Friday, September 30, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Location, Location, Location

Look at these photos.

They’re taken in the beautiful Columbia Gorge. Aren’t they breathtaking?
If you would have told me that one day, I’d be living in Oregon, I would have said you were crazy. After all, I was a Minnesota farm girl.
But never say never.

And, back in the day, I never would have believed that it would take a geographical move to Oregon to make my book, “Thin Enough” come to life. You never know what God’s up to!

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:9

Sometimes, in life, we need to change location in order to get a different result. Check out Abraham here:

“Now the Lord said to Abram, Go out from your country and from your family and from your father's house, into the land to which I will be your guide:”
Genesis 12:1

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”
Hebrews 11:8

The old real estate adage, “location, location, location” may be the one component that moves you to a better life. You may not have to move geographically; it may be a mental move, an emotional or spiritual shift in thinking. But in making that move, you are in a different place to receive different blessings from God.

Change is a necessary element in life. How can you change- move- for the better? How can you change- move-in a way that’s closer to God and to your own purpose?

Each one of us, no matter where we live, can move in our lives. We can choose to make another choice, a different choice, a better choice. Maybe that move is a scary one. But we are safe in God’s Presence; there’s nothing to fear.

“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.”
Psalms 32:7

How can we move today? How can we be positioned for God’s latest blessings?

Even if it’s the tiniest shift, the tiniest baby step, let’s make a move today!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Which face shall I show?

This image, by Joop Universe, is great.

So true! On any given day, we choose which mask to put on. We dress it up with fake smiles, makeup and earnest efforts. But really, our hearts give us away.

“As a face is reflected in water, so a person is reflected by his heart.”
Proverbs 27:19

Whatever face you’re hiding, showing, masking or boasting, face God WITH it. He knows, anyway!

“You alone know when I sit down and when I get up. You read my thoughts from far away.”
Psalm 139:2

Turn your face- and life- to Him!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's funny because it's true (at least it is today...)

Yep, it's been one of those days today. I want to give my blessed laptop a "love tap"...

...with a baseball bat...

...or a machete.

Looking back, with fondness, on handwritten communication.

Right now, however, I'm looking for that lovetapping weapon.

Peace, love and understanding- harumph!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Double Minded: Coming Or Going?

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
James 1:8

What do you want?

It seems like a simple question. Yet, we scramble for answers in our lives. Just like this cat here, we often don’t know “whether we’re coming or going.”

We often give lip service to proclaiming our desire for happiness, peace and health. But are we backing these aspirations up with our desires, let alone, actions? Achieving these wonderful goals is possible; however, we need to focus on them- and not in a self-destructive way. If there is any confusion in our pursuit of them, it is not from God.

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
1 Corinthians 14:33

So, what do we do if we’re going in every direction at once, but going nowhere at the same time? Pray.

“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
John 16:24

God has promised to help us, to guide us:

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand, and whenever turn to the left.’”
Isaiah 30:21

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will guide you with My eye.”
Psalm 32:8

We don’t need to be in a vicious cycle. But we need to settle in our minds what we want; and, we need to focus on God to help us GET there!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Grover- Near and Far Away

When I was a little girl, Grover was my favorite Sesame street character- still is, in fact. And one of my favorite skits was the famous “near and far” sketch. Check it out.

I find it can also applies to us; we are wondering where in the world God is in our lives. Is He near? Is He far away?

It’s important not to get our feelings confused with God’s Truth. We may feel one way, for instance, abandoned. But God’s Truth is quite clear about His proximity to us:

The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.
Psalm 145:18
The LORD is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Just like this skit here, we may be huffing, puffing, exhausting ourselves, trying to figure God out when He’s close to us the entire time.

Are you tired? Broken hearted? Desperate? Lonely? God is near, not far away from you. Call on Him for real today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Screaming- The Sequel...

The Sceaming chick again- just need to post, to prevent the sound barrier from being broken by ranting fit.

Yes, yes, God is still amazing! (Translated from my audio styling, in spite of my ranting and raving ways).

A Kind TE Book Review...

A very kind book review, sent my way by a little birdie. Thanks for such kind words!

Advice From a Cute Kitten...

Look at this little guy here.

Could he be any cuter? He’s not stressed out and obsessed with who he is, about what he looks like.

Oh, if we could learn a lesson or two from him, huh?

As is…already…good enough…

These words apply to our worth, our value, especially in God’s eyes. We’re as precious to Him as a boatload of these fuzz balls!

“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
Isaiah 43:4

I dare you today: look into your mirror and declare your brilliance!

Your inherent value…

Even your cuteness!!

Whatever it is you’re aspiring to be, hold this thought today: you already ARE it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wait on the Lord, Chick!

“Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14

Waiting feels impossible, doesn’t it? In this instant gratification world we live in, we “want it all- and we want it now,” as the Queen song goes.

Waiting- what’s the point?

But could it be that there’s timing to whatever we’re waiting impatiently for? If we get ahead of the blessing, could we mess it up?

Perhaps God has a bigger surprise in store for us. Ever a part of a surprise party for someone? The whole purpose of it is to catch the surprise-e by surprise. It’s all the more happy when the blessing is unexpected, after all.

We can be like one of these two chicks here.

We can get ahead of the blessing, perhaps even looking foolish in the process. Or, we can wait.
There is a favorite quotes. “God’s answers to our prayers are ‘yes,’ ‘not yet’ or ‘I have something better in mind.’”

Whatever we’re waiting for, let’s look at it from that perspective.
Wait on the Lord, Lil' Chick!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don’t Be Chicken!

“And he said unto them, ‘Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’”
Mark 4:40

Why did the chicken cross the road? That’s how the famous joke begins. But what happens when the chicken is afraid of crossing that road? Then what?

Feel like this lately? Are you chicken?

God tells us not to fear.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Isaiah 41:10

Easier said than done, huh? What are we afraid of? Often, it is the unknown. I know, for me, personally, I tend to automatically look at “the unknown” in a negative light.

But what if the unknown could be great? It’s possible, isn’t it? Maybe we can change the word, “unknown” with all of its negative, scary connotations, for the word, “new.” Let’s see how God could use something “new” to bless our lives.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17

“See, I am doing a new thing; now it is starting; will you not take note of it? I will even make a way in the waste land, and rivers in the dry country.”
Isaiah 43:19

Sounds potentially great, doesn’t it? Imagine the positive possibilities! With God, there is no fear, only love.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:18-19

Even if it’s a baby step today, stick that toe on the road and cross to the other side. God has it; God has YOU!

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1

Monday, September 12, 2011


I happened upon this photo, taken with my first college roommates, early freshman year.

Little did I know, however, a year later, I’d be confronted in an intervention. Little did I know, a year later, I’d be also fully entrenched in my eating disorder behaviors. But, I was.

This time of year, numerous young people are beginning a major change in their lives; they are starting life, beyond high school. It’s been noted that this time, often occurring in a college setting, is a particularly vulnerable time for eating disorders to fully flourish. Major life changes, stress, loneliness and an attempt for independence, control and security all play a role in eating disorder development for many young people.
The roommate experience is also often part of this major life change.

Therefore, if you see your roommate struggling, please do all you can to get them help.

When You Want to Help Someone You Care About…

If the person is older than 18…
Legally the person is now an adult and can refuse treatment if s/he is not ready to change. Nevertheless, reach out. Tell her/him that you are concerned. Be gentle. Suggest that there has to be a better way to deal with life than starving and stuffing. Encourage professional help, but expect resistance and denial. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink—even when he is thirsty—if he is determined to follow his own path.

Some Things to Do…

•• Talk to the person when you are calm, not frustrated or emotional. Be kind. The person is probably ashamed and fears criticism and rejection.
•• Mention evidence you have heard or seen that suggests disordered eating. Don’t dwell on appearance or weight. Instead talk about health, relationships (withdrawal?), and mood.
•• Realize that the person will not change until s/he wants to.
•• Provide information.
•• Be supportive and caring. Be a good listener and don’t give advice unless you are asked to do so. Even then, be prepared to have it ignored.
•• Continue to suggest professional help. Don’t pester. Don’t give up either.
•• Ask: “Is what you are doing really working to get you what you want?”
•• Talk about the advantages of recovery and a normal life.
•• Agree that recovery is hard, but emphasize that many people have done it.
•• If s/he is frightened to see a counselor, offer to go with her the first time.
•• Realize that recovery is the person’s responsibility, not yours.
•• Resist guilt. Do the best you can and then be gentle with yourself.

Some Things Not to Do…

•• Never nag, plead, beg, bribe, threaten, or manipulate. These things don’t work. Avoid power struggles. You will lose.
•• Never criticize or shame. These tactics are cruel, and the person will withdraw.
•• Don’t pry. Respect privacy.
•• Don’t be a food monitor. You will create resentment and distance in the relationship.
•• Don’t try to control. The person will withdraw and ultimately outwit you.
•• Don’t waste time trying to reassure your friend that s/he is not fat. S/he will not be convinced.
•• Don’t get involved in endless conversations about weight, food, and calories. They make matters worse.
•• Don’t give advice unless asked.
•• Don’t expect the person to follow your advice even if s/he asked for it.
•• Don’t say, “You are too thin.” S/he will secretly celebrate.
•• Don’t say, “It’s good you have gained weight.” S/he will lose it.
•• Don’t let the person always decide when, what, and where you will eat. She should not control everything, every time.
•• Don’t ignore stolen food and evidence of purging. Insist on responsibility.
•• Don’t overestimate what you can accomplish.

ANRED: When You Want to Help Someone You Care About. . Used with permission.

There is help!
God Bless!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We remember...

Ten years ago today- hard to believe.

We remember.

May we never forget. May this never happen again! God bless, comfort and protect us!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Children's Diet Book? Really?

Just checked out the following:

Should Your Child Be Dieting?

While a controversial new children’s book has stirred up debate on the d-word, experts advocate healthy eating and exercise habits over quick-fix weight loss for kids

Kids have cell phones, CrossFit, and beauty pageants—why not diets, too? Child and adolescent weight loss is the topic of a controversial new book called Maggie Goes on a Diet, due out October 16. Targeting kids ages 4 to 12, the book chronicles—via a series of rhymes—the journey of an overweight and insecure 14-year-old girl as she transforms herself into a normal-size soccer star by eating right and exercising.

While it sounds like a source of sensible advice, the book’s forthcoming release has spawned a frenzy of criticism across news outlets, blogs, and, where commenters are outraged with the notion of familiarizing preschool and elementary-age children with the concept of dieting, and worried that the book will trigger disordered eating among impressionable kids. Eating disorders in children younger than 12 increased by 119% between 2000 and 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Experts have universally condemned the book, arguing that it sends the message that being thin will automatically make you happy, healthy, and popular. Paul M. Kramer, the book’s author, who has no background in medicine or child nutrition, writes, “Losing the weight was not only good for Maggie’s health. Maggie was so much happier and was also very proud of herself.” And later: “More and more people were beginning to know Maggie by name. Playing soccer gave Maggie popularity and fame.”

Kramer defended his work on Good Morning America in August, explaining that the book is about changing kids’ eating and exercise habits, but that the word “diet” was used in the title to make the book more relatable for readers. “If I entitled the book Maggie Eats Healthy, somebody in a bookstore looking at a title Maggie Gets Healthy is really not going to identify with somebody who has been overweight or who has health problems,” Kramer said on the show.

Targeting Childhood Obesity with Tact

When approximately 12.5 million (17%) of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are classified as obese, according to the CDC, the epidemic can’t be ignored—but it can be addressed in a manner appropriate to maturing young people who are in the process of developing attitudes about their body image. “Weight—especially excess weight—is a sensitive issue in our society an has to be dealt with carefully in order to avoid damaging a child’s self-esteem,” says Susan J. Woolford, MD, MPH, medical director of the Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center at the University of Michigan.

Video: What’s at the root of childhood obesity?

“I think it’s best to stay away from the world ‘diet’ and to actually not engage in dieting,” Woolford says. “Diets are generally thought of as something people do for a temporary period of time until they achieve a certain weight, at which point they’d come off the diet,” she adds, pointing out that yo-yo dieting makes it harder over time to achieve a healthy weight and easier to pack on excess pounds.

In fact, research shows that when healthy foods are the focus, kids tend to weigh less. An Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine study tracked 2,327 girls from age 9 to 19. Those who followed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which emphasizes fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and whole grains without strict portion control, had an average BMI of 24.4, which is considered healthy, while those whose diets least closely resembled the DASH eating plan were classified as overweight, with an average BMI of 26.3.

On the other hand, diet foods and portion control don’t always spell long-term weight loss. In a study of 113 teens conducted by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and published in the journal Obesity, obese adolescents with an average age of 15 drank SlimFast shakes in place of their regular meals. While the study subjects lost weight in the short term, the diet shakes did not help the teens continue or maintain their weight loss until the end of the yearlong study.

Search: What are the best lunches to pack for back-to-school?

Instead of dieting, Woolford advocates lifestyle changes. “For example, if you increase vegetable intake for your family, that’s something you’d want to do indefinitely,” she says. “It’s concerning to have young child focused on weight, diets, and calorie counting; it’s much more advantageous to think about being healthy.” While obesity puts kids at risk for type 2 diabetes, breathing problems such as sleep apnea and asthma, joint and musculoskeletal problems, and social and psychological problems like discrimination and low self-esteem—concepts that kids might not understand—even young children grasp the general idea of being healthy, and parents can make changes geared toward this goal without negatively affecting their child’s self-esteem, Woolford says.

Hmmmm. Not encouraging. Ideally, yes, the message that comes across should be "health," not "diet." However, in this society, "destination: thin" is the loud voice drowning anything else out.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Exhale Already! We’re Beautiful- NOW

In the classic film, “Gone With the Wind,” the character, Scarlett O’Hara is seen clutching the bedpost, as she is corseted, squeezed into her big party gown.

Ah, yes. The famous lie surfaces, “Pain is beauty.”

But what if she realized that her beauty and value weren’t dependent upon the fashion and trends of the time? What is she discovered she was already beautiful?

Beauty trends come and go. Fashion is fickle. It changes on a dime. We may not clutch a bedpost now, trying to inhale ourselves to a 16 inch waist, but we are inhaling some kind of forced, unnatural effort for beauty’s sake.

Let’s exhale; we ARE already beautiful! Now! As is. Without anything added TO it!

Let’s accept ourselves and breathe the splendor of who we are! We are wonderful- and worth it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fluffy Vengeance

When my uncle was a little boy, he once got in trouble for spitting on his siblings. After his punishment, he retreated to the corner of a room. He sulked while in this corner. When my grandmother checked on him, she asked, “What are you doing here?”

His response?

“I’m making more spit!”

It’s one of those humorous family tales, but it makes a point about getting our way, sulking and vengeance. How many of us act out in our lives? Are we pouting, sulking or even taking revenge on a situation that we have no business messing with in the first place?

“Vengeance is Mine… I will repay”
Romans 12:19-20

What’s driving us? What are we trying to prove? In trying to exert ourselves, through unhealthy, destructive behaviors, in trying to get someone back, we look just as ridiculous as these baby animals, both named Fluffy, here.

It’s just fluffy vengeance. And is that the best use of our time and lives? If there’s an issue going on in our lives, there are other alternatives to revenge and sulking: let God deal with it and “clean up our side of the street.” We have that responsibility for our choices; we, however, do not control another’s response.

Harboring a revenge fantasy lately? Are you “making more spit?”

What if your best revenge is, in fact, your best lived life? Don’t you think God would honor that?

Don’t be Fluffy; be fantastic! Make another choice; Make a higher Choice! Let God be God!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You're Being Watched...

Feel alone? Feel like no one knows or cares about your life?

I think it was a Bugs Bunny cartoon in which Bugs asked the question, “Did you ever get the feeling you were being watched?”

In this big, scary world, it’s all too easy to feel alone and overwhelmed. We all have those dark moments. We feel forsaken, hopeless and insignificant. But we are being watched…

“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
Isaiah 43:4

Perhaps you’re facing a crisis or a decision that has alienated you from “everyone.” Perhaps you’ve been rejected by the people who were supposed to love you know matter what. God knows…

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
Hebrews 4:13

And God is acting in your life- right now…

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…”
2 Chronicles 16:9

God has not left you; He’s there, carrying your life.

Trust His Eyesight when you can see nothing except hopelessness, fear and despair. His Vision for you is always 20/20. He’s loving, guiding and helping you now.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will guide you with My eye.”
Psalm 32:8

Trust that yes, you are being watched by the most loving, powerful and patient eyes!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Be the Rainbow

“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.”

Lord Byron

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sidewalk- The Sequel

Need to remember this again...

“I walk down the street. There’s a hole in the sidewalk and I fall in. I’m lost; it isn’t my fault. It takes me forever to get out. I walk down the street again. There’s a hole in the sidewalk but I pretend I don’t see it, so I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place; still, it isn’t my fault. I walk down the street again. There’s a hole in the sidewalk. I see it, but I still fall in- it’s a habit. But now my eyes are open and I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. I walk down the street. There’s a hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. Finally, I walk down a different street!”

What's a different step we can take right now? What's keeping us from taking that different step? Let's go somewhere different than where we've been.

Friday, September 2, 2011


“…we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.”
1 Corinthians 8:4

When I was a theatre major, I first encountered the 1927 Fritz Lang film, “Metropolis.” The silent movie comments on class structure and the industrial age. But what also resonates with me is how we turn to a “new and improved” kind of image; in this film, the character, Maria is the inspiration for this reinvented, “new and improved” machine interpretation:

Whether it’s “Metropolis” or more recently, “the Terminator” films, there still seems to be the same message out there; reinvent yourself as the better, prettier, thinner, more successful model. That’s the only way to compete in this “dog eat dog” world.

Is it?

This time of year always brings up the reinvention theme more strongly for me. We’re at a new school year again. From my own past experience, especially as a college freshman, bought into the reinvention promise’s lie.

If I didn’t reinvent, myself, translation, become thinner, I’d only be a failure and completely worthless. Changing myself, therefore, was my obsession; I had that unhealthy tunnel vision as my eating disorders developed and took me to more desperate actions and chaotic weight struggles.

I thought being “new and improved” would make my life perfect. It did not. I still had problems and pain. In fact, turning to my “reinvention promise” caused additional problems and pain, through eating disorders and negative consequences from my wrong choices. I didn’t count on that happening.

Did the reinvention promise deliver? No. Why not? What’s wrong with improving ourselves, after all? Nothing, if it’s not our idol or our god. That’s where things go wrong.

I once heard a definition of the word, idol: “anything you draw strength from.”


No, losing weight and reinvention aren’t the only potential “idols” out there. We can look to anything, to anyone and wrongly turn them into our promised “answer.” They were never meant to be that for us, however. Only God is to have that place.

“…for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.”
Isaiah 46:9

It’s distortion. It’s as distorted as this machine version of Maria here.

It may appear to have, to be the answer, but our chosen idol or god can never bring us what God can.

“You are to have no other gods but me.”
Exodus 20:3

Reinvention can be a slippery slope. Don’t draw strength from being a “better” version. Right now, flaws and all, we are worthwhile. Right now, as together or as messy as we are, we still need God.

Don’t get it twisted. Whatever we deem to be our answer is found in only God. It’s not beauty, money, success or relationships.

“Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.”
Exodus 20:23

It is your first love, calling to you.

“…Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
Jeremiah 31:3

Will we answer? Part of becoming the person each of us is created to be is relating to God as He rightfully is in our lives: first.

“I am the Lord your God…”
Exodus 20:2

Let’s let God do our reinventing then. He knows how to do it. In the meantime, let’s be ourselves, realizing we will change, but no matter how or when we change, God will still be God.