When You Wanna Quit…Everything

Ever have a day where you wanted to run away with only the clothes on your back?

It just feels like too much.
Too much noise.
Too much stuff.
Too much maintenance.
Too much drama.
Too much responsibility.
It’s tooooooooo dang much!
(Notice no one ever says, “Too much money.”)

Mystery Leak

I said to a plumber the other day, who came to fix the mystery leak in our ceiling, (refer to picture), as he was breaking down the cost to explore the issue, “It suuuuuuuucks being an adult today.”

He looked at me and 1/2 chuckled as to say, “I have no idea how to respond? We just met and I think you might be crazy.”

He looked back at Chris who was now looking at me grinning, as I continued,
“No, for real. Do you feel it? The suckage of adulthood right now, in this moment, cause I sure do!”

The Green Bucket

I then made my dramatic exit, walked up the stairs and pretended there wasn’t a large green bucket in the foyer catching dripping water and the occasional piece of soaked sheetrock falling from the ceiling.

I’m ignoring the fact that the water is off in the house so I cannot wash my hands and I’m a tad OCD about germ control. And HELLO we all know the best way to prevent illness is through proper handwashing!

Anywho… by this point, I’m sitting on the fluffy bathroom floor mat. Feet against one wall, back against the other. The fan is on (sound control people) and the door is locked (no interruptions). Eyes closed. (I distract easily)

Have you ever looked around and blamed your circumstances?
Your husband? Your children? That extra pudge around my middle from the holiday indulgences?

I get it!
I’m right there with you!

And when I’m in these moments (that, I’m not gonna lie, sometimes stretch into days), I want to remember what I’ve experienced to be true every day of my life… (it’s important when you’re freaking out to speak truth to your destructive thoughts)

  • Feelings are temporary. Making permanent decisions based on temporary emotions always produces a negative outcome.
  • Mama’s need a lot more grace than we give ourselves.
  • Sometimes all the demands we feel the world placing on us are coming more from us than anyone/where else. (Ouch, right? The truth hurts)
  • Don’t underestimate the power of saying, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” Especially with children. They are so much more forgiving than we give them credit for.
  • Maybe you just need to reconnect with your partner. (wink, wink)
  • It’s okay to stop mid-sentence and admit to being overly dramatic. It has been my experience that my husband never makes me feel bad about pausing to laugh at the energy I’m bringing to any given situation.

When I calm down enough to admit that I’m being ridiculous, I’m able to think through what running away would actually look like… my coffee habit alone is enough to deter me.

So whadda ya say?
This year, today, right now, can we I practice gratitude?
Better yet, am I willing to be grateful even when the ceiling’s falling in (literally)?

Good news on the mystery leak that stumped a Plumber, a Roofer, and a General Contractor.
After being manly and cutting away a bigger part of the ceiling, Chris found the source of the problem. (Isn’t that just like him?!)
View the video to see what happened.

As you may have expected, his hotness skyrocketed after defusing my bomb of emotions and worry and a leaky copper pipe in the ceiling that professionals couldn’t figure out. Turns out, Chris is consistently defusing potential explosions of all sorts every day.

The next time I wanna run away, I’ll come here instead. I have a whole new appreciation for my husband. Thanks, Y’all!

It feels good to be back. I’ve missed this space.
Here’s to more time writing in 2019!

When Beauty is a Beast

I am currently mentoring several young women who are entrusting me with their story and a place in their journey. I’m not even sure how it happened, nor do I feel equipped to mentor anyone, but God doesn’t call the equipped, He calls the willing and provides the equipment.

To be honest, it helps hold me accountable for my thoughts and what I’m telling myself. I think God brought these young ladies into my life as much for me as he did for them… maybe more.

It’s no secret that my relationship with food and exercise is less than ideal. For those of you who don’t know, imagine a really nasty divorce from someone who tried to kill you, but you have to live in the same house with them after the separation. That’s a pretty accurate depiction.

I do great most of the time, but when the body image monster sneaks up on me, it does so with a vengeance. I go from being comfortable in my skin to feeling like the reflection in a fun-house mirror. Feelings are constantly changing, so I have to hang on and wait for the change. It’s hard.

The other day I was walking through a department store looking at the clothes. Remembering when I fit in sizes much smaller than the ones I wear now. I felt myself getting negative the further down skinny lane I strolled. Years of excuses flooded my mind.
I had an eating disorder so I have to be careful about exercise and restricting my food.
I’ve had 3 children with the last one being a c-section. My stomach will never look the way it did before.
I gave up alcohol, I’m not giving up my Starbucks drinks.
If I have to go without chocolate and caffeine, I will not be of any use to anyone.
And so it goes. The mental cyclone.

And then, I think of my girls. The ones who have cut marks into their skin with razors, stuck their finger down their throat to purge the pain, starved their body in hopes of starving the monster within and numbed loneliness with substances. The ones who count on me to speak wisdom from my life experiences into their heart and mind. I think of their faces and their fragile image of self. I think of all the times I talk about being comfortable in my skin. The fact that I have been chosen to speak truth about their incredible worth is confirmation that I cannot go down the road of ego-induced thinking. I have to continually humble myself before the Father and ask Him to speak what is true directly into my mind.

I also have to be vulnerable and honest about the fact that I still struggle. What better way for the evil one to derail our ability to positively influence others than by attacking our self-worth? There is a truth that never changes, “My Creator knows me and He calls me by name.”

I want to combat my extreme tendencies with consistent patterns of self-improvement. It’s difficult and I cannot do it alone. I have armed 3F9B6448myself with women who I know will respond to my irrational thinking with truth and love. Women who will come around me when I need wise counsel. Women who empathize with my circumstances. Do you have a woman like that in your life?

We all need community, Beauties. It can mean the difference between life and death. Mental, emotional and spiritual death, can be far worse than physical death. God did not create us to go through this life alone. Jesus had 12 close friends who went everywhere with him. Isn’t that a community?

I want to encourage you to reach out to a trusted source this week and speak your fears out loud. You will be surprised how much power is relinquished when shared with another. Do you believe me? Try it. It might just change everything.

Losing my religion…to a hair stylist

Alright ladies, listen up!

If you are a “Christian” who feels guilty because you want to look nice, raise your hand. Darlings, when did God declare, “There shall be no highlighting of hair, painting of nails, or staining of lips”? Who told you that beauty isn’t important to the one who created it to begin with?!

I am so tired of hearing women bash other women because they’re pretty, curvy, skinny, tall, short, well put together or any number of things that we all strive to be. Why don’t we walk up to each other and say, “Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, you got it goin’ on!” Instead we gossip and make snarky comments to anyone who will listen about how we bet she’s starving herself or throwing up… she probably doesn’t have the money to buy that outfit so she charged it and is in debt… that’s not even her hair, it’s a weave… or highlights, or a hair piece. Let me tell you something, the moment I pay for highlights, a weave or a hair piece, technically it’s mine!

Some of you have seen my Facebook post about my hair stylist Freddie and his trusted assistant, Jason.
Freddie and Jason at Jamison ShawFreddie and Jason restored a sense of beauty in me that I haven’t felt for a while. Not because I don’t feel valued. Not because I need more attention from my husband. Not because someone was mean to me. Are you ready for this?


I didn’t even realize that I felt this way until Freddie changed my look. I feel great! What I don’t feel is guilty for spending 2 hours in a salon, away from my children, being pampered by professionals and paying money that I worked hard to earn.

You shouldn’t either!

I have received mostly positive feedback from the picture on FB, but I did have one woman email to say, “Don’t you feel selfish taking all of that time away from your husband and children to have unnecessary things done to your appearance?” Hmmmm…”No. Should I?”

Here’s the deal beauties, I am finding more and more that when I take a little time out to take care of myself, I am a much better wife and mother. Chris and I are a team. He’s not a babysitter, he’s their father. I didn’t turn in my id card when becoming a mother. Did life change? Sure. Is it richer and fuller? Yes. Do I find my identity in my children? No. Plus, when I feel better about myself, I feel sexier for my husband. See how this works? I cannot imagine God saying it’s a bad thing.

People will disagree with me and that’s okay. (Please disagree in the comments and don’t send me an email.) Here is what I believe. God took His time. He created every living thing with such ornate detail. He sculpted the earth. He used color and light. He didn’t throw a blob of black and grey together and say, “It is good.” He created beauty and said, “It is good.

So for those of you condemning those of us who take delight in highlights, stilettos and red lippy, I say, “Stop acting so religious and go get your hair done! You’ll thank me.

Don’t underestimate the positive impact of a seemingly small change. AND you don’t even have to have surgery. I’m going to make this super easy for you Atlanta peeps. Here’s Freddie’s card.
photoI suggest calling to make an appointment. When they answer the phone, they ask, “How may we make your day beautiful?” I love that!


Wednesday Wanderings: Sons


© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

“As the mother of a son,
I do not accept that alienation from me is necessary
for his discovery of himself.
As a woman, I will not cooperate in
demeaning womanly things
so that he can be proud to be a man.

I like to think the women in my son’s future are counting on me.”
~ Letty Cottin Pogrebin ~


Tell me how you really feel…

In preparation for a workshop on beauty, I sent out a survey to 100 women between the ages of 13 and 65. When calculating the results, unfortunately, I wasn’t at all surprised by the answers.

I found it interesting that more than half of the women who responded with “Yes” to the question, “Is beauty important for your overall happiness?” apologized for it saying that they knew it was bad to make beauty a priority. Every one of them claims to be a christian. If you look just three questions before that, the #1 answer when asked “What do you think of when you hear the word beauty?” is “Nature, God, Creation.” What is there to feel guilty about or apologize for?

Clearly there is a vast difference between our definition of beauty and what we think God says about beauty. Why is that? Do you think God cares about beauty? Why or why not?

Results for “Beauty Undefined”

What do you like most about your appearance?
#1 Eyes
#2 Hair
#3 Nothing

What do you like least about your appearance?
#1 Stomach
#2 Thighs
#3 Butt

What is the one thing you would change about your physical appearance?
#1 Thinner/More toned overall
#2 Stomach
#3 Complexion

What is the first thing you see when you look in the mirror?
#1 Aging
#2 Eyes/Hair
#3 Size/Weight
(A 13 yr. old responded with, “I see God’s creation! Wow!)

What do you think of when you hear the word beauty?
#1 Nature, God, Creation
#2 Supermodel, Actress (Tall,thin, perfect hair and face)
#3 Inner beauty

What makes you feel beautiful?
#1 Dressing Up
#2 Affirmation (mainly from strangers)
#3 Husband
(A 21 year old responded that she has never felt beautiful.)

Has your dad ever said you are beautiful?
Yes 65%
No 35%

Is beauty important for your overall happiness?
Yes 92%
No 8%

How old were you when you remember first feeling self conscious?
#1 12 years old
#2 8 years old
#3 5 years old

Do the women in your life make you feel valued?
Yes 94%
No 6%

What would you tell the 5 year old you if you could go back and tell her anything?

  • Don’t listen to what others think, don’t let it dictate what you think of yourself.
  • You are going to be told A LOT about beauty and how to be beautiful. As hard as it may be, focus on the fact that God made you beautiful and that’s all that matters! God’s love is more important than anything else.
  • Find your beauty by looking inside not outside. True beauty starts in the heart and works it’s way out.
  • You’re beautiful no matter what!
  • Be true to yourself.
  • Cultivate a lifestyle of health.
  • People are too concerned about themselves to notice all of your flaws.
  • Feel beautiful for yourself on your terms. If you do it for someone else, they will take it with them when they leave.
  • Beauty comes from how you live and treat others. Some of the most beautiful people I know laugh a lot.
  • Love yourself first, be confident!
  • This will pass and you will be fine.
  • Don’t listen to the lies.

This is the 2nd post in a series of posts about beauty and body image. There will be a new post every Thursday about this subject. If you would like to join in the discussion, let me hear from you. All submissions can remain anonymous when posted by contacting me here or you may leave a comment in the section below. If you would like a pdf copy of these results, click here.


Raw Beauty

Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.” ~Socrates

How do you define beauty? How do the people around you define it? Especially the 13-25 year old crowd?

My 14 year old daughter came to me recently with a copy of a popular magazine in her hand. “Mom, how can I look like this?!” she asked.

“You can’t.” I answered. “This is not reality. This is an illusion.”

“You’re just saying that!” she exclaimed rather passionately.

Oh the drama that is a teenage girl searching for her place in a fallen world. How can she ever find it when she is surrounded by images that falsely portray perfection?

This is an argument as old as time. Should beauty be important? Does God care about beauty? Is it a sin to want to be beautiful? Is it ungodly to pluck my eyebrows, shave, have nice hair, wear make-up? My answer to these questions is, “Yes. God cares about beauty. Otherwise, I think, He would have made the world colorless and with much less detail. I truly believe the answer relies much on your definition of beauty. No. It is not (in my opinion) ungodly to accentuate your beauty.”

(I realize that there are a million different opinions for these questions and a scripture to back up each one. Many of them, I have heard. Please do not waste your energy sending me hateful messages about how God wants all of us to be ugly and poor.)

After making excuses and suggestions, I realized that Bella has seen the Dove ads and the how-to for Photoshopped images many, many times and she still sees that as professionally done (which they are.) I had to make this personal…I did what my ego hates…there was no other way…after all, this is my daughter and her friends and my friends and friends of friends. This is the very reason that I speak openly in conversation, workshops and seminars about a 12 year battle with bulimarexia.

I had to remove the veil of post editing and show her what a real person looks like without any touch-ups or enhancers. I knew that person had to be me.

So, I asked Chris to take a head shot of me with a 100mm macro lens. A lens specializing in all of the tiny details that one would otherwise miss. The point was not to have a perfectly set shot, but rather, a spontaneous moment, as one would capture in day to day life.

I must admit to you that I did not even like the fact that my physical flaws were so exposed to my husband! My vanity does not want him or you or my children or anyone to see the fine lines (or pores on my face) for that matter!

However, it is no longer an option for the number on the scale, the size of my jeans or the fact that my dimples have turned into lines, to define me. To find my identity in such triviality is not only foolish, but possibly fatal.

I did not use Photoshop on the images. I used Aperture. The goal was not to morph into a super model, but rather show how easy and quickly a simple editing program can “fix” my flaws.

As shallow and self-absorbed as I once was, I never would have thought it possible that I now agree with Audrey Hepburn when she said, “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.

Before touch ups using Aperture

After touch ups with Aperture

So to my friend who asked me the other day if I ever take a bad picture, I will say again, “It depends on how much time I spend editing.”

Related Post:
“Does this make me look fat?”