Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sizing Us Up

In the past 2 weeks, I have found myself telling 2 of my favorite teenagers (my daughter and my niece) the same thing:

"Don't start hating your body now. You have your entire life to do that."

And the more I think about it, the sadder it makes me. Because as I said the words, I knew they were true. We as women spend an ungodly number of hours hating our bodies. And I've come to the conclusion that the clothing industry plays a part in that hate.

Gracey is a size 2 - 4 just depending on the clothing. Read that again. SHE WEARS A SIZE 2 or 4.  Tiny, right? So when she began trying on cute dresses and none of the size smalls fit her, she was upset. Forget that she looked BEAUTIFUL in the mediums. Or that I'd love to know why on EARTH a size 2/4 is magically a MEDIUM. Call me crazy, but that seems like a very small person to me. Just thinking about the fact that this kind of thing is contributing to her having body image issues at 15 makes me crazy. 

Now, don't mistake that last sentence for the beginning of some kind of wacky eating issue. The girl loves her carbs. She isn't going on some crazy diet or anything. In fact, after her minor breakdown, she was all smiles and loved every single size medium she bought with her babysitting money.

Same scenario but with swimsuits. We go shopping in the adult section of swimsuits at multiple stores. Both of my girls are searching for suits - and both have to buy sizes that made me think if I'd been in their shoes, I'd have been looking for an XXXXXL. Because if my 12 year old who barely tops 100 lbs really has to wear a medium, then this 40-something fluffy girl would never be able to shop anywhere except a tent shop!

Of course there's that whole thing too. The POUNDS issue. Somewhere along the way, the number suddenly made a difference. Everyone started claiming to weigh 115-125 pounds as though that was supposed to be a "normal" weight. Yes as I look at my string bean girls and know what they weigh, and recall my weight at my wedding, I know realistically that if we all weighed 115 - 125, we would probably all be very hungry and very undernourished!

Sorry for the rant. I don't usually get all worked up like this. But I want my girls to grow up loving themselves and not worrying about sizes or numbers as if that defines them. Or as if they are somehow too big, abnormal, etc. And I certainly don't want them to start now.

Goodness knows....they have their whole lives to feel hate their bodies. I know I have certainly spent too much time doing it. Maybe I should practice what I preach. Or put down the brownie..... or both.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Perfect Planning

"The wheel is come full circle." ~ William Shakespeare

So, we were in the "greeting" phase of church this morning when Gracey suddenly grabbed me and said, "Mommy! Is that Lori?!"  (Lori is not her real name. Just go with it.) 

I looked at her like she was crazy - then followed her finger as it pointed to a girl a couple rows in front of us. Sure enough there stood Lori, a girl near and dear to our hearts. A girl we all pray for and care about. A girl we wanted to take into our home a few years ago. But above all, a girl who Gracey considers close enough to be a sister.

Gracey practically yelled her name, and we had a beautiful moment of realization that once again, God's plan had come full circle. You see, during the years I worked at the children's home, Gracey was building a relationship with Lori. We had her at our house all the time. She was our extra kid in every way. 

And, as I've blogged before, when I left the children's home six years ago, it was a touch decision, but one that allowed us to complete our family by adopting Billy. (Yes, I know he was already grown..but I wouldn't have adopted any child while looking at 40 kids who wanted their own families every day.) Our connection to the home is an emotional one - and we as a family hold it in high regard. 

A couple years ago we learned that Lori had been put in the foster system and even offered our home as a potential placement.  We have thought about her countless times. Billy asks about her every so often. Gracey mentions her quite frequently. And we all watch Facebook to see if she signs on and sends us messages. We love Lori and wanted the best possibly placement for her. (She had moved quite a few times, I think.)

So when Gracey "found" her today, it was an amazing moment because we realized she's at the children's home.  The place we KNOW cares about kids and offers them the greatest chance of success. 

I cannot begin to tell you the sense of relief we all felt at that moment. Once again, I stand in awe of God's plan. And once again, my faith is renewed because I was given the opportunity to see how that plan came to pass. How blessed we are to be given today's gift. And how thankful we are to know that Lori is safe and sound where we can rekindle our relationship with her.

It's a beautiful mess: This thing called life. 

Just when a loss knocks me to my knees, I'm given a gift that gives me the strength to stand again.