Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I'm going to start this post by asking you a question. Do you read Nie? If not, let me introduce you to her. Just a warning, if you head over to her site and meet her you will be astonished at this amazing woman. I don't know her personally, but feel that I need to check on her progress, pray for her, and I think about her often. I'll get back to tying her into this post in a minute.

I recently entered a contest that required me to write my story and how I feel that I inspire others. I know I've been entering several contests lately, but they really help me stretch outside my comfort zone and think outside the box, thus causing me to grow. Anyway, for part of my entry I really wanted to include a picture of myself; however, there are a couple of reasons that you don't see many pictures of me here on my blog. I prefer to be the one taking the pictures because this is something I love to do, but probably the biggest reason is because I am not nearly as comfortable in front of the camera as I am behind it. Okay, not even close! So I guess my preparations for this contest really caused me to think about my self-image, and because this blog eventually becomes a book for my children I wanted to record my thoughts so that hopefully someday they can reflect on them and hopefully learn something. I admit it. I have a few hang ups with myself, and therefore would prefer not to have my picture taken. I have this nasty little habit of comparing myself to others. I think that most women and girls have this problem, but you know what's even worse? I don't only compare myself to others, but I'm even more guilty of comparing myself to the me I once used to be. You see, many years ago I played volleyball for a college team. Back then we exercised 4-6 hours a day to prepare ourselves for competition. I loved it, and I did it because I had the time and I had a scholarship to do it. I was in the best shape of my life back then, and it felt good. Fast forward 14 years, and I am now the mother of three beautiful children with a full-time job, a church calling, and aging parents who need my assistance. My life is busy to put it mildly, and on top of that I have this serious addiction to photography that I choose to spend time on as well. So it's only logical that my priorities have changed, that my time is spent differently, and that I don't exercise nearly as much. I have gained weight since those days, and my old injuries remind me each time I exercise that they haven't wandered away. Having said all of this you might have guessed by now that I look different , but guess what I learned this week? It probably sounds crazy to you, but I am different. I'm different now in so many ways. Not only have I gained weight that I wouldn't trade any one of my three children in to return, but I have scars that tell a story of where I have been. I have aching joints that crack and pop reminding me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind on doing, although it may require some sweat, pain and hard work. My mind is different including my thought processes. I think the old me was good at doing more than one thing at a time, but now-a-days there isn't an option. My mind is now stirring with who needs to be where next and what we need to prepare for the places that everyone needs to be, not to mention all of the crazy thoughts that pass through such as this post! So what I've decided based off of all of this analysis is that it isn't fair to compare myself to the old me. I already knew it wasn't fair based off of the time factor, but more than that it isn't fair because the old in-shape me is minus many lessons that I've learned over the years. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that I realize there is no need to compare anymore because I don't want to go back. I don't want to be her again. I don't even want to look like her again because that would mean erasing valuable time, lessons, and experience that I worked hard to attain.

So what does this have to do with Nie? Well, I checked in on her the other night as I always do, and her post really got me thinking. I think Nie is one of the most beautiful women I have never met, and the reason she is so beautiful is because her spirit shines through. She has scars that are far worse than mine, and those scars are included on her face. So, why am I so shallow and struggle so much to step in front of the camera? I've thought it through, and I'm making a decision right now to get over myself. If I want my children to grow up and be proud of who they are I need to stop comparing myself to others, and that includes the old me. I need to be comfortable in my own skin, and let my spirit shine through. Does this mean I won't attempt to lose a few pounds? Probably not since I know it is healthier for me and I want to be around to see my children's children, but I won't obsess with not being happy to be me. I also want my children to remember me being part of the time we spent together so I guess I'll be stepping in front of the camera more often, and now seems like a good time to start.


Charlotte said...[Reply to comment]

You look beautiful. I was looking through my photos the other day and realized I am not in them nearly enough. I need to be better at it, too.

terri said...[Reply to comment]

You are now, and have always been, beautiful inside and OUT!

Lindsey said...[Reply to comment]

Man I like you! You seem like someone I could just sit down and talk and relate with. I've had many of the same thoughts on my mind as being pregnant really noodles around with my self image. (I look different, feel different, can't do as much...) I have a really hard time embracing myself when I am feeling weak.
On a different note: I love that there are pictures of you now! I tried to take SOAR! photo's and never posted any because I couldn't get it to look the way I want. I am glad that you did!
Sorry I am so long winded...

Amber said...[Reply to comment]

Oh lady, this post was just beautiful. I am lucky to be acquainted with Nie's sister, CJane, and can attest to that family's wonderful spirits. I am constantly in awe with what they go through since they were thrust into the spotlight.

As for you? You are beautiful. I am so glad you decided to come out and include yourself in pictures. I know how hard it is. I have to force myself to sit through photographs. But, your children will be so glad to have memories with your picture attached.

Heslop said...[Reply to comment]

Thank you for being you! I love your post! I also am addicted to Nie, I find myself thinking about her constantly. It's amazing how people can touch you even though you've never met them! As for you, YOU ARE GORGEOUS! By the way who's your hairdresser?

Shan said...[Reply to comment]

This is awesome.. you truly know how to write! It is hard to be in the pictures..I am the one that always takes them, but this is great pictures with great memories..

Bobbidee said...[Reply to comment]

I am proud of you! That is a big step and I am guessing it will be a blessing to your whole family.

Scott and Rachel said...[Reply to comment]

You are AMAZING. I know this whole post was about not comparing but I really do hope one day that I will be able to get past the comparing business. I want to be where you are! Thank you for it. You make me a better person. Love ya!

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