What I Learned From Bob The Builder

What I Learned From Bob The Builder

We are not houses, we are homes.

Remember Bob the Builder? When was the last time you thought about this little cartoon character who wore an adorable yellow hard hat, overalls and an orange/yellow checkered shirt?

There's always the chance that you might have never heard of Bob the Builder, which would mean that the last time you thought about him was never.

Regardless, if you are or are not familiar with Bob, the concept of "fixing" is not something that is unfamiliar to any of us. Whether the item being fixed is a leaky faucet, a burnt out light or a broken heart, we all have the tendency to try and fix things to make them new again so that we can cover up or replace the brokenness.

As bizarre as it is, Bob the Builder has been on my mind a lot lately (hence this article).

Bob and his co-characters had a theme song that they would launch into when a problem or construction project arose. The song went something along the lines of: "Can we fix it? Yes, we can!" The purpose of Bob and his theme song is to teach children how to problem solve with a positive attitude.

At our core, we tend to become a version of Bob, or for those of us who not under the age of 6, we become the "fixer-uppers" we often see on a channel like HGTV. The problem with this is that we ignore the fact that we are not houses, we are homes: we embody emotions, memories, good times and bad times, lessons learned, hopes, desires, regrets, relationships and the list could go on...

A house doesn't become a home until it has been built with love, withstood the test of time and experienced genuine care and patience.

We should strive to treat ourselves like homes, not houses. Just like actual homes, we too require love, time, patience and care.

The individuals on HGTV flip houses and turn them into homes. They fix what's wrong with the house and then provide the time and effort to make the house into a loveable home. This way, a buyer will come along and accept the home into their lives to continue providing it with love and care.

Again, we aren't houses, we are homes. We try and fix ourselves without realizing that we aren't the same as some creaky floors and peeling walls: we can't just be fixed with a "can-do attitude" and some elbow grease.

Bob the Builder can't just swoop in with his team and fix the things that we see are wrong with us and within our lives. We require healing, not fixing. "Fixing" buries the brokenness with band-aids and solutions while healing takes brokenness, loves and nurtures it with a patient spirit so that the brokenness becomes a part of us that we are able to grow from, not suppress and ignore.

When we treat ourselves like a house and try to patch up our brokenness with substances, spending sprees, eating away feelings or other forms of distractions, we make the brokenness worse.

After all, duct tape, band-aids, and improvement projects can only work for so long. Eventually, the pressure of suppressing this brokenness will become too much and everything that's been building up since the first patch up duct tape was laid will be set free.

We require acceptance, not improvement and as I recently heard from a speaker the other day, no amount of self-improvement can make up for a lack of self-acceptance.

This is what got me thinking about Bob and his theme song. Bob the Builder specializes in improvements. He fixes things, just like me and you try to do. However, no amount of self-improvement will cover up our lack of accepting ourselves as the well worn-in and lived-in homes that we are.

A home is a loveable place. Resist from trying to fix it and work on accepting it. All the home-improvement jobs in the world can't go back in time and redo a faulty foundation. They can fix it and they can cover it up, but they can't heal it of its brokenness.

That's the difference between being a house and a home. In a home, we accept things and by practicing acceptance, we are able to heal whatever it is that originally felt broken. In a house, we cover up the brokenness with improvements or duct tape but the brokenness remains buried beneath these fixes.

We are not Bob the Builder and we are not fixer-uppers. I find that when we stop trying to "fix" things and start trying to "heal" things, our home becomes a much nicer place to live.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.

It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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The 3 Lies You Tell Yourself When You Dismiss Someone’s Compliment

Accepting compliments graciously does not make you prideful and self-absorbed.

I will be the first to admit that I am notorious for rationalizing myself out of compliments or just straight up dismissing them.

I only found myself with a better perspective after I got outside of myself (shocking, I know). Not only did I realize how offended I would feel if someone doubted or dismissed the genuineness of my own compliment directed at them, but I realized that I have actually been lying to myself in order to justify dismissing them! Red lights.

See if you can relate to telling yourself any of these lies, and make sure you read to the end for some truth to speak over yourself instead.

1. "They’re lying."

This is my go to because it's so easy to just think this and move on, which is horrible, but, apparently, I am horrible sometimes.

Maybe you don’t sound as harsh in the way you respond. “They can’t actually mean that.” But, ultimately, you’re still telling yourself the same thing. You’re literally lying to yourself about them lying.

If you can’t see the problem here, well, then, that’s a problem.

2. "They’re just saying that to make me feel good or they just want something out of me."

This reflects bad motives on those that (chances are) are genuinely complimenting you simply because your view of yourself doesn’t allow for the heartfelt and honest kindness they’re showing to you.

Maybe you try to make it sound good, like “You’re too nice to me.”

OK, no. This isn’t some kind of personal pity party that they decided to throw for you because they were like “Aw, she actually sucks, so I should probably be nice.”

These assumptions are so insulting, not only to yourself but to those people who see the good in you and want you to see it as well.

Imagine how you would feel if someone dismissed something you said to them in this same way. It’s really rude and hurtful.

3. "I'm not talented/pretty/whatever it is they’re saying I am."

This is really the heart of the issue because none of the other assumptions would be made if you didn’t believe this lie in the first place.

We have to completely change our internal dialogue. Start speaking truth to yourself.

Accepting compliments graciously does not require you to be prideful and self-absorbed.

I'm not sure where this idea got started, but apparently, it's running rampant through the streets now.

Words of affirmation are meant to do just that and there's nothing wrong with it!

And, if you feel like you don't even have this problem, because it seems like no one feels any need to compliment you, just know that Someone already has.

Your Creator knew you and formed you perfectly in His Image according to His will and what He knew would be good.

Isaiah 43 says,

"But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel... you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you."

Zechariah 3:17 says,

"The Lord your God is in your midst... he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."

And Psalm 139:14 says,

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

We have every reason to rejoice in what God has done in and through us.

Be thankful that He has given you these words and so many others so that you can be secure in Him and what He has spoken over you, rather than being overly preoccupied with what others are or are not saying. And if they are complimenting you, be happy to accept it and return the kindness.

Speak truth in love, not lies in self-loathing.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash

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