Filling the Void

by Heather on March 30, 2010

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Happy gorgeous afternoon to EVERYONE!  Man, it is such a gorgeous day out :)

Just to jump right in, lunch today was some homemade soup!  I shall call it Corn and Black Bean Chowder:

This soup seriously couldn’t be any easier!  Just dump all of the following ingredients into a big soup pot, cover with water (I didn’t measure in cups), and simmer for an hour on low:

  • 1/2 of a large onion, grated
  • 3 medium potatoes, grated
  • 2 small packages of frozen corn
  • 2 large handfuls of baby carrots, diced
  • 1 or 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3-4 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes

The starch in the potatos makes it very chowder-y, and the chili powder and red pepper flakes are a good spicy balance for the sweetness of the corn and carrots.  YUM!!!  I had it with another handful of carrots and a whole wheat sandwich thin with 1 slice of cheddar (split between the 2 sides).  Filled me and kept me full for a while!

I also got a surprise later in the day:  Nate scored some sweet Bolle sunglasses for me!

Please excuse the cheesy smile…I was pretty excited.  My head, as it turns out, is a very difficult one to fit with sunglasses, so when I find a good pair it makes me pretty happy :)  I wore them on my walk today, and they worked perfectly!  Upon my return I indulged in a little something different today…some Oikos with peanut butter (WHAAAAAAA?!) and some of my Nuts & Seeds Crunch from Wholesome Foods Bakery:

Y’all, that cup ‘o’ goodness didn’t even stand a chance!  I’ve never been cool enough to put peanut butter in my yogurt, but this is a must-try.  So good, and cool and creamy to help me cool down from my workout!

Today I had the chance to have a really great conversation with Jessica from How Sweet It Is (by the way, I love her!)  She gave me some really helpful advice on blogging and a short rundown of some of the stuff she learned at Fitbloggin’.  Eventually the conversation turned to numbers (as in number of hits on the blog per day/month/year) and I was overwhelmed at some of the stuff she shared that she heard at the conference.  We both share a dream of writing a book one day, and would love to have our blogs become a platform for “being discovered”; however, with the cold, hard, minimum number of views that were said to be “required” I just don’t know when, or if, that will ever happen for me.  I started to go into a slight state of depression when I realized that my dreams are (according to the editor that shared at Fitbloggin’) quite far away.  I even went so far as to think that there’s no way I’ll be able to gain that kind of readership until I lost weight…I mean, everyone loves a solid success story, right?

I headed out on my walk and after about 5 minutes came to a realization:  the void that I feel when I think about my future “career”?  That’s something that I’m trying to fill with the number of views I get on the blog.  That void is the same void that I have tried to fill with eating food, not eating food, working out, not working, trying to be a full-time people pleaser, and trying to not give a crap what people think of me.  And guess what?  That void hasn’t been filled, with the exception of one thing:  my relationship with Jesus Christ.  I know that not everyone who reads this will be a believer, and that’s fine:  it’s a choice that we all have to make.  I am a believer though, and I just came to the realization yet again that the only thing that has ever healed me, the only thing that has ever made me whole, is the unconditional love of God.  Therefore, I will continue to try to make that my main focus (as ADD as I can be with my life) and not be defined by one worldly thing or another.  I have faith that God will provide whatever it is that I have in store for me, and I will rest in the fact that I have always been loved, always been cherished, and have always been completely beautiful in the eyes of my Maker.

Thanks to all of you who read my blog!  My true hope and prayer is that I can help encourage and touch someone’s life in some way every day.

On that note, what do you want more than anything in the world, right now? I simply want to be happy with myself where I’m at right now.  I want to always be conscious of the fact that my life is not my own, and be used for whatever the Lord has in store for me.  Oh, and I want a cheeseburger.  Like real bad :)

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly March 30, 2010

What a personal and very real post. Thank you for sharing that with us! :) I LOVE the sunglasses…they are so cute on your face! :)

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2 Jennifer March 30, 2010

I love everything that you just said. I recently had a career if you will, from owning a dance school to moving off and being a house wife. It took a toll on my identity at first because I didn’t know what I was useful for since I didn’t teach dance anymore. I had a career void as well and got stuck in a rut. But I realized the same as you that no matter what happens, I am a Christian and to have God on my side is better than any famous career.

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3 theprocessofhealing March 30, 2010

:) How much do I love this post and you? A lot!!!
I agree with you. I get so wrapped up in what I want or what I don’t have and I forgot what I DO have and always have had, my faith and the Lord. No matter what, no how many times I turn my back, he’s always there. And at times like this, when you feel like you are lacking something major in life or are in a hard place, faith is what will get you through.

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4 kbwood March 30, 2010

wow amazing words, girl! God never leaves our side-our salvation will NEVER go away! and that gives me a neverending joy!

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5 Salah March 30, 2010

you have touched my life! I love you so much sister! I honestly could not have been blessed with a better sister than you!

If I could have anything in the world right now- it would be to completely take away the cancer from daddy and so that he never has to worry about it again for the rest of his life, help grandma take care of papa

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6 foodlovingpolarbear March 31, 2010

If I could have anything in the world right now it would be that my dad would finally get a job after being unemployed for a long time and that he would feel the happinness of living again. It’s been though times for a long time.

I loved your post. It was so personal and made me think about my choices in life.

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7 Ellie March 31, 2010

You put SO much pressure on yourself! If you have a goal in mind great, but making other things in your life contingent on that goal will make you feel so gloomy when you’re working towards it! Write your book! Send it round to some publishers! Don’t wait to lose weight! Since you’re blogging, you obviously have lots to write about, so why not make a start on that book. The other stuff might just come along all by itself!

Your blog is great, best of luck to you.

Ellie
Edinburgh, UK

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8 Christie {Honoring Health} March 31, 2010

Thanks for sharing such heart felt words, Heather. I can relate to so much of what you say. When I heard that number (through the grapevine) from fit bloggin, my dreams of a book deal with my blog as a platform were crushed too. But then, I realized that my blog has grown leaps and bounds just by me opening up and staying true to myself. I don’t know if it will ever get to that “magic” number but for now, I am happy with what is going on. I have readers that really care about me and my happiness and I think you have the same thing. We just have to have patience that it will grow by just doing what we are doing.

But as for the book, I have been thinking long and hard about just writing it. I have been learning to eat intuitively for three years now and am just now starting to lose weight and that is after gaining during the process. What if I never lose it all? Won’t people think it doesn’t work afterall? Well, I don’t think so because what I have gained, no pun intended, is something that doesn’t come from a number on the scale and that is what really matters to me. So maybe I will just start writing and see what happens.

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9 Whitney @ Lettuce Love March 31, 2010

Everything you just said, I have thought about in this past week. What do I want right now? I really want to know where I will be in 6 months. I would like to move to a new city and start a new chapter but all of the details are up in the air right now. I just have to hope that everything will work itself out.

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10 Tony the Pink Panda March 31, 2010

It’s good to have firm beliefs in something :). As for being a writer, if it is really what you want to do, then go for it and don’t give up!

I want to look like Brad Pitt.

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11 quarterlifewellness March 31, 2010

Beautiful post my darling. The way I think of if, life is full of voids (or another less depressing word) that we choose to fill with our choice of things. We choose to be happy or not, and I fully believe that. For instance you say you used to fill the voids with food and now you try to fill them with health and the love of jesus christ. That is your choice girl and once you realize you choose, you will be in charge of the good that occurs in your life :-) You are gonna do great things! I know it!

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12 midgetkeeper March 31, 2010

What I want most in the world is for us to be closer to our families. I really kills me to be so far apart from them, especially because they are missing our kids growing up :( I know that this is how it has to be for now but I still wish it could be different at times.

I love your blog, and honesty. Thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts with us.

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13 Estela @ Weekly Bite March 31, 2010

First off… LOVE the sunglasses!

Second… I love this post! You are so sincere on your blog and I love it! One thing to keep in mind is that “those blogs” that have huge numbers started when this food blogging was still new. Once they started, everyone started blogs… so now, their are millions of blogs all doing the same thing. I truly feel that if you love your blog and keep working at it… good things will come… and for you… I KNOW good things are coming! :)

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14 Heather (Where's the Beach) March 31, 2010

Your soup sounds so good. I just found your blog. By the looks of it, you’ve got a solid readership going! There’s no telling how many people read and never post too. I am really hoping I can make it to fitblogging11. It sounds like people not only learned a great deal but also met some amazing people. I completely understand about the void and career. I have a career that I am sort of happy with, but I feel like something is missing still. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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15 Anna March 31, 2010

Yeah, I felt pretty intimidated by that Fit Bloggin’ panel too. My numbers are nowhere NEAR where they were saying was “book level.” But I finally realized, you know what? I LOVE my blog, all numbers aside. I would still blog even if I only had three readers. And that’s the important thing to me. The minute you start focusing on improving your numbers and turning the blog into a business, in my opinion, a lot of the pleasure goes out the window. I didn’t start my blog to make money off of it or use it to get a book, so why should I shift my focus to that now?

Okay, sorry, long comment!!!

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16 Jessica @ How Sweet March 31, 2010

Ah, you post just gave me chills. First off, you are so sweet and I just love you! Second, your blog is AWESOME and you need to stop putting pressure on yourself! If you blog about what you love – and the YOU that I have come to know, people will love you. And it will be GENUINE, not like someone who is only blogging for traffic. <3

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17 Jess March 31, 2010

Perfect success stories are good, but real people are better! I love your blog because you are so genuine – and you are relatable, and you are a success story. Give it time with your blog and keep being real about it, write about what you love and what moves you – that will get people hooked : )

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18 thetwentyfifthyear March 31, 2010

WOW. Just wow. This is amazing and beautiful and heartfelt and soulful. You have taken my thoughts and written them here, right down to my relationship with God.

We are similar in so many ways and it’s so refreshing to know someone besides me (and Jessica!) have the same thoughts and wants and desires.

Speaking of Jessica, I agree with what she said – your genuine nature and love for writing shines brighter than any stat report ever could :)

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19 Katie @ Health for the Whole Self March 31, 2010

Heather, I love you!!!

I have found myself in the exact same position. I have a dream of forging a writing career, and of course I want my blog to be a spring pad for that. But getting too wrapped up in that is a surefire way to make the blog lose its integrity, its personal touch, its authenticity, you know?

And as a believer as well, your words about the love of Jesus Christ really touched me. You’re absolutely right that regardless of what our “careers” are or where they do or do not take us, no career – or, for that matter, no amount of food or weight loss – will ever compare to the peace and contentment that one can find by accepting the love and grace and mercy of God, by leaning into a rock that is more steady and stable than we will ever be.

Thank you for this post!!!

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20 Kendall @ Whisk Her Away March 31, 2010

Thank you for sharing this honest post! I’m already slightly number obsessed (i.e. I love to spreadsheet out and analyze where I spend my money..who does that?!), so after I started my blog, I got into the habit of checking the stats every hour. After a few days of ocd blog stat behavior I started second-guessing myself. Was I really ever gonna “make it” as a blogger? Where were the 50 comments like the other food bloggers got? Do I have that much time to put into blogging?
I decided then and there that if I was going to blog, I was going to do it for myself and the relationships I want to build with people from all over the world who cherish and love the same things I do. Maybe someday I’ll have a loyal following, but for right now, I’m not aspiring to write a book or lead a movement, I just want to enjoy the ride.

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21 Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries March 31, 2010

You know what? There is something to be said about a little naivete every once in a while. And while it’s important to hear numbers like that at Fitbloggin’, more impossible things have happened. So, don’t view your blog as a place to “be discovered.” If it works out that way, then good for you, but if not, that’s going to be okay. Because, you blog for YOU and not for a publishing company. And, I’m very proud of you for talking about your love of Jesus. It’s not something a lot of us could do. Hugs to you, gf!

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22 rebecca March 31, 2010

keep up with that attitude of knowing that nothing and no one can satisfy you except Jesus. if it’s His will for you to “be a successful blogger/author”, you know that will happen. :) also, remember that COMPARE rhymes with DESPAIR. it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others, but it’s a painfully slippery slope that only leads to insecurity and contentment issues.
your blog can be whatever you want it to be! write it as if no one else in the world were reading and without any anticipation of comments.

i want to be totally out of debt right now. i hate that it’s such a “things of this world” answer, but it’s my natural response. :( i hate credit cards!!!!

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23 Heather March 31, 2010

girl, i want that too…credit cards are evil! that’s why ours are shredded up and the remains are hopefully scattered at the bottom of a landfill…

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24 Gelareh @ Nutritious Foodie March 31, 2010

You know after the Fitbloggin I thought a lot about the whole # of hits per day… and I blog because I like to blog and because of the friends I have made… yes getting a book deal sounds great but I am not going to stop rest of my life to bring up my # of hits per day.

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25 Bethany March 31, 2010

THANK YOU so much for writing this post — this is exactly where I’m at, and I’m so grateful for you being so honest and articulate about it!

I recently injured my knee and can’t run for a bit. Aside from being totally bummed that I can’t do something I really love, I’ve been trying to figure out why the injury is getting to me so much. Finally, this morning, I confronted the fact that it’s because I derive so much of my identity from being a runner, being a good wife, being a good cook, a smart girl, a rising professional…. etc. When those things are threatened, I collapse.

This means, at it’s core, that my identity isn’t in Christ — it’s in all of those things that tend to just fall apart around me (nobody is all of those things, all of the time, but I try!). If my identity was in Christ, all those things wouldn’t matter so much, or at all.

Sorry, longest comment ever — just wanted to say that identify with trying to “fill the void” with everything but the VERY thing that will fill it! Thanks again!

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26 Tina March 31, 2010

I think you know something I want REALLY badly lately. But I will be patient. Because like you said, I just have to trust God and be filled with the joy He gives me every day. That is the only thing truly worthy of my focus and that will fulfill me. I am glad you realized that.

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27 Lauren April 1, 2010

I too just wanted to share how much I loved this post. God knows us to our core, and that’s why he says to not have any idols, because he loves us so much and knows that when we have them, we think we might be filling our cups, but we’re not. I don’t know if that made sense, but do you know what I’m saying? :) Lately, it’s just been my prayer that Christ would FILL me up! I just want to walk so closely with the Lord and let his love pour out of me, and rest in his amazing forgiveness and peace that comes from that! Thanks again for such an awesome and genuine post!

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