Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Taking a Short Blogging Break


As you've probably noticed, my rate of blogging has dropped off over the past couple of weeks.  I think that this is due to a handful of reasons, but mostly it's because I'm super excited and totally engrossed in my new, all-about-art-adventures blog.  I have so much that I want to say about art, and what art is doing in my life.

The flip side of that is, however, that I don't have much to say about eating disorders or recovery.  Which on the one hand is a very, very good thing -- it means that my life is no longer consumed by the daily hell that is fighting disordered eating.  I'm really happy about that.  Obviously.  :D  But that also means that I don't have a ready supply of life-after-eating-disorder blogging inspiration.

On top of that, I've been feeling very busy.  In addition to making my artistic pursuits a priority, I've also been wrapped up with things at church, with our birth class, and with more dog drama (our chihuahua, Lio, had a minor surgery last week to remove a wart and it's been causing trouble).  Plus, my pregnant belly is definitely growing, and I've been feeling more and more tired.  This Saturday I took a two hour nap!  Check out that definitely-pregnant-not-just-overweight belly I'm sporting:

23 weeks!

So . . . instead of not blogging and feeling guilty about it, I've decided to officially announce that I am taking a break.  There, I've said it!  ;)  I'm not sure how long the break will be -- probably at least a couple of weeks.  Of course, now that I've said that, I'll probably be swamped with inspiration tomorrow!  Also, I've been asked (and feel immensely honored by the asking) to share my story about life with an eating disorder and my amazing experience with God at our church's women's retreat in a couple of weeks.  I plan to post what I'll be saying here on the blog, so you can definitely expect that.  (And in the meantime, I'd love it if you could be praying that I'll be able to present my story well!)

There it is, then -- I am officially taking a blogging break!  I'm sure that I'll be back before long.  Please know that writing this blog and having all of you in my life has been a huge and unasked for blessing far beyond anything I could have imagined.  Thank you for being a part of my life!  Love to you all.  :D

(For those of you who are turned off by the artsy sound of my other blog, please know that it's about my-life-with-art more than lofty, hoity-toity ART or buy-my-art-now-please.  ;)  Instead, I use it to talk more about my life in a bit of a different way.  At the same time, it is closely intertwined with what I write about on this blog, so I'd love if you could check it out if you're so inclined.  Find it here.  Much love, friends.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Taking Flight

This past week I started meandering through Kelly Rae Roberts' mixed media technique book, Taking Flight. I've owned the book for quite some time now, but I've discovered that it takes me a while to warm up to using new art books (or online art classes!) that I purchase.  But now I'm finally reading away.

And . . . I love it.  I love it because Kelly is so real and honest and open about her story.  I also really love the techniques she shares, of course, but it is her writings about her life that really are the most amazing part of the book.  As you may know from my other blog, I think that sharing our stories has immense value. 

If you don't know much about Kelly Rae Roberts, she was employed a social worker for her early professional life and was decidedly not artistic.  So she thought, anyway.  But when she turned 30, she began to tune into her artistic desires more, and which eventually led to a total life overhaul.  Now she's a super-successful mixed media wonder woman, so I imagine her first tentative artistic experiments went well.  :)

I identify with so much of Kelly's story.  Like her, I followed the path that was expected of me -- I went straight into college after high school, then on to grad school, and then dove into the miasma of job-seeking.  Except . . . I wasn't ready for college when I graduated high school.  And I didn't really want to study what I went to grad school for.  But I didn't know what else to do, so I caved to the external pressures of my parents and society and did what I thought was the right thing.

Except that it wasn't the right thing for my heart.

Now, after 10 years of floundering through higher education, mostly fruitless job-seeking, and a terrifying battle with disordered eating, I feel like I'm where Kelly Rae Roberts was when she first began to investigate art.  Earlier this year, I began my own artistic explorations, and it blew my mind and heart wide open.  Suddenly, my eating disorder had no hold on me.  Neither did depression.  I didn't dread each new day.  Instead, I couldn't sleep because all I could think about was making art.

It was amazing.  Miraculous, even.  Completely unlooked for, but completely needed.  Making art helped make me whole.  At least, that's what it feels like.

So that's why I love Taking Flight -- because it reminds me of myself.  And because it gives me hope for where this art-making adventure might lead. 

Plus, Kelly's techniques tutorials are really excellent.  I'm mostly interested in her background techniques, and yesterday I tried out a few of them on a teeny, tiny mixed media piece.  Not only that, but I also painted the face of the girl in the piece for the first time ever (instead of drawing the face on a separate paper and then Mod Podge-ing it onto the substrate).  Here is the finished product:

A girl & her chickens
A Girl and Her Chickens

I think the words need a little more definition, but otherwise I'm very pleased.  So exciting!  I both love trying new things, and am terrified that said trying will lead to failure.  But mostly I love it, and it helps me to grow both personally and artistically.  

Has art (or some other creative endeavor) transformed your life?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Snapshot Sunday: Trust Through the Storm

Through the Storm

This week I finished this new mixed media creation, Trust Through the Storm.  Read about the turbulent creative process behind the piece here.

Happy Sunday, friends!

"You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow, Say this: "God, you're my refuge. I trust in you and I'm safe!" That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you're perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon." ~ Psalm 91:1

Thursday, September 22, 2011

See What Happens

Through the Storm
Trust Through the Storm
I just finished this mixed media painting the other day.  I suppose that you could say that this painting took a month to create, as I drew the original sketch on August 22.  But really I drew the girl back in August, then let her languish in my sketchbook until this week, when all of a sudden I was absorbed by a tornado of paint and paper and faith, not emerging until the project was complete.

That description makes the experience of creating this piece sound so romantic, so blissful.  And sometimes the process works like that -- I float on the current of inspiration and simply see what happens.  Those pieces certainly are bliss-inducing. 

But not this piece.  Not at all.  Instead, my floating quickly turned into floundering.

The painting started out all right.  I created what I thought was a pleasant background mishmash of paper and ephemera and pastel paints.  It reminded me of a cake, sweet and elegant and nostalgic. 

And then I thought, Wouldn't some spray ink look nice?

I love my spray inks (this kind, in particular).  In fact, I love anything that drips and anything that provides an interesting and excitingly unpredictable pattern -- and spray inks deliver on both counts.  But inks, unfortunately, tend to be dark and decidedly un-pastel (in my experience, anyway).

But I didn't think the ink would look too dark on the painting in question, and so I started spraying.

Well.  It didn't take too longer before I realized that I had made a terrible mistake, and that my heavy-handed ink application had completely destroyed all of the pastel goodness I had carefully arranged.  In just a few seconds, I had ruined the painting. 

I thought. 

After much grumbling and tooth-gnashing, I began to pull myself together.  I began to un-clutch the pastel vision that had been the piece's reality just minutes before.  I told myself to make the best of it, if for no other reason than to not waste the supplies that had already gone into the piece.  And so, reluctantly, I resumed working the now very transformed painting.

And I finished it.  I didn't just give up.  I stuck it out, and tried to return to the simple "paint and see what happens" philosophy that has served me so well in the past.  After I did that, trying to just let the piece be instead of judging it into submission, things got better.  I liked the piece more.  And, much to my surprise, I received very positive responses when I shared the final version.  Some people even said that this piece is their favorite of all of my creations.

And to think that I'd been so very close to abandoning it.  To refusing to simply try, and to trust (ironic, given the piece's title and theme).

It's easy for me to forget that -- that my sole task as an artist is to simply show up.  To show up, to try, to see what happens, just like Julia Cameron says.  Why do I keep needing to remind myself of that?  After all, the "seeing what happens" is where all the fun happens.

What simple truth do you need to relearn again and again?  How have you made progress?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Want Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere

*Cross-posted from my art blog, Epiphany Art Studio.  I told you there would be some overlap!  ;) *

I just added a giclee print of this piece, I Want Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere, to the shop.  I am still swooning over the thought of all these beautiful giclee prints!

If the title of (and quote within) this piece sound familiar to you, you've probably heard it in the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.  I have always loved that song, when Belle sings about how she longs to leave the humdrum of her daily life and be set free upon the world.  I imagine that just about every person experiences a similar longing, especially during the teen years, but I think it is something more basic than that.

I think that every person is born with the innate sense that there is something more to this life than what we see.  Of course we want to believe that there is something beyond this world full of war and hunger and cancer and sadness.  But even the joys of life seem drab in comparison to that mysterious more that we feel is out there, waiting.

Personally, I believe that that sense, that longing, is God calling to us, speaking to each person's heart of hearts.  What's more, I have experienced that more in him.  I am living an adventure of health and trust and abundance far beyond anything I ever expected.  And I am so, so grateful.

What do you think?  Do we possess a basic longing for that mysterious more, and if so where does it come from?

"God doesn't count us; he calls us by name." ~ Romans 9:20

Monday, September 19, 2011

A New Blog + Life Updates

No, I'm not changing Life After Eating Disorder [again]!  ;)  However, I've been wanting to write more about my art-making adventures in ways that don't really mesh with this blog.  So I created a new blog just for all things art called Epiphany Art Studio, just like my Etsy shop.  There I'll be talking more about my process as well as the business side of things.  If you're interested, I'd love you to join me there.

The past couple of weeks have been rough.  From dog injuries to bee stings to spur-of-the-moment tooth removal, it's been absolutely crazy.  Thank you for encouraging and supporting me through it all.  You are awesome (yes, you!).  Thank you for being a part of my life.

So . . . now you deserve some updates on all the crazy goings-on!  :D

Jackson seems to be healing up wonderfully after his run-in with a tree branch.  He should be getting his stitches out this week.

My mouth also seems to be doing well after last week's tooth extraction.  I can fully open my mouth without pain, and haven't taken any pain medications since the day of the extraction.  I've moved on from baby food and pudding to eating toast and cottage cheese, and even managed some mini hot dogs over the weekend.  Even better, there seems to be no sign of infection or dry socket.  What a relief!  God is so good.  Through it all, I've been resting and trusting and listening to my body.

I discovered a way to create amazing high quality giclee prints of my art (thank you, iPrintfromHome!), so I have added those to my Etsy shop, as well as new card stock prints and blank cards.  Even more exciting, I finished a new painting, which both the Best Husband Ever and I love.

We've been enjoying some breezy autumn weather, and spent this weekend hanging out with friends, one of whom is about to embark on two years of media missions work in Africa (amazing!).  What's more, the Best Husband Ever and I celebrated our wedding anniversary!  I love you, amazing husband.

Wedding, Poladroid-ed

Whew!  So much has been happening!  And through all of the hard stuff and scary stuff, I still feel immensely, immensely blessed.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." ~ Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blessed When . . .

Image source

Although I've had my Message version of the Bible for almost a year now, I'm only just getting around to reading the Gospels.  I absolutely love this version because translator Eugene Peterson has made the text so strikingly blunt and relevant -- much like God is, I think.  God does not beat around the bush, and neither does The Message.

And just because The Message version is a paraphrase doesn't mean that it's less accurate than other translations.  Peterson is a linguistics master, and he and his team went back to the texts in their original languages to ensure that they were wording things right -- meaning that The Message version is often more accurate than other translations because it doesn't try to give a word-for-word translation (which fall short because some words simply don't translate from Greek and Aramaic into English), but instead has the freedom to use different words to best express the original meanings.

Anyway, I digress.  That's my little Bible translation soapbox.  ;)  But it's not the focus of this post.

As I was saying before my little, um, rant -- I'm only just getting around to reading the Gospels in The Message version.  Yesterday I read Matthew 5, which contains the Beatitudes, a well-known set of teachings from the early part of Jesus' ministry.  While the traditional translations are certainly beautiful, I found The Message version incredibly powerful and wanted to share.
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family."

This is not the full set of teachings (you can find the rest here), but the ones which impacted me most.  Not only that, but I've experienced many of them to be true in my own life.  And I love that Jesus addresses mental health ("You're blessed when you get your inside world -- your mind and heart -- put right"), which reminds me that God does care about our battles against disordered eating, and is working to put us right.

How did these verses affect you?  Do you find that your faith, whatever it may be, is relevant to your daily living and struggles?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Healing Pain

Disclaimer: this post is not necessarily for the squeamish.  Although it's nowhere near as gross as you think it's going to be because of this disclaimer.   

This morning I went to the dentist for what was supposed to be a routine procedure.  During the cleaning I had done last week, the dentist informed me that a filling had broken and needed to be replaced.  No sweat.

Except that today, when he removed the filling, he discovered something else -- a rotting root.  Yummy.  So I had a choice: root canal or tooth extraction.  Since the tooth in question has been a problem for quite some time and already had a big hole in it from the deep cavity that had caused said problems, the choice seemed simple.

I chose the extraction.

Now, let me just say that I do not deal well with getting dental work done.  Even a simple cleaning gets my blood racing (the not-fun kind of blood racing).  Getting cavities fixed fills me with dread for days previous to the appointment, so getting a tooth removed?  Not fun.

Really not fun.

Add to that the fact that my tooth roots are apparently very long.  Abnormally long, even.  Close to twice as long as the average.  Which means that the dentist had to work extra long and hard to get my bad tooth out.

Because dental visits set me near to panicking, I deal the only way I know how -- deep breathing, and causing myself additional pain on another part of my body.  What that means is that I dig my fingernails into the back of one hand.  For the entire visit.

Today's visit was extremely long, consisting of drilling, cutting, prying, digging, and more than four shots of anesthetic.  Which means that by the time I left the office an hour later, the backs of my hands looked like this:


Actually, that's what my hands looked like two hours after the appointment was over.  So you can imagine how bad they were earlier.

So now I'm sitting on my couch with an oozing, gaping wound in my mouth and a massive headache that the painkiller is only just holding back.  Meaning: I don't feel great.


I am so glad that I'm sitting here feeling not-great because it means that instead of worrying and fussing over a sensitive tooth and imagining the worst, I finally sucked it up and did the right thing.  Instead of trying to laugh my discomfort away, I got help.  And soon, by the grace of God and through the amazing healing power of the human body, hopefully I will be able to tell you that my mouth is fully restored to health.

Because I didn't just ignore the problem.  Because I trusted my body's signals.  The pain I'm feeling now is healing pain.

This makes me think of eating disorder recovery.  Because taking the steps to get to recovery is hard, and sometimes those steps are scary and uncomfortable or even painful.  But in the end, when you're healthy and renewed in mind and body, you can say without a doubt that the pain was worth it.  It was the kind of pain that heals.

I'm pretty sure that my current pain and earlier fear and discomfort were worth it.  Pretty darn sure.  (Although I be so grateful if you'd pray that there are no further complications! :D )

"Pushed to the wall, I called to God; from the wide open spaces, he answered. God's now at my side and I'm not afraid."~ Psalm 118:5

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reeling But Trusting

JacksonI feel like I'm reeling from the past week.  From at least the past week.  It's been a crazy, wonderful summer full of surprises both beautiful and not-so-beautiful (ugh shudder).  But this past week seems to take the cake with its ups and downs.

As I've already posted, on Tuesday morning we had our twenty week ultrasound.  We found out that our baby is healthy and active and a little girl!  It was so exhilarating to see our baby moving on the screen (and she moved a lot!), and I'm excited that we can now work on naming her.  When we left the doctor's office, I was practically floating with delight, and decided to celebrate by taking our three pups out for a hike.

And then, barely an hour after my ultrasound-induced elation, I found myself dizzy with fear.  One of our dogs, Jackson, loves to run like crazy through the trees, and this particular hike was no exception.  He loves to run so much, in fact, that he's been known to wear through his foot pads, but that has always been his worst injury.

Until Tuesday's hike, that is.  While he was flying through the trees, he suddenly fell to the ground, crying horribly.  I crashed through the brush to get to him, trying to keep the other dogs from falling all over them in excited panic.  When I got to Jackson, he stopped crying and let me inspect him.  Fearing that he'd seriously hurt his foot pads or broken a leg, I meticulously inspected his limbs -- but found nothing out of the ordinary.

I let Jackson get up, and although he was limping, favoring one of his front legs, he seemed ready to keep going.  I checked him again and still couldn't find anything wrong.  So I put him on a leash because he seemed eager to start running again, and we all slowly made our way back to the car.

From there I drove to the Best Husband Ever's office to have him check out Jackson.  When we got there, I noticed that Jackson had some spots of blood on a front leg that hadn't been there before.  When the Best Husband Ever came out and inspected our pup, he discovered that poor Jackson had a three inch laceration tucked in the "armpit" of his front right leg.  After a quick call to our vet, I dropped him off for the medical attention he clearly needed, relieved that the worst was over.

Except that it wasn't.  When I picked Jackson up after his surgery, he was hurting ten times worse than before and reeling from the surgery drugs.  As the vet tech walked him out to our car, he cried with every limping step and kept submissively peeing out of fear and confusion over where the pain was coming from.  It was terrible to see.

When I got Jackson home, I managed to settle him in his crate with a little difficulty and some more crying on his part.  I watched him for a while, and hated how clearly addled he was from the drugs and pain.  He stared back at me, his normally happy eyes dull and lidded.

Then the Best Husband Ever came home and aptly suggested that we move Jackson upstairs so that he wouldn't have such a long trip to go outside to use the bathroom.  We did, the Best Husband Ever carrying our sad and woozy pup upstairs.  As we tried to get Jackson resettled in a way that wouldn't strain his wound, his cries were the most terrible that I'd ever heard.  Even worse, his eyes became large and dilated -- "He's got fear eyes," I said.


We watched Jackson for the rest of the evening.  Slowly, as the drug-induced stupor wore off, he regained some of his personality.  He cuddled closer to us instead of trying to roll over submissively and subsequently causing himself pain.  During the night we heard him cry as he tried to get comfortable, but when we checked on him there seemed to be nothing we could do.

By Wednesday morning, thank God, Jackson had returned to us.  He was limping far less and, even more importantly, his usual personality had returned.  By Thursday he felt so good that he wanted to play and run, which eventually led to a popped stitch, a slightly oozing incision, and him being confined to his crate except for bathroom and water breaks.  But, barring exuberance-induced delays, Jackson is on the mend.

The worst part of the whole ordeal was watching Jackson suffer and knowing that there was nothing that we could do to help him that we hadn't already done.  It's terrible watching someone you love suffer, even if that someone isn't even human.

But there was also a lesson or two in this experience.  Because there was no way to help Jackson, we simply had to trust -- trust God, trust our vet, and trust nature to heal our dog up properly.  And, even more importantly for me, I did not try to escape the situation by using food or other eating disordered behavior as I have done in the past.  Instead of running away, I stayed present and alert, letting myself see what Jackson was going through and feel how I was reacting.

The thought did cross my mind at one point -- why don't I want to binge?  After all, that's what I would have done not too long ago in such a stressful situation.  I mean, I used to binge because I was bored, much less to escape from stress.  But this time, as I thought about going to the store and buying binge food and then coming home and going to town on it -- I just didn't want to.  It's not even that I told myself that I shouldn't or that I wouldn't, but the desire was not even present.

It's been a stressful summer in terms of our dogs.  We've been to the vet more times over the past few months than our total visits of all time.  We've dealt with irritated eyes, two bouts of horrible diarrhea, and now Jackson's laceration, surgery, and recovery.  And I'm sure we're in for similar stressful situations once our baby is born and starts discovering the world.  But I've also been given a gift this summer -- the gift of recovery.  I feel like all of the stressful things that we've encountered these past few months have just reinforced how beautiful a gift recovery is.  And I am more grateful than I will ever be able to say.

Have you ever found that stressful situations have shown you how much you've grown?

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met." ~ Matthew 6:30-33

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Announcing the Art Giveaway Winner!

Last week, in honoring of the opening of my Etsy art shop, I created a giveaway to win this print:

Today, I created a spreadsheet containing the names of everyone who entered.  Some people earned multiple entries by spreading the word, so thank you!

Then I used a random number generator to pick one winner from the thirteen entries.

Have you figured it out?  The winner of the print from my Etsy shop, Epiphany Art Studio, is . . .


Thank you to everyone who entered to help me celebrate this exciting (and scary!) achievement.  Also, thank you so much to everyone who encouraged me and thought that I could when I did not.  You are amazing.

In further celebration and thanks, here's a new coupon code for my shop: use BLOGTHANKYOU98 at check out to receive a discount.  Thank you again, friends!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's a . . .

20 week ultrasound

We had our twenty week ultrasound this morning and discovered that our little "it" is actually a "she"!  Wow!

20 week ultrasound

It was really cool to be able to see her in person (well, as much as we'll be able to before birth).  She is healthy and also very active, which is especially reassuring because I haven't felt any definitive movements or kicks yet.  Baby is so active, in fact, that the ultrasound tech had a hard time keeping a decent image going!  Does that mean I'm in for some serious kicking in a month or two?  :D

Baby's feet

But the ultrasound tech was eventually able to confirm that baby is healthy and growing just as she should.  The tech even managed to snag this cute foot shot for us, and both the tech and the doctor were very confident that our baby is a girl.  We even got to see baby's girl parts.  Now we can get on with the important business of naming!

Don't forget to enter my art giveaway -- it ends tomorrow!

"Just as you'll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, So you'll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does." ~ Ecclesiastes 11:5

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How I'm Doing on My 3 Big Things

No More Fear

A few weeks ago I wrote about three big things that I'd like to work on in my life.  Because it's one thing to say you're working on something and quite another to actually do just that, I want to fill you in on how it's been going.  As I said in the original post, these are things that I feel will help me grow personally, in my recovery from disordered eating, and as a wife and soon-to-be mama.

Daily Art-Making.  Although my challenge to myself to create art more regularly was the most fun of the three big things, it has been the area in which I've made the least progress.  Perhaps the reason behind this may be that now I'm busier with my other two challenges, or just busy in general (and it's certainly felt that way!).  However, I have also noticed that with art-making I experience a surge in which I produce a number of pieces, followed by a restful lull.  I think that this may in fact be a healthy cycle, so I'm not too unhappy with it.  Plus, in the past three weeks I've produced three finished pieces (one of which is adorning this post), three works-in-progress (one of which I shared yesterday!), created two graphics, and opened my Etsy art shop, Epiphany Art Studio (which was a big fear-busting step for me!).  So all around I think that I can say that I am making progress in this area, even though perhaps that progress does not look how I imagined it might.

Clean House Regularly.  I've surprised myself in this area -- because I have made progress!  I didn't think that I would because, quite frankly, house cleaning is just no fun.  However, since posting my goals I have made regular small cleaning efforts spread throughout the week, meaning that it is easier to continue to motivate myself to do so.  I have even made progress on washing the dishes every night (although right now there is what will soon be a dishwasher load accumulating on our counters).  I have not gotten where I want to be as a home-tender, but I'm definitely on my way.

Eat Without Entertainment.  This is the area in which I have made the most progress.  I'll say that again -- I've made the most progress here.  What, the food challenge is the one on which the former disordered eater is most successful?  I know, I'm surprised, too.  But the fact remains is that I'm no longer eating dinner in front of the television.  It is, in a word, amazing.  As I mentioned in my initial posting of these goals, shifting this food behavior meant that I'd be changing what had been a habit for seventeen years.  Seventeen years.  That's a long time.  But I've done it -- I've changed it!

It wasn't easy.  At first, I was extremely resistant and made no changes.  Then I began to make tiny changes -- eating without entertainment once a week, then shifting to eating while reading instead of watching the television.  And then, so rapidly that I can't even remember exactly how the shift occurred, I didn't need the television anymore.  The speed that what I thought were my needs changed makes me think that God had a big hand in it.  Regardless, I am so grateful to be free from that last stronghold of disordered eating.  Interestingly, the shift away from eating with entertainment has modified my food intake slightly, which means more chances to practice listening to my body.

Have you been working on your big things?  How has it been going?  I hope you are as pleasantly surprised as I am!

Don't forget to enter my art giveaway!

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!" ~ Proverbs 3:5

Snapshot Sunday: Art in Progress

Turquoise-haired [unfinished]

I can't wait to see how this transforms.  I did not intend to create a little Goth(ish) girl when I started drawing.  That's one of the many things I love about the creative process -- putting yourself out there and discovering what surprising things can happen.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

"Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.  Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you." ~ Jeremiah 1:5

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Finds: A Quicky + an Etsy Discount

image source

Happy Friday, blog friends!  My brother is visiting for the weekend (or some of it), so I just have a quick Friday Finds for you.  Let's go!  (Also, did you know that I'm on Pinterest?  Oh, what a beautiful time suck.  There are loads of excellent and inspiring finds on there.)

Body Image

Conquering Fears

Inspiring Tutorials

  • Wax & Pencil | A Fanciful Twist (I love this blog, by the way -- it's extraordinarily beautiful)

And don't forget to enter my amazing art giveaway!!  If you are completing multiple entries (for example: comment AND liking on Facebook AND tweeting), be sure to leave a comment on this post for every single entry action.  I want you all to have as many chances to win as you can!

In honor of my brother's visit and the fact that I'm officially halfway through my pregnancy (wow!!), I'm offering 10% off everything in my Etsy shop through 11:59 PM on Saturday, September 3.  Use code BLOGGITY10OFF in checkout.

That about wraps it up.  I hope that you have a great weekend!

How had your week been?  Any big milestones or fun visits?

"As a mother comforts her child, so I'll comfort you." ~ Isaiah 66:12