2012. I'm tucked in the corner of a sweaty gym. It's Zumba day and I like to sneak in for the last twenty minutes of class to loosen up after lifting. I hope to disappear into the multicolored lights that stream from the ceiling, to dance without anybody noticing my awkwardness.
My friend in the front row doesn't share my sentiment. She sways back and forth to the music, not a care, and showing no interest as to whether or not anybody's watching. The moment is hers. She's free. Not one second of her seventy years is a match for the energy that pours out of her. I catch myself staring and forget my own steps. Smiling, I decide right then that I want to be just like her "when I grow up".
It's August already. How did that happen? Time flies as the beach beckons, complete with an oversized umbrella and a glass of sweet tea. Many of us have been on the wedding circuit these past few months. Rather than traveling the Tour de Nuptiale, perhaps you've celebrated an anniversary recently. Summertime brings more than its share of opportunities to examine our own relationships as we lend our support to others'.
My hands are ripped, there’s chalk smudged across my midsection, and my mind is fried from a killer week of stress. Forget controlling my thoughts, they’re as powder-swirled and black as my t-shirt. There’s no more patience left for myself. I’ve given it all away...
It's March and body image has been creeping into our conversations. The vines are blooming here in Carolina and some of us will be heading someplace warm for Spring Break or family trips. Many of you have already been enjoying the sunshine (a shout-out to our southern hemisphere friends - savor these dwindling days of summer).
My husband and I are celebrating our ten-year anniversary next month with a vacation so, just the other day, I stopped into TJ Maxx. Wouldn't you know, I found a couple of cute bathing suits and didn't shed a single tear in the dressing room...
Over the past few weeks, there's been a particularly feminine focus here at the Pearl (sorry Charlie). These recent messages are in direct response to the stories of women who've recently participated in our local workshops and other community events. If you, too, share some of these struggles, be inspired. You're not alone.
There was this thing I was supposed to do years ago. I lost sleep over it, tossing and turning. You know those God-prompts that only come when He finally pins you beneath the covers, a captive audience? I argued. I diverted. I didn't want to draw any attention to myself or invite judgment with this writing-about-hard-things stuff. Counseling behind closed doors was plenty for me!
Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.
Moses and I would have gotten along just fine. My mostly-introverted self could be content wandering the desert, "watering flocks." I know many of you wish that you could disappear amidst the sand dunes every once in a while too. I hear you loud and clear when you say that you want to get away, but there's just one problem...
February. For some of us, new diets are becoming a struggle and frustration is growing. We're reminded by the pretty faces staring back at us from magazine covers that summer will be here in the blink of an eye. Just when I feel pressure to look my best, I remember that you might be experiencing the exact same thing. I sent this love message to you for the first time three years ago, so internet kin, it's time for a body image revisit...
I've circled this island in my kitchen no less than fifty-two times and I swear, there's NOTHING to eat in this place. I'm tired, irritated, and after putting the boys to bed, I cleaned the you-know-what off the side of the toilets and tile flooring. The stool overflowed again. Some days there isn’t enough Clorox in the world to accomplish the super feats of Mom. It’s only 8pm. I drag like a weary, homemaking soldier headed home from battle and want nothing more than to settle into the respite of my comfy, tan couch.
Hello there and happy November! I'm glad you're back. If you're new to the Gritty Pearl, welcome! We're in the second week of a three-part discussion on intimacy and relationships. We were challenged last week with the issue of physical intimacy and married life. It can be a tender, sometimes nose-crinkling conversation, though it's hugely important to those of us maintaining marriages, or who are hoping to become married in the future. This week, we tackle body image and the ways that our insecurities can affect our relationships with the people who love us the most.
Any tired folks out there? Curious ones? After reading the title of this blog, are any of you thinking, "Lord knows, I can't remember the last time I was physically intimate! Maybe last Tuesday?" As we enter a mini-series on intimacy, we'll be talking about emotional vulnerability, physical satisfaction, and the unique and biblical opportunities that we've been given through the gift of commitment. Join us!
You don't own me...
I'm not just one of your many toys.
You don't own me.
Don't say I can't go with other boys.
Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Baaaa...
And don't tell me what to do,
And don't tell me what to say.
And when I go out with you,
Don't put me on display...
The workout got the best of me. New to the gym and programming, my time was the slowest out of my entire group. Chest heaving up and down and hands on my hips, pride died right there next to me in a pool of sweat. That day, we were required to complete a combination of running, wall balls, and box jumps while being timed. “I don’t run,” I remember mentioning to the trainer as the starting bell sounded. I ran anyway. It wasn’t pretty.
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.