About the Author

Kathi lives with Roger and a bunch of chickens in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. There they host writer retreats, and Kathi writes about how to do life with God a little closer today than yesterday. She’s a best-selling author and absolutely loves her Clutter Free Community on Facebook.

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  1. Kathi,

    This world is great at prejudging people. We take one look & make assumptions only seeing the outside. Thankfully God isn’t like that. He looks at the inside-the heart of a person. Part of 1 Samuel 16:7 “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” It would do us all a world of good to get to know people before judging them. Find out what kind of person they really are. Heck you just might make a friend. Lets give our weaknesses over to God & let Him handle them His way.

    Blessings 🙂

  2. Kathi, thank you for your honesty and compassion in this article. It’s a balm.

    This line made me pause, “My weakness, to some people, is the shortcut to safe.” I’ll be thinking about that for the rest of the day and more. So glad you are here.

    • Tasha – thank you for that encouragement. What made me think to write this article was waling into the Incourage living room for the first time – like the first day of fourth grade at a new school. (but you all are much cooler than anyone I was in fourth grade with.) I should not have worried with teammates like you. Truly. Thank you for being such a gift.

  3. Amen. Thanks for sharing a vulnerability I never considered. I too am usually the biggest, least beautiful, unfit physically in a room, but never thought of it as a weakness God could/can work in. BUT HE CAN! Blessings!

  4. Kathi, I can’t tell you how much I needed this today! I am in such a struggle – with my weight. I’ve printed your words and will keep them close at hand to remind me that I am not in this alone. The JOY of the LORD is MY STRENGTH!

  5. Kathi,
    I love your witty message today. I also hear your pain. You remind me of my daughter. She’s awesome, kind, beautiful, smart, successful and people love her. She’s also a 5.8 and a big girl. We never discuss her feelings about weight. It’s off limits. That makes me sad. It’s also made me more sensitive to other’s as I have judged in my lifetime.
    Thanks for the reminder to see the beauty and God in all. You’re awesome!!❤️

  6. I too live in weakness, and mine is type 1 diabetes. It is the kind that is autoimmune and you are on insulin for the rest of your life to stay alive. During this past year of isolation, I started watching the television show on NBC, Tuesday nights called “This is Us”. The twin daughter is an extreme size and her twin brother is an actor who is physically very attractive. Then the adopted son is Black. These 3 are all the same age of adults, raised together in the same home, and all have weaknesses. Honestly, we all do, but we all have red blood and came from the same couple in God’s creation story. We are each individuals in the family of God.

    • Yes Connie – we all have weakness – and we all can let God shine through that weakness. To God be the glory. (And I loved watching This is Us, but had to take take a break because of the sister’s struggles. Those writers are just too good.

    • Connie,
      Your comment really hits home with me. I too am a type 1 diabetic; I also have celiac disease. When I go out with friends to a restaurant, I always have to explain why I can’t eat the way they do. I can’t eat gluten or I will end up in a hospital; I also don’t drink, and have to watch my carbs or my blood sugar will be dangerously high—or too low. Sometimes it’s not how we look that sets us apart in other people’s eyes. It’s the ways we seem “different” from the crowd.

  7. Kathi:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Like you, I have defined myself by my BMI, and one of my friends knows this, yet uses it to hurt me; then cover it by saying she doesn’t mean to hurt me in Jesus’ name. (SMH)

    But your share has reminded me to give and to continue to give my weaknesses to our Heavenly Father, so, like Paul, I might glorify in them all the more. Continue to be you, and as you stated, those who love you, know that you are more than your BMI. May God continue to bless you wonderfully and richly.

    • Oh Leutisha – It’s amazing how our friends who love us can also be the ones to hurt us so deeply. It makes me see their pain all too vividly and realize we are all in a battle (on my good days, that’s my conclusion, on my bad days? I’m a LOT less gracious.) God bless you friend. Your words are a gift.

  8. I needed this today, I have often felt the same. Thank you for sharing, and for being vulnerable so you could share your heart with us.

  9. I do this! I am very aware of my size and the fact that I am often taller and heavier than those around me. I am very self conscious about it. I thank you for being open about how you feel and showing me that I can overcome my feelings about myself while being used by God through it.

  10. Kathi, you are God’s beautiful creation, inside and out. Thanks for sharing vulnerably with us and using your pain for his glory. I think most of us as women have areas of which we feel ashamed or not pretty, whether it be outward or inward issues. You have so beautifully reminded us that God can use every part of our lives to further his kingdom.

    Blessings and peace to you, daughter of the King!

  11. I needed this so much thank you!
    Your words spoke straight to the depths of my wounds…I struggle with major skin picking. So much so that I walk into anywhere feeling a lot the same you do & it’s very lonely. God knew I needed you & your awesome message this morning my kind sister in Christ…thank you for being you!
    I can’t imagine all the others your story touched personally…
    You are brave…you are a warrior…you are enough ALWAYS!
    Lifting you up in prayer that you may see your true beauty & worth each day….
    Peace’Love’Godbless,

    Carrie

    • Carrie – your words are brave and beautiful. Lifting you back in prayer right now that we will both see ourselves through the loving eyes of Him who crafted us.

  12. To all of the writers and those who have left comments about Kathi Lipp’s words I want to dedicate my original words inscribed on the tablet of my heart.”Loving every one of you is easy because all I have to do is be myself.”

    In His Service & for His Glory,
    One of His laid down lovers

  13. Thank you. I make people uncomfortable by laughing about my size. “I may be fat but I’ve never been lazy or overpaid.” But, it does disarm them and makes me feel like “ok, now that’s out of the way.” I appreciate your words; it’s hard to be considered less smart, less capable, less fun, less whatever just because there’s more of me than many others. But, you’re also right, it gives a certain approachable space for others when you accept yourself, even if you don’t like it, without being angry or defensive. That makes it a gift, I guess.

  14. Thank you, Kathi. I just signed up for your CFA emails and will be looking for your podcast because clutter is a huge area of shame for me. It doesn’t matter if I say I don’t notice your size or if someone tells me they don’t care if my house is a mess. WE care and WE notice. Shame is a problem whether it’s connected to something we can’t hide (like you shared) or something we CAN hide (like my messy house.) It’s a problem either way. Praying God leads us to enduring freedom from shame, even when our weaknesses remain.

  15. I watched you on Focus on the Family this morning and looked you up here. This is first thing I’ve read. I almost ate pop tarts this morning after 4 months of staying away from sugar and flour the best I could. My weakness is showing. In my weakness I feel God reaching out to me and giving me strength. It is such a challenge for me to keep going even when it looks like it should be easy to keep going. I am a leader at Celebrate Recovery and for years stood in front of people with my weakness showing. Even if I lose the weight, it is my weakness. I can boast in the Lord that He is my strength. Thank you for being you and being an encouragement.

    • Thank you for being a leader in Celebrate Recovery – what a powerful place to not only be of service, but to make an impact on the world.

  16. “People are looking to others to find safety in sharing their own pain. My weakness, to some people, is the shortcut to safe.” Oh, Kathi, this is so true. Thank you for helping us reframe our weaknesses. I’ve been thinking about this so much with my struggle with anxiety. I don’t like that it’s part of my story — yet again and again, God shows me it’s exactly the thing He is using to draw me closer to Him and bring hope and comfort to others. I’m so crazy grateful for your words today and that you chose to show up here raw and real and bringing the truth. We need it.

    • I hate that anxiety is a part of your story, but I am so grateful I now know who to point people to when it’s a part of their story. Someone who has been there, loves God and can truly help others. A gift.

  17. I have felt this way for years…letting my weight be a defining factor in how I see myself and think others see me too. I remind myself I am made in God’s image not the image of the world but it’s a hard struggle. Thanks for addressing an issue that many
    struggle.
    Looking forward to more of your writing.

  18. My Goodness!!! This is the first time one of the incourage blogs has hit me personally. I too am the “elephant” in the room, usually the biggest. But my size is not the common link here. I have had people say to me time and time again, “I don’t know why I’m telling you this” or “why am I talking to you about this?”. I’ve never seen my size as a gift of a safe place for others to share their stories, their hurts, their pain, fears. I wondered why I seem to hear peoples stories time and again but I never put the 2 together. Because of how God desgined me, I am a safe place for others to share their life stories. Now, I get why I am this way, I get God’s purpose. Wow. Thanks for sharing your story Kathi

  19. Thank you Kathi. Thank you for reminding me that HE can do powerful things through us WHEN we give Him our weakness!
    I remember when I was in Jr. High I had the biggest boobs than even the grown up teachers! I was soooo self conscience. No one my age even had “boobs” yet let alone a grown women’s body. To this day I can get stuck/worried about “the right shirt or dress or bathing suit” fitting my chest perfectly….and I don’t even have giant boobs anymore…lol. Thank you God.
    I’m so grateful I don’t get too stuck in too many “Jr. High body memories” or any weakness that keeps me from the strength God will provide.
    PS… Forgive my body verbiage..

    • Hey there- I want to hug Junior High Janet. Anything that makes us noticed in JH can be a nightmare. She seems to have grown up into a powerful woman!

  20. Thank you, Kathi! This was much needed. I can relate to so much of what you said, since childhood. Still have the scars and wounds from cruel words, names. Still a work in progress to heal. Thanks again for your honesty and transparency.

    Peace and Blessings to you!!

  21. I think your beautiful and perfect just the way you are!! And no I haven’t met you, but I think I do know you…I see your beautiful soul!
    Whispers from God are always more powerful, than the shouts of satan.
    Blessings to all you beautiful ladies out there! Listen for the whispers, God made you perfect for Him!!

  22. Kathi. KATHI. Thank you so much for going first here. I’ve never been able to articulate that uncomfortable feeling when I walk in a room, or why I feel the need to grab a pillow to hold over my stomach when sitting on a couch around friends, or shrink up when sitting in an airplane seat. THIS is why. My weakness, displayed first. Tears today from a girl who understands, and appreciates your message deeply.

  23. Oh, this has encouraged me so much. I too look around a room every time I enter to see who is bigger than me. I’m usually the one. Sigh. I’m printing your post and keeping it as a reminder of God’s willingness to use me in my weakness. One day I’ll have the perfect body. It won’t matter then. Thank you, Jesus!

    • Mitzi – I’m so glad this connected with you enough to print out (the highest compliment.) And yes – I can’t wait to revel in that perfect body on the other side of heaven.

  24. Thank you! Your words are perfect. It has taken most of my adult life to be able to be proud of who I am and how I look. My weight does not represent me, it is the physical manifestation and what others see. I can’t control how they feel about me, but I can control how I feel about me! I’m perfect and healthy just the way I am.
    Ann

  25. This post!!!! Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty. This line is preaching my heart: “But just because I don’t want to stay in my weakness doesn’t mean God cannot — and will not — use it for His glory.”

    • Dorina – thank you. It is a new revelation to me that God can use what I desperately want to remove for His glory. It gives me a new measure of self-grace that I’ve been lacking for a long time.

  26. Wow, Kathi! What a lovely gift today! This really hit home – in the best way.

    My weight has been a constant worry since I had my kiddos. I’ve lost and then gained back 75 pounds in the last 5 years. (Don’t be fooled by my profile picture. I haven’t had the courage to update it yet with “the sturdier” me. 😉

    You did such a wonderful job of explaining how it feels for us “sturdier girls” to walk into a room and feel like we’ve already been counted out. It’s a very real and constant stressor for me, especially since I was mostly in the “normal range” until I had my kiddos. The contrast in treatment cuts hard. We weight-gifted girls feel the judgment like a wet suit that’s water-logged.

    I’m still working on seeing the silver lining in my weakness, but you helped me take another step in the right direction. Hugs and love to you for opening your heart to help heal mine and many others!

    And congrats on your debut contributor post for (in)courage! Can’t wait to read more from you here!

  27. Thank you, Kathy. I just love every time I hear you share. I’d love to chat someday. We would share so much in common. ❤️ You encourage me in Christ and in life.

  28. I can totally relate to your weakness. I too am overweight. I am ashamed of my body. I always think that people are judging me wherever I go. I’ve had people tell me that I just keep getting bigger and bigger. I had a boyfriend breakup with me once, he said, “I can’t date you anymore; you’re too ugly and fat”. I don’t know what hurts more – the things that people have said to me or the things I tell myself. I’ve learned over the years to not listen or pay attention to those who shame me or make fun of me. I’ve also learned to not call myself names like: fat slob, beached whale, disgusting……when thoughts like that creep into my head, I picture a Stop sign – it helps stop those negative thoughts. I know that God loves me just the way I am and I am working on becoming healthier. For those who have and do make fun of me – I don’t need you in my life.

    • I love your stop sign. What a great way of stopping those negative thoughts that are not of God. We do have to carefully curate who is in our lives and whose voice we allow near our hearts.

  29. This is me too, almost my whole life. I am now 66 and have made peace with it, through Christ. I have to say that for health’s sake I wish I had lost weight when I was younger, but my happiness is not ruined because I didn’t. The people in my life love me for who I am, I’m grateful. And most importantly, my Savior loves me no matter what, more grateful than I can say. So appreciated this article.

    • I can commiserate. Since I was a teenager, I have never liked myself – much less loved myself. My husband walked out 3 years ago to go be with another woman – a “petite”, “well dressed” woman. (I am “curvy”.) He and the woman both were/are in their 70s. I am younger – in my 60s!*! While God and the Scriptures have tried to get my attention and belief for years, it took my counselor of the past 3 years working intently with me, challenging me, giving me assignments – making lists and vision boards, laughing with me, crying with me… trying everything she could think of to make me love myself. For me to see my value. To see that I am valuable and loveable. Just because I am uniquely and wonderfully made. (hmmm sounds like a Psalm!) Because of God, and the counselor, and about 4 friends who have been pouring words of encouragement and support into my life, I am beginning to see the light. I need to lose weight. For my health and my self confidence. And I can do that – if I put my mind to that task. But my weight does not define me. I am worthy. I am enough. I am brave and strong. I love myself. What a difference it makes as I walk through my days to have some self-confidence. You too are loveable and loved and uniquely and wonderfully you!

      • Lynda – love everything you wrote here. Yes- your weight, or your divorce or any of those things do not define you. It is God who defines us only!

    • Happiness is a huge health indicator as well. You are helping your health with your intent on peace and happiness as well. Thank you for your kind words.

  30. I have struggled with psoriasis my whole life. Often covered in silvery scales, strangers in stores would ask–what is wrong with you. My self image as a teen was terrible until I happened to have an overnight with my best friend and her large Christian family. They gently told me that my beauty does not come from the outside, but rather the inside and God loves me just how I am. It was the first time anyone validated it is tough to have a disease that others can see–but they saw right through that to the person, God called me to be. Strangers still shy away, but often when they express sympathy, it allows me an opportunity to hear what they struggle with. Sending hugs and prayers that we always see others and ourselves as God sees and loves us.

  31. So many nuggets in this. My take away is both inward and outward. I am just as weak, and just as guilty. Lord, help!

    Thank you for you insight and candor. You ROCK!
    Blessings from So Cal,

  32. You are a great writer. I can never stop reading what you write.
    Why are we so judgmental? We all do it. Thank you for your devotion to writing.
    I saw you in Prescott AZ at a women’s retreat and have enjoyed your writing and wisdom for years.
    Praying that you keep encouraging us for many years to come. I also love the nice things you always say about Roger. As a wife we need to lift our men up more. You are a great example of lifting your man up.
    Thank you!

  33. Our Lord makes us in His image. But we get the flaws . I think the things we struggle with are there to draw us closer to Him. There’s a lot I struggle with too. There’s a lot in my past that I wish I could do over. At the age of 72 or (as we do in our family, turn the numbers around if it will help or just add them together), I’m 27 or 9! I know I can’t redo over. I just accept what I’ve done, learn from it and move on.

    We have the original sin, (just wait until I meet Eve in heaven.)

    When I walk into any room, I too wonder what people are thinking. I can’t change what I am. I think a lot of people are thinking the same thing about themselves. I have an advantage though. Because I’m blind, I can’t see the other people. But, I get a lot from what they say when I’m talking to them for even a short time. I’ve discovered in the 25 year since I lost my sight that a lot of people either are patronizing, pitying me, trying to protect me by taking control of me and feeling responsible for my safety. The best thing anyone can do is to ask if they can help.
    Sorry, I got on a personal tirade. Just be yourself and let God do the rest. I read this some where and say it every day.

    Live simply
    Love generously
    Care deeply
    Speak kindly !
    and leave the rest to God!
    AMEN!

  34. Kathi, moving essay. We all have a weakness which God can use as a strength. Yes, people trust and confide in us more when they see our handicap and weakness. They think we will have empathy and see them through more loving and accepting eyes. May we use our weaknesses to serve those around us and gain their confidence and friendship.

  35. Thanks! It helps to fill in the blank with our own struggles.[being an introvert in an extroverted society].

  36. Kathi, This is such a wonderful devotion. I feel the same way with all kinds of insecurities I have. I’m not the prettiest, skinniest, smartest or most creative in the room – ever. That is if I listen to the enemy! The devil uses those things over and over and over again against me. Most recently I’ve even had anxiety over some of these things. Your vulnerability and heart-felt words are helping me (even as I write this) to look at how God can use me in all kinds of ways for His glory. It’s about the size of the heart not the size of the dress. Thank you for these wonderful words of wisdom. You know I love ya for all. the. things……always. -Deanna

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