As Promised, I Reveal My Weight

Hi, My name is Karis, and I am created in the image of God…

Several weeks ago, I started a Facebook discussion that really got me thinking about body image and our perception of beauty. I watched the Emmy’s and noticed the beautiful Christina Hendricks…the redhead that plays Joan in Mad Men. I saw her standing next to someone, maybe a friend or member of the press, and noticed that in comparison to the woman next to her she was very tall and almost “Larger then life” looking. After a little more research about her, I discovered that at her first Emmy’s in 2010, she couldn’t find a designer to give her a dress. She’s a size 14, and that makes her 7 sizes larger then the largest sample size produced by designers. That same year, she was selected as Maxim Magazine’s Sexiest Woman Alive….

All this started me thinking about how skewed our standards for beauty are. Men (and women) the world over find Christina Hendricks to be wildly beautiful, and yet, designers say she is too fat for fashion. Ridiculous.

Back to Facebook…I posted a link to a picture of Christina at the Emmy’s, gave a little information about her, for example that she is  5’8 and her measurements are 42-30-36 and she wears a size 14. Based on that, I asked people to guess what she weighed. We may never know what Christina weighs unless she comes out and tells us, but I was more interested in hearing people’s perception of weight and what they thought she should weigh. People guessed everything between 130 to 200 lbs. Let me tell you this…there is no way she is any less than 160 lbs.

I will admit, I had an agenda. I am a tall girl. 5’10 barefoot. I can’t remember weighing less than 100 lbs. I was taller than my second grade teacher. I got married at 20. The lowest weight I have registered in my adult life (if you can consider 20 an adult) was on my wedding day. I was 135 lbs. I was skin and bones. Not because I tried to be, but because I was a full time college student, worked 3 part time jobs, volunteered on highschool staff at my church and sang in 3 different bands. Plus, I had just planned my wedding in 4 months. I lived on my own and didn’t know how to cook, so I ate things like minute rice and butter, deli turkey, string cheese, bagels and pizza…lots and lots of pizza.

Other than getting my period at 13, my body didn’t seem to change at all until after I had my first baby at 22. I basically had the body of a teenage boy until my body needed to change to accomodate feeding my child.

Now, I’m 32 and a mother of 2. I gained 55 lbs with my first pregnancy and 48 with my second. I lost the weight both times. It’s amazing what happens to a metabolism exactly at age 30. It’s like someone flips a switch. I now have to be concious to eat healthy, excersize (which I loathe) and take care of this temple. I have dieted, and not always in a moderate way.

In highschool, I remember my friends talking about weighing 95, 100, 110 lbs. There was no way I was telling them my weight. Sure, I was at least 6 inches taller than most of them, but somehow, we don’t seem to take that into account.

So. Without belaboring this any longer, this morning I weigh 167 lbs. That can fluxuate 10 lbs in a day. I guess I retain water. I wear a size 14, my measurements are 40-30-43…Yes, that’s a badonkadonk. My husband loves it. Here is me, wet hair, no makeup. This is the image of God, and when you look in the mirror, that’s what you’ll see as well, God’s image staring back at you.

 

 

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Honesty and Courage

There are defining moments in our parenting journey. These slivers of time also align with the defining moments in our children’s lives. Simple, but we often forget that the choices we make in these moments shape our children for good or ill.

Often we botch it. I’m grateful for the Grace that undoes the damage I cause and repairs broken roads.

But, the times that we tap into the power of God and get it right reverberate in the souls of our kids forever. We had one of those moments this morning.

One of the prayers that I consistently pray for my children is that they will get caught in every lie that they ever tell. My parents always prayed the same for me. It might seem like an unusual prayer, but I want dishonesty to become so unworkable, so ineffective for my kids that they stop attempting it. Even in the times when they aren’t found out by someone else, I pray for the Holy Spirit to make them so uncomfortable, so disquieted that they confess to their lies just to have relief.

You see, God put a conscience inside us all. Once we invite the Holy Spirit to indwell us, that conscience becomes super-charged. But, if we consistently repress it; If we beat it back and ignore it for long enough, we can become immune to its leading. God save us from ourselves in this sin! I pray that all the members of my family always remain sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and to the restlessness that our sin ought to bring.

Today, one of my daughters had to face a lie. Well, actually, a cheat and then a lie to cover it up. She had to come early to class, me by her side, and confess to her teacher what she had done, ask for forgiveness and then face whatever consequences that came. After she confessed to me last night, and the watershed of guilt released, she knew what she would have to do this morning. It was a double lesson in honesty and courage.

It was a lesson in courage because she was terrified to talk to her teacher, but she did it anyway. Often we think bravery and courage come because we don’t feel afraid, but in reality, to quote the great John Wayne, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

Lord, may I always teach my children that what is right is not often what is easy; that sometimes the path of least resistance is the current pulling you over the waterfall. Most importantly, make those holy truths present in my life, so that I will go first and lead my children to You.

 

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The Light of Equality

The birth of Jesus, God of the Universe, on earth infused equality into an oppressive humanity. There are many places in the world that still don’t get to experience the equality that the Infant Equalizer intended for them, but his birth set a precedent from which all our civil rights are derived. Without the One who subverted his divinity to take on an earthly body, face human struggles, and die a brutal death we wouldn’t even have an example for equality.

I love the words of the following hymn, which was written in 1933, the short pause in history between the two great wars. We must remember that Christmas receded the classicist, feudal, slave culture that came before it. While remnants of that evil will always persist in our fallen world, His birth is the only reason we have to strive for freedom, liberty and equality.

Christ is the World’s True Light

St. Joan/George Wallace Briggs 1933

1. Christ is the world’s true light,
Its Captain of salvation,
The Day-star clear and bright
Of every man and nation;
New life, new hope awakes,
Where’er men own his sway;
Freedom her bondage breaks,
And night is turned to day.

2. In Christ all races meet,
Their ancient feuds forgetting,
The whole round world complete,
From sunrise to its setting:
When Christ is throned as Lord,
Men shall forsake their fear,
To ploughshare bear the sword,
To pruning-hook the spear.

3. One Lord, in one great Name
Unite us all who own thee;
Cast out our pride and shame
That hinder to enthrone thee;
The world has waited long,
Has travailed long in pain;
To heal its ancient wrong,
Come, Prince of Peace, and reign. Amen.

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Advent

His breath is Peace

His hope is Light

His name is Word

and Word is sight.

He’s called the Alpha

for God did send

a fresh new Start

to earth descend.

He’s called Omega

which means the Last

redeem our future,

present, past.

His way is easy

His yoke is light

Salvation came

that holy night.

His advent here

upon the earth

provides a pathway

to Rebirth.

Immanuel

our God With Us

o’er sin’s dark scourge

Victorious!

Copyright 2011 Karis Murray–All rights reserved.

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The Hymns of Christmas

I love most all Christmas music. I say “most all” because there are a few songs I despise… “Jingle Bells,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “I’m Gettin’ Nothin’ for Christmas,” “Santa Baby” You get the idea. All of these songs have something in common and I think it is what I dislike about them: They have nothing to do with the Guest of Honor.

I understand that these songs are simply meant to be fun. Maybe I wouldn’t hate them so much if they weren’t played constantly on every radio station and in every store. And if you like these songs and they put you in the spirit of Christmas, there’s no judgement from me…this is just my preference and my lament of the fact that I am not old, but in my lifetime, I have seen Religious Christmas music all but disappear from mainstream radio stations. We focus on presents and shopping and eating and consuming (I am just as guilty). We come to the Birthday Party, eat all the cake and open all the gifts, but we never greet the Guest of Honor. We may give Him passing acknowledgement, but not the exuberant celebration deserved by One who is “Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel.”

And so our Honored Guest, the Word, the First and Last, the Great Light, the Prince of Peace waits patiently and humbly in the manger. He is content to let us enjoy His birthday party, to bask in the lavish grace His party implies: That the One who deserves our all came to give His all.

Oh Blessed Day, When First Was Pour’d

By, Afreton and Chandler 1708

O blessed day, when first was pour’d
The Blood of our Redeeming Lord:
O blessed day, when first began
His sufferings borne for sinful man!

Scarce enter’d on this life of woe,
His Infant Blood begins to flow;
A foretaste of His death He feels,
An earnest of His love reveals.

From Heav’n descending to fulfil
The bidding of His Father’s Will,
A Victim even now He lies
Before the day of sacrifice.

For love of us His woes begin;
The sinless suffers for our sin;
The Law’s great Maker for our aid
Obedient to the Law is made.

The wound His through the Law endures
Our freedom from that Law secures;
Henceforth a holier law prevails,
The law of love which never fails.

Lord, circumcise our hearts, we pray,
And take what is not Thine away;
Write Thine own Name within our hearts,
Thy law upon our inmost parts.

O Lord, the Virgin-born, to Thee
Eternal praise and glory be,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost for evermore.

I have decided that I will post lyrics to Christmas Hymns this month, both on this blog and on my personal and blog FB page as a way of reflecting and discussing what Christmas really means. (Although I make no promises about how often I will post these…this may be all you get! :) )

I shared the above Hymn because it clearly defines for us the reason that Christ came to earth. We cannot fully appreciate the enormity of grace at Christmas until we acknowledge who the Little Baby is, and what He came to do.

And may the Grace who was the Gamechanger of human history, the One who’s sacrifice flies in the face of cause and effect, the Light that broke the darkness, the Freedom who brought equality to all mankind, the Cornerstone on which the Church stands firm, the divine Reset Button of our depravity, Who’s hope gave the calendar keepers reason to start over…May He fill you with His peace this year. Merry Christmas!

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