Y’all know when I write a post later in the evening, it’s gonna get a bit weird … #amiright? Okay, good. I’m glad we’re on the same page. Now just hang with me for a minute or two because I had shared this with someone last week who may or may not have given me the, ‘are you … okay?’ look upon hearing it, but I figure that’s not that different than any other day that ends in ‘y’, so I’m rollin’ with it.
Here in the mitten we endured a horrific ice storm last week Monday. Or at least I told myself it was horrific (and an ice … storm?) because I was home and sort of never stay there so I needed excuses to stay put. I got as much of my work stuff out of the way as
my brain could handle before I got angry I could and decided that it was time to gut some cupboards. You know … take all the things out, throw away the things that expired eight years ago (which I’m not even sure how I had since I’ve lived here for under four), put the things I still ever anticipate using back and donate the rest.
I got to thinking as I was sifting through the things how I normally am very quick to dust or sweep or vacuum when I decide it’s time to clean but all that does is create a false front for the real mess … the inside, if you will. It’s kind of like how I’ve spent my time for all of ever.
See, Staci isn’t real fond of her appearance. Shoot. I actually cannot go all third person on you because that will make my tired brain even tireder (yup, just soak that in). So instead, I will just give it to you straight. I’ve hated the way I look since I can remember. I recall the first mentions of me being fat when I was just a runt. Well, clearly, I wasn’t a runt. I was just young. Too young to hear fat references but we all know how the kids are …
And for a while? I think I laughed it off because I didn’t really know that was a … bad thing? But as I started to see and hear other things about what it meant to be ‘overweight,’ I started to accept that I was going to be known as ‘that nice chubby girl.’ And you know what? Despite the fact that I lost forty-ish pounds when I was in college, I still (even today) see myself as ‘the chubby girl.’ People don’t say I’m nice anymore. I’m kidding. A couple do.
So I’ve spent all this time. All.This.Time. focused on my exterior. I thought that by avoiding having a full-length mirror in my house that on most days, I could just pretend. I could just pretend that the women I swore I was was the one that walked out the door. And of course, there must be a new diet or workout or magical pill that would create in me what I hoped to see in that mirror someday if I were brave enough to buy it. To get to that point where people would know me as ‘the kinda nice fit girl.’ (Maybe I should start referring to myself as a woman? Nah, I have a birthday looming). Maybe if I wear my hair just so (I suck at hair, p.s. Well, most girl things … just not good at them. Just ask my finger nails.) or get stylish glasses or wear the right clothes to hide all the things (when really that just means loose clothing that makes others question if I know they do make smaller sizes than what I choose to wear)? Just. No. Well, for the record, I still wear big clothes but that’s because I’m too cheap to buy a whole new wardrobe. #leavesroomforgrowth
So as I was clearing all the stuff out of my cupboards and doing the necessary purging and re-organizing, I realized that’s where I’ve been more recently (and should’ve been all along!) focusing my efforts. I’m working toward creating a truly intimate connection with the Lord. I mean, He knows me best and he’s like, ‘Stac, we gots some work to do.’ So, we’re doing that. And in doing so, He’s showing me that I am a gift and I’m worth being loved and cherished. And that more than anyone, the person that needs to do that … is me. I’m not ever going to be acceptable to all of society. Or even ten of the people I see on a daily basis. But I’m acceptable to Him and if I know that then I sure as heck can be acceptable to me! He’s perfect, after all!
The crazy part about all of it is that I didn’t do much of my normal cleaning in those two days I was confined to the house (because I put myself under house arrest) and I felt AWESOME about it. I walked around with my chest puffed out thinking, ‘you know, the house looks the same but I would be so happy to have anyone come in because if they opened up Connor’s bathroom drawer (for instance), all the toothpaste remnants are G-O-N-E, gone.’ The crud is just … gone (or at least much closer to gone than it was. How do kids spill such enormous amounts of toothpaste?)
And I guess it’s the same for me. You might not see much of a change in my appearance (with the caveat that I am doing everything possible to honor the body God gave me), but I hope you’ll see that there’s a difference in me. I have made some considerable strides (read: not done yet) in cleaning out the junk, e.g. negative thoughts and emotions and keeping (or even adopting) all the good things that are going to make me better. Because that’s all I’m really after. I just want to be better. And finally, FINALLY, it’s not for you. But for Him. And for me.
And because I’m nothing if not certain I’m heading in the right direction, I just ordered that stupid full-length mirror, too.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4