Select Page
Scars

Scars

I used to think scars were something you could see…external…visible. I used to not have many scars. Then, four months ago, I had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, and suddenly all I could see were the scars.

Throughout the recovery and reconstruction that takes place after a mastectomy, not only did I stare at my visible scars everyday, but I started to see and feel scars that weren’t visible to the eye. The scars that were deep, but that I couldn’t see, began to come to the surface. My past, my pain, my mistakes, my shortcomings…they all seemed to be reflected back at me. It was as if I looked in the mirror at my new visible scars, and the old scars from the inside came seeping out.

I couldn’t run away from the pain anymore. I couldn’t pretend that I was enough, because I just wasn’t. Looking in the mirror was hard for a while. My body was physically different and my soul was healing, maybe for the 1st time ever.

I always said that I believed that God was who He said He was, and that I was worthy of His love, but now, it didn’t seem like it. It seemed like everything hurt. Everything was different.

Having surgery was the right decision for me and my family, but it didn’t make the pain and the healing any easier. It was a process. It was a process that I honestly wasn’t ready for. I thought I knew what to expect. I thought I knew how hard it would be.

But I never expected the Lord to use the months during my recovery to show me all my scars. I never expected this process to be so hard.

As I sit and write this post tonight, I am three weeks post exchange surgery, meaning the reconstruction process is finished and now we move on from this process onto the next adventure the Lord will place before us.

But the process of healing is ongoing. It’s a conversation I’m having with the Lord. I whisper my doubts to Him about what I see in the mirror, the pieces that are beautiful, but that aren’t me. And He whispers back to me a sweet reminder of who He says I am. Beautiful. Adored. The child of a King.

Scars or no scars. Visible or invisible. He loves me the same. He loves me the same today as he did before I ever had a visible scar. He loved me before I could see the pain and the process and the recovery journey.

There’s nothing I can do or say or think that will ever make Him love me less, so why would I look in the mirror and let the devil lie to me about my mistakes or my shortcomings or my pain? The devil wants me to look in the mirror and believe my sin is unforgivable.

But the Lord says, YOU ARE FORGIVEN.

The devil wants me to look in the mirror and think that I’m not enough.

But the Lord says, YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH.

The devil wants me to look in the mirror and believe that I’m not beautiful.

But the Lord says, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE ADORED. YOU ARE MINE.

And maybe you’ve looked in the mirror and believed the same lies. Actually, I don’t even have to assume, I’m sure that you have believed the lies. You’ve heard it haven’t you? “You’re not enough. Your sin is too great. You’ll never be as beautiful as those other women. You’ll never be as good as them”

They’re lies. Lies from an enemy that would want you to believe that your scars can and will define you. Whether internal or external, we all have scars, but our God promises to use them. He promises to use our scars to bring glory to His kingdom. He promises to use our scars for good. The question is, are we willing? Are we willing to look in the mirror and deny the devil the right to continue to lie to us about what we see? Are we willing to look right back into our own reflections and tell ourselves WHOSE we are?

I started asking God how He sees me. I started asking Him who I am, and he started to whisper back. I kept asking because honestly I didn’t believe Him. “Surely you’re talking about someone else. You can’t be saying those things about me because I don’t feel those things.”

I was believing my scars would make me weak. I was believing the lies of the deceiver.

How little credit we give ourselves, friends! How little we value our worth when we stand in the mirror and see our scars reflected back at us.

Ask Him who are. Ask Him again and again. See what He says and then start to walk in it. Tell yourself every single day. Start to believe that you are who He says you are.

In Christ, you are:

without rival

made in the image of God

adored

fought for

won

beautiful

chosen

YOU. Yes, you, were chosen by God to do good work that only you can do. Do not for a second let the devil trick you into thinking your scars or your past or your sin or what you see in the mirror can stop you. YOU are a child of God.

You are fearless.

You are a light.

You are mine.

Those are the words he kept whispering to me, over and over again. Even when I told Him I wasn’t those things. I was scared and sad and lonely. He whispered them anyways. Over and over.

I am a fearless light…a daughter to the creator of the universe, and I will not believe the lies of the enemy. I will use my scars as fuel to fight the good fight and bring glory to my Heavenly Father.

This my friends, is how we FIGHT. Join me. Believe Him. Deny the devil the satisfaction of your doubt or fear, and let’s do the good work we were put here to do.

Our scars will not define us. They might actually begin to show us who we really are.

{I hardly ever write a post without at least one picture, but because of the subject, I just couldn’t find a picture that I felt did the subject justice, so there just aren’t any. Look in the mirror after you read this, and ask God how He sees you. That’s the picture I want you to see.}

The Dalkes at the Masters: Monday’s practice round

The Dalkes at the Masters: Monday’s practice round

I never imagined I would be at the Masters. I’m a golf fan…..sort of. But I’m a HUGE family fan, and when you’ve got a pretty incredible golfer in your family, you become a golf fan. I may screw up the other players names, but it’s no biggie, I came to watch one kid play, and I know his name.

My baby brother-brother-in law, Brad Dalke, will play in the Masters this week as the youngest player in this year’s field at only 19 years old. A sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, Brad is one of five amateurs playing in this years’ Masters tournament.

This is a (possibly, hopefully not) once in a a lifetime opportunity of our family, and we’re all here cheering him on. We’ve rented a large family home just outside of Augusta where we’re all spending the week together…minus Brad of course, who will be staying in the iconic and legendary Crow’s Nest at Augusta National reserved specifically for the Masters’ amateurs.

After our first day at the Masters, we’re officially calling it Disney World for adults. From the moment you approach the grounds of Augusta National, you feel welcomed with Southern hospitality. Security guards, ticket scanners, restroom attendants….everyone working or volunteering at the course is welcoming and accommodating.

Brian and I walked onto the course with hundreds of fans on a day that was fairly certain to be accompanied by rain, but it didn’t stop the fans from showing up.

As soon as we were on the course, we grabbed a list of the players and the course ettiqute, and there he was….”Brad Dalke” in print listed with the best golfers in the world.

Brad, Bubba Watson, and Steve Stricker teed off at 8:30 from the 1st tee box. I’ll be a woman of a few words from here on out and let the pictures do the talking….

Dalke with his caddy, Chris Beckner

the iconic Masters food…pimento cheese sandwiches, moon pies, and beer in a green cup. Prices have never changed in the history of the tournament so we bought all that goodness (plus one more sandwich) for $9!

the Surrender and the Fight

the Surrender and the Fight

I watch her clasp her chubby hands tightly around every baby doll she can grab. She hugs them close and kisses their little heads. She loads them into her baby stroller and toddles around the house pushing that stroller like it’s a race car.

But if you were to try to take one of her babies from her, her grasp would close tightly around it, and she’d squeeze it tightly into her chest.

She’s just a baby grasping onto what she can in the world, knowing that there are things that she loves that she wants to keep close.

My babies keep teaching me things. I try to pull them close and keep them from the harsh and painful world because it seems like that’s what a mama should do. I pull them tightly into my chest because I want to keep them close.

I keep trying to hold on tight to everything else too…my words, my work, my man, all of it. I want to grasp it all inside my fist, tight and secure so I couldn’t possibly lose any of it even if I tried just like my baby girl holds onto her baby dolls.

I’ve struggled with what my word would be for the year. I originally thought that it should be fight. Fight was the word that I chose as my mantra when I decided to have preventative surgery last month. And it was a fight, a really good fight. But now, I can feel my grip tightening on everything around me. I want to control it all. I want to fix it all. I want to do it all. And the Lord keeps reminding me I don’t have to hold it all.  I’m trying so desperately to keep my fist wrapped around things that are not even mine to begin with.

I think my word has to be two-fold this year. Fight and surrender. Fight the evil one. Fight for the good and hard things. But don’t forget to surrender the rest. Surrender all those things that I keep trying to control so desperately back to the Lord.  It’s my way of agreeing with God that I’ll fight for the good and surrender the best. I’ll fight for my time and my health and my relationships, but in the same moment in which I pull all those important things close to my chest to claim them as mine, I will release my grasp and open my palms to the Lord in surrender.

This year, it’s both….a fight and a surrender.

What about you? What are you fighting for this year? And what are you surrendering?

Direct Sales Perception vs Reality…The Grass is Not Greener

Direct Sales Perception vs Reality…The Grass is Not Greener

You spend your small investment, start your business, and find some success. You continue working for a year, maybe two, and then you see something else. It’s shiny and new. It looks exciting, and if you could be successful at what you’re currently doing, maybe you could be even more successful at this. Plus, you’re kind of tired of selling the same thing month after month, over and over again.

Tempting right? And maybe this new opportunity would be even better because you could “get in early,” and be one of the 1st consultants. Why wouldn’t you try? 

Perception: If I can be successful at one direct sales business, I can be successful at more than one. or If I can be successful at one direct sales business, I can go to another one and be just as successful or even more.
Reality: The grass is not greener somewhere else. The grass is green where you water it and only where you water it. And it’s hard to water more than one yard.

I’ve seen too many consultants leave their company to go do something that seems more interesting or that may be “a better opportunity” only to get burned out again and go looking for the newest thing.

I can assure you, no matter what product you sell, no matter how much money you’re making, there is always burnout to some extent. {more on that in tomorrow’s blog post} Leaving and finding something shiny and new will not make that burnout go away.

The better idea is to get back to your purpose. Why were you doing this in the first place? Did you want to take your family on vacation? Did you want to have something to call your own? Were you intrigued by the challenge of trying something new and seeing whether or not you could do it? Maybe you needed extra spending cash or wanted to help with the family bills. Whatever your main purpose, you’ve got to reconnect with that. Ask yourself what changes in your life if that purpose becomes a reality. Maybe you’ve reached your goal and need a new vision for your business. Get to the heart of it, and create a solid and visible vision of what you want from this business. Make a list of everything that you have because of your business that you didn’t have before, but don’t go looking for the next best thing. More than likely, you’ll only be disappointed.

Water your own grass, encourage those women who are doing their thing in direct sales, and remember that trying to water too many yards at once will only result in some dried out and uninspiring front yards.

For more information about joining our team, head to http://theshinesociety.scentsy.us/join

Speaking of change, {which we chatted about yesterday} our websites got a new update last night, and they’re beautiful! Go check it out.