The last couple of weeks I feel like I’ve been attacked and hit with so many grenades of the insecurity kind that I feel compelled to share with you ladies some thoughts on the subject.
Why are we, why am I, so negative and shameful towards my body?
All our body ever does is carry us through life, give us babies, feed the babies, give comfort hugs to those near us, waves hello, gives goodbye kisses, and welcomes home our loves ones. It protects, strengthens, comforts and loves on everyone else, so why don’t we do the same and protect our body by treating it properly and dressing it with respect and grace it deserves. Why not take time to strengthen our body at the gym, by going for a walk, eat proper fueling nutrition to give it power to keep going. Take time to comfort the body to let it heal, like after giving birth for example, and let the body rest on a regular basis (this one is hard for me, I tend to go and go until I’m really hurting) and take a day out of the week for a sabbath – no hard work physically or mentally.
After all the love our body gives to the husband, kiddos, hugs our friends, and pet the fur babies, I strongly believe we need to find time to actively love our body back. For me it means mani/pedi on a regular basis, sometimes a massage or a bubble bath with some alone time. The biggest fight in actively loving yourself, in my opinion, has to come from your mind. This battle every woman has to fight on her own and woman, I FEEL you these past few weeks. If YOU have been fighting in the battlefield of the mind against the weapons of insecurity and loneliness, I am with you.
You are not alone in the fight.
You are not alone because we, all and every woman, feel you.
You are not alone because God is there to catch every tear and hold your hand through every valley to help you walk out of that battle. Remember, you may not win every battle, and its ok because you just need to focus on winning the war. And I believe that you can and will win the war, you will build your self esteem, self love and self worth; you can do that by arming yourself with the strength of God, His love for you, His healing words and the perseverance to push through.
I am an introvert, it may be hard for some to believe that – but I am, I am just a very social introvert. When I am experiencing these attacks and the struggles I tend to close in and not share my thoughts and feelings with anyone, and let me tell you, it’s harder to get through when you’re dealing with it alone. So, find a friend or someone who loves you and will help you through the process. Talk to God in a way that works for you and you will find that your battle is almost over.
Today is Mother’s Day. You would expect that I would be thinking about what it means to be a mom and how motherhood changed me. But it’s not what I am thinking about.
I have been a mom for five minutes and I feel like I still have so much to learn! Every day brings new joys and new learning experiences, new opportunities to learn about myself and about my baby. One day I hope to be like the mom my children can adore and see Jesus through every word (thats hard for me), and every eye roll, and every hug and every tear.
This past week my thoughts have been consumed by more insecurity and negative thoughts of my body, my wifery (if that makes sense), and the way I am doing this motherhood thing. Today I am thinking of WHY. Why is it that some days I am not able to see past the imperfections of my body and feel proud of what the stretch marks mean, and feel proud of the wide shoulders and strong arms that carry a big baby boy around all day long?!
Why is it that some days I am not able to see past my questions and struggles as a business woman to confidently help others?
Why is it that the emotions and insecurities I used to struggle with as a teen are not going away? Maybe this one you also feel with me.
Every time I share my thoughts with a woman or a teen girl, a mother, a sister, a grandmother, a married and a single woman, I find we all have something in common. We, a woman, each have the girl inside who is scared and wants to be loved for who she is, especially on the days when she can’t love herself. I feel like a lot of my adulthood revolved around either hiding this girl or pleasing her need to sulk in loneliness.
Today I would to speak to that girl whom you like to hide, from one soul sister to another.
I am with you.
Let me hold your hand, look deep into your eyes until the human connection makes you teary, squeeze your hand a little and feel that lump in your throat that you’re unable to swallow.
I am with you. I feel your pains. I feel your insecurities. I see the imperfections in the mirror.
I am here to tell you that you are beautiful, you are not alone and NO, you don’t look bloated, and NO, you don’t look 4 months pregnant. People don’t see what you see, they see the smile, the genuine laughter, the strong hugs you give that take your breath away a little, they see that bright lipstick, they see your hair curl and fall into your face, and they think its cute.
You are beautiful! Especially because it is Mother’s Day take a moment to love you, the real you. If you are a mother and if you are not, take a moment to hug that young girl who’s hiding deep inside, bring her out to the sunshine (even if its raining all weekend like it is where I am). Spend a minute with God and let His presence and truth fill your heart with hope. Because when you are filled with love only God can provide and truth only He can make true, you will be equipped to love yourself truly, be a better daughter, a kinder friend, and a more patiently loving wife.
Take time today to beautify. I love that word because to me it brings hope. You can take anything and make it more beautiful! I believe God does that with every one of us! Start with your hair, do something special, not like every day, add just a little more mascara then usual, wear the good shoes and that dress that makes your body curve in just the right ways. (if you don’t have a dress like that talk to me)
Go out of the house, love yourself and go love on your mom. Bring her flowers with some good quality time.
I am a mother now and I love things, but no matter how many things I have on my wish list, the best gift for me is spent with my baby when I don’t have to worry about taking care of anything else but him.
I am a mother now, but I am first a woman. I believe that if I am a better woman then I will also be a better mom. If you’re not a momma yet, take the time now to better yourself and prepare because that strength you will need later.
I hope you will be inspired to be the best version of yourself, the woman God wants you to be. Set aside and fight insecurities! Encourage the woman next to you! Hug your mama extra tight tonight.
your soul sister.
P.s. Photos are taken by Delaine, a New York City photographer. It was a dream to work with her! Something you may never see, she really is good at what she does, is how busy and hectic that morning was for me, my hair wasn’t the way I wanted it, the dress I wanted to wear didn’t come in on time, and other stuff that just kept getting in the way of how I wanted to feel that day. So I put my good shoes on and wore a little extra mascara.
p.s.s. Blue shoes are my favorite. It’s the best statement color because it looks good on everyone!
Yes. That dreaded by every woman word. Especially pregnant women.
Ladies, Im not immune.
Last week I found my first stretch mark, I won’t tell you where or show you, but I started to get bothered by it. I literally thought I was immune and it was going to get by me. I am entering month 8 of pregnancy, so close to the end, and already having a really big belly I thought I was the lucky one! My weight gain was consistent and I didn’t do anything special to prevent the stretch marks.
And here they are. In two spots. Just hanging out.
Immediately my mind went to that time when I will be on the beach next summer, in a two piece bikini, looking super hot with my new body and the cutest little boy running around. Just as immidiately that vision blurred into something horrid where I haven’t lost the weight and start hiding behind a full on moo moo in the middle of the summer heat just to hide these tiny stretch marks like they were shaming my body.
To all the women with stretch marks, the scars of life, the proof of REAL life, to every woman with a real body and the deep desire to be accepted for the beauty that she is, I FEEL you. I’m part of the stretch mark club now too.
Being in this exclusive ‘you have to have been there’ club I’d like to invite you on a new journey; instead of letting your mind go to the shame department on your body that’s full of life and stories, and often miracles, take time to celebrate your body, honor it and treat it for the worth it is! A miracle maker. It gives you life and it gave life to the children you have, or will have.
I am realizing that stretch marks have nothing to do with the lotions and oils you use or don’t use. It’s more genetic then anything. Ultimately there is barely anything you can do to prevent them, but you can help your body recover well and make them less apparent by the food you intake, the exercise and honoring your body. I eat organic food, take walks for exercise now while pregnant which is as much as I’ve told myself I can do during the summer heat, and still I’m in the club.
How about we worry less about the ‘battle scars’ and worry more about the way we feel about them transferring to our children, our daughters’ security and self esteem, our sisters, our friends and our own self worth that directly effects confidence and even work performance. How about we take the time to celebrate our body as a temple where God can live and heal our hearts from all the negative and the beating we give it?
I wish I could tell you that I have a secret weapon, a way to get get rid of the stretch marks or the negativity about self-worth inside your own mind. I have nothing except words of encouragement that you’re not alone.
I do wish to tell you what my secret potion is, my secret strength and constant; and it’s not my husband, or friends, or food diet. It’s the confidence in the God who loves me, created me the way I am, heals my heart and helps me win these battles daily. Because let’s face it if you’ve been in a battle inside your own head, against yourself, you know you would lose. Don’t let the enemy take away your joy.
Embrace every freckle, every stretch mark, every mole, every single imperfection that perfectly makes up you as a whole! You’re beautiful.