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Writer of fiction that reflects the light of Jesus. Sometimes the grit mixes with beauty to make up a picture of this life. That's where my fiction lives.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Feeling Ugly At the Zoo

This morning was absolutely lovely. So, the hubster and I decided that we should take the kids to the zoo. We spend a lot of summer time at the John Ball Zoo...we're members. That's right. We are zoological members. Yeah, we're classy like that.

We got the kids dressed...er...changed (if I tell my boys that they're going to get dressed they think I mean they will be wearing dresses). We found all 6 of their shoes...an great accomplishment in our family. We got them loaded into the van. I filled two travel mugs with coffee. I got into my seat. I flipped down the mirror on the sun visor.

Shoot. I looked awful.

I couldn't figure out what looked better...my hair in a ponytail or down. It's at "that"length. You know what I'm saying. It rests on my shoulders and flips up funny because of it. As I sat in the van I couldn't decide if the flip was cute or gross.

Then I realized I was wearing a sweater that I've over-worn. It's getting pilly. But the shirt under it was short sleeved which caused two problems...1) it was kind of chilly and 2) I hate my arms. So, I had to leave the sweater on.

I was already feeling frumpy and ugly. And we hadn't even left the driveway.

One thing you need to understand about Grand Rapids kids' places...the moms really do it up. For real.  Every time I've been to the zoo or children's museum or other child-centered activities the mamas are working the hair and make-up and little clothes. Yes...little clothes.

Sometimes I think I'm the only bigger sized mom out and about. And that I'm the only one who doesn't care to poof up my quaff. Or apply three layers of eyeliner.

Here's the problem...

This is what I take to the zoo. Yeah. He's HOT. Whew. Hot. And I'm not the only one to notice.

See. My hubby has a flexible work schedule. He's got the freedom to go to the zoo in the middle of the day. And most other daddies are not at the zoo. So he's getting a whole lot of attention. 

It's important to note: he has no clue how much he gets checked out. He has no concept. He is an amazing and very complimentary husband. 

But no matter how much he tells me that I'm beautiful, I doubt it. I've actually suggested he get an eye exam.

That's not very nice, is it? Not kind to me or him. 

So, here I was, walking through the hairsprayed and made over faces...and I felt so old and ugly and fat. 

I missed out on some of the fun because I was so obsessed over my looks. No. My perceived looks. Stupid.

It wasn't until I sat on the bench outside the Chimp House, all 3 of my kids snuggling with me that I realized I was being wrong. Jeff snapped a picture of us. And he told me I was his pretty wife. 

Dang it. Why don't I just believe him? He's a terrible liar. And I could tell he was telling the truth. 

I do the same thing with God. I doubt His love. I question His motives. I look at others and wonder why I can't be like them...why God made me like this.

And all the while God is saying "You're beautiful to Me". And I question His ability to judge such a thing.


But He loves my silly self. He looks at me, shakes His head and continues to transform me. 

I'm so grateful that He (and my husband) refuse to give up on me. I'm a story that is being written, edited, published and reviewed. But in the end I think it will be a great story...

And who cares if my hair's a little messy or my arms are floppy. 


  1. Love this! Not at all what I was thinking about when I tweeted, but I needed to hear this too. I saw your DH's pic before I read the text I thought you just stole an image off google. : ) I really, really get this. I have floppy arms too!

  2. Ha!I kind of thought it might be different after I thought about it a minute.

    Yes, that's my real true husband. He's ridiculously gorgeous. :)

    Thanks for getting it!

  3. Jeff is truly a very special, very wonderful husband and father and all-around fun guy, and he obviously knows what a God-given blessing you are to him. You will always be the most beautiful woman in his eyes. Kinda funny how true agape love makes the inner person shine out! (I know this because I'm madly in love with the OTHER most beautiful woman in the world...)

  4. Jeff is pretty amazing. :) Thanks for the encouragement, Rob!

    And, yes, your wife is fabulous, isn't she? I'm so happy to have the two of you for my good friends!

  5. I'm so with you. I'm married to a gorgeous man who always looks perfect no matter what he eats or what he wears... and I'm a larger mom who feels uncomfortable dressed up and rarely wears makeup. :) And who tells her husband he must be blind. ;) Thanks for writing this - so honest and I can so relate!!

  6. For the record, the moms in Florida aren't as fancy. Sweaty and fancy don't go hand in hand! lol!. I totally get what you're saying and I often feel the same way. I figure my best accessories are a smile and a sweet spirit. I think you are beautiful and I'm sooo glad God brought our paths together!

  7. Rachel, I'm glad you can relate. But isn't it nice that our guys love us the way we are? And God sees our hearts!

    Amelia, your comment about the Florida moms cracked me up! And you're beautiful too! :)

  8. You could always reframe the situation.

    Instead of feeling ugly, feel proud that he's all yours and sorry for the hot moms that have to go home to Homer Simpson look-a-likes. :)

  9. Yeah, Kevin...that's a great way for me to look at it! Thanks! :)

  10. A little bit of an update. We went to the zoo again today. I didn't allow myself to focus on my looks. Instead I enjoyed being with my family. And it was great! :)