You. Are. Beautiful.

Why do we take the pictures? Why do we chase the beauty? Why do we travel the miles to take the pictures. Mama, I see you. I feel you. I am you.

Mamahood is this incredibly exciting and beautiful journey. It’s also exhausting. Loving our littles is so beautifully rewarding, as we see them grow, explore, learn, and blossom into these amazing people.

We tell them, “You are beautiful. You are so handsome. Ohhh I like your face! I love your cuddles, you are sweet, and kind, and smart, you are the answer to my prayers.” We encourage them and build them up. We tell them truths; and pray the truths we tell them are not marred but the untruths this world will throw at them, as they venture beyond our reach.

We do all this, while we look in the mirror. And WHILE we look in the mirror we tell ourselves lies. “You need more makeup. Oh look at those crows feet, those stretch marks. You need to lose those post baby pounds. You were prettier when you were younger. Your stomach is too big, your arms too flabby…” We do this consciously and subconsciously. We do this daily. And when we meet with our fellow mama friends, we support each other (with good intentions) is this unrealized self-shaming.

Mama I want you to pause here. And I want to ask you a hard question. Why do you see yourself as less-than when Your body has taken you through this life of joys and sorrows? “The truest thing about you is that you are made and loved by God, and the truest thing about Him is that He can not make bad things” (Jess Connely). That doesn’t just pertain to your infant form. It has experienced both growth and trauma. It has seen you through illness, grief, pleasure, hormones, and so so much more. It has filtered environmental toxins, food toxins, chemical toxins and emotional toxins. Your body IS doing what it is designed for.

So why do we take the pictures? Why do we chase the beauty? Is it for our children? Our spouses? Or could it be we need a reminder of the love when we sit in our deepest criticisms. It’s to help us see the beauty when all we can see are the lies.

So go back. Look at these pictures, and try for just a moment to look through the eyes of your little, your husband, your God. Your body is beautiful, as it is, now. God made it, not just to hand over to you when you were born, but to withstand the life you have now, in this imperfect world. So breathe and rest in His love.