Tag Archives: beauty

The beauty of dying.

8 Oct

If marriage and motherhood have taught me anything about myself it’s that I’m extremely SELFISH.

In so many ways, I’ve had to get over myself and step up to the plate.

I absolutely NEVER, EVER feel like doing laundry, making supper, doing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, washing down beds after a night-time accident, carrying a child who doesn’t feel like walking anymore, or giving baths and brushing teeth for anyone other than myself.

But – I do it. Every single day.  Multiple times a day.  No vacations.  I just suck it up and do it. I have to.

And then there are other areas where I secretly wish I could overcome my selfishness, but I relish my own desires too much to do get over myself.

And because it deals highly with my children and I’m their boss — there is nothing they can do about it and I’m in total control.

Is that the reality of life?  When you’re a child you are forced to listen to, obey and tolerate the desires and behaviors of those in charge of you, but then when you’re an adult you can unleash the chains, spread your wings and do everything however you want, only to get married and have children and shackle them in the chains of obeying you? (and your selfishness?)

There is this mom who has four children and they are awfully similar in age to my four children.  She has two at home during the school year just as I do.  This year, she’s doing preschool at home.  Everyday on Facebook she posts an arts and crafts project, story, song, the whole shebang and it’s always incredible.

When I look at her stuff, I bounce back and forth between feeling like she’s an inspiration and like she might be one of the most annoying people I’ve ever met.  (Entirely from jealousy of course.)

I can do everything she is every single day.  Except for this one thing.  Selfishness.

I don’t want to have that much patience.  I don’t want to give up my computer time.  I don’t want to do play with them all day long and then do laundry, dishes and other chores in the evening when I feel like lounging on the couch doing nothing after the kids are in bed.

However —

This morning I did take the time to look at the beauty of Autumn around us with them.  This is what we found.

001 001 002 003 004

And I talked to them about why everything is changing colors and that God created everything in all it’s beauty.

And it hit me.

I’m feeling like the reality of my selfishness is disturbing.  And I remember the beauty of Autumn comes solely from the dying process.

And I know, it’s time to enjoy the beauty of dying to self.

Practical Application –

Accept the reality of how detestable our sin is – be it selfishness (or whatever you’re struggling with — pride/addiction/idolatry/etc.)

And I know, it’s time to be flooded by the beauty that comes from dying. The realization, confession,  steps to laying it down, forgiveness, and freedom is oh so beautiful in the eyes of our Lord and in the way we can finally look at ourselves.

I need a dying makeover. I need to feel beautiful again. You?

Teaching Moments…

29 Aug

Last night, I took my oldest with me to Walmart. He’s 8 1/2 and in third grade. For some reason, I have no idea why, as we were pulling out of the drive way, I said “Hannah Montana.”
To which my son said, “You know mom, I didn’t know Hannah Montana was like she is.”

I asked him, “what do you mean?” He said, “she wasn’t wearing any clothes and was dancing around on stage.”

I asked him, “who told you that?” (Assuming he heard it as school.)

He said, “I saw it on TV. When I was in the playroom, it came on. After she took off her clothes, I stopped watching. But there are pictures of her on the yahoo page on the internet.”

Feeling completely mortified that he had seen it, plus that he has access to television channels that show that stuff, yet really proud that he stopped watching it, I said – “She’s naughty isn’t she?”

We had a good discussion in which I explained Hannah Montana isn’t her real name, and why she is behaving like that, and why we don’t. And I allowed him to share all his thoughts too.

After letting our conversation sit for a minute, he said, “Mom, it wasn’t even enjoyable.” (I knew he was searching for the word entertaining.)

To which I said, “Yeah buddy I know.”

Practical Application.

Don’t freak out on your kids when they tell you what they’ve experienced.
I was totally able to have an awesome conversation with my son letting him know that was wrong behavior and that it was wise to stop watching without punishing him or yelling at him for having had that on in the first place (because that wouldn’t have been a previously approved show by us.)
A disappointment was turned into a fantastic teaching moment, by taking a deep breath and listening instead of reacting.

Confidence

3 Jul

*** Warning – this post is going to contain content intended for MARRIED COUPLES ONLY!!!!!!!!!

Have you ever heard it said “Confidence is the most sexy thing you can put on?”

That is 100%, undeniably, incredibly true!!

Before I had any of my kids, I was really comfortable with my body.  From that comfort, confidence came really easily.  Knowing what I know now, I wish I hadn’t used that confident comfort in the manner and fashion that I did, but once I was married – that was actually a HUGE blessing to my marriage.

There was never any reservation, intimidation or hesitation when it came to getting naked and being visible to my husband and available to meet his sexual desires when we were intimate.

I thought my body was the only source (or rather, only important source) of attraction for him. (Because we’re all hammered constantly with the truth that men are visual)

So naturally, when my body changed after having four children – I felt unattractive, undesirable, and intimidated.  Those feelings striped every ounce of confidence I had and left me timid, reserved, and resistant.

When I look in the mirror, all I see is saggy, lifeless skin that use to be boobs, stretch marks, and loose flab that never tightens back up even a fraction of a centimeter no matter how many crunches I do.

I can’t fathom that my husband can see anything other than that as well.  Which has resulted in LIGHTS OUT, ignored requests, and a slew of “ummm,  I’m sorry – I just can’t try that / do that anymore.”

One day while listening to a talk on intimacy, I heard something similar to this phrase, and I wept.

“There is more to meeting his need for sex, than being willing to participate. Being confident, available, and unreserved with passion, desire and excitement is the key to fulfilling his deepest need.”

I’m not bragging but I’ve never told my husband ” no ” to sex.  In fact, if I’m being honest, I tend to be the one with the higher drive in our marriage.  It’s always been that way.  However, just because I haven’t said “no” doesn’t mean I’ve fulfilled him completely. Those words “confident and unreserved” pierced my heart.

My husband has NEVER, EVER once said anything about not being fulfilled, satisfied, or disappointed with my new body.  In fact, he’s very vocal with compliments and reassurance.

BUT  – hear me on this – someone shouldn’t need to complain for me to recognize my own faults and know that I need to change and do better.

So, how do we get our confidence back when we don’t like what we see in the mirror?

A couple of tips from  me –

– Be willing to show off what you’re not self conscious about with more intent. (If you’re comfortable with your breast but not your stomach, buy lingerie that shows them off while still covering your stomach. Or, buy a really cheap tank top and cut a big slit in it and make your own.)

– Be sexy in a way you still feel safe.  Candlelight is a good way to “see” without being in the spot light.

– Be creative in a way that makes you appear more confident than you are.  Take off an item of clothing and throw it at him where he can’t see you, but obviously knows what you’re intending.

– Be more vocal than seen.  Confidence and desire can be powerfully spoken and don’t always have to be visual.

– Once you grow in confidence a little more – try something he wants to try that you might often say no to.  Just your saying “YES” will often bring extreme enjoyment and fulfillment to him!!

– Take the time to research and invest in things that make you feel confident.

For example, I’ll share what has changed my confidence dramatically lately.  I saw on Pinterest an article about finding a bra that fits properly.  I wouldn’t have even paid it a bit of attention (because I’ve heard all about finding the right fitting bra and yet still, I never can) but the post said ” I thought I was a 38 A but I’m actually a 34 D – and I was interested to see why this lady was so crazy.

The article blew my mind.  (Read it here.)

And I measured myself.  I was wearing a 34 B full coverage or a 34 C push up bra.  And this said I was a 30 D / DD. (Learn how to measure yourself here.)

I had no idea you could even get a 30- something bra and was really afraid to order any bras in that size, but I researched a specific store and knew that I could return them if it was a total mistake and decided to buy two.  (Buy from THIS STORE.)

I FELL IN LOVE!!!!  They FIT!!  I mean, for the first time EVER, I have bras that FIT me! They don’t ride up, I don’t flop out, they don’t gap, they don’t pucker, they don’t make me have a uni-boob, they give me lift without making me look like a hooker – they are AWESOME!!

Not only are they better for everyday life (because bras are a necessity and everyone knows one that fits properly obviously makes the most sense), they are also better in the bedroom.  Because they hold me in place and give my life-less boobs an actual shape again, they also remove some of the flab from my belly by holding my breasts up instead of the weight of them hanging down.

I feel a million times better getting dressed to face my day – but better than that, I’m willing to let him see me again with more confidence!

I strongly recommend you check them out!

PS – I know you girls from the UK that read my blog are laughing at me right now for not knowing this, but seriously, us American girls are not taught to shop for bras this way!!

Practical Application –

If you’ve lost any of your confidence – or ALL of your confidence…. take this seriously!!!!  It’s time, TODAY to start to get it back.

Practice makes perfect.  Put yourself out there and try any idea you want.  I guarantee you his reaction (especially if you’ve been withholding or reserved for YEARS) will blow his mind and surprise the heck out of you. The more positive interactions you have…. the easier it will become and the more your confidence will grow!

“I feel pretty”

12 Jan

You know, a lot of my posts have been pretty heavy lately in regards to what the Lord is helping me work on; so tonight, I’m going to tone it down a bit (while staying on topic) and share some ways that I’ve noticed help me feel “pretty.”

If you’re like me, you don’t feel pretty very often.  Between the constant onslaught of “fake beauty” that is EVERYWHERE, the wear and tear of (4) kids, the constant cleaning, dishes and laundry, and on and on and on…  it’s easy to feel rundown and drab.

The truth though is that I have a better attitude and am much more attentive to my husband when I’m feeling “pretty”.  (READ – PRETTY does NOT mean slutty, perfect, over-done, or blemish free.)

Things that help make me feel pretty:  (PLEASE by all means, ADD YOURS IN THE COMMENTS because we all can benefit from each others suggestions!!)

1.) A shower.

2.) Perfume or smelly lotion.  I don’t know why exactly, but smelling good makes me feel 10 X’s more pretty : )

3.) Getting dressed in nice clothes.  Especially if I can wear a skirt or dress – feeling feminine makes a HUGE difference.

4.) Smiling.  That might sound silly, but smiling is attractive!!

5.) Thinking/Meditating on positive features/habits/behaviors/traits about my husband.  WHAT???? Did I just write that?  Yes I did!  When I feel loving toward him, I feel more attractive just by the overwhelming feelings of attraction to him.

6.) Speaking lovingly toward others. Don’t think that is one?  Start screaming at your kids and then tell me how pretty you feel?!

7.) Make-up.  Sorry to all those who find “natural beauty” to be holy… I feel 1,000 times better when I brighten up my face a little (and cover all the things I’m self-conscious about!)

8.) Exercising.  While I really struggle to get myself to do it… I always feel better when I do!  Especially just taking walks when the weather is right!!

9.) Responding to a conviction.  Typically, I don’t immediately feel pretty while realizing my sin- in fact I feel horribly UGLY! BUT… once I deal with something and remove more sin from my life, I instantly feel more beautiful.

10.) Heels.  OK- I so should have put this as number one.  I’m thinking of changing it, but I don’t feel like fixing all the numbers.  I’m short.  And I feel like a child next to adults.  When I’m in heels, I feel better – more “grown-up” if you will.  I LOVE HEELS!!!

 

Alright ya’ll… what do you got?

The beautiful part.

1 Oct

I was fortunate enough to take a trip all by myself yesterday to the grocery store.  If you’ve ever been a mom with little kids, I can hear you saying through the computer “good for you!” Seriously friends, it’s the little things.

The drive to the particular store I wanted to shop at is a 30 minute or so country drive.  As I was driving along, singing ridiculously loudly to the radio (because who doesn’t when no one else is in the car to hear you miss notes and crack on the high parts?!), I was hardly able to take in all the beauty outside.

I LOVE the changing colors of the leaves.

And then I had a little light bulb moment and a conversation with the Lord.

We all know about photosynthesis and chlorophyll making the leaves green by taking in water to produce sugar, blah blah blah, sorry to any science geeks who read this but I can’t bore myself or anyone else for too long on that stuff.

In simple terms, the leaves die.

Spring is wonderful when new life comes and it in necessary for each organism to function as it was created to function, however, it isn’t nearly as pretty as autumn.

 

So I start thinking about my life and what I’m working on.  Truly, I’m in a place of dying to even more hidden yet recently revealed sin in my life. At the rate I seem to keep discovering how wretched I truly am, I might always be dying to something my whole life, but what I feel like the Lord was able to show me yesterday is that the beautiful part, is the death.

When we walk in freedom from sin, we are obediently serving Christ and living to the potential we were created to live.  There is no doubt that is an amazing sight and opportunity for celebration!!

But, the dying process, where we surrender ourselves, the blinders come off, the heart is emptied, Christ comes in for cleaning, we gain the wisdom we need to see the faults in our ways, we confess our ugliness and desire for righteousness….. that friends, THAT IS THE BEAUTIFUL PART!

THAT is when we’re changing colors and the world stands back in amazement!

Practical Application:

Stop looking at your broken-ness as ugly and humiliating.  Start owning the beauty in death and stand in praise for the glory being done in your dying process.

The world is watching.