a la Tina Fey in Baby Mama, “This one’s for the LAAAADDIIIIIIEEEESSSSSSS!!!”

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And then she puts on “Lady in Red,” as a slow jam at a night club.

Talk about a mood killer.

That movie, by the way, is freakin hilarious, as is Tina Fey who is sort of my hero. Smart and hilarious and real. I dig it.

So yeah. This one is for the ladies. I have a few male readers, and if you want to stick around because I am going to say the word “boobs” a lot, then okay. But keep in mind you are probably kind of pervy if that is your motivation – unless you are reading because your wife, too, wants or had some cosmetic enhancement/fixing/etc. Then you get a pass.

Have I gotten much flack for being honest and open about my recent breast lift surgery? Technically – no. But yeah, I am not stupid. I feel it. I see the judgment, and I have gotten enough “hints” that I know it makes people uncomfortable. Part of me understands….we live, most of us, in this culture of not talking about very real things. And even then….in Christian circles to talk publicly about breasts is SO wrong and shameful, right? No. It’s not. I don’t think it is wrong to talk about boobs. I don’t think it is wrong to get a lift, a reduction, or an augmentation. In fact, I think it is wrong to NOT talk about it. It polarizes us. Alienates us. Diminishes us….like somehow getting a boob job makes us less spiritual or less Christian or weak in our faith. God’s WORD is filled with vivid imagery and stories about sexuality and the human form. There should be no shame. And the fact we were created in HIS IMAGE….I don’t know what this means as far as sexuality and femininity go. I will leave that to mysteries I will finally understand at heaven’s entry. The world has perverted the beauty of the female creation. And that is sad. But that doesn’t mean we should fear it. Will I be posting topless pics on here? Heck no. That is for my husband. But the discussion, the understanding, the knowledge – that is ok for the world.

As I referenced a while back and as any mother knows, having a baby takes a toll on the body. (By the way – moms of kids who don’t share your biology?? It is no different. Maybe they did not LITERALLY suck the life out of you but that does not change a thing here.) Sometimes I wish I was born into a culture where curves were more appreciated. That way I may not have spent 15 plus years with an awful body image and an eating disorder. But sadly I didn’t. I have learned that I have what I have. I have also learned that we can always give and do our best with what we have been given. And if we want to change something? Then make it happen.

I am not a size 2. Never will be. But I work daggone hard for the awesome body I have. And yeah, it is awesome because it is healthy and strong and I look good and my husband loves it. I can embrace that now. I can run many miles. (well, not right now.) I can box rounds. I can keep up with my kids. I feed it and fuel it with good God created things and I care for it as best as I can without idolizing physical perfection. And with all that work, I realized I wanted a little more work. And I don’t feel bad about it. Nor should you. Or anyone else. Should you go into debt for boobs? Huge risk for boobs? A divorce for boobs? No. Obviously. But if you can afford it, and you know that general anesthesia is not gonna kill you (hello….lots of surgeries prior thank you knees and c-sections and crappy tonsils and….), and you can fix something without it being an obsession then why not?

I wanted to feel beautiful again. I am approaching 40. And I want my outside to match my inside as much as possible….finally proud to be who I am. And who I was created to be. But preferably without all the excess sagging. So I did it. And it’s not a mystery. It is science and medicine and you will know when you see me at the beach or give me a hug. It is funny…most people don’t know that my boobs are pretty big because I wear loose flowy things. Unless you see me in a bikini, then you don’t see the fact that yeah, they are big and really really saggy. Even the doctor when I went to see him….he asked me my size and when I said 38D he was like, “Ok. Uh huh” while looking at my chest in what I was wearing which did minimize them. But upon exam he looked at me, in the eyes this time, and said, “Most women are wrong on their size. I assumed you were. But you were correct. Now. Let’s get you looking how you should look.” And I loved him.

That was that. I am pretty much the same size, although swollen, so maybe not. But unless you saw me in a bikini 11 years ago, pre-kid, you would not know that. And if you want more information, specifics, or to share your thoughts or concerns, I am here. Gladly. Willing to email or chat or even pray with you about it. Cause like I said before – yeah, I prayed over my boobs. And no. It did not feel weird. He created me. Where is the shame in that???

a tough itchy day, some newly lost “friendship” and some newly lost FRIENDship

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The finish line.

That is something I think about a lot in life actually. The funny thing is that growing up I was taught that it was about reaching it first. Excelling. Being the best. Winning. (And thank Charlie Sheen for ruining the word “winning” for the rest of civilization for all time.)

But as I raise my kids, and referenced yesterday, it is about the process, not the perfection. The effort. And the love we show along the way.

To be incredibly blunt, I am trying to keep this deep perspective in mind as I look at my boobs. End result. End result. End result. Hahaha. I am still blistered and covered in rash because I had a reaction to the surgical tape (or the solution beneath – we are not sure…), I can’t work out, and even walking makes me sore. One side is swollen more than the other, and my exhaustion level is high because I have real life going on. So end result is my focus. The long term finish line. The feeling good again about my body, my womanhood, my sexuality. Because those can all be tied in together you know. (And yes, I will address this whole topic soon don’t worry…)

But as I went to sleep last night, my awesome hubs rubbing my feet to take away from my mind’s focus on itch itch itch….I was sad.

I ended a very superficial “friendship” from online. This person, a hard core conservative Christian, wrote a post mocking Bloomberg’s comments about his assurance of heaven. And it literally, physically made me ill. Yes, I am a Christ Follower. Yes, I believe there is only ONE way to heaven. But I respect that others don’t believe as I do. And moreso, the thought of anyone I care about, or the whole world for that matter, not reaching an eternity of beauty with our Creator is heartbreaking to me. The thought of mocking someone, whether evil or simply lost, is awful. Child molesters, Hitler, serial killers….sure, we all think they earn a special place in hell. And for their acts? They sure do. In our humanity we HATE them. And yet…we have an amazing, loving, caring God who “wants NONE to perish.” None. That includes the worst of the worst. And while Bloomberg is not my favorite guy, he hardly ranks up there with Hitler. And regardless…it makes me really wonder. When God looks and sees a broken, tortured soul making disgusting choices, and purposely breaking others, God sees the heart – that this soul was probably broken and tortured. And He aches over that soul. Will there be an eternal just reckoning? I believe that yes there will be but that there is always a choice, always a chance, and no one is too far gone to make it. When God looks and sees a “christian” mocking the lost, or focusing solely on their “evil” and on judging them….I wonder what He thinks?? I imagine He hurts for that too, but that He is also pretty angry.

So I unfriended. I can’t see any more of those posts. Not. One. More. (Her response, of course, was to message me some crazy and then block me. Haha. Oh well. My loss obviously…) But that ending was not what made me really sad.

It got me to thinking more about a friendship I have had for a while now. Hmm….I think 7 years. And frankly, it is pretty much over. Last summer, when I went through a very tough time, the realization started to dawn. The person completely disappeared, and cited a bunch of crap for it. Things supposedly were healed up…but it started me thinking. Friendship is two ways, right?? And I realized…never an invitation unless from me. Never a kid playdate or party. Unless from me. Never time together. Unless from me, and always paid for by me (which is the part that never bothered me, because we show love in the ways we can, right??). And now, after about 9 months I finally get it. The friendship is pretty much over. And then it hit me that, well, maybe there was not that much there to begin with. And that’s what hurt the most.

I have lost a few friends in the course of life. When I was young I lost a lot because I was blinded by pride, insecurity, dishonesty – mostly because that finish line always loomed and I had to be FIRST. And then I finally understood what it means for the first to be last and the last to be first. And since then I have not really lost friendships as much as things have moved with time or distance or changes…So that happens but the love is always there, for me at least. And now I want to serve. And love. And pour into the relationships that mean something beautiful. But I also have to accept when someone is just not there. And that’s just the way it is. But yeah it hurts. Not gonna lie. And this itching does NOT help.

“wanna go do karate in the garage?” “yup.” “are we best friends?” “yup.”

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This to me is such a funny quote. It is from the movie “Step Brothers” starring Will Ferrell who I love and it is hilarious. Should you be sensitive to language I suggest you watch it on TBS. Should you be sensitive to stupidity, I suggest you not watch it at all. Hahahaha.

My kids all got up early this morning. As I laid in bed, getting ready to start my day, (and trying not to scratch my boobs off), I listened to their banter. I literally laughed out loud when I heard, “Hey guys. Wanna go do boxing in the garage???” a chorus of “yups” responded and I just laughed and laughed. Facebook told me it was recently National Sibling Day (something no one ever heard of before Facebook haha) and I could not be happier with the siblings I am raising. Imperfect kids. Mediocre students. Messy little slobs. But MAN my kids love each other. They share food, privileges, toys. Openly and willingly. When our neighbor was taken away in an ambulance they made him cards and really wrote. You know, not just a flower and a stick figure but WROTE to him about how he is the nicest neighbor and they love to see him on his bike or with his dogs….I mean, right?? They are in a battle for a new iPad air, and have to earn points every day by doing chores, etc. Chase just gave away ALL her points – and she was in the LEAD. She felt bad that her brothers didn’t have as many so now she has none. I mean, what kid DOES that??? My sisters and I sure did not.

This world is merely a short visit my internet friends. What matters? I mean, really…think about that. Our money? Our jobs? Our degrees? Our elementary school grades? Yes, I want my kids to be the best THEY can be, as individuals. But think about WHY you want to achieve…for yourself and for your kids. To what end? For what purpose?? Think about life and the why’s of it all and consider the end game. I don’t see a valedictorian in my family’s future. But who knows. What I do see?? Loving, compassionate, hilarious people that will bring joy and love and kindness to those around them. And nothing in this temporal world could make me prouder.

“moral failings” – why the Christian body needs to STOP minimizing the failure of the big guys

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Another one bites the dust.

Years ago, around 15 maybe, I had a moment of spiritual crisis. I had finally, really and truly, come to an understanding of faith. Of God and Jesus and spirituality on my terms. On terms that I came to because of my own time, research, scriptural study, and feelings. NOT because of propaganda and schooling and parents. And the person who helped me see that it was JUST between me and God was suddenly all over the news. A mug shot. Soliciting prostitutes. Tons of cash and a firearm in the car. It was ugly. I was broken hearted. I almost turned from God. Years before? I would have. Well, actually, I did. This time? God reminded me, “Hey. It’s you and me babe. You and me.” And I clung to Him.

And now here we are again. A man whose church I attended as a growing, fiery young Christian…weekly sitting on that front row, absorbing his teachings….now, 15 years later, he has resigned from his mega church due to a “moral failing.”

Wanna know my honest, deep thoughts on this matter? You know, the REAL feelings and not the filtered and purified bull crap that the modern Christian body is and will be spewing over the next days as it all comes out because we can’t just deal with this stuff but have to you know, be gentle at all times and not let the world see us as the broken body we actually are????

What a CROCK. A major crock. A moral failing?? Let me tell you. If my husband cheats on me he will be called a cheating SOB. He will be called an adulterer, a fornicator, a cheater. Can I forgive him? Maybe. Will we be restored if that ever happens? Possibly. But I won’t be sugar coating ANYTHING. Why? Because that would be the TRUE moral failure.

Here we have these big mega churches. Or, in the case I cited early on, a small church but a church led by an all powerful figure head who seems to be beyond reproach and beyond contestation which is really the problem. And guess what? When we put our pastors, whether in a big church or small church, in that position, we are morally failing THEM.

There are lots of ways to do church. But honestly, as I grow, I see less and less reason, less rationale, for why we should have these singular preachers, just them, who teach every week. Worship leaders who are revered, considered virtual rock stars of the pulpit while the majority of the servant body barely even serves. That is moral failure. We are to serve and to be served. We are to help teach and lead and give and serve and encourage and rebuke and listen and empathize and all the other gifts and USE them for each other, all throughout the church, all equally. And instead, we put these guys up there, give them huge power (and often salaries to match) and then when they blow it, I mean, like this, we perpetuate by minimizing in a way. A “moral failure.” Bull you know what.

Here is what I am going to do. If my husband, or my pastor (because really, it’s the same thing) cheats on me, on our family, and on God, I am going to call him a cheating uberdouche. Yeah, I said that. And then I am going to look in the mirror for my own moral failure, for where I did not honor that man and hold him accountable and make sure he was being fed and where I gave him too much idol worship and not enough humanity. And I am gonna own my part. But no. He won’t be getting a pass for moral failure. I don’t want passes for mine. I will call the sin a sin, for what it is, just the way I want MINE called out. And you can quote me on that.

 

i don’t think you should have to apologize for saying you had a crap day.

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I have posted about this before, but not like this I guess.

YES THIS WORLD IS A BRUTAL PLACE FULL OF MURDER AND CHILD TRAFFICKING AND DEATH AND STARVATION.

We all know people are starving in the Sudan. We all know babies are still being abandoned every day in countries all over the world. We all know there is no fresh water in India. Or lots of places. Homelessness. Joblessness. Murder. Mayhem. It all sucks and yeah, we know it.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to feel bad. Or sad. Or down. Something in your world today was not perfect? Well suck it up because at least you have two legs and your kid wasn’t sold into the sex trade in Thailand. WHAT?

What happened to mourning with those who mourn? What happened to being free to say, “I am down today. My heart hurts. Things did not go as planned. My kid misbehaved. I didn’t get the promotion. Our air conditioning broke. The car got a flat tire. The toilet overflowed. My husband made me crazy. The baby puked everywhere. My phone didn’t ring and I am overwhelmed with grief because my daughter is out there and every day that passes is another day she waits for a family to love her.”

I am SO TIRED of feeling like I should feel guilty all the time. I have no right to be sad or down because I have a home with A/C. A car with tires. A kid who is alive. A job. A husband. Indoor plumbing.

Yes, I have those things. And yes, I am grateful. But I am also human. And today I saw an online acquaintance on Facebook have to apologize for having a down day. Having to say, “I am sorry. I know there are worse things in the world but life is tough today.”

And my heart hurt for a woman I don’t even truly know. Because it is not fair. If you are a constant whining complainer whiny pants, then yeah. Suck it up. But I don’t know anyone like that. (Ok, well I do but I am not friends in life or on Facebook with those folks because life is too short.)

The need to categorize the level of our problems is ridiculous. And more ridiculous than that is the need to then use the big world picture to minimize our feelings and experiences. Yeah, there’s a global orphan crisis. But is that a reason that I can’t ever say, “man I had a frustrating day with my kids today and I am worn down!!” without the fear of someone stomping all over my heart, guilting me into feeling bad because I should be so grateful I even HAVE kids?? This is SO OLD. Everyone needs to shut up about it. Sheesh. Let people be sad without emotionally smacking them for being sad about something you don’t deem worthy of being sad FOR. Peace out.

a letter to my precious 8 year old daughter…the blessing of a sick day

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Baby, I am sorry you are sick. But can I tell you a secret?? Today I was not actually sorry that you were sick. I can’t wait for you to read this letter one day. Maybe when you are a mommy. Because then you will now why I so enjoyed my day.

I was sick over the weekend, remember? Daddy had to travel, and was out of town, which is ALWAYS how that works. And you just sort of held it together. Sunday morning, you helped your younger brother and sister by making them each a bagel. You played with them upstairs, so I could rest. And sure, I was wide awake because you played with the kids in YOUR room which has hard wood floors, and is located directly above my bedroom so I did not sleep. But you didn’t know that. I rested, and smiled, listening to you playing “mom for the day.” And I loved hearing you.

So then Monday, when I got the call mid day to come pick you up, I did. Poor baby. I snuggled you in the guest bedroom because it has its own tv, and I ordered movies for you and gave you lots of juice. But today, Tuesday, I got up and yup. You were still sick enough to miss school. But…I was so far behind. I was down for a couple days, daddy was out of town, and then you were sick. So basically it was get out today and do errands or serve everyone canned lima beans for dinner and THAT would NOT go over well.

So instead, you got dressed, and put on some lip gloss of course, and hung out with me all day. We hit the mall because I actually needed to go there for once, where you spent your own money at Claire’s on the crappiest of all crap. Then a little Chick Fil A lunch, without the requisite political agendas and statements that sometimes go with that. Afterwards? New ballet shoes because you outgrew your old ones. A quick run to Target, which of course cost more than originally planned. And after groceries and a couple other necessities, we hit the ice cream place. We sat on a sunny bench, warmth on our faces, and you laid your head in my lap. I braided your hair and you told me about friend dramas and boys – something I never understood at 8, or at 18 for that matter – and just listened. You braided my hair then, and kept chattering like a wannabe thirteen year old, and you totally did not even notice the tears in my eyes I kept brushing away behind my sunglasses. We sat there for 30 minutes, and I reveled in every minute. In every second. 60 seconds for every minute…so for 1800 seconds, like slow motion that moved way too fast, you were my sole universe. My soul universe.

I love you precious girl. I can’t begin to explain what you mean to me, what you have always meant to me. We almost lost each other, you and me, before you were even born. But God kept you around, and me, and not a day passes that I don’t thank Him for that gift. For you. For Chase.

we just have no clue to be honest. dig deep…can you?? maybe????

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I read this post a few days ago. It spoke to me. Deeply. As it has spoken deeply to many in the adoptive community. Because of its truth. Its power. Its honesty. And the fact that this is how more than 3/4 of the world lives. Not owning. Not claiming. Not having the blessings and opportunities and the sheer volume of THINGS we have. And it is shameful and ridiculous. Do I shame capitalism? Do I think we should all give everything away and be socialists? Do I hate the wealthy? No. I don’t.

But what I DO know is that we should be doing more. But we are not. Not enough of us are doing something that, if we were honest, sure, is outside out comfort zones but is also something we feel drawn towards. Here is the link.

http://sadielowry.wordpress.com/cant-imagine/

Click and read. Will take less than 2-3 minutes, tops. But here is a super quick breakdown. Friends of friends were in China, very recently, and had just met their daughter. She is 5. A beautiful tiny little 5 year old girl. She speaks no English, and is managing ok. The new parents have given her a few things, and this includes a pack of gum and some kleenex. Acciedntally a piece of gum falls. The mom throws it away. And the child becomes absolutely hysterical. The translator explains to the new parents that the girl felt a huge loss because she could never get it back. This was the first thing anyone had ever told her was hers. Just hers alone. And to have a piece wasted was heartbreaking.

As the new mother contemplated this, she became overwhelmed. She realized that this 5 year old had never had anything for herself. And that includes a mother.

Can you fully comprehend this? Can you understand the loss? And yet how this child exudes generosity of spirit? A generosity she has not experienced and yet naturally gives? I am amazed. I am hurting. And I am so desperate. So hopeful. That maybe someone could read this. Get inspired. Get motivated. Get COMPELLED. There are children. Many, many children. And they need homes. And love. And acceptance. Opportunity to have something of their own. A piece of gum. A hot meal. A mother. A father. A family. Please, think, pray. And ask me anything.