Sunday, August 10, 2008


First I want to say congrats to my dear friend Dr. Brown. I was honored to attend her Texas Tech graduation this weekend and see her receive her PHD in Education. I am SO proud of her! She's been working on this for so long, and I just can't believe it's done at the young age of 29! Kudos to you!!! :)

I recommend you all going to read Dr. Brown's blog. There are two blogs posts in reference to labels and feminism. It shouldn't be much of a surprise as to who it was that called me a feminist. I've been thinking about this topic more. It has struck a nerve with me. Not a bad nerve, a good one in fact. It's made me think a lot, and so much of it is relevant in my life right now. I started thinking about being a woman and what that meant for me.

To me being a woman means:

-being completely girly
-being able to rough house
-dreams of playing in the WNFL...even if I'm 40. :)
-being a mother
-being comfortable with myself physically, sexually, emotionally, spiritually...any other lly words there are
-loving myself despite my flaws
-liking myself
-being able to express myself
-being able to change my mind
-loving the color pink
-loving chocolate
-having a girly living room
-loving make-up
-doing what I want
-respecting men
-respecting women
-above all loving Christ and desperately wanting to be a godly woman

Okay, so this is the VERY short list...but I think you get the point. Right now for me, me being me...which I am a woman, encompasses me being comfortable with me and my decisions. It's not just about me standing up for myself, but me liking the person that God has made me and continues to make me.

I firmly believe that everything that has happened to me all makes up a picture of what God wants for me. Have I gone through some pain to get there? Most definitely. Have I made some some bad decisions? No doubt. Have I stuck my foot in my mouth? More times than I can count. But I'm not living my life for anyone else but me. Yes, first and foremost I want to live my life for Christ, but what I mean is that no man, woman, friend, or family member has to live my life, but me. Are they affected by my life? Yes. They see me happy, sad, confused, frustrated, elated, name it. But in the end, it is my life.

My whole life I have been a people pleaser. I have wanted to make everyone happy. But can you make everyone happy? No. There will always be someone who is hurt, mad, disagrees. You may even lose people you love over it. But if you are living the way you feel is best and what God wants for you...then does it matter? I found a quote by Dr. Seuss that simply put, explains it all:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

That's the absolute truth to me. I am labeled and judged for my decisions, actions, thoughts, and desires. I am judged because I choose to attend a Church of Christ. You might think that I think you're going to hell because you don't attend the same church as me. You might judge me because I'm a single mom and am divorced. You might judge me because I don't stay home with my children. You might judge me because I have decided that I would like to get my nose pierced, but won't because I'm not ready to explain that to my 6 year old...or boss. You might judge me because I have two tattoos. You might judge me because I want a boob job. You might judge me because I go to counseling...or might think I might need it, b/c of everything I've You might judge me, because I got kicked out of LCU for not going to chapel. You might judge me for a LOT of things I did while at You might judge me because of the things I say on my blog.

Then again, you might you might judge me because I've tried hard to be a good mom. I tried hard to be a good wife, friend, sister, daughter, cousin...etc, etc. I've tried to make good decisions. You might judge me because of all I've overcome and continue to face. You might judge me for deciding to go back to work when I felt the time was right for my family. You might judge me for a lot, that maybe I don't know or recognize about myself.

Judging doesn't always have to be negative. I think it just seems that way. And I do it everyday. I label others. I am one of the worst. People judge all the the time.

People are going to continue to judge me. I feel like sometimes my life is lived under scrutiny for what I do and don't do. This may seem silly, but sometimes I feel like people are just waiting for me to fall off the deep end. You know the conversation would go something like this, "Hey did you hear what Larissa did? Yeah, I knew it would happen eventually." That may seem pessimistic...but sometimes as people I think we almost expect the worst.

Why not see and expect the best? Why not believe that each and every event in this life, those good and bad, are making us who God wants us to be. Why not believe that the pain has purpose? Why not thank God for every moment we have, and not worry about the rest?

I can honestly say that EACH and EVERY moment in the last 6 months (I say 6 months, b/c as I've explained before I'm a 6 months kind of girl) has pushed me to be where I'm at. There is so much that has gone on in my personal life that I haven't mentioned, and what has taken place doesn't matter. The point being that as Dr. Brown said, "My ideas, beliefs, and attitudes are not all the same today as they were yesterday or as they will be tomorrow. I find that comforting and exciting." There is true excitement in that for me. And that for me is the biggest lesson I have learned of all. Live your life, make your decisions, and be confident in those decisions. Be confident in the person and WOMAN, God has made you to be. Even if people don't agree with who that woman is.

In other words, "Nobody puts baby in the corner." Dirty Dancing


Blogger Jenny said...

I love blogging, I know I don't post much. I promise there isn't much to report. However, I feel like we get to stay in each other's lives even though we live far apart.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Dr. Brown said...

Thank you for coming to my graduation! It was fun having you there. I am so proud that I can count you as one of my friends. You may not have a piece of paper or a three-hour ceremony, but you have learned more and accomplished more in the last two years than anyone I know. So, congratulations to YOU!

5:49 PM  
Blogger Dr. Brown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Chrissy Cross said...

"Do not judge....For the standard you judge others by, will be the same standard they use to judge you." (this is my own translation) :) I think that all Christian's have been given such a measure of grace that judging should be left to God. Which one of us can say that our sins are any better than anyone else's. Last time I checked everyone makes mistakes, and praise God, that is how we grow. I have been a judger and a victim of wrongful judgment in the past. And from experience, I would like to say that Tupac was right when he said, "Only God can judge me." :)

9:31 PM  
Blogger suzanne said...

1. I would never judge you for getting kicked out of LCU for chapel...I love that and still laugh.
2. Only you would have a friend that refers to TuPac on your blog..Chrissy is hilarious.
3. AWESOME blog. I love that side of you and want to see it more often.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Happy Mama said...

Love this blog! I think when we bare our souls and realize we all have stuff in our lives and in our past, it opens the door to that freedom you are talking about. Thank goodness we serve a God who is bigger than all our sins and pain and He can use any and every circumstance for His glory. I admire your strength and I know where it comes from- thank you for always making me think. No corners for you girl!

1:18 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Larissa - your blog post are always awesome. You amaze me!

9:28 AM  

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