Comfortable In My Skin…

So, I was asked today to share my experiences with being a “taller, bigger girl” with a girl who is very young, and taller than those her age … haha… It sounds way worse than it was meant, I am thin, and getting thinner cause of my working out… But, I am ridiculously muscular for a girl and I am tall.. Which, compounding those also means I weigh more. If you ask anyone around, weight is not an issue I am self-conscious about. I have never had an eating disorder to the amount of starving myself or puking to maintain weight… I always consider calories, but I fight that battle in my head.

So, here’s a bit of my story about being comfortable in my own skin…

I have struggled with self image (like every other girl I have ever met), especially through high school, and the beginning of college. It took me a long time to find “my style.” All I recognized during that period of time, was my abnormally tall and large boned body compared to those of my friends who were all ridiculously tiny beautiful girls. I noted it, and tried to ignore it, but it effected the way I viewed myself. For a while, I attributed my issues with the fact that they had boyfriends and I did not.. “if only.. then I would feel comfortable in my own skin.” If I could find just ONE person to find me more beautiful and cherish me more than anyone else… I look back and that feeling makes my heart hurt. Knowing that I was so focused, and cause myself so much inner turmoil and pain.. That instead of focusing on my sweet Savior I was focused on how badly I wish I was created different.

In my mind, clearly God messed up. I was not pretty enough, skinny enough, short enough, tall enough, my hips were too big, my legs were too muscular, my shoulders too broad, my athletic build wasn’t right, my hands were too big, my hair too thick, too curly, my eyes squinted too much when I smiled, my laugh was too loud, my feet too big, my stomach not flat enough, my butt not big enough, I wasn’t dainty enough…. How terribly sad to have my world view through those eyes…

To this day, I still compare myself to the girls around me, on bad days especially I struggle to control my thoughts… However, I have begun to be able to separate the thoughts in my mind (Praise Jesus)… The biggest difference is now it does not grip my mind like it used to. When I was younger, I could not look at a beautiful girl and not compare myself, I was unable to view her beauty apart from my own. Somehow somewhere I got a scale.. and her beauty was a direct reflection on me and mine… Now, after a lot of self inflicted pain, I can look at a girl and think “wow, she’s really pretty..” and it does not automatically diminish my view of myself. Most times now the scale is not her vs me.. it is her, and it is me, they are separate. Her scale is her own, my scale is my own, they do not overlap.

In total honesty.. There are parts of myself I seriously dislike.. The things I do not like have nothing to do with the girls around me. These things are simply things I dislike. I do not like my stomach, so, I decided one of my big goals once I moved down here is to change that.. to actually do something about my dislike. I have decided I am tired of disliking something and not doing what I can to change it.. in a healthy manner. So, in an effort to change my view, I now work out every morning before work. I hate running, but since I am seeing results, I am content to make myself get up insanely early to run or do a core work out. I do not like my feet, they are ok, but I seriously dislike when people touch my feet. If I have socks on it’s ok, and if I am close to them or know them well it is more ok.. but overall I am not a fan of others touching my feet (adding to it, they are extremely ticklish). I do not hide them like I used to, but I also do not focus on them.

Because I do not want to be ruled by my dislikes, I know that I have to be vigilant in where I allow my mind to go when I am struggling with the way I look. The thing that makes it hard, is even if I do not have any interest in a guy, I still desire to be found beautiful to him… Not saying I want him to pursue me or fawn all over me (that gets awkward quickly), but to know I am at least attractive… It is a bigger desire than guys realize. I have been and am still working on re-orienting my thought process on this.. and as cliche as it sounds, finding my beauty in my Savior makes a difference.. I am not even sure where I would start though in explaining HOW to do that to another girl.. it is a slow arduous process..

The biggest breakthrough I have ever had in this area, was when I realized how few times I tell others I think they are beautiful, attractive, hansom, etc..etc.. In fact, I rarely was doing that, even people I think are absolutely stunningly beautiful and attractive I was not telling them. My reasoning? Surely they must know it, hear it all the time, don’t need to hear it, or just simply don’t care to hear it… Then, it dawned on me that they need to or at the very least appreciate hearing it just as much as I do. This revelation is one of the big reasons it does not bother me for people to know I find them attractive.. guy or girl. Now I go out of my way to compliment the physical attributes of those around me. Which, lets be honest, sounds funny, especially since we are told that “beauty is fleeting,” but the bottom line is, since we find value there regardless, being reminded that someone else also finds us valuable in that area… it allows me to hopefully at some point get the chance to help them realize their value is truly elsewhere.

So.. through all this… currently I am comfortable in my skin, I like who I am, and to be totally honest, my focus is just elsewhere right now. God has done great things and has changed the way I process through this.. not just my views. My looks are not really on the forefront of my mind.. I mean I think about it enough to put makeup on, do my hair, and wear clothes that work for my body type. However, if I do not have time.. I no longer feel self conscious that I do not have my makeup or hair done. I have decided that if I need to, other things need to be truly priority. However, once I have done all the typical “getting ready” things.. I am done thinking about it for the day, it no longer is in my mind.

I love my Savior, and I am content in who He has made me, and what He made me to look like. There are aspects of myself that are not perfect, but no longer does it effect the way my mind goes into self doubt and loathing. I can appreciate the looks and personalities of those around me without it causing self doubt or contempt of myself. I realize I am not, nor will I ever be size 2.. my bones simply are not made to be that small.. or anywhere close to that small. I am ok knowing this, and I am content with the way I look.

I praise Jesus for this shift in my perspective… I just hope He can use it to rub off on a couple other girls too..


So, new revelation… I am powerless. haha.. weird one I know. But, it is true. I have no control over anything. I mean think about it.. I am not even the one who makes myself breath… I have literally no control over my life. Powerless. Dang it.

I had a very long.. very late into the night discussion with one of my best friends the other night, and we just talked about how I am doing, feeling, frustrations.. all of which I feel stem from feeling disconnected with God. It was such a great conversation, and my friend is an expert at leading questions that allow me to externally process through whatever is going on.

I explained how “off” things feel… I feel I get frustrated easily, am tired more, and inside at my core.. the way I know my relationship with Jesus to be.. something just feels different.. off.. or something. Not that I do not feel Him, or do not think He’s there.. not listening, whatever whatever.. I can still clearly see Him moving and doing things in my life… So, that’s not the issue. It is not about a “woe is me I don’t feel God,” more that something is off.. not normal.. discombobulated..

After a while of rambling on and on.. and feeling like I was not making much sense at all, my friend pointed out that maybe my perspective was wrong. Maybe I was feeling like it was all my fault that things were “off or wrong” when in reality God’s just teaching me something right now.. changing the way things work. My friend lovingly pointed out that maybe this is just an example of how little control I have.. and then so lovingly asked.. “How does that make you feel?” … lol my friend KNEW full well how it made me feel.. I hate the feeling of being powerless. In almost every area of my life, I have the ability to do SOMETHING to change my circumstances.. usually it just means working harder, less sleep, talkig to someone, etc..etc..

But, in this particular instance.. I am powerless. I am sitting here on the floor before my Savior, and I have nothing to give, nothing to offer… I simply.. have to sit. Be here. I can do literally nothing without Him. I. Am. Powerless. Grr…

Then today, I met with a girl who is absolutely wonderful. We have decided to meet once a week.. which originally was gonna be just for an hour.. but really we need a couple hours a week to chat. We have decided to be accountability partners.. pretty much just because our minds and the way we process things are virtually identical.. which is amusing in oh so many ways. But, I was explaining my new “revelation” of being powerless.. and I explained the whole conversation to her. Then we moved on to other topics, and a little while later I was telling her about my latest dance class… and how I literally could not do anything they were trying to teach me with my eyes open. I actually had to close my eyes in order to follow correctly, not anticipate, or allow an instinct to take over. She stops me right away and says..

“That’s exactly what’s going on with you and God right now… He’s trying to lead you and you keep fighting Him, so He’s making you close your eyes so you’ll follow…”

That’s when it all clicked and suddenly I had peace about it all (which is not to be confused with no longer having anxiety).. Just because you do not have anxiety about something does not mean it’s a God given peace about something either… They are distinctly different. But, in this instance.. I realize because of what she pointed out that, I am uncertain about how I feel about what God’s doing.. but the reality is, I follow better with my eyes closed. The fact that I cannot see what He’s doing is to my benefit (obviously), it allows me to focus in a different way, I stop fighting, my instincts stop counteracting what I am trying to do.. and suddenly I am relying on and moving where He is leading me… And thus, things begin to flow..

So.. While I am really powerless… it does not mean I am not moving, it means I am now allowing myself to be moved… *sigh of relief*

Choosing Contentment…

So, I was sitting with a couple of my friends and I realized something… Even when I am unhappy about certain things and aspects of my life, I tend towards contentment. Not because it’s easy, not because I like it more, not even because God says anywhere to be content… Just simply because of a faith I have in my God.. and maybe a little predisposition in my creation that makes me naturally this way.

But, here’s my thoughts on it… It is totally understandable to not feel content in a certain aspect of your life.. usually I take that to mean God is pushing me to either move on, grow, or He is challenging me to do something I am probably not the biggest fan of naturally. That makes sense to me.. Either I have moved.. or God is moving.. one of the two.

However, I do not understand those who say “God told me to come here/do this/be that…” and the very next thing out of their mouth is “I hate this/hate that/hate being here…” That’s a lot different than feeling like God’s moving you and not being sure you like it yet. I am not even sure you can claim you are being faithful and obedient with an attitude of hatefulness towards what you feel God’s asking you to do. Uncertainty I get, feeling like you’re supposed to be somewhere else, having a passion for something other than what you are currently doing, knowing eventually something else is what God has called you to.. all those things I totally understand not being content with the current standings.. I have been there ridiculously more than I care to admit.. But, each time I have never hated where I was.. I have hated certain aspects, and each time I have felt convicted that I was not choosing to follow anything that was asked of me..

For example.. summer ’07- summer ’08.. hated a whole bunch of aspects of my life.. for example, I felt like I was simply getting a paycheck and that my job meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. Oh sure I could point to all the good my company did, all the family groups (in my OWN family) that were positively effected by my job and diligent work… but ultimately at the end of the day… I was just pulling in a paycheck. Part of my disdain for my job had to do with the hundreds upon hundreds of times I heard “You’re just too young.. you don’t understand.” … I wanted to respond “You’re too old.. you will never understand.” .. and sometimes I did (oops). However, my saving grace was that I worked my butt off so I had money for gas.. so I could be insanely involved in my youthgroup.. and by insanely, I mean I was at every function we had… I loved being a youth leader. Loved the involvement.. every bit of it, even the leaders meetings, the pizza 3 or 4 days a week, the lack of love and acceptance my kids showed me and each other.. I loved loving them and laughing with them… So, I worked so I could then have money to do what I loved. But, even still.. I felt like my life had somehow hit the pause button. I no longer felt like I was moving, growing, walking the path God had set in my life… I just felt.. stagnant. No other way to describe it.. So, yeah I was not content with a lot of aspect of my life at that point…

And then, a boy broke my heart… seriously.

And then, I got an entire year of living at home, loving my family, and letting them love me.

And then, I went to Africa for the first time.

And then, I was able to “commiserate” with 2 other friends who felt the same way I did.

And then, I learned what it meant to not see my path, not feel like I am moving, and yet see God in dozens of areas of my life.

And then, I was able to spend a year connecting with, learning, and loving extended family that I will probably never get the chance to do that again…

And then, I was able to encourage youth leaders who didn’t know how to continue.

And then, I was able to connect with and love kids who pushed me and every other leader away….

God worked. God moved. I knew it, and I saw it.. and then at the end, a year later I realized I had no choice but to experience that because it sucked and I needed to persevere even when I was blind and my heart was hurting because a boy chose to be dumb.

I realized it was not that God has paused my life.. or put anything on hold… He took a year and made me be still and know he is God.. He fortified my walls, strengthened my communication with Him.. and then sent me to a place to recover and remember how precious and loved I am by Him. I spent the summer of ’08 at a camp where I was begged to come back.. under any circumstances, and I told them no 4 times before I agreed.. I spent the summer being told every day how much I was loved and cherished.. I was reminded how important I am to my sweet Savior… I never once heard I was too young, didn’t understand, or wasn’t mature enough to grasp something… I simply was Krista.. joyful.. loved.. and God refreshed my weary soul..

And then, He sent me to Virginia to be around the most amazing community of people.. who truly love Jesus.. and He somehow uses them to heal me and others. There are aspects of things I know are not my favorite.. I will not be here forever, in fact I have an idea of how long I will be here based on some talks with Jesus… But, the bottom line is I am here.. and I am learning, growing, moving, refreshing, and changing to become who I need to be for a task later in life.. whatever that is.. and, I LOVE that. I love knowing I am preparing for something later. I feel it even when I become bogged down with the monotonous daily tasks…

So, looking at the last two years.. That is why I seriously get frustrated when people not only become discontent with an area of their life.. but with EVERYTHING in it.. and then claim they are there simply cause “God told them.” Baloney.. You either are following or you are not.. and if you are so incredibly unhappy.. you’re probably missing God’s point anyway… and it will take Him LONGER to get you to listen… *sigh*

Even when I do not understand… I choose to be content. Not always right away.. but usually once the emotion of the situation is gone I have come out on the other side choosing contentment regardless… It is a choice, a chosen perspective, a point of view you will have to fight for. Just… just choose to be content and you will see totally differently.

Sigh Some Relief…

So, I definitely needed this break I got with my brother here.. It was the first time in a month that I got more than one day of in a row.. or in a couple weeks I guess… I needed a break, more than I was able to accurate convey to those around me.

Elijah and I laughed like whoa. He and I just get each other’s sense of humor.. and we pick on each other like crazy.. I slapped his phone closed 150 times.. he honked my horn at ANY guy walking down the road.. regardless of how hard I hit him as a retaliation… He tickled me and threatened to tell a guy I find attractive that I like him.. which isn’t the case, but he thought it would be funny.. I hit him where he is sunburned.. lol he called me a jerk.. I laughed.. he laughed.. he sang about me living in the “Gheettoowwww” as though he was the lead singer from Creed… He blasted Miley Cirus as I talked to a lady on her front porch for work… We laughed and talked about all kinds of things we saw or heard, found amusing, like, dislike, find annoying, heard a different perspective… We sprayed each other down while washing my car… He hated the muggy heat, he mowed the lawn, I made him home made sushi and chicken alfredo… We had ice cream, and iced coffees and ate at Moe’s… We snuggled on the couch and took a bazillion pictures… And we laughed.. a lot, with each other, at each other, with my friends, at people.. we just laughed. We laughed hysterically at telephone charades with our friends.. and talked for half an hour afterwards about the funny faces each other made while acting out the scenario. We created some pretty sweet memories together with my friends down here.. surprised a friend with birthday brownies, climbed and hiked up a mountain in the middle of the night, went salsa dancing, tubed a lazy river, went to a birthday party, went out to dinner and lunches, church, game night, work, I cut his hair, he helped me pick out a pair of sunglasses (which he’s picked out 3 of the last 5 I’ve had lol), we saw Gi-Joe… He met a million of my friends… It was good 🙂

I forget the power of laughter sometimes. Between my brother, my roomies, two of my best friends down here, and multitudes of other friends I have, I laughed a ridiculous amount the last couple days… I laughed so hard several times that all I could do was cry..

This morning we (my roomies and Brit and I) woke up at 6am to work out.. I love it.. but hate it at the same time. One of my roomies was hysterical.. but it took me a while to realize it cause I was so tired and still waking up.. but I giggled all day because of her comments in the first 10 minutes of me being awake. In the middle of the day I got real bogged down with life.. just obnoxious things coming up at times that are just not conducive to the plan I had for the evening. Nothing big, nothing life threatening, nothing that alters really anything accept my plans… And that always seems to happen when emotionally I do not feel patient enough to handle it.. But, regardless things had to get done.. just not what I wanted.. And lovingly my roomie and I shared our frustration.. which made us laugh, and then another friend who is a wizard when it comes to figuring out what calms me down.. just hugged me for a bit. Which sounds dumb and not a big deal.. but for a TOUCH/Quality time person such as myself.. it was a big deal.. And then my friend proceeded to make my roomie and I laugh… It was perfect and needed… And I had to choose a better attitude. Later, we played Telephone Charades and it was so incredibly funny! Watching a couple of my friends and my brother seriously get into it with facial expressions was HYSTERICAL!.. I laughed SO ridiculously hard…

Then, to end the day I got to video chat with my best friend from home… It’s been a good week. I couldn’t have planned it out any more perfect, God knew what I needed to refresh myself for work again 🙂

Rock Climbing To Heaven…

So, last night a group of my friends, my little brother, and myself all went on a night hike. You hike about a mile, then cut across to these massive rocks/mini boulders, and climb about 3/5 of a mile (which seems like a ridiculous amount more when you’re climbing instead of hiking). But, we split the 10 of us up into 4 groups because we only had 4 headlamps… Although, we discovered fairly quickly that it was actually easier without the light to cause dramatic shadows. We pretty much paired up according to desire to be adventurous in the climbing (the three super-athlete boys), height (the tall girls and the nugget girls ;), and then the height similar-boys.

My climbing partner and I decided fairly early on to operate with the light off… and it was one of the coolest things we could have done. While we were climbing we realized all of the similarities between what we were doing and our relationship with God… So, I thought I’d share with you a bit about our revelation…

As we were climbing, it became apparent very quickly you had to focus on what you were doing right now, watch your feet, look at the next step, hand hold etc..etc.. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Because it was dark, it was a whole lot harder to see what was coming… Obviously only God knows our futures.

When we would look down where we came, each time our response was “whoa!.. Look how far we’ve come!” And, then we would look up and go “dang, look how far we have to go!”… And then, you would actually focus on your goal and what we saw was breathtaking!… The Milkyway was bright and beautiful, and outshines the black silhouettes of the rocks we were climbing.. The majesty and the sheer size of what our goal was, was truly breathtaking! Even when we couldn’t see everything, the mere shadows of what we were seeing we breathtaking, and every time we stopped to look around and take it all in we just kept saying “this is AMAZING!”

As we were climbing we started breathing harder and harder, and at points would just stop and converse about not being sure about making it the rest of the way.. PLUS back down.. and then we’d see how short it was to the top.. and lets be honest, you can’t quit so close to the end!.. So, we would get re-energized and start once again… Only to not too long later have to encourage each other once again that we can make it and it is not as far or hard as it seems…

On our way back down it was ridiculously slow moving for us because we were tired, our leg muscles were fatigued, and our knees were unstable, our shoulders were getting more work than we realized on the way up… and lets be honest.. it’s a mile in a half of climbing!… In the dark!

We had an absolute blast.. worked and sweated in gross amounts.. but it was worth it and the memories are so fun from it! I’d do it all over, scrapes and bruises and all…

The place we went hiking is called Devil’s Marbleyard… And yet our goal was to reach the Heavens… Ironic when you think of it 🙂

Misc. Moments…

So, it’s been an interesting couple of days. With my brother here now, it’s a totally different pace of life.. and so fun and different sorta melding the two worlds of home and new home… 🙂 We have some great things planned and I can’t hardly wait to do them!… But, at the same time, the pace is slow right now.. he’s catching up on some much needed sleep, and I’m just chilling on the couch for some much needed “do nothing” time.

I tend towards running and moving all the time.. and honestly don’t think of it much. Usually until I get a moment to breath and then I realize.. WHOA! This time I saw the exhaustion coming.. or I guess more felt it coming because of reactions to certain people. Most cases I am a fairly patient person with the ignorances of others.. but little by little my patience level was reaching an end.. and I saw it coming.. So, I’m finally chilling and relaxing.. and there’s nothing better than having family around to do that 🙂

In other news… I had a really rough night a couple nights ago. For whatever reason I became extremely anxious and concerned about a situation I see that has the potential to be either REALLY good or REALLY bad… And, the other night all I could see was the bad. I hate nights like that, because it’s not that my trust in God dwindles.. it’s that something covers my view of the trust I have… I mean the trust was still there, but it was like I could no longer see it to focus on it… It took a long time, and a lot of comforting words by my best friend from home, before I was able to start seeing it again. I also emailed another friend asking for their perspective because I was fairly confident that they would be able to offer some insight I did not have… and they did. I am so grateful for their perspective. They had a lot of comforting words, and I felt they were able to accurately view the situation without anything clouding their vision, which lets be honest… the more people like that you can have around the better 🙂

Today, I am back to being at peace about the situation that I got anxious about. I realize that regardless it is out of my control and my ability to do anything more than pray about it… Which, does not mean pray for what I want… (although I tell God IF He is interested my thoughts are… haha as though He is polling..). But, either way, I figure communicating with Him what I want is more for my own benefit and knowing that I am actually communicating with Him than because I actually expect Him to do what I want… And, lets be honest.. what I want never really compares to the way He works it out in the long run.. and I am always so incredibly thankful for the way things actually work out… Just sometimes I forget that and need to be reminded.

Thank you Jesus for my friends who remind me.

Pace of Life…

So, I finally feel like I have beaten the issue that has so long plagued me… I was able to get the Bible on my ipod.. haha So… now I can listen to my “daily readings” on my drive to and from work.. And, since I am RIDICULOUSLY behind in my readings.. I will be able to catch up! I listened to three days worth on my drive to work today alone!! I am pretty stoked about that, especially because it makes me feel like I am utilizing my time much more wisely. Now, my mornings will look something like this… 6am work out with Brit (so good but.. ugh!), 7:30am commence my hour drive to work/ listen to the Bible, 8:30am arrive at work, proceed with long day, sometime between 4 and 5 leave for home… That is of course assuming it is a day I go into work instead of stay in the burg to get random things done or that I do not have to stay late at work.. But, either way, I am very happy I was finally able to get the Bible on my ipod so I no longer have to feel like I am wasting that time, and can actually use it to achieve my goal of “reading” through the Bible in year.. which is actually reading through the old testament once and the new testament twice.

I know this whole thing sounds a bit odd as something to be excited about, but I really need to refocus on Jesus again. I hate when I allow my busy schedule to slowly take over my Jesus time. It is never on purpose, and it’s never quickly, it is always slow, and never usually by things that are bad.. just require my time.

I honestly think some of my tiredness has been a lack of Jesus time, which sounds weird I know, but really.. the pace of life I maintain overwhelms me when I explain it to others… haha. Somehow I actually live the things I tell people I do without even a second glance at the time required or the lack of sleep or the hours I put into something… But, the reality is I seriously don’t notice the hectic pace of any of it if I am getting an adequate amount of Jesus time 🙂 It’s always sorta made me laugh to watch people’s faces as I describe a normal week for me and the things I am involved in… they tend towards this glazed overwhelmed look on their face, and usually try convincing me that I will burn myself out at this pace.. as though 24 years is not enough to indicate if I can or cannot handle it. 🙂

I was talking with a new friend last night driving back from Charlottesville, and we were just sharing our stories about how we got to where we are, cool things God’s done in our lives, and somehow it came out that I have been at this insane pace especially at work since March… whoa.. where did the time go?! I did not realize it had been so long, it just doesn’t seem that long AT ALL.. I mean I still feel like it should be July… and we are more than a week into August!… sheesh!

I am definitely ready for the change of pace fall will bring… (“fall” begins next week as our kids head back to school… WEIRD)… I am also excited for the break I get this week when my brother comes down… Sooo soo many good things to be thankful for today 🙂