The first time I met Angie Smith was in the middle of the first service I attended at C3KW. I was crying during worship, and she calmly and confidently tapped my shoulder and asked if she could pray for me. I didn’t quite know how […]
This past Wednesday, May 22nd, I embarked upon a journey that changed my life, and that I will never forget. This time last year, my dear friend and pastor, Nat, came home from a mystery excursion to the Muskokas raving about his experience, and telling […]
I haven’t wanted to face it, let alone write about it.
The very topic has caused me to close my laptop and attempt to anything and everything but write. I haven’t wanted to acknowledge its presence, but it has hit me: writer’s block.
I would like to say, “It’s okay. You can take some time off writing. You did, after all, just finish a four-year degree for which you practically never STOPPED writing.” But the perfectionist in me cannot say that.
Writing is my joy, my calling, and my freedom. Of these things I am sure. I could spend forever spinning stories, rewording prose to make it more beautiful and flowery and audience-appropriate. And what I write usually comes very naturally to me.
But it is as if graduating university has put an abrupt halt to all of that, causing me to question the merit of writing when it isn’t for the sake of literary analysis or discovering truth in a work.
Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’ AMOS 7:14-15
This verse in the Book of Amos reminds me that I am not a professional writer, nor will I ever be. God has not asked me to be perfect, but to serve HIM in the way I write as I have been called. I want this blog to be FULL of His provisions; to be marvellous to His ears, and to be nothing but a glorification of His great name.
So, what HAS been inspired in the midst of this “writer’s block” (still perhaps refusing to call it that) is a devotional for the confused and undecided.
Lord, I don’t know what the future of my life holds. But You do, Jesus. Even now, quiet the voice that tries to tell me You don’t. I know and believe that You do. You have gone before me, Lord, and I pray that my steps are in alignment with what You have purposed me for, for the glory of Your Holy Name.
Jesus, when I feel scared of the unknown, remind me that I am fully known and fully loved by the only Eternal King of the universe. Jesus, when I feel like a failure for not knowing what is next, remind me that You have already overcome, defeated the grave, and therefore call me chosen and set apart; not a failure, but called to be a servant.
God, in my stirring, be my everything. In my weakness, remind me who the Healer is. When I forget Your perfection, put on my heart all that You have already done.
I have a feeling Cassie, Compiled. will be hearing a lot more from me in the coming months!
- What topic would you love for me to cover?
I looooove finding new things to cook my fiancee. My wonderful fiancee… who has very specific tastebuds. 😉 As an aspiring homecook, this only makes for a very fun challenge. One of his favourite meals out is Boston Pizza’s shrimp tacos. So, I took to […]
The Procrastination Station.
We’ve all been there. Itching to write, but finding our thumbs scrolling instead, our minds numb rather than busy.
Staring at the mountain of laundry begging to be folded in order to free up the bedroom to look like something from a Pinterest board, but succumbing to another episode of This Is Us instead.
Planning to write 5 pages of a monster essay, but settling for a roooooough outline and a glass of wine.
But, we all know that it aaaalwaays feels better– simply is better– to complete the things we know we ought to complete. Whether for our own sake, or someone else’s, to-do lists are usually not made in vain.
Here, I’m sharing five tangible steps I have taken to remove myself from the procrastination station, and form better habits in my life that have led to more joy.
Spend time in the Word of God.
“The only way to change your way of thinking is to replace it with God’s way of thinking.” –Harold Herring
Recognizing that my thought life could either be plagued by lies– truly, what I believed to be LIES about myself and the world– or filled with TRUTH literally set me free. This is a process, as each and every one of us has had lies spoken to/over us, and spent periods of our lives believing untrue things, and dwelling on falsities.
When I ask God if something I am actively procrastinating is something in alignment with what He has called me to do, or go to the Bible to dwell on the eternal things of Him, I am more joyfully equipped instantly to do His will.
Plan “milestone breaks.”
If you work from home, like I often do, or have many assignments or tasks to complete in one day, draft a legitimate list of each of these tasks, and book in breaks/things to look forward to within them. For example, when I complete a certain number of writing projects, I’ll test a recipe, or watch a YouTube video, or call a friend. Having these little things to look forward to breaks up your work. Bonus points if that break gets you up and moving– a change of scenery can drastically improve your focus.
Allow for spontaneity.
I have a tendency to reduce life to routine. Have you struggled with this? Allowing for spontaneity and diversion from a plan can really mess with my head. But I know that my God doesn’t work this way. Sometimes, the greatest stories come from the messiest, most unplanned, most unforeseen moments… and I actually believe there’s a reason we all crave and desire the romantic, wild, unexpected sort of things we think are only in the movies. God doesn’t call us to plan things in our own strength. Contrary to religion, life with God is freedom.
And so… know the difference between procrastination and “this didn’t quite go as planned, and that’s okay.”
Envision yourself on the other side.
That workout you’re putting off? How much fun is it once you’re at the gym though?
That blog you’ve been wanting to start? The only way to reach people is to start writing, so just do it. Envision the big picture, and then determine what the first step is. Think about the big picture the whole time you’re engaging in those baby steps.
Wake up expectant… LIVE expectant.
My fiancee always says that he knows he can wake up each and every day expectant that TODAY is going to be the best day ever, simply because of who he knows his God to be, active and present, today. “Best” isn’t necessarily the same definition or standard in the eyes of the world as it is in God’s eyes. But it sure as heck is better than the world’s definition. Expect God to be exactly who He promises to be, and ask Him to help you trust Him.
He may just have a miracle waiting.
Or simply the will to press on, which is, sometimes, the most underrated miracle in itself.
Because I get more questions about this topic than anything else on the blog, I figure it’s something people are either interested in, experiencing, or want light shed on. I also think it’s important to talk about, remembering that I am not a doctor, physician, nor do I have any nutrition credentials. I can merely speak from my own experience.
To read what I wrote earlier about physical AN recovery, head here.
Now, since that post, written about 8 months ago, I am up another five pounds, 18 lbs above my lowest scale weight. I do not weigh myself besides for doctor’s appointments, but I do think it’s interesting to note, especially in light of the fact that I see it as progress. I used to be petrified of gaining weight. But I feel healthier, stronger, and more confident than ever knowing that this weight remission has been achieved.
I also have grown an entire inch in the last year or so, confirmed by my doctor. This figures into some studies that have shown that anorexia, especially among teenagers between 12-16, which is a fundamental age range for growth and development, can stunt growth for a long period of time. Studies have also shown that proper restoration of nutrition can allow for the time span of growth of bones and height to lengthen, or be “made up for” later in life. For me, that was this past year, at 20-21 years old, I guess.
Because, when my height was taken accurately at my doctor’s a few weeks ago, I came in at 180 cm, or 5’10.86″, when a few years ago I was just UNDER 5’10”.
My body has clearly used the extra food and extra rest I have focused on allowing it to repair itself. It was after a month of little to no exercise, and lots of holiday food, that I got my period on New Year’s Eve.
I haven’t seen one since then, but I am hopeful that my physical body is *finally* coming into its own. And I really do have only Jesus to thank.
In my last post about physical recovery, I decided that I would only provide advice when I had had 3 consecutive periods. This has not happened. I have, however, only been seeing good progress (slow weight gain and one period, yay!), and am somewhere in the middle of that kind of victory. On my way, believing for it.
And so, I thought I would share some insights from the middle of this journey.
The importance of food for health cannot be mistaken.
I was only severely under-eating to the classification of anorexia for about 8 months of my life. Many people are in that boat for YEARS. While the damage is not irreversible, it can be long-lasting. I still deal with lost hair, bone loss, appetite struggles, digestion problems, hormonal imbalances, and amenorrhea. Adequate nutrition is crucial to our daily activities, for our brains, not to mention our social functioning.
It is okay for me to believe in, promote, and be passionate about healthy eating.
It took a long time for me to say this without feeling “guilty,” but I am genuinely passionate about healthy, clean eating. I believe in a mostly whole-foods based way of eating. I cringe at some of the fillers and additives in our “food” sources today. AND, I know that “hyper-clean-eating” is just as toxic, if not, in many cases, MORE toxic, than those unhealthy foods. I’ve found “balance”– called Jesus. I genuinely prefer the taste and preparation and fuel whole, “healthy” food provides, but I have no fear of treats. Food just “is” now, and, for me, it’s an exciting part of life that brings me MOST joy when it’s shared with others, communed over, and fellowshipped over.
Slow physical progress is still progress.
There is surely no “one size fits all” in eating disorder recovery, but mine has been quite slow. Or, at least, it has felt quite slow. I have been actively trying to gain weight for over two years, and it has taken that much time to put on 18 lbs– but, heck, my body’s been doing what it needs to. It’s been sorting it out and learning to trust me after what I’m sure was a very confusing few years.
Weight does redistribute.
Multiple times throughout recovery, I have felt frustrated that weight gain wasn’t going to the places I wanted it to. In reality… it was sitting in my stomach. I was constantly bloated, and I do still struggle with this, as we all do. But the weight has slowly dispersed its way to other parts of my body– only as I’ve kept up my regular eating habits. For an excellent article on weight redistribution in recovery, head here.
Food knowledge genuinely CAN fade into the background.
There is one aspect of ED that I consistently thought would never “go away,” and that was simply the vast knowledge I have about nutrition.
Spending so much time consuming the over 60-billion-dollar weight loss industry, I also consumed so much food/exercise stats in a very self-focused way (can we talk about how self-centred anorexia itself is? That is not to say a person suffering from the disorder intends to be– but, rationally, the disorder very much promotes self-focus).
I still do know so much about food and nutrition, and would be lying if I said I don’t still sometimes see food as numbers. By the grace of God, I know I’m not meant to base eating on numbers, but I still know them, if that makes sense.
But, TRULY, with time, such unimportant facts have become less and less apparent in my brain.
The most prominent example in my brain: I have the most vivid memory of being 14, at the height of my bulimia, and I had cognitively chosen to restrict my food intake that day.
I remember actually saying to my mom, “I have sixty calories left, but I can’t decide if I should have a tablespoon of honey in my tea, or a few grapes.” She didn’t say much, and I knew she was worried.
Now I happily add as much unmeasured honey to my drinks as I desire, and would pluck grapes off any snack tray, thank-you very much.
Any specific questions about eating disorder recovery/mentality/physicality I am always happy to answer, remembering everyone’s experience is different!
As always, thank-you for tuning in. xx
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.