Friday, August 29, 2014

Big Girl Panties

(photo from
“Put on your big girl panties and deal with it,” says one friend to another. To many of us, it simply means to suck it up and get on with life. That’s not always easy to do; life throws a lot of hard things our way, sometimes in quick succession. But, to quote a lovely lady, “Yeah, I gotta invest in some of those, might come in handy….”

This lovely lady is a perfect stranger to me. I call her perfect because she’s perfectly the kind of woman I’d love to be friends with. I mean, with how many strangers can you bring up the topic of underwear and not immediately lose the conversation?

We tossed around the idea of writing a book on the topic together, all because of an ad I placed to sell a party dress for my daughter-in-law. We even came up with some clever titles: The Power of Ugly Underpants and The Trouble With Sexy Underwear.

When I pointed out that big girl panties aren’t pretty, she said, “It’s not the appearance, rather the power. And power sometimes comes in the form of big, plain, white ugly undies.”

Now, if she decides to read this blog post and chooses to reveal herself, she’s more than welcome to do that. But, in case she doesn’t want all my readers to know she freely converses with strangers in such a powerful manner, I won’t tell you her name.

Our conversation got me pondering, though.

I don’t suppose “big girl panties” have to be the kind you imagine your great-grandmother wearing. (I have to add in that “great” since I’m a grandmother, myself, and I don’t intend to discuss what my undies look like.)

But, maybe the symbolic nature of the big, plain white, ugly underwear says something in itself.

Maybe it says that life doesn’t always have ruffles or frills, often we might even feel that life isn’t fun at all. And life definitely isn’t always about being sexy.

At some point in life, unlike our dear friend Peter Pan, we need to grow up. Does that mean we reach a point when life becomes dull and boring and stays that way? No way! Keep in mind, we change our undergarments daily. Some days are more frivolous than others. But, as grownups, we become responsible for the actions we take, frivolous or serious; our mistakes and shortcomings, as well as our accomplishments and steps forward.

Wearing our big girl panties implies we’re not going to let life become meaningless and pointless, because we have the right to say it’s meaningful and to declare that we have purpose, despite the set-backs, and live like we mean it. God created us in His image; we have strength and courage we haven’t even tapped into yet.

When was the last time you felt powerless? Maybe we need to keep a big ol’ pair of granny panties in the back of our drawer (or in our glove box) as a reminder of just how powerful we really are. Can we be powerful in a skimpy thong? You betcha! I’m just pondering the finer points of the phrase!

Sometimes getting lost is the only way to find a new path home. Sometimes extreme disappointments or losses reveal the paradigm we’ve been trapped in and can show us the way out.

Though the Bible doesn’t literally say it, we’ve all trudged through hard times remembering, “This too shall pass…”

No matter how tough life looks, remember the words of the Psalmist: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.” – Psalm 118:17 (KJV)

Oh, yeah - this is more like it!
(picture from

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