Worthy-Just as we are!

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As single mothers, most of us have a natural nurturing gene embedded inside of ourselves.  We want everyone around us to be “good,” and if they’re not, we want to help fix their pain (whether physical, emotional, or mental).  We want them to feel joy and happiness, to be confident and exude strength from within, and when we don’t we step in yet again to remind them of their worth.  We compliment others often, whether it is on their new shoes or an accomplishment they’ve recently made.  We get excited about their wins and feel saddened for them when they take a loss.  We cheer others on with fierceness, as we should.  However, why don’t we put that same level of ferocity towards cheering ourselves on?  When do we worry about our joy and happiness-the things that make us so darned loving and caring, an easily be depleted when you try to pour from an empty vessel.  When do we focus on whether or not we feel confident or whether or not we’re exuding strength not only for the world to see but for us to feel?  When do we compliment ourselves, not only on things such as, “dang this outfit is cute”, but also on how we kept our cool when a 3-year-old has a total meltdown in the grocery store over the $5 toy that she did not earn nor deserve and was just not in the budget to be so frivolous? When do we celebrate ourselves; our good decisions, or the ability to pick ourselves back up after a crappy decision?  When do we make sure we’re “good?

I have noticed that especially we single moms; we tend to treat ourselves with hatred, judgment, and harshness.  I personally am guilty of calling myself “fat,” or “old”; focusing on only the crow’s feet around my eyes instead of the really cool dark brown ring that encircles the much lighter iris in the middle.  I’ve focused on how many more grey hairs are on my head, instead of the really great haircut my stylist helped me accomplish when I sat in his chair.  Focusing on the negative, in turn, feeds more negativity.  It spirals out of control until you totally lose sight of who you are, whose you are and how precious you are.

Recently, I had a young client reveal to me that she had no idea how beautiful she was.  I was amazed that she had no idea of her beauty because the very moment I looked at her, I instantly noticed her big beautiful blue eyes, her deep dimples that accompanied a glowing smile, and cute girlish figure and an adorable hairstyle.  Not only that, knowing this young girl’s story, I thought to myself, wow, she’s also so brave, and THAT alone should be celebrated. I expressed all of my observations to her, and I asked her to please stop selling herself short; to realize not only how externally beautiful she was, but also her internal beauty and her endless worth.

When I returned to my office after that conversation, I thought to myself how easy that was for me to express to her, and to see in her.  However, am I not doing the exact same thing; discounting my worth every time I believe anything other than the simple fact that I am me and that in and of itself makes e worthy?  We need to learn to embrace all of our positive truths and discount those negative distorted ways of thinking.  While it may be true that I’m not 25 anymore, am I really old? No, OLDER, sure, but not old.  Although I may have gained a few pounds to go with the years I’ve gained, am I really fat? I’m more like that newer saying “thicker than a snicker.”  I lost my girlish figure but gained a womanly body.  I need to embrace my worth, and so do you.

I encourage each of you to write down three positive truths about yourself) whether you believe them right now or not) that counter a negative, distorted way of thinking about yourself.  Post it in your car, bathroom, and office (anywhere and everywhere).  Say it often. Speak it out loud.  Fake it till you truly believe it about yourself.  Then grab one or two more.  I encourage you to start seeing yourself the way others see you; precious and worthy, and beautiful inside and out.

Curvigurl

Grace in the Wilderness

The word “nothing” is not often used in the vocabulary of a single mom. I never find myself thinking “I have nothing to do! No clothes to wash, no dishes to do, no toys to pick up and nowhere to be!” These are things we daydream about, if we even have time to think at all. But what about the other side of “nothing”? The side of isolation, stillness, and the unfamiliar.  The stagnant wilderness of nothing. The place you might find yourself when your status of being a single mom goes on longer than you hoped. The place you never expected to be, because you thought everything was fine. The place that reminds you that you are not as far along in self-growth as you thought you might be at this point.

I recently found myself in my own state of wilderness. A vastness I saw no way out of. A time of loneliness and feeling stagnant in my situation. Asking God why things weren’t moving faster and hearing nothing in response. Feeling the echoes of rejection every way I turned. Feeling as though the confident person I had known myself as, had been traded in for a lesser version of myself. My wilderness caused me to lose confidence in myself in a way I had never experienced. Questioning every move, I made, tearing myself down and wondering how will I ever find my way out of this place and back to the version of myself I knew before.

This is the season I didn’t see coming. I fought with God everyday “Why nothing? Why not something?” I wanted to see changes that weren’t happening, feel the confidence I once had and get back to normal. I lost track of the times I thought to myself “Why do I feel this way? What is wrong with me?” What I learned surprised me, even though looking back it was so obvious. My wilderness was there to protect me. The Lord knew I couldn’t handle one more change, one more stress or one more emotion. The only thing that was wrong with me is that I was trying to balance life with my own strength. So he placed me in a season of weakness so I could learn his strength.  He shielded me from the elements and gave me refuge. In this place of isolation, I became desperate for direction. Leaning on him as my compass and letting go of my own self dependence. I learned through my own efforts my confidence was fleeting and tied to my progress. But through him my self-worth was tied to nothing. I learned to stand confidently in the midst of the wilderness. Through his protection I was able to find grace when I was surrounded.

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I am still on my journey out of the wilderness, but I see the clearing ahead and the denseness behind me. I wanted to share this image of wilderness because it took me a while to even realize what season of life I was even in.  I felt lost in my own insecurities and distracted the busyness of life. Maybe you have found yourself in a similar situation, but haven’t found your way out yet. If so, recognize the season, embrace the stillness and trust you are being protected from elements you can’t see. There is another side to your “nothing” and you will walk into a clearing one day, take a deep breath and see the wilderness you left behind. Find his grace right where you are and you will begin to find yourself again.

Daisy

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9