Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Be happy with yourself . . .

So I took this picture last summer . . . this friendship bracelet made me so happy, and I wanted to share it on my blog.  But I didn't.  And I realize now the reasons were vain and insignificant.
Why was the friendship bracelet special?  When I volunteered at Cub Scout camp with my boys, Amanda would have to go to "Pixie" camp for the little sisters.  Last year she was one of the older girls in her group, but she didn't mind.  She had lots of fun helping out the younger ones and learned a lot from the older girl volunteers, specifically how to make friendship bracelets. 

On the last day, her leader called her out into the hall when I came to pick her up . . . and then her leader started to cry.  She had purchased a friendship bracelet making kit for Amanda because she was so grateful that she had been such a help to her that week and behaved so well.  She wanted Amanda to feel like a big girl like the teen helpers and thought this would be a special surprise for her. 

This meant a great deal to Amanda and perhaps even more to me.  Amanda is little for her age so sometimes people forget and treat her younger . . . clearly this amazing leader did not.  And it also made me proud that she was viewed in such a positive light by another adult.  Sometimes she can be sassy and not as helpful to her mom, but apparently I need to let her do her own thing every once in awhile so she can really shine.  That bracelet above was the first one she made me with her new kit. 

So why didn't I share it?  After I viewed the picture in a bigger size on my screen, I was self conscience about my hand.  I thought it looked old, with the wrinkles and blue veins.  It also showed off all my freckles.  So I kept it to myself. 

Why the change of heart?  Well, it was something my mother said to me not too long ago.  I was driving and we were chatting away.  Then she looked down to my hand resting on the console.  She rubbed my hand and told me how pretty my skin was.  She said it looked so young, without wrinkles and age spots.  And I immediately thought about that picture above that I was too embarrassed to share.  And then I realized I should be more embarrassed about the reasons I didn't share it. 

I think we all have a tendency to wish we looked better, had more, did more . . . I could go on and on.  It's like we forget to celebrate just where we are and not where we think we need to be.  I like to think I'm pretty good about appreciating the here and now, but when it comes to my body, I'm convinced if I weighed 20 pounds less, or had a tan, or less wrinkles, then I would be happier.  

I took this picture to remind myself how foolish my thoughts have been . . . and to remind myself to appreciate my body here and now.
My hand does look young compared to my 70 year old mother's, and I bet she'd give anything to turn back time 30 years.  You know what I see when I look at her hands?  I see strength and beauty and love.  And I want to hold onto those hands forever because they have held me, cared for me and loved on my children.   

I also took this picture . . . three generations of hands to hold.  Hopefully Amanda can learn from my mistakes and appreciate her beauty, inside and out.  And I hope when she looks at my hands in years to come, she sees the same love that I see when I look at my mom's.

I know I wish I could go back to my teens and twenties and appreciate the body I had then . . . before carrying three babies and the middle age spread. 
Now this doesn't mean we need to flaunt our areas of improvement for all to see . . . keep you bits covered and your toes manicured.  With that said, we all should try to maintain a healthier lifestyle and exercise on the regular . . . because life is all about progress, not perfect . . . be grateful for what God gave you.

Geez . . . way too serious so let's bring it back to something fun . . . the awesome Target giveaway hosted by myself and Amy at The Crazy Wise Woman . . . check out the details HERE!!  And think about this . . .

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  1. You made me cry! This was a beautiful post :)

  2. You made me cry, too! I thought I was going to hold strong, but the photo of all three hands sent me over the edge. Thanks a lot! :-P (((hugs)))

  3. When they had my mom's viewing, I looked down at her folded hands and realized mine look exactly like her's. That is all I have left of my mom. But I can look down at my wrinkled tiny fingers and smile. Its like she always holding my hand.

    Thank you; Amy, for your post. We must all remember that those wrinkles and age spots are badges of honor.


  4. Ok... tearing up at work over here!!! Dang woman, I won't comment on the hand thing cause you got me there, I get it totally. But I will say that I love watching my daughters and son interact with younger kids in a positive way.. teaching them or whatever. It makes me feel as parents we have clearly done something right That they have the patience and desire to be little role models:) Good job Mom!!!

  5. Think of how many animals your beautiful hands have comforted, too! Sweet blogging, right here. XO