Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Where Im goin'....

The first part of January I wrote out Goals for 2011 and mentioned creating a vision board.  Well, I finally finished my vision board(s) so I would like to share them and show you what is motivating me to push past struggles and discomfort so that I might obtain the desires of my heart.  
But first, let's revisit the goals I set-- in an non-condemning way-- celebrate the victories and embrace those areas that need work.

Let's do areas of struggle first: 
"But we also glory in our sufferings,  because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." --Romans 5:3-5
Daily:

*Be more gentle with myself -I'm always needing to work on this; I need to be more gracious towards myself.
*Laugh more- I have been embracing this, but I put it down because I definitely think you can never laugh too much! 
*Allow my inner desires, wants and intuition... the Holy Spirit, to shape the choices I make throughout each day & Work on balance, variety & moderation in every aspect of my life- These two areas I definitely need to work on MOST! Fear sets in and I often find myself going 'safe' rather than honoring my true self and most importantly the Lord.  I know the Lord desires for me to enjoy every aspect of life, but it's ultimately my choice whether or not I embrace the freedom he has given me.

Weekly: 

*Eat out 1-2x a week- I have eaten out a couple times since I posted goals earlier in the month, but not weekly.  I know this is an important part of moving forward and stepping out of my comfort zone to experience greater freedom. 
*Work on a few exercises from Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance -I'm going to revise this weekly goal to just working on exercises when I feel led and the extra time... Love the book, just don't want to set an expectation :)
*Treat myself to dessert- This kind of goes along with suppressing those inner desires to enjoy yummy things... I have done this a couple times, maybe, I know once for sure, but I really need to do this AT LEAST once a week!

Things I want to work on incorporating throughout the new year:
*Read more
*Face some fear foods
*Love & accept myself as a person & my body as God's temple-- This is continual regardless of where I am physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Now onto the VICTORIES....  
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1 John 5:3-5

Daily
*Be consistent with my vitamins
*Set aside quiet time for each day- and the Lord is speaking to my heart!
*Drink more water- definitely progress, but still needs work  

Weekly
*Hang out with a friend at least once a week
*Pamper myself- this comes pretty easy most the time!
*Journal 
*Laugh more
Monthly
*Attend Recovery at The Village Church- It's great to be back at Recovery!
*Meet with support system- The Lord orchestrated perfectly a Biblical Counselor who practices similar to what I was taught at Mercy, a Dietitian who is a believer and helps to empower me, and a mentor that is walking in freedom and willing to walk freedom out with me!

For the Year & What's to Come:
*Start searching/interviewing for a job- I never realized job searching took so much work.  Praise the Lord he has worked it out for to to take a class to help me along the way! Praying and believing God has his hand on the perfect position for me.  Will you join?
*Attend Passion 2011- Ticket Bought! 
*Graduate from University of North Texas- May 14, 2011
*Hawaii with my family- Date set & plane tickets bought! June 28, 2011


And now, what we have all been waiting for, the long awaited Vision Board of Meagan Nicole Vrba for 2011 and my Personal Mission statement,  Drum-roll please.... 
"To cultivate and embrace the freedom I've been given through Christ so that I may live a life that brings Him glory & praise."
First comes faith, then comes marriage, then comes a baby (or 2) in a baby-carriage!
Continued freedom, traveling, peace, a baby, exercise, joy, a dog, and a glowing happiness
Full Life: family, dancing, new car, no debt, enjoyment of all food w/o fear, health & balance...
My Big Dream... more to come in the near future, Lord willing!


There we have it!  A review of the month and what's in store for the future....
"Now faith is the assurance of things we hope for, the certainty of things we cannot see."  --Hebrews 11:1
"God you made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before you (let go)... The good people taste your goodness, the whole people taste your health and the true people taste      your truth." -Psalm 18
 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A lil reminder...

Just wanted to remind everyone about the First Annual Love Life Raffle I wrote about several days ago HERE :)

Even if you are not interested in the Raffle itself 
we are taking donations!  

If you feel led to give or want win this amazing prize to  
Keipersol Restaurant, Bed & Breakfast in the heart of East Texas 
please contact me.

God Bless!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Uneven Trade

First of all, can I just tell you that the Lord truly amazes me when I least expected!  He turned something that could have been really destructive into something good because, I chose to do what was right rather than what I wanted.  See, when I registered for classes for the Spring semester I needed 13 hours to graduate.  When I looked at my options I could take an easy, lower-level, 3 hour course to add to my 12 hours, take a science with a lab (no thank you), or take a Physical Education class.  What did I do?  I went for the Phys-Ed class, despite the fact that it was right during lunch time and despite the Lord telling me otherwise, what was I thinking??  So, I was all registered before Christmas and when I came back to work in January before the semester started we had a call in the department I work for (I work on campus in the College of Business Marketing Department) about a one hour class being offered called "Personal and Professional Development..."  This got me thinking about the stupid choice I had made to take a PE class when I knew I wasn't in a place physically or emotionally to do this.  I saw this guy calling about this particular, one hour class as a total God thing!  Now the ball was in my court... would I choose obedience by taking advantage of this opportunity that he has practically thrown in my face or would I choose to satisfy my flesh and feed into my eating disorder through Physical-ED (hahaa, get it, physical eating disorder= exercise)?

After much wrestling with my flesh and the Lord I chose..... obedience!  My flesh definitely tried to get me to change my mind and had me rationalizing my first decision to take the Physical-ED class, but deep down I knew I was doing the right thing by switching the classes.  The Lord has confirmed the fact that I made the right decision as I have walked through the first couple of weeks of my last semester of undergrad (yes my LAST).  My first day of classes I remember by my second class of the day there would be no way I could have handled a P.E. class after classes all morning and without having a break to nourish my body, much less do this all semester-- NO POSSIBLE WAY!  Then, as I have gone to the class I traded the PE class with, God has been faithful in allowing this to be exactly what I need at this time in my life!  Very resourceful for planning for my future at both personal and professional levels (another plus is it only meets once a week for 50 minutes and it's not too stressful).   So I was given the opportunity to trade in a choice that would have caused further destruction in my life for something beyond compare.  I know that might seem silly- your thinking its, just a class, but to me this is some much more than just a class- it was a choice toward life and my future.  What an uneven trade! Praise God, from which all good things flow!!!!!!!
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." --Genesis 50:20
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. " --Romans 8:28


Monday, January 24, 2011

Words

Words are just words, it's our actions that speak.

Currently I am praying these words over every aspect of my life, practicing walking them out even when it doesn't feel good and believing my obedience will bring freedom far beyond anything I can imagine.
  • Courageous
  • Confident in Christ
  • Committed
  • Consistent
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

First Annual "Love Life" Raffle benefiting Mercy Ministries


 
First Annual “Love Life” Raffle
benefiting Mercy Ministries of America
For every $10 donation you make to Mercy,
you get one raffle ticket and a chance to win a fantastic prize package.
$50 donation = 6 raffle tickets  
$100 donation = 15 raffle tickets
Prize Package includes: Dinner for two at Kiepersol
One night stay at Kiepersol Bed and Breakfast
Limousine service to and from Kiepersol
(All accommodations require advance reservations; limo service, optional, available to local area only)
Prize package valued at over $500
(Raffle drawing and announcement – Feb. 14 @ Tri-County Leader Office)

Since 1983, Mercy Ministries of America has provided hope and healing to generations of desperate young women who are seeking freedom from life-controlling issues such as:
Eating Disorders, Self-Harm, Drug & Alcohol Addictions,
Physical & Sexual Abuse Including Sex Trafficking,
 Depression, and Unplanned Pregnancy
This free-of-charge biblically-based program serves a diverse population of young women from various socio-economic backgrounds, aged 13-28. Many of the girls, who come to Mercy for help, are facing a combination of debilitating circumstances and have been in various treatment facilities with unsuccessful long-term results. Mercy is committed to providing the young women they serve with the most excellent program services that allow them to recognize their self-worth and prepare them to reach their full potential. This non-conventional approach to healing allows young women to permanently stop destructive cycles and prepares them to take hope out into their communities.  Learn more about this amazing program at: Mercy Ministries
The Vrba family of Whitehouse has been directly impacted by the program at Mercy Ministries.  Their daughter graduated from the program in May 2010. Anthony and Angela Vrba are sponsoring this raffle in an effort to inform others about the program offered at Mercy and to give back to this amazing program that transforms the lives of so many young women.
The Vrba's at Meagan's Graduation from Mercy Ministries
Raffle tickets will be distributed when your donation is made.  Donations may be made at Tri-County Leader (contact person – Suzanne Loudamy) 304 Hwy 110 N, Whitehouse, TX 75791 (903) 839-2353, or contact The Vrbas at avrba58@gmail.com for more donation options.  All donations are tax deductible.
Along with the Vrbas, donations toward the prize package were made by: Velmay de Wet, Calvin and Jane Power, and Chris Power

Sunday, January 16, 2011

F.E.A.R- False Evidence Appearing Real

Something that I am continually having to remind myself lately has been: "I must do the right thing even when I don't feel like it or it doesn't feel good."  This means facing those false beliefs and lies the enemy torments me with regardless of the how 'normal' they seem, because deep down I know they are LIFE STEALING LIES.  To put into practice obedience and trusting that through my steps I will begin to truly in my heart believe what God says about me rather than what the enemy says.  The Truth will replace the lies, becoming second nature and the more consistent I am in practicing this I will begin to see true victory... this way of life will be my new 'normal' that I believe by what God promises me in His Word that will be far beyond normal...

One of the huge hindrances I face day in and day out is my fear.  The fear I carry, when not battled against, but engaged in keeps me stuck and away from freedom and the life God wants for me.  I came across this article on Freedom from Fear at The Resurgence


We cannot underestimate the importance of freedom in our lives. Freedom is one of the top reasons Jesus came to earth: 
“For freedom Christ has set us free...” (Galatians 5:1).
But what does freedom mean?
What freedom isn't:
  • The ability to do what we want. This certainly would be freeing, but God is not calling us to do whatever we want. We can’t escape his moral law and somehow think there won’t be consequences.
  • The ability to do as we ought. We are now free to do the things we were created to do. But this definition still lacks because we are gold mixed with impurities. Yes, we have the power to do as we ought, but we don’t ALWAYS do right because sin is still residing in us.
  • An emotional expression during the music portion of a worship service. Freedom in this definition is raising hands, waving a flag, or singing loud. While I applaud anyone who can be uninhibited when the congregation is singing, this is a silly definition of freedom — not very compelling. 
True freedom - Freedom is no longer having to obey fear; fear is no longer our master. We are uninhibited to be bold, to step out in faith, to risk. Irreligion produces fear because the weight of guilt and having to trust in yourself is too much for our fragile souls. Religion produces fear because we are afraid we haven’t done everything right; that the slightest error may restrain the hand of God’s blessing.

Enslaved by fear
Christ has set us free from fear. The importance of this cannot be overstated because fear is our biggest slave master; and here are our top 5 greatest fears (adapted from Marcus Buckingham):
  • The Fear of Death — we have a need for security
  • The Fear of Being Alone — we have a need for community
  • The Fear of the Future — we have a need for clarity
  • The Fear of Chaos — we have a need for authority
  • The Fear of Insignificance — we have a need for respect.
“Religion produces fear because we are afraid we haven’t done everything right; that the slightest error may restrain the hand of God’s blessing."
Think of how these fears guide our life! Our hearts respond to every one of these fears in different ways, and each individual responds to one fear more than others (for instance, I am more afraid of insignificance than I am of death). Our response is often driven by unbelief, which leads to captivity.
Fear in the every day
  • Some of us are so afraid of death we become overly obsessed about health, germs, and safety, consequently choosing who we will help based on security and not based on love.
  • Others of us are so afraid of insignificance any criticism feels like an attack and we lose relationships when people challenge us.
Jesus bought our freedom
Redemption from this captivity is part of Jesus’ main work. If we examine those five fears with the eyes of faith, we can see Jesus is the answer to them all:
  • He is our security, even in death, because Jesus took away condemnation in death.
  • He is our community — he promises never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)
  • He is our future — he controls the future and has prepared a place for us
  • He is our authority — all authority on heaven and earth is his (Matthew 28:18). He is accomplishing all things according to his plan.
  • He is our significance — Jesus alone validates and justifies our life.
http://theresurgence.com/2011/01/12/freedom-from-fear

I am definitely guilty of the enslavement of fear, but am beginning to make steps forward in facing each one head on.  I will not allow the enemy to steal from me the Freedom that Christ freely gives me ... I will GO forward, I will FIGHT the spiritual tools the Lord has equipped me with and through Christ I will, we will WIN!!!!  (Oh and if I have to get mad I will just use that as ammunition to fight the enemy for all he has stolen and his attempts to continue to do so).
 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"  --Romans 8:15
I saw this cute, little turtle and couldn't resist not using it as a great illustration for the message God gives us about FEAR--

       This little turtle is scared and hiding from the world, unable to live the life God has for him.  God has given him the protection he needs (his shell) as protection from the enemy, but how will He even realize his potential and the protection he has if he doesn't step out and use it... So don't be like the turtle hiding in your shell of safety, whatever it may be, alone and scared-- step out in faith and trust Him and what He has given you to protect you so you can see He is faithful and a protector.  How will we ever know if you don't use the freedom and protection He FREELY gives us???
I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you ... No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.   --Joshua 1:3-9
What fears do you need to face? 
 
P.S. What shall we name our little turtle Friend??


Beautiful You- Day 2 & 3



"The key to feeling better isn't looking better.  It is feeling better about our lives and better understanding our bodies really are- vehicles in which we can experience life.  Our bodies are not life itself; they are objects of motion, not admiration."

Day 2- Pledge Allegiance to Yourself

Allegiance- [uh-lee-juh ns] loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, or the like.
-therefore-
Allegiance to myself= showing love, respect and loyalty to all of me- body, mind, soul and spirit.

The exercise for Day 2 is to read through and sign a Body Warrior Pledge.  To be put simply this Pledge is a commitment to being true to your whole self...
  • Celebrate the temple God has given me.
  • Allow God & myself to be my primary sources of confidence & worth
  • Replace envy with admiration
  • Stand up for myself
  • Renew my mind
  • embrace my imperfections
  • Give my body what it needs
  • Recognize strengths
  • No longer put off things I want to experience

Day 3- Consider How You Feel about Yourself

Where I've been, where I'm going and
how I would like to get there....

How do you feel about yourself?
  Right now, I feel like I am trying to really figure out who the real Meagan is apart from what I have found my identity in for quite a while.  Its exciting, but at the same time scary.  Its a day by day, moment by moment process of letting go that is uncomfortable, but at the same time freeing.  Its a faith walk- trusting God to guide me in discovering who I am as His and a willingness to submit to His ways for me.
        What I know about myself is- the good, the bad, 
the ugly...
  • I don't love myself
  • I have a lot of doubt the concept of God and his love for me
  • I worry about what other people think 
  • My family means the world to me
  • I am too hard on myself
  • I am too independent and prideful
  • I want more than a life consumed with ed
  • I love to laugh
  • I enjoy good food and that scares me
  • I want a husband and kids
  • I fear being alone
      So the next question is why do I feel this way about myself?  I believe this answer is simple, probably too simple for my liking, but sufficient in explaining why I feel the way I do about myself... I feel the way I feel about myself because I do not fully trust the Lord with every aspect of my being-- His love for me, what He says about me, His faithfulness and His sovereignty.  If I can just let go of what I think I know is best because obviously it has gotten me nowhere and step out blindly trusting Him, what do I have to lose??
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."  --Prov. 3:5-6
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
 declares the LORD.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." 
--Isaiah 55:8-9
By walking by faith and not by sight I am trusting that this walk will bring me to a place of deeper trust and relationship with the Lord as well as a healthy, more loving and accepting sense of myself.  Through establishing these things I hope to discover my true self and God's purpose in my life....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sweet nothings

Sweet nothings- [pl.n.]: Endearments, affection addressed to a lover.

Jesus being the lover of my soul has been whispering to me sweet nothings, that mean everything....


"For where your treasure is...
photo
there your heart will be also."
-Luke 12:34
~~~~~
"As a woman thinks, so she is..".
-Proverbs 23:7
~~~~~
Out of obedience, love, gratitude and worship
do what is right even when it does not feel good or don't want to.
"We walk by FAITH [believing] and not by SIGHT [seeing]."
- 2 Cor. 5:7
~~~~~ 
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit”, says the Lord. 
- Zech. 4:6
Not what I do, but what He does THROUGH me.
~~~~~
Which will you choose?
Fear = enemy's faith
Obedience & Believing = God's faith
photo  
Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.  ~Moshe Dayan 
"In Him we live and move and have our being..." -Acts 17:28

"He is my freedom, He is the oxygen to my soul. " ~Meagan

  
http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitianne/

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I could not have asked for a better time at home, except maybe replacing the first few days with the desire and willingness I God gave me about 5 days after I was home.  I don't know what exactly triggered the change, except I knew I wanted more than wasting my life away to an ed that ultimately gave me nothing in return.  Once I was able to swallow my pride, let go and begin trusting things started to shift in a positive, life-giving way making my time at home that much sweeter and refreshing spiritually, emotionally and physically!

Here is a recap, in pictures, of my break...

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree....
Christmas Day... PRESENTS!
Rootbeer!
My precious brother

Our 'Cajun Christmas' Dinner- 

(Notice the HUGE stuffed porkchop my bro had!  Stuffed bell-pepper was my entree of choice)

Jesus' Birthday Cake

Cousins at Grandma's house

Banana Doughnuts mom & I made, mmmm, mmm GOOD!! 



Photo Fun!
Laughter
Dinner @ Jason's with Katie
Staying warm with Rootbeer

....only the beginning of much more joy to come!
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). " -John 10:10

I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas, except maybe trading in the first couple of days for a more willing spirit... but I know that the Lord had His perfect timing in each moment at home.  When I finally let go, He was more able to really move and work everything out for good.  Some key factors that contributed to my change of heart included: 
  • Discontentment & conviction in my heart; loneliness and shame
  • A longing for peace, happiness and freedom that was enhanced with the festivities of the Christmas season
  • Christmas Eve service message
  • My time at home being an opportunity to have extra support when sought
  • The unconditional love and support of my family; words can't express how blessed I am to have parents, a brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who all support and believe in me and the power of the Lord through me
  • The break from school and work giving me the opportunity to take time to refocus nourish my whole self
  • Other admirable bloggers: Jenny, KatieDana, Angela, Jenna,  & Rebecca ... so many others too!
  • Prayers & renewing my mind... 
  • This awesome book my dear friend Jeanette gave me has really been speaking to my heart...  Come Away My Beloved - original Edition
  • The message God gave me in my quiet time... He reminded me of a verse that I cherished while I was at Mercy: Psalm 45:11- "The King is enthralled with your beauty, honor Him for He is your Lord." This verse speaks for itself, my God thinks I'm beautiful just the way I am, because He is my God, a faithful and loving God I am able to worship Him, which enables an even greater overflow of beauty... inner beauty.
    • This verse is was instrumental in presenting to me prior verse, "Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house." - Psalm 45:10;  To me, the Lord is saying to me in this verse, "Meagan, at this time in your life it is time to depend on ME and not be overly dependent on others..." I love this message, it is perfect for me and such reassurance as I prepared to go back to Denton.  I was able to use the support of my family while there, but it's now time to fully rely on God.  I will admit, sometimes it is easier to go to a person for support rather than the Lord, but I know that He is the only one that can truly give me what I need.  
    • This lovely necklace to take home as a reminder of the significance of these verses and what they mean to me. 
Between December 23 and December 28 I was stuck in a deep, dark pit where my heart was torn between being with my family and being with ed for the break.  But God, in His loving-kindness, shined His light into my pit of destruction giving me a new-found willingness, desire and hope.  At the beginning of my time at home I never would have dreamed I'd end up staying over 2 weeks, nor be in a better place all around.  God is so good, Praise Him!  
"You take my mourning turn it into dancing, 
You take my weeping turn it into laughing,
You take my mourning turn it into dancing,
You take my sadness turn into joy ."
-Restoration Song

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day One- Beautiful You

I mentioned in my goals for 2011 that I would like to do a few exercises a week from the book Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.  I had stumbled across this book on Dana's blog before Christmas and received it from my family for Christmas.  It's a neat book if I do say so myself and the author, Rosie Molinary, created this video about her inspiration behind the book.

 

So today's exercise asks what are your hopes both personally and for the world with regard to body image and beauty perception and how can you begin to live your hopes today?

For Myself-
  • See and love myself as God does; be kind, gracious, loving and merciful to myself just as the Lord is to me... a good metaphor for me is to treat myself as I would this precious, innocent, little Meagan...
 
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).  
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. (Psalm 139:17-18)
    • Treat my body as God's temple
      • Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1Cor. 6: 19-20)
    • Be a good steward of my body so that He may use me
      • self-care through nourishment, hydrating, exercising, vitamins...
      • For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph. 2:10)
    • Let go of weight, clothing size and the identity I find in them.
      • I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. (Colossians 3:12)
    • Accept myself at a healthy weight for me and maintain this long-term.
      • For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-14)
    • Believe in my heart that my beauty has nothing to do with outer appearance, but God radiating through me.
      • Don't depend on things like fancy hairdos or gold jewelry or expensive clothes to make you look beautiful. Be beautiful in your heart by being gentle and quiet. This kind of beauty will last, and God considers it very special. (1Peter 3:3-4)
    • Remember that the people in my life who truly love and care about me will love and accept me no matter what I look like, but more importantly I am loved and accept by my God.
      For the World-
      • I want the same for the world as I do for myself.  I think that people would be so different, more peaceful and joyful, if they could just love and accept themselves right where they are at and quit trying to be someone else.  
      • I wish that there wasn't so much focus on size, image, agelessness, food, diet, exercise, I could go on and on and more positive focus on who we are as people not as bodies.  We are not our bodies (I say this for you just as much as I say it for me), they simply house our true selves.  I believe by acknowledging this we are better able to take care of ourselves based on God's desires for our entire being rather than on the world's.  (this is not easy, trust me, I know)
      Action Plan-
      • Renew my thought life through the Word
        • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  -Rom. 12:2
      • Choose to think happy thoughts
        • Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  -Philippians 4:6-10
      • Be a good steward of my body, mind, soul and spirit.
        • Do what's right even when it doesn't feel good... feelings are NOT facts!!! 
      • Allow Christ's grace, mercy and unconditional love in my life overflow into the lives of others so that they may truly experience Him and come to a place of accepting and loving themselves. 
        • Be active in helping others see their true inner beauty. 
        • Leave 'You are beautiful' notes as part of Operation Beautiful
        Operation Beautiful: Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post-it Note at a Time

      Beautiful By: Mercy Me


        Thursday, January 6, 2011

        Identity

        Choosing Sin...
        Since being home from Mercy I have failed to fight against the enemy.  Mercy was an incredible experience that I am truly so grateful for, but leaving I was not yet comfortable or confident in my new-found identity in Christ.  I quickly started to believe and take to heart the lies of the enemy had been feeding me and... the biggest one, 'you are not free because you still struggle, freedom isn't possible for you.'  Believing the lies led to me compromising my freedom through actively choosing to restrict.  I can honestly say that I have continued to choose the eating disorder over the Lord.  I am not proud of this by any means, but I have continually chosen to do what was comfortable for me, my 'normal', gone the easy way rather than what was right in the eyes of the Lord. The guilt and shame I feel through my continual wrong choices has only fed into the enemy's attacks more.  Let me just tell you, sin is a scary, dark, lonely place and once your deep in that pit, its very difficult to dig out.

        I want more for my life than this all-consuming, life-stealing behavior and yet over and over I have convinced myself 'it's not that bad,' or I continually put off the action of positive, life-giving change till tomorrow.  But I fear that if I don't change I will live a very selfish, lonely, sad life or die.   Neither sound appealing to me by any means!

        Double-minded..
        I have dabbled back and forth with making changes over the past semester, but nothing ever lasting more than a few days.  Once it started getting hard I gave up thinking it was easier to stay with ed than fight against the attacks from the enemy.... what a LIE!  I still wanted control (although it's really all an illusion, ed really had control over me), I was too fearful to completely let go and trust God- I thought I knew better than God.  I was never fully surrendering to God.  I love what Katie says in her recent post about surrendering and I can totally relate.

        Who am I.... ?
        Part of my problem is I do not know who I am without Anorexia and I am scared to completely let go and trust God to show me, to lead and guide me into a true discovery of myself.

        How sad is that? My identity is anorexia. It is who I am, what I do, what I am good at. It's all I know and have known for 13 years, it's what I expect of my life and what people expect of me (or so I tell myself). The best way to understand the anorexia in my life is by equating it to being in an abusive relationship with someone.  It's not a lifestyle that I am proud of by any means.  Its ugly as all get out and I wouldn't believe all that I've done to engage in, to be in a relationship, with ed (eating disorder).

        It's so ironic because I despise who I am with ed, and yet I don't cut off the relationship because I don't know who I am without it.... what do I truly love, enjoy, desire??  With ed I am a lonely, a liar, selfish, obsessed with nonsense, waste money on food, selfish, lethargic, spiritually dead, prideful, anxious, guilty, shameful, un-peaceful, selfish and soooo much more.  I do not want to be any of these things and when I choose to replace my relationship with ed to the relationship I know I have with Christ I can be and do differently!  I have finally, truly come to a place where I am truly committed to take care of myself.  I can't say that there was one thing that triggered the desire to change, God has been working on me for a while.  All I know is that I hate the way I feel physically, emotionally and spiritually when consumed by an ed and I want more in my life, so much more than ed.

        Choosing Life...
        Being home with my family for the holidays has really caused me to re-evaluate my life and my choices.  The first few days I was home I felt tense, shameful, guilty, sneaky and detached and I hated it.  My family means the world to me and I hate to see them affect by my choices, but more importantly, in thinking about the grotesqueness of what my life has looked like for the past several months, I knew deep down I was making a choice every time I practiced my ed to to choose over life, to sin against my God and that just didn't sit right with me.  And in seeing families enjoying one another through the holidays, I also knew that to have that, a husband, kids and a career one day, it would not be possible without doing different.  To do what is right even when it doesn't feel good.  I am finally at a place where I am willing and ready....

        So since I have been on break from school and work (this coming semester is my LAST!!!), I have used this time and the support of my parents to help me get a good foundation of taking better care of myself before I go back to Denton.  I've been taking it one step at a time, surrendering multiple times a day, praying... doing what I need to do to claim the victory that is already mine through Christ!  I am more in Him than this ugly, life-stealing disease!

        You are More- Tenth Avenue North