Dude, I knew I hadn’t blogged in a really long time, but I didn’t realize it had been over a year. That makes me so sad. I love blogging and I’ve thought of several topics but I never seem to get around to doing anything other than running around like crazy getting things done or lying comatose trying to avoid doing those things that need getting done. I haven’t had much motivation for any of my old “hobbies” in a really long time. Saying (writing) that out loud (on a public forum) makes me feel really lame. Well, on to not-quite-as-lame-ness.
I was recently invited by a friend to do a “scripture challenge.” Something about sharing a scripture that speaks to you on Facebook everyday for a week or so. It sounded like fun but quite honestly, I was too lazy to participate. But today I was thinking about what I think might be my absolute favortitest scripture ever in the whole wide world. I was going to post it on Facebook, but realizing I had a lot to say about it, it might be too long for Facebook and might be better as a blog post. The scripture is From the bible in Matthew 6: 25-33. I know, that’s a lot of verses and its pretty long, but I just can’t break it down any smaller, each part of it is just so powerful. In the King James Version it reads:
“25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Oh. My. Gosh. Powerful. Comforting. I love it! How often do we worry, stress, freak out and obsess over “these things.” Whatever “these things” are to each of us (love, marriage, money, children, school, jobs, illness) we need to have a little faith and stop losing it over them. I know I lose it plenty of times about lots of things. Money is one of them. Finances are a major problem for probably 99.9% of the population of the world. We worry about what we will eat, drink, and wear. These are valid worries. As George Bailey says in the amazing movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” money “comes in real handy down here, bub!” God isn’t saying we shouldn’t work hard and make a good life for ourselves. That just doesn’t even make sense. And I firmly believe that God makes sense. What I think He’s saying is that He doesn’t want it to consume us. Which, wether we are rich or poor, it so often does. But there is more to life than that. There is joy, and family, and things of eternal significance to think about.
I love that the Lord compares us to the splendor of nature. Nature is beautiful. The grasses of the field, the majestic birds of the air, and the gorgeous lilies! The Lord takes care of them, provides for them, and makes them beautiful. We are even more precious and beautiful to God because we are made in His image, so it stands to reason that He would take care of us at least as well as He does them. Besides, what can we really do of ourselves anyway. We can’t make ourselves taller, and even King Solomon wasn’t arrayed as a lily. Everything we have is a gift from God. We make money because we were blessed with abilities and skills to work. We eat and drink because He has provided food and water on this earth.
So what do we have to do to get the assurance that the Lord will provide for us in our time of need? “Seek first the kingdom of God.” I’m not always very good at this. I pursue the wrong priorities, neglect responsibilities and I sin. But I’ve noticed, and been promised that when I do put God first, everything else will fall into place. And it has. Every time I take a leap of faith and do something the Lord wants me to do, even if I don’t know how it will work out, it does. When I do the essentials in my daily life (pray, read the scriptures, keep the commandments), I get blessings. More and more and more blessings. Things just seem to work out. Doors open. And when they don’t, I know it’s ok because God closing doors allows us to find the right ones to open. And He wants to help us open them!
Another scripture I love is Luke 11:9-13.
God wants to bless us. He’s begging us to let Him bless us. We make one little right choice and we get blessed immensely more than we could ever deserve. I can’t really comprehend this kind of love that the Lord has for us. But it helps to imagine how, as a parent, I want my children to be happy. I want to give them what they want, if it’s good for them. I don’t play cruel jokes on them by giving them something they hate or something that would be bad for them when they ask for something they’d enjoy (not judging those who take Jimmy Kimmel’s advice and prank their kids). And neither does God.
Sometimes putting the kingdom of God first is easier said than done. But thankfully the Lord gives us this promise in the Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 3:7 says,
“ 7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”
No matter what the Lord gives us, no matter what He asks us to do, He will provide a way. He will help us make it happen. And that is a very comforting thought. It’s what keeps me going. It’s what keeps me trying harder and making an effort and picking up blogging again. It’s what keeps me praying for help, knowing He IS there, He IS listening, and He DOES help. Thank goodness, because I can’t do it on my own.
Fat girls can’t run marathons. Fat girls can’t backpack. They can’t rock climb. They can’t hike. They can’t ride roller coasters. Heck, fat girls can’t even snorkel. Except that I have. I’ve done all those things while being quite overweight. And I bet others have too.
But apparently there aren’t enough of us to constitute plus size active wear. Have you tried finding size 22 zip-off hiking pants at REI? Sport Chalet? Sport Authority? You can’t. they simply don’t exists past size 12. FYI, you can find them online at rei.com. The downside being that there is only one (one!) style and you can’t try them on. Not that it matters. Whether they fit well or not, you are buying them anyway because your only other choice is going on a backpacking trip slugging around in jeans. As if there wasn’t ENOUGH extra weight on my body already.
That goes for wetsuits and running clothes as well. I ended up buying a size 2X men’s wetsuit with cut-off ankles and wrists off of Craigslist from a guy in Long Beach. And yes, I drove an hour out of my way to pick it up. I even tried it on in his apartment. Awwwkwaaaaard! The bright side: it was only 25 bucks. We mos def need more availability for plus size active wear. How are we supposed to lose the weight anyway if we can’t get some quality exercise gear at the local sporting goods store?
And don’t get me started on the naysayers trying to dissuade you from realizing your dreams. A guy on a Runners World forum flat-out told me that I should find another hobby because I run too slow. He even posted this article for me on the cons of having “plodders” (the slower of the “runners”) run marathons. The nerve! Sure, I run slowly. But who cares? Its better than not being active at all.
Although I try not to believe any of the above statements that I “can’t” do anything I want to do, the fact is, as I have gained more and more weight, these things have become increasingly problematic. Sure, I trained for and completed a marathon while 70 pounds overweight. But I got plantar fasciitis in the process and had to take (a lot of) time off from one of my favorite things to do: running. I can’t keep up with others when I hike, I carry more weight than anyone when I backpack, and I’m afraid to have people belay me when I rock climb because I’m so heavy, so I don’t do it anymore. I don’t even try to ride roller coasters nowadays. The ride operators at the theme parks used to be able to smoosh me into my seat and buckle me up, but now they just can’t. Ugh! CAN’T! I hate that word! I should be able to do anything I want to do! But I can’t.
I have learned a lot from being a plus-sized active woman. Not the least of which is that I can do
anything many things I set my mind to. But does that include losing this weight? This has been the hardest battle of my life, and that’s saying something, as I’ve had my share of trials, losses, and heartbreaks. But I’ve also had my share of triumphs. I have overcome things I never thought possible. But can I do this? There are as many reasons for being overweight as there are overweight people in this world. And I have more than a few reasons working against me right now. And not only does the weight make it harder to do the things I love, but the weight-related health problems are a trial all their own (ever had sleep apnea? That thing is NOT good). But I am working with my Dr. to get healthy. Most of all, so that I can go back to doing the things I love. Because sometimes fat girls can, but other times, not so much.
Location: Undisclosed. Participants: various and sundry hoodlums. What: ding-dong-ditching so top secret even the ones performing the shenanigans didn’t know the recipients of the good deed.
After casing the joint and doing several drive-by’s, The 6 rabble-rousers made a drop to a home where people were inside and lights were blazing on the back step. 2 of the culprits banged on the door and then ran to where the other 4 were hiding behind a large tree. Allegedly, a man exited the house, moved the packages to a second location (a shed) and called out, “who is it?” They were unsure if they could be seen crouching behind the tree, but they waited upwards of 5 minutes while the man continued calling from the porch. The ruffians, whose younger members had been complaining and giggling and all around being “not quiet enough,” waited until the count of 3 and began booking it (or in the case of the larger female, huffing and puffing and wheezing her lungs out while carrying a not-so-young child under her arm like a sack of potatoes) through a very very long alley that was in plain sight of the house, to a vehicle located also in plain sight.
At this point the hullabaloo escalated with lights coming on in the car as the sextets piled into the vehicle, illuminating the scene of chaos. A younger member of the outfit scrambled to find the shoe of another, as if it were another EFY get-to-know-you game gone wrong. When they were all inside, the white SUV that had been camped under the street lamp for almost 20 minutes, lurched down the street. All six members of the operation bounced around in the well-lit cabin while the driver tried to turn off the overhead lights and drive with head down and headlights off all at the same time. Most likely, the laughter from within the car was heard throughout the neighborhood.
Although it isn’t recommended that the instigators quit their day jobs (if they even have them) it was, overall a complete success in tomfoolery, tenderness, and togetherness.
I really love Halloween. Not only is it the start of “The Holidays” but it’s also my youngest sister’s birthday, (insert happy birthday shout-out here)! As far as I know, I have never NOT dressed up for Halloween and gone Trick or Treating, or at least gone to a church-sponsered Halloween party, or both. I did it as a child, a teenager, a college student, a newlywed (We were pregnant with J-dub and an old lady scolded us for being worse than the teenagers), a mom, and I’ll do it as a grandma, gosh dang it! The only time I remember not actually going trick or treating was the night before the SAT’s and my mom wouldn’t let me, which was probably a good plan, but I still dressed up and worked the church Halloween party so it still counts!
Let’s take a trip down Halloween Memory lane, shall we?
This is Halloween when I was 5. I was a Cabbage Patch Kid. I don’t know what possessed me to be a Cabbage Patch Kid. Perhaps that’s just what was available to me at the time. I do, however, remember that my mother, my saving grace, drew eyelashes and freckles on my face and put my hair in pigtails so I could actually look cute instead of wearing the hideously terrifying (think Quasimoto) mask that came with the plastic pink and blue “dress.”
The year before that my Grandma had made me (she MADE me!) be Mickey Mouse. That’s right, the BOY. Why, oh why couldn’t it have been Minnie? 4-year-old girls want to be a lot of things, but a boy is not one of them. And for goodness sake, the costume consisted of a plastic pantsuit. Pants! I don’t ever remember ever wearing pants ever at all ever in my whole life ever until I was in 2nd grade. And even then I thought they were boyish and uncomfortable. Even IF they came with a shirt with two pandas holding a heart-shaped balloon between them.
When I was in 1st grade I was a…wait. Can’t you tell? Isn’t it obvious? No? Well if you looked carefully you would observe that I had two buns on top of my head (aka: ears) and a cape (aka: wings). Do I have to spell everything out for you? Geez! I was a bat! Duh… Oh well, at least I get points for imagination, right?For some reason I don’t have any good Halloween pictures of myself until I was 10, and even then I wasn’t in a costume. It’s kinda cute, my sweet and photogenic little sister and me with pumpkins my other Grandma brought from Oregon. Grandma’s taking the picture. And I sure loved those Saddle Shoes. But I hate this picture. It makes me sick to my stomach to even look at. It reminds me of earlier that day at school. I was headed over to the jungle gym and some kids were at the top who were a year younger than me. They started calling out to each other, loud enough that not only could I hear them, but half the playground could hear them, “Nerd Alert! Nerd Alert!” Yeah, that was elementary school for me. Thank goodness for Junior High and High school and finally making friends!
Now this picture I love. When I was 11 I went to my first and only Daddy/Daughter Dance. We played games, ate food, took pictures and danced. It was heaven and one of a few cherished memories I have of my dad with me one-on-one.
This is when I was 15. I hadn’t yet decided what to be for Halloween. A friend and I had decided to be Thing 1 and Thing 2. It didn’t exactly work out. I think we ended up wearing Hawaiian shirts over red turtle necks. What?
When you’re a poor college student, you and your roommates and (almost) boyfriend dress up in pajamas and curlers/pigtails and go get free candy in the hills where they’re rumored to give out full candy bars. I am yet to confirm that rumor as true. Still trying, though.
I have all kinds of love for this next picture. I’m not sure what my favorite part of this picture is. It could be the fact that there’s another kid photobombing our family picture. Or the fact that my trendy straight-ironed hair is a little too…flippy. Or it might be the fact that J-dog is grabbing the jack o’ lantern by the mouth. Or it might be that Hubby and I were dressed up as…you guessed it…The Hills! wait, you didn’t guess? Neither did anyone at the party. I still think it was dang creative of me to puffy paint a picture of the nearby hills on a green sheet and cut two holes in it so Josh and I could wear it at the same time. Logistically this was not easily accomplished. But extra points for creativity on a budget!
Probably the only year we pulled off a family costume. I was pretty proud of that one. Oh no wait, once we were all Star Wars characters. But alas, no pictures of me for that one. An all too common occurrence. But aren’t Grumpy and Dopey cuuuuuute?!Contrary to popular belief, I was not “The Holy Ghost.” What a sacrilege! I’m Charlie Brown in the great pumpkin movie when he tries to be a ghost…but he cuts all these holes in his sheet…and ends up with rocks in his treat bag…Y’know? You get it? Hello?
OK, you get THIS one, right? Josh and I are each other! Good thing we didn’t go to any church-sponsored events this year, as cross-dressing is frowned upon. Heh heh. But seriously, this was a great couples costume.
Every year we carve pumpkins and most years we make and frost spooky-shaped sugar cookies and eat them and give them out to people and eat them some more. This year I got too busy for the pumpkin carving and forgot about it until it was too late. How could I? That’s the unpardonable sin of all holiday-dom! Although the kids barely noticed and weren’t all that shook up about it. Maybe I CAN be forgiven. Someday.
Some of the cookies turned out OK but I forgot to buy butter, was busy, forgot about them, didn’t feel like doing anything with them, and so we never got around to frosting them. Mothering fail. So it finally happened: my worst (OK not WORST) nightmare has come true (I actually have recurring nightmares about this). I am unprepared for a holiday. I know, I know, no holiday is perfect. And we’ll still have fun. I just hope this lapse in holiday tradition doesn’t extend to Thanksgiving and Christmas (cue screechy horror music)!
My head is too small. My face is too shiny. My stomach is too jiggly. My laugh is too loud. My chin is too…double. My nostrils look like big feet. I sleep too much. I eat WAY too much.
These are just a few of the things I am embarrassed about. Like, REALLY embarrassed about. Like, so much so that I just assume everyone is thinking about them all the time. I mean, I am, so isn’t everyone else? If you have noticed them, don’t tell me: I’m self-conscious enough as it is, and some of these things I’m aware of because people have actually pointed them out to me. But most people would either say I am making it up, they haven’t even noticed them or else they really couldn’t care less. Some may even think they are positive or endearing attributes. (Again, if you don’t, DON’T TELL ME!) How do I know that other people aren’t as disgusted with me as I am? Because I’m not disgusted by you. And neither is anybody else.
I recently asked people if, hypothetically, they would ever tell other people what they were self-conscious about, and some people actually responded with very real answers. As I read their statements of horrible shame and self-distortion, I realized that ALL of their embarrassments were either absolutely untrue, a non-issue, or were actually endearing. Not ONE thing they said was something they should be self-conscious of. Not even ONE! This is by no means a scientific study, and there are things about other people that we don’t like and things about us that they don’t like. But in all reality, we aren’t even close to the ugly, fat, gross, poor, weird, failures that we think we are.
Think about your friends. Unless you are a total jerk (which, for all I know, some of you very well may be) you don’t think of your friends as weird, ugly, fat, poor, gross, failures. As for the people I know, the things they were embarrassed about were things like, talking too much (not even true), unconventional fashion and style making others uncomfortable (untrue, and um, endearing!), medical conditions (a total non-issue), lack of accomplishments/education/money (also a total non-issue), Their weight (either not true, or a non-issue. Nobody else even thinks about it and we all think you’re cute!), lack of talent (not even true), lack of domestic skills (untrue, a non-issue, AND endearing)…you get the picture.
Most (all?) people are self-conscious about so very many things. It’s what keeps us striving for more instead of responding to the possibility of self-improvement with, “Nah, I’m good.” But like anything, it can be taken to the extreme, and most people (mainly women?) distort themselves. I’m guilty on myriad occasions of saying out loud, “I hate myself.” “I’m so stupid/fat/ugly/annoying.” “I’m such an idiot/jerk/loser.” And even writing that gets me down. We need to stay positive! We must! We shall! We need to see ourselves the way our friends see us and the way Dove corporation sees us! Seriously, though. Those “Real Beauty Sketches” get me every time!
For the past 9 months I have been busy. No, not busy making a baby (I wish), I’ve been busy not blogging. I miss it. I miss you. Do you miss me? I’ve been oscillating between A) Too much fun and busy-ness to blog, and B) Being too depressed and lazy to blog. Thus no blog posts since December of 2012. Where has the time GONE? In that time have moved to a new town (and climate), now that all my kids are in school I have started homeschooling exactly one of my four children (weird, I know), and I have become even more obese (it’s a problem). But in general life is good and I am working on a new blog post that you may or may not be interested in. So keep an eye out for it and when I post it you can love it (if you do, comment!) or hate it (if you do, comment!) or not care enough to comment (well then don’t).