Size Matters - The Tag Struggle

I went to the mall this weekend to pick up a few items for mine and Brent's upcoming California trip. I went in to a cute little boutique that I have always admired. I usually walk by this store, in route to Starbucks, assuming their amazing mannequin fashions are way out of my price range. 

I finally went inside and discovered that, yes, they are super-duper out of my affordability BUT, they have a teeny little clearance section in the back. JACKPOT. I instantly spotted some shorts that I have envisioned for months. I was thrilled to finally see them in person!! They were half off of the already marked down price. Can we get a collective AMEN here?!

Small. Medium. Large.

Well, I am a solid size 6/8 - So, I chose the medium and asked for a dressing room.

Holding the shorts close to my chest like an 8 year old getting their first American Girl Doll, I lock myself into the dressing room with my prize.

I remove my Target clearance shorts from my person and, excitedly, remove my dream boutique shorts from their hangar.

Left leg... In.

Right leg... In.

Hips... Defiant, but successful.

Waist... a total revolt. I mean, this medium looked a little trim to begin with, but I'm a medium, then I got to my waist and realized I'm an XL here. What?!

How can a 5'*8" 128lb woman be an XL. 

Well, turns out... I am at this boutique. 

And at Target I am a Large. 

At Walmart I am a Medium.

At H&M I am a US 10 and US 4 depending on the item.

At Express I am a 6.

And at home... I am just right.

My closet isn't filled with a ton of clothes, but the clothes that fill it are nowhere related... at all. I checked. I have size 2 to size 12 in there. 

I say this to encourage any of you who struggle with the tag. The number on the tag does not change who you are!!! If you walk in to a store a solid, confident, 150lb person who knows their measurements and size, then nothing can change that. You are who you are, regardless of their label. 

Yet, the label seems to have so much power. I must confess, after trying the XS "Medium" shorts, that I had no idea were shorts for Barbie, I immediately shamed myself. I walked out, head down, and regretting the extra egg-white I added to my morning omelet. 

Crazy, right? Over a tag!

Have you ever felt discouraged by a tag, a label? 

How do you fight it? How do you defeat it?

 

Husbands: 3 Ways You're Not Supporting Your Wife

That title reads very negative - but it isn't. This post is meant to be positive and a helpful tool for you to navigate your wife's emotional journey.

As a woman I would be lying if I said I never get emotional. As a man, you'd be lying if you said you always understand every single time your woman gets emotional. Am I right? Yes. 

Women get emotional over everything. And some days are worse than others - if you know what I'm saying ;) Thank you, Mother Nature. I've been known to lose it over a McDonald's commercial. I've been known to get pretty heated in public when I see a parent belittling/abusing a child.

Or the time my husband and I drove up next to a cop who turned his siren on as a warning when Brent changed lanes quickly to avoid hitting someone who cut him off. There we were, next to each other, at the red light and I looked over at the cop and put my hands up like "What???" Then I rolled down my window to chat about it! What the?? Then the cop rolled down his window... well, almost - he accidentally rolled down the backseat window and I about lost my stuff right there, folks. Eventually he found his window button and I asked him - Did you just "Whoop-Whoop" us? <<< That's the sound a siren makes) And I quietly thought to myself, "Guuurl, you have lost your ever-loving-mind. I wasn't even being emotional but there are times when us women just can't/won't bite our tongues. [Please note: I love our men and women in blue. And our city of Franklin are protected by some of the finest!]

Sometimes women are navigating through deep-rooted emotional pain from a loss, from shame, from being hurt physically/emotionally/sexually. Women process hurt and fear differently than men do, so it makes perfect sense that men will not always understand the emotions of women.

Well, Brent and I have been together since 1990 and we have learned a lot in this area. He has treaded some intensely rough waters with me as I've journeyed to healing from my abortions, abandonment and abuse. These are the top three things Brent learned to change ;)

1- Not Validating Her Feelings 
You may not understand but that doesn't make what she is feeling wrong. Statements like: You shouldn't feel that way. That's dumb. You're making no sense at all. That's not how I'd feel about it... these do not work at all and will only cause her to shut down. Worse yet, it devalues her. 

Try these statements instead: I believe what you're feeling is real. I am sorry you're feeling that way - how can I help you? These speak life and worth into her. They also help with number two.

2 - Not Giving Her A Safe Place
Men, you should be your woman's go-to safe place. Yes, she has her girlfriends and that is important and needed; but no one knows her as intimately as you do. Her biggest fears and deepest secrets are safest with you, but if she doesn't feel like she can open up to you then she will not feel safe handing over her deepest hurts.

Ways to make her feel safe: Ask her questions beyond, "How was your day?". Ask her about her childhood, her favorite memories, her high school BFF, why orange is her favorite color. Start the safe dialogue to earn the deep dialogue.

3 - Not Following Up 
Don't just check that emotionally revealing heart moment of hers off your husband to-do list. 

Try this: The next day, send her flowers thanking her for opening up. Or, after dinner the next day ask her how she is feeling after your conversation. Perhaps share with her something you learned about yourself, or her, as a result of her opening up to you. 

This demonstrates that you value her, are grateful for who she is, and that you are for her. She needs to know that you are her biggest champion, the one that knows her on a soul level, the one that she can exhale her emotions with.

And stay tuned - Brent will be sharing a follow-up post, "Wives: 3 Ways To Help Your Husband Help You"

 

  

Confession 2.0

While making my first Facebook Live video on Wednesday I made a confession. Later on in the video I was struck by a very tough truth. I didn't get it right away. Not fully, at least. I kind of felt it a little but then a bit later, while talking to a close friend, it all came out. And let me tell you - it shook me up.

Y'all know I always talk about how confession brings freedom. And it is true. 

Forgiveness also brings freedom. And this is when it got tough for me. My friend and I were talking about mine and Brent's recent journey and what I had talked about in the FB video (Included below). After some discussion and digging in it was revealed that I am trapped. Trapped in un-forgiveness. 

A lot of hurt happened this year. People get hurt, and people hurt - It happens, it's life. But I did not realize that I had been harboring un-forgiveness in my heart. This has created a tension, a trapped feeling, almost a suffocation. And I know I can't move forward, freely, into this journey we've been called into if I have a bag of resentment thrown over my shoulder every day.

I am not one that needs a reason, admission, or even an apology. I've forgiven all of my abusers without any of those taking place. So I don't need it now. But I do need to recognize and own my part in this. I need to forgive. Because forgiveness does not condone - it frees the forgiver. And I need to be free.

Not one of us were meant to live hunched over in victimhood. I ain't a victim. I will not play one, act like one, or live like one. 

So I will pray and spend time with the Lord as he helps my heart forgive and turns the hurt into healing.

I've Got Questions

I have questions. I have lots of questions. I always have questions. Today's questions are super important to me. You can answer them via email or by commenting on this post. Whatever you prefer. And let it be noted that there is no judgement here - I'm just trying to get a feel of where people are at.

Do you go to church?
If not, why? 
If you do, why?
Why did you decide to go to the church you currently attend?
Was there something specific you were/are looking for?
What is one thing you feel the church is doing well at?
What is one thing you feel the church is not doing well at?
Is there something you'd like your church to address or provide?

Again, you can email me your answers if you'd prefer... tam@tamhodge.com

Thank you for your time, as always. I hope your day is full of joy!