Aiming for progress, not perfection.

"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

thoughts. and an "already pretty" poll.

i wrote in my train of thought post from awhile back that i've been playing with clothes a lot lately. that trend continues. in playing with clothes, i am, obviously, looking at my body. as has been my custom since adolescence (along with every woman, everywhere, right?), i am less-than-thrilled with my body most every time i look at it. how different has my body been from age 12 to age 27? ridiculously. how different will my body be from 27 to 42? ridiculously. the one constant is my discontent.

today, it's a less-than-flat tummy (always, always, always), the cowlick on the back of my head that gives me an eternal flat spot in my hair and blindingly pale legs in my first tightless/leggingless skirt of the season. oh, and i see spider veins in my legs. you'd have to be on top of my leg to see them, but i can see them. all too clearly. my own personal neon sign of imperfection.

we have a family photo shoot coming up, and, as always, i am anxiety-ridden. i just know that i will look fat, dorky and ridiculous. honestly, i would rather just have pictures made of the kids because then i don't have to endure the stress.

i waste so much energy on this kind of thing. i really do. and i am doing such a disservice to hone in on a silly cowlick, of all things, instead of looking at myself as a whole, a work in progress inside and out. it's a disservice to myself, to my children, to my husband and to God. thinking this way brings about despair, which brings about poor choices and wasted time. a vicious cycle.

i am tired of wasting time.

through my most recent play with fashion, i've found several style bloggers that feature attainable ensembles in terms of budget and body shape. i love them! on one in particular, i saw a post with an "already pretty" poll. the blogger posted her five favorite things about her body and invited her readers to do the same in the comments.

i am going to copy her.

i want to stop focusing on the imperfect. because it's not going away. instead, i will focus on the things i like about my body, the things it can do. i have been and will continue to focus on working toward practices that aid in my appreciation for this temple i have been given by God, practical ways of taking care of it.

ultimately, it's not about body love, but body acceptance and respect so that i can be free to focus on what's important. because spending hours staring at my flaws is not important. it's causing me to miss what's important. and that's not cool.

so, without further ado, my "already pretty" list:

1.) my body can carry and nurture children. it is an undertaking that is not without scars, but what could be more beautiful than a body that can sustain another body?
2.) my eyelashes are long and dark.
3.) my ankles are slender, and i like the way most any shoe looks on my foot.
4.) i can rock short hair confidently.
5.) my hands work hard for me while still being lovely. i can use them to type super fast, hold my husband's hand, bake, change diapers, display pretty rings, touch soft baby skin, express emotion while talking, cover my face for laughing so hard, wipe away tears -- mine and anyone else's, and, this is my favorite, raise in praise to my Jesus.

won't you play along? tell me your "already pretty" list.

6 comments:

kj said...

i love this, sister. way to get us to focus on the already good. let me see if i can come up with 5: :)

1)the color of my eyes
2)my straight teeth that never needed braces
3)my hands. they're like my granna's
4)my toes...in a sandal...with a french pedi in summer time
5)everything about my body that helped give life to md (including my c-section scar)

Wendy said...

You do rock a short haircut! I want to borrow your head next time I get mine cut.

marme said...

okay I'll try...
1 My nose is little and cute
2 I like my lips (don't need volumeizer there)
3 My ears are small and nice
4 My body did give me prettey babies
5 My toes are okay when they've been to get a pedicure (which they haven't and need badly)
6 that's pretty much it

clw said...

I know this isn't the point of your post, but I did want to mention that I noticed those yucky spider veins on my legs once I started teaching. Turns out, most teachers DO HAVE spider veins. Apparently, it comes from standing all day long. So, in an effort to keep more from appearing (not only because they're unsightly, but also because hello, they represent deficiencies in your veins), employ a stool when you're giving your lessons. Sit more often throughout the day and that will help those pesky things from appearing.

True story.

And I've always admired your ability to wear short hair (which you do amazingly) and your fashion sense is impeccable. You are not an unattractive woman by any stretch of one's imagination.

念強 said...

感謝是愛心的第一步..............................

love said...

oh, beautiful friend.

how much more we all need to love ourselves. to see ourselves as He sees us. i'm becoming more mindful of this every single day, as 5 little sets of eyes watch & learn.

thank you for the reminder. ok, here goes:

1) my stomach. it has held 4 of my babies.
2) my long hair
3) the arch of my feet
4) my chest--it has nourished my babies, and is the first place they go to lay their head for comfort or rest
5) my lips

thank you.