Me and My Box

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 6 Comments A+ a-

We all do it, every single one of us. We walk by a mirror or a window and a quick glance turns into a concentrated study of ourselves. Our inner dialogue discusses the shape of our hips, the curves of our body, or lack thereof, the angle of our nose, or the slope of our forehead. Let's not forget the color of our hair/skin/eyes/legs. We bemoan certain characteristics and wonder why, oh why, were we "blessed" with the family genes. We all do it.

Even I will pinch an extra fold of skin, or make a wish list of things I'd love to change. Now, don't get me wrong, I love all three of my beautiful babies and I am so thankful for healthy pregnancies and babies, but even I wonder what has happened to the body of my youth.

But that it not the point of this soapbox.

Every time I hear a woman, young or old, start listing the things that are wrong with themselves, I get mad. I get angry. I want to shake my fist at Satan and tell him to leave us alone! It is heartbreaking to me to look at this beautifully created woman put herself down, time and time again. Does she not see? Can she not believe what she sees in the mirror? Doesn't she see the way her eyes sparkle when she talks about something she loves? Does she not hear how amazing her laugh is? Does she not know that I would love to have her gift of graciousness? Or how often her gift of friendship has touched yet another life?

It is so easy to let the lies seep into ourselves; it is so easy to start believing the worst of ourselves.

The comparison game is just as lethal. If only I could have her body? Or her hair? Or her smile? What I wouldn't give to have her eyes? I cringe because I too, have played this game many times. And it makes me sad.

Am I telling my Lord, my Creator, that He did an imperfect job?! How on earth can I think for a moment that I am lacking anything when HE made me?! I am fearfully and wonderfully made... JUST the way I am. If our Lord, our Father, takes such delight in us, if He thinks we're beautiful, then why are we thinking the opposite?
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." ~Psalms 139:14
I had to write about this because it seems like a daily struggle in the lives of those around me. Every time I hear a complaint, or see the sadness and hurt in their eyes, I want to scream. Those thoughts are not truths, they are lies! You ARE beautiful, you ARE amazing, you are exactly who God created you to be. Anything else is untrue.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

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Tina Janelle
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4:39 PM delete

This attitude is magnified in the culture here in Colombia. I've had students over the past two years who have missed school for liposuctions, nose jobs and breast implants - I'm talking about teenage girls, still in high school! Such a high importance placed on appearances here. These girls need to hear your words of wisdom, Jen!

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Sarah
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8:46 PM delete

So true! Don't we all battle this, and yet you are right, such lies form the enemy. You've got me rethinking my tummy tuck dreams.

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4:27 PM delete

Good points! Unlike Sarah... I still want a tummy tuck someday... I guess not so I can show my belly off or anything but so I dont have to tuck my extra skin into my pants. Ya know? But I totally get what you are saying. And you should know... You are so beautiful!

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7:18 AM delete

Jenn,

Wow...I am in tears. I spent all last night hating myself because of how "fat" I look in my graduation pictures. I know I need to get up and get active, shed a couple of pounds to be healthier, but I don't think its going to help me to feel SO bad about myself. Everyday I find myself looking at other women and thinking that they have it so easy (especially you and your sisters with your PERFECT skin....). Its not fair to me or to them.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for writing this. It encouraged me, even if I still don't believe it :)

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Aminta
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6:00 PM delete

Hi Jen,
I found you through Amy's blog.
I had known Amy a little when we were just teens. We lived in the same area. :)
Anyhow,
THANK YOU!
I needed to hear this, and I am sure MOST of us do as well.
May you grow in love and peace with our Heavenly Father.
Many hugs in thanks....
Aminta

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6:20 PM delete

I stopped over Aminta's blog. I have to say that this post made me cry. I REALLY needed to read this today. I just had my third baby and today I was thinking a lot of the things that you wrote about. I was especially wondering what happened to the body of my youth. Thank you for writing this and reminding me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I tend to lose sight of that a lot lately.

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