Today was a beautiful day. I witness the incredible strength and beauty of a young woman involved with Made in His Image. She went to confession and made tremendous strides in regards to her recovery by making little choices to work diligently to get better. I’m so incredibly proud of her!!

Another woman asked me why God allows evil to exist. A great question, and one that I use to wrestle with for years. One time I asked my Spiritual Director, Why didn’t God stop the abuse? He looked at me and said, The same reason He didn’t stop the Romans from killing His Son.

You see God gives us free will and while He doesn’t will evil to happen, He allows it because He will not take away our free will. It is up to us to decide how we will use this gift He has given to us, some use it to harm others, others for good. I challenge you to use your free will to fight for freedom, whether that be an eating disorder, recovering from abuse or any type of struggle. Be a solider for Christ, walk with Him to Calvary and as you fall along the way, ask for the grace for the cross to be placed squarely on your shoulders as you rise again. Choose to see beauty despite what has happened in your life, or how others have wronged you. Forgive, pray, ask for grace and seek beauty in the ambiguity of life.

The last fall is the worst fall. In it Christ identified Himself with those who fall again and again, and who get up again and again and go on- those who even after the struggle of a lifetime fall when the end is in sight; those who in the last fall lose the respect of many of their fellow human beings, but who overcome their humiliation and shame; who, ridiculous in the eyes of others, are beautiful in the eyes of God, because in Christ, with Christ’s courage, in His heroism, they get up and go on, climbing the hill of Calvary.

In the third fall, the showing of Christ’s love is this: He does not indwell only the virtuous, only those who are successful in overcoming temptation, only those who are strong and in whom His power is made manifest to the world; He chooses to indwell those who seem to fail, those who fall again and again, those who seem to be overcome even when the end is in sight. In them, if they will it, He abides; in them He overcomes weakness and failure, in them He triumphs; and in His power they can persevere to the end, abject before men but glorious with Christ’s glory before God. – Caryll Houslander

You Need a Battle Plan

Women email me all the time and ask, what do I need to do to recover from my eating disorder? 

I always tell them they need a plan – a battle plan as I refer to it. A week ago a woman emailed me her plan and I want to share it with you today because it’s beautiful and her discipline and courage is worth noting. Below is her plan, it is my hope that you can glean some ideas from her writing and write your own plan.

Please note that this woman was NOT at the beginning stages of an eating disorder.

1. Continue to abandon ALL destructive eating behaviors. Abandon them forever! Delete ALL pictures of models/actresses who have that perfect body from my computer. I think I’ve deleted them all already, but need to check again to be sure. 

2. Continue NOT to weigh myself ever again (if I don’t really have to for any particular reason). I know the number on that scale is really unimportant. 

3. Continue to glorify God in the way I eat and in moderation. 

4. Don’t make up any other rules regarding eating, except glorifying God and taking good care of your body.

5. Continue to write down all Bible verses that are especially meaningful to me. I’ve bought a prayer journal in which I’ve started to collect them, and I’ve hung up prayer cards by my mirror, so whenever I get one of those really-can’t-stand-my-body days’ I’ll look at them and they make me feel better and help me to get my focus back on Jesus instead of myself.

6. DAILY TIME WITH JESUS. Continue to read my Bible in the morning and finish the day in prayer. Keep going to Mass, Confession and Adoration. Listen to praise and worship music. Surround yourself with godly people who inspire you and help you to grow closer to God, continue to deepen your relationship with Jesus and become a better person

7. Continue to pray to be used by the Father to share my testimony to inspire others to surrender to Jesus!

8. Remember to humble myself before Jesus every day!

So what is your battle plan? What are you doing EVERYDAY to get better? If you would like me to help you with a plan, email me anytime at I have given countless women parts of my plan that I made for myself years ago and would love to help you too! Made in His Image exists to help YOU!


My talk at James Madison University last Thursday was a tremendous success!! All the glory to the Father!! Thank you so much for all of the prayers, really appreciated it! The Holy Spirit really blew up the room. My favorite part was the 2 1/2 hours worth of questions after. I know God is going to use it in powerful ways to foster His healing and hope.

A very special thank you to all the women who have written since the talk at JMU, please keep writing. I love hearing your thoughts, feelings and stories and all the ways God is working in your lives.

You are one of the first people I’ve heard to come out and say that getting professional help is okay and, above all else, normal. I REALLY needed to hear this. Thank you for sharing your story with us at JMU. – a student who came to “From Victim to Survivor: Courage and the True Value of Beauty.”

Today, Made in His Image would like to honor and congratulate a very special young woman, who is Made in His Image’s first graduate of our accountability program, which is a 60 day course, which requires tremendous discipline, perseverance and courage to complete. I am so exceedingly proud of her, I wish I could bake her a cake, so we could celebrate together.

Chiara, a beautiful young woman, who heard about MIHI through FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), emailed me in October 2011. Chiara’s courage, determination, diligence, faith, hope and strength are remarkable and MIHI is honored to have walked alongside this incredible woman during the past 60 days.

I know that God has tremendous plans for her! She has even shared with me about possibly coming to work for MIHI once she graduates. She is amazing!!

Below is her story.

     For the past 6.5 years I have been suffering from eating disorders, depression and anxiety and struggled with self-harm and drinking. When I was in the midst of my worst relapse, God blessed me with one of the most beautiful and inspiring people I’ve ever encountered: Maura. After God, she’s the reason why I am alive today. If it wasn’t for her, I would never have known that full recovery was possible – through Jesus Christ. I couldn’t feel more blessed and thankful to her. She encouraged me to join MIHI’s accountability program and has been supporting and praying for me every single day. Through studying the Bible, going regularly to Confession, Mass and Adoration and through gradually surrendering myself to God, I’ve been completely healed! All the glory to the Father! I’ve learned how to feed on Jesus, on His Word and Body, instead of turning to my destructive habits to try to deal with emotions and satisfy my soul. I know now, not only in my mind but in my heart, that I’m God’s beloved and most precious daughter, perfectly created and made in His image, that my body is indeed a ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ and has been ‘bought at a price’, that I am to treasure it as I would do with any gift and that I am to glorify God with my life, including with my body and eating habits.
  This has been the most amazing, unexpected, scary, challenging and beautiful journey of my entire life. Sometimes I look back at where I was at my sickest point: Starving up to 2 weeks, weighing myself 6 times a day, drinking the first thing in the morning, doing 500 sit-ups all at once, spending the school breaks self-harming in the restroom. I remember times when I wasn’t even able to drink and would close my mouth while showering because I was so afraid of getting anything inside of me, even a drop of water. Times when my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t take the main stairs in school but had to take those of the fire exit. Times when my anxiety would cause me involuntary muscle spasms and panic attacks and times when I considered committing suicide. I couldn’t feel more blessed to be alive today! I feel I’ve got absolutely everything I need and want in my life because I’ve restored my relationship with Christ. Jesus has not only given me my life back but He’s given me the 100fold! I have never felt so much love, peace and joy in my whole life! It’s amazing! 

     I was scared to death to let go of my past and recover. But by the grace of God and with the support of my friends’ prayers, I made it. I pray that God will now use me to encourage others to turn to Jesus, surrender to Him and let Him take over their lives. There’s nothing I’d rather do in my life than to give glory to the Father for what He’s done for me. I’m alive and completely recovered today because of His love and mercy. He’s captured my heart and now I’m ready to go and set the world on fire for Him!

Please email Maura at to sign up for one of Made in His Image’s accountability programs.

Tonight is the Night!!

Yesterday I flew to Virginia to speak to the campus of James Madison University! The students and staff here are so incredibly wonderful and welcoming. And their campus is absolutely beautiful. Yesterday I was able to go to Mass and eat with some of the students, along with doing some promotion for tonight’s event. The weather is breathtaking here too. I love it!

Last night I also got to meet one of the beautiful women that MIHI helps hold accountable and tonight I get to meet another! I’m really excited for this! These women are so courageous and I’m honored to know them.

This morning, two of the FOCUS missionaries and I finished passing out flyers for tonight and then we went together to pray a Holy Hour. My time with God the Father this morning was special. I had countless thoughts and emotions racing through my mind, mostly of gratitude. I can’t believe Made in His Image is actually a non-profit. Look at what You have done from the pain? How much you have healed me from so much trauma and abuse Father, You are amazing! I’m so blessed! Thank you for Your love. 

I thought of three exceedingly special people who have helped me in my journey of healing – my sister Clare, who has been with me through everything. On the nights where I couldn’t sleep because of nightmares, Clare was there. When I had to be at the doctors, Clare was there. When I didn’t believe my life was worth living, Clare was there to remind me that it was. When I couldn’t bare the thought of looking in the mirror because all I saw was ugliness, Clare was there to tell me that I’m beautiful.

My doctor, who I completed two years of trauma therapy with. Words could never describe what Dr. Bellet has done for me. He challenged me to take my suffering and turn it into something beautiful. I will never forget those years I spent being coached by him – they were the hardest, but best years of my life so far. He changed my life.

My spiritual director, Father Jacek has helped me immensely. He’s always there to encourage and guide me when I question what I’m doing or wondering how the heck I’m going to pay my rent on any given month. To guide me closer to virtue and holiness, and to lead me in regards to MIHI. His words of wisdom and prayers are exceedingly invaluable.

I am blessed.

So come on out tonight and let’s find meaning in suffering together! Let’s let the Father transform our lives into something beautiful! Let’s find beauty in the cross!

Suffering is a gift-though, like all gifts, it depends on how we receive it. And that is why we need a pure heart, to see the hand of God, to feel the hand of God, to recognize the gift of God in our suffering. – Mother Teresa

Those Thoughts Use to Plague Me

Last weekend, my best friend Karissa and I stopped at Whole Foods to get coffee prior to going to a movie. The barista looked at me, May I help you miss, what can I get started for you? 

Can I get a small mocha to go please. Would you like whip cream on that miss? (People say miss a lot in the south). Yes, please.

That will be 3.27.

I reached into my brown bag (a Longchamp bag given to me by my sister Clare) for my wallet. Karissa gently touched my bag, Let me get this for you Maura. Really? That’s so nice of you. Yes, I would like to treat you. My mind flooded with memories as Karissa paid, some good and others that were not pleasant to relive

Someone once told me, The depth of our love is how well we receive. I never use to be able to receive love from people. I always questioned their motives. Why does this person want to help me? Why are they being so nice to me? They couldn’t possibly mean what they say. How could they love me? I feel so unlovable, they must want something in return. I mean really, what is it that they want from me? 

Those thoughts use to plague me. While it is still difficult at times to trust, especially when it comes to men/relationships I have made tremendous progress. I am so grateful for God the Father’s love in my life and His hand over me. He desires the same healing for you!

Receiving appropriate love is very important. It allows the giver to get out of themselves and think of another. Therefore, when I would turn down a perfectly genuine gesture of love from a friend it brought the attention to me, instead of focusing on the giver who was trying to do a kind act. So really, when you receive love from others, you are allowing the giver to grow in virtue and character, and you, the receiver, are learning too. You are learning to trust again, which is exceedingly challenging after various traumatic events, when people have let you down, or when you constantly question other’s motives.

Perhaps you think of yourself as I did, someone unworthy of love. That is a lie and you MUST combat those thoughts with Truth. You are worth more than you can even fathom. You my friend, are a child of God, an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven. You have transcendent value just as you are – a son or daughter of the Father. His love is not conditioned on your physical appearance, the grades you get in school, your athletic ability or what you accomplish. He loves you just the way you are and when He gazes at you all He sees is His child, whom He yearns to help and protect.

How could you not be worth something with a future and Father such as those?

An Inside Look at Eating Disorders from an NCAA Division 1 Athlete

I remember when people would scream at me, just eat it. Why can’t you just eat and be normal Maura? It’s only food, if you don’t eat you could die. 

Little did they know what was really going on in my mind.

It is a miracle what God has done in my life and with all my heart I want you to experience the same freedom! The fact that I can drink a glass of orange juice, eat a hamburger, ice cream before bed, not weigh myself, order a drink at Starbucks and drink the whole thing, put whip cream on a mocha, milk in my cereal, eat popcorn at a movie, go days without running and the list is a mile long is the hand of the Father!

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering. If there is a purpose in life at all, there must be a purpose in suffering. But no man can tell another what this purpose is, each must find out for himself, and must accept the responsibility that his answer prescribes. If he succeeds he will continue to grow in spite of all indignities.”

Last week a student-athlete emailed me the following. Her words offer great insight into  what it’s like to have an eating disorder, especially for people who have never had one. Please read and educate yourself. Knowledge is power!

Maura, I just had to write to you. This past week I started a new round of clinicals for nursing school. I’m in psych/mental health nursing now and we are at our local hospital. Each week one student has their clinical on the Eating Disorder Unit. This week happened to be my week. I don’t think excited is the correct word to use but I was looking forward to it. I had no idea what to expect or what I would be doing. It is an 8 bed facility. While there I went to group therapy, stretching, meals, and just talked with the girls. 

Words cannot describe it. When my shift was over I drove home and just cried. My heart ached for these women and men. One of the girls has anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to live, another is just 13 years old. Hearing them talk about their anxieties during therapy just made me realize how difficult their struggle, your struggle, must be/have been. 

They plan their next day’s meal and while doing so they are riddled with fear, anxiety, guilt, and anger. One girl spoke of how she knew she needed to eat but just couldn’t because she felt that if she allowed herself to enjoy food she would enjoy it too much. I cannot imagine what that must be like. I have had very bad anxiety during different times in my life, but I still can’t come close to understanding how they must feel. I can only pray that they will find hope, healing, and peace. Sitting there in therapy I thought of you, of what you are doing, and of how God is working through you to help others.

This season out team is struggling with eating and food. We have several girls on the team who have eating disorders. The entire team has become more food conscious and I can feel the effects, the pressure, it is having on us. One of the girls has gained some weight and is starting to run again. Everyone has noticed and is happy for her, but I can see now that it is so much more than gaining the weight back. Please, keep our team in your prayers.

I don’t think an hour goes by when I don’t think about those girls at the hospital or those girls on our team, or food in general. It’s a subtle thing; it creeps into your mind and into your consciousness. A teammate that I am especially close with and I were talking; we realized how in a matter of a couple of months we were thinking about food, and eating, and portions very often and didn’t even notice it. I realized that almost 50-60% of my day I was thinking about food, and what I should eat, and if I should eat, and how much I should eat.

Maura, thank you. Thank you for answering God’s call. Thank you for being brave, for taking a leap of faith. You are changing countless lives, and hearts, and minds. May God continually bless MIHI and you on your journey through recovery and on your journey to discovering all that God has planned for you. 

Pornography is Satan Personified

Please join me in praying for all of those who are addicted to porn. Below is a really great article, please read and share. Let us strive to change our culture for the Kingdom, one soul at a time.

Raquel Welch: the ‘era of porn’ has ‘annihilated’ men


Tue Mar 13, 2012 17:04 EST

March 13, 2012 ( – As one of America’s most revered sex symbols, she might not be the first celebrity to jump to mind as a crusader against pornography. But Raquel Welch, who rose to icon status as the beauty in the leather bikini from the 1966 movie One Million Years BC, told Men’s Health Magazine in an interview posted online March 8 that today’s sex-saturated culture had sapped the meaning out of sex, and damaged countless men through the pornography industry, which she called “an exploitation of the poor male’s libidos.”

“It’s just dehumanizing. And I have to honestly say, I think this era of porn is at least partially responsible for it,” Welch said of rampant sexual addiction. “Where is the anticipation and the personalization? It’s all pre-fab now. You have these images coming at you unannounced and unsolicited. It just gets to be so plastic and phony to me.

“Maybe men respond to that. But is it really better than an experience with a real life girl that he cares about? It’s an exploitation of the poor male’s libidos. Poor babies, they can’t control themselves.”

Welch criticized men’s modern habit of “equat[ing] happiness in life with as many orgasms as you can possibly pack in,” and described the concomitant loss of real masculinity in vivid terms.

“I just imagine them sitting in front of their computers, completely annihilated. They haven’t done anything, they don’t have a job, they barely have ambition anymore,” said the 71-year-old actress. “And it makes for laziness and a not very good sex partner. Do they know how to negotiate something that isn’t pre-fab and injected directly into their brain?”

When Eric Spitznagel of Men’s Health interjected that Welch’s views could come across as “prudish,” the aging sex icon said she was “fine with that” and pined for the days when bedroom fantasy was a private matter.

“Can you imagine? My fantasies were all made up on my own,” she said. “They’re ruining us with all the explanations and the graphicness. Nobody remembers what it’s like to be left to form your own ideas about what’s erotic and sexual. We’re not allowed any individuality. I thought that was the fun of the whole thing. It’s my fantasy. I didn’t pick it off the Internet somewhere.”

This isn’t the first time Welch has been critical of the culture that helped fuel her lengthy career: in a 2010 column for CNN, she lamented the effects of contraception on society, particularly its enervating effect on marriage, the “cornerstone of civilization.”

“Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it’s gotta be pretty bad,” she wrote.

For the complete article click HERE.