Sister, you’re not alone!

Just thought I would let you know that if you are having a difficult day, or if you are still struggling with the same old stuff after many years: You’re not alone. I was reminded of this when I did my Bible study today in the late afternoon (and you thought I always get it done early in the morning:) I was surprised to read a very honest piece written by Beth Moore about how difficult and sad her life can be at times. It made me feel better, not that I want her to go through any of those things, but I tend to put famous and influential women on a pedestal, forgetting that they too are only flesh and blood. There are lot of Spiritual qualities in Beth and other women that I admire and that I desire to have in my own life, but sometimes it helps my heart to hear that I’m not the only one who has off days. So I thought I would encourage you: You’re not alone. We are sisters in Christ and we can encourage each other with our spiritual gifts, but also with our honest acknowledgment of our own humanity. So be blessed today to know that I too get tempted, sometimes I overcome, and sometimes I don’t. I too get sad and sometimes God lifts me out of it in a moment and other times I have a journey to complete before I get over it. Whatever you’re going through, you can be certain that somewhere on this planet another precious sister in Christ is going through the same thing. The good news: We can make it, because we have Jesus and we have each other! Even though I might not personally know you, I pray that you will be blessed and God …

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Give me strength!

I have yet to meet a woman who always has time on her hands, never looks exhausted, and always seems relaxed. In heaven we might see more of those, but here on earth most women are overworked and underpaid, seriously! Okay, so sometimes we choose a lifestyle that make us run a hundred miles an hour. In this case some serious self reflecting and maybe counseling might be an option to regain our sanity. However, most of us, as our mothers before us, are simply caught in the rat race of life, where everything seems urgent and pressing. We know the answer: We have to slow down and make time to get into God’s presence. The Bible encourages us so many times to wait upon the Lord. The results are miraculous: You will run and not grow weary, you will walk and not be faint (that would be me), and you will rise up on wings like the eagles (Isaiah 40:31). If your life is anything like mine, you will know that we need nothing short of a miracle to start running without pulling a muscle! Some days I am so exhausted and emotional drained that I just lay before God and cry. It reminds me of my little girl, when she’s really tired she can’t find the words to tell me what’s wrong, she just cries. God is such a compassionate father. Whenever I’m just laying before Him, too tired to utter a word, He never fails to comfort me, give me wisdom, have me take a nap, or just give me that miraculous infusion of strength straight from heaven’s storerooms. “Holy Spirit, please keep nudging me every day to go to my Father instead of turning to things that don’t satisfy (such as overeating and watching TV) and can not help …

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No greater joy!

I am shamelessly crying while I’m typing this post. These are not tears of sadness, no it’s tears of joy and wonder. I am in awe of our wonderful Lord and Savior. Tonight I received an email from a lady who gave her life to Jesus through my program. I don’t think I will ever get used to this kind of news. To me there is nothing in this world that compares to the feeling of seeing someone, especially a woman who is heavy burdened under the load of eating disorders, accepting the voice of Jesus: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28) I’m just as human as the next lady, and you can believe me if I tell you that there are days when I’m not sure that I should ever have written anything. Other days the enemy attacks me with condemnation and doubt about my past. But when I hear a testimony like this, I know it was worth it, and I know that God can and will use any broken vessel, like me, if we will only let Him. I can never get enough of His amazing love for us! I can still not believe that He is just so willing to take all of our sin, all our sorrow, all our pain, all our overeating, all our struggles with food, all of our unbelief and change it into a beautiful life. There is truly no one as happy, just plain happy, as the captive that has been set free. Even now Jesus’ words in Isaiah 61:1, the words that brought freedom to my life, are ringing in my ears “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news …

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Hold the advise, please!

If you have been dealing with food addiction for a while, the last thing you need to hear is another human being telling you to just get over it, have some self control and eat less already! Some individuals are just plain rude and like to give advise about everything (including things they don’t know anything about). But there are also people who honestly intend to help us, but don’t know that their well meant advise can make us feel worse and sink even deeper into the eating disorder. It doesn’t help to take away food, count our calories for us, go on a diet with us or bring us every new diet that comes out. All these things just add to our stress level and self condemnation. We have already tried all the diets and our answer does not lay in diets at all. The thing we need more than anything is acceptance, love, support and prayer. We have to figure the rest out with God and a professional who knows that we can’t just “get it together” already. Just recently a lady told me that food is just a temptation, and overweight people should simply say NO. God helped me not to say anything, because words would have been wasted on this particular lady, but on my way home I prayed that God would grant me grace to “hold the advise”. There were times when I gave people advise about things I knew nothing about and situations I have never been in. This advise giving can especially be going around when it comes to raising kids: As if any of us really know all the answers. I asked that God would help me to guard my mouth ( what goes in and comes out), but also search my heart for any …

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Dear Blue Jeans!

Yesterday I bumped into one of my dear friends who I haven’t seen for a while. She had a pair of blue jeans on and a twinkle in her eye. Her story reads very much like mine and for this reason I understood exactly where she came from when she blurted out “I fit into my jeans!” It takes a certain type of women to understand: The one who battled overeating for years, who had to wear black sweat pants for decades, and tried forever to fit into a pair of jeans. So I was immediately on board, ready to celebrate with her! God has done an amazing work in her life and for the first time in many years she could take a pair of blue jeans (without elastic) from the back of her closet and put it on. Another friend couldn’t get over the fact that she now, for the first time in her life, have been able to wear long boots. These are truly spoils that we take back from the enemy when we overcome. Sure the major victory lies in the ability to maintain a decent weight and to have peace like a river flowing through your life. However, let’s not forget about the little joys that means so much when you break free form the claws of overeating and food addiction. You too can experience the peace and the joy: God has it, and it’s available to all who believe and refuse to give up!

Strife steals!

Strife is one of those things that can steal a life and destroy relationships. I don’t want to be someone who bickers and complains about stuff. However, if I don’t stay on guard in this area it creeps up on me. I know that we are warned in Ephesians that strife grieves the Holy Spirit and in my struggle with food addiction I’ve learned that I can not afford to grieve the Holy Spirit. In fact in order to break free from eating disorders or any other addiction, one needs the living, guiding Spirit of God right beside you, every step of the way. For a few weeks now I have been bickering, not outright fighting or arguing, although I have had my share of that too. No, this was more a constant complaining and fault finding, especially surrounding my marriage. When my husband pointed it out I was defensive and the bickering escalated into a full fledged argument. Fortunately God loves me too much to let me wander off onto a path of destruction. So he cornered me. I picked up a book of Joyce Meyers and it was all about getting rid of strife. I listened to a sermon a few days later and Strife was mentioned. Sure enough, this morning when I picked up my Bible study, there it was again. Finally convinced, I hit the carpet and confessed. What a relief! What a difference when God opens our eyes! It’s the same eyes that others tried to pry open, but in a second God can remove the veil and you can see… Strife can not be tolerated, not even during PMS:)

5am: The Hour of Horror!

You can probably tell from the title that I started getting up at 5 am. It’s terrible! It’s dark and gloomy and everybody is still asleep and I feel so sorry for myself. I started doing this for the last couple of weeks because I have had sick kids and there is no way I can get to the gym or have some alone time with God when I have to tend to the poor little sick ones. So I chose to get up before the crack of dawn and get it done. Of course Mondays are the worst. This morning I dragged my sorry bones out of bed and felt waves of self pity sweep over me. I was convinced that I have invented some form of self torture, and just like every other morning during the last two weeks I couldn’t help but wonder “How is this worth it?” While pulling on my sweats I started making plans to get out of this hour of horror. I would go through every excuse and every alternative in my mind. You would think that once I reach the car I would feel much better and my mood would change, but no such luck. Ice on the windows and a sleepy neighborhood is not exactly the best mood lifter. So I shiver all the way to the gym, and lo and behold what do I find: Lots of people, awake at this terrible hour, walking, sweating and running like you won’t believe. At that point the self pity started to vanish a bit. If I want to look good, feel good and have a good day, I guess there is a price. So I gave the receptionist a weak little smile and started walking the treadmill, armed with my scripture cards, ready to give …

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Sad Valentine (:

With just a day to spare until Valentine’s day, I find myself in tears. Now some would call these tears of self-pity, but I just call it “real woman tears” You don’t have to live long as a a woman on this planet of ours to have your heart shattered into tiny pieces, and Valentines day sure gives ample opportunity for just such a heartbreak. Of course not everybody is a Sad Valentine. There certainly are those “young and in love” who have only tasted the sweet side of love. They make us drool and think of our own first love. Others have discovered new romance in their marriage after many dry years, and we wish them the best from the bottom of our hearts. And then of course there are the few fortunate women, the ones we don’t speak of, who married incurable romantics. This rare species of men embrace Valentine’s day (and their wives) with everything they have (gasp). I belong to the group that has been married for a while, and sadly wised-up to the fact that romance takes some work. On Valentines day some extra work will pay of: A hint here, a reservation there and a grateful heart for even the smallest token of affection will do the trick. So, through the years I’ve had many happy Valentine’s days because of an extra effort, but also my share of ones where I’m overwhelmed with self-pity (okay I’ve said it). So, today is one of those above mentioned days where I just have this yearning to be swept off my feet on a white horse and carried away to a “castle of romance”. Off course all the adds on TV and stores filled with tokens of “love” are not helping! It’s not that my man has never shown any …

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High Tea at the Heathman!

A few weeks ago I was invited to some serious girl time: A tea party! Not the kind I have with my little girl in the back yard, nor the kind I try my best to “recreate” when I have a few ladies over. No, I’m talking about the real thing: High Tea at the the Heathman! Now before you suspect that I am a privileged lady who spend countless afternoons with fine china and little crumpets, let me tell it as it is: I have never been to the Heathman or any other “high” tea for that matter. Sure we’ve had tea parties in my home country in lovely tea gardens, and my grandma and I used to go to a tea shop for tea and scones. However, having high tea at a prestigious hotel was some mysterious experience I’ve only heard of. The fun started as soon as a dear friend extended a generous invitation to me. I accepted eagerly, but the minute I put the phone down my roller coaster ride began. One day I would be all excited and the next day I would wonder what in the world I was going to wear, if my purse that survived four children would do, and if the nail polish that’s been sitting in my closet for two years was still any good. So a few days ago the big day came and I end up wearing my trusted black pants and a blouse with a hint of the “girly-girl” hidden deep inside me. I actually went out and bought myself a new purse: I still miss my old one, I can not find my keys or cell phone for the life of me! As for the homemade manicure, yeah, that never happened. Great was my relief to find my friends …

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Hunting down Jealousy and it’s evil twin, Envy!

I must admit, it has been a struggle for me. All my life I have to beat down this green eyed monster and it’s sidekick, envy. Part of it had to do with eating disorders. Struggling with food, set me up for a low self esteem and in return a low self esteem pushed me deeper into a food struggle. So you really get trapped in a vicious cycle. While going through the process of healing God and I spoke a lot about this. Why do I feel jealous of some people, and more so, why do I envy other women that look better, act better, have more stuff, are happier, do and say all the right things, and for crying out loud, eat whatever they want and never pick up an ounce. Getting older doesn’t really help. These days I have to contend with those who are younger as well. I have learned a lot about how the enemy plays women against each other to keep us from being what God intended: sisters in Christ, best friends and allies against the Devil. I am so amazed how much God have changed me in this area and I wrote a lot about this in my course for women struggling with food. However, this time my bout with envy looked a little different. My focus was on other families that seem to have so much more than us, do so much more, and just seemed so blessed in comparison to us. You know how quickly the enemy can color the picture, until we forget all about the countless blessing in our own lives. It started with a little uncomfortable tweak of envy towards good friends of ours. Nothing serious, because I love them and I want them to have things and go places… I …

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