Self Care | You’re Not An Anorexic, But Your Life Is


As 2014 begins to wrap up I naturally reflect on living into my God-sized dream this past year. It causes me to remember these words:

“You’re not an anorexic but your life is.”

Words spoken to me over 12 years ago by my therapist. While that may seem like along time ago to you, it seems like yesterday to me. They have never let me go. Those words are thankfully etched into me. I may not have an ink tattoo, but I have a verbal tattoo.

You see, I had been put on medical leave from ministry and forced (yes, by lawyers) into intensive treatment for what was being labeled as anorexia. The why’s of it all still don’t make sense to me, but if it was only to hear that phrase above I will take it.

At the time I would have called my life chaos, hectic, or crazy. Sound familiar? I was doing all that I could to simply survive each day and was attempting to please a bunch of people at my work place who were seemingly disappointed in me no matter what I did. An odd place to be for a girl who tried to never do anything wrong.

But the truth is my life was starving to be lived. In my reality I couldn’t see it. My forced removal from the everyday grind gave me no other choice than to discover what living looked like. In my 3 month leave I took myself on retreats, visited an old chapel covered in stain glass weekly, went to jewelry making classes, enjoyed seminars, walked around in my bare feet, journaled, played with pastels, took myself to the movies, sat outside at coffee shops with my laptop, made friends, and attended church. I behaved as a human being rather than a human doing and it was life giving.

“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” John 10:10

When I speak of self care it has immense value to me because I know…like I really, really, really know…what it is like to live life void of it. I know self care can feel selfish. But have you thought about it from God’s perspective? When we remind ourselves that God is looking down, seeing His daughter, it flips things. He sees a daughter that He loves, cares for and desires to see living life abundantly. And how can that be possible if you are bogged down in zero care for the person who He created? I had a lovely reminder of why self care feels so darn good. In September I attended Camp Create hosted by Meg Duerksten and Kimberlee Jost. I gifted it to myself and it was just that…a treasure of a gift.

I spent five whole days being spoiled rotten with incredible food, amazing teaching (thank you Holley, Stephanie and Michelle) and an off-the-charts environment. I met the kindest, sweetest, most delightful women and we simply sat and shared and ate and crafted and crafted and crafted some more. I crafted till past 1 a.m. and was up by 7:00 a.m., back at it. I wasn’t about to miss a minute. It was life giving for me. It was a sacrifice of money and it was extra effort on my family, but it was so worth it because of how filled up I came out on the other side. I was reminded of how I experience life fully present and am making darn certain they are showing up in my week.

Here is a glimpse into Camp Create, and I mean glimpse. There should be a post with just 50-60 pictures.

cc wall

cc room

cc patio

cc truth card

cc pillows

cc joy

camp create crew

It was all dreamy! I am not expecting this to look ideal to you, but do you know your ideal? What choice can you make today that will show yourself love? Not a selfish, conceited kinda love but love that comes from honoring God and all that He created you to be. My life is far from perfect today and for that I am actually thankful. In the ups and down and sideways places I go, I know I am not simply sitting still and starving any longer. I chose to do more than survive. I chose to live and I know with God’s help you can too.

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Carey Bailey (29 Posts)

Carey Bailey‘s husband describes her as a woman who loves to dance around the living room in her pj’s, loves Blue Bell Pralines and Cream ice cream, loves her kids, and loves Jesus! This fun-loving mother of two also has a passion for helping fellow women discover ways to create a powerful relationship with Christ. She is the author of Cravings, an innovative 40 day devotional for busy moms that allows them to draw closer to the Lord in the midst of busyness. And the bonus is that is comes with a zero calorie cupcake.


  1. I want to grow in Christ each day because I want to be more like him. I need to love more because God loves us with an ever lasting love. My goal is to have a strong personal realationship with Jesus.

    • That is awesome Shirley. I would encourage you to place some tangibles around that. What do you need personally to be growing in Christ? What does it look like to love more? What does a strong personal relationship with Jesus look like and how do you pursue that?
      With Joy, Carey

  2. I like the term “human doing” for those who seem compelled to do rather than just “be”. My poor husband has been that way all his 64 years and is just finally accepting that God made us to simply BE in His beautiful, peaceful, loving, and joyful image. Of course, the “doing” part is good, too, but only when it comes after our satisfaction to simply BE — that satisfaction comes from simply acknowledging that God loves us just as we are the moment we are created in His image. What greater justification for being alive is that? And so, we can just BE and not worry about what we are to DO. With this knowledge and a sure knowledge of who He is (through His Word), we will know when He speaks to us and lets us know when it is time to do and what to do. I agree, too, that more often than we realize, He tells us to rest and to take care of ourselves. If we don’t, how will we be able to do His will when He is calling us? I believe when we live this way, life is abundant and filled with much joy.

  3. I read about Brave Girls and Camp Create in the Aug/Sept issue of Mary Jane’s Farm magazine. I have been to the website and watched their videos. I am currently receiving their little bird emails. I, too, have been doing a personal work through journaling and collage. It’a a very therapeutic outlet.

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