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Opening Scene Piney Wood Chapel Church. Many years ago on Saturday morning, sitting in the car with my mom, awaiting the start of something like Missionary Day, I see a girl that my then boyfriend was rumored to be sort of feelin’. As this young lady walked toward the church, I began to get those raggedy emotions of high school girl jealously (truth is, we still have these moments…ha). I said to my mom, “That’s the girl that he likes right there. And look, Mama, she has fat legs. My legs are skinny.” Without one bit of hesitation, my mama said, “It ain’t about the legs, honey.” I’m still not quite sure what the depth of her response was implicating, but it sounded good to me! Well, maybe I don’t want to be sure…;-) Laughable Legs? As long as I can remember, I’ve always been self-conscious of having skinny legs. It’s actually a family trait on my dad’s side. As a little girl, and even through adulthood, I’ve been teased about having those ‘Cherry’ legs or bird legs. The stigma associated with my little ole legs sometimes caused me to forgo wearing shorts and dresses. Over the years, I’ve embraced these legs, accepting that yeah, they’re a little small, compared to the rest of my body, but they do have a little curving to them…Ha. In that acceptance, I have embraced the fact that no matter what, they are the legs God gave me. If He wanted me to have a different set of legs, He certainly would’ve designed something else just for me. I’m blessed to have these ole ‘Cherry’ legs! Rewinding back the years and my mama’s words, looks like some ‘ole skool’ lyrics ring true… “Somebody will have you…skinny legs and all!” Lol

Far-Ranging Forehead? Then, there’s this forehead syndrome. Until lately, those who have known me for years know that I’ve always had a swoop or some hair in my face…rarely ever wearing my hair completely out of my face. Why? I always felt that I had an extremely wide forehead—one that was disproportionate to the rest of my face. I can remember only a few times in my life that I wore my hair completely out off the forehead, comfortably. I mean, I even wore a bang with braids as an adult. Smh. For some reason, 2019 was the backdrop for the full forehead reveal, and it’s on and poppin now! Just too many years of invaluable hang-ups about the physicality of who I am… Happy Hair? Looks like the “r” word, “retirement”, has allowed me to relax and gather more of what’s really important. I chose not to wear certain hairstyles, not only because of my reservations about my forehead being shown, but also how these styles would be perceived in the workplace (worn by me—the girl who has always had a relaxer to keep the tresses straight) or what people would think in general. Would they like them on me? Well, guess what? As India Arie sings, “I am not my hair…”, and I’m finally embracing, I really don’t care! My choice of hairstyle depends on my mood and what and how I’m feeling at that time. It gives me a sense of liberation. It gives me a sense of free-spirit that only comes with being completely in tuned with my authentic self. It gives me peace in settling into embracing the whole me in which God customized. He makes no mistakes!! I am me! I love me! I accept me, and the character flaws that I am in relationship with God in working on them. So….. What I’m saying is, accept God’s artwork. If He intended for us to have fuller lips, he would’ve given them to us. If he wanted us to have physical features that aren’t a part of our God-designed DNA, He would’ve handled that. Of course, I’m certainly not one to imply that we shouldn’t do things to adorn our physical self or make us feel good about our personal appearance, as I have pierced ears and tattoos. What I am saying is, we should be grateful for the vessel that God molded uniquely and especially just for us! He made each of us “All that and some!” Embrace that! Embrace health, love, focus, faith, prayer and the favor of God on our lives.

Know what we are not— “I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am the soul that lives within.” ~ India Arie. Know that the outer shell can be all dressed up and wrapped in the best trimmings, but if the most important part, the inner shell, representative of the character of our soul and the calibration of our heart, is all jacked up, the outer shell means nothing. So, embrace the fully embraceable you! Know what truly needs work. I believe God is waiting for it!

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. ~Psalm 139~

Peace & Blessings, Lisa B

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