About Me...

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In a nut shell : I'm a wife, a full time working mom, a teacher, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a decade long breast cancer survivor, and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Life Lesson #161 ~Growing Up Wonder Woman




"I didn't always know what I wanted to do but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be." ~ Diane Von Furstenberg

Ever heard the saying we all have a little Wonder Woman inside us? I have, and my daddy was the one who repeatedly affirmed this to me every day of my life growing up. My dad was a believer in who I was then and the woman I would become later. He taught me long before it was cool to rise up and be a woman of character and strength. The saying, " She needed a hero so that's what she became" was ingrained into my fabric long before it made the social media rounds. My dad has always been my greatest fan, and while I loved my Barbie dolls right long side my comic books my dad made sure I understood being a strong woman was far more important than ever looking like a Barbie doll. And truthfully my Barbie's stepped in as Superhero substitutions more often than not. I was and will forever be a Wonder Woman kind of girl. I know I'm not Wonder Woman, but I could just throw it out that that no one has ever actually seen me and Wonder Woman in the same room together now have you?

So all silliness aside, I have to admit I was beyond excited finding out my parents were treating my family and I to a movie this past weekend.  Any guess which movie it was? And nope the first one doesn't count. Truthfully anyone who has talked to me or followed me for that matter over the last year pretty much knows I've been excited about this particular movie. OK yes, I am talking about Wonder Woman. I mean how did you guess? And no I can't lie, I have no shame... I was actually wearing my Wonder Woman under-roos beneath my regular clothes.  No it's not secret I have and will always be a Wonder Woman kind of girl. If you've followed my blog then you've heard my references to comic book nerd status, without shame I might add. Maybe you've even noticed my profile picture wearing the Wonder Woman Chuck Taylor's my boys gave me for Mother's day two years ago. It's even possible you've read my many posts regarding my favorite D.C. super hero, Wonder Woman through the years going as far back as 2007.  What can I say, I have loved the world of comic books  and Diana Prince since I can remember. My dad first introduced me to sci-fi, Star Wars and yes comic books, most notably, Wonder Woman before I could read. Long before I ever saw Lynda Carter twirl her cape around in circles as Wonder Woman my dad was reading Wonder Woman comic books to me.  I know I've told this story many times, but till this day my parents can't resist a chance to recount my Wonder Woman leap tale. Yes, I'm speaking about the 'Christie flying through the air, after jumping from the dresser, across the bed with a towel tied around her neck, yelling Wonder Woman' story. As you might be able to tell imagination has never been a problem for me or been a trait I've ever lacked talent in. My parents, with their humorously shocked faces were proof of that as I flew over the tops of their heads that morning. I'm simply the kind of girl who has never believed she needed saving.

As a little girl I wanted to be strong, smart, beautiful and most definitely a force of nature, a woman to be reckoned with. To be honest, much like Wonder Woman herself. I was taught I could be anything. I was shown unconditional love and given the freedom and tools to explore my own dreams. I was encouraged to be completely myself, nerd, geek, super hero, to become a strong woman, soft, powerful, humble, kind and unconventional. From the time I was a little girl I knew I was capable of standing up for myself and for others.  So when breast cancer washed up on my shores, I knew what I had to do...pull my hair back (what was left of it anyway) and fight like the girl I was. I simply remembered and repeated something Wonder Woman would say. "Hang on (Cancer). I don't want to wreck my hair when I wreck your face." Then I looked straight into the eyes of that two-headed monster, Breast Cancer and Chemo and went to war. I fought her with the strength of my faith, my God and my family. I applied all the training I was given as child, and took it into battle reminding myself of the biggest truth I knew. "You, Father,  have chosen me and called me for great things. So I will choose to say yes to your way, your will and your plans." (TrueBeautyMinisties.com) See I may have doubted myself, but I never doubted the resounding truth in my heart...I was, I am and will always be a child of the King of Kings. I'm a woman walking in His grace. A woman who's been taught how to face the world, to stand up for herself and others, to never play victim and to always stand and deal  with her problems with her head held high.

So why Wonder Woman you ask? Well that's simple, she's strong, feels deeply, loves fiercely and while she's soft, she's still powerful and as tough as nails. As a woman she knows who she is, even if she didn't fully understand herself in the beginning. She came to understand by trial and error who she really was and what her path was, and she accepted that. Every time my dad read me another one of Diana Prince's adventures, I knew there was a little bit of Wonder Woman inside me too. There's a scene in the new Wonder Woman movie where Diana takes her first real stand, charging into no man's land. She leads the way, across the battlefield, not worrying who or if anyone will follow her. She simply takes up her sword and shield, exposing her true armor and the real warrior she is, adjusts her tiara and confidently goes to battle. In these moments, she inspires others, not because she was trying, but simply because she was leading by example. I was struck during that scene by the true strength of a woman and reminded of a great quote by W.E.B. Dubois. "There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise." This particular scene brought me back to my very own battle with breast cancer, and how the Wonder Woman in me rose up then. I never thought I'd face a monster such as breast cancer, but I did. The reality of who I am today is directly influenced by the battlefield I faced crossing my own no man's land. I learned a life lesson on that war torn battlefield, one I still carry with me today. "You can break down a woman temporarily, but a real woman will always pick up the pieces, rebuild herself, and come back stronger than ever." And that's what going toe to toe with breast cancer and all her monstrous consorts did for me...made me stronger, bolder and braver than I had ever dreamed I could be before.

So today, I humbly bring you Life Lesson #161~ Growing Up Wonder Woman  simply to encourage all you little girls who've grown up to become women who believe the Wonder Woman inside them is real. Have courage, and faith in who you are, and who you can yet be. I'm truly blessed to have been brought up in the way such as I was. With a dad who not only read Wonder Woman to me, but inspired me to believe in myself and to be myself. Every day after reading another great adventure of Wonder Woman AKA Diana Prince I was also reminded of Proverbs 31:25, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." And because of those powerful words, I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be... strong, courageous and true to myself. I wasn't afraid of the woman I would grow up to be one day because I knew who I was inside and out. I can tell you since becoming a woman, a wife, a mother and a breast cancer survivor I've found there is strength even in my failures. Each loss has been a lesson, teaching me, showing me how His grace is enough. And the scars cancer left behind across my chest well they simply serve as beautiful reminders of that same amazing  grace. The reality of my life today is I'm free to be me, strong and on a path God alone has set before me. I'm thankful beyond words I found out who I was inside at an early age. Today, knowing myself fully even as an adult I can most certainly wear my Wonder Woman under-roos confidently in spite of the peanut gallery.

At the end of the day the truth is quite simple, because of dad's love for comic books, he not only passed that love to me, I've passed the same love on to my boys. Now as I close this post all I can tell you is this: I will face whatever washes up on my shores. Why, because I've learned it's not my own strength, but the might, the backbone and the resilience of those who've always believed in me and who stand behind and to each side of me everyday that strengthens me. My family may wonder about me sometimes, and sure I may wonder where I've left my keys or my glasses from time,  to time but I'll never doubt there's a little Wonder Woman inside me, and neither should you.

"Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them." ~ Unknown

~Christina



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