Food Walls

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 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." - Gal. 5:1

I've picked up and put down my phone at least fifty times in an attempt to write this. I guess that means I should just go ahead and dive in.

It shouldn't be news to you that I've been fighting an eating disorder for 11+ years (and if it is, surprise!).  With a long history of food struggles, I'm hyper aware of how I and others talk about eating. And you guys it's a bit depressing. We ladies are obsessed--no, seriously obsessed --with the topic of food. We agonize over it; pine over it; whine about it; meme it; Instagram it; cautiously count and weigh it; read about it; and talk, talk, talk, talk, talk (you get the idea) about it...

I'm staring to believe that disordered eating is by far the norm and healthy attitudes toward food the abnormality. 

A few weeks ago I was at a party eating fancy little finger foods with a table of six ladies, ranging from early twenties to fifties. Everyone was commenting on eachother's plates, "Oh my gosh, you're being so good! Look how healthy you are! All of those veggies!  I know I'm being really bad but I can't say no to cupcakes." Another woman chimed in with, "I gave up sugar for Lent. It's so hard but it's a really good spiritual reminder and I can lose weight too, which is always a plus." And then another lady said, "Sometimes I wish I had a health reason to avoid sugar because I just cannot say no."

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O.k., a few things here... When did we start moralizing food as good and bad? It's either food or it's not food.  Eating celery does not make me a good person just as eating a donut does not make me a bad person. It's food. It's for the body. Our body isn't made for food, as if we must serve it, cater to its finicky desires, stay wide-eyed in bed worried about what those extra calories are doing to our thighs. How did such terms as "good" or "bad" become normal identifiers for our meals? Why should we express shame or even justify eating a piece of birthday cake to a friend who is abstaining? It's cake, not cocaine.  "I know I'm being bad, but I have to have just one line of cocaine. I'll work it off with an extra long run this afternoon..."  Yeah, that thankfully would not be overlooked as normal conversation. But I can't even count the number of times I've heard women justify (justify!!) enjoying a slice of cake. 

Similarly, it can't be healthy to prefer a serious medical condition over self-control. And that's the crux: food has become our enemy. We would even distort or pervert Lent for another excuse to manipulate our plate and weight. Is that really a spiritual discipline? Is it really about getting more of God or just literally less of us, leaner and lighter? Jesus, the bread of life, wouldn't even be found in much of America's pantries with our gluten-free-without-having-a-gluten-allergy trends.

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It breaks my heart how we tweak every menu, bending, shaving, and re-shaping dishes until they are completely unrecognizable from their original form. I'm the first to admit that I've done all of these tricks too many times to count, so please don't hear condemnation here. Yet I'm so saddened that so many women are plagued with distorted ideas about food but would never even consider that they might have an eating disorder. Because "disorder" is just normal now. Everyone is disordered. Everyone is on a diet (unstable) but doesn't have a diet (constant). Everyone is trying to tone up, lose weight, fit into those jeans / dress / swim suit. It's honestly a hot zone of food insanity these days.

I don't want to sound like being conscious of what you put into your body is a bad thing. I'm not advocating ditching nutrition for care-free binge sprees. And OBVIOUSLY some people have real, valid, and scary health conditions that require micro-managing everything they eat. If that's you, don't stop! You're doing great and I'm 100% supportive of your special food needs! For all of the rest of us jokers, though, jumping from one fad diet after another, this food talk is poisonous. 

Sure, we need to be aware of what we eat and seek real food over non-nutritious, chemically infused, mass-produced "food." We can't, though, take these attempts to the extreme, becoming enslaved to impossible diets and food-judging everyone  around us. We can't use every social opportunity to give each other "helpful advice" on the "best way to eat." We shouldn't build walls with food, excluding community with others because they aren't Paleo or Vegitarian or Gluten Free or organic or Whole 30. 

Eat the cake and enjoy it. Stop talking about it and just dive into the moment and thank God for every bite. 

 “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me but I will not be enslaved by anything.” 1 Cor. 6:12 (ESV)

Engaged in the Springtime at the Dallas Arboretum

Engaged in the Springtime at the Dallas Arboretum

Travis and Maddie are just like lovely together. Since we were already at the dallas arboretum  for sweet Susan's birthday, we couldn't resist snapping some shots of these love birds. Their real engagement photos are still on the way but I hope you get a picture of just how wonderful these two are. I cannot wait for their wedding coming soon . . .

LAUNCHED: illuminare - Staging & Design 🎉 🎉

LAUNCHED: illuminare - Staging & Design 🎉 🎉

We created a beautiful minimalist-modern responsive website design for the beautiful AnnByron and Reese over at Illuminare Designs. They were looking for a refined design that was clean, simple, easy to navigate for clients, and brought their stunning designs to the spotlight. Their logo design needed something with elegant glam, so we chose a lower-case script in stunning rose-gold metals paired perfectly with steely gray. I am so thrilled to watch these two laddies transform homes across DFW into stunning gems. Make sure you take a moment and check out their new home at illuminaredesigns.com and follow them on Instagram and Facebook. High fives and toasts all around, AnneByron and Reese!

Poor Little Guy, by Elanna Allen - Animated picture book

This delightful book is funny, beautifully illustrated (with gorgeous hand-lettering that morphs into the images throughout the book), and has a priceless surprise ending. All of these attributes together made it top of the list for our next animated book. Yes, we animated it quickly so forgive the little gritty bits where you can tell I was nursing a baby and getting "help" from a 4 year old in our 2 hour project. . .  Purchase this wonderful book here and follow author / illustrator Elana Allen on Instagram here.

Created under the Fair Use Act for educational purposes only.

"What do you do when you're so tiny that the bigger ocean creatures think you might even taste adorable?

An itsy-bitsy, glasses-wearing fish is minding his own business when a playful (and hungry) octopus snatches him right up. Luckily, this poor little guy is not quite as innocent as he seems…and he has a BIG surprise up his sleeve!

Told with wit, a wink, and a delightfully dark sense of humor, Poor Little Guy celebrates the very smallest...and all of their giant victories. Hand this cute but mighty book to fans of Bob Shea and Dan Krall."

Vegetables in Underwear - An Animated version of Jared Chapman's Book

Vegetables in Underwear is one of our favorite reads from this year! Here's the animated video-book we made so we can enjoy it even when our hard copy isn't at hand. 

 

"A bunch of friendly vegetables wear colorful underwear of all varieties—big, small, clean, dirty, serious, and funny—demonstrating for young ones the silliness and necessity of this item of clothing. The unexpectedness of vegetables in their unmentionables is enough to draw giggles, but the pride with which the “big kid” attire is flaunted in front of the baby carrots in diapers will tickle readers of all ages. With rhyming text that begs to be chanted aloud and art that looks good enough to eat, this vibrant story will encourage preschoolers to celebrate having left those diapers behind!" - Purchase it here on Amazon.

Continual Repentance

 "O God of Grace,

 

You have imputed my sin to my substitute,

and have imputed his righteousness to my soul,

clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe,

decking me with jewels of holiness.

 

But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;

my best prayers are stained with sin;

my penitential tears are so much impurity;

my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin;

my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

 

I need to repent of my repentance;

I need my tears to be washed;

I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,

no loom to weave my own righteousness;

 

I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,

and by grace am always receiving change of raiment,

for you always justify the ungodly;

I am always going into the far country,

and always returning home as a prodigal,

always saying, “Father, forgive me,”

and you are always bringing forth the best robe.

 

Every morning let me wear it,

every evening return in it,

go out to the day’s work in it,

be married in it,

be wound in death in it,

stand before the great white throne in it,

enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

 

Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin,

the exceeding righteousness of salvation,

the exceeding glory of Christ,

the exceeding beauty of holiness,

the exceeding wonder of grace."

 

-"Continual Repentance" from The Valley of Vision, by Arthur Bennett

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