Jan 26, 2016

Imagine that.....

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I promise I am not on a writing strike. Don't you have to get paid for what you are doing to go on strike, anyway?  (ok, my jokes aren't funny. moving on)

Things have just been a little cray-cray around here. Remember, we are moving. I told you about my over the top, King Kong sized laundry room. And my mini-kitchen. Perfect for Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It's not funny. Stop laughing.

They (who are they anyway?) say that moving is right up there with having a baby as far as stress. Yep, I believe it.

So, although I am not on a writing strike, I don't have time to sit down and have a cup of piping hot coffee with my SHINE friends over this computer screen today.  Instead, I have a sweet friend that wants to join you for your morning coffee. Her name is Melanie. Pull up a chair. Or couch. Or bed.

Melanie is about to gift you with a wonderful message. I read this yesterday as I scarfed down my chicfila kale salad. I cherished each word just as much as I cherished each bite of that delicious salad.

Be blessed by my friend, Melanie Hall. (and go visit her blog for more encouragement!)

The Lord  your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will love you, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zeph 3:17)
And so it begins. Another year. Another chapter.  Another chance.  And it is ours to decided what we do with it.  Many people make New Year resolutions.  I do not. Not because I think they do not matter, mostly because I am relatively good at keeping set on a goal and do not need the New Year to hold me accountable.  I do however think about what my resolution would be, assuming I made one.  Would it be to save money? Exercise more? Eat less? Yell less? Have more patience? And then it hit me and I realized that I had come up with a New Year resolution that could change the world.  One that could change our homes and our friendships and our marriages and our success.  Ladies, hear me out on this one because this could be life changing if we could figure out how to make it happen.

What if our New Year resolution was to like ourselves more?  Ugh. You cringed didn't you?  I know, I hear ya. But stay with me for just a moment.  Think about it. Think about how different your day would be if you liked yourself more.  And I mean all of yourself.  Not just your hair or your  boobs or your latest outfit.  Like really liked everything about yourself, just like He made you.  No returns, no exchanges, nothing added or taken away.  Rest in that thought with me for just a bit.  Can you imagine? I  cannot.  Honestly. I am not sure it is even possible in the world that we live in today.  Society and media and retail have surly laid it on thick trying to convince us that we are not enough. Some of us watch TV shows that make us feel less beautiful.  Others of us do not need TV because our husbands are doing just fine.  Some of us have neighbors that we compare ourselves to or friends, good friends, even great friends that we enjoy but leave us feeling defeated after our time together. This is no one's fault but our own of course, but it does happen. 

I am going to be brutally honest with you for just a moment.  I do not like myself.  Not all of myself anyway. To be fair, there are pieces of myself that I like a lot.  Most of those have to do with my personality.  I like that I am strong and honest. I like that I am a good friend to those that I love the most.  I like that I am completely and utterly in love with my husband, so much so that I do not even realize other men are in the room.  There is a list.  I won't bore you with the rest.  But there is also a list of don't likes.  I don't like my body. I have NEVER liked it.  I have been heavier and I have weighed less. I have been in worse shape and in better shape. It's never been enough.  I don't like what I have accomplished so far in my life. I feel like I could have done more, helped more, accomplished more.  I don't like that I live in Tennessee and I have a full list of reasons that I blame for that one, all of which are superficial and ridiculous.  The list goes on....

You see, my friends, it doesn't matter does it?  What we do and do not like about ourselves has zero to do with reality and everything to do with our hearts.  Somewhere along the line someone said something to us, did something to us, left us, hurt us, modeled for us, and we took those words or that example and tore off a piece of our hearts and replaced it with that lie.  And there it has sat ever since reminding us that our worth lies in the eyes of others.  A big FAT LIE that we have spent a lifetime believing.  It is exhausting. 

I think about my past and my present.  If I stop and think through conflicts that I have been in and I am honest with myself, most of them could have been avoided if I just liked myself more. If I hadn't allowed the other person to decide my worth, I could have walked away from most of them bruised but not beaten, tired but not lost. 

Ladies, our worth lies in only One person's hands and that is the hands of Jesus.  That is truth.  It is written. I realize that it is hard to believe. I understand that we pride ourselves on being good mothers, wives, friends, daughters, teachers, coworkers, and that day to day successes feed our souls.  But we are doing it wrong. All of us. And I am leading the pack.  It's like a really dysfunctional game of follow the leader where we are all walking in a circle comparing ourselves to the person in front of us and talking about the person behind us.  It is sad.  And we are setting a horrible example for our daughters.  We are teaching them that their worth lies in the hands and the eyes and the minds of everyone BUT Jesus. 

I look at these 6 blue eyes that are watching me and I am ashamed of myself.  I don't want them to care. I don't want them to care what you think or what I think or what their dad thinks. I want them to care what Jesus thinks.  I want them to look in the mirror and be blown away at the fact that every piece of them was planned perfectly. Have you ever done that?  Can you imagine? I don't want them to suck in their stomach or hold up their "beaten up after 5 babies" breasts and wish. I want them to stand there just like they are and smile. When is the last time you did that? Can you imagine? I want them to see the talents of others and enjoy them not covet them.  I want them to take THEIR gifts and relish in them rather than wish for more.  Have you ever done that?  Can you imagine?   I don't want them to wonder if they are enough or what else they could do to make themselves more appealing.  I want them to marry a man that loves Jesus and them and to actually believe him when he tells them they are beautiful and that he loves them and only them forever. Have you ever done that? Can you imagine? 

Ladies, what if your New Year resolution was to like yourself more?  What if it was mine? What would your marriage be like? What would your friendships be like? What would your daughters be like when they grow up?  Wouldn't it be amazing to raise a new generation of women who depended on the love of Jesus rather than the love of man? Would you be willing to join that movement if it was started? Should we do it? ;) 

Happy New Year Ladies! 
Melanie