I enjoy writing and I'm also a big fan of editing. (I was the kid who loved spelling tests and correcting wrong sentences.) I often have people (friends, family and acquaintances) sending me in an essay/poem/short story and anything to that effect to edit it for them. I read over it and I refine: taking your beautiful peace of work and sharpening it. I cut out the spelling and grammar errors as well as making it coherent and suggesting different ways of saying something. So please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for editing, for questions about it or just to say hi! You can also jump over to the contacts page to fill in the form. (Just to make it easier.)
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Lets talk about health. Specifically eating but our mental state and body image as well. I hope you glean something from a snippet of my story.
I lost my dad in a car accident a few years ago but this started in my mind before but this monster became came increasingly more gripping and controlling. It started out as turning to food as a comfort, it numbed and helped the pain. But as with all ’numbers’ it was always temporary and it jumped back and forth from eating too much to not eating much.
The unhealthy relationship with food grew stronger. I gained a significant amount of weight & the monster had my mind wrapped around its ugly finger.
There are a few things that come to mind particularly when I was around girls (and some guys) who were constantly obsessing over body image and who was going to like them, how much skin to show and on.
And so I began cutting out things in my eating & then got into healthy food and exercise. I went on to lose nearly 15kg. I got comments about my weight, how good I looked. I felt good, lighter & happier in clothes and my own skin. I could pick out the smallest item in a shop and it would fit me.
This sounds great doesn’t it?
Well? Not quite..
My worth was in if someone had complimented me that day, it was in how I looked in photos. I was obsessing about what was for lunch, and if I could have a tiny piece of dark chocolate. I was constantly looking up ways to lose weight and health hacks.
..I knew every food you not to eat later in the day because I wouldn’t be able to burn it off, I knew what sped up your metabolism. I stopped eating certain fruit because it had more natural sugars than others. I spent a lot of time looking in the mirror still not completely satisfied. I woke up in the morning feeling like a whale by 8am if I hadn’t gone to the gym that morning.
Now it wasn’t all bad. I learnt so much about what foods made me feel good and how incredible and strong I felt when I exercised but it was affecting my mind so much. I was eating very healthily at this point but my portions increased because I was hungry for cutting so much out and so I began to gain weight - slowly but surely putting weight back on.
I was in New Zealand working at a school in 2016, and to my surprise on the menu sugar and carbs were in abundance and fruit/veg was not to be seen.
I did my best to exercise in my crazy schedule and eat as well as I could but by the end of the year I was the heaviest I’d ever been. I went through a time where I couldn’t look in the mirror without crying. Even just my face because I could see it on my face as well.
I knew what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to lose it all quickly and then put it all back on again. I did not want to yoyo diet and obsess as I did previously.
Let me be clear.. I want to lose weight.
I want to feel amazing in a bikini or a dress.
I want to be and feel strong and incredible doing physical activity.
A few days ago I wore a bikini for the first time in months, self-conscious? yes quite. BUT I also felt a little more free, and a little more beautiful. I felt feminine and thankful to have a body that can swim and run, that can dance. There was SO much harm on my body and so much I fed my mind. I felt like I was kicking satan in the teeth that afternoon.
AND AS CHEESY AS THIS SOUNDS, AS CLICHE AS THIS MIGHT BE:
I want to be thought of as beautiful person because of me, my kindness and my love. My courage and determination. My sensitive, introverted dreamer self to shine the way God always intended. Because I believe the most beautiful people are those who have gone through the hell of hard things and come back with their heart softer and more vulnerable. Braver and stronger than ever before.
I find the more I accept myself with all my stuff the more I can love others in theirs. the more i can be truly comfortable in myself, the more I reflect to others that they’re safe in my presence.
So this means sitting with myself and my neediness and desire to do what I know how, but I’m unveiling whats really behind it all. - SO I can get to the roots and heal from the inside out.
Your inner world produces you outer world. Out of the heart flows your life.
The more I sit with myself and accept who I am the more I find it has more to do with something within that needs to change.
That no circumstance, or I if I drop all that weight again will ever be able to make me completely content.
And so dear friend what can you take out of this?
I want you to know that what you need to eat, how you exercise, how you keep your mind sane and take care of YOU is going to look different than mine or anyone else’s.
The keyword in this journey is this: /listen/ to your body, to your heart.
* discover what works best for you. explore.
* sitting in your stuff.
* thank God for your body.
* Eating what your body needs and feels good about.
* learn to be OK with saying No and Yes when the time calls for it.
* incorporate movement in your day and work out what that looks like in each season.
Specifically what helps me is silence for 10 or so min, prayer and writing.
Its your journey friend, I hope you find joy in the chaos and know that beauty comes from ashes.
This year subconciously or maybe conciously I decided that it would be the year to get my act together. Of course I didn’t phrase like that - but thats what deep down I was beating myself with the bat - “Get it together.”
Being a sentimental person I thought it was a brilliant. I was born on the 17th, 7 is my favourite number and 7 is often the number used for the number where God does something no human can do, 6 is where we get to but 7 is where God breathes & extraordinary things unfold.
Recently I had a revelation - I was trying to do this in my own strength. I was pridefully thinking 'It's okay God, just watch this." "You can help out with the radical things but I can handle this okay?" To moments of "God why?" "Why did this happen?" "Why can’t I get it together?" "Why am I not perfect?" (We don’t say that - but we often put that standard on ourselves.)
I’ve noticed a lot lately when people talk about how its okay if someone does something to them but not okay if its done to family or a friend. And I found myself thinking why do we do this? Why is it okay to let others talk/ do something they shouldn’t to us. Why do we beat ourselves with our perfectionistic standards.
It's been hard on social media for a while now. The flawless lives & beautiful images that only capture a fraction of whats really going on. I love it when I feel inspired by beautiful artwork, inspiring quotes or genuinely feel happy for someone about what happened in their lives. But again I say its not the full picture.
I don’t think our minds quite get that. Whatever you feed your mind matters! When you’re scrolling down and you see amazing photo after amazing photo perfectly curated - it affects you.
R has an amazing work ethic, J is so good with people, A is beautiful, smart, kind & so talented. I mean come on! Yes those could be true. I’m not saying to take pleasure in thinking how others might have it bad in other areas. But in reality.. we all have our stuff, we all have things we don’t enjoy or struggle with or dark thoughts that we shouldn’t be entertaining.
I’ve just recently started trying to have a new mindset about this all. I don’t need to get it all together - I never will be able to.
SO this is how I've tried to shift perspective -
Not we have to but we get to; move our bodies because endorphins are amazing, being strong is beautiful & it incredible to do something that benefits your mind, your health and your attitude about life.
You get to eat well because you love food & learn about what food groups affect what organ etc. How our amazing Creator crafted such incredible, colourful things to experiment with and nourish our bodies. Carrots for your eyes, almonds for your headaches, sweet potatoes for…you get the picture.
You get to go on social media to be inspired OR log out for a while to give yourself a breather, to remember whats right in front of you- to appreciate what God is doing, what is happening & what could happen if you set your mind to it. To listen to that still small voice & call to God for help, wisdom & joy for the journey ahead.
You get to be a better friend, you get to write notes of encouragement to brighten their day. You get to listen to how they are doing, feeling, thinking, excited about & terrified for.
You get to pursue your dreams, work hard on your goals and run hard after what God has for you. Remembering grace & new mercy everyday. But not leaving holiness behind. Learning to be obedient to what God has called you to because His way is always best.
You get a fresh start today. That's why its amazing. Because we get to. We get to choose to embrace this one insane, beautiful, messy life.
We get to choose gratitude, to choose to do what fills up our souls & unplug from things that don’t. We get to run, we get to eat that amazing bowl of fruit, we get to make another cup of coffee or tea & write down what todays going to be about, how we’re going to love people & how we’re going to react when things go off course.
We get to, lets partner with Jesus. Lets run and dance, lets cry & hug, lets sleep and read, lets have adventures and work hard. Lets also remember to leave room for God to surprise us.
Jesus leans in, He whispers, He nudges. He says “Do you know there’s more? Do you want to grow more in Me?” I falter, I’m scared of more questions and doubts. He says “But you know I’m here, the more questions the more you are aware of how much I have in my hands. I don’t miss a thing.” I say “Okay, but I’m scared.” He chuckles “I take care of of you just as gently as I did when dad died. You must love Me and obey me. And know I have so much grace for your process.” I whisper through muffled tears “I believe You.”
Somedays you just feel that God is calling you deeper, calling you to something you need to grow in. We get so distracted, so consumed with making things happen - we often forget about His often-upside-down-wrong-way-round right way of life. You doubt the gifts He’s given you, you get shy of what people think. You worry about what they will say. But then we must realize that we’re all on a journey. A hard, often crazy - beautiful adventure with the Lord.
That we do need to actually get on our knees and face and ask Him for help and also there’s times where you don’t need an SOS - you get into a regular pattern of being aware of His moving, Beautiful Spirit nudging and leading, His gentle voice pushing us to be the best version of ourselves He sees from the beginning.
Do you know what the best part is? He loves you now, He loves you in the process and He loves you fully who He created you to be. He never changes yet His love changes us. Its never static, its always dynamic and alive.
Maybe you need to cut some distractions, maybe you need to listen for that still small voice, maybe you need to run hard after something you love and use it to worship Him. Maybe you just need to rest in what He’s done for you and listen for whats next.
Don’t have faith? Ask Him and take a step forward.
You’ll never not leave changed with an encounter with the One whom your soul loves.
It was a noise she hadn't heard in a long while. It was strange. She liked it but it was still kinda eery. She could hear her thoughts as if they were audible. The dog humphed at the other side of the house. The birds chirping all around, not that loud but cheery tweety sing-song notes.
The garden boy cleaning the crystal blue pool, the sound of buzzing african flies by the window. She promised herself she would write and so thats what she did, each morning.
She could pour it out all onto the page and it made her feel lighter and also fuller but in a good way. She wrote for God, because He felt close when she did, she wrote for her heart too, she needed it so.
All she knew was that her soul did a happy kind of jump and she felt that this could heal a part of her, this fine summers day starring out her bedroom window on this beautiful January day.
1. one on one rich conversations.
2. a really good workout.
3. a book that feeds your soul.
4. encouraging, praying, helping someone
5. worshipping through songs.
6. writing a piece of my heart down.
7. dancing without being aware of my insecurities.
8. when someone thinks of me
9. a good meal with someone I love
10. a scenic walk.
Admitting to your brokenness can take you places with God that pretending to be perfect could never imagine reaching. - Jarrid Wilson
She realised that pleasing others was something she was doing. That she wasn't living a life authentically her own. That she wasn't listening to her own heart beat.
She needed to learn to slow down. To breathe in. And out. To listen to her soul speak. To really hear what she had to say. And what she came to find was that pleasing others never equals happiness. That even though it sounds crazy and even though its not the way to go, she knew it was something that needed to be let go.
It was something she felt deep inside her. She needed to pause. She needed to silence the voices in her head and the condescending tones around her. She needed to stop. To remember who she was. To remember what she stood for. To heal. To really take care of herself.
By doing that she finds renewed strength, she finds courage and wisdom. She learns to listen to the One who lives within. She needed to give herself some time.
She learns that at the end of the day. Its between her & God. She will take some advice, she will listen to those with concern. But.. she will not let it go deep in her bones. She will not let it run through her veins.
Because she learnt that rushing into something had hurt her soul before and she was to take some time before she ventured down that path again.
Call it what you want. But she soon discovered that friendship with herself is important. That it is not selfish to listen to her own being speak.
That she had her own thoughts and her own dreams. Whilst they come slow, they still come. And with them comes passion, comes a fire within her that she dares not tame.
She wasn't going to stay there forever but she did need to stay there for a while. To regather herself and venture into something that she felt God & her both decided this is it. This is the life I want to live. The life I was put on the earth for.
She knew others wouldn't understand and sometimes things get awkward but deep within her - she knew. It was time to listen to her own heartbeat.
That's what I tell
I'm proud of you
for showing up.
There is regret
and it hurts
but I tell myself
its not you
its not real
and soon I'll believe it
I'll believe it
because are that
are good things
that shows us
a new thing
that we are
; we are
full of courage
and whats the most important?
We showed up.
No matter how it looked.