Confessions of a Mean Girl

Alright, confession…Mean Girls is probably one of my favorite movies, ever. You know how every male can quote from Billy Madison or Dumb and Dumber…well my friends and I can quote from Mean Girls.   If you’ve never seen Mean Girls…who are you?!? Seriously! Just kidding (kind of), the premise is an exaggerated portrayal of high school female social cliques.   The movie not only provides some of my favorite one-liners… “Oh my God, Danny DeVito! I love your work!” and everyone’s favorite  “If you’re from Africa, why are you white?”

If you’re a woman, I’m sure at point in your middle school or high school career you experienced a mean girl and along the way some older and wiser adult told you “middle school and high school girls can just be brutal” And trust me, I was both the mean girl and victim of mean girls in school and middle school and high school are brutal…but it doesn’t really stop there because you know what…I’m still a mean girl.  Yep, I said it. I am a mean girl.

 But Amanda, you always seem so nice to me

True, I was/am probably nice to you. I used to think of myself as a generally nice person.  I’m not really confrontational. I sometimes have a hard time telling people when they’ve upset me or hurt my feelings.  I try to be the peacemaker, but I mean in a different way. Truth is…I’m the under the radar mean girl. I judge you.  If you’re skinnier than me, wear cuter clothes than me, have longer hair than me (seriously, women with really long hair…I have hair envy), drive a nicer car than me, AND if you’ve ever had anything to do with a guy I’ve dated…I’ve judged you.  I’ve looked for your flaws.  I’ve probably focused in on that small insignificant thing I’ve deemed is “wrong” with you and told it to a friend, or made fun of you, or even just thought myself better than you because of it.

 But, why?

Because it makes me feel better about myself.  Because I’m envious of something you have or that I think you have and if I create a flaw in you or put you down, I feel better about myself.  And you know what I realized, its not a flaw in you…it’s a flaw in me.

 C-O-N-T-E-N-T

I swear, my biggest red button for the devil to push is contentment. At the heart of my mean girl issue is my discontent with some area of my own life, so I am an envious of yours.  As women, it’s probably something we all struggle with to some degree or another.  Lately, I’ve realized that I had been focusing on finding or making up flaws in others, instead of fighting to find contentment where only true contentment can be found  

11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV).

 Mean Girl Boot Camp

So what’s a repentant mean girl to do?  Well first, I’m going to start looking up instead of outward.  Focus on what I have instead of what I don’t have, and quit living in the should have, could have, would haves.  And for the next week, every time I want focus on another woman’s flaws…I’m going to think of one positive thing about her and pray that God will renew my mind to think like He thinks and view others like He views others.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV).

annnnnd just to make up for anything mean I’ve ever thought. My super embarrassing 7th grade school picture…frizzy hair (I decided to go to the local Great Clips for a perm), braces, and overall awkward looks

mean girls

 

The D-Word

5,110 finger pricks, 2, 160 shots of insulin, 60 insulin pump injection sites, 3 ER visits, 3 blood gas tests, numerous bruises, 300 glucose tabs, and one terrible, unforgettable gusher (see here http://wp.me/p37uFu-6X)   That’s what 2 years of diabetes looks like in numbers.

This week marks two years since I’ve been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  In October of 2011, this skeletor girl (seriously, I weighed like 105, as a result of the diabetes I didn’t know I had, in this picture…and home girl normally has some curves she’s working with) …

The weekend before I was diagnosed with diabetes
The weekend before I was diagnosed with diabetes

Couldn’t read the power points in her Corporations class (sorry Professor Gulinello for blaming my lack of sight on your power points, but I still think you need to change the contrast on your power points…yellow font, really?), eating a ton, thirsty all the time, and waking up 3 times a night to use the restroom.  One WebMd search later and I was in the doctor’s office having my blood glucose checked.

It’s been two years since that very scary and confusing week.  Honestly, I cannot remember what life was like before diabetes. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, ha!  Last year on my one year diaversary (yea, that’s what we call our diabetes diagnosis anniversary date), a very kind friend created a website where my friends, family, etc. could leave me encouraging words (here’s the link if you want to check it out,  http://diaversaryweekend2012.wordpress.com/ thanks AM!).  You don’t know how many times I’ve gone back and read your sweet messages…they’ve kept me going on some really hard days.

I have typed and backspaced (and cried, ha!) at least 10 times while writing this post.  I very rarely dedicate a whole post to my diabetic life.  Self-psychoanalysis…probably because I try so hard to integrate my diabetes into my normal life that I sometimes forget I’m not totally normal (well, who really is normal?!? But, I forget my silly pancreas isn’t normal 🙂

Since last year, I celebrated with the sweet words of encouragement you all left me…I decided this year I would give you all some sweet words of encouragement.

If you know me well, you know that I am fiercely independent and stubborn.  One of the biggest life changes I’ve been forced to make because of diabetes is the loss of independence.  I’ve had to rely on people more often than I’d ever imagined.  This is has been such a blessing in disguise.  I’ve had to open up and ask for help from my family, friends and co-workers.  I want to very briefly try to thank all of you for the things you do everyday that mean so much to me.

A Brief Thank You List

  1. For stopping what you’re doing to wait while I check my blood sugar
  2. Making sure I have a snack when I’m low or waiting for me to give an injection when I’m high
  3. Texting, calling, or stopping by during my hospital visits
  4. Eating cheeseburgers with me in the hospital or spending a weekend in Nashville celebrating my one year diaversary
  5. Praying for me
  6. Supporting the JDRF
  7. Raising money at work to help me find cure
  8. Listening to my fears, whines, or complaints
  9. Seeing beyond the diabetes and treating me like the same person
  10. Texting me late at night when you know my blood sugar is low
  11. Asking for me to prick your fingers so you know what it feels like—Katie and Anna—I’m looking at you
  12. Leaving a sporting event to take care of me when I have the flu and my blood sugar keeps dropping.
  13. Accommodating all of my crazy diabetic needs.
  14. Loving me

In two years, I’ve learned a lot about myself…but I’ve also learned a lot about you all! You all are far more kind, supportive, and loving than I could have ever asked or hoped for.  This verse really sums you all up “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV).  Because the most important thing I’ve learned about the people in my life….You all are strong when I am weak.

Words cannot express how appreciative I am for your strength on my behalf.  I would love to write a specialized thank you for each and every one of you, but I think wordpress has a word limit! I hope that one day I can be strong for you when you are weak.

And a very special shout out to my wonderful parents who deal with the brunt of my diabetic craziness.   You two are angels. Thank you for showing me grace and loving me like Jesus does. You’re the bomb. God must definitely spent a little more time on you all 🙂

ROAR

Ok, I have a confession to make…I love Katy Perry (some people have claimed we are twins, but I think the only thing we have in common is our pastor dads and affinity for cupcake bras). Her songs are just so catchy and fun.  I mean, c’mon, how can you not sing along with teenage dream.

Every now and then you stumble across a mainstream song and you can find the underlying “Jesus” message in it.  “Roar” is one of those songs for me.  I’ve been listening to it on repeat, and I really mean repeat…like I hit the repeat button on my iTunes.  Last week while listening for the billionth time, I really thought about the lyrics. Here is the chorus:

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

And I began to think how true that really is of our lives.  If you’re a believer, God has promised us that we are champions.  Not that I’m a champion because of anything awesome that I’ve done, but because of what Christ did for me. One of my favorite bible verses is in RomansNo, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”(Rom. 8:37 NIV).

You’re probably thinking oh my gosh, she’s a cornball and maybe I am.  But since I already told you that I’m in a valley, any song that reminds me of God’s victory over my life…I’m a cornball over it.  While I’ve been going through this hard time, I need to be constantly reminded that God has already claimed victory over this hard time, my past struggles, and my future struggles through the death of his son, Jesus Christ, on the cross.

I heard this in a  sermon one time and loved it…Victory is not something we are praying for, it is something we are living in as followers of Christ.  We don’t ask God for victory, He provided us victory when He got up from the grave.  If Christ is in you, nothing on this planet will be greater than you or more powerful than you.

Although, I doubt this is what Katy Perry had in mind when she released this song…I am thankful for the reminder that God has already claimed victory over the valleys in my life.  I might be losing at halftime, but I know the final score. He made me a champion and now you’re going to hear me roar 🙂

For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. (Deut. 20:4 NIV)

 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. (1 Cor. 15:57,58b NIV)

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NIV)

Enjoy!

Simon Says…

This past weekend I completed my second half-marathon (13.1 miles).  Like I’ve mentioned before, I have a love/hate relationship with running and the same is true for the half-marathon.  I really do not enjoy running 13 miles at 7:30 in the morning, sweating to death.  I’d rather be sleeping or eating (probably eating because let’s face it…give the choice between eating and anything…I’ll normally choose eating).  The one thing I love about the half-marathon is that it always provides tangible illustrations of God’s character and our walk with Him.

On Saturday, there was a man running that was blind  He had another person running with him that was literally guiding him turn by turn, step by step.  First of all, awesome!! Congratulations to that man for accomplishing something in spite of a steep obstacle.  My parents and I were discussing this man’s accomplishment and my mom mentioned how it’s a perfect illustration of our Christian walk (my momma is the best! Seriously, she loves Jesus so much.  I am forever grateful to have a mother that loves Jesus like she does)…how if we let Him, God will lead us step by step, turn by turn throughout our race (aka life).

I’ve been thinking about this all week.  I’ve had mixed thoughts about it.  On the one hand, it is amazing to realize that God loves me so much that he’s actively guiding me every step of the way.  On the other hand, I’ve felt convicted.  See, the runner had to trust the guide’s directions.  The guide could’ve been there, running alongside of him, talking him through the course, but if he chose not to trust his directions…to go left instead of right…the runner would have failed (or at the very least injured himself, veered off course, etc.).  You all are probably thinking the same thing I was thinking, “why wouldn’t the runner trust the guide? That would just be plain ole dumb not to listen to his directions.  He’s there to help him.”  I’m so quick to tell the runner to trust the guide, yet I’m so guilty of not following Christ’s directions for my life. I know that he knows the course for my life, I know that he has my best interests at heart, yet…I still choose to turn right instead of listening to him when he says “left.”

So why? Why do I ignore his instructions when I know they’re instructions for my good…instructions that will guide me to the finish line? I’ve been asking myself this question all week.  Ultimately, I don’t always follow him because I do not totally trust him.  I think that some of my directions are better than his.  The runner could’ve enlisted the help of the guide, listened to him for some of the race, then thought, “hmmm I think he’s wrong when he says there a pothole in the road, I’m going to keep on going straight.”  The runner trusted the guide enough to bring him there and to selectively listen to him, but he didn’t totally surrender to him.  He’s still thinking his directions might be a little better.

The blind man didn’t know what the course looked like…he didn’t know what the next turn would bring…and neither do we.  We might think we know, but ultimately you and I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.  In light of our inability to see the future, wouldn’t it only make sense to totally trust our guide?

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11). 

Also, I only have like two pictures from the actual half-marathon this year and neither are worth posting.  So here is a photo of Jessica and I after the half-marathon last year
Also, I only have like two pictures from the actual half-marathon this year and neither are worth posting. So here is a photo of Jessica and I after the half-marathon last year
My sweet friend Katie who came to celebrate with me after I finished!
My sweet friend Katie who came to celebrate with me after I finished!

By the way, thank you to everyone that prayed for me, encouraged me, and congratulated me after the race! Y’all are awesome!

One More Thing!

In case anyone is interested, I’m posting my favorite songs to listen to on long runs! My main criteria is upbeat and fast, so here are a few:

  1. Awesome God–R. Swift
  2. B.O.B.–Outkast (like the fastest song ever! and if you are an ex-cheerleader like me, chances are you at one point in time did a choreographed dance to this song that you can try to remember while running!)
  3. Call Me Maybe–Carly Rae Jepson
  4. Electric Feel-MGMT
  5. Levels–Avicii
  6. Good Morning–Mandisa
  7. Ego (Remix feat. Kanye West)–Beyonce
  8. Songs Like This–Carrie Underwood (if you want to focus your energy on disliking an ex-boyfriend during your run)
  9. Falling Down–Lecrae
  10. Anything by Miss Britney!