At 41, I am finally starting to fit into my big girl pants! Those darn pants have either been too big, awkwardly short, too tight, button breaking small, and even torn in all the wrong places. Mamas, I know you feel me. It feels good to put them on and have them start to feel “just right.” Getting that perfect fit is an ongoing process, no doubt. Three key aspects of my life had to be balanced in order to get me to a more comfy place in my life.
Mamas, we can’t do this life alone. We need community and deep relationships with other women. God spoke into my heart, and I took a leap of faith recently by joining 10 women in an 18 week Bible study. All in is an understatement. “Sit and get” is not an option in this study. Rather than swallowing my words, I am raw and open. Facing my biggest fears, being vulnerable with a small group of women, and putting it all on the line is what I needed to grow. Removing that fear of judgment no longer holds me back. Mamas, we need each other. Speaking truth, extending grace, learning to listen, and holding each other accountable keeps us grounded. Learning to “lean in” rather than exhausting myself, analyzing and controlling my life, and others is calming. Being strong in reality is my greatest weakness. Asking for help, saying no, and accepting grace without guilt is beautiful. Mamas, take a chance and join a study or group that promotes all aspects of growth. You are so worthy.
Finding a regime of self-care to create a healthy balance in my life is happening! Until recently, I had nothing left when I got home from teaching all day. My body and mind crave more of “me time.” Quiet time is a treasure and hard to embrace in this season of life. Something had to change, fast. Priorities had to shift so I began carving daily quiet time to be alone to reflect, journal, pray, meditate, and exercise. My alarm sounds at 4:30 AM daily. I cherish that loud, relentless beep. Before this daily routine, I was never fully present with my husband and children. Yes, it’s true. There were countless times where my family was sharing their heart, and I missed it all. How can that be? As mamas, our brains are full of all the things. Time to think about filtering all the things and focus on what’s right in front of you. Nothing is more valuable than our family. All the things can wait. They deserve the real me…all of me. Mamas, give yourself the gift of quiet and calm.
Sitting at my best friends funeral this past summer was a nightmare. Molly was my girl…the real deal. I physically hurt when I think of her, and my heart aches to see her in my dreams. She got me, the real me. Loving me through the ugly parts and cheering with me through the best…that was her forte. We could be apart for months and not miss a beat when we got together. I could show up at her door in sweats and a bottle of cheap wine in hand without notice. No judgment, no questions asked…just a smile and an open invitation. There will never be another Molly in my circle, yet the depth of our friendship is a necessity I will carry with me forever. As those big girl pants start to feel more comfortable, I accept the idea that everyone I meet is not necessarily meant to stay in my life forever. It’s okay to let go. Just like a pair of pants, outgrowing people is natural and normal. As we travel through this life, this is a process most of us undergo. Surrounding myself with “Molly’s” is time and energy well spent. Mamas, find your people. Be yourself, be intentional, and seek others that love the real you.
Hips that don’t lie, vision changes, weight that has shifted to all the wrong places, fly away grays, less tolerance, inner confidence, and prioritizing precious time reminds me to love myself even harder. Loving myself is an ongoing process. It takes honest reflection and giving yourself a lot of grace and patience. Therapy, spiritual growth, and journaling encourages me to stop dwelling on my imperfections and embrace the fabulous things. Two years ago, breast cancer became a part of me. My body will never look the same, yet it created genuine perspective. Your fate can be tested when you least expect it. Looking back, I was the healthiest and happiest 39 year old when I was diagnosed. Yet, in reality, it was all a facade. Blessings are revealed in the hard. Breast cancer indirectly created this need to evaluate and refocus. I was wearing a mask that needed to be taken off, one layer at a time.
There are moments in life that test us and push us to REALLY love ourselves, and that often occurs through obstacles in this life. Mamas, I am learning that self-love takes time. Be gentle with yourself and be open to others loving on you. When you get to that place of peace, those pants start to fit like a glove. Of course, those pants may need altering along the way because we are always emerging. Mamas, keep the faith. You are worthy!