Friday, May 10, 2013


My husband keeps all of his t-shirts for too long.  He won't let me throw a single one away, or make them into a quilt, or hide the tattered ones in the far back corner of the closet.  He is on to my schemes.

Mike does have one old shirt I love.  It comes through the laundry with all the others, but it is still incredibly special every time I fold it.  Thousands of washings have not removed the waterproof mascara on that undershirt, from when I buried my head into his chest that day.  I sobbed so hard.  Dad was dying.  

Mike and I had dated for less than a year, but he was my rock in that valley.  Instead of running away from my brokeness, he ran toward my tears and embraced me.  He gave me a diamond ring under a waterfall and said he wanted me to know that when I cried again and again and again he would be the one to hold me.  He wanted me to know that when my world felt like it was crumbling, he would be solid and constant and strong.  He wanted me to know that he loved me, forever, so he married me.

His arms have been my comfort countless times, always my strong and steady.  He knows God is stronger than both of us, so he has held me tight while he prayed over my pain.  He still lets me use his undershirt as a tissue while he is wearing it, after all these years.  Now I see him hold our children in those same strong arms and I know how lucky they are.  How lucky we are.  That his are the fearless arms that hold us.  I love you, Mike.


After Mike proposed under Yosemite Falls we rushed to the hospital to tell dad before visiting hours were over.  It was the first time I couldn't stop smiling in a long time. 

THIS man.  I will always be happy in your arms, Babe.  

 Now he has three of us to hold.  But he is strong enough.  We love you!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I felt brave.  Taking off my shirt to reveal my bathing suit and skin beneath.

The suit hid my stretch marks but not my hips and thighs that marked my body as unmistakeable wear from bearing two children.  The fact that I was with other moms made it worse, instead of better.  They were beautiful and thin beside the backyard pool.  Fortunately the fact that I was with my two year old daughter gave me courage.

I don't want her to grow up being afraid to go to summer camp, fearing jumping in the lake in front of the boy she likes, or slouching in shame instead of laughing with her chin back and head high while she sits in a hot tub with her girlfriends.  I don't want her to grow up being like me.

I would fight a lion for her, I tell myself.  So instead I battle my own demons of insecurity and self doubt and fear.  Even though it may seem simple, taking off that blue tunic was the bravest thing I've done since I brought those beautiful babies home with me.

"I like your bathing suit" my kind hostess said.  "Thank you" I replied, and slunk in the icy water with my daughter clinging to my side and the sun hot on my hair.  She had no idea what this simple act in her backyard symbolized: My commitment to raising my daughter to be beautiful in her own skin and to be brave...just like her mom.


This brave act took a lot of prayer to come to.  My honest journey is here on my blog about Why Being Fat Makes me Cry.

5 Minute Friday confession- I was halfway through my last paragraph when my iPhone buzzed, so this was more of a 6 Minute Friday.  Phew.  It's been said.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why Being Fat Makes me Cry

I've been blogging a lot about what God has taught me.  I thought I'd take a turn at what God is teaching me.  This one is raw.  Like, I can't totally talk about it without crying.  Girls, I have over 20 pounds to lose to get back to my weight before baby #2...and baby #2 is already 7 months old.  I weigh 3 pounds less than when I was pregnant with him.  Just typing that makes me want to throw up in shame, fear, and bewilderment.

So here was my process.   

FIRST  Write out why, specifically, this hurts so much.
  1. Because I feel like I am living in someone else's body.  I've never felt my thighs rub together or had the fat on the top of my back touch the fat on the bottom of my back when I reach up to the top of the pantry. 
  2. Because this feels too familiar. I never felt like I was one of the "pretty ones". I finally found my confidence in my twenties and now it's gone again.  
  3. Because my husband is awesome.  Sometimes I worry that he could do better than the chubster who stays home all day and still can't manage to keep the house clean (me).
  4. Because it feels like it reflects on my character and competence. The fact that my baby is seven months old and I still can't fit in my clothes makes me feel like an undisciplined, lazy failure.
  5. Because it makes me grieve the "old me".  Being active and in decent shape feels like thing #324 that falls into the "Before kids" category that I can't see coming back any time soon.  
  6. Because it feels overwhelming to even think of the energy it would take to meal plan and exercise to fix it.
  7. Because I feel like I can't enjoy all that life has to offer when I am dodging being in any pictures and dreading every month older my son gets as a declaration of another month gone by that I am still fat.
  8. Because I feel like being a stay at home mom is already one strike against me in making a first impression, so I have to make up for it by being hot, entrepreneurial, or in some other way interesting and I am none of those.
  9. Because even writing this out makes me want to eat a brownie and that makes me feel this weird guilt and shame and like I deserve to be overweight.
  10. Because it brings every "I should be/do" to mind and just makes me feel like I'm not good enough.  
THEN consider, for a moment, my assumptions. 
  • I have to be thin and pretty to be likeable.
  • I will never lose weight.
  • I am not a good person if I am not ambitious or successful.
  • Being overweight defines who I am.
  • I have to prove that I am perfect.
THEN be brutally honest as to the effect is having on my behavior and those around me.
  • Insecurity, depression, alternately craving and then resenting food.
  • Keeping tally of what I do in an unhealthy way to try to prove my worth.
  • Not giving God the glory or my full passion in His calling and purpose for me as a mom.
  • Hiding from my friends, worried what they will think or that I will make them uncomfortable if I reveal my real struggle with my weight.
FINALLY pretend like I am talking to someone else (more gently and lovingly than I talk to myself) and share the truth that I know.
  • God sees my heart.  He values my love for my family and others INFINITELY more than my looks.
  • My husband and kids ADORE me.  Why would I rob myself the joy of basking in that?
  • I should be living with the perspective of the Kingdom of God.  The values of this culture around vanity and beauty are twisted and only take me away from the happiness of keeping my eyes on what really matters.
  • Every moment I spend trapped under this emotional boulder is a moment wasted, I already have victory. I need to look to God and my friends to help me claim my freedom.
Here is a GREAT link to some scripture, and an amazing book that have been encouraging me.

I'm not going to lie, this is a battle that is not over.  It doesn't help that on a morning when I wake up feeling good I think I probably could fit into that outfit and then I try it on and disaster strikes...I feel like I am reliving failure over and over. I have to recite to myself the words of love God has whispered and rehearse where my value and identity are found.

Whether it's weight or something else that feels like a boulder pressing down your joy, I hope you'll take a moment to be vulnerable.  Write it out.  Think about the subconscious assumptions you have.  Admit the way it is affecting you and others.  Let the truth in through prayer or seeking encouragement from friends.

Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised

Lord, come into this dark corner of my heart.  There is shame and fear and sadness and oh so many tears hiding.  Please, shine your light so brightly into this darkness.  Shower your truth and love and joy over my brokeness.  Help me develop a healthy attitude toward self-image, food, and pleasing others.  I want to love you, my family, and others...and I want to love the woman you are making me.  Help me see myself the way that you do.  God I surrender my heart to you, but I will FIGHT for the victory you have already given me over this.  I love you.  Thank you for loving me.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


It's like a breath of fresh air.  But it's more of a gasp, really.

Life feels like a lap swim, the same movements being relaxing, grueling, new, and exhilarating over time and repetition.  In quick succession moving arms and swiftly kicking legs feels focused and dreamy and immediate all again.

And from time to time there is the breath.  Not too many breaths.  They kill your speed.  But each one just as you need it.  Each one enough to get to the next.  The only thing that can get you though the pain and the joy and the exhaustion and the relaxation of lap after lap.

I choose my breaths wisely, and I choose you.

My friend who lets me come over in my pajamas with kids who aren't wearing shoes.  Who has made me coffee when I am about to cry.  Who can give me a breath in the most unexpected moments: as a text, email, or memory remind me of your prayers and the Spirit of life we share.

My life is wonderful, exhausting, repetitive, changing, confusing, clear, busy, lonely, and...{gasp}...I'm so thankful that I can share it with you, Friend.


I'm trying something new :).