01 Jul 2014

7 Reasons every woman should love her body {plus a giveaway}

My friend Emily Wierenga teaches us not only how important it is as women and mothers to love our bodies, but why it’s so important. I love how she sees beauty. I love her story of how she found beauty in her own body and in her journey. I’m so glad to be share a blog post from her today as her new book, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look, releases into the world.

Kasher was looking at my elbows.

“What these?” my two year old said.

“They’re elbows,” I told him.

“Oh.” He touched them gently. “I love your elbows.”

I just stood there, staring down at these places called elbows with the wrinkly skin, which I’d never really seen before.

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I’m a former anorexic. I starved myself for seven years of my life because I thought I wasn’t pretty enough, wasn’t skinny enough, wasn’t—enough. And having kids who squeal when I enter a room and a husband who begs me to walk in the garden with him when the kids are in bed—this has taught me something about what it is to be loved.

But it’s still hard to look in the mirror.

Isn’t this most of us, mothers? We don’t look at ourselves, do we? And when we do, we cringe—our daughters seeing it all.

We lament our post-baby physique, the loss of firm muscles and slim curves and we forget, the miracle of pregnancy, lost in the folds and the blue veins lacing up our legs like Crayola marker.

But what if our stretch marks were in fact, scars we bore proudly? Because friends? You produced life, glory-be. The Creator wove life within your very womb and you nourished it and held it tenderly for nine months and then broke apart so a human being could be born. That’s something to be proud of.

And yet we hide behind sweat pants and sweaters.

Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches, writes,

“You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dinted body… Scars and stretch marks and muffin tops are all part of your kingdom work. One of the greatest testimonies Christian women can have in our world today is the testimony of giving your body to another.”

So sisters, here are 7 reasons we should love our bodies:

Reasons to wrap around our mirrors and any piece of glass in our home, reasons to stop and smile at our reflection:

  1. You’ve got a new name now. It’s Mother, and it comes with a new body. You don’t need to go back to who you were because you aren’t her anymore. You’ve been through a warzone, friend, and you wear new armor now. And it looks like a soft stomach and a flatter chest and varicose veins.
  2. Your children thank you. You gave up your life so others could have one. You surrendered your skin, your nights, your waistline so that God could weave history within you. When your loved ones look at you, they look with gratitude, they rise up and call you blessed, because you are the most beautiful kind of woman: a selfless one.
  3. The measure of a mother is not in her dress size, but in the number of her heart rings. Like an oak, your heart rings increase with every smile, every laugh, every tickle fight with your preschooler, every coffee date with your adolescent daughter. Every tearful prayer for the runaway, every kiss you give your husband, every cuddle, every snuggle—these are the true measurements of a life. These heart-rings.
  4. Beauty is not found in the sharp edges, but in the soft corners—those places your family can find refuge. No husband ever wished his wife had more angles—that’s a lie the fashion magazines feed us. It’s all about soft, honey. Soft and inviting.
  5. Your body bears witness to all the giving it’s done. Your skin is an epitaph to compassion, your legs and arms, branches of a family tree. The lines around your eyes are maps to your soul, to your life-bearing, prayerful, caring heart.
  6. Your limbs perform the function they serve. If you’re looking to erase some of those weary lines, some of those dark smudges, gratitude is the best concealer. Look at yourself in the mirror and say “Thank you, arms, for carrying my babies; thank you legs, for carrying my body; thank you stomach for holding my family,” and soon, your skin will be glowing. Your body longs to be remembered, and honored.
  7. And finally, we should love our bodies because they were formed in our mothers’ wombs under the watchful eye of a loving Maker, who says we are beautifully and wonderfully made, who has counted the number of hairs on our heads, who cares so much for us, he died for us. Our bodies are temples of a Spirit continuing to make us new, even as we age. Hallelujah.

 

Anne Lamott writes about how she lovingly spreads lotion into her skin each night, treating herself like a friend.

Let’s do that too, sisters.

Let’s treat these well-worn vessels like beloved friends. For they’ve served us well.

 

Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

GIVEAWAY: Her memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look, releases today and I am excited to give away FOUR copies. Just leave a comment below sharing a part of your body that you love and why – and you’ll be entered to win!

 

UPDATED: All four winners have been selected and notified via email. The Giveaway is now closed.

Click HERE for a free excerpt.

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BONUS GIVEAWAY: Emily is giving away a FREE e-book to anyone who orders Atlas Girl. Just order HERE, and send a receipt to: atlasgirlbookreceipt@gmail.com, and you’ll receive A House That God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir an absolutely FREE e-book co-authored by Emily and editor/memoir teacher Mick Silva.

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ALL proceeds from Atlas Girl will go towards Emily’s non-profit, The Lulu Tree. The Lulu Tree is dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. It is a grassroots organization bringing healing and hope to women and children in the slums of Uganda through the arts, community, and the gospel.

Comments

{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 2

    I like my hands…nourishing, life-giving, creating, loving.

  2. 4

    I love my “mommy” belly. It’s stretched and grown as it housed my precious babies.

  3. 6

    With a chronic illness, I have struggled to like my body, as I often just want a trade in. But this is a good reminder – it has been tough in this body, but my would has never given up hope and I think my favorite thing about this body is the way that I can wrap my arms around my family and friends – and feel their arms around me.

  4. 8

    Thanks for this post. I have three daughters and want them to see me loving my body so that they know to love theirs. I love my arms most because they hold, carry, and snuggle my babies close!

  5. 10

    I love my arms, the way they can still scoop up my almost-four-year-old daughter who still loves to snuggle, the way they hang in there just a little bit longer, long after they’ve begun to tire. And I give honor to my back. I’m rough on it, and I’m learning to treat it a bit more gently. But I’m grateful for the years of support and protection.

  6. 12

    I love my hands. They do so much during the day, from wiping diapered bottoms to washing dishes to wiping tears. I was once told (long ago in high school) that I had pretty hands. They aren’t so pretty now, but the work they do is invaluable.

  7. 14
    Sara Joy says:

    My arms. They carry my babies, one while he died, and the other two as they grow, too big for carrying maybe. (Never, I say)

  8. 16

    I love my hands. It always gives me simple joy to look down and see painted fingernails or a pretty ring on them. I also love how they can care for my children and sit down and bring music out of a piano (although these days the music is usually from the Frozen soundtrack due to the same little ones!).

  9. 18

    I have learned to love my hands. I have two children who are deaf, and through the grace of God, I have been able to learn to communicate with them using my hands. Now when I look down I don’t see un-manicured nails and stubby fingers….. I see love.

  10. 19

    Oh, thank you for this today! I walked at 6:30 am and it was already humid past what I like. I’m a grandma struggling with past all child-bringing-up-years and I struggled to get my rings off today because the humidity makes me swell. PMS, or whatever you younger women have, getting older, (menopause) is another time of life and more readjusting. Trying to keep weight off is such a struggle! Thank you for your words!

  11. 20
    Shawn Bensley says:

    It’s a toss up between eyes and ears. With my eyes I see the beauty of God’s creation, and with my ears, I hear the beauty of God’s creation.

  12. 21
    Christina Burrell says:

    I love my arms because they hold, snuggle and protect my babies with love.

  13. 22

    Wow! So powerful. Thank you, Emily. I do have a hard time picking a part of my body I love but this is encouraging. I guess I love my smile. I didn’t always but it’s the one thing that can change how I feel about everything else.

  14. 23

    I was stumped when I read the requirement for leaving a comment today……starting at my toes, and moving up my tired, worn 63 year old body,….I was at a loss to find something I love…..and it surprised me….I had never thot of it before….so, I said to my hubby, my best friend who has also known my body for over forty years…..I’m stumped! I can’t think of anything…..I explained the blog post to him and he pointed out my arms…..which, since I was born with a deformity in my arms, I’ve always considered quite ugly, and my hips ….what, I said…..why would you say that…..hubby elaborated …..your arms for all the babies you’ve held and rocked….( 2 birth children, 7 adopted children and about 25 foster kids) and the hips that you used to carry them on……the more I thot about it , I must agree with him…….these deformed arms and lumpy, lopsided hips have served me well….thru pain and abuse…..when I think of them that way, yes, I do love them! Surprise!

  15. 26

    I love my eyes. They have been my constant. Although they can’t see perfectly on their own, they allow me to see the world from this perspective.

  16. 27

    I love my eyes. There are green like my dad’s, and they are one part of me that I’ve never been embarrassed by.

  17. 28
    sandi holman says:

    I’m overdue right now with my fifth baby and i’m sort of loving my big swollen belly, teaming with life.

  18. 30
    Laura Snyder says:

    I used to love my stomach, but I’m learning to re love it again :)

  19. 32

    What a beautiful post and great reminder to all mothers about what really matters. Yes, it’s hard in this commercialized, model filled world of today to feel like we measure up. To be free of the need to look like others is a gift that hopefully we will all receive one day.

    That being said, looking at my mommy body, the part I like best I think is my heart. It loves my God, my husband and my children, and hurts for those in need.

    Again, wonderful post.

  20. 33

    Just last night I was telling my hubby how I fear the changes that mommy-hood will bring to our lives. I KNOW it will be good, and beautiful, and worthwhile, but the changes to my schedule, my body, my dreams all make me nervous. I’ve never liked change, even good change. Please pray for me to trust deeply in my Savior. Pray that I will be willing to lose my life to find it. I want to welcome kids someday with joy and trust, but my heart is just not there yet.
    Thank you for posts like this, that give me encouragement and hope for the future.

  21. 35

    I have learned to love my torso. It’s always been a bit wider where it was “supposed” to be thin and curvier where it was “supposed to be flat. But it carried and grew my two babies. And as if that’s not a big enough accomplishment, it is the place that my children lean into when they are snuggling up to read a book or watch a show together.

  22. 37

    I love my squishy mommy tummy.

  23. 39

    I love the streaks of gray in my hair. They say wisdom. They say sparkle. My husband blessed them by telling me he liked them, as did a dear older friend of mine whose beautiful hair is all salt and pepper now. I call them my natural highlights.

  24. 40

    This is beautiful on so many levels. My favorite being the championing of cherishing the present season. Such a good reminder than I’m a mother now, not that other girl I was before. And that is something to celebrate!!

  25. 41
    Mary Beth says:

    My mouth because I can use it to encourage, bless, and smile!

  26. 42

    My smile, which has been hard won, and my eyes.

  27. 43

    I love all of these reasons to love your body. But I also believe that it’s important we don’t just tie the love of our bodies to our motherhood. Because some of us aren’t mothers yet. I’m sure not. And the struggle to love our bodies doesn’t start when we become mothers; it’s something that’s been set against us since day one. I love following blogs about motherhood and parenting because it’s my greatest dream to be a mom, but sometimes I forget that I’m not yet one. This blog post reminded me of that harshly. And it wasn’t your fault; it was I who chose to read it, even though I’m not even in the “right” demographic. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s hard for women to love themselves even before they bring life into this world. It perhaps is even harder. And I would love if someone could write a blog post about that: about how women who aren’t mothers still have important roles, functions, and beautiful bodies, too. Sometimes I get so lost in the idea that mothers have a grand purpose, that I forget I have a grand purpose even now as a single, childless young woman.

    Anyway, that’s all I’d like to say. I really did love this post. And some of the things I just said, I attempted to bring to light in one of my one posts: http://jessienyland.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/a-womans-body/
    Still, it would be nice for other women to approach this topic and bring these things to light, too. I know I’m certainly not the only one who’s been questioning her role and beauty in this young, childless, marriage-less season of life. We all need reminders of our beauty.

    — Jessie

    • 44

      Jessie, thank you. I SO appreciate your candor and your transparency. You are absolutely right–we ALL need to be reminded of our beauty, no matter what stage of life we’re in. I think as Moms, we often struggle MORE to love ourselves (is it fair to say that?) than before we were moms because our skin doesn’t seem to fit the same way anymore, so that’s why I’m particularly passionate about encouraging mothers, but I totally see your point and am sorry to have made you feel alienated today sister. Love to you. e.

  28. 45

    My feet… they are a smaller, more feminine duplicate of my Fathers, a man of faith with a love for life, one whom is worthy to follow in his footsteps.

  29. 46
    melissa says:

    To be honest, this is hard for me. I am deep in the trenches right now and while reading that post something resonated deep within me, and yet, and yet…I’m not quite able to give up the lie that somehow sometime when I wasn’t looking became so deeply embedded under my skin. That I am not enough, that I have lost a part of myself, that being a mom isn’t good enough. Yesterday I put on a skirt for the first time in a while I guess, and my 2 year old ran up to me, hugging my legs and pressing her sweet face into my knees squealing, “Mommy, pretty! Princess!” And when I’m just with her I feel wholly myself. I let her run her hands along my stomach covered in stretch marks and there is only love. But I lose that when I am looking at myself in the mirror and not through her own eyes. I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to choose a part of me that I love, because I wouldn’t have thought it could be that hard. 5 years ago my sense of self was completely different and I would have come up with many different parts–none perfect in the world’s eyes but that didn’t matter. This morning I’ve decided I love my hair. It is slowly losing a battle to grey, but I love the different colors in it, I love it’s length and letting my daughter play with it and tell me I’m beautiful, and twisting it into a Frozen braid for her.

  30. 47

    Having fought the same battle for what feels like most of my life, now that I have come to embrace and accept (most days) the body I am in, I will have to say….I love my shoulders. They look small, but man, the weight they can carry!

  31. 48
    tabatha walker says:

    My eyes … they have laugh lines all around loo und them …but it must mean I have laughed long and often with my babies

  32. 49

    What a beautiful reminder. After struggling with infertility for years, its easy to see all they ways my body has failed me. But while the wait was long, it did nurture and grow my beautiful son. Someday I hope my arms will hold and comfort other child(ren) too, through the miracle of adoption.

    I love my knees – they have held me up during fervent prayer as I communicated with my Father and where I continue to go as we pray to adopt. Its also on my knees that I see eye to eye with my son, to speak to him at his level from my heart.

  33. 50

    I used to really dislike my feet (and toes, specifically), to the point of never wearing sandals. Now here I sit at my computer, wearing sandals with my toes peeking out at me. It’s a sign that I finally don’t worry about what other people think and can appreciate every part of me that God made just how he wanted it to be.

  34. 51

    I love my arms because they hold my husband and children and let them know they are loved.

  35. 52
    michelle h says:

    my feet! they take me wherever God sends me and they sport fun polish!

  36. 53

    I am older with graying hair and wrinkles. I don’t color my hair or use anti-wrinkle cream. Why? Because I earned every one of my gray hairs and every one of my wrinkles. Why would I cover them?

  37. 54

    I love my hands. For the wedding ring reminding me of love, and the numerous times throughout the day they are intertwined with my little peoples hands. So much of what my hands do throughout a day is for love…such warmth when I think of it.

  38. 55

    I love my arms….which is cathartic enough to even say. But I love them because each day they get stronger I am reminded of my own strength as a mother – in my ability to hold and love my baby girl and the strength I have (and need) to keep her close to my heart no matter what her needs, despite my own. And I love them because no matter what happens each day, at the end of it they allow me to rock my baby to sleep with a loving appreciation for the beautiful blessing that she is to me and my husband.

  39. 56
    Mackenzie says:

    i’m giving birth to baby number 4 tomorrow and i have to say that i will miss my belly. it stretches so remarkably and then shrinks (granted not as fast as it used to). we are all truly fearfully and wonderfully made!

  40. 57

    I love my lips because they are magic boo boo healers for my three little boys.

  41. 58

    I never gave it much thought before, but I love my hands. Every scar, every wrinkle, every age spot-because these hands have lived a full life and loved my family well. These hands also look like the hands of my mother, who lived a full life and loved her family well.

  42. 59

    Hm. This hit home today. As a woman who faces infertility, I often feel as if my body has continually betrayed me. It’s not good enough to bear children, you know? But one thing that I love is that I’m strong. I can run and jump and swing my brand-new eight-year-old daughter up into my arms, snuggling her and teaching her what it means to have a mama, even as I learn what it means to have a child.

    And that?– is beautiful.

    • 60
      Whitney Severson says:

      I love my eyes, because my 9 month baby boy looks back at me with the same-shape eyes, and smiles through them with such happiness! Eyes truly are a window to the soul, and his is a joyful one; it is a constant reminder for me to be kind and caring because his beautiful baby blues see all that I do. :)

      • 61
        Whitney Severson says:

        I don’t know why this replied instead of a new comment … Typing on a phone presents difficulties! But I will say to previous poster Natasha that I am so happy for both you and your new child! May God bless you on your path of motherhood. :)

  43. 62
    Debbie McShannon says:

    I like my feet… well traveled and worn – through many journeys on life :)

  44. 63
    Kerri Bell says:

    I can’t choose between my freckles (which I just can’t imagine being without), my hair or my eyes. This was a lovely read and I will be rolling it around in my heart and head for awhile, I think. Thanks for sharing!

  45. 64

    I love my ginger hair…I got made fun of a lot as a kid but I always liked the uniqueness of it.

  46. 65

    Taking a cue from Lysa Turkhurst and her commentary on tankles- my “stable” thighs. Lol. Allowed me to move my daughters bookshelf and anchor it safely to the wall. By myself last week.

  47. 66

    I like my thick curly hair. I used to despise it in high school when I didn’t know how to deal with it or style it. Now that I know how to care for it, I love it!

  48. 67
    Allison says:

    I love my legs; they keep me moving all day while I run, play, skip, dance, and provide for my family. Would be excited to read this book…thanks for the motivation to love my body!

  49. 68

    I like my feet. They are just ordinary feet but allow me to go places that are amazing.

  50. 69

    This is a lovely piece. Thank you.

    Though I have no children, I’ve had body issues my entire life. For too many years, others did to my body as they pleased and I had no control. It took a lot of work to feel at home in my body. Then I became ill, steroids changed my body, and now, I’m rebuilding myself. Though I don’t know what I will be; it may not be the image I remember.

    But I love my toes. When they are painted red and I look down at my bare or sandalled feet, my toes make me smile. I love to see them pointed when I am dancing or rehearsing old water ballet stunts from high school. They’ve always elicited a smile, even on my darkest days.

  51. 70

    Over the years as chronic illness made my body more of a torture chamber then a thing of beauty I could barely look in the mirror without cringing. At first because the pain I felt on the inside wasn’t visible on the outside. Then after repeated surgeries the scars that lined my belly matched the stretch marks that lined my thighs. I felt ugly and marked and yet the pain persisted. As my daughter neared puberty I saw her watching me and how I felt about my own body and I knew I had to find a way to love my body despite the pain. I started with my face. My eyes can express words my mouth cannot. My kids can see my love and affection in my eyes. They know everything will be okay as long as mom is smiling. I know if I’m having fun and laughing with my kids, it makes them calmer and more at ease. I see my daughter flourishing in her grown up body because she’s witnessed me being comfortable in mine.

  52. 71
    Patricia says:

    I love the parts of me that were handed down from the generations of women in my family! My special favorite parts are my feet though. My daughter, now grown with littles of her own inherited my feet. When we cross over our legs and put our feet next to each other, they look like a pair of feet!

  53. 72
    Julie S. says:

    This is very hard! I would pick my eyes, they hold so much expression.

  54. 73

    I probably never woul have said this before having my son, but I am really starting to like (did I say that!?) my not-so-toned tummy. My little guy uses it for his pillow, for hugging, and my favorite–he softly rubs it while nursing. His love for my soft middle has opened my eyes to true beauty (and in my case it isn’t a tiny waist).

    Thank you for te encouraging words!

  55. 74

    I love my hands. I love how my little ones reach out for my hand knowing that it will provide safety, security, love, gentleness, reassurance, fun, etc. I am humbled by the act of someone (big or little) reaching out for MY hand.

  56. 75
    Elizabeth says:

    I love my hands that are more and more wrinkly each year from constant dish washing, bottom wiping, bathing and everything else I do for my children.

  57. 76

    Thanks Emily for writing, and Lisa-Jo for posting. This is still such a dilemma for us as women. You’d think we’d get past this, but our culture and our own longings drive us to distraction in the area of loving our bodies. My family lineage is Scottish – strong, full bodies – made for farming. But you know the rest of the story on that one – when there’s a “tyranny of thinness”, I’m not usually the enviable one in the group. So for much of my life, I’ve allowed outside influences and my own “idol” thinking to define me as not beautiful, not thin enough. And you know as I do – “thin enough” is never a fixed mark. So I so appreciate your writing and look forward to reading “Atlas Girl”. Living around the world has also expanded the capacity of my life and love. One last thing – I’ve (much of my life) been hard on myself (especially weight-wise), but God’s given me such an eye for beauty in others…and it’s clear He’s given you that same eye. Blessings!

  58. 77

    My nose goes back 4 generations… You can see it in family pics. And my girls have it too! I love the history I see every time I see it.

  59. 78

    Shish! I’m now commenting along the lines you asked. I love my smile. It doesn’t seem extraordinary or anything, but people tell me it brightens the room and lightens their load. Pretty cool, huh?

    And the older I get (63 now), my hands are looking more like my mom’s. I loved her hands so much (been with the Lord 12 years now)…so am reminded of her when I look at my hands…that helps me deal better with them getting older looking. :)

  60. 79
    Sadee Schilling says:

    Hi Lisa-Jo, hi Emily! Love you both. And I love my shoulders because they are strong and have absorbed lots of tears. Each of my three girls got slightly stuck during delivery because they all apparently have strong shoulders too!

  61. 80

    Sadly, it has taken me a long time to think through this comment – what do I love about my body? I can definitely name a ton of areas I dislike, or need to work on – I so needed this article today. I have always loved my hair and my smile – and now I am growing to love ALL of me.

  62. 81
    Heidi Menges says:

    I would say my long legs because I love to get up early and spend my quiet time walking.

  63. 82

    I love my eyes. They are blue and are often complimented. It may be cliche but I believe our eyes are the windows to our souls, our hearts and our minds, too! Love that my eyes are really my dad’s and that they have seen the beauty of God’s world and the faces of my children and grands. Look forward to reading your book, Emily!

  64. 83
    Rosie Swartz says:

    This spoke to me in a mighty way! Just the other day, my son had a friend down to spend the night. This little five year old boy was as obstinate as the day is long, and at one point, during a bout of willful disobedience, I was forced to take his hands and lead him to the time out corner. He yelled, as loudly as he could, while stomping his feet, “I don’t like you, I hate you and your are stupid and fat!” My heart broke.

    He’s right after all, I’m about 45lbs overweight and uncomfortable in my own skin. Wasn’t it earlier that day that I had complained to my husband that I hated the way I looked in every last stitch of clothing I had? And now this bright eyed little five year old was echoing the deepest darkest fears of my heart.

    But in my moment of brokenness, when I was struggling to find the words to say, my son, red hair blazing, steps between us, and says, with all the force he can muster, “Don’t you say that about my momma! She’s beautiful and special and God made her perfect! And I won’t like you if you say mean things about her!” Those words…they were God, speaking through my son to knit my broken heart back together! With those words God was saying, “Remember, I made you my precious. You’re mine.” Do I need to lose a couple pounds? I’d be lying if I didn’t say I should probably lose at least thirty…but I’m precious, the bible tells me so. Psalm 45:11.

    Thank you for speaking love into my life and reminding me of this!

  65. 84

    I guess I’d have to say my smile. Other people have always loved my hair, but it’s always been something I’ve struggled with. Thanks for the chance.

  66. 85
    Amy Carter says:

    My breasts. They have drove me crazy for years, bouncing all over and refusing to fit into shirts and bras that were made for small chested women. For years I told them I hated them. But that all changed over the years as they nourished and fed my four beautiful children. Now I love them in all their saggy stretched out glory.

  67. 86

    I love my scars. It took me awhile to be able to say that. I have three little ones from laparoscopy for endometriosis and a big smiley one from my c-section to save my son and I when I had preeclampsia. I never made it far enough in a pregnancy to get the stretch marks, but I have scars from surgeries that led to my little miracle preemie, and I love my strong, calloused hands from lots and lots of adoption paperwork for my other kiddos. I love my feet that have walked through orphanages and my arms that have held scared kids. My body never feels strong enough, not to bear children, not to hold my hurting kids, but somehow even though I never think there will be, there’s always enough of me to mother one more day.

  68. 87

    Wow, what a tough question. It really makes us women think about ourselves in a positive way, although it can be difficult to come up with a specific part of our bodies that we love. For me, it would be my eyes. I am the mom of two young girls and I’m smaller now than before I had kids. I always feel like women hate me b/c I lost the weight so quickly. I definitely get the dirty, “I-hate-you” looks all the time. What people don’t know about me though is that I have a hair pulling disorder called Trichotillomania. I have pulled my eyelashes and sometimes my eyebrows for over 20 years. I try to hide it as best I can, but i’m not always successful. Surprisingly, I do get compliments about my eyes quite a bit, but I’m always so insecure about it. Today’s post has really made me realize that God made me like this for a reason, and that even though I don’t always like my eyes, I have the choice to look at things from God’s perspective. I can see how much he’s blessed me and I can watch my girls grow up and express love and so many other emotions through my eyes. Thank you for opening my eyes (no pun intended, lol) to love even the parts of my body that aren’t perfect.

  69. 88

    I love this. All of it. And I can’t wait to read this book. I can’t honestly say there is a part of my body that I love, but I am learning to embrace my entire body more these days than ever before. I’m less concerned about the curves and soft places. I see the same body in the mirror that my mother wore, and it is a great reminder of her life well lived. She isn’t here, but in a way I feel like she lives on in my body, as strange as that may sound. There are moments with my hands a certain way, I see hers. There are times I’m still called “Little Sue” by those who knew her and see her in me. I’m learning to care less about my husband seeing me intimately, even when he’s always said he loves me for me. This womanhood/motherhood/wifehood is hard to embrace at times…but I’m learning. I see much hope in your words today and I know you have written a book that every woman needs. No doubt. In Grace and For His Glory,
    Meredith

  70. 89

    I love my hips. I’ve always had them in some form but they’re a bit fuller now having had two kiddos. ;) I love that they make a fine seat for the little one who happens to be in my arms at the moment and that my husband absolutely loves them. And that’s enough for me.

  71. 90

    I love my smile…it just cheers me up!! :)

  72. 91

    All of the reviews and specifically your own words, Emily, have jumped right into my heart. I know this book was meant to be shared and read by women everywhere. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to tell a story that will touch many.

  73. 92
    Debi Schuhow says:

    I like my eyes, because they show my soul. And my crow’s feet cuz they show my smiles.

  74. 93

    I love my freckles. I never really thought about it till now. My freckles on my nose, shoulders, arms. They remind me of days spent enjoying the hot sun, of the wonder in my kids when they discovered my freckles and how we got to look for their first freckles on their baby white skin.

  75. 94

    I love my eyes. The soft sea blue reminds me the peace I see in them belongs in my heart as well.

  76. 95

    Mine would have to be my hands–as a writer, they are able to “talk” when I can’t figure out how to speak the words out loud; as a mom, they are able to pick up my kids when they fall and help them to climb higher; as a wife, they are able to reach out to hold my husband’s hands and to feel his love and support when I need it most.

  77. 96

    I love my arms. They are strong from years of carrying my three littles. My oldest is almost six, and it’s harder to carry her lanky body in my arms…but I’ll do it as long as I can!

  78. 97
    Elizabeth says:

    I like my legs. They help me get to my kids when they need me, they help lift my body and my childrens’ when I’m holding them, and they help us dance and be silly!

  79. 98

    Right now (7 months after delivery of Baby #1) I’m loving the feeling of gaining strength and power back in my body after the crazy whirlwind of pregnancy and birth and all the beating it took there. I’m loving the exercises and stretches and goals to gain back strength so I can fully enjoy all that these child-rearing years will bring!

  80. 99
    Donna C says:

    My favorite part of my body because of all the hugs that I get to give to my family and the hugs they give to me.

  81. 100

    I like my legs! They’ve carried me many miles through beautiful places and countries. They make me feel strong and energetic :)

  82. 101

    Just today my 4 year old daughter told me I was “squishy” and asked why?I told her b/c I had babies in my belly. I may not be super proud of the way it looks but it was so worth it and I’d be stretched and pulled all over again for my babies.

  83. 102
    Vanessa says:

    I love my bony, roughshod feet that enjoy our garden soil more than any shoes and that carry me around this busy, active life!

  84. 103

    Smiles are my favorite body parts because we can give them away on a daily basis in order to bless on another. Thank you for this beautiful, encouraging post, and for a chance to win this book!

  85. 104

    I carry a scar from the birth of our 4th child who went to be with Jesus. I’m learning to fall in love with that scar as it is a reminder that she lived within me and that she now lives within him. This post brought me to tears. I was so blessed by the words. Thank you so much for this!

  86. 105

    As a child I was always shy of my short toes & flat broad feet. (according to me)
    Then I realized I have a perfect footprint when walking in the sand.
    So this post made me think and I discovered a new mantra for myself.
    That’s it’s not about me or my presence, but what I leave with people.
    Did you feel loved, understood, inspired, better, happy …..
    (by the way I don’t hide my feet any more, love them)

  87. 106

    I have always loved my eyes. They are hazel colored – sometimes more brown, sometimes more green, a little unpredictable, but always wanting to see authenticity in others and unafraid to be seen.

  88. 107

    I love my arms because I can use them to snuggle with my babies! :)

  89. 108

    I love my eyes because they have allowed me to see a lot of God’s incredible world and people…and also because my husband chose “My brown-eyed Girl” as my ring tone! :-)

  90. 109

    I love my hair. I always have. It’s thick and blonde (more now from paint than nature), and decides when it wants to be curly. My favorite moments are when my curls pop up, frizzy and huge, because they are tell-tale signs that I’ve been somewhere I want to be. The beach….:)

  91. 110

    My first thought was my arms… I love and appreciate their strength and all they make possible for me to do in the day, including cuddling the ones I love and reaching out to friends (or strangers) in need. And after reading a few comments I see that ‘arms’ are a big favorite. So I’m going to add ‘my smile’. Smiles are contagious of course….

  92. 111
    Sara Penning says:

    I love my arms as they scoop up my kids drawing them close for hugs, tickles and cuddles.

  93. 112
    emhoopes says:

    After years of not quite feeling satisfied with my body I’ve come to appreciate it very much. This is a lovely blog and it expresses what Ive come to realize after bearing and raising 4 children and interacting with 9 grand children. I suppose like my legs the best, the y carry me where I need to go, ..my husband has always appreciated and complimented me regarding them and Ive come to realize they are the same shape that my mother had, nice calf, narrow ankle…

Trackbacks

  1. […] places today (and giving away multiple copies of the book to boot!). Come visit me at Tsh’s, Lisa-Jo Baker’s, The Better Mom, The Gospel Coalition, Living Well Spending Less, Today’s Christian Woman, […]

  2. […] The first blog piece is by Emily Wierenga.  She’s a former anorexic and writes powerfully, from experience and gives really great advice for this journey we need to walk.   The blog piece can be found here. […]

  3. […] 7 Reasons Every Woman Should Love Her Body […]

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