Category Archives: body image

such a pretty girl

Such a pretty girl. We were sitting on the couch when he said it, tucking a few stray strands of hair behind my ear. It was so tender, so loving. So genuine.

I thought of the many times I had said those same words to my daughter, hoping that if I said it enough, she’d grow up believing it. That if she heard it enough, it would become true for her.

Such a pretty girl, I say, when washing her hair, getting her dressed, brushing her teeth, playing peek-a-boo. Pretty bow for a pretty girl, I say, trying to entice her into letting me clip a cloth-covered barrette into her finally-starting-to-come-in hair. Look at the pretty dress for my pretty girl! I exclaim, when I pull out a sweet jumper from a new bag of hand-me-downs.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing deep in her bones that she is beautiful. I don’t want her ever to doubt it.

I also want her to know why she is beautiful.  Continue reading

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under body image, children, God, god & faith, identity, idolatry

splinters

My 20-month old daughter got her first splinter last week. It was one of those early spring days in New York, when everyone is both afraid to be overly hopeful and also completely ecstatic. We spent the afternoon at the playground, and I didn’t even notice the splinter until the following day. The shard of wood was long and deeply embedded. The skin around it was red and probably infected. Removing the splinter was awful, and I think everyone in the family cried.

Splinters don’t hurt much going in – they seem to slip under the skin so effortlessly. But removing the wood requires digging deeper into the surrounding area. Sometimes you have to cut open more skin in order to fold it back and grasp the splinter firmly enough to pull it out. In my childhood memories, the removal of a splinter was far more painful than acquiring it in the first place. Sometimes I even purposefully hid them from my parents to avoid it – but in the end, removal was always necessary.

My daughter suffered as my husband dug gently into her hand to remove the wood. This pain was necessary for healing. Without it, the infection would have worsened.

I have had many splinters in my life. Some have been identified quickly and removed without many tears. Others have embedded themselves deeply, and the discovery and then removal process has been painful, filled with struggle and suffering. My deepest, most infected splinters are not splinters of wood beneath my skin, Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under body image, career, contentment, God, god & faith, identity, idolatry, music, viola, work

ready to run

IMG_7910

I laced up my marathon shoes today for the first time since finishing the New York City Marathon. It felt GOOD. (I’ve run a few dozen miles since, but always in my training shoes — for the record.)

In the 17 years since moving to the East coast, I’ve only managed to “run through” the entire winter – whether outdoors or on a treadmill – a handful of times. This year was not one of those times. I entered the lottery for the NYC Half in March, hoping that would motivate me – but I didn’t get in. I signed up for another half in April – but didn’t even look at a training schedule until 6 weeks before (which would have been okay . . . had I run even once since Christmas). Even the frequent texts from my sister about her postpartum hill workouts and negative splits couldn’t get me out of bed in the morning.

There’s always the tipping point. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under body image, God, god & faith, running

outside in

You guys. This might be my most seemingly-superficial post to date. Don’t judge me. (Or quit reading.)

This post is about clothes. That’s right. Clothes.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes. I’ve been thinking about them because a few months ago, I bought this wild pair of leggings. IMG_7652 They were quite a bit out of my comfort zone, but I really liked the pattern, and I really wanted to be able to wear them. And they were not expensive. So: why not?

At first I wore them a bit sparingly. I’m not usually a loud dresser.

Or, not lately.

But as the months have gone by, I’ve started wearing them more and more. And I’m buying a second pair. And when I wear them, I feel confident. Kind of like I can kick butt, actually.  Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under body image, clothes, contentment, identity, motherhood, Uncategorized

to my struggling friend

I have a few things to say to you, but it won’t be enough.

You will get through this. You will. But it’s going to take work. And then it might happen again. And it might be the same – or it might be completely different.

No one has experienced exactly what you are experiencing or have experienced. But there are plenty of people who have walked similar roads, traveled to the hard places and come back again. You are not alone.

The world is broken. It’s broken! It’s broken because of sin, because in the perfect Garden, when a man and a woman had a perfect relationship with each other, a perfect relationship with God, and perfect relationships with their work and their bodies and all the animals and everything else, sin entered in. And things began to break down. Even if you’re not sure you believe this – look around you.

The world is broken. Undeniably broken.  Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under body image, career, children, contentment, depression, family, friends, God, god & faith, identity, trust

one step at a time

I’m a runner. Although these days I often feel like an imposter when I say that – so maybe I should instead say, “I was a runner.” Or, “I used to be a runner.” Because, honestly, I don’t run that much anymore. And not only do I not run all that much, but I also unsubscribed to Runner’s World (okay, that happened a few years back), have stopped reading running blogs, and have no idea how many miles I’ve logged in my current pair of running shoes. IMG_3258

Clearly, not a runner.

But I’ve just started to run again after my daughter was born (which you can read about here and here), and I am reminded of the tremendous humility it takes to do something that was once easy. Not only was I a runner, once, but I was a good runner. Not an Olympian, not competitive on an elite team, but good for an average person.

I started running in middle school and haven’t really stopped since. There have been injuries and long, icy winters and months when I was bored or uninspired or too busy – but for the most part, I’ve been running for about two decades. So it’s never been that hard for me to go for a short run, or a quick run, or a short, quick run.

And then I had two kids. In less than two years. And let me tell you, that does a number on your body.

And now it IS that hard to go for a short run, or a quick run. And my short, quick runs are shorter and much less quick than before.  Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under body image, god & faith, identity, motherhood, prayer, running

Food for Thought Fridays

fancy food

In the spirit of trying to establish a bit of routine (and since I LOVE routines), I have decided to start sharing a blog post written by someone else every Friday. I have a long list of these already that I’m eager to share with you, and each one has resonated deeply with me deeply.

So here’s the first!

Your Body is Not Your Masterpiece. This was passed around on the internet quite a bit a few months ago, but I’d also read it on Glennon’s blog, which I totally adore. She really tells it like it is, and usually has tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under body image, Food for Thought Fridays, motherhood, writing

keep your mouth shut

I realize that I am officially ten months’ pregnant, with my second child (ie, I’m not especially small right now), but I still do not understand how this fact makes it acceptable for people on the street to comment on my physical appearance.

In fact, it’s driving me crazy. If one more person says something – whether it’s a sort-of-friendly Congratulations! or a more obnoxious Looks like you’re gonna pop any day!, I might punch them. To the ground.

Why do strangers feel justified in making comments on my physical appearance? Why am I so sensitive to people’s comments on my physical appearance?  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under body image, god & faith, motherhood