Battle #2: Making Stretch Marks Sexy
I won't reveal my age. Not because I'm ashamed of it, but because I believe it would hinder my intent.But when I was younger it never occured to me that I would get old. Funny how that works, huh? Even with my first child, I actually thought the stretch marks would fade away and everything would just shrink right back in to place....Yes I know...take a moment to laugh with me, because I still giggle at my nieivity.
The Bible says we are not to be afraid to grow old, but to embrace it and love it. With age comes wisdom. The Bible also says that grey hairs are a sign of wisdom. Which sounds awesome when your are just a praisin' the Lord in the church, but when you get home and realize that florencent lighting really highlights those “light colored” hairs....well then it's “Lord, I'm only covering up this wisdom with a bottle of Ferier so that all my hairs will match..you know I'm OCD about these things.”
The truth y'all...I personally don't mind getting older. I don't mind the grey. I don't mind the laugh lines or crows feet. I don't mind the stretch marks. I don't mind that no matter how hard I try my stomach is going to forever be a flag waving at the pool; or that my boobs only look like they still have definition because of the AMAZING things bras can do now. I'm not 18 anymore, I've accepting these things. I only mind because I'm married and my husband works with girls who like they are about to walk the runway at a Victoria Secret's Fashion Show.
This is where those crazy thoughts come flooding back to me. I'm fat. I'm ugly. Of course he'd rather have that than me because after all my ENTIRE worth is wrapped up in my beauty...or lack there of.....right?
These thoughts are damaging. They cut us women right to the quick. And we do it to ourselves. It's one of those moments...that we have at least 3 times a day...when we have to stop and ask God to take those thoughts from us, and reveal to us our true selves. Who God sees us as. The Bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God doesn't make mistakes.
There is also something else to remember, and for that...it's story time.
I have a friend. According to the standard of the world she is not attrative. She is just a hair over 5 feet tall and about 220lbs....good thing we're doing anonimity here otherwise she'd KILL me for posting her weight. But, here's the kicker...she's got more men lined up to sign her dance card then anyone else I know. Men fall over each other to meet her, get her number and be the first to call. And the reason? Because she's smart, funny and doesn't play games. She says what she means and means what she says, and guys like that. She has a beautiful personality.
I know I know, we've all heard it before...”Saying you have a beautiful personality is something only ugly people say,” blah blah blah.
Well imagine my surprise when I was put in my place, unexpectdly, by my husband about this subject. We were out and about one day and stopped in to his work to pick up his paycheck. There was a beautiful girl that came from the back, greeted us, and went about her business. This girl was so beautiful that even I stared for a moment in awe as the florcentant lighting seemed to cascade off her perfect body, perfect hair, perfect teeth, and perfect face...which by this moment I wasn't to perfectly punch. But I kept my cool becasue we were at my husband's work. I didn't ask who she was or anything...mainly because I didn't want him to see that I was CLEARLY jealous that God made her look like and trust me God heard the prayer in my head that told him so the entire time we were in that building.
But then we got out to the car and my husband said “I was so glad to get out of there, I can't stand that girl” and so I asked him why. And this is what he said to me:
“She's smokin' hot...” PAUSE.
This is one of those moments where crazy stepped in, and my mind quickly decided that whatever he said next would determine if I were going to jail that day or not...hey y'all women emotions are NOT something to toy with. Anyway....
“She's smokin' hot, you saw her. But she's one of those girls that's like an 8 but thinks she's a 20. And then she opens her mouth and stupid just pours out. She immidately drops from an 8 to a 1. I can't stand stupid. I don't care how pretty you are, if you are too into yourself and stupid that makes you ugly...” PAUSE....wait for it....wait for it....I litterally held my breath at this point....
“That's why I'm glad I found you. Because now I get to have intelligent conversation while I stare at your pretty face,” .....Give this man a prize y'all!!
And he wasn't just blowing smoke either...many men I've talked to have said the same thing.
But then you have THOSE women. The women that seem to have to whole package and their only flaw is that they don't care that YOUR husband is married to YOU. We can all spot them from a mile away. Our husbands are completely clueless and the more we try to tell them the more crazy we look. So it's all fine and good that we're smart and funny women and our husbands like that...but what happens when a better looking clone of ourselves walks in with an 18 year old body and nothing to lose?
Well of course first we pray. I have discovered that when the Bible said that a man and his wife were one, God meant that literally. So when I pray for my husband it's as if I'm praying for myself. You can pray to God all you want for your neighbor to stop playing their loud music at 2AM, but we all have the right to choose and God will not “make” anyone do anything. So that's not what I mean. But what I do mean, is the mindset. I can pray for my husband's thoughts as I would pray for my own, and God will hear them as if they came from my husband. Because we are one.
So I always like to pray that my husband will see every flaw, every trap, and that she will become repulisive to him.
But then I pray for me and what can I do to make sure that there is not desire for him to want someone else. And when I began to pray that I discovered something amazing about men. Yes we should do our best to look good for our husbands, stay clean and fresh and do things for him...like don't be lazy in the bedroom, ask him what he wants for a change, don't be afraid to take the high road. All of that is true. But what God showed me had greater impact.
Men want acceptance. In fact, they desire it more than women do. And not only is it a desire, but it's a basic need for a man...it's like oxygen. The difference? It has to come in a different form. Women want to be cuddled, wined, dined, told they don't look fat even though they are WELL AWARE that they do. Men don't want all that. They want real respect and etification. They want to hear that their job isn't a given, that's it's something to be praised. And when they've had a bad day and they don't want to talk about it, they honestly DON'T want to talk about it. They don't want to hear what they should do...because for a man all he hears is what he DIDN'T do and that in turn makes him a failure.
He doesn't want to be nagged about taking out the trash...trust me he heard you the first time. Just because he doesn't do things on YOUR time table doesn't mean he's an inconsiderate jerk. My husband works nights and I have learned that if I say “Hey do you mind taking out the trash” and he says yes...that means, yes at 3am when I get home, possibly 4am if I decide to watch tv when I get home. And you know what? That's ok.
Us women really need to understand that men are different, and that's ok.
One of my biggest pet peeves with my husband is that we're always late. And not becasue he's a primper. Oh no. It's a Sunday morning, we have to leave in 20 minutes. I've finally become successful in waking my husband up. He knows he only has 20 minutes. My husband is a smoker and I'm ok with that, but when you are a smoker 20 minutes actually means 5 -10 because you need a smoke and you WILL NOT rush a smoke on a morning where your next smoke isn't coming for AT LEAST 2 hours. So what does my husband do? He sits up in the bed with his clothes and shoes right next to him and turns on Sports Center. 10 minutes later, he puts on his pants, socks and one shoe. On the next commercial he dresses the rest of the way. And then steps outside to have a smoke. By the time that smoke is done, kids are in the car and we are ready to go. And my husband walks BACK into the house and brushes his teeth while watching Sports Center. Holds the deortorant in his hand until the next commercial and THEN puts it on. And now he's ready to go. And we my friends are 15 minutes late to church, 20 if traffic is bad.
Now, I used to get SO mad at him. I'd try to rush him along. Sometimes I'd take a tone, tap my foot, or the really mean thing to do...send in the 3 year old daughter who I know he can't resist talking to tell him it's time to go. And you know what all that did? Frustrate the bageebies out of me, because he didn't budge. Everything stayed the same. Do you see the theme with my husband yet? The harder I try to do things MYSELF, the most determined my husband is to NOT do it. I'm a very punctual person and I hate walking in late and I hate feeling rushed.
Well you can probably guess what happened...I got put in my place again. One day I finally just lost it. I was so frustrated because we weren't keeping MY time table, and our son was going to be performing on stage that morning and needed to be on time. And I yelled, “Why are you just sitting there?! We have to go!”
And honestly he didn't really need to say anything at all, that look was enough. But he did speak, and when he did his voice was haggered, low, and broken up “I work nights. Church days I get less than 4 hours of sleep. I'm sitting here because I feel like I'm going to fall over,”. I was so consumed with my time table and what I thought things should be like, that I couldn't even see that the man I loved more than anything was exhausted. Now we're just the family that's always late to church, and I'm perfectly ok with that.
All he wanted was for me to see him and accept him as he was. He didn't want to be yelled at, he wanted to be praised for working SO hard, and then getting up on little to no sleep to go to church with his family. That is something that is praise worthy, and worthy of respect. It's in those moments that we should be worried if he's looking at other women, not when we are looking our worst.
My husband needed my acceptance that day. He needed me to cheer him on in his race. And when you do that, he doesn't see stretch marks or the not-so perky boobs or the back fat. He sees his helper doing her job, and that has more worth to him than some silly girl. God showed me through my own stupidity and selfishness, that if he ever did decide to cheat it would be because of my lack of respect and being pushy; NOT because I got older and had kids.
Now it is true that some men cheat not matter what the wife does. That was my first husband. And I'm just now learning that my first husband didn't cheat on me because of me. He did it because of his own issues and lack of self control.
My worth is not wrapped up in my beauty...it can't be because everyone gets old. Beauty is fading. Eventually every women will end up looking like Barbra Bush, and that's ok.
I'll never forget being 16 and watching my grandfather gazing at my grandmother like she was a playmate. When I asked him after all that time how he was still able to look at her like she was 18 again, he said to me “I don't look at her that way because of her physical appearance. I look at her that way because when I see her I am flooded with memories of all the times she stuck with me and didn't have to”.
X: From the BattleField