Saturday, April 14

finding freedom + beauty in truth

jonathan and i have a love affair with decluttering our home.

it brings us joy that i cannot begin to describe here. we recently emptied out (i mean literally emptied out) everything out of two closets in our home. 40% of what was in those closets left our home forever. the rest was put into its proper place in a beautiful state of order and cleanliness.

and we rejoiced and rejoiced. for days afterwards, jonathan (who does not get excited about that many things) kept exclaiming in wonder over the glory of our decluttered and simplified space. it felt amazing.

today was such a day of decluttering - we tackled the closet in our bedroom, taking turns diving into the murky deep and emerging with handful after handful of clothing items that have not seen the light of day for many months.
 and i had one of those moments of clarity.

before i relay that to you, dear reader, let me first make you aware of a certain truth about myself:

hello. my name is gabi frei, and i am a pack rat.

it is incredibly difficult for me to get rid of things in general, and Lord help me if i become attached to something or bestow upon it sentimental value.

as such, i have clothes that i have held onto since high school, praying and hoping and yearning for the day on which i fit into them again.

here is my revelation.

i am beautiful. period.
i am beautiful in this moment, just as i am.

i am beautiful even though my hips are wider than they used to be. i am beautiful even though nursing two hungry baby boys has taken its toll upon my ladies. i am beautiful even though i will never again fit in those little tank tops or those way skinny jeans.

i am beautiful because i am a mama who has sacrificed a bit of herself to bear life.
i am beautiful now and forever, no matter what my body looks like.

in choosing to embrace the reality of that fact, i was able (finally!) after years of needless holding on, to get rid of clothes that have taken up space in my life and represented both a futile hope and a vicious lie.

futile hope - my body is no longer (and will never again be) the body of an 18 year old.
vicious lie - i will not be beautiful until i achieve that impossible ideal.

the Lord gave me a little nudge to help me get rid of the excess - he revealed to me the beauty in accepting the reality of where i am right now and choosing to make that work for me instead of wishing for what no longer is.

in decluttering my closet, i got a little garbage out of my heart as well.

there is beauty and peace in reconciling ourselves to the truth of where we are in life.

if we spend all our time wishing for what once was, we miss out on the awesomeness of now.

by kicking to the curb all those old garments that never will look good on me again, i made space for new clothes that will accentuate the good and diminish the flawed.

by conquering old insecurities, i will little by little learn to acknowledge the truth of who i am and see the beauty both in my physical advantages and flaws.
because beauty is not just skin-deep. beauty encompasses the totality of who we are. we are beautiful in our looks, in our actions, in our words. at least, we have the capacity of beauty in these things - it falls to us to make the choice to be beautiful, to embrace the beauty in life.

so mamas, cherish every battle scar from bearing children - it is a beautiful, miraculous, lovely thing you have done.

ladies, ignore the voice in your head that tries to convince you that you are not beautiful, because you are, you are, YOU ARE. if no one else tells you this today, hear it from me and believe it with all your heart:

you are beautiful. period.

men, you have the capacity to be heroes. embrace it. we want you to be gentlemen, to be heroic, to be strong and virtuous. we want to be proud of you. we are proud of you. be worthy of it and never forget how we ladies depend on you to be strong.

embrace the reality of where you are right at this moment. find beauty in this present moment.

then, you will find peace.

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