When Self-Love is Wrapped in a Giving Shawl

The Giving Shawl

My husband gave me a soft nubby-textured shawl for my birthday. But it wasn’t just any shawl. It was a Giving Shawl.

I recently spotted it in a local gift shop but didn’t pay too much attention to its name. So when I released the soft ribbon surrounding the shawl to find a label with the words Giving Shawl sewn onto the pocket, I was torn.

I loved everything about it but felt an odd sort of guilt for wanting to keep it. After all, the shawl was created to be given away.

In the same pocket was a cloth bookmark with these words:

“We all need a little comfort now and then…A reminder to help us know that we are not alone in the world…That there is someone in our corner, ready with a hug, no matter what. Always know you are being thought of, cheered on, And loved for exactly who you are⏤Someone who is beautifully and wonderfully made.”


It was the last line that left a lump in my throat.


You see, this year I’ve gained more than two books on the Amazon shelf. I’ve also gained weight and a lot of it. I shun the camera and scold Brian for posting my picture (unless it’s pre-2016) on his Facebook page. The mirror is my foe, not my friend. I avoid seeing people who knew me before the shift in weight, imagining the words they must be thinking when they see me.


Maybe I was, in fact, the intended recipient after all.


The Giving Shawl lay bare my desire to offer grace to others but receive it at sloth-like speed for myself.


Love Yourself


Growing up, weight was a dirty word on my dad’s side of the family. The recordings to stay a particular size for everyone’s benefit have played in the background of my mind for most of my life. So while this post isn’t written from a place of victory (yet!) it is written from a place of desire. A desire not only for myself but also for my granddaughters because the way we view ourselves affects those in our sphere of influence whether we realize it or not. Just as I prayed the destructive cycle of divorce would end with my boys, I now see the need to pray with the same fervency that a Christ-centered cycle of healthy self-acceptance begins with me.


So, as I drape this Giving Shawl around my shoulders, I will remember:


  • The only weight that defines my worth is the weight of my sin Jesus bore on the cross.
  • My heavenly Father, husband, family, and friends love me unconditionally.
  • Just as I pray to see others as Christ sees them, I can embrace this desire for myself as well.
  • Acknowledging the need to take better care of myself physically is a gift from the Lord.
  • Even so, if the scale never budges, I will still be the apple of my Father’s eye. (Psalm 17:8)
The only weight that defines my worth is the weight of my sin Jesus bore on the cross. Click To Tweet

One last tag in the box calls the shawl a “Giftable Hug” and that’s exactly how it feels.

The Giving Shawl is available on Amazon but if you’re local to Upstate SC, it can be purchased for less at Expressions Unlimited in Greenville.



Why I Kicked the New Weight Watchers Program (SmartPoints) to the Curb

by Cathy Baker @cathysbaker

After an 8 week recoup time last November, I’d planned to hop back on the Weight Watchers wagon without missing a beat. And then Oprah and her bread-eating self entered the picture and everything changed. The plan (PointsPlus™) I credit for helping me lose 30 pounds last year switched over to SmartPoints™.


Flexibility is one of the main reasons I chose Weight Watchers last year, and now there is very little of that, especially for those of us with a sweet tooth. {Despite my sugar allowances, I passed every health requirement for insurance with flying colors⎯the first time in years.}

I love applesHaving choices on the PointsPlus™ plan also helped me to not feel deprived. I’m concerned many will end up feeling exactly that on the new plan, but we all have our choices to make, and with those choices, changes. My change included cancelling my membership. I’m sticking with the PointsPlus™ plan using my old calculator. Yes, I miss not being able to access online tools but it’s worth the sacrifice. I know what works for me, and even though it’s harder to stay on track without the support of the Weight Watchers leaders (whom I love by the way!), I’m determined to try.

So, while change is often a good thing, this one doesn’t feel like it. I’m disappointed, a little timid about going it alone, and a tad frustrated that the company had to go and change what was working for many people.

Churchhill Quote

Graphic courtesy of PictureGraphics

I hope the new program will be the right direction for many. I really do.

How about you? Has anything changed in your life lately as a result of choices made by others? Hopefully, it’s a good change! Please share in the comment section.


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