Longmire News

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More Beautiful You

Dear Lily and Evie,

I have a story to tell you guys.  Its a good one.  Its good because its one of those stories where the end is awesome.

This story is true and real.  Its a story about Jessi.

Your Daddy and I met Jessi and her now husband Ryan in our college years.  Although it took a while for us all to be close, the friendship bloomed over our time spent in school.  Ryan was a part of our wedding and Bob and I were blessed to be a part of theirs.

Jessi is a kindred spirit, and a woman of great courage and perseverance.  Her story is too powerful not to tell.  You see girls, Jessi has waged a harsh and bitter battle against anorexia and depression.  She has dealt first hand with the unachievable standard of physical perfection this world embraces and the crushing self loathing that comes when good is never good enough.

Her battle I am sure started innocently enough with the desire to be thin.  Our society embraces thin bodies as beautiful and we idolize them, how easy it is as a young woman trying to find acceptance to not embrace it too.  "If only I looked like that....."  Once it starts,  it can quickly begin to spiral out of control as you stop eating, start exercising and begin to chase a vision no woman was meant to be.  And let me tell you....for a while, it feels good. "Oh, you look so beautiful,  Oh you have such a tiny waist, You look amazing."

In a short amount of time your perspective of beauty begins to change and you become obsessed. Obsessed with your looks, your weight, your food, your size and yourself.  Nothing you are or do is ever good enough.  You begin a trajectory of self loathing which leads inevitably to depression.  Its dark.

Jessi is a woman who has walked to all of these dark places. She has lived in an emaciated body.  I can remember a few years ago spending time with her and literally seeing her waste away.  My heart hurt for her.

But Jessi is strong, she is brave.....and she has a wonderful support system.  Jessi knew she needed help and checked herself into an intensive program for eating disorders.  Today by the grace of God she is in recovery.  She has been through the battle and has emerged a victor.

But girls, many women aren't as victorious, and are not as brave as Jessi.  Their battle against this disease and the depression that comes with it has consumed them and many have lost their lives.

I share this powerful story with you because above all, I LOVE YOU.  More than that though is the desire to make sure you are reminded every day and in every way where your true beauty lies.  It lies in your heart, and out of a heart that loves Jesus. Be mindful of the world and the mis focused obsession with outward perfection.  The world will try in every way to lure you into it.  It is easy to become consumed by some version of unattainable "beauty." It will be hard, and it will take courage to stand against it and cling to the truth.  Your value does not lie in a size, a number or a body type.  Your value cannot be quantified or dictated by the world.  You are valuable because you are a child of God. You are valuable because you are you!

"There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops, 

they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you" 
~ Johnny Diaz (from the song More Beautiful You)

I Love You,

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Time to Reconnect

I love the verses in Ecclesiastes that talk about timing and seasons.  This fall has been a sweet time for our family.  Not only because Colorado is simply BEAUTIFUL this time of year, and cool, but because the Lord afforded us two special visits from friends we have not seen in a long, LONG time.  
Our first visit this month came in the form of our dear friends Jessi and Ryan.  These guys are college buddies of ours and although we live far and only see each other rarely, still have that awesome friendship that can practically pick up where we left off 2 years ago.  Its wonderful.  

Their time with us was far too short, but we got to spend a lovely afternoon with them and they were able to meet Evie and spend some time in the chaos of the Longmire family.  I had the real privilege of photographing them and we squeezed as much as we possibly could into their 8 hours with us.  I love that we have friends like this.  They are lifelong and I look forward to the next visit and hope against hope that it isn't 2 years!

Heather and Ryan Hickerson are another of those amazing lifelong friends that we had the blessing of seeing this month!  Ryan is one of Bob's best friends from his younger days.  When I met Bob, he had the most stories about him, Ryan and Ryan's brother Bryce.  Once I got the approval from these buddies, I knew I was a keeper for sure!  

We have stayed in touch with them, but personal time with them has been far, far, far too sparse.  They are such kindred spirits and sweet friends.

After we welcomed them, rather abruptly, into the craziness that is our life, they jumped right in.  Ryan is awesome with kids and he was quick to start monkeying around with our brood right off the bat.  Evie fell in love with Ryan and he quickly became her go to person.  Lily loved having another big guy to tickle her, throw her around and play gymnastics with.

We took them to Lily's favorite place, the museum, and enjoyed the discovery zone and checking out the new Whale exhibit.

Saturday was a true treat.  We took a long mountain drive over Squaw Pass, past Echo Lake and down into Idaho Springs.  We couldn't let them come to Colorado without having a Beau Jo's pizza experience.  The weather was glorious, the colors breathtaking and the company delightful.  Plus, 4 adults against 2 kids (one toddler that refused to sleep in the car.....oh yes, that is starting now) was a huge win.  We all took turns playing, walking and managing the fussy.

Colorado is so beautiful this time of year.  Idaho Springs is most definitely one of those places that will always have a special place in my heart.  I was so blessed to have a chance to get this little family picture.  It captures my family perfectly.  That ragamuffin in Bob's arms didn't want to look at the camera, which so efficiently captures our life.  This new independence thing is blowing her mind and she is stepping into it with abandon.

Our drive home knocked her out finally, and we enjoyed a wonderful evening of time with our buddies.  Sunday brought with it worship at our church's new Uptown Building and an afternoon of football.  The weekend was such a great time of conversation and fellowship.

Bob and I are truly blessed with friendships that span the many moves we have had and the places our lives have taken us.  I am grateful that the Lord gave us this time, however too short it was to reconnect with these special souls.