You Must be 90 Pounds Soaking Wet

*Please realize this is not an attention-seeking post or an attempt at reassurance. I simply want to share my personal story!

I have always been small. Growing up I was pretty much all knees and elbows. I’ve always had a high metabolism, and no matter how much I ate, I didn’t gain weight.

My entire life I have heard comments like “You must be 90 pounds soaking wet!” or “You need to put some meat on those bones!” or “There’s not an ounce of fat on your body!”

I think most of the time these types of comments were meant as compliments, and I would usually smile and nod, but I felt differently inside. Every time a comment like this was made, I thought “90 pounds? Well, I’m a lot more than that. Am I supposed to be 90 pounds? I better suck by stomach in,” or “Am I not good enough the way I am?” or “Yes, there is, but I better hide it so you don’t see me differently.”

I felt such pressure to be as small as everyone thought I was, yet pressure to gain weight at the same time. I hated it. I hated my body no matter what. I wasn’t small enough. I wasn’t big enough. I wasn’t good enough. I was so insecure.

•••

A few weeks before I found out I was pregnant I remember telling my husband that I wasn’t scared of what my body would be like when I was pregnant someday, but I was scared of what it would be like after. I knew that it was going to be different and probably never go back to the way it was before.

Sure enough, I loved my body when I was pregnant. Actually, I was the most self-confident that I’ve ever been. Yet there were still things that were said that hurt. I heard from many people that I “looked good with some weight on me.” I happened to agree, but I was a bit hurt at the same time. I knew it was a compliment or perhaps a reassurance, but what it felt like was “you weren’t good enough before.” I tried not to dwell on it because I knew it wasn’t meant that way.

•••

Fast-forward and the day has arrived. The moment of truth. I’m no longer pregnant. How am I going to feel?

Honestly? Just fine.

At some point something changed. I wasn’t scared anymore. My body had just spent months growing a person. Of course it would look different! My body did something amazing; who cares if it doesn’t look the same as before?

I don’t.

And that’s the truth. I decided that the only one who can make me feel insecure about myself is, well, me. Yes, the things that were said to me over the years were hurtful, but ultimately I chose to let it get to me. And honestly, I’ve got too much going on to be worried about some extra weight and stretch marks.

At the end of the day, I don’t want to be known as “the thin one” or “the pretty one.” I’ve got more important things going on. I’d rather be known for how I walked with Christ. What kind of wife and mother I was. What kind of friend I was. Not my pant size.

All this to say, friends, be careful with your words. They hurt and have long lasting effects. But also, don’t let what other people say define how you see yourself.

With love,

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I’m a Kind Person… but Not Always

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

You may disagree with me, but this is one of the biggest, fattest lies we tell ourselves and others.

I wrote a post last year on the topic on the importance of being careful with our words and what Scripture has to say about it. This time, however, God has laid a bit of a different message on my heart.

•••

At work, I try to be a positive, uplifting force to those around me. I try to shake things off as they come and be a voice of calm in the chaos. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, but I try. I try to encourage and love on my peers at school. We’re all in the same boat, and sometimes we just need a positive word to make the day a little better. At my internship, I work with a grateful heart. Sometimes, though, I come home, and it all falls apart.

My cheerful, positive personality is genuine, but sometimes I get tired. Sometimes, when I get home after a long day, I find it much more difficult to find the silver lining, to realize that something is really not a big deal. Then my words become less kind. I can become harsh and insensitive, frustrated and annoyed. My husband doesn’t deserve that – he has long days, too!

Sometimes we are less kind with the people closest to us because we let our guard down, but in all honesty, they should be the people we are the kindest to. We should be encouraging, lifting up, and loving everyone we come into contact with with our words and actions – especially our families. If there is tension in our family life – it doesn’t matter if it’s your siblings, cousins, in-laws, parents, spouse, whoever – it’s going to affect our work life, our school life, and our hearts.

•••

Ironically, the Bible app’s verse of the day is Proverbs 15:1: “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare” (NLT).

This verse has been on my heart for some time – maybe not enough. Our words – and actions for that matter – really do impact people, especially those we love. We shouldn’t just say we love them, we should show them, and that includes speaking kindly to them even when we aren’t feeling our greatest. Everyone deserves to be treated kindly and with respect, regardless of how we feel at the moment. I know that if the words that come out of my mouth in a moment of frustration were said to me, I would be hurt, and that bothers me. So I am working on this. I am quick to catch myself and apologize if I get snappy or harsh. That doesn’t take away what I said, but it shows that I am trying, and I’ve realized that people notice when you try to change. Your words may still hurt them, but they see that you are a struggling, flesh-and-blood human, just like they are.

Have the strength to be kind when you don’t feel like it, because the bottom line is, we really should treat people how we want to be treated, because actions matter, words matter, and people matter. 

Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez

Sticks and Stones

“Are you stupid?”

“You can’t do it.”

“Don’t give up.”

“No one cares.”

“I love you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“It’s going to be okay.”

 

Yes, these are kind of lame examples, but words are powerful. Yet we throw them around like they’re weightless.  How often do you see a parent snap harshly at their child and watch as the child completely shuts down? How often do you see a kid give up because no one tells him he can do it – or they tell him that he can’t? How often do you see someone’s day take a turn for the better because someone says a kind word?

Our words are not empty, they are full of impact, whether for good or bad.

In Genesis 1, God speaks creation into existence.

In Matthew 8, Jesus drives out demons and calms a raging storm with His words.

In Colossians 3, Paul says to rid yourself of anger, rage, spite, slander, and *abusive language.

In Ephesians 4, Paul says not to let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up.

Words have impact. It is up to us to choose whether or not we use our words to help or to wound others. Speak love.

Also, Jeff Bethke coincidentally did a youtube video on a similar subject this week! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzHxJUcnvb0

By the way, this is a cool topic for a **word study.

Until next time, lovelies.

 

 

 

* NIV – “filthy language”

** https://wordssweeterthanhoney.com/2015/10/24/why-word-study-is-the-new-definition-of-cool/

 
Photo Credit: Joshua Fuller
 

 

 

Why “Word Study” is the New Definition of “Cool”

I have a half cork board, half chalkboard thing hanging on a wall in my room. Yesterday I decided I was going to use it for more than writing random things on it so it isn’t empty.  I decided that every week I would pick a word to focus on, pray about, study in the Bible, and try to really live out.  I wrote the word “Humility.”  I then proceeded to go to Books-a-Million and buy a journal that I would use for word studies. I started my word study tonight and I just wanted to share with y’all how things are going so far and why I find this so neat.

I started with the definition of the word and its synonyms.  I then proceeded to get out my NIV study Bible and I flipped to the dictionary/concordance and found “humility.”  Then I got out another NIV Bible and my VOICE Bible for translation comparisons and found verses about humility in the concordance and writing them in the journal. As I was going along, I noticed a lot of common themes about humility – for example, humility and wisdom go hand in hand – and wrote those in, too. Next, I’m going to look into verses linked to the word “humble” and add those.

So that’s the “how things are going so far” part, now to the “why I find word studies so neat” part.  We often read the Bible a book at a time – I’m currently in Job.  We’ll read different books and notice that the Bible talks about “patience” or “kindness” or “insert word here,” but it’s really cool when you do it backwards and take a word and then see how it is spread across the Bible. You get to see how one word can relate in so many different ways and you get a fuller view of the word.  Also, that one word can lead to many different words, i.e. wisdom, which starts a whole other study in itself! Which. Is. So. Cool.

So I encourage you to take the time to do a word study and see where it takes you and see what God shows you through it. God’s Word is powerful.

Photo Credit: Cathy Mü