Jack no, no, no- Jill of all trades ;)

Hey friends, hope you’re all having a fantastic day :D

I was over at my parents place today and my dad says, “oh great you’re here, I need help with a mirror downstairs”. I say, “Sure, what are we doing with it?” and off we went to do what we do best together, small home renos and fixer ups.

Ever since I was a little, ok, younger girl (haven’t grown much since my younger years haha), my dad always took me along side him and taught me how to use a hammer, drill, screw drivers and how to put things together. Book shelves, pantries, drywall, painting, hanging pictures, plumbing etc… I love that kind of work. Maybe because it brings up such good feelings of my childhood. There are not too many nice things I reminisce about my childhood but these times are one of them. When I was eight months pregnant with my third child we renovated his entire basement. I lay down tiles, put up drywall and painted. We also put in a small kitchen. Oh heck, there was never a time that went by when my dad would hit his head, hammer his finger or fall down. Friends, I use to die of laughter. Once I thought I was going to give birth right then and there from laughing so hard!!

Today I was over there helping him with this very large mirror. We moved it from the basement and put it upstairs in his home. He needed to move it because he’s been doing some work from home. He’s semi retired. My dad is a fashion designer. For the hockey fans out there he is the one who makes Don Cherry’s suits!!! YUP! He was on the Rick Mercer show a few years ago along side Don Cherry. I couldn’t be more proud (I’ll post the link).  :D

Anyways, back to the handy man, woman thing. I am very grateful my dad took me under his wing to teach me all those things. Today, I am able to fix many things in our home. Toilets, sinks, walls, tiles, screen doors, change locks and door knobs, and my latest, the tub I am also pretty good with vehicles too :)

I have my dad to thank for this. Going over to visit them today really gave me a feel good feeling. I was very grateful to him for that. My dad has also played a very HUGE roll in keeping the doors of faith opened for me ever since I was a young girl. For this I will forever be grateful :)

Thanks Pa!

Here’s the link, you’ll love my dad’s Italian accent ;)

 

ED- It’s Not What You Think.

I started a group a few weeks ago. This group is a parents support group. My husband and I have ended up in this group for two reasons. One- one of our children, just like me, suffer from an eating disorder. And two- Gods plan to “poke” at me in regards to this issue.

You see friends, I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for about twenty years now. As I have been on my journey with God, I’ve faced many dark and ugly areas of my life that needed changing and healing. As challenging as they have been, day by day, prayer by prayer, I’ve gotten through and persevered. My eating difficulties have been flying under the radar.

So it has come to be that I have joined this group and have been to a couple of meetings and they have been awesome! Ok truthfully, they have disturbed me something terrible! It has “kicked up the dust” in me. It is as if Pandora’s box of difficulty has been cracked open. Now let me tell you, this difficulty and my behavior around facing the truth of my own food difficulties  has started to trickle into my relationships in the form of irritation, nit picking and the emotion to cover all emotions-Anger. This has gone on for about two weeks. I could not understand what the heck was going on in me. I kinda knew but refused, suppressed to face what needed facing. Yes, yes I had admitted in the past I have struggled with Eating Difficulties and in my denial have said, I have “it” under control and I have even convinced myself and my loved ones that it is something I don’t struggle with anymore. I convinced myself that I do not struggle with this anymore. Ha.

I’m here today to admit to myself and to you, my fellow readers, that I am still suffering and struggling with my food.

I’m going to share a little bit of what it’s like to live with an eating disorder. In my case – Anorexia.
Friends please know this is not something I choose to do or even realize I’m doing it (I’m not going to get into causes or anything like that today).

So what’s it like? In my brain, hell. There’s a constant nagging, chattering about what to eat not eat, how much exercise will I get in order to eat that? How many calories or fat does that contain? If I eat that do you know what I will look like? If I keep eating this I’m going to be compared to other women. There’s conflict in my life? That’s because I ate for a few consecutive days now I will restrict and loose a few pounds. I don’t know how many pounds I need to lose I just know I need to lose them. Oh goodness, Rob must think I look disgusting! What does my family think of me? Go out in public? Be around other people?  GO TO THE MALL???!!!!  (this one has gotten much better). Do I eat that? How much do I eat? Will I be working this off later? What will this do to me? Don’t eat too much. Don’t eat that. Don’t even think about trying that, do you know what it will do and how you will look? It’s not a wonder why you have problems in your marriage, look at how you look!

And on and on it goes…… Ugh, makes me sick.

Then there’s the flip side. I binge. Now I did not realize I binge. Never considered myself one who binges. The bingeing process goes like this:

Oh heck, I’m going to eat this and this and this. Oooo dessert? Yup I’m having it. Going to eat three meals a day and snack in between! (Just yesterday I ate candy like there was no tomorrow, all the while saying, ok tomorrow, I eat nothing to work this all off). For someone with anorexia, having a bite of cake or candy or a full meal could be a binge. In my case that’s what happens.

There’s also this incredible need to feel in control. In control of life and anything surrounding me. It makes me feel safe (now that is distorted thinking).

And so for twenty years, this crazy insanity has gone on. I am so done with it! It’s exhausting and frustrating. I try to be gentle with myself and understand where this comes from and how it was “grown” through my past abuse. As I have been dealing with the other issues in my life, I’ve managed to conveniently “tuck” this coping mechanism away.
The past couple of weeks I haven’t been sticking to my exercise routine and I feel I have gained weight. This doesn’t make me feel good. I’ve become irritable, angry, frustrated, frazzled and I have little to no patience. I have been snapping at my kids and I’m lashing out at my husband. I’m creating division in my relationships and I’m not keeping in touch with friends as I need to be. This is where I start to spiral into isolation. If I keep to myself then I can be in my own little world and figure out, count calories, restrict food and keep my body moving. I can busy myself so I don’t need to face what I’m doing. Day after day. In between my daily responsibilities, this is what goes on for me. It’s especially challenging because I prepare most of the meals. Honestly when my family cooks, I eat all my meal and have no regrets.
So friends, living with ED, is difficult not only for us but for those who live with us. It’s like addiction, the behaviors and distorted thinking that comes with the disorder is enough to drive anyone nuts! It’s not something we can overcome alone and it is something we certainly cannot overcome without Gods help. Believe me, I know this because I’ve tried.
Sadly, my youngest daughter suffers too. Can I be held responsible? Has she seem me restrict? Has she caught on to my bad attitude towards food? Yes. Do I have tremendous guilt? Goodness yes. Does it break my heart to see her struggle and know the war that’s going on inside her? Yes. And what about our family members who deal with the “crazy” that comes with this? I can only imagine what it’s like for them. For what they put up with. For what they deal with as we battle ourselves.

On a positive note, because I LOVE to always see the silver lining, the lessons, the incredible miracles of God through these challenges, I have decided to face this demon head-on. I have decided to fight it, to surrender it to God and walk through this healing with Jesus as my Guide. I have decided to take one day at a time to deal with daily struggles around food. I have decided to remind myself that this is linked to my past and a result of the abuse I experienced and living with addiction. I have decided that I will NOT use my abuse as an excuse to continue on in this manner. For if I do, my abusers “win” and still have control over me. I REFUSE to allow that. I know there’s a road ahead of me and with anything else, it will be challenging but I have buckled up and I will keep my focus on Gods goodness for my life. You see, God has incredible plans for me and I need to be ready to receive that. This challenge is just another stepping stone to get me closer to my destiny with God. This motivates me to get well and be the best I can be for Him. I want to do amazing things for God. He has done so much, more than I deserve. Oh friends, if you knew me a few years ago you’d think it was two different people. The incredible transformation God has done with my heart is miraculous. I’m already in amazement at how much more cleaning up and restoration He is doing in me now! I know as I change my ways, my daughter will see this. God always makes a way to right our wrongs and I intend to do that. I intend to work with God to do just that!

I’m going to share a piece of my journal entry with you. I wrote this a few days ago. I have been reading it everyday.

Journal Pic 1

I can do this for today. To tackle something for one day is manageable. To think about doing this for a week, a month or a life time gets overwhelming. So just for today, God and I will go moment by moment. :)

It does upset me to admit all this. I like to think I have “it” all together but to be honest and as you can read, I don’t. Oh perfectionism, I cannot keep up with you ;)

Well friends, it’s time for some coffee and yes, some breakfast.

I thank you very much for reading and for your support along my journeys.

Happy Day!

P.S. (for my friends with kiddies)

CAN YOU BELIEVE SCHOOL STARTS NEXT WEEK???? :O

Don’t Take It Personally

When your child calls you heartless and you have no compassion, how do you take it?

How did I take it? I will tell you how I didn’t take it. I didn’t take it personally. Yeah, to hear words, other than loving kindness, from my children stings a little but I also take a look at the situation around it. What’s going on? What are they facing? No it’s not ok to use family members to lash out at but we are not perfect and that happens. I’ve done it and I’m sure we’ve all have let words come flying out of our mouths at some point or another. Good grief, I can honestly say, I’ve done it numerous times.

But yes, what happens when it comes from our kids?

Let me give you a bit of info on the situation. Yesterday morning as my husband and I were listening to a preacher speak (about family), I felt I was getting  filled with the Holy Spirit and I was beginning to feel pretty pumped. In the midst we hear some yelling. Long story short, one of our daughters was quarreling with her other half. We let it go for a bit when things seemed to have gotten very heated, we stepped in.  It was time, we felt, for her to get off the phone and take a five minute break. (Here’s another great story for a blog post, “What happens when you take your teenagers phone away?”) This brought with it a whole new set of challenges and Mom got the brunt end of it. This is where the opinion of my daughter came in of her feeling I am heartless and have no compassion, nor do I understand. Is there any truth to these opinions? Perhaps. Do I “scold” her for her opinion of me? No. Do I hold it against her and be crushed? No. Do I give her the silent treatment because I may feel hurt? No. How’s about this one, Do I rant and rave and discuss this with a, “Can you believe she said this about me? No. After all, at that time (and maybe other times), she may feel this way about me and is it wrong? No. Those are her feelings and as a parent I do not want to try to manipulate or have my kids change their feelings to suit me. Their feelings are their feelings and by God’s grace, I have “grown up” emotionally to allow them to have their feelings, whatever they may be, and not take them personally. Her words towards me did give me a chance to take a look at myself and ask myself, “Am I heartless and am I compassionate?” Truth be told, these were things that God had been working on with me and I can be honest and say, yes I can be those things at times. What I did do in that moment was, empathized with her feelings and walked away.

I guess my point here is,  when your kids fly off the handle with words, try not to take it personally. Just as we shoot our mouths off at times, they will too and heck, no one is perfect. I say, be curious, ask questions and sometimes, don’t say anything at all. Imagine that?  Don’t say anything at all???  Yup, try it. You’d be surprised how quickly things will be diffused. Just because we are parents does not mean we need to end with the last word, change the situation to suit us or “fix” our kid. That doesn’t give us more authority or more respect, in fact, in very well may do the opposite. It’s knowing when and how to “zip our lip” in those situations of “frazzleness” (Is that even a word? it will be today :)).

As I start this awesome day, I’m going to (try) do more listening (try)  more compassion and “have  a heart” ;)

By the way, after all was said and done, my daughter and I had a very nice afternoon/evening together. We played Crazy 8′s count down. She won.

So yup, there’s a  true moment in parenting. Happy day friends!

Round and Round the Merry Go Round

Wow it has been quite some time since I took some time to get to my blog site and write. I love writing. It is so therapeutic for me and God never lets me leave a journal entry or writing without learning something new about myself.  At times I say, “Oh joy”  ;)

Ok, so where is life right now for me? It’s in a place I like. Things have really settled down and I am treating life more gently. This period of time has not passed me by without some lessons and some serious spiritual growth (I both love and hate when this happens).  As I mentioned in my previous posts my husband and I have been having some difficulty in our marriage relationship. I’m happy to share that over the past three, maybe four, weeks, things between us have really come together. This seems to be a cycle for us (like a merry go round, round and round) and so I am tredding this water gently because I can be very hyper-vigilant and I just love to use my “wall” of “keep everyone out” and isolate to myself (which starts or magnifies the downward spiral in our marriage). I’ve been slowly taking down the “bricks” and I gotta tell ya, when I live free I enjoy every minute of my day and my relationship with others, especially my husband, goes very well. When I hide behind old ways of coping with relationships, I am worn out and irritable. So friends, this keeping the bricks from stacking is something I have been surrendering to God daily, sometimes minute by minute. So far so good :D

The major thing I want to share with you is this: Saturday morning my husband Rob and I were getting ready  to take our daughter Corinne to the airport (she’s gone to Cuba for a week, lucky girl), and he stops and says to me, “Chris, I wanted to thank you. I want you to know I appreciate how over the past twenty years you have held things together when I was unable to. You’ve taken care of the kids and our family and I’m grateful for that, had you not we wouldn’t have all we have”. Corinne over heard this gratitude and she comes to us and says “that’s right, thanks mom”. Friends, my heart was filled with gratitude to God for how He carried us over the years. It was filled with awe and my eyes filled with tears, I felt appreciated and loved. I felt like, what I do in my life and what I choose to do for others is because I choose to live for God. In the end this is what counts for me.

I’ve shared this piece of scripture before:

“And let us not grow weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not loose heart” Galatians 6:9

I hold this piece of scripture close to my heart and Saturday without expecting such gratitude, I received a beautiful gift. It has been a definite piece in bringing healing to our family and marriage. One day at a time we go and today, today  is good.

Have a blessed night friends, and remember our efforts NEVER go unnoticed by Whom it really counts with :D