Thursday, August 29, 2013

She Was Jesus to me. Sitting on a Picnic Bench.

I am so excited and so honored to be published at Prodigal Magazine. You can read my story here.

I won't be posting on Linden Tree as much as I had hoped to while on vacation. I left my laptop on the plane and it is happily on it's way to Honolulu. Hopefully an honest person will find it and turn it in, but until then I am stuck borrowing a few minutes here and there on other people's computers. I'm trying so hard to have a positive attitude about this and not let it put a damper on my trip to Minnesota. Ta!

Friday, August 23, 2013


After a long talk with my friend, Amanda on body image and all that surrounds that topic I decided to write my thoughts on it. I'm not really sure where these posts are headed. I'm just kind of going for it and writing down stories from my life that have impacted me among other thoughts. I guess I'm really just trying to sort it all out for my own sake. So here it goes.....


Do you remember the first time that you felt self-conscious of yourself? That you weren't measuring up to societies standards of beauty? Was it a commercial or magazine ad or something someone said to you?

I was always a sneaky kid. I used to crawl from my bedroom to underneath the couch where I would watch the movies that my parents had rented. I saw Black Hawk Down and Schindler's List at a ridiculously young age.....Shame on me!

I also would sneak from my room to the bathroom where I could listen in on my parent's conversations through our thin walls. And it was on such an occasion that I heard my Dad call my fat.

My Dad used to pull up to the window at the McDonald's drive-thru and say (so as everyone could hear), "See girls, you need to work hard so you don't end up with a job like this." And, then he would make a comment about their weight and how it was holding them back in life. He didn't like some of my Mom's friends because they were slightly overweight. He didn't let my Mom buy butter because it would make us fat. My Dad spent more time in his gym than he did with us. He couldn't stand overweight people. A person’s size measured a person’s worth.

I must have been eight or nine when I overheard my Dad that night. A friend from church had given us candy, and Mom had stored it in a bowl in our broken microwave that we used as a cabinet. My Dad was getting on my Mom's case again about the food we eat. He said that it was disgusting how much sweets we had in the house. I heard him shuffling around and pulling the candy out from the microwave and the tasty-cakes out from the snack cabinet probably to throw them away to make his point. And, then he said something that landed on me like a ton of bricks, "You know Lyndsay eats a lot. She's getting pretty chunky."

I gasped and a sob caught in my throat. Because being called chunky by him didn't just mean that I needed to lose a few pounds, it meant that I was dumb and worthless and ugly. It meant that I couldn't hope for anything more than a life at the drive-thru window making minimum wage as people like my father would drive up and use me as an object lesson for their kids on how to fail at life.

I was in such shock that he would say that about me that I ran from my hiding place in the bathroom to the hallway where he could see me. My moppy blonde hair all tossled from sleep, my flannel jammies hanging limply on my frail little body, and tears pouring down my cheeks. And, there he sat in his chair, ironically, with a bowl of ice cream in his lap.

My Mom was horrified that I had heard it and held me as I sobbed in her arms. My Dad wouldn't look me in the eyes. He did apologize to me, but only because my Mom made him. And, really it was only an apology for being caught. It was an apology that I was so sensitive and emotional. He never took blame for anything he did. If and when he did apologize it was only to highlight how weak I was. He would tell me that I needed to toughen up and not get so hurt when he treated me like that. In the end, the blame fell to my shoulders. And, so he said "sorry" that night but he didn't reassure me or tell me that he was wrong and that I was beautiful and healthy the way that I was. And, I went to bed that night feeling fat and ugly and worthless.

I hate that this feeling still lingers over ten years later. I wish that I wasn't affected by it, but I was and am. The next morning I lingered in front of the mirror. Before then I was just a little girl who would brush her teeth and hair as quickly as she could in the morning so she could off and play with sisters in the back yard. But, on this morning I stood and stared at myself and turned and stared some more. And all I saw where imperfections and flaws.

Here is a picture of me taken around the time that this
 story happened. As you can see, I was anything but fat.
 Looking back, I don't even understand how
 he could have said or thought that about me.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Life is Busy

Hi guys! I have a couple posts ready, but won't be able to publish them until the weekend. I'm staying with a friend who had surgery. She is a single mom with two boys. I'll be playing "mommy" while she recovers and so I won't have much time on the internet. So, I'll see you back here in a few days! Also, I will be out of town from next Wednesday to the following Wednesday. I'm going to Minnesota again!!! Ahhhh! So excited. Can't wait to read to the littles, pinch chubby baby cheeks, play board games, drink copious dregs of tea, and stay up chatting and laughing and acting dumb until 3 in the morning. :) I will most likely post pictures here, but probably won't have time to write.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I am not a classy granola lady in pearls.

As I was pouring myself a cup of coffee last Friday morning I heard one of my coworkers say in her lovely jamaican accent, "Lyndsay! You look so hippie. And, like a classy sort of June Cleaver." Yes! I finally am the 1950's, chic, granola lady fashionista I have always strived to be. I turned around to say "Thank you" only to find her hands outstretched about two feet apart from eachother. Oh! You mean that kind of "hippie". Not "hippie", but "hippy". I am fully aware of my "hippy-ness". Thanks for the very visual reminder. I don't know why she pointed out my childbearing hips, but for my own sake I'm going to pretend that she meant it as a compliment.


Someday I (Lord willing) will be a Mom. That excites me and terrifies me at the same time. I want daughters very much, but the thought of raising young women in today's world scares the what-what out of me. I've been thinking about this over the past few weeks. And yesterday it occured to me that it is near impossible to expect to raise confident, modest, girls with a healthy and sure body image when I am none of those things myself. I'm the girl who cringed and felt naked and exposed when I wore bermuda shorts for the first time last year. How can I hope to have strong and confidently beautiful daughters when I am incapable of modeling that to them? I think that I need to do an overhaul on myself. And, so I will be blogging on the subject of body image over the next few weeks as I try to sort through the things that were instilled in me through out my life whether it be by society, the world, the church, family, or the unspoken assumptions I made.


When my coworker told me how "hippy" I looked, I smiled to her face and then quickly rushed to the bathroom where I stood on my tippy toes and twisted around so I could get a good look at my waist from every angle. And, I thought about what she said for the rest of the day. I couldn't wait to get home from work so I could change out of that embarassing pair of slacks into something that hid my figure a little better. I think it was as I was craning my neck to see my backside when I realized just how ridiculous this was and how badly I need to readjust my perspective.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pinterest Friday (Oh, Puh-lease!)

Hi friends! One of my greatest pet peeves is something that I am bombarded with daily on Pinterest: Food Art.

I admit that it takes a great deal of talent to carve the face of an Indian man into the rind of a watermelon or to make a horrifyingly realistic man face veggie tray, but I ask you...."What is the point?" I don't want my food staring at me. Do you? It is for this very reason that I go to the supermarket and buy already de-boned, cut up, disguised chicken that in no way resembles it's truest of farm animal forms. That is why I don't gather eggs under the rumpus of mother hens for my morning breakfast. No. I purchase them in a nice carton of twelve and go about my day. So, why I ask would you take a perfectly good piece of fruit and make it into something creepy? It's fruit. It is of the purest origin. Nothing about fruit is gross, and yet you make it gross by forming it into Chief Bear Moon River and Ken Barbie Doll's face.

I am not against all food art. For, wait. That's right. I do hate all food art. There is no exception.


I don't understand the logic behind my disapproval of food art save that it is totally unnatural. Some forms are worse than others. If it doesn't make me dry heave then it has been left out of today's post. If it does make me dry heave, then it has been included so you can join me in utter revulsion:

You guys do realize that you are serving a baby for everyone to eat, right? You literally are carving a melon into a baby shape and then eating it. At a shower. That's sick.

 I don't even know what to say about this. Firstly, it only has two legs. Secondly, it's a pile of rice with raisins. That is not real food. Thirdly, Why can't you just eat a bowl full of rice with raisins on the side? Why must it look like a lumpy, lanky, lamb?

 Awwww. It's a rice ball Pikachu with a pink cheese flowers, fruit rollup cheeks, spam balls, and kale salad for added nutrition. Yummy!


 Enough with the rice, people! It's blue and there's an egg yolk and algae and mushroom geese! Ugghh!

 Leather omelets are the new "Snuggie".

I realize that this may not necessarily qualify as "food art", but I think it deserves mentioning here. I am all for disguising vegetables into fun foods to get your kids to eat healthier. But, why would you go through so much trouble to feed them the ultimate nutritonless meal? It's boiled processed pig and other misc. meats with noodle worms. That is vile.

And, this of course was my favorite:

The meat caste served on a Rubbermaid bin lid. As someone who is ever teetering on the edge of vegetarianism, I can say that this may be the most convincing case to spare the lives of animals and stick with tofu that I ever did see. Somebody spent a lot of time building that meat castle, and I doubt that it was in a refrigerated room or that it could fit into a refrigerator. I'll betcha that the cheese is sweating and the flies are buzzing around the turrets right about now.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Imaginary Dinner Party

Let's play a game! I'm planning an imaginary dinner party where I get to invite all of the woman that I look up to and admire. There are no rules since this game is completely in my head and so that means that any and all are welcome...they can be real or fictional or even dead. No. Rules.

1.) Florence Nightingale. She was my hero as a little girl. I loved that she cared more about her convictions and the strong desire placed on her heart over conforming to what society, class, and family expected of her. She was a brave, gentle servant.

2.) Julia Child (of course). She is precious and hilarious. She taught me to be fearless in the kitchen and trust my instincts. She taught me that less is more and to cook with my heart.

3.) Glennon Doyle Melton. She taught me that I don't have to agree with someone to love them. That we are all different and unique, but equally important. She taught me about being brave and kind and gentle. She is the reason that I write.

4.) Kate Conner. I want to be her. I could go on and on about how much I love her, but that would take forever and might be a little weird. The thing that I love most about her is that she knows that she matters. She is beautiful model of what Biblical feminism and femininity looks like.

5.) Heather Kopp. I. Can't. Even.... She's just so wonderful. Because she is messed up and broken and loves Jesus so so much. I hope that can write as beautifully as she does someday.

6.) Ellen DeGeneres. She is just so awesome and funny and kind. I have to meet her.

7.) Lily Potter. I need to thank her for teaching me so much about love.

8.) Lucy Pevensie. I want her to tell me just what Aslan is like.

9.) And lastly, Charlotte & Fern. They taught me about friendship and loyalty and living a simple life fully.

No, that's a cozy little party! We'll all laugh and talk and share and it will be wonderful.

How about you? Who would you invite?


I feel bad that I haven't been paying much attention to my blog of late. It's summertime and it seems that a lot of bloggers have been taking breaks from the internet. It's quiet out here in cyberspace and I think it gave me permission to take a little break for a while myself. I've been writing just as much as ever, but not here. My posts on the Linden Tree have been rather sporadic, but hopefully I will be able to tidy up the many half posts I have saved to my drafts and publish them soon.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


The sun finally came out after weeks of rain and moody skies. I went to the waterpark with these peeps. There is no way that I would have rather spent my day. I'm absolutely in love with them.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Humility & Confidence

"Lyndz, when you get back from break please come see me in my office."

That simple sentence threw me into a panic. When it comes to work, I always think "worst case scenario". I blow everything out of proportion because I must succeed at my job. If I don't rock it in every area then I am a failure.
Plain and simple.
A simple correction is heard as "You better be careful. You are walking on thin ice.".
And, so the request to go to my boss's office sent me to the bathroom stall in a full blown panic attack asking myself the most ridiculous and unwarranted questions.

Oh, my gosh! I'm getting fired. What am I going to do? This is so humiliating. What did I do wrong? I work so hard. How could this happen?

 I watched a Ted Talk recently about body language. Apparently adjusting your posture has the ability to raise your self-confidence. I needed more confidence and so I raised my eyes and lifted my arms as she had suggested. As I cleared my mind and tried to regain control of my breathing I was struck at how oddly similar this pose of confidence is to one of humble surrender. How many times have I thrown my hands up as I have prayed, giving it all to God because I have come to the end of myself?

Outstretched and open arms are a sign of both letting go and of receiving.

 Maybe our confidence is built when we raise our hands because as we do so we are simultaneously saying that we can't do it all and that we need help.

Maybe our confidence is grown because we are finally admitting to ourselves that we aren't perfect, but that we are enough.

Maybe humility and surrender go hand in hand with confidence because although we fail and falter on our own... when we give it to God and trust him, we can have full and assured confidence that he will be our strength and our refuge.

But, aren't humility and confidence at odds with one another? How does one reconcile these two things? Tim Keller's words came to mind:

"The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility & deep confidence at the same time."

Of course, it all must come back to the Gospel.

I am flawed...Jesus died.
I am loved...Jesus died.

It was with these comforting words and thoughts that I was able to dry my eyes and calm my breath and racing heart. I walked into her office with a confident smile knowing that even if I was terminated it would be more than fine. "Fired" doesn't equal "failure" because my identity and my confidence are not found in my job. My job is momentary in the grand scheme of eternity. Rather, my confidence is found in a Saviour who cherishes me. It's an everlasting, never failing, never gives up, always and forever love. That is something to be boldly confident in.

No, I was not fired. I got a raise. Lesson number two: Get over yourself, Lyndsay.

Friday, August 2, 2013

If I Have Not Love...

Mom and younger sisters have been out of town. Somehow I got the idea that this would mean hours of rest and relaxation with my older sister in a quiet house. What it actually means is staying up until midnight every night to wash and scrub and cook and clean because you no longer have your little minions...I mean sisters to help you. I have been quoting "Cinderella" in my head all week.

  "And don't forget the garden. Then scrub the terrace, sweep the halls and the stairs, clean the chimneys. And of course there's the mending, and the sewing, and the laundry... "

  I had a funny Pinterest post for today, but alas! My computer is wackadoodle and the post has vanished. Oh well. I'll hopefully be able to re-compose it for next week.



A friend wrote her own version of 1 Corinthians 13 and posted it on Facebook encouraging others to do the same and fill in the blanks with their own personal struggles.

"If I have a perfectly organized schedule and always arrive on time, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I am the most practical and grounded, and always make the "smart" and "right" choices, and if I have all my crap together so that people think I am so "with it", but have not love, I am nothing. If I do, do, do until I crash and burn, and if I wake up early and stay up late to accomplish everything, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for calendars and routines, they will pass away; as for facades, they will cease; as for competing, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

I needed to write this today. I needed to read this chapter again and again. I have a big problem with ego. I have many insecurities about myself and so I hold on for dear life to the things that I am good at. I worship my qualities and hoard them and fuel them and present them as the pinnacle of worth and value. I am organized. Therefore, ye all must be at the same level of "orderly" that I am at. I can balance a thousand different things at once and get them all done AND on time. Therefore, ye all must be able to accomplish everything you set out to do in a timely manner. If you don't then I say "tisk tisk" with a disapproving look. And by "you", I mean my older sister.
We are such opposites and tend to butt heads every time some task needs to be done. We spent the week alone in a house together and many things needed to be done. I had a plan, and that plan was not upheld as law and that pissed me off.
I had a difficult time being patient and kind when she kept ignoring my suggestions. I boasted under my breath of all the ways that my plan was better than her plan (did she even have a plan?). I was arrogant and rude as I huffed and puffed and did everything on my own just to prove a point. I insisted on my own way and when it things didn't go according to my plan I was irritated and resentful.
Since I worship order, the fact that she leaves dirty dishes in the sink and can't complete a chore without checking her Facebook at least five times just drives me to the brink of insanity.
I am right. Period.
I have to be right. Period.
My way is best. Period.
I'm in a sticky place right now. Ego is getting in the way of love. My personal preferences trump love. Proving my "rightness" is far more important to me than loving her. It's not good. We need to find a meeting place where we can both be our Type-A-Git-Er-Done and Super-Relaxed-Chill selves, but be able set aside our preferences for the sake of loving each other. I need to not want to stab her in the eyeball with the dirty fork I found in the sink and she needs to understand that "order" means "calm" and "peace" to me. A loving compromise.
I see that. I get that. I know that is what needs to be done. Reading this chapter and filling it in with my struggles made me realize how deficient I am in love, and how important love is. It reminded me that I can be the best at everything that matters to me but that it is all worthless and ugly if not done in the name of love.