Friday, April 29, 2011

Yes, this is a rant.

I am tired of being fat.

I am tired of pulling my shirt down, my pants up. I am tired of hiding myself.

I am so weary of being self concious. So, so weary.

I am tired of worrying my husband will become disgusted with me.

I am tired of worrying my kids will get teased for having a fat mom.

I am just so....tired of it all.

I am constantly wondering how fat I look. When I sit this way, do I look fatter? Am I disgusting in this swimsuit?

Why the hell do I do this to myself?

I don't have an answer. I really don't.

I broke down last night. Tears flowed over this whole struggle. I sobbed over this body I am trapped in.

And I am trapped. I feel powerless.

I feel ugly and disgusting.

And I try. God knows I do. Exercise, eat well, and the weight comes off, right?

Not for me. Never for me.

Mark says the things that hurt, but are true- "Maybe you will never be able to lose it. Maybe you can't."

And he also says "It is so hard to see you punish yourself."

I agree with him, on both counts.

This is something I have struggled with for 24 years. I have spent countless hours hating myself.

And I truly don't know why.

Am I truly this vain?

Do I truly think how I look matters this much?

Yes. And no.

I don't know.

We all have something, right?

But this something colors every interaction I make, every decision I make, everything.

I will never wear a cute sundress without being self concious.

I will never love how I look in a swimsuit.

Do I believe I have worth...yes.

Do I also believe when somebody looks at me they see laziness, gluttony?


My body says something that is not true- that I am a weak person. I hate that.

And right now, I don't have any answers.

I want to at least be peaceful with myself.

I want to not struggle. I want to like myself.

And I do. Like myself. I like the inside. I like my heart and soul. I like mySELF. I like ME.

I just don't like the way I look.

So do I make peace with it?

And if so,how?

Can I leave it behind after this decades long struggle?

I just don't know.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Bitterness of the Sweet

I have had a long love affair with sugar.


Epic, if you will.

Sugar is tangled up with alot of other less than sweet things in my past. It was, and still is a total comfort to me. A crutch.

Not to sound cliche, but I eat my pain. I cover things up with food. The sweeter and starchier the better. Had a bad day= eat some chocolate. Riding the mothership to PMSPlanet= M&M's and soda. Anything really. Any excuse.

And I hate this about myself. I am weak. And my weakness is food. It is my drug of choice, and always has been.

I was a chunky kid, and I never truly leaned out like most people do. Did that have to do with the steady stream of candy and ice cream? Heck yes.

Add to all that a childhood filled to the brim with chaos and stress and you got... well, me. Overcompensating with food. Dealing with a huge amount of belly fat that no amount of exercise diminishes.

I eat healthy, I exercise, and I do very well for a few weeks. And then I fall off the wagon into a pile of jellybeans and dat's it. Back on the sugar and back on the pounds.

I don't know why this is important today, but it just is. I need help to break this cycle, but damned if I know how. It's not as simple as saying "Don't eat sugar." If it was, I would be 90 lbs. It's way more tangled and complex. And I can't explain it.

I don't want to be thin. Truly, I don't. I just want to be fit. I want to be healthy. I want to live to 100 years old to annoy my children. And I can't be who I want to be when I have this addiction.

And I don't really have a point. Or maybe I do- I need help! I need suggestions and ideas and prayer. I need to know I am not alone in this- is anyone else struggling? Because I feel alone in this- and I feel really weak.

So friends....anyone? Anything? Beuler? Beuler?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Halfway/ All the Way

Today my hormones are all over the place. I am a mess of teary-ness and snappy-ness and a little mean-ness. I am a hot mess, by all accounts. I have barred myself in my bedroom with salty snacks and soda and I am writing from a place of tornado-ish feelings.

I am unsettled in my soul. I am feeling as if I don't know how to do anything well. Oh I can do anything halfway good. I can halfway clean before getting called away. I can halfway play with the kids before I need to make dinner. I can halfway talk to my husband before real life intrudes. But I can't do anything ALL the way, because I am constantly having to help others do their stuff all the way.

I know this makes very little sense.

Or maybe it does, to you. Maybe you are in this inbetween space of having to do most things halfway in order to do things all the way for your kids. Maybe you are sitting in a cluttered dirty house, but your baby is well fed and nestled to your neck for a nap. Maybe you are in the midst of unpacking from a trip and have 3000 loads of laundry to do. Maybe you are just overwhelmed for no reason, like me.

I am restless in my skin. I am wanting to be so much more than I am now. More than a housewife and a mom. More than just this person in this skin. More. But this is not the season of my life for that. This is the season of caring for others, giving over to others my all...even if it means I am lost a bit in the meantime.

These days won't last forever. There will soon ebe a time of no diapers, no endless cooking/cleaning up/cooking. They will not seek me just when I sit down. They will not seek me at all, in time.

So Lord, let me be content to set aside myself. Set aside my chores and need for control. Let me be with them in this moment when their cheeks are sweet with the smell of sunshine, when their hair smells of baby shampoo. Let me watch as they light up when they are chased, as they giggle so hard they fall down.

Let me be a halfway cook, housecleaner, laundress. Let me be halfway in the things that don't matter and won't change with time. But Lord please let me be an all the way mom and wife, right here, right now. While it counts.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Women need Women

Women need each other, on a basic, primal level. Our society does not lead us to believe that this is true- but it is. We need women in all of our stages of life- childhood, adulthood, mommyhood and golden years. We need friendships that are comfortable, with no demands or obligations.

We need other women to help us care for our children. We need other women to love our children, and to open up a different world of nurturing to them. We need female companionship.

We need a tribe.

In this stage of my life, I need a mommy tribe. Someone to compare notes with, to sit with in silence. To have the deep discussions with, and to laugh through tears with.

Women can have some of their deepest and profoud relationships with each other. Deep and lasting bonds that transcend all of life's ups and downs. Friendships that stretch and allow growth. Friendship that says the hard things, that supports, that holds the hand that is empty, that shoulders the burden. Friends that stay if the man doesn't, and linger after the children are grown.

The world will tell you this isn't true. That women are catty, nasty. That they are all gossips and cannot be trusted. But the world is wrong.

I spent tonight at a table with a wonderful group of ladies. I sat next to a friend, somebody I admire and think the world of. Somebody I always felt like I would have time to get to know better.

Time ran out. She is moving away, and it breaks my heart just a little bit. Sitting with her tonight and talking with her about the things that really matter, the deep down heart issues, I felt a deep regret that I hadn't known her more, spent more time with her, gotten to know her better. Because I felt that split second feeling of deja vu that you get only with those people who truly see you. A feeling of being known on a core level.

She is part of my tribe, my heart family, and I didn't appreciate it enough. I didn't see it as clearly as I should, being so insulated and focused on my own little world.

And now the chance has passed, and I will miss her so much more, because I realize what I am losing.

It will never be easy for me to trust other women. It is an effort to be vulnerable and to put my sappy self out there. It's scary to say all of the things that come to mind, and to go beneath the surface to the deep heart issues we all have. But I will, no matter what. Because I need to see myself reflected back in other women, other mothers. I need to see the flicker of recognition when somebody understands something I am grappling with. I need other women to help me walk through this life. Or to keep me from selling my children. Either/or.

To my sweet friend moving so far said tonight that you thought I had a gift with writing, that you wished you had a gift like that. I held back from saying what I was thinking, and I shouldn't have. You have a gift of far more importance than putting words on a page. You SEE people. You LISTEN. And whenever I talk with you or see you, you make me feel cared for. Nobody on earth will ever forget how you make them feel, and in that, my dear sweet friend, YOU have an amazing gift. And you will be very very missed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dear Lily...

Dear Lily,

I was thinking today about when I might die. Yeah I know, that's a shocking way to start a letter. Sorry.

But there are things I want you to know. One of my greatest fears is that I wont have time to tell you all the things I want to. Of course a hundred years could never be enough to tell you the biggest thing of are- YOU ARE LOVED. More than I can convey with words or actions. Never ever forget how precious and special you are.

So, in no particular order, are the more important things I can think of.

1. Don't wear to much makeup. Mascara, a little blush, and a touch of lipstick. And don't overpluck your eyebrows. Trust me.

2. Wear sunscreen. A tan is beautiful, but a burn is not. And wrinkles certainly aren't.

3. Love your body enough to feed it well, to exercise and tone it. To create strength.

4. Always err on the side of kindness. Every person you meet has a battle they are fighting. Every person has sadness. Kindness is never lost on any person.

5. Be kind, but don't be a doormat.

6. Love those around you for who they are- children of God. It's not up to you to change anyone. Every person is who they are for a reason. Love them enough to let them be.

7. Family is everything, Lily. Everything. Family outlasts friendships, love, and hurt. Family is acceptance and unending love. Never take for granted that you are treasured.

8. You are responsible to love others as you are loved. When you see pain or suffering, you are responsible to help.

9. Helping is sometimes sitting in silence. In wiping tears. In listening. In being present for somebody you care for.

10. Never ever lose that loving spirit. You are so sweet and so maternal. It may lead you to get hurt, because people will take advantage of your giving nature. But don't let that stop you. Your loving spirit is the light of God.

11. Do your homework. Be responsible. But also reach for the stars, my love. Dream.

12. Dress modestly. Don't let your appearance make anyone doubt your intelligence.

13. When in doubt, turn to God. Pray for guidance. Ask for revelation.

14. Be happy. Choose joy. Let your heart always be light.

15. Love always as you do now.

Monday, April 11, 2011


You are standing near the bottom of a mountain. It is cold and your breath fogs in the air. You look up into a wall of crystalline beauty. Snow and ice line every crevice along the mountain face.

The sun is bright. The snow makes small sounds as it begins to melt. Drops fall like rain. The snow and ice lies suspended above you.

There is a huge blast of sound as the ice above gives way and comes sliding down toward your upturned face. You reach up with cupped hands and try to catch the avalanche but it buries you anyway.

This is what the longing for a baby is like. Utterly intractable. Utterly without any way of stopping the fallout. No way to keep from being buried and towed under by a force bigger than yourself.

It is a dynamic and unrelenting force of nature. It is more than hormones or some ticking biological clock. That simplifies something that is so tied to every aspect of a woman's soul- spirit, mind, body. It is a complicated trickle down of emotions and drive to be MORE than just a woman. To be a mother.

And it doesn't matter if you already have a child. It still happens. It is still as powerful, or more so, because you know exactly what it is you want. It is a reaching beyond yourself for something beyond heaven, something that is to be created and cherished. And there is NO reasoning with it. It simply is with an ebb and flow until it is fulfilled. It does not fade, it does not die. It IS.

It is about so much more than a baby. It is about family. It is about God, and a fulfillment of a promise we make just by being born female- that we can carry life. That we can know instinctively how to care for life, how to nurture. That we can carry, feed, and love our children, because we are women.

So to those I love that are buried in it right now, who are mired in snow and ice and waiting for the miracle to come, I understand.

I may be just a bit buried myself.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


"Friend... I feel like s**t. I want to stop worrying, I want to stop being the depressed and weak person I have become. I don't have many people to lean on and have a small support system. I've grown tired of all the bulls**t and want to be done with it. I blame myself for not taking care of ME. How did you do it? How did you push yourself, everyday, and wake up in the morning on the days you wish you can curl up in the fetal postition in bed?"

My dear, sweet friend,

I love you. I can feel your pain and your frustration. I wish I had an answer for you, but I can only tell you what has gotten me through.

I know you are not a believer. I understand that. I've been there. And though I have never walked in your shoes or gone through what you have gone through, I've walked my own road. I've been laid low. I've been so down I wanted my life to end.

I've battled doubt. Self doubt, and doubt in God. But I have always been drawn back to Him. Over and over He has lifted my beyond my light and momentary circumstance. He has given me peace of a depth I cannot explain.

God how I wish this for you, Michelle. I wish that you would be bathed in the light of the One who cares for you so so much. I wish you would turn to Him with your troubles and your grief and your hurt. I wish you would give it all up to Him- the uncertainty and the worry. I wish, I wish...

But I also know how hard it can be to trust. How dependent we are on ourselves and getting through things on our own. I know that nothing in our lives lead us to believe. I know all of this.

I want to give you answers, and I want to give you comfort. And the only way I can do that is to say that I wish with all my heart that you would give your life over to God so that your comfort is deeper than anything you can manufacture for yourself, and wider than anything anyone in your life can give you. So that you have an eternal perspective on this momentary life. So that you know no matter what that you are cared for, loved, and held.

You can look forever for comfort. You can search for answers in the world, in other people. I've done it. And nothing, NOTHING comares to the peace I have, the rest I have in knowing I am a child of God. That my days are all known, that my burdens are carried on stronger shoulders than my own.

I cannot tell you that you will be healed. I can't say that all of these health problems will disappear or fall away. I can't tell you life will be perfect and whole.

All I can say, my sweet and beloved friend, is that in everything you will be known and loved by a force so much bigger than anything this life or anyone else can give you.

I love you, and as always, I am praying for you.


An open letter to any new, old, or soon to be friends.

Listen. I'm not a low key kinda friend. I'm not happy with "hey we will catch up sometime, let's do lunch, yadda yadda yadda". I'm not content to be a spectator in your struggles or your pain. I won't stand aside and let you blow it or make mistakes or sit in your woundedness.

I won't act as if I don't see your hurt. I won't act as if your triumphs are no big deal. I am here for all of it.

I will jump in with both feet and do it all with you- scale the mountains, camp in the valleys. I will walk along every muddy messy step you take down any dark road life leads you. I will lift you high with prayer, but I will also use my hands and feet as God tells me to help you throught your life.

I am not a sit back, drink cocktails, and talk about nothing important kinda friend.

I want it all. I want all of the ugliness, and all of the beauty. I want to know what made you who you are, no matter how badly you think it makes you appear. I want to know your wounds and your mistakes. I want to cover you with love and care when you are weak and lean on you when you are strong.

If you are looking for a casual friendship, I'm sorry, I don't do that. I refuse to have surface realtionships anymore. I refuse to love with indifference or pretend that what goes on in your life does not matter to me.

You are important in my world. You are special to me. I treasure you.

I am not an easy friend to have. I ask the hard questions. I want to know the good AND the bad. If you want to hide it because you are afraid I will judge, don't. All I want is to help you through what I can. All I want is to celebrate your life with you, whether it is easy or difficult.

So, if you are looking for surface friendship, I'm not your gal. I'm not going to discuss celebrity gossip with you. Okay, I will, but only after I ask you with all sincerity how YOU are.

I want to know you. YOU. The real you, not the face you put on for the rest of the world.

So. Now that that is outta the way, my friend... How ARE you?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Big Kids Playground

Today I took my girl to the park. We went to the big kids side, the one where the slides are higher, the the swings are bigger, and the other children are wilder.

She was excited, ready to take on the world. She rushed for the stairs, bounding up them with the enthusiam only a four year old could produce. She ran straight for the twisty slide, of course, the one that makes me the most nervous. I hovered behind her as she climbed. She didn't glance back, not even before she took off down the slide.

I watched her, offering suggestions now and then as she explored. She rarely looked to me at all, but I stayed right behind her anyway.

The sun was high and hot as a little boy shot past me to the ladder. He wanted me to watch him climb, so I did.

"I can climb without a mommy behind me!"

"That's awesome!" I said encouragingly.

Lily approached the same ladder right after the boy. I walked up to stand close behind her, my hands at the ready should she fall.

The little boy leaned over and looked at me.

"NO! Don't be behind her!" he yelled, frowning at me.

I stayed quiet, watching Lily climb.

"NO! She doesn't need you!" he yelled again, louder.

Lily stopped and looked back at me. I expected her to ask me to move away. Maybe she would be embarassed to have me hovering.

But instead she looked up at the boy.

"That's my mommy. That's what she is supposed to do!!! She LOVES me!" She was indignant and angry.

The boy took off and she kept climbing.

I thought about this alot as we drove home.

My girl wasn't scared to climb. She wans't afraid to go higher than she had before, or afraid to fall.

Because she knew I was there.

In many ways, my daughter teaches me about God. About how to trust and love Him. Today was a very big lesson for me.

I don't make a move without God being there. He is sometimes silent, and always unobtrusive, but he never fails to be by my side. He is there, waiting.

While I climb the ladders.

While I take on the heights.

While I conquer my fears.

He is behind me, waiting for the moment to be needed.

Waiting for me to to turn and ask for help, for a hand, for an encouraging word.

Because He loves me, loves to parent me, and in my Lily's sweet words- "That's what He is supposed to do! He LOVES me!!!"

I am so grateful to have my children. In a way, it is a backwards form of teaching. They teach me what my parents did not. I have grown more in my love and more in my walk with God in the past 4 years than ever in my life. I have learned a lifetime's worth of joy, and been blessed a million times over by these two gift's God has given me.

So here's to a lifetime of climbing the big ladders, sliding the giant twisty slides, and exploring the world, knowing there is love and care behind me, hands at the ready.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The love is worth it

Last week I got flowers. They were closed tightly when they came, their beautiful blooms hidden. They sat straight and rigid in their vase, waiting.

Waiting for what? For the warmth, the sun, the air to be right. For all of the universe to align itself in a way that would allow them to open and see the sun. Waiting to turn their beautiful faces to the light and bask in knowing they had fufilled their purpose. Waiting to be everything they were created to be.

That's where I am now. In the spot between cowering and covering and unfurling and opening. In that place where I love and am loved. Where I no longer guard my words or hide who I am.

In this space, I am open. I am free. And I am here.

I know this is not an epiphany for many. I know some people who have been open since birth. They have never hidden or kept quiet when they longed to speak. Oh how I used to envy that.

But right now, dear friends....right now I am there. In the place where I feel more myself than I ever have. When I show myself to others.

I am afraid, still, to love. I am afraid to say everything that comes to my lips for fear of being laughed at or mocked. But I do it anyway. And do you want to know why? Because this is the person God created me to be. For better or worse, I am this.

One who loves way too much. One who cares way too much. One who goes father and does more for others than is healthy. The one who is vulnerable and says "I love you." The one who cares so much for others pain it becomes my own.

I used to hold that part of myself off. I was so afraid to be hurt. But now I know, hurting is the price you sometimes pay for love. There will always be hurt. But there can always be forgiveness and compassion and a deeper connection from the pain.

I was made to feel everything. It may be healthier to repress that, but would I be honoring the heart God gave me?

I was with a bunch of girlfriends not too long ago. I was in the middle of conversation when God spoke in my heart. "Stop. Just stop and look around you."

And I did. And I saw a life I never would have known before God unfurled my heart like a flower. Before I allowed it and welcomed it. Before who I was was buried under hurt and fear.

And now it is here. I am, in this very moment in life, all that I am meant to be.

And I it has nothing to do with a dress size, a bank account, the car I drive or the house I live in.

It is in whom God created me to be, and in me being obedient enough to honor it. To love and take the risk of being hurt. To give with open hands of everything I have. To leave selfishness behind.

I may be hurt because I love so much. I may be taken advantage of. And I may be crushed with rejection and sadness. But in the end, the love is worth it.

The love is worth it.