Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Have Been Thinking...

The other night I had some wonderful couples over for a date night.  The women naturally gravitated towards the kitchen and lovely chit chat while the men gravitated towards a football game I graciously told my husband he could keep on low...  (Not that I tell him what to do...)

Since the women were in the kitchen, we started munching on some of the yummy snacks that were brought over.  Since we were munching-- talk started turning towards weight, body type, dieting, losing weight, exactly how much each woman felt she needed to lose...

Okay so this is what has been on my mind ever since.

All of the ladies that were in my home were so lovely.  I don't just say these things.  They were sincerely lovely and I would stop and stare if I saw them walking down the street.  I do that.

Not only that-- but let me say that these women are intelligent.  Not only are they book smart, but they are life experience smart.  They have some of the most beautiful lives because of challenges they are brave enough to overcome daily.  They have that glow about them that only comes to those who have faith.  They are lovely.  Like I said.

Yet here they were talking about weight.  Diet.  Perceived imperfections.  Yes, I am going to say perceived, because I just don't see it. 

I.  Just.  Don't.  See.  It.

I am a person who believes in acknowledging weaknesses.  I LOVE people who are constantly trying to improve themselves, their lives, and the lives of the people around them.  I am happiest when I am improving something, be it my soul, my home, my life, someone else's life, etc.

But there is just something about complaining about a lovely body shape that irks me. Especially when you pair that body shape with a lovely mind.  I mean, there is no comparison.

I believe that one of the first steps to overcoming this tendency is to learn to love many different body shapes. 

Because it is silly to just believe there is one lovely shape.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Maybe You Won't Get What I am Trying to Say.

I am laying awake and thinking.  I am wondering why I am not brave sometimes.

At critical times, I am cowardly. 

Would you like to journey into my thoughts for a moment?

You see, I am a wonderful woman.  God loves me, and I love Him.  I am someone worth fighting for.  I know when things are going wrong and I also know when things are going right.  I know when I am disappointed, but I also see all of the amazing and miraculous things that go right.

I know it is very hard to be sick for 8 months with something doctors can't seem to figure out.  I know this.  I know that everything I do every day comes at a price.  I know that sometimes, I don't have enough to pay the price, and I look up to heaven and ask Him to pay it for me, and He does. 

Yet instead of congratulating myself and therefore my God at the end of the day for all I was willing to accomplish in spite of the price---  I tell myself it wasn't enough.


Instead of basking in happiness and joy at the woman I am becoming through this trial, I look over at my pile of laundry and let it tell me that I am not a good wife.  I let the unclean floors tell me I am not a good mother.  I let uncleaned dishes and children who complained about having to go to bed (really?  I mean, it happens every night!  It shouldn't be a surprise...)  say that I am not a good homemaker.  That I am not a good mother.

Isn't it easy to acknowledge where we fall short?  And isn't taking the easy way out cowardly?

Tonight, I was lying in my bed with a book, feeling so exhausted from my sickness, paying a price I could hardly bear to pay for the efforts I squeezed out of my will today.  And all I could think about was the way I didn't fold the laundry today.  Not one scrap of it.  I also have a few dirty dishes in my sink and my floors are GROSS!!!!  I kept telling myself that I was a failure and a burden on my family.  That they deserve better than me.  It was weighing on my chest so much that I felt it was actually crushing.

My husband came in then and demanded my attention.  I didn't want to give it.  I was taking the cowardly way out, dwelling on my shortcomings deep down, and also trying to drown it out with a book and  it was taking all of my concentration!  But he kept asking for my attention and I gave it, though unwillingly.

He asked what was bothering me.  I told him I was just feeling so frustrated over the way I am a failure.

He told me I was not a failure.  I pointed at the pile of laundry as proof.

He began listing off the things I did do and keeping track of it on his hands.  He listed simple things like how my boys were fed, showered, and in pajamas.  How I put them to bed.  How I made dinner.  How I made dessert.  How I made breakfast.  How I cleaned three toilets, two bathtubs, and two bathroom sinks.  How I dusted the whole house and deep cleaned the lights (They were so gross).  How I watched children for a friend.  How I sent out invitations to a game night at our house this weekend.  How I made sure the kids did homework, practiced the piano, and played outside.  By the time he got to the forties, he told me I could stop listing things I HAD accomplished because, "Now you are just showing off..."

He lightened my heart with truth.  What I had accomplished was all worth it.  But what should make me even more proud is that I did these things at a high cost.  It is not easy.  Yet I do it. 

It takes bravery to tell myself that instead of telling myself I am not good enough.

People expect you to be hard on yourself.  People expect you to not thing highly of yourself. 

And believe me, most of the time I dwell on what I don't do.

But I think my husband taught me something tonight. 

He taught me that I am wonderful.  That I do many great things.  And as I think of it more deeply, I know that I do great things at a great price.  That is making me stronger.  When I lie in bed paying the price, I can lift my voice up to heaven and ask for patience and endurance through it.  I am always helped.  God is good that way. 

I am going to try harder to be brave.  To see myself as a valued daughter of God.  A good person who gives what she has, and sometimes a bit more, because the Lord is with me.  It is scary because it is not the norm. 

But I don't want to be a coward.  I want to be brave and see myself as God sees me every day.