Friday, May 22, 2015

Serenity Prayer for the Body

If you haven't heard of the Serenity Prayer, it starts like this:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr

(It is actually longer, but that's the part I care about.)

I am tall. Both of my parents are tall, my brother is tall, and I am as well. If I don't order jeans in the "long" size, they won't fit me. I had to wear flats for my wedding or pay for them to lengthen my dress.

In high school, my height made me slouch in pictures next to my first boyfriend, who was shorter than me. It also meant that my prom date had to stand on a box for the picture. So there is really no arguing the point that I am tall.

It used to really bother me. I would joke about giving some of my height to my shorter friends. Even now, Blake doesn't like me to wear heels because we are the same height, and if I add a heel, I am actually taller than he is.

But my height is in the category of "things I cannot change." Over time, I have come to have peace with my height and be thankful for the advantages it gives, and I try to help others when I can, as there have been a number of times I can help someone reach something that they just couldn't quite get.

I also really wanted blue eyes. Not sure why, but I have loved blue eyes for a long time, I am typically attracted to blue eyed guys (both in real people attractions and the celebrities I find attractive), and I wished my eyes were blue too. They aren't. They are brown, though I think growing more hazel with time. (Notice though, I caught a blue eyed guy, and even have a blue eyed son, so that's a win).

I could go on, as I think most people can, with the things about my body that I don't like and can't change, but that isn't my point.

I am also not a "girly girl." I admire people who know how to dress stylish, do their hair, put on makeup, etc. But here's the difference. I could change this. If I put in the time, the effort, the money, etc. I could learn how to do my hair and makeup and I could look put together every day.

I go in waves of trying to work on this area, and deciding that I don't care enough to try. But either way, this is not a "thing I cannot change." I can change it, it just would require more work than I am willing to do.

At the end of the day, the desire to look put together isn't a big issue. It doesn't affect anyone but me, it doesn't hurt anything either way. It doesn't matter which way I decide.

I am currently reading a book called "Fat Land" and it basically explains all of the elements of our nation's rise to obesity.

A lot of it comes down to culture. Our culture has become one that preaches, "Love your body! Accept who you are! Embrace differences!"

I don't disagree with that. As previously mentioned, I need that message to accept my height, accept my brown eyes. My daughter may just need that message to be happy with her hair, or skin color. There is definitely a lot about our bodies that we are born with and we can't change (at least without surgery). Height, skin, eye color, etc. fall under the first part of the prayer. We do need to accept those things about ourselves that we can't change!

But weight and health are not one of them. They are in the next part. "Courage to change the things I can." Our culture, for too long, has preached a positive body image so much that people who are clinically obese and experience a myriad of health issues because of it, still say that it is their body, and they accept who they are, and they love themselves and don't need to change anything.

I am not a doctor. I am not pointing fingers. I am not pointing blame. I will not say to any of my friends, family etc. that any specific person falls under this post. But if a doctor has told you, or you know you are experiencing health problems due to your weight, I urge you to have the courage to change it. The courage to take the time and effort necessary to help yourself to live longer, to stay off medicines, to be there for your kids, your family, and everyone who cares about you.

Here is the real tragedy in this area: we are so afraid, as a culture, to encourage people to eat healthy and exercise for fear of offending them or making them self conscious that we risk losing them early to any of a number of obesity related health problems. We would rather not hurt their feelings? Many people in our nation are dying, physically dying, because of something that CAN be changed.

My hope, my wish, my prayer, for our culture in this area is that we can start finding the courage to speak up, and not put weight and health in the same category as height. That people would see it isn't something to accept about yourself... but something to have the courage to change.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. - See more at:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. - See more at:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. - See more at:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sonnet for May 2015

Grace's first year at preschool is nearly at a close,
while Remington's time at gymnastics has barely begun.
In her weekly dance class, she learns to walk on her toes,
He finds that swinging, climbing and bouncing is lots of fun.

Times spent at home are full of reading books,
followed by a evening walk with dad to the playground to play.
Imagination runs wild at home with little practicing cooks,
when asked to stop, the little boy says, "I walk away."

Superman is the focus of a little boy's delight,
and our daughter loves to look and dream about the distant outer space.
"On top of Spaghetti" is the favorite song at night,
and fights break out when he calls her "Gracie" and not "Grace."

Lisa's focus rests on getting through "Rory's List" some each day,
and Blake's main hope is that the Ducks go all the way.

p.s. apparently the videos posted this way don't have sound... so you can just watch cooking and skating.