coming into the light

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Here’s the thing:

I picked up Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning for the umpteenth time the other day. It’s one of those books that has been in our library for as long as I can remember, that I’ve read the intro to a few times, but never one that I’ve gotten any further in.

The other night, as I finally made it into that first chapter, Coming Out of Hiding, I ended up in tears.

I’ve been hiding for so long.

I’ve shared quite a bit about my issues with food in the past, but I’m not sure how honest I’ve been.

I took on my first diet at age 10. By 12, I was exercising in my room. At 14, once I got into high school with an open campus at lunch, I ate mojos with cheese, a candy bar and a diet soda every day (because that was healthy?). At home, I snuck food all through high school and purged a lot of what I ate when I went on binges (which was fairly often).

By the time I got married at 21, I’d already lost and gained probably 100 pounds.

Now, at 38, that number is probably closer to 300 and at no point have I ever had more than 70 pounds to lose.

Married life and motherhood hasn’t change too much. I’m the queen of the yo yo dieters. I will be super strict for a short amount of time, see successful weight loss…but it’s at the detriment of my mental health. I become obsessed and that obsession can only last so long before I spiral downward into binge and stress eating, and of course begin to gain weight again.

My diet constantly swerves between a day of righteous, nutrient dense eating and a day of coconut sweet rolls and a bag of Dove dark chocolates. If I know I’m going to be home alone (a rare treat), I plan and hoard what I’m going to eat when no one is there to watch me. I’ve hidden food in my purse to get it into the house and I’ve hidden food from my family.

And I’m beginning to see my attempts at different diets - the severe strictness with which I see success and tend to find my self worth - as very disordered and very unhealthy. They’re my attempts to be in control and they’re my disordered responses to stress.

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I live with guilt and shame on a daily basis about my inability to pull it together. I know that to serve Him in the way that He’s calling me to, healing has to come and this disordered relationship has to be set straight.

And I know that part of that comes from bringing this dark, scary part of myself into the light – into the Light of Christ, but that I also need to come clean with those around me.

In my head, I know that my salvation and my self-worth have nothing to do with my weight or my eating habits. But my heart – that wicked, deceitful things – tells me a different story.

And I listen to that voice that isn’t the Lord’s.

That has to stop.

I’m rooting into God’s word, I’m studying His promises and I’m praying that He would show me the way He has set for me to healing and true wellness. I’m letting go of the tight reins that I so often cling to as holiness and seeking a path of sustainability.

Again.

I’m okay with failures, but I have to choose intentionally not to linger or wallow in them. I know that the Lord will catch me when I fall, will bind  up my wounds and that my faith in Him will always be met. And through my instructor training through Holy Yoga, I’ve truly learned that His grace is bigger than all my needs and will cover my emotional scrapes and bruises.

I don’t know where this goes from here, beyond deeper into my relationship with the Lord and His presence.

 

 

inside my Holy Yoga practice

20140304-115245.jpgI’ve been asked a few times now what my Holy Yoga practice looks like. I think we all have to find our own perfect practice and, while that takes a bit of work and sometimes has to evolve as our days change, I’ve found a routine that works for me.

Ideally, mine would be first thing in the morning…but I’m having some insomnia issues…which are leading to some waking up late issues…which means I try to get it in before lunch.

Usually.

Like so many other things, it’s a work in progress.

Here’s what my time on that mat at home generally looks like:

Turn on the laptop and bring up a gentle practice from The Light Banner. I am loving these monthly practices, especially the gentle ones that are about half an hour. I also use the DVD’s available on the Holy Yoga site twice a week for a longer practice as my daily schedule allows.

I turn on the Pandora or Spotify app on my phone. I love having worship music to practice to and find that my yoga practice has become as much an act of praise as singing in church on Sundays.

Because I just finished the immersion portion of Holy Yoga instructor training, I’m really trying to focus on engagement and alignment. Honestly, it’s not easy, especially when I’m also listening to the teaching on the video and working to remember what I learned about poses in my classes…SSRS, spirals, lines of energy…add in the background worship music…and my brain gets a little crowded in there sometimes.

And I lose my balance.

A lot.

Less than I used to.

But still more than most.

Sometimes, it’s best to just let go and let the Lord lead.

At the end of the video, I hit pause before the final prayer or meditation. I’m focusing on one or two poses and really working to grow in them each month. I go through each pose a few times, in a more concentrated way than I do in my practice and remain in the pose for 4 or 5 breaths. I’m also pulling out some of my instructional books and information, and even looking up tutorials on YouTube. This month’s focuses are chaturanga and cow face pose – both are poses that open up my super tight shoulders and that’s something I know I need to work on.

From there, I turn the video on again and finish in corpse pose. I love this time to just lay on my mat and tune into what God is saying to me in the moment, or to reflect on what He’s bringing to my attention. This is probably the most consistent quiet time with the Lord I’ve had in my entire Christian walk. It’s a time when He can pour into me His words, His teachings and sometimes corrections and admonitions.

I spend a few more minutes on my mat, usually in a simple seated position, as I work to understand and practice Christian meditation. Right now, I’m finding that using a breath prayer works well, either the Jesus prayer or a short Scripture verse.

Altogether, it’s anywhere from half an hour to an hour or so of my day.

An hour that continually draws me closer to the peace and purpose the Lord has had waiting for me, while He fills me to overflowing with His love and joy.

It’s become an integral part of my walk with Jesus and one that I’m so incredible thankful He’s brought to me.

Aside

Confusing much?

Yesterday we built an IKEA bed. It turned out great, but one board is upside down. Doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue…I hope.

And we bought a new laptop, with Windows 8. I’m cursing it and liking it all at the same time. I think I’ll get there eventually.

And I changed the theme around here. I still can’t figure out how to add in my social networking links. A few more changes to go, but I’m liking it.

My brain isn’t used to all of this!

it’s been how long?

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It’s been a while, hasn’t it.

I’ve had a lot of blog posts started…but they can’t seem to make it out of my head.

Thanks to a new laptop (thank you, tax return!), that can finally change.

Today has been a day of rearranging and building and figuring out. It’s not all done quite yet. There’s only so much figuring out a girl can do in one day and I’m happy to leave the rest for tomorrow.

Monday, I’ll have a new menu plan and we’ll see what happens from there. The focus right now is on the Daniel Plan (my own gluten-free version), Holy Yoga and going deeper in my faith. I’m planning to get posts up this week on each of them – a sort of I am here on each.

It’s been a long, long season of wanderings and I’m happy to be back to my little online home.

the light at the end of the holiday tunnel

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I love the holidays.

Really, I do.

I cherish the family time, enjoy the pageantry, like the cookies…but it’s exhausting.

Add to it a stomach virus a few days before Christmas and a head cold a few days after, and I’m kind of ready for life to get back to normal.

And it will be.

Soon.

I’m back at the 21 Day Sugar Detox on Monday.

Homeschooling is gearing back up.

I started my Holy Yoga 9 week instructor immersion.

I picked my One Little Word for 2014 – stretch – and in the past four days, the Lord has stretched me incredibly.

I’m planning to begin regular posts again this next week…assuming my computer and wordpress decide to play nice. The Pastor thinks it would be a good idea to wipe it all clean and start over, and he’s usually right in this sort of situation.

I do have a list of posts ready to go – my 21 DSD meal plans, a great paleo zuppa toscana soup, some thoughts on peace, food storage ideas at more – and I think I’m finally going to be able to get to them.

Soon.

 

Christmas crazies…

It’s the season of good intentions when it comes to blogging.

But not a lot of action.

We’re in the midst of the Christmas crazies.

A few more days of homeschooling before we take a break.

A few more big events before the big day.

And so many big events behind us.

This new area we live in? It lives and breathes Christmas. We’ve had light parades, Santa drove down Main Street to light the town tree, lots of family visiting,  a big crafts and cookies and Santa event at church, Las Posadas…

…and, friends, it snowed.

It snowed!

This holiday season has been truly magical and I am breathing in every single moment of it.

Thankfully, the shopping is done. I’m still waiting for a few orders to arrive, but the stressful part is over.

I plan to do some baking, there’s a little gingerbread village waiting to be decorated, and I’m contemplating toffee.

Our days are very, very full – in the very best way – but by the time we finish dinner, I’m done.

I have a few more posts planned to get in before the end of the year. I think I’ve settled on my one little word focus for 2014 and I will write up my complete experience with the 21 Day Sugar Detox after I finish it next week.

Other than that, it will be quiet.

I pray your holiday season is one filled with joy and love!