I'm going to start this blog with a disclaimer.....I am stepping up on my soapbox!!! Don't say I didn't warn you!!
Lately, I have crossed paths with women of all ages who don't understand that they are mighty. They second guess themselves. They wrestle with low self-esteem. They allow others to speak to them disrespectfully. They ignore abuse in many forms. They overwork themselves for overbearing bosses. They give others the control over their happiness.
Many women see these situations in their lives as just the way it is. They don't see their value and worth. They let the thoughts and opinions of others dictate how they see themselves. They fret and worry about making sure everyone else is happy and cared for while they neglect their own mental, emotional and physical well being. It's time for a change!!
"Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide." ~ C. S. Lewis
Women, you are strong, mighty, powerful, beautiful, intelligent, unique masterpieces created by God. There is no one else on the planet like you. Stop wanting to be someone else. You are the only person who can live out your story. Your gifts and abilities are needed in your part of the world. Your life experiences bring amazing value to those around you. God gave you to your children because you were the only person for the job. No one else could love them and nurture them like you do.
"Don't take mirrors too seriously. Your true reflections is in your heart."
Please stop letting the media tell you what beauty looks like. Magazines and billboards are full of photo-shopped images of real people. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Real beauty is not flawless skin or long flowing hair. Real beauty is shown in your actions, attitudes and the love you share with others. When you can walk confidently in your flaws and still love yourself, that is true beauty. When you let the struggles and trials of life make you stronger and more grateful, that is true beauty. When you embrace your laugh lines and stretch marks, that is true beauty. When your eyes sparkle as you talk about something that you love, that is true beauty. When you try to make someone smile even when your sad, that is true beauty.
Ladies, your presence makes the world beautiful. You care deeply and give generously. You are dependable and work tirelessly. You do a million little things a day that make you irreplaceable, even if you think no one notices. Believe me, they do!!
"There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds." ~ Laurell K Hamilton
Please stop allowing the men in your life to degrade, disrespect and demean you. I know there are some great men out there. Many of you are blessed to be in a relationship with men who love, honor and cherish you. Men who support your gifts and passions. Men who know what it means to be servant leaders in the home.
However, there are many of you who are limping along waiting for the man in your life to see your worth, appreciate your value and to truly love you. You allow them to treat you poorly because you love them and you think that they love you. That's not love. You don't destroy someone that you love. You don't control someone that you love. You don't devalue someone that you love. Your worth does not have to be proven. It is a gift to you from God. Your value is not dependent on the opinions of others. You are valuable because you are alive.
"Setting boundaries is not about giving up on people. Boundaries show others how we desire to be treated. It's their choice to listen or not." ~ Shannon Thomas
Stand up for your dignity and say "No More" to invalidation, verbal abuse and psychological manipulation. Stop holding back who God created you to be because someone else doesn't approve. Never make yourself small for anyone. Set boundaries and stop allowing your self-worth to be stripped away layer by layer.
Walk in quiet confidence. Don't strive, chase or clamor for attention. Accept that not everyone will like you or understand you. When you embrace your attributes and your weaknesses it gets easier to live in your own skin. And that's when you rise up as a strong and mighty woman.
A woman who feels deeply and loves fiercely. A woman whose tears flow just as abundantly as her laughter. A woman who is both soft and powerful. A woman who is humble and bold. A woman who has high standards and expectations and does not apologize for them. A woman who is clothed in strength and dignity.
"A strong woman has waited patiently while her roots grew down deep into God's word. Over time she becomes unshakable in her faith. She starts bearing fruit naturally and is full of life. People are attracted to her strength and growth, and many find rest and peace as they lean on her. And when storms and trials come as they always do, they won't be able to take her down. A few branched may be lost or pruned away, but in their place comes new growth and new life." ~ Lisa Chan
I absolutely love family dinner. I love the conversation and laughter. I love just being at the table surrounded by the people that I love the most. It has been a while since I've had a full table.
Our schedules are busy. One is in college and lives in the dorm. One has moved out and is preparing to become a husband. The other two have very full calendars with school, athletics, friends and church activities. We eat at different times and different places. We are always rushing to get to the next thing on the agenda. But not tonight.
Tonight we slowed down and enjoyed time together. Tonight we had to put both leaves in the table. We had to grab the extra chairs from the garage. We crammed as many as we could around that Ikea table. It was loud. It was messy and chaotic. It kinda reminded me of the movie "Cheaper By the Dozen". But it was just what this momma's heart needed.
We celebrated having family visiting from out of state. We celebrated my firstborn's 22nd birthday. We celebrated the love of family around the table. We celebrated the simple joys of just being together.
As I sat there looking around the table, it hit me. This is what life is really about. It didn't matter that the house wasn't spotless. It didn't matter that we were using paper plates instead of "real" dishes.
What truly mattered was the joy, laughter and connectedness. What mattered was the love that was felt around the table.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.