Believing I Am Beautiful

   7c545945ff3174447d6f7b152d7416f6  I sat in my chair listening intently.  Dan was giving the father’s day message at church and he was talking about men and the 7 things women can do to be a better help mate to them.  I have to say I was blown away- it wasn’t anything like I had heard before. It seemed simple enough, hang out, accept him, listen to him, and then he got to number 4.  Believe him.  Ok…  Dan went on to explain.  When husbands tell wives they are the most beautiful woman on the earth they mean it with all their hearts.  They don’t see anyone else.  I felt smacked between the eyes and I think I even leaned forward in my chair.  It wasn’t so simple anymore.

     I look in the mirror getting ready and Husband comes in, “you’re so pretty”.  I used to quip back “Really? “And then list of all the flaws I could see to him.  Then I changed that response to “thank you” while listing said flaws in my head.   REALLY!  I don’t know what he is seeing but it certainly isn’t the same reflection I am looking at.  My forehead is broke out and red, I have chin hairs, fine lines around my eyes, my hair is a mess, and I am too fat.  I am pretty all right.  Do you hear the self-contempt?  

       I have bought into the lie.  The lie the world tells me that what my husband wants, what all husbands want, is the perfectly made up, never a snotty nose, pimple, or chin hair, hair always in place, skinny and fit, wife.  I have let the lie the world tells me define me and tell me what is beautiful.  The truth is that isn’t what my husband or any other husbands I know, want either. 

                   The truth is I am beautiful to my husband because he sees past the physical to what does define me- my heart. He sees my love for God, him, my family and friends. He sees my compassion and kindness, my passion for writing and the Chicago Bears; he has seen me triumph amidst struggle.  I’m beautiful because I stand by him and hold his hand when the seas get rough and I don’t give up on us.  He sees the real me.  And it isn’t this fragile body. 

                        That is what my husband wants and what I think other husbands want too.   They want the real us, not some fake made up version.  They want us to believe that we are the most beautiful woman on earth because they do.  They want us to see what they see, past the physical to the stuff inside.  

                   I refuse to believe the lie the world tells me any longer.  I am beautiful just the way I am.  I will believe Husband when he tells me I am, and refuse the thoughts of self-contempt.   Who is with me?Beautiful

 

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July 13, 2014. life, love, marriage. 1 comment.

Grief of a different kind

                       Grief of a Different Kind.

 

 

    There is grief that is just sadness, and then there is this, bone sucking, chilling grief.    I have lost 3 people in my life who were near and dear to my heart.  The 3rd person was just this week. What makes this grief, for me, so different from the other two, was that the person was a child.   And grieving the loss of child is quite different indeed.

                     Ayden was one of my first patients I had as a pediatric nurse. But over time, he became so much more to me than a patient.  He became woven into the fabric of my heart and soul, and I lovingly referred to him as my “little man”.  I couldn’t have loved this boy more if he were my own.   Ayden had a lot of complex medical issues, but despite all that he had quite the personality. He was so strong, fought so hard, and brought joy to everyone who knew him.  Was he ornery and stubborn too? Oh YES, as only Ayden could be. He couldn’t talk but he said a lot with his actions and his eyes.   He would throw toys, pull his trach, insist on watching “Yo Gabba Gabba” or before that became his favorite, “Phineas and Ferb” over and over and even hide under the couch.  If his favorite toy had dead batteries he would bring it to me, and if I laid it back on the floor? He would hand it right back to me until I either put it out of sight, or put new batteries in it.  I can’t count the number of times he pulled my hair with his slimy little hands.  He was my favorite Saturday afternoon Gator football buddy, and I still say he enjoyed watching the games.  Trust me when I say if he didn’t want to watch football, he would have let me know.   I loved the moments when he would crawl up in my lap and snuggle for a few minutes or even hours.  In those moments my heart was so full it was running over.

                           Jesus, in all his mercy, chose to take Ayden to heaven peacefully in his sleep.  While I am incredibly grateful for that mercy, my heart still can’t comprehend it.    This grief feels like the marrow is being sucked from my bones.   My heart has a huge gaping hole, and my arms long to hold him again.  I would give anything to be slimed.   This is what it feels like for me, and I have a feeling it is just a tiny fraction of what his mommy must be feeling. My heart aches for her and the rest of his family.  I have been so blessed to know them all, and so privileged that I was allowed to love and care for their precious boy.  Being able to be his “second mom” has truly been the greatest gift ever given me.

                              The only comfort I can find and cling to right now is the hope of heaven and seeing my little man again.  I know Jesus holds Ayden, and that now he runs,  walks, talks, (and boy I bet he has said A LOT!), and that he is finally whole.  I shall close and borrow the words from a song that has just seemed fitting for this time..

 

On that day when I see

 All that You have for me

 When I see You face to face

 There surrounded by Your grace

 

All my fears swept away

 In the light of Your embrace

 When Your love is all I need

 And forever I am free

 

Where the streets are made of gold

 In Your presence healed and whole

 Let the songs of Heaven rise to You alone

 

No weeping, no hurt or pain

 No suffering, You hold me now

 Hold me now

 No darkness, no sick or lame

 No hiding, You hold me now

 Hold me now

 

In this life I will stand

 Through my joy and my pain

 Knowing there’s a greater day

 There’s a hope that never fails…

“You Hold Me Now” Rebecca St.  James.

  There is comfort in those words, and in my hope.. but still doesn’t ease the pain of the grief.

  I Love you Little Man.. till I see you again,

 

All my heart and my love..

April 28, 2013. faith, life, love, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

What Is Love?

Love is a lot of things in my opinion. Love isn’t just feelings, for feelings are fickle and fleeting. Love isn’t sex. While sex is an expression of love, sex isn’t love. Love isn’t jealous, prideful, demanding, or rude (1 Corthians 13:4-8). Love isn’t the tingles. So what is love?
Love is a choice. It means loving the person who has wronged you, hurt you, or rejected you. It means hanging in there and fighting till it is worked out. Love is choosing to love someone when they act unlovable toward you.
Love is forgiveness. It means forgiving the unforgivable. It means forgiving and turning the other cheek when you want to retaliate. It means forgiving even when you think you can’t forgive anymore.
Love is unselfish. Love means putting someone else’s needs and wants before your own.
Love is grace. Love means accepting someone for who they are, where they are on their journey, and for what they can give you. It means not expecting more from them than what they can give.
Love is a risk. There is huge risk involved in opening up your heart and letting someone you love see the real you, wounds, warts, and all. Loving someone does not guarantee they will love you back. To love means to risk being hurt.
Love means loving yourself. You can’t love others well if you don’t love yourself. It is impossible. You can’t give nor receive love when you don’t have love for yourself. Love yourself.
Love is a gift. To love and to be loved is precious. It is the gift that keeps on giving.
Finally, at its best love is unconditional and sacrificial. Jesus taught us that. Love means sacrificing and giving your all, even your life if necessary.
This is what I know love to be.

February 14, 2013. faith, life, love, spirituality, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day. Leave a comment.