Too Much

I caught a glimpse of myself today as I was opening a set of glass doors, and I was caught off guard by how large I looked. Even though I have gained back 75 of the 90 pounds I lost many years ago, I think part of me sometimes still imagines that there’s a thinner version of myself walking around, even though I know what the numbers on the scale and on my clothes say. I live with this absurd fantasy in my head, despite reality literally staring me in the face every time I look in the mirror in the morning, and despite the way the fabric of my clothes pulls in places where it once hung loosely. I want so desperately to be the size I once was that I think I have convinced myself that I’m not THAT fat, that my weight isn’t THAT big of a problem. But when I feel the skin on my thighs rubbing painfully when I wear a skirt or dress, when I feel that same skin stretching uncomfortably taut when I cross my legs, when I feel the sides of a chair digging into my backside, when all I can think about when swimming at a public pool with my daughter is how many people are disgusted by me–those are signs of a problem. I am uncomfortable with my body and uncomfortable in my body.

black make up palette and brush set

Photo by kinkate on Pexels.com

All of this makes me feel like “too much”–both in the literal and figurative sense of the word. I feel as though I quite literally take up too much space in the world, but I also feel like my ongoing struggle with my weight and food obsession make me too much for people. If people knew how many times a day I thought about eating junk, would they still be my friends? If I ballooned up to 400 pounds, would I be loved? Am I even loved now? Is there a point at which even God Himself will say, “Whoa there, Erin, I think I’m going to need to take a break from this relationship until you get your issues settled”? In my darkest moments (and there have been plenty of those), I ask all of these questions and more. And in my more rational moments, I know that the love of people I care about is not contingent upon how much I weigh. I know that I am loved deeply by my husband and family. I know that God loves me with a love I can’t even fully fathom and that it is nothing but pride and vanity that causes me to question His design. But somehow, sometimes, knowledge of this love isn’t enough. I haven’t believed it completely. If I did completely and utterly believe in God’s love for me, I wouldn’t choose other things above Him. I wouldn’t turn to food for comfort instead of to His Word. I wouldn’t chase after temporal pleasures instead of chasing after Him.

In a way I am in fact too much; I think too much of myself, too often. I spend too much time dwelling on my problems and not enough time dwelling on the Lord and His goodness. I trust too much in my own sufficiency rather than recognizing that I am completely needy. I waste too much energy on worthless pursuits and not enough energy working for the Lord and not for man. I fritter away too much time in front of a mirror, applying makeup and fixing my hair in the hopes that my face will be pretty enough that people won’t notice the rest of me, instead of cultivating the inward beauty of a heart that hungers and thirsts for God.

Since I am too much, I must pray as John does in John 3:30, “He must become greater, I must become less.” The important thing about my life ultimately isn’t how much weight I lose or don’t lose. The important thing about my life is that it points to Another altogether–Jesus Christ. He lived the perfect, sinless life I cannot live and gave me the redemption I could never hope to earn. May I live a life that brings honor to the One who can never get too much of my praise or receive too much glory.

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Friday Night Dinners

Every Friday, I get the gift of not having to prepare dinner. Instead, my family loads up in the van and journeys 10 minutes away to Stephen’s parents’ house. They moved to Jackson this past spring, and it has been such a blessing having them here. They lived in Illinois before this, and we only saw them a few times a year. Now we see them every week, and I’m so glad that my daughters have such great access to both sets of grandparents (my parents live an hour from us). Plus, having dinner with them on Friday nights makes me feel a little like a Gilmore Girl, except without all the dysfunction. 🙂

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Books are tasty. 

She Likes Smiling; Smiling’s Her Favorite

As I’ve mentioned previously, Ava is not the greatest of sleepers. For example, I think today she took 3 naps of about 30 minutes each, which is definitely better than nothing, but it does make it hard to accomplish any sort of prolonged task. However, what Ava lacks in the sleep department, she more than makes up for it in the smile department. I may be biased, but her smile is radiant and completely infectious. Just look:

Even if I am exhausted and undone by the events of the day, seeing her smile makes me smile. There is nothing better than seeing that open-mouthed grin first thing in the morning and last thing at night. So while she may not be overly fond of sleeping, I’m forever thankful that smiling is her favorite.

 

Walking in Memphis

Today I’m so thankful that I got to go on a field trip with Charlotte’s class. This was something I was not able to do at all last year because I was working full time, so I was glad to have the chance this year. The students traveled to the Orpheum Theater in Memphis for a performance called “Red and Green” by a group of artists known as Rhythmic Circus. The show involved tap dancing and beatboxing and live music. The best part was that Charlotte wanted to sit by me. 🙂

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Grainy Orpheum pic

And I wouldn’t have been able to go at all were it not for my wonderful in-laws, who watched Ava for me. They moved to Jackson back in the spring, and it has been wonderful for all of us to have them in town! I’m so glad that Charlotte and Ava will be so close to both sets of grandparents as they grow up. We are blessed indeed.

I’m also thankful for the fact that thanks to one of the teachers at the school, I was prevented from driving to Memphis on a very low front tire. The teacher noticed the tire when I dropped off Charlotte, so I was able to go immediately to a gas station to put air in it. Then a friend of mine helped secure me a ride to Memphis with her and another mom, and my father-in-law came and took my van to a tire shop and got it fixed while I was in Memphis, so it was ready and waiting for me when we got back! God was definitely watching out for me today.