Stand Tall Pretty Girl

Every now and then I glance in the mirror…and feel pretty.


And it catches me so off guard that my walls crash down. And the guilt screams vanity and quickly finds a blemish to highlight and sing to.


And it’s easier to believe the ugly than a fleeting moment of a pretty girl reflected.


Deep and long and toxic words, not even half truths, I’ve let myself believe.


Let my body and soul be starved for.


And yet, sometimes unexpectedly I see a pretty girl. So, I know I’m getting stronger. The toxicity is losing ground; so claws come out.


To the vain, selfish, “pretty girl” let me whisper ugly nothings…

stabd tall pretty girl

Have another cup of coffee, it’ll do til lunch, the headaches don’t leave anyways.


But there’s a louder voice fighting back…

Stand tall pretty girl, one day it’ll be your constant reflection.


No more blurred vision or crippling dysmorphia. One day she won’t take you by surprise.


And we get to choose which voice to believe.


We get to choose to be our own friend. To see the pretty despite the flaws.

  • J

As Women Raising Daughters

I’m waiting in line to relieve my bladder before boarding begins.


I’m traveling sans kids and it’s weird. I have moments to ponder instead of wrestle copious amounts of snacks and diapers and keep little humans satisfied.


But I sit, err, stand in line watching two older women over themselves.


First concealer, powder, shadow, lean too close, mascara, 2, 3, 4 times, pucker, apply, blot, look closely, inspect themselves.


Fix whatever flaws they see, check again.


Completely transformed they’re ready for the world now.


Or at least a flight to Minneapolis at six am.


And I do a small internal cringe and ponder.


Do men lean in too close, pinch their cheeks, get them rosy, examine their faces for flaws to hide before coming to the world?


And why do we call these things, perceived flaws, imperfections. Normalities would be a better term- since imperfect is the only normal.


And is my unbrushed, unwashed hair approachable (like I tell myself) or out of control? And is my clean face full of flaws to be hidden, uncontrollable as well…


I guess that fits, uncontrollable and me…


12795281_10107890358574984_4661776348530110578_nI pray my bug sees her beauty, her perfections and normalities. She doesn’t need to paint her face to wake up, that she boldly faces the world straight up, straight on.


I pray she doesn’t lean in too close to change who she is, to feel MORE beautiful. Because my word is she breathtaking.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for tutu’s and glitter, and girly things like make-up. I don’t wear it often, but I am all for it.


But I pray as women, as women raising daughters, we are comfortable enough in who we are, who God designed us to be, to face the world bare faced and free sometimes. And to know the beauty in that.


And to love our crazy unbrushed uncontrollable hair.

  • J

Blank Faces

blank faces 2blank faces

I’m drawn to these images without faces. Beautiful women with their faces painted, embroidered, blotted out. I’ve been drawn to then for awhile, not noticing the pattern. Or what that means.blank faces 3

Art is my outlet. Emotional. Living. Moving. When I’m drawn to something there is a reason. Whether shallow or deep.

Women with no faces. Beautiful and tranquil. Yet not worth giving a face. An identity.

However, they aren’t just passed over. They are the main subject filling the entire frame. Endless time has been put into crafting and forming an identity, not yet identifiable.
Identifiable to whom is the question. Themselves or the viewer?

Is the facade to save their face, or are they still forming…waiting for a great reveal?

Or are they aware of their depth and beauty and simply protecting themselves from people who can not comprehend that kind of deepness, from those who do not understand the complexity some women carry in their soul? Yes, their faces are unconventional but yes, many many hours have been put into them.

And they are beautifully and wonderfully made.

And I resonate with them.

  • J

The Woman He Loves

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,

whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.

So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I’m my own worst critic. Its borderline bullying really.

As females I think this is true of most of us. Society puts unreal pressure on us. Then we put it on ourselves and those around us and it becomes this vicious, unrealistic, and judgmental cycle.

I’ve battled an eating disorder my entire adult life, it manifested in middle school. Right when physical appearance and the need to belong are #1 on a young girl’s priority list. I’ve done some permanent and severe damage to my body and logically I never want to go back to where I was when it was all consuming. But honestly, in the secret of the morning, I wouldn’t mind losing another 10 lbs and being a size 2 again. (and I can even talk myself into thinking that’s perfectly fine because its 2 sizes up from the 00 I used to be…yes they make pants in size 00…no, its not healthy).

Those who know me know that I am thin already. I can logically admit that size 4 is enviable and losing weight isn’t healthy for me. Especially since we are trying to make a sibling for Nici.

Bit I often wonder, will I ever be satisfied?! Will I ever like what I see in the mirror? It’s going on 15 years of self-loathing my physical form, and I’m tired of it.

I’ve spent many years in counseling and can spew the right words: I’m healthy, have a great family, a healthy happy little boy, I can run, laugh, love, swim, play, reproduce…my body allows me to do so much (and I am grateful the years of severe restricting is mainly only represented daily by Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Which is why I finally (after becoming pregnant) came to the point of truly respecting my body and taking better care of it. But the question remains: will I ever like it?

A few weeks back my mom was a having a bad hair day, which led to complaining about her body. My dad stepped in and said:

“hey, you’re talking about the woman I love”

(its no wonder why they just celebrated 30 years together in September)

His comment made me smile ~and think~ Jesus feels the same way!

I don’t know that I will ever like my body, that’s part of my disease. But we are grown, intelligent women and all know the power of words…and I can control the negative self talk.

Jesus made me exactly how He wanted. Yes, its important to take care of ourselves, we are His temple after all. Eating fruits and veggies, moving our bodies, these are important things.

But so is eating the red velvet cake, so is dancing like an idiot, so is laying on the floor eating cookie dough while staring at the ceiling entirely too long.

God made our bodies for a purpose so by all means take care of it, but he also made them for pleasure. So try not to restrict yourself to the point of misery (yes, I am talking to myself)!

This is where my focus needs to be. Enjoying the temple God made me to be. I get way to obsessed over how the temple looks…instead of how it works.

And when the negative self talk comes back (which it does…every morning when I get dressed and every evening when I get undressed). I will concentrate real hard and hear Jesus say:

“ Hey, you’re talking about the woman I love”

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God – 1 Corinthians 10:31 

– J