Barefoot or Heels?

My 2.5 year old daughter sits on the arm of the couch, intently focused on the tv show in front of her. She has an older brother, so she has conceded over the years to watching shows like “Blaze: The Monster Machine,” “Paw Patrol,” and other deemed “boy” shows. So, this morning, I turned on a new show for her. She loves Disney Princesses even though she doesn’t really know anything about them, so I tried out the TV show, “Tangled” (starring the princess, Rapunzel). I loved this movie, and so far I don’t have too much to say on the television show as this is most certainly not a show review. Something just struck me as I watched a portion of this episode and I knew I needed to write about it, cuz when I can’t get a thought out of my head no matter what I do, I know it needs to be written down.

Rapunzel is new to this princess gig. She is all dolled up in a gown and heels and struggling to walk down the aisle of her own coronation. After all, how do women walk in heels?! You can tell she has a spirit that wants to run free and a confidence to run with that spirit. She’d rather be barefoot and jumping mud puddles in the fields or really ANYWHERE except walking down that aisle.

Although I am very thankful for the change in the way girls and princesses are portrayed in these newer cartoons (growing up, I sincerely thought I needed a prince to be happy and I’d prefer there not to be Barbies in my house), I also hope I never give my daughter the impression that being classy and regal is not cool either. Or to be afraid to be the woman who walks in heels with all the class and chooses to wear lipstick every day. (I write more extensively on females empowering females in my post, Insecurity Cripples but Love Builds)

While I can personally relate to being uncomfortable all frilled up, I can also get caught up in that free-sprit, “don’t confine me,” “let me be me,””I’m just fine, thank you” attitude and that isn’t healthy either. After all, it’s super cool to be a take-no-crap, independent, confident woman these days, right?

Raising a boy AND a girl in this gender-sensitive, gender-confusing, gender-emphasizing  world has this momma going crazy at times. It can be insanely fun and intensely overwhelming at the same time. As I continue to learn more about my evolution as a woman even in my 30’s, I’ll just beg for grace to teach Lilia and Logan that it’s ok for a woman to be strong, but it’s also ok to be a little dependent. That it’s ok to be free-spirited, but it’s also ok to be put together. It’s ok to be confident, but it’s also ok to feel weak. It’s fine to be casual and rugged, but it’s more than ok to be feminine.

At the end of the day, whether its jeans/tshirt, heels/dresses, free-sprit, dependent, independent, classy, rugged, whatever we are, we are all unique and loved by our Father.

I guess I’m just trying to say, I just hope in our attempts to empower women we aren’t also pressuring them to be something that they aren’t.


Living in the Hard

I have fallen into the immediate gratification movement. I hate waiting. I see something I like on Amazon, I press a button, and boom – it’s at my door in 2 days. I want to watch a movie? I press a button, and boom – it’s on my TV. This is the best one. . . I want to read a book? I press a button, and boom – it’s on my kindle. I don’t have to wait for much of anything anymore. Groceries, shopping (HELLO, STITCH FIX – PLEASE SIGN-UP AND SAY I REFERRED YOU), music. . . It’s all waiting for us at the touch of a button! Continue reading

Insecurity Cripples but Love Builds

She sat on the couch with her husband at a party. Her eyes scanned the room at all of the beautiful faces laughing. The shapes of the gorgeous girls and their perfectly planned outfits captured her attention. She looked over at her husband’s eyes to see if he was noticing what she was noticing. Suddenly, she felt small and ugly; her usual confidence was drowning in insecurity.

This scenario could have described me to a T several years ago. I spent many years crippled with insecurity, always wondering what my husband was thinking about, looking at, participating in… Always noticing myself feeling jealousy or worthlessness compared to the women I considered more put together, more attractive, and more personable. Continue reading

A Beautiful Mosaic – The Final Chapter

Life was getting better for Liz Burg. Her entire outlook on life changed now that she had Christ to pursue. He became her passion and would remain her guiding influence for the rest of her life. She dedicated her life to others. I’m telling you, even in hospice, she was telling her pastor how she still had 2 people she was making plans to meet with to specifically share with them the Gospel. She would tell him, “God still has me here today, so He must want to use me for a specific reason.” She knew her life was not about being comfortable or happy. She knew, even in her very last days, her life was to be a shining light for Christ, even if that meant suffering. If you attended her funeral, you would hear over and over again how true this was. Continue reading

A Beautiful Mosaic – Part 3

A fresh, 20 year old Liz Burg stepped out of an airplane and into the city of Chicago, with a two-month baby boy in one arm and a suitcase on the other. Cesar Hervas and many family members waited in the airport and crowded around her for a huge celebration. Liz had made it to America. She talks of this day, October 25th, 1958, as one of the greatest days of her life. Coming to America (and eventually becoming an American citizen in 1966) were 2 of my Grandma’s proudest moments; she wanted to shout from the rooftops how blessed she was to be here. She was always encouraging us to never take for granted our freedom. Continue reading

A Beautiful Mosaic – Part 2

At ten years old, Grandma (Liz Burg) was back living in Heidelberg with her mother, Anna, and her step-father. (You can read about how she got to this point, here.) Grandma is silent about most of what took place for about 3 years in there. But, from the pain on her face, we know that it was a time she doesn’t like speaking about. She did tell us of an incident in which her step-father picked her up, held her out a 3-story window by the neck and threatened to drop her because she was caught bringing coals to their neighbor. She says it scared her “half to death” and she rarely disobeyed again. Continue reading

A Beautiful Mosaic – Part 1

My sister sat across from my grandma, video camera propped up, asking question after question. Trying to soak in what ended up being one of my grandma’s last days in her own home, talking with clarity for such a length of time. Breast cancer was swiftly eating her away, but the cancer was not touching her brain, her strength, her resilience. I don’t think anything could ever strip her of those things. As my sister taped her story, my beautiful, strong grandmother spoke these words in her thick German accent,

“He [God] took these broken pieces of my life and made a beautiful mosaic out of it. Not a clean cut, clear diamond. But a mosaic. And I am just. . . grateful.Continue reading