Monthly Archives: April 2012

I believe.

This isn’t about what you’d think. This is actually just a sequel to an entry I posted a long, long time ago on a blog far away, also dubbed “I believe.” I believe strongly, love deeply, and think often (and often way too much). Here are some things I believe:

– I believe I will always feel I am meant to do more. This may sometimes feel like regret, because in so many ways I wish I could follow through with everything I’ve excelled at in the past.

– I believe I should never feel satisfied or comfortable with the way things are. 

– I believe God has impeccable timing. 

– I love the word “impeccable.”

– I believe french fries need to be extra salty when dipped in ice cream to create maximum flavor enjoyment.

– I believe my kids have built-in mommy relaxation sensors. There is too much correlation between my energy level and theirs. The lack of one feeds the other.

– I believe people who submit songs to enter a contest on the radio to win studio recording time shouldn’t already sound like they recorded in a studio.

– I believe positive connections with people never fade. But… I also believe negative connections never fade unless you work at it.

– I love to say I love coffee, but in reality, I like sugar in coffee. And I like the effects of coffee.

– Thursday is the best day of the week. This is just a fact.

– I love a challenge. I DON’T love them all at once.

– When I state my perspective on how society operates, people call me a commmunist. Its a GOOD THING I don’t live in the sixties.

– I wish I lived in the sixties, because I really love “their” music. 

– I believe fresh starts can result from something as simple as rearranging furniture, or a haircut.

– I believe conclusions are way overrated.

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Home.

**I was writing another blog post and checking my poetry from a class in college… this one brought back such good memories of my backyard in Edmonds when we lived in the “big red house.” Those were my cherished days. :)**

“Home” by Kelly Leffel

in the solitude of afternoon

rays of sun whisper

through the evergreens

one hand behind my neck

the other holding a dandelion

heat seeping

into my young skin

as I lay on the soft, cool grass

classical melodies

radiate inside my home

harmony searching

I stay where I am

over there, beyond the green

fullness, we dream

some say this afternoon

will fade.

but their eyes

have not seen the sun

from where I lay

Part One of Three: Appearance

Before I begin, here’s a small disclaimer: some women out there reading this might be taken aback, or insulted by my next few blog entries. Sorry if it rubs you the wrong way. I believe we all have convictions, and any one conviction can offend dozens of people. Its what keeps life interesting, and keeps us all growing in knowledge and insight. This topic isn’t meant to offend; I merely want to open up the discussion. And yes, this is the first of a handful of entries. First topic… fashion and makeup.

I guess the foundation of my whole argument in regard to appearance stems back to humans in the second purest state next to Adam & Eve… infancy. Delicate, angelic, beautiful. As we age, this perfection fades gradually. The bumps and bruises of life, and the natural aging process, lead us to the age of 20 or 30 when we notice our first wrinkle. But the consumption of appearance happens much before then. For me, it happened at the age of 11 when a close friend told me I had a big butt. I don’t remember feeling hurt by it, because she had no butt at all. Yet, despite my knowledge that we were built differently, I began the process of comparing myself to others.

Here I am, at the young age of 30, baffled by appearance and expectations of beauty. I told a friend this about myself the other day: “Think about it. I am unhappy with my imperfect skin, therefore I buy foundation to cover it up. Foundation, in any form, makes me break out. Therefore, I continue wearing foundation out of necessity. Additionally, I have begun to feel “nude” without eye makeup. Why? Because most women wear eye makeup to make their eyes pop and sparkle. So, if I don’t wear makeup, I will always think I look like I just rolled out of bed. I MUST wear eye makeup to avoid this feeling.”

Imagine this: what if women as a whole simply all decided to stop wearing makeup? I’d stop having to compare myself to women who I believe to have flawless, even skin. I’d stop comparing myself to women whose eyes are stunning and brilliant because they meticulously selected and applied the perfect shade and amount of makeup to their eyelids and lashes. I’d stop telling God, “I know you created me in your image, but I like MY way better.”

I move on to my next point. MEN. I truly believe women are entirely wrong in their philosophy that men like all this makeup and jewelry in which we adorn ourselves. I sincerely believe men most admire women who 1) shower, 2) smile, and 3) are comfortable in their clothing. Aside from that, I’m not sure if their brain processing goes much further.

In a pre-marriage quiz at one of my bridal showers, Aaron had been asked a few questions ahead of time. One question was this: “What is Kelly most sexy in?” At my shower, I was supposed to answer what I thought was true. When the ladies asked me the question, I simply said this: “t-shirt and jeans”. I was right, and oh yes, I know my husband well. As much as I wanted him to answer something much more exciting, I knew the truth.

A friend of mine responded to my previous question on Facebook about appearance, faith, expectations, and who we should be looking to for admiration. Beyond what God looks for in us, and what our husband desires, do we need to look further? Here is my favorite point from her response: “Colored jeans are making a comeback. Many of us women will want some and that’s great! If we have the money and our husbands dig them I say we go for it! But let’s say our husband thinks they are butt ugly. Then we should not wear them. I know we may think we look cute and so will all our friends but our friends and ourselves are not who we should be aiming to please.”

I can back her up on that topic. I just started to wear foundation again after a LONG hiatus, and I’m not really sure why. I asked Aaron if he liked it, since I was pretty happy with the outcome. Aaron’s response, “Actually, when I kissed you earlier all I could see was makeup.” (which basically meant, “I think it looks unnatural and I prefer you without it.”) I have to tell you in all truth, I LOVE my husband’s honesty! And yes, I stopped wearing it.

What can we conclude from this? Well for starters, I want to plead to those who read my blog to start enjoying yourself as God made you. That’s all I have for now… but this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

Being Mary.

I spent this past weekend with 40 incredible women at a peaceful conference center in the middle of trees and moss, and plenty of rain. The theme for the retreat revolved around the story of Mary and Martha.

For those of you who don’t know these women, they lived during the time Jesus was on earth. In one particular story in the Bible, Mary is sitting and resting at Jesus’ feet, enjoying His presence and taking joy in spending time with Him. In a huff, Martha — who has been cleaning and preparing her home and food for Jesus all day — comes over to them and complains about how lazy Mary is being and asks Jesus to tell her to help. To this, Jesus replies, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

At the retreat, we studied personality types, and how similar or dissimilar they are to these two women. We took a look at our own tendencies, and what that means about 1) how we were designed, and 2) how that means we relate with God.

I’ve always known who I was in this story; but I think a lot of people who think they know me, have me pegged entirely wrong. If you look at my life, my organization in my job, all my commitments and activities… you’d think I was Martha. The truth, however, is quite the opposite… I am Mary, but due to my life circumstances, I live a Martha life. And while in personality I am outgoing, assertive, creative, and independent… my life desire is to be QUIET and rest in His presence. I constantly have to fight the tendency to drop everything. No matter how important my commitments are, I want to so readily drop them to spend time with friends, to sprawl out and listen to music, to just sit and ponder life.

I think both women were created specially and designed perfectly because God made them that way. I think we are strong where we’re meant to be; and where we lack, well… God makes up for that. In my case, I lack the natural ability to want to do ANYTHING. (Yes, really.) But in a life where I must work, and must discipline and chase and love my kids constantly, God gives me the ability to work, to focus, to organize.

I think what I came away with most this weekend was this: despite my life circumstances, I need to find the time to lay low, quiet my heart, and do what comes naturally. If I can get those times in my week or in my day, the “real me” can learn to co-exist with the me I have to be at this phase in life. 😉