomorrow may never come. When we keep putting things off, we only waste time and potentially hurt ourselves and those around us. When we continually live with the frogs around us we sacrifice happiness and living a fulfilled life.

We all have frogs!

I noticed that I had this problem with the frogs for a while. I continually made excuses about why I couldn’t make weekly meal plans and always said I’d get to it next week. I realized that I never really got to it next week. I continually got comfortable in my lack of structure with dinner plans. I finally got to the point where I had to just do it! I had to sit down and force myself to make a weekly dinner plan to take away the cluster and confusion of deciding what to eat each night. This frog would have me frustrated when I couldn’t decide what to eat after a long day and it would leave me irritated. It wasn’t worth the moments of frustration when all I had to do was stop procrastinating.

Procrastination and putting off what has to be done leads to stress and worry (and we all have enough of that in our lives). We give up peace of mind and happiness when we do that. For many years I made excuses and said I wasn’t sick enough to get help and that I would get help if it got worse, but I just never did get help. My “tomorrow” had to be when I was near rock bottom. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and frustration if I would have just stopped putting it off for tomorrow.

We don’t have to live in these situations, or with these frogs all around us. We can make the choice to fix it today. God wants us to be happy and live a fulfilled life of abundance and it’s very hard to do that when we are stuck in, or focused on, the situation in front of us. Getting too comfortable with where you are, and what you are dealing with, can lead to being okay with the frogs in your life. God wants to get rid of your frogs and to help make you happy! I hope you’re able to strive for more because life without the frogs is so much better! (so is being recovered!)

If you’re putting off calling for help for your eating disorder, food issues, or any other problem, do a quick google search for a therapy office near you and schedule an appointment. Take the first step toward happiness and getting rid of the frogs in your life! You deserve happiness!

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