Friday, August 7, 2009

A Tender Mercy

It was a long day-lunch consisted of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, and breakfast had been fruit snacks, so when I arrived at the ward BBQ for what I hoped would be a well rounded meal I ate nearly whatever was left. Including brownies and melt in your mouth lemon drop cookies that my dear mom made(she got the recipe from a mystery book-thats why we love her). On top of these unhealthy choices there was the ultimate cake off experience two nights ago that involved my weight in frosting(this deserves its own post and pictures which are coming soon) and then on top that last week due to serious dental issues all I ate was frozen yogurt and ice cream. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling so great about my body.

My sophomore year of high school for awhile I did whatever I could to be "cute and skinny". Sometimes spending 2 hours on the elliptical and then going dancing with my friends that not, and eating very little. I assured my parents it was nothing to worry about, but I've never ever been as thin as I was then in my life before. Of course I didn't see a problem with it at the time, except those few more pounds I wanted to lose. As time went on I slowly calmed down, parents prayers were answered and I got busy with other things and I hit a good weight for myself.

This past year between living on my own, depression, and the usual freshman 15, not to mention sitting behind a desk all day working I've gained some pounds and lately I've been freaking out about it again. The pressure to be the thin, tan, beautiful girls I see around me is suffocating, and I'll be the first to admit that part of it is the society and culture I choose to live in(cough BYU cough-nothing personal dear school, just that you have a rep for breeding the gorgeous) and the rest of the pressure, the larger part comes from myself.

Today I was reading my dear blogging friends cjane's latest post though, and I started to cry. She speaks candidly about being upset with her body at one point, about her post pregnancy pounds and the pressures she felt to be "cute" but during this time in her life she experienced a little miracle, upon which reading brought tears to my eyes. Now she is the real writer in this blogging friendship so you really should check out her blog for the more eloquent details, but I learned something from her revelation. And now I'm passing it on...

My body is the body I'm meant to have and it is just what it needs to be at certain times in my life. My Heavenly Father gave me this body as opposed to say Jessica Alba's for a reason. In my mission in this life the body I have is going to be perfect for the things I'm meant to accomplish and as long as I'm taking care of this body-loving it, treating it right-it's going to be what it needs to for me in my life to serve to my fullest. I see it already. My hands are the perfect size to hold the ones of my primary children I teach and lead the way for them. My arms and body are the right size to still be nurtured by a loving mother, but are large enough to do the comforting to others I love when we're not near our homes. My legs are strong enough to carry me through days of office stress as well as walks to classes, and my feet have been taking steps I never thought I'd be strong enough to make. Although I have things that I view as my physical "flaws" I strongly believe that by treating my body right my Heavenly Father will take it and mold it into what he needs it to be in order for me to do the work, just like he does in every other aspect of my life. It just makes sense, it just feels right that he would send me here with what he did for specific reasons, and that he will help me to accomplish what it is I need with them.

So, as I take off my favorite pair of jeans and crawl into my pajamas I think about my body, and what a gift it is. Don't get me wrong, I will need reminding of this inspiration-I am still a girl and therefore inherently worried about these things, but I now know that what I have is what I need, and as long as I do my part to treat it right and take care of it Heavenly Father will do his to use it bring about his work. Who knows what these eyes will see? What callous these hands will someday have? What sore muscles will ache in my old age from years of building up the kingdom? What marks or changes I will eventually have from bringing more precious souls into this earth? How many hearts will be touched by my arm's embrace? All I know is that this gift and temple will be used for his purpose and I'm going to do better to take care of it, so that each day when he needs it to perform whatever possible miracle it was meant to, I'll be ready.

If you decide to comment at all on this blog, please say one thing you like about your body-be honest-because if cjane and I haven't convinced you yet-you are beautiful, and as I write this tears are falling again because I'm realizing so am I.


Mindy said...

Nicole that is beautiful! Thank you for sharing that. I think it's something all of us girls need to be reminded of again and again!

c jane said...


You are intelligent. Any body goes well with intelligence, don't you think? I've met many women with different bodies and all I've cared about was how I felt in their presence.

To answer your question, I like my freckles. They are coming with me in the resurrection.

Thanks for you fb message--thanks for the goosebumps,

robyne said...

Nicole, as I read this there are tears on my cheeks also! I Love you so much and I am so proud of you. You are beautiful inside and out!!

oh yeah..... I love my arms! Why? Because that is what I can hug and hold my loved ones with!!

Shane said...

As always you continue to amaze me. I love reading your blog because I always leave feeling better about myself and the world.

Thanks for being ana amazing daughter.

Oh, my favorite thing about my body is my eyes...that is what I can use to see this big beautiful world with and everything that I love and care about so much.

Stacie said...

Oh My little Nicole is all grown up. You are such a good example to me! I love you.

I love my blonde hair!