Body Image Series: Blog 3

Body Image Series: Blog 3

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyways. – Mother Teresa What you’re about to read are five insights from five friends about body image. In preparing for my last blog in this Body Image series, I was inspired to hear from other women. In opening up the dialog, I realized the entire blog needed to be dedicate to their stories. I hope you are as moved as I was in reading their struggles and victories. Thank you five friends. “Big, fat, yeast roll!” The older girls in my church group cackled as they compared my 8-year old frame to a popular restaurant’s dinner side item.  Church girls can be so nice. That same year, a boy on the bus pointed out my tummy pooch. In third grade I learned that a tummy “pooch” was bad. For the next 6 years, I gained weight, even though I played sports and took dance.  I was scared to buy jeans because I didn’t want to know what size I wore. What a sad thing to occupy the mind of a pre-teen, when I could have been thinking about enjoying fun things with my friends. Then things got serious. High school. Cute guys, dances, football games, cool clothes, the even cooler “cool crowd”, and this Southern Baptist girl didn’t know what to do except take control. Enter anorexia. I played basketball my freshmen year and we ran. A LOT. I began to lose weight and realized that the more I exercised, the more weight I lost. Then I began to limit the types of food I would eat. No...
Straightforward: The Gay Blog

Straightforward: The Gay Blog

I wasn’t a pretty lesbian. Well, I think my girlfriend found me pretty, but nowadays it seems that when you turn on the TV most lesbians are gorgeous and infinitely confident. Jodi Foster, Ellen Page, Gillian Anderson, Ellen Degeneres’ partner with the name that I can’t pronounce…all strong, beautiful women. Nope. Not me, though. I was awkward. Precarious. Insecure. I was proud, but stayed in the background. For those of you who haven’t read my book The God of My Parents, it may be helpful if I give some details about my life. Deep in the mountains of Northern California rests a little town I’ll call Wilsonville. To this day the small wooded community still only houses about twelve-hundred people. My parents left their well-paying jobs in Silicon Valley and relocated there to pastor a church of about five members when I was seven. We contrasted pretty sharply with the culture of this community. As I wrote in my book, “If you were forced to lump all of the residents of Wilsonville into two primary groups you could call them the hippies and the rednecks. Hippies that grew pot, rednecks that cut timber, hippies that protested the cutting of timber, rednecks that smoked pot but hated the hippies, Native Americans that grew pot and cut timber, and the few that simply lived in the middle of it all.” Considering the environment in which I grew up I would probably identify more as a “missionary kid” than a “pastor’s kid,” because I was exposed to so much more culture than perhaps the typical ministry child. Outside of our tiny church...
National Lampoon’s Christmas Reciprocation

National Lampoon’s Christmas Reciprocation

Oh, the wonders of the holidays. I don’t know about you, but my holidays were pretty glorious this year. Not because I received a bunch of gifts or ate a bunch of treats (or at least not only for those reasons… *glances at treadmill and clears throat uncomfortably*). My holiday season was fulfilling because we made it a point to spend it with our friends. Since I was young the holidays–the week of Christmas in particular–was reserved for a lot of family-only activities. It was just me, my brother and my parents, and for a time just me and my brother. Eventually it evolved to include Andy, then to include Jack’s wife. Now, 2800 miles later, we just spent our third Christmas apart from any family. I have to admit that during this time of year my instinct is to gravitate toward hermitlike behavior. All of my immediate family’s birthdays and anniversaries of their passings fall within this two-month time period, so I don’t always know how the season will be for me. My belief and proclamation over my own life is always that God will use the hardest time of the year to bring the biggest blessings, because that is in His good nature. He restores. He rebuilds. He comforts. Yet, with all of my proclaiming, some years I hurt, and that’s okay. It’s okay to miss my family. This year however, we felt the Lord leading us to be intentional and pursue activities with friends during the holidays. We were invited to a few shindigs and we invited some friends to do fun things as well. It...
A Problem We Can’t Ignore

A Problem We Can’t Ignore

Disclaimer: In the next few blogs I will be addressing the subject of pornography. If you tend to faint or swoon at the subject I advise getting a pack of smelling salts before moving forward. Removing the stigma around addressing pornography and sexual wholeness is at the heart of what my husband and I are all about. We both know that the first step toward breaking free is speaking to a supportive community of believers.  It’s how you start to own the problem. Unfortunately, in our current church culture, starting a conversation about the use of pornography–for women especially–is close to impossible. There’s no room for it. I often try to imagine opportunities in which to creatively breach the subject. Maybe that time in between worship songs when we take a moment to greet each other. “Hi, good to see you. My name is Liz. Do you continually look for NC-17 movies on Netflix?” Or perhaps during our next after-church potluck: “These hotdogs are delicious. Can you pass me the mustard? Do you continually erase your computer history?” Or maybe during the next friendly basketball game in the church parking lot: “Ok, I’ll be on the skins team. By the way, how much skin did you see over the weekend?” Obviously, corporate group settings are not the best route in beginning private conversations (although I hope that one day they can be), yet creating a culture where people don’t run from their sin depends on a few things. Get Educated: This is for all of us. Do you know why pornography is harmful? Do you understand what the Bible...