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I am strong (2 of 2)I’ve always battled with my weight. I was never a really fat kid, but I was easily swayed by the message that our bodies had to be absolutely rock hard. I remember being in 6th grade and my friend Caitlin pointed out our fat rolls when we sat. That was the first time I wished I didn’t have any, not realizing that everyone has some version of it. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I was playing softball, cheerleading, and I was a size 10. I was a hundred and forty pounds. Sophomore year I was on Metabolife that my grandmother would buy for me and not eating carbs. I was the largest cheerleader on the squad. I graduated high school a size 12.

In college I got down to a size 8 for one whole month due to the fact that I was just too busy to eat. I would spend all day living off of peanut butter crackers and one meal a day. Then I met Todd, and I’ve always gained weight when I was happy, so I went back to the size 12 I had always been. Fast forward another 12 years, two babies, and a lot of changes later and I’m 40 lbs heavier than I was when I was when I got married, and another 10-20 from my 15 year old weight.

I’ve spent many years only losing weight when I got fed up with myself and would mentally punish and shame myself into not eating certain foods. I would tell myself that if I wanted to be skinny I had to stop it and not eat that stuff. When I felt good about myself, I would eat whatever I wanted. I would indulge. I would also indulge when things were really hard.

In the last several years, I have been learning to be better to myself. I’m learning that I used this behavior cycle of mentally willing to be better and then shaming myself when I fell short of the high marks I set for myself. I thought I was doing it right, because it was no different than what I saw on TV, or even in my friends and families’ lives. Everywhere around me I saw women I loved telling me and themselves that they were fat and lazy and just needed to do something. I would look at them and I would see these beautiful women, most of them smaller than me, punishing themselves in their words and thoughts. Never content, never enough.

What I’m seeing today is that we are believing lies. The lie that there is a standard quantitative weight or size we must be at to be “normal.” The lie that our identity and worth as a woman lies in what we can produce, whether that is on a scale or in our homes or our jobs. We believe the lie that when we fall short, we are worthy of the punishment we give ourselves. Our identity was never meant to be found in anything we can manufacture on our own. 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

I always associated 1 Corinthians 6 with passages on sexual immorality and purity, but there is more to it than that. If you are a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a vessel for the Holy Spirit. We are the jars of clay, with our temporary bodies that are meant to hold the greatest treasure in the whole world. Some of us may look like a Waterford vase, and some of us may feel like something my 6 year old made out of Playdoh, but we are all designed for the same purpose. To live a life for Him and to share this treasure we hold for as long as we draw a breath.

I move my body every day. I exercise. I’m strong. I hold my children in my arms and I carried them far longer than 9 months. I eat well but I need to do better. The point is, I’ve been punishing myself because of a size and a number, when I’m healthy and I use my body to do good things. I’ve got to trust Him to do a good work in me, and to release my struggle to Him.

As for me, I’m going to do my best to be okay with where I am, just as I am. When my identity is in God and not a number on the scale, I am free. I am happy. I am loved not because of what I can do or produce, but for me.

If you struggle with this, know that you’re not alone and you are not a number on a scale. You are so much more than you know. I am strong (1 of 2)


Faith and Facebook

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Every time I get or send a friend request on Facebook, I look at my profile. True story. I take a minute to read and scroll through it to see what kind of picture a person is going to get about me when they look for the first time. I don’t know if this is good or just crazy, but now you know this about me. I think its also good to do this to ourselves on occasion to see what kind of message we are putting out to the world to see. Instagram and Twitter, too. (Or whatever you use.)

Here is the thing that struck me today: I don’t put my faith out there nearly as much as I think I do.

I’m not saying that this is a good or a bad thing, and I know I can’t control others’ opinions no matter how I try. I’m sure I seem zealous to some and not active to others, simply because the way I choose to spend my time and energy is different from theirs. If you were to look at me at first glance, you’d see that I love coffee, my kids, and self-depreciation. I have some private outlets where I share my faith so while my personal feed is saturated; what I put out into the feed is diminished.

The truth is, my life is becoming increasingly consumed with who I am in light of what Jesus Christ has done for me. I spent a lot of years not knowing how to speak about my faith anymore, because I wasn’t sure how to explain the wrestling I have done in my soul.

This is who I am: I am first and foremost not a mistake. I am a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe he died on the cross for my sins — not just the little things I do, but the core of who I am that is empty without him. I am a wife, but my identity is not in my husband, although I want him by my side until my dying breath. I am a mother, but my children are not my identity. They are my current occupation, they are the light of my heart and my days, but my hope is not in them. I am growing in him. I do not fit a typical church mold at this stage in my life. I understand those who doubt God’s existence and those who struggle with believing God’s truth far better than those who know how to live the Christian life well. A church does not hold my identity. I am quiet about my faith more than I used to be because I know how Christian rhetoric has often pierced people deeply, and I don’t a word of what I say to become rote.

I am learning that I am exactly who God made me to be, and as I grow in him, I become more of who I am. This comforts me as I encounter moments and people where I may not feel as though I fit a mold. There are many, many, many wonderful places, churches, people, and organizations out there…I’m just not obligated to force myself to fit into all of them anymore. What’s great for you may not be the best for me. And that’s okay. (I just have to remind myself of this on an hourly basis.)

I’m not saying I’m about to post daily bible verses, although I may feel a little more convicted to share to my regular feed some of what I share privately. I think that our faith is our own and I want to treat it with the preciousness I feel towards it, but I do want to be more mindful of what I’m not saying.

Do you look at your own social media feeds? Do you ever feel like you say too much? Or not enough? 



This isn’t going to be a long post today, but I wanted to write this down while I was thinking about it.

Yesterday, I wrote my post to Bluebelle about being six. (One of the reasons why I don’t post as much anymore is because I want to get away from writing kid-centric posts. They are getting older, and I want them to be able to own their own online lives and protect their identity as they grow. Trust me, I would love to post the million photos I have of their perfect faces, but I try to do that very sparingly and often you’ll notice I’ll use a side or back profile for that reason.)

Last night I was re-reading the post as we were laying down for the evening, and I felt it was important to tell her that I wrote about her and read the post to her. Partially because I desired for her to know that I wrote about her. She’s young, but she knows what it feels like to be embarrassed or be talked about and I don’t want her to feel that if she talks to me about something I’m going to go and tell everyone. More than that, however, I wanted her to hear the words I wrote about her.

It was hard for me to read it to her, but I did.

Why was it so hard? I tell her that I love her and that she’s awesome every day, but how often do we really say the words we feel about a person? Simple words of affirmation are easy for me. They are the “thank yous” and the “I appreciate yous” we say every day. It’s the deep down, “I see this about you and I celebrate it” that is so difficult.

After I read it to her, she was silent for a moment. Then I heard, “You said that about me?,” with a smile in her little voice. “You meant that?”

“I meant every word.”

These are the moments that build a person up, and I don’t think we do it nearly enough.  I know the struggle of learning who I am in Christ yet doubting it because of what the world tells me. When the people who are close to us speak to us the deep, encouraging words we need to hear, it helps reinforce within us the truth.

I can’t make anyone speak the words to me that I want to hear, but I can speak them to others. I can make speaking deep words of affirmation more comfortable. I would like to challenge you, dear friend, to do the same today. It’s a little hard and weird at first, but it will get better. You’ll never know how much you’ll impact someone with your kindness.