Saturday, October 31, 2015

Put On Those Big Girl Skivvies: 17 Weeks of Learning to Live a Beautiful Life

Here it is! The 8th week in my 17 weeks of Learning to Live a Beautiful Life series.


I didn't know if it was nice manners to refer to ladies undergarments in a public blog. My late grandma called panties skivvies. I figured if it was okay for Grandma...


You've heard the expression..."I need to put on my big girl (insert preferred term for ladies undergarments)". It is used to encourage ourselves or others to do any number of the following:

1. Grow up and act like an adult.
2. Take the bull by the horns (so to speak) and attempt something you are dreading.
3. Move on from a trying situation and make the best of it.
4. Grow up and act like an adult.

"Adulting" (a term I have heard more and more of) is hard work. With it comes responsibility and maturity. We have to do things that are hard, painful and mostly unrewarding.

Often it involves us biting our tongues, taking the high road, pushing ourselves and taking chances.

Putting on those Big Girl Skivvies and pushing ahead can be challenging. But (and this is a big one) it is something you HAVE to do if you want to live a beautiful and meaningful life.

So here is something I want you to do right now. Write down one thing that is troubling you. Or challenging you. Or making things difficult for you and your loved ones.

Think hard about this one. Is it something that is a surface issue or just a symptom of a larger problem?

Now look at what you have written down and put it in PERSPECTIVE.

You might be experiencing an agonizing, heart wrenching season in your life. Sometimes it is hard to put that in perspective when you are the middle of it. A mature person recognizes that those periods in our lives are to honored and mourned. But that there has to be some sort of moving on process. You might be still in the grieving stage. That still does not mean that you cannot rejoice and give thanks for those blessings you still see around you.

What about relationship issues? I have been married for 24 years. I ADORE my husband. However, we are not perfect people. There have been private and painful periods of our marriage that I don't share. They aren't to be dwelled upon. If I could name a thousand faults in The Muffin's life, he could name a thousand in mine. My perspective is that I have a healthy husband to stand by my side. We have WORKED hard on our relationship and I recognize my place in it. My desire is to encourage, to be his cheerleader. I also have to recognize my own responsibility to make it work. I am not to fix him. And who I am to suggest he needs fixing?

I also want to make sure that I don't make generalizations about every relationship. I only know what has worked for us.

Maybe you are struggling financially. I hear ya'! Here is a little perspective. The Muffin and I have come to this peaceful answer in our finances. God is in control. Most of our problems are 1st World Country problems. The screw and nail in my tire. I need a whole new set of tires and frankly, a new car. Here is the perspective. I have wheels. They aren't reliable wheels, but they are wheels. If I have to change my plans, not drive as often...then that is the way it must be. My minuscule grocery budget allows me to be creative and resourceful. It is more than most people have across the world. We have lost houses, health and eeked out an existence in our materialistic world. What we have learned is that while it is nice to's not necessary for happiness. God is our provider. He has always given us what we needed.

I have to remind myself daily of where I have been and what God has seen me through. Having a healthy perspective makes the difference.

What about ATTITUDE?

I hesitate to even bring this one up, but it's a must. We can't go through life pitching a fit every time something doesn't go our way. We can't say what we want or act out with no concern for those around us.

Basically. We have to grow up.

I am going to leave it there.

Putting on those Big Girl Skivvies also requires the ability to GROW.

Sometimes growing up is painful. When I was a little girl I would have awful growing pains. My legs would ache at night. I would toss and turn and curse my Dad's tall genes. It must have worked. I only got to 5"4.

Growing up also requires correction. I don't know anybody who loves to be corrected. A few days ago, I overheard a conversation between a nurse and a teacher. I wasn't intentionally eaves dropping, but I was sitting next to them so it was kind of hard to miss. Both of them are responsible for education of young people (the nurse works with student nurses). They were lamenting the fact that their students are unable to take critiques with any kind of grace or introspection.

Can I tell you that our society has a problem with this? We HAVE to be right. We don't like anyone pointing out weaknesses (who are you to tell me...). While I believe that you need to let people be themselves, we also have to respect authority and those who are given charge over us.

If we can't learn...we can't grow.

I have had to receive correction concerning my health. I am capable of living in my own little dream world. There is something about my psyche that can escape to a "happy place" and just deal with it.

Sometimes we need tough love. My tough love reminded me that I needed to be healthy for my son. I couldn't let the challenges before me dictate what I do for myself.

What kind of tough love are we ignoring for the sake of pride?

So take another look at what you have written down.

Let's talk about the "move on" part about the title of my post. Are you stuck? Maybe you feel like you are taking steps in the right direction, but you constantly find yourself in reverse.

Here is where I get to pull my favorite numbering trick. You might find something in my advice that helps you move on.

1. Have patience. Have you heard the expression that Rome wasn't built in a day? Well, neither can a person find that place of maturity and self-acceptance overnight. You are going to have ups and downs. Ins and outs. Good days and bad days. Just do what you know how to do (do the best you can).

2. Develop good habits. I have set a goal for myself in the area of productivity. I want my mornings to be more productive. I hate feeling like I never get anything done. It makes me feel ineffective.  I found it helpful to do a little bit of reading about how other ladies get things done. However, here is a word of caution. Don't try and overhaul your life at one time. Take babysteps. Good habits happen over a period of time. They can't be called into existence.

3. Just do something. Discontentment is a big joy sucker. We can wallow in self-pity (I'm the queen) for quite some time. If we are not careful it becomes part of who we are. The best defense against this is to JUST DO SOMETHING! Not satisfied with your house? Make it more homey by displaying things that you love and mean something to you and your family. It's the people in the home that matter. Feel like you want to do something different with your life? Consider taking a class. If that is not an option, immerse yourself in learning a new hobby. When Josiah was much younger, I decided I needed to have an outlet outside the church (my husband is a pastor). It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I joined a "writing" club. I started volunteering with a children's theatre.

4. Practice the art of forgiveness. Ouchie. This can be tough. However, it is vital that we forgive those hurtful words and deeds that have come against us. Sometimes people are just thoughtless. Sometimes they are incapable of mature thought (they haven't learned to pull up their Big Girl Skivvies). We can't dwell in those dark spots. Unforgiveness can hold on to a person with black, vicious claws. It dictates our every move and every thought. It keeps us stuck. Maturity (and The Bible) tells us to pray for those who persecute us.

5. Be Kind.  Here is my last little thought (and you all said.."well, thank goodness for that!). It is discouraging to get online and see all of us fussing at each other. This one gets made at that one. This one is offended by that one. Then we have those who always seem to be complaining. We don't respect one another's feelings, convictions and actions. We need to start behaving like the people momma raised us to be (or needed to raise us to be).

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