Redemption of My Body

Over the past several months, I have been walking through a fear of mine that has been running in the back of my head for years. Since I was in middle school, I have dealt with body image issues, lack of confidence, and jealousy of other females and what ‘they had’.

Feeling too fat and not accepting my curves as beautiful, I fought to keep the athletic shape my sporting efforts created. Tirelessly working out well beyond a healthy level, I let fear be my motivation.

Fear of being too fat.Image result for body scale"

Within this struggle was the question as to what my body would look like if I became pregnant and how it would be transformed after I delivered.

One of the reasons I was okay not getting pregnant was because of the way my body would be forced to change, stretch, disfigure.

Fears of the gaining weight and even more so the stretching of the skin and not being in control of how my body would be after I delivered was an ongoing torment in my life.

Through my fertility struggles, one way that I coped with the disappointment after each ‘try’ was saying to myself, “well, at least you have a flat stomach”. My desperate attempt for acceptance.

This pregnancy was a miracle within itself.

I housed this perfect little peanut inside of me and nourished it with good, healthy, nutrient foods to help her grow.

My body grew too.

Grateful to have only gained the appropriate weight for growing a baby, I felt healthy and strong in my skin.

Days leading up to delivery-

“The feet are swollen. The fingers look like mini sausages. The bladder feels constantly full. The weight on the scale is reaching scary numbers*.”

This has been a journey towards redemption for me.

Letting go of what my body needed to do to continue to grow this miracle, trusting that my body was responding the way it was supposed to.

I released my fears and let God control my weight, my aches, my sore muscles, and my mind.

*Scary numbers to me were back to the highest numbers I have ever seen on the scale.

Days after delivery-

“The feet are still swollen. My body hurt, my back aches and it’s hard for me to stand up straight. It hurts to sit and lay on my side feels weird as I still have a weird drooping sensation of my stomach that pulls my skin down to the mattress.”

The days following my delivery, I was amazed at how much weight I had lost in such a short amount of time. My body felt so worn down and used and my limbs flopped like a rag doll. The core center of my body (stomach and back) was depleted of strength from the delivery and I could not imagine doing much more with myself than sitting, sleeping, and minimal walking to the kitchen. My stomach was still round (although it had gone down a lot), and I wondered what my body was going to look like.

Weeks after delivery-

“The feet are no longer swollen. My body isn’t hurting, thank you, God! I still have a pouch in my stomach area, when is this going to go away?”

My midwife confirms that although I do not have diastasis recti above my belly button, I certainly have it below. My stomach muscles are about 2.5 inches apart and when I push down my stomach is all squishy.

She gives the okay to start mild exercises to help bring the muscles back together.

My weight is closer to my normal range, but I still feel ‘blah’.

Two months after delivery-

My body has returned to the weight it was before becoming pregnant. How in the world is this possible? I attribute it to healthy eating and a balanced approach to pregnancy and after delivery.

Nope, no exercise either! What a gift to not be chained to that insanity of trying to make my body respond a certain way. Instead, I have just let my body heal and with it is a healthier lifestyle.

I feel gratitude for the support I receive from people around me who have been through pregnancy in a healthy way.

While there is still a bulge in my midsection, like a little squishy pouch, I am fitting into my regular skinny jeans and will trust that my body will look exactly as it’s supposed to.

It probably won’t look like it had before, but I did carry a human in there for 10 months.

Acceptance around what is, exactly as it is today.

I am healthy. My baby is healthy. My body is meant to bear children. I am perfectly created by God and so is my body.

Redemption of my body… and my mind around my image.

To Be Delivered in 5-6 Months…

Let me begin by saying this… I am EXTREMLY happy for all the people who I know are pregnant. I believe that Gods timing and plan is absolutely perfect and would never wish anything other than Gods plan for my life or anyone else’s.

I will continue to pray for the health and positive experiences for each of my friends as they walk down the road I hope to be on too.

Where I see my issues come out are when my sinful nature of jealousy, self-centeredness, and lack of trust are mixed with longing, impatience and fear.

As you can see, I’ll be the first to admit it and am quite aware of it, so as I write the following, I understand it comes from my own ‘stuff’ verses the love I have for those around me and the joy they are experiencing by growing their families.

It’s been quite trying for me this holiday season.  I was extremely excited when I heard the words come out of my husbands mouth that he’s ready and wanting to look into all options for us to grow our family.

In many ways, I feel we have ben given the green light, as we are both on the same page towards growing our family.

The way my mind naturally operates though, is when I see something or think about something, I want it… now. There are instances where this is a great thing, and I’m able to push through and work hard for something…

But there are also downfalls to this intense grip I have on wanting what I want, when I want it.

I’m just being honest.

Thankfully, I have learned various tools to help me curb this quick, insatiable response towards things in life, but I know how it affects me and how much more I have to go to God and pray for his protection around my own selfish desires.

Thus, this Christmas season, as I was on Facebook (which I rarely am anymore)- I began to see the picture roll of birth announcements… baby coming in April, May, June…

My honest reaction was, ‘oh my gosh, seriously? Another one?’

As though there was something in the water and all of a sudden, everyone became pregnant.

It seemed as though my entire group of married friends announced they are pregnant.

I will admit if I was pregnant, I am sure I would be right there, doing the same. What a fun Christmas present to revel to the world! Announcing a new life is a celebration of what’s to come and renewal, hope and opportunity.

More than anything the reaction of jealousy… why them and not me? When will my time come? Will it come?

Was mixed with doubt… do I even want a child? Am I ready to be selfless and give my all to another person?

And then came the root of it all for me… the fear of missing out.


This never goes away for me, it seems.

I have had this reaction a lot growing up. Thinking everyone else is on the fast train to somewhere wonderful while I’m left here just walking along, sometimes aimlessly stumbling.

When I was single and everyone around me was getting engaged, I felt this same mixture of emotions. Jealousy that they had found ‘theirs’, fear that I never would, uncertain of the timing or who ‘he’ would be. Doubtful that there would be anyone left for me…

Mostly though, I was scared to miss out on all the opportunities these married friends were experiencing and I was the outsider looking in the window on a fabulous party, that I was not invited to.

And so again, I sit in this FOMO.

If I am not able to conceive my own child then I am scared to miss out on all the wonderful experiences women have when carrying a child. The highs and the lows associated with growing a baby. The connection a woman feels when the little one is growing inside, the kicking and the movement, the incomparable connection to a true miracle growing and changing inside another body…

Don’t get me wrong; I know this miracle comes with major discomfort, body changes, stretch marks, sickness, etc. The means of carrying a baby in their infant growth is no walk in the park, but for the opportunity to take the not so fun… with the incredible.

  • The fear that I would not be apart of the “Mommy” group if I don’t experience carrying an infant and then delivering and bringing a baby into this world.
  • The inadequacy I might feel for not having a body that is ‘normal’ to be able to house such wondrous miracles.
  • The less than I could experience for not being able to relate to the majority of women when it comes to labor pains and childbirth. Not to mention that leverage I would not have over my child when he/she is upset and I could say, “I brought you into this world and suffered the pains for it!” (Ok I don’t really see myself saying this, but I know people who have).
  • The left out feeling of not being able to experience what women are created to do with our bodies and not being able to be ‘in’ the mommy club because I didn’t carry a child and deliver.

Now I am very well aware that these are just the fears, the uncertainties, and the hypothetical feelings of what could happen if…

The reality is, I am not sure these are really necessary to entertain because I am not 100% certain that I won’t be able to carry my own child.

There is a very real possibility that all this thinking and now typing could be for nothing if by God’s miracle I’m able to conceive and carry. Which is why I’m not dwelling too much on this… and in fact am grateful for the process of my feelings.

So what do I do…

  • I get into gratitude about all the things I DO have in my life.
  • I write down all the things God has blessed us with and I thank God for all the wonderful opportunities we have to experience TODAY.
  • I let myself become aware of my feelings as I react to another friends’ birth-announcement.
  • I trust that I am right where I am supposed to be, today.
  • Pray for God’s will and His timing and for my thoughts and wants to be aligned with his.

As I scroll Facebook and see all the exciting announcements of the new generation to come in 2017… I am scared to miss out on the opportunity to experience what I believe all these happy faces and pictures lead me to think.

Yet with recognition of my feelings I am hopeful and trusting that everyone has a story to live out, and this is just mine.

Looking forward to seeing how God is going to work this one out for us!

The Place We Call Home

photo-1464146072230-91cabc968266I love driving around neighborhoods to see the different houses. The architecture, the colors, the landscape while imagining what the inside must be like. Recently, I have become familiar with Houz, a Pinterest type for homes showing pictures of all areas of a home including the materials used in the pictures (paint type/color, etc.). It gives me insights into the various tastes and home decorating ideas people are drawn to today.

When we were looking for a house, we toured in and out of multiple houses all that had individual characteristics and facets that made them unique. Once settling on our house, we began changing the inside to match our personalities and to decorate the walls with our ideas. It has been a huge undertaking, and little by slow this house built in the 1950’s has grown into the place we call home.

So what makes a house (a foundation, walls, a roof) a home?

It is the personalized touches that demonstrate the personalities of the people who live there. The scented candles, the colors on the wall, the pictures of special moments, the ‘life’ within the house. The serene space I come back to after a full day of being ‘out there’ in the world of work, interactions and discomfort. A space that is welcoming to others and remains a consistent place of safety.

At the deeper level, I feel a home is where I can refuel my soul, and work on anything that I need to repair in my thoughts, behaviors or emotions. My home is the place where I can build my life.

Build your life on the firm foundation of true gratitude to God for all His blessings and true humility because of your unworthiness of these blessings. Build your frame of your life out of self-discipline; not allowing yourself to become lazy or selfish or contented with yourself. Build the walls of your life out of service to others, helping them find their way in life. Build your roof out of prayer and quiet times, waiting for God’s guidance from above. Build the garden around your life out of peace of mind and serenity and a sure faith. -Twenty-Four Hours A Day


How often to I protect my home from the outside world of negativity, busy-ness, materialism, jealousy…? I must admit, it’s a practice to clear my mind and habits of ‘junk’ and let my day go when I return home. What motivates me is a desire for a safe-haven. A place to retreat to from the world, and a place to find solace in the midst of productivity and the ‘going’ pace around me. Intentionally leaving my work at my work and praying for God to come make this place one of rejuvenation.

What are some ways you have made your house, a home?

Just One More Thing…

Famous last phrase.

I get so wrapped up into my days and wanting to accomplish my to-do list that I find myself saying, “Just one more thing”. Trying to squeeze another thing into my day which only makes my life and me more crazy more unmanageable.

I want to feel accomplished each day and I want to get as much done in order for me to then relax. I laugh as I write that, because how many times have I approached my to-do list with this mindset and then I don’t really get to relax because I don’t have enough time to once my list is completed… Or I don’t get the chance to relax because my list continues to grow as I go throughout my day.

The red flag for me is when I am running errands or working on tasks and it’s time for me to change my focus and I say, “Just one more thing”. Or when I’m driving home and I need to be home to do something and I think I can squeeze in one more stop… “Just one more place”.

Typically, I then feel rushed and my focus turns to completing the task as quickly as possible and this inevitably causes me to feel anxious and impatient with the people I’m around. Either people aren’t working fast enough to check me out in a store, people aren’t driving fast enough, there’s too much traffic and I am irritable at others and then I beat myself up for choosing to do that ‘one more thing’ when I know I fall into this situation each time I give into that darn phrase.

“Just one more thing” equates to “I don’t trust I’ll have time at another time to complete this so I must do it now’… NOT TRUSTING the time God has given me for the tasks I was to complete.

What if I looked at it as though the work and errands I didn’t complete weren’t supposed to get done that day and to ask for another time in the near future to complete them.

Why do I feel as though the plans I make for my day are the best plans and that I need to accomplish them in order to be accomplished? Is it that I find value and worth in what I accomplish?

My prayer is to use the phrase “just one more thing” to be reminded to go to God in faith that what I have done is enough and that I can let go of my to-do list and instead of be in the hubbub of busyness but to rest in the margin of life.