The Bootifful You

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“You’re so sweet.”  I said to my three year old girl after she had ditched her dinner to run into my room where I was resting and planted about 27 kisses, one after the other, on my cheek.  She started twirling around on the spot and very matter of factly replied, “No Mum, I’m bootifful!” and continued twirling confidently with her cheeky smile, repeating, “I’m bootifful, I’m bootifful!”

I looked at her twirling next to me – in her pyjamas, hair half fallen out of it’s messy bun and smears of dinner on her face – and my heart melted.  I was so smitten by her, looking with love pouring out of my heart at how precious she is, and so captivated…she knew the truth…she IS beautiful.  But suddenly, part of my insides felt shattered…what if that truth gets stolen from her one day and she believes the lie that invades so many girls’ lives?

To be honest she has always challenged me…from the moment she was born, her slimy little body placed on my chest, and I heard the midwives say, “it’s a girl.”  I was petrified in that moment.  What if I didn’t know how to raise a girl?  I grew up being a tom boy.  I’d rather be trying to get my head around the mechanics of a car or chasing stinky cows around a paddock with their sloppy turds splashing up on me (ok, just kidding about the turds).  I used to show up the boys when we were ringing sheep nuts and trying to shear sheep, and was the usual instigator of mud wars.  I’d never had nails in my life until I started hair dressing and I snorted every time I laughed.  And while I loved being a girl, and despite guy after guy confessing their undying ‘love’ for me throughout my teenage years, I had fallen for that lie…I wasn’t beautiful.

After holding my sweet baby girl’s little body against mine that morning she was born, I pep talked myself in the hospital.  I can raise a confident girl…heck I can even raise a girly girl.

Lettie

I love her soul – she is sweetness to the core.  She sings her way through the day, and will dance to every ad break on tv, every time I sing around the house, every song that plays…she will dance and dance.  I caught her one day dancing to an ad on tv, when her brother changed the channel halfway through, she turned around and pointed her finger at him, narrowed her piercing, blue eyes down and said, “You let me dance!” Haha…she gets so mad at him when he does that.  She’s so abandoned, so unashamed, so confident and bright.

And I think that one of our roles as parents to our little ones is to daily build them up.  And Dad’s with girls…you take the lead with this!  To speak into them the truth of who they really are, before the world tells them otherwise.  To not just verbally encourage them and build them, but show them their worth through our actions, and our time we give them.

But on top of this…model it to them in your own life.  Walk your own life in confidence.  Challenge yourself to know and believe your true beauty and uniqueness – just like you want your children to.  Model to them not just how to treat others, which is so important, but how also to treat YOURSELF.  There are so many aspects to this.  Model it in your marriage…how you and your spouse treat each other – this is so important!  Model it to them in your relationship with your friends and your family.

Model it in your relationship with yourself.

Place value on others, but don’t forget to place value on yourself.  Physically, mentally, emotionally….

They watch us, their eyes are ever present soaking in how we do things – the big and the little.  And from my little girl who is only three years old…I am so challenged to better myself, and believe in myself, and be a role model that she needs and will continue to need as she grows up.

Because we all want our girls to know, that despite what the world may tell them…the TRUTH is that they are beautiful, they are valuable, they are unique,

and they are E N O U G H…

Xx

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Loving Your Life When It’s a Mess

The last year and a half for us has presented truly challenging and unpleasant circumstances – which guys, happens to us all, am I right?  Like when I step back and take an overview of what our lives look like right now, I see smashed up Humpty Dumpty egg pieces fallen on the ground.

Relate?  Looks impossible doesn’t it.

And it’s really easy in those times to hate it (which actually, it’s OK to hate it) but I have never been one to be down about something and stay down about it, and I never want to be.  Because, what would you do if I said you can love it.  You can love the balls off your messy life and you can soar through your mess like a boss even when it hurts.

It’s possible…

How?

… BE THANKFUL …

And I have to say this is my favourite lesson I have learnt of all.

In the midst of a lot of hard, and let’s just say crappy stuff last year – when it actually felt like we had nothing,  I began to slowly look around me and at our lives and really, really realize what we have.  How blessed we are.  What amazing things we behold.  I could start listing them off and I can honestly say, it would be an enormously long list.  Yes, even when I wanted nothing more than to be removed from our goings on and set into a much nicer, lighter place, realizing what we have, and walking around every day, thanking God for all that we have, changed my perspective massively.  Like even when your girl’s third birthday cake was a pile of mashed banana with a candle in it…I learnt to celebrate HER LIFE without the extras (that do make it nice by the way) but I realized that there is something quite special about being stripped of everything and being left bare and raw, and simply left with what really matters… BE THANKFUL …

… BE VULNERABLE …

When your life is a bit of a mess, it’s really hard to speak up and authentically share with others.  But you were not meant to stand alone in anything, and having the strength and support of other’s loving arms around you, not just helps you get through, but helps you to keep a steady mind and a positive outlook.  And let’s not forget the all important shoulder to weep on and saturate with nose boogers…we all need that person.

… MAKE PLANS …

Everyone’s life messes look different and vary in time periods…of course!  But please don’t ever stop dreaming.  As long as there is breath in your lungs, you have a hope for your future.  I believe everyone has dreams, and while some may be crushed or completely destroyed by circumstances, it’s not the end.  Sometimes the end of one dream, is the beginning of another.  Yes, even if it wasn’t in your plan.  Life has a way of surprising us sometimes, and I am a massive believer in good things coming out of rotten situations.  Nothing is ever impossible.  So dream and make plans…because you cannot go anywhere if you’re not moving.

… LAUGH …

Ok, let’s not belittle the fact that when you’re a bit smashed, you may just need a big cry or yell or punch up session.  But it doesn’t help any to continually stay in that place.  It’s so important to laugh and not lose your humour amongst the mess.  Many do and it makes me sad.  It’s easy to not feel like laughing but when you do, it’s releasing and uplifting, and don’t get me started on the brilliant hormones it releases into your body and soul!

… PRAISE …

So this may not apply to us all, but I believe in God who is Love and bigger than any mess I face.  I was so challenged starting last year about praising God when I didn’t feel like it one bit.  Because sometimes it felt like He had forgotten all about us – and although I know He hadn’t, it felt like it, our situation felt like it, and sometimes feelings have a way of taking over and taking us on a trip to rock bottom.  I mean, we were there, but honestly, the one thing that helped us in a major way was praise.  Because God is good.  and He always is.  So every time I was disheartened, or frustrated, or completely distraught, I forced myself to praise God and it did amazing things.  Because suddenly my eyes were fixed on God – the one who holds my life and my future and who is bigger than anything I’m going through – and they were off my circumstances and crappy life mess.

Even though right now, things are still pretty messy, and we have some big decisions to make…I’m super glad that I default to these things now.  Ok, life, you look like a giant corn turd right now, but I’m ok with that, because I will learn, I will grow, I will move from strength to strength and I will rest in God who holds my future, even my tomorrow.  And that sits pretty well with me, because at the end of this…we’re not going to just be OK, we’re going to be victorious.

So can I please assure you that your life is not like Humpty Dumpty – who, poor egg – couldn’t be put back together when he fell.  Your life may feel broken and messy and fallen apart, but the truth of the matter, is that it absolutely is possible for your life to be healed and whole, even if right now, you’re smashed into pieces, scattered on the ground.  Your life and circumstances will be mended – because it’s not left up to the King’s horses and King’s men…it’s left up to the King Himself.

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