Five Minutes to Change Your Life

I had one of those “bang-your-head-against-the-wall-repeatedly” moments tonight.

At church, of all places.

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Allow me to set the scene.

So this weekend, I have been holding down the fort in Ohio all by my lonesome.

My entire family is up in Wisconsin at our family reunion — the one I wrote last week’s post about. And I am stuck here, after my commercial shoot had to extend through the weekend, to Monday.

I promise I’m not complaining. I am positively grateful for the work, it just means that I’m going to be “fashionably late” to vacation.

But anyways.

One of the repercussions of my solo weekend, is that I had to go to Mass alone.

And believe me, it wasn’t lost on me that I was the youngest by 30 years in the 1/3-full church.

But after mass, as I was walking out, an old face from my past came up to me. I hadn’t seen this man – my parents’ age – for several years. He had seen me since high school…when I was severely anorexic and 78 pounds…but it had been awhile.

Well, he comes up to me — sweet as can be — and clasps my hands and says, “Oh you look so healthy. I’m so happy for you.” 

Of course, I graciously smile, and ask about his family, but inside, my spirit was just deflating like a sorry helium balloon after 2 days on the mailbox.

And not only did he say it once, but he repeated it before he left. Just to drive it home, and unknowingly twist the knife.

My gut reaction in the moment, was of course, a bit of hurt, mixed with anger, a touch of frustration and a big old dash of are you kidding me?!

But as I got back to the car, I literally felt my spirit have a massive change of heart.

You see, for the last month or so, I’ve really been trying to work on my relationship with God. And you may be scratching your head, thinking…”Uhhh, I thought you had a strong relationship with Him?…” But the fact is, relationships take work, and to be honest, I felt pretty spiritually distant. I realized that I needed to be more intentional with how I talk and pray to Jesus. — A “check the box” prayer as I’m falling asleep just wasn’t cutting it.

So for the last month, I’ve been beginning every day with just five minutes of time with Jesus, reading the Bible. I’ve been doing it on my podcast, Oh What a Beautiful Morning!, and a big reason is as an accountability thing.

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But here’s the thing — in just those five minutes a day, I have seen such a huge change in my life. It’s insane. I just feel so much more in tune with Jesus throughout the day. My thoughts are more positive and focused on Him. I am literally taking more thought about my actions and trying to serve Him and serve the people I love.

It is just so clear that when we give Jesus an inch — nay, a centimeter…a MILLIMETER, even — He gives us a mile. I mean, all we have to do is open up the door a crack – a sliver – and He whooshes in and changes our lives. It is amazing. Amazing! Five minutes.

If we make the effort, He rewards us 5,000 fold. It’s because He’s always calling our name. And when we show even the slightest hint of seeking Him also, He just envelopes us in grace.

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But anyways. Back to my run-in at Mass.

I got in the car. It was stifling hot. Ninety-something degrees outside in a black truck with black leather seats. I felt like the oppressively hot interior of the car matched how my spirit felt inside my body after that encounter.

But as I turned on the AC, and the air started blowing in my face, I just felt the Holy Spirit blowing on my face too. Which sounds super crazy, but I attest it to my newly strengthened relationship with Jesus.

In that moment I realized that I need to just let it go. Jesus was softening my heart, and urging me to reframe that encounter. The fact is, that man was just trying to be kind. And meant only to encourage me, and express his love for me, as a part of his church family.

My mind wandered back to a podcast I listened to earlier that weekend. One by Ben Higgins of all people. But this peace just came over me. I’m going to take my past with me wherever I go. Sure, maybe it’s more well known — an urban legend of sorts — here in my hometown than other places. But my past — the anorexia I battled (and beat, praise God) — I carry that with me. It is part of me.

And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Because that was my brokenness.

And God uses our brokenness as His access point.

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God transforms us in our brokenness. He meets us. Loves us. Heals us. Makes us new when we have absolutely nowhere else to turn.

That period of my life — yes, it was full of immense suffering and shame — but God used it. It was my chance to experience a small taste of the suffering that Jesus endured on the Cross for me. And my life will never be the same as a result.

This encounter at Mass would have gone a lot differently had I not been in tune with Jesus and working on our friendship over the last month.

I thank God that Jesus gave me the grace to get through that difficult moment.

It’s amazing what He can do with just five minutes a day.

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A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

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144 thoughts on “Five Minutes to Change Your Life

    1. Thanks Teri 🙂 amazing what God can do! He can move mountains and change hearts! Hugs and love xox

      1. Miss Caralyn there is grace in those words. When I first commented I didn’t have the words as my heart was spilling down my face. You see I “heard” the love in the man’s words. If he’d said you were beautiful I would have taken exception. He said healthy. There is, as always, more than one way to hear this…because I also hear spiritual health in these words. As you readily share beauty goes beyond the bones. Looking healthy goes beyond your physical appearance. Someone can be healthy and still look not so healthy.
        Sunday night at Mass, just after receiving the Eucharist, I had this moment where a truth I’ve heard for years sunk deeply in. We encounter God in our body. As a society, as a people, this – for lack of better phrasing – this western culture we separate out, compartmentalize our faith, our soul, our spirit, from our body. Jesus showed us the deep truth that there is NO separation. To be fully alive we experience God in our bodies through touching, hearing, tasting, seeing, speaking, all of it.
        In you, something caught this man’s attention, looking healthy and being alive. Experiencing your faith life, the very “thing” that healed your body and your mind, present in you. You LOOK healthy. I would have loved to have seen your face, your person in that moment to see what he sees. I can just imagine how many times this man brought you to prayer, brought your parents to prayer, those who love you.
        I wrote about this experience I had on Sunday on my faith blog.
        God is amazing.
        God moves the mountains of our hearts, softening them, whispering, speaking, calling, waiting, longing.

      2. Oh Teri, you are such a great friend. Thank you for your beautiful encouragement. You’re right – there was genuine care and support in his words. And I think you’re so right – He is a good man and I’m sure has prayed many a prayer for me and my family over the years. Amen – God is amazing!! Thank you again for this beautiful and loving response. Hugs and love xox

  1. Wow, that guy was being presumptuous and tactless. It’s so rude to remind people of whatever they went through before. I was physically abused by my parents, and when I see someone spank their kid in public, I feel humiliated and threatened, and it’s awful. Sorry you experienced something similar!! Yes, Jesus is the Man. He’d never make anyone feel that way. He’d just love you.

    1. Oh gosh Meg my heart breaks to hear that you went through that. I am so sorry that you weren’t honored and respected and protected like you deserved. Thank you for your compassion and support. Sending you so so much love xox

  2. Every time I go to church, I have a “beat my head against the wall moment.” Yes, those 70 something people often know exactly what to say. Ugh.

  3. Isn’t it amazing how Jesus changes things? I have been battling praying for my enemies (people at work who aren’t very nice to me or others). Well I had an awakening in church a week ago. Somehow Jesus reminds me that we ALL need Him to soften our hearts. 💖 Thank you for sharing yourself so openly with us. I really admire your bravery.

    Debra
    stylewisebydebra.net

    1. Thanks Debra! Amen – we all need His changing power! Thanks for sharing that. I’m sorry to hear that work hasnt been the most pleasant of environments. I’ll pray for you! Hugs and love xox

  4. As I have not walked in your shoes, I cannot relate to where you stand when people you’ve known in the past say things like that to you. But, on reading this the thought that came to me was, it would be as if a person came across someone who had battled cancer, and won, and that person tells them how great and healthy they look and how happy they are for them, because they beat the disease. They are celebrating your victory–they do not mean it as presumptuous or being tactless–they are truly happy you are thriving!

    And just as an aside, God has shown you other more populated roads (Colorado trip) where people your age congregate to celebrate and worship God–maybe it’s time to seek out those types of churches in your travels. Traveling one road will only show you what you have already seen. Seeking out other roads will bring you new adventures, new experiences, and most importantly, new people. God spreads His Love as far and as wide as possible–our journeys should follow the same example. Sending prayers and love to you for your journey, that you find what you seek and, most importantly, deserve. 🙂

    1. Thank you for this encouragement. You’re right – it’s a celebratory remark. I appreciate that. Hugs and love xox

  5. Perhaps God was speaking to you through this man. Maybe he was moved upon to say that because God feels that. Perhaps God is so happy for you that you are doing well and that you are coming to Him. 💗 You are doing well! Keep staying strong!! It helps the rest of us in this life’s battle. I appreciate your posts.

  6. Great post on the power of extending grace to others. I often have to remind myself God is giving me grace all of the time and I need to extend it. It is hard to know what to say to people any more that others won’t take offense. I understand it felt hurtful. And, I’m very glad you were able to extend grace. Words do hurt and can ignite old feelings and hurts. So glad you shared this.

    1. Thank you Deanna. Yes! He gives us so much grace!! Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  7. I’ve had people say to me about looking healthy I always say thank you I know they care it could have been worse but I had a weight issue myself. My relationship with God is okay but with people not so great. bit rough at the minute having to deal with a lot of issues including this ridiculous heatwave we are having, heat plus me in a stressed mood is not great. The moorlands fires that are breaking out in the UK put a little perspective on things though

    1. Thanks for sharing that Benny. I will definitely keep you and the UK in my prayers. Very scary. Hugs and love xox

  8. So pleased you listened to what the Spirit said. Perhaps that’s another reason you stayed in town. You got a chance to see what God has been doing in you. “but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” Romans 5:3-4 Your perseverance has been producing character and now you have proof of that which gives you hope that God is making you into the image of Jesus! Awesome! 😊
    Bless his heart. You have to remember we guys hardly ever know what to say to women, especially beautiful ones. So, I’ll stand in for him. You look gorgeous! That blue and white striped outfit is stunning. Off the shoulder outfits really are your jam! ✨😎😎✨ Sorry you’re missing out on a bit of your vacation. Was wondering why you were talking to your folks on your phone on the podcast last couple of mornings. Guess you’ll be heading up there now, so have a save trip and a wonderful time with your family. And let us know who wins the Cranium rounds. 😉 🤗🤗🤗xox

    1. Thank you Kenneth. Yeah maybe this was all part of His plan. I wouldn’t put it passed him! And gosh thanks for saying that!! Hahaha oh I already know – I will be winning hahaha jk jk Hugs and love xox

  9. Dear Beauty Beyond Bones, I have had a similar experience to yours. I had been through a terrible divorce and left feeling unloved. I even wondered if God loved me. And if He did, how could he let this happen to me? But after struggling for a couple of years, I realized that life was totally meaningless without God, so I got off my high horse and returned to Him in a new way. There was no blinding moment of change, but after a few months, I found myself trying to make eye contact with children and people at church (where it was safe) and to smile at strangers because I wanted to encourage them. Actually I had been doing it for several weeks before I caught onto the change in my attitude. I, the depressed introvert, was trying to reach out to others – unbelievable. Prayer is powerful! And God is good!

    1. Oh friend, I’m so sorry you went through that. And yes! Prayer changes things. God changes thing and praise Him for that! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you Michael for YOUR encouragement!! It means a lot 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  10. Carolyn forgive me if I’m being daft.. I’ve read your article three times and I don’t understand what he did wrong. For those of us not familiar with eating disorders, is this a big no no to comment on someone’s appearance? I guess that’s obvious now that I’ve written it.

    I guess in almost all other areas of health or disease, saying you look healthy is such a compliment, eg cancer.

    I’m so glad you were able to change your perception. It’s all about intent and someone’s heart and it’s clear that you saw he was trying to be kind. 💓

    1. I’m so grateful that you made this comment, because I was thinking the same thing. I also want to know what happened here to ensure that I don’t ever make this mistake unknowingly…

    2. Thank you for your comment. Yeah it just is tough for an ED survivor because for so long healthy was twisted by the ED as “fat.” That’s not what I equate it to now obviously, but it was just frustrating that that’s how people still see me. I was sad that my former anorexic persona still shadows me. This is a great perspective. And you’re right – kindness 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  11. Thank you for opening my eyes, and I’m sorry that man’s comment hurt you. I have to agree with Lisa. I’ve never walked in your shoes as far as having an eating disorders. I fear I might have said something similar not realizing how you would have taken it, though I might have said something along the lines of “you look beautiful, or fabulous,” simply because I cared about your well-being. It’s hard to know what to say to people sometimes. But I think I would rather stick my foot in my mouth than to miss an opportunity to let them know I cared about their well-being. Or at least give a loving hug. If I ever meet you and say the wrong thing, please forgive me. Blessings 🙂

    1. Than you so much Lisa. Yeah it’s just a little disheartening that my past is still what people see. That’s what’s been so refreshing about nyc is that I don’t have to “prove” myself or try and change people’s preconceived idea about me – I’m just me. A clean slate. But you’re right – He was well meaning. Hugs and love xox

  12. More than once in Scripture, Jesus does a lot with a little. Five minutes with Him is something anyone can fit into their morning, and I’m so glad it’s a source of strength for you. As an ordained Catholic deacon, I’m required to pray the Liturgy of the Hours twice per day, and my days are so much more peaceful because of it– not always easy, but not as hard as they could be. So I get where you’re coming from here. All the best– Mike

    1. So so true. Thank you so much Mike for this awesome encouragement. Sounds like an amazing prayer life you’ve got going!! Hugs and love xox

      1. Thank you for saying that, but it could always be better. Funny how, when I don’t get to the Hours for some reason, the day doesn’t go quite as well– go figure, right? Hugs and love back at cha

  13. I have had like experiences in my recovery from alcoholism. They hurt in reminding me but I continue to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. With eyes fixed forward and upward, time and Christ’s healing softens the memory. Press on dear Caralyn, keeping the Savior close.

    1. Thank you for sharing that gw. Amen – His healing changes things! Hugs and love xox

  14. Hello, beautybeyondbones! I read some of your posts and they’re awesome. I am new to blogging and wish I can write like you. Can’t wait to read your other articles. Btw, you are very beautiful, too. God bless you more.

    1. Aw thank you Kathleen!! You’re kind to say that 🙂 glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  15. I love reading about your faith and growth. I’ve been feeling distant from God due to my health problems and medicine that I take for these problems. I need to read my scriptures more often and pray to feel His love. I am confused about how the man’s comment hurt your feelings, though it could just be an effect from my medicine again. However, it’s wonderful how you felt His love for you along with the air conditioner! xo

    1. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your story. I’m sorry that this hit so close to home. I will def keep you in my prayers! It was just discouraging to have my past still follow me around, 10 years later. Hugs and love xox

      1. Thank you for praying for me, I will pray for you, too! I’m sorry that your past is still following you years later. I pray that you will feel so much Heavenly love on a daily basis and will view these comments as a testament of how far you have come! And he’s right, you do look BEAUTIFUL! 🙂

  16. I most definitely need to listen to your podcast sometime. Your posts are so inspiring. I can only imagine what your on air time with God as your share His goodness with others must be like. Thank you for glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ in your posts!

    1. Thank you Matthew! i hope you do! it is my new favorite thing haha And thank you for saying that. I am very touched. God is good! Hugs and love xox

  17. Yet another impressive and extremely personal entry. This is literally becoming my favorite thing to read! Stay awesome and remain blessed. Hugs and love from me all the way to you in Ohio! XOXO

    1. thank you Paul. haha you’re so kind to say that! so glad you’re enjoying my posts. yeah, i tend to be pretty personal — perhaps to a fault hahaha Hugs and love xox

  18. Thankful that your time with God was able to help you refocus on the intent of the man’s encouragement and not let your past drag you down in the moment. Praise God that He has brought you through your past. It is part of you but it definitely does NOT have to define you. Your past is in the rear view mirror. Be sure to focus on what is ahead. I have to periodically remind myself of that.

    1. thank you friend 🙂 Amen – God has been so gracious to me in healing and seeing me through. Hugs and love xox

  19. Hi Caralyn: I must join in with all others, saying you are a beautiful young lady, and with the Oil of Holy Spirit Joy glistening on you, from the inside out, your entire being radiates the Love, Peace, Joy, Compassion of our Lord Jesus.
    Even though in our spirit, we know God is in control, we don’t always grasp it in our mind.
    God was with you all during your difficult years, He certainly did not cause you, or lead you to go that way, but He never left your side.
    As He strengthened you, and you overcame the illness, He was right there, His Strength, His Spirit leading and carrying you to Victory.
    Scripture tells us that God will work in all things, no matter how bad, to turn them to good for His Glory and people’s good, because we are His creation and He loves us.

    Holy Spirit has now placed you in a position in life, where you have thousands of people reading what you write every week, and eagerly looking forward to it. As well, your podcast is a venue to reach more people.
    These have two purposes, to share Jesus Christ with many people, who may not see or hear the good news elsewhere, or refresh some minds that have wondered and forgot. Secondly, you are touching people’s lives who are currently, or have previously had situations similar to yours.
    You are a vessel, chosen by Jesus Christ Himself, to reach these people. You are one of the few, if not the only person able to tell some of the precious hurting souls, that you know exactly what they are experiencing, how they feel, and can help them.

    Your life has already been a blessing to many Caralyn, with many more to be blessed and help in the future.
    God has chosen and called you into His service, His army, and He will never leave you. He is the Captain, He directs, and He leads.
    He prepares the way for you, and He prepares you for the way He is leading.
    There will be battles, as you know, and as we have mentioned, but I believe so strongly in God’s mission for you, that I pray God’s Protection over you always. Praying a Hedge Of Protection around you, a Covering Of the Shed Blood of Jesus over you, the Armour Of God upon your body, with the Sword Of the Spirit, the Written Word Of God in your mind constantly, as you serve the Living Word of God.

    God Bless you Caralyn,
    Luv,
    😀❤️🌹😘

    1. George, I am truly humbled and incredibly touched by your generous words. Thank you my friend. God is good and all I’m trying to do is share my mess so that He gets the glory hahah. I am so encouraged by this. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your friendship. And thank you for always blessing me with a powerful perspective. Hugs and love xox

  20. You speak such truth an wisdom for a young mind. When I finally figured out that getting up a little early to spend time with God in prayer and meditation made all the difference in the world, the rest of my life changed exponentially.
    As for the man who had not seen you in years, like anyone who remembers you during your time of sickness and was undoubtedly concerned with you then, think of this as his way of celebrating your revival and rebirth as the person you were meant to be. It is often hard to express this properly or to know if things are better just left unsaid.

    Love and Blessings,
    Jim

    1. oh gosh, thank you Jim. You are too kind. Isn’t it amazing how being in touch with God changes things?! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks friend, yeah that’s definitely easy to do!! i know from personal experience! Hugs and love xox

  21. My dear friend,

    When we think we believe enough in Jesus Christ, in the God-power, then we can be sure that we are tested – the test comes on tip-toe and those test can bring us even further in our development, to analyse them accordingly and to make the best use of it.

    It is sais: When we make a step forward towards God, then God comes with thousands of steps forward us.

    Sometimes we do not see things from the right angle and often refer things to our own persons and bad times we had to go through – and do not see at first sight the goodwill of a person, interpreting words in a wrong direction. There it is good to develop a balanced attitude that no fast prejudices or even judments can enter our mind – in doing so we also practise non-violence even in our thoughts. Each negative thought are also like ripples, like a stone you throw on the water and with some resulting effect. Often we do not think about it. We think when we think that those thoughts remain hidden, they always function like an invisible wall between people, they nevertheless have its effect, they are like rolling waves and may hurt unseen and unheard from our own eyes and ears. But a correction in our thoughts to recognize such things is always helpful, they bring our boat again into positive waters.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience my dear friend 🙂
    Have a happy day
    In love and light
    Didi

    1. I love that saying about God taking a thousand steps for our single step. Wow so so so so true! Thank you for sharing that with me. And thank you for you kind words of encouragement. Hugs and love xox

      1. A past is understood or its waiting to not be misunderstood. Women have that harder public perception. I was really into this divorced dentist, her religion is very strict and she felt unworthy because she was married previously(loop 1). I understood. She didn’t have to say it. Her. Being, that essence was a young woman that wanted to be loved (loop 2) but did not feel lovable(loop 1+1).

  22. Enjoyed your post, Caralyn. It is amazing how putting Jesus first, helps to draw us closer. Also, wanted to let you know that your past does not define who you are today. You are healthy and vibrant today, which is the important thing. Blessings and hugs!

    1. Thank you friend. Yes! And thank you for saying that. Means a lot. 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  23. Very beautifully said. I know all we have to do is ask and we will receive. God is good not hell and brimstone as some preach. He made us in his image, so we are made to be good too. I believe the man was praising you for what you accomplished.

  24. Good to see that you came to terms with your friend because from an outsider looking in, I really don’t think that he meant any harm. More like a testimony of how he cared while you were recovering. More like God affirming you through your friend. God bless Caralyn <3

    1. Thank you friend. That’s a great point.it showed his kind heart. Hugs and love xox

  25. You know he meant only good things for you, right? People can be clueless. Their words travel through our filters and come out the other side and some times pierce our hearts. I have those moments when people exclaim how great I look after losing weight. You have done something many others would find, and have found, to be impossible, you allowed yourself to heal. I’m glad HS was able to walk you through this moment. God loves us SO much. Hugs.

    1. Thanks Melissa, I think you’re right about that. He He does love us so much!! How blessed are we!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  26. Patricia, my departed wife, had the lyrics to this Hymn (A Prayer from the Sarum Primer 1538) on the wall just over her desk and prayer it when she experienced events like you had in Church. Hope it helps.
    God be in my head, and in my understanding,
    God be in my eyes, and in my looking,
    God be on my lips, and in my speaking,
    God be in my heart, and in my thinking,
    God be at my end, and at my departing.

    desk:https://youtu.be/UCik9Us_K2A

    1. Wow that is so powerful and beautiful. What an inspiring woman. Thank you for sharing 💛 Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Rajiv, thanks for your question. So basically i was just disheartened that my past (when I had anorexia) was still following me around. I was really discouraged that “that’s” how people still see me…as the formerly sick girl. That’s why nyc has been so good for me – it’s been a fresh start. A clean slate where people see the girl in front of them and not some preconceived idea about who they think i am or judge me on my past. But you’re right I think he was probably trying to be nice. Hugs and love xox

  27. To those who keep saying that the man’s intentions were good: I agree, but keep in mind that good intentions do not make the actions/words good. It is possible to intend love but do something harmful (usually from ignorance or habit).

    In this case, the hurt came from a specific wounding, and the words were probably not so bad (though the hurt is still legitimate). However, there are times when people have genuinely good intentions and do obviously terrible things in the belief that those things are right. (It has happened to me and I’ve watched it happen to others.)

    So, we would do well to listen to the people we love to see whether the way we are “loving” them is actually what they need, or only what we think they ought to need.

    Jesus has met Caralyn and enabled her to show grace in return for this hurt, and to focus on the intention despite the words. And that also is good. May he give me the same grace. 🙂

    1. Thank you friend. Yeah I’m sure he didn’t mean to cause hurt – I know he didn’t – it just set something off inside – a wound that discouraged me that i was still seen as “the former anorexic girl.” It’s my inescapable past in my hometown and I was just saddened that even after 10 years I will never escape that stigma. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  28. It has been my experience that the closer we get to God and the stronger our walk with our Father becomes, Satan and his minions (the world and our sinful nature) step up their attacks on us.

    And it won’t be like he jumps out from behind a bush and yells, “Boo!” Our enemies will use our loved ones and those we trust (our church families) to hurt us, attack us, and attempt to knock us out of our Father’s footsteps.

    I know this is going to sound discouraging to some (many?) but our walk with Jesus is a never-ending walk and a nearly-never-ending battle!

    Sabbath rest will be ours – Word and Sacrament – but we don’t get “vacations” or “days off” from our relentless pursuit of our relationship with God.

    It’s like marriage – you never STOP being married (once you are married, of course). It is daily work! You don’t get a day off from being married!

    The blessing to us is that God never, ever, EVER, stops pursuing us, loving us, or strengthening us. He is always there, always loving, always protecting us.

    We. Got. This!

    Because God has us!

    1. That’s really powerful insight. Thank you Ed. And what a true thing to remember – our walk with Him is a lifelong journey!! This really encouraged me. Thank you!! Hugs and love xox

  29. Frank Herbert wrote a science fiction novel, Dune, about a desert planet where water is more precious than gold. Delegates from the planet met with an off-world delegation to form an alliance. At one point, when it seemed they had an agreement, the representative from Dune spat on the conference table. The room almost erupted until it was explained that he had just done them an honor; he gave them the gift of his body’s moisture.

    “You look great!”

    We who are not of the “Planet ED” just don’t always understand. Never having been on the dry, painful dunes of your world, we give what honor and love we know. We have nothing else. I know your pain and triggers are never far away. I understand as far as I can; when my mom died I got so sick of hearing the same platitudes that I started getting pretty curt with people. I just wanted to scream at them to shut up!

    We ALL need to accept the love that people have, even if it isn’t the love we want.

    Five Minutes – I started reading a daily devotion called Portal of Prayer in 1981. I read it every morning and prayed my prayer list. I learned a lot doing that over the years, learning new lessons and relearning others. I stopped getting that over a year ago, because it seems God has directed me to write my own along with the rest of my blog. And now I listen to yours too. But you are oh-so-right! Visiting God every day and having a brief chat will do wonders to remain in touch. And intentional praying – just yesterday I went to church to pray alone in the sanctuary. Sometimes visiting God at “His place” with no distractions can be a real blessing!

    Hugs and love…

    1. Thanks Jeff. That’s a really powerful perspective. We give what we know. And I need to be quick to love – no matter how it is delivered. I know I have been guilty of well-meaning but dumb remarks myself. Oh wow – yes I love being in the sanctuary 🙂 and I just want to also say thank you for listening Jeff 🙂 it means a lot. Ok have a great fourth!! Hope you and Julie have some fun plans! Hugs and love xox

    1. Awww you’re so kind to say that! You just made my day. Thanks friend. Hugs and love xox

  30. I always try to remember Ecclesiastes 7:9 when someone says something that makes me upset (Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.)

    Not calling you a fool, obviously, but I’m very quick to feel offended or hurt by other people’s words, and it’s something I know I need to correct in myself, and I thought it might be useful to share both that you’re not walking this path alone, and also that God knows we’re imperfect and ‘fools’ trying to be better every day.

    You reacted very well and with grace, and may you keep on reacting this way in the future! Stay strong and God bless!

    1. That is such a powerful verse to remember. Thank you Jay. You’re so right A we’re all just doing our best! Thanks for the wonderful encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  31. This was right on time for me! Giving Him the first fruits of my day changes EVERYTHING!!! Thank you for your transparency about your journey. I know lives are changed because of it ❤️

    1. Aw good! I’m so glad it resonated with you! That seriously means a lot. Hugs and love xox

  32. Five minutes can truly make a difference! I pray the Serenity Prayer every day in the car, especially while headed to work. It’s made a huge difference! I need to laminate a copy to keep in my car permanently.

    Having not been personally affected by ED, I can see where his words stung. I feel similarly when people (mostly at church) ask when we’re going to have kids. My current canned response about getting a dog isn’t helping, either. But, I try really hard to just shake my head (out of eyesight, at least), and move on. I pray the Serenity Prayer again. And, I sincerely hope that people will be jumping up and down when we do announce that we’re expecting. Sheesh!

    1. Yes! Oh that’s so awesome Laura Beth! Yeah, sometimes well-meaning — or even just neutral — remarks can hurt. Yes prayer helps us through!! Hugs and love xox

  33. I posted a limerick about you on Above the Noise 7/2/18:

    Caralyn Limeric

    I follow a young woman named Caralyn
    whose posts never dwell on the maudlin
    she’s survived shunning food
    now she’s cheering the good
    beautybeyondbones is her callin’

    Just a coincidence that you had an inspirational message today.

    1. Oh my gosh Von!! This is so special! I’m going to print this out and put it on my fridge! 🙂 thank you so much!!!!!

  34. Wonderful and poignant, as usual. It is such a wonderful thing when our history becomes His Story. Your testimony is His victory in your life. And you are so right about those brief moments we give to Him — they turn into the grace we need to face what comes our way. Praying for you. You are supremely blessed! M. A.

    1. Thank you MA. YES! all the grace. Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  35. Maybe just because I’m a guy but I don’t see the issue here. An older gentleman remarks that you look healthy but/and/or/because you’ve suffered from your issues for a good long time. I read this and see a man who saw you at a low point, physically, but might not have said anything for fear of hurting or embarrassing you. Maybe he prayed for you, maybe he didn’t but he certainly remembered you. You come home after some time, shining bright and smiling, he notices you and is in wonder of how much better you look. Maybe you aren’t the only one who can see the work Jesus has completed in you.

    1. Thank you for this great perspective. Yeah, it was just discouraging to me that even after ten years, people still just see me as the former anorexic. Going home has been such a double edged sword because as much as I love being with my family, I just can’t escape the dark shadow that follows me around. People will never see me as the young woman I am today, but rather, the former freak show. And it just really makes me sad. That’s why I love nyc so much. Is because people don’t have any preconceived notions or formerly held judgements about me. They accept who I am today. If that makes sense. I understand that he was trying to be kind. It just disheartened my soul. Hugs and love xox

  36. Hallelujah, Give Jesus an inch and He gives us a mile. Well said. Seems a little selfish on our part too, does it not? We give so little, and He rewards us so much. I mean, we could never give what He did but He is still out giving us 🙂 Makes me want to try harder to do what would please Him. LORD, thank You for continuing to bless Caralyn.

    1. Amen to that, Margaret! Thanks so much for your encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  37. Keep it up. For me it started by praying the Rosary daily. Reading the Liturgy of the Hours morning prayer and Eucharistic adoration helped to enhance the relationship. Like any relationship it takes effort.

    1. Thank you Earl. Oh I love adoration so much. It really is so powerful and like you said enhances the relationship. Hugs and love xox

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