Thursday, June 10, 2010

To Brighten Your Day

My sister wrote this wondrous song about her Glorie.  I figured I would let Glorie be a cute part of your day, because she makes everything better.  You're welcome. :)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Simple Victory

A short post today. I was inspired by Brianna to share something with you. Actually, it's a dare.

Ladies, if you are anything like me, you have fought tooth and nail with self-hatred. The thoughts, the come so easily, don't they? Comparing the size of you with the size of the girl you just passed. Always sure dropping 5 pounds would be useful. My story is for another time, but I've skirted the sidelines of disordered eating and this battle is more familiar than I want it to be.

One could write and write and write about the trap of self-hatred and the truth that vanquishes it, but for now I have one thing.

Your words are powerful. Seriously. "The tongue has the power of life and death." -Proverbs 18:21

So I challenge you to speak life.

What if, for the next month, you looked in the mirror every morning and said (out loud): "I am beautiful." It can be that simple, or you could add in an "I'm perfect just the way I am" or a "Dang, God, You did good here!" if you want to, but whatever you do, say it out loud.

Your tongue has power, use it.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Me, Crammed between two car seats.

I have just arrived in Kansas City.  Be still my beating heart.  It's like my world world just stopped at a wonderfully blissful spot.  Kansas City is home in so many ways, and I love being here.

Getting here involved an 8 hour road trip in which:
  • I developed what I call the "blanket tent" over the high chair and baby went to sleep.
  • We got redirected onto the back roads of Iowa, as the state patrol completely shut down the interstate, and funneled hundreds of cars onto random highways which no one knows how to maneuver.  I'm glad we made it.
  • I remembered that thing I talked about yesterday, the thing I shouldn't be qualified to do.  SKIING!  Who in the world would take me to the top of the mountain and decide it was okay to leave me there to slide down on two little pieces of plastic?!  Unqualified, I tell you.
  • Soon after we crossed the Missouri state line, we saw a man walking down the highway.  That's strange.  What's even stranger is that he had his pet pig with him. 
  • I ate lots of Trader Joe's White Cheddar Corn Puffs.  J'adore.
The good news is, I've forever secured my position as necessary-child-wrangler on all my sister's forthcoming road trips.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

I think I missed a step

Isn't it funny that they just let us grow up?

I was thinking the other day about something...what was it...wait for it...okay, I can't remember.  Basically, it was some basic part of life, which, when I thought about it, was surprisingly shocking that I am allowed to do.  My line was something like "like, who decided that all of a sudden I am qualified to do this?"  You know, it was something like climbing a mountain or picking out my own outfit.  Sheesh.

I mean, I was a kid.  We were just kids.  Now we're adults (at least legally) and don't live at home and can ride a horse or drive to the store or go on vacation or cut our hair all by our lonesome.

I decided that I have seen a definite sign of aging in my life: when people who used to be *ahem* interested in you are now getting married I think you've reached a whole new level. 

Yesterday?  Yesterday my hair was lighter red and still curly, I was missing three teeth, and I didn't know how to spell beautiful. ("BEE-AY-OOTIFUL")

Today, I am gradually realizing that I can go on vacation when I want to and it's okay to have a brownie right before bed.  You know, just 'cause I want to.

And tomorrow?  Tomorrow I'll have 10 children and live in Estonia somewhere.

It's funny how you just grow up.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Hold the Leafy Green Stuff

Today, I told someone that I liked cilantro. 

They went on to say: "Is there such a thing as too much cilantro?" I murmured an assent, and was left to my own thoughts.  While I twirled a fork through a lemon (I learned today that that gets the juice out full and fast) I had an "Annie, what are you thinking?!" moment.

I don't like cilantro.

There can DEFINITELY be too much cilantro.  

Now I have to put cilantro in my guacamole.

I am just not a fan of conflict. I suppose it could be a symptom of various things (fear alert!), and it can result in any number of situations. Apparently, one of those situations is guacamole not quite the way you like it.

This avoidance of conflict, it comes out of fear.  Fear of disappointing the people I'm around, fear that they won't like what they find.  What they find...that nebulous thing that I am afraid will disappoint them, I've come to realize, is me.

After the cilantro incident, I ducked downstairs to take a nap.  It's never easy for me to fall asleep in the middle of the day, and this afternoon was no exception.  I laid there, with Kim Walker bursting in my ears: "He loves us, Oh how He loves us..."  In my mind's eye, a picture popped into view.  

I saw myself, standing dressed in a beautiful gown, picked out just for me by the Lord.  It fit perfectly, it fell gracefully, and it was the best kind of beautiful, that which is natural.  The scene unfolded as I imagined people approaching, taking ownership of the masterpiece I wore, and making parts of it theirs.  A gray flower pinned here, a purple patch stuck there, and so on and so forth. Soon, the dress the Lord had designed for me was covered with patches of other people's ideas of what would look good.

I thought about being myself, and how easy it is to let what I expect others want of me to become who I pretend to be.  I know a lot of people, and they know me.  But they don't know deep, deep down.  They don't know all of me like He does.  But I know my own tendency is to work to fit to be who other people expect that I am.  When you actually try to explain it, it's a bit of a mind bender.

I want to be who He made me to be, rather than tweaking parts of me here and glances of me there.  When I am the way He created me, I become an expression of Him. I'm created in His image.  One of my favorite parts of who I am, if you're allowed to have those, is that parts of my personality reflect parts of His.  Simple things, like I'm learning that it's okay to love adventure - because Jesus is adventurous, and He made me that way

So away with this fear.  That nasty, sneaky lie that says what He created doesn't fit the mold.  It tells me I need to adjust myself to fit other people's expectations. The truth it that they have a slightly skewed view of who I am simply because they don't have the time or the scope of vision to know me fully, to know me the way He does. Rather than accept the patches other people project on me, I want to wear the dress Jesus gave me.  It will draw others into being who He made them to be, it will point others to who He is. I don't have to be afraid it's not good enough, and I can be me even if other people don't expect it.

Let me say, I feel like I have written the word "I" in this post a whole lot.  This isn't to say that I'm a big deal; I just believe the Lord made each one of for a are not a mistake.  You have a design, and He pieced you together deliberately and specifically.  Ask Him how He made you, and live that way, because it reflects something about Him.

And, I'll take my guacamole without cilantro, but you can put some in yours if you want.

"O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me."
~Psalm 139:1