Brace yourselves, Deep Thoughts Follow

I have always been a quiet person, an introvert, I guess.  I was sandwiched between two very outgoing and fun sisters.  I was the “nerdy” bookworm.  They were fun with loads of friends.  I was smart with a few friends that I was extremely loyal to.

I was fashion challenged from the start although I didn’t know it.  Oh, how I wish I could figure out how to post pictures because I have a great picture of my favorite outfit from sixth grade.  It was a red and blue knicker jumpsuit complete with red and blue argyle socks.  I even donned the feathered locks!  In elementary school, I was blissfully unaware of my…fashion shortcomings.  In Junior high, I was too naive.  I can remember a few kids making fun, but I laughed along with them thinking how fun it was to joke with “friends”.  In high school, I clued in a little and when I began working spent more time trying to fit in to the styles, etc.  In fact, I probably thought I was quite “dapper!”

I never really felt great about myself, though.  I never measured up to my own standards.  I can remember crying with my mom because I wasn’t cool and popular like my sisters.  I never had a boyfriend, never became a leader at school, etc.  I knew my place in the high school hierarchy.  I wasn’t ultra nerdy, I wasn’t popular.  I was the one that 10 years later, people probably didn’t even realize was missing from the reunion.

I thrived more in college and gained some confidence, but I was a western girl in a southern school.  I still didn’t fit the mold.  I then married a man with some serious OCD tendencies.  He is GREAT, but some things I do will never measure up.  I can remember one day, early in our marriage, cleaning house.  When he came home, he mentioned his parents might come for the weekend so we really needed to clean up the place.  I was devastated…I just wasn’t enough.

I know I am not alone when I say, these feelings didn’t get better with motherhood.  I question every decision and when my children disobey or make bad choices…it somehow becomes about my lack of ability as a parent.

I have been through Bible Studies, read books, listened to Bible teachers, etc. all of which tell me I am made in God’s image, I am His perfect product, I am not a mistake.  All of that is in my head, but it is sooo hard to move that knowledge to my heart.  I guess that is one reason I love blogging.  There are no expectations, I can sit at the computer without makeup and 30 pounds overweight and people judge me not for my looks or fashion sense but for my words.  Although I sometimes wonder what my blogging friends look like, I do not choose them based on clothes or weight or looks or finances.  I am drawn to people with my values, my faith, people in a similar place in life, people I can relate to on the inside.

This is not to say I do not struggle with the same feelings of acceptance.  I will never be a Boomama or a Bigmama.  I will probably never be asked to be a guest/featured writer somewhere else.  Heavens, I can go days without a single comment and have had days in the not so recent past when 10 readers got me excited.  The funny thing is, that is not why I started blogging–it just seems to be human nature, or perhaps my nature, to want that acceptance, to want to excel, be known for SOMETHING (I mean other that being the crazy lady with 4 kids and that disheveled look on her face!).

Anyway, I say ALL that to say this.  I was walking on the treadmill yesterday and listening to a very old radio program about how women struggle with self image.  Beautiful women, popular women, successful women.  And somehow, the message FINALLY got through to my heart.  The way I see me and even the ways others see me is NOT how my God sees me.  He sees me not with all my flaws but clothed in garments of righteousness because I am His.  He purchased me with the highest price.  When I dread going to church because I am afraid of how people will see me–he sees beauty.  When I look in the mirror in disgust at a body that doesn’t seem to want to go back to its original shape, He sees not the fat but the heart.  The fact is–all those people whose opinions I am so worried about probably aren’t really paying attention anyway.  But I am never out of the Father’s thoughts!  Should I try to take care of myself–of course.  Should I strive to be healthy and a healthy weight–definitely.  But I need to stop wasting time worrying about how the world sees me and spend more time just bringing glory to the Father.  I will never be a beauty queen.  I will never win blogger of the year.  I sure won’t win mother of the year but I hope that when I start getting in the dregs of those old feelings that I am not enough, I remember that, no, I am not enough.  But my God is!


5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Amen! Thanks for sharing this. I related to every word and I can never hear it enough that God’s opinion is the only one that matters.

  2. 2

    Carolyn said,

    BRAVO! BRAVO! I loved this post! AMAZING thoughts…simply amazing.
    You know it’s our every day lives that lead us to where we are and who we are. It’s when we compare ourselves to others that we beat ourselves up. We will never be like someone else we think may be prettier than us, smarter than us, nicer than us, kinder than us..the list goes on.
    What the amazing wonderful thing is what you said already…God sees what others do not see. He sees to our very soul into our hearts. What’s in our hearts is what we will be judge on when we stand before him again.
    I think this post is amazing and it should win blog post of the year! I hope many come to see it and read it.
    Thanks for sharing a little more about yourself and your thoughts.

  3. 3

    Aimee said,

    Amen, mama 🙂

    (so when exactly did you find the time to crawl inside my head and read my thoughts?) 😉

  4. 4

    Aimee said,

    that was beautiful, i only have two kids at the moment, but i have felt the exact same way before. i am leading a bible study on the book “passionate housewives, desperate for God” and i have learned so much and been released from sooo much self inflicted pressure.
    i also was VERY humbled by a friend of mine who is my age and not yet married, i was telling her about what i sometimes view as mundane daily tasks, cooking cleaning bathing and dressing children…and at one point in our conversation she stopped me and told me i was living her dream life.
    wow a kick in the pants to be for sure! i can complain about all of those things and she is sitting in her house alone wishing for them. i am not sure it is true but i like to think she would even take the extra weight to have what i have. i know i would never trade my kids for the slim size i was before them! thanks for your words of honesty and encouragement.

  5. 5

    Happy Mommy said,

    Oh Honey what a beautifully true post! We all feel like that sometimes! I need to remember those wise words of yours!

    I tagged you for a Cooking Meme, please play, it’s fun and kind of guest postish…

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