Eating Disorder Hope: Learning to Trust God in Recovery Process

“. . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me . . .”

I let the words sink in, and then I looked out my bedroom window that overlooked the water; for once, I took in the scenery not in fear, but in admiration of the sun as it descended below the horizon. The setting of the sun was a reminder of the magnificence of creation.

“If God made the sun, surely he made me. He must love me, too. I’m going to believe that no matter what, God is with me. When I’m afraid, God is right by my side. I might not see Him physically, but I can see him with my soul; simply because I believe that God is with me, He is,” I thought.

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

Today as I hiked with my blind and deaf Australian Shepherd and friends up and down rocky trails and around the azure waves of the Pacific, I was amazed at the beauty of God’s creation and the magnitude of his power.

Read the full article at Eating Disorder Hope.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – 1565

Listen to the podcast with Nikki and Bill Murray here.

Tonight’s special guest is Nikki DuBose from Los Angeles, a returning NAASCA family member who was abused as a child and later as a young professional model. Nikki works closely with Matt Sandusky at the ‘Peaceful Hearts Foundation,’ and will tell us about her new book, ‘Washed Away: From Darkness to Light.’ In her memoir, Nikki details how being sexually abused as a child led to a seventeen-year battle with serious mental health issues such as eating disorders, depression, self-harm, substance abuse and sexual addictions. She experienced a great deal of success, yet that prosperity came with a high price that often mirrored the sexual abuse from her youth. Among other things, Nikki advocates on her web site for better regulation of the modeling industry. Coming to a place of full healing has not been easy for Nikki, but she says, “I wholeheartedly believe that full recovery is possible. It starts with speaking out and reducing the shame and stigma that is so often attached to mental health issues.” She goes on, “Being an advocate is what allows me to wake up every day and feel truly alive. All of that pain that I lived with for so many years is now channeled into making a difference in society. Whatever issues you’re passionate about, use your voice and the resources you have; love yourself first and from there you can help to change the world.” We’re delighted to have Nikki as a card-carrying member of the NAASCA family!

Addiction Hope: The Mother-Daughter Addiction

“…She flipped the truck into a ditch and just left the scene. Nikki…we can’t find her.”
I hung up. My momma: the adult, the child, my everything.
I slid to the floor and smacked my head with my fist.

“God, help me!” I thought. I desperately wanted the pain to end, and for our lives to be normal, but life had been chaotic for so long, perhaps this was our normal.

…I let the cold water wash over my blistered knuckles and stared into the mirror. The only face I recognized was Momma’s; she was all I wanted. Her reflection blended into mine and brought me face-to-face with some disturbing truths. Why was I incapable of taking care of myself? Why couldn’t I take care of her? “God, where are you? Don’t you love us?” I thought.

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

For most of my life, I never wanted to come to terms with the fact that I was an addict to pretty much everything. Addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, fame, success, love, food, on and on. Basically, I just wanted anything to simultaneously temper the sting of loneliness and boost my low self-esteem.

Read more on Addiction Hope.

EDHope: Why the Modeling Industry Needs Mental Health Education

Many years ago I opened up to one of my modeling agents in Miami about my chronic struggle with bulimia. At that point, I had been battling the illness for over fourteen years and I was terrified to lose another contract because of it.

After an unsuccessful stint at rehab, my former agent in New York realized that I just couldn’t make the cut with castings and jobs due to my eating disorder and other mental health issues, and sent me back to South Florida without a ticket back. Ultimately, my disorders prevented me from being able to focus at work, maintain a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Read more on Eating Disorder Hope.

The Mighty – What It’s Like Being a Model With an Eating Disorder

“Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder or have experienced binging, the following post could potentially be triggering. Please don’t hesitate to call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

Darkness descends upon the room, signaling my arrival. Behind the curtain, I can feel my breath, waiting for permission to exhale. My knees quiver with apprehension as whispers drone from the crowd outside. From my spot behind the platform, I notice the flares from cameras and spotlights, like shooting stars in a strange, forsaken sky. I can already feel the eyes of the people as they stare at the empty runway, waiting for their goddesses to strut. My throat clenches and my mind empties — anxiety has taken control. What will they think of me?”

Read more on The Mighty.

Stories of Hope: An Interview with Nikki DuBose

“This is part of a series featuring individuals who share their life experiences with mental health issues. Recently, I asked writer and mental health advocate Nikki DuBose about her history of mental health issues and her current advocacy work.”

Read Nikki’s interview on davidsusman.com

 

 

 

Finding Freedom through the Past

“I’ll never forget that fateful day when the horrible memories resurfaced. Although blurry and confusing, one thing was clear; I had been touched in places I shouldn’t have. Held down for far too long until I felt like I was going to perish from suffocation. A crimson, misshapen face, rough hands and chapped lips signaled my demise. As I sat alone in my bedroom and gazed into unwelcoming silence, one after another the past flooded my brain like a movie. A film that I, the prisoner, watched in unrelenting horror.”

Read more on Eating Disorder Hope.

 

Seven Ways to Have a Better Body Image

“Perception of the body is something everyone shares, whether positive or negative. Body image can be shaped by a variety of complex factors including genetics, environment and the media.

Negative body image is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone, at some point in their lifetime, experiences a poor picture of themselves, whether it be mental or physical. The important thing to remember is that you are never alone and reaching out for help is a critical step in building a healthy self image.

Here are seven ways to clear away the dust and reconstruct a better body image.” 

Read more on Recovery Warriors.

 

Body Image from the Inside Out

“Every day I am faced with a challenge. I can either accept and embrace myself, or I can choose to listen to the negative voices that threaten to tear down the walls of my self-worth. Building my body image is a job that begins on the inside, and it’s one that I must form with blocks of love and patience.

In order to construct a solid foundation, I must clear away the rotted materials and replace them with long-lasting ones. As I take inventory of my life, what do I see that needs to be swept away? What does not serve me anymore? What are healthy changes that I can make that will ensure a positive environment for my mind, soul and body?”

 

Read more on Eating Disorder Hope.

 

The Hope Diary: Prayer for Addiction

I came across this prayer on Facebook by Joyce Meyer Ministries and I wanted to share it with you if you are struggling with any kind of addiction or stronghold in your life.

I believe that we can be totally set free from anything, when we believe that we hold the power over whatever threatens to control us.

Prayer for Addiction: “God, I know You can help me overcome this addiction, and I’m so thankful, because I want to be free. Every time I come to You, I win another battle. Thank You for helping me to keep on fighting. I pray for complete healing and transformation not just for myself, but so others will be blessed by my testimony of Your love and mercy and Your power over sin. Help me remember what Your Word says: You will never leave me or forsake me, and You love me no matter what. Because of Jesus Christ, I already have the victory. Thank You, Lord, for showing me who I am in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

-Joyce Meyer Ministries-

Eating Disorder Recovery — Seeing The Value Within

“We are all precious and unique. Every body has a destiny to fulfill, and we cannot do that unless we learn to see our value on the inside first. When something is valuable it is considered very worthy, of great importance.

There is no person that is more worthy than you. Yes, you. From the day you were born, God considered you the most valuable person on the planet.

He molded you in His image. He didn’t make one person more special, one more beautiful, and another more interesting, no, He made every person of equal value.”

Read more on Eating Disorder Hope.

 

Love Song

We went swimming

on those distant shores

azure waves

carried our love

to the birds

Every morning

we returned to the birds

a love song birthed

captured in time.

Now you are in the sky

with the birds

still I return to the

distant shores

azure waves

carry my heart

to your soul

as we play

in a kingdom come

mother and daughter

a love song birthed.

©2015 Nikki DuBose

Happy 48th Birthday to our beautiful mommy in Heaven, Sandy Cargile. This poem is dedicated to you. We love and miss you more than you can ever know. We take comfort in the times we had together, and knowing that one day we will all be together again. Thank you for all of the memories.

Artwork by my mother, Sandy Cargile.

 

The Golden Letter

The Golden Letter to My Mind_Nikki_DuBose_Poetry_2015

Late one winter’s eve

as the wind mocked and moaned

I uncovered a golden letter

and here is what it read:

‘O, Frankly my mind

I am no respecter of your thoughts

No longer your slave

A prisoner of your delusions

I am not.

You wail in the night

singing for my soul,

and whisper quietly in the stills of the day

concealing your intentions

But I,

I am free

Frankly my mind

I am me.’

©2015 Nikki DuBose

Roasted Pears with Camembert and Agave

Roasted Pears with Camembert and Agave

 

Happy New Year!  This is a simple, delicious and perfect way to welcome in 2015. This dish is ideal for when you do not have a lot of time and want to have something comforting and satisfying.

You will need: 

Cutting knife

Spoon

Melon ball scoop

Non-stick cookie sheet

Aluminum foil

2 TBS oil, such as canola or coconut

Three pears

Camembert cheese

Agave nectar

To make: 

Preheat the oven to 375°. Rinse the pears well. Place the pears on a cutting board and with the cutting knife slice the pears into halves and then scoop out the middle of each half with a small spoon or melon ball scoop. Discard the mush. Place aluminum foil on top of the cookie sheet and grease with two tablespoons of oil. Put the pear halves on top of the aluminum foiled pan. Fill each hole with camembert cheese and squeeze agave over top in a zig-zag motion. Place the pears into the oven for thirty minutes or until tender. Enjoy, and remember to eat mindfully. You are worth it!

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

“When Walking Away…Leads to Recovery”

“Somewhere in our online travels, we met Nikki Dubose, who is currently writing, volunteering and advocating for this world to be a better place by promoting a healthy relationship with food and our bodies. We read her story, of once being a thriving actress and international model who walked away from her career so she could recover from an eating disorder. It got us thinking of just how many of you have already made this kind of choice, or are on the cusp of needing to do so.”

Read more on The Be Program.

 

 

Holiday Eggnog French Toast

A fabulous meal to serve for brunch or anytime you like, this french toast is taken to a whole ‘nother level with the use of pure eggnog! Nothin’ says the holidays quite like the taste of eggnog, and this recipe is sure to be a hit with everyone.

I was introduced to this special french toast by Cynthia Tassell, from Camano Island, Washington, and she learned of it from a friend she went to school with. Isn’t it funny how life is? We never know how we will discover our greatest treasures sometimes, and I am grateful these sweet ladies shared this gem with me, so now I can pass it on to you!

God Bless,

You will need:

Large glass pan

Butter/oil/non-fat spray

2 eggs

1/2 cup of eggnog

Four slices of at least a day old, old-fashioned buttermilk bread or similar, thick bread

Topping Options:

A couple of bananas, sliced any way you like ’em

Whipped Cream

Powdered Sugar

Hazelnut Syrup, Sugar-Free

Pumpkin Pie Spice

To make:

Whip the eggs with the eggnog and pour into the glass pan. Soak the bread into the eggnog mixture. Slice your bananas, and prepare your powdered sugar in a bowl as you wish and set aside. Heat the griddle to a medium-high temperature and add your desired butter/oil/non-fat spray. Transfer the bread onto the griddle, and cook for a few minutes on each side, until all parts are golden brown. Be mindful to observe the bread during the cooking process so that it doesn’t burn. Once the bread is golden and finished, you are done! Place each slice onto a plate and add your desired toppings! I love mine with all of the fixins’! Remember to practice mindful eating. Be in the moment, eat at the table, and enjoy every bite calmly.

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Secret Islands and Misty Heavens of the Pacific Northwest

My journey continued as I made my way through the Pacific Northwest, where the air transpired into a deep, icy chill but the overwhelming beauty of the nature warmed my soul. I was surrounded by trees of all flavors; cranberry, amber, and evergreens resembled the make-believe winter villages I had come to adore as a child. My family liked to collect bits and pieces of a running train set every year, and it was set in an imaginary place, similar to the picturesque countrysides of Oregon and Washington.

I ended my exploration at the magical islands just south of Victoria, and here I feel at peace. When I look around, and gaze at the glorious spendlor that envelopes me, I can’t ever question that God exists. How wonderful He is, and how Blessed I am to be in the midst of serenity, here in my special place.

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Raw Reflections of Self Esteem From a Thirteen Year Old

*Note: B.E.A.U.T.Y is meant to serve as a tool to release feelings and to build confidence in an otherwise damaged society. Our perception of beauty today has been lost and many times we feel ugly inside, instead of the perfectly created souls we are. The content submitted is raw and unedited, as every individual has the right to express their perceptions that have led them to where they are today.  The sole intended purpose of B.E.A.U.T.Y and all content therein is to bring healing and the message that full recovery from all eating disorders, mental health issues, abuse, and negative situations is possible.

When we hear the word “self-image,” what comes to mind? The mental pictures we form about our identities may be a reflection of  the positive and negative experiences we have encountered over a lifetime. Sometimes the manners by which we perceive ourselves is consistent, while other times we are capable of changing our mirror formations radically in the blink of an eye. Whatever the case may be, our self-image is critical in how we interact with ourselves and the world around us. Our image is a mere representation of what we show to outsiders; are we giving a correct portrayl of who we are to those around us? Are we honest in our spirits first, and letting that flow to our physical image?  So often in life we wear many masks to various associations and crowds of people; we desire our image to be one thing to one group, and another thing to another. The problem with this is that we can never be anyone but our true selves, and if we don’t know who we really are, we will never live fulfilled. We musn’t live life for others because truly no one is going to be approving of us all of the time. We must connect with a self-image that is peaceful and content at our core, and be satisfied with the image that is projected for all of the universe to see.

How and What I feel about Image

by Jacaila, age 13

 Image to me is a bunch of crap society makes up to make us feel bad. I mean I didn’t receive proper care when I was five years old! Don’t get me wrong, I care about image too. Whenever I think I look good, somebody always has to tell me I look horrible. It brings my self esteem to an all time low. I’ve always tried to figure out how girls can be “ana” or “mia.” I tried to be like that once but food is just too good! When I say, “I tried,” I meant it. I purged and starved myself, tried diet pills without eating anything after words. In fifth grade things were changing for me, just because of someone’s opinion of me. The boy called my “ugly.” It took me awhile but in my mind I thought he was right. Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was ugliness. My whole attitude changed, grades slipped and relationships slowly disappeared. In sixth grade, self-harm played its way into my life. I couldn’t stop, therapy wasn’t helping at all and life wasn’t getting better. So I feel that self esteem, image and what we think about it is restricting us from thinking better about ourselves. In conclusion, image is just society’s way of keeping us down.

*Jacaila is now fourteen years old, and has a more positive view of herself through working recovery.

B.E.A.U.T.Y is in Your Heart by Emma

This precious drawing comes to us from my sweet and talented neighbor Emma. She explains that this cat sees life in a very different way than most of the other cats in her world, for although her body iB.E.A.U.T.Y_Project_beauty_is_in_your_heart_Emmas filled with scars and bruises, she has a kind and gentle soul. Many of the other cats cannot see past her outward appearance, and fail to be her friend. She doesn’t let life get her down though, for she knows that her in
ner beauty shines and defeats all of the negative attitudes that the other cats have. Her positive attitude builds a world where love is all she sees, and therefore, she can never be sad or lonely.

Thank you Emma, for your endless light and love for the world.

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

 

Chia Seed Banana Bread! :D

There’s nothing like warm, fresh bread out of the oven! This bread is special because it combines organic whole wheat, bananas, and chia seeds which fill your tummy and make your heart happy. 🙂 And the smell…come on now, who doesn’t love the enticing smell of freshly baked bread in the oven? You know when I was a little girl my mom made all of the breads homemade, so I try to carry that tradition on as often as I can.  I can’t always make the bread at home, but when I can, I am transported to holiday times with my mom, peering over the counter and watching her make the most delicious whole wheat and pumpernickel breads from scratch.  I think that the memories and habits we carry through from generation to generation are so special, and I hope you enjoy this delightful Chia Seed Banana Bread as much as I did.

God Bless,

<3 Nikki DuBose

You will need:

3 TBS melted unsalted butter, plus some extra for softening the pan

3 bananas

1 egg

3/4 cup stevia/monk fruit equiv.

2 cups organic whole wheat flour

1 TSP baking soda

1 TSP baking powder

2 TBS chia seeds

10″ x 3″ round pan or 5″ by 9″ loaf pan

To make: 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Use some of the butter to slick the pan and set aside. Peel the bananas, mash them well in a large mixing bowl, and then stir in the stevia/monk fruit and egg. Mix completely and then add the melted butter. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and chia seeds. Gently combine the dry ingredients into the wet and blend well but do not over-mix.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for forty-five minutes. You will know it is done when a toothpick is placed in the middle and comes out clean. The bread should be golden brown, and the sides should fold away from the pan easily without breaking.

Let the bread cool in the pan for at least five minutes before removing.

Relax and remember to enjoy your creation! Eating mindfully is the key to a healthy and happy mind, body, and spirit. 🙂

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Transformation

The butterfly starts out as a worm. It must go through a transformation process unlike any other. It is trapped inside a cocoon and unable to free itself or it will die.
As humans we go through many situations where we are unable to be free and we wonder why we are there to begin with. The situations are never there to harm us, but to mold us, to teach us, to make us better. Only when we surrender to our Higher Power, to God, will we learn the lessons we are supposed to be learning to work out our inner kinks, so that we can become the beautiful butterflies we were meant to be.
Transformation is inspiring, beautiful, and freeing, but it is never easy; in fact, it is one of the most intense, rigorous and painful processes we will ever encounter in our lives. If we fail to recognize the process as one to make us into a butterfly, we will wither away and die, falling short of all that God has created us to be.

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

High Above This Tree

From high above this tree mom
I can do anything
I can soar with the birds
Sing their melodies
I am one with nature.
From high above this tree mom
I am able to conquer
my deepest fears.
From high above this tree mom
I am exactly where
I want to be
In your arms
protected.

©2014 Nikki DuBose

We love and miss you mom.

Love,
Nikki and Anthony.

Black Bean Brownies with Sweet Avocado Frosting

Generally everyone like brownies, and never does this theory hold true more than with young people, right? While it is important for kids to enjoy dessert, I like to bake treats that are healthy and delicious!

Last night for Mondays at the Mission, I made these black bean brownies with a sweet avocado sauce for the youth! No sooner had I placed them on the table than they were gone 😀

I couldn’t believe they were made out of BEANS because of how scrumptious they were! I am curious to see if you agree with me 🙂

I made two batches of these and both came out fluffy yet moist because of the baking powder. If the idea of the avocado frosting turns you off, I understand, but just think of all of the health benefits balanced with the sweet taste! It’s a win-win 🙂

God Bless,

You will need:

Black Bean Brownies

1 (15 oz). can of low sodium black beans, drained
3 eggs
3 TBS coconut oil
1/2 cup of wondercocoa powder
3 TSP of bourbon vanilla extract
1 TSP baking powder
equ. of 1/2 cup of monk fruit in the raw/stevia/agave

Sweet Avocado Frosting

1 avocado, ripe
1 TBS canola/coconut oil
1/2 TSP bourbon vanilla extract
4 packets of Stevia
1 cup of arrowroot
1 cup of powdered milk

To make:

First, let’s make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 350°. Blend the black beans, eggs, coconut oil, wondercocoa powder, vanilla extract, baking powder, and sweetener of choice until smooth in a blender. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with fat-free cooking spray and pour the brownie mix into the pan. Bake in the oven for about twenty-five minutes. Let the brownies cool in the pan before cutting into even squares, which will make about twelve.

Now for the avocado frosting! With a high-powered whisk, beat together the oil and avocado until smooth. Then carefully add the vanilla. Blend the stevia, arrowroot, and powdered milk in a blender well to imitate powdered sugar, then mix that in with the avocado until everything is properly combined.

Now here’s the best part! You can and the kids can sit down and take quality time to enjoy the incredible brownies you have spent making. What better way to bond than over a meal as a family?

Pineapple Pancakes

These are the ultimate treat for me!  Pancakes are something that terrified me for years because of my struggles.  I am grateful for eating pancakes as it is a marker of overcoming and letting go.

This recipe uses two kinds of flour: almond and organic whole wheat.  I like to combine the two because it gives the pancakes a more consistent feeling rather than a cakey turnout.

I hope you enjoy my pineapple pancakes!

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

You will need: 

1 cup of almond meal/flour

1 cup of organic whole wheat flour

2 TBS stevia/monk fruit/agave/organic raw cane sugar

1 TBS baking powder

1/4 TSP baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

1 can of freshly crushed pineapple (I bought a package of fresh pineapple and crushed them myself)

3/4 cup of coconut almond milk

1/4 cup of canola oil

Light whip cream and sugar-free caramel syrup to top (or top with apple butter)

To make: 

In a large mixing bowl combine the almond and whole wheat flour together. Next, add the stevia, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate medium bowl mix well the eggs, freshly crushed pineapple, almond milk, and canola oil.  Now pour the pineapple mixture in with the flour, and stir until everything is slightly lumpy, but smooth.

Place a pancake skillet or pan on the stove and raise the heat to about medium.  Cook about 1/4 of a cup of batter at a time, and let it sit for about three minutes on each side, turning when the bubbles form and the edges start to dry. The pancake should be golden and crispy on each side…but if you “mess up”…don’t worry, it’s all about progress, not perfection right?

Serve immediately and place a dollop of light whip cream on top. Pour  caramel syrup over the top (I got mine from Starbucks!), or get more creative and make your own delicious sauce 🙂

 

 

 

B.E.A.U.T.Y Art Project “Whole”

Sometimes we become broken into a million pieces inside as a result of the things that happen to us along life’s way.

God has promised in His Word to give us, “beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3). IMG_20140711_124757No matter what we have been through or will go through, we can be happy and confident because God will make us whole and complete.

Thank you to Susie Fernandez and her wonderful art students in Long Beach, California for this joyful creation!

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

B.E.A.U.T.Y Art Project “Insecurities”

BeautybySusieF2Here is another art piece by Susie Fernandez and her creative art students from Long Beach, California.

The theme of the picture is, “You are more than your insecurities.”
Do you ever feel as if all you can focus on is the things you don’t like about yourself? How about redirecting that energy and focus on the things you love about yourself?! Did you know you are made for greatness? You really and truly are!

We all have insecurities, but they do not define who we are. In fact, the things that make us different are also what make us extra special 🙂

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

B.E.A.U.T.Y Art Project by Susie

Beauty by SusieThis inspiring art work comes from Susie Fernandez and her talented art students in Long Beach, California.

We can change the negative voices in our heads from “I’m not smart enough” to “I’m smart,” and “I’m ugly” to “I’m pretty,” and “I’m amazing!”  We can program our minds to think beautiful thoughts about ourselves, and soon, we will begin to believe the positive thoughts. What we believe, we act upon, and we spread the love to others.

What negative thoughts are you having about yourself, and what phrases can you meditate on that will produce a positive change?

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

B.E.A.U.T.Y Project “Self-Awareness”

Taking time to be quiet and listenDuBose.Nikki.BeautyProject.SelfAware to what our bodies are telling us is vital not only for recovery but also for everyday life.  We all need moments to unwind from stress.

Carve out ten minutes in your day with no distractions, and breathe in deeply and calmly.  How do you feel?

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

B.E.A.U.T.Y Project Art “Every Step”

"Every Step"

The road of life is filled with ups and downs. Recovery, however, is a whole ‘nother kind of journey, huh? Your perseverance and will to keep going no matter what comes against you makes you incredibly beautiful. Be proud of every step you take, and take life one moment at a time. ♥

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

B.E.A.U.T.Y Project Art “I am Free”

I am Free!

Focusing on our inner beauty allows our true nature to shine through. When we build our identity based on our spirituality, values, strengths, and gifts, we are free to be happy!

What are you made up of from the inside? Do you feel free? Why or why not?

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

Face of Fear

Moving in the face of fear

drowning in a sea of devils,

I saw hope all around me

pushing me forward.

I suddenly felt courage

like never before.

‘Who are you?’

The devils sneered,

‘How dare you try to pass by.’

Dripping with uncertainty I glanced down

With one hand I gripped my fist,

pointed my finger in a demon’s eye

and screamed,

‘Who are YOU!’

blowing them away with one breath,

laughing as I passed by.

©2014 Nikki DuBose

Crispy Hazelnut Tomatoes

So my brother Anthony is probably going to be so embarrassed when he reads this, but I just have to share this story with you all!

When Anthony was around three years old he was outside crawling and playing near the vegetable gardens that our mom had planted. Mom had taken the clothes down from outside and had gone upstairs for what seemed to be only a few minutes. Anthony and I were outside by ourselves and somehow during that short time of mom’s absence, Anthony picked over sixty green tomatoes from mom’s vegetable garden! Our mom came back from inside the house and was livid needless to say, however she made the best of the situation and our family ate fried green tomatoes in every shape and form possible for about two weeks straight.

(Note: A little oil goes a long way)

 Crispy Hazelnut Tomatoes

You will need:

2 Heirloom Tomatoes

1 egg

1 cup Hazelnut Meal

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (add more if you like)

3 tablespoons coconut oil ( a little goes a LONG WAY!)

To make: 

Heat an iron pan with the coconut oil, but be careful not to burn.  Slice the tomatoes thick.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Take each piece of tomato and dip it into the egg first, then dip into the hazelnut meal with the pepper mixed together before dropping it into the pan delicately. Cook only once on each side until golden brown.

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You’re done, but not before you sit down and enjoy each bite slowly and mindfully! 

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Ice Cream

This recipe is a bit time consuming but SO worth it!

(Note: Please make the Almond butter cups ahead of time and refrigerate them until they harden. Then break them apart organically into crumbles to add into the ice cream just before the ice cream is done mixing in the machine.)

 Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Ice Cream

 

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Almond Butter Cups

You will need: 

7 oz. 100% dark chocolate (70% or above is ok, depending on your preference)

1/2 cup natural almond butter

2 TBS. Torani sugar-free vanilla syrup

1 TBS. Stevia/monk fruit

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

To make: 

First, separate the dark chocolate into smaller pieces and then melt on a double boiler, stirring continuously until perfectly smooth. Line the muffin pan with paper cups and pour a teaspoon of the chocolate into each cup. Blend the almond butter and remaining ingredients, then roll into teaspoon-sized balls before pressing into each chocolate filling.

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Cover every cup with the remaining dark chocolate and refrigerate them until completely hard. After they have hardened, break them into chunks and use them for later in the recipe.

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Next, for the ice cream!

 Dark Chocolate Ice Cream 

You will need: 

13.5 oz Coconut Almond Milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup equivalent Stevia

Chocolate Sauce (Recipe is below)

Half the batch of the Almond Butter cups, hardened and crumbled

To make: 

Add the coconut almond milk to a saucepan over medium heat, and stir for about seven minutes. During that time add the vanilla extract and sweetener, stirring to combine well.  Cover in a container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until the mixture is cool.

While the mixture is cooling down, make the chocolate sauce:

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Dark Chocolate Sauce

You will need: 

3 TBS. coconut almond milk

1 TBS. cacao powder

1/2 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate (100%)

2 TBS. Stevia/monk fruit extract

1 TBS. melted coconut oil

1/4 tsp. vanilla

To make: 

Combine all of the ingredients while waiting for the ice cream to set.

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Once the coconut milk mixture is ready, add it to your ice cream maker and make it according to your machine’s directions. My ice cream maker takes around 30 minutes to produce one batch, however different styles call for different times. Just before the ice cream is done churning, add the almond butter cups and drizzle in the chocolate sauce.

You can serve this immediatley or freeze it for another couple of hours, whatever you prefer!

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God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

 

 

 

 

 

NEDAwareness Week 2014 is Officially here!! Show Your Support!

I am thrilled that NEDAwareness week 2014 is upon us and kicking once again! This is a great chance for people all over the world to get involved on social media, the workplace, school, home – everywhere!

To find out how you can get involved in this year’s NEDAwareness week, please visit their site.

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Recovering From Anorexia and Bulimia: Loving My Jiggle

After taking a year and a half off work from modeling to recover, I feel so freaking happy to say that I am getting my booty back, my boobs back. I feel things jiggle when I walk. I have arm muscle now. I can eat to my hearts content and have a big, curvy body that is sexy.

Do I regret coming out about having an eating disorder? NO!

Do I regret sharing photoshoots that show myself at a low weight?  NO!

Why?  Because I am proud to help others who are also suffering from anorexia and bulimia and I am not afraid to show how recovery looks like, the good, the bad and the scary.

I am so happy that my body is growing to whatever size God made it to be. Let it grow baby!!

How am I preparing for NYC? Eating to my hearts content and letting go of all fears that used to consume me!

We are all already perfectly made!

Let the journey continue!

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

My Reality of Recovering from Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: A Happy Life

When I entered into recovery in 2010, I was in for the shock of my life. I was blindly going where I had never been before and I was accepting all of the bells and whistles that were to come.

Fast forward four years later and here we have January 2014. Where am I now in recovery? I am very grateful to say that God has seen me through some (for lack of better words) hell-hole days, weeks, and years, and He has Blessed me with pot holes of light that have kept me going. I have had months of steady recovery and then BAM!, I have fallen into relapse so fast that I thought I wouldn’t make it out alive.

*I have seen my body go up and down and up and down and I have felt myself have the emotional capacity many times of a 5 year old.

*I have had to re-learn to eat and have had to learn pretty much the library on nutrition and how to apply it to my daily eating habits.

*I have had some MAJOR physical side effects as a result of hurting my body for 20 years, and have had to accept and take care of myself in a whole new light, and not complain.

*I have had to relearn how to percieve myself and how to relate to the world and to others.

*I threw out the scale. I do not know how much I weigh, nor do I care! I am a firm believer that my worth and value are not rooted in my weight, size, or physical appearance. I believe it is the inner person that is important and this is what I have been working on.

*I have been working with the National Eating Disorders Association for the past year and I am so grateful to God that on March 8, 2014, we will be holding our Los Angeles Walk in Santa Monica, California. NEDA formed the Artist Initiative Team and they asked me to captain it for LA! The Initiative is for people working in the entertainment and artisitc industries who want to stand up for divirsity and fight against eating disorders. I am very honored and proud to be apart of this developing program with NEDA!

If I could tell my 8 year old self to never lean over the toilet again, I would scream as loud as I could, “STOP!”

Please do not ever ever hurt yourself! There is SO much more to life than ourselves, and our weight, and what we look like. We can think beyond ourselves and help other people who are hurting, for starters. Addicitons are so self-centered, and once they start, they are almost impossible to stop.

Now I just eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. If I feel like I ate too much, oh well! It is just a feeling, and like everything with time, that feeling will go away. I don’t need to do some crazy hurtful thing to myself. It is just nuts. My body deserves so much love and delicious, healthy food is love. I work out, but I do not over exercise. I just focus on living a healthy lifestyle. I focus on health, and not on a size or a shape. I want to be happy! Don’t you?

Grecian Banana Cream Pie

There is one dessert (ok, about a thousand) that I just can’t resist, and that is whipped banana cream pie!! I love the simplicity of the dessert yet how daggon’ INSANE it tastes!! Am I right, or am I right? No matter where I am at, when I taste a banana cream pie, I feel like I am twelve again, sitting in mom’s kitchen, reminiscing with my family.

I made this pie for a friend’s birthday over the holidays and it was a hit (Thank God!)

Grecian Banana Cream Pie 
You will need:

Crust

2 Cups Roasted Almonds
4 Tbsp Butter
9″ Pie Pan

Filling

3/4 – 1 cup Light Whipped Cream or *Soyatoo! Whipped Topping if Lactose Intolerant
1 Cup Greek Yogurt or *Goats Milk Yogurt if Lactose Intolerant
1 Mashed Banana
1/4 Tsp Vanilla
1/4 Tsp Vanilla Bourbon (optional)
2 Tsp Stevia/Splenda/Monk Fruit Sweetner

Top it off with:

Thinly Sliced Bananas
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Sprinkle of Cacao Powder

To make:

First, let’s prepare the delightful crust! It’s as easy as one, two, three!

*Melt the butter and chop the two cups of almonds in a blender until they are finely done.
*Mix together the almonds and the butter and make sure it is thoroughly combined.
*Press the nut crust mixture into the bottom of a 9″ pie pan, and smooth it out so that everything is even and covered.

You’re done with the crust honey buns, let’s move on to the filling!

*In a large bowl with a masher, mash the banana.
*Gently combine the banana, whipped cream (or Soyatoo! Whipped Topping for lactose intolerance) and greek yogurt (or goats milk yogurt for lactose intolerance).

Almost there!

*Spoon the Grecian Banana Cream Pie Filling into the Almond Nut Crust and smooth it all around with a spatula. (I like to use this time to make pretty little swirly designs).
*For best results I recommend sticking this baby into the ‘fridge for an hour or so before serving, BUT you can serve it immediately. Woohoo!

*Layer it with sliced bananas right before you serve and sprinkle cinnamon and 100% Cacao powder over the top.

You’re done!

Don’t forget to eat and relax! You’ve worked hard for this 🙂

 

Understanding How Perfect You Really Are!

Recovering from anorexia and bulimia IS a long and tricky road. There are so many days when I feel on top of the world and others when I feel like I want to throw in the towel.

Feelings and emotions are normal, however, and should be welcomed openly because they are signs that we are not numbing or stuffing them down with addictive behaviors.

Physically, we see our bodies grow and change into the way that they are supposed to be as we re-feed ourselves, and this can provoke many uncomfortable thoughts and behaviors.

Its ok! If you need to cry, scream, yell, write, call someone, whatever, please do so. Any form of healthy release is great and encouraged. Don’t expect others who have not gone through an eating disorder to understand how you feel because they just cannot. Instead stick to your doctors, therapists, 12 step support group friends, etc. Anything else is really just co-dependency.

One of the things that has really helped me during re-feeding and watching my body change as I gain weight during my anorexic recovery is constantly asking God (my Higher Power) to help me to see myself the way that He sees me. To understand that I am beautiful and wonderful in His sight. I have to break away from that child-like box that anorexia put me into and accept that I am growing into the beautiful 28 year old woman that I AM! It is a renewal of mind, body and spirit into this amazing creature that God has made. How dare I destroy that? I am a warrior, a Woman of the Most High God, and He has a big future for my life.

So I just really encourage you today that wherever you are in your life and road of recovery that you are NOT alone. Your feelings, thoughts, physical body and spirit are unique yes, but they are being shared with countless others who are also recovering. Do NOT GIVE UP!! Become the beautiful masterpiece you were designed to be so that you can achieve all that you have in your heart!! YOU DESERVE IT!!

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Ten: Taking Daily Inventory

Step ten is the first step that I take daily in order to keep myself in check. When I find that my character or food plan might be getting a bit sloppy, I try to immediately surrender myself to God and ask for His help to renew my mind In Him and take account for exactly where I am going wrong. In doing so, I am able to get back on track much faster and have a fruitful day. In the past before I found strong recovery I just kind of floundered around mercilessly inside and felt very lost. My mind was weak because I had let the eating disorder and other problems control it for many years. Thank God for His Grace and the twelve steps of recovery to bring daily help in every single situation that can arise.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Personal Boundaries
Genesis 31:45-55

1. In order to restore trust in relationships, what particular weaknesses do I need to set boundaries around?

2. Is there a trusted person to whom I can clearly define my commitments? Who? What commitments am I willing to make?

Repeated Forgiveness
Romans 5:3-5

1. Do certain behaviors and character defects that show up in my Step Ten inventory point to a pattern? Which ones? What is being revealed to me?

2. Am I having trouble admitting these promptly and forgiving myself?

3. Do I give myself grace? Why or why not?

Dealing with Anger
Ephesians 4:26-27

1. What is my first response when I am angry? Lashing out? Stuffing down? Avoidance and covering up?

2. How was anger dealt with in my family? How did my mother deal with anger? My father? Which pattern do I follow?

3. When I am angry, can I promptly admit it? Why or why not?

4. Do I have support people who can help me learn to deal with anger more appropriately? Am I willing to ask for assistance with this issue?

Spiritual Exercises
1 Timothy 4:7-8

1. As this continual inventory is important for spiritual fitness, where in my daily routine can I set aside time to make myself self-assessment part of every day?

2. Do I have any resistance to evaluating my defects daily? What are my objections? What do I fear?

3. An example of a simple, daily, personal inventory:

Where have I been selfish, dishonest, fearful, inconsiderate, or proud?

What have I done right today?

What do I need God's help with tomorrow?

What am I grateful for today?

Perseverance
2 Timothy 2:1-8

1. How do I see my recovery as a war against addiction and as a fight for my soul?

2. How do I see myself as an athlete in training for the marathon journey of recovery and serenity?

3. Am I working in every season and situation? planting seeds of recovery by applying the Twelve Steps to my life?

4. Where do I lose heart in fighting, training, and working through the Twelve Steps?

Looking in the Mirror
James 1:21-25

1. Have I been quick to recognize but not take action in a particular area of my life or defect of character? If so, I can take action without self-criticism by going back through Steps Six and Seven, then Eight and Nine on that particular area or defect.

2. On what area or defect do I need to take action today? This week? This month?

Recurrent Sins
1 John 1:!-10

1. Have I hoped for immediate release from my defects as I may have had from my addiction? Have I perhaps unknowingly hoped that by doing all this step work I could attain perfection? Write any thoughts and feelings that arise from reading this meditation:

2. Am I clear that I still need inventories to continue my spiritual growth? In other words, have I developed enough humility to accept that inventories will be a regular part of my journey?
Explain:

3. Am I sensing that my conscience is returning or developing so that I more easily recognize my faults? Am I humble enough to admit them more readily? Record any progress you've noticed in your conscience:

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Eight: Reflecting on Who We Had Hurt

Step Eight requires tremendous doses of humility and courage as we ponder over the courses of our lives who we have hurt while living in our addictions. Sometimes we have mistreated others and were not even aware that we had done so. As we begin to meditate on those who had been affected by our irresponsibility we quickly find that we can list a slew of of people we had hurt.

This was a tough step for me the first couple of times I went through early recovery and now I really try not to hurt others. I may not always be where I need to be but with God’s help thank God I am not where I used to be! Take heart and know that although your healing journey may seem difficult or like a long road to walk on, that it is a path filled with healing and with healing comes many blessings and happiness. And we all deserve to be happy! Most importantly we all need to learn how to treat other people with kindness and love so this is a very important step to accomplish but with God’s help you can do it one day at a time.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Making Restitution
Exodus 22:10-15

1. How have I failed to respect the property of others.

2. Have I been so harmed or condemned by others that I have avoided responsibility for myself. By whom and when.

3. What excuses have I used for not looking at my behaviors.

Unintentional Sins
Leviticus 4:1-28

1. In what areas have I unintentionally harmed others with my words/moods/self-pity/depression/anger/or fears.

2. In what ways have I acted thoughtlessly without regard for others’ needs or feelings. When; To Whom;

Scapegoats
Leviticus 16:20-22

1. Have I been putting off making a list because I am afraid of some responses. Whose.

2. Have I held on to shame about a certain incident or relationships. What am I willing to do to let go so that I can become willing to make amends.

3. Is there someone I am having trouble forgiving who blocks my willingness. Who.

Overcoming Loneliness
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

1. How have I allowed isolation due to shame and guilt to keep me from supportive relationships.

2. What is the role of shame and guilt in my isolation.

3. Am I willing to forgive myself for the hurt I have caused others. Write a prayer of willingness to forgive and ask for God’s grace to heal these relationships.

Forgiven to Forgive
Matthew 18:23-35

1. Are there people on my list that I am having trouble forgiving for their part in our relationship. Who and Why.

2. What keeps me from letting others off the hook. Fear/Resentment/Caretaking.

3. What blocks me from forgiving others for the wrongs done to me.

a. Fear of what others would think of me. (Pride).

b. Fear of letting others see my hurts.

c. Fear of conflict. Protecting others feelings to avoid conflict.

The Fruit of Forgiveness
2 Corinthians 2:5-8

1. Is there anyone on my list whose behavior I do not approve. Who. Why.

2. Am I willing to let go of judgement and disapproval to open myself to working this step.

3. Have I been so afraid of rejection that I have delayed willingness to make amends. Who could reject me and why.

Reaping Goodness
Galatians 6:7-10

1. What “crop” did I sow while practicing my addiction.

2. Describe the correlation between healthy living and acceptance of the consequences for my addiction/behavior:

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

How Yoga Has Helped Me Heal From My Eating Disorders

I am all for medicine and traditional therapies to help on the road to recovery for eating disorders, but there is something to be said for the ancient art of yoga, the tried and true Eastern practice that originally hails from India over 5,000 years ago.

Combining both Western and Eastern practices has been my method for the past two and a half years since I started overcoming my disorders. Yoga helped me reconnect to my inner self and has allowed me to focus on my body and the things that it really wants, instead of being ruled by my impulses. Before I practiced yoga as part of therapy, I lived as an addicted person who lived largely ruled by compulsive decisions. I am now able to listen and live intuitively on what is good for me. The art of yoga has greatly helped me get back to the basics of loving my body and myself.

Just how does yoga help to heal anorexia, bulimia and other eating problems? Read this great article by Velvet Mangan on yoga, meditation, and eating disorder recovery to find out! Velvet is an eating disorder specialist in Los Angeles, California.

God Bless,
Nikki

The Hope Diary: Step Two: Only God Can Restore me to Sanity

Step two of the twelve step program was one that did not come so easily for me. I mean, I was raised a Christian and I had always believed in God. However after all of the addiction, abuse, and disordered eating behaviors I experienced for many years, I became angry and bitter towards the idea of God and religion so I turned away from Him and lived my life on my own terms. I spent most of my teenage and twenties examining other religions and spiritual concepts, believing that I could control my life without any consequences.

Without a solid spiritual foundation, and after spiraling deeper into my destructive behaviors, I found myself flat on my face in despair without any way out and no one to help me. None of my alternative spiritual principles could help me out of my mess, and I was confronted with the unshakable truth that God was the only one who could save and strengthen me. I had a big pride pill to swallow, and many character defects to dig out, but man, how much pain and suffering did I hand over to Jesus, the one who had died for me, when I made the decision to stop hurting myself and give it all to Him instead in exchange for a beautiful life. The biggest difference now in regards to God is that I seek a personal relationship with Him, instead of abusing religion. I don’t belong to any religious organization, and if you ask me, God loves everyone!

I had many questions to reflect on as I humbled myself in the recovery process and allowed Him to take away my power. After all, did I create the universe? No. Did I create myself? No. Had I ever been successful in stopping my eating disorders and addictions on my own? No!! So, I had to humble myself and accept that only God could bring about the changes in me that I so badly needed.

But you know, I surprised myself with the issues that came about with step two. I believed in God, but I fell many times in recovery with my pride! I realized that one of the reasons why I had struggled with my disorders and addictions for so long was because I had tried to be my own god! I thought that I could worship my body instead of God and still have a meaningful relationship with Him! It does not work! When I put myself first instead of the One Who Created me, I fell to my own sin and devices repeatedly.

There are countless examples in the Bible of leaders who tried to take the place of God and fell terribly.
Take for example King Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel Chapter 4, we see how the king thought he was the greatest and worshipped himself. He looked at his successes and called the glories for himself. He forgot to be humble and remember that God is the creator and ruler of all and that He gives power and success “to anyone He chooses” (Daniel 4:32). God took everything away from King Nebuchadnezzar and spent a time period with the cattle in the fields, eating and living with them until he humbled himself and acknowledged that God was the only one with power and might.

I lived the same way as King Nebuchadnezzar for most of my life…in pride, selfishness, and thinking that I was my own god! Because of my choices however, I also lived in addictions, pain, and an endless cycle of eating disorders that I could not get out of on my own. God allowed me to live in my own filth until I humbled myself and said, “Ok God, I admit it!! You are the only way, truth and light, Please help me!!” At that moment, my whole life began to change. I started to live according to what He wanted, and not unto my own destructive habits. I started to slowly become free.

Let’s take a look at the corresponding questions on Step two from the Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop.

Persistent Seeking
Job 14:1-6

1. How has life seemed unfair to me in the areas of family?

Trauma/abuse?

Addiction?

2. What are my objections to trusting God fully with my addiction and my life?

3. What emotions and questions do I need to be honest with God about?

4. Am I willing to work through the pain and unfairness of my life in order to find God and be freed from addiction? What holds me back?

Grandiose Thinking
Daniel 4:19-33

1. When in my addiction, in what ways did I display the belief that I was only accountable to myself?

2. How have I tried to have power over the events, outcomes, and people in my life?

3. In what ways did I show that I forgot that God is ultimately in control?

4. How have I avoided acceptance of God’s power over my life?

Internal Bondage
Mark 5:1-13

1. What self-destructive behaviors have I inflicted on myself due to addiction? List and describe them.

2. How has my addiction kept me from living my own life while finding myself more comfortable in “caves” of isolation, anger/rage, or silent judgement?

3. Have I begun to drop my insanity of living alone and being trapped in addiction? Am I ready to have Jesus visit me in my “caves” and cleanse me? If so, write out a prayer to Him here:

Healing Faith
Luke 8:43-48

1. How have I tried to control my problems in my own power?

2. What were the results?

3. Is there any other way that I would like to try to control and manage it?

4. Am I ready to do my part, as this woman courageously did, by reaching out for recovery in faith that Jesus’ Power will be there? Write a statement of readiness to God.

Restoration
Luke 15: 11-24

1. How have my compulsions and addictions led me to compromise my values, convictions, and principles?

2. How have my compulsions and addictions dehumanized me and brought me to shame?

3. In light of how my addictions and dependencies have degraded me, am I now open to a deeper level of believing that the power and forgiveness of God will restore me to sanity?

Coming to Believe
Romans 1:18-20

1. How have my experiences shown me that my way of living is not a satisfying or productive way to live?

2. How have I seen God’s power at work in other people’s lives?

3. What are the signs that I am on the path and in the process of being restored to sanity?

Hope in Faith
Hebrews 11:1-10

1. Am I becoming able to believe that God can help me live sanely? How?

2. Can I now believe that as I reach out for God’s Strength and surrender to Him, God’s Nature is to be present and ready to help and support sane choices? Why or why not?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose