Take Off The Mask

“The world has enough women who live a masked insecurity. It needs more women who live a brave vulnerability.”

–Ann Voskamp

The woman who looks in the mirror and believes the lies of who she is, by the reflection she sees. The face staring back at her is beautiful but she only sees imperfection.

The woman who says nothing because she feels like she has nothing valuable to say.

The girl who doesn’t fit in, instead choosing rebellion, because she believes no one really cares.

The woman who pours everything into her career, hoping to prove she has what it takes…only to find out the career has taken all that really matters.

The woman who fears that she has celebrated many birthdays, but has never really lived.

Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Perfect friend. Perfect employee. Perfect appearance. Perfect intellect. Perfection…perfection…perfection.

The masks are real, and so many of us have them.

We wear them because we know them, they cover our insecurities. They become comfortable.

Stepping out of the comfort zone, removing the masks is scary. It makes us vulnerable.

It makes us approachable.

It makes us real.

Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Getting Real With The Girl In The Mirror

Supervised physical therapy may be helpful to ...

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I’m getting real…and it’s scary. I’m not “frightened” scared, more of a “can I do this?” kind of scared.

Stress over eating weighs heavy. That would be funny, if it wasn’t so serious. It’s an issue. From what I read, and hear, and see, weight and eating issues are killing many of us. Sure, there are health issues that accompany weight loss or gain (depending on what you are dealing with and both can be dangerous) but, I’m talking about these issues killing us–on the inside.

When I was in high school and college, I was slender. I look back at pictures from my past and see how skinny my arms were. Seriously. I didn’t struggle to zip my jeans, and everything was in it’s natural place (unlike now….did I mention I hate gravity more and more?).

But, even then, I would look at others that I went to school with, and I’d feel fat.

When I was in high school I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Now, that particular diagnosis won’t make one GAIN weight, but it sure does make it VERY DIFFICULT to lose once it’s there. Anyone who has this disease knows that her metabolism is slow. It has betrayed her. I know from personal experience that I’ve always had to do two to three times as much exercise as the average gal, to see the same results. In college I danced for hours on end, took an aerobics class, and did weight training.

As an adult I did circuit training five to six days a week and power walked 16-20 miles a week. I felt like I couldn’t quit. If I did, I’d gain the weight. Who can keep up with that kind of schedule for forever? Life happens. Babies are birthed. How does one fit in the needed exercise when everyone else NEEDS you and your time?

The weight came…and the older I get, the more difficult it is to lose. I look at myself in the mirror and wonder what happened?

Weight watchers and Nutri System, T-Tapp, and weighted hoola hoops, and walking with a friend in the early morning hours. And yet still, the image in the mirror is not what I long to see.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

And just so you know….for the most part, I have a healthy self-esteem. I know I am much more than the girl in the mirror. I get that. I really do. But, still……

As, I have been considering all this, something happened. I know it is a “God thing”. I was reading my Bloom book club site, and there was Lysa TerKeurst talking about her new book, Made to Crave. I read the excerpt. I listened to her video clip. It was if this woman was talking directly to me, and my ponderings about what I was going to do about my struggles with exercise and eating.

I ordered the book. I should get it by early next week. I am ready to begin looking at things differently…not my perspective, but God’s. Now, some of you might be thinking, “God, is too big to care about my weight issues.” That is not true. If it bothers you, than it concerns Him. I believe He wants me healthy. Am I willing to lay my burden of this roller coaster ride of health and weight at His feet.? Can I admit, that I cannot do this in my own power? I need Him? I cannot do it alone–I’ve tried, but it doesn’t last.

Listen to Lysa as she talks about her book. I’m sure she will inspire you, as she did, me.

Has anyone else read her book? What are some things you are doing to lose weight? Move more? Grow closer in your walk with the Lord?

Will you share?

Written In My Own Hand

Pen & Journal

Image by Bob AuBuchon via Flickr

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~ William Wordsworth

The leather bound book feels smooth in my hands. I open it to the page, after my last entry. The white emptiness awaits my pen.

I’ve kept journals my entire life. For me, there is something therapeutic  about putting feelings, thoughts, experiences down on paper. I like to express myself with words on the page. I’ve had people say to me that they could never keep a journal….because they would be afraid that someone would read their journals, or family would read them after he/she is gone.  My thought is, read them! READ THEM. I hope my family reads all my boxes of  journals. I think they will see that I was a real person, with real issues, joys and sorrows. I had dreams and I tasted grief. I was sometimes goofy and yet a deep thinker.

*In eighth grade I wrote poetry and doodled hearts in the margins of my journal. I practiced different styles of handwriting to see which one was the most beautiful. I wrote of the seasons and time.

*In college I wrote letters to my boyfriend. I’m reminded of some of the deep issues we discussed on paper. (yes, the 80’s were still pre-personal PC days)  I could hold my own in a debate.

*As a college graduate I wrote about my search for a job and my desire to teach. Once I landed my first job, I wrote about my days as a teacher, and my students that made it all worth while.

*I wrote as a newlywed, learning how to share my life with another.

*I began to write a journal to my son when I was only five months pregnant with him. I wanted him to know that he was loved from before he was even born.

*I wrote a journal of grief, for the whole year after my first husband died.

*I wrote when I was a single parent. The joys and the heartaches.

*I wrote when I started dating again. Dating in one’s mid 30’s is a lot different than dating in one’s early 20’s. Just sayin’.

*I wrote to my new husband. Of course, my witty banter won him over….along with my amazing email skills and my otherwise complete lack of knowledge of computers. (Giggle)

*I continue to write in my prayer journal. I pour out my heart to the One who knows and understands…my soul bleeding out on each page.

Each day I etch words into time. I write how I am feeling at that moment. The ups and downs of my life. The bubbled up laughter spilling out in joy. The anguish of dreams not met.

I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.  ~James Michener

 

 

Simply Love…

Love for Arts

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“Le Prix d’Amour, C’est Seulement Amour.”

The price of love, is simply…love.


Family. Unconditional love. Safe and secure.

Growing up, I never doubted love.

I was seventeen.

He held my hand. We shared a kiss.

The sweet tenderness of young love.

I was a young woman dressed in white, a young man at the end of the aisle.

We faced each other and declared our love.

Until death do us part.

The nurse handed the wrinkled bundle of baby boy to me.

I, as mother, looked at my newborn and love enveloped my heart.

Love tries again. Second chances are real. I step out into love.

Love for those I surround myself with.

Agape for my fellow man.

Love and thanksgiving to God.

….And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13 :13)