Finding Beauty in the Mess

howtotrainasuperhero

your standing staring dead on at the mirror. Something in you has become unhappy. you began looking at your face and begin to pick away at it. You don’t like what you see.

“I’ve gained some weight?” You think.

Then crack a smile to hide how you feel about your flawed body. It’s not enough.

You began searching.

Searching for options to fix appearance.

Makeup then clothes, something new maybe.

Immediately you began holding yourself to someone else’s standard of
beauty.

So and so goes to this place, and so and so’s husband allows
them to do this every so many weeks. I will be more beautiful
if I went there and had money to do what so and does.

I don’t have time to look presentable. Truth is this how you
feel on the inside.

Psalm 139:14

How you made me is amazing and wonderful.I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful.I know that very well.

To the weary mom or the weary wife:
Some of your days may look like this. It may pass and it may
not. You may feel unhappy with your body. You may be too tired
to brush your teeth. The unhappy feeling may not go away. And
Jesus may stop being your satisfaction.

But here’s his standard of beauty: The truth
That you are made in his image. Imagine that? This powerful,
mighty God, who rules the world and gives the bird a new
song, this God who sits high on his throne, who can’t be seen
with a single eye because his majesty is so beautiful.

You were made like this. And no lipstick, foundation, or
piece of jewelry can fix that.
What’s better Gods plan is for you to look the same inside.

Motherhood: The Jesus Culture Part 2 (Guest Post from Victorine Hutson)

I must admit I was confused when asked to write a post for the Motherhood Series.  I mean, I have a husband, but no ten little toes scampering around the house reaching to touch glass tables with ten little fingers while looking around with innocent amazement.  A trip to the grocery store is just that, a quick trip without a happy little voice saying “I want that!”   There you have it, I have no children, am 38 years old, recently had precancerous cells removed from my cervix and have fibroids that appear to enjoy making my uterus the size of a woman who is 3 months pregnant.  So I have wondered and questioned if motherhood is going to happen for me?  Will I ever experience the joy and maybe morning sickness of pregnancy?  Well, when I began to question my wonderful husband during one of my woe is me bouts and remind him of the possibilities he told me the following: “I didn’t marry you for children; I married you because you are the woman God placed in my life; I married you because I love you, and if we don’t have children [biologically] we will continue to trust God together.”  How my heart smiles with the thought of that man!  And that’s good, really good, because he is often the one by my side when we encounter the Frequent Flyers!  Who or what are they?  Allow me to explain.

“What are you waiting for?”, “Don’t you want children?”, and “Don’t you wait too long!”  The Frequent Flyers.  The questions people ask when they find out I am 38 and have been married for almost three years and am childless.  I guess my husband and I missed the part in our vows that says there is a timeframe to have children.  Any who, there is also the medical field, a Frequent Flyer by default, because, well, it is the GYN.’s job to ask if I am planning to have children and then remind me rather matter-of-factly “[Your] time is running out; I am documenting we discussed this so if you cannot conceive it is noted I addressed the issue, but since you are ready to try, go home and have fun!”  And of course there is me.  I love Jesus and trust him in all areas of my life, but possibly not sharing the birth of a child with my husband!?  Enter old familiar doubt and plain old fear with front row seats to watch gleefully as I anguished over the thought!  I mean relentless fear, “He is going to leave you!”, “Why would he stay with a woman who cannot have children?” and “You’re not a woman if you cannot have children.”  Oh, Jesus make it stop!!  So He gently reminded of this:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.  II Timothy 1: 7-8  Amplified Bible (AMP)

When I read this scripture or recite it, I am reminded that God did not create me to fear!  It is because of Jesus I have power over the silly thoughts that try to inundate every vacant and not so vacant place in my mind.  It is because of Jesus I remain calm and have self control when the Frequent Flyers and their partners head my way!  Much appreciated!

It is because of the reminders God gives me in his Word that I also sleep very well at night; no tossing and turning worrying when will we prepare our nursery or wondering if he or she will have Mommy’s or Daddy’s eyes.

You have put more joy and rejoicing in my heart than [they know] when their wheat and new wine have yielded abundantly. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust. Psalm 4:7-8 (AMP)

Trust. That’s it; I Trust God. And While I am waiting for motherhood to begin, I am enjoying the journey and learning and relearning awesome things about myself and my relationship with Christ and my family! Here are a few of the things in no particular order: 1- Fear does not have a place in my journey. 2- God loves me and cares about me and spending time with him is the single best way to start my day. 3- My nieces and nephews really enjoy spending time with me (I use the great amount of laughter and smiles as a gauge, but they also tell me). 4- My husband is my best friend and our marriage consists of three people: God, him, and me (order specified).

I may not be able to stop the Frequent Flyers, but with God I can face them with no shame.  Whatever the outcome may be, birthing a child, adopting a child, or  simply remaining as I am, the best Auntie and Godmother I can be, I am content and happier than people know (See Philippians 4:12-13).  So as my husband and I continue to trust God and enjoy our journey, know that we are smiling and embracing each day we are blessed with as a new opportunity to allow our joy and the reason for it to be contagious to others.

  About the Author: Victorine Hutson

howtotrainasuperheroMy name is Victorine and I am lovingly called Vickey by family and friends. I am 38, married almost three years, and reside in Middletown, DE.  I enjoy learning about God, spending time with my husband, playing and spending time with my nieces and nephews, laughing and cooking. My husband and I fellowship at Ezekiel Baptist Church located in Philadelphia, PA.

Motherhood: The Jesus Culture (Guest Post from Jenn Fennell on Motherhood-From a New Mommy.)

My life has changed…drastically! These drastic, yet joyful none the less changes took place on February 14, 2013 at 9:59am as this is when I became a

mother to a precious little girl that I call my Little Ezri. Now granted, I had no intentions of the changes being so large, so serious, yet they are. I have

been taken by surprise with just how serious this business of “parenthood” really is. I’ve only been at it for four months now, and I feel that sometimes I am

way over my head. My mind reverts to the story of the Duggards, where the woman has nineteen children…and counting, and seems to have it all

together. Or, Kate, from the “John and Kate Plus Eight” show, however Kate is a single mom now. How in the world do these women do this?

How do they keep up with their kids and keep their sanity? How?

In this writing, I have no intentions on offering any final answer to this question. I guarantee one can search the whole world around, and back again, and there is no perfect answer as to how to hold it all together, because some days are fine…and other days are just rough. I’m new at this, and that is one thing I know for sure. No one has it all together! The changes are constant, and learning never ends!

With the challenges of being a new mom, I have many friends, family and complete strangers that ask me “So how is life as a new mother?” My response has been very plain. I simply reply “It’s wonderful – I’m learning how to be more like my child.” Imagine the weird faces I get when I say that while standing in line at the super market!

I am a christian mother, and I aim to live a life that aligns with my savior’s words. His word has been of great inspiration to me during times where I am not feeling that I have it all together in this new gig of being a mother. Let’s take a look at Matthew 18, verses 3-4. It says the following;

“I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get in to the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Now, what I have gathered from this scripture, is something I grasp onto everyday, for sanity and for dear life. It is this, in this life, I must become more like my child, in how I approach God, in how I respond to God, in how I live, in how I breath, eat, move…think. Everything! I must become like my little Ezri. There are many things I have yet to learn from her.

Jesus, in this passage, is speaking to a group of followers and states that the characteristics of a child, are to be admired; as these are the characteristics that one can enter, experience, touch…the kingdom of heaven. Jesus sees the character traits of a child, untarnished by the world, and he says that these traits are honorable, as opposed to being despised. Now how crazy and counter-cultural is that?
My little has complete dependence on me. She delights me in. She listens for me and looks for me when she is discouraged. She imitates me, and she trust me. These are things that I should be doing as an adult when it comes to my Savior. It has been crazy being a new mom and having a whole new view on this passage!

Yes, being a new mom is challenging. As with any transition in life, there are ups and downs. However, I am learning that while Ezri is busy trying to learn how to be like her mother, here I am striving to become more like her…when it comes to my savior.

          About the Author: Jenn Fennell

970914_859551370427_1850494884_n-e1373421886757.jpgMy name is Jenn. I am 27 years old, a new mother and have been married for almost 2 years. I currently live in  Philadelphia but grew up as a military brat so I have lived in various places. I love God, people, ministry, arts and crafts, and my friends and family.