Visit Me at Haven Journal

God Doesn’t Do Rehab…

I’ve been rehabbed and relapsed, recovered and recycled the program. In fact, I’m considering applying for the television show, Celebrity Rehab. If one of the prerequisites is turning rehab into a hobby, I’ve got the experience.

How to Have the Perfect Body

“Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe.” Mark Victor Hansen

If I’m really honest, for much of my life, my actions have indicated a belief system that I’m loathe to admit. During the years I battled anorexia, my behavior proved that I believed if I were thin, if I were the most athletic, if I had most willpower to resist food, if I had the perfect body, then I would be happy. On the other side of those painful years, I can confess to you – I had it all wrong.

I just returned from a two week visit with my family. The first seven days were spent with my in-laws. Mike and Julie are vivacious people, ravenous for the joys of life and abundantly generous with all their blessings.

Within hours of our arrival, they were taking us out to lunch. For the duration of the week, we feasted on gourmet coffee, ice cream, homemade dinners and market fresh veggies. We dined on the patio, in the living room, in front of the television and at favorite restaurants.

My in-laws bear the brand of the truly happy. Their faces are ruddy and sun-kissed. Their arms are well employed. Both Mike and Julie are genuinely healthy, brimming with life.

I had it all wrong. Having the perfect body doesn’t make one happy. Finding joy in Christ, in relationships, seeking and exploiting the pleasures of life, leads to a healthy, happy body.

For the second half of our trip, my husband and I visited my sisters, their husbands and my one-year-old niece in Texas. Toting Kylie around, waking her in the morning, cuddling with her on the floor and chasing her around the living room obstacles brought me unsurpassed joy. But what fascinated me the most was her insatiable interest in everything I ate.

“Bite, bite!” She pleaded. No matter what was in my hand or where I was eating, she found me and asked, “Try, try?”

In the course of my visit, Kylie and I shared protein shakes, hotdogs, frozen yogurt, iced tea, juice, chocolate bars, jicama, pretzels, cheese, apples and oatmeal. Never once did  she pause before devouring a treat and wonder, “How will this affect my body? Will it make me fat? Did I exercise enough today?”

I was also mesmerized by Kylie’s pleasure with her own body. She was pleased that her fingers can grasp my hand, thrilled that her arms can fully encircle my neck. Kylie was so happy that she is finally long enough to reach the doorknobs and all of the cans in her mother’s pantry.

I had it all wrong. A perfect body will never bring me lasting happiness. But happiness, contentment with the good gift of life that God has given me, that will ultimately result in the body that God perfectly, uniquely created for me.

“Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe.” Proverbs 17:22

You can read this and other posts of mine at

Wisdom from Darlene Merwin


For this week, and likely part of next week, I’m going to be sharing with you from the online resources that I enjoy. I’m out of town at the moment, surrounded by my favorite people in the world – surrounded and unequivocally distracted. Hence, I’m not doing a very good job of putting my heart and thoughts on paper, or keyboard as the case may be.

I hope you enjoy some samples of my favorite writers and websites. Today, I’m sharing with you from Haven Journal.

Sometimes what you think is so right, can be so wrong!  We serve a God who protects and saves us from total robbery!  When you ask Him to show you the truth, He will in some way so you can see straight!  Hes got your back!

When you visit Haven, Darlene Merwin, the author of this post, lists several Bible verses to support the truth of her words. Another one comes to my mind:

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17

A Welcome Guest, Amy Dardis

I hate feeling disconnected from God.  And yet, there are seasons in my life, where I just allow myself to get distracted. Sometimes it’s because of sickness, sometimes it’s that I get so busy and burnt out, other times its exhaustion, and sometimes it’s just hormones. It’s something that happens gradually. I will be walking closely with God, seeking Him in everything, and then slowly after a few weeks or months, I notice the change. I become more irritable, easily frustrated, distracted, and feel lost. I get that feeling like my life isn’t moving forward and I just don’t know how to get out of my rut.

To read more from Amy, visit Haven Journal, here.


Foundations of Fitness


Hello Friends! I’m inviting you to join me over at Haven Journal today. Here’s a taste, follow the link to get more!

My dad was a full five bike lengths in front of me, despite the fact that his bike might as well have been made of lead compared to mine, crafted from a lighter alloy. He turned back to search for me in the slowly spreading sea of cyclists. Concern filled his eyes, but he knew better than to admonish me.

We had registered for this 60 mile bike ride in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in May, right after I returned from my first stint at Remuda Ranch, a treatment center for eating disorders. By now, a rainy, chilly, September day, I had shed most of the weight my therapists and dietitians had gently encouraged me to gain.

Malnourished and tired, I hadn’t felt well for three days, but I refused to tell my parents. If they knew I was getting sick there was no way they’d let me ride, and I would rather die than miss a chance to burn 60 miles worth of calories.

Keep reading…

(Image is the property of Haven Journal)

The Old has Gone, The New has Come

A misconception about abusive relationships is that the person in the relationship is the only one who suffers. Sometimes, that’s where conventional therapy and intervention fail, addressing one person, searching for one cause, praying for one solution. For me, lasting peace did not come until I admitted the impact that my relationship with Ed had on my whole family. I had to listen to their hearts, absorb their pain and practice giving and receiving forgiveness.

To read more of this story, find me here: at Haven Journal. This is a series of three pieces, all of them have been published by Haven. I hope they encourage you.

And Amy…one more time

OK, I really wanted to share stories from a variety of my sister sites, but Haven just took it away this time. Enjoy another one from Amy: Less is More


This is something that is only slowly dawning on me, but as it does, my joy is doubling everyday! I pray that you can learn from my story and Amy’s story, in time to rescue your story or your child’s story and live more of your life in GREAT JOY!

Meet Esse…

One of the most despicable lies that plagues Christians at least as much and perhaps more than non-Christians is that “we just gotta make it through.”

YES, I’m excited about heaven with Jesus more than anything else, BUT, Jesus said that He came so that I could have joy abundantly. “Real life”, isn’t just beyond some struggle, over a hurdle, after an age, at a certain weight and not even, “when we get to heaven.”

Heaven is life with Jesus. Heaven is the indwelling power, peace and promise of Jesus Christ.

In Esse’s words…Joy is Your Birthright

Reminds me of this post: Insights from a Demon

Meet Amy

bebeautiful_07d71b081eef229c27bd9b4970d6677eGuess where I am this week? Well, starting tomorrow (Tuesday), I’ll be in Texas with my sisters celebrating Henry’s pending birth! Rachelle, my youngest sister, whose diapers I once changed, whom I nicknamed Sunshine, who a few people when we were kids thought was my own daughter with our 10 year age difference, who will be one of the most spectacular moms in the whole world…is due on June 20. So we’re throwing a party. (:

Since I’ll be far too busy, and too giddy, to string three words together next week, let alone three sentences or a blog post, I’m going to share with you wonderful pieces by good friends of mine. I hope you enjoy their stories and visit their websites. You will be blessed.

See you soon~

Weighing yourself is a mind game that the only way to win is to just not play. I guarantee you will feel so much better about your self if you toss the scale. It won’t solve every insecurity and struggle, but it is a step in the right direction. Let’s start focusing on the things that matter.

Life Without the Scale, by Amy Dardis

Reminds me of this post: No More Strip Search