2015 Year in Review
It's the final day of 2015, which makes it a great time to reflect on the past year! It's been a year of growth and change in my own personal life, and also for this blog. We welcomed a couple of regular contributing writers who have added a great dynamic to our content and have written some of our most popular posts. If you're an email subscriber, then you already know some of the great things that I have planned for next year, including The Detox Lifestyle online course. But if you're not yet a subscriber, I suggest getting on the list today so you can keep in the loop!
I'm very grateful for each one of you--whether you've stopped by our website just this once or you're a regular reader. It's because of you that I have the opportunity to do something I love by creating content for this blog that inspires women in North America and globally.
So here it is, the posts that YOU loved most this past year!
Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2015
Being a mom changes you. In my case, being a mom of girls has radically changed me.
When I think about how I want to raise my girls, there are usually two areas that I think about: that they love & follow Jesus and that their beliefs about themselves would be rooted in love, hope & strength. I want them to believe in God and believe in themselves in a way that seemed out of reach for me as a child.
So as I reflect on what I want my own daughters to know as they grow up to be strong women, I’m thinking about what truths would have helped me as a young girl…
I’ve learned a lot in my 3 short years in motherhood… probably more than my previous 25 years of life combined. I truly believe God allows us to raise children so that they can in-turn raise us, expose us, and shape us. It’s been my biggest personal growth, my happiest days, but also my loneliest hours.
I’ve learned over these last 3 years that this is not a road that is to be traveled alone. Motherhood is to be shared within a tribe. I don’t use the term “tribe” loosely. I truly believe all of us mommas need a sacred group of women that is our tribe.
As a woman who struggled with an eating disorder my entire young adult life. I feel extremely passionate about raising a generation who will no longer struggle with the body issues that we have so silently suffered through. My heart hurts for the little girl I once was and for the time I wasted being at war with myself. I vowed the cycle ended with me and one by one, family by family the cycle can end.
Here are 6 ways I truly believe we can raise children who not only have a good relationship with food, but also love who they are and the body they have been given…
It really crept up on me. Like a slow virus overtaking me from the inside, I found myself answering “I’m good! BUSY, but good!”
I almost couldn’t avoid it. People were always asking me: How do you get it all done? Do you ever sleep? Wow, you’re busy!
I would brush it off; tell them I get a lot of sleep, I’m just good at being productive, I really don’t do that much. But it felt really weird–like I was doing something wrong.
Shouldn’t I be busy? If I’m not busy, is there something wrong with me?
I began to internalize this belief that I must express that I’m busy or people will think my life is so “good” because I’m a lazy sloth who hangs around at home all day. (Gasp! I really am sometimes!)
I lived my entire teenage and young adult life with an eating disorder. Everyday for 9 years I obsessed over my body and what went in it. I counted calories, chugged water when I was hungry, over-exercised and finally resorted to binge eating and throwing up. I had this image of what I thought beautiful looked like and it didn’t involve any excess fat on my body. Those were hard times… those were lonely times…
If anyone reading this has been addicted to something you know how crippling it can be and how it truly consumes you. It took getting pregnant for me to stop throwing up my food. My maternal instincts overpowered my addiction… at least the extreme part of it.
Last week my family and I spent a few days camping at the beautiful and serene Silver Lake in Washington. It was so nice to unplug and unwind. It was also nice because we spent positive time together as a family.
For several weeks prior, I had been feeling really down. I was still optimistic and positive about most things, but there were other challenges that had me feeling like a complete failure. One of those areas of my life was parenting.
My oldest daughter was struggling big time and I just couldn’t handle it. With moving, renovating, working, and everything else on top, I was tapped out. I was filled with guilt about everything I was doing–as a leader, a wife, and especially as a mom. I felt like I was a crappy mom.
Everyone has those days – the house is a mess, nothing is put away… then the doorbell rings. Ugh! The last thing you want is someone to come in and see the disaster!
I have found a few things to keep in mind, for keeping my home guest-ready. Regardless of the day’s craziness, I can keep my sanity and not worry as much about drop-by’s if I stick to these couple of self-imposed rules.
Looking in the mirror at the ramifications of growing a human being, I felt as though I was looking at a body that wasn’t my own. I no longer felt comfortable in the skin that was mine, although the reflection looking back at me was indeed myself.
It’s a strange thing women go through–giving our bodies to our babies for 9 months and then having them returned to us unrecognizable; being expected to move on without giving ourselves time to become acquainted with this new version of who we are.
You know those mirrors, right? The ones at the circus or amusement park that are usually in some creepy room or building they call a “fun house” (biggest lie of the century, am I right?)
It would be one thing if it was just one mirror, but it’s usually a room full of mirrors. All different shapes, sizes, and angles so when you look in any direction, all you can see is a hundred misshapen reflections of your image. We usually laugh as we look around the room at ourselves, but it makes us feel uncomfortable.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in one of those rooms. Yet I feel like I have that same experience every day of my life.
As a child familiar with sexual abuse and a mother of three young girls, the statistic that 1 in 5 children will be sexually abused by age 18 is alarming and sadly, unsurprising.
One of the greatest books I’ve read on the topic, Rid of My Disgrace by Lindsey and Justin Holcomb, defines sexual abuse as: “any type of sexual behavior or contact where consent is not freely given or obtained and is accomplished through force, intimidation, violence, coercion, manipulation, threat, deception, or abuse of authority.” (emphasis mine)
90% of sexual abuse victims know their abuser. It could be a family member, a friend, a neighbour, a coach, a teacher. The idea of “stranger danger” is not only outdated, but a potentially problematic, teaching.
This is why I am so glad The Younique Foundation has created the Defend Innocence campaign.
Wishing you a Happy New Year and that 2016 is your best year yet!