30 October 2009

My Playlist



Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


I wanted to post something... I'm actually not going out of town, and (!) James left me his laptop to use and we are making a plan to figure something out with the desktop this week.

I made a playlist of the songs which pierce my heart... here it is... If you buy one from iTunes, go thru my site and I get a nickle or something (you can do that for any music you buy if you're an iPOD person).

I follow a few blogs of women who have had the course of their lives changed by losing a child. I found this playlist widget through one of them. The song by Watermark is so powerful for families who have lost a child. The blogs are:

The Pipers

Tonya Talk

Raising Arrows

29 October 2009

sorry

My computer crashed so I was unable to write. I'm also going out of town this weekend and I won't be back till Monday, so I'll be here Wednesday!

28 October 2009

What God Wants

When I get frustrated with waiting on God, with waiting on my husband, with waiting in general (see an awesome poem about women waiting), I readily forget one concept that is the answer to probably the majority of the "wait" or "no" responses that we get from God:

RELATIONSHIP. God is a God of relationships. Beth Moore says in her *excellent* book, Praying God's Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds these sobering thoughts:

"...the ultimate goal God has for us is not power but personal intimacy with Him. Yes, God wants to bring us healing, but more than anything, He wants us to know our Healer. Yes, He wants to give us resurrection life, but more than that, He wants us to know the Resurrection and the Life.

We can and should pray for an individual's willingness to let God set him free. We can and should pray for the enemy to be withheld and for the individual's eyes to be opened to truth, but freedom rarely comes to a person who does not get intimately involved with God for himself. You see, God is far more interested in our getting to know the Deliverer than our being delivered. Remember, freedom comes through taking thoughts captive to Christ. We cannot take another person's thoughts captive."

Are you as stunned and as speechless as I?! How many times have I read these words?! They are all marked up in my book! Yet for some reason I have not heard them with this clarity until this week.

I keep praying for things to change for mainly these reasons:

- things would be better; marriage, kids, life.
- it's the right way to live- less stressful and more stable
- it's a better example to those who don't yet believe
- I want the kids and I to be led spiritually
- I want to feel loved and cherished
- I want the kids to grow up seeing beauty, not a 'don't' version of marriage
- I'm tired and I want people to stop looking at me like that.

I should be praying totally differently. (I, I, I, I!) What does Beth say we can pray when praying for others?

-individual's willingness to let God set him free
-for the enemy to be withheld
-for the individual's eyes to be opened to truth


That's it! I go on and on about what I can and can't control... yet here... I'm not looking at my husband like God sees him. God surely sees the late hours and the neglect; but He really wants James to know him and trust him and believe him so that new behaviors can follow out of a heart for obedience. I want all that too, but my prayers don't reflect that.

26 October 2009

Typical Day

So, a few announcements before I give you my sob story for today:

1. Got a new profile picture- whaddaya think?

2. Added a "meet mama4x" introduction box in the sidebar so new readers can know what on earth I'm talking about... maybe keep the wave of comments up!

3. I opened a Cafe Press store, called mama4x (of course) that has a few New Mercy t-shirts and such. A work in progress for a while as I tweak and perfect it.

4. I added Fall/ Thanksgiving and Winter/ Christmas cards in my Etsy shop, also called mama4x.

Well I wanted to tell you about a typical day for me... I was thinking about a new way to introduce myself to people, what are your thoughts?

"I am either blessed to be a single mother of four who has all her bills taken care of, or unfortunate enough to be in a marriage frozen in one dysfunctional holding pattern."

At 5:30 my husband's alarm goes off and we spoon until he absolutely must get out of bed at 6:05. Then I go make him coffee just the way he likes it as he gets dressed. He races off to work. Then, I stay up and pray and read my Bible, or I get back into bed with the toddler.

Everyone is up and moving around and eating at 8 a.m. and we do our homeschool tasks until lunch. Then we are free unless we have scouts, soccer, Lego club, or swimming. During the day I might get a text message or a call, but not usually. If I call him, I better speak fast, cause he's really busy. As evening approaches, I search for food for four hungry and irritable children and try not to lose patience completely, although if my children's actions and habits are a reflection of me (yes) then I do a poor job of it.

They are free for a while and I write or clean (my main pastimes). Then we search out PJs, get teeth cleaned and I ping-pong back and forth down the hall until everyone is satisfied and content and ready to sleep. I always complain that putting my kids to bed is like playing a long game of whack-a-mole.

I go to bed around 11 p.m. and sometime between 12-1 a.m. and 5 a.m. my husband comes home from what I call his 'adventures.' It's always something, you know? Work, fell asleep, truck trouble, helping a friend. Whatever. This morning it was 2:10.

It's gotten to the point that if he really needs to know something, I forward his email the info. I don't even consider what he's doing when we make plans, I know he won't be a part of them. I don't try to come home early; I know he won't be there. The kids see his truck in the driveway so infrequently that all heck breaks loose if we drive down our street and they spot it.

I know. I know! Everything you're thinking, I have heard. Why do I "stand for it," what about his example to the kids, what is he really doing, etc etc.

It's coming to a head for me. I am thinking about all the absent father stuff out there. I am guilty of unbelief- I lost faith that God could change my husband. But when I recognize that, I see that have been tricked into thinking I am waiting on James, not on GOD.

My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning. Psalm 130:6

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13

but then again, I think...

A hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

but, again, God answers...

The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit
. Psalm 34:18


23 October 2009

New Blog Button!


I am soooo in love with my new blog button! And I am also in love with y'alls comments this week! I feel like I pour my heart into this blog, and don't get very many comments... but you sure like to hear about down comforters! Thanks readers!

Tender Hearted

I don't know what God is doing in me right now, but he has got my heart in a vise and is squishing it. I have the most shredded heart I know. I can't do or read or see anything without the lost and hurting somehow crowding into my brain and laying there, taking up all of my attention and drilling holes into my heart. It is hard to see people as God does! For a few hours today I read a book I had been mailed by a stay-at-home mother of 4 named Pam Cope, to review for my other blog. It's called Jantsen's Gift: A True Story of Grief, Rescue, and Grace and I've read 150 pages and cried probably 12 times.

Let me share an excerpt with you: "Both of them had been working as prostitutes for several years, and the night before we met, they each had been with ten different men. For each client, they were paid the equivalent of about $3, half of which they had to give to the brothel owner. The rest they sent home to their families. These young women were so scared and emotionally spent, and the years of trauma they had endured in their work showed on their faces. The older girl was also addicted to heroin-- which is not unusual. Many brothel owners purposefully hook their employees on drugs as a way of keeping them dependent on the work. Hearing the stories of their lives was heartbreaking. The girls could not always convince their clients to wear a condom, and both were too scared to get tested for HIV. They cried openly when discussing how degraded and shamed they felt every morning, yet when we offered to take them immediately to a safe house for prostitutes, they both refused. The older one didn't want to go because she knew she couldn't get drugs there; she panicked at the idea of it. The younger said her family would starve were it not for the money she sent home each week. I understand the impulse to simply judge these girls as "Asian prostitutes" beyond help, but that's not who they were to me. They were scared, broken girls who could not see any hope."

Money goes so far in other countries where atrocious things happen every day! What I pay for my mortgage for two months funds "food, shelter, tuition, clothing and medical needs for 15 children, and a salary for the houseparent... for one year [in Viet Nam]."

I am overwhelmed. I don't want to be one of those people who looks at every person holding a cup of Starbucks coffee and preaches about the cost of feeding an African child. I am in the process of changing my spending habits and the amount of stuff I own and what I do with my money so that it can line up with my mouth.

"Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness" -John Rushkin



21 October 2009

Joyful Things!

First of all, I wanted to lay off of the spiritual things for a day and mention a few of my temporal joys. Here is a pair of Frye's boots, that I desperately want to own. I think I covet them. However, I went to try them on once, and they are all individual. You can't just order a pair online and it'll be good. You have to keep going in to a local Frye's seller and keep trying them on until you get a pair that fit your feet well. So, no idea when I'll be in a season of life when I can do that. Not to mention that in person they are $225. So yeah. On to the real joys...

When I went to Switzerland in high school I was fully prepared to abandon everything in my bag and take home the pillows and bedding instead. The joy of a feather mattress topper, a down quilt, and feather pillows! Add to that a nice set of sheets- a baby or small dog... aah. I need to go to bed.

Now by no means forget coffee, but for real depth and variety, a cup of tea is just a wonderful experience. Wait for the water to boil... choose what flavor... listen to the water pour... wait for the steep... sugar? lemon? cream? The possibilities are endless. What a blessing.

I find myself constantly daydreaming about the perfect laundry room. It doesn't even include a front-loading washer. I have an excellent set of lockers (the 12 inch by 12 inch kind) in a 6 row by 6 row set-up, that I would wash down and spray paint and put in the laundry room. I really want a utility sink, and a counter to fold clothes on. I don't need a clothes pole; I would like an open shelf for the soap over the washer. I also want to spray paint my washer and dryer some bright color with metal paint. They're just the basic energy-sucking kind. Ideally, I'd like to fill the washer from a rainwater collection reservoir, and have a clothesline right outside the laundry room door. But most of all I don't want it to be a tiny square room with 3 doors in it.

One thing that is pretty easy and brings me a lot of joy is PAINT. I feel cold and boring in an all-white house and paint is so quick to bring character and emotion and setting to a room. We used to have a deep blue dining room and a brick red living room, then we changed the dining room to a lion-yellow and kept the red in the living room. Right now my living space is based off of my favorite coffee cup. One wall in the living room is kelly green and the area rug is orange. The dining room has one orange wall and 2 yellow walls, and the carpet and curtains are kelly green. It's an energetic and cheerful space.

I cannot get enough bookshelves. I have them in every room, even if it's just the end table. Aren't bookshelves over doors just the best? My dream house has a 10 foot wide hallway with doors coming off, and little nooks for comfy chairs with a focused light for reading, and every wall, in between doors- every one- would be bookshelves. It would be my library. I am pretty organized with my books. They aren't Dewey decimal or anything, but they are definitely categorized.

19 October 2009

Growth

Is this not the best picture EVER?!

How do you measure your growth? Now that you've got all your big-kid teeth, and aren't getting new shoes every season change, and (hopefully) people have stopped saying "You're so much bigger than I saw you last!" how do you know when you've grown?

Spiritually, one way you can tell that you have matured is by your reactions. When confronted with a familiar situation, is your reaction more Christ-like than it used to be? But don't be content that you're 'doing better.' We must always look to Jesus as our golden standard, not others and not our former selves.

16 October 2009

Rebuttal

My friend and I were discussing happiness on Facebook. She said, after much back-and-forth, "But life isn't meant to be miserable. While people have their trials and tribulations, how can you inspire people to follow a Christian life if they see you and you aren't happy? People don't want to emulate people that do not seem happy."

I don't know if my rebuttal was adequate:

"I hope the inspiration to follow Christ (not a Christian life)comes from my lack of panic and the trust in the whole picture/plan and the ability to get through each day as it comes. Look at the people that inspire a following- it's not the "happy" people on spring break having fun for the moment; it's those who overcome struggles... the Olympian has triumph on the pedestal after years of determination, struggle, pain, and perseverance. The veteran walks again after war, disfigurement, rehab, practice, and determination. The runner hits the crossing line after months of training and pain and perseverance and making the choice each day to go practice. Do I seem so miserable? What have I said/written that makes me seem so miserable? Then I gave these Scriptures as evidence:

Hebrews 12:1-3 let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Romans 5:2-5 we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

2 Thessalonians 1:4 among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

James 5:11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

What do my readers think?

14 October 2009

Choose Life

This is a child who was adopted, and not aborted.

Well, yesterday I was mentioned in the NY Times. Maybe I have it on the brain... today I got a email from the NRL with a link to a compelling story. Here's the article- don't click on the pictures if your kids are in the room- the comments were riveting. I didn't read all 225 comments, but numbers 62, 71, 98 and especially 119 were excellent.

Let our hearts break for whatever breaks God's heart! How are you serving the needs of women in tough circumstances? How are you pointing them to the cross- Jesus' sacrifice on their behalf- so they can comprehend a sacrifice of their own? Crisis pregnancy centers need volunteers. Are your kids in school? Can you volunteer a half-day a week? Where are your maternity clothes? In the closet? Could you pick up a pack of nice wipes or diaper ointment when you get a new bottle of shampoo? For pete's sake, you can mail a check- you could email your congressman- you could go to a pro-life function. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this broken world!

13 October 2009

NY Times!! Me!!

"Another [group] heard Teresa Dear, a former Russian linguist in the Air Force and a mother of four, lay out plans for a piece of Christian devotional literature, aimed at helping women who are going through marital problems.

In a separate room Ms. Dear’s husband James, another former Air Force linguist who served with the NSA, was scratching on a pad and trying to figure out what exactly it was that he wanted to say. (Ms. Dear’s father, Vince Giammalvo, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army for 23 years, was in yet another of the writers’ rooms.)

“I’ve got 150 things, all over the place,” Mr. Dear said. His current job as a landscape designer keeps him busy, he added.

“But there’s something in my heart,” he said, speaking after a session with Mr. Kelly and the television writer Chris Brancato. “I feel like it’s a calling to write.”"

For the entire article, go here. Eeek!

12 October 2009

Precious Few

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
2 Peter 2:19-21


I was out of town all weekend, in San Antonio at a Writer's Guild/ Veterans writing workshop. I went with my dad and husband, we're all vets and all interested in writing. It was a lot more than I anticipated- beautiful hotel, unstructured time, people who enjoy the same craft I do. James was skeptical at first- it was a military thing, after all, but when he saw the hotel he realized that it was not what he thought, and when the writers began introducing themselves at the first workshop (they had done Cosby, Frasier, and Desperate Housewives, and countless movies) he saw what talented writers were there to assist us, he relaxed and got more excited.

It was Saturday night that I noticed the difference- we were at a Mexican restaurant, sharing chips and guacamole and steak fajitas with my dad. James was talking animatedly about the writing exercises he had done that day with his group- he was so animated and calm and energized. I can't think of the last time I heard him talk like that. He wasn't waiting for someone to contradict him; he wasn't antagonistic; he was happy and excited; his face was open and welcoming. Was it being out of his usual context? Was it being around fellow veterans? Was it his contact with 'the great?' They certainly told him he had writing talent, they appreciated his skills and his own story.

I forget sometimes that he has been changed too by our time in the fire. Oh, I know it well enough when I say "Who is this? This is a stranger I sleep beside." but then when Saturday came I saw a glimpse of the man he used to be and I missed him.

When we were coming home on Sunday afternoon, as we neared Austin again, it was practically a visible, tangible change coming over him. He was like an actor getting into a role, putting on a stiff rubber suit that streaked and pulled and didn't want to go on smoothly. I imagine I felt like the loved one of an Alzheimer's patient, one who has enjoyed a few precious moments of clarity and memories only to see them slipping into dementia again.

art by Luke Chueh

09 October 2009

Depression- a Gift?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Now I never actually had the thought that there was “no such thing as depression.” But until I had lived with a person in a major depressive episode, I had never internalized what it really meant. It’s like a woman who knows that her newborn will get up at night- her head knows it, but she won’t really understand what it means until she has been up nights with her child. When my husband was at his lowest I had realized that he really, truly could not just get up and get a job, that he was just unable to do things he had done before. I realized that it was unreasonable on my part to request or demand that he do things he had accomplished before.

After all you have been through, you may think you are getting this suffering thing down. Not that you are a practiced martyr, but you begin to feel like you can handle the next battle with whatever lessons you have under your belt already. Beware! After my husband and I had been reunited for over a year, a few things worked together to make me feel especially fatigued and battle-weary. Fear again encroached and tried to regain battleground that I had already won with my prayers and tears, knees bruised and heart broken. I suffered for three months and realized it was too much. My parenting had radically declined and I was sleeping way too much. When I realized that I had not been functioning very well for quite a while, I went in to my doctor and got an anti-depressant. I had never taken any kind of medicine on a regular basis (except for birth control), so I was asking questions about how to get off of it when I got the prescription filled.

I had continual light-headedness and slight nausea for the 8 weeks that I took the medicine. I felt like the undead- I was suddenly unmoved by anything. Things which had angered me before, or caused great pain, suddenly had no power over me. I felt like a stunt man on the kiddie ride… unimpressed. I stopped taking it and was fine. That month, my husband began sliding downhill again. He had been pretty responsible lately, and things seemed to be going well enough. When I saw him becoming depressed, my knee-jerk reaction didn’t appear. Usually when he showed the slightest misstep, I would go into a flailing panic-prayer routine. This time, my depression was near to the front of my mind, and I was much more sympathetic and able to be encouraging. Maybe my sense of calm affected my prayers or maybe I was a better helpmeet for my husband, but he didn’t go completely down that time.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, Genesis 50:20

We must remember that there is an unseen spiritual battle going on all around us. When I became weary of my battle to glorify God in my marriage, the devil saw his foothold. He moved in to cripple me, but God turned it around. My bout with depression became a precious gift to me, that helped me better see my husband and his struggle, and how to support him in his trouble.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

07 October 2009

Preface to Eternity


This is what the LORD says— he who created you, he who formed you: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, Do not be afraid, for I am with you." Isaiah 43:1-7

I used to be terribly fearful. Then, some of the things that I was afraid of came to pass in my life. I left my husband and everyone found out about the state of our marriage. Our house foreclosed. My husband was on a downward spiral. My kids were stressed. But we made it through. I became closer to the Lord than ever. I lived on $100 a week. None of the things that had kept me up nights ever ended my life like I thought it would. None of the terrible things endangered my or my children’s lives. I became much more broken-hearted to the pain in the world through that time. I saw how sin and selfishness breaks up families and breaks God’s heart. What house is worth more than knowing God more intimately or trusting him more securely? We need to stop stressing that the water may rise or the flames may come. In this broken, sinful world, these things will happen, and we need to pray that God will remind of us his presence during those times. We are told he is with us, but in our fear and unbelief we need to ask him to give us extra reassurance that he is by our side.

“Fear not! for I am with you; do not be dismayed! for I am the Lord, your God. I will strengthen you- yes! I will help you- I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” Isaiah 41:10 & 13

God is our helper and our comforter. He longs for us to turn to him for assistance instead of trying to rework the budget again. He knows our every need- and not just our need for food and shelter. He knows and built into us a need for love, comforting, and security. Do you think a loving God would build such needs into us with no reason? He wants us to have these needs met through him. He is a God of relationships, and he wants you to know him as well as he knows you. Many times he fills our needs through other people. It is important to have friends and family supporting you now. However, there is no love as great as the unconditional love from your Abba Father God.

You the Lord, are my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? You, the Lord, are the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Really, who can harm you when you know the real truth of your worth? If you are clinging to God’s truth each day, nothing can tear you from His side… maybe they can distract you for a moment, but when you get back into the word, the lies will be identified for what they are. When we get right down to it, there isn’t so much to fear when God is on our side. The things we worry about- money, the house, our health, our marriage - these things are all temporary things. We must focus our limited energy on the things that last, like salvation and becoming like Christ.

I sought the Lord and he heard me! He delivered me from all my fears!
Psalm 34:4

What do you call it? Worried, anxious, afraid, fearful, 'just' realistic… these words reflect that we don’t hear God’s encouragement to trust him and to not live in fear of a temporary situation. Even if you lived alone and in poverty for the rest of your life-- what is it? Fifty years? This life is just the PREFACE to eternity!

06 October 2009

Announcement

Hello, dear reader. I mean readerS!
I want to continue to have valuable content in this blog. I hope that it is encouraging to you and you are able to forward it on to other women in your life. I have been posting M-F for almost 7 months now. This blog is very dear to my heart and I have no intention of stopping. However, blogging with no comments is like talking on the phone but the line went dead a few minutes ago. I decided to change my blogging frequency to M-W-F from now on. Of course, it may be more frequent, such as when I have a quote or a news item. Keep coming back! Thanks!

Bravely Love!


Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.
-Mohandas Ghandi

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
-Mohandas Ghandi

To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage, because we don't want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt.
-Madonna

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.
-Friedrich Nietzche

05 October 2009

Memory of Mexico

As a Catholic teen I went on a few trips to Mexico on short-term missions. One was a lot of fun, on one we spent a lot of time building dormitories for future short-termers, and the other was much longer. On this third trip, I spent time shadowing a deacon who went to all the ranchitos to have mass, or do a marriage, or be a guest at a quinceanera. When we'd go out, we would be gone all day. I may have sat through a half-dozen mass services each day, and eaten at 6 ranchitos. After the third or fourth mass on the first day, I asked if it was "okay" to have communion each time- or should I sit it out at the back? "No, no," the deacon reassured me. "Catholics believe the more we take the Eucharist, the more grace we recieve."

Tonight was the new members class at my church. I have been attending there for a year, and just began serving in the fourth and fifth grade classroom. So it was time to become a member. A question came up about communion vs transubstantiation (excellent link!). My pastor responded quite eloquently. He mentioned that Thomas Aquinas in the eleventh century began the practice of considering the sacraments as a way to recieve more grace. (In case you needed a refresher, the eleventh century is AD 1000-1100, and Jesus died in roughly AD 33 and the Gospels were written around AD 50-90.

The part I loved the most was when he explained where the breakdown existed: They're calling it "grace" but you need to get more of it... "grace" weighs on the scale in your favor against your sins... penance gives "grace" to weigh in your favor against your sins... for Catholics, the Eucharist is the real flesh and blood of Christ, and it re-enacts his crucifiction again (and again, and again) and the breakdown is, is that what Christ did on the cross isn't enough.

This explains once again why Catholics wear crucifixes and Protestants wear crosses.

"He is risen!" "He is risen indeed!"

Catholic Encyclopedia

02 October 2009

Rescue Me!

ania316
Listening to the rain fall on the roof and enjoying the sound of thunder rolling. All the kids are asleep (for now) so I don't have the distraction of comforting them about it- I love thunder and lightening! Oooh, there was a big cracky one... maybe I'll get a visitor padding in here soon enough.

I was working out at the YMCA this week at last (go me!) and was thinking about it. I'm one of those people some people love to hate- thin without trying, back to pre-baby weight. I'm getting to an age where I can't fake healthy... just because I am thin doesn't mean I have any muscle tone or good heart health. I think people who are naturally thin are more likely to be completely UNhealthy. I know I am. I totally take my body for granted; I don't use it for anything; I don't take care of it.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

Food became an area of struggle for me when I was separated. At one point, it seemed clear that things were never going to work out between my husband and I, and that he would never take care of me again. I was getting ready for a shower and had my hands up over my head, pulling my shirt off, and I noticed I could see the bones in my chest. My chest! When I started to take notice, I saw that my jeans were hanging on my hips. Was I even eating? I started to pay attention, and I realized that whenever I was hungry, I'd have a cup of tea or coffee instead of eating.

My dad was the cook for my family when I was growing up, and my husband was the cook in our family. He is a great chef, and has worked in kitchens of restaurants and catering companies. At one time in our life, people looked forward to coming over to our house to eat his dinners. I think that when I thought he would never take care of me anymore, I just decided "If he's not going to cook for me, then I just won't eat." It was a while before I could enunciate that clearly. I had to begin to pay attention to when I last ate, and make a point of remembering to.

Months later, I noticed that I had begun to do it again, and stopped quickly, and asked for prayer from the ladies at my Bible study. Then they could help me by asking me the simple question, "Have you eaten today?"

I struggle even now as I try to feed my kids regularly. I don't ever feel hungry, and I have to look at the clock like a new mother to see if it's time to feed them.

In Boundaries lingo, this relates to "Where are you waiting to be rescued rather than taking responsibility for yourself?" It was a momentary "I give up!"