Tag Archives: pregnancy

When All Eyes Are On Me

4 Jan

We live in the day and age that regardless of our best efforts we are inundated with unrealistic body image ideals.  While I know that the pressure can be felt by both sexes I think the brunt of it is fixated on our girls and women. Mainstream media praises the efforts of already thin women getting thinner and applauds a size four for flaunting her  curves. This sends a confusing message to our already confused young girls and women. Let me just add here that I am not suggesting that ultra thin doesn’t exist in healthy realms. I am speaking of the extremes to attain it  and the misguided illusion that beauty is found in a certain size.

I am once again entering into a season where adolescence will soon give way to budding adulthood.  A daughter who is somewhere between Barbie and make-up and trying to figure out how that all works together.  It is a confusing time at best and hurling unrealistic expectations at them makes a challenging transition even more so.

While I am focusing on Jesus to be a better, wife, mother, and woman, her eyes are on ME!  How, in all my earthly insecurities, do I help her overcome hers?  Growing up I watched my mom succeed briefly and crash and burn on one crash diet after another and before I hit double digits I was joining her.  Healthy food was torture, treats were taboo, and a growling stomach at the end of the day meant success.  This was my inheritance.

I have made a list of behaviors to model in attempt to bankrupt my inheritance and add richness to the lives of my daughters (and future daughter-in-law, I want this to affect my son also) lives.

1. NEVER call an indulgent meal a “cheat” meal.  Enjoy the meal and move on.  No guilt necessary.

2. NEVER complain about a healthy meal. Again, enjoy the meal and move on.  No need to feel depravation because it wasn’t a double portion slathered with cheese.

3. Let them see and hear me enjoy that freshly baked cookie as much as that juicy crisp apple.  Food is meant to be enjoyed and treats don’t have to be eaten in private….there is NO shame in enjoying an indulgence.

4. NEVER complain about exercising. Instead, let them here me say positive things like, “What a great workout, it really challenged me.”, or, “It’s amazing how strong and energized I feel after exercising.”.

5. Never let exercising, beautifying, etc. consume my time.  It is a small but important time of my day. Set aside a reasonable amount of time for it. I want them to know that even in their busy lives this is something that is an important and manageable part of their week. I want it to come as naturally as showering or sleeping.

6. NEVER body shame-anyone!  Talk about how incredible God created our bodies.  All different, shapes, sizes, and colors-what a creative God!  Tell them that if we eat well and exercise our bodies will naturally find the size that best suits who God created us to be. 

7. To not be afraid of changes.  Different seasons of life will find your body growing or changing especially if you carry a baby in your body.  If the experience leaves behind physical daily reminders just count it as a blessing and a badge of honor.  Dwelling on what was steals from what is and what is to be.

8. It’s OK to have an athletic figure or a curvy one.  Just don’t get carried away with extremes.  Starving to be thin, exercising excessively, or overeating  are all behaviors that should be considered worthy of change.  Your health matters over vanity.  

9. Investing in your health and well being is something you always have time for. When you take the time to do things that help you feel good about yourself you will, in turn, feel better equipped to take on your day and to be the best you can be.

10. No matter the circumstance, you’re “Fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)” by a God who tells you that you’re “His treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 7:6).  You’re worthy of love, respect, and joy.  When you pause and try to see yourself through the eyes of Jesus, it is there where your worth lies.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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Reflections

28 Sep

I am coming up on a big milestone in my life.  My oldest daughter is getting ready to turn 18.  I became her mama under the most unfortunate of circumstances.  I was a young, unwed, teenage girl with no money and honestly no clue.  What makes the story a little more complicated is that she was born not well.  I was only 24 weeks pregnant when she made her very small and very quiet way into the world.  I think we can all agree that even under the best circumstances having a baby is hard and having a sick baby is super hard.

The past several months has had me being very reflective.  Looking back on that hard first year and the subsequent years that were still a little hard but mostly joyful.  I keep thinking on all the things I should of done and the things I could of done better. I look at her now, a senior in high school, enjoying a life much different than my own.

I was the youngest in a blended family of five, actually I was a big oops!  My older siblings really gave my parents a run for their money.  It seemed one big problem kept overlapping the next.  I was often told to go play and probably unintentionally overlooked because I wasn’t causing any problems.  Fast forward to the really formative years of my life and I was still alone.  I was left to navigate these years with only destructive bahavior patterns leftover from my now grown but still incapable siblings.  It was now my legacy and I didn’t disappoint.  The only difference is that being left alone for so long, I was good at hiding in the shadows, therfore, I was able to avoid real trouble.

I really missed out on healthy behaviors being modeled for me.  When I became a mama, I ferociosly loved my baby girl with all that I had. I didn’t know what being a good parent looked like but I knew that I wanted to be one.  The first years were trial and error.  What I really lacked and really craved for was a woman who I could look up to and someone who could encourage me.  Self pity is an expesive trip to take and I certainly maxed out.  A time came where at a cross road I had to decide once and for all the path I would take.  Since I didn’t have the people I needed I could become the type of person I needed.  I love that even though I didn’t know God, He still had His hand on me.

Thus, the journey began. So here, 18 years later, I reflect on the journey and all that I’ve learned. That the brokenness of your past does not have to be the legacy of your future.  It is never too late to keep trying again.  That with God nothing is truly broken, that all the past wounds, heartaches, disappointments etc..are all God shaped.

So here we are.  I look over at the one who made me a mama and thank God for our journey this far.  She is learning to navigate this complicated world as a young woman with dreams and desires and she is trying to make a mark for herself despite the physical limitations of Cerebral Palsy.  She is walking with the one who loves her most and because of that she is OK and so am I.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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