25 Feb 2014

On Motherhood :: On Postpartum Body Image

Maybe you saw this floating around facebook - "Babies Ruin Bodies" : An Ode to my Postpartum Body.

It's beautiful truth. 
I love the photography.
This is one of my favourite parts (though the whole article is totally worthy of the 5 free seconds you have a day if you're a mom to read!)

"My body is only a vessel for my spirit.
  It is an incredible vessel.
  It is strong, well, abled, and undefeated.

  My body is full of life.
  My body is powerful.
  My body made me a mother."

A while ago i read the book, Loving the Little Years and part of it that really hit me was on body image. I was struck by the truth unfolded... that i had never before been taught and that was VERY countercultural to everything we hear around us as women.

“First of all, our bodies are tools, not treasures. You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in it’s eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dinted body. Motherhood uses your body in the way that God designed it to be used. Those are the right kind of damages. We are not to treat our bodies like museum pieces. They were given to us to use. So use it cheerfully, and maintain it cheerfully. When you are working hard to lose that baby weight (as you may need to), think of it as tool maintenance. You want to fix your body up in order to be able to use it some more. We should not be trying to fix it up to put it back on the shelf out of harms’ way or to try to make ourselves look like nothing ever happened. Your body is a tool. Use it.
Also, your body is a tool – maintain it. Having sacrificed your body for your children is no excuse for schlepping around in sweatpants for the rest of their childhood…..So realize that your body is a testimony to the world of God’s design. Carry the extra weight joyfully until you can lose it joyfully. Carry the scars joyfully as you carry the fruit of them. Do not resent the damages that your children left on your body. Just like a guitar mellows and sounds better with age and scratches, so your body can more fully praise God having been used for HIs purposes. So don’t resent it, enjoy it.”

Such beautiful truth i think more women need to hear... 
your body will never be the same... neither will you.
May we embrace God's call to a sacrificial kind of living that asks us to daily die to self and give of ourselves for our children. But may we also not be conformed to the world's way of thinking about beauty and our bodies. A great reminder from the apostle Paul,
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Romans 12:1-2

  Personal note: my 3rd pregnancy (pictured here) ended up being an emergency c-section... never did i hope or plan to have a c-section, but His grace and kindness to me in our 3rd sons birth was immeasurable. our son is arrived healthy and he is happy and growing quickly. i will forever carry the marks of his birth and in a unique way bear this scar as a badge -- that God made me a mom, and a giver of life.


Chris ecker said...

Krista, my friend had 8 kids and her husband use to say her body displayed battle wounds of love! I always remembered that! Thought it was such a lovely way to describe a mama body!