Thursday, November 18, 2010

The push for perfection

When we moved to the Twin Cities it was clear that I physically didn't really fit in.  There is a pretty big population of Scandinavian people here.  And by people I really mean women...they are tall, blond, thin and athletic build.  I am short, dark, not naturally thin etc..  After a while I kind of stopped noticing it, but lately it's been annoying me again.

When I go to the gym the women look like they just stepped out of a fitness magazine.  Every hair is in place, the outfits all match and look expensive, makeup is applied.  I applaud them for the effort that must go into looking so good sweaty, but I just don't have it in me to compete.  As I cautiously walk up the stepmill machine, the girl in front of me (all sinewy and ripped) is running up the stairs.  It's exhausting honestly and I don't know what to think about it.  Confusion is a better word.  Do I push myself to try and keep up, or do I just give in knowing that it really isn't a reality?

I just started a new bible study recently.  We are reading Calm my Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow and today's chapter was called "content to be me".  The author had us focus on three scriptures.

Psalms 139: 14-16
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

This is my favorite passage in the Bible.  When I was in high school I gave a poem recital and the teacher let me use this chapter for my speech.  It speaks to me because NOTHING makes me feel more special than the realization that God created me...ME!  He knit me together in my mother's womb.  He knew the plan and path my life would take.  He lovingly created me just the way I am.  As comforting as that is, I was surprised to find out that others in my group didn't feel the way I did.  These scriptures made them uncomfortable...because they struggle with who they are and I guess why God made them the way he did. 

These scriptures somehow give me relief and take off pressure.  They remind me that I am an original.  There is no one just like me.  He meant to make me the way I am.  He loves me and so should I.  It also changes how I view other people because if God made "them" a certain way...who am I to want to change "them" etc...  Does that make sense?  So instead of comparing or competing with others who are not me, I'm changing my focus and purposely praising him for his handiwork.   It's not an easy task...especially if you struggle with certain things about yourself...but the Master loves every little hair on your head.  He of course put them there...why wouldn't he?:)  Isn't that an amazing truth!



Have a blessed day.

Picture is taken from a Gap store front.
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  1. Thanks for reminding me of some truths that I need to focus on. Your gym experience sounds like an average day in South Florida. On a positive side, I can always find my size in stores.

  2. Dear Becky
    Thank you for
    this shift in
    seeing myself
    and others. I
    always appreciate
    your perspective....
    and YOU....Who
    is beautiful,
    inside and out.
    xx Suzanne

  3. Great post Becky ~ we have to love ourselves first before we can truly be happy....

  4. oh girl.
    did you read my mail?
    yep. i think you did.

    rest ASSURED that i am the girl at my gym that has a greasy head of hair with not a stitch of makeup.

    there is not enough time in the day to get READY to go to the gym.

    love this your heart.

  5. what a wonderful lesson to wake up to. thanks. i will focus on that verse today.

  6. It's just so overwhelming to even think about. He knows every hair on our heads. He loves us unconditionally, no one else truly does that. I have to remind myself sometimes that I am what I am supposed to be and that being insecure about my body is not His plan. Good for you for going to the gym, I raise my Oreo to you!

  7. Oh, Becky@ This is an age-old non-exempt problem, and you are not alone! Just think, all those tall, thin, well made up ladies are likely that way because they were watching the people there before them and tried to change to fit in themselves! And your feeling this way will change as you get older. I am almost certain that by the time you get to my age (late 50's) you will no longer notice, and be perfectly content with the you that YOU are! My philosophy? I am the child of a loving Father God, who made me - knit me together in my mother's womb, and I am what I am because of Him. And he loves THAT me beyond measure! So, who am I to disagree? Yes, there are things I need to change, but they are things that are internal and eternal, the outside, visible me is just a vessel, and God loves cracked pots, too!

    So, relax, give yourself a break, and just be YOU!!! You will soon find out that is more than enough! xoxox Becky G. in GA

  8. Hi Becky! Such uplifting words this morning....and being a woman, you know how special it really IS to be a's to embracing your feminity that God created for you, and not stiffle His creations within you!

    Anne Marie

  9. What a great way to start my day! Thank you for sharing that wonderful scripture.
    I know we all struggle with self image. As soon as we get up in the morning it starts: do I work out or not, do I eat this or not, can I fit into this or not. UGH! Everyday!
    BUT...all we have to work with is what we were given and we just all need to do our best. It is what it is and we should be thankful right?
    Just wish is wasn't so darn hard.
    So I'm off to eat my breakfast.
    Yogurt or sweet roll~ yogurt or sweet roll.....

  10. What a great post! I think I'm glad I live in the Midwest where most women are corn-fed and 'curvy'. There's not a lot of Scandinavian models here. LOL!

  11. Beautiful words here this morning. I really appreciate that Scripture too. Especially the last verse.

    Isn't it amazing how God's Word really impacts one over it comforts one but disturbs another?

    You have a wonderful day, my friend.

  12. Hey becky! I loved this book/study...I actually did a post on it a while back:
    Anyway, I think it's hard for women to be comfortable with who they are...just how God made us...but you're right. We are "fearfully and wonderfully" made :)
    have a great day!

  13. That is one of my all time favorite passages also . Coming from a large family of pretty girls I couldn't help but compare myself with them , I guess insecurity and all . Now I am 51 and when confronted with naturally blond and thin , I just remind myself that I was fearfully and wonderfully made and that beauty is trully what is inside . Just thought I'd share . God Bless , and you are a beautiful lady .

  14. I had a perfection post laying on my heart as beautifully said Becky as you are too!

  15. What a lovely and encouraging word to start my day. :) I've quoted that same verse on my blog in the past few weeks.

    God is one amazing artist - who are we to question his handiwork, right?

    Incidently, I'm scandinavian (so you know we don't ALL look like that....) HA!

    And, you're welcome to come work out at my gym sometime where I don't think I've ever seen ANY sinewy / ripped tall blondes...

    That is, until my minnesota native best friend visits from her present home in Australia...she's the very definition of the girl you described!

    Let's get together again soon, girlie!
    I'm thinking of scoping out the listings for some chick flicks this weekend. Are you interested?

  16. Becky, thanks for speaking (writing) Truth over me this morning. What a wonderful example to set for your kids and what a blessing to know that God created us perfectly!

  17. Beautiful truth! Oh, and you look even more gorgeous than that girl! Just sayin' ;-)

  18. I love that passage...I remember when my son had to memorize the part about being "wonderfully made" for church. Your so right, is it had not to compare, but you just have to keep that verse in the back of your mind. I have a little quote on my blog that is also a good reminder. It says: "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." As for going to the gym, I'd rather work out at home, then I can look as gross as I want ;)

  19. I've got to do that Bible study! Every time I read about it I think it sounds wonderful. and you can work out next to me. I'm messy and sweaty and I don't care. I'm not going to bother to get ready until AFTER I work out. What's the point?? Oh, and I work out in my grubbies too.

  20. I think every last one of us needed this reminder today. Love you!

  21. Thank you for this! I so needed to hear it this morning.

  22. Wow! What a great post...thanks so much for this wonderful reminder, Becky:) I think I'll have my girls read it, too, after school today. Have a lovely day:)

  23. Beautiful scripture, beautiful blogger! We all love you very much & I think you are stunning.

  24. Thank you for you this post. It is hard sometimes to see others and not secretly want to be or look like them. But, God did make me, me and I am thankful for that. Besides, I don't have time to make myself all beautified before I go workout, oh wait, don't do that either. I would rather be cozy in my pjs and have people see the real me! :) Becky, you are a child of God and that makes you beautiful inside and out! :)

  25. You know you are way luckier than those girls with makeup on at the gym. Anyone wearing makeup to work out in has got to be desperately insecure and doesn't even realize how beautiful they really are. You are a gorgeous girl inside and out!
    P.S. Don't look at my blog today it is all about Scandinavia you will throw up!

  26. Yes it is and I am grateful to Him for having you share that with us. I need to look into that study because I'm dealing with some sever anxiety right now. You are indeed wonderfully made!

  27. Becky... I am a new reader of your blog and must say I love your honesty and realistic view on life, love and overall happiness. I also live in the Twin Cities and feel your pain. As cliche as this sounds, what matters is the true beauty on the inside. I'm still learning to love and accept myself as is, the way God sees me and loves me. I'm a work in progress, as is everyone else.

  28. All of us women need to hear this! It's easy to forget isn't it? Thanks Becky.

  29. Amen, sister! Those are words we should never take for granted. He made us the way we are for purpose and reason. And if that means curvy and lumpy in spots, and not ripped, well then by golly so be it. ;)

  30. I have struggled with these same kind of feelings. It is nice to know that I am not alone and that He loves me no matter what. Thanks for being real.

  31. WOnderful reminder, for me and especially as a mother to 3 girls. I want them to grow up loving how they were created.

  32. That's my favorite scripture too, Becky.
    And for what it's worth, I think you're absolutely beautiful on the outside, but more importantly on the *inside*....where it truly matters. :-)


  33. I love that book! I need to revisit it every once in awhile to renew my perspective!
    Speaking to the word "confusion" I wrote that exact same word in my journal last night. Then, the Lord put on my heart to open to Proverbs 20:24 and I found this scripture that comforted me so:
    "A mans steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way."
    And then to Psalm 119 that's all about our Paths being directed by him! I am reminded He is the one who chose my path so if I am confused I need to check in with Him.

  34. Isn't it amazing that however many times we read it, how much we know it, that we still forget it?? I may have to buy that book...

  35. I love that scripture too! I remember the first time that verse hit me, I was listening to a children's choir sing it to music at a summer camp I helped out at in college...I had tears streaming down my face. Ever since then, I go back to that psalm when I am feeling "not good enough, physically".

  36. That is one of my all-time favorite verses!- something I "try" to remember every day- even at the gym standing next to the "Scandinavian model-types" ;)

  37. Thanks for this post! I am going to go and check out that book!

  38. What a great reminder. I just love this post. God created me to be - ME!

    Thank you!!!

  39. Great post Becky! I might be blonde, but I am not tall and my hair is so dirty when I go to the gym...and there is no make-up!

  40. I don't think there is anything more defeating in life than to look around, compare, and fall short. I have been there a LOT lately!!! (Why are we always on the same page? Love that.) I keep struggling with jealousy over others and I'm not a naturally jealous sort. Well, at least I didn't used to be. So I began really hitting it hard in prayer and about two days ago, I had a big breakthrough. God has been teaching me all about humility. It's been hard, but SO incredible. And timely. And needed. And did I mention hard? :) Anyway, I love this post, and you are gorgeous... you don't even have to worry about it girl, you are so fit and cute! I bet they look at you and long to be petite and brunette! :)


  41. I have always loved these verses & this reminds me I should start teaching these to Annie as I am trying to ingrain into her head at an early age that God doesn't make mistakes & she is beautiful & all people are beautiful! I don't know why I never thought of reading her these verses!!! Thanks!

  42. LOVE your post! I can so relate living in Southern California where sometimes it feels like everyone is all about how they look. Love the reminder that God created ME just the way He wanted to. You think as you get older this all gets easier and somehow it doesn't. P.S. I think you're beautiful inside and out.
    Have a great day,

  43. I LOOOOVE that you put your Faith out there...its so refreshing to see others that love the Lord like i do!

    Love the scripture!

    blessings xoxokara

  44. every woman should read linda's book. i learned so much. i need to re-read it often.

    the funny thing? my mom is 100% scandanavian and i don't look anything like them!

  45. oOoOoO!!! I own that book...and it is one of my favorites. It's one of those ones you have to revisit and each time you hits just the right spot....right where needed. God and His word are marvelous in that way. Thanks for the is so easy to fall into insecurities.

  46. I don't know why but this made me cry.
    : (
    I am so glad you liked Becca's interview. I think she is a beautiful person. I am EXCITED out of my mind about your new camera. You are going to have SO much fun! Sending you love tonight. Love, Fat Becky

  47. I loved this post! Thanks for sharing your heart -- I did that Bible study a long time ago (Calm my Anxious Heart) and LOVED it . . . maybe I'll have to pull it out again! :-)

  48. I used to have the thoughts & feelings of being "less than". Nope, no more! A lot of the improvement comes with age...a lot from realizing God made each of us perfect in His eyes. Who knows what those girls' lives are really like? Are they happy? Are their husbands faithful? Are their kids ok, healthy, etc? Do they have a health problem, i.e., cancer, not able to have children, perhaps dependent on substances to get through their days/nights??? A million possibilities, right? Appreciate YOU ~ you're the only YOU there will ever be. :-)

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving and give thanks for your little family.


  49. I've been there over and over again. It's like my mountain to conquer I think. I don't know how we get there...once and for all.

    I do know that moving has helped me. I don't really care what the people at the bus stop think about me in the morning because I don't know any of them...and they don't know me.

    Something tremendously freeing about moving across the country!! I just posted about something similar though so I'm with you. I struggle with my stupid jealousy daily...

    But I think we all do...every single cotton pickin' one of us beautiful women! :)

  50. Thank you lovey. I'd like to read that book. My husband says somethings God made perfect and others he covered with hair.
    Just a little funny.

    I would be overjoyed to just have full function of my body again. We take for granted just how much we do have, until it isn't there. It feels so good to stretch your arms when you first wake up. My armpit hasn't felt a stretch or a breeze since August. I'm looking forward to the day I can lift up my arm. It may take a long time but I have to hope. God does love us.

  51. Thank you for the wonderful reminder.

  52. What a great reminder. I live in Vilnius, Lithuania and the women here are possibly even thinner/more beautiful than Scandinavian women. I call the gym here "the Barbie show"--the most awesome part is the prancing around and drying of the long, luscious locks NAKED in the locker room. Who does that in America? Anyway, I found your blog a few weeks ago and if you were wondering who's been reading all your archives from a tiny Baltic country, it's me! You are a breath of fresh air, a wonderful encouragement. How amazing that things you wrote a year ago are blessing people TODAY? Keep on keepin' on, sister!

  53. I am so glad that God made all of us so DIFFERENT. It makes the world a beautiful place, to see all the variations. I don't fit in sometimes, but I know that many only show their good sides, which tends to make other women feel inadequate. there is beauty in that soft side of us that makes women feel they have a soul sister.

  54. Thankyou for opening my eyes. This was something I really needed to hear today. I find it so hard to be accepting of myself, always striving for unobtainable goals. So often judging my self worth by a number on the bathroom scales. I am going to try and change my attitude, thanks for inspiring me to look at things the other way around. Hope you have a beautiful weekend xox

  55. I have been carrying this scripture in my heart a lot lately. My oldest daughter is expecting a baby girl in Feb... her third baby. The doctors have found a heart defect and highly suspect Down Syndrome.
    This word from God has carried her and I as I watch her go through this tough time. We are blessed that the doctors give much hope. We are trusting God because we know HE can do all things.
    Those tall blonds have nothing on you pretty girl. Make-up or not!! I work out in pajamas with my neighbor. We are a sight! Have a blessed day!!

  56. Do you know Becky that when I finally met you in person I thought to she's pretty and cute on her blog, but in person, she is even prettier and more adorable!!! I don't think you have anything to worry about, you are beautiful inside and out!!!

    Hugs ~

    :) T

  57. Umm... you need to go to the gym with me... you will feel much better about yourself. No makeup, ratty T-shirt, puffy eyes. That or just ruminate on that scripture. Either will work.

  58. ....dear girl....{thank you} was my first time reading that scripture, and it has brought tears to my eyes. i am constantly comparing myself to others and wonder why i wasn't able to look like that or why couldn't i be that creative?!? this gentle reminder i will carry close to my {heart}...knowing that i was woven together in a secret place in the depths of the earth...{strength}...

    prairie hugs,

  59. First can I just say I think you are beautiful?! and I love that portion of scripture - have you heard the song that says "there will never be a more beautiful you" I love that. I'm 47 and I have a 4 year old so I struggle in this area. I feel like I'm getting there - hopefully by the time I'm 87 I will wear that grey hair proudly!

    By the way I went to the U of M and I loved that I have dark hair - I felt like I looked different from all those tall thin blondes lol!

  60. I absolutely get your envy. Though mind you, you know what they say about (dumb) blonds and (short-tempered) red-heads. Brunettes are a special breed. We are sexy! ;)

  61. Why is it that we never compare ourselves positively to other people? It's all in the comparison. Thank you for this lovely reminder - it was much needed today!

  62. That has been my very favorite scripture passage too, since I was a teenager. (A long time!!)

    Becky, I think you are perfect just the way you are. You have a BIG Heart a super BEAUTIFUL Smile and a PRECIOUS spirit along with being gorgeous on the outside. And even when you are old, all of these same things will SHINE.

    Keep on being BEAUTIFUL and REAL BECKY!
    She is who I come to visit daily and who I have grown to love!

    ♥Lee Ann

  63. Good thoughts. Living in MN, I can relate to the somewhat higher standard of women 'keeping themselves up'. Sometimes I'm right there with them, other times I'm tromping around in my mismatched sweats and snow boots! Either way, I just try to remember that God doesn't care if my hair or clothing are 'just so', but only that my heart is 'just so'. :)

  64. Again, so pleased to read your post!!! I can remember entering the gym and feeling that way many times. I still feel that way, occasionally, when running up and down Bayshore. Living in Florida is different, because people are over all more casual. However, I live in the "PLASTIC" surgery capital of the world......okay, maybe not the capital, but it is close. Thankfully, that doesn't suck me in, as easily, nor do I experience the covetous feeling.

    I am glad to hear someone else say it is just too much to keep up!

  65. I would love to win the pendant "suddenly". I really enjoy looking at your paintings. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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