LOThvIj

cute.  yes.  poignant.  definitely.

let's get real here gals.  let's talk weight and appearance and all that outward stuff that causes us such strife.  now, i am no dietician or beautician or fitness guru or psychiatrist.  but i am a woman.  and so, i feel that i have some experience in this arena.  we share common ground.  and us fruits gotta stick together!

CAVEAT:  if you are one of those people who says, "who, little old me?  i never bother with such things.  i never think about food.  raising my brow and lifting my pinky finger at teatime is all the physical exertion that i need to stay trim.  and i just wake up with these beachy waves that glisten in the sunlight.  my porcelain skin and rosy cheeks?  why, they are just a byproduct of my sparkling personality, i suppose.  i've heard that some people just have a natural glow." then you can just quit reading now.  was i doing a southern belle impersonation there?  not sure where that came from...

but for those of us who have ever had to watch what we eat.  {begrudgingly} chose the fruit instead of cake.  eliminated carbs.  controlled our portions. dreaded bathing suit season.  picked and plucked in front of the mirror.  pumped iron.  did squats.  ran mile after mile.  binged.  purged.  applied concealer.  slathered on creams.  lifted.  tucked.  belted.  covered.  dyed.  curled.  straightened.  lasered.  exfoliated.  buffed.  airbrushed.  enhanced.  padded.  tanned.  bleached.  gagged on shakes.  swallowed pills.  measured.  weighed.  injected.  ingested.  bulked up.  slimmed down.  compared.  loved food.  hated food.  kickboxed.  jazzercised.  felt ostracized.  felt invisible.  felt ugly.  too big.  too small.  too much.  too little.  too this.  too that.  this is for you.  this is for us.

having a itty bitty daughter makes me consider these things.  and this subject weighs on me. {puns are fun}  i want to be an example for her.  to show her a balanced life. to consider my actions.  to not obsess.  but to always treat the gifts of God with an appropriate level care.

and boy oh boy, isn't balance a tough thing?  especially when it comes to the body.  it is so easy to either think about it too much or not think about it enough, you know?  you know.

we all have ideas about beauty. what our hair should look like, what size we want to wear, what clothes we should don.  and the swirling world only adds to the visual reminder and pressure.  we all see celebrities who appear to effortlessly bounce back after baby.  we see socialmedialites who post professional-looking and picturesque outfit pictures while seeming to simultaneously subsist on a diet of donuts and burgers and pizza and margaritas.  or we see the meals of fitness gals who only eat raw.  we look at images of women {and their families} who always wear the next best thing.  or something that they have exquisitely sewed together.

have i been guilty of riding this merry-go-round?  you betcha.  i show off the pretty meals that i make. i omit the dirty dishes in my sink.  i share snaps of current fashions and accompanying baubles.  i leave out the dirty laundry shots.  i post selfies.  i neglect the hours and hours of sweating in order to maintain my "girlish figure".  there is that balancing act again...

BUUUT we look at all of these perfect pictures with idyllic filters applied {yes, i am talking to you instagram}.  life looks grand.  they look effortless. and we feel less-than.  why do we compare ourselves to all this?  for that matter, why do we compare ourselves to our projected selves?  whenever we compare ourselves, we will fail to measure up.  and you know that idyllic filter...that isn't real.  what's real is that even the most perfect specimen has bad days.  we all have sick days, crazy hair days, under-eye circle days, lazy days.  each woman has something that they are working on.  something that we don't like. something that could be better.  and not that we shouldn't have goals and improve.  but, just know that for every thing about you that you are trying to fix...there is a gal out there who wishes she had what you have.

okay, let's talk bodies.  and let's look at these bodies of ours in a healthy and proper light, shall we?  our bodies are temples.  I Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? you are not your own, for you were bought with a price. so glorify God in your body."  this is a big verse.  this holds such. deep. meaning.  your body is a temple.  i think we tend to brush over this.  or, change it to a more chill vibe of: my body is a place where God hangs out.  not so.  it is much richer than that.  to say that our body is a temple is to say that it was created for a purpose.  and that purpose is not just wandering through this earth willy-nilly.  it was established as a residence for the Most High.  read through the book of 1 Kings in the Old Testament and you will quickly see that the temple was not something to be trifled with.  the measurements were exact.  the furnishings were purposeful.  the adornment was fine.  it was meticulously built and cared for diligently.  yes, it was merely an earthy establishment.  but it was erected as a dwelling place for the divine.  we are temples.

God has handcrafted these bodies.  they have been entrusted to us.  we are to take great care in our treatment of them. we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  we are knitted together by a creative, kind, and artful God.  our measurements are exact.  our furnishings, purposeful.  our adornment, fine.  all given by a God who values function and form.  we aren't just boring automatons.  we are lovely works of art.  skillfully created to do remarkable things.  we can sing and paint and play and dance.  we can eat and digest.  we can laugh and cry and reason.  we can give birth and nourish and nurture.  we can walk and run. and while we may not be particularly gifted in each of these areas.  there are thousands of outstanding things that each of us can do.  most of which we execute on a daily basis without even batting an eyelash.  we can think and breath and sleep.  we can bat an eyelash.

these bodies are a great gift.  and each has a unique beauty.  each person is cherished by the Creator.  we should not loathe these vessels.  and yet, we should not hold them in too high regard.  we are to be stewards.  we were meticulously built and we should honor that.  care for it diligently.

how wonderful that we each have our own package.  and whether it is round or long or dark or light or straight or curvy or, or, or...it is sweet.  let us understand our strengths and embrace our differences.  where one is lacking, another is abundant.  what you perceive as a flaw in you may be admired and desired by another.

fruits, let's be fruity!  be kind.  take care.  be sweet.