Music Mondays: Gold

goldBritt Nicole – Gold

(Listen on Spotify or Youtube)

You were walking on the moon, now you’re feeling low
What they said wasn’t true, you’re beautiful
Sticks and stones break your bones, I know what you’re feelin
Words like those won’t steal your glow, you’re one in a million
 
This, this is for all the girls, boys all over the world
Whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold
So hold your head up high, it’s your time to shine
From the inside out it shows, you’re worth more than gold
 
Well everybody keeps score, afraid you’re gonna lose
Just ignore. They don’t know the real you
All the rain in the sky can’t put out your fire
Of all the stars out tonight, you shine brighter
 
This, this is for all the girls, boys all over the world
Whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold
So hold your head up high, it’s your time to shine
From the inside out it shows, you’re worth more than gold
 
So don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not loved
And don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not enough
Yeah there are days that we all feel like we’re messed up
But the truth is that we’re all diamonds in the rough
So don’t be ashamed to wear your crown
You’re a king you’re a queen inside and out
You glow like the moon, you shine like the stars
This is for you, wherever you are
 
This, this is for all the girls, boys all over the world
Whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold
So hold your head up high, It’s your time to shine
From the inside out it shows, you’re worth more than gold
 
So don’t be ashamed to wear your crown
You’re a king you’re a queen inside and out 

 I recently heard Britt Nicole on the radio telling the story behind the birth of this song. She tells how she woke up one morning feeling defeated, beating herself up, and just plain down. She pulled her Bible into her lap and prayed, “God, what do you think of me?”

She read in Psalm 8 how God created us a little lower than the angels and crowns us with glory, and in I Peter 2, we are called a royal priesthood. How exciting that we are royalty, that we are right up there with the angels!

As I listened to her story, I thought about all the negative voices that tell us just how worthless, ugly, and insignificant we are… past abusers, current abusers, bullies, culture, magazines, TV… sometimes, even our own voice lashes out against us.

But we are His. We are loved. He has made us royalty and crowns us with glory. What a tragedy to throw this gift on the ground in disdain. No matter what any of the voices tell us, we need to hold our heads high and wear our crowns with confidence.

 

*Britt Nicole’s website can be found here. However, it is download heavy and may crash your browser session.

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In the conservative circle in which I grew up, contemporary Christian music was not allowed. After marrying, I began to listen to a CCM radio station. Much of my spiritual growth since then can be attributed to the many CCM artists and the songs they write. There is truth in those words and power in their music.

If music means as much to you as it does to me, you might want to check out Spotify. This music program allows you to search for particular songs and save them to playlists, allowing you to listen to your music whenever you wish. Best yet, it’s free. (It will require you to download their music program to your computer, but I promise it will not download any junk.) You can find all the songs highlighted in Music Mondays at the Recovered Identity Spotify playlist.

photo credit

Why I Stopped Trying to Lose Weight

me2The American culture is obsessed with weight. Celebrities are harassed when they drop a few pounds below the optimum weight and publicized and made fun of when their weight rises above the perfect skinny.

I was standing in the grocery line the other day when a magazine cover caught my eye. It had pictures of mystery celebrities… “Guess whose thighs are dimpled with cellulite. Which movie star has pudge rolling over her bikini?”

But here’s the thing… those women (whom they were, by implication, calling fat and ugly) were probably at least 50 pounds lighter than I. Their cute cellulite make mine look like a freak disease. Their smooth bellies may roll by half a centimeter over their bikini bottoms, but hey! they are wearing a bikini and rocking it.

If these poor women are being ridiculed for their slight “imperfections”, what would these magazine editors say about me? I can only imagine. I’ve spent my entire post-birth days trying to lose weight. That’s eight years! Sometimes, weight would come off easily with a little work. But after the last baby three years ago, it doesn’t budge. But eight years is a lot of time spent trying to look good.

You see, if I say to myself that I want to lose weight to look better, then I am by default telling myself that I am fat and ugly. I just am. And with all the trying, I’m not getting results. Therefore, I’m constantly feeling fat and ugly AND like an inconsistent failure.

Sure, I could go all crazy and do the fanatic thing… you know, go on a super strict diet of only veggies and become a gym addict. But that’s not the life I want. I don’t want to be ruled by a desire to be skinny. It’s also not the kind of life my husband wants me to live.

So, I’m ready to say “the heck with it” because ultimately, I don’t want to lose weight. What I really want is to just be ok with who I am inside and out. I want to see myself as beautiful and attractive, no matter what my weight is. I want to be confident in myself in any stage of life and health.

So I set aside the goal to lose weight so that I can focus on changing my thinking. I still plan to maintain my exercise routine. I don’t plan to go hog wild with junk food. I’m just not going to stress the weight. Instead, I want to learn to love myself now, at my heaviest, so that when I do lose weight, it’s not any different than showering or brushing my teeth. It’s just caring for the beautiful body I already have.

You’re Already Beautiful

Margaret

She was just a little old lady… gray haired, wrinkled, and shaky… but she changed my life that day. We only talked for about 30 minutes, but her words and her spirit spoke years of wisdom to my heart.

It was a hot day in June, three years ago. I was sitting at my favorite sub shop, sipping Dr. Pepper, munching on a Roast Beef and Muenster, streaming music through my ear buds, and punching out words on my laptop. I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up, pulled out my ear buds, and smiled at the old woman standing at my side.

“May I sit with you?” she asked.

“Um. Sure.” It seemed like a strange request to me, seeing that there were at least 15 other tables that were perfectly clean and available. I closed up my laptop and cleared my trash out of her way.

“I’m Margaret.” She stated as she sat down across from me.

I smiled again. “I’m Elyssa.”

She reached across the table and patted my hand. “I hope you don’t mind me interrupting your study time. I’m getting old. All my siblings and friends are gone. I get lonely sometimes. I have to find new friends to keep me company.”

I awkwardly pulled my hand out from hers and gave her hand a pat or two. “Oh. I don’t mind at all. I wasn’t studying… just doing a little free time writing just for the fun of it. Nothing important.”

“Oh, anything you do just for fun is important. It’s part of who you are. And being you is the most important accomplishment.” She unwrapped her sandwich and continued to chat, talking about her children, her deceased husband, her accomplishments in life, her joys and her trials. She talked as if we were long lost friends.

I laughed with her and cried with her. I soaked in her every word. She was life as it was meant to be lived… holding nothing back.

“Oh Honey,” she sighed. “You’re probably bored stiff listening to an old lady jabbering on about her puny memories.”

I gave her a genuine reassuring smile. “Quite the contrary. I’ve enjoyed every moment. I think the older generation is a treasure. They’re like walking, breathing novels just waiting to be read… full of wisdom and experience.”

Once again, she reached across the table and laid her hand on mine. “Then hear this, dear. I noticed you studied each woman who has walked in here. You rated them as if you were a judge at a beauty pageant. If they were fatter and uglier than you, relief was written all over your face. If you deemed them equal to you, you would smile, happy that you had company in your misery. If you deemed them skinnier or better looking than you, you’d sigh with longing.”

I blushed and wondered what she was getting at.

She looked me straight in the eye. “Sweetheart, do you want to be beautiful?”

I hesitated. “Y-yes.”

“What would you do if you were beautiful?” she questioned.

I thought for a minute, and then answered, “I’d act like it. I’d walk like I was beautiful. I’d dress like I was beautiful. I’d care for my body like I was beautiful. I’d live a life that was beautiful.” I wasn’t sure where those words came from… maybe from something deep down inside me that I never realized existed.

She squeezed my hand tightly. “Honey, you’re already beautiful. The world’s just waiting for you to act like it.”

She gathered her trash, tossed it in the bin, and walked out the door. I’ve never seen her again, but I hear her words every morning as I look in the mirror.

Since that day, I’ve dressed like I’m beautiful, walked like I’m beautiful, and lived like I’m beautiful. And because I’m beautiful, I’ve made beautiful choices. Choices that have changed my health, my relationships, and my outlook on life.

I don’t know if that dear lady is still alive, but I do know that no matter where she is, it’s beautiful there, and thanks to her words of wisdom, it’s beautiful everywhere I go.

 

Photo Credit

*While this story is in the first person, it is entirely fictional.