The Journey to Acceptance

My next dear friend is just such a lovely soul.  She shares her heart with all her readers and is always  there for a friend with encouragement and kind words of grace.  She runs a home with FOUR kids and is always living in CHAOS.  Hence the name of her blog, Tidbits from the Queen of Chaos!  She’s always real…but today she shares something very precious.  Very private.  Very passionate.  Read on…

The Journey to Acceptance

 It’s my biggest character flaw. Well some might argue that I have others but this is the one that consumes the majority of my thoughts. I struggle with acceptance in all forms. It probably started when I was younger and I fell prey to the “Teen” magazines and all the models in them. A lot of them had blonde hair and blue eyes. I had unruly brown hair and brown eyes. The models were all tall. I was just over 5′. I remember the first time I thought to want to be anything else than what I was. I was in 3rd grade and someone brought the record “Short People Got No Reason to Live” into music class. I mean someone wrote a whole song about how short people shouldn’t exist. It wasn’t that long ago that I thought, “If only I was taller, I’d be happier.”

 I am not obese. I am also like millions of other people that are unhappy at the weight they are at. Accepting that I can’t eat like I once did or skip working out like I used to has been humbling to say the least as the number on the scale keeps creeping upwards. Watching what I eat and working out like a mad woman and seeing the scale stay the same or move up has been anger-inducingly frustrating. I don’t look at others and judge them by their weight so why do I judge myself so harshly? In fact, I want to be around people that are uplifting and fun, genuine and down to earth…their size has absolutely nothing to do with it. Why then, do I live in an existence of “If only I was skinnier, I’d be happier?”

 Growing up with seven people in a townhouse, I know what a cramped house feels like. Believe me, sharing a bathroom with 4 girls plus my mom has left me the memory of having to defrizz my hair in a bathroom while someone was in the shower (now you know why my hair was so big…always). That’s why it always amazes me that when I feel like I have outgrown this house. I never needed to live in the biggest house possible. I just wanted my own bathroom, a finished basement so the kids would have a playroom and a decent bathtub in the master bathroom. I have all of those things so why do I find myself saying, “If only we could move to a different house, I’d be happier.”

 Finding out that my boys have Cystic Fibrosis was devastating and you’d think after 11 years, I would accept it and move forward. It is by far the biggest thing I have the hardest time accepting. How does one accept that their kids battle (I still can’t use the word “have”) a fatal illness? How does one see their child battling through being different than everyone else and just accept it? How does one look into the disease and see the “what might be’s” and accept it? Accept it? I want to rail against it. Illnesses send me into a panic. Treatments cause arguments. Worry causes sleepless nights. It is a black cloud that follows us and invades the happiest moments leaving me thinking, “If only CF weren’t a part of our lives, I’d be happier.”

 If only I was more organized…

If only I was a better cook…

If only I had more patience…

If only I was more disciplined in my writing…

If only…

 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Philippians 4:11

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

 I have committed to saying these two verses (plus the one below) every morning. Being content in my circumstances does not come natural to me.  The thought that life is not a dress rehearsal and that this is it has scared me into changing my way of thinking. Being content is a choice. It is a choice to trust God that where you are, is where you are supposed to be. There is always going to be an “If only…” If I wait until any of these happen, and they might not, I am wasting time that could be better spent enjoying life. So much of my circumstances, I can’t control. What I can control is eating better, making this house a home and making sure the boys take their meds. The rest…I have to let it go. I know that even if I was skinnier, if I lived in a different house or if my kids didn’t have CF, I wouldn’t be happier. There would just be a new list of “If only…I’d be happiers”. Happiness comes from truly accepting the life you have been given and deciding to do something with it. It’s choosing to be happy in spite of your circumstances. I am happiest when I realize that whatever my circumstances are ” … we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

It is easier said than done but it is what I am going to continue to strive to do.


I am a stay at home mom, married to my college sweetheart, Leo. We have four kids, Nico, Tommy, Isabella and Gia. We have a son, Rocco that is an angel in Heaven.


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  1. says

    If only. Cannot tell you how often I find myself saying those words. Why do we do this to ourselves? A beautiful, raw, honest post my friend…and I can’t think of a single thing about you I would not immediately accept. 🙂

  2. says

    {Melinda} Two of my favorite blogging friends in the same place! Awesome! AnnMarie, I can relate to so much of this. I have thought, “If only ….” so many, many times, but it gets me no where. Like you, I keep going back to, “God has a plan and He is trustworthy.”

    Beautiful, real post. Love it. 🙂

    • says

      Thanks, Melinda. I know that you know where I am coming from. It’s a struggle but I’m getting better at it. Thanks for your kind words.

  3. says

    In recent years, I’ve come to terms that a happy life and a convenient life are mutually exclusive. And I think most of what it comes down to is living in the moment versus projecting the future or clinging to certain ideals that we think will make us happy. I swear I think we do this to torture ourselves! Now, the CF, I can understand. That’s real and that’s scary. But you are also so right in your perspective of certain things, such as that, being beyond your control. I wish you much happiness and acceptance, AnnMarie. And when you get down on your height, remember – you will always have a few inches on me! xo

    • says

      You are 100% right about it being about certain ideals. It was the hardest thing to let go of those and once in a while they still creep in. I love that you are a fellow shorty!

  4. says

    Please know that you are not alone. We all have our struggles, acceptance used to be one of mine but I’m beginning to overcome it. Hang in there you will get through it!

  5. Pam Lawrence says


    I am so grateful for our friendship! I have told you many times before and will keep telling you that our friendship was truly planned by God for God!! What a blessing it has been traveling the road of life with you! I love you sister!!!

  6. Tammy says

    I don’t know you but I feel we are kindred spirits. You have epitomized my life in this blog entry. I, too, am trying to choose to find contentment in all that God has blessed me with. I am naturally one who tends to dwell on whatever I don’t have (the skinny bod…). I am embarrassed to admit it, but I find a certain comfort knowing there are other adult women who struggle with this too.

    Thank you for putting your heart out there. You may never know the encouragement it has brought me.

    • says

      Thank you so much for this comment, Tammy. It was a hard post to write (and admit) and knowing that I encouraged at least one person makes me happy I wrote it and shared it so thank you!

  7. says

    There was a terrible incident that happened yesterday with someone that my husband and I know. It involved a police standoff and it’s still hard to even think about it. Everyone is safe, but lives are changed forever. It really put things into perspective for me and my husband. We are so lucky and content. That “if only” can really take you in the wrong direction. I’ve come to believe in the past few years that what happens is supposed to happen, even if it sucks or you might not understand it. What a great post! Thanks. I kind of needed it.

    Also, I’m short too!

    • says

      Wow! I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. It sounds scary. I’m glad that your friend is okay but you’re right…it does put things into perspective. I wish we didn’t always need a harsh or scary reminder. Thanks for this comment and for letting me know that I’m not alone. And here’s to another shorty! 🙂

  8. says

    This post is so beautiful, AnnMarie. Accepting the things of this life is by far my greatest challenge. And that verse is perfect! If only I could always just have peace with this and not fight it…thank you so much for sharing this.

    • says

      Aw…thanks, Meredith. I fight it all the time, too but it is getting better so there is hope. 🙂 I do have to constantly repeat that verse when I feel myself going “there”.

    • says

      This comment means the world to me because it makes me feel like we are all connected somehow. Like I was supposed to write them so that it could help someone, help you. I’m so glad you got what you needed from these words. Have a wonderful weekend!

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