Pruning is Painful

Pruning hurts, but for continued growth it’s necessary. I think pruning may be most painful when you love what you have to cut away, those things you thought were beautiful. When you didn’t even know the overgrowth was a bad thing, the shock of pruning is depressing.

I sure wish I was talking about gardening. Instead, I’m talking about my skill in writing and how things will have to change in order for me to take the next step in publishing.

After I wrote Unmending the Veil, a friend had an editor where she worked take a look at it. They passed. Rather than feeling discouraged, I decided to keep moving forward. Because I believed in the story, I decided to create my own little publishing company and publish it. From there, I just kept writing and publishing. I loved the idea that I could write what I wanted when I wanted. There’s freedom in indy publishing that you never have in traditional publishing.

What happens, though, when you find you’ve bumped into a wall? Now, in order to reach a broader market, I know that I will have to pursue traditional publishing. The problem for me is this: they have expectations for writing style, what seems minimalist to me, that will change how I write.

I’m too flowery and tell more about emotions than what’s allowed. Editors want me to show emotion through actions and dialogue. I get that. But there’s something about me that loves to explore and express emotions in my characters’ heads. I have to stop that. Ugh! That’s the hardest to prune. I love living in people’s heads.

When I write, I follow the point of view of more than one character in a scene. That’s a big no no. Maybe I’m just nosy, but I like knowing what everyone is thinking and feeling as the scene unfolds. Sigh. No more of that. It’s called head-hopping.

So, I’m entering a season of pruning in my writing. This hurts. It seriously hurts inside. There’s this inner rebel inside of me that wants to keep doing things my way. On the other hand, I want to keep moving forward in this journey. If you aren’t growing then you simply grow stagnant. I don’t want that to happen to me.

Please pray for me. I have to now go back and prune Unmending the Veil in order to pitch to a publisher. That will involve deconstructing and reconstructing the entire novel. I’m afraid I will lose the depth and emotion that made the story so touching. Seriously, this is hard.

I stand now looking at a fork in the road. One direction is nice and comfy – it’s the easier path and feeds my inner rebel. The other is super uncomfortable and makes me squirm – just as God’s new direction often does. Bottom line? A broader reach is Kingdom work. I choose the King and Kingdom.

Pour Some Sugar on Me

Yeah, I just quoted Def Leppard.

I’m so over blogging about my new healthier way of eating. Good grief! I’m so over eating healthier – period. I still am eating well, though, with a few exceptions.

Someone in my house – my husband Kelly – bought Krispy Kreme donuts. They were here. Mistakes were made. I’ve blown it with a few other things. Almost always, it’s a sugar issue. Like, who ever overeats broccoli? I just threw up in my mouth a little at the thought.

I just want sugary goodness. I need cookies – not want, I need them. Oh yeah, I had four the other day. See, there have been exceptions. Just the fact that I wrote the word cookies just now only reminded me that I have homemade cookies in the kitchen, sitting on the counter in a glass container. Why do I do that to myself? I bake cookies because I love the guy who has a box of still uneaten Krispy Kreme donuts in the kitchen.

Because I haven’t had as much sugar, I find I’m eating the alternative – bread. Since simple carbs turn into nothing but sugar in your bloodstream, no wonder I’ve traded in one vice for another. Technically, I’m still getting my sugar fix. Yesterday, I had four pieces of bread over the course of the day. I haven’t done that in over two years at least. That’s not healthier by any means.

I sure was hoping that by the end of the month I could finish out this series on a more positive note. I wanted to be able to tell you how awesome I am and that I’ve rocked this thing. In truth, I’m just mentally exhausted over the struggle.

Overall, I am doing better in every area, but there hasn’t been one week yet that I didn’t eat things I was trying to avoid. Maybe I never will, but I do know this, if I give up all together, I won’t maintain my health. So I keep plugging away at it.

Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, I’ll be back next January and begin again. Until then, I’ll do the best I can each day with one goal in mind: just to stay out of the cookies.

Quick update: After writing this, yes, I did go and get into the cookies. Stupid cookies!

Food, Food, Food


Since I can recall, I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with food. Up until I had my tonsils taken out in third grade, I could take it or leave it. I don’t remember it, but I’m told I hardly ate then. So what changed after surgery, other than the fact that I wasn’t sick as often? I learned to self-medicate with food. That feeling you get when you eat comfort food is soothing, especially for a little girl dealing with as many emotions as I was.

I had begun this blog intending on being more transparent about those emotions, but now I realize that’s not the point. The real point is: many of us turn to food for comfort at times – maybe even all of us. It became so natural to turn to food for comfort, that the early negative emotions became irrelevant. Honestly, I’ve dealt with those childhood traumas, so is it fair to keep blaming them now for my unhealthy relationship with food? Nope. I have to learn to process difficult current emotions and situations in a new way – without food being my go to. We all do.

In my own journey, and I hope in yours, I’ve discovered that there’s only one place to take these emotions – to Jesus. I do that now. I’m still not the best at it, but I’m learning and growing better all the time at allowing Him to heal me rather than to use food as a temporary band aid. Whether it’s a big or small issue I’m facing, He can be of greater comforter than food ever was.

These days, as I’m emotionally and spiritually healthier, I’ve noticed something: Turning to food is more of a habit than a necessity. Plus I eat when I’m bored. This journey of learning to tell myself no and end the internal conflict within has had its ups and downs. I do well most times, and I’ve failed a few times. Still, I keep going. I have to believe that the old habit will eventually give up and die. I’m determined to be the victor in this.

New habits I’ve adopted:

  • I’m eating cleaner – less processed foods. That requires more cooking on my part, something I used to do only because my family expected food at various times. Now, I’m learning to enjoy cooking more and coming up with foods I like rather than choking down more broccoli.
  • I’ve begun something called intermittent fasting. Though I fast at times for spiritual reasons, this isn’t the same. I won’t go into the many benefits of fasting on your body, but the more research I’ve done the more I understand why God, as the body’s Creator, called His people to fast so often. It’s mind-blowing the many positive effects that fasting has – even on aging (says the woman who will turn 49 next month).

Yes, I’m still way too focused on food, a fact that I hope will level out. This is still a learning curve that I’m on, so giving so much consideration to food is necessary. At least now I’m not allowing it to comfort me. I’m not eating when I’m bored. I’m not eating because an Oreo commercial tells me to. My basic goal is to control food rather than to allow it to control me. So I would say I’m making progress.


If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them. Do you eat for comfort? Are you self-medicating a wound that only Jesus can truly heal?