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Posts Tagged ‘body image’

If the scandalous title of this post is just catching your attention, you are joining in the middle of a discussion about the way women think about the word “fat”. I’d recommend hitting up my previous post if you haven’t read it yet.

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9 months pregnant with Solomon Isaac.

It’s amazing how many people describe pregnancy with words like “fat”, “big”, “huge”. Towards the end of pregnancy I couldn’t believe how many people would say, “Wow, Kate, I can’t believe how HUGE you are getting.” It’s amazing to me how growing a human being inside of my 5’3″ body could even have a fat connotation. And I’m not just blaming other people here, seeing the scales increase and clothes stop fitting while I was pregnant wasn’t easy. It was very tempting every day to “go there” in my head.

Let me be honest about something. The scariest thing about seeing that little “+” mark on my pregnancy test last March was how having a baby was absolutely going to change my body. I’ve had some wins and losses with the Lord in my mind with the “fat” mindset and comparison, but becoming pregnant was the first time I had to make the decision to give up complete control, to lay down the rights to my own body.

Nineteen years in the world of competitive sports formed my perception of my body, not to mention the media and just being a woman! I’ve spent the majority of my life in a gym. I’ve been a competitive athlete in gymnastics and track. I’ve done dance and kickboxing. I’ve coached competitive gymnastics, track, and cross country. All of these things are fun and good, but it taught me that my body was for me. I’ve always had control. There have been times in my life where I’ve been healthy and balanced with that control. There have been times in my life where I’ve been extreme, and I’ve used that control to get a feeling of security, to feel good about myself, and to numb fear. Ultimately, whether I was being healthy or unhealthy one thing remained true, my body has always been something I used for my own glory. And that’s where what I believed about my body (with healthy or unhealthy actions) was wrong.

Every growing day of being pregnant felt like a day I lost more control as my body was molded into something completely abnormal than what was normal for me. I’m sure most girls feel this way. The pinnacle was the process of laboring- seeing my pregnant tummy, feeling the intense squeezing of each contraction, and knowing that my body was forcing the exit of the little boy I had carried for nine months.

People say that giving birth is a miracle. The moment Solomon was born was one of the most amazing spiritual experiences of my life. I didn’t tell Solomon’s lungs or brain to form, but my Creator God had used my humble body to create and call a living person into existence. And I had absolutely no control over any of it. I could take no credit. I could only be humbled and overwhelmed at the beautiful thing God had done through my body.

As Solomon took his first few breathes of life, I was reminded of our gospel. How it tells of one who literally gave up his body so that we can have new life.

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isaiah 53:2b-3).

He actually knows how it feels to have your body be out of your control. He knows it better than I ever could. My body was never designed for my own glory. It was designed only to tell the story of His glory.

Solomon Isaac in his daddy’s arms just a few hours old.

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Sunday morning I woke up feeling very pregnant and a bit under the weather. So I kissed my husband as he made his way to church and crawled back in bed with my Bible. I spent time enjoying the lack of to-do’s and time in precious prayer.

I let myself be calm just long enough for my attention span to need a babysitter again, so I turned on a A29 podcast for pastor’s wives and began some small housework tasks. These women were talking about the role of a wife and specifically the role of a pastor’s wife. The info wasn’t anything new or unique, it was actually quite practical. And yet my heart was stirred and grateful for these women. Women that I’ve never met. We had a common bond. They spoke about their “menial” tasks and roles as wife, mother, and wife of pastor with such grateful hearts. They truly see the value behind the smallest things they do to love and support. They see it as a great honor.

So often, I see the same roles as so unimportant and even at times do them begrudgingly with my eyes focus on some higher calling. My husband speaks value over my life every day. But Sunday morning I believed the Holy Spirit sweetly and simply convicted my heart to believe His value over me and the words of my husband.

So often our culture confuses role with worth. We value a person based on their certain role based by comparing them to our certain cultural standards (be it power, influence, authority, beauty, control..etc.). Who decided that role and worth are equivalent?

God reminded me that his standards for measuring the worth of His people is utterly different than our norm.

1 John 1:1-2
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now…”

I couldn’t help but go one step further, and, women, I pray you would too. As I had lightbulb moment, standing in my bedroom, arms full of dirty laundry I realized how deep, deep down this whole way we see worth seeps.

I’ll be honest, right now at 7 1/2 months pregnant, it is hard to not be a little freaked out by my own body. I’m watching the scales climb, my skin stretch, and my hips broaden. It can easily become the focus of pregnancy. I’ll be honest, with every “look how big your are” exclamation, I’ve let myself focus on this body’s function and not the valuable worth of what it’s doing. But maybe, this is how I’ve seen it all along.

Years of culture, personal insecurity, the pressures of perfection, body image, sex appeal, sports, calories, comparison, years of gymnastics….etc…etc… You probably know what I’m talking about! All these these have left me seeing my body as something to control. Something I can beat into submission. With no more value than how I can make it look and what I can get out of it.

Now, here it is doing the miraculous. Doing something so much more then looking and being and acting.

And I’m not making it happen. In fact, it’s completely out of my control. And it’s beautiful. And it’s valuable. And it’s miraculous. It’s creating life from love. How much more worth could something have? It’s a demonstration of the Gospel.

Christ took the most humble role to do a most valiant task. He gave us life from His love. He honored us by His grace with ever bit of worth we now have. He is so worthy of worship!

“See what kind of love the Father has given us…”

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I just read an amazing blog on The Resurgence website called, “11Ways to Protect Your Daughter From Barbie” by Justin Holcolmb.

This is a blog every woman should read and can apply to her life.

Please take the time to read it.copy/paste this link!

http://theresurgence.com/2011/05/11/11-ways-to-protect-your-daughter-from-barbie

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Maybe you are wondering if trusting in the light and truth of Jesus Christ could actually change the way you look on the outside. My testimony is that it can.

Like so many women in this world, I struggled to see myself as valuable and special. I desperately longed to reflect beauty and perfection to the world, but I spent all my energy striving to find my reflection through things that always failed me. (sports, body image, relationships with guys, people pleasing, perfectionism, friendships, intellect). The older I got, the more damaged I felt. The more I failed at who I was trying to be. And the more I truly believed that there was something wrong with me.

My failure to reflect to the world perfection drove me into a sense of hopelessness and darkness. I couldn’t live with the thoughts in my head. Shame, self-hatred, lonliness, worthlessness, failure…was the constant cycle of my thoughts. I felt dark. I was insecure and ugly, and I knew it.


When I was 21, my sister and I spent a month on the island of Fiji with an organization called Athlete’s In Action. Before we could actually leave, we went through an intense physical and spiritual training week in. During one of the sessions, a girl spoke about her struggles for perfection, her struggles with her reflection, her struggles with the mirror. It had been a long time since I had cried, and I cried through the whole thing. The most amazing thing to me was that the very dark thoughts that I thought about myself came out of her mouth as she described her own thoughts. And they had driven her to her own battle with body image and perfection.

What I found out that day was that the darkness in this world speaks the same message to all women. We all carry with us the image of our perfect reflection (maybe its to be beautiful, desirable, athletic, smart, …fill in the blank). I carried mine with me, thinking that perfect love would come as soon as I achieved it. But we fail at ever attaining it. We go about silently, alone, and accepting our flaws and failures as reality. We believe it as truth. It becomes who we are. And darkness overwhelms us.

I prayed a simple prayer that day. I prayed that God would heal me and that I would know the truth of who I was. I allowed light to come back in.

True beauty is allowing the light of Jesus into your heart. It’s surrendering to your failures, and letting Jesus cover them. True beauty is believing the truth about what God says is true about you, instead of the false expectations and lies and comparison in this world. True beauty is not striving to reflect to the world your idea of perfection. True beauty is choosing to reflect JESUS to the world. It will not only change you on the inside, but it will change the way you look on the outside. It will change the way people see you. It will change your reflection.

It wasn’t my will power or effort that healed me. It was the love I experienced from my God. He loved me when I have flaws. He loved me when I wasn’t beautiful. He desired me when I wasn’t perfect. And every day I am utterly amazed by a love that I didn’t deserve and couldn’t repay.

Beauty is a fight. The world tries every day to impress its reflection of beauty into our souls. We must refuse it. I made a decision when I was 21 to accept the love of Christ and stop striving. It was that day that I truly died with Christ, and I was literally raised with Him. New. And now His righteousness and beauty covers me.

And people began to ask me if something was different. They said I was glowing and beautiful. People began to ask me if I had fallen in love. My only response was, “Yes. I am ruined by love. And I can never be the same again.”

Romans 6:4
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

Psalm 50:1-2
“The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.”
Psalm 34:4-5 “I sought the Lord, and He answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces are never covered with shame.”
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My challenge to you….

You and I are reflections. We all portray something to the world. When people see you, they will either see the peace, hope, and love- the light of Jesus Christ. Or they will see the darkness of fear, insecurity, striving, and hopelessness. They will either see the words of truth that Jesus has spoken to you and you have believed and put your trust in. Or they will see the ugly words of hurt and disgust that the people and even yourself has spoken and believed.

One thing that I do is read Psalm 139 every day before my feet hit the ground. Try it. It will change you life.

If this is you….

– Recognize that you are not alone. There is nothing you believe about yourself, that other women haven’t also been told.

– Recognize that was all flawed. That no one is anything without Jesus.

– Recognize everything is a reflection of light and truth. You will either reflect darkness and the terrible words that others have said or you have allowed yourself to believe…OR… TRUE light and TRUE truth of Jesus will reflect from you.

– Surrender to His love. Pray. And get others to pray. Walk in the light. Share your struggles with others who will tell you the truth in Christ.

– Give your entire life to Jesus, all of it!

– BATTLE!! Every thought. It was a second by second battle for me for a long time. Replace the lies with the TRUTH. Start in Psalm 139

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