Today I give you a story you might never know.
Were it not for me reading three books at a time, one called The God Dare by Kate Battistelli, a second called Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist and the third, the book called Ephesians written by Paul.
I’ve just finished a just right omelette, fluffy pillow of egg with the soft insides of spinach and melty oozing cheese. On the side a good tomato as if straight from the vine, peppered generously. Enjoyed every bit, a mellowed out mug of coffee with cream to complement.
I gaze over at the empty plate and think to finish Ephesians but remind myself of the three words that came in light of getting on with my life, vocation of some sort, art, writing and family.
Give not Get.
I thought again.
I’m brave now, hearing God daring me to pay attention and say things He has for me to say.
There was a time I ate everything I could get and then ritualistically and yet uncontrollably used my unwell techniques to get rid of it all quickly.
I was not well then.
I’m close to weighing the same as my husband. I felt lighter yesterday, paused to see the flatness of my belly in the bathroom mirror and took a chance…decided to step on the scale.
You weigh the same, the same as last week and more than last month but not as much as that one time before.
I remembered the book about the bread and wine and not a mention three chapters in of calories or gluten or exercise.
Only stories of times around tables and splendid descriptions of food eaten with abandon, life and love.
Food freely given, not grasped for or grabbed to be hidden, hoarded in a get it now or never again kind of way.
Stories like my story this morning, a quiet acknowledgment of noticing my finished breakfast.
Oh, this is good…this life I get to live, have been given, it is good.
Given not taken.
We get new chances every day, to pick up where we left off, to make choices not to go back to old ways.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”
Ephesians 2:8 ESV
To live as grace givers, savoring, trusting the flow of good things and graces.
We have known the gift so that others might know.
We give what we’ve been shown.
My “God Dare” today?
Writing about not eating, about not keeping what I ate because that was all I felt I could control.
A sum total of about 10 years of my life given to anorexia and bulimia.
Close to 25 years now, not thin but healthy.
What’s in front of you that feels insurmountable, that lessens your existence, that self-imposed struggle that sickens your body and soul?
We are created as God’s workmanship, we inhabit His spirit.
He gives life, life meant to be unfathomable in measure, the width, breadth and depth of it all.
I picked up Bread and Wine from the back stack of bargain books and already it has given me more than any book on diet or grace or shame has ever given.
Like its author, pregnancy (thank you, HB!) changed me, pregnancy saved me from my disordered eating.
I wish the change had come sooner, my hard fought recovery not at all sudden or easy, but cushioned by God’s grace.
It took becoming pregnant to finally say to the world, I’m hungry. My first pregnancy shifted so many aspects of my understanding of my body and with it, shifted my view of hunger…I could claim hunger on behalf of my baby, and that small step might as well have been a mile for all it unlocked inside me. Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine, a love letter to life around the table with recipes
In the book, is the question, What’s your last supper?
Spaghetti thick with basil sauced tomatoes galore sprinkled with freshly shaved parmesan and bordered by thick buttered bread.
My cousin Vickie’s salad I can’t replicate on the side.
A glass of red wine as we recline and later gelato, the real kind that tastes like a coffee with just enough chocolate, a dollop of whipped cream to crown it!
Now, what’s for lunch? What’s for supper? Are the good watermelons ready?
Will we be fancy today, my daughter and I or will it be Chick Fil A?