Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Face or Fake?

While eating dinner with friends one night, the subject of facebook came up.  So, of course, my non-facebooking, always-funny and wise husband said it should be called FAKEbook not facebook.

While I really enjoy facebook, I think there is some truth in his statement.

Facebook can be a very positive, fun experience.  My brother and his family are moving to Montana, and I never get to see them.  Facebook has provided a wonderful way to keep in touch with them.  When friends have had a health crisis or a sick child, facebook can be a great source of comfort and encouragement. And, of course, it is just fun catching up with old friends.

BUT, this is a big BUT, facebook can be the source of comparison, jealousy, temptation, and just all-around negative feelings of inadequacy.   Now, I promise, I am not that person screaming "facebook is from the devil", I am just saying you need to remember that facebook is simply a GLIMPSE into another person's life.

Let's say you are skimming through one of your 800 dearest friend's pictures.  She is on vacation with her gorgeous husband, and picture by picture it SEEMS like she has it all.  She looks skinny in all the photos, smiles abound and not to mention, where did they get all that money for that vacation?

Or, some of my favorite posts are the ones who profess their undying love to each other in an anniversary or birthday message.  Yes, I am sure there is truth to these messages, but there is more to every story.  I will see such posts and a tiny part of me will wish Colter would get on facebook and tell the world how much he adores me!!  HA!  I know he loves and adores me, so why the need to profess it on facebook?  He is my soulmate, but he would die if I wrote something like that on facebook.  Because there is so much more to our story and theirs.  Yes, they might mean every word of that heart-felt message, but, unless you are their nearest and dearest, you don't know what it took to get to their blissful state.  Or worse, they might be lying!!  Facebook doesn't sound an alarm if someone tells a lie!

You may feel like your life doesn't "measure up."

I remember when Colter retired from playing professional baseball.  It was the hardest year of our lives.  He had spend most of his career in triple-A and had 25 days in the big leagues.  It was an exciting, yet very emotional journey. (for me at least!)  I remember the year he quit was the year I got on facebook.  Seeing the other baseball families on facebook whose husbands were still in the game was hard.  I thought, why can't that be us?  Or, I wish Colter could have had more time in the big leagues like ______.  But, the truth is this is the path God chose for us and His plan has been perfect!

What we need to remember here is that we shouldn't compare at all...ever!  One of my mom's favorite sayings is "You never know what is going on behind closed doors!"

Recently, I posted a happy, beautiful picture of my baby girl having fun at Legoland.  To all who viewed the photo it seemed like it had been the perfect day in Lego paradise. I told my friend Hillery who was with us..."If only facebookers could see the events surrounding this photo!!"

Now, let's focus on my favorite topic: body image.  When it comes to facebook, who do you know that puts an unflattering picture on facebook?  I know the trick.  You "hide" behind your kids in the photo to escape the full-body image!  Or, you only post pictures of your kids because you wouldn't dare show the world the body and face God gave you!

I made Colter take this picture of me 5 times because I said the first four made me look fat!

Let's just wrap this up by saying, quit comparing yourself to others on facebook and quit spending so much time on facebook!! Do I need to say this again?  Let's take to heart what we teach our kids - you are special, and you are made in God's image.  You are exactly where you are suppose to be in this journey called life.

P.S. Here's a picture of my voice of reason.  I love taking pictures with him because he is so big and tall he always makes me look small.  Oh my!  I need to go back and read my own words!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Life's too short....

Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

We have heard this saying a million times.  But what does it really mean?

To me, it means DAILY, HOURLY, MINUTE by MINUTE give those meaningless distractions to the Lord.  Whether it be material things, body image or just busyness...stop obsessing.  How?  You MUST give it o the Lord.  It is the ONLY way...yes the ONLY way to combat these pesky things that separate us from Jesus.

Recently my beautiful friend Elliot lost her battle with ovarian cancer.  While she was fighting for her life, I would go teach my bootcamp classes and think about her.  What Elliot would have given to be able to even set foot in an aerobics class.  To be able to walk, run and jump! Things we take for granted every day.

Elliot really was beautiful.  She was gorgeous!  People were always drawn to her.  But, in the end, it wasn't her outward beauty that people talked about.  It was her inward beauty.  As her father said at her funeral, Elliot did not want people to see her, she wanted them to see Jesus.  WOW.  I can't stop thinking about that statement.  God wants us to use this body HE gave us to further his kingdom, not to further ourselves.  Elliot was such a bright light spreading this message through her darkest times.

One of her best friends also described Elliot as embodying all the fruits of the spirit...Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.  How amazing to be described that way!  And she was spot on!!  Elliot really did embody all these things. And notice, none of these fruits says anything about wordly things.  All these fruits focus on your heart.  Yes, Elliot was beautiful, but people were drawn to her heart.

In her short life, she touched so many lives.  We need more Elliots in this world.  I challenge you (and me!) to daily thank God for your healthy body.  If your body is not healthy, Elliot would tell you to be thankful and pray in all circumstances because God is ALWAYS good.  Please pray for this sweet family as they start a new chapter in the their lives without their mommy.  But, most of all, let's learn from Elliot to make Jesus our focus and our everything.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You Stink!

Yes you.  The mom who never has on "real" clothes.

There is no judgement in this entry.  Just food for thought.

There is a mother at my daughter's preschool who, in the four years of knowing her, has never had on "real" clothing at pick up or drop off.  Yes, there are many days that I do not prioritize a shower and real clothes in order to get my workout, errands, cleaning, etc. all completed in that very short four-hour window. And that is OK. But, in my very opinionated opinion, everyday is not OK.

First, let's talk about what real clothes are.  I think some of us are confused.

If it has built-in underwear, those are not "real" shorts.
If you don't have a "real" bra on under your shirt, it is not a "real" shirt.
If your skirt has a place to put a ball, it is not a "real" skirt.
Sweatpants or anything in the sweatpants family does not = "real."

Let me tell you a story about sweatpants.  My friends just think it is hysterical, but when it was happening, I was mortified and embarrassed.

My husband, Colter, played professional baseball for nine years.  When I was pregnant with our first child, it was the off-season.  In the off-season, Colter taught pitching lessons in the afternoons to kids after school.

So, my big 20-week ultrasound was scheduled before one of his pitching lessons.  I was so excited!  Every time I had a doctor's appointment, I would wear my cutest maternity outfit.  On this particular day, I had on my favorite black and red dress and black boots.  Colter and I met in the parking lot to go together to the appointment.

So there I am, all dolled up and feeling cute, and out steps Colter....in his sweatpants. Not just any sweatpants.  Grey sweatpants with an elastic band on the bottom.  Not cute AT ALL. Here it was 3 p.m. in the afternoon and he has on sweatpants!

If any of you are Seinfeld fans, remember when George decides to wear sweatpants everywhere?  Jerry tells him that wearing sweatpants is like you have given up on life.  Ha!

I looked at Colter in disbelief and in true Colter fashion, he's says "What?  Should I wear a tux to your appointment?"  And my response, almost in tears is "You look like my loser boyfriend that got me pregnant!!"

Oh my!  We can laugh about that now, but the point is, let's try and put our best foot forward every day. Now, understandable Colter's job required sweatpants.  (Maybe I wouldn't have cared if they hadn't been elastic!!)

Moms, you are worth the effort to put on make up, jewelry and "real" clothes.  You are!  It shows your child that you think you are worth the effort.  It shows your child that you want to look good for your husband. You are important.  It's OK to take time for yourself.

Please do not get me wrong.  There are days that I stay in my workout clothes all day.  But, if I plan ahead, I shower and get ready at the gym or plan time at home to get ready.

If you have to be in gym clothes all day, I have a few pointers:
1.  Select gym clothing that is a little more modest.  Longer shorts, a more covering shirt, etc.
2.  Put on a little make-up!  I know it is not ideal to wear it while you are sweating, but if you are going to be out and about all day, put some make-up on!
3.  Bring a jacket.  I always get cold after sweating!

And, to wrap this up, these are my top 5 times that you MUST wear "real" clothes:
1.  To meet your husband for lunch.
2.  Going to a teacher conference.  (Although I did break this one once because I teach and the appointment was early in the morning!)
3.  To attend any school program.
4.  Church! I am old school.  Do not wear your workout clothes to church!
5.  Shopping - if you are trying on clothes, please go home and take a shower first!

Moms, you are beautiful and important.  We are women of God!  We are out there in this sinful world representing God, our families, our church, and any organization we are associated with.  Let's try and put our best foot forward every day.

And, please do not misunderstand me.  A beautiful heart is much more than a beautiful face or "real" clothes.  If you disagree with me, just keep stinkin' but keep that beautiful heart!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Step Away from the Candy

I repeat.  Step away from the candy.

It is that time of year when the Easter Bunny rears its ugly head by bringing too much candy into your house.  So what's a girl to do?

1.  Don't buy Easter candy until the last minute.  Buying it a week or two (or three!) ahead of time will = no candy Easter morning.  Hmmmmmmm, who ate all the candy???  Mom. She's the only one that knows where it is!

2.  Buy candy you don't like.  Boom!  Temptation gone.

3.  Put the candy out of sight.  Store it on the highest shelf where you don't walk past it every 5 minutes.  Sticking your hand in a bowl of M&Ms every 10 minutes adds up FAST.

4.  Indulge a little.  Ask yourself...is this treat SO good and tasty that I want to waste 100, 200, 300 calories on it???  Save your calories for something you LOVE!

So, after all this great advice, I have a confession.  After I taught a kick-butt bootcamp this morning, I came home and ate a mini Twix.  I think I need to read my own blog.  HA!

We are only human.  Even if "all" the other moms seem perfect, they are not. I will say that again....THEY ARE NOT.  I promise this is true.  Don't beat yourself up if you missed a workout or ate the entire bag of M&Ms.  We all struggle with something - body issues, marriage issues, children, finances, and on and on.

It is Holy Week this week.  Take time to praise God for this ONE body He gave you.  Thank Him who washed away all our sin.  Use your body to glorify Him by extending His grace, His mercy, His kindness, His understanding and His love to all those you come in contact with.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Exercise goes on Vacation

It's spring break here in the great state of Alabama, and every year my family and I pack up and head south to Point Clear, AL for a week of fun and relaxation. But does that mean a break from exercise? Absolutely not! Are you crazy? I would go insane with out my exercise fix, but I do think it is wise to take a break from your normal routine. So what does exercise on vacation look like? Well, I will give you an example of what it DOESN'T look like. My crew and I were happily playing on the beach when a woman (I wouldn't call her a lady) was so rude to her three adorable kids. Her boys wanted her to take them out on the kayak and she snapped back at them announcing that she had already run six miles and played tennis and she couldn't possibly have the energy to take them out on the kayak. I wanted to throw sand in her face and tell those sweet faces that I would take them. Witchy woman. The point of vacation is to relax and enjoy yourself and your family. Here's a peek at what my exercise routine looks like on vacation: Day 1: Took a walk (yes that counts!) about a mile and 1/2 down a beautiful path. On the way back I sprinted two telephone pole widths then walked one telephone pole width. I repeated this until I got back to the house. Day 2: Slept until 9 a.m. Gasp! Couldn't muster up the will power to go outside and run. But I did take the kids out on the kayak. What an amazing arm workout! Day 3: Both kids are now sick. Gibson keeps saying "this is the worst spring break ever!" Been trapped in the house all day. Going crazy so I entertain my mom by showing he all my "moves" from class and trying to come up with new routines. This show lasted about 30 minutes. Day 4: Just a walk....a very fast walk. But, give me a little credit, my little one up half the night with tummy troubles! Day 5: Tomorrow is day 5 and in my head I plan to hit the gym. If not, we are going to the pool where i will sneak in some flutter kicks, high knees, running and fun play time with my kids. Whever you may be there is always a way to MOVE. And usually on vacation, you have extra hands to help with the kids so you can get in a short workout. Or, rent bikes as a family, go on a hike, walk the beach, have a plank-holding contest with your husband! Just keep moving....with at least one day that you just lay around, of course. Or, to loose any of my vacation weight gain, I can take a hint from from one of my favorite movies, "The Devil Wears Prada", "I am only one stomach flu away from my goal weight.". I can just get Gibson to blow in my face or offer to share a Sprite! Just kidding! Happy Spring Break!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Being the Base

I always hated being the "base."  

If you were ever a cheerleader you will know what I am talking about.  The base is the girl who throws the other girls in the air.  The base is the strong cheerleader who holds the other girls up in the air.  

But in my warped mind, base = biggest, fattest, heaviest cheerleader.  

You know those woman who are just teeny tiny?  The 90-pounders.  The ones God created to be tiny.  I was never one of those girls but always wanted to be.  I never longed to be tall.  I liked being short, but I always wanted to be miniature too.  

As I brought this subject up to my dear friend Kelli, a fellow cheerleader from the past, she couldn't believe I would have ever felt that way!  Being a base meant you were STRONG!  She said to me, you were a great base! 

So, I looked up on dictionary.com the definition of base.  "The bottom support of anything that which a thing stands or rests." 


That definition didn't say base: someone really fat and worthless. 

I was the support of the 90-pounders!  They depended on me to keep them safe and catch them when they fell!  They put their trust in me to hold them in the air!  

If all the cheerleaders in high school were built the same way with the same talents, there would be no pyramids, no basket tosses, no liberties!  How boring would that be? 

Same goes for us as believers in the body of Christ.  It takes all of us with all our special talents.  I love these verses from Romans 12: 

 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b]do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Embrace yourself the way God made you - mind, body and soul. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Back to College

I wonder if anyone would mistake me for a college student?

I kept thinking this in my head this past weekend while Colter and I were in Auburn.  We headed down to the plains for a baseball reunion and dinner.  Colter was on the 1997 World Series Team, and they were the guests of honor at this year's annual banquet.

I dropped Colter off for a team lunch and tour of all of Auburn's amazing new facilities, and I went running on my old route around campus.

And, it started.

As I put on my running gear and look in the mirror, I kept thinking, I wonder if I still look like a college student. Surely I will just blend right in. I put on my hat, turned up Katy Perry and headed down College Street.

As I run past the Sigma Chi house I get a glance....from a college kid!  Whooohooo!  Still got it! I blend! Confidence boost!  Little do they know that if they got really close they might see the slight beginning of creases around my eyes! 

As I continue on my run, my mind goes back in time to my college days.  I thought about my accomplishments, my challenges, my friendships and my boyfriend...who is now my husband. 

Would I really want to go back?  Do I really want to be my 20-year-old self?  

I think we all ponder "what if" or "those were the days."  But, here we are!  Now!  Today!  In this moment!  In this body!  At this age! 

My 20-year-old self had a flatter stomach. My 34-year-old me has two precious, healthy children that made my stomach a little softer! 
My 20-year-old me thought I was SO busy.  My 34-year-old me IS so busy. 
My 20-year-old me was overly emotional. My 34-year-old me is strong.
My 20-year-old me was fearless.  My 34-year-old me is cautious. 
My 20-year-old me thought mostly about me.  My 34-year-old me thinks of others. 
My 20 year-old me believed in God. My 34-year-old me has a relationship with God. 

Instead of wishing to be the 20-year-old you, look back and see how much you have grown and changed.  See what God has done in your life.  And, if you don't like what you see.  Change it!  

 "There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:"

We are right where we need to be.  Believe it and claim it.  And, trust me, sometimes it is hard.  Especially, when the diamond doll sitting at my table "mams" me.  Just when I thought I hadn't really changed much from my 20-year-old self!