Confessions of a “skinny” Girl

The number of times I’ve heard people ask me, or someone else something such as “you’re skinny, why are you complaining about working out if you don’t even need to do it?” Or “So what you’ve gained a couple pounds, you could use it” or “Why can’t you just be happy with what you have, you’re lucky.” What some people don’t understand is that these questions aren’t ones all “skinny” girls really want to hear or even answer for that matter.

First of all, if you yelled “hey, skinny girl!” and looked straight at me, my first instinct would be to look behind me, next to me, then at you, and that’s where I would stop and go on knowing that was meant for someone else.

“Skinny” isn’t a word I would use to describe myself. Maybe on a good day, I might call myself in shape, but those days are rare and it’s usually early in the morning when I haven’t eaten for more than 12 hours and my body has had time to rest.

But as soon as the thought of loving my body comes to mind, it often vanishes and negative self-talk replaces any sign of encouragement or love. I don’t see myself as someone skinny or in shape or even beautiful most times. Before I can get there I’ve gone to my “bad” spots. You know, the trouble spots that are obsessed over.

I instantly begin to find where I have fallen short. I ate this instead of that. I didn’t run long enough or hard enough. I skipped the gym… again.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times I feel confident in myself, but that’s usually after I’ve defeated so many other parts of my body that there’s only a couple left that even have a chance. And for a small moment, there might be a part of my body that I’m content with. For a moment.

ENTER comparison. Just when I thought I could appreciate one thing, I see a better version of it and my mind is on a roll. The what-ifs come flooding in and the ounce of confidence I had is replaced with imperfections and insecurities.

It’s not about skinny or not. It comes down to comparison. And it doesn’t choose sides, it doesn’t look for specific targets, it just is. And do you know what I’ve learned about it in my short time here? It’s that you can’t spell comparison without poison. And this kind of poison can affect us all.

So, I’m here to say that there is no “skinny” no “us” and “them” it’s a fight against ourselves. A fight to choose love. Not only for others but for ourselves as well. If we can’t fully love ourselves, aren’t we only partially loving each other? 

I’ve found that the more I can find myself genuinely building others up and encouraging them to love themselves, the more I can accept the advice for myself. So, instead of assuming we know how someone feels about their body because it’s what we assume is the best, let’s simply support them while they discover what makes them feel healthy and beautiful because that looks different for every one of us. 

 

 

 

 

What My Puppy Taught Me About Myself and God

We recently got a sweet little Australian Shepherd and tomorrow night marks one week with him in our lives! He is cute, there’s no doubt about that. However, don’t let the cuteness fool you. This puppy, and puppies in general, are a LOT of work.

Meet Atticus! Most people get the reference but if you don’t, go read To Kill A Mockingbird and then come back. You won’t regret it.

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The second night he spent at our home we were forced to attempt the crate training. He’s smart and a really good listener for being 9 weeks old so I was pretty optimistic about the whole thing. That optimism soon disappeared after it was 3:00am, I hadn’t slept and I could hear his whining from the other room while I had headphones in and pillows covering my head.

I was furious. I was also sleep deprived so everything escalated fast. I tried EVERYTHING. I looked at articles, Joey (my boyfriend) sent me YouTube videos to try to help me find a solution. I laid there full of anger, desperation and heartbreak. 

I got to the point where I just asked God to knock him out. Then I changed my word choice and asked him to make him fall asleep… I didn’t understand why he couldn’t just understand that if he obeyed and laid there quietly and fell asleep, he would be much better off and so would everyone else.

But he KEPT WHINING. The piercing noise was too much too bare. My heart hurt for this young little puppy who didn’t know what was going on and was not in control, but contained and thinking everyone he trusted was gone and had left. Despite laying by him and telling him I was right there, or saying I would be in the other room, he still resisted and cried. LOUDLY.

It was a funny moment. I was feeling so many different things and really needed some sleep. I was so confused as to why he just wouldn’t listen. His way obviously wasn’t working.

That’s where I heard God let out a chuckle shaking His head with a big smile on His face. My exhausted self was once again confused and angry because God had not done what I asked but was now laughing at me?

Then I understood it. It took my slow, groggy mind a few minutes of curious squinting in the dark. That puppy is me. God desperately desires for me to listen to him and walk his path, however, I don’t and then I’m left with a broken heart, trust issues and a lot of complaining and tears.

Even when He reminds me He’s there, I don’t always believe Him. If I can’t see Him, I doubt He’s there and He really wants what’s best for me so I take my way. His heart hurts for me like mine does for sweet little Atticus. It breaks Him because He can see more than I can and He knows that listening to Him now, will make things easier later.

However, He does not get angry or desperate (Psalm 145:8). He continues to love us even though His heart hurts for us. He stays persistent and patient coming after the one He loves takes His time and is willing to give it everything He has (Mathew 18:12).

It was quite a moment to have at 3:30am. However, one I needed.

Atticus didn’t stop whining, he didn’t all the sudden understand he needed to listen right that moment. I took him out of the crate and held him and let him sleep with me. He sprung forward into my arms, getting as close as possible so he didn’t lose me.

The next night, all optimism was lost due to the horrors of the previous nights and I was ready to give up. Why did he need to be in a crate anyway? Right before bed, I sat him in front of his cage ready for the bursting of tears and whining. I had no hope of him accepting this crate lifestyle.

He sat there looking in, obviously not excited. BUT. He walked in, did circles and adjusted his blankets with his paws and nose and laid down with a big sigh. My eyes were so wide and I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped. I laid next to him for a little while, left to go to bed and we haven’t had a problem since. 

If only I could learn that quick!

God is good and he uses every part of life to show us who He is and who we are.

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Living in the Moment Even When You Hate the Moment

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My last semester of college has brought more trials and challenges than the last three years combined. It feels like one thing after another has happened that just simply wasn’t in my mind map (my plan).

I’ve never felt so weak. I’ve never been so vulnerable. I’ve never had to rely on others so much. And I’ve never felt closer to God than in these last 6 weeks.

When you’re at the end of something, college in my case, but that could be a job, a life stage or something else, everyone tells you to live in the moment. Don’t wish this time away. Don’t get so caught up in the future that you can’t be here. Now. Live in the moment.

What if you hate the moment you’re living in? 

How do you live in something you hate?

I was content running straight through my last 5 months of college without looking back, or without looking to the left or the right. My eyes were set at the end of January when I could pack up, leave and be done. Check it off my list.

Until God slowed me down. Way down. It wasn’t “take it a day at a time” it was taking it an hour at a time, a minute at a time, and sometimes seconds at a time. Going from months and years ahead to being pulled back to the seconds and moments I was missing, was a shift no doubt.

It was a physical shift but it’s what led to a heart and mind shift. I could no longer predict, fantasize or plan what would happen in 5 months simply because looking to the next hour, minute, second, was all that I had the energy for. 

The fact that planning became exhausting was the most wonderful thing. I began to live in the moment even though I didn’t like the moment I was in. God shifted my heart. He showed the people I had been racing past in the midst of my urgency to be done with this “phase” of life. He showed me the love that lived here. In this moment. And in the next, and the next, and the love that lives here now.

You see, that’s all life is. A bunch of moments. The present is always constant. The future turns into the present. When we strive to live in the future, we are only avoiding the present which is what the future becomes one day. We live so heavily in the next moment that we lose every moment before that. 

If you live in the future, you’ll never be content in the now. There will always be something else. Always something ahead of you. we say “If only I can just make it until Friday” that isn’t a one-time thing. You’ll say that next week. And before you know it, those days aren’t even counted and they certainly aren’t lived.

God has given me an insight I never thought I could have. And it’s not insight into the future.

With that said. Sometimes the moments aren’t great. Sometimes we’re in the waiting process and something looks like it’s ahead of us and we feel the need to sprint toward it.  If you do that, you’ll never stop sprinting. You’ll always be on the run. Always tired, drained, and disappointed when you reach the next checkpoint only to discover there’s another one ahead.

I am beyond grateful I can say that I would rather walk slowly, with purpose, with confidence and with content knowing I have one hand in the hand of my Father’s and another hand in the hands of the people who love and support me the most.

P.S.

Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me, loved me, prayed for me, taken care of me and have been Jesus to me during this time. You are the people I will cherish and miss the most when I do leave. However, I can confidently say that I look forward to living with you now. Each day until that time comes. And continuing to love you then. You know who you are.

Time is Only a Number

If you’re like me, you wake up with a to-do list on your mind. From the moment you get out of bed to the moment you crawl back into it, your mind is buzzing with things it thinks it needs to check off.

Whether that’s easy things such as doing your laundry or more difficult things such as getting a big project done.

And it seems every time you check something off, your brain remembers one or two or 6 more things it wants to add. And you feel like your 100 steps behind despite the fact that you’re still accomplishing tasks.

It feels like the list will never end but time will. There’s only so many hours in a day. I’m envious of God. Time isn’t even a concept for him to think about. He is time. He lives in an eternity of moments that don’t need to be counted or seized because every one of them is glorious and never ending.

I have been praying each day for about a month now that God would really show me how to put him first. To keep him at my number one priority. But time and time again, I choose my to-do list over him. But why? Without him I wouldn’t even have a to-do list. I wouldn’t have anything. Yet here I am wearing myself down until I feel worn and exhausted and leaving a few moments for him and the things I love most.

It’s actually a miracle I made time for this. Even something I love as much as writing gets thrown away because of the busy work I put in front of it.

As a college student, with classes, work, homework and making time for my relationships, it feels like I have no time left in the day and yet I’m somehow supposed to be “present”. “Don’t take this time for granted” they all say when you tell them it’s your last semester.

How can you not take for granted something you don’t even enjoy? They say take your time and live in the moment. But what if every moment you spend living in feels like you’re suffocating because you’re not getting things done. My honest question is how do you balance every aspect of your life while also putting God first?

I can honestly say I feel like I’m worn out and my first week of classes isn’t even over. What’s your way of dealing with busyness?

All I know is that God’s idea of time sounds pretty great right now.

I’m in desperate need of prayer and advice so I appreciate any comments!

Thanks for listening…

Change

It’s strange when you can feel a change. A shift in the wind, a breeze coming in after a silent motionless heat, a glass of cold refreshing water after lying in the desert.

But, what about a different kind of change. Sending you inward to the depths of yourself. Forcing you to become aware of who you are and what you are made of. Placing you in a frightening, uncomfortable and uncertain position.

I have never felt heavier, yet I feel so light. The meaningless things that used to pull me down have let go. The things that would set me on fire in all the wrong ways have dwindled and it seems there has been a new flame in its place.

This flame holds a promise of new things to come. Growth. Progress. Moving on and understanding why I was who I was up until now.

But, I am heavy with the burdens of this world. The sadness that comes from watching those you love suffer in what seems like never-ending pain.

The hurt that comes from watching kids your brother’s age getting shot in a place that is meant to help them grow and shape into leaders and change-makers.

It’s the heartache that burns when you’re far from the ones you love. The distance feeling like more than miles.

Watching people you love who deserve more than the pain they have to endure.

These things start this new flame. This burning sensation in my chest that encourages me to change. To not stay the same. To feel these things but eagerly search for solutions and ways to support. To let my heart be broken for these things but not my spirit. Not my will to fight for something better. If not for me, then for those around me.

Change is always occurring whether we notice it or not. Whether we like it or not. But when you can recognize it, it’s a beautiful piece added to the puzzle of your life.