“Beauty is not something the mirror can tell you. Beauty is not measurable. It’s not a size, or a fashion accessory, or any kind of look. Beauty cannot be captured by Maybelline or Hollywood or YouTube.”  6 Things You Need to Tell Your Daughter~Emily Wierenga (Author of Atlas Girl)

There’s so many ways to go, so many things begging to be said about the above quote. So much on my heart. Pressing in.

I am a mother that watched her precious, beautiful daughter struggle with an eating disorder. For the longest time never quiet becoming comfortable in her own skin. Helpless does not even began to describe how I felt during this time.

Watching your child struggle with her own demons. Watching as she tried to force herself to be something the world demanded. Trying to fit into a mold that was not her. Making her own beautiful self melt into nothingness. Fading away inside and out.

I had my own struggles at this time in our lives. But not this one. Not during this time…anyway.

As she attempted to control her body, I was controlling everything around me. OCD kicked in big time. I couldn’t fix the dearest thing in the world to me, so I went about fixing everything around me. Mopping, dusting, vacuuming obsessively. I became the windex queen.

It took some time for God to heal us both. Each in our time. Each in His own way.

We are some years down the road. Miles away from that thing. The hard time. The painful time. The one we both tried to sweep under the rug till God drug it back out and covered it in His Grace.

And now it’s soon to be two years since I last ran. Felt the pavement beneath my feet. Counted the miles. Marveled at the lean-ness of my runner’s body. The muscles. The hardness.

I struggle, coming to grips with my softer self. The “muffin top”. The jiggly parts.

After all that we’ve been through. The worry. The fears. The heartache and tears. All that we know. This. This is now my own demon to fight. I. Know. Better.

The one thing in my illness I hate. In all the hard of my disease. All of the big of what I have to deal with, I pick the most insignificant thing to worry around in my head.

I’m appalled that it always comes down to that. Disappointed.

Not just for me, but for women as a whole. We compare. We debate. We weigh.

Embracing the world instead of embracing the best of me. The best of who God created me and you to be. Chosen. Royal priesthood. God’s special possession.

“But you are a chosen people…God’s special possession…” 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

Jennifer Dukes Lee says it like this, “In Christ, we are free to be imperfectly who we are. And the very things that we think might repel others (our bed head with it’s own zip code, our bug-splattered windshields, and our feisty muffin tops) are the actual “flaws” that make us approachable. That makes us real. That makes us friends.”

Recently our eleven year old granddaughter was spending the night with us. As I was tucking her in, I laid my hand on her head and as I was about to pray over her…she stops me. “Nanna”, she says, “scoot closer so I can lay my head on your softness(the muffin top) while you pray”. “I love your softness, Nanna, it feels so much better than when you ran.”

If that’s not motivation to lay down this beast of what we think we should be…then I don’t know what is.

“Only when we realize that softness is an integral part of our beauty and our beauty is ordained as part of God’s plan, will we learn to live our design.” Kristin Armstrong~Work in Progress: An Unfinished Women’s Guide to Grace

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn