Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

7 Out of 10

7 out of 10 was the looks-based rating a guy I once dated gave me. His friend, gave me an even lower number. Rude! I’m not quite sure what he was hoping to accomplish by sharing this information with me, but years later, here I am, with this memory popping up in my brain.

In case you don’t know, in 1979, a romantic-comedy simply entitled “10” was released. It starred Bo Derek and Dudley Moore. I never watched the movie, I only saw the trailer. The premise of the movie, was about a middle-aged guy who had “everything,” but one look at Bo Derek, and nothing else mattered. I wonder how that made his girlfriend feel? Errrgh.

One of the quotes from the movie trailer said something like, on a scale of 1-10, he was about to meet an 11. (paraphrase)

Humans love to rate things. Which is great when it comes to things you’re going to spend money on, but not so great for rating other humans. It’s a comparison trap. A trap that so easily entangles us and leaves us in a state of coveting.

Here’s an example. I had very dark, wavy hair. So dark that when the sun hit my head just right, it looked like I had blue highlights. Since dark hair was on my head, it was also on my legs and arms. Like a ridiculous amount on my legs and arms. Was my hair awful? No, it wasn’t. But it also wasn’t blonde and straight. You know, like Marcia Brady from the Brady Bunch. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. That’s the hair I wanted. Seems sister Jan wasn’t the only envious one.

Have you ever become so focused on one part of your body that wasn’t what you wanted, you forgot about the rest of you? Which by the way, in case you need a reminder, is pretty amazing. I wish I could’ve told my younger self, it’s not all about the hair. Oh, I could nit pick myself with the best of them.

As you can imagine my dark-haired self being compared to the blonde bombshell of 1979, took what little self-esteem I had, and tossed it out the window. But, I think my then boyfriend thought being a “7“ was some sort of compliment. That I should take that defining number and hold my head up high. Look out world, here comes a “7”. I know, right? Did you feel the electricity fill the room? Yea, me either.

I don’t believe my then boyfriend meant any harm. It wasn’t his fault I didn’t know my true worth. It wasn’t his fault I allowed the world to define who I was. And it most assuredly wasn’t his fault, that I didn’t like things about me. He only heaped hot coals on top of my self-loathing smoldering ashes.

Back to present day. I woke up feeling anxious. It seems to be a constant these days. I don’t want anxious for me. So, I pray. I make it out of bed, let Moose out, and grab my coffee. I decide to listen to one of my meditation apps. It tells me to repeat, three times, “I am safely held inside the love of God.” Here comes the tears.

Then I sit and just be. The memory of 7 out of 10 creeps in. Awesome. Ok, Lord. Why did that memory pop up? What do you want me to address? I hear (not audibly), “disapproval”. So, I ask, “in what way?” More tears as I realize that I’ve put up a barrier between myself and my Heavenly Father because of the way I’m viewing His disapproval rating scale of me. Only this scale, isn’t a number based on the way I look, it’s based on the way I behave.

In my head, I know God doesn’t, nor has He ever rated me. Sometimes it takes my heart time to catch up to my brain. The anxiousness I prayed about and asked God for a revelation was based on my performance. Yep. I know. We’ve been here before.

Now, I can be anxious over the fact that I’m still believing God’s approval is based on my performance, or I can thank God for His mercy and grace so I can move forward (as my app reminded me), being safely held inside the love of God.

I’m choosing the love of God. I’m choosing the safety of His arms. Friend, the things of this world are constantly shifting, and ever changing. It’s imperative we stick close to the One who never changes. I cannot be reduced to a number, unless I give myself over to that way of thinking. And, neither can you be reduced to a number.

Spend some time figuring out what you’re allowing to define you. What makes you feel inadequate and most importantly, what barrier stands between you and God? Ask Him. He’ll be faithful to answer.

I’ll leave you with this. While a “barrier” may stand between you and God, understand that nothing can separate you from God’s love. But, don’t take my word for it. Take His.

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

While my then boyfriend may have had good intentions, his looks-based rating scale gets a 0 out of 10. I’m not here for anyone’s approval. Don’t like what you see? Just keep on moving. Contrary to popular belief, you can actually control the things that come out of your mouth. Silence truly can be golden.

I hope you all have a fabulous day. Be everything God created you to be. I guarantee, that’s where you’ll find, peace, love and joy.

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Dear Empty Nester

Ok, you’re on your own. There’s no one to really look after or do things for. You feel like your purpose is gone. You literally don’t know what to do with or for yourself because you’ve been taking care of others for what seems like forever.

You feel like your “purpose” is gone. I know. I repeated this part about purpose because it’s important. While you knew this day would come, you don’t feel prepared to move forward. You somehow feel guilty for not having anything to do. You’re anxious because you can’t stop feeling like you should be doing something, but you have no clue what that something is. Yikes!

Getting yourself out of the house feels like a chore. So many “why bothers” come hurling at your over anxious brain and it debilitates your forward momentum. You’re exhausted and you’re peering over the edge into the abyss called, “What now”.

You holler into the abyss and nothing comes back. You’re frustrated with yourself. You may even be a little angry and disappointed. But, none of this will change the fact, that just as seasons change, so do the seasons of our life.

And I’m not gonna lie, this one has been hard. Nothing will teach you faster about what you put your worth into than becoming an empty nester.

But, as I sit in the quiet, I’ve learned it’s not the time to make huge life altering decisions. This is the time to be still and figure out who you are again. Do you even know what you like? Do you even have a clue what brings you joy?

We carry a lot of titles that try to tie themselves to our identity. They deceive us into thinking we’re more important than we are, and without them we’ll be nothing. It’s why so many feel so lost when they retire. We become the job. Forgetting that before the job, we were someone.

You have a choice. You get to decide what’s next. You get to discover who YOU are, what YOU like, what’s worth YOUR time. Because suddenly you’re very aware of time and how it stops for no one.

And that’s a lot of you. You’ve not had to sit with just you in a long time. The person you face in the mirror every morning is all you got. So, whatcha gonna do with all that? I’ve been asking myself this question for months.

Let me share a little of what I’ve learned.

  1. Give yourself grace to be a human being over a human doing. It’s ok to not be going at mach 10 speed.
  2. Be kind to you. You’ve been through a lot and your soul needs tending to. Crying is inevitable, so have kleenex in every room.
  3. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Getting to know you will be a challenge, but it’s crucial to understand the culmination of you, up to this point.
  4. Journal. Get the yuck out and you’ll begin to see what you’ve been carrying. Just be honest about all of it. All. Of. It.
  5. Get outside, everyday in some way. Look up. It will remind you, there’s a bigger world out there, outside of yourself.
  6. You’re worth taking care of. Make a good meal for yourself. Go for a walk. Dance. Listen to music. Sing. Meditate. Take a course of some sort. Talk with God….a lot! Get your hair done. Get a pedicure or manicure. Get a massage. Move your body.
  7. Don’t isolate! It’s important you don’t sit with you and your own thoughts for too long. Let’s face it, we can be our own worst enemy.
  8. Be a good friend to you. Speak life over yourself. Remember life and death are in the power of the tongue.
  9. Volunteer
  10. Above all else, guard your heart. Everything you do flows from what’s in there.

Being an empty nester, doesn’t have to mean your life is empty. This is the time for discovery. You’re an amazing person who maybe forgot about you because everyone else took good chunks of you. God still has good plans for you. You’re not forgotten. You’ve got more gumption and courage for this new phase of life. Most importantly, YOU are not alone. Trust me, if I feel like this, I know others out there do as well. You need something to do? Let me know. If you need to chat, gimme a holler.

You may just find this empty nest life to be the very best thing you never knew you needed. Wipe those tears off your beautiful face, and get back in the game. Your life isn’t ending, it’s just beginning! ❤️


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