Mojitos & Milestones

Well it happened today: the blog hit 30,000 subscribers!

I am so excited and humbled and just grateful that you would care to read my words. So with all my heart, thank you.

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I thought about what I could do for this post to commemorate it, and I’m not going to bore you with a list of “30 Things” or “A Walk Back in Time” or anything like that.

I mean, come on. Ain’t nobody got time for that. #snoozefest

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But I will share something that happened to me last night that really sums up this blogging journey.

I’m in Ohio right now, staying with my brother and sister-in-law. And I say “sister-in-law,” but really she’s just my best friend, who just so happens to be married to my brother.

But anywho, I booked a job here, and so I got to hang out with them for a few days.

Well. Last night, after the shoot, my sis-in-law (SIL) invited me to a girls’ night with her and a few of her friends.

I know. Wednesday night. Middle of the week. Sometime’s you’ve just gotta flip your hair and do something a little irresponsible. #YOLO

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Anyways, it was a really interesting mix of women. We had a 52 year old, a 40-something, a 30-something, a 30 year old, a 29 year old, and then me. In the group there were a couple mothers, a business owner, a teacher, a tennis wife, and then this sorry sack.

It was. so much. fun.

Seriously! We had representatives from four different decades, and three different life stages, and it couldn’t have been a better time.

SO much rosé….because…basic 🙂

After closing down the restaurant, literally…at midnight, we went back to this woman’s house. And we continued on with drinks and Drake and dancing and we even jumped in the pool with our clothes on.

But after the wildness quieted down a little bit, I found myself sitting with this woman on one of the pool chairs. It’s like 1:30 in the morning. I had been up at 5am for the shoot — I was tipsy and exhausted — but I rally and go hard.

Anywho, after talking for about 10 minutes, I found myself telling her my life story.

And not just the “radio-edit” version of my life story — you know, the one where I tell about my ulcerative colitis, but conveniently forget to mention my battle with anorexia. — Not that one. My whole life story. Warts and all.

She had kids that were starting high school, and wanted to know about this mystery book that she heard I was publishing from my SiL.

And I told her. Everything. Not a detail spared.

Two years ago, before I started this blog, I would have never had the courage to share my story, let alone bring up God in a conversation.

Before this blog, I had stuffed my story away in the dungeon and had vowed never to speak of it again. It was ugly. It was shameful. I felt it defined who I was: a dirty, rotten, deceitful former-anorexic that was a disgrace to her family.

Honestly.

But through this blog, I have come to reclaim my past. Reclaim my story. And see it for the beautiful restoration God has instilled in me.

My story is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a story of victory: His victory through me.

By the end of the conversation, we both were in tears. She told me how she had no idea that I had gone through such pain and struggles in my life. That meeting me at a dinner party, I just seemed to be the happy, care-free girl who had a bit of a mystery behind her smile.

There’s something really beautiful about opening up and being vulnerable with someone. Because the cool thing is, you never know how it is going to resonate with another person.

At the end of the night, as I was leaving, this woman pulled me aside and told me how much my story inspired her, and how she couldn’t wait for people to get ahold of my book.

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Such a meaningful interaction with a woman, I probably would have never had the blessing of meeting otherwise. I mean, I’m not a soccer mom in Ohio. And yet, we connected, and it was beautiful.

So really, I have you to thank for allowing me an outlet to share my story. Because the more I share it, the more confident and courageous I can be about putting it out there.

You have accepted me. You have loved me. You have given me grace as I learn to do those things for myself.

So thank you, with all of my heart.

Have a great weekend.

Love, Caralyn

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333 thoughts on “Mojitos & Milestones

  1. I LOVE me a strong, brave, story-teller who knows how much her truth, spoken out loud, or keyed onto the internet, will help the next one in line. Your milestone of 30,000 followers reflects that I’m not alone!

  2. Sweet!! Congratulations on the milestone, but more importantly, on gaining the courage to share your story. Your story will, no doubt, touch the lives of countless people.

    Yay, you!!

      1. OH I can’t believe I forgot, well, yes I can, I seriously need to take notes! But congratulations on 30,000 readers. Oh my goodness 30,000! I don’t even feel like congratulations even covers it. Great accomplishment, among many accomplishments.

  3. I just found your blog so I just started following you today! I’m glad I can be part of that 30,000 🙂 Congratulations!

  4. Many congrats!!! You have inspired us all though. Most of the time in my heart you feel like an adoptive daughter to me. You just share so much that one cannot help but love you.

    I am proud of so many followers but at times when I see all the comments and the like, I wonder how you do it??? I told my husband, “If I had her blog I would go insane!” 🙂

    I know you thank all of us, but we thank you also. You give to me, “the older generation,” hope for the future. My grandkids who are small will thank you and those like you one day. I worry so much about the nation they will live in. I want them to have the freedom I have enjoyed since 1954, and leaders who will inspire them and guide them in the right direction. Hopefully, that will somehow be you when I am gone. Again congrats, you know I love you, and how is your Mom? God Bless, SR P.S. Be sure and tell her I said, “Job well done”

    1. Thank you so much SR! hahaha yeah it is definitely quite a job to respond and stay on top of it! i was literally down to the wire tonight! haha thanks so much for being such a great friend and supporter. and thanks for asking about my mom. she’s doing amazing. she’s a trooper! Hugs and love xox

  5. First, congratulations on 30,000! Bazinga! Second, and most importantly, be darn proud of your story! It has made you the wonderful, beautiful, smart, talented, lively and inspirational woman you are today 🙂 xoxo

  6. Pastor, I’m not surprised by the number of people who read your blog. I started mine years ago and still only have one follower…that would be me! I’m not sure how I found your blog but from my first reading I was and am a person in your corner! Prayers for you and your family! Say hi to your Mom for me! Your readership will continue to grow as you do! Like you said about your confidence….with God’s Holy Spirit, you will become more confident and continue to touch hearts and lives in a way that only you can! Because there is no other you! You are younique, talented and beautiful and I love how your sense of humor finds places in your writings! Love n blessings!

    1. Hey Rick! thank you so much 🙂 aw, what a kind thing to say. I am so grateful to have you in my corner. you’re an awesome friend and mentor 🙂 thank you for your continued prayers and generosity. know that you are in my prayers as well. Hugs and love xox

  7. Congratulations on the milestone! I know people say it’s not about numbers, but the way I look at it every number is a person….a real live individual. So it’s not 30,000 followers….it’s 30,000 real people you are reaching.
    Prayerfully write, hit publish and let God give the increase.
    Celebrating with you!!!

  8. Congrats on such an amazing accomplishment! And you are right, you never know how your story will impact other people until you tell it. 🙂

  9. Full color! I wander bookstores when it’s too hot outside to sit elsewhere. I’ve saw the ED book rack and the covers are dark and not as inviting. This is great it will stand out in any section. I was reading old sermons late last night from Francis Atterbury. I saw Isaiah 60:22, “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.” It kind of stuck with me. It’s like what you did here.

    Will your book be in electronic version? I’ve been meaning to get a real mailbox…I’ve been meaning to for seven years. Haha

    1. Thanks so much Kenzie, yeah I wanted something bright and hopeful 🙂 wow, what a powerful verse, thank you for sharing it with me and for such generous words. Hugs and love xox

      1. Aw. Thanks. Atterbury preached to the Queen. Oh, so is there a Kindle version? Or some other electronic uh, thingie? Oh, I guess I could wait for the actual announcement. I’m leaving this as a vote for an electronic version for us, travelers.

      2. Rosé, is not basic. 🌞 It’s traditional and laborious. Most vineyards only have one day to crush the grapes and barrel. All done without oxygen so, when and where it’s poured is really where the flavor comes from. Unlike the others, that the grapes are pampered with orange groves and even, grazing cattle. Every vineyard has a gimmick but, Rosé grapes just enjoy the sun all year and then sit on a shelf waiting to be poured. They are the happy grape.

      3. If you make it to a farmer’s market try to find strawberry or peach wine in the next month or two. Similar to Ride
        Rosé, but not the same. When I’d get done farming I’d bug the Sommelier they kind of know, everything wine.

  10. Great post, Caralyn. You never know who God’s going to put into your life. He definitely works in mysterious ways. Keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to your book.

  11. So, so happy for you!!! When you liked my blog, last year, when I first started, I saw the number of people following you. I had less than 5 or so followers at that time. And I felt, if someone like her, who has a gathering of people that love her writing, if someone like her, likes what I have to say, then I think God is showing me I can reach others too.

    Again, I’m so happy for you. <3 I wish you the upmost best! Keep going strong girl!!!

  12. Wow! I noticed last week you were getting close. 30k before 30? Now that’s a milestone. I don’t know whether I am happy for you or envious. 😛
    Either way, congratulations. 😀
    And I have a feeling this is only the beginning for you. Soli Deo Gloria.

  13. This was a beautiful story. Jesus has brought you a long way. You are beautiful inside out and this blog is really inspiring. Thanks for being brave enough to share what you went through. I pray you touch many lives with the truth…and inspire others to keep going on even through the dark times. God bless.

  14. Congratulations Caralyn! It’s certainly been inspiring learning about your journey and look forward to reading more posts about your bright and successful future!

  15. 30,000! I’ve been keeping a watch for that number to turn! Congratulations and all for this HUGE accomplishment!

    After picking myself up off the floor from you having told ALL to a complete unknown, well, all I can say is dagnabit, if I’m not more than just a little proud of you! After so much time talking to us from the shadows, you’ve grabbed yourself with both hands and owned it all! Now where is that party horn emoji??

    So much symbolism lies in your article tonight! First you jump into the pool with both feet, and then you jump into the pool with both feet! And the water? Well, I’ll stretch it here and point out that this night sounds to me like your baptism back into the whole world. First you speak from the shadows. Then you give us a name and a face, but hope others who know you don’t find out, because of possible repercussions to family and friends.

    By the pool side? Well, there she is in all her (damp) glory, owning every second of her amazing life!

    Maybe that woman will need to use what you shared with her, God forbid! Maybe you’ll have saved another life or two! And yes, I said “another!”

    So here’s to the Beauty who, BY GOD’S GRACE, slayed the ED Beast, evicted him from her soul, chewed him up, spit him out, and washed the taste out of her mouth with a nice rose’ at the pool side in a lounge chair under the light of the moon and stars that God lit up just for the occasion; a subtle spotlight for the star of one of His better “saves!”

    Love, hugs, & laughter!

    1. Aw Jeff, thank you friend 🙂 party horn indeed! And thank you for sharing in the excitement. Another awesome result of this blog was crossing paths with you!! 🙂 ps sorry for the delay in patreon. At my bros house bedtime is early and so I can’t record right now. I’ll have it up tomorrow after my flight gets in. Maybe I’ll even chat with the person next to me and have a story to share on there haha thank you friend. 🙂 hahah damp glory – that made me chuckle. Amen! God is so good and I will sing His praise from the mountains any chance I get because I am *alive!* hope you and Julie have some fun plans in store this weekend! Hugs and love (and laughter!) xox

      1. Thank you for your kind words, You’ve been, and continue to be a blessing to me also. No worries about Patreon tonight! Have a safe flight and I pray you have a great seat mate to chat up! As always… Jeff

  16. Congratulations Caralyn on passing 30,000 by now. The numbers will continue to soar, I am certain. The reasons for the increase to continue, I believe, is you speak the truth; you speak straight; you obviously care for people; you desire to help others; you share what you have lived, and the new improved life you are living.
    Mostly, I believe the increase will be due to God’s Favour as He smiles upon you. His smiles are because you speak of God openly and freely, expressing your love for the Son of God, Jesus Christ, that He is the life changer, and He is needed by all, and available to all.
    God’s Abundant Blessings Caralyn,
    Luv and hugs 😀🌹❤️

    George

    1. George! Thank you friend! God is definitely good and has brought me out from the depths. For that I am forever grateful. So glad that I got a chance to meet you as a result of this journey! Hugs and love xox

  17. Heeeyyyyyyy! That is the book. I want a signed copy of, yes, one of those that was shipped to you. C’mon now Ana, don’t…the wait is PAINFULLLLL! Just tell me where to pay (paypal works or someplace else) so I can start reading. C’mon…..DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!…pleaseeeeeee!!! Oh…congrats on the 30,000 followers. May that tripple by this time, next year.

    1. Thank you so much Ish’mael! Haha that’s the proof copy! The real deals are going to be ready soon!!! You’re so sweet. I am truly touched by your excitement. Thank you:) Hugs and love xox

  18. Yay for 30K, a celebration in order. I have discovered as you have when we share our struggles and overcoming we are admired. People are so isolated in their afflictions and it’s a comfort to connect with one so open. Bless you Caralyn

  19. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
    Keep telling your story 🙂 and giving HIM the credit.

  20. Hi there Carolyn, that sounded like an amazing day and you found this amazing connection. That kind of thing is quite rare.
    It’s a pleasure to follow you and be a small part of the following joining you on your.. I dunno. Ongoing voyage. ☺️ xox

  21. Thank you so much for sharing! I just finished a yearlong discipleship program in Israel and one of the biggest lessons I learned was share your story! What a blessing to hear how sharing yours in this blog is helping you share it elsewhere too. God is incredible! Keep trusting him and sharing what he has done for you!

  22. First, congratulations on the follows! It’s so inspiring that you are connecting with so many people. I have to tell you how incredibly I think it is that it is easier for you to really own your story now and share the truth of your experiences and how it’s due to writing about it here. I am starting to experience that same thing just from the short time that I’ve been blogging, it’s opening me up and allowing me to feel comfortable being completely honest with people “IRL” as well, no longer hiding certain things. Cheers to you!

  23. I am continually amazed at the way the truth sets us free. Free from bondage, free in relationships to minister better, and so much more. Thank you for your courage to share the ugly parts of your life. It has encouraged me to do the same and I know God is using it to set others free as well. 🙂

  24. My blog here on WP hasn’t even made it to 100 followers. Of course, that’s a lot for a person that has been so unlikable in the past.

    I remember times when I could not find a single person to listen to me. I finally figured out that I needed to change what I am saying.

    You are saying things people need to hear, a real-life story of bondage gettting its butt kicked into eternity. No Hollywood theatrics, no BS, just a big dose of the real deal the way God can make it.

    Telling your story to another person should never get old. It is the surest way to make a stranger and ally and true friend.

  25. Congrats on your milestone – 30,000 wow! You are awesome. Thanks for all your reflections and thoughts, I have enjoyed sharing your journey and insights. Peace and blessings.

  26. Congratulations on 30,000 subscribers! I’ve said this before, but you are one of my biggest inspirations. Thinking of your blog, reading your posts – It keeps me going. It pushes me to be more Christ-like. It keeps me writing! You’re amazing. Thank you!!

    1. Thanks so much Laura Beth! Oh my gosh I am seriously so touched by that. Thank you. I’m so glad that you’ve been enjoying my blog. Hope you have an awesome weekend! Sending you so much love! Xox

  27. Congratulations Caralyn! You deserve it. So glad you made that wonderful connection- isn’t it amazing the way the Lord works? Thank you for always sharing your story so honestly- you inspire me!! Hope your weekend is wonderful 😊❤

  28. God has a way of using our story for his glory 🙌 the more we talk about things the more we get set free, that shame just seems to come off little by little until one day.. it’s no longer there . *hugs* I can’t wait to read your book. Keep us updated. ❤️

  29. Congratulations! You’re story is very inspirational! I hope you see many more accomplishments, ahead! I absolutely love this post and I read it with tears in my eyes! Please, never change and continue to love the person you’ve become! 🙂

      1. Well, my husband doesn’t think I’m very sweet, but no thank YOU!! Your posts are very touching and I feel like they give a lot of people hope! 😁😁😁

  30. I just wrote you a lot, but it was erased for some reason. I prophesy to you, you will be the head and not the tail. God has delivered you for this very reason. Don’t forget to give Jesus Christ all the glory and honor for your testimony. I know that you will continue to reach millions of people if you make sure to give the glory to whom it belongs, Jesus Christ. You can never overuse His name. Congratulations for being a faithful servant of the Most High God. He will bless your mess and make it your testimony. I feel God saying to you, Go preach my gospel to the nations… I will continue to give you boldness and authority. I will definitely deliver you from all anxiety and fear. Go forth in my power says the Lord strong and mighty. You are indeed blessed, my daughter. Watch this blessing I am about to pour out on you! Do you think you could show me how to get more traffic to my blog for the sake of Jesus Christ and the coming Kingdom? I don’t know much about affiliates or advertising..? Let me speak this priestly blessing over your life: may the Lord bless you and keep you. May His countenance shine upon you and give you peace like a river.

    SINCERELY

    Prophet Ryan Zombro

      1. How does Patreon work for you? I am trying to figure out how to get more traffic and some financial support, can you please give me some valuable information?

      2. I can’t seem to figure it out. How do I get it connected to my WordPress account? I am a total newbie to these things, so I would appreciate all the advice you can spare? I need someone like you to help me get paid for my work, but I am clueless. I just want to write, not deal with the crazy technology.

  31. Congradulations Caralyn – you are an amazing woman and writer! 30K wow that’s an accomplishment – You must be doing something right! Keep on living life and sharing it through your posts and articles. Major Respect! and God Bless

  32. This is such a blessing and a testament to your faith, as well as the fact that people really like reading what you have to say and what you went through . God bless you and keep walking by faith.

  33. Congratulations! I think the first post of yours which I read was about a wedding you had to go to and your initial concern about how people might respond to you because of your decision not to put on an act. I can’t remember when that was – it may have been 12-18 months ago.
    The various posts that I’ve read recently show a completely different person. I see a confident and compassionate woman of influence and I admire you and what God has done in you, enabling you to walk as a victorious overcomer.
    I love the graphic above about being God’s masterpiece and a work in progress. Hope you don’t mind me sharing this.
    Once again my congratulations on your amazing achievement. 😃

  34. Just wanted you to know, I think about you often 🙂 Thanks for always posting these great posts. I love that you had a chance to unwind and cut loose! It’s always fun finding friendships in the least expected places 😉

  35. Caralyn, thank you for visiting my blog, and congratulations on 30,000 subscribers. After all these years I think I have 30 ( haha). Your story has touched many hearts.

    1. thank you so much! what a kind thing to say. And it doesn’t matter the “numbers”…sharing your story takes courage and I am definitely grateful for you and your blog 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  36. God Bless, You! You have found your true self in this life which can be a rare thing. You are a living testament to the power and Love of the Lord. There is not one person on earth, in the flesh, who has not been broken and flawed. It is because we overcome our addictions, challenges and false perceptions of who we are that we learn to fly. I congratulate you for your success and your walk which brought you to it. Always see yourself as God sees you and you will stay on the right path.

  37. When I looked at that first photo of you Caralyn, my heart filled with happiness. You look like you are having so much fun! I’ve had a very bad week, but you brought a genuine smile to my face today. Thank you, God bless you, have a lovely weekend.

  38. Dear Carolyn, I agree with the woman. Your story is inspiring. I am glad that the more you share it your confidence and courage grows, to share it more.
    By the way congratulations on hitting the 30,000 subscribers mark. I look forward to that on my blog.
    Thanks.

  39. THANKS SO MUCH FOR LIKING MY POST … I AM SO HONORED BY THAT … I LOVED YOURS AND WANT TO SAY CONGRATULATIONS ON HITTING THAT 30,000 MARK … AWESOME JOB:-) Edwina

  40. Such an amazing milestone! Congrats and thank you for sharing so many aspects of yourself with us. I know some of your posts are hard to write as they are so emotionally raw. Thank you for reading my posts as well, the support is very much appreciated.

  41. I’ll absolutely love you! I would like to grow my blog too. Maybe you could point me in the right direction.

  42. 30,000 subscribers! What a great opportunity to project something positive through your blogs, something you do very well. Congratulations! I think you’d be surprised at the huge part of the human race that hurt in one way or another. It’s good for them to know they are not alone and opening up in the way you do would be a great encouragement to the majority of those who subscribe to you.

  43. Congrats and well done Caralyn, what a testimony of courage, you felt the pain and did it anyway. The spin off from your hard work and perseverance is a shining light blessing many others following behind. Blessings Nanny.

  44. So refreshing to hear the voice of a young person navigating this world, being authentic, covering the touchy subjects, and real about her faith. Can’t wait to read your book!

  45. I love this entry. This is also how I feel about blogging. It has allowed me to step into a better version of me, and express myself to be more vulnerable. Congratulations on your anorexia battle, and for your wonderful connection with the woman. Thank you for sharing

  46. Congrats on the milestone! I just got started so thanks for stopping by. I’m new to your story but it sounds like an amazing journey. Looking forward to getting caught up and all God has in store for you!

  47. Wow, 30k congratulations!
    God is working though you to spread the Gospel and bring joy to those who read your blog. No higher honor than to spread the beauty of God’s good news to everyone.

    God bless!

  48. That’s so amazing your blog has done so well. I’ve been doing this for a little while now, and well…. It’s doing well, but I wouldn’t say it’s doing that well. You should be proud of your accomplishment for sure. Praises all around for how well you’ve done.

      1. I know it’s not about the numbers but my numbers aren’t actually improving. I’m about the same place I was 8 months ago when I started. I pray I can continue to reach people.

  49. This is truly amazing! Though I’ve just started out here, your words have this amazing inspirational and healing ability! Congratulations and blessings to you. Live happily ❤❤❤

  50. Hey, I know your name now… Caralyn, congrats on all those subscribers! We’ve all recognized the beauty and inspirational aspects of your blog. It sounds like this has been a catapult for growth and I imagine you’ll just keep getting stronger. Love and light to you.❤😎

  51. I love nights like that. But usually I am on the receiving end the receiving end of a life story that is. I have heard a lot of life stories. There is nothing I learn from more. Thank you for the share.

  52. Hey there BeautyBeyondBones, I really appreciate you reading my post and liking it 🙂 I am an amateur to the blogging world, as you could probably tell from my post… But reading this was awesome. I am pretty excited to follow your journey. Keep going GIRL! You are inspiring all the light bulbs in my mind.

    Sincerely, me (haven’t figured out a cool name yet)

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