Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 24, 25, 26

It's hard to believe that the 31 days of posting are almost to an end.

I feel time with family is sacred, and for that reason, I'm lumping days 24-26 together and return on Monday to share some more.

Both sets of grandparents are headed this way for Jonah's Harvest Festival at his school. There is a fun run at the beginning, and Jonah has practiced several times around cones in our yard.

This morning, he had a meltdown while getting ready for school.

"I DON'T want to race!!!"

Patrick and I looked at each other, confused but knowing there was a deeper hidden reason why he was dreading this.

"Joshua and Jonathan are the fastest! They will BEAT ME! I want to win!"

And so it begins....

I took advantage of this opportunity to share with him that all he needs to do is his best. Yes, he is racing with other children, but the only thing he can improve on and change his himself. It's a race for YOU, Jonah. Stretch yourself to overcome what used to hold you back.

Just now, at 9pm, he yelled out, "I get to race tomorrow! I'm so excited!"

Sometimes the race is scary. Sometimes it's fun.

I hope that he carries this newfound excitement throughout his life. May he run in such a way as to win...

 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 23: Growing in Your Skin

Around the time of 6th grade, I was in a dance class with other girls my age. We were all friends, close friends actually. We had journeyed together through classes before, but this one was led by an outside instructor who was somewhat reserved. She was disciplined, and I always had the case of giggles at the most inappropriate times.

This particular afternoon, my dear friend (who I actually shared about here) and I were standing beside each other and mentally preparing for this technical class. I must mention that the class was held in a multi-purpose room at our church, and the ballet barres were actually bolted into the brick wall. Quite genius, I must say.

In unison, we lifted our right legs onto the barre for some type of unholy stretching exercise, when I heard the terrifying noise clanging deep in my heart before I could realize what was happening.

The barre and barre attachments AND SCREWS were dislodged from the wall in a nightmarish yet graceful action. BOOM boom BOOM boom BOOM BOOM BOOM went the wooden barres, falling to the ground and bouncing several times.

And did I mention we were not the wispy, thin ballet dancers you envision taking a dance class?

Oh, no. We were in the throes of puberty, Little Debbie Cakes, and always feeling not-good-enough and poor-self-esteem-ishly. We were a few pounds heavier than our friends, and we knew it. It was a constant battle to beat comparison to the ground and stand with confidence.

It is still a constant battle to be content in my skin. To stand on the dust of comparison and shout that I am Beautiful, because I am a Child of God.

But that barre said differently.
That boy said differently.
The magazine said differently.
That movie...

The list goes on. The battle of the bulge becomes a burden...Another weight to carry on what you feel is already too much.

I laugh now about the story. In fact, I hysterically laugh, tears rolling down my cheeks.

But deep inside, it still stings. I realize I haven't fully entrusted the struggle with my weight to the Creator who made me. The One who knows why it is that I love chocolate so much... or why I would rather eat icing than potato chips.

I'm always growing in this area. A life-long journey to finding my worth not in the number on a scale or the ability to squeeze into a smaller size.

That poor girl in 6th grade. That sweet friend who shared the humility yet hysterically funny moment. I wish I could tell them it would be ok. And a few years from now, I'm sure I will wish I could tell my present self the same. Until then, love your fellow sisters and friends, moms and aunts and grandmothers and in-laws... speak truth in their lives, and let's stop trying to measure by the standards of this temporary world.

Let's raise the bar.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 22

This growing post is in honor of all those who work in healthcare. Every day you give of yourself, caring for others, putting yourself last, and sometimes wondering why you do what you do.

I'd like you to share a few moments of my own. The first was while I was a nursing student. The next one is fairly recent. The message stays true through both...