My big girl panties are plaid

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Yesterday I had a shame-spiral type meltdown, I couldn’t tell you exactly why.  We all have shockingly bad days that hit from left field.  Yesterday morning an impressively bad mood knocked on my door and made itself at home in my heart.  It stayed until about 2:00 in the afternoon when I finally got the common sense to give it the big heave ho.   Until that point I felt small, useless and I could only view my work and passion as a joke.  From my kids to my words I felt like everyone was laughing at me.

It took a phone call from a dear friend and a lot of quiet reflection to help me realize that I was being selfish and a half.  I had been living in a rhythm where my days and weeks centered around finding my joy in what other people thought of me.  She pointed about that until I stop living that cycle that the joy in my spirit will always ebb and flow, not my happiness, but my joy.  My hope and my self worth cannot depend on my circumstances.  We decided that if I was going to do what I set out to do, IE: Write a book proposal and parent passionately, that I had to put my big girl panties (more on this later) on and do it.  That it was like being pregnant, once you go down that road you cannot turn back.

The truth of the matter is that we are all trying to get to the same place regardless of what our passions or callings are.  We have to climb to a high altitude place where we are content in our God alone, period.  It is the only guarantee we have, which is terribly scary and hard to process, we love our places and our people and rightfully so.  But fully living hinges on finding your full contentment in God, in all three parts.  We have heard that said at least 742 times at church and we know that we should live like that, but it sounds a little lofty and unattainable, but the truth is that placing our trust anywhere else leads to fearful living.

I’ve been through painful seasons and I have learned that if you want to live without fear, with Gods love and passion pulsing through you, that you have to find contentment in him.  Because and I am sorry to say this, life will continue to hand you painful seasons and bad days, wave upon wave.  It will happen, and when you recover, it will happen again.  So we can’t find our strength and peace in our circumstances because they will continue to fail us and then we will fall and spend too many wasted days on the floor reaching for a foothold.

So, back to the big girl panties, I am putting mine on.  I’m begging God to teach me how to live rooted in him alone so that I can carry out the calling I’m hearing in my heart.  To signify how seriously I am taking this I drew up a picture of myself, donning the aforementioned panties.  It it turns out that they are plaid, which is kind of awesome.

I am not “there” yet.  No one really is, but I’m going on the record and saying that this is me, with tiger striped running shoes and plaid panties on, determined to focus on the essential, drop the distractions and keep taking steps forward.  When I wake up and feel crappy, I pray that God will remind me that I’m strong, I’m lovely and I am called to something unique, but I can only carry that out with my roots in his strong foundation.

I hope that God speaks to you through this, that he affirms you, that you will join me on the lofty and life giving climb of finding your everything in Christ alone.

We are all seeking contentment, we are all scared of something we are being called to, so lets all put our respective big girl panties or big boy boxers on and find our peace in being faithful to walking our individual paths.

  • Marji

    Hi…I like your “big girl panties” post. I’m finally trying mine on …and I’m a lot older than you are.
    I’m a new widow (after 40 great years). I spent the first couple years in a puddle of tears and anxiety that took its toll on my health. Things are changing. I’m getting better.

    I’d never trusted God without my husband in my life. I thought God was my only Rock until my “rock” died. All I could see was the hole beside me. Walking with God through this has been the most difficult and most joyous experience of my entire life. At some point every person suffering loss has to decide to get-up and grow-up into their new normal.. let go of the beautiful past and reach for the adventure ahead.

    guess what? the big girl panties are beginning to fit me now. marji

    • leannepenny

      Thank you so much for commenting with these words, I am so sorry for your loss. However, I am so happy to hear that you are finding joy in being a window, stories of adventure and beautiful living after death make my heart leap! Keep it up!

  •!/profile.php?id=1253562787 Frances Veenstra

    You know, to be honest, I don’t read people’s blogs “in depth”, I sort of do a scan over them and then go on fb or something, but tonight was different. Your story was definetly interesting and I find myself wanting to read more. I thought ur “undies” story AND picture were funny, and it’s just what I needed. I’ve never had a close relationship with God but I really like how you explained that our lives will always have its good and bad, so we can’t rely on our circumstances…i like this thought and it makes sense. I’m a mom of a beautiful TWO yr old girl and there are certainly days where I feel like I’m just not a good enough mom or that I could be doing better. There are days where I am just over whelmed with EVERYTHING stacked on top of more everything…so thank you :)
    You made me laugh and gave me some good thoughts to go to bed with.