Giving Thanks – Nov 10-14

Playing catch-up from a very busy/long week. The rest will be done soon

Today I am thankful for: MY CAR.

A year ago, when I was having a bad day or an anxious day or a day where I just wanted to get away from school, I couldn’t. I only was able to come home when my parents drove nearly an hour each way to get me. I went to 2 ED support group meetings total last year, and it was only when a sweet lady from FV picked me up. I was dependent on everyone else. While I appreciate every ride I’ve had, I hated feeling like a burden.

Last year I wasn’t ready for the responsibility and blessing of a car. I can only imagine how bad that would have been. God knew, even when I didn’t, even when I was so desperate for freedom. With the waiting has come growth. This year has prepared me and allowed for many of my fears to be lifted.

I drive more than the average on-campus student (I know because 95% of the cars in the parking lot never move while mine is gone). I probably drive more miles too. Those miles take me to places that comfort my soul, give me love, build me up, and provide the items I need/want.

Without my car and without driving, I would miss out on things I value most and ones that make me happy. A small list: spending time with my family, church, bible study, FV support group, all sorts of store runs. I am so grateful to have these opportunities and blessings.


Today I am thankful for: ENCOURAGEMENT.

Today, and every day, I receive prayers, physical support, professional help, etc. I’m not sure that I could ever make it without these people who truly care. The list is a long one.

L has been amazing with encouragement. I felt like I had a terrible week following my meal plan and fighting ED thoughts. I was so convinced she would be disappointed in me. Her reaction was the opposite. She was proud for all of the successes I did have. Every time I would say something negative, she countered it with a more positive view. She pushes me to go towards recovery but isn’t expecting me to be perfect. We talk each session about goals I can set for the next week and try not to focus on what I couldn’t do. She believes in me and is becoming one of my biggest cheerleaders. Fun fact she actually was in cheer 🙂

L was definitely the best example of encouragement today, but I can never forget those who are there every day. My mom, Livvy, Lily, the women at bible study, people at church, S, and Lauren have a special place in my recovery and life too. I have c a constant stream of support coming in different ways from these lovely people. I could write an entire post (or more) on all of this, but for now I’ll leave it here: I couldn’t have a better team of supports that impact my life in all sorts of ways.


Today I am thankful for: NOAH.

This little boy made my day 1000% better than I imagined it would be. Weekends are rough most of the time. I was somewhat dreading parts of today to begin with. I had decided to mope in our recliner and play Sims/watch TV. His family came over and he was quickly attached to me. He crawled up on my lap and cuddled while playing a game on my phone. It was one of the best parts of my entire week. Knowing that a tiny human truly loves me is heartwarming. He doesn’t care what size I am, that I have scars, or suffer from mental illness. He looks up to me anyways and sees me as an amazing person.

Today a three year old made me love myself a tiny bit more. He allowed me to be joyful and laugh. He took me out of my dark shell. Noah was everything I needed. I can’t wait to spend more time with him and neither can he 🙂


Today I am thankful for: MY CONVERSATION WITH LIVVY LOU.

This was a rough day. It involved lots of eating struggles, feeling like death, a panic attack from misophonia, parents yelling at me, a brief consideration/want to go inpatient for a few days, crying through a meal, missing treatment, driving home in a terrible emotional state, and skipping church for feeling too broken/messed up to be there. When I finally got back to my dorm, Olivia agreed that I could call her and talk. It was the best 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 3 seconds I could ask for.

I started off extremely freaked out and upset. There were so many feelings and I felt like my entire life was just screwed. I maybe could use treatment, didn’t want it too much, it wouldn’t work out. I didn’t and still don’t know what to do, so I asked her that approximately 2000 times. No answer there but that’s okay. I will figure it out.

Some of her greatest skills include being an amazing listener, peeing positivity, being a voice of reason. She used them all today.

Once I had finally calmed down some, we began talking about anything and everything. It was great to get my mind off the crappies in my life. Who doesn’t want to talk about native american stories or recite biology notes?

We don’t talk on the phone very often or at all really, so it was truly special to do so again. I’ll always be thankful for my person/bff/twin/Livvy Lou.


Today I am thankful for: SMOOTHIES.

Weird? Maybe, but smoothies are my favorite. It can be really hard getting in the exchanges my body needs. I love that I can add multiple types of exchanges to get what I need in a meal. They also taste amazing (especially the berry kind). I’m glad I got on my smoothie kick at residential and haven’t looked back since.

I woke up sick and I had little energy to even go to the dining hall, so my smoothie was a saving grace. It included most of what I needed for the meal, so I only had to add a few things. It was great for my throat that’s still hurting too.

When I need to fuel my body and other food is hard, I can sometimes make a smoothie so I can avoid an ensure. Anything that provides nourishment without being in a tiny bottle of chemicals is absolutely wonderful.

Giving Thanks – Nov 9

Today I am thankful for: A BEAUTIFUL FALL DAY

It was in the 50’s today. In Michigan in November! I was still cold, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I can’t explain how wonderful it was, so I have pictures to help.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens” – Ecc 3:1

The second I arrived back home, I knew I had to take advantage of the fleeting daylight. I quickly carried everything inside, then grabbed my coat, the cat, and my drink. We both enjoyed the crisp air and sunshine. Molly also loved looking for critters to chase. Although it wasn’t a huge amount of time, every moment outside really made my day.

I needed this today. There have been  weeks of weather just like this, but I didn’t appreciate them. Fresh air and vitamin D do wonders.  I am so thankful that I could relax and be outside this time, especially considering it may be one of the last warmer days Michigan sees for a while.

Giving Thanks – Nov 7&8

I have had a busy few days so this one is combined for yesterday and Monday

Today I am thankful for: YOGA.

When I tried out yoga for the first time in high school, I didn’t really get much out of it. I’m not quite sure why, maybe the fact that it was in a gross work out room, the videos were terrible, or I couldn’t accept it as something that made me appreciate my body. Regardless, I took a 2 year break. I rediscovered yoga the fall of my senior year and haven’t looked back since.

The past 3 years, my practice has changed my view of myself and my body. I feel strong and empowered. Pulling out my mat is the second best way to calm my anxiety/emotions (first is spending time with God).

In my eating disorder, yoga has taught me to appreciate my body. I can love my body for all of the difficult practices and poses I am able to do. This has been the best form of movement for me because it is not about burning calories. Ever since residential, however, going back on the mat has been hard. My body is different from it once was: larger in size, stretch marks, cellulose, weight gain. Entering into a practice meant having to face many of these things. It is almost impossible not to notice the changes when you’re being so mindful during yoga.

I spent months avoiding something I had once loved so dearly. Thankfully, I am finally coming out of my slump now. Yoga has once again become something I look forward to and thoroughly enjoy. My day has been long, stressful, and just plain sad. ED thoughts were loud as well. My best decision was getting out my mat and going through a 45 minute video. My outlook changed immediately and I could breathe again.

I’ve worked hard to get back here. I now can cherish and appreciate every moment on my mat because of my journey.


 

Today I am thankful for: SOVEREIGNTY. 

It’s election day. A majority of our country is so focused on voting and election results, as if what happens could be so catastrophic that the entire world would end. I completely get this. The president is seen as someone who holds all of the power in our country. Not only that, but the US is judged by the world based on who our leader is. This year is particularly nerve-wracking as the prospect of both candidates seems so bleak. A lot seems to be riding on the decisions we the people will make.

While I certainly do have fears if one candidate is elected, I am not making it my number one concern. He or she will have their four year run. They’ll make mistakes, get our country into trouble, develop bad policies, stand for values many of us can’t agree with, and promote an image to the public that is harmful.

No matter what, there is only one ruler who truly matters: God. We can clearly define and set limits as to what the president can do. While he or she can serve as a figurehead, influence the people in our nation, and pass laws, they will never be able to single-handedly control every American or overtake the entire world. God, on the other hand, is limitless.

I love the way Theopedia has explained sovereignty:

The Sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission. God works not just some things but all things according to the counsel of His own will (see Eph. 1:11). His purposes are all-inclusive and never thwarted (see Isa. 46:11); nothing takes Him by surprise. The sovereignty of God is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things, but that He does so, always and without exception. In other words, God is not merely sovereign de jure (in principle), but sovereign de facto(in practice).

We should take comfort in this. God is God. He doesn’t get taken aback by anything that happens. As Christians, we need to take this lens of who God is and apply it to the most pressing item on every American’s mind: this election.

Regardless of the results, at least half of the American people will be in disarray tomorrow. It’s a hard reality to face when the person you so badly believed was bad for this country ends up the next president.

We can wake up, accept what has happened, and turn back to God. Our country needs prayer. It needs us to step up and be His hands and feet.

 

Whatever the results of this election are, we can rest in the truth that the King of Kings is above the man or woman who is set to rule our country for the next 4 years.

 

Giving Thanks – Nov 5

Today I am thankful for: REST.

This was the laziest Saturday I have had in months. Being free from work and able to just relax is not something I can take for granted. I am always go-go-go. I have class and homework and work and appointments and driving. Most of the time, I feel guilty if I’m not focused on these things. I didn’t worry about any of it today.

God spent 6 days creating everything that now exists. He molded the earth to His specifications. At the end of this came a rest period. God calls us to rest, just as he did. Remembering this to be true is key to my ability to slow down.

Thank you God for giving us a period of recharge. I need it. Sometimes the day calls for a Sims 4 addiction, TV show marathon, bible studying it up, cats on my lap, and staying in pajamas over half the day. All I’ve done is rest, enjoy, play. It has been wonderful.

Giving Thanks – Nov 4

Today I am thankful for: HOME.

Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday have one thing in common: I get to be at home with my family. As I write I am sitting with Olive on my lap, watching TV, in our comfy recliner, with my mom next to me. This cannot be something I take for granted.

I would say a large majority of my fellow on-campus students won’t even see their families monthly. Many are international or out of state, who spend an entire semester away. Calvin being within an hour’s drive was the main reason I chose it over similar schools farther away. While some love the complete independence that college brings, I much prefer time here than that spent in my dorm.

Home doesn’t just encompass the physical structure of where we live. It is being in the presence of my family, having our four-legged friends within reach, my mom’s cooking, the place I’ve grown up in, warmth, chats with my mom over our favorite shows.

More and more, I’m realizing that this is all part of God’s glorious blessings. He made my family the way we needed to be. My home isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but it’s perfectly imperfect for me.

 

Giving Thanks – Nov 3

Today I am thankful for: MY DIETITIAN.

I met with my new dietitian, L, for the second time today. It makes the ED part of me want to run, but that’s the point. She is exactly what I need, what the healthy me needs.

There is so much I can and will share about this experience so far. For now, 3 reasons I already feel blessed beyond measure:

  1. Two parter: she came in today specifically for me and had our session go for and hour and 15 minutes. This is only our second session yet she cares enough to give me the time and scheduling I need.
  2. She is beyond willing to work with where I am. She doesn’t expect change overnight and listens to me fully. The goals we have set are what both of us feel comfortable with. Also, I still get to use my CFD meal plan which is comforting and familiar.
  3. She will push and give new ideas. A good chunk of our meeting today was spent with her asking me the hard questions and digging deeper into why I have been doing poorly. A goal for this week is a technique I haven’t used in almost two years, but I feel like this is a good chance for a second go around.

God put L in my life right now for a reason. I cried out for help and He answered. She is a part of my recovery now and I am already grateful for it.

Giving Thanks – Nov 2

Today I am thankful for: MY MOM.

This morning I called her to ask what to do about having therapy tomorrow. I went home today and I was wondering whether driving home at night or 7am the next morning was better. Moms always have the answers about things like that. I got her take on it, then we chatted a bit. Next came a question for my end: “Are you really doing okay? I saw that you bought Ensure.” I have to admit, I was terrified. My fear is always hurting her. I do hide things at times because I want to avoid just that.

I am thankful for my mom because she is forever there for me. This morning wasn’t an exception. I explained why I felt the need to get supplements and she listened. She was proud of me for doing so and told me that it’s okay to use them. How could someone feel proud when I still had so much guilt? By being my mom, that’s how.

Her support continued as I came home. We ordered pizza, which was much harder for me than I expected or wanted it to be. She was patient, encouraging, and only wanted the best for me. It felt like food police in a way but I know that her intentions are from the incredible love she has for me.

My mom and I have been through so much. I brought her through the hell of mental illness, self harm, an eating disorder. We have fought and had problems and our relationship has been strained, but no matter what she never lessened her love for me. I would not be here without her. God provided me with the exact woman I need to lead me through life. She loves ferociously, cares deeply, fights for me, doesn’t put up with anything that isn’t good for me, has been my rock, and keeps my life together when it feels like I’m falling apart.

Thank you, Mom, for all that you are. I love you. I am blessed by you.You are worth far more than rubies (Prov 31:10).