Tag Archive | trust

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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Nothing Left

What do you do when you feel like you have nothing left?

I have been asking myself that a lot lately. I keep coming back to “trust in the Lord”.

Sometimes things get tough and it might feel like it’s too tough to handle. There are times when I feel tired and exhausted and like I’ve been hit by a truck – and then it went in reverse and ran me over again.

Sound familiar? Am I the only one here?

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — This quote that ties in perfectly.

light

I have found that the times I become lost are the times I lost my focus on God. The times I find myself swallowed by the eating disorder are the times I’ve taken my eyes off God and did not make Him a priority. They are the times I’ve allowed the circumstances around me to overpower my thinking. I have found that I have to change my thinking and bring the light back into my life. God is light and God is love.

I have found that the eating disorder pulls me away from my faith. It pulls me away from many of the things I love when I get stuck in it. It has a way of doing that. It ties you up and makes you think it’s something good, but what it’s really doing is squeezing the life out of you. It started doing that. I lost trust in everyone. I lost faith in everything for a while. But not completely. Luckily God is stronger.

With the eating disorder, you need something bigger than yourself. There has to be something that is greater than man as you navigate recovery. I don’t know what yours might be, but mine is God. Whether you believe or not, God has a way of placing people in your path who will steer you in the right direction – hopefully you walk that path. Each person placed in your life has meaning and a purpose. Your job is to trust what God has for you and place your faith in Him. I have to learn to trust that again after stumbling.

king trust

Changing your thinking is not always easy. It’s not something that is permanent. Our first battle with anything is always in our own thinking. If you think it’s permanent, then it’s permanent. If you think you’ve reached your limits, then you have. If you think you’ll never get well or heal, then you won’t. You have to change your thinking before you can change anything else. Once you change your thinking, you can begin to see the obstacles and limitations as only temporary.

hope

A Letter To My Body: I’m Sorry.

I have been thinking about this idea for a while. I never got around to it. It kept slipping from my mind because I really do avoid thinking about body image. It’s a sore spot. Recently, in therapy, it came up and I didn’t realize how much of a sore spot it was. Since that session, I can’t seem to get it out of my head. I’ve tried it all… nothing seems to work. Body image is now plaguing me! It now has to be dealt with, and there is no running from it.

In trying to figure out how to get relief and start healing. I decided to acknowledge what I’ve done to my body. I decided to look back and come to terms with it all. I decided to write an apology letter for all that I’ve done. I’m trying to learn how to appreciate my body for what it is, so logically, I should start by apologizing to it!

As I was writing and realizing all I’ve done, I re-read this letter and imagined if I were writing this letter to a friend. Our bodies are our friends, right? As I wrote, I realized how terrible this letter would sound if it were going to a close friend of mine. I would never treat any friend this way, but it was okay to do it to my body; myself?

With that said…. Below is the letter to my body.

 

Dear Body,

Let’s clear the air and talk about the elephant in the room. There has been some tension between us. I think most of it is my own doing. I have to admit, I feel like a complete hypocrite. I find beauty in other women’s bodies, and try my best to encourage them to see the beauty in it, when all along I was ashamed of you. I’ve been so focused on your “imperfections” when I should have seen what you’ve done for me.  

I am so sorry for the way I’ve treated you through the years. I’m sorry that I thought you were never good enough. I’m sorry for what I’ve said to you; yelled at you. That you’re too fat, not strong enough, too muscular, not thin enough, not flat enough, too soft.

It would be easy for me to point my finger at our Western culture and say that the messages sent by the media did it all. That would be a lie. Sure, they didn’t help, but some of the decisions I made were my own. I’m sorry that I allowed the photoshopped images to tell me that you weren’t good enough. I’m sorry that I never focused on what we could do together.

I’m sorry I don’t love you yet. I’m sorry I don’t appreciate you the way I should. I do have to be honest; you’ve done a lot for me. You’ve done so much for me, and I have not repaid you in any way. In fact, I have punished you for what you’ve given me.

I punished you for not listening to me, not reacting the way I expected, not giving me what I want. What I didn’t realize is that every decision you made was to save my life. When I wanted your number to get lower, and you wouldn’t budge, I was angry; furious; but it was for my own good. It was to save my life. I’m sorry that I didn’t (couldn’t) see it. I’m sorry that I revolted against you and just punished you further because I was sure you just didn’t get it. I do see it now.

I’m sorry for trying to “fix” you. For trying to take control and change who you really are. For depriving you of what you needed while feeding you the exercise I thought you should use. I neglected to give you the bare essentials that you needed, but you were still there for me. Even though I took from you, you still protected me.

I’m sorry for thinking you failed me in the past. When I was little. When I got injured. When I was trying to recover from surgery. I’m sorry I was angry with you for what you really didn’t do. I realize that you didn’t fail me… instead, I wasn’t listening to you. For the most part, you have done what was asked, and I only focused on your failures. You sent me critical messages that you were in a crisis, and I ignored you. I thought you were weak when things became dangerous. I was angry that you couldn’t keep up with my terrible regiments. I’m sorry. You were trying to save me.

I’m sorry for not trusting you. For thinking that I know better, and that you didn’t have the understanding of what was important. I’m sorry for letting you down when all you were trying to do is support me. Trust isn’t something that comes lightly, and I ignored what you tried to give me. I understand why you don’t trust me. After all of this, who would?

I’m listening now. You are a precious gift given from God. I only get one “vehicle” in this life, and it’s time to really appreciate who you are, and what you can do. You’ve carried me through 31 years of my life, and you’ve promised to continue doing so, without me asking. You just want me to take care of you.

I know our relationship is a work in progress. I’m really trying here. I will try. I will work. It’s not that I don’t want to love you, because I do. I really do. I will learn to appreciate you for what you can do; what you have done. It’s time. Time to stop criticizing you. Time to focus on your strength.  Time to appreciate you. Time to embrace you. It might take a little work, but I’ll get there.

Hopefully soon I’ll be writing you again… but this time… a Thank You letter acknowledging how much I appreciate you and all you’ve done.

Until then…  please know that I do really care.

Sincerely,

Rachel

35 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Actually Your Child

So many of us love dogs. They are like our children. I was surfing the internet and found reasons why you are obsessed with your dog. As I was reading, I compiled all the good reasons why your dog is actually your child!! 🙂

 

35 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Actually Your Child

1. You wouldn’t even consider a partner who doesn’t share your love of canines. The thought of merely going on a date with someone who doesn’t like dogs is unthinkable.

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2. Some people have baby pictures on their phones… you have dog pictures….. and you’re just as excited to show the pictures.

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3. You regularly google picture of your breed of choice, and brainstorm ideas of quirky names for your pet that may not yet exist.

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4.  Homeward Bound brings you to tears every time you watch it.

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5. You can’t watch the Sarah Mclachan “Save the Animals” commercials for fear you will burst into tears immediately.

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6. Watching a movie in which a dog dies is too much for you to handle (i.e. I Am Legend, Marley and Me) and you curse whoever recommended them to you in the first place. Any other character can die, but the movie is immediately awful if it’s a dog.

7. You’re pretty sure your dog is actually a person.

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8. You stare at your dog sleeping because it’s so cute.

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9. You text pictures of your dog to your friends and family.

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10. You feel guilty eating in front of your dog without sharing a bite of your food.

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11. You feel guilty leaving your dog home alone…. So you leave on Animal Planet

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12.  You let them walk all over you.

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13. Everything your dog does is cute… like running in the snow.

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14.  Your dog can pass gas in your home and you wouldn’t care, but the moment a person does it’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever dealt with.

 

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15.  You are overly excited to give them treats because it will make their day.  

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16.  You’ve sewed together more ripped up toys than you care to admit – and you treat it like it’s a major surgery.

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17.  You celebrate your dog’s birthday.

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18. You worry about them like parents worry about a child.

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19. You talk about them as if they were your kids. In fact, when people ask you, “do you have any children?” you answer with, “No, but I have 3 dogs!”

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20. You find a crying baby and a crying dog to be equally heartbreaking.

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21.  In bed, you don’t mind that the dog takes up more room than you do.

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22. You have an obscene amount of dog toys, most of which are scattered in random places throughout your house. And, each dog toy has a name (i.e. Mr. Squeaky Bear).

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23. You don’t even consider NOT letting your dog sleep with you… and you find dog toys in bed.

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24. You’ve missed more than one happy hour or event because your dogs would be home alone, and you’ve been away too long. Plus, cuddling with them can be more fun.

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25.  You won’t even consider a low-grade kennel when you have to go away. You will splurge on appropriate babysitting.

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26. Your pooch’s wardrobe rivals your own. You get pleasure out of dressing them up and showing them off.

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27. You get annoyed when too many pictures of your friends’ dinners and kids clog your news feed on facebook, but you love the ones who post pictures of their dogs.

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28. You talk to your dog on the phone when you’re away and wonder how they are spending their day.

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29.  You have more than one nickname for them, and they respond to each one.

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30. You talk to them as if they could comprehend more than just a few simple key words and commands… and you respond to them as if they have answered you. 

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31. You’ve considered getting their paw print tattooed somewhere on your body.

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32.  When you pass a person on the street, you spend more time talking to their dog than you do the actual person…. In fact, you are more interested in the dog than the person.

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33.  Your dogs can do anything, and you won’t stay mad for very long.

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34.Your life would never be the same without your dog.

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35.  You’ve come to the conclusion that anyone who hates dogs just can’t possibly have a soul.

dog24

What my hip injury is beginning to teach me….

Backstory – I’ve had hip pain for quite some time. I have been ignoring it and chalking it up to being overworked and not having enough strength. I’ve had a pulled hip flexor and it felt somewhat the same, and I have a high pain tolerance, so it’s something I can work through. As I increased some of my activities, the pain followed. I finally decided that my running seasons haven’t been going so well and I can’t do what I want without getting it checked out. As the pain continued, I went to the doctor and an MRI is the next step. The suspicion is that something could be torn – or that a piece of my bone has chipped off needing surgery to repair.

So…. In processing I have been able to sit with these feelings and also determine some important things. Now, don’t get me wrong – my initial reaction was to avoid the feelings, but that has changed to exploring feelings to try to understand them/the situation and accept them.

So… these feelings I have found…. They are there, they are real, and they are okay…..

There is a slight bit of guilt that I may have caused this injury with my unhealthy habits; my past eating and exercise behaviors.

I am disappointed in myself for not going to the doctor sooner; waiting over a year isn’t so smart.

I am sad that there is a chance I may need surgery or will be out of my activities.

I’m fearful that being out of activities will mean that I could fall out of shape completely, and gain weight.

It’s stressful knowing the work that will come with this recovery. I’m sick of recovery from things – will there ever be a time when I’m no longer broken?

My activities don’t define me, but they do make me happy –how will I find stress relief and independence without them?

It feels like my activity level is just something else being ripped away from me. Keeping balance in my activity level makes me feel like I have control and balance in my life.

I am overwhelmed with appointments and this will just add to it.

So, in processing all of this, I have found that I have a habit of not knowing parameters of self-care. Explanation:

As a child, if I was sick – I was sent to school anyway. I was only permitted to be sent home if I threw up.

In high school, I was quite sick, but it didn’t seem “bad enough” because my parents really didn’t do much in terms of my health. All of my dangerous episodes weren’t “serious enough” to keep me in treatment, so I learned that my body can handle a lot.  

I’ve always been a middle-distance runner so my races were “fast and hard”. My expertise is the 400m dash – you basically go as hard as you can and “gut it out” until you can’t go anymore; sometimes resulting in a collapse at the finish. You go and hold on; you just don’t stop; it’s understood.

I’ve always continued to play field hockey injured, and through pain, so I’ve never had parameters of injury and healing. In college, you do what has to be done to still play – there was never a point where you should stop to take care of yourself (unless something breaks or tears and forces you out); the game just meant too much.  There was a time in college when I had mono and shouldn’t have been playing the game – I never rested, per the doctor, and went to preseason anyway (my parents didn’t stop me – it’s dedication, right?) – My coach just strapped a quarterback check protection pad across my stomach (to try protect my enlarged spleen from rupturing), and I played anyway.

Often, if I am tired or sore from activity, I think, “oh, I’ll be fine; I just need to push through it; I’ve handled worse”. This has created a habit of not listening to or being aware of my body.

When I was sick before I went into treatment I was running numb; I felt strong – I didn’t hear my body because I have never learned how to listen to it. Eventually, out of nowhere, a stress fracture formed. I searched for the shortest amount of time off because “healing” was a waste of time.

I minimized so many things until others have made me aware of the severity. I didn’t think that low blood pressure, rapid/slow heart rate, and chest pain was dangerous. I had to be informed and convinced it was a big deal because, to me, those things were only “serious for other people” and “my body can handle a lot”.

To me, when something wasn’t right, 1 day of rest was good enough and 2-3 was often too much.

 

So, from this situation I have learned that I am unaware of the parameters of my body and self-care. I have always “pushed through” so there was never a need to stop and assess myself. As I started recovery, I began to “feel” my body. I have become aware of how it becomes tired, sore, energetic etc. This was very different from anything that I’ve done before. I have learned my whole life to mentally block out everything and push through …. and now I have to feel it all. I have to feel the struggle of getting in shape and the difficulties of soreness from overworking my body.

I feel it when I’m not breathing correctly while running. I feel it when my muscles are tight. I feel it when my muscles need more oxygen. I feel it when I don’t have enough carbs to burn. I feel the weakness of my muscles as they are building. I now feel every second of every workout – and that is something I’ve never had to do before.

Knowing that I never had parameters for self-care leaves me constantly exploring. Although it’s uncharted territory, it will pay off in the end. Trial and error isn’t always fun (as I’ve proven with my cooking skills), but it will eventually pay off. I have to trust that what I notice is accurate and make positive self-care choices from there. It’s a journey! 🙂

 

Think about it. What is your self-care like? 

Hurricane

As I was listening to my “Jesus Jammin'” playlist, this song popped up and reminded me of how difficult recovery is. The lyrics really speak something great. When things get tough, and we want to give up, we can remember that we always have the calming peace of God.

HURRICANE – Natalie Grant

You’re spinning out of control again
Your life feels like a sinking ship
You’re wondering how it came to this

Is it too late?
Is it too far?
For Him to reach you
And come to where you are

Step out on the edge
Don’t be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He’ll find you in the hurricane

You’re in the wreckage underneath
Your hope is buried somewhere deep
You’re wondering how long it will keep?

It’s never too late
Never too far
For you to reach out
And take a hold of love

Step out on the edge
Don’t be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He’ll find you in the hurricane

Don’t back down from the fight
He’ll shelter you tonight
Just hold on for the change
Call His name
He’ll find you in the hurricane

There’s a place, there’s a place you can run
When you fall, and it’s all come undone
You’ll be safe in the raging storm
So just let go
‘Cause you are held in His arms

Step out on the edge
Don’t be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He’ll find you in the hurricane

And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He’ll find you in a hurricane

If you’re intersted in the video:

http://youtu.be/ttKnLwwHlig

God’s Grace

Sometimes we need something to ground us. There are times when things feel tough and like you can’t keep going. That feeling is one that is difficult to pull through. In those times, we have to find trust. Trust in others and in ourselves is tough to find and build. It’s a process – and sometimes a grueling process. As we struggle with trust, there is One whom we can always trust – One who will never let us down – that is God.

God made the world for the delight of human beings– if we could see His goodness everywhere, His concern for us, His awareness of our needs: the phone call we’ve waited for, the ride we are offered, the letter in the mail, just the little things He does for us throughout the day. As we remember and notice His love for us, we just begin to fall in love with Him because He is so busy with us — you just can’t resist Him. I believe there’s no such thing as luck in life, it’s God’s love, it’s His.

We always have God’s Grace. I was watching a Beth Moore simulcast a few weeks ago and she talked about God’s Grace – something we all have. Here is what she said:

Grace is an inflated raft that can submerge the floor of a sea to save you.

Grace is the silver thread that stitches up the thread of mangled souls.

Grace is the eye that finds us where it refuses, there, to leave us.

Grace is calls the waitress to the table and sits her down to wash her feet.

Grace sees underneath the manhole on a street of self-destruction.

Grace is the air to draw a breath in the belly of a whale.

Grace is the courage to stand in the shamed wake in a frightful falling.

Grace is the only fire hot enough to burn down a living hell.

Grace waits with healing in His wings when we’re too mad to pray.

Grace is the gravity that pulls us from depravity.

Grace races us to the throne when we make haste to repent and always outruns us.

Grace treats us like we already are what we fear we’ll never become.

Grace is the doorpost dripping red when the angle of death rips the knob.

Grace is the stamp that says Ransomed on a life that screams Ruined.

Grace is the cloak that covers the naked and the palm that drops the rock.

Grace is divine power burgeoning in the absence of all strength.

Grace proves God true and every self-made man a liar for the sake of his own soul.

Grace is the power to do what we cannot do for the Name of Christ to go where it has not been.

Grace is a thousand mirrors, all reflecting the face of Christ.

Grace is:

The eye popping

Knee dropping

Earth quaking

Pride breaking

Dark stabbing

Heart grabbing

Friend mending

Mind bending

Lame walking

Mute talking

Slave freeing

Devil fleeing

Death tolling

Stone rolling

Veil tearing

Glory failing

Chin lifting

Sin sifting

Dirt bleaching

World reaching

Past covering

Spirit hovering

Child defending

Happy ending

Heaven glancing

Feet dancing

Power of the Cross.

Jesus Christ, Grace Incarnate.