Jul 222016



by Stephanie Pletka

Growing up, I was quiet the active child; I was an expert tree climber, a running, tumbling, flipping, cartwheel-ing, energetic girl. You might even say I had ADHD on top of my ADHD.

Oh look, a quarter!
Ok, I digress.
My poor parents.

I was so skinny, I acquired the nickname Bird Legs in 5th grade. I couldn’t gain weight to save myself. My mom even took me to the doctor for a check-up to see if I had worms. That was fun.

I ran to the bus stop, rolled through the house with folded laundry, from one end to the other, I was non-stop. You never knew how I would enter or exit a room, but I was quick.

Fast forward 20 years and I can gain weight smelling a Snicker bar and THEN I had my first child. What happened to this body? The one that could loose 5 lbs just by skipping lunch?

So one day, a few weeks after having my first child, our cable tv remote went kaput and needed to be exchanged. I hopped in the car, grabbing diapers, strollers, as if I were moving, and away we drove to the cable store.

I arrived early, something that hasn’t happened since, and hung out a few minutes, waiting for the doors to open.

And that’s when I saw myself in the Largest Mirror known to man. It was an executive building made of all reflective glass.

I looked at myself, while pushing the stroller, gave a critical glance at who I had become, then thought, if only I were as fat as the last time I thought I was fat. I wonder what my butt looks like. You know what I’m talking about.

So I turned around, to make sure no one was looking, gave myself a quick glance with a few looks of disgust, a couple of eye rolls, then looked again to assure my eyes hadn’t deceived me. At that moment, an executive quickly rushed through the front door in a hurried, yet giggling sort of way and said:

Ma’am, we’re having a meeting inside this building and 10 people have been watching you look at yourself for a couple of minutes.

Oh! My! Gosh!

And if that weren’t bad enough, I could hear a roar of laughter inside, as they viewed my reaction!

I was horrified! Was it not enough that I’m judging myself for the body I’ve become and now humiliated by a group of executives that I’ve entertained in a corporate meeting?

I surely burned calories pushing the stroller to the car in record time. It was a lesson learned that day: Not to be so hard on myself.

You can’t have a baby and look the same. You can’t have the jaws of life un-hinge and look like your old high school self. You’re not going to be in a car accident and come out pristine. Life happens. The processes you’ve been through, make you better, stronger, tougher.

Yes, there are days I wished I had appreciated all the times I was younger, got more sleep, had more energy, wishing I was as fat as the last time I thought I was fat.

But it’s important to give yourself grace, unmerited favor. It’s not what you deserve, rather a gift. Love who you are at whatever size, fitness or energy level.

Romans 6:14 says For sin shall no longer be your master; you are no longer under the law, but under grace.

Give yourself time to make a comeback. Whatever goal this may be for you, love yourself during the tough times; being a true friend to You.

This will also prove to be a great example to your children as well, allowing yourself grace, a little slack.

So the next time you see the world’s largest mirror, just smile and keep walking. Grace girl, grace! Is there something in your life that a little grace wouldn’t hurt?

Here’s to living the best version of you!

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

 Posted by at 2:56 am
Aug 252009

Don’t Judge Lest You Be:
Have you ever been walking through the mall or enjoying a quiet dinner at a restaurant and a toddler refuses to sit down, he bucks in the stroller and is screaming “I hate you” no no no” uncontrollably.  And the first thing that pops into your mind is:  “I’m glad my little Johnnie is sweet and kind and doesn’t act that way.  I wouldn’t allow that.  My kids know better.  Tisk tisk.

Well, don’t hold your breath, because it will happen to you.  You think you raised this cute little princesses and when it really counts, you’ll look over and tired, cranky little Sarah turned into Chucky V and nothing will console her.  And then you remember the moment you felt high and mighty about your own.  Keep in mind, kids are kids and with the best discipline and character development, they’re still learning, growing and testing boundaries; they get tired when we carry them out during nap time.  It’s going to happen.  Just don’t judge, instead sympathize, say a little prayer for that mom and count your blessings.

With my first son Jack, I invested so much time and energy into him, reading books at 4 months old, spending every waking moment with him, teaching him all the little things in life he would need to know.  We watched endless educational videos for babies, with all the colors and sounds.  He was the perfect little child.  We were shopping at the Gap one day and passed this mom, whose kid’s head was spinning, he was screaming, bucking, floundering in her arms, throwing toys and hollering “NO!  NO!

I looked at Jack, who was about 15 months old and whispered:  Hey buddy, mommy has taught you better than that, right?  You’ll never act like that, you’re a good boy.

1 month later – Cracker Barrel:  16 months old:  I met my mom and grandmother for lunch; we sat there ordering our food, chatting about how good Jack is, all the character building we’ve invested in him and then, as if another child jumped into his body, he began screaming, trying to jump out of his booster seat, threw mash potatoes on my back, and tried to pull the Cracker Barrel Lantern off the table. Thank goodness the light was screwed into the wood.  I couldn’t believe he could act this way.  Well, welcome to the terrible twos, on steroids.

Ahha Moment:
At that very moment, I remembered the woman at the Gap.  It all comes back around.  Let’s be kind to each other, mom to mom.  We have the hardest job in the world.  We need to stick together and have compassion for one another. Because you never know when it may happen to you,

 Posted by at 12:06 pm