Friday, July 26, 2019

TGIF | Saving Grace

Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


Depression hit me hard when I returned home from Europe last summer after the trip of the lifetime to visit hubs while he was stationed in Germany for nine months. Experiencing Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Prague, Hallstatt, Vienna, Bratislava, Salzburg and Heidelberg together was beyond what I dreamed it would be.

Those nine days in Europe came after six months of doing life apart (except for his quick trip home to meet his granddaughter). This was his third deployment overseas in five years. And while technically the easiest of the three deployments in terms of location, for me it was the hardest emotionally.

Once home from Europe the physical exhaustion of a tremendous amount of walking turned into emotional exhaustion. There was much to celebrate, but there were days when the tears were unstoppable, the loneliness unbearable.

He came home in October and his homecoming was sweet -- he surprised me by showing up a day earlier than I expected.

But the reintegration to doing life together had it's ups and downs. It took longer than the first two deployments to fall into a rhythm with one another. The stories of his time away were harder to hear. When he had to put on his uniform again I realized what it began to symbolize for me, still my hero for his willingness to serve his county but more so my hero who continually has to leave to serve his country.

In April of this year he departed for Virginia to complete a requirement for advancement -- Advanced Leaders Course (ALC). The course was a month long. Apart once again, along with other hard emotional life events, brought me to fragile place. The enemy was attacking and I was letting him win, big time.

Here is where I finally get to what I trusted and what I continue to trust.

God: I have reached to wherever you are in the farthest corners of earth, and the most hidden places therein. I have called to you and said, "You are my servant. I have chosen you, not thrown you away!" So don’t be afraid. I am here, with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, help you. I am here with My right hand to make right and to hold you up. - Isaiah 41:9-10 (Voice)

"God wanted me to believe what I could not see. To trust His words and His provision, and to trust that what wasn't from Him would fall away. To believe that what was from Him would stay and plant in me, and something would grow." - Annie Downs, Remember God

Sisters in Christ: "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

These dear Sisters-in-Christ would not let me drift away. They prayed for me. They spoke truth to me of my true identify in Christ. They reminded me of God's faithfulness and called out where they had seen His faithfulness in my own life. They helped me to see I did not need to start all over with God (I had begun to question if the Holy Spirit was truly living inside of me), but instead allow Him to build upon the work He had already done in me and promised to bring to completion (Philippians 1:6).

I trust and am confident that God will do more than I can ask or imagine in this journey of healing. He already is.


Always, always, always, I am grateful for a God who never leaves us or forsakes us. The Lord our God will always be at our side, and He will never abandon us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

And I am grateful for those dear Sisters-in-Christ. I am grateful for Barb, Joanne, Laurene, Michele, Mindy, Sue and Susan. Thank you, beautiful women of God, for your faithful friendships and for leading me in the path of victory. Thank you for your friendship that "goes deeper and rivers that runs deeper and stronger" (Priscilla Shirer). For your friendship that makes sure I am camping out in the right place. Thank for declaring over me when I felt unable to do so, "Not today, Satan. Not today!" Thank you for standing and walking with me. Thank you for helping me to be the person God has called me to be.


Friends, I am simply inspired to get well. To be healthy. I am inspired to not go back to where I have no business going. Not today, Satan. Not today!!

Much of the gratitude portion of this post was inspired after watching and listening to a sermon by Priscilla Shirer on our Identity in Christ. It's worth the time, I promise. Watch here.


We did not have time with our sweet Emily this past week but our son and his wife always send pictures. This little girl is full of smiles and fun simply comes with her whether in person or via a photo.

Oh...we have a baby shower tonight for our granddaughter-to-be, Skylar GraceAnn, which means our eldest son and his wife are in town for a few days. Fun times ahead!

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.


Friday, July 19, 2019

TGIF | Celebrate

Friends, I want to first tell you that it has been a week of victories. Praise God! Last week was hard! It had been three months since I have cried like I did last Thursday during my session with Rachel, my therapist. The emotions, anxiety and negative thoughts were high. Oh so high!!

I see more clearly the impact lack of sleep has on my mood and thoughts. Last week was an awful week of not sleeping well. Poor sleep falls more on the common side for me but it's an issue we (my psychologist and I) are trying to address.

This week I have slept much better. Praise God!
I have felt much better. Praise God!
I have pushed through negative thoughts quicker. Praise God!
I have shown up and been vulnerable more often. Praise God!

TGIF: Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


I fear crossing the too much information line here. As Brené Brown writes in her book Daring Greatly, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

But as Brené also writes, we can also “share too much information as a way to protect us from vulnerability.” I am processing this thought and see some truth as I realize all I have written so far is an attempt to protect myself in being vulnerable with you.

What I fear most is how what I want to share with you will be perceived. Too much information? Shameful? And maybe someone will perceive it that way. Yet here is what I am trusting...

The real victory I desire to share with you is worthy of celebrating -- not shameful.The eating disorder I have had a relationship with for over 20 years is not shameful. It's only a relationship that needs to end.

My Victory:
the follow up to And...” I have not purged in six weeks. Praise God! 

This is huge for me and I would really, really, really, appreciate if you would celebrate with me.

Have I gone this long before? Yes. Why do I so badly want to celebrate this time? Healing is a journey, a messy journey. It often involves steps forward, steps backwards, and steps forward again. But the real reason I ask you to celebrate with me is because something is different this time. I can't explain it (other than to point to God)--I simply feel it. I am truly on a journey of healing. I need to celebrate the progress.

God is moving in miraculous ways. Praise God!


I am grateful for my husband. Sure I told you this in a previous post but the gratitude overflows. The ways he shows up for me and loves me...I am blessed, and grateful.

Today I celebrate Scott. I celebrate the ways he loves and supports me through the good and the bad (just as we vowed to do). I celebrate how God has shown up in our lives and our marriage to transform us to the people and couple we are today. It is only by the grace of God we celebrate 29 years of marriage in October. Only God! But God!!! Friends, our God can and will do more than you can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).


Are you familiar with Java with Juli or Juli Slattery? I have listened to many of her podcasts. However, the past few months I have been on a Brené Brown and Priscilla Shirer kick so it's been a while since I have tuned in. When I looked at her recent podcast titles, one came up with the title, “Winning the Battle in Your Mind.

Well yes, the title resonated just a little. 

I could attempt to summarize the podcast but instead I prefer to simply encourage you to give up the 45.48 minutes of your time to listen in as Juli talks with Kelly Balarie. Listen here.

God continually uses others to inspire me to go deeper in my relationship with Him and to make the choice to truly, truly take Him at His word - I am beautiful, victorious, enough, created, strong, amazing, capable, chosen, never alone and always loved. 

And I am inspired to purchase Kelly's book Battle Ready.

And I am celebrating a week of progress in winning the battle in my own mind!


While this celebration happened a few weeks ago, I now have pictures from Emily's first birthday party (thanks to my lovely sister) so I am sharing with you the fun of celebrating this sweet little girl who is growing up so quickly.

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.

Note: Early images are from Unsplash

Friday, July 12, 2019

TGIF | Fully Persuaded

TGIF – Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


I tend to get stuck here, especially if I am having a week like the one I have had this past week. I fight the urge to give up on this whole writing thing because it simply feels too hard.

I shared in last week's TGIF post an inspiration to start a God Box. There is not a box yet, but until there is a box, the notes app on my phone is where I leave all the things that attempt to take up space in my mind and instead surrender them to God. At least I really try to surrender them to Him.

What I need to trust is that the anxiousness of my mind, the constant racing of thoughts (more often negative than positive) will begin to slow. The grounding exercises I'm practicing will become the natural response to the racing thoughts. The medication will make a difference. This is not the way it always will be. I will taste victory this side of heaven

"Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." - Romans 4:20-21

And I will give glory to God even if the struggle remains because my love and devotion is to Him, not the promise.

Oh God, let it be so.


I am grateful for sisters who show up to help with the food portion of my daughter-in-law's baby shower (versus my catered food plan), regardless of how I have failed to show up for them in so many ways.

I am grateful for friendships made throughout the journey of writing in this space and for those friends who continue to show up to cheer me on, regardless of how I have failed to do the same for them.

My natural response is to feel unworthy of love and support from others -- unworthy of connection -- unworthy of that relationship. I see all my failures. I look inward instead of outward. There is profound gratitude for how therapy, and the work of the Holy Spirit, is renewing my mind to see things more rightly. To receive the gift of help from others. To rest in gratitude for their strengths instead of resting in my weaknesses.


For some reason this one feels harder this week. But I know my tendency is to over think a thought -- to question the rightfulness of a thought. Or maybe what I am questioning is how I will be perceived by others if I actually share that particular thought. Is it questioning or fear?

If I stop overthinking this, the truth is I am inspired to keep taking another step forward. I am inspired to continue the journey of healing even though staying sick feels normal and comfortable -- it's what I know. Twenty-five years of a relationship with an eating disorder is hard to walk away from. But I am inspired to walk away. I am inspired to believe who He created me to be is special and unique. I am not a mistake. He made me on purpose for a purpose.

I am inspired to take God at His word... I am beautiful, victorious, enough, created, strong, amazing, capable, chosen, never alone and always loved. You are all these things too!


Last weekend we babysat our sweet Emily all day Saturday and through the night. On Sunday morning, after she woke and had her morning banana, I turned on Jesus kid's music, held her close and danced around our kitchen with her. Oh what fun! She never fails to make all things better. Being her grandma truly is the bestest!

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.


Friday, July 5, 2019

TGIF | God Box

Can I be honest in telling you writing this post comes with quite a bit of anxiety? I wrote and shared a TGIF post last week and I can count on two hands how many views it had. I know it should not be about the numbers and those number DO NOT define my self-worth, yet it still left me discouraged and questioning what I’m doing. I also accidentally deleted the first TGIF post I wrote in the midst my “I’m not enough” rant (to myself that is). Oops, and oh well.

I am committed more than ever before to walk this journey towards healing. And writing again has helped, so I will push through the doubts and insecurities and trust He has purpose in bringing me back to this space.

TGIF – Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun Friday


The trust topic with Rachel, my therapist, this week past was to trust that it’s okay to feel disappointed, but I don’t need to take ownership of that disappointment. Meaning—not every disappointment is a result of me failing in some way. To feel disappointed does not mean I am a disappointment.

Image Source: Scripture Pictures, by Naphy Joiner


I have experienced overwhelming gratitude for my husband these past few weeks. Let me just say—he loves me so well! He is my hero, not only for his commitment to service our country, but for his commitment to be there for me and to love me no matter what. I have to believe that loving someone through 20+ years of struggling with an eating disorder is super hard.

Happy Independence Day!


As I talked about disappointments with Rachel, I was reminded of a creative idea I read about in Anne Lamott’s book, HELP, THANKS, WOW. She writes about starting a God Box to let go of those things that are weighing you down by surrendering them to God. It’s the practice of literally writing down on a piece of paper what you are wrestling with and then placing that paper in the God Box – releasing it to God.

To say to God, “It’s yours, I’m done.

Image Source: Scripture Pictures

Rachel carried this a step further and suggested I start a journal to keep a record of my victories. She is quick to make sure I see them and celebrate them. I see a long road ahead of me in this journey to healing, but I have also made significant progress from where I was several months ago. There have been many victories.

Whatever I walk through
Wherever I am
Your Name can move mountains
Wherever I stand
-Highlands, by Hillsong UNITED

Friends, His name CAN move mountains! He is moving mountains I had begun to believe were unmovable.

I am inspired to create the God Box and to record my victories. And I am inspired to celebrate those victories!

“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” - Deuteronomy 20:4


I have a hunch this portion of TGIF will often (quite likely always) involve a memory of fun had with our sweet granddaughter (and granddaughter to come). I simply can’t get enough of her. My son does not need to ask me twice to babysit, and it even requires a two-hour drive to get to them. While I hate the drive, I will not say no to time together.

She's the cutest!

What are you trusting, grateful for, inspired by, and doing for fun? Join Brené here in sharing your TGIF every Friday, or share with me below. I love hearing from you.