I’ve always assumed my calling myself an “Expert in Hazardous Waste Removal” in my email tagline was an obvious joke since I’m the mom of poopy littles. But a few weeks ago I corresponded with someone whom I don’t know well. Our children were involved in the same activity. Well, we exchanged a few emails about the kids, but then I received a note from him where he referenced the fact that I was an expert in hazardous waste and asked me if I knew where he could safely dispose of energy-saving lamps containing mercury. I responded by telling him I was unfortunately not a real expert in hazardous waste and that I was only jokingly referring to the fact that as a mom to little ones I’m frequently knee-deep in diapers and disposing of other kid by-products. I never got a response back.
I find it quite ironic that I’m running my fingers through my hair during Sr. Helena Burns’s You Tube video of the Behold Blogging Summit. I mean, I was invited to Behold partly because I’m the author of Weightless: Making Peace With Your Body, and “body” includes your hair and yet, I couldn’t stop trying to smooth it out and clearly was not at peace with its defiance. To be fair, I’d been traveling all day. I also didn’t initially realize I was being filmed. Still, it’s kind of funny – and maybe a bit vain, too – that I can’t stop messing with my tresses. Though it could also be argued that it’s vain of me to even notice that I was running my fingers through my hair and/or to care that I was caught on camera doing it.
So long as I’m talking about vanity, I’m absolutely dreading shopping for a swim suit. I desperately need a new one, especially since my husband has surprised me with a beach vacation to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. In just a few weeks, I’ll be traveling with the two men in my life (Baby Thomas and my husband), and a swim suit is essential. I haven’t subjected myself to this horrifying experience in years, but it’s time. Most of my swimsuits have become bumpy, stretched-out, and faded, and the two I ordered online were never my favorites, but I was too lazy to return them. But here’s my real grievance against swimsuit shopping: Why-oh-why do dressing rooms use fluorescent lighting? It’s bad enough to put spandex on your body and to have to pull it over your undergarments so that everything gets all bunched up, but the bright, unforgiving lighting make the experience even more traumatic. I don’t want to feel like I’m being interrogated when I’m trying on anything in front of a huge mirror, especially clothing items that show a bit more skin. Why not use soft, gentle lighting? I guarantee women would spend more and not avoid swimsuit shopping for years and years.
Maybe my next book should be Making Peace with Trying on Swimsuits in Fluorescent Lighting.
I really, really want to go see October Baby this weekend, but I doubt it’s going to happen. The closest it’s playing is over 30 miles away, and we have a jam-packed Saturday. If you’re able, I strongly encourage you to support this pro-life film.*
I also have selfish reasons for wanting to watch the movie to do well. A good friend of mine is close friends with the film’s lead actress, Rachel Hendrix. In fact, Rachel, who’s also a very talented photographer, recently took photos of my friend’s beautiful family.
I haven’t seen our friends or their kids in awhile, and these photos did a remarkable job of offering me a glimpse into their everyday lives. The energy and spirit of those boys is palpable and so is the beauty of my friend! (Love to you, dear one.)
*The producers of October Baby will be donating 10% of the profits of to the Every Life is Beautiful Fund, which will distribute funds to frontline organizations helping women facing crisis pregnancies, life-affirming adoption agencies, and those caring for orphans.
A friend recently passed along a link to me for an amazing website that approaches eating disorders from the Catholic perspective. The website’s founder, Maura Byrne, is an eating disorder survivor, a Catholic, and a woman on fire with the Spirit. She’s working to start Made in His Image, the first Catholic inpatient medical center for women suffering from eating disorders, physical, and/or sexual abuse.
From the website:
The mission of Made in His Image: To begin a dialogue, a discussion, in a safe and compassionate setting, to foster hope and healing, and to empower women to turn from victim to survivor. Ultimately, to provide holistic medical treatment and healing for women suffering from eating disorders, physical, and or sexual abuse, which entails, educating all women on the nature and dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God.
The patients who come to Made in His Image will be treated holistically – body, mind and spirit. Medical doctors, nurses, and dietitians will provide for their medical care, as Catholic psychologists aid the patients in addressing one of the most fundamental questions in life – Who am I? Each patient will be educated on their dignity and worth as a daughter of God, created in the image and likeness of God. Patients will also be educated on one of the most essential components of healing – forgiveness.
As someone who knows first-hand that real healing from an eating disorder has to happen from the inside out, I can’t begin to say how grateful I am for Maura’s vision and her courage to bring it to fruition.
She also has her first book coming out this winter entitled Choosing to See Beauty. She includes an excerpt on her site that has me hungry for more:
Seek beauty in all things. To embrace love, you must see what is beautiful. Watching you struggle today and succeed was a great thing of beauty for me to behold. Your precious journal is and remains beautiful. It has in it your deepest thoughts and feelings, dried tears, smudges, corrections, sketches and the like – verses and paintings of love and pain. This is life. Never throw out your memories but instead turn the ugly ones back into what God intended them to be. Only when you need to purge, write or draw things on pieces of scrap paper that you can burn immediately. However, even then, as you watch the billowing smoke rise, ask God to receive what is painful and to supply you with what is beautiful and peaceful. You will never be able to replace and exchange yourself, your body, your experiences or memories for anything else. God made you and will make every thing that you and others do into something good and beautiful. Keep your book, treasure it and envision its old and tattered state over time – a personal guide of your journey and your personal attempt to turn all things that He has given to you into a treasure. Let God turn things to dust as He will do with all things (and from which He created all things). God is God and we are not.
Maura, I’ll be praying for your work and ministry!
Right now I have no worries about this little lady’s body image. She’s cute and she knows it. She likewise has her own sense of style and possesses more than an ounce of chutzpah. Don’t ever lose your spunk, kiddo.
I just love the purple, winter boots (put on the wrong feet) paired with a polka-dotted swimsuit. Tres chic.
Yes, we’re already wearing swimsuits around here. And sweating. A lot. And our air conditioning in our charming (AKA old) house doesn’t seem to be working. I guess I didn’t need to buy those cute sweaters to go along with my girls’ Easter dresses.
Have a wonderful weekend!
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