Finding Our Voice…

Amanda (and Anna),
Anna, great post. Scripture yields so much insight into the power of words, and teaches us to handle words like the power-tools that they are.

Amanda, you are so right about words – words hurt. I know for many people ‘sticks and stones’ is definitely not true. As a recovered anorexic and bulimic, I still clearly remember many hurtful things said to me as a child, as a teen and as an adult.

Anna (and Amanda) I’m writing the rest of this to your blog followers. Just wanted you both to know this isn’t directed at either of you specifically!

I finally left behind the ‘mindset’ and behaviors of eating disorder when I truly believed – really took into me and made part of who I am, and everything I do – that the Word God wrote is true for me. Not true for ‘the world,’ but for me.

One of the most insidious things about eating disorder (which is most commonly a symptom of breakdown or dysfunction in important relationships) is that it steals ‘voice,’ the ability to speak your mind without fear of consequence – or to be yourself wherever you are.

It’s so important to get to the point where you can genuinely forgive others for how they have wounded you. When Jesus was dying on the cross, put there by people who had no right to do so, He prayed that God would forgive them, because ‘they’re clueless.’ (That’s not exactly what He said, but in our terms, that’s what He meant!).

People who hurt us with words – and with awful actions – usually have no clue. They have their own wounds, they’re so self-focused they have no idea what they’re doing to others. Jesus asked His followers to rise above that, to see as He sees, to realize that they just desperately need His love and forgiveness, just like we all do.

Whether it’s eating disorder, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or any other self-medication, you can’t really heal the behaviors without healing what’s underneath them. And for most people that can only be fixed by a God big enough to create a universe.

And then there’s so much more! I spend most of my time now writing and speaking to help people see that God hasn’t saved us and rescued us for a life of nothing; He doesn’t rescue us from eating disorder or other struggles to do nothing. When we take that step to heal, there’s SO much He has planned next. He can make what happened before (ED etc) seem like a totally different life.

Anna, I’m always happy to comment. Blessed to do so, dear friend. If you don’t know me, here’s my website: CSB

Eating Disorders, Body Image, and Jesus

I received an immediate response today to the post Words Hurt or Heal……

I wanted to share her comment (that was public) as a post and would love to invite Cathy Boyle to respond and highlight her ministry.  I will send this to her.  I think we need to hang out here for a while.  Jesus knows…..

Thank you Amanda for being vulnerable enough to share….

From Amanda:

How true this is! I carried the hurt of a teenage boy calling me fat for 10+ years. Within those years, I weighed 100 pounds and 150 pounds. At my skinniest, I still felt fat and at my largest, I felt like a failure. It’s taken a year and some change of journeying with the Maker to discover that regardless of weight, I have beauty glowing through the areas of my life that I allow God to take control. The scale no longer defines my beauty because I know what true beauty is…Allowing God to bend, move, and mold me to His liking, and displaying His works within me in hopes that it would make Him famous. I am by no means perfect, but I try my hardest to think before I speak. Whoever invented stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me…straight up lied. They cut, they bleed, they scar. If this is where you are…there’s amazing news. God heals!!! I pray redemption for all who need it today! It’s yours for the taking.

Words Hurt or Heal – What will you choose today?

I can’t speak enough about words of encouragement. There is a spiritual gifts test you can take and one of the gifts one can have is exhortation.  When taking that test, I’ve always wondered why someone would not score at least marginally on this category.  My husband, who is a wonderful, loving person, honestly shared that encouraging others is a gift, and he struggles to actively encourage.  He has never needed affirmation (not his love language) so actively affirming does not come natural.  Mind you, he is not a mean person!

I highly encourage the book The Five Love Languages to know your child’s and spouse’s love language for further study.  They offer a FREE test! (click on the title of book to go to website)

In my class on Saturday, all my colleagues were giving presentations.  Public speaking will bring out EVERYone’s need for affirmation, I don’t care what your love language!  We took the opportunity to encourage each other on, clap, and engage.  It made the difference.

Last week my daughter came home and shared that a stranger approached her and said he was waiting all day for God to show him who to give this quote he found in his family member’s journal to.  It was found after the uncle’s death and in the going through of his possessions.  He shared with Victoria that he could see a light in her – a caring spirit.  (Jesus)

“Man cannot for long conceal his inner thoughts.  If negative, they will cast a shadow over the light within him.  If positive, they will create an image of brilliance revealing devotion to duty.”

How do you think that made her feel?  How do you think it made the giver feel?  I wish you could see the handwriting on the paper of the quote. Precious!  For it to be found in such a random way and shared?  I don’t know.  Talk about your connecting of dots and synchronicity….

What little notes, or words extended do we have no idea will make a difference in someone’s life?  We may never see or hear of it. What inner thoughts do you have about yourself?  Is it casting a darkness over the light in you?  Or, is it positive creating an image of brilliance, revealing devotion to your duty.  Duty? I think of what Jesus said, “To love your neighbor as yourself.” – The greatest commandment; To love Jesus with my heart, soul, mind, body; To love my spouse and children deeply; and lastly, to love what job or task God has put before me for the day.  Will His brilliance shine through?  Oh Jesus!  Please help us to love ourselves in the light of YOUR love no matter what is said or done in this world along our journey.  Jesus – please give me the strength to pour out Your love in small things like doing dishes to big things like a demanding job task. You, Jesus, in everything, making everything YOU.  I don’t want to see anything but YOU.

I’ve discovered that our mouth has such ability to change the tide of a situation, or even the lack of words can make a difference.  Some things are better not said. Proverbs has many verses about wise people being quiet people, and fools having a chatty Cathy mouth. That’s definitely my paraphrasing, and if your name is Cathy (I’m sorry!).  Let me go get that verse.

Welllllllllllllllllllllllllllll actually there is more than one verse!  Check this out!  You can read the few I posted, or go to the website by clicking the words “Check this out!”

Proverbs 10:19

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 29:20

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

James 1:19

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

Ecclesiastes 9:17

The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.

Ecclesiastes 5:7

For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.

James 3:6

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

Proverbs 18:2

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 21:23

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Psalm 141:3

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

Proverbs 14:23

In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.

Proverbs 30:32

If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.

Ecclesiastes 5:2

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.

Proverbs 15:1-33

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent. …

Just as I was typing this up, Valentina (my 8-year-old) brought me a gift.  It’s a handmade paper pocket for us to put encouraging notes to each other.  Hmmmmmmmmmm  isn’t God good like that?  I’ve always wanted to write a song called, “God is good like that!”  It would defiantly be an upbeat full gospel song!

Disclaimer:  This house is prone to fits, unkind words, and folly.  Please don’t read this post and believe a second that some families are like Mary Poppins – “Practically Perfect In Every Way!”  I’m a realist and know as soon as I finish typing this, one of my children may need correcting, or me!  What we do in this life is learn and study God’s Word and try our best to apply it to our daily lives.  I stress the word try.  In the trying we create opportunities for growth not only in doing the right thing, but also in mercy and grace.  AMEN!

Please be sure…

It’s so awesome to read other’s thoughts and testimony.  Please make sure you go back to Desperado and Victory In Jesus and scroll down to read the comments of others cheering us on in the faith.

I love full gospel songs.  Below is a youtube video/song of Victory in Jesus!  Imagine yourself in church worshipping with all the voices.  Try to listen to the voices in the back crying out to Jesus!  Imagine their story, their relinquishing, their joy!


Victory:  Defined

1. Defeat of an enemy or opponent.
2. Success in a struggle against difficulties or an obstacle.
3. The state of having triumphed.
Our family was nestled in bed on the pull out couch and other pieces of furniture downstairs (Yes all five of us) when I received a text from my sweet sister.  She woke up from her nap (she works in the medical field) to go and cover another shift , and she said that God gave her a word as she was waking up – the Spirit was talking to her.  She went from FREEDOM to VICTORY!
I had the privilege of going to bed with that word in my mind and woke up this morning singing Victory in Jesus!  My Savior forever! She truly has ministered to me.  Can you relate to praying with someone over a situation in which victory has not been seen, but we claim it before the miracle?  Oh how this powerfully ministered to me.
If you look at the definition of victory and apply it to what we have been talking about isn’t it amazing that one word can have many meanings?  God back and read that definition again over your situation and claim victory!
I believe God has His own dictionary.  Victory in Jesus is past tense and present tense continuous at the same time.  Jesus won the Victory over death and the enemy over 2000 years ago, and He literally holds the keys to death in His possession. It is finished.  Yet, we are continuously facing battles (that technically He has already defeated for us in His name) and fighting as warriors in a battle against the enemy daily.  God has given us His Word, prayer, a body of believers, His Son Jesus, the Spirit to equip us for battle.  The victory comes when we give up our will and live unto God’s will for us.  Some of the decisions we make are obvious.  We know what is right and wrong, and we know when we are choosing wrong.  Other times it’s a faith decision in which we will not see the fullness of His will until we act in obedience. (I have a post called Get Your feet Wet that covers this faith step).
Does a warrior spend one day a week, or once a month preparing for battle? NO!  Daily, all day long, warriors mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare.  Oh sweet friends, how many times do we hear this and know it to be true, yet do not act upon it?  Any warrior knows that Victory comes only in the discipline of preparing for the battle.
At one point in my discussion with my friend we claimed that Jesus holds the keys to Hades.  He literally died on the cross on Friday, went down to hell and grabbed those keys (I bet with a smile on His face), and on Sunday – sweet Sunday – rose from the grave conquering death.  THAT IS VICTORY.  CAMP THERE FOR AWHILE.
I have a visualization for us.  When the enemy, who is crafty and clever, tries to imprison us with lies imagine Jesus looking at you with the keys in His hands saying, “Child (or put your name there), I have the keys to that, and there is no way I will allow the enemy to open this prison and put you there.  I got you covered with the blood from my death, and the victory of my Resurrection!  I have the keys!”
Oh Glory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I just got goose bumps typing that!  Jesus thank you!  Help me Jesus to not snatch the keys from your hand!  We can’t really do this Lord, but in our soul we do this because we are confused and hurt.  Jesus help us to WALK IN VICTORY (PRESENT CONTINUOUS) ……..
What does that look like?
  • When others are acting mean we set boundaries, but claim love and kindness.
  • When disaster strikes financially, emotionally, physically we acknowledge the pain and talk about it, but we also walk in Victory that Jesus will provide, heal, and bless us in the wrestling.
  • When failure or mistakes occur we acknowledge them, talk about it with a trusted Christian friend, but we ask Jesus to reveal Himself and show us how to move forward.
  • When…………
I would love to hear some of your Whens………………
I LOVE YOU CHRISTIAN FRIENDS! VICTORY IS OURS!  GET READY FOR THE BATTLE!  I’m considering my new praise claim over situations:  Situation, visualization of Jesus with keys, saying out loud:  Victory in Jesus!

The Armor of God  (Ephesians 6: 10-18)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Love the words all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests in verse 18.

Desperado – The song…

I hesitated to post the song because it’s not a Christian song.  I hope you can hear Jesus within the song.  I’ve always found that listening to Christian songs lift us and give us meaning.  I think that is why when I hear pop songs or remember songs from my past I try to put Jesus in them.  I remember being in the grocery store and hearing a song over the intercom  – You are so beautiful to me – and sang along – singing it to Jesus.  I worshiped telling Him how much I loved Him! 🙂  Does anyone else do this?  If not, give it a try!  But, I will always find complete joy when listening to worship music.  It brings healing to the soul!  The Bible says “He inhabits our praise!”

Believe! KNOW! Freedom!

Wonderful Holy Spirit moments happened today in response to discovering “one word” that heals for others.  A friend of mine text me and said that God truly spoke to hear heart after reading the post and for her the word was “FREEDOM”.  We had a text discussion on believing and within the believing finding freedom in Him.  Do you remember the song Desperado?  Many artist have remade this old song.  It has always spoken to the deep parts of me.  I know it’s not a Christian song, but I’ve found that God uses many worldly things we come across and uses them to speak to us.  There is a part in there about freedom and I started singing.  The song can be a metaphor for our wrestling. We build fences to protect ourselves and feel imprisoned.  Did you know that Jesus is called a “gateway”?  One part of the song says, “Come down from your fences, open the gate.  It might be raining, but there’s a rainbow above you.  You better let somebody love you.”  When we open the gate (Jesus) and believe and let Him love us we will experience FREEDOM!  I love the line that says – “Your pain and your hunger are driving you home!”  My sweet sister in the Lord is experiencing great pain and hunger and JESUS — the gateway — will guide her and sustain her.  It’s never too late…Let Him love you….Come down from your fences and open the gate….

I just opened up my blog and my sweet sister in the Lord, Char, gave her word:  KNOW, read below:

The tree reminds me that life always goes on, no matter what goes on around us. The walls could be significant to the walls we build around our hearts – to protect us, but they don’t really serve us well. The walls don’t let us feel our emotions and to love with all we have, just like those walls around the tree don’t let it grow to its full potential. When you talk about “believing” in your comments, I like to replace the word “believe” with the word “know”. I KNOW there is a wonderful God directing my life and loving me. I KNOW God is in the process of transforming me..I could go on and on…but KNOWING just seems like a more powerful word to use. I KNOW God put you in my life for a reason:-) LOVE YOU ANNA!


Another friend Joan wrote this:

Though barriers and darkness mount up around me, I keep looking upward to You O Lord to give me strength and hope.

In preparation for the storm today, my husband brought in a rose from the bush that would surely be destroyed by the storm for us to enjoy.  What beauty!  Parish’s act of love towards me and the symbolism was so profound.  God will protect us, keep us, and make all things beautiful.