Because We All Can Be A Success Story….

” Her life changed the day she learned that she was just as valuable as everyone else. ~Unknown. “

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   See that first girl?

   Now the second?

    The difference between her is eighty pounds and a lifetime of obstacles overcome.

   Most people are going to wonder why the pictures are backwards. Most scroll through social media to find the after pictures smaller than the before…but not this one. 

Yet it is still a success story.

   In a society where worth is based on outward appearance…where you are judged by the size of your pants or the shape of your breasts… we are losing the ability to see the actual person. As you browse through social media and success story after success story pops up in your news feed you can’t help but question your capabilities and feel inadequate for not being in that same place. For not being “there” yet.

We’ve all been there at some point.

    This week as I looked in the mirror at my “failure” of a body I could not help but also think just what this body has accomplished, the beautiful little people this body has brought in to this world, and the places this body has been.

   I have spent many times putting my life and my happiness on hold….waiting until I could lose that next twenty pounds.

    I have avoided wearing the newest clothes because my arms or legs needed to be covered, or because I was going to wait until my body was the right size.

   I diminished my job as a wife, mother, and friend…allowing myself to think that minus fifty pounds would fix my marriage or fill my voids.

   I let my love handle dictate which functions I attended, and my cellulite to forbid me from swimming with my children.

   My wedding day picture hangs on my wall not as a reminder of the beauty of marrying my best friend and becoming one before God, but instead as a symbol of when I was once good enough.

This has to stop.

Our self worth is NOT in our body size.

   Our sense of what it is to be a loving, valuable, strong woman and mother is not dictated by the size of our pants.

   That lighter girl in the first picture had the same family problems, self doubts, and insecurities….if not more, than the bigger one.

I am in no way defending obesity…but I am defending self-worth.

   So to the woman who isn’t “there” yet…you are here. Live here in the now. You deserve it. you are worth it. Each pound is a life lesson, each scar a battle won.

   Regardless of waist size you are an accomplishment. Your raising warriors, you’re saving lives…impacting lives, you are building careers,  and you are standing courageous in a world that has yet to truly acknowledge the true beauty of a person.

   So the next time you look in that mirror in disgust, or disappointment. Next time you try to step out of a picture with those beautiful little ones. Remember that you are loved by your family, by your friends, and most importantly by a God that cares more about your heart than your dress size.

Embrace life here in the full, while reaching for the future.

…and someday you’ll get there.

You are a success story.

You are enough.

In the right here.

In the right now.

Period.

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From God-Fearing to God – Loving; life lessons from the front porch.

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“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. ~ Proverbs 31:25”

   I looked down at my weathered garden and couldn’t help but feel I resembled the wilted weeds waiting desperately for that drink of water that would provided them with the energy needed to grow strong. 

  I was tired….and after a long week of wrestling with thoughts and fears of God’s fairness in my life as it seemed to continuously be up-heaved, I couldn’t help but feel the wretch in my stomach with each turn of the hand tiller.

   Abi sat quietly on the front porch watching as every weed root was ripped through the soil and finally broke the silence with expressing her excitement for the Science Olympics that following day. She ended with telling me that her team was going to win because she believed in God.

    I have to admit I had only been half listening. After all I was not only attempting to get the front gardens going, but I was also fighting my own internal battle and while getting ready to give her that one worded, not really listening “ya” I suddenly processed what she had just said.

    For some reason I couldn’t get what she had said out of mind and I could do noting else but to put everything down and sit my God-fearing self right next to that God-loving little girl. We spent an hour talking about God, faith, and that believing in him did not give us a free ticket. That sometimes winning just isn’t in his plan…and what she thought about what I had just said.

She looked at me and said that it wasn’t fair.

…..and believe me I got it.

   Fair has not been a word that I had used to describe God in my lifetime. Knowing he never promised fairness has been something I have feared my whole life.

    Fairness was not something I felt as I laid on a stretcher at 3am when I was told my unborn babe had no heartbeat. 

    Fairness was not the choice of wording I would use to describe the moment I kissed my sweet baby girls cold lips for the last time, or as I watched my husband sign a tear stained piece of paper that would turn our chubby cheeked, twelve pound baby into a mere pile of grey ash.

  As I sat there I began to fear the obstacles that Abigail would have to face in her lifetime. The times in her life that she would be shaken to the core and cause her to questions Gods faithfulness in her life. When I heard the words “This is so much more than you.”

    Fearing God has been something that I had become very good at. Worrying that every angry outburst, mess up, or mischievous thought would end up with a get back at me. Being afraid that every good thing would end up bad. Missing the blessing because I was to consumed with worrying about what would come after..later.

As my nine year old little girl got up so nonchalantly, shrugged her shoulders and said “oh well, God loves me anyways” and ran off in to the back yard I realized that this moment on the porch was  less about some science olympics and so much more about my God-Fearing self. 

   I had been brought some clarity that my blurry eyes has been trying to see.  My fear from God my whole life has not only kept me from enjoying his blessings to the fullest, but from loving him wholly. Loving him in fear was not loving him in truth and yet he loved me anyways. He is not the one to be feared.

   What a freeing feeling to finally get that I do not need to fear Him. That I can let that go and take that burden off of my shoulders because my life is so much bigger than me and he will help me carry it. 

   That whether through the unfairness of death, divorce, illness, and financial struggles God is still here to help us through. To show us the goodness in the cracks of our everyday lives.

   So this morning as I sit back down on that front porch where this God Fearing woman was set free, I am excited to open my eyes and heart to soak up the blessings in the here and now and to go through this day not fearing my mess ups or let downs.

Because after all.

Out of the mouth of a nine year old little girl.

He loves me anyways!

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