To be Flawed, is to be Human

We’re all flawed.

Whether it’s physically, emotionally, spiritually or characteristically. We’re flawed. Every single one of us. With no exceptions. I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, if you wear Loubiton’s and drive a Porsche I can tell you right now, we have at least one thing in common. We’re flawed.

Physical flaws I feel like are the most difficult. You can cope with your emotional flaws. You can go to God and have your spiritual flaws wiped clean. You can evolve in character as you mature and become more wise. But physical flaws, you have to accept. Sure, some things can be fixed, but I think the first thing that needs to be worked on is the spirit.

I was born looking like a normal little baby girl. I had 10 little fingers, 10 little toes & I could persuade anyone with my baby blues. As I grew, a bone in both feet decided not to grow like the rest of me. When I realized that my feet were not “normal”, I would try to hide them. I have a short fourth metatarsal in both feet. Meaning, my fourth toe is stunted and not normal sized. It looks funny, it’s not cute (to me), and I have a hard time finding shoes that don’t bother it.

Growing up was tough enough as I battled being overweight for most of my adolescent years. Now not only was I “fat”, I had weird toes too. I never wore flip flops, I always would either wear tennis shoes or find sandals that covered the front part of my feet. I never wanted anyone to see them.

In middle school, I had to do a project with some classmates that I had just met that year in 8th grade. We rode home with one of the kids and his mom’s rule was you weren’t allowed to wear shoes in the house. I had worn some sandals that day to school and suddenly was faced with this dilemma of having to take my shoes off and expose my feet. I did so nonchalantly and acted as if nothing was out of the ordinary. We went out on the porch to sit and discuss our project when one of the boys noticed my odd looking feet. “Oh my gosh! What happened to your feet?!” I played it off and started laughing. I took my foot and wiggled it near him. He immediately jumped up acting as if there was a snake attached to my leg. It became a joke and I literally chased him around the house with my foot. It’s astonishing how some parents can allow their children to become so ignorant.

In high school I continued to hide my feet. At that point, I had never owned one pair of flip flops. I just didn’t like how my feet looked in them. I didn’t like how my feet looked period. When I’d wear sandals that were open toed but covered the front you could only see my first three toes then dead space where my fourth toe should be. I had a guy friend at the time my freshman year point out that it looked like I had “ninja turtle feet.” Thanks dude.

I think it was finally in my senior year that I decided I was ok with showing my feet and wearing flip flops. When I was a camp counselor at a church we took the kids to a water park and one of the boys thought my feet were the coolest things in the world. Another little girl asked, “what happened to your feet?” I said, “nothing baby, God made me this way.” She said, “God did that to you?!” I laughed it off and walked away. The curiosity of small children is endearing. My youngest niece is four and when she visited over the summer she asked what was wrong with my feet and that they looked weird. I explained to her that God made me have special feet so that I could be different. After that she proclaimed that nothing was wrong with them and that I was special.

The first time I ever got a pedicure I was so nervous. I feel like they’re just staring at my feet the whole time. Most people say they’re cute, some ask what happened, and a lot of people just stare. I was leaving a restaurant earlier this year and the hostess (who was an older woman) looked down as we passed by and continued to stare as I walked away. My friend and I couldn’t help but explode into laughter at her rudeness. Just this past weekend I was trying on shoes for my pageant and a man who was at the store with his wife stared intently at my foot as I walked around with one shoe on. Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

There are times I hate them. I just wish I could wake up with normal, pretty feet. I see pictures of families with their toes in the sand, my sister-in-law has a picture of her feet and my nieces feet with the same color polish, and pictures of couples sitting on the shoreline with their feet being tickled by the water. Sometimes I think the reason I’m still single is because guys are freaked out by my feet. Although I’m more comfortable with them and honestly don’t give a crap about what anyone thinks or says about them, I’m still hesitant especially when I first meet people. I still insist on wearing close-toed shoes on a first date or a first outing. I cross my ankles a lot when I don’t have shoes on to sort of mask the fact that my feet look weird.

Last year I went to a podiatrist. The only concern my mom has is that as I grow older, my toes will keep turning. My pinkie toe is already tucked under and my third toe leans to the right to sort of fill up the gap. The podiatrist was nice, he gently touched my feet and even when he was talking to me after taking my x-rays he continued to rest his hands on my feet which was nice considering I’ve never really had anyone just touch my feet like that. Except for my parents of course. He explained the bone in my fourth toe is very thin and even if I had surgery to correct it, it still won’t look normal because they can only extend it one centimeter. Not only that, but I would probably have to do one foot at a time, and have an apparatus sticking out of my foot that I would have to turn manually to extend my bone. And the fact that my bone is already so thin, it could weaken it even more which will make it more prone to break easily. His other option was amputating it and just cutting it off. My mom was furious that he would even suggest that.

I left with my spirits down, and fought back the tears. The reality that I had to live with odd-looking feet for the rest of my life dawned upon me, but after a few days I didn’t give it any more thought. This is me. This is who I am. I’m flawed, and I’m ok with that. This defect gives me character, and I think it has in a way made me a more tolerant and accepting person of people’s differences. It’s made me want to be an advocate for girls who maybe have the same or a different defect. It’s made me want to design comfortable but stylish shoes for women like me.

Sure, sometimes I feel like my feet reflect me. I feel like I can’t compare with the “perfect” girls, or I’ll just stare at someone’s pretty feet wishing mine looked like theirs. Don’t get me wrong, my feet are clean and I keep them looking right. You will never catch me without polish on my piggies. Sometimes I worry I’ll meet the man of my dreams and then when he realizes I don’t have cute feet he’ll skedaddle as fast as he can. But I KNOW the man of my dreams will really accept me for who I am, whether I have supermodel feet or not.

We all have flaws. We all have things that make us feel insecure. My challenge is that we embrace and start accepting our defects. Your flaws are not who you are. YOU are who you are. Your heart, your character, and your spirit is what will make people want to be around you. Not whether you have a hollywood smile, the perfect tan or long thick luscious hair (which is another thing I want haha). Just accepting who God made us, and admiring his creation. It’s easy to fix a crooked tooth, a lot harder to fix a crooked heart. Be warm. Be gracious. Be humble. Be generous. Be loving. Be true. Be YOU!

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– Here they are! My flawed little piggies 🙂

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Every Behavior is LEARNED

I was just browsing Facebook and came across an article one of my friends posted about the Calhoun prom sexual assault atrocity. What in the world? What is going on, and how can we end this?

As the victim of attempted sexual assault as well as my run-in with men who seem to have no grasp of respect for women whatsoever, this is something that needs to be addressed and taken care of – immediately – At the Miss USA Pageant 2014, one of the final interview questions addressed the hidden epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses and the contestant, (who ended up winning), Nia Sanchez spoke of how women should be equipped and know how to defend themselves against such attacks. But what about the MEN??? I don’t care if you’re a 4th degree black belt, if you weigh 115 pounds, and four 200 pound men are grabbing you and assaulting you, there is NO WAY you are going to be able to fight them off. This is something that needs to be addressed to men and what they’re learning from a young age.

Kids spend most of their time in school, not at home. Parents have the weekend and evenings to spend with their children, but from 7am to about 3pm Monday through Friday, these kids are in the care of their teachers and schools. What are these schools teaching? Science, Math, English, Social Studies…but what about subjects of value? Things like respect for others, respect for women specifically, tolerance and character development that will change the course of their lives forever. How many of you remember what you learned in First Grade about science? A large number of children are living in broken homes, poverty and are not getting the moral nourishment they should be. Parents are so busy with work, projects, family or even just trying to make it so their kids don’t hate them. I was blessed to have a Mom that was able to stay at home to spend time with and who taught me a lot of ethical values. Not everyone is this privileged and I think it’s time to implement a new way of teaching in our schools.

If this would be able to happen, imagine how that could change the course of our future generations? If women were taught to have respect for themselves, if teachers paid close attention to certain characteristics of troubled children and addressing them instead of ignoring them, to teach the boys how to treat others and how women are not objects but should be treasured and valued. If everyone did their part in investing just a little time into molding the younger generations, I really think we would be seeing a change.

 

2 Corinthians 9:6 – “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

If I Told You That You’re Beautiful…

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If I told you that you’re beautiful,
What would you say?
Would you tell me I’m crazy?
Or just laugh and turn away…

If I told you that you’re perfect,
Would you believe me?
Or do you believe the comparisons you make
With the women in magazines and T.V.

If I told you I’ve been where you are
Experienced the unkind words
And whispers of the kids in the halls…

Would you then trust me,
When I tell you you’re pretty?

I’ve been through the pain and tears of not feeling pretty,
Standing in front of the mirror,
Asking God, “Why me?”

If there was a way that I could make you see,
There’s hope for your future
And you can be whatever you want to be.

You are a princess,
You are a gem,
You can be a beauty queen,
And somebody’s very best friend.

Once you see yourself for who you really are,
The inner changes transforms the outside
And with that knowledge,
I know you’ll reach the stars.

When you focus on the truth,
And stop believing the lies.
You’ll start seeing the beautiful girl in the mirror,
The one seen through God’s eyes.

So stop comparing yourself,
And obsessing over what you need to fix.
You are perfect,
You are loved,
You’re a treasure,
You are His