So many thoughts today. I told myself I would not write until Saturday morning, but I ended up getting caught up at school waiting for an appointment with an advisor. So I thought I’d start writing! It’s so truly cathartic to let my heart flow onto a page.
This verse has been special to me in my recovery journal for a long time. I remember the first time, at age 19, that I really started to want to recover from ED, I started surrendering it all to the Lord and asking Him to empty my of that garbage that defined and ruled my life and to FILL me with HIS spirit. I grew up in the church, was dedicated to the Lord as a baby by my parents who were committed to raising me in the Truth, and believe I asked Jesus to be my savior around preschool, but it wasn’t until then that it became REAL to me!! I believe I was a saved person until then, but I didn’t fully understand the Grace was that was mine until I realized how much I had fallen from the Truth and how much I needed the Truth to set me free from my bondage to self. My theme of my whole recovery journey has been surrender and seeing how worthless that old life really is.
Surrender is freeing. Surrender is scary. I vacillate between joy, peace, fear, freedom, sadness, and anger about this decision I made in mid september. I cannot lie and say it’s easy because it’s not. I have to keep turning my will with this over to the Lord. Often I question if I am doing the right thing. If I am going to keep gaining weight and one day weight myself only to discover I am seriously overweight and I have a metabolic problem that makes me unable to surrender my body and expect it to stay at a healthy weight. I sometimes I want to cry when my size 5s and 7s feel snug and I don’t look like the same girl I did before. Sometimes I see thinner people, and seriously get jealous and wonder if they are thinking, “that Liz really gained weight, she must be out of control with her food.” I get resentful. Thin was me. It was my thing, and it was snatched from me, without my consent! Yet, I feel God wants me to do this. I believe He has shown me through my improved endocrine function that it is the right thing (my blood work which I will discuss later indicates this). I feel very heathy. I have been learning so many lessons about body image and health through this part of my journey. Yet, it is with trepidation that I continue to surrender my body. I just pray that as I continue to place my body in the Lord’s hands that He takes care of it and continues to mold it into how He wants my temple to be, and that whatever that shape it, that it is a healthy one (and for my vanity, not too fat?… is that wrong to wish?).
 At the same time, I see that as I’ve surrendered all of this through the years, God has filled my life with many blessings. Sometimes those blessings are not what we thing they should be or what we think we need. One blessing right now that I’m super excited about is the prospect of being an occupational therapist in just a year (if I pass the board exam!!! 🙂 ). I am looking into my full time internships for the summer and fall and am truly excited and feel grateful to have been given this opportunity. Again, it’s not what I would have asked for, but I am very excited! Originally, I wanted to be a registered dietician (surprise surprise). As is evident from this blog it is a true passion, almost more than OT. In a way, though, with the focus on body image and thinness in this profession, perhaps it’s not a 100% healthy passion.    I was taking my nutrition prerequisites to apply to graduate school in this, and realized that I have no gifting in chemistry, I actually am quite incapable in this subject and struggled to pass advance chem and actually had to drop the class to maintain my high GPA that I needed to get into any graduate program. I have always been interested in working therapeutically with special needs children and I adore kids and just yearn to help kids with disabilities to lead happy lives and to do the things that kiddies like to and need to do. That truly makes my heart smile. I have worked a lot with children and people have told me before they could see me as an OT. It is the perfect combination of science and creativity (like me…)
Additionally, I have a sister with high functioning autism and I have seen the amazing work occupational therapists have done with her. And there is no calorie talk involved! Or weight talk. Even though I have sort of fallen into this field, I am so excited, and really pray that the Lord directs my fieldwork coordinator and all the other people involved so that I am placed at exactly the right place so that I can grow and learn as a clinician, have professional mentorship, gain experience in this practice area, and be a blessing to children who might need something that only I can offer. I look at this experience, and while it might not be what I think i should do, I truly see the beauty in it and smile. “Oh Lord, who am I to say what I need?” Eventually when I learn even more about therapeutic nutrition, my dream, if the Lord opens the doors and my brain (to grasp chem!) is to get a second masters in this area of study. It is an area that I have done tons of research in, and believe that my knowledge could really help people and am filled to the brim with passion (although I feel I need to learn more about it and become even more mentally recovered to do a good job- God knew I wasn’t ready for this yet). I’d love to combine OT and nutrition and use food therapeutically with the children with whom I work. There is so much research out there that nutrition therapy/vitamin/herbal therapies can be so beneficial for kids with various disabilities including ADHD, autism, learning disabilities ect. Of course I’d love to use my knowledge of nutrition to help people w/ EDs and hormonal disturbances too since i’ve very much been there. But that is in the future. I’m trusting the Lord to guide my steps each day. So excited for the next one with OT!
Surrender is beautiful. It is terrifying. But as I surrender I’m filled with joys and dreams. And healed. Mind body and spirit. 
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
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My Thoughts on… the D word.

“I’m on a Diet”… it’s such a common phrase to hear uttered by American women.  In libraries and book stores whole sections exist that are devoted to various diets. Low carb, low fat, vegetarian, paleo, raw… the list is infinite! This is only natural when looking at our health statistics and our cultural beauty ideals. According to the US government, 69.2% of Americans are overweight or obese (BMI greater than 25) and 35.9% are classified as obese (BMI greater than 30) (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2013). At the same time our culture and media glorifies unrealistically thin bodies. In my opinion, the majority of models could be classified as having an anorexic BMIs (17.5 or less) (sad that women in the public eye depict a body that is not healthy for many women to have). I believe this great discrepancy between who we are (many of us “overweight”) and who we want to be (Barbie) fuels the huge diet industry.

Well, ok. People (especially women) diet. So what? Right? I don’t think it’s quite so innocuous or simple. I believe that the diet industry also fuels eating disorders which are also sadly quite rampant in our culture. I believe that these disorders are often overlooked much more than the issue of being overweight, and while they might be slightly less common than obesity, they are still prevalent and I believe that they can be much more harmful than being overweight. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders, up to 3.7% of US women suffer from anorexia in their lifetime and up to 4.2% struggle with bulimia during their life (ANAD 2014). Eating disorders have severe health consequences including heart failure, organ failure, and even death (ANAD 2014). I believe that some individuals are biologically predisposed to develop eating disorders, but need to be triggered into it, often through malnutrition from dieting. Our diet-happy culture, I believe is often the trigger to push girls over the edge into these disorders. I have definitely been there. And I lived in that dark prison for about 6 years of my life. The journey out has been long and arduous, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

So, what to do? it seems like both ends of the food spectrum (dieting/ controlled eating and over eating/standard american eating) can have profound consequences. I was thinking about this today as my mom was telling me about a new diet that she is going to try. Some low sugar low carb plan (Wheat belly?). For some reason, diet talk really is triggering to me. Maybe because deep down, I’m still have some of that 95 lb teenager in me who longs above all else to be thin. Who has that tinge of “it’s not fair that I can’t be naturally thin and healthy and have the body I want”. Maybe a part of me wishes I could go on a diet. Now. And succeed (Heck, I remember being a skinny child and enjoying reading diet books and begging my mother to let me tag along to weight watchers with her. I’ve always been interested in diets for some reason). And watch my body shrink. But I don’t think that’s fully it. I have seen both ends of the spectrum with dealing with an ED and hypothalamic amenorrhea so clearly. And I have come to a realization. Why does it have to be so difficult to simply maintain a healthy weight? So many people have health complications from being too thin for their body or too heavy for their bodies. So many people struggle with disordered eating and skewed body image and fall into focusing on numbers on the scale. Why does it need to be this way? I don’t think God designed it to be such a struggle to maintain an optimal weight for health.

I have also come to the realization, that I never want to “Diet” again. As much as restricting my food gives me control and a sense of pride and temporary satisfaction, I’ve seen it’s not good for me. From now on, I always want to eat what I believe is healthy for my body, and I may not even want to know a number on a scale again (I get fixated on numbers and they upset me). I hope that if I eat mostly natural, whole foods, and make sure I’m not eating anything, particularly carbs and sugar in excess, that my weight will stabilize at a healthy place. For so long I based my worth on “the number” on the scale. If it went up, it was a terrible day and I was an unworthy person. If it went down I was on top of the world. I don’t want to let a number define my worth. I want to be able to nourish my body that God gave me and be in complete surrender. It is a struggle for me, since in my opinion, I look best at around 110 lbs which is probably about 15 lbs less than I am now :(. That ED part of me that is still present (although I like to pretend it’s all gone) is disgusted with myself, but I quickly surrender those thoughts and realize that I cannot take back my will with this. I am a bit worried that I don’t have a “set point” or it may be much higher than I’d like as I know that I have to basically restrict myself to a few hundred calories a day to get below 110 lbs, and eat maybe btwn 1000 and 1500 at most to be 110-120 lbs. I’ve let go of the number for the very first time, and I’m quite scared of how high my weight might go. I am very honestly scared deep down that I’m going to keep gaining. But I really know I can’t handle trying to control my weight more than just eating healthy and keep surrendering my body and will. It’s easier some days than others, but some it’s freakishly discouraging and scary. And I want to take back that will of mine and start cutting calories like crazy. But I know what is right for my mind, spirit and body and will do that, Just for today. I am grateful that I am energetic. I am grateful, that most of the time, my life is so not ED focused. I am happy that I got my period back basically 4 months in a row. I need to focus on the positive. And realize that the D word, is not for me. Healthy is , but Diet is not and never will be, again, I believe. Regardless of that ED voice that is there, I have been given new eyes although they see more clearly some days than others, and for that I am grateful.

xo, Liz

References

ANAD. (2014). Eating disorders statistics. Retrieved from http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013, November 21). Obesity and overweight. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm

Surrender

“There is nothing that we can offer God except our willingness to offer Him everything.” –unknown…
 
Surrender. Over the years throughout my journey of recovery, God has called me to surrender different things to Him. At those time, I was like a toddler clinging to a pacifier. But looking back now, I see that as I’m emptied, He fills me in a way that I never dreamed I could be. I really want to get to that place where I’m willing to offer the Lord anything (so far from it!)
 
One very monumental surrender recovery thing for me, was when God called me to give up all sweets including artificial sweeteners and even a supposedly healthy herbal sweetener known as stevia. For a long time, I was ridiculously addicted to stevia (i’m a sugar addict, i believe but I turned to stevia as it was safe to me)… I had to have it all the time, and would cry if I ran out of it. I was spending around 30 dollars a week on stevia (a lot for a poor college student) and it would ruin my day if I ran out of it. My life revolved around this substance. I loved sweets, but especially stevia because it seemed so innocuous- it was calorie free and still delicious. Yet, one day the Lord told me that it was an idol and I had to give it up. I knew this in my heart for a long time and it was very difficult. But I did. And the Lord healed me from that. 
 
This is something I wrote a few weeks after having my last stevia fix. It was a time in which the Lord was really stripping me of so much. I had just broken up w/ my first boyfriend, and although it was a dysfunctional relationship, it was a very difficult breakup as this boy had become my world. At the same time, I realized that I needed to give stevia up (and sugar). And I totaled my car that week too! I was so depressed. I think I started researching stevia and realized that it might be unhealthy in mega doses, and I knew that I was dependent upon it in some weird way. This is an excerpt from this difficult chapter of my journey (from winter of 2011) in which I felt God was stripping me of everything I loved. This story always amazes me:
 
The major thing, however that was so difficult for me to give up was stevia. Stevia is a natural, white totally, oh my gosh so amazingly amazing sugar alternative. I was so addicted. So in love with this substance in a way I can’t even wrap words around. I couldn’t leave the house without a bottle of the substance tucked safely away in my handbag. It made me feel secure. My stevia addiction started out innocently enough a few years ago, but gradually it became that I needed increasing amounts and felt depressed and moody and that life wasn’t worth it without it. I knew in my heart that I was addicted and had to give this up, but would not let go. I couldn’t live without my stevia. I even dumped it on food. It was supposed to be healthy, I thought. I had researched it extensively enough that my freshman year of college I wrote a research paper on it!
I wrote the following at the time I gave up stevia…
“For a long time I’ve known that I’m completely addicted to the sweetener stevia. For years now I can’t go anywhere without a bottle in my purse. If I get low, I get depressed and irritable and anxious and my life basically stops until I get more. I do not drink anything without first adding stevia. I eat a lot of things with this substance too, and often even overeat things with this as I love it so much. I have tons of stevia rituals… I probably spend over 30$ a week on the stuff and then a lot more money on food and drinks to use it with. If I have any money it goes to stevia and I haven’t really cared. I’ve known that I’m totally out of control, but I haven’t wanted to admit it. This is a big part of the old life that I’ve been holding onto.
Fast forward to the Friday after that incident in the car… the week between that incident and the Friday, I had been running low on stevia, but had enough to last me. Usually I got a total high by going to purchase more stevia. I know which stevia brands are at which health food stores in the area, and how much each one has in stock (well not now, but I have known this)… I am like a stevia expert (if only you could earn a living with that title)!”
Anyhow. I was planning to go to therapy and then go to buy food and stevia. I felt excited for this ritual, but this excitement was definitely mixed with a tinge of guilt. The past few days I had been feeling extra convicted about this issue (like I always do when I try to connect with God). Even that morning while on the road, I remember having one of my conversations where I cried out to God about this, like a toddler who wants a pacifier… I knew God had told me no and had for a while, but I had been disobeying… “Why Lord… why can’t I have it? You made it? It’s not bad… nothing that you make is?” I even tried to picture Jesus lovingly giving me stevia… I mean I sort of can! But I felt like I heard Him whisper into my mind to answer my question, “Because you put it in front of me.” Still I intended to go get my stevia fix. I just hoped God wouldn’t punish me in some way like get me in an accident on the way there. I did tell myself I’d talk to the therapist and maybe I’d reconsider if he said that it wasn’t a good idea to buy the stevia. I fully thought that the therapist would say… “Of course it’s ok in moderation!” That’s what the several other therapists I’ve talked to about this issue said… But… he told me it’s not ok to put anything in front of God and pulled an article on this out of his filing cabinet. I was surprised and uncomfortable, but I knew that this is what God told me just that morning.
I got in the car to leave and I felt like that toddler again. “But I want it God!!!” But… I decided to not at least for the time being. Over the next few days I decided that I definitely needed to give up stevia. The next week was a crazy week of riding on God’s back. He really carried me as I decided to let him. He has really been helping me in unimaginable ways to put to death the old life that I clung to for so long, but that brought me nothing but misery.”
So fast forward a month or so… I have not touched the substance since. Has my life been wonderful?? Um. how about. Not. Far from it. All I feel is the sense that God wants more from me. Here sitting in the cafe, I would love to down a decaf soy cappucino laced with stevia. But I know I can’t. I am no longer addicted. I gave that one to the Lord, but I feel a deep hole in my heart for it. I guess as He empties me, if I don’t go to Him to get filled with my living water, I”m gonna feel quite empty. I haven’t had quiet time in over a week. I got in a major car accident a week or two after giving up stevia, so I now owe every cent that I make to my parents and cannot afford expensive stevia. GRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I could really use it about now. I’m so immature. I’m sitting here crying about it. I’m a mess. He took away coffee, sweetener, my car…
And then my boyfriend. After things had been up and down for a while, he finally decided to end the relationship after a few mess ups with food. I still haven’t surrendered that yet. =( And thats where I am. Why is God so hard on Me??? Why do I have to be an addict. Most people can sit and down a piece of cake or cup of coffee without worry of what God thinks… but me??? Most people can have some sweetener. Even diabetics!! But me. No. not me. I should be happy that God wants me. But instead i have a hurting heart and refuse to surrender everything to Him in this moment. I feel like He should be happy. But yet all I sense is guilt at my “half way surrender”.
But everyone has their little escapes? Why can’t I!!!!!!! A year ago I’d live on stevia and coffee. My life seems tasteless and bland and dark right now. Figuratively and literally. I guess things can only get better. I feel so empty. Did I pray to be emptied? I might have.

Jan 27th 2011 I wrote:
“Make me dependent on you, Jesus… you who made me, and died for me and know me more intimately than anyone. So often I depend on Andrew, or mom… or… just feel like I’ll fall apart, but you are always there and are holding me. I’m sorry that other things got in the way… food, Andrew. I’m sorry to be in this place once again…
Please help me to cling tightly to you and your truths and find my meaning in that… not in food or my boyfriend.”

 

 

 

 

 

I know I did when I first came to Christ. *Sigh* I think He’s emptying me. I don’t know why. All I can do is trust. I hope He can help me in some way. I guess He answers prayer but this is a painful answer. I’ve never felt so depressed in my life. I have hope in Him.
 
Looking back, I see how far God has brought me from that desolate time. He did empty me. First I became even more depressed and fell into binging and actually hit what I consider one of my “rock bottoms” where I almost had to go inpatient for my eating disorder since I was so out of control and had to leave college since I was living in the dorm at that time. That dark time, though, led me to really seek recovery and help for me because I knew I needed it and not because it’s what my mom wanted for me (like when I was in ED programs/therapy as a teen). I was there at age 19 but really fell back into ED in my relationship. This breakup was also a catalyst for me to find that true recovery (the ex told me to not get any help and he wanted to fix me but that’s a whole different story… so glad to not be there now!) He has emptied me of more things over the years and just in the past few months that I clung my fist so tightly around and never thought I could give up. But as I have let go a bit, He has filled me in unimaginable ways with true joy and peace and other blessings (a beautiful relationship, healed family relationships, grad school, dreams, hope, improved health, LIFE!). Surrender really is a beautiful thing. At the time it seems like the world is over, but it’s just the beginning of a new, more beautiful, full life. 

MY Thoughts on FOOD/SUGAR addiction

I’m feeling better about things… things are more chill with mom, and I have a bit more peace, maybe just cause I have a snow day to catch up on things… but I just wanted to blog a bit to share my thoughts on a topic that is very controversial and close to my heart- food/sugar addiction. I have struggled w/ restrictive eating and overexercise, but at the same time I’ve had points where I’ve binged on sugar uncontrollably. They are both dark prisons in their own way.
 
In the eating disorder world there seems to be 2 distinct viewpoints on sugar and food addiction/binging. One is that food addiction is very real and biochemical in nature and sugar is as addictive as substances such as alcohol. Someone with a food addiction must take a complete abstinent approach from all products containing any sugar as they are biochemically predisposed to be addicted to the substance. Only when they completely surrender/give up these products can they live a full life free from the addiction. I believed with my whole heart for a long time that this was the only way to go in terms of recovery from this struggle. I got to a point that my binging was so uncontrollable and causing me such dysfunction that I went to a 12 step program and a counselor a few times a week. Through all of these things I seemed to be led to resources on sugar addiction and how I needed to give it up to get my life back. Hearing my story, my therapist seemed to agree. I got a sponsor, started writing down, weighing and measuring my food, and cut out all sugar. I surrendered this to the Lord. I stopped eating artificial sweeteners (giving up stevia and other artificial sweeteners was actually one of the most difficult parts of recovery for me and i’m so grateful to be free of the need to always have sweetener) and I watched ingredients carefully. If sugar was anywhere in it I didn’t eat it. I believe that for a time this was very necessary for me to get on track and stop having my life revolve around sugar. I got my life back by God’s grace. Do I still eat this way? Yes, but I eat more fats and calories for my health now than I did before. Do I believe I have a true biochemical addiction to sugar? I am not sure. I very well could as individuals w/ PCOS tend to be more sensitive to sugar products so it may act in a slightly different way in my body than in other people’s bodies. Or perhaps I could potentially learn to eat sugar in moderation. But if I want to is the question. My life is so full without it, and I feel like sugar is not right for MY body. So, I might be able to eat cake a few times a year, but it really is not important to me. I know and have seen through research, though that food addiction is very real, biochemical problem for many people and must be acknowledged and treated as such for full recovery.
 
I don’t have time to find resources on this take on sugar addiction but I will include a few links here if you are interested:
http://www.foodaddictsanonymous.org/are-you-food-addict (AMAZING source- was an aha for me- I felt like THIS IS ME! at the time)
http://www.rhonaepstein.com/resources-addicted.php (what my therapist at the time shared w/ me)
http://www.oa.org (i went to this program and it was very helpful)
 
On the other side of the token on food addiction is the subset of professionals who believe that it is not a real problem or that it is very uncommon. Especially in those who have ever had restrictive eating behaviors. I had not heard about this take on sugar addiction and binging until the spring when I started looking into resources to help bring back my periods and I stumbled upon http://www.myeatopia.com. It is written by a woman named Gwyneth Olwyn who is something called a “patient advocate” for individuals w/ restrictive eating disorders. Basically she does research and provides scientific evidence based information on recovery from these issues (I personally believe it is a very mixed site that has helped and hurt many people and that she pick and chooses her scientific articles based on her own biases- yet it has helped many people with severe anorexia recover so it definitely deserves credit). At first I was appalled as there are articles stating that all people under 25 years of age need 3000 calories (OMG- I probably ate a bit over 1000 of mainly protein and veggies to maintain my weight of about 115 lbs- and what about acknowledging individual metabolism metabolic differences before prescribing a whopping 1 size fits all diet plan and calling it RECOVERY?!?). http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2011/9/14/i-need-how-many-calories.html. And she advocates stopping all exercise as she states it’s not mentally or physically healthy. http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2013/2/26/insidious-activity.html. I joined the online forum though as I was a bit interested in learning more about this very different method from people who were actively recovering the Gwyneth way… and I saw people supporting each other working through the day by day mental battles of recovery. (awesome!) I also was surprised and very intrigued to see many stories of women of normal BMI who felt better… but I also was very sad to see that many women were getting to obese BMIs through following the guidelines on the website and were led to believe that this was healthy and that they were “recovering”. It sounds like a cult! In fact, Gwyneth writes an article about how in her opinion (with the support of a few articles she somehow found) that obesity is healthy in many cases. http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2014/1/26/obesity-and-disease-more-basic-facts.html. I think this is just sad and irresponsible. Gwyneth also believes that binging is not really binging and just the body’s way of saying that it wants and needs more food and once the body is no longer in starvation mode binging will stop. http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2012/10/31/bingeing-is-not-bingeing.html. Well, I do believe that this is often correct if you are actively restricting your diet.
But I think Gwyneth fails to acknowledge the thousands of women for whom binging is a very real problem who never restricted their diets (I sat in a 12 step room with many of them!) or who used to be restrictive with their diets and now are not at all and have a real binging problem. Or… even those who developed restrictive eating disorders to combat their biochemical urge to binge! I think Gwyneth means well but her method is lacking in research and is only applicable to people with active restrictive eating disorders. I think what it lacks is the research about the negatives of overweight and obesity and the acknowledgement of individual metabolism. I truly believe that if I ate 3000 calories every day of sugar and carbs I’d become obese, but I also believe 1000 is unhealthy for my body. Everyone has to find what works for their health and metabolism and mind. We are not cookie cutter people by any means. But this is another story- back to my sugar and binging.
 
So- overall, since we are not cookie cutter people with cookie cutter biochemistry, I do not believe there is a 1 size fits all answer to the causes and solutions for sugar addiction and binging by any means. I think if it follows recovery from a restrictive eating disorder it is very normal, probably not biochemical in nature, and will even out eventually. But, in many cases biochemical sugar addiction is very real and complete surrender of sugar may be necessary in order to live a full and balanced life (and it’s so much sweeter than a life of sugar 🙂 ).  I think everyone just needs to find what works best for their own minds and bodies with this sticky issue.
 

*** please note that these are just my opinions from research, and from my experience from going on many different forums on these topics, and going to different programs and interacting w/ ED sufferers and professionals. I am no professional, so if you have any questions please go see one! xo

life

Today has been such a discouraging day. One of those terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad days where just nothing goes right (although I did find a dollar on the ground this morning!- i suppose it was not good omen)… whatever… I know, I seem bipolar here. I am here at the library in a little white study room with tears in my eyes. I really am at that place where I don’t think that I can do this recovery thing anymore (I’m sure it’s just a fleeting discouraging moment). I am so stressed about school and have so much to do but really feel that I need to vent. NOW.

So today started out ok, I went to the library. I then proceeded to drop my iPod into the toilet (my favorite item). I realized that I don’t have much money right now probably because I spend a lot of it on foods that my family does not buy.  At the same time I’m fat (yuck). I’m so immature, I know. 23 going on 13…  Can I afford to work 1 more day a week, since my mom isn’t gonna support these endeavors anymore? I don’t think so, honestly, right now. *Sigh* I am working part time, taking a full course load, and doing 2 part time internships right now and trying to finish a thesis that might not go through. Very stressful time. Though it’s all stuff that I believe God has put in my life to do. So I’m trying to look at the big picture and be grateful.

I know I’m so all or nothing. After a day like today I kind of want to just curl up in a ball and cry. And give up. I thought God wanted me to do this. Does He not? I’m not sure now, really.  OK… I guess I need to just pray for guidance with my life, and with school. Maybe things aren’t as discouraging as I feel since I’m in the moment. I just sense this great dissension lately with my parents. Like I can’t do anything right at all. Should I quit? Go back to how things were before? Maybe this journey really is ME and not the LORD? i thought I was surrendering things but perhaps I’m just picking up some nice new idols for the old ones.

One of those “pray” kinds of days. For clarity.

“All that I can do, is lift my hands to you… take hold of my life, hold of my life… and make something beautiful.”
-Laura Story

ps: it’s later in the day… and I prayed and I DO have peace. More to come. Have much to do tonight!