Beauty SOS47

Don’t Touch My Boobs

Friends, this post is a huge part of why I wanted to start this series in the first place – the topic here is universal and it is also secret.  My guest is a woman who rocks my world with her powerful writing, friendship, teaching, and hilarity.  Enjoy this next post in our Love and Making It Series!
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I flinch when my husband touches my boobs. I don’t know how else to tell you that except for just outright. So there it is. I flinch when my husband touches my boobs. Even when I am enjoying it (yes, I just went there and you don’t even know my name!) Now, that we know where this is headed, let’s back it up a little bit.
My name is Abby Norman, I am the mother of two hilarious girls and the wife of one great man. We met during my freshman year of college when I was not looking for a man. When my grandpa asked me if I was dating anyone, I told him no. I was dating everyone. I don’t think he had ever been prouder of me. I was not going to date seriously until I was a junior.
God had different plans. I was engaged a year after that conversation with my grandfather and married a year after that. I wasn’t dating anyone my junior year. I was married to him. That was almost nine years ago. And still, when my husband touches my boobs, the automatic response from my brain is “no-touching!” Perhaps I need to back up even further.
My parents never shied away from the sex talk. I knew that sex was for married people before I even knew what sex was. Anytime […]

Beautiful Scars

All beautiful you are my darling, there is no flaw in you.
Song of Songs 4:7
It seems pretty absurd to believe we are without flaw, doesn’t it?
Massive cultural and financial structures are built on us believing there is something wrong with us; that we must destroy and annihilate all these “flaws” on our bodies through surgery and chemicals and anything else we can buy. We are told by 1,000s of songs, commercials, movies, magazines, and actual people, how we “should” be and how we are definitely NOT.  We are all aware of every possible physical flaw.
To hear a message that we are already all beautiful is so foreign a concept that it feels false and trite and rather stupid. Ask anyone at anytime today and they can tell you one thing about themselves that is decidedly ugly. If you’re silly enough, you can ask and they’ll tell you something about you too.
And if you are like me, you still remember the things people said were wrong with your body years and years ago.
Because of all this, even starting this conversation feels like a waste of time. No matter how much I tell you that you are beautiful and formed perfectly, all it takes is one magazine cover or a boyfriend’s inattention or callous comment and you could be lost again. I know. I know. 
I want to undo my brainwashing (more on brainwashing tomorrow).  So, I am starting with one item at a time and relearning the truth about myself. 
If I am brutally honest, my biggest struggle recently is that most days I see my stretch marks as a failure. I am an embarrassment. Some mothers have abs of steel but I do not. We applaud and […]

Definitions

What is that called? What is that for?
It’s a fork and we use it to eat.
How do you know that?

We accept a lot of definitions, but how do we  know for sure? What we believe defines how we will act and behave and LIVE.  I’m using “FORK” as an example…
I know it’s a fork because someone told me. Our parents and our parents’ parents all agreed on this word and this function. This is cultural knowledge passed down without question: It’s a fork and we use it to eat.  
 
Have you seen the The Little Mermaid. My sister and I loved that movie growing up.  I can sing it by heart. It’s where my weird fork example comes from. 
Do you remember the scene about the fork?
Ariel, the mermaid, is told by a friend that a fork is called a “dinglehopper” and it’s used to comb hair.  Ariel believes this friend knows how the world works and trusts his definition.  If you say it’s a dinglehopper and everyone uses it to comb hair, awesome! Combing away… 
But, see, it’s a funny scene to us because we know the truth. We KNOW that’s NOT how you use that. That’s NOT what that’s for! That’s a fork! That’s hilarious! Crazy mermaid!
But she doesn’t know. She only knows what she’s been taught to believe. This is a dinglehopper… this is what that’s for… combing away…
She had misinformation.
 
My cousin babysat my toddler girl and taught her a fabulous new “rule” about life, “If you want to get something from your mom, just use the magic word! It’s the best way to have mommy get you what you want.  And the magic word is – “NOW”.
‘Mommy, ice water, Now!’ […]

When Your Body is a Minefield

LOVE and MAKING IT is a new series on sex and marriage, bodies and souls. It will be candid and sometimes messy.  It’s not just about having a great sex life; it’s about having a great body life. I want one of those.  Read at your own risk.

I have noticed something about myself. I recoil when my husband touches my stomach or my sides – especially when I am sitting.
I do not like my stomach as it currently is. I would sure like it to change shape, be different, go away. And to touch it… is an act of aggression against me.
So, when my husband makes a loving move towards me… you know the one… The loving one where he is making a move …
It pisses me off. I can actually feel anger rise up from somewhere deep.
“How dare you touch my stomach?!”
That’s not good for our relationship – when my body is a minefield. He’s just happily walking through a beautiful wonderland (known as my body) and **BAM** land mine explosion.
“Get your hands off my belly!” 
(I don’t actually say that. If I did, I am pretty sure he would fall over in fits of laughter.)
 
We have been married for fourteen years, my husband and me. 14 years. I am pretty sure he knows my body better than I do. I’m trying to ignore parts and he’s trying to know all of me. And he still loves me lots. So, what’s my issue?
Even when we have someone who loves us, it can be hard to accept ourselves. And it can be even more frustrating because there’s “no good reason”. I have a partner who loves all of me, so I should just […]

Helen of Troy

Was this the face that launched 1,000 ships?
Oh, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
-Doctor Faustus
Are you worth fighting for?
HELEN OF TROY, the face that launched a thousand ships. She was so beautiful, so desired, so full of light that a legion of men fought to win her back.  Her beauty started the Trojan War and since then hundred of artists, writers, and poets have created beautiful things in her honor.
HELEN OF TROY – Was beautiful and she was worth fighting for.

Women grow up wanting to be beautiful and worth pursuing.  Our path into successful adulthood involves making ourselves accomplished and beautiful on the inside and out, so that a man will fight for us, pursue us, and invite us on a lifelong journey.
That is an incredibly simple synopsis. But it’s true for many of us: “Women, be beautiful and talented and a man will be attracted to you. He will find you and take care of you and bring you on his adventures.”
This story works for some people. It is a good story. But in a lifetime, we live many stories. This is one. We repeat this story because we do not know that there are more options.
There are other options.
Here’s a secret…  We are strong. We are capable. Putting on boots and going out into the world does not reduce your chances of success, it improves them.
What if we fought for ourselves and started to pursue our own adventures? What if we dreamed and worked and grew in strength, not to impress someone else who will finally pick us, but to reach a personal and amazing dream all […]

By |July 22nd, 2013|Beauty SOS47|7 Comments|

Outer Beauty

I’m developing an allergy.
I get itchy just thinking about it.
I kept getting these rashes and I had no idea why. I’ve eaten this stuff all my life… loved it, told others to eat it. But, now… I’m allergic. And I’m done.
Have you ever eaten this stuff??
A big ol’ bowl of “She’s beautiful on the inside”
(scratch scratch scratch)
 
“Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face. It’s about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and most importantly a beautiful soul.”

 
“Beauty fades, Sweetheart, but stupid is forever.”

 
“Even when your beauty fades with age, you’re still glamorous at heart.”

 
I can’t breathe. WHERE’S MY EPIPEN!
I’m dying here, people. Dying.  That old lady IS BEAUTIFUL. Her beauty did not fade!!!  She is beautiful and glamorous inside AND OUT.
What if we could see that beauty does not fade?
This takes redefining “beauty” to a larger definition than just smooth skin and perky breasts.  To be clear, I am not talking about moving beauty away from those things. Smooth skin is beautiful. Perky breasts are beautiful. No one is able to look away from a set of perky, soft breasts. They speak comfort and some kind of magic wonder, like almost nothing else. We were all babies at one point. Breasts are awesome.  {{Tangent}}
What if we could work together to expand the edges of the Land of Beautiful? One person at a time…  Starting with the next woman you see who doesn’t give you that sugar-fix of pretty we are use to – take the time to readjust your brain and see her as beautiful, equal in worth and beauty to the next woman and the next.
We have such limited palates when it comes to beauty. Our tastes are so narrow. And we […]

By |July 19th, 2013|Beauty SOS47|4 Comments|

Hi Mom!

When your mom reads your blog, you realize a few things…
The person with the biggest love and biggest hopes for you is here. She’s reading. She’s cheering. She’s feeling it at levels you don’t even feel it.
She’s a lot like God, my mom. And God is like my mom.
 
See it started when I wrote this piece on beauty.
And then my mom wrote this comment:
“There has always been a beauty about you that is stunning to me, both outside and inside. Your beauty physically is touching precious and great. Your eyes shine such a light. Your skin is like silk and your face brightens a room. And then from the inside your essence takes my breath away. The beauty formed escapes from you and makes everyone around you feel more beautiful, more full of life. I have felt blessed to have been given the gift of your life being, to have seen and known such a touch of pure heaven. And yes your daughter also stuns me at times when I look at her. I think how can someone actually be that beautiful. She has yet to fully know and shine her light, but she is blessed by a beauty that I do not think will ever diminish, only excel. Sometimes it is scary just how beautiful she is, and yet so real and so talented in her expression and the truth of her being. Some of that thanks to you and some thanks to the touch of God.”
THIS.

This is what my mom does for me. She’s a lot like God. And, God is a lot like my mom.

If God is real and cares about us as a parent, then it follows that God loves […]

Beautiful Women SOS

I could tell you that you are beautiful…
but what would be the point of that?
 

You might believe me for a moment, but the first light breeze would blow that sucker right off

or

You’d think I was just saying it to make conversation

or

You’d think I was an idiot

 

It’s ok. I know. I’ve done it. 

In the past, when someone told me I was beautiful, I too was faced with a swift moral dilemma, because either that person was a Liar OR they had terrible taste and my opinion of them needed to go down a couple steps.

 

My husband says I am beautiful.  After almost 14 years of marriage, I must ignore my moral dilemmas here. Usually, I accept his compliments as a gift from God; that my husband has some kind of magic God-filter on his eyes. This is good, the God-filter.

But I don’t feel it. The words fly at me and they bounce off, like I have a force field against compliments. They can’t get in.
I do not, absolutely do not, almost never ever, feel beautiful. Do you?
 

Over the last few years, God has grabbed my heart on this issue, but I had to work on myself before I could start to speak it – write it – heal it in others.  I knew I needed to. I am a mother and a leader.  Like so many of you, I long to make the world more whole, more alive, more true – more aware of God in ALL things.  Brandy Patterson Walker is a woman fighting and leading the way into a wilder, more loving and free Way. As I was working on a piece for a her new book, “WILD GOSLINGS: engaging with kids in […]

By |July 11th, 2013|Beauty SOS47|8 Comments|

For you, I will. (a poem)

For you, I will
 
For you, I will get out of bed
freezing
and fetch a glass of water.

 
For you, I will sing aloud
alone
in a karaoke bar.

 
For you, I will dance
ballroom style
wearing high heels and victory rolls.

 
For you, I will strip
naked
with lights on and eyes open.

 
For you, I will

 
My unlost love
it’s been you here
all along,
but I treated you like shit
like the one who would always be there
always too there
always right here.

 
And it’s not poetic but it’s true,
I am sorry.

 
I’ve been lost and
I’m coming home.
No matter what it takes.

 
For you, I will storm castles.
For you, I will slay dragons.
For you, I will sail 1,000 ships.

 
When it’s all over
and with wobbly arms
we embrace,
listening to ships reach the shore,
I will be unlost too.

 
I will climb back in bed
hoarse from singing my heart out,
feet throbbing and eyes drooping;
wearing only these blankets.

 
And I will
for you
finally be home in me.
 

__________

Everything in me wants to explain this love poem to you, Dear Friend, but I will trust Mr. Rogers here:
What is offered in faith by one person can be translated by the Holy Spirit into what the other person needs to hear and see. The space between them is holy ground, and the Holy Spirit uses that space in ways that not only translate, but transcend.
 
What would you do for the one you love? “For you, I will…”