Summer can be quite rude to a body, you know?
Sun burns and magazine covers and swimsuits and comparison and so much sweating.
It’s my first summer in my brand-new mom bod, and I’m humbled to say it’s throwing me for a loop. But it is.
And so I’ll keep it short and sweet, I think, for this new mom and moms in summer everywhere.
Permission granted to not be fully recovered from the holy trauma of birthing a human being.
Permission granted to look like the moms we are.
Permission granted to have a body that never really goes back, that has softened to never truly harden again.
Permission granted to order that slimming swimsuit from Walmart and never look back. (Yep, permission granted to be my twinsie.)
Permission granted to face our bodies in the mirror without eye-rolling, hushed grumbling, frustration.
Permission granted to look at these curves and say, “Thank you.”
Thank you to our bodies. To the skin that stretched and the muscles that gave way. To the feet willing to stand, legs willing to walk, hands willing to work all throughout the day. To the hair willing to be dirty, face willing to go barely-made, ears always listening for the next moment of need.
And doesn’t gratitude change a life? Change a self-image?
This body has sacrificed. This body has stretched and broken and bled and rebuilt for the sake of multiplied life. This body keeps moving and making and minding busyness day in and day out.
It deserves more than the eye-rolling, self-loathing, why-can’t-you-be-more-like-her nagging than I’ve given these last few months.
These pounds made life possible.
This stretch made room for his soul.
This is what it means to look like a mom.
And I will be thankful.
Yeah, my body is not my masterpiece, it’s my paintbrush. So I thank it and we keep making this art called home.
And it’s not that I lack self-worth, but that I lack awe at He who created me. So I thank my body and the Designer who saw fit to stretch me out to make room for life.
And gratitude changes me. My waist may not shrink any smaller, my hips may never be the same, and my arms may never hint to the watching world how many 23-lbs reps I do each day.
But the shape of my heart grows less fixated on my body and more like the heart of the Man who gave His own body to be crushed for my soul. And His is all the true beauty I want to enjoy.
So I’ll be here, by His good pleasure, cutting criticism instead of calories, upping commendation instead of cardio, using my body for the good work of real life.
Yeah, we women, we were made to make art. Lots of it. And wouldn’t the enemy of our souls love to watch us standstill trying desperately hard to be art? We are art because of He who made us. We are artists because He made us to be like Him.