Tuesday, November 29, 2011


i've been wanting to write this post for awhile now. i just wasn't sure how to say what i wanted to say. but i think i'm ready now. so here goes.

when i was 16 years old, a cute boy from down the street asked me out on a date. and then another date. and then another.

there was a creek that ran behind both our houses. it had an old wooden bridge over it. we got to know each other on that bridge. sitting and swinging our legs and talking and flirting. 

after a few months of sitting and leg-swinging, he walked me to the bridge one night and gave me my very first kiss.

we returned to the bridge often. even into college. whenever we were home, the bridge was where we would go to be together.

the cute boy from down the street is now a very handsome man. 

last night, he took me out on a date. 

afterwards, he walked me to a small stream with a bridge that crossed it and he asked me to marry him.

{i said yes.}

this stream and the bridge are across the country from the creek and the bridge where our relationship bloomed. they are new and they are different, but they are savoringly reminiscent of what led us to them. they are a unifying symbol that celebrates where we've been and where we are and where we're going. 

i will always be who i am because of where i've been. the struggle and the hurt, the victory and the joy, the eating disorder and God's hand carrying me away from it are undeniable parts of my make-up; seeds that will bloom and grow in a million different ways, time and again before i die.

but just like the old bridge gave way to the new, i think this journey of healing is ready to yield itself to new chapters. my recovery will be just as influential and present as always. my life is forever shaped by this journey, as my life could only happen once this journey took place.

but it's time to discover another new bridge. it's time to close the chapter this blog represents and step onward into all that God has.

so today, i am saying goodbye to the blog. i'm thanking God for holding my heart through the mourning and for keeping His promise of joy from tears. 

today, i am stepping into the beginnings of a new morning. a morning that starts a journey alongside the love of my life. a morning that might never have happened without the mourning that freed me to become one with another.

"...weeping may last for the night but joy comes in the morning." psalm 30:5

infinite thanks to you for reading. 

much, much love, 


....and for all who've asked, here is the ring. i could never love anything more :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

dear eating disorder,

today, i figured something out about you...

you do not think that i'm fat.

in fact, you think i look pretty great the way i am. you've also noticed that i'm in love, that i'm doing well in school, that i'm embracing the beauty of food and healthfully approached exercise. you hate that i get to look at the mountains every day.

it is because of the aforementioned things that you want me to believe that i am big. you recognize that although my life is imperfect, i am fully present. you watch me rejoicing in the good and doing my best to grow in the bad. you don't like when i'm alive. you want to paralyze me, and so you tell me that I am too fat for anything else to matter. you tell me that the size of my body invalidates my worth and that if i want to tap into my true potential, i've got to be skinny again.

but today, i realized that if i were truly fat, you would have no reason to attack me. if i were actually as big as you're telling me i am, then you wouldn't be telling me that i'm big at all. because in order to become big, i would have had to idolize the consumption of food. and if i were idolizing food i would be paralyzed already and you would be satisfied with that. and you would leave me alone.
but it is because i am far from paralyzed that you so desperately attempt to convince me that i need you.

so thanks, i'm taking your ambush of bad body image as a compliment.

i am not you and you are not me, so i get to decide all by myself whether or not i like my body.

and i decide that i like it.
actually i love it.

and you hate that it is loveable.


Thursday, November 3, 2011


if you want to know something that's incredibly difficult and confusing, it's going from starving yourself, to having medical professionals feeding you six times per day, to trying to learn to eat in moderation and maintain that moderation every day for the rest of your life.

there have been times throughout the past six years that i've been so confused by these different approaches to food that i've cried out to God, asking Him why in the devil He thought it was a good idea to just let us all loose down here with a world full of food and expect us to know how to use it. i've wondered why we can't all be the same size and just eat however much or little and it not matter instead of being tortured by the tension of moderation. if he really loved us, why did He make it so hard?

but then if you think about it, there's hardly anything in life that we just get to rest on, that we just get to have figured out. God's mercies are new every morning, but so are our capacities to for idolatry.

we need love and acceptance. we need to help and we need to be helped. we need to rest and work and play. we need exercise and we need sleep. we need to be cautious and we need to be alive. we need to need people and we need to be secure in who we are.

there isn't one of those needs that can't be over met or under met.

every single one of them is only healthy in moderation.

and sometimes, moderation is getting a lot or a little of any one of them, depending on where we are.

at first thought, moderation is a daunting task. we've got about a million different facets to our lives, all of which are teetering on the edge of becoming idols if we indulge or ignore them to extremes. it's frightening and stressful and it's a lot.

but it's also a part of what makes us alive.

and we are alive because God made us and God made us to  bring glory to Himself.

but the beautiful thing about God making us to bring Him glory is that it's when we're bringing him glory that we get to be the fullest alive.  and fullness of life can mean suffering for seasons, but fullness in suffering is better than emptiness in fun.

God gave us some clues when he talked about hating gluttony and sloth, but it would have been much easier if He would have just left us a list of which needs need to be met in what ways in what circumstances. but then meeting our own needs in moderation wouldn't be living fully for God's glory; it would be following a formula.

so meeting our needs without indulging or ignoring them is a day-by-day, really a moment-by-moment series of choices. to be moderate is to be in constant effort. it sounds exhausting, but what is really exhausting is stagnation.

the thing about moderation being a constant effort is that our relationship to God is a constant effort as well. as soon as we think we're good and we can stop trying, we've probably gone too far one way or the other.

so here is where (i think) it all comes together. to glorify God in our fullness of life, we need to be in constant communion with Him. to be in constant communion with Him we need to be in active battle against our existing and potential idols. And this active battle (i think) is otherwise known as moderation.

so moderation is the battle that fights off our idols and enables us to reach heavenward each time we choose it. But we have to choose it and we have to choose it a lot of times each day. and to choose something so in-between extremes requires effort, which requires help, which we get from our God, which means moderation and communion with Him go hand in hand.

God blessed us with beautiful, enjoyable means of meeting our needs. He intended for us to enjoy meeting our needs alongside the people we love. He intended for us to meet one another’s needs. He intended for us to bring glory to Him through lives that pulsate and thrive when we meet our needs in healthy fullness. in His infinite love and grace, God gave us sense and experience because He intended for us to get to taste hints of His majesty when we meet our needs in ways that satisfy those senses and experiences. we get to enjoy life and we get to enjoy it most when we lean on Him to help us enjoy it rightly.

how brilliant a design is that ?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


i've always had long, muscular legs.

apparently i got them from my grandfather.

they're a little awkward sometimes because i'm only 5'4 and my legs take up so much of my height that there is hardly any room left for my torso. so i've got the shortest stomach in the world, probably.

but i kind of like the way i am because it's a little unusual for a girl who's 5'4 to have legs that are long. even at my sickest i was sometimes kind of okay with them. the real problem i've had has been with my arms.

the long story shortened is that all i wanted in life was to have stick-like arms. during a conversation that God ultimately used to lead me to the decision to get treatment, a friend asked me what i felt made me worth getting up and living every day. i told her it was because my arms were * inches around, the smallest they'd ever been.

so naturally, after hell upon hell's worth of months of weight gain and recovering, the thing i hated most about my body was my arms.

when i got back to school for the fall of my senior year i purchase some dumbbells because i decided that toned arms were not as beautiful as emaciated arms but they were more beautiful than fat arms and so i went to work, trying to get my arms all ripped up. 

my goal was to get my arms so toned that i was special again, the way i was when i was skinny. i thought that that would be the best of both worlds, because i could have what i really wanted in life without giving myself up to starvation. i thought it was a fool proof plan.

but apparently i am among the 7% of women who bulk up when they strength train, because that is what happened. 

so i stopped with the weights and started with these crazy pushups and arm circles and what not. all i did was think about my arms and try to make them burn so bad i could barely stand it. and once they burned that bad i would endure it for as long as possible, telling myself that this was what i had to do if i wanted to have a good life. 

nothing satisfied me. no matter what, i looked in the mirror and i hated my arms.

i think that this speaks to the idea that whenever we seek things with the desperation with which we ought to seek God, we will never feel that we've gotten them.

fast forward to denver.

i stopped being obsessed with working out and i started to love food and i started to like and sometimes love my body.

my arms aren't bulky anymore, they aren't toned, they aren't emaciated. they are just my arms and they are what they're supposed to be. 

i don't think i have the most gorgeous arms in the world, but to be honest, i don't think they're half bad. they allow me to hug the people i love and to carry groceries home from the store and they'll make me able to hold ski poles as soon as i dig up enough dollars for a lift ticket and they'll hold my flowers when i get married and they'll hold onto my clients' paperwork when i'm a counselor and one day they'll pick up my baby. 

all of those things are beautiful and all of those things are more than enough to make me love my arms and to make me feel thankful.

i guess what i really want to say is that i don't want to think of them as arms. i just want to think of them as me. because what i am is a heart and a soul and a mind and those things are the important things but they really aren't anything without a body to be their house and to manifest them here in the world. 

so i guess that's all.