Monthly Archives: February 2014

When girdles make you cry…

IMG_0768I know, strange title huh?

I couldn’t possibly have named the blog Spanx are from the devil.

That might just get me into some kind of trouble and I don’t want the fluffy girls store or whoever else sells them to be mad at me, because frankly I’m fluffy and I need to be allowed to shop in their stores.

But I digress.

Ladies can we be real for a moment?

Spanx.

Yes.  Spanx.

If you don’t know to what I’m referring, then you’re either not a woman, or you probably goto the gym a lot more than I do.  Spanx…That wonderful garment that illicits fear and wonder in every woman alive.  The piece of clothing that we must have but pretend that we don’t need.

For those who don’t know what Spanx are, I will explain.  Spanx is a magical, mystical material that expands just enough for you to get into them, and yet holds “things in” while smoothing out the err “bumpy” parts of your body.  Pretty cool huh?  It is the cadillac of girdles.  It is the girdle of the new millennium. It will hold in and shape your body in ways that I didn’t think were possible after having children.  Let’s be real.  I’ve got some bumpy parts to be sure.  They are equipped with an “open space” in the middle so that you don’t even have to take them off when you have to use the potty.  (Yes, I said potty, I’m the mother of a four year old.)

I mean, really!?!  How cool is that.

But here’s the thing…

While it is true that they work minor miracles

for women all over the country and the world, possibly;

you have to actually be able to, well, get them on…

It’s almost like an Olympic event.

At least for me.

If you don’t have these issues getting into them,

feel free to call me, text me, or Facebook me…

Please.

Seriously.

I’m like; sooo not joking.

I’m not shy by any means, but I would not let my husband be in the room when I put my Spanx on.  There is groaning and moaning and sometimes falling as I pull the magical fabric over my thighs and attempt to pull them over years of stretch marks, reminding me of the sacrifices we make to become mothers, the lengths we goto to be “beautiful” as women.

It’s pretty funny really.

At least Robert thought so when he came into our room as I fought with my Spanks, attempting to get dressed for church one Sunday morning.  I’m pretty sure that I was talking to them; and though I don’t curse, I was probably giving them a strong talking to… I remember having my back turned to our bedroom door and hopping up and down as I pulled them up and lost my balance as I fell sideways onto my bed.  I looked up to see my husband holding what appeared to be breakfast for me with his mouth wide open.  So yes, my backside in all it’s glory had been what greeted him as he entered our room.  “Woman, what are you doing?”  Sideways, laid out on my bed and almost in tears; I yelled, “I’m trying to look beautiful!”  “Do you need some help?,”  he asked.  “I need all kinds of help!,” I screamed back at him. “It’s your fault that I have to wear these godforsaken things!”

Blank stare from him.  I stared back…

Yes; with my Spanxs halfway on…

I was laid bare before him; and honestly,

I’d never felt so ugly and exposed in my life.

I sat there, on the side of my bed defeated, grabbing my robe, attempting to cover up what I hated about myself.  He came and sat beside me.  I started weeping softly.  He put my hands into his.  “Woman, you’ve never been more beautiful to me.”  “So, what you’re saying is that you have a thing for old fat women?”  I responded sniffling.  “Gretchen!”  “Don’t talk about yourself like that!”  He took my face into both of his hands and looked into my eyes.  “You are a beautiful, godly woman.  You’re a great mom, a wonderful friend; You are everything I have ever wanted in a woman. Your stretch marks; those are your battle scars that remind me of the gift that you gave me in our five children.  You. Are. Beautiful.”  “It hurts me when you say negative things about your self. I don’t see those things and more importantly, God doesn’t see those things when he looks at you.  He sees his daughter that he loves.  He see a daughter that chooses to serve him; a daughter that he dearly loves.”  I melted into him now, relieved, assured and encouraged.  I looked up at him as I leaned on his chest, his arms now around me…  “Thank you honey; thank you for loving me despite myself.”  “Can I ask you a question?’  “Yes, woman.”  “What?” he asked.  “Can you please help me get out of these Spanx?”  “I can’t feel my legs.”

Blank stare…   True story.

Don’t get me wrong; I love me some Spanx.

But remembering that moment with my husband reminded me of how hard I am on myself; how hard I try to make everything perfect and then beat myself up because I’ve failed to reach my very unrealistic expectations.  Robert reminded me that what I see is not what God sees.  Oh, how I thank God for all of those years with my very wise husband.  Though he’s not here, I still lean on his wisdom; wisdom  that I know was given by the Lord.

We don’t have to be perfect.

We don’t even have to be close.

We don’t have to have it all together; we’re just called to lean on Christ.

He sees our beauty–when we only see our flaws.

He sees our heart–when we see our failures.

He sees his beloved daughter–when we feel inadequate.

We need only to reach for his hand and hold tight.

We need to ask him to help us take the Spanx off.

We need not be perfect; for we are already perfected in Him.

Now before you think ill of me; rest assured, I’m not giving up my Spanx.  As a matter of fact, I’d be the poster woman for Spanx if it meant I could get a lifetime supply of Spanx for free.  I’ve just realized that I can go without them from time to time and the world won’t end; well, at least I don’t think it will!

Be blessed friends!

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For the Single Ladies…

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I’ve always had a heart for single women… God knew I would be here again in my own singleness.
I never forgot what it felt like to feel like you had a heart full of love to offer someone even after I was married.

But having had such a wonderful marriage, I feel it needs to be said to my single sisters out there that you have to love Jesus more than you love the idea of being with someone.

A man will know how to love you only when he truly loves the Lord. I don’t mean someone who goes to church and plays Christian, but someone who will pray with you when you’re falling apart, someone who holds you accountable when you’re wrong, someone who will love you on worst day… Someone who will love your curves and stretch marks and all of those things that can’t be airbrushed away…

That’s why my husband was so great. He loved me. He loved me after the babies and extra weight… He loved me despite my attitude and my imperfections. And I felt his love. I still feel it.

He loved God first; and because of that he put me first. Don’t sell yourself short. You’re too precious to settle for anything less than you deserve. I know my worth. I don’t know if I’ll ever remarry, but if I do, rest assured it will only be if he loves God more than he loves me… Anything less would be unacceptable.

I don’t know your situation.
I don’t know anything about you.
But I know what it’s like to be single and want to be married. I know what it’s like to feel lonely. I know what it’s like to think that men are blind and stupid to not see how awesome I am…
That was me before I got married.
I’ll tell you more about that another time…

I’ve said all of that to say this…
Be encouraged. Fall in love with Jesus. Seek him. Love him.
I can assure you that he loves you.
The answer isn’t in a man no matter how “fine” or “hot” he may be.
The answer is in a real relationship with Christ.
And who knows, maybe He will bless you with a husband;
maybe not… The real question is; if he doesn’t, is God enough for you?

God asked me that very question when my husband was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer… If he took my husband, would He be enough? While the reality of that question was brutally painful to me, the answer was of course, “Yes Lord.”
And you know what?
He is enough.

Real Love…

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I still catch my breath
when I unexpectedly
come across a picture of him.
It must be love…
It feels like a punch
in the stomach at times…
Not in a bad way necessarily…
I’m just reminded
of how much I loved him.
How much I love him still
and long to be with him.
I’m thankful…
The thought of him
makes my heart smile.
I miss feeling his strong arms
around me at night
and the way he always
made me feel so safe.
I can only hope
that others experience
a love like ours.
I’m thankful to have
had the opportunity to love
and be loved by him.

I miss him immensely.
I miss him so much
that I actually feel lovesick.
Broken…
But not in the sad way
that you would imagine.
I know I’ll see him again;
I know where he is,
And who he’s with.
And that, well, it truly
brings me immense joy.
But this heart;
this heart of mine longs for him.
It won’t listen to what
reality screams at it….
It is impatient
and wants what it wants…
It’s spoiled; no doubt,
by a love that endured
and hasn’t died
simply because he’s gone.

I still catch my breath
when I see pictures of him,
and I’m so thankful
to God for the gift of his love…
Here on earth
or on the other side of heaven;
I love him still.
I always will.
Forever…

Grief sucks…

20140201-014421.jpgI wanted to have this amazing title. Something that would draw you in
and make me sound really
artistic and smart.
But as hard as I tried
I just could not come up
with anything that fully
communicated what I wanted to say.

Because honestly;
grief really does suck.
There’s just no pretty way to say it.
I could have used my thesaurus
of course, but I don’t think
I would have been satisfied
with anything
that I could have found…
And I don’t say this lightly,
because we do not say “suck”
in the Deveaux household.

What can you do?
How can you aptly describe a word that encompasses so much?
A word that
has you laughing at one moment
and crying hysterically the next?
How does one describe
the utter gut wrenching moments when the ping pong ball that is grief starts bouncing around
your home from child to child
like some crazed domino effect?

Little girl cries and says
that she wants Daddy…
Cue the invisible person literally punching you in the gut here…
Two minutes later,
little boy’s deep brown eyes
are brimming with tears
as he relays the story
of how Daddy played the Wii
with him for the last time
even though he was in a lot of pain… And how he just misses him so much.

Mom is really trying now
to be strong and not cry,
until she looks at her oldest daughter who much like mom is attempting to put on a strong front for everyone… She sees the pain in her eyes,
feels the immense loss…
Grief. Sucks.
It just does.
It’s a process.
And the process sucks…

Seeing your children in pain
is one of the hardest things
that I’ve experienced
and I’m no stranger to hard things…. Next to cancer and losing
my beloved hubby;
this has been very very hard.

I can’t make them feel better,
I can’t protect them from the pain.
It… Yep you guessed it; sucks…
So I’m trying by God’s grace
to continually point them
back to Christ…
To help them to trust him
with their lives and the
life of our family.
That’s the best thing
that I can do for them as their mom. Because truly,
without Christ in the center of it all;
it would definitely suck…

Though it’s hard,
I have a real hope that Christ
will have the victory
in our lives…
Robert told us to hold onto Christ…
To cleave to him and to trust him
No matter what happened…
And I can hear him saying in my head,
“Alright woman, stop saying it sucks.”
So, I won’t say it any more,
but I might just think it in my head
and press on anyway.

So if things aren’t great,
and if you’re having a hard time
and you honestly feel like it kinda stinks, (is that a better word?)
Then my advice to you
would be to cleave to God
and hold onto him and press on
until he changes the situation.
Because let’s just face it,
without Christ;
life would really just suck…
Sorry, couldn’t resist!
Be blessed friends..;)

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