Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Girls


You'd have to know my background to know that "fitting in" has never been easy for me. I grew up in an ultra conservative, legalistic Baptist church. I wore split skirts (culottes - they looked like the gouchos we wear today, but much looser and uglier!) to my ankles and a dress for a bathing suit (made out of bathing suit material of course - whew! that thing was dangerous!). And through my entire college career, I wore a skirt every day. My mentor finally convinced me to wear jeans on the last Friday of my internship - I wore jean overalls two sizes too big.

The process of change has been a slow one for me. I was still wearing culottes when I met Corey, although, at that point they were only knee-length.:)

I've always found it frustrating that in conservative circles, most of the time, you'd never know the difference between the men in those circles compared to any other guy; but the woman... just 'cause God made our bodies beautiful and attractive to men means we have to dress frumpy??!!

Now, through most of my childhood, I didn't feel odd. I believed with all my heart that what we did, how we dressed, was the right way - what God wanted. I'm not even sure when I started feeling slightly uncomfortable and out of place. Perhaps it started in college, when I met one of my best friends, who was one of the strongest Christians I'd ever known...and completely "normal." She didn't have to dress weird to live out her faith.

Like I said, the change was VERY slow, VERY gradual for me. And even after I stopped wearing culottes, my jeans were huge, and I still had no style. Now, I may not be trendy, but I think I've finally acquired something close to style. :)

But, I think being a youth leader has been the most helpful, not in my changing, but in feeling like I belong; that I'm not an outsider anymore. As far as youth leaders go, there's only two females right now. So, the girls don't have a whole lot of choice in who they pick to hang out with, but without trying to sound conceited, I at some point became well liked among the girls. And being liked by a bunch of teenage girls has been a huge self-esteem booster for me! The age group that cares most about clothing and coolness and fitting in...and they like and hang out with me!

Phil (he's the guy that rooms with us) told me the other day that I must be pretty cool to get a group of girls to hang out with me on a Friday night. We spent last Friday eating and watching movies - well, I watched one movie and then went to bed; but they had fun without me. So maybe it's not that I'm so cool, but they just enjoy hanging out together...

Anyway, I doubt my girls have any idea how they've helped me- and as selfish as this may be, I'm truly grateful!

4 comments:

Baby Love said...

Hi, I am originally from Grayling, which is in the northern part of the lower peninsula. I grew up with Jennie L. , she was my best friend in middle school and high school.

When is your due date? During the last month I was busy with cleaning and organizing the house, so I guess it was the nesting instinct that was kicking in.

My best advice to you is to know your limits. You don't want to over exert yourself, because you will make yourself feel worse. I know that it's hard to ask for help or rely on others, but it's best for you and the baby.

You can email me at: rebecca.valencia07@gmail.com

jennie said...

That is so cool two of my old friends from different times and totally different areas, have connected.
By the way Keelie, if it's okay, let me know when your church does a shower for you. I would love to come.

Keelie said...

This is totally crazy! I was so excited about the contact and reading on Becky's blog last night and told Corey all about it. He wondered if Becky had found me through Toby's blog... Here, Jennie is the connection! Way cool! I'd love to e-mail!
Jennie, sorry I never got back to you on a Saturday that would work! But I think my calendar is looking pretty free right now, other than impending baby.
My due date is Sept. 25. I doubt I'm nesting...I'm just being me - I'm kind of a clean freak, although that has abated a good deal since I got married!:/
They're going to do a shower after the baby is born so everyone knows the gender. I'm all set with the big things - just mainly need clothes.
By the way Becky, I love that sling you have! I'm trying to figure out where to find one! My aunts used to make theirs, but I don't sew.
Anyway...

Baby Love said...

Hi Keelie, my mom made me a baby sling that is more comfortable for me. If you would like, you could have the pouch sling. I think it would serve you better, especially since Christopher is growing out of the pouch sling. It's easier when the baby is so little, but Christopher is turning into such a chunky-chunk!

Send me your email and regular address! I am at: rebecca.valencia07@gmail.com