Walking to the bus stop to greet my first grader, my four year old and I chatted about his day. I recalled to him how friendly he was at the gym that day and what a good memory he had when recalling names of people he knew there. He has a real knack for making friends and has an extremely outgoing personality. As we walked hand in hand I helped him make the connection to how God made him. “You have a special gift. God has given you a gift in remembering names and being an outgoing friendly person. I believe God will use that gift of yours as you grow-perhaps you will be able to make another person feel welcome when they are new, you will be able to invite them to play or to church and one day I believe God will use your special gifts to lead people to a relationship with Him.”
Ok, so to keep it real I am not sure how much of that he could grasp-he was after all wearing a super hero cape, hand-me-down Buzz Lightyear boots and wanting me to let go so he could go soaring down the sidewalk. But I am starting now, to help make the simple connection from the gifts and talents my children have to how God can and will use those for His glory and His kingdom.
How about you? Do you have a really creative one-a child that just blows you away with their ideas, inventions, creations? Do you have a child that is a kind-hearted soul that nurtures animals, friends, with hugs and care? Do you have a child that can work wonders with tricky math problems and has an incredible numbers sense? Or how about a dreamer-a wild imagination is what the world needs-God has placed that imagination there-perhaps your child with her imagination will picture the world without poverty and that plan, that dream will become a reality. Make the connection. We are born with gifts and abilities and a destiny. Who we are from our hair color to our eyes to our personality is not by chance-it is by design. I want to help my children see that their personal make-up is not a chance but an opportunity to live and shine for Him.
Parents-how do you do this with your children? Do you have teenagers, grown kids? Please teach me what this looks like and how to make the connection as my children (4ys and 6ys) get older.
“I remember the first day I threw up,” Allison told me. “I was on a Girl Scout camping trip and felt I had eaten too much. Just that week I had watched a Baywatch episode where the star of the show, played by Pamela Anderson, was being confronted with her eating disorder. There was a detailed scene showing her character throwing up her food by sticking her fingers down her throat. So I excused myself to the bathroom and tried to do what I had just seen on television — throw up by putting my fingers down my throat. It worked, and so began my six-year battle with bulimia. “In high school, I began to date Justin. ‘Awful’ is the only way to describe him accurately. He wanted me to be super-skinny and encouraged me to do anything to stay thin, even if it meant throwing up my food. He would say things like, ‘You are so beautiful and skinny.’ Struggling with low self- esteem, I did my best to please him and stay thin by continually throwing up my food. It became more than just something I did every once in a while; I was now bingeing and purging three or four times a day.”
Upon returning from a date, Allison would grab an entire box of Raisin Bran and milk. “Any food taken with milk or Coke would always make the throwing-up part a lot easier,” Allison continued. “I would binge on Raisin Bran, milk, and Coke, and then purge it after every date I went on. I just couldn’t cope with how he treated me. I felt used and worthless, and bingeing was my solace.
Allison had become accustomed to her dry mouth, aching throat, and what she calls “chipmunk cheeks.” “My face and cheeks were so swollen from the trauma of throwing up all day that it literally looked like I had something stuck in my cheeks,” she said. “Even now, I cannot look at pictures from those years. It’s just too painful.” When Allison’s hair began falling out in chunks, she realized the extent of her addiction. She approached her mom with the news of her problem, and her mom responded simply, “Just don’t do that.” Allison was reaching out for help, but still felt stuck. No longer trying to hide her secret, she would walk into a bathroom, even with three other girls in the next room, and purge her entire dinner.There are many reasons women struggle with eating disorders, including a need for control, a distorted body image, media propaganda and fear. Eating disorders are complex. The roots of these issues often have nothing to do with food at all. If someone you disciple has an eating disorder, Discipling Women will help you understand the warning signs, the different types of disorders, and how to walk through the healing process.
Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.