My Not So New New Year’s Resolution To Love Myself

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For Christmas, my son got a color by number book. You know the ones – you’d meticulously paint all the 1s red, all the 2s blue, all the 3s yellow, and so on. During my quiet time today I started thinking about how our lives are very much like a paint by number canvas. There are so many numbers in our past and present that shape us and who we were, are, and are becoming. Together, these numbers create our life’s story, a beautiful masterpiece of happy shades of red, sad days of blue, shining rays of yellow, and hopeful hues of green.

For instance, I am a mom of SIX  kids who has been married to ONE  man for ELEVEN  years.  I am the FIRST  female on my dad’s side to get a college degree.   I was a teacher for SIX  years and I’ve been a homeschool mom for the last FIVE  years. Most days, I cook THREE  meals, grade EIGHT  assignments, clean ONE  house and chauffeur SIX  kids to THREE  extracurricular activities. I have a circle of INFINITE  family and friends that support, love, and challenge me to be better, stronger, and to dream bigger. These numbers, and countless others, are creating an amazing, living masterpiece of my life.

And yet, there is one set of numbers that I let define me more than any of the others, sadly.

I weigh ONE HUNDRED FORTY  pounds.

These numbers decide what I eat, what I wear, whether I feel pretty in a swimsuit, or can look at a picture of myself without cringing.  They impact my mood, a good day being when I feel “skinny”, a bad day when I feel “chunky”.  These numbers have stopped me from enjoying a glass of wine with friends or from wearing a sexy outfit for my husband.  They have starved me, depressed me, and lied to me, as I look in the mirror and see only negative.  My husband calls me beautiful and tries to remind me that each stretchmark tells a beautiful story of a life we created.  I want to believe him.  I want to see what he sees.  But then there’s the numbers whispering ONE HUNDRED FORTY and I can’t see past them in the mirror.

So every new year I make a resolution to get healthy.

And every year I fail.

Life happens.  I get tired, stressed, bored, or, honestly, lazy.  I fall off the bandwagon and the weight piles back on.

And I was set to start this new year off much the same. But then I remembered the coloring book and I realized I have been painting my paint by number canvas wrong these many, many years. I have been ignoring some important numbers, while paying too much attention to some very insignificant ones. I don’t have a weight problem.  I have a love myself problem.

I have been failing to give myself the same grace that I give others, to see past my outer flaws to the core of my inner beauty.  It’s ok to want to better yourself; to want to be healthier, happier, and growing personally and spiritually. To paint a picture using all your life’s numbers, the good and the bad.

But it’s not ok to let the negative overshadow the good.

So my not so new New Year’s resolution is once again to get healthy by eating clean and exercising.  But I’m going to do it differently this year. This year I’m using paint strokes of grace….vibrant colors of love, patience, peace, and a few scoops of well deserved ice cream.

Because it’s ALL the numbers that make the masterpiece.

 

Happy New Year, friends.  Make it a colorful one!

 

I want to hear from you!  What are some of the numbers in your paint by number canvas, the good and the bad?

 

 

 

 

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Hey all! I’m “mommy” to six kids and “babe” to their incredible dad. But my friends just call me Shilah. I am a “native” transplant to Oklahoma, meaning I was born in Norman (BOOMER SOONER, baby!) but grew up an army brat moving from place to place. I spent most of my “growing” years in Maryland, where I graduated from high school and college and met my husband who was a marine stationed at the Naval Academy at the time. I knew I was going to marry him five minutes into our first date, and actually told him that our second date. Surprisingly, he didn’t call me for a third date…..When he moved to Arizona to become a police officer, I stalked, I mean, moved there too. It took me three more years to convince him that he was NEVER going to get rid of me. We were married in 2005. A decade and several moves later, we are six kids heavier and about one spilled drink away from the insane asylum most days. I homeschool our children, “ages” moody (preteen), goofy (9), sensitive (6), sassy (3), busy (1), and toothy (9 months). My husband works crazy hours as an Oklahoma City police officer. I am extremely proud to be a law enforcement officer’s wife but it can be a lonely, scary title to bear at times. However, I love a man in uniform and still think he’s HOT. Our life is a beautiful mess of structure and chaos. And our family motto is to make weird look awesome. When I’m not bribing kids to do their school work or changing another diaper, I like to breathe and sleep. And if I have time after that maybe read a book or write. I listen to Christmas music all year long, love the color yellow and lighting things on fire (legally, of course). I absolutely hate onions, cooking, and being cold. I can be very OCD about everything, which works really well with six kids. Not. I believe in time outs and have been known to put myself in one from time to time. When I grow up, I would love to write a book, own a Christmas tree farm, and have a bull in the rodeo circuit.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The number “3”. Very fortunate to have the THREE kids that I have and I come from a family that my mom and dad gave me TWO siblings for a total of THREE of us. Back to my 3 kids – once again, very fortunate for our THREE kids, each ONE of them is unique in their own way and one of them happens to be the author of this blog story – proud of our daughter Shilah!

  2. So true! We tend to be much harsher with ourselves than we are to others. Thanks for the reminder to keep the ‘big picture’ in mind and not focus on the negative.

  3. Shilah, thank you for sharing your heart.
    Most women will totally relate to this struggle, except maybe our mom’s who happen to be tiny. 🙂 Each year I struggle with the same issues, but this year I am working on seeing myself as God sees me. I am tired of listening to the author of lies, because I know I am created in God’s image and God is perfect. So I am trying to accept me totally as one of God’s masterpieces.

    Again, thanks for sharing and look forward to more of your writings.

    Love,
    Cindy

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