Walking Tall



     I was born a pre­emie just under four pounds and very small. My fam­ily is fairly short, to aver­age size, and I expected to be like the other women in my fam­ily. I remem­ber when I grew taller than my grandma, my mom and aunt, and real­ized I would prob­a­bly be tall. I am, at 5’10”.


Do not mis­un­der­stand, being tall is not a curse or bad. How­ever, for me, it was, and has been a chal­lenge. For exam­ple, find­ing blouses, skirts, pants and cloth­ing that is long enough is a quest I’m con­stantly on.

It seems I have always cringed at being noticed as above aver­age height. One day I was at the gro­cery store and an older man stopped me and said, “My, you’re a tall drink of water, aren’t you.” I laughed, but it seemed to rein­force my mis­taken view­point that I had some­thing to be embar­rassed about.

I have thought long and hard about why my per­spec­tive of being tall has been a down­fall, instead of an attribute to be embraced.

As a teenager I hunched over ter­ri­bly when I walked. As an adult, I con­stantly remind myself to ‘stand up straight’. Dig­ging deep, I won­dered why I do that any­way, par­tic­u­larly because I admire and find those who stand up straight and proud very attrac­tive and show great con­fi­dence. I truly want to act and project poise and self-assurance.

For me, after reflec­tion and deep pon­der­ing, I believe my self-consciousness of being tall comes from a lack of focus and under­stand­ing of who I am, my value and my worth despite any phys­i­cal attrib­utes. It is easy to talk about how impor­tant and unique we each are, but do we truly inter­nal­ize it?

In real­ity, how blessed I am to have a body that can work, hug, feel the breathe of a breeze across my cheek, enjoy a kiss from my sweet­heart, play with my grand­kids, laugh with my chil­dren, serve, all the count­less bless­ings that come from being alive.

My jour­ney, as may be yours, is to stand tall and proud. It is our oblig­a­tion to love our body and care for it as the hal­lowed ves­sel it is. Also, it is our duty to cease­lessly improve our soul: per­son­al­ity, tal­ents, gifts while con­tin­u­ally serv­ing oth­ers with all our energy, and to be grate­ful for our life here on this earth.

The media or cul­ture may scream their def­i­n­i­tion of what we are to look like; size, shape, height, fea­tures, and many other faulty and flawed opin­ions that are thrown at us unceasingly.

Pos­si­bly we attach our own ‘per­fect pic­ture’ which actu­ally detracts us from see­ing the beauty and excep­tional indi­vid­ual we really are.

What­ever the case may be, we can find the exquis­ite­ness, love­li­ness and mag­nif­i­cent per­son we are, and embrace it.


By being thank­ful for what we have, not com­par­ing our­selves with oth­ers, and improv­ing in ways God would have us do. Let’s love what we are, stand proud, and with grace pro­claim our indi­vid­ual value and worth to the world and our self.

Copy­right Car­rie Grone­man, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Rec­og­nize a bless­ing and be a bless­ing today


12 thoughts on “Walking Tall

  1. I guess you just never know, but like you I was short and small for my age, but I never did make it past 5’2″. Emma, my older daugh­ter, was also small at birth and was actu­ally only 5 lbs 15 oz and 17.5 inches at 39 week (term) deliv­ery. I am not sure, but won­der if she were to grow taller then me what the odds would be, but for her sake I do hope she get a few extra inches and got my fin­gers crossed, because on the flip side, I was always being told what I couldn’t do, because I was still too short when I was grow­ing up. But I do so very much love your less on here and thanks for sharing :)

  2. Car­rie, what a beau­ti­ful and impor­tant mes­sage. Thank you for writ­ing such a lovely, pos­i­tive mes­sage to the world. Every word that chal­lenges those lim­it­ing social stereo­types and expec­ta­tions can set some­one free. ♥

  3. You have done it again Car­rie with your great post. Per­fectly said. In today’s cul­ture, the power’s that be are lit­er­ally bank­ing on the fact that we do not like who we are, and mag­nify our small imper­fec­tions. How else could they sell us the lat­est beauty cream, weight loss prod­uct, or designer jeans. I think the world is slow­ing wak­ing up to this fact. Let’s hope it is more than head knowl­edge and begins to pen­e­trate down into our souls. We are all unique and beau­ti­ful just the way we are!

  4. Car­rie,

    I can see where being tall can give you chal­lenges. You made me think about all the times I have said I wish I were taller. We prob­a­bly all wish we could change a few things about us. Like you said, we need to embrace who we are and how God made us. I need to remem­ber that God made me the way I am for a pur­pose and plan he had for me.
    Thanks for shar­ing!
    Diane Roark

  5. This is beau­ti­ful, Car­rie. I am almost as tall as you (5′ 9″) and remem­ber how much I hated being tall as a pre-teen/young teen. I had poor pos­ture too; my mother was always on my case about stand­ing up straight! Even now I have to remind myself fre­quently to stand up straight and tall. But the “big­ger pic­ture” you have painted is really what’s impor­tant — we need to learn to love the bod­ies we’re in and be grate­ful for them, whether we’re short or tall, thin or heavy, con­ven­tion­ally beau­ti­ful or not. Thanks so much for shar­ing this.

  6. Won­der­ful post, I am 5’9″ and they called me the pos­ture princess in school. I always stood with a straight back. I had trou­ble buy­ing clothes too and my Mother and I made a lot of my clothes. I was called Mama Long Legs and asked “how is the weather up there” more times than I can count. The pos­i­tive mes­sage shared in this sweet post is what mat­ters though. Thank you for shar­ing xo

  7. I am 4’10″, so I am on the oppo­site end as you. I strug­gle to find cloths and shoes. I love being me and don’t have a prob­lem being short but it is hard to reach things and shop for myself. Keep believ­ing in your­self. How tall you are is just how tall you are it doesn’t reflect the per­son you are and more than that there is noth­ing wrong with being tall or short. Love the post.

  8. What a great post. I’m 5’9″, and wasn’t even born small (9#,1oz.). I have been aware of my taller stature as far back as I can remem­ber, and it has been dif­fi­cult at times. I remem­ber not stand­ing up tall, not want­ing to be so much more taller than my short friends.
    I am blessed to have a won­der­ful hus­band who tells me often that he loves the fact that I’m tall. It’s still hard, but his reas­sur­ance is such a bless­ing. And, I have finally found a way to feel “short”. I can just stand between my 20-year old (6’4″) and 18-year old (6’5″) sons!
    Thanks for shar­ing such an encour­ag­ing and uplift­ing post!

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