When the Hospital Gown Doesn’t Fit

Has it ever happened to you? You’re in the doctor’s office or getting an x-ray and you can’t find a gown that fits right?

One day I was at a doctor’s appointment with my two year old daughter. The doctor ordered a knee x-ray, but I had jeans on. A nurse came in with some XL shorts to put on so I could walk down the hallway to the x-ray room. Seems simple enough, right?

The fact is, for some people, XL simply won’t work. For many years I have struggled with my weight. This isn’t a measly 30 pounds or so. Think “top-of-the-BMI” charts super morbid obesity. No matter how much I tugged, the shorts would not fit.


We try again

I’ll go find a gown instead,” the nurse said as she left the room.

When she walked in with a regular gown a few minutes later, I sent her out again to look for a large sized one.

She was gone for what felt like a long time. In reality, it was probably 5 minutes. But it was long enough for my mind to track down it’s familiar paths of self-hatred. While nothing was spoken out loud, my head was filled with,

I am so embarrassed. This is ridiculous. How can I be so stupid to let myself get this fat again? I hate this. I’m so gross.”

Finally, the nurse returned. After a thorough search, she had not been able to find a large gown. Instead, she returned with another regular sized gown and suggested that I put one on front and one on my back. It was hot and stuffy in the office. I managed to get both gowns on, but they were painfully pinching my upper arms, and my rear STILL wasn’t covered!

Third attempt

Feeling terribly uncomfortable and annoyed, I rigged up a solution. I put the first gown (barely) on the normal way, leaving several snaps undone. I put my t-shirt back on over that, and then tied the other gown around my waist, so it covered my lower half. At last there was a way to walk down the hallway without improper exposure.

By this time I was red-faced, irritable, and the inner thoughts, rambled on full of self-loathing and disgust.

Ugh. I’m so gross. I’m so fat and ugly. This is hopeless.”

Initially, my two year old curly-haired daughter had been quietly looking at board books. I was so absorbed in trying to get covered, that I nearly forgot she was in the room. Turning around once more to make sure I was fully covered, I was startled to see her big blue eyes looking up at me in awe.

MOMMY?” she squealed.

Mommy!” she said again, in a hushed, serious tone,

You wook wike a pwincess!”

Tears filled my eyes. Her words were such a contrast to what had been going on in my mind. The room was quiet and suddenly my thoughts were halted. It was a gift from God, her speaking to me that day.

Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you. 1

I no longer cared that the hospital gown didn’t fit. I only knew I was loved. Yes, loved by this darling toddler. But also loved by my heavenly Father, who didn’t want me to keep talking to myself negatively.

It’s true that I am overweight. I have sinned so many times with overeating the food God has blessed me with. But the reality is that I also have a loving, amazing, forgiving Heavenly Father who calls me His child. My 2-year old was correct.

Royal Daughters Come in All Sizes

I am a princess. His princess. He looks at me through the blood of Christ, who suffered and died on my behalf. ALL of those sins have been forgiven. Even the many, many times I have run to food instead of Him.

My ambition is to feast on the love that He has for me. His grace is the only motivation that will make me long to eat and drink and do all things for His glory.2

Four years have passed since that episode with my daughter. Occasionally those thoughts still crop up in my mind, but it has become less and less. I am staking all my hopes in Christ; I am basking in the love He has for me. My weight struggles continue but I have hope that I will be able to win this battle. Thankfully, the war has already been won.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.3

By His grace progress has been made, and will continue.

1Jeremiah 31:3b (AMP)

2I Corinthians 10:31

3Psalm 34:6 (ESV)

Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.



I want to be like my mom

It was many years before I was able to become a mom.  My first child was born a month before I turned 36.  When he would.not.sleep. on his back,  my mom visited and gently rolled him over on his belly in the bassinette.  She told me to  get some sleep and reassured me she would watch him.  I was a conscientious new mom and trying to follow all the “sleep on your back” rules.  Mom told me “You all slept on your tummies, and you all survived.  I will sit right here and watch his breathing the whole time.  Go get some sleep.”  I watched as she pulled up a kitchen chair right next to the basinette. For the first time in a few days, the baby and I both had a blissful time of sleep.  I think Grandma was pretty blissful too, having some one-on-one time with her first ever grand-baby.

That was the first of numerous times I discovered my mom has great advice about raising kids.

Always happy to be with her grandbabies!

Fast forward six years. A few months ago I called her, disturbed because this same child–who ended up sleeping on his belly from that moment on– was now caught in several little lies.  She told me “Seems like all of you kids went through a stage like that about his age.  You can’t let them get away with it.  Stick with it (discipline/consequences), and it will pass.”  She was right about that, too.

On a cloudy morning last week the kids were having numerous battles and I was overwhelmed. Time to call mom.  She told me to send them out in the yard to pick up sticks.  After another fight or two outside, it worked like a charm, and my husband was pleased with the big pile of sticks they set up to show him that afternoon.  “Make them run around the house a few times” is her cure for loud crazy kids in the house.

My mom is not a stand-out-of-the-crowd type of person in any way.  Unlike me, she is fairly shy.  She is quiet when there are lots of people around, but when she is with her kids or close family members at home, she can be the life of the party.  She is so much fun, and loves to laugh.  When times are tough, she hops on the John Deere Gator to get some fresh air at the farm, or she sits down at the keyboard to fill the room with a hymn.  She always thinks she should get a job!  (How many times has she told me that!?) However, she is always working, even though she doesn’t get a pay check.


Ready to go for a Gator Ride!



I told mom once that I felt her job was called “being available”.  When my dad calls to ask if she wants to run out to Filmore Equipment with him to pick up some parts, she is always ready to go.  When one of my brothers needs a ride to Martin Spring & Driveline to pick up their truck, she heads out the door to pick them up. She takes her sister-in-law grocery shopping nearly every week.  She hops in her car and drives an hour or two to visit her daughter (ME!) who is feeling overwhelmed with life, illness and  homeschooling her kids. This past week she took us all out for lunch.  Stopped and bought supper for us too, so I wouldn’t have to cook supper that night!   If she hears of someone who is ill, grieving, or having a hard time, she will bring them a hot meal–often that very evening. If you are ever at her house, you will hear the phone ring several times.  It is one of her daughters calling just to talk and share the events of the day.  Her sons call nearly as often,  and know there is always a meal ready if they are hungry.  She is a wonderful cook.  She knows 999 delicious ways to fix ground beef, after many years of being married to a dairy farmer.  Nothing makes her happier then taking a little road trip with dad, whether going to a toy tractor show or visiting antique stores and any place that fancies them along the way.  She doesn’t mind a little adventure now and then.


Always ready to go for a ride with dad.  On a combine, or in the car.


She can be a little crazy.  She will go buy a pack of Swisher Sweets every few years and smoke them with her daughters out on the porch while they laugh and laugh—all of them normally being non-smokers of course!


Mom knows how to have fun!

She has always shown by example how to respect the elderly.  As children, she took us to visit relatives and friends in the nursing home.  She still helps every month with a senior luncheon. When her dad wasn’t doing well in assisted living, she moved him into her house and took care of him.  She loved her parents and treasures their memory. My mom would never “toot her own horn”, and most of what she does is behind the scenes. She will blush like crazy to know that others are reading this about her.  She never spoke to us kids about these things like they were a “lesson to learn”.  She just lives it, and we see it.

She’s not a saint.  (Though you might consider her one, if you knew how I behaved during my teenage years.)   She is a sinner, saved by grace. To me and my brothers and sisters, and others who are privileged to know her well, she is a beautiful woman.  There are many godly women I admire and respect and consider to be heroines as well.  Of all of these,   I love my mom the most, and hope to be just like her.


My beautiful mom

My beautiful mom

Our Homeschool Day

First official day of school. Fall, 2013.

We started officially homeschooling this past September. Last year we had a  “letter of the week” and more informal activities and games.  My main focus at that time was developing a routine that would work for family life and school.

After breakfast, we do a few chores.

Clearing the table and emptying the dishwasher.

If I have some extra work to do around the house, the kids will play a game (or goof off, or fight) while they wait for me.

Playing Enchanted Forest, one of their favorite games.

Today we have lots and lots of snow in Michigan, and extreme cold temperatures.  My husband’s work was cancelled so he took some pictures today and also worked with the kids on their Math.

We start our day by singing the hymn of the week and having prayer time.  This was my daughter’s prayer request today:

I pray that mom would be nice and not yell, and that school would be easy.

(Keeping it honest, folks! Ha!)  Our hymn of the week is “The Power of the Cross by Keith & Kristyn Getty. We listen to it on a CD and sing along.  The kids usually snuggle up, but especially on days like this when it was fifty-eight degrees in our family room.

Morning hymn and prayer time.

Morning hymn and prayer time.


After our hymn and prayer time, I like to work with each child individually.  One child spends a half hour watching  “The Letter People” DVD while I work with the other child.  We use the original Letter People.  A friend told me I could buy a DVD with all the episodes on Ebay.    The video quality is poor, but the kids don’t mind a bit, and I am enjoying this walk down memory lane.

The Letter People

The Letter People

Near the dining room table we have a crate of supplies and curriculum.  Today we worked with my daughter first.  At this part of the day my goal is to work with them individually on  reading, writing and math.  Other subjects  are covered with both of them together.

Greta with her curriculum.

Greta with her curriculum.

It was a snow day, so Dad covered Math.

It was a snow day, so Dad covered Math.

Enjoying Dad's Math class.

Enjoying Dad’s Math class.

Micah's copy work for the day.  We also made use of a few sight words he is memorizing.

Micah’s copy work for the day. We also made use of a few sight words he is memorizing.

I save our favorite part of home school for the end.  This is sometimes done right after our other work, or other days, after lunch in the early afternoon.  We have been using  Five in a Row (FIAR) to cover many other areas of learning such as geography, science, history and art.  The same picture book is read five days in a row.  In our case, we normally have four days, as we are in home school co-op on Fridays.  With all the snow this month, we haven’t been able to go to the library to borrow our next FIAR book.  However, we are applying the principles we’ve learned in FIAR to Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Today we read the chapter about sugar snow.  The next chapter is about the dance at Grandpa’s, and it includes the story of Grandma making maple syrup candy.  I had real maple syrup in the house, and there was certainly plenty of fresh snow, so we tried it.

Maple Syrup Candy

Maple Syrup Candy

Maple Syrup Candy

Maple Syrup Candy

Making Maple Syrup Candy

Making Maple Syrup Candy

The normal time frame for  formal schooling  is a total of  two hours per day (max.).  I expect that will increase as they get older and have longer attention spans. There are other times of learning throughout the day.  We read the Bible together at supper time.  The kids work on their AWANA verses before going to bed.  They help me with cooking and other things around the house as well.  In the afternoon we always have a quiet time for a half hour, more or less where we each go in our own rooms and take a little rest.  Micah usually builds something with his Legos to show me, and Greta likes to play with her stuffed animals or sometimes color.  The quiet time gives us a  little break from one another and some space to ourselves.  In the summer the kids spend much of their days outdoors, but that has been impossible this winter.  I let them play the Wii and our family likes board games.  Sometimes they watch some PBS kids shows or Netflix on our Roku.

Hope you enjoyed a look at our home school day!