Thursday, July 3, 2014

Why I'm Done Blogging Here

This is going to be my last post on My Sacred Pathway. From now on, I will be on my new blog on Wordpress.

I made the decision to quit blogging here for a few reasons. A big one is practicality. These days my interests are running in a few different directions, and I wanted to be able to create tabs for different subjects to keep things more organized. I am not as “tech-savvy” as some people, and I'm having an easier time navigating Wordpress than blogger.

Another reason for the change is I have undergone a lot of changes, personally and spiritually since I started this blog. I got to a point where I felt fenced in, as if I wasn't free to write about anything other than Christian spirituality, hearing loss, social justice, and the other topics I've written about on a regular basis. My views on all those things have changed so much, even in just the past year, and I need the freedom to step back and evaluate exactly what has changed and what that means going forward.

Lastly, I feel like I have held myself up to a ridiculous standard of having it all together, as if any portion of my life can be held up as an example of what an “ideal human” should look like. That is not fair to myself or anyone who reads my stuff. It's not authentic.

I want to thank you all for reading this blog and commenting on the entries and on Facebook. Comments are going to be disable now that I am no longer moderating this blog. I hope you will join me over at Wordpress!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"Let it Go" Eating Disorder Parody

About four years ago, I finished outpatient treatment for my anorexia.  Miraculously, I made it through with all my teeth and a decent BMI.  When I started, there were some issues with my heart, to put it mildly, but now it's alive and ticking!

I love connecting with other people who have an ED, and one of my online friends told me that the song "Let It Go" is a great description of our struggle.  I'm in a good place for the most part, but I still get the odd rough patch.  Tonight I was really struggling with operation: insert food into face, and I pulled up a subtitled video of "Let it Go".  I let the lyrics sink in as I slowly munched on bread and Nutella.  I connected with it, but I had plenty of my own words to say, so I sat down and wrote this parody in one shot.  

I will make a video of it at some point once I decide whether I want to do it a cappella or if I want to go through the to-do of using someone's piano, since I don't currently have one.

Disclaimer/cover-my-butt:  I do not own the lyrics to "Let It Go", nor am I making any money with this parody.  The lyrics to "Let It Go" are owned by Disney.

Let it Go” Eating Disorder Parody

Staring at the scale tonight
I don't want to be seen
A kingdom of starvation
And it looks like I'm the queen

The lies are raging, I'm destructing deep inside
Couldn't keep it in, heaven knows I've tried

Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the skinny girl you have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
But someone must know

Let it go, let it go,
Can't fake it anymore
Let it go, let it go
I've been wounded to the core!

I don't care
What the devil may say
Let the lies rage on
The darkness never bothered me anyway

It's funny how the truth
makes the big things seem so small
and the lies that once controlled me
can't get to me at all

It's time to see what G-d can do
to smash my limits and break through
no black and white, no chains for me,
I'm free

Let it go, let it go
I am joined with G-d Most High
Let it go, let it go,
it's okay to cry

Here I stand
and here I'll stay
let the lies rage on

G-d's power flurries through the air into my heart
My lifeblood's stirring and I'm getting a fresh start
And one lie crystalizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back
the past is in the past
Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn
let it go, let it go
that skinny girl is gone!

Here I stand
in the light of day
let the lies rage on
the darkness never bothered me anyway!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Why I Left The Group “Christians for Biblical Equality”

I used to belong to a Facebook group called “Christians for Biblical Equality”, which is an extension of a larger organization with the same name. After several months of participating in discussions and reading the articles people posted, I made the decision to leave CBE.

If you didn't know me, you might assume I made that decision because I've become ultra-conservative and I don't believe women should ever have any leadership roles in the church. That couldn't be any further from the truth. I didn't leave the group because I don't believe in equality. I left the group because I believe in equality wholeheartedly, and I did not find true equality in CBE.

If you tell someone they have to dress immodestly and show their hair because “this isn't the 50's”, you are not promoting equality. Whether you realize it or not, you are promoting the lies of our male-dominated, hyper-sexualized society. If you tell a woman that they cannot stay home or make the decision to work part-time in the interest of balancing work and life, you are not promoting feminism or liberation. If anything, you are promoting the opposite. Forcing all women into the workplace is just as oppressive as forcing all of them to stay home.

Another reason I left the group was because a lot of people in the group had extremely anti-Semitic attitudes. I found this out when I mentioned that Jewish teachings on modesty and head covering carry more merit for me than Christian teachings.  I could not believe the ridiculous stereotypes that some Christians believe about Jews and Judaism. Without Judaism, there would be no Christianity, so my patience for anti-Semitism within the church/Christian subculture is nonexistent.

If you're reading this and you're a Christian who believes in equality, do yourself (and everyone else) a huge favor: Leave the CBE group if you're in it, and do some soul searching and some research and learn about true equality. It will change your life!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Three Little Words That Christians Can't Bring Themselves to Say

If there's one thing kids love to do, it's ask questions. Kids want to know how things work, and why they work the way they do. If I can answer questions honestly, I don't hesitate to do so. But sometimes kids ask more complicated questions, and the honest answer is “I don't know.”

Why are those three little words taboo amongst adults? Why do we insist on fabricating explanations for things when we haven't the faintest idea why people are injured or killed in car accidents, or why women miscarry, or why people get cancer when they have healthy lifestyles?

Recently I had a conversation with a twelve-year-old girl who wanted to know why people are always shooting each other and why isn't anyone doing anything to stop this? I sighed from the depths of my being, looked her in the eye, and said, “I don't know, kiddo. I don't have an answer that will satisfy either one of us.”

As someone who didn't grow up going to church, and as someone who is getting more and more disillusioned with westernized Christianity, I can tell you why more and more people are leaving churches. Church is no longer a safe place to ask honest questions or say “I don't know.”

Monday, May 12, 2014

Movies That Have Helped Me Heal

We love good movies because they are driven by good storytelling. We identify with them. We identify with the characters' humanity and dilemmas. I've compiled a list of movies and documentaries that have played an important role in recovery from my package of unfortunate life events.

I'm listing potential triggers in my synopses, but if you have PTSD I encourage you to check out the content advisory on IMDB before watching a movie. Those advisories tend to be pretty thorough. (For those of you who don't know much about PTSD, some people are triggered by certain scenes in books or movies, and the advanced warning beforehand can be very helpful.)


1.) Hope Floats (1998) starring Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick Jr, and Gena Rowlands

Do yourself a favor and actually watch it before you write it off as an overrated chick flick! It happens to be amazing. Birdie (Bullock) goes through a journey of self-discovery after her husband has an affair and files for divorce.

2.) 28 Days (2000) starring Sandra Bullock, Dominic West, Ashley Johnson

Alcoholic Gwen (Bullock) is charged with a DWI and spends 28 days in court-ordered rehab. She meets a handfull of interesting characters and learns that she has the power to make positive decisions about her life. The scene where she is stuck wearing the “confront me if I don't ask for help” sign made me laugh hysterically because I know there are times when my loved ones wish they could make me wear a sign like that, haha!

Trigger warning: Heavy drinking in a few scenes, as well as a couple scenes in which characters are found dead after suicide and alcohol overdose.

3.) No Reservations (2007) starring Cathrine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin

Kate (Zeta-Jones) uses her job as a gourmet chef to escape from her background of neglect and broken relationships. Her budding friendship with a new co-worker (Eckhart) and becoming the legal guardian of her niece (Breslin) force her to make peace with her past and herself.


1.) Depression: Out of the Shadows (2008), produced by PBS

Depression is a very misunderstood condition. If you live with clinical depression or are close to someone who does, you need to see this one.

Trigger warning: The scenes in which people describe their experiences with severe depression might be a bit upsetting for those who have struggled with it or are currently struggling with it. The documentary also talks about ECT, better known as shock therapy.

2.) Forgiving Dr. Mengele (2006) starring Eva Mozes Kor

Eva Mozes Kor and her twin sister were survivors of Mengele's experiments during the Holocaust. On the outside, Kor got her life in order after she was liberated. She emigrated to Israel and then the US, got married, had kids, got a job, and lived a “normal” life. On the inside, unforgiveness turned her into a very sad, angry person. She didn't embrace the power of forgiveness until she was older, but when she did, it changed her life. Unlike many faith-based books on forgiveness, this documentary actually gives a straightforward definition of what forgiveness means.

Trigger warning: Contains footage of Auschwitz and Mengele's lab during the war. Eva has a flashback during an eye exam.

That's my list of movies that have helped me heal. I'm going to work on a list of books and hopefully post it sometime in the next week or so. If that doesn't end up happening, it's not that I don't like you all. I'm dealing with a lot of life events right now and I just need more hours in the day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Secret To A Healthy Marriage

I've been happily married for almost three years. I'm always getting asked how I do it, what my secret is.

Well, listen up, because I'm about to tell you THE SECRET of having a happy, healthy marriage! Here it is:

Stop worrying about divorce.

I mean it. Stop. Worrying. About. Divorce.

We've got this idea in the Christian subculture that we can prevent divorce by worrying, talking, and writing about it incessantly. We scare the daylights out of engaged and newlywed couples with our lectures about how they have to have a good marriage because “G-d hates divorce.”

Yes, G-d is not a fan of divorce. He's also not a fan of lunacy, and I'd say that using fear to try to control other people is definitely heading in that direction. Heart attacks can kill people, but we don't try to prevent them by worrying about them incessantly. We prevent them by keeping our bodies as healthy as possible.

It's not any different for marriage. You have a healthy marriage by doing the things that keep it healthy. Keep the lines of communication open. Work through and own your own crap. Laugh. Make mistakes. Give second chances. If you're spending all your time and energy investing in your marriage, you won't have extra energy or brain space for worrying about divorce.

(Note: When I say “G-d is not a fan of divorce”, I am referring to situations where one or both people just give up on the relationship. I am not talking about divorce in the case of domestic violence. If you are in an abusive situation, please get the help you need! I

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kombucha 101

I've jumped on the kombucha bandwagon, and I love it! Kombucha is fermented tea that is rich in probiotics and has numerous other health benefits. You can use black or green tea, flavored or unflavored, and you can add just about any other kind of flavoring to it. Kombucha cultures are very hardy. Unless you freeze them or toss them in boiling water, it's unlikely that you'll kill them, and contamination is uncommon. That being said, if you see any black discoloration on your culture at any time, it's become contaminated and needs to be thrown out.

Kombucha cultures Breed Like Rabbits, so you will always have plenty to give away! Your culture will produce faster than you can find homes for all the babies, so you'll have to throw some of them away. I know, that's depressing, but it comes with the territory. Oh, one other thing to be aware of: kombucha cultures look a lot like giant boogers. I'm just going to call that one like I see it.

Most people make kombucha in a half-gallon jar, but I don't have the counter space for that, so I've invented a recipe that you can do in a quart jar. The thing to keep in mind if you use a quart jar is that the fermenting time is basically going to be cut in half, so you'll need to keep an eye on it and make sure it's not getting too sour for your taste.

How to brew kombucha in a quart jar:

You will need:
-kombucha culture and ½ cup starter tea (get online or from someone who brews kombucha)
-1 pint of boiling hot water (half a quart)
-1/3 cup sugar
-2 bags of green or black tea, or generous handful of loose-leaf tea
-1 bag of other tea or small handful of loose-leaf tea for flavoring (optional)
-paper towel
-canning jar band and lid
-dry erase marker (for writing dates on jars)

Place the tea bags or loose herbs in a clean quart jar and fill up halfway with boiling water. Steep for 20 minutes. Remove tea bags and add 1/3 cup of sugar. Stir until dissolved. Put jar in fridge or freezer to chill to luke warm. (Mason jars can go in the freezer).

Add filtered water until the quart jar is filled up about ¾ of the way, and then add the starter tea and culture. Screw the band over the paper towel and let it ferment until it tastes right. My quart jars generally take about two days for the first ferment.  It'll depend on your kitchen's temperature and humidity level.

After the first ferment, it's time to add any additional flavoring. You can add fruit, cinnamon sticks, or fresh or dried herbs. Screw on a lid and band tight, and it's ready for the second fermentation. If you don't add anything to it, it will start to form cultures on the top of the liquid. Open it and dispose of these at least once a day. These baby cultures will make it too sour if you leave them in there. When I put fruit in for the second ferment, I don't have issues with baby cultures forming.

Once your kombucha is done, it can be stored in the fridge. I try to drink one or two 8 oz glasses a day, 3 if I'm coming down with something. I try to use it up within a week.

You can easily do this recipe in a half-gallon jar.  Just double all the ingredients.