Better Tomorrow

Well here we are, Saturday night, 10:00pm, and I’m…in bed.

People. I am turning into an old fogey.

Seriously. Pretty soon I’m going to be eating tapioca and wearing Depends!


Juuuuuust kidding.

But honestly, that has been one of the bigger changes since coming home to help my mom post-strokeGoing to bed early.

No joke. On a typical Saturday night in NYC, my night doesn’t begin until midnight. Literally. My friends and I would meet at a bar around 11:30, and then be out until 4:00am.

Now, you’re lucky if I can stay up to watch the evening news.


It’s just different.

But one of the things I am loving about being home is the nighttime chats my mom and I have before bed. Growing up, that was always something we did…have these beautiful conversations about everything from boys, to friends, to God, to the future. And now, it’s pretty awesome to be able to do that again, but this time as two adults.

I’m telling you…God has been so generous with me, here, since I have been home. In a lot of ways, obviously. But specifically, in how He’s revealed to me just how much I have “learned” or “grown” since my anorexia, and in particular, how it has formed much of my inner-most thoughts and beliefs…in a good way.

Tonight, during our nighttime chat, my heart became so overwhelmed with just this sense of compassion for my mom. Compassion because, all of a sudden, I realized that her journey in recovering from her stroke mirrors in a lot of ways my recovery from anorexia. Maybe not in the physical sense, but in the mental sense.

My journey to a truly full recovery where I was living free and abundantly, happened only when I realized my worth. And where it came from.

I was finding my worth in my appearance, or the perfect “this or that.” I believed to my core that my worth had to be earned. And that since I wasn’t “perfect,” I was unworthy of love.


My mom said something to me tonight that brought me to a familiar place. A place that I knew all too well.

She looked at me with those big, beautiful brown eyes, and said to me with sorrow in her voice, “I’ll be better tomorrow.”

My heart just shattered.

And I knew that I needed to share with her something that I’ve had to learn and relearn and relearn just about every week.

And I think the best way to express it, is to just share with you exactly what I said to her. Because maybe, just maybe, this will resonate with even one person, too.

I said, Mom, you don’t need to be better tomorrow. Even if this is as much of your memory you get back or if this is as far in the recovery process as you get, it doesn’t matter. Because I love you just as you are right now. You don’t have to “progress” to a certain level or reach a certain standard of “better.” Your worth is in you being you. As you are in this very moment. It’s the same as it was a year ago, the day you had your stroke, yesterday and tomorrow. I love you no matter what. You don’t have to be “better” tomorrow.

And I realized, just how similar these paths of recovery are.

There are few times…very few times…when I can look back at my time battling anorexia in my youth, and be grateful for it. Granted, not for the hair loss, or the shattered relationships, or my flirtation with death – literally. But there are a few times when I realize that I am actually grateful for the lessons that I’ve had to learn the hard way.

And tonight was one of those nights.

When that core belief that has shaped who I am today, and that was learned and formed through fire, made me grateful for having gone through those dark days so many years ago.

And I kind of smiled at God tonight, and thanked Him that I had that experience to draw on to relate to my mom and have empathy for what she’s going through.


Every season of life, no matter how difficult, produces fruit. And this was really the first time that I could take the “fruit” from that period of darkness in my past, and pick one off the tree and give it to someone else.

Strokes are hard because there’s so much focus on your ‘progress.’ How much do you remember today? How did you perform on the speech exercises? What do you have to offer to the conversation.

There’s an obscene amount of value and worth placed on your ability to do or say certain things. Things that are hard, because they target the location in the “dead area” of your brain that died during the stroke.

It ties your value to a “because” rather than a “no matter what.”

Who knows, maybe I’m way off base on this and reading too much into it, but it was just an overwhelming feeling that I needed to share that with her.

And I guess, with you, too.

One of the cool things about families and communities, is that everybody brings something to the table. And perhaps, this is mine.

What about you? What’s something that you’ve learned that has shaped your core being? Maybe, just maybe, it will resonate with someone who needs to hear it, too?

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253 thoughts on “Better Tomorrow

  1. Quick! Quick! Pretend you’re not crying…pretend you’re not crying!!!! 😛 Gosh darn it girl. I teared up when you told your mum that she doesn’t have to get better, that she’s perfect at her current point in recovery. And then when you talked about handing your fruit to other people…I just can’t right now. THE FEELS!!! XD Excuse me while I console my self.

    1. Aw girl I’m sorry to make you cry. Thank you so much. Yeah it’s been a journey over here. One I’m actually quite grateful for. Gotta be honest, I feel a little because you’re making me smile and you’re tearing up! Love ya girl. Thanks for this. Hugs xox

  2. Right now, this very moment in my life, I’m am learning that God’s arms are strong, that His grip is powerful, that He has me in His hands and He is NOT going to drop me. It’s a lesson in radical trust … faith, every minute of each day, every step along the way without allowing doubt, worry and fear overcome me. And it’s a tough lesson to be learning! But I have to believe that it is absolutely worth it.

  3. Blessed me so much. May you have all the help you will need if/when your time comes to need it. (I just turned 60, so this simultaneously reminds me of helping my Nana convalesce and rehabilitate, and makes me think of a not-so-distant future I hope doesn’t include that for me). Love, Cate
    Shared. <3

  4. *runs around waving a little flag with a letter C on it*

    But seriously…what amazing grace you showed your mom. You were Christ to her right there. If only we could all accept the same grace for ourselves. God’s been really working on the “have to earn it” part of me lately. I resonate with that. I pray that change will stick for all of us.

      1. BTW, are you willing to identify that lake in the picture? The one with the boat? If it’s your backyard, you can ignore the question…wouldn’t want to compromise your location. 😉

  5. What you said to your mum is really powerful. I totally recognise the concept of always feeling the need to be “better tomorrow” as if people are waiting for you to do better/feel better/be better/act better. I’m sure your mum will have valued what you said SO much, and even more so, given how you learnt that lesson.

  6. What a beautiful thing to tell her! I can’t even imagine how much she must have appreciated hearing that from you.

    You rock on, girl, and just keep on being awesome you! 😀

  7. Wow, love this – as a girl whose mama is her BFF, this definitely struck a chord within me. Wishing your mommy a good, steady recovery – and glad that you’re soaking up every moment with her!

    1. Aw thank you so much Leigh. I’m so glad this hit home with you. Yeah moms are awesome, aren’t they 🙂 thank you for your kind words and support. I definitely am! Hugs and love xox

  8. This was so right on point. I was talking about valleys and mountaintops the other day and this hits it home. Your mom needed to hear that, and it will probably help her more than any medicine, therapy, or doctor, in the world, could ever have helped her. Then and there when she needed it, AND you needed it, God brought it all together, for the both of you, in a beautiful gift to share.

  9. Going through similar with my Mother. Praying! 🙂 God bless you and your family. Steve

    On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 5:00 PM, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “Well here we are, Saturday night, 10:00pm, and > I’m…in bed. People. I am turning into an old fogey. Seriously. Pretty > soon I’m going to be eating tapioca and wearing Depends! Juuuuuust kidding. > But honestly, that has been one of the bigger changes s” >

      1. Everything God brings into my life works together for good in my life. I regret very little and allow my faith to embrace all the possibilities of what God is bringing my way in this most difficult position. I too have enjoyed to beauty of my Mother’s renewed close relations in my life. It is amazing how much you forget when you don’t actually live with those family members you love so dear. Trusting all things in Christ. :)_

      2. Amen to that — together for good. That’s so true, there’s something special about rekindling relationships when all parties are at different life stages. In Christ is a good place to put our trust. Know that I will be praying. xoxox

  10. So proud of you and your family! I am diagnosed with severe recurring depression. In therapy I learn not to let my illness define me. Some days are just what they are going to be. And the next day quite the same. God is blessing you with wisdom way beyond your years…..thank you. You all are in my prayers!

    1. Thank you again for your continued prayers, Rick. That means a lot. And thank you for sharing your own journey. I will definitely keep you in my prayers as well. One day at a time. 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  11. I absolutely believe that God can use our experiences of pain and struggle to be comfort even blessing to others. Thankful He has used you to give back to your Mom. Challenges me to be more intentional about my care for my parents, even if just a quick call. But visits too; busy is not an excuse. They live in Assisted living facility. Praying for you and your Mom.

    1. Thanks for your prayers. It means the world. I think you’re right- God will use everything for good. Yeah I totally hear ya. Life can get busy. I’ll definitely keep them in my prayers 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  12. I have loved reading your posts a out your journey with your mom. When I got sick with PTSD, my kids (now ages 30 & 25) had to change their role too. They lovingly called it our new normal. I feel like a burden to them (they NEVER make me feel this way, its my own “mom-stuff”) and I have often said, “I’ll be better tomorrow.” They respond the same way you responded to your mom. I believe it because they love me. But, it wasn’t until I read your post tonight that it landed in a place where I really believe it. So thank you, from a mom who is also fighting back. Blessings and hugs to you and your mom. 💕

    1. Thanks so much Alexis. That really means a lot. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading them! I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with ptsd. The new normal. I like that. Because that’s what it is…it’s new and it will become comfortable. I can definitely relate to that feeling, but know that you are not a burden. You are a survivor and you are deeply loved. I’m so glad you believe it:) sending you massive hugs and love and keeping you in my prayers. Xox

  13. Thank you very much for sharing your words. It resonates and is encouraging. Glad to read that in this difficult period with your mom, you receive togetherness and love. Very valuable. Hope she gets better soon.

  14. Dear Beauty,
    You have amazing depth for a young person. I watched my wife wither over the last 2 and a half years with brain cancer. Much like you, the caregiving mode taught me about the enormity of life, and even more intense, the enormity of death. I want you to know that regardless of the outcome with your Mom, (That is really in the hands of God!) your presence with her is truly a gift that is becoming more rare as our society pigeon-holes our elderly. The life lessons you learn during this time will help your soul be at peace. Your life has prepared you for this and you are incredible! I wish you peace and joy. When Laurie was not doing well I searched each day for a bit of joy to put in her life. It made a huge difference. Read “You be Peace, I’ll be Strength” in my blog. I hope it helps. I wish your Mom a full recovery but life is a temporary condition. Courage.
    My Love and Prayers for you and your Mom
    Dan of Lolostrong.

    1. Hi Dan, Gosh thank you so much for this wonderfully kind comment. I am so touched by this. The enormity of life and death – what a powerful description. So true. Thank you for the encouragement and for your prayers. It means the world. This time is definitely a blessing for me and i feel truly grateful for being together with her in this season. I am surely learning a lot. Looking forward to reading your post. big hugs xox

  15. I truly love your heart, it is so beautiful, you are an amazing soul my sweet friend. I will keep you and your mother in my prayers. Take care. God Bless ❤️❤️❤️

  16. What a wonderful time for both of you! I look back on my heart surgery fondly; it got me off my rocket and back in touch with everything and everyone. While she might not see that now, she’s experiencing that now. I hope she can see the good in having traded her stroke for some real down time with you and the rest. Sometimes something like this is the only effective breaking system we have. Neither of you will ever regret you moving home for a time, the evening talks, and the rest…even if it was over her stroke. More at Patreon.

    1. Hey Jeff! It sounds like it was a blessing in disguise. Truly. Sometimes it takes something like that to bring us back to what really matters. Yeah, I am really cherishing this time. It is really so special. Though I would love it to be under different circumstances, it is really precious time. Thanks Jeff, looking forward to reading more 🙂 big hugs to you and Julie xx

  17. I’ve sat here for a few moments and pondered your question. It’s difficult for me to narrow down one specific lesson that doesn’t sound like your obvious cliche. What I came to was this:

    The only responsibility you shoulder is that of your own choices. You can’t control people, and you won’t be held accountable for what they do. You, however, will be faced with the reality of what you decide to do, say, and think in a given situation. There are two obvious choices in life: That which is wrong and that which God commands.

    The choice is mine, and so are the consequences, whether good or bad.

    By the way, your quote to your mom was encouraging. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Matthew, thank you so much for sharing this. How powerful. It’s true – our choices are what we have control over. Amen to that. Try as we may, that is the only thing in our power. I love that – to choose that which God commands. I needed to hear that 🙂 big hugs to you. thanks for stopping by! hugs xo

  18. Every minute detail of my life is and always had been in God’s hands, and has led to this magnificent moment and what joy it is to be cooperating and awake to it. Exhilarating

    1. Hi Jeff! Thank you so much for sharing this. You’re right – in God’s hands is the best place to be. I’m so glad youre experiencing that exhilaration! 🙂 big hugs xox

  19. Great post! I think you can draw a lot of comparisons between many different recovery processes. Whether it be addiction, an eating disorder, recovery from a health issue, etc. There are so many great life lessons learned in all recoveries and I think you are right that “you don’t have to be better tomorrow”. As for what I’ve learned, I’ll twist your statement a bit. If you spend each day making yourself better, helping others, and doing the next right thing, then your tomorrow will be better!

    1. Thank you so much:) I’m so glad that this resonated with you. you’re so right, there’s a lot of common threads. and i love that so much. Those are definitely powerful ways to make tomorrow better! I especially love “doing the next right thing.” Ironically that is the advice my mom always used to tell me growing up. It was her motto, and it became the motto of my own recovery. so glad you stopped by! big hugs xox

  20. So beautiful. I love how God turns our junk into something He can use for His glory! Even the parts we think is pure waste, He can transform – truly our true Redeemer in all senses of the word. <3

  21. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that often Holy Spirit speaks out of those ‘overwhelming feelings’, because let’s face it, Holy Spirit is both so overwhelming and so wonderfully enabling that when he’s ready to speak, it can be all kinds of overwhelming, and when he’s alive in you it means those ‘overwhelmings’ that used to be so wishy-woshy are actually trustworthy because you can be absolutely confident it’s him (:

    Something else struck me as I was starting in on your post tonight, and maybe it’s dawned on you too, but it just came back to my mind how a few months ago you were (and you can correct me if I’m not quite remembering or something) feeling a draw back ‘home’ and thinking about where you are geographically in terms of where you are spiritually and emotionally, and you know…I think there’s so much in that because some part of you–or I should say Holy Spirit in you–had the pieces going together ahead of time and putting that, I guess urgency, in your spirit so that when the time came there didn’t have to be questioning and big decision-making because your heart was already invested for this <3 I think that's so awesome to see how Father was leading up to this season for you

    1. Hey Carson, thanks for this 🙂 You’re so right – we can be *absolutely 100%* confident in Him. And you’re right, it’s funny how God works things out the way they’re supposed to. I’m not sure if I’ll end up staying here. In truth, I’m commuting back and forth a little bit to NYC for some acting gigs, but there really is something about being home that is bringing my heart a lot of peace. Good memory! 🙂 haha But you’re right – the HS was definitely at work. I am so grateful for that 🙂 Thank you so much for showing me that. It’s one thing to kind of sort of be aware of it, but it’s so much more powerful when someone points something out to you like that. it’s like, wow, God really was at work. Thanks for being such a positive source in my life. I’m very grateful for you! And i hope that all is well with you, my friend! Hope February is shaping up to be a good month! 🙂 hugs xox

      1. It was just interesting and so…on-point feeling remembering that there was that stirring up going on ahead of time making a bit of a reconnection for you and I almost imagine God just rolling his eyes all like ‘yeah, I know what I’m doing,’ lol okay, maybe God doesn’t roll his eyes *shrug*
        All is quite well with me; this month we are cleaning out our basement and turning it into a bedroom to make room for a younger couple who will be moving into our loft. Yeah. Who knew this house could handle FOUR people comfortably. Well, we’ll see how comfortable it is 😉 so this month is looking pretty good from here and I’m super excited for the opportunity to help out and mentor this young couple a little bit and provide a place where they can be safe and free. Sooo that’s what’s been going on in my life lately 😀

      2. Haha I bet he does *ironically* 🙂 haha jk jk I have no idea. That’s good! Good luck with the renovation! That’s exciting! Will definitely keep y’all in my prayers! Hugs xox

  22. This was beautiful. Thank you for your words. I really related to what you said to your mother. My husband was hurt last year and he has a permanent injury that has completely changed his life. I can see it in his face that he is hurting inside physically and emotionally, but he tells me he is fine. I know he’s not fine but he is still the wonderful man I married and I love him just the same.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, and for your kind words. Gosh, I am so sorry to hear of your husband’s injury. That breaks my heart. It sounds like you are an incredible wife. I will definitely keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. big hugs xox

  23. Your post touched my heart in many ways. What you said to your mother about not having to be any better than what she was right now brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful you learned this and now share this deep insight.

    I have a mental illness and everyone, especially me, wanted me to get “better”. Actually, the pressure I put on myself to be what I considered, “normal”, led to another breakdown. It would have been wonderful to hear someone say I was okay just the way I was.

    I now believe that I am fine as I am, and so does my family. I have learned a lot through therapy and it has helped me immensely, but I am also okay with not being a perfect human being with no quirks or flaws.

    1. Hi Belle, oh thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad that this resonated with you. And thank you for sharing part of your story. I can definitely relate. Amen to that – just as you are is good, and lovable, and worthy, and wonderful. I’m so glad that you’ve embraced that! I’m working on that too! 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  24. In brief, and grace of course.

    And yet we can forget. I find it hard to look back and see when I did not trust. Grace extends, and we need to trust.

    Grace, and compassion (and compassionate action?), can go together.

    I guess these are deep themes.

    Peace.

  25. I cried, the kindness and love you have for your mom can be felt through the words that you typed.

    1. Oh Camille, thank you so much for this beautiful reflection. I’m so glad that this hit home with you. I definitely have a lot of love for that woman. She’s my rock. and my best friend. and my hero 🙂 thanks for your encouragement. big big hugs to you xox

    1. Aw, thank you so much. Yeah, I am actually really grateful for this precious and special time we have together. my mom is my best friend and hero, and you’re right, He makes beauty out of ashes. thanks for your consistent encouragement. grateful for you! hugs xox

  26. Hello, pretty lady! Love how you are so open, honest and raw with your readers. It is so easy to down play the messy parts of life.

    Your encouragement to your mom was beautiful and, hopefully, allowed her to give some grace to herself. Any type of recovery is too long and too slow for anyone going through it. How wonderful you are there to be an encourager, listener, and a loving spirit to her. I hope you, also, have someone who can be those things to you as you help your mom recover.

    One of the things that I have learned is that when everything seems to be falling apart, God is steady. He is the calm to the chaos. To quote the chorus of a song that played in my head as we were racing to the emergency room when my water broke three months early:

    “You keep me steady when the sky is falling
    I’ll keep steady after you
    I’ll carry on when my faith is failing
    Take heart cause you’re with me
    So let the stars drop whatever comes I’ll be ready
    You keep me steady.” Steady by For King & Country

    Praying that you and your family feel God’s steadiness during this season of life. Hugs!

    1. Hi Shoni, oh gosh, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. i really appreciate your kind words and prayers. Yes, I definitely do – my dad is an amazing encourager. He is our rock, and I am so grateful for him. We had a father/daughter date this afternoon for coffee. Amen to that: God *is* steady. And the calm. And for that I am so grateful. Wow, what a story. Three months early. What a powerful and comforting song to have in your mind during that scary time. Thanks again for the prayers. Big hugs xox BTW — I went to school in CO 🙂

      1. I love father/daughter dates! Mine usually consisted of accompanying my dad to the livestock sale barn. 🙂 Coffee smells so much nicer. 😉

        How neat that you went to school in CO! We live on the northeastern plains aka no where near the mountains, but we love it. My husband and I were actually born and raised in southwest Nebraska – go Huskers!

        Yes, it was a great reminder from a loving Father that no matter what he would be my steady. And when baby boy #2 was born just two days after that, he showed again that he was in control and he showered us with much love, miracles, and small world moments. We are blessed.

        Have a great night!

  27. Never Regret a day in Your Life
    Good Days give Happiness
    Bad Days give Experience
    Worst Days give Lessons
    and Best Days give Memories!
    Keep Going Babe! You Can Do It! ;o))

  28. I don’t know if you know this, but I had three strokes when I was in my 30s…
    Feel free to email me if you need any support… I don’t know where your mom is at in terms of recovery, but I would be happy to share with you my story

    Sending you both love

    1. Hi Cinn, thank you so much for your support. Wow, I did not know that. It sounds like you’ve lived a lot of life. That’s very generous of you to offer. Thank you ❤ With all my heart. Sending so so much love xox

      1. It was the biggest blessing in my life. Completely changed my heart and my direction.
        Wouldn’t change a thing

  29. This is absolutely beautiful. You are a wonderful and caring daughter 🙂 I really appreciate you taking the time to let us see this, everyone can take something away from this! 🙂

  30. Much love, and wishing you happiness 😀 We all just have to remember how awesome we are just for being us, so it’s great to read your post and for myself and others to be reminded of that.

  31. Lost my mom to cancer late 2015 – – and your blog post reminded me of the point where I arrived at “we’re not going to beat this thing”. I released her from the pressure of making “progress”. I joined her in her journey, as a loving son, and not as coach who wanted to reach bench marks.

    1. Hi Mar, I am so sorry for your loss. That breaks my heart that you had to go through that. It sounds like you were an amazing son and support during her final chapters. I’ll definitely keep you and your family in my prayers. Sending lots of love xox

  32. You write so well and do such a wonderful job of telling your story. I hope that you realize that you and your mother are a wonderful daughters of God:

    You are a wonderful, marvelous, daughter of God,
    He’s watching over you, up from heaven above
    You are His favorite one
    and He sent you a Son
    You are a wonderful, marvelous, daughter of God.

    Soaked in His love,
    Washed in the water,
    Pure as a dove,
    You are His daughter.

    A woman, a mother,
    a sister, a wife,
    You are His daughter,
    He loves you for life.

    You are a wonderful, marvelous, daughter of God
    He’s watching over you, up from heaven above
    You are His favorite one
    and He sent you a Son
    You are a wonderful, marvelous, daughter of God.

    Heavenly price
    He willingly paid
    Perfect in His Sight
    You’re Shining with Grace

    He has made you a daughter
    His child he loves
    Rise from the water
    turn to his love

    You are a wonderful, marvelous, daughter of God
    He’s watching over you, up from heaven above
    He’s watching over you, up from heaven above
    He’s watching over you, up from heaven above
    _________________________________________

    Your past is part of your sanctification journey. Remember when God sees you, He does not see your sin or your failings, He sees His son, Jesus Christ. In caring for your mother, in sacrificing your time (which is like dying a little for her, just as I am sure she died a little for you over the years) you are being Jesus. You are picking up your cross and following Him. Just as he laid down His life for all of us, you are laying down part of your life for your mother.

    When I was reading this blog, I was also reminded of Julian of Norwich who wrote:

    “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
    ― Julian of Norwich

    I think this is what you said to your mother, just in different words. Perhaps I thought of this because Julian of Norwich wrote the first book in the English language known to have been written by a woman (“Revelations of Divine Love” written around 1395), and I see elements of divine love in your caring for your mother and you are a talented writer.

    1. Wow thank you so much, Oogata, for this beautiful response. What powerful lyrics. I love it. So comforting. And it’s true. It’s been a sanctification journey. One that I am grateful for. Thanks again. Hugs and love xox

      1. Aw. I see why your words touched me so deeply. I wrote a poem and it reminded my of Louise Hay’s root causes of illnesses. One of the affirmations there to heal anorexia was “I am wonderful just as I am.” I thought of your words. Hugs!

      2. I am wonderful just as I am. That is so beautiful. And comforting. And yes, affirming. Thanks for sharing that. Hope you’re having a nice Tuesday! Hugs and love xox

  33. “Every season of life, no matter how difficult, produces fruit. And this was really the first time that I could take the “fruit” from that period of darkness in my past, and pick one off the tree and give it to someone else.”

    I have learned that He never wastes one calorie, one memory,,,,, one anything. You have been picking “fruit” in every word you have ever written in this blog. And in this post I hope you finally realised how full your harvest is – always.

    For no other reason than you are you (as you expressed to your mum so wonderfully).

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement! You’re so right, He never wastes a thing. He will use it all for good. And gosh, what a kind thing to say. I am so touched by this. Sending big massive hugs! xox

  34. Great job, time spent helping others is reaffirming who you are and what you stand for. It attracts God’s favour, you’re in His radar. God rewards your efforts. God bless <3

      1. I’m sure it must be, I adore my mother and I can’t imagine going through something like this with her. I’m sure she is very grateful for your presence right now. God bless xo

  35. You and I will never meet but I wanted you to know, you strike a cord in me. My kid sister, whom I loved madly, struggled with anorexia. I have always been overweight, same kind of disorder just different ends of the spectrum. She loved me just as I was but couldn’t accept herself. I loved her just as she was but I still struggle with my own sense of worth. How beautiful we really are, just as we are = ) She died in a car accident. Losing her forced me to look at my life and the people in my life in a new way. Take nothing for granted, love the people in your life, live in your moments. Be you because that is enough. Peace

    1. oh friend, I am so sorry about you sister. Gosh that just breaks my heart. So tragic. Life is so fragile, you’re absolutely right – every moment is a gift and loving one another is the greatest thing we can ever do. Sending you such a giant hug right now. xox

  36. my step dad is recovering from his first bout of chemo and radiation treatments and he has the same outlook- i’ll be better soon. this was so encouraging and comforting to learn and hear a new way to speak to him and remind him that we love him whether he is bald and coughing on the couch or if he is planting flowers in the garden all afternoon. we obviously prefer that he get to run around in his back yard, but we will love him if all he can do is sit.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your step father’s chemo. I’ll definitely keep him and your family in my prayers. That’s so true – unconditional love is the greatest gift you can give 🙂 hang in there. big hugs xox

      1. girl- he is FREE OF CANCER! we got the call a couple of weeks ago and he is now just in recovery mode from the bronchitis and pneumonia that came with it, as well as working on his own strength to get back to normal. God is so incredibly good!

  37. Beauty,
    You really touched a LOT of hearts with this post. I had to scroll down through many, many, many comments to get to this reply box and tell you how you blessed me. All I want to say is thank you for giving your mom grace and encouragement and helping her to live one day at a time without fear of failure. Thank you for sharing it with us your fellow travelers in life. We all need that encouragement to know that we are loved unconditionally. That is why knowing and following Jesus is all important. God bless you and your mom.

  38. I loved this post, it brought tears to my eyes…and reminded me of the verse in Corinthians…2 Corinthians 1:3-5

    “Praise to the God of All Comfort
    3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

    Many blessings to you and your mom.

  39. What a powerful post! It’s so good to read/hear/learn of real examples of God’s promises being true. As I’ve said in recent years, “God never wastes a tear.” It took a while, and your investments were considerable, but the fruit, when ripe, was worth the wait, wasn’t it?

  40. Powerful post. There’s so much in this piece that you’ve shared that resonates with me, so very, very much. My grandmother (and others) told me our experiences, good or bad, are never only for us but gto encourage others.

  41. Caralyn,

    This is a poem by Steve Stockman, from one of my favourite albums ‘Grace Notes’ by Steve Stockman and Sam Hill.

    God, give us faith to believe the truth
    And the right to ask why

    Give us joy in life’s fulfilment
    And the right to cry

    God give us the strength to carry others
    And the right to wilt

    Give us grace towards holiness
    And the right to confess our guilt

    Father show us a bigger picture
    Jesus put grace notes in our song

    Holy Spirit put us on a road that’s deeper
    And more eternal than the one we’re on.

    I’m soooooo glad for you, for all God is doing for you, for such grace that covers your family, for this journey that you’re on, and that by His great help, you’ll stay on, further in and further up. Don’t leave any stone unturned, it’s always well worth it to look for Him. I know very well the fear of what may lie ahead, but many things that we do, not the least being writing these blogs, keep our eyes on Him. And He knows and loves those faltering steps we take blindly holding His hand, and in the end, it’s worth it, many times over.

    Many blessings, and much love to your parents along with our prayers.
    Indi

    1. Hi Indi, what a powerful prayer. I love that so much. Thank you for sharing and for you continued encouragement and prayers. Yes. Will look for Him! Hope things are well with you and your family. Big hugs xox

  42. Totally agree. As I continue my trek through my adult years, I’ve always tried to maintain the outlook you describe so well. Many of the adventures we experience in mortality come in very handy when we have opportunities to lift others in need. Just as God has sent people to my life when I needed some lifting. We are a community of God’s children. I believe that the struggles I have in this life are, in part, there so I can help others with similar struggles. Most of all, the struggles allow me to empathize and more fully express my love for those around me. We all struggle through this life, looking for the moments of joy along the way.

  43. I can’t get into details but I’ve been around death quite a bit. It might contribute for my appreciation for the darker side of things honestly. . . .goth and what not. Suicide and suicide attempts of the ones you love can change you. Others’ illnesses and my own battle with type 1 haven’t settled within me as with other people. I am not the same as I was before. I struggled with God and then I feel my faith strengthened.

    I got “til the love runs out” tattooed. It’s from the song “Love runs out” by one Republic. It’s about God being there and being accepting of God’s Will.

    Wonderful post as always. <3

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Pikku. I’m so sorry that those things have been a part of your journey this far. My heart just goes out to you. What a cool tattoo. I’m so glad your faith has been strengthened through it all. God is good. Big hugs to you friend. Thanks again for your encouragement. Xox

  44. That little speech (for lack of a better word) was right on. Such wisdom. On the one hand I am sorry you had to live through the torment and hell of anorexia, but, on the other hand I am so happy for you that you were strong enough and ARE strong enough to have pulled through it to now be in a position to teach others. That is a gift. And I am hopeful that your mother was able to receive the message and do something with it.

    My contribution has seemingly always been to give my undivided attention to someone when they are talking. Even in a crowd of people, the person speaking will somehow find me and focus their attention on me when they speak as if I have some gift of listening. And it matters not what “class” or person it is – I could be talking to a honmeless man or lady, or, I could be talking to the head of a company, or some famous movie star. We get along like we’ve been friends for years. So that is my contribution I guess.

    Thank you for sharing what is at times very painful for you and what is so honest about your life. It makes us feel closer to you

    1. Thank you so much Eric. I really appreciate your kind words. You’re right, although it was a living hell, I am grateful for the lessons I learned from it. Giving people attention is such a gift. Especially I am age when we’re all on our phones! Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  45. You’re awesome, you know that, right?

    “Every season of life, no matter how difficult, produces fruit. And this was really the first time that I could take the “fruit” from that period of darkness in my past, and pick one off the tree and give it to someone else.”

    That’s a truly great way to look at our lives in general and you’re right. This is wisdom.

    Thank you for sharing with us gorgeous friend. It’s amazing to keep learning. I think we just need to be open so we can see the blessings, even those in disguise.

    Much love to you and family. Warmest hugs xxx

    1. Oh Anne, thank you so much. *You’re* awesome! thanks for being such a great friend. You’re so right about that, so many times those blessings are hidden in disguise. we just have to look for them. big hugs xox

      1. Aw, thanks! 😀 And it’s my pleasure. You get me to think always and realizations hit me. 😊
        Thinking of you and sending love and wishes for your mom’s recovery. 💖🤗

  46. I’ve been fighting with myself to accept who I am- who God made me to be. I’m just now beginning to burn the bridges of insecurities and walk into the ‘Total Man’. Thanks for reminding me that God doesn’t want us to be perfect and He doesn’t expect us to be. He wants us to be willing to be used by Him – even in our imperfections! He’s using you to touch many lives thru your writing. Like I tell myself these days, I’ll tell you – DON’T QUIT. God bless you !

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Amen to that. I so love how you put that: he wants is to be willing to be used by Him. That is so powerful. Thanks for stopping by. Sending you so much love! Xox

  47. Very nice words to your mother, more so because I know you firmly believe them.

    I wish I had a good phrase or word of experience….just keep remembering the Serenity Prayer, and your trust in God

    xoxo

      1. Splurge and go for the long version of it. Most people only think of the first portion, but it has several verses. 🙂

  48. Thank you for sharing. One of my friends went through a very difficult situation at one point in her life – something that she would never wish on anyone. But she said that she is grateful that she went through it because of what God did through it. I love that you are able to say the same thing. There is so much truth in Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purposes.” Thank you for your encouragement. I have nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award.

    https://thisgeorgiapeach.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/blogger-recognition-award/

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. That’s so true. God uses our difficult season to teach and grow us and grow our relationship with Him. I love that verse. And thanks so much for the nomination. That really means a lot. I’m honored:) big hugs xox

  49. I really relate to what you say about feeling the need to be perfect to be loved. It’s the primary motivation behind my own struggles as well.

    You are incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful relationship with your mom. 🙂

  50. Consistency is progress too… May be today you arent any better than yday, but atleast you are same (even though i hate using the word atleast lol…it makes it sound sympathetic)…that consistency towards recovery is also progress…
    Sometimes progresd is within yourself…the outside world will be oblivious to how much your have grown within your mind, in your thoughts and views, but within you, you havr progressed…because more often that not, tragedies happen more within our minds than outside…*hugs*

  51. I’d say I’ve learned to stop comparing myself to other people. God made us to be unique with our own strengths and weakness, quirks and flaws. Being who you are is incredibly important.

  52. Love the lesson here… one thing I’m learning in this season is that even as I wait for that better tomorrow, I have to realise that I’m actually good today. This is who I am right now; this is where I am. I will love and embrace what exists today even as I hope for something better tomorrow. If I don’t appreciate today, I won’t be content with whatever comes tomorrow.

  53. Great post! I am going through a very difficult time at this juncture of my life. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, no matter how much you try to keep life together, there is always a new lesson to be learned. Trials an tribulations has a way of showing up when you least expect it. But at the end of that trial, God has given you the strength and courage to persevere.😊 Moving forward and praising him through the storms of life ultimately gets you to a place of peace and understanding. As you look back, you thank God for the lessons learned.

    1. Thanks Cheryl. That really means a lot. My mom has always been such an incredible source of love and guidance and wisdom. I’m so grateful that I have a chance to give back 🙂 hugs xox

  54. Fantastic post and a wonderful testament that respects both you and your journey and your mother and hers. It was an honor reading this deeply personal post. When I looked back on my life to identify a time when I learned a lesson that significantly changed my outlook, I returned to about a year ago when my father passed away. His story wasn’t uniquely tragic, frankly, he was an older man whose life offered me many models of poor healthy behavior, but nothing too dramatic. He just ate at McDonalds more than he should have and didn’t exercise enough. However, me and my brother both grew up with pretty bad anxiety and insecurity. We both learned to mask this with sarcasm and wit, because they got laughs. However, it also kept people at bay and more significantly, hurt our closest humans, including each other. When my dad passed away we had a few epiphanies with each other, most significantly, that we were hurting, that we both had a conflicted relationship with my dad that despite our 12 year difference, was very similar. We began to talk, sincerely with one another. We began to realize that our sarcastic facades were merely armor to protect our deeply sensitive and anxious internal lives. We began to speak kindly to one another and, most importantly, we realized that we loved one another. It was a remarkable transformation and one, for me at least, that enabled the path that led me here to finally share what has been a part of my life for over 30 years: poetry.

    I thank you for sharing this reflection on your life, your recovery, and your mother. May you long continue to be both masterpiece and a work in progress!

    1. Hi S, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so sorry to hear about your father. That just breaks my heart. Though it was through a difficult season, I’m glad it brought you and brother closer. And wow, poetry. What a powerful medium of expression. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

      1. Thank you for your kindness. I invite you to explore my blog as well, many of the poems are about healing and I hope they can offer you a perspective that you can use from time to time. Take care!

  55. “You don’t have to progress to a certain level or reach a certain standard of better. Your worth is in you being you. At this very moment.” Love this

  56. This reflection of is so full of love. Bravo to you for seeing the connection between your life struggles and your mother’s struggles. We don’t have to earn love. God has always loved us unconditionally. You chose to love your mother this way freeing her from having to earn your love, What a wonderful story to share with others.

  57. I’ve learned in my own life and understanding of the Trinity in my life is that every single experience I had, small or great, and good and bad, were all necessary to get me to the blessed life I have today and will have tomorrow. I learned that there are no mistakes in my life — only consequences that made me stronger and better. I believe the same holds true for you. Without your past, you wouldn’t be writing these awesome BLOGs, which help me carry on in my acting career and give me a new and fresh perspective in the challenges of my own life. You see, IMO, the Trinity is communicating to me through you. Thank you for your honesty and courage for discussing stuff that help me and stuff that people are usually to proud or afraid to share. I will be in my crib in Manhattan in a few weeks for a film production meeting with Paramount Studios — I will check in with you, and we can hit Roses at the Time Warner Building — until then, keep being great!

    1. Hey Alfonso! Gosh, you are so kind. Thank you. I think you’re right-our pasts and everything that goes along with is shape us, and make us who we are today, and lead us down the path that we’re ultimately supposed to be on! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying reading my posts:) that seriously brings a smile to my face! And how exciting about your meeting! Congrats! Sounds good, that’d be awesome! I’ll be back in NYC in a few weeks for a gig, so hopefully our time will overlap! Have a great night and thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  58. Beautiful post 🙂 I hope your mother gets better. Whether a parent suffers a stroke, cancer or any other serious condition, we always pray in the end that their son or daughter (whether they be children or grown-up) either survive the outcome, end up having their parent live or both. May everything work out. Anyway, keep up the great work as always even If I do not always respond to a new post 🙂

    1. Thank you so much John. I so appreciate your prayers and encouragement. Bit of a tough season here, but I do believe that everything will work out. God is in control. Hugs and love xox

  59. Thank you for sharing this. Your stories remind me of my own journey searching for my self worth. Someone gave me the advice that you gave to your mom once a few years ago, but the way that you said it really resonated with me tonight.

    All we can do is our best. And if our best isn’t 100% today or tomorrow or even ever, that’s okay because we’re still beautiful and incredible human beings who matter. No matter what, just like what you said 🙂

    Thanks again, God bless.

  60. Since you asked, and I’m prompted to say it: I’ve learned that God is operating every detail of all existence, according to an infinitely good plan that includes everyone, believe it or not, mistranslated Bibles and misunderstandings of the Bible notwithstanding. So, believe it or not, we’re all going to be infinitely better in his tomorrow, not because of any efforts from ourselves, but because of God and what he has planned. My dad had a stroke about a year ago and died within a couple weeks. My wife and I often go to bed at 7:30, and like it. We even eat tapioca sometimes and like it. We haven’t needed any Depends yet. But I know every atom and detail of the universe is exactly where God places it, every moment, right on schedule, for an unimaginably wonderful tomorrow that is on its way for all. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. I love that – He really is operating every detail and using it for good. I’m so sorry to hear about your father. My heart and prayers go out to you. What a powerful way in which you see the world. Thanks for sharing. Hugs and love xox

  61. I’m really sorry that i haven’t commented for a long time on your posts. I’ve had a lot of challenges over recent weeks. I read when I can and you help me every time. Your faith shines. You teach me about God and His loving kindness
    I’m so so sorry for what your mum, you and your family are suffering. I can only imagine the pain and fear. God is your “stronghold, the rock in whom you trust” and He will shelter you under His wings. Your loving patient faith is allowing His light to shine into the darkness of uncertainty and loss you and your mum are in at the moment. You are a gift to her. May the Lord give you strength each moment. May Mary, Mother of Jesus, who He gave to us at the Cross as Mother of the Church, hold you tenderly close to Her Son. We are His Body. When we suffer we are united with Him in His suffering – and in His love being poured out, because His Cross was not death but love and life poured out for us.
    You show precious care and love for your mum. What a great help and joy to her and your family to have you there.
    What you wrote in this post means so much to me. What you said to your mum, how my heart has wished (selfish as I am I admit freely) that someone would say this to me. I have several physical and mental health conditions. I am weak right now. I don’t know what’s coming. Very often I can’t be “better tomorrow”. I can’t do what others close to me desperately need me to. I can’t “move forward” on the paths they think I should follow and I have disappointed and hurt them because following support they’ve given me in the past I can’t accomplish the things they feel I should as a result, and to them that’s a moral failure to use gifts I’ve been given and ungrateful and irresponsible.
    It both hurts me in itself because it makes me a failure or a fraud, and hurts (selfishly again) because I really needed them to be there even if I don’t get “better tomorrow”. And I hurt for them because I know they’re angry, disappointed, upset, I’ve let them down, they can’t accept what my situation is right now.
    Your words really helped to hear and made me feel not alone. Through God’s eyes now is okay. Now is how He is coming into my heart. Now is right where He needs me to answer Him, call for Him… I can be loved even if I’m not better tomorrow.
    Please may I link to this post in my own blog?
    Thank you xxx

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful reflection. Amen to that – He is my stronghold. Especially during this difficult season. Thanks for the link up. That’d be an honor. Hugs and love xox

  62. Dearest Writer,

    I don’t know why you deleted that Valentine’s Day post, but it was both charming and romantic. Where are people like you in Australia? Someone who loves loving. Not sure. But as a hopelessly single man, who — in my defence — have seen unpleasant dating experience despite my innocent intentions to love someone unconditionally, I feel your pain.

    For you, my dear Writer, is a rose. You deserve a beautiful Valentine’s day — daily. 🌹

    -D.V.

    1. Oh thank you so much, DV. That’s so kind of you to say. That post accidentally published before it was ready to go. It was meant to go up at 7pm but the scheduling feature messed up and it published two hours early. It’s up in its finished form now though. But thanks for saying that. Big hugs xo

  63. To be a Christian is to have a heart like Christ . One willing to serve ! Your mom is blessed to have you ! Praying for a speedy recovery and peace for her during this season ! Grace ❤

    1. Aw, thanks again for your prayers and kindness 🙂 *I’m* the one that is blessed by her! Truly! She is my rock and I am honored to be by her side during this time. And my dad too. He is the most incredible human I know – so strong and kind and God-loving and with just a good heart. I feel so blessed to be by his side during this difficult season too. Thanks again for all your positivity 🙂 massive hugs to you x

  64. Just hugs U!! You are a wonderful blessed person and so is your mom by the sounds of things. God Bless her in her present state. God Bless you for being so wonderful!! xoxoxo

  65. It ties your value to a “because” rather than a “no matter what.”

    This is a key theme for me to understand and own. I have lived too long in a world of achievement based self-worth. I am only now beginning to understand the idea that life is precious in itself, and those that live it, share a gorgeous gift. to be alive is to have all the opportunity in the world. Too often, we are fixated by that which we don’t have.

    I will wait for more from you.

  66. I think one of the few times that I stayed up way past mid-night in NYC was when I went to the movies with a friend. I had ice-coffee about 10:30, p.m.. Well there I was a-buzzen’. I knew my friend was gay, but that did not mean that I was, nor that I had any interest in sex that night. He did not appreciate his sense of rejection. Just too much cafine late, nothing more intended. Anyway, what I’m getting at is expectations. If we get stuck on our expectations that an exciting life means hanging out on Saturday night in after-hour clubs, or recovering from a stroke in a certain time frame, etc. then we are likely to be frustrated. However, if we stay in the moment, and appreciate a good night sleep or staying up late to watch SNL, or sharing the level of verbal communication that your mother has that day, then we are less likely to be discourage. I don’t drink coffee at night any more. — Oscar

    1. Hi Oscar, thanks so much for sharing this. Yeah I don’t do well with caffeine either! Haha but that’s such great advice at the end there-to be in the moment and appreciate the blessings as they come. It’s actually a pretty difficult day today with a lot of discouragement so this really helped me tonight. So thank you. We’re going to celebrate the progress she’s made and be grateful for the conversations we’re having. Hope you have a great night. Hugs and love xox

  67. “I love you just as you are right now,” excellent! That’s the sincerest love, unconditional love, Godly love. After reading “Late Bloomer” and then this one, I would say, you’re ready for a committed relationship. However, the whole looking for a Brad Pitt-type….not so much unconditional love. 🙂 You’re either setting expectations too high that a poor guy can’t reach OR you’ve set the goal too low because most of the time, guys that are drop-dead gorgeous are usually shallow and full of themselves, they would not possess this unconditional love!

    Prayers for your mom/your family/you. <3

    1. Thanks so much Darlene. I really appreciate you reading my blogs this morning and for your kind words and prayers. Yeah, you’re definitely right about that – I’m setting the bar too high. I need to be open to love and whoever god brings into my life 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  68. Thank you so much for posting. i am going through a tough time lately and it was great to hear about your time with your Mum. Your words are good. They meant a lot to me and i need to believe I will look back on this time on my life with gratitude.

    1. Hi Genevieve, thank you so much for this kind response. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through a difficult situation. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks again for stopping by! big hugs xox

  69. Thank you for this. I am new to this, and feeling vulnerable and exposed when I talk about losing my sister. It is so raw still, and I know that I haven’t even begun to peel back the layers to look at what I really feeling inside. Thank you so much for sharing about your experiences past and present. It gives me hope. #rootsandwingswellness

    1. Hi Allison, oh gosh I am so sorry for your loss. My heart just goes out to you. Sending you all my love and hugs. And know that I’m praying for you and your family during this difficult season. Hang in there. Hugs and love xox

  70. Wow – just wow. I have read a few of your posts now and I have to say that you are wise beyond your years. You have experienced life in the big city and in a more rural setting and have brought to the table the best of both worlds. God has a plan for you but remember – it’s the journey. That journey is yours and yours alone. Learned lessons often pave the way. Keep your head up, along with your standards. Keep loving and looking always remaining thankful for each day that God has given. You are truly inspirational.

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