July 31, 2011

Drifting

In case you all ever wonder what I do on Sunday afternoons...
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Three fun facts about Grace:
1. She loves Mason and Ball jars.
2. She loves DIYs that involve Mason and/or Ball jars.
3. She loves knitting and yarn.
Those three facts verify the following photo's awesomeness.
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Hullo there, sir: I can has some of your yarns? 
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*Happy Sigh*
Sundays are good days: not merely because it is a day to worship the Lord, spend time in fellowship with His people, and going to church, but also because it is a day of general rest. 
Which, for me, is interpreted as "A chance to do more knitting."
However, it's not all I've done today. I also finally bought something that I've wanted for a long, long time. 
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Yes, an egg cup.
And no, mine is not like that: it's actually just plain, and white, and simple, and all things lovely.
I don't know why I've always loved the idea of eating my egg from a cup, soft-boiled and delicious.
Or just using it as a place to nestle my hard-boiled egg while working on it, or another portion of my breakfast.
Maybe it's because I love lovely things, and I am using beauty as a tactic to get me to eat.
Food can look so beautiful, it can smell beautiful, it can be presented beautifully...
I just need to get myself to believe that it can taste beautiful. 
That eating it won't make me...not...beautiful? 
Something like that.
Anyway, it's also a good excuse to make this pattern from my favorite knitting book...
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(I couldn't find one of the shots from the book, which is a pity because the photos in the book are incredibly beautiful!) 
It's a sweater egg cozy! How spiffy is that?!
Anywho, I'm knitting merrily away, listening to a CraftSanity podcast.
How are you spending your Sunday afternoon?
Oh, thank you to all who commented yesterday with encouragement.
It was very uplifting, and I'm so thankful for all of you lovely people, and the way you point my eyes up to the Lord and away from myself. Although I still spend an absurd amount of time on the "myself" part.
*sigh*
Have a lovely Sunday, all!
Cheerio!

July 30, 2011

Brattitude

I am such a brat. 
A selfish, low-down, vain brat. 
It seems like all I ever do is talk about, feel sorry for, complain and obsess over one subject...
Me.
Case in point? 
Today.
Today was going to be my day off.
Today was "supposed to be wonderful", and full of the things I love to do: farmer's market, walking, knitting, long hours of pencil sketching, baking, and at least one giant pot of tea.
I was going to wake up early, make pumpkin muffins, then proceed nonchalantly with my day, being soooo thankful to God for all His bountiful blessings in my life.
But, ah! The inevitable! A curve ball enters life.
 I- awake since very early, just finishing up a muffin and knitting merrily away- am startled from my silent reverie by the shrill ring of the telephone. A glance at the number calling and my heart sinks. 
I answer "Hello?" in a quiet voice, trying not to disturb the house that still slumbers about me.
"Yes; oh my gosh! Of course! I'll be in at nine. Okay; see you then. Bye."
My co-worker- someone who I love with all my heart and look upon like an Aunt or Grandmother- has been struggling with some health issues, and falls ill this morning; I have been called into work.
Her condition is both serious and frightening, and not at all good.
Do I stop for more than a minute and pray for her? 
Do I wear a hole in the carpet fretting over how she's doing?
Not immediately, no: I, in all of my selfish glory, am sitting dejected in my chair (get this), pouting.
Pouting because my plans are ruined.
Pouting because- whoosh!- there goes my fantastic day, right out the window on gossamer wings.
While someone I love and care about is in pain and needs me to help by taking her place at work.
Pouting!
I. Am. Despicable. 
It didn't take long for me to examine myself and see what I brat I was being, and unbelievably selfish to boot!
With a deal of chagrin, I begged God for forgiveness, prayed hard for my co-worker, made a lunch, started walking, and thought I'd moved through it.
But oh no, it didn't stop there. 
My selfish attitude stretched, as such things do, all through the workday, casting a shadow over my frame of mind, over the way I walked, tampering with my smile, forcing me to check the clock. 
I was still upset that I hadn't gotten my way.
(Please, feel free to despise me right now: I do.)
It wasn't until I was well on my way home that I really truly looked back over the day and saw what a jerk I'd been. Oh sure, I had been nice enough to other people: smiled, served, laughed, did my job to the best of my ability. 
But what was the point when the entire time, I was full of a brooding anger and disappointment, rooted completely in my own selfish spirit? 
I might as well had been lazy, mean, and cruel to everyone I spoke to: it would at least have been closer to the truth of who I really am. 
I am heartily ashamed, and I wanted to post it for all here to see, that way no one is deluded into thinking nice thoughts about me, or thinking I'm someone I'm not. 
However, isn't our God so wonderful? Isn't His forgiveness indescribable? 
I do not deserve it, but I told Him all about how horrible I'd been today (As if He didn't already know!), and He shook His head at my actions, but lovingly wiped away my tears and forgave me. 
Which has made me reflect on some things: what if, through this curve ball, God was testing me or planning to introduce some important thing into my life. Something...life changing.
And I, through my bad attitude, missed a gold opportunity. I know I failed the test. 
Whatever God had or has planned because of today, whatever lesson I should have learned, I know that I'm learning at least one thing, and that is my selfishness, and how to overcome it.
So I shall now spend the rest of the day attempting to do things for others.
And I will hopefully do so tomorrow, and the day after.
And I will try to remember, above all, to give thanks in all things. 
Instead of griping and complaining about having to work on my day off, be thankful I have a job and am well and able enough to work today.
Instead of griping about how things didn't go my way, be thankful that I was forced to concede in order to help others. 
And always be thankful that God doesn't give me my way.
(That would truly be a nightmare of epic proportions!)
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July 28, 2011

Direction

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I will be the first to admit that I am a heartily silly and dissipated person. 
I am interested in and in love with so many different things and ideas and dreams,
That it has always confused me just what I want to do with my life.
I have changed direction and decision so many times, that I'm strongly embarrassed by it.
But it seems that every time I settle on something, I'm struck-slowly, quickly, immediately, or after many months or years- by how that is not what I am meant or want to do. 
I waste so much time fretting over whether or not the choices I make are the ones that are correct: are just what God wants for my life. 
I've always had the expectation that if I were pursuing the career that God wanted for my life, it would just feel right. I can't say that this is actually true, because I've never felt that way about any of my career goals. Which makes me worry that they aren't the right ones.
But here are the current facts plain and simple, and what I've been reflecting on.
My goal up until now has been to go into musical theater: singing, dancing, drama. All things I excel at (especially the drama). But with this anorexia, with these health problems, with the repercussions I will most likely face the rest of my life because of them, I don't know if I can. I don't know if I should. Not only because of health, but because of healthy body image too. Much of the world of theater and stage is driven by perfection and beauty, and if I already struggle with a disorder that is partly rooted in a dissatisfaction in that area, maybe God is trying to point out that my choice wasn't necessarily His choice. Which may well be. I think I just assumed that He had turned me in that direction, never really asked Him what He has planned.
Either way, I'm taking a step back.
And I'm laying out the fleece, so to speak.
Like Gideon, the Lord has called me in my life to follow Him, and like Gideon, I'm asking Him for a sign regarding direction.
I've had a choice in mind- one that has been suggested repeatedly to me recently- that I have wondered might be the Lord trying to point it out as what I ought to do with myself. I've asked Him for a direct sign before the end of the week if this is in fact what He is telling me to do with my life.
I have time at the moment: I saw my counselor on Monday, and asked her if I should plan to push myself and take classes at the local community college this Fall, as planned, and she suggested that more stress would just aggravate the situation I'm already in, and to only take classes that I will enjoy. This is, I feel, maybe God trying to again get my attention in such a way as to let me know my long-term career plan hasn't lined up with His. 
What's ironic is how scared I am that He will say no to this request, because it's an idea I've always- since I was a little girl-loved and in a way pursued. I won't say what it is, but I will ask for prayer for it to be answered.
What is most important for me right now is to remember that if God doesn't answer the sign in the affirmative, it's because He has something more wonderful in store for me; something that I will give my all in working towards.
Am I the only person out there who feels utterly confused about the direction of her life? I know where I'd like to go, what I enjoy doing, and where I see myself years from now, but I only want it if it's what God wants as well. I'm feeling frustrated and stagnant, sitting here three months after I've graduated high school, feeling more clueless than ever. I know that by trusting in the Lord's timing and guidance, nothing will ever go wrong, but that's just my problem: trusting.
I need to trust Him to lead me down the path of righteousness.
I need to trust Him to do what is best for me.
I need to trust that He will lead.
I need to trust that He will, eventually, give me what I most long to have:
Direction. 

July 27, 2011

Sheepish

It is a truth, commonly acknowledged, that I am a knitter.
Well, not just a knitter: an obsessed knitter.
A fiber addict.
A yarn harlot.
A wooly woman.
Give me two sticks and a string and I will find a way to turn it into something (even if "something" is just a few rows knit, pulled out, and knit again, merely for the fun of it).
I recently realized that, due to lack of body fat, this coming Fall and Winter are going to be rather serious affairs to get through comfortably. I've been meaning to put together a sort of bucket list of items I desperately want to knit, and actually work on getting them done; so I did. Sweaters, slippers, socks: you name it. My plan is mostly to knit my way through my two favorite knitting books: Weekend Knits by Melanie Falick, and New England Knits by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre. Both are chock full of the most sumptuous and beautiful projects- clothing and otherwise- that I've been dying to create, and all exemplified on the page in stunning photography. Weekend Knitting is actually the book that got me into the craft in the first place: I sauntered past a copy in our library one day several years ago, fell in love with the pictures (and the patterns), and knew that I had to learn to knit, just so I could make those things. The rest, as they say, is history. 
I have spent the entire weekend and a bit of the past two days working on my latest project: a jacket-like sweater knit in a variegated wool that goes from a dusky white to a dark gunmetal grey, lightly accented by bits of a lighter blue and red. It's absolutely lovely. 
I just about finished the sweater this morning (pictures to come eventually), I just need to sew on the snaps and buttons, and she'll be done! I normally turn into a certifiable hermit when I adopt large projects: that is, I clam up in my room, or the kitchen, or even just my mind, and knit fastidiously away with little-to-no attention for the rest of the world. This is why I normally start (and finish) my projects on the weekend. 
However, I had to work this past Saturday and yesterday as well (not to mention today, tomorrow, Friday, and this coming Saturday!), so my normal state of mindlessness wasn't an option. 
The only problem this presents is my general preoccupation during the workday: the way my mind wanders the two-and-a-half miles back home, upstairs, into my room, and rests on the needles and yarn laid to rest until I come home and can take them up again.
But I digress: the sweater is almost done, and I'm already prepared to start my new project- a pair of argyle slippers- tonight. 
But I've decided that I'm going to be utterly selfish and throw caution to the wind at the risk of looking utterly crazy (which I am), and indulge my yarn and knitting addiction here for a moment. A moment which you all get to benefit from.
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Being an all-around lover of wool, I naturally like to pay homage to and delight over the source (Well, the source besides God): sheep.
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Anyone who earnestly loves knitting has, at some point, considered the thought of learning to spin yarn, moving to the country, raising sheep, and selling yarn, wool, and knitting. I ponder this possibility often. Practicality, however, begs my attention, and I believe I may have to stick to knitting as a mere obsession and not a career. However, if it were possible? I would in a heartbeat. 
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And then there's the yarn itself. Oh, lovely lovely yarn. 
You are all probably either rolling your eyes or gazing in confusion. 
After all, it's just a lump of fibrous stuff, right?
I'll pretend you just didn't ask that.
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I firmly believe on of the reasons I shall never get married is so that I'll have more room for my yarn. And be able to put it places like this. Also, because I may need that extra space in my bed for yarn as well. Or I could  just get a smaller bed and put the yarn in airtight boxes on the floor. Or in the mattress. Possibilities...
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The greatest curse in life could be being both a lover of natural lighting, natural colors, and natural fibers. It's the triple whammy with me. 
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You know you're a knitter when: pictures like this make you salivate.
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One of my favorite things in the world is the smell of wool. Especially wet wool. I know this probably sounds deranged and crazy, but I do! When I block my wool projects (Blocking: the art of getting the lumpy, knitted project wet, pinning it out, letting it dry, and ending up with a perfect, straight, non-lumpy project), I pin them to my bedroom floor on a towel. The smell of warm, damp wool fills the air, and gives me sweet dreams about knitting. *sigh*
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World's cutest knitting basket.
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I should like to point out that the sweater this person is wearing is not hand knit. Hypocrite. 
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And the cute illustrations are endless too!
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This is what I look like. In my mind. Which is a ball of yarn.
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World's cutest cake pops!
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Phew! Well; now that I've gotten that (partly) out of my system, I feel much better!
Well, for now. In the mean time, I'll give my fibrous ramblings a rest and let you all escape. 
I, however, have some snaps and buttons to sew on, and a workday ahead of me.
Cheerio, all you blogger-oos: knitters and non-knitters alike!


July 26, 2011

Thoughts From An Inexpressible Heart

How does one translate a heart full of feeling and thought,
Emotion, yearning,
Into words?
How does one pour their soul onto paper-using only ink (or a keyboard)- so that others can see, feel, and understand what is being expressed? 
Is such a thing even possible?
Or are such imaginings doomed to stay trapped inside always: never to escape in any expressible form?
What would happen if I could succeed with such a feat?
To turn myself inside out and put on display every single bit of me that I long for others to understand- every struggle, every passion, every fear- but can't seem to juxtapose in such a form as to make them understandable. 
To make others see as I see,
Feel as I feel.
The alternative- the reality- isn't at all bad.
I have a God who sees and understands every single inch of my indecipherable heart, mind, and soul. He has mapped me out to the most insignificant fraction of myself, and knows all the workings of my heart and mind. 
There is so much of me that I do not understand, cannot understad: but He does. 
Maybe one can't express "it all" so that others can understand.
But one can turn their eyes up,
Look questioningly and yearning into the eyes of our Savior,
Tell Him their troubles, their dreams, their fears,
And then have no need to make others understand, because One who is greater already does.
There's my deep thought for the day.
Do with it what you will.
I shall pour my soul out to Christ, and consequently find a deeper peace and joy than could ever be understood, much less explained...
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...And then I shall go finish knitting my sweater.
(This is what I would look like right now, if I were a wooly quadruped in the middle of a very long, very empty road.)
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July 21, 2011

Forgetting Your Camera Is NEVER A Good Excuse

 Well I think I need to be in the doghouse for at least a little bit.
I have this bad habit of promising bloggy things that never come to pass.
I.e. a second blog post yesterday.
Pictures of our outing to Eagle Island.
Etc. 
Well I think I have at least a reasonable excuse for the former charge: after Eagle Island, our friends the Sterlings came over and joined us for dinner and an evening of sunburned fun (By "sunburned" I mean that the Sterlings are all very fair skinned and/or redheads, so when they get out into sunlight, they quickly turn delightful shades of pink. We Doolittles have it a little better). Meatballs, three-bean salad, ice cream, and exhaustion made it a night to savor. 
The second charge though is entirely my fault. I forgot my camera.
It was sitting, waiting, hopeful and expectant on my dresser. 
I packed my knitting.
I packed a book.
I packed a change of clothes.
I didn't pack the camera. 
Bah Humbug on me!
I think the worst thing about yesterday, though, wasn't my lack of camera, but the fact that I couldn't swim.
Not because I didn't want to, not because there was any restrictions put on me by the doctor, but because I merely...couldn't.
It was like that same wall that goes up between making, smelling, seeing, enjoying food, and being able to enjoy eating it. It wasn't even necessarily something I had to think about. I just looked at the water and knew I wouldn't be going in. Not even if I tried to force myself. It just...wasn't going to happen. So I sat shivering at the waterside, soaking up every bit of warmth that I could glean from the hot sun and sand, and spent the four hours we were there puttering between the shore and the shade, knitting and listening to my mother and Mrs. Sterling converse. 
Swimming used to be my favorite part about Summer.
And now I can't even bring myself to get into the water, because I know that I would immediately turn into a block of ice. My inability to get into the water was almost like my body committing a subconscious act of self-preservation against freezing to death. 
Just one more reason for me to rise up, beat this thing, and get better already.
But I had a grand time anyway, and I finished two knitting projects, and had fun talking about baby formulas and our revulsion of extremely pregnant women wearing revealing, two-piece bathing suits. (Seriously, ladies: if you're about to pop, you shouldn't be wearing a string bikini). 
Although I don't have pictures of yesterday's knitting projects (More bah humbugs!), I do have photos of my latest hat accomplishment.
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 I may be just a tad too proud of how it turned out, but I was certain of two things when I started (well, make that three).
1. The gauge was going to be off.
2. Those pleats were going to be the death of me to create.
3. The hat would probably be too big, I would run out of yarn, or some other disaster was going to stand between me and the finishing the item. 
But I was wrong! I knit it up, straight to gauge, the pleats were a breeze, and I adore the hat. The original patter has a grosgrain ribbon that goes goes right above the brim, wrapping around and tying in a cute bow, but I haven't decided whether or not I want to do that yet. The problem with adding a ribbon in a contrasting color is that you are then a little more limited as to what you can wear the hat with. And since it's already in a bit of a hard-to-pair-with color, well...we'll see. 
Also, on Sunday I had a fabulous time with my two best friends. After church, we went to the mall, and then hit my favorite frozen yogurt place- U-Swirl- where I introduced them to the deliciousness therein.
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I love these two crazy people.
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Well I have to pop off now- I have a rather lengthy list of things to do, phone calls to make, and a work day to steam through today, and I think some of the above may have to end up meshing (Doing more work on my work break may seem like an oxymoron, but I don't like letting time go to waste. Not that reading Jane Austen and eating a peanut-butter pita sandwich is time wasted or anything). 
As it is, I can't help but look forward to the things ahead of me today, confident that God has everything planned and if I let go of my plans, everything will be fantastic. 
Cheerio, dear lovelies!

July 20, 2011

Inside The Lines

Ah, Wednesday morning.
I love Wednesday morning.
Okay, so maybe I have no particular attachment to Wednesday mornings in particular, but this Wednesday morning is pitch perfect.
A slight chill in the air drifting in through the open windows.
Waking up after eight straight hours knocked out colder than a dead wombat.
Slightly oversleeping (meaning that I woke up at 6:40 instead of the normal 6:00 to 6:30. Whoopee). 
Some Bible reading and prayer.
A perfect cup of chai tea. 
Fresh fruit.
A good round of piloga stretches (Somewhere between Pilates and yoga, only more comical because I'm absolutely clueless).
And loafing around in my pajamas, fuzzy socks, and running jacket, listening to big-band swing, blogging, and chewing a piece of apple pie-flavored gum may or may not have something to do with my current state of bliss.
I'm beginning to form a new theory.
Everyone seems to think that the way a morning start, the way a day goes, and whether or not it's a good one rests entirely upon how you wake up, what you do that morning, etc.
But I propose something:
I think the way a day goes does have a good deal to do with how your morning starts and goes; yes. However, I'm beginning to see that how you wake up feeling, how your morning goes, and the mood of the entire thing is based almost entirely on what you did with yourself the day before. I'm not thinking in just a physical I-worked-out-so-now-I'm-sore sense. I'm referring more to the things accomplished, how you may have seized the day or opportunities, your outlook.
For instance: my "yesterday".
It could be described as a "doing" day. I got up early and started my day with the Lord, a breakfast that I strove to enjoy, went up with my mom early to her work (I needed a different size knitting needle), walked home the long way, finally got around to closing an old bank account, knit a hat, walked to and from the library, made cookies, cleaned the kitchen (twice), cleaned out and organized my room, a thousand small things I've been meaning to do for some time, made dinner, and then spent an entire evening helping my mom move two bookshelves and then proceed to organize and shelve our entire home's library worth of school textbooks, novels, tomes, and picture books (this took a few hours, and was done right before bed. Hence the great night's sleep).
And the day was somehow imbued with such a sense of laid-back motivation-how paradoxical!- that the end was about more than having walked seven miles, finished a hundred thousand things that I've been procrastinating on, and successfully following and fulfilling all of my nutrionist's rules for once. It was mostly just having spent time wisely and yet in a way that was entirely enjoyable that sent me sweetly off to sleep last night. And it was with that sense of completion and relaxed purpose that I awoke today. And already my day seems to be heading in a direction similar to that of yesterday's. 
And that's fine by me! 
In my last post, I mentioned some things about exciting changes and ideas I've had. 
And, as promised, I'm finally able to explain some of them.
First of all, my Grandma- who used to be a jeweler who made and sold her items at craft fairs- has passed down her box of semi-precious stone earring pieces to me, and the supplies needed to make and sell earrings. The pieces are very simple- just plain round stones in every variety you can think of from Jade to Tigers Eye to Amethyst- and are cut for post earrings. But what I'm excited about is my hope to open an Etsy store and start selling them under her old business name. I'm looking forward to it mostly because it's an opportunity to continue her tradition, her business in a way. So far I'm just planning on keeping the shop open until I run out of the stone pieces, but that could take quite some time (there's a lot here), but it will be a fun venture.
Second, I'm thinking about starting a second blog!
It would be much different from this one: focusing anorexia. I would post my story, Bible verses, tips, encouragement, and other helps for girls like me. Girls trapped in a way of life and with self-destructive eating habits that they have no desire to keep. I really want to use this struggle as a way to glorify God and bring others to Him, so maybe this is a way I can do that. 
Third, I've been creating what is called my "Carpe Vitam" list. It means "Seize life", and it's essentially a list of my long-term- and even some short term- goals and dreams. Things I want to do, things I need to do. Reasons for me to fight anorexia and choose to live. It's almost like a bucket list in some respects.
It's been a really interesting thing to come up with, and I've been learning a lot about myself in the process: things that I didn't really know about myself, or had never thought twice about. One of my biggest goals is to memorize more scripture. 
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Well, I'm being called away to help with the dishes downstairs. 
As I'm unable at this moment to really post all that I would like to, I should be back later today to do so.
Mostly featuring pictures of the fantastic afternoon I spent with my two best friends this past Sunday, our mall and yogurt adventures, and probably some shots of the time I'm going to spend at Eagle Island this afternoon with some of the same people. 
I hope you are all finding reasons to be happy and motivated this morning!
Cheerio!



July 18, 2011

Popping In (A Brief Update Before She Goes To Bed)

Good evening, dear and lovely followers!
I'm very very tired this Monday evening.
So tired, I can't seem to keep my fingers typing, much less muster the brain power to compose a post of some sort of interest.
I did lots of fun and semi-productive things both yesterday and today (hint for the latter: I declared today an unofficial Mother's Day, and made deep, dark, chocolate ice cream. But I suppose the second goes without saying, seeing as any day focused on women automatically contains things both chocolate, and ice cream: usually chocolate ice cream. Oh great, I'm rambling...see how tired I am?!), but I just wanted to let you all know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth or anything...delightful... like that (Sorry to disappoint! You have to continue putting up with me!). 
I'm actually working on a couple of different "master plans" up in my little light-box head. 
Genius blueprints
Frivolous imaginings.
Creative concoctions.
Life-altering decisions.
Thankfully, my resolve and determination- as found and fueled last Friday- is both to blame and still burning. Less so now than it was then, but I'm running on the fumes, and God has been merciful enough to keep the flames coming in small spurts all day (although they've sometimes required desperate pleading).
Either way, I wanted to warn you all to be watching for news about and the product of this determination and whatnot in upcoming posts/the near future. I'm very excited for some things, feeling great trepidation about others, and giddily nervous about them all. 
However, I trust you'll all be nice and wait until after I've left the room to start laughing at me (right?). 
Until I get all the details and kinks sorted out and untangled, it would be loverly if you could pass along a prayer when it crosses your mind, asking for God to give me direction. And wisdom.
Because I may always need them, but now more so than ever.
Stay tuned dear readers, and get some sleep! 
*yawn*
Cheerio!

July 16, 2011

Scene From A Saturday Morning

The girl stretched lazily and glanced at the window through half-closed lids. Shades of light blue and gold, accented by small billows of white, where barely visible through the closed blinds, and the sweet melodies of a hundred birds found their way through the open window. Even with the shades drawn she could tell that it was going to be a glorious day. Rubbing absently at her eyes, she rolled out of bed, letting her feet rest on the floor for a few moments before standing up.
There was something about those seconds when you first touched the ground in the morning, and it was something she always liked to reflect on before actually standing. It was as if in those few moments you could decide whether or not you would have a good day, and then stand accordingly. 
She closed her eyes absent-mindedly and concentrated on the day ahead: it was a rare thing for her to have a Saturday off work, and she was determined to make the most of it. Not in a designed, scheduled way, of course. True happiness and relaxation can't be planned, something she well knew. What good was it to sit in a hammock and say to oneself "I shall now be completely relaxed and do nothing"? It always seemed that by doing such opened your mind wide to the long list of things you could be doing or wanted to do or, even, needed to be done next week. By consciously announcing your intentions of doing nothing, you were inviting your subconscious to wage war on you and your do-nothing attitude. Your mind quickly became a swirl of either worries or plans for later, you got antsy, and soon can't relax at all until you get up and do something about it. 
True relaxation and happiness can't come from being lazy and bored, she had decided; it came from doing things, enjoying those things, and the rest and relaxation came after finishing those things, or even in the process of doing them. As if going through the motions could somehow put your mind into a lulled state of peaceful rest. You couldn't plan things like this: they happened of their own accord, almost like an accident. That's what made them so enjoyable, after all. 
No, you couldn't deliberately choose to be relaxed.
But you could choose to be happy. 
With these thoughts fresh in her head, she stood up, claiming the morning, and headed downstairs for her cup of tea. 
It was going to be a glorious day indeed. 
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{Image via We heart it}
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July 15, 2011

Determination

Today I had another appointment with my nutrionist.
We decided that every four weeks wasn't cutting it, and that I need to talk to her every two. 
So away we went. 
Let me recap by mentioning some things that have happened since my last appointment. 
1. I visited my (new) doctor for a physical follow up. Which is embarrassing since there are probably few things more belittling than sitting in a room with a woman you've never met, who doesn't really know your history, and is now looking at your emaciated frame and scrutinizing the double digits-rather than the normal three numbers that register for people-that pop up when you step up on the scale. What was really important about this visit was the way that I finally opened up to both my "professional help" and my mother for the first time: that I admitted that the reason I really haven't been fighting is probably because the idea of dying of anorexia hasn't scared me in the least. It's been more frightening to realize this than it has been to realize that I am starving myself to death. But more importantly it's wonderful to know exactly what I've got: Anxiety Induced Anorexia. 
There. I've been classified. 
And it feels kind of relieving. 
Anyway, after some conversation on this topic, it was strongly (very strongly) suggested that I begin a month-long trial of Fluoxetine. Fluoxetine is the generic version of Prozac, and is an antidepressant. The dosage I'm taking is designed to be a gradual effect, and not too strong at that, but only a week into the trial I can feel and ...think?...the difference. I've been able to sort things out in a far more clear fashion, and I'm better able to recognize the harm I'm doing myself and for the first time, it's truly scaring me.
2. Due to the Prozac, I've been designing a better battle plan. I've been taking a wrong approach to dealing with Vanity, and now I think I know what to do. The one most important thing that hasn't changed is the fact that I need my strength to come entirely from the Lord. However, as to the rest, I'm starting to strengthen "Prudence" and work a little more from that side. I've been thinking a lot about what I want for the future (see yesterday's post), and nurturing the desire to live for the Lord. Emphasis on the word "live". 
3. Falling in love with food. This may take my whole life to do, but it can be done. I already do love food: I love to make it, I love to smell it, I love to see it. But there's a brick wall when it comes to wanting to eat it. I'm going to work on tearing this wall down. I spend a lot of time on food blogs, going through the recipes and strongly coveting the chance to make them myself. I love to bake and cook! But I want to enjoy eating it too. I want myself to know it's okay, it's actually vital, to consume food stuffs. Calories are just units of energy. And I can eat without overdoing it. Food can be beautiful and enjoyable, I just need to start believing that it's possible for me to look at it that way.
4. I've been dealing with a lot of shortness of breath and chest/throat pain. Like a constricting, aching pain. It's been acutely uncomfortable, and rather worrisome. 
Anywho, that's a breakdown of what's been happening this week.
So this morning, when I stepped on the scale, saw a number even lower than before, and talked through things with Lovely Lady Nutrionist, I wasn't as disenheartened as I was after my last visit.
No.
This time, the ninety-six pound weakling left that office full of determination.
I will not be a slave to myself and my sin nature.
I am a Daughter of the King, and will behave as such. 
I will put on the Armor of God, I will fight, and I will win.
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Stronger is Him who is in me, than he who is in the world.
I will lay aside the fear and the sin that so easily besets me, and run with patience the race that I am called to run.
And I will do so with a joy the rest of the world cannot know.
Don't get me wrong: I am extremely nervous, and I realize this is going to take a long, long time.
I'm not going to be this determined every day, and I'm not going to succeed constantly.
I will fail and fall.
But I will also get back up again, and defeat this way of thinking, this way of living, and this constant fear.
What do you have in your life that is defeating, scaring, and possessing you?
And are you ready to be determined and defeat it too?
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July 14, 2011

The Heart of Things

Have you ever seen a photo of something
And the instant your eyes landed on it,
The second you saw it,
Before your mind could even fully comprehend what it was,
felt your heart flutter like a bird beating its wings against a cage, and thought:
"Ah! That is what I most desire!"?
Have you ever seen an image that your soul responded so strongly to, it was like looking at a reflection of your very heart?
It doesn't happen too often: how many photographers can be so lucky as to both capture and edit a picture that so perfectly describes your every yearning, and then succeed in getting it published and into your hands for your viewing pleasure?
Well let me tell you the truth: I don't think it ever happens. 
I don't think a photographer can be that lucky, can even really do that on purpose.
However, God can.
And he just did. 
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The above is a near-perfect pictorial description of what I long for.
Most girls dream of growing up and becoming either rich, famous, comfortable, or at the very least residing in a big city at a maximum of two miles from the nearest Starbucks.
I'd be lying if I were to say that this is even remotely true of me. 
What I most want for my life isn't big, it isn't fancy, it doesn't involve having large amounts of money (although I feel as if it's going to take it to get there), and isn't available in stores.
I want peace, I want simplicity, and I want hard work.
I long to live in the midst of a field somewhere in an old house, tending to something (what exactly, I don't know), spinning my own yarn, growing and eating things straight from the ground, and earning a life through hard work. I've never felt exactly called to marriage, but I'm slowly finding I'm not adverse to the idea (but that's in the Lord's hands). 
I used to be infatuated with the idea of moving to and living in Ireland, and I still am in a way. But I know now what I didn't when I was ten or eleven years old: that such things are fun to dream of, but much harder to do and probably not going to happen.
I miss more than anything else in the world my beach-side home in California. I miss the cold, wet, Northern weather. The smell of the salt air. The enchanting way the fog hangs in curtains every morning. 
However, that is no longer what entertains my dreams.
More and more in the past few months have I felt a pull towards the East Coast and, more specifically, New England. 
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It has led me to do a lot of praying on the topic, and the more praying I do, the nearer and dearer to my heart the idea seems to grow.
It makes me wonder if this is how it feels to have God calling you to something.
What something might this be?
I don't know- a mission, a life, a career. 
Due to anorexia, I'm adjusting myself to the reality of the fact that I have two years or so to fight this thing and get my life together, otherwise a career in musical theater isn't going to be possible. It's kind of hard to sing and dance with boundless energy if your heart is threatening to quit on you.
Or if you're alive at all.
There's no way around the fact that anorexia, if not controlled and treated, will kill you. 
But I'm not writing today to dwell on my problems and such gloomy thoughts.
There are so many options, ideas, paths: all I know is that the East Coast has always held a special place in my heart, now even more so than ever.
I have many family members who live in the Maryland/Delaware area (my mother grew up up in Maryland with her two sisters, and my sister Amy even lived on the East Coast for several years), so some of my happiest memories are those of our visits to the East, nights spent chasing fireflies, the hot, humid, Summer days spent exploring the Nation's Capitol. 
There's another reason: our Nation's Capitol. 
No, I don't mean D.C., but I do mean my infatuation with our Nation's history, and how steeped in it the East Coast is. I adore learning about our nation and its start, and am infatuated specifically with the Colonial era. 
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I sometimes like the idea of living in a Colonial style home, in or near Williamsburg. I even dreamt once that I worked there, and got to wear the period costume for a living (I was employed at a local tea room in the dream, if you'd care to know). I don't know if I'd actually like the reality of it, though. It would be like working at Disneyland: one giant tourist trap.
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It's all very well and good to talk about how much you want to live somewhere when you've only been there on holiday. You truly have no notion of what it's like to live there at all, the dangers of the area (can you say "ghetto"?), and how disenchanting everything comes when you're working to survive there. I am aware of this.
However, I'm also aware of how strong is the pull on my heart  to go there. 
And I know that if God has placed such a desire in my heart, He is more than capable of seeing it through.
I feel like I'm taking a giant leap admitting this publicly (however silly that sounds), but silly though it may be, it is also a bit of a relief to put it out there. To finally admit what I've been pondering for some time now.
It's also strengthening- it gives me something to work for; a goal for my life.
A reason to fight anorexia and stay alive when I've been so recently wondering what the point is, and growing horrified as I realize that I don't really care what happens to me: so that I can one day live my dream.
Simple. Beautiful. God-centered. 
Who knows? Maybe I'll have my life- a life that looks much like this- after all.
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I'm certainly willing to hope.
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{Hope is the thing with feathers /That perches in the soul, /And sings the tune--without the words, /And never stops at all,/And sweetest in the gale is heard; /And sore must be the storm /That could abash the little bird /That kept so many warm./I've heard it in the chillest land, /And on the strangest sea; /Yet, never, in extremity, /It asked a crumb of me.}- "Hope Is The Thing With Feathers" by Emily Dickinson.