Dear Postpartum Body

Dear Postpartum Body,

First of all, you’re amazing. You grew a human being inside of you—let’s get that on the record.

I’m sorry that I don’t always love you well. You deserve better.

I am not going to compare you to other bodies. You are my body, unique all on your own.

I am not going to hide you.

Stretch marks prove that you are mighty in battle.

I refuse to say that I need to “get back in shape.” You have a perfect shape already.

I wasn’t kind to my old body, but I’m going to do better with you.

I am not going to cut you, harm you, hate you. I did that to my old body, and I’m not doing it to you.

My husband sees how I treat you. My son will hear how I talk about you.

I will exercise because it makes you feel well, not because I want to look a certain way.

I will feed you wholesome things because it sustains you, not because I want to shrink you.

I won’t wait to buy you clothes until I look like I did before. I will let you look pretty right now. I’ll buy the bigger size because you deserve to look beautiful just as you are.

I will never take a “before and after” photo—you’re worth more than that.

I don’t wish you away. I invite you to stay.

I celebrate you.

I honor you.

You let me nourish my child.

You let me love my husband.

You let me see the world.

You hold a beautiful soul inside of you, dear body. You are a vessel of something sacred.

Love,

Anna

So Loved

God’s love: When you’re a Christian, you tend to hear a lot about it. Especially during the Easter season, there is an emphasis in church on the John 3:16 truth: “For God so loved the world…” I memorized that verse a long time ago as a six year old in Sunday school and AWANAS. But for whatever reason, I have a hard time incorporating that truth into my practical reality.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been let down by others, so I brace myself to be let down by God. Or maybe it’s because I have such a hard time loving myself that I can’t comprehend someone would actually love me. Whatever the reason, God’s love has always seemed intangible to me, something I can’t quite grasp.

I’m not a perfect person. In fact, I can be a downright lousy person when I want to be. I’m always selfish. I’m often jealous. I have a quick and petty temper. I hate those parts of myself, and I’m pretty sure others aren’t too fond of them either. I hurt those closest to me, over and over and over. So could God love me? Yeah, yeah, I know he loves me because that’s what I’m supposed to believe. But…really? I don’t think I’ve actively believed it.

But then I had a baby. Continue reading “So Loved”

Searching for Purpose

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write. Sometimes I go through phases when I barely write at all, which is hard when so much of my identity is in being a writer. I envy the kinds of writers who go up to their lovely writing lofts every day and write for hours and hours. I’m just not that kind of writer, I guess. I thrive on creative bursts, so when creativity is lacking, I have a hard time forcing it. I’m not very disciplined. But today I’m finally sitting down to get words on the page.

So what have I been up to?

I’m not working right now. For a while, this was a struggle for me. I felt a sense of purposeless, of failure. Jobs I applied for didn’t work out, which was impactful on my self-esteem. I struggled with questions like: Am I not good enough? Why doesn’t anyone want me? What am I even good at? And then I got pregnant. Since I’m planning to stay home with the baby, I didn’t want to start a job that I’d be leaving in a few months. So I decided to stop the job search and to just wait for the baby. But here’s the thing: waiting turned out to be very hard. I felt the purposelessness very keenly, very acutely. I began to wonder: What is my purpose? How do I bring meaning into my life? Continue reading “Searching for Purpose”

Thankful

I’ve been wanting to blog for a while now, but every time I’ve thought about sitting down to write, something kinda strange kept me from my computer. I wanted to write, but I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to come out once I did.

Those of you who’ve followed me know that I tend to write about an issue, concern, or pressing thought when I have one. Lately, though, I just haven’t had any. And you know what? That’s been pretty great. It’s nice not to have a concern constantly bearing down on me.  Continue reading “Thankful”