Monday, September 26, 2011

Letters to P ~ Announcement

Today is a special kind of post... one that I am writing to document my love for a friend. And her beautiful baby that's growing inside of her. So I will be forgoing the general format on this blog for the evening for the sake of documenting this journey just a little bit from an outside perspective.

Dear Baby P,
I am your Aunt Tricia. And today I found out I get to meet you in just over 6 months!!! I have been an aunt before. Two times already actually. But you are special. Because you, my dear child, are not really my niece/nephew. But I love you as such, because your mommy and I have been friends for 10+ years. I live far away so I won't get to watch you grow everyday, but I will always be there for your big moments. Because your mom and I have always prayed each other through them. And even though I'm far away our friendship has only gotten stronger.
Your mom is such an amazing lady. I call her an angel. She's always so sweet and gentle. She always gives herself to others, no matter what. She is strong. She is brave. And out of all my friends I can say I knew your mom would be the first. The first to get married. The first to have a kid. And she is.
So today is the first day. The first day I've known you were coming. and the day I've already fallen in love with you.
I will see you in 7 months. After you've come and found your place in this world. After you have settled in to your wonderful family. After you have instantly changed the lives of everyone around you.
But until then we are waiting for you. With open arms!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Solo, Silence, and Satisfaction

"I nod to a passing stranger, and the stranger nods back,"
Reading: Man I need another book!!!! Still reading BGE but its hard for me to read it all at once.
Watching: Bears vs. Packers Game. Right now we're losing in the 1st quarter :-/

 Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
Let that be enough

 Also Listening: "We Have the Best Dad" by Rick Pino

Today has been one of those days where my mood is a mixture of sweet calm and bitter loneliness, like peaches and onions (another random reference).
One thing I have always known to be true, is that in the face of peace the enemy will try to come in like a thief in the night.  But he doesn't just come with the intention of stealing, he come's with the intention of beating you down until your peace has been completely robbed. And that's exactly what he tried to do to me this week. He came in unexpectedly, reminding me that I have no community around me here, and that my community as a whole seems to be growing smaller and smaller. The lion came roaring in my ear telling me I was fat again because I had gained some weight back. Then it was that I am a loser and that I will be stuck in my dead end job forever. That I'll never get my degree. Through out the entire week throughout everything I did I heard it.
However, there is yet another thing I have always known in some part of me to be true, the enemy is a LIAR. He's good at it too, because he takes pieces of truth and mixes them in to the lies. What he doesn't realize is that I know I was promised peace. And I will claim it as often as necessary. Because at the end of the day I can sit alone in the silence and know I am never alone. That I could have the whole world abandon me and I would survive. There are seasons for everyone in my life, and if some have gone... there are new seasons ahead. Those extra pounds don't matter at the end of the day, but they do serve as a reminder that I must treat my body as a temple. Joining the healthy bandwagon again! I may have an awful job right now, but this is where I was placed in this season. And God has a call on my life.
Sure this week may have been hard. But I've had harder. I've had family visit and my niece end up in the er, I've had panic attacks and eating disorders, I've had a fire in my apt and no smoke detector going off, an adoptive mom with stage 3? cancer and she survived, a friend got hit by a car and is still alive and well. And I'm sure there will be harder... but for now. I'm breathing. The world is alright. And I am satisfied in knowing at the end of the day I can surrender my sorrow and solicitude for stillness.

"Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes"

God, push all insecurity aside. Because no matter what rages on around me I am safe in your arms. Thank you for showing me who I am, and reminding me once again. Because I was made to love and be loved. To know you and make you known. To have shalom... wholeness or completeness in mind, body and spirit. I've learned a lot about myself over these four months... but there is so much more.
"...and two human beings go off, feeling a little less anonymous."  ~Robert Brault

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Season's Serenade- BONUS POST

"The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause,"
Reading: Not a whole lot reading... more like a whole lot of working, and writing, and web chatting
Watching: Season premiers on CBS... pretty much all of them
Listening:"Coming Clean" by Hilary Duff

Let the rain fall down
And wake my dreams
Let it wash away
My sanity

'Cause I wanna feel the thunder
I wanna scream
Let the rain fall down
I'm coming clean, I'm coming clean

Hello again, friends. In case you haven't looked outside your window lately, or in case the view outside your window hasn't changed like mine yet... It's fall!!! Well tomorrow anyways! But it's already in full force here... leaves have changed color, as well as fallen on the ground.  The seasonal vegetables are growing. And we have finally had a whole solid week out of 90's!!! Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed my slightly bronzed skin, but it has been too hot for too long. The Bible definitely talks about how there is a season for everything, and I find the beauty in each transition and turn of the seasons most of all. But for now here is my ode to autumn, 50 reasons I love about fall in no particular order, because I just couldn't decide.
  1. A nice trench
  2. All the lovely root vegetables coming in.
  3. All things cinnamon.
  4. Autumn flowers
  5. Being able to drink hot drinks comfortably again. Ready for some cider.
  6. Bonfires.
  7. Boot season! Already on the hunt for my first pair of grownup fashion boots. (I know, silly, but its the simple things)
  8. Bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils, can you catch the reference?
  9. Candy Corn! YUM!
  10. Children's Cancer Awareness Month.
  11. Chubby little squirrels.
  12. Cool breezes with calm sunny days.
  13. Cozy socks.
  14. Daylight Savings
  15. Duck ponds.
  16. Enjoying carmel apples again.
  17. Fall soccer season.
  18. Flannel. Sheets. Shirts. Sleepwear.
  19. Football Season.
  20. Fun and funky scarves.
  21. God's sponge painting the mountains.
  22. Hayrides.
  23. Heavy Mason jars.
  24. Horseback rides on the trails.
  25. Is anyone else ready to pull out their hoodies?!?!?!
  26. Jumping in piles of leaves.
  27. Leather, suede, and fleece
  28. Leaves stomping... have to love the good crunchy ones.
  29. Leggings are back!
  30. Little kids in adorable costumes
  31. Loving all the wild things that grow when everything else finds its time to die.
  32. Nice hiking weather.
  33. Pie. Mmmmmmm PIE!
  34. Plaid.
  35. Preparing for the holidays.
  36. Pulling out the fall colors named after foods, like chocolate, and pumpkin, and cranberry, and eggplant. Love the deep richness of them all!
  37. Snuggling with mom's blankets.
  38. Snugly sweaters.
  39. Soups. Stews. And Chilli.
  40. Thanksgiving.
  41. The changing of music... ya know different music for the seasons, ok maybe just me
  42. The difference of an Autumn rain
  43. The early morning fog where you can see your breath
  44. The light festival
  45. The smell of burning leaves
  46. The smell of old textbooks.
  47. Warm oatmeal.
  48. Warm vanilla candles.... man I'm getting relaxed just writing this list.
  49. Watching the kids go to school... its the marking of time. A sign they're getting older.
  50. Wreathes

 I would have loved to have these with the appropriate item on the list... unfortunately it was being non-cooperative. :-/ but here are my photos none-the-less.
"...between the opposing miseries of summer and winter."  ~Carol Bishop Hipps

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Salutorious Sententious

"Keep your words soft and tender,"

Reading: Still working on both books. Yes I know I was supposed to be finished.
Watching: Cyberbully (Interesting... still digesting)
Listening:"I Will Waste My Life" by Misty Edwards
I am in love with You There is no cost
I am in love with You There is no loss
I am in love with You I want to take Your name
I am in love with You I want to cling to You Jesus
Just let me cling to You Jesus 
I have always been one who could easily articulate a sentence with a wide range of vocabulary to express thoughts and ideas. However, their are moments where I am thankful I don't have to say everything I am thinking out loud to get a point across, because you would never get a coherent sentence out of me.
Part of this stems from the fact that when I was younger, I was afraid anything I said or thought was fuel to the burning fire of words that assaulted me on a daily basis. It's been years since I heard those nasty words spoken about me, but I tell you the truth I still have nightmares about those people.

One of the things God has been speaking to me about this week is how vicious our tongues can be.
"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." ~James 3:6
I spent my whole life running from the words that stung, ducking my head down to narrowly miss the impact. But how often do I kill people with my words? Sure I may not purposely say hurtful things to their faces, or post lies about them on the internet. But how often do I talk about somebody else who has upset me during the day, or join in when people are talking about the latest gossip, or just add kindling to a fire someone else started. 
Further in James the Bible talks about how with the sane mouths we profess to love Jesus we kill our brothers and that can't be. Every time I open my mouth, I represent Christ. But do my words actually reflect Him?
So this week I have strived to let God be the master of my tongue and not my tongue the master of me.
Because I would rather people see him in my reflection than the ugly version of my fleshy me.
"...because tomorrow you may have to eat them." ~Author Unkown

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Skewed Scheme

"There is a purpose to our lives,"

Reading: "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan
(Still working on "Brave Girl Eating", but I have to take it a little at a time)
Watching:Flight 93
Listening:"Crazy Love" by Hawk Nelson
They say it sounds insane
we say that we've been changed by the power of crazy love
This world, it looks at us like we're ridiculous
Baby, it's all because of crazy love

We know it sounds absurd, we don't get what we deserve
It's by grace we are saved!
So a week ago today, I started "Crazy Love" for real. When I say for real, I mean with focus, intent to finish,  and an open spirit. And boy, has that open spirit been filled. I knew that the book would be good from all the rave reviews and the excerpts that I had read with others. I thought I would read the book and feel all warm and fuzzy from God's crazy love for me, but I had no idea how much I would feel called to action.
It's challenged me so much, I had to write words on my ankles to remind me that is how I should walk as a Christian. Words like Wholesome, Grace, Joyous, and Contentment. It's made me seriously think about the way I relate to God, people, my finances, my job, my "needs".
Because in order to live I have to give it all away. In order to experience it all I have to die to myself. When was the last time I lived my faith out loud? When was the last time I was different from everybody else? Or have I just been thinking I can skate by at a lukewarm temperature. The Bible says God spews out the lukewarm. It makes Him sick!!! So what am I doing?
I will finish Crazy Love on Tuesday. But I think its something that will challenge me over and over again. If you haven't read it... it's worth the time.
"...that each day tugs at our sleeve as an annoying distraction."  ~Robert Brault

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


"The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body..."

Reading: "Brave Girl Eating: A Family's Struggle With Anorexia" by Harriet Brown
(By the way I've actually made some REAL progress with "Crazy Love"... and am falling more in love!)
Watching: The Picker Sisters (they make the ugly beautiful again)
Listening:"Courage" by Superchick 
I told another lie today
And I got through this day
No one saw through my games
I know the right words to say
Like "I don't feel well," "I ate before I came"
Then someone tells me how good I look
And for a moment, for a moment I am happy
But when I'm alone, no one hears me cry

I had never heard of "Brave Girl Eating" until today. But I am only a tiny portion in and am already thankful I did.
I am thankful for a brave mom's words. I am thankful for my body. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful that I have experienced grace far beyond my deserving. And I am thankful that that grace kept me from ever going that far.
I am thankful that for the first time in my entire life I think I can say now that I have a healthy relationship with the things that were meant to sustain me.

This month I celebrate eight years of recovery from anorexia. And two full years being completely free from what I consider any sort of "eating disorder/addiction".
Let me explain. Recovery was a hard process, and in case you can't subtract a long one for me. As someone who was always known for being so in control, I realized the one thing I thought was putting me in control (an eating disorder) had actually brought me the farthest from it. Because as an addiction, I felt like I needed this eating disorder to maintain. So when I tried to get to a healthy lifestyle, I feared losing control again. So I overcompensated my eating. So much so that I had taken to a whole other disorder of consistent OVER eating. And it wasn't until God began healing the rest of me that I realized the outside didn't match.

I don't know how people think they can be restored without Him.

So here I am, so far away from my teenage self, looking at an image I always thought was broken, feeling radiantly beautiful in Him. And loving what He gave me to nourish myself with. 
I am not afraid of food. I am not afraid of going back. I'm not afraid to try new things. And I am not afraid to get creative with my food... and my adventure in life. Because it's so worth living!
Spaghetti Squash


Fruit Salad (Raspberries, Bananas, and Lemon)

Nutella and strawberries on French bread

Blue cheese Bruschetta

Black bean, Corn, and Spinach Quesadilla

Veggie burgers, Jello salad, Potato salad, and Corn on the cob


Enough said

Ice Cream for two!
So with fall coming in, I'm celebrating the fact that I am no longer covered in the deadness of my old self but being made pure as snow. I'm looking forward to getting some boots on soon, stomping on some leaves, rocking the warm rich colors and soft feel of sweaters, sipping on some apple cider, and cooking with some yummy fall veggies. God paint the mountains as you do every season, and repaint me with them.

" that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind."  ~G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, September 4, 2011


"Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone; "

Reading: Honestly I haven't had the time...
Watching: Necessary Roughness
Listening:"I'm Only Me When I'm With You" by Taylor Swift

I'm only up when you're not down
Don't wanna fly if you're still on the ground
It's like no matter what I do

Well, you drive me crazy half the time
The other half I'm only trying
To let you know that what I feel is true
And I'm only me when I'm with you

Just in case you haven't seen this amazing video; let me share the video, that made me smile from ear to ear while tears streaming down my face, with you!!!
I tried to post the physical video but it wouldn't allow me since its not on YouTube, but this is the amazing man that has been in our prayers over the past 2 weeks. Even in His drumming you can feel the Holy Spirit. And it was so good to see him play again.
Ever since I got back from my trip, I have been going, going, going. And with the news of Caleb's accident I consumed my time with finding information on what was going on with him and spending any free time I had interceding on him and Victoria's behalf. But now that life has settled down and the reports keep coming back marked in God's grace, I have found myself settling in to that old feeling I always get after a trip to my "hometown".
I always feel so small when I go home. Like people still see that awkward child, who was polite and sociable yet still wasn't sure where she fit in. I have always been the pursuer in relationships I have, always been the nurturer and the fixer. The counselor of all things wrong. Dependent yet independent in my own right. And I have appreciated that role... but sometimes it feels hollow.
Everyday I realize I am growing up. Everyday I realize I am so far from that little girl I was. Some days its a good thing, some days a bad thing. But with that it takes me further away from those people. But those same people have changed too; leaving me in the proverbial dust. I feel the ache in my heart. I feel the pull. And I'm not sure what direction I'm going. I'm hemming and hawing at the edge of each direction, praying that God would tell me how and where I am going.
In this season, I'm allowing people to pursue me. I'm allowing people to take care of me. To be there with me, along side me in my season. I'm looking to see who these people are, outside of childlike eyes. I know that some will read this and tell me I am being melodramatic... and those will be the ones to go. Because I have a right. I have a right to feel wanted and needed and loved. I know now more than ever that I have value and the same value I give others is the same value I deserve.

For everything there is a season
...and this is mine
"...but part, while you can part friends." ~William Hazlitt