Bloom – ing Great!

Bloom CoverBloom is a new book out by BeautyBeyondBones.  If you haven’t heard of her or read anything I’ve written about her, here are links to previous articles about her on my site:

Beauty and the (ED) Beast

Caralyn is The Beauty Beyond the Bones

Briefly, she is a recovered/recovering victim of anorexia, which she refers to as ED (Eating Disorder).  ED is insidious and is so much more than a body image issue.  It literally sucks the life out of its victims.

Caralyn was a mere 78 pounds when admitted to an in-patient recovery facility.  She was so near death that the staff set up a cot for her in the nurses’ station.  They were afraid she might die that night, and they wanted to keep a close eye on her to try to keep her alive.

BBB 3She’s now a thriving young woman in New York City and was recently named one of the top 25 bloggers on eating disorders…IN THE WORLD!!

On to Bloom.  This book is the story of her recovery, but it can also be the story of anyone’s recovery.  From anything!  The motto of her blog site, https://beautybeyondbones.com/, is, in fact, Because we’re all recovering from something!”

Here’s how the book is formatted, which I think is inspired.  There are no numbered chapters.  The pages themselves are not numbered.  Recovery from anything is not a by-the-numbers process.  It’s messy.  Caralyn’s recovery is an overall model of success, especially her faith in God and how He guided and powered her recovery.  But – listen closely – your recovery will not happen with all of the same events and in the same order as hers.  One might tear pages out of the book as each section hits home and then put back together in the order that they come to each individual.

DenialIf you are like me, your initial reaction might be that you aren’t in need of a recovery from something.  I bought the book when it came out to support my friend and maybe learn something new about her, but I didn’t read it until recently.

Should’ve read it sooner!  This is a great guide for anyone who needs a better, closer relationship with God, everyone who has struggles in their lives.  That’s all of us, friends!  Me included!

Every turn of the page starts with a heading.  Right below that is an excerpt from the diary she kept while at the in-patient facility.  Below that is a current contemplation of that entry from her recovered perspective.  The section is finished off with questions only you can answer and plenty of room to write those answers down.  Writing things down is a big deal.  It’s important!

I met with Caralyn when a business trip of mine put me in the same area she had traveled to.  She graciously agreed to meet me, as we’d been “conversing” through her blog for over a year and become friends.

We met at a bakery and visited for under an hour.  When it was time to go, we walked out together and she hugged me.  I felt healed somehow.  Between the conversation and that physical contact, I felt as though I’d been relieved of a burden I didn’t know I was carrying!  Even today I can’t define why I felt that way, but that is definitely what happened.  I don’t think she was even aware of the effect she was having at the time.

I mean…it was just some coffee and a bite over some meandering conversation.  Her inner light, God, reached out to me and gave me something.

My point is that I didn’t know I was burdened!

PainYou might not have ED.  You might not even be thinking that you need anything, but remember her motto: Because we’re all recovering from something!”  You are either recovering or you need to recover and might not even know it!

Having read Bloom, I plan to introduce it to a Sunday Morning Bible class I will be starting in January.  The goal of my class is to get people out of Sunday Morning Christianity and into seeing the whole world through the lens of God’s Word every minute of every day.  This is especially important for people whose faith is under attack.

While I won’t be giving out homework assignments, I’ll be encouraging people to get online and research on their own the topics I cover.  In fact, I’m working to ensure I’ll be able to access the church’s Wi-Fi with my laptop so we can Google things if the need arises during class!

Empathy

I feel your pain, Dog

Bloom plays right into this format!  Bloom says, “I understand you!  I ‘get’ you right here in this moment that you’re having, because I’ve been in that hole with you.  I’m asking you to search and ‘get’ God with these questions designed for this specific hole.  Here’s the ladder; you need to climb it, you need to decide to ‘get’ God!”

Jesus saved us from our sins; He did all of the heavy lifting, but we still need to find our way to the simple “yes” to His love and mercy!  We need to be active in our faith, our journey through this life with God.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.    1 Peter 5:8

We can’t lie back, doing nothing.  Faith is ever active, ever defending itself, ever reaching out whether it’s a seed struggling to break out of the dirt or a beautiful flower of faith working to Bloom!

I invite you to work on your walk with God, if you haven’t.  If you feel that you have an open blossom of faith, I invite you to Bloom again.  Rose bushes grow more than one flower!

If you haven’t guessed by now, just click on any Bloom in the article to order a copy…and grow a first – or another – flower

Bloom Cover

21 thoughts on “Bloom – ing Great!

  1. Thanks for this review. I follow “Beauty Beyond” too but hadn’t gotten around to ordering the book. I’m ordering it now!!

  2. Jeff!!! this is absolutely incredible. THANK YOU for such a generous review. i am so touched and so grateful for such wonderful words. i’m so glad that you enjoyed Bloom. Thank you for giving it a chance 🙂 you’re awesome! hope you had a great weekend! big hugs to you and Julie! x

    • We had a great weekend. Time off together is always good! That speaker, Dr. Paul Maier, was brilliant. He had very generously given me permission to use material from one of his books when I wrote my novel many years ago, so it was doubly fun for me! I bought his latest book and got a very kind autograph from him.

      My pastor’s daughter had surgery for ulcerative colitis recently, and I learned yesterday that she’s already had some problems; she ate something – a Hot Pocket! – and had a severe bout of nausea! A HOT POCKET!!. Without commenting on that choice, I emailed him about last Wednesday’s Caralyn’s Kitchen and your cookbook. I explained your year in bed and how your recipes have kept you in remission. Hopefully, they’ll decide to give you a try.

      Caralyn, you have so much to offer so many, I just feel blessed to be able to point people toward you! Have a blessed week! Keep that lip gloss handy on safari!!

      • Small world, Jeff. Dr. Maier is great. He and I taught at a convention 11 years ago. We didn’t know each other’s topic but we complemented each other so well. Fantastic scholar and writer, as well as speaker.

        Thanks for your review of the book, too.

      • He told us he had a stroke last November and apologized if his speech was a bit slurred. He shuffled more than walked, but he stood every minute of both his lectures (Friday night & Saturday morning) and was sharper than ever, leaving us laughing hard more than once! I say he’s a national treasure!! How fantastic for you to have been with him like that! Thank you so much for your comments!

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  4. What a wonderful and even inspiring review! Caralyn’s story is a testament to the impact one’s life can have on another’s. The work God does in our lives can help so many but we have to be faithful to share our stories, don’t we? “How can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?” I’m so glad Caralyn is faithful to tell her story through her blog and her book!

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