Category Archives: perfection

Blog Envy and other related madness…

IMG_0161

I’ve been sitting here for quite some time now, trying to choose a different blog theme.  Yes; because much like the way that I feel the need to rearrange my furniture at least every six months, I was getting bored with the theme that I already had.  The theme that I might add, that I paid for… My blog was too dark, and the colors that it allowed me to change were too dark, and for only $30 more dollars, I could have the colors that I absolutely loved.  The new color scheme made me very very happy…

But…

I’d already paid money for the theme that I had; so it was a matter of principle to not pay more money.

I suppose it makes sense to somebody somewhere in the world that I’m not using the theme that I already paid for…  

I just needed a change.

I looked at a friend’s blog and it was pretty and bright, and made me all happy on the inside when I read it… And then there was mine; you know; the one I paid for…  Even though my blog contained my two favorite colors in the entire world, somehow hers looked better to me.

And I’m pretty sure hers was free.

So I’ve been sitting here for hours looking for the perfect theme.  The perfect balance of color and light and whimsy…  I must have previewed over thirty of them.  You would think that with five kids, two dogs, and graduate school, that I could find something more productive to do.  I chose one that I absolutely fell in love with, but the placement of the widgets were off to me.  Bummer.  I really liked that one.  I chose another and it was perfect except for the font of the title that I couldn’t change. Ugh.  Then there was the one with all of the pretty colors, except for the one color that messed it all up for me.  Finally, I chose this theme, not because it was necessarily my favorite, but more than that, I was just tired and didn’t want to keep the old one.

The paid for one.

Then I started thinking…  I tend to do that from time to time.

Isn’t that how we tend to live our lives sometimes?  We’re not happy with what we have… We’re not satisfied with what God has blessed us with and we look at other people’s lives and stuff and err, blogs, and want what they have; when really, what we have is perfectly fine…

I’m certainly guilty.

I used to complain about my husband and his constant procrastination and his lack of rushing for anyone, especially me… I used to compare him to my friends husbands because they had better jobs, or they were craftsmen and he wasn’t or you name it.  And if you knew my husband you would know that he was pretty awesome despite my trivial complaints.  But at the time, I thought that what I had wasn’t as good as what my girlfriends had.

(shakes her head in silence)

I’m so glad that I corrected that thinking early in our marriage.

While my husband didn’t end up being the engineer that he had planned on becoming, because apparently God had other plans for him; he did end up being an amazing husband to me and a wonderful father to our children.

We can miss out on what is right in front of us if we’re too busy looking at what other people have. However, I think our time could be better spent appreciating the blessings that God has given us.  I’m very thankful that I didn’t waste a lot of time complaining about my husband and not appreciating the many gifts that the Lord gave me in him.

If I had done that, I would be living with a great deal of regret right now.

I thought we were going to grow old together.

While we did grow older, I certainly never imagined that I would be a widow at the tender age of 42.

For my 40th birthday, my husband surprised me with a cruise.

I was shocked.

Especially since he knew I was terrified to go on a cruise.

IMG_0189

(Have you seen the Titanic?!?!)

He assured me we would have a blast.  Once I was convinced that we were not going to die after a day or so, it proved to be one of the most fun times we’d ever had together.  Today, that is one of the most precious memories that I have of us.

(In particular, the way we laughed at the parents who brought their kids on the cruise)

(Don’t judge me.)

(Smiling from ear to ear at the memory)

I could enjoy him and our marriage, because I stopped comparing our marriage to other marriages.  I stopped comparing him to other men. He was right where God wanted him.  I’m just glad that God let me love him for 20 years, and that I didn’t mess up the blessing of our marriage by not appreciating him early in our marriage.

I hope you can look at whatever situation you’re in and find something good about it.  I hope you won’t look at others and compare what you have, or where you live, or who you are…  It’s a recipe for disaster.  That’s not how God wants us to live.

Now, I’m still probably going to change my blog again in about six weeks or so; the same way I used to rearrange our furniture constantly and frustrate my husband.  Poor guy never knew what he was going to come home to…  But it won’t be because I have blog envy, looking at my friends blogs…  I just like to keep things interesting; and I kinda get bored looking at the same thing all of the time.  And… I’ll probably still like the blogs of my friends more than mine, it’s just human nature.  But I’ll be satisfied with what I have anyway, and thankful that wordpress has so many free themes to choose from. I hope you can do  the same. Be blessed friends!

IMG_1132

Advertisements

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!

A Life of Simple Joys

Living forward into who we will be.

Living Life Upside Down...

Kids, Life after Cancer, and other general craziness...

JLV College Counseling

Free college admissions and financial aid information and advice

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

Sandy Fecci

finding beauty in the simple things

The Neighborhood

telling the story from every vantage point

Delightfully Directed

Homeschooling Mom!

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips)

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

Fetching the Wagon

and hitching it up for another big trip!

%d bloggers like this: