I’m going to make a statement that might not be popular, but I’ll just go ahead and say it. I hate shopping. I can’t think of one type of shopping I enjoy: clothes, food, furniture, cars . . . it’s all tedious to me. I get frustrated and hot and overwhelmed and listless. But recently I needed a new pair of jeans, and I figured I had to put my proverbial big girl pants on and just do it. But unlike other times, I made a deal with myself. I knew I’d be going to a particular store that is notorious for misrepresenting sizes . . . and not in a good way. If you are normally one size, you often have to size up one or even two sizes to find a pair of jeans that fit you properly—which let’s be honest, ladies, that’s just plain rude. But this particular store was the place I knew I would probably have the most luck (and it was within the price range I was willing to spend), so I looked myself in the mirror before I went in the store, and I had myself a little pep talk. I decided, before I even crossed the threshold of the store, that I was only going to try on pants that were one or two sizes up from my normal one. I also told myself that I was not going to be upset about it, fuss about it, complain, or chastise myself about it. It was just the way it was—in this particular store, in this particular circumstance, in this particular season. The end.
Changing Sizes and Changing Perspective
So I went into the store, and happily pulled pants that were sizes I would normally never wear, loaded them into the fitting room, and tried them on like a boss. And you know what? They fit. They fit GREAT. They looked good, they felt good. And I bought them. When I wore them the next day, I noticed the ease at which they slid on. No shimmying or wiggling to get them over my hips. I walked around and I felt unencumbered. As the wise philosopher, Cher, from the movie Clueless once said, “party clothes are so binding.” I didn’t know what I was missing until all of a sudden, I was not in binding clothes and felt . . . comfortable? No joke, I was so comfortable and happy in these sized-up pants that I instantly started thinking about who I could text to tell them my magic secret. I wanted to announce to all the lovely women in my life: YOU KNOW WHAT? ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS BUY THE NEXT SIZE UP TO FEEL COMFORTABLE IN OUR OWN CLOTHES!” I’ve been chuckling ever since as I’ve worn the other pairs I purchased and have felt equally as free and liberated and unsqueezed and just happy. What in the world have I been doing to myself wearing clothes that didn’t fit me and or have been almost fitting me but not quite?
Other Ways We Wear the Wrong Size
I think sometimes, ladies, we do this with ourselves in other ways—and I’m not talking about fashion. We have seasons of parenting where we feel like we have to be the perfect mom—the one who is the room parent on top of lunch helper on top of star employee on top of wife on top of friend on top of volunteer on top of daughter and sister and neighbor and church member. If those roles were a pair of jeans, they would be strangling us right now. You see, we’re not meant to wear roles that are not right for the season we’re in. All those things are good things, but not necessarily at the same time. I recently, with the total support of my husband and after praying it through, made a change that is definitely a new season of my motherhood. I had been feeling a tension, a longing for change, but didn’t know exactly how or when I should do it. But once we talked it through and acknowledged that I may be ready for a new role in my life, it was liberating. And while it wasn’t the right fit for me a few years ago . . . wow, it sure is fitting me now.
Giving Ourselves a Pep Talk
Sometimes I think we need to look lovingly at ourselves in the mirror and give ourselves a pep talk and say, “Hey you. You need to step away from this expectation. It’s not your time. Or step into this new experience—now’s the time!” If you’re like me, you may just find yourself skipping through your house, wanting to tell all your friends and share your secret. You may want to say, LIFE DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE TO FEEL SO UNCOMFORTABLE AND STRESSFUL AND TOO MUCH! WE DON’T HAVE TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE ALL AT ONCE!” We’re allowed to say no to more things than we say yes to. We’re allowed to say yes to the things God is putting into our lives right now. We’re allowed to fit into our season (even if it seems like a different size or style than usual) and relish in having it fit us just right. Stop for a moment and take inventory on how you are feeling. Is there tension? Are you walking around with a low-buzzing annoyance as you try to balance it all? Are you trying to fit into something that may not be God’s best for you right now? My recommendation is to pray and ask for guidance. That’s what I did in my car before walking in the store that day. And that’s what I do as I find myself in seasons of motherhood that seem a bit off-balance. That doesn’t mean we will not have seasons of stretching and growing. Seasons of difficulty or challenge. But I do believe if we are open to God’s guidance, He may just have something in store for us that fits perfectly.