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Cheryl Mendoza

How He speaks to me…..Or… can't He just call my cell when He wants to talk?

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self esteem

Happy that no one is watching

So today I am going back to the start.  I said that I have typically 20 things going on in my head at one time, so I am trying to clear everything else out and focus on one thing.  I have my tap board ready, my shoes and a video of simple instructions.  I have to get practicing if I am going to be ready for next year’s National Tap Dance Day.

It has been a couple of weeks since building my board, and trying it out for a fekeep-calm-and-tap-dance-48w minutes.  Why haven’t I stepped back on you ask?  Well, this morning I was asking myself the same thing.  I thought back over the past couple of weeks, and wondered what happened?  What took my excitement away?  Where did the drive go to accomplish something new ?  I know the whole tap dancing thing seems a little trivial, but it really is a means to deal with other things that are truly not so trivial.  Insecurities, health, doubt, fear, fitness and choosing the freedom to live life joyfully.

 

I look back on the last few weeks, and I see doubt and fear raising their ugly heads.  These two monsters have been attacking me with a vengeance.  The avenues of attack?  It has been finances, writing, back pain and even discouragement.  So where is my defense?  I got a kick star280px-Gossamer_restoredt from reading the bible, making props for storytelling, helping my husband and reading some Max Lucado.  That is all just to stay afloat.  I also listened to an author/speaker named John Maxwell, and he was talking about one of his books, “Today Matters”.  There was a lot in it, but my quick take away was if you put something off until tomorrow, it is more than likely it will never get done.

 

I have been legitimately busy, but I noticed that this was the only thing that I kept putting off day after day. That caught my attention.  I always put off doing what I don’t like, is hardest or most uncomfortable for me.  It is a pattern.  So when I see this, I know I have to attack it.  So here I am, ready to wage war on my fear and insecurity through the art of dance.  OK, I use the word art and dance very loosely.  You have heard the saying, “Dance like no one is watching.”  Well I can tell you, I have never been more thankful that no one is watching.

Tapping out a thankful tune!

So am I ready to tap or what?  This is something that I think I have always wanted to do, but hadn’t.  So here in the blogospere where I can be honest and live fully as myself, I am ready.   There are different DIY tap boards on the internet, so I had a pretty good idea of what I would need to make one.  I then watched a couple of videos from people who made one, and thought putting it together looked pretty easy.  To make it even less expensive, they suggested going to a home improvement store and seeing if there was flooring that you could buy cheap.  I googled the foam flooring needed and I was happy to see that it was inexpensive, but when I got thinking about the wood flooring an idea popped into my head.  I remembered that my sister had done some new flooring in her home not too long ago, so I texted and asked if she had some leftover pieces?  She did!   We were going to visit her, so I told her I would talk with her when I got there.  How great is that?

It was a boost that I needed, because our finances have been on my mind a lot lately. As of the end of the month, I am officially unemployed.  So now that the time has come, I am starting to wonder about our needs and how we are going to adjust our lifestyle when we are back to one income.  I have worked for the same company for the last 7 years, and so leaving was a hard decision, but it was a decision I felt compelled to do.  It was a new direction that God was prompting me to follow and I felt that the time had finally come.  So for that reason, provision has been on my mind.  What was encouraging to me was God using this tap dance “storyline” to not only teach me about myself, but to provide everything needed without having to spend a bunch of money. Again, it is a simple thing, but it was a reminder to me of who God is and how He works.

I gave a month’s notice, so I was doing pretty good until the month was almost done.  It was then that I started to stress.  I was wondering how I could make some extra cash, even before I was in the situation where it was needed.  I was getting ahead of God.  When I realized that, I tried to relax.  I thought back to the many times before when He had come through.  God has a bunch of different names in the bible, but my favorite is Jehovah Jireh.  It means the Lord provides.  I had to remember that I was not the source of our families provision, and neither was the job I had.  That job was a tool that God used to provide for us.  I felt better, over my panic attack, and feeling a little more secure.

So back to my tap board.  I went to my sister’s house and she gave me more than enough flooring to make the tap board.  I came home excited and thankful.  It was then that God made me laugh out loud.  The next day I walked into the garage and found foam flooring.  How it got into our garage, I will never know?  Both my husband imageand I were stumped?  It might have been one of our children, or maybe even left by the previous owner.  My husband then decided that some plywood he had could be used for my board.  It was just the right size, and didn’t even have to be cut.  The only item I had to purchase was some gorilla glue.  So for under $5.00, I have my tap board.  With that board, I will get some exercise, learn something new, live joyfully and continue to work on unpeeling the onion that is my life. Except now, I will be doing it to a different beat.

 

Just say cheese….

So I was reading a blog this morning, it is called “ Beauty Beyond Bones”, and it is written by a recovering anorexic.  She made a post about this week being “body positivity week”.  She had a great perspective on this body positivity thing, so I have put a link here if you would like to take a look.    https://beautybeyondbones.com/2016/05/12/body-positivity-week/

Her post got me thinking though about the pictures that we take.  This is on my mind lately, because my husband is starting to be heavily involved, dare I say obsessed, with photography.  He is always trying to get me to take pictures, so he can learn to use different techniques. I never remember being so weird about taking pictures, but then again, I have never been this old and there have never been so many picture taking opportunities available.  I mean really, Facebook is full of them.  So as I was driving, I began thinking about this woman’s solution in regards to body image, and then I thought about my own.  It is funny, as I write this I am sitting at a desk with a mirror over it.  So I am basically staring at my own face, thus the picture I have posted.  I find this slightly ironic.  I even had to take two pictures, because I caught myself in the first one trying not to smile so big.  Jeez!!

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So I thought about the pictures that I take.  Sometimes they are funny, silly, but usually they are for a remembrance of a time, occasion or friends.  Some of the pictures that I have taken recently are ones that I do not like very much.  Why?  It seems that I am more concerned with trying to look cute than enjoying the “why” of the picture.  How do I know?  It is evident in my body language, and I can just tell by how I look.  These pictures show a woman who is not comfortable with how she is perceived.  The funny thing is though, I pretty much am OK with how I look.  I am old, well not that old, but old enough.  On the edge of still being kind of cute, but sags and weight are taking a toll.  I thought about that, and I felt stupid.  I love looking at pictures, and I thought of the pictures that have spoken to me the most.  The ones that made me really feel things, and they were of people who were not necessarily looking their best.  Dorothea Lange immediately sprang to mind.  Her pictures of people who were struggling through the depression in the dust bowl are some of the most important pictures of our time.  These people are NOT looking cute.  What you do see is pain, resilience, struggle, fear, and maybe even some hope.  These photos opened people’s eyes to what the effect of unemployment was on the entire family.  These photos still have the ability to touch people today.  And I am worried about if I am cute?

The pictures that I like best of myself are the ones where I forget about the camera, and I concentrate on enjoying the moment.  Then, my smile is genuine, if not a little large.  There is a twinkle in my eye, even if you can’t totally see it through my glasses.  My body language is relaxed, even if it is a bit, how do I say this?  Chubby?  And if my gray hair is peeking out? Then so be it.  This is who I am, and I like that me.  I like the me who is more concerned with celebrating a birthday than looking cute.  The one who is having fun, being silly with a friend, better than the one who is trying to get her good side.  The one who is willing to show her tears, even when she is not a pretty crier.  So I have decided, that I am not going to worry about how I look.  I am going to focus on enjoying the moments God has given me.  To be fully invested in who I am with, and what is happening around me.  So tonight as I go and celebrate a wedding with friends, I choose to forget about how I look, and remember to let the joyfulness of the day be my beauty.

 

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