Monday, March 30, 2015

Taking Back Beauty

Hello world.

Its been a while.

I am down 34 pounds.  THIRTY FOUR POUNDS ARE GONE.

[When I reach my goal then I want to share how much I weighed.  I'm not quite ready for that.]

I've been thinking a lot about how much better I feel.  My clothes are falling off of me.  I can wear jeans I haven't worn in two years.  I can bend over without feeling like I'll pass out.

I can cross my legs.  [Do you know how embarassing, as a woman, it is to NOT be able to cross your legs?]

I have many more pounds to lose.
But this has given me some serious confidence to take on the world. [At least the small, crazy world I am blessed to live in.]

I started this post about a week ago but haven't made the time to finish it. [I've been doing other things like turning 42, getting sick, and taking on the world.] Just a few days ago, after I began to really think about what I wanted to say in this post, a teacher friend posted this on Facebook:

I really feel led to start a group here on Facebook for women who have struggled with negative body image and/or negative feelings dealing with food. If you or someone you know would be interested in being a part of my closed fb group, please message me so I can see if there is enough interest. It would be a place for encouragement and support, NOT a substitute for professional help or judgement of any kind. 

Really?  Could God be any more amazing because this would have to be a God thing for my thoughts to be right in tune with what my friend is being led to do.

The Bible says this about women and beauty:

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. 
I Peter 3:3-4

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Song of Solomon 4:7

I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness - with good works.
I Timothy 2:9-10

The world says this about women:
  • It is necessary for you to be skinny to be considered beautiful. [I HATE to hear a boy or a man describe a girl as thick or heavy.  What. Is. That? I HATE it even more when a girl describes another girl with these terms.] 
  • The more skin you show, the prettier you will be. [Found this one on Pinterest: Dressing immodestly is liking rolling around in manure. Yes. You'll get attention but mostly from pigs. #BOOM] 
  • Get attention any way you can - endless selfies, posing like you're on the cover of Cosmo, and make sure you are tanned, waxed, bronzed, and buffed. [Are you a girl or on the menu at the Waffle House? Scattered, smothered, covered, and chunked.]
  • If someone compliments you then make sure you come back with some ridiculous statement on Instagram like, "Who me?  No. You are the one who is perf."  or "You must be looking in the mirror gorgeous!" or "I literally cannot compete with you. #goals"  [Seriously. Is this necessary? No. It is ATTENTION SEEKING.]
There isn't a whole lot that parallels with what the good book says and what the world says when it comes to beauty.

Beauty isn't about what someone else thinks about the woman staring back at us from the mirror. 
Beauty isn't the number of likes and comments on Instagram.
Beauty isn't defined by the number on the scale.
Beauty isn't a shorter hemline or a more revealing dress.

Trip Lee sings a song, Sweet Victory, and these lyrics are on repeat in my head:
The crown of thorns declares you're King
A scarlet robe can't cloak your majesty
Yeah they nailed your hands, you nailed our death
From the cross you reigned
Your kingdom knows no end.

God didn't send a savior to conquer death only to have us waste time worrying about who is more gorgeous and how can we get that too.

As women in God's kingdom we should be about taking back beauty from the world!

Beauty is....
a woman who is fiercely determined to follow God's calling for her life.

Beauty is....
women who deny themselves to provide for those around them.

Beauty is...
a woman who prays for her husband. And her children. And her children's future [or current] spouses and families.

Beauty is...
women who lift up each other with encouragement, prayer, and service.

Beauty is all around us. In every soul we meet. There are no chance meetings or encounters - only a life that is orchestrated by God.  

I don't want to miss a chance to be beautiful.

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Monday, March 2, 2015


Sometimes my favorite coach wonders where God is leading him.  [I know he won't mind sharing this with you.]

He finished his master's degree to be an administrator in 2013.  He really wants to be a principal but so far, those doors have all been closed.  

At times, he has struggled with the whys.  I believe he is qualified [I mean, I think he hung the moon, so why wouldn't he be qualified to be a leader in a school?] and that when the time is right he will land one of those jobs.  

I know the man's heart.
I know that he trusts God's direction for his life, even when he doesn't understand the path.
I love him.

Today a former player's parent emailed both of us to thank us for supporting her daughter's upcoming mission trip.  This is a part of the email she sent to us:

Also, I'm not a Carolina fan but watched the Dean Smith memorial that was on TV last weekend.  As I heard players give testimony to his life, it reminded me of you Coach Short.  One player talked about how he wasn't the best player but he got to start on senior day.  (Our daughter) wasn't at all the best player, but you always gave her some playing time and made her part of the team.  And you lived out your faith just like Dean Smith did.  So again, thank you for all you do for those girls each year.

God puts us where HE needs us most.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015


I am not sure why I allow things to bother me so very much.  Many times the things that bother me are way beyond my control and just not worth the ounce of thought [as in an intervention is needed].  

This [follow this link] is one of those things.

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary unconditional means not limited in any way; complete and absolute.

So many times doing something unconditionally [like loving someone, helping someone, working, etc.] means we [*pointing finger directly at my own self*] must look past our own motives, desires, and selfishness.

We accept people for who they are and not for who we would like [or choose] for them to be.  For relationships to happen, people [*still pointing at me'self] must be willing to put aside petty issues and see each other as people who are not perfect. 

Molly said it so eloquently last week in her Upwards testimony...we must be Jesus.

I am speaking completely honestly [as I try to do here] in saying that I know I haven't done that in this situation. 
I've prayed about it. 
I've written in my journal about it.  
I've talked to Craig about it.

But, I haven't just been Jesus.  

I haven't tried looking past my own hurt feelings. 

I've had a lot of time to think about things [February's been a rather sloooooowww month for me].  

[Stay with me...this is going to connect...eventually.]  Last night I painted a vase.  I've recently become very interested obsessed with chalk paint and refinishing furniture to make it look antiqued or worn.  I bought some vases at Goodwill for about $5 total and I worked on worn for several days.  [Side note: I am not extremely crafty.  I usually mess up and definitely make a mess. I'm learning.]  

I snapped a picture [because doesn't EVERY single detail of our lives have to be pictured, cataloged, Intsagramed, Facebooked, and end up in cyberspace FOREVER and EVER??] to share on social media. 

As I looked at the vase, sitting up on my mantel, it made me think of myself
  • flaws [Lord knows I have too many to name in all areas of my life...]
  • stained
  • refinished
  • changed
  • meant for something different [Not of this world.]
  • a greater purpose [God is revealing so many things to me.]
  • scarred [Not just physical, like the recent surgery, put allowing my past stupidity to define me sometimes.]
  • distressed [Stress is always there no matter what word you use.]
  • something new 

I am not perfect.
I make lots of mistakes [on the daily].
But, just like the vase, I am a work in progress.  I've made mistakes but those mistakes don't define me.  

I cannot make others like me and that is OK. 
I cannot make others see my point of view and that is OK.
Honestly speaking, I am not going to give another thought to those who have consumed so much of my time the last few months.

As I learned in church this morning, I need to be work on pouring myself into God's word so I can pour myself into doing God's work.  I cannot do that if I am wasting [and I honestly do mean wasting] time worrying about this situation, talking about this situation, getting caught up in this situation.  

Most of all, this is taking time away that I can be Jesus.

Thank you God for reality checks.

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