Friday, June 6, 2008

Time to think

We have been keeping ourselves busy and on "schedule" to meet the requirements of the Lilly grant.

We've been to Kennedy Space center a few times where we enjoyed a 3-D movie about the Space Station, some of the kids participated in a stage performance and we toured a few exhibits.

Yesterday, we had a great time exploring the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

My favorite so far has been the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It was like walking into another world with the tropical plants bending over the walkway and the animals all around. I'd like to go back there at some point for some quiet time and sketching with the kids.

Although we've been actively sightseeing, there have been some afternoons of rest, sunrise walks and evening exercise. My mind is beginning to feel freed up slowly but surely from the cares of my daily routines and regular responsibilities.

I've been working my way through the book of Esther doing homiletics on each chapter. This is something I learned through being a Bible Study Fellowship leader. This type of Bible Study is pretty in depth and I have not done this in quite some time.

I decided specifically on the book of Esther for two reasons. First, the girls, together with their neighbor friends, are working on a play based on Esther. They have written scripts, have made costumes and hold rehearsals regularly. I pray that God will use this particular story in the hearts of these girls to grow them up in Him.

Also, I've been struggling quite a bit recently with my own perceptions of beauty. I've never been a beauty queen, but I was able to attract a really hot guy. That counts for something I think. Sean's love is enduring and amazingly he doesn't seem to see me any differently than when we first fell in love fourteen years ago.

But when I look in the mirror these days or see a picture of myself I don't recognize the person I see there. I know that having seven children in ten years will change the landscape. I recognize that the I am 36, not 26. And I accept that I am not in optimal health due to inconsistent exercise and excess weight. But I have been at a loss regarding what to do with this perception of myself. My natural bent is to compare myself to others and be covetous. I have had to work hard not to do this.

When people meet me and find out that we have seven kids they will comment, "You look so good." This is a complement that I simply can not accept, because I know that I am not completely comfortable with who I am on the outside.

I know some women who go through their whole lives trying to someone they are not. I know some that let themselves go and never turned back. And there are others who know who they are and exude beauty in all they do. I want to be like them. I'm just not there.

These thought have been in the back of my mind for some time. I've been putting off thinking on this matter until now. And now is now.

So I will keep praying and studying Esther. I'm asking God to give me His perspective on beauty as well as encourage my spirit related to my struggle. More than anything, I want to be of use to the Lord- not self focused, but a true reflection of Him.


Heather L. said...

I love seeing all the pictures of FL and hearing of what you are up to! It sounds so wonderful! Your kids are going to have such GREAt memories!!!

Saralyn said...

I think I was born in the wrong era: when I look at the Greek goddess statues they're always pleasantly squishy and have bingo arms and a fruitful looking tummy.

I figure God likes to turn things upside down a lot, so maybe in heaven the perfect body will look more like ours than a supermodel's! I mean really, we're talking the marriage feast of the lamb with a banqueting table. It doesn't sound size 2 to me.

mom24 said...

It is so much fun to see all that you are doing on your trip! What a great opportunity for your fam!

I understand where you are asaying bout your perception of your body. We, as women,I think are designed to be concerned about looking good - for the sake of our husbands, of course. But when sin entered the world this has been skewed and many of us struggle to be pleased with what we look like (even w/ a loving hubby) and often compare ourslves.

You are so right, however, to look to God to give you His perspective - He will not let you down in this request!

eally said...

You guys sound like you are having a wonderful time on your trip. I am so glad you all have this time to spend together making these awesome memories!

One thing I've learned while working with women in the women's ministry is...we ALL go through what you are going through. Even those women that look like they have it all together. The size 2's, size 10's, size 18's, size 30's...we are all going to be self-conscious about something in our life or on our bodies. When I start despairing about my own "physical" features I'm unhappy about I quote Psalms 139:14 over and over in my head "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." This helps to bring me back around to reality - God doesn't make anything bad or by mistake...I am me and I am good and I am beautiful just the way I am. My children love me, my husband loves me, my God loves me and that's all that really matters.
Enjoy the rest of your trip....

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Oh girl. Bless you as you spend time in His word studying His view of you.

This is a battle we face as women, yet in Him we can WIN the war! We can WIN and beat society and the message they send us.

It's hard. The 30's have been a true realization that I am not in the 20's anymore. Babies in close sucession to a lot to your body.

Glad you are getting some much needed time adn study in depth in His word.

HOpe God really uses this book in the lives of your girls too!

Sarah said...

Looks like you guys are having fun.

Thanks for sharing your heart. I'm right there with you, struggling with the same things. I actually hesitate to have another baby b/c I am so afraid that it will push me over the edge and I will be fat forever. So wrong. So unimportant. So on my mind.

I love what Saralyn said :)

Monica said...

Monica, in our church service today, my pastor was discussing biblical femininity. He said that godly beauty is embracing how God made us and not be constantly trying to change it. We are supposed to look...How God made us, at age 26 and 36. Not to say that we should not take care of our bodies, but to remember that motherhood and age are going to change us and we are still beautiful in His eyes.
I know just what you are saying about pictures...You hit on something that has also been on my mind recently and I struggle with not coloring my hair(I have quite a bit of gray) or wearing more make-up. I know I need to work on losing baby weight and getting into better physical condition, but I really don't want to be swayed by the "world's view" of beauty if it's not what God and my husband want for me.
This was long, but felt led to share. May God bless you in your study of Esther.