Confession of a tattoo sleeved Mom

tattoo Mom, Peacock sleeve, tattoo

I confess that I was really afraid to become a sleeved Momma!

I would like to think that when you have your first child your identity of yourself transforms into one huge bubble that separates itself into two halves, the identity of yourself and the identity of their Mother.

Deciding on a tattoo sleeve took me a good two years. First I had to come up with a design , and second I had to really be for sure I really wanted to commit to permanent skin art for the rest of my life.

I remember all the areas of judgment I would struggle with every time I seriously thought about the consequences of my decision. My first initial struggle was what will my family think? I grew up in a small town in Texas where any tattoo any where was looked upon in a negative manner. I quickly put aside this fear. After all I was a grown woman! The Harsh judgments of other women, men, friends, people I knew, and strangers. I worried about my witness to others in my walk of faith. I read through my bible and discovered a few scriptures that gave me peace. I know in my heart that God doesn’t judge the outward appearance but the heart of a man/woman. I prayed about my wants and desires several times. I began to believe that if the art itself wasn’t leading someone to the evil dark side, then it would just be beautiful art on my body. Obviously being  mature in my faith and getting a pitchfork and the words “born to raise hell” tattooed on my body would definitely be a stumbling long block to a new believer. It would also go against every fiber of my character as a woman after God’s on heart. ❤

For me the most difficult struggle that seemed to be the hardest to just overcome was my children.
What would they think?
Would I be an embarrassment to them?
Would their friends parents misjudge me and then not allow their kids to hang out with mine?
This was a hard pill to swallow and I really tried to patiently deal and come to grips with all these insecurities I had about becoming a sleeved Mom.  (Now I do have to interject here that my husband has a sleeve on his right arm and has had it since our son was about 3 years old.)

More months went by and more time was spent on making a decision. I finally realized that I really did want this tattoo sleeve for me. I had my reasons and meaning behind the sleeve design, which is of a beautiful peacock. I knew I had to do this now or I would regret it later in life. So I talked it over with my children. I wanted to hear their thoughts and let them know that their opinions did mater to me. The decision was finally made and the first appointment was booked!

For me personally this sleeve represents the beauty of FREEDOM! More importantly for me, the freedom I receive in Christ by his abundant mercy, grace, and love. I am free to be me and you are free to be you. I also like to think of it as being an example to my children to be free and be strong, stand up for what you believe in, and just simply be who you are. Don’t settle, don’t mock, don’t be a copy, BE AN ORIGINAL!

It may not be as drastic as a huge tattoo for you, but whatever piece of you that is just screaming to come out of inside the MOM shell you hold together so well, embrace it and let it shine through the Mom shell. Trust me you are doing yourself, your children, your spouse no favor by holding back who you are in the other half of that identity bubble. You are cheating them out of a wonderful, creative, fun MOM and wife!! We are all way too harsh and critical of ourselves. We hide behind those FEARS of cruel and harsh judgments we think other woman are thinking about us. I bet you that there are a lot of women out there who hold back just because of these fears, which are just false evidence appearing real. Who cares anyways what others think?

What better day, then on Mother’s Day to reflect on your MOM bubble and figure out how to pop the line of separation of being you, and being their mom! BE you, Be BEAUTIFUL!

 

Peacock sleeve tattoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I did explain to my children after each ink session how much it hurts and that they really do not need to consider getting ink until they are almost 30 ;0) if that is something they choose to do!!!

Peacock sleeve

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
xOxO

LeighLeigh

 

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She doesn’t know why she doesn’t love herself

She is driving a minivan full of children to school, sorting laundry, filing reports behind a desk, listening to mindless chatter from her girlfriends, taking orders, reading food labels as she grocery shops. She is behind the voice you hear on the phone, she is in the cosmetics department glancing at all the beauty products on the shelf, reading all the promises the product will make her feel if she uses it. But, she is empty inside and she doesn’t know why? You see her everyday, you both make small talk and continue about your way. She has a dirty little secret, the same one a lot of us hide. She doesn’t really love herself and she doesn’t even know why.

Maybe it’s that she has always been told she has a wide bottom, her legs are too short, chest too flat, nose is too long, and that beauty mole that came from grandma does not make her feel beautiful at all. It has to be the dimples in her thunder thighs, her super stringy hair, acne on her checks, forehead wrinkles that are growing ever deeper. Surely she must know that this is all outward appearance stuff that pertains nothing to her heart, her soul!  But she hasn’t the faintest clue. That’s because she hasn’t discovered what true love really is.

Think of it like this. For me, growing up what my Mother said was pretty on me, I believed. She was my very first beauty and fashion expert. Even to this day as a 29 year old woman I still call my Mother and ask her what hair color looks best on me. Why do I do this? Because she is my Mom, the woman who nurtured and raised me, and the only one who will tell me the brutal truth when I ask of her opinion or advise without crushing my ego. Mother always knows best and I trust that she would never tell anything to make me, her baby girl, look or feel ugly!!

I truly believe this is how I should look to my heavenly father as well. If you think your Mother favors you, can you imagine how much God favors and adores you?! After all, He is my creator who knows me better then dear mom or myself. I know that he would never want me, his perfect creation, to feel ugly, unworthy, and unloved, just like my Mom.

1 John 4:19

“We love because he first loved us.”

God loved you so much that he gave his one and only son that whoever shall believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life. We also know that that there is no greater love then to lay down ones life for one’s friend. John 15:13 ( I know he calls me friend see John 15:15) Jesus came into the world to save his people who where separated from God because of their sin. He sacrificed his life for me. He died so that I may be forgiven of my sin, free from the slavery of my sin, and made me holy and righteous by his blood! He loved me before I was conceived in my mothers womb, and he will never stop loving me. His love never fails, it never gives up, and it never runs out on me. His mercy and grace are new to me every morning. He thinks I am precious in his sight, worth saving, worth dying for, worth rescuing, worth healing, worth forgiving on a second by second daily basis.

When I keep my eyes fixed upon him and his love for me, I can love myself. Why? Because I know he first loved me!

We gain confidence when we believe someone does love us and accepts us flaws and all, we can start to embrace that security and love and accept ourselves. We can do this with the power of the holy spirit’s help through our prayers. We can always ask God to let us see ourselves the way he sees us. We can ask for help with self control, you know one of the fruits of the spirit we have as believer in him. Start soul searching, praying, asking God to reveal how beautiful and perfect you are in his sight. Meditate on his words and scriptures about his love for you daily.  If  you are really struggling with inward or outward beauty right now, I urge you to write down on sticky notes these scriptures you find and post them on your bathroom mirror, or stuff them in your purse. Sometimes we just need to be reminded a little more then others! These words that you mediate on are called words of truth. God can not lie and he will not lie to you. Words of criticism and negativity are just whisper’s of Satan.

God loves you so much, he created the beautiful Woman you are inside and out. He loves you on your worst days, he loves you on your best days. He never stops loving us. Even on our ugliest days he is here patiently waiting for us to seek him for his love and assurance. I am sure the last thing he wants is to see you, his child, walking around not loving yourself so Knock it OFF!! 🙂

Love yourself because HE first loved you….and he still loves you!

She doesn’t know why she doesn’t love herself …………..because she doesn’t know how loved she is.

What are the lies that Satan whispers to you about yourself? What encourages you to love yourself more? Please share, I would love to know!

xOxO

Leigh Leigh

Body after baby…

Motherhood came quickly for me. I was 20 years old when I said, “I do” to my dear husband almost 9 years ago.  I became instamom and we became an instafamily. Being that young and entering into the whole momma role I decided I didn’t want to wait to have our children. I was 21 when we welcomed my now 7 year old son, and I was 24 when we welcomed my now 4 year old daughter.

In high school I could not gain weight to save my life. I was extremely skinny. Would I give anything now to have that metabolism. My husband says it all the time, “Youth is wasted on the young!” Ha Boy is he never lying. I never was one to work out or even consider myself a gym person. In high school I participated in the athletics program. So whatever the coaches had planned for our daily regimen, I did. That was the extent of my athleticism. Looking back now at old pictures, it’s hard to remember who I was back then. I had gained a lot of weight with each one of my babies. I was the nerd who believed you should eat for two and so I did. I went from 135-170lbs! Nursing them both always sucked the weight off very quickly after my pregnancies, but my body would never be the same in my eyes, and I became depressed.

Here is ME about to pop November 2009.

photo 1 (1) photo (4)

 

My dear husband joined a local gym when we moved and got settled into our new town. He worked out during both of my pregnancies. So as I got bigger, he got buffer! :0) I am not sure how exactly he talked me into going to the  gym with him, but he did. I started working out, (weight training) religiously after my baby girl turned 6 months old. I will most definitely blog about the benefits of working out with your spouse another time. I haven’t looked back since then, and I don’t ever plan on it. I  began to discover who I wanted to be through working out and making healthy eating choices. I was taking back my identity and I happened to really enjoy myself. We should all strive to be our own best friend because lets just face it, we can never escape ourselves. There is no other self gratifying feeling then to watch your body change because of the hard work , healthy choices, time, dedication, You invested in yourself.

I’m not suggesting that you take this to the extreme and become obsessed with yourself or start thinking all high and mighty about how you are better then others. Absolutely not! But taking the time to love yourself for who you are, the person whom God created , and what you want to become will challenge you. It will shape you and it will mold you into a better person.

Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27

I think this is a huge piece of the puzzle to that very important command. (as you love yourself)

How much you love yourself will reflect on how much you love others! WOW I believe having a positive and healthy self image is extremely important as well. Just on that point alone I could blog for a hours, but I wont today. I will save all these other important beliefs in upcoming blogs.

Instead, I will leave you with this question, how are you loving yourself today?

Are you saying kind things about yourself or constantly tearing yourself down with your own ugly words of criticism? Remember how you are loving yourself should be the same way you are loving others! I lost sight of loving myself after raising my small babies. Don’t let motherhood hold you back from working out and reaching personal goals. You don’t have to do it by yourself either. Include your spouse and your littles!

xOxO

Leigh Leigh

 

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*gotta love those bathroom selfies 😉

photo 1 (2) photo (5)

Toddler Busy Bag Fun

Toddler busy bag

 This morning was our last MOPS meeting until the fall. 😦 MOPS for those who are just now hearing this name for the first time stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. If you are a stay at home Mom, I urge you to look up MOPS groups in your area. It is a wonderful program for Mothers of preschoolers to engage with other moms and form new friendships and bonds with other Moms. Our MOPS group meets the first Monday of the month starting in September and ending in May. Our MOPS group offers a monthly meeting, a scheduled play date, somewhere fun, a moms night out, as well as a bible study each month. I joined MOPS a few years ago and met my best friends that I still have today. This group is perfect for new Mommies in town. During the monthly meetings MOPS offers MOPPETS for your preschool aged child 6 weeks-5 years of age. So while you are enjoying yummy food, crafting, fellowship, and awesome speakers who are speaking on Mother hood topics, your little(s) are busy making crafts, playing, and being loved on. Sister, you can breath and enjoy some time with out your little(s). Our MOPS monthly meetings are two hours long.

With the summer crazies quickly approaching, Our MOPS craft leader decided we needed to end with a little something to help keep boredom at bay, the TODDLER BUSY BAG! I wanted to share what I was busy making this morning. The ideas that you can come up with are unlimited. If you are a pinner then you will be able to just search toddler busy bag and I am sure a million examples will pop up.

The materials we used today were:

  • foam paper
  • felt paper
  • scissors
  • sharpie markers
  • pipe cleaners
  • colored beads
  • stick-on Velcro
  • glue gun with glue sticks

Here are some pictures of how mine turned out. I made two shape matching games and a color bead sort.

shapesmatchgame                                                                  shapesmatchgame2

 

 

 

beads

I brought these home to my two 4 year old daughters and they LOVED them.

Please feel free to share with all your Mommy friends. 🙂

xOxO & God Bless

Leigh Leigh

Leigh Leigh Speaks

Nothing screams “Vulnerable” more then creating your very on blog about your life. As I sit here writing this very first blog post butterflies race about fluttering extremely fast as the letters appear on the screen. I guess this whole concept started with an email I received a few short weeks ago from a woman who was starting up a sports bottle customization company. It would appear that she had maybe got in a little over her head. I simply asked a few questions and the response that I received back rocked me. “Hi this is ######. I am a mother of four but I am running a fundraiser.” She then continued with saying that she would love to talk and see if we could together come up with some of the answers to my questions.

The passion for starting a blog has been growing for a little over a year now. I journal the old fashion way with a pen and a pretty decorative blank paged journal. If you are like me, we do all of our soul searching in the shower. As I am scrubbing my floral shampoo in my hair, day dreaming of what my blog would consist of, I heard those words come back, but they weren’t hers they were mine. Why would my blog matter? I am just a Mother of four. I immediately stopped right there in my thought and begin to cry. I had felt that inadequacy the woman had expressed in her email. That same insecurity every mom feels as she dreams up, and aspires to be something more then just their mom. It was in that moment I knew I had to bust out of my comfort shell of that silly little title “Mom of four.” Yes, it may be just a title, but it is being used in a negative manner and not the way it was intended. How many times have we thought about putting in a job application, starting a company, joining a new gym, entering into any type of competition, (cooking, sewing, crafting, painting, etc..).. all to be drowned out by the bulling of that phrase.. why would you do that your JUST a mom of 4? This bully phrase is the whisper of Satan holding us back and keeping us right were we are, in the sea of our own insecurities and comparisons.

If you are a mother of one child, you my friend are IMPORTANT. You have learned to be loving, kind, forgiving, patient, selfless, nurturing, compassionate, and wise beyond your years. You are inspiring, empowering, special, unique, quirky, one of a kind. You’ve got it! Anything you dare dream, think, hope, you can do! I have a voice and so do you! So let’s speak up sister and share the things that make us all connect and relate with one another.

Here is to stepping out of FEAR and stepping into FAITH.

Journey with me as I share my life as HIS Wife, Their Mother, My best friend, working out, staying healthy, growing in faith, and following Jesus.

xOxO
Leigh Leigh

 

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