Browsing Category: Being Me

Dear Me…a letter to my teenage self

Dear Me,

Let me just start by saying, you’re not going to die an old woman and never having been kissed. I know that was on your mind a lot.

*Stop being so tough. It’s ok for people to see the soft, vulnerable side of us. Yea, you probably will get hurt more that way, but people might like you better knowing that you probably aren’t going to kick the crap out of them.

Dear Me...a Letter to my Teenage Self

*Stop being everyone else’s matchmaker and bodyguard. Worry about yourself. If people are making mistakes in their lives, tell them, don’t try and protect them from the consequences. And for GOODNESS SAKE: STOP TRYING TO HOOK YOUR FRIENDS UP WITH THE GUYS YOU LIKE!

*That plan to never get married or have kids, to move to California and become a Photojournalist. It’s a great dream. But God has something better up His sleeves.

*Stop wasting so much time on trying to get guys to notice you. Stop wasting so much time on the guys who do notice you but treat you like garbage. (Oh, and that one guy we crushed on for YEARS, he’s nowhere near as cute anymore.)

*Give your parents a break. They have no idea what they’re doing and they still have 2 more kids to raise.

*Stop giving in to our sister: You’re not doing her any favors by cutting her so much slack. Oma’s right: You’re spoiling her. Our brother: Protect him. Yea he’s a pain in the butt, yea it’s hard being a senior and being know as “Beckmann’s sister”, but someday you’ll wish you had a relationship with him .

*You’re going to lose a lot of people that you love (Oma, Opa, Mama), it’s going to suck, you’re going to miss them, but the pain will slowly get more bearable. You’ll still start crying at the thought of them sometimes; the holidays and all those big moments will be the hardest.

*Put yourself out there. You did it once, in the high school musical (Music Man) and look what happened…you got to be on center stage AND do your Irish accent. You’re going to miss out on so much (and regret it) if you don’t.

*Don’t stop writing. Ever. Or painting.

*Those parties that you were mad about not going to (even though you never even bothered to ask your parents if you could go) they weren’t worth it anyways. Who wants to sit around and watch a bunch of dumb people getting drunk and doing stupid things.

*That body of your’s, the one you are so tough on, because it isn’t as skinny as everyone else’s: You’re really, REALLY going to miss it some day.

*Don’t keep trying to smoosh yourself into everyone else’s mold. You’re not them, you’re you and there is so much that you have to offer. And when you’re not fitting in their mold, don’t take the crap they’re going to dish out on you. Just hold your head high and carry on.

*College: Just stay at Oneonta. There’s no point in transferring a bazillion times, because you’re going to end up back there anyways (even if you did manage to graduate in 7 semesters).

I can’t tell you to do anything different than what you already are, because it was all those things that got you to where you are today. Yea, there’s pain. No, you’re not still friends with most of those people.

Oh, yea, that kiss you were so worried about? It’s going to be great, and so are all the others you’re going to have: You’re going to end up married to that guy with a crazier-happier life than you could ever imagine. God had your back the entire time. All of that worrying and tears about not having a boyfriend? Totally wasted.

Louisa May had it right: “You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one…if he’s the right one.” {Oh, let mom go with you to see Little Women in the theaters…because 18 years later, you’re still going to regret not having let her go see it with you.}

Love,
You {at 30}

What would you tell your teenage self?
Linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky for her new book release, Graceful.

These Feet of Mine

They have carried me, through time, over months and years.
They have walked along sandy shores, rocky beaches and grassy knolls.
They walked me down the aisle to my husband.
Horses have stepped on them, they have stepped on rusty nails and shards of glass.
They have carried me into and out of hospitals with the births of our children.
They pound the ground, chasing after squealing giggles
or elusive numbers on a scale.
They have walked across the {now} dirt sky of friends and family that have gone on.
They have burned on sun baked stones and cooled in mossy brooks.
They have walked me across stages and danced me across rooms.
They have been cooed over and tickled.
They have been pinched and blistered in shoes and luxuriated, barefoot, in the lush grasses of Ireland.
They have been beaten, abused, neglected and still they march on.
They have been and they will be.
30 years, 10,950 days; over a million times have they
been slapped to the ground, ever on ward.

~on the occasion of my 30th birthday

These Feet of Mine - 30 Years of Life at JessicaMWhite.com

Thoughts on Turning 30

Tomorrow is the official day: At 3:15pm I will be precisely 30 years old. I’ve been having all these deep, introspective posts over the past few days, but I haven’t really shared much about my thoughts on actually turning 30.

I sat at my desk before writing this post, just kind of mulling over my thoughts: All the little things that flit in and out of my head about turning 30. There are quite a few, some of them are a bit more “mature” and others are less.

two roads 2By 30 you’ve really become more of an adult; an adult in ways that aren’t tied to children, home-ownership, jobs, etc. You’ve {obviously} survived your teens and 20s and are a lot more settled in your life. There aren’t as many life-changing unknowns, such as colleges, careers, and such.

When I was a teenager, I never wanted to get married or have kids. I was content to fantasize about being a photo-journalist for National Geographic Magazine or an architect. And at times I believed myself. But, that was my defense mechanism: I was afraid that I would fail at getting married and having kids, it felt safer to say I didn’t want those things. Then I almost didn’t have those things.

I had it all figured out: Married at 23, first baby at 24, second at 26, third at 28, fourth at 30, then the 5th at 32 or adopting. I wanted to be done with having kids before I was 32. I wanted to be a young mom who could enjoy her children and then grandchildren.

I had plans and why couldn’t God understand that! At 27.5 we had our first kid. My timetable was out the window, there was no way we would have the family we had wanted.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and
not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.
Jeremiah 29:11
 
Then last year there was that  little ultrasound that showed we were having 3 babies.
Now, I’m turning 30 and have 4 kids; which absolutely amazes me! It certainly wasn’t my plan to go through several years of infertility, have Ave, and then have triplets, but God did a phenomenal work in my life, our life, and created a wonderful testimony to Him and His goodness through us.
This birthday could have been very different for me. Thirty would have been devastating to be turning and not even have had one child, and it happens to people, it happens all the time. I can honestly say that it would have been a very different birthday celebration tomorrow.
My 20s have been incredible! If it had not been for the ups and downs I would not be entering this new decade as I am; stronger in my faith, trusting in my God, relishing my children and my husband, having had the memories and experiences that I have.
“I would have despaired, had I not believed in the goodness of the Lord.”
Psalm 27:12
What a wonderful work He has done in my life, drawing me ever nearer to Him! I look forward to this new decade in awe and wonder if what lies ahead, knowing that my Lord, God, goes ever before me!

A Body Worth Loving {coming to terms with the postpartum body}

Coming to terms with the postpartum body doesn’t come as naturally as it should. Awhile ago, Lisa-Jo Baker posted about loving your post-baby body for the sake of your children, especially daughters. Lisa-Jo responded to my comment saying:

“TRIPLETS??? Girl, your body deserves a medal. You should break out into song every time you see it in the mirror. Your body is a HERO!!! Give it something delicious right now. For reals.”

And I do.

I think quite frequently about my body and what it accomplished. That my body was just the way God designed it to be, for these three precious babies to have been born as healthy and as big as they were, despite being 6 weeks early; to have been able to avoid having a c-section.

I look at my stretch marks that go well above my belly button and the skin that hangs below where it should definitely have stopped, and I’m in awe of it. That these three babies were cradled in there for months. That these babies were born with no health issues, despite having been sharing a womb with 2 others.

Then I look at my body the way the world does, the way we all judge ourselves: I see a flabby stomach, that still looks like there could be a baby in there when dressed; I see arms that are much too soft, particularly for lugging 4 kids around all day (at 14, 18, 19, and 30 lbs each); I see thighs that rub and have their own tributaries of stretch marks, without thinking that those legs are strong and able to run after these kids, up and down stairs countless times a day.

A Body worth loving coming to terms with the postpartum body

I think to myself, “You weigh the same now as you did just before these three kids were born” and I hang my head in shame. Knowing that an over abundance of cookie dough, avocados and cheese, and a lack of true exercise are the cause of it.

I waver, back and forth, between loving this body that has brought forth life 4 times in 2 pregnancies, and despising the “curves” that I have yet to figure out how to dress in a flattering way. When I figure out how to love this body 24/7 I’ll let you know, but I somehow think it’s going to involve a lot more time with God and a pair of sneakers.