I have never been a movie buff.
When the Academy Awards roll around each year, I always feel like an outsider because I usually have not seen even one of the films that are nominated for awards.
This morning I was on the treadmill at the gym and on most of the TVs the headline news was the red carpet from the Academy Awards that were on last night.
Movie stars walking the red carpet with their gleaming white teeth, elegant updos and gorgeous designer gowns.
I may be a tomboy at heart, but I am always intrigued by the beauty on the red carpet.
As I listened to the podcast and ran off my late night popcorn, my eyes shifted from the TVs to the people in the room working out with me.
Not a single lady in that room was a size 2 like most of the movie stars walking that carpet.
As I glanced around the room, I felt my thighs jiggle as I ran and I caught myself comparing my body to the ladies in the room and those on the TV screens.
Then the inner voices began,
“Why were you so lazy this past week? You probably gained five pounds from not working out.”
“If you hadn’t eaten the rice krispy treat at Community Group last night, your legs wouldn’t be so jiggly.”
“See that girl over there on the elliptical? You should be more disciplined like her.”
“Don’t you dare go over to the free weights and lift. . .remember how lifting weights makes you look like a boy.”
Thankfully, years ago I learned to nip the voices in the bud. Those were all real thoughts that ran through my head this morning. I fended them off with one of the weapons in my arsenal.
1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
The battle begins at an early age. Voices telling us girls that our bodies are not good enough. That we have failed and that we are not as beautiful as the girl on TV or the lady across the room.
I was always a muscular girl with big feet.
Really big feet. When someone comments that they have big feet and hold up their tiny size 9 shoes, I always make them feel better when I point to my size 11 sometimes 12 foot.
The last time I put on a size 5/6 jean was in 6th grade. The muscles in my thighs and rear end expand at just the thought of lifting a weight, keeping me from squeezing into my ‘ideal’ sized jeans.
I once did a 40 day water/juice fast and my ending weight was 140.
Some ladies claim to be ‘big boned’ as an excuse to carry a few extra pounds. And then there are those of us who look like skin and bones and still weigh 140 pounds.
I think if you asked most people who know me, they would consider me a disciplined person.
As I scanned the gym this morning comparing myself to others, I realized that out of 30 ladies, I was definitely one of the most fit looking.
Still there were voices to fight off.
Still I despised it when I looked down at the roll on my tummy and felt the jiggle in my thighs.
I learned it does no good to ignore the thoughts.
It is tragic to listen to and believe the thoughts.
Instead I have learned that the only way to win the battle is to replace the thoughts.
My body is indeed a temple and my Savior died a cruel death so that He could live inside of me. The God of the universe has entrusted me with His Spirit and wants to use my body to share His love and His truth to a lost world.
I must steward my body and take care of what has been entrusted to me
Is the temple desecrated if I eat one rice krispy treat? Of course not.
Am I worthless in the Kingdom if I miss an entire week of workouts? Absolutely not.
For the past couple of years, I have been helping with a ministry that my sister and some of her friends began in rural Oklahoma. This amazing group of ladies began collecting prom dresses for girls in their community who could not afford to buy an expensive dress.
Through donations, they were able to fill a closet with dresses, jewelry, and shoes for girls and pants, shoes, vests and ties for boys.
Others in the community jumped on board. Dry cleaners. Hairdressers. Photographers. Nail Technicians.
The community came together to make sure that every girl and boy who wanted to attend prom could. A couple of years later, these women have helped other communities launch similar ministries to girls in their communities.
It is a beautiful thing to watch.
Girls putting on gorgeous dresses and looking in the mirror and smiling.
Ladies doing the girls make-up and telling the girls how beautiful they are and what a treasure they are to God.
The world we live in is full of voices that will make these girls feel inadequate and ugly.
These girls are no different than me. They battle the voices every time they look in the mirror, turn on the TV, eat an extra cookie, skip a workout, or see a beautiful girl sitting across the room.
The battle rages for us all. We must fight. Fight for ourselves. Fight for our daughters. And fight for the fatherless, who have no one to tell them they are beautiful in the eyes of their Maker.
If you are interested in donating items to a prom ministry, I would love to get you connected to one.
Here’s some of they items they need:
Prom Dresses, black men’s dress pants, ladies and men’s dress shoes, jewelry, vests, white shirts
Dresses in large sizes are difficult to find and are treasures to these ministries. I have found a few in thrift stores before…if you ever find one why don’t you snag it for one of these ministries!
To all my Arkansas friends, this year my cousin Anna started a prom ministry called Bloom and it is based in Murfreesboro. Please go like their Facebook page and spread the word.
Or…better yet…start one in your community. There are thousands of girls that need to hear the words, “You are beautiful.”