Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why this photo matters #Untangled

1 Peter 3:3-4 [Full Chapter]
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

I am humbled and honoured to be a part of an amazing book, and a more amazing community of women. #Untangled

While in the book I wrote about an entirely different tangle, that doesn't mean I have only one. Oh how boring would THAT be?

No I have a whole section, years and acres of old barbed wire and broken posts, filled with tangles waiting for me. And yet I am learning how to avoid them. To avoid the tangles.

Sometimes I only need to brush a sharp tip to avoid it, other times I am wrapped tight and cutting myself free wire by wire. Bleeding. Crying. And some come from a deeper place - childhood.

And the one tangle I live with, I feel is wrapped around my insides. Grown over and still cutting from this.

How I totally DO NOT meet any of the physical expectations I was raised with. Wandering about without make up. Without a girdle. Or even sucking it all in. Without 'lose weight' diets. No calories counted. 

This photo is important, my darling son. So full of love and life, and joy. And so conscious of what society says about bodies, boy and girls. Learning that able bodied means more than what a body looks like. Learning that being active, eating healthy and having fun is more important than how someone thinks you should look for their ideal. Their comfort. 

So this photo is important....but the one below is the one that matters.

This photo matters. Why?  Because I didn't delete it. OH but I WANTED to! Or any of the others my sweet friend took yesterday. We were having such a grand time at the field trip. Mama's enjoying fun with the children. Truly laughing together, as friends, and with our children. Having something amazing. We had FUN.

This photo matters. Because it isn't carefully staged. Sucked in. Angled. Set up to look nice. Because it is THAT moment. THAT laugh. THAT slide.

This photo matters. Because of what you don't see. You don't see the struggle of a lifetime with body image, fear of looking bad in a photo. You don't see the delicate balance of healthy, in check auto immune disorder and able bodied Mama living life with beloved husband and son. You don't see those things. You don't know the counted steps and little victories.

This photo matters. Because it is a place I thought I would NEVER. NEVER. EVER BE. 

This photo matters because I am comfortable, finally, with me. Candid. Laughing. Living life. Having fun. 

This photo matters because that day I showed my son that having fun, being kind and being able to laugh was important. Not how I looked in my clothes. Or how the camera caught each roll. Not how I wasn't like the other Mama's. I still think they all looked great, you did girls. You really did!

He got to have a fun day, in his words: BEST DAY EVER!  When I asked him what made it so 'best day ever' special his answer was something that brought me to tears. Because, Mama, we had fun together. You slided. I slided. You pedaled go carts. So did I. We did it together. 

So I won't delete it. I won't even wince too much when I scrapbook it. Or share it here. It's out there. That's me. Laughing as I go down a slide. Not missing a single fun thing because I'm tangled up in something like how I look. Or how someone thinks I look. Or should look. Or should act. 

Every tangle can be untangled. Sometimes strand by strand. Delicate work. Sometimes a sharp cutter slices through. Sometimes we have to wiggle through, and bear the healing of the cuts so the scars can remind us that we are His first. And He loves us. 

No shirt size, shoe size or pant size will change how God loves you.

No ability or disability will make Him love you more, or less.

He doesn't desire anything from us but our love. 

Grace. Love. Freely given to us. Not earned. 

Not bought except by Jesus' blood, once and for ALL. FOR ALL.

FOR ALL. You. And you. And you way in the back feeling tangled up, and small. And you. And me. 

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Just to be 'real' and honest. This photo is one I would happily share, and there is NOT ONE THING wrong with it except that I am comfortable with it. And I need to be REAL WITH IT and know it's my best side.  The side I am happy and comfortable sharing. Not because it is how I want you to see me, but it is how I want to see me