You are More Than All That — The Size of Your Body Doesn’t Define the Size of Your Worth

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My daughter is wiser than her years. One day she asked me, “What defines beauty and who gets to decide who’s beautiful and who’s not?”

Since that day when Sierra demonstrated such amazing insight and compassion, I’ve viewed physical beauty in a new light. Recently, I saw an article featuring a woman who was highlighted for being especially beautiful. She was in her twenties, somewhere around 5 feet 8 inches tall, and 100-105 pounds. Makeup was plastered on her face, and her eyes were half open in a seductive pose. Is this Beauty?

Thumb through popular magazines for women, and the adds that you’ll see will frequently feature women dressed to the nines, tall and slender. Not a hair out of place. Everything about them looks perfect. We would like to look like her. And that’s the idea. But is this Beauty?

I don’t know how it is for guys, but we gals over-stress the size of everything between our heads and our toes. From Western culture, we’ve gotten the idea that our weight and dimensions are ultra important and that they effect our value. The problem is, ask even the skinny girls, very few of us are confident with our physical appearance. In other words, who among us feels pretty?  If you do, consider yourself quite special. Really.

The struggle for image is real. I don’t get gold stars for this either. Looking in the mirror, I see who I think I am. I wish I could consider myself quite special. But I miss the mark with self confidence. Not that I struggle big time with this, but there have been days when I avoided stepping a foot outside my house lest a neighbor drive by and see me looking like I felt. Thankfully, because I’m better today at being mindful of identity and value, I haven’t had an ugly day in a long time.

I’m more concerned in you being healthy than in you looking like a run way model. I think that my views represent a whole lot of women who feel the same way. I’ve been watching for a shift in the beauty industry for the last twenty years.

Health is wealth! Of course, I mean health in spirit, health in mind, and health in body. That’s true beauty and that’s true wealth.

While we’re waiting for media trends to catch up with the rest of us who are more interested in being healthy than in plastering our faces with gooey makeup and face lifts, let’s shift our attitudes about beauty and be more focused on getting healthy, and reflecting this value to younger women and girls.

You are His beloved child. That says a lot right there. He chose you. So, that settles it.  Your worth is priceless. This is just the way it is. You have immeasurable value. In this truth is beauty. You are beautiful.

Even when you’re dressed to the nines and every hair is in its place, if you’re not centered in what God says about you then you might feel like an ugly duckling when your real identity is that of a stunning and beautiful swan. 

The ugly duckling illustrates what I’m saying here so well. Nothing about the little darling was rejection-worthy. If you’re familiar with the story, then you know that the “duckling” was actually a baby swan, but he didn’t know it. His poor self-image messed with him, causing him to devalue himself and to be depressed.

Back to my daughter’s question—What defines beauty and who gets to decide who’s beautiful and who’s not?

The young model in the beauty write up was pretty, but she looked frail. The women in the popular magazine were gorgeous. Their dresses and outfits, makeup and hair radiated glamour and wealth.

Who among us has a personal makeup artist, hair designer, clothing engineer to cater to us everyday of the week? Looking like those knock out gorgeous women isn’t real. The images that we see in the media and advertising are produced. Are you produced? Are you an image to the world made up to look like someone you really aren’t? Of course not.   And neither am I.

I’m far more concerned about you as a person than I am about your body shape, hair style and clothing. I don’t care if you’re wearing expensive designer jeans–I mean, really, aren’t there far more important issues in the world than the label on our pants? I’m concerned with how you are. Are you healthy?

Let our focus be on promoting health not counterfeit beauty. Your health is wealth. Health of spirit. Health of mind. And health of body. 

For all of my sisters, the women I’ve met and those who I’ve never met, I want you to know that being skinny doesn’t add up to being gorgeous. Beauty and skinny are not the same. The size of your body doesn’t determine the size of your worth. You are more precious than anything in this world. No matter what you feel about how you look, sister you are more than all that!

Copyright @Pamela Koefoed, 2019

FOCUS Inspirational Quote & Photo

focusAre you focused?

Every successful person knows that distraction is the enemy of fulfilled goals and dreams.

Are you using time to your advantage?

What captivates your heart?

So much competes for our attention and affections. Choose well.

FOCUS.

Christmas Secret…

The tree dressed in lights, the gifts now waiting beneath it…speaks to my heart.

I’m patiently waiting for my children’s arrival. While I wait, I’ll let you in on something…

The decorating and the pre celebration work has been done with them in mind. It is for them that we hung the stockings, wrapped their gifts with special touches, even the decorations were chosen and placed with them in mind.

As I got ready for the moment when we’d enjoy supper together and open gifts, I was nearly giddy with the knowledge of how loved they would feel. Our grown kids already know that their Father and I love them, but isn’t it wonderful to express love in extraordinary ways? That’s what we’re doing today.

But here’s the scoop that I have for you. All the hard work leading into this glorious day is also for my husband and me, because our children’s joy completes our own.

Our Heavenly Father has also prepared for our home coming. Can you imagine His joy when He thinks of you someday being with Him forever?

He’s made the way. He paid the price. He gave the most expensive gift that has ever been given with you and me in mind.

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but shall have everlasting life”–John 3:16

Talk about spectacular, extravagant giving… such love! That love, that exquisite, grand love is as much for you as it is or has been for anyone.

God loves you.
Merry Christmas.

Pamela Koefoed

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Christmas Cookie Tradition

P1050371What’s better than baking Pecan shortbread cookies? Baking them with a friend.

Jenna is someone special in my life. I wanted to give her a gift that she’d really enjoy. Since her love language isn’t opening gifts, but is spending time together, I invited her to my home for a cookie baking marathon.

In a little under four hours, we baked three kinds of cookies, totaling 6 dozen of our all time favorites.

Before she arrived, I anticipated how much fun we’d have. I wanted our afternoon to have the kind of touches that minister to the heart. A fire crackled in the kitchen wood stove. Christmas music played from a little stereo. To complete the ambience, I plugged in the twinkling clear lights that drape over the turquoise buffet. It’s gorgeous, retro and is a focal point in my home.

P1050378When Jenna arrived, I immediately learned that Christmas music wasn’t eliciting fond memories of holidays past. Her crinkled nose and frown, a look of disgust and boredom, clued me into what she didn’t want to hear.

She let me in on her experience. I discovered that she usually loves the time tested songs that remind us of Christ’s brith, but she had listened to Christmas music at work ad nauseam where her boss has had it going all day, every day, since October. Okay, scrap the holiday tunes.

We put on some of her favorite Christian hits, and we sang, chatted up a storm, measured ingredients, creamed butter, blended, mixed, and scooped dough onto cookie trays–trays that are patinated from decades of use.

Many dozens of  happy cookie marathons were orchestrated on these trays with my children. All are now grown and married. The trays, darkened by years of use, remind me of the hours we spent making cookies during a lot of Christmases. Now counting thirty. That’s a lot of love and that’s a lot of butter.

What did Jenna and I bake?

Jenna’s favorite…snickerdoodles.

My family’s favorite…chocolate chip, coconut, walnut cookies.

And soon to be a new favorite…Amazing Pecan Shortbread cookies.

P1050375I’ve included the recipe for you and I hope you’ll give it a whirl. Maybe you’ll even use it in your own cookie baking marathon.

How’d I come up with this recipe? I transformed the traditional pecan cookie by adding almond extract and updating it with healthy ingredient choices. This new version is delicious.

These are five thumbs up, high fives, five stars all the way. I can hardly wait to serve them to my kids Christmas morning. They’re going to love them.

Amazing Pecan Shortbread Cookies 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cup pecans, chopped 
  • 2 1/2 cups Kamut flour (I  like baking with Kamut flour, which is an ancient and more wholesome flour. It’s lighter than whole wheat, is loaded with nutrients, including selenium. If you prefer the whiter variety, substitute for 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour.)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature. (Salted butter means that I didn’t need to add salt. But if you like measuring salt and sprinkling it into your mix, use saltless butter and add 1/2 tsp salt.)
  • 3/4 cup honey (Or 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Turning these ingredients into amazing Pecan Shortbread cookies is quick and easy.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake at 10-12 minutes. I live at an altitude of almost 5,000 feet and baked them in my old GE double oven for 12 minutes. They were very slightly browned on the bottoms and soft in the middle. Cool before transferring them from your trays to containers. For baking ahead, they do great served from the freezer.

  1. In a large bowl, pulverize butter using an electric mixer for 1 minute or until thoroughly creamed. Add sweetener (honey OR sugar), eggs and almond extract. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. In another bowl, mix thoroughly together the flour and baking soda.
  3. Pour in flour mixture, and add the chopped pecans to the buttery mixture. Beat on medium speed just until combined.
  4. Cover dough and refrigerate for 3 hours or more. You can store dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  6. I usually oil my pans. But you can use parchment paper or silicon baking mats. I find that oiling them takes all of 2 minutes and clean up is easy.
  7. When the dough’s well chilled, scoop out dough with a spoon (about 1 tablespoon) and roll into balls. Using the back of a spoon, press an indentation into the tops and press a pecan half into the indention. (TIP: If you don’t have time to chill the dough, it won’t form into balls. Follow the same instructions, forming the dough into your spoon and plopping them onto your trays. This is what Jenna and I did. And they turned out great!)
  8. Bake on the center racks of your preheated oven, 10-12 minutes. Cool them completely before removing. Store in a sealed container or freeze. 

Merry Christmas!

Pamela Koefoed

To Follow me: http://www.pamelakoefeod.com, Facebook and Instagram.

 

Darling Blind Pug, a Therapy Dog, Featured in New Children’s Book

In childhood, I spent hours drawing. I drew while glued to a wooden bench, waiting for my mother to finish her last cigarette, her last beer, her last conversation with the people straddled on the tall stools beside her. Sometimes I waited all day and late into the night.

Those all day beer marathons gave me the opportunity to create trees and animals with a pencil and whatever blank paper I could find.

God gave me the ability to draw and the grace to totally forgive my mother and to demonstrate His unconditional, steadfast love to her. She’s no longer here and I sincerely miss her.

Now more than 30 years later, I’ve picked up my pencils again to create a book that I believe can help young children. Here’s one of the first sketches for Xander the Wonder Pug, a children’s book featuring Xander, a therapy dog who lives and works in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

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Next steps…begin painting with Prismacolors.

Prismacolors! Yikes.

My number one challenge so far is learning how to use Prismacolors. Prismacolors are wax based pencils with a high color saturation, meaning they are blendable and the colors are rich.

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The video tutorials that I’ve watched make it look easy peasy. So far, I’ve watched several of the pros whip out realistic paintings like it’s a walk in the park. Per their instructions, I’ve followed along and quickly learned that painting with pencils is not without challenges. Trust me, my practice color pencil drawings (also called paintings) barely resemble the ones in the “How to” videos.

Failure is a part of learning. I’m discovering what works for me and what doesn’t work for Prismacolors. They chip, I learned. And smear. And they have no idea of the concept of grace. There’s no forgiveness. One wrongly applied color can ruin twenty hours of work.

Speaking from experience, failures have been a big part of making progress with my drawings and paintings. I’ll share a failure along with the painting that I completely redid as an example in my next post.

Why don’t you follow along? I’ll share the project in various stages and maybe my process will inspire you to launch into your own creativity.

Drawing

Sketch #1 of Xander and a little girl he visited in the hospital who is now well.

How to Live without the Fear of Disappointment

dscn19701.jpgDisappointments can turn a great day into a woes me day. They can transform a celebration into a wake, as we mourn a loss and disappointments can really mess up our plans.

Take a meaningful relationship, for example. I’ll always remember the day, the very hour, the very moment when one of my dearest friends cut off all of her friends from her life.

We were sisters in Christ. We had traveled in ministry together. We encouraged each other to a closer walk with God. We prayed for one another’s children. I could share my heart with her and she’d pray. She could tell me anything, because she knew that I would pray. We had planned a future in ministry together.

When she shut everyone out of her life, I assumed she didn’t mean me. What a shock to learn that everyone even meant me. I lived for a while in unbelief but, as the days passed, reality hit my heart and I wept as though my friend had died. This is why I say that disappointment can change a celebration into a wake.

How to Live without the Fear of Disappointment with Pamela Koefoed

On today’s video, you can learn how to move from disappointment into the joy that the Lord has set before you, and you will obtain keys for a hope-filled life.

Those of you who have been hurt by disappointments in relationships, you can either build a wall of protection around your heart or you can leverage the disappointment to move forward.

Those of you who’ve been frustrated by disappointing work or ministry experiences, you can either live without anticipating a fulfilling work or ministry experience or you can leverage the disappointments to propel you forward.

Those of you who’ve had more than your share of disappointments, you can play it safe by keeping your distance from what potentially could end up in another disappointment… if you choose.

But are you really safe?

I mean, think about it, if you’re staying in your “comfort zone” because of something you fear then you’re most likely not fulfilling your God created purpose, which means you’re not experiencing the abundant joy of a deeply satisfying life.

On today’s video, you can learn how to move from disappointment into the joy that the Lord has set before you, and you will obtain keys for a hope-filled life.

God wants your soul to be anchored in hope. Restore hope. Restore trust. Live the life that God designed for you. Live in abundant joy.

You are dearly loved,

Pamela Koefoed