Stop Doubting Your Value

 

Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message:

I may look confident and put together on the outside (when I’m not in my yoga pants and a ponytail) but on the inside I often wander back to that little girl who questions her value and wants to make a difference.

There are lots of ways this inner struggle presents itself in me …

I tether my value to how I look.
I tether my value to how my jeans fit.
I tether my value to how I perform.
I want my husband and kids to love me perfectly,
even though they can’t.
I want to love others perfectly, but I don’t, so I 
juggle guilt like a hot potato.
I get distracted and waste time, so I feel unproductive.
I want to make a difference, but I try to do too
 much.

The Bible showcases a perfection that I implement pathetically. Like that love chapter in 1 Corinthians that most of us had read at our weddings. Verses like “love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way” (13:4–5 ESV). Wait, what? Geez! The way I love doesn’t even come close to this list! And then the big left hook smacks me hard: “Love never fails” (v. 8).

The magnitude of God’s perfect love is epic. The magnitude of my love is minuscule.

I try to be patient. I try to be kind. I try not to envy or boast. All of it. But my efforts are less than. I stub my toe on my ego all the time. I get edgy and loud. I insist on my own way. And then I beat myself up!

If I were a better mom, I would’ve ____.

If I were a better friend, I would _____.

If I were in better shape, then maybe _____.

If I were more talented, I would be able to _____.

And because I’m not content with my own body, my own behaviors, and my own abilities, I struggle to see how a perfect God can look past my brokenness. I know in my heart that He loves me, but I sometimes struggle to accept that He likes me, because sometimes I don’t even like myself.

These doubts and insecurities cause me to question my value and my ability to make a difference. They cause me to feel insignificant. Invisible and ineffective.

Yet I know that the Bible says the opposite. And because of this, I’m reminded to, instead, tether my value to truths like these:

I was created in the image of God.
I am sealed with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus loved me so much that He endured a horrific death so I could be saved.
These truths matter. And because they matter, they confirm to me that I matter. And they confirm that you matter too.

Don’t think for one little minute that I don’t sense you bristling up. It’s what we girls do when the spotlight of attention is shined on our significance. We shy away. Throw our hands up to shield the light. Contest with our best excuses …

Some of us contend, “I’m really nothing special. That word valuable makes me nervous. My life is less than. Average at best. Mac and cheese is my jam. I drive a minivan, wear ponytails, use off-brand detergent, and live paycheck to paycheck. Where is the value in that?”

Others of us contend, “I cannot believe you’re going to go there! Did you not read my bumper sticker and T-shirt? I am nothing. Jesus is everything. Hide me in the cross and stop trying to make me feel special. Slap! Slap! Slap! Shame on you for even bringing up such a topic of the flesh!”

Some of us acquiesce: “Okay. Let’s talk. I know in my mind that I’m precious to Jesus, but that often gets lost in translation on its way to my heart. Yes. Let’s have this conversation. I want everything God has for me, and I’m ready to move forward as a woman of greater impact.”

Wherever you find yourself in these responses, my prayer is that you will join our last friend with an expectant and curious heart. With a heart that is ready to move forward in the truth of your significance so that you can live out the purpose for which you were created.

 

Saturday Spotlight: Lipsense

WOOHOO! It is Saturday and it is time to highlight another amazing mom-preneur.  Today we are going to meet Lena Harris of Faith Hope Love and Beauty.  I met Lena through the League of Audacious Woman. I am excited to share her mission as well as her products with you…

Here is what Lena shares about herself and her business…

I am a mom if 2 under 2 as a SeneGence and Usborne distributor. My brand I’m developing is Faith Hope Love and Beauty. I aim to graft others into an aesthetic of life. When we as humans can appreciate beauty, our life has much more meaning and fullfillment!

I am also a multimedia self taught artist, graphic and web designer. While my primary focus is with SeneGence and their Premier LipSense product, my long term goal is to be servicing others with my interpersonal relationship skills, and eventually designing a marketing strategy with storytelling and content based media. I’m a networking specialist to strategically place workplace individuals together to achieve business goals and solve problems. With a plan, the people, and the long term financial investment, the goal is to bridge the gap between the entertainment industry and network marketing!

Here group page is all about: Aesthetic for Life! This group is a place for community and friendship while we explore the beauty of our lives. Inside and Out! Get an insiders scoop to the famous Lipsense: All-Day lip color that is baby proof, waterproof, budge proof and will hydrate and replenish your lips in the process of making lips feel gorgeous!

Be sure to join her at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1463807517023520/

I LOVE Lena’s brand and mission where her heart for people shines for all to see.

Need something to carry your Lipsense in?  You’ll love The Mini Zipper Pouch.  A great carryall for those little items in need of a place. Featuring a zipper closure, it was designed to accessorize many of our other larger totes, thermals, backpacks and purses, it’s perfect size to keep smaller items secure, such as cash, change, lip stick, IDs, gift cards, small snacks, gum, mints and receipts. Attach a Wristlet Strap to the D-ring and take it to the grocery, laundromat, gym, street fair or sports event. Approx. 5.5”H x 8”L x 1.5”D

Hope you have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Throwback: An Act of Kindness

No-Act-of-Kindness-Is-Wasted  This post first appeared in 2015..

Today’s blog was inspired by Lori Deschene….

As we approach the last few shopping days till Christmas, I have noticed a few things: tempers are shorter, people are in a hurry, while store employees are tired and feeling unappreciated.  The happiest time of the year has become the “let’s just get through this season”.  No, I am not being Negative Nelly just stating some observations while I was out shopping the other night.

The holiday season has taken on a new meaning for me.  I can’t explain it – hubby would say it is old age.  LOL.  I have found myself NOT just getting a gift because I need to get something.  I am NOT spending tons of money to show how I feel about someone.  I have found myself showing compassion and understanding more than ever before. I am surprised at their response.

Over the years, I have been shown kindness in many ways from friends and family but the kindness of strangers has taught me lasting lessons.  Think about it as you check out at the register.  Smile and greet the cashier.  Ask them how they are doing.  Maybe give someone a tip that they weren’t expecting.

They all have struggles, and dreams, and goals, and responsibilities, and they too could benefit from someone showing them patience, kindness, and understanding if they’re a little slow or less than friendly.

The other day I was with hubby as he stopped for gas.  He ALWAYS pays cash.  The total was $16 and he told the attendant to keep the change.  Okay, so $4 isn’t a big deal but the smile that spread across the attendant’s face was priceless.  He couldn’t thank us enough.  A random act of kindness made a difference in someone’s day.

The world is a better place when we see people beyond their nametags, and visualize everyone as someone who truly is doing their best.

We’re all a little scared and a little rough around the edges.

We’re all looking for love, support, acceptance, and appreciation.

And we can all get and give these things every day, one tiny act at a time.

Has the power of tiny acts of kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance made a difference in your own life?  Here are some suggestions from Tiny Buddha’s 365 Love Challenges of small acts that we can all do:

Be patient and understanding with people who serve you, especially if they have a lot of customers to tend to.

Compliment someone who serves you in some way (for example, a waiter, barista, or bus driver) on how well they do their job.

Empathizing instead of criticizing is a big thing. Getting up to help instead of sitting back and judging is a big thing.

Keep an eye out for someone who looks sad—a friend, coworker, or even stranger—and say something that might make them laugh or smile.

It may seem like a tiny thing, but sometimes the tiny things are the big things.  And it’s big things like these that help us all feel seen, appreciated, and loved—and far happier for it.

What Random Act of Kindness will you do today?  Share it with us and let us all celebrate the spirit of Christmas this holiday season.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Throwback: Loving Yourself When Your Too….

This post first appeared on June 30th, 2016…Woman-at-beach

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Last week, I had an AHA moment.  A moment when the brain fog lifted and I realized I had to stop making excuses for why a few (okay, 20) pounds were back.  Yes, I could blame health issues.  The truth was I was slowly slipping back into old habits I had BEFORE I lost 100 pounds.

B4 picture with Belinda

Yup, me and my cutie of a daughter (she hates this picture). It is REALLY old but the truth is there aren’t many pictures of me when I was heavy.

Back to the AHA moment….I needed to take control of what I could control – my eating. I was repeatedly complaining about “gaining” or not losing weight as hubby’s weight kept going down.  The truth was, he was eating healthier and I was secretly eating junk! Okay, so the truth is out, now I have to be accountable.

I wanted the capris which fit so good over the last 2 summers to again fit.  I wanted the jiggle in my thighs to be gone.  I wanted the puffiness in my face to be gone.  There was no magic wand but there was the proverbial SMACK on the head which made me realize what I needed to do.  It was at the moment I opened my email to find an online special from Weight Watchers.  I didn’t delete it, I just let it sit in my inbox.  After a lot of prayer and thought, I did it!  I signed up again.

It was time for me to stop beating myself up and take some of my own advice…

1. Stop comparing.

Hubby loves me not matter what – I mean when we got together, I was on the weightless journey.  Over the last two years as I struggled with health issues, I was constantly comparing myself to others. I felt inferior because I hadn’t stuck to the program.

Once you stop comparing, you realize you will always be too fat, too skinny, too tall, too this when you compare yourself to others.  The comparison game will kill your dreams before you even start. Know you are exactly what you’re supposed to be—one of a kind and beautiful.

2. Change the way you see.

Have you had experiences where people you told you how pretty (or nice you look) BUT you thought you were unattractive? I have.  Where you say “thank you” and add “but I have….” negating their compliment.

Dr. Wayne Dyer often said, “When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.” I know this is true because I often experience it in my life.

Focus on what is wonderful about you, whether it’s your kindness, generosity, or thoughtfulness.  When you focus on the internal features, the external features seem to start to sparkle with radiance.  It’s not that you changed—your perception did.

3. Change your thoughts.

change-your-thoughts-and-you-change-your-world7

How many times have you looked at a picture or a video of yourself and a barrage of negative self-talk dominated your thoughts? Those inner gremlins start to take over and before long they are in control.

How sad it would be if we allowed those negative voices to stop us from offering what we have to give: our knowledge, ideas, voice, gifts, our love, and more? We would be withholding these things from people who might need and benefit from them.

My Fierce Cheerleader and Abundance Coach, Eryka Peskin, has taught me how to celebrate those negative things so they no longer have control over my life.  Try it.  Step back and reframe those negatives into a positive.

You have so much to give (even if you feel like you don’t): your unique gifts, your experience, courage, ingenuity, creativity, and so much more. Don’t let the negative voices stop you from sharing what you have. The world (your neighbors, your friends, your grandma, or whatever your world may be) needs it.

The truth is, there will always be someone or some people who will find you undesirable or unlovable, but the world is also full of people who will feel the opposite.

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Ultimately, the deeper truth you have to find within yourself is this: If no one loves me, will I love myself?  YES, I will love myself.

In the moments when I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I make a choice. I make a choice to give myself total acceptance and love for all that I am: the good, the ugly, and the bad.

Will you make the choice to love yourself when you’re too short, too tall, too fat, and too skinny?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Never Forget

  It is Monday morning and we should be heading to Royal Carribean’s Majesty of the Sea for 5 glorious days of my pink bubble. Irma has had other plans and I am home reflecting on so many things…

It is a morning filled with lots of emotion…as a nation, we honor those who were lost on 9-11.  We continue to struggle with the evil which plaques our nation.  We mourn for those lost and honor those whose lives have forever been changed.   This day is one of few memories which I can clearly remember…  I remember as if it were yesterday.  I was working at Mia’s Christmas Shop in Ocean City, NJ.  We had just opened when I was called into the office by Charlie, the owner, who had the television on showing the attacks.  Charlie immediately started to collect money for those whose lives would be changed as a result of this horrific event.  I got to share the events of the morning with many people who were on vacation and CLUELESS about what was happening.  Those days were filled with words like: Hero, Compassion, Love, Kindness, and Bravery.

Edythe

September 11th took on a new meaning in 2011 when Heaven gained another Weston angel – Edythe, my aunt, my friend  and my mom’s middle sister.  Growing up, I spent ALOT of time with Edythe (and Elsie). When I was younger, they were my babysitters.  As the years went on, they were a BIG part of my support system.  Edythe (along with the rest of my family) helped to raise Belinda. As Belinda grew up, lives changed – the world moved a little faster and we lost touch with the exception of holidays.

The words describing those involved in the September 11th attacks and recovery efforts could now relate to Edythe: Hero, Compassion, Love, Kindness, and Bravery.

Life seems to be full of moments which ask us to let go when we long to hold on.  I don’t know what you face right now, what season of life you’re in, but my prayer for you is simple and from the heart. May you know the comfort and strength of the One whose love will never fail you, and whose mercies are new every single morning!

As we reflect on this day, hug the ones you love, forgive the ones who you believe have done you wrong and enjoy the moment with those you love.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!