Monday, April 30, 2012

"A dream is a wish your heart makes...."

If you haven't already noticed I changed the title of my blog from Allured by Christ Through His Mercy to Eden.  The origin of Eden is of course from the book of Genesis in the Bible.  It is the Hebrew word for 'paradise'.  It also means 'delight.'

Why the change?  Well this word has been heavy on my heart for some time now for lots of different reasons, right now, for me the word represents 'beautiful', 'pure' and 'new beginnings'... 

I feel as though God planted this word in my heart for many reasons, some beyond my dreams!  If you'll recall back about a year ago I created a Vision Board with all kinds of dreams I have for the future.  Well, one of the boards included my BIG dream of having a flower/gift/coffee shop.  While I was in the hospital and working on some therapeutic matters my dream was re-awaken, but this time with a name... EDEN!  With this name came the acronym:
Extending forgiveness
Dispelling guilt & shame
Embracing unconditional love
Navigating truth

The acronym reflects more of what Eden has meant to me in my journey to forgive, love and accept myself as I am just as the Lord does.  This is something I have to do and all the time because I am super hard on myself, in fact, I am my own worse enemy.  This self-hate has caused me time and time again to pick up my lovely eating disorder as a means to feel control over whatever it was that I messed up.  And then the vicious cycle is begins again... I get mad at myself for 'failing' and using my eating disorder yet again to 'feel better' and so rather than forgive myself and move on I practice my eating disorder more and believe the LIE that it is the only thing I am good at.  So now, day by day, sometimes hour by hour, I am working on being more gentle with myself by extending forgiveness, dispelling guilt and shame and loving myself unconditionally just as the Lord does.

My hope is that Eden would be a place where this acronym can be reflected into the lives of others... I see Eden as either a shop I own and run on my own or have it connected to some type of ministry or program that gives individuals who go through their program the opportunity to work and share their talents at Eden.  Either way Eden will  be a place people can count on to have just the right gift or floral arrangement to brighten someone's day, but also a safe haven to come sit and relax at with a cup of coffee and pastry, comforting tunes and friendly faces.

Honestly this all seems quite impossible... my dream seems too BIG, too far fetched.  But I am going to hold onto to several of God's promises and do my part to make my dream come true believing that this dream will do more than touch my heart, but to the heart's of many others.

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matt.19:26
"Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Ps. 37:4 
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matt. 17:20

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Public Service Announcement: GET REAL

NEDA Walk 2012

Several weeks ago my parents and several friends of mine went up to Dallas for the National Eating Disorder Association Walk as Team Eden.  

NEDA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders and campaigns for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders.  I am a definite supporter of anything related to eating disorder treatment and prevention therefore didn't give a second thought to creating a team to raise support for this organization who is contributing to giving hope and a future to those with eating disorders.

The event included information and resources for treatment and support of eating disorders both local and nationwide as well as special guest Jenni Shafer who wrote Life Without Ed & Goodbye Ed Hello Me, two books which have been great resources for my own recovery.  We were also asked to write the reason we were walking and wear it as we took our stroll through the park.

The event was quite successful.  This was Dallas' first ever walk and in comparison to other walks that have started up over the years the Dallas walk of 2012 was a top First-Time Earner with close to $35,000!  Team Eden contributed to about $1,300 of that amount!

A BIG THANKS to all who supported Team Eden & NEDA as well as all of those who have supported me over the many years I've battled this ugly eating disorder.

Long time no see

Well hello there... I know that it has been quite some time since I last wrote.  Needless to say a lot has happened in the time in between-- both good and not so good.  All I know for sure in the chaos of life over the past year or so God has been faithful through the ups and downs of it all.  Let me give you a brief overview of what all has gone on and in the coming days and weeks I hope to give a more in depth look at different significant events and milestones of 2011 and parts of 2012 we have experienced.

The last time I wrote I had written out a list of goals for the year 2011.  Regretfully I struggled a lot with meeting many of them.  The hope to be more gentle with myself, laugh more and honor my desires & intuition was quickly overshadowed by old ways and habits of my eating disorder....

I continued taking my final classes at UNT in the spring while also working at the University.  I got news not long after I last posted that I was short a couple hours in order to graduate in May therefore would have to make up that time in the summer semesters and wait to graduate in August.   I went ahead and resigned from my job at the University in May and took a Maymester so that I could still have somewhat of a summer.

For my birthday, Mom and Dad's anniversary and a belated birthday present for Connor we went to Maui... Our first time in Hawaii (and it won't be our last)!!!

Throughout the summer my job was job hunting for my first full time job as a college graduate.  I spent countless amounts of time and energy applying for, preparing for and interviewing with various potential places of employment.  In July I was hired at Sunrise Senior Living in Frisco to work as a Care Manager with the senior in the Independent Living Neighborhood called the Terrace Club.  My job consisted of assisting in the day to day needs and care of the residents as well as planning and executing daily activities to prolong and enhance the aging process.   
In August I walked across the stage receiving a degree with a Bachelor's in Psychology

I also got to be a part of one of my best friend's wedding.

Over this entire time my eating disorder was becoming more and more of a problem... a problem which I chose to ignore.  I was doing very little laughing, much less living for anything other than to practice my eating disorder and in the months leading up to December ed was spilling into every aspect of my life.  Before I knew it I was at death's door, scared I was going to die, but too far into the grips of ED to make choices to dig out of the hole I had created for myself.

I ended up deciding to resign from my job and I checked myself into the hospital.  I thought I would use the insurance I had left for the year as a boost to get me headed back in the right direction with my food....  Little did I know, God had much different plans and I would end up staying there almost 3 months.

This leads us up to where things are now...The first part of March I left the hospital in a much better place physically and emotionally than I came in at.  I decided to move back to Tyler and live with my parents for a stint of time until I can fully get back on my feet -- luckily my parents and Rootbeer (our dog) graciously accepted me.

In the here and now my job is recovery and taking care of me-- enjoying the little things in life so that I can one day experience the dreams I have deep in my heart.  Although 2011 didn't pan out exactly as I had hoped, as I said in the beginning, God has been faithful through it all
"For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken," says the LORD, who has mercy on you."   -Isaiah 54:10