Tag Archives: self-image

Hide and Seek

I’m very careful of myself in public – in fact, leaving the ranch can sometimes be so overwhelming I will avoid it altogether. Leaving the routine, the comfort and safety of the ranch – my hideaway – to face people, to be seen or worse, to be judged can sometimes feel like too much.

‘Fact is, over the years humans hurt me so that occasionally I avoided the species entirely. I’m glad to say those few seasons were short. And the older I get they become farther between.

Truth: I actually enjoy people as much as I adore my feather and fur friends.

Over these long winter nights I came to realize that this reluctance to leave, the instinct to hide is about my secrets:

  • I desperately want to belong
  • Sometimes shame seems to choke me
  • My beloved family is a big, hot mess
  • I’m broken
  • I’m vulnerable

More important than anything else I may feel is what the Bible tells me:

“All y’alls messed up somehow. Ain’t nobody’s perfect. Nobody.” *  Paraphrase mine.

The pivotal point here being All.

Some flaws are more visible than others is all. The strongest, most organized, confident and fashionable people are messed up somehow. That includes me! So my secrets are no more offensive to God than anyone else’s. “All” is everything Jesus took to the cross. All includes every single mistake, ill deed, every bad knee-jerk response, intentional or otherwise, victim and perpetrator. Every. Single. One.

More importantly, “..now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”**

So, compared to God’s opinion of me nobody else’s matters. What’s more, I can dismiss my worst feelings and opinions of myself. When God looks at me, all He sees is Jesus. I can now focus on seeing myself the same way.

Sure, I realize this is a process. I’d been seeking out hiding places longer than I can remember. I still have so far to go to get an edge on seeking God’s truth first, but when I make Scripture my focal point and not my fears or feelings the sky’s the limit. My friends can vouch for that.

Do you ever get to feeling weighed down, tired of trying or reluctant to try again? Come on by Our Place and let God’s peace help you.

* “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.’ Romans 3:23, 24 (NLT)

** Romans 8:1 (NLT)

Images (except for chickens) courtesy Pixabay

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Something Good

The morning came painfully early. Literally. As the weather report predicted, four inches of snow fell overnight. Literally. Covering. Everything.

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On a ruler four inches doesn’t look like much. But four inches covering the snow that fell days before, and on ice where some melted, it equaled a lot of hard labor here at the ranch.

These are chores that can’t wait, even when other time-sensitive work calls. The plowing, shoveling, removing ice – yet again – seemed like the aftermath of a blizzard requiring all hands on deck.

After a hard day’s labor Eleven-Year-Old and I made snow angels – a fun debriefing for him, and icing my neck and back was therapeutic for me. And I had my full day-job agenda to meet.

The next morning my sixty-something body regretted having abused Younger Me’s body – sorely. I felt every old injury. I’m not old, but this morning I sure know what old feels like. Compound that with more snow, ice, the additional physical activity I haven’t done in well over three years; I’d earned a good whine.

Instead, I groaned quietly and reminded myself this too will pass soon as I pulled on my big girl boots.

20161215_074333As the livestock thanked me for their morning meal, I continued moving through more new deep powder to the lot. Passing the truck I remembered I must help unload the rest of the wood as well as meeting a deadline – Yikes! Today.

Rather than telling myself everything is as it should be, with the backlog of work awaiting me, the voices in my head recalled negatives people spoke into my life over the years; You at a ranch? In business for yourself? Really?

Here we’re all still getting our heads around my first autumn and winter back home, with all-new circumstances and a different household. I desperately want to help more, but I’m still learning how to. I already learned how not knowing enough can cost everyone more time and generate additional work.

I normally ignore Cole mumbling, not realizing anyone’s nearby. But this morning, without realizing it, I took his murmuring personally. I quickly began feeling like a burdensome slacker. However, instead of rushing to help him with his chores, I kept my head down, stayed my course and returned to my cottage – for tea and prayer.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and who carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.*”

20170110_100153I don’t know about most people, but learning to do only what’s needed for the day, maybe the next takes time. Safe at home now I can learn to enjoy life more, rather than constantly brain-storming, considering every possibility for the coming months – or years. For the first time in years I don’t feel like I’m in this alone. This is strange to me and requires considerable adjusting – daily.

As I prayed, God’s Still, Small Voice reminded me I’m in better shape than anyone (but Him) could expect. I began recalling some of the feats the Holy Spirit and I did together since I arrived, the times we met challenges alone and mastered them, let alone my amazing history. My guys and I not only survived, but against all odds, God and I exceeded expectations of anyone that matters.

Getting lost in all the negatives, the what-ifs and the should’ve-would’ve-could’ves in life is too easy.

Isn’t life better when we look at positives instead? I’m positive I’m not broken. I’m mended. We’re all patch worked together into a beautiful, marvelous story.

But for right now you’ll have to excuse me; Cole just came in asking, “Do I even have to come get my own coffee. Sheesh.” Translated that means he’s glad I’m here too! 😉

“… For those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

*Matthew 11:28

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Filed under Notes from the Apex

Shades

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Now that the mainstream media hype is waning somewhat:

News flash: I’m about as white (a shade, absence of color) as can be and my hair is red-gone-silver.

I don’t appear black, but often think I know how it feels. I don’t. I can only imagine. Still, I too grieve and feel resentful, angry for my friends that endure discrimination and insufferable prejudice sometimes solely because they aren’t “white.” Sure, that seems easy for me to say – so I say it often.

I pale (forgive the pun) in comparison to my friends with their dark shades, rich, deep skin and hair color. It’s okay, they tease me and I tease them – it’s all about the love. The skin cancers are the result of this girl with no self-worth burning herself in the sun for years, actually trying to look more like runway models I admired. Go ahead, yuk it up. I do – I’m in remission. Back when Twiggy and Katiti Kironde were “America’s Top Models,” I had distinctive curves – definitely not stylish. There wasn’t enough gauze and duct tape to fix that, people. We all have our self-image issues.

Much of my appearance comes from the gene pool I swam from, but that same family also raised me to honor and respect all life. My skin, but for my newer scars, brown spots and freckles, is pale. I never suffered from the on-going subjection to stigmas many of my friends do CONSTANTLY. Let’s try to forget the times we’ve been unappreciated for calling out prejudice; like asking why the person I shop with every week, the same store in our small town had to show I.D. – I was carded only once.

As an adult (rumor has it) I realize my skin is not black. My American life is easier, less fearsome than others basically because of my looks – and then that mouth (another subject entirely).

Y’all gotta see, black (a shade actually) is the presence of all color. Regardless of age, race, creed, color, country of origin or political views (which incidentally are as changeable as the wind – anyone else ever pay attention to politicians during election campaigns and then after they take office?), in that sense we are all black, brown, olive, red, yellow, white and albino.

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My point: We must not only stand in solidarity against this cleverly veiled evil, we must learn to move forward together. Until all lives actually do matter everywhere, in every heart,

Black Lives Matter

“My brothers and sisters, I know you’ve heard this before, but stop playing favorites! Do not try to blend the genuine faith of our glorious Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, with your silly pretentiousness.” James 2:1 (The Voice)

Still images courtesy of ABSFreePic

 

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Filed under A Door Ajar