Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Blog - Support Network for Bulimia, Anorexia

It's true. It was bound to happen sooner or later - most of the last year has been consumed by reading up on the nouthetic (biblical) approach to addictions, e-mail counseling women who stumble across my testimony online, and writing my book manuscript. Last night, I set up a separate blog to encourage, inform and instruct Christian women with eating disorders:

Hopefully by the time you visit, that Commie-looking star in the upper left corner will have been replaced by a more appropriate and edifying graphic. Fortunately, some Christian bloggers, like Ashley, are also creative web designer-type folks.

My purpose in keeping the new blog separate from this one, where I like to talk about theology and personal insights from the Word, is really two-fold. Helping other Christian women overcome this particular addictive sin has become a ministry of sorts to me, and the internet is a venue where most women feel safe. Relatively few Christian women will proactively seek support or accountability in their own churches, but they will turn to a search engine for answers. (I know. I used to be one of them). One of the few sources of genuine spiritual help and personal encouragement I found in the early days of my repentance was the internet. All it takes to see the spiritual implication of an eating disorder is one or two people with a testimony and a willingness to call sin sin. A regenerate women, even while mired in this lifestyle, is still able to discern the errors of "pop psychology" and listen to the Holy Spirit.

My intention is that this new blog will be a place where Christian anorexics and bulimics can do just that.

Secondly, an agent spoke with me yesterday about my book project. He said that my proposal and chapter summary were well-written, which is encouraging. However, as an unknown first-time author, he suggested I build a "platform" (target audience) before trying to get the book published; otherwise, the proposal will be a hard sell. Unfortunately, having a doctrinally-sound, well-written manuscript is not the only factor in getting published. Publishers are less likely to take on projects from authors unaffiliated with ministries.

Who knows where God is leading - if I end up self-publishing, so be it. I will make the book available as a downloadable file online, and whoever may benefit from the message is welcome to it. Hopefully, others will contribute testimonies and writing for the new blog, as well. I would like it to be an interactive, helpful forum.

In other news, today is my 38th birthday. Yippee! The kids were so excited for me to get up this morning (I crashed about 1:30 am; I was up late creating the new blog) so they could give me the presents they had carefully chosen from Dollar Tree. It was so sweet - Natalia gave me a purple plastic face fan with a neck strap "for da beach"!; Stefan a carefully wrapped tube of shampoo; Miro a Sugar Pear Body Scrub (it even has the rough beady thingies); and Valentina a jar of hot salsa and homemade tissue paper and pipe-cleaner rose.

My husband brought me real roses (and Lindt white chocolate balls, too!) Very fun and heart-warming. So yep; I'm a year closer to the big four-oh.


Hadassah said...

Hey! Happy Birthday! I think shampoo and salsa are the greatest birthday presents I have ever heard of.

Congratulations on the new blog, too. I don't know how you do it all Marie! I hope the new book finds an outlet.

Marie said...

Thank you, Hadassah!

Yeah, I've been spending a bit too much time on the computer these days - designed a cover for my Bulgarian pastor's book, too...we're going to go the self-publishing route with his book, so I've been taking care of that for him. Not too many interpreting assignments this week, so I've been focused on writing.

Still, I think blogging can be an addiction - the very thing I'm warning against! Maybe tomorrow I won't keep my laptop plugged in all day.

Oh wait....I hafta go to work tomorrow. Maybe that's a good thing. ;) It's the last day of school for the kids tomorrow, too.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Well, Marie, Jill and I have read a lot of your manuscript so far (I'm a lot farther along than she is), and I think it would be a great asset to our counseling library, for the "if" we ever encounter that type of situation. So you can count on us for a copy!

Jack Sawyer said...

I'm a believer who holds to the inspiration of Scripture, but I don't think God intended it to address every single issue that arises in a person's life. God reveals truth in Scripture and nature (nouthetic counselors seem to over-emphasize the former and under-emphasize the latter). For example, the source of Solomon's wisdom was both. When he judged between the 2 women who both claimed the same baby, he didn't go looking for a Bible verse alone. Instead, he pulled from his observation of human nature and the tendency of mother's--and, of course, all he knew Biblically about the dark human heart played its part also. God's truth revealed in nature (even in fallen nature)is also God's truth. Why do Nouthetic counselors reject it in the interest of the sufficiency of Scripture? This is not the historic position of Bible-believing Christianity. It is an over-reaction to liberalism, and secular psychiatry/pschology. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water--sort.

Marie said...

Hi Jack,

Thanks for your comment.

Actually, the position nouthetic counseling takes is not against natural truth as revealed in nature - the objection is to humanism as an underlying philosophy, which essentially makes man into his own 'god'. Also, it is not a matter of throwing out all research and data on the way the mind works - for example, cognitive psychology (studying how the brain processes information and how we learn) is one thing; behavioral is another.

In particular, the position secular psychology takes regarding addictions is patently unbiblical. In January, I posted a 3-part series (excerpted from the book I wrote) on the difference between biblical Christianity and behavioral psychology and why the 2 do not mix. Here's the link to the first part, rather than re-hashing everything:

I can assure you that EDs are not addressed biblically in any secular in or outpatient clinic, and in relatively few Christian clinics (a chapter of it's own in my book - Remuda Ranch's Treatment Model is symbolic of everything that is wrong with integrationist therapy). Blame-shifting, attributing sin to unpleasant childhood memories, society, genetics or re-labeling it as a "disease" has no Scriptural basis whatsoever.

Even when I was a patient, instinctively I knew that my behavior was wrong as that soothing voices telling me "it's not your fault" were off-base, although at the time I couldn't have backed that up biblically. The Bible does, in fact, have much to say about addictions - two great books, if you are interested in digging into the subject in more depth, are Ed Welch's "Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave" and "Deceptive Diagnosis: When Sin is Called Sickness" (I forget the author - you can Google it).

The Bible does, in fact, give us ALL we need pertaining to life and godliness. That includes counsel on particularly besetting sins, which is what addictions are.