Photo credit  HERE

Photo credit HERE

I like to have guest bloggers because I love to empower others.  I've been using that word A LOT lately, but it's because it is extremely appropriate, especially when it comes to gifts and talents.  I especially like to empower other women in particular.  I have asked some wildly talented women to guest blog here on Life As She Does It, and that doesn't stop here.  Karrah Penate is someone who wrenched my spirit with a social media post she created one day about bullies.  It was so wonderfully written I found myself with tears in my eyes and so many feelings in my heart.  Little did I know I was making a reservation then for her to show you all that talent now!  Take it away, Karrah!

I am beyond thankful to Sheila for even considering me as a “guest blogger”.  I never really considered myself a “blogger” and I am so thankful for her tender heart to see that in me.  Sheila’s request for me to blog has had my heart on a roll.  She asked me to write one blog and I’ve actually written three in the last couple weeks.   Leave it to She to get the ball rolling! She really does do it all!  Thanks Sheila.  

Take a moment and think of the word BIG.  

When was the last time you took that word as a compliment?  Unless it was in reference to the size of your house or your bank account I bet it’s tough.  

In high school I was known as “the white girl with the big butt”.   Funny?  Yes.  Warm fuzzies? No.  Maybe if my last name was Kardashian things would be a little different. 

While pregnant with my daughter, I gained a lot of weight fast.  Probably because the only food that would stay down was fried chicken and french fries.   Yes, I was big.  But even pregnant when someone said that to me did I get warm fuzzies?  Uh no.  I mean I was growing a human being inside of me so it shouldn’t bother me that I was huge and everyone thought so, right?   Eh.... 

When was the last time someone noticed you had gained weight and you were praised for it?  
“Wow, you look great! Have you gained weight?  Your face looks much fuller and you’re even starting to get a little double chin there.  Way to go!” 

Um. No.  

Growing up I was a size 0/2 and so little (except for my rear-end of course, that has never changed).  I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted.  Cupcakes and cookies never talked back to me.  Exercise?  Me? Not a chance.   I was a straight “A” student who almost got a “B” in P.E., so you could say I was about as athletic as a cow.  It wasn’t until I reached that magical age of 25 did I begin to notice I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted anymore.   

As stated before, pregnancy changed my body ALL the more.  I have never had the battle of weight until the last couple years.  I have done (and still do) shakes, calorie counting, work out plans, and pinned about every different type of encouraging meme about weight I could find.   These things all help, of course, but I’m still not where I would like to be.  I’m not the type that can go without eating.  I like food.  The struggle really is real, people.  

Maybe it’s just me but I thrive off what people say about me.  If no one notices I’ve been eating good and working out I feel down on myself.  When someone says I look “tiny” those warm fuzzies start to bubble and I can’t help but smile and feel proud.  Only to go look in the mirror and find every flaw I possess.   The battle is not necessarily with the scale but in my mind and in my heart.  

We constantly hear the words, “self image”, “self worth”, and “self esteem”.   You are constantly told you should have a healthy “self image”, respectable “self worth”, and high “self esteem”.   And that’s okay right?  I mean we should be healthy and not eat junk.  We should try to present ourselves to others in an attractive, pleasing way, right?  Sure.  However, do you know what this all deals with?  SELF.   I become so fixated on my self image and receiving compliments to promote my self worth and self esteem that it becomes a constant up and down battle of my mind.  I start comparing myself to others and begin to feel bitter towards those 30 year olds that can eat whatever they want and still be thin as a rail, that it actually darkens my heart and hinders my relationships with others and above all, God.  I become so self- centered that I miss the big picture:  it is not all about me. 

Psalm 73 says it best, 
“Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.  I was so foolish and ignorant- I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.  Yet, I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.”   (vs. 23,24)
The great thing about being a child of God is that “YET”.  When you have a repentant heart and turn yourself to God He will change your perspective.  Asaph (the author of this Psalm) realized his selfishness and turned to God.  When you let go of your self and put your hand in His, He will “guide you with His counsel”.  So if you have goals to be healthy- great! God can help you with that.  He can help you not be consumed by it.  He can help you focus on the big picture- “a glorious destiny” that He has planned.  Now isn’t that freeing?  

You don’t need to rely on a compliment to feel like you belong or to feel like you have reached your destiny.  God is the one who you belong to and He is the one you walk with that leads you to your GLORIOUS destiny.