Wholehearted Joy

Wholehearted Joy

When life is going well, I tend to get a little nervous.

See, life has been going really well. Six months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and now he is growing and thriving and becoming his own little person. I am currently a stay-at- home-mom, and I’ve really found my groove. I feel purposeful and fulfilled, which is something I was searching for since graduating college almost five years ago. I feel happy…happier than I’ve been in a long, long time. I didn’t know that it was possible to be this happy! My mental health is stable. I’m comfortable with my body. I’m at home in my own skin for the first time…ever.

So why should that make me nervous?

I think it has to do with my view of God. Continue reading “Wholehearted Joy”

When Breastfeeding is Hard

When Breastfeeding is Hard

I didn’t know much about breastfeeding when I was growing up. When I played with baby dolls, I played with plastic pink bottles. I didn’t know anyone who breastfed, so, to me, it was just this vague, weird thing that hippy women did. Why breastfeed when bottle feeding seemed so much more convenient?

When I was in college, I took a developmental psychology class. I read that breast milk was nutritionally superior to formula. I read that a woman’s body was scientifically wired to support her baby’s needs. I read about this awesome hormone called oxytocin that is released during breastfeeding. But I also thought: “Meh. Not for me.” And that was okay. Continue reading “When Breastfeeding is Hard”

Why I won’t be posting a “before and after” photo

Why I won’t be posting a “before and after” photo

I spend a considerable amount of time on Instagram and Pinterest. Like…hours. I purposely don’t look at my iPhone screen time facts because I really don’t want to know how much of my life is spent with my phone. But at this point in my life, I’m okay with it. It makes sense. I have a lot of down time with a baby on my lap or on my boob, so it makes sense that my brain wants something else to occupy itself with. So, the mommy bloggers and food bloggers? They’re keeping me company.

When you follow bloggers and, as they’ve come to be called—“influencers”—you’ll inevitably come across stuff about fitness and “healthy” living. (I put “healthy” in quotes because that word means something different to everyone). And that’s fine. I like getting inspiration for my workouts. I love drooling over pictures of avocados and sweet potatoes and smoothie bowls.

Unfortunately, with the “healthy” living inspiration, diet culture creeps its sneaky way in, and that’s a trap for me. In particular? The before and after photo. Continue reading “Why I won’t be posting a “before and after” photo”

Dear Postpartum Body

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.



So Loved

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”