A Dare to Love Yourself: An 11-year-old talks about being made in God’s image

It’s The Love Dare, people. Welcome! The moment I read Lydia Lee’s blog, Out of the Ordinary, I was reminded of Katie Davis from Uganda. Lydia’s heart bleeds for the people of Haiti. She is one of the most gifted young writers I have ever met. I’m so honored to welcome her here to my site today to talk about how she’s daring to love herself as an 11-year-old girl.

Weeks ago, I saw Rend Collective in concert. I was standing in the front row, listening as one of the musicians spoke about God having a “huge, cosmic sewing machine” in the heavens. Those words soaked straight into my heart, because it reminded me that we are all handmade by God, just the way He wanted us to be.

Rend Collective was one of the opening acts for Tenth Avenue North’s “Struggle Tour.”

And I have had my own “struggle tour,” even though I am only an 11-year-old girl.

For the rest of this post, join Emily at her personal blog, HERE.

**to pre-order Emily’s new book at 45% off, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy, go HERE.

A Dare to Love Yourself: In which I invite a man to share his story

 

 It’s A Love Dare, friends.A dare to love ourselves, and we’re meeting every Monday to discuss what this looks like.

Today I’ve invited my friend, Preston Yancey, to share his views on how we perceive our worth. In this post, Preston describes a relationship he had with an ex, and how they both struggled with image. (trigger warning: rape)

 

They sit on the bench outside of the brick building with the chipped cornerstone in the middle of May in the middle of the night in the middle of what would be one of their last lingering silences.

They feel a bit of the beat, even so far away, the baseline of an urban poet-prophet speaking of language and virginity as if the two were interchangeable.

She feels it against her skin like that time and the time after and that time her cries of No! were so loud she thought she could fracture heaven but they still weren’t enough. He feels it like aftershock, afterthought, the boy who never was quite enough, always a little bit too or a bit too little…

*for the rest of this post, follow me over to my personal blog HERE

**to pre-order my new book, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy, go HERE

A Dare to Love Yourself: When you don’t want to be photographed

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It’s A Love Dare, friends, a dare to love yourselves in all of your rawness. We’ll be doing this link-up every Monday, until Mother’s Day (when I’ll be releasing my new book, Mom in the Mirror). Today I’m welcoming journalist, author and blogger Jennifer Dukes Lee, to tell us how she is learning to let herself be photographed… in a couple of weeks, we’ll also hear from her daughter, Lydia.

On the night I went looking for photographs, I knew something had to change.

I needed a few photos of me with my two young daughters for a video I was creating. So I sat in the blue glow of the computer screen, scrolling through files and folders, looking down deeper and deeper to find photos I was certain were there.
Where had they all gone? I wondered. Where were all the photos of us together?

The sad truth dropped like a weight in my gut: The photos were never taken.

Among the thousands of photographs I had snapped over the years, I found only a handful of me with my daughters.

At first, I blamed the lack of mother-daughter footage on the fact that I’m usually the one behind the camera. But that’s only partially true. The bigger truth is this: I have not wanted to be photographed….
(For the rest of this post, and a link-up, please join us over at my personal blog here.)