It happened.  She noticed.

She’s a girl, so I knew it was coming, but nine years old…really?

I guess I am half responsible because I was a contributor of one of her X chromosomes.

Before Joe and I were married and we shared with each other our future ideas of a ‘perfect’ family…he mentioned that he would love a house full of girls.

I remember getting a huge knot in my stomach…you see… Joe and I never went on a date…we were engaged after only having known each other 3 months (please don’t tell our kids this).

{I actually started this little blog 5 years ago to record our love story to give to Joe as a 10 year wedding anniversary gift. . .you can read about that craziness starting here; I had no intention of continuing to post things to the blog after our anniversary that year, but I had lots of friends and family asking me to continue to post things I write…so this is where I do that from time to time when I write something that I think might help someone in their journey.}

Somehow, I didn’t think to ask the “how many kids do you want?” question before I said yes to marrying him.   Kind of an important thing to discuss if you plan to live together ’til death do us part’.

My parents will attest to the fact that from the time I was a kid, I had always said that IF I had kids I would adopt all boys that are at least 12 years old.

Being a tomboy, I didn’t really ‘get’ a lot of other girls a lot of time so I deduced at a young age that I would not make a good momma of girls…and quite honestly I didn’t think I could handle a house full of pink, make-up, and drama.

Growing up I tried to wear trendy clothes…but my athletic legs and size 11 shoes just didn’t look the same as all the other girls.  I always defaulted back to my Chuck Taylor’s (which were camo) and sweatshirts.

I tried my hand at the trendy big hair that was the rage of girls in the 80s…It took a gallon of Rave hairspray to get my permed, fine,thin hair to keep up with all the other girls’ hair.  I finally gave up.

My girly, girl sister dreamed of having a little sister that she could teach all the ways of the girl world….let’s just say I was a bit of a disappointment.

My childhood best friend was a fashionista with thick flowing locks and a gorgeous tan I tried and failed to achieve with baby oil and iodine.   Our friendship from 4th grade through college is recorded in a series of letters we wrote back and forth after she moved.  My letters consist of stories about bicycle rides and basketball scores.   Her letters were filled with details of how she decorated her room and what her boyfriend got her for Valentine’s Day.

Deep down I was often in turmoil.

I wanted to fit in with other girls…but I really didn’t.

I wanted to just be me.  To be a girl who preferred tennis shoes to high heels, sweatpants to dresses, and shooting hoops to shopping.

There was often a silent war raging for my soul.

The same athletic legs that helped me to run fast enough to be a part of a state championship relay team as a freshman in high school and do two collegiate sports…

The same musclely arms  that Joe fell in love with when we first met (and that women all across America are trying to obtain in CrossFit gyms)…

The same size 11 shoes…well really God?  You could have at least stopped them at size 10….I’ve never found a true benefit to such big feet.

Those same big muscles are the same muscles that I looked in the mirror and wished weren’t underneath my skin.

If the big quads and calves weren’t there…then surely I could fit in the size 1 jeans like all my friends.

If my deltoids and biceps didn’t look like a boys….then surely I would have a boy show interest in me.

Over the years I have learned to win that war in my mind over my body.   I daily make peace with my “athletic” body and remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by my Creator.

Having a daughter has made me all the more aware that I have to be on guard daily to fight and win this battle.

There we were sitting in the living room.

I made a comment to Joe about my daughter’s thin legs.

She was listening and because she speaks truth without a refined filter she replied to her Daddy

“and Momma’s legs are chubby.”

I turned in shock and asked with a sort of sincere smile, “What? ”

“You know.  Your legs aren’t skinny like mine.  They are kind of chubby.  When you wear shorts they go like this..”.   And she proceeded to draw out with her hands in the air a shape that resembled an hourglass…a quite large hourglass.

She’s a girl…she noticed.

At the tender age of 9, she has already begun to compare.

And at the wise age of 38, I chose not to take her comment to heart.

I have much bigger dragons to slay in my life these days than being consumed with what others may think about my athletic or possibly even chubby legs….

Last night we were getting ready to head to a mother/daughter event.

She was getting dressed in her shirt and leggings that are supposed to be tight…but the tights wrinkle up and look more like pants because her thin legs don’t fill them out.

I was in the place I dread the most right now…my closet.

After having given birth to a baby almost three months ago, I gave away all my maternity clothes.  None of my pre-pregnancy clothes quite fits right.

My wardrobe right now consists of a few shirts and two pairs of pants.  (Well, I have lots of sweatpants and sweatshirts that fit…but my sister would argue that these are not to be counted as part of a wardrobe)

In that closet that night the war in my mind began to rage.

I was beating myself up for having only worked out twice in the past week.

In my mind, I scolded myself for eating pizza the night before with the kids.

As I squeezed my “athletic” legs into my pants, in my head I planned my workouts for the next week and hoped that they would not have the reverse effect that they sometimes do on a musclely girl…making her bigger instead of smaller.  (Can I get an ‘Amen’ from all the athletically built girls out there?!?!?).

I began promising myself that I would say no to pizza and ice cream next week.

After a frustrating 20 minutes trying on clothes in my closet, we made it to the mother/daughter event.

At one point in the evening she crawled into my lap.

Her thin legs draped across my not so thin legs.

In that moment I was reminded I have two girls that God has entrusted me with who are watching me closely.  Close enough to notice my chubby legs and no doubt they will be watching and listening to see how I respond to the body God has given me.

No doubt very soon she will be fighting mental battles of her own. It likely won’t be over athletically chubby legs…but there will be something…. something about her body that she won’t see through the lens of Gods perfect design for who He created her to be.

She’s a girl and bless her heart she got a mom who is fumbling her way through this whole parenting thing…

I may not be able to teach her how to walk in heels or create a smokey look with eye shadow, but she’s got a mom with strong legs (okay…they are more chubby than athletic looking these days…and I’m okay with that) and big biceps ….and by golly I’m ready to use them to help her fight to love her body when the evil one tries to wage war on her.

High School Senior pictures are an awkward thing for a tomboy.  The amazing Lawrence Anderson did a great job ...I remember getting this picture back and debating on whether I liked it or not because my biceps and quads looked 'too big'.  Oh to have my 18 year old body again!

High School Senior pictures are an awkward thing for a tomboy. The amazing Lawrence Anderson did a great job …I remember getting this picture back and debating on whether I liked it or not because my biceps and quads looked ‘too big’. Oh to have my 18-year-old body again!

2-17-2014 6;22;24 AM

I am sure that this Halloween was a nightmare come true for my sister. I never wanted to dress as a princess or anything girly…I was the Incredible Hulk one year, a mime one year, and this…Not sure what I was here but this was a real outfit of my brother’s that I secretly wanted to be mine and he let me wear on Halloween one year. I think maybe I thought I was a member of the group Stryper.

2-17-2014 6;22;29 AM

This picture capture the difference in me and my bestie perfectly.

2-17-2014 6;22;31 AM

My sister managed to get me in pink a few times.