The Love Dare: Writing a love letter to your body

I wrote a letter to my body once.

It was something suggested to me by my therapist – something I never in a million years thought I’d be able to finish. ​

It was a post written in the middle of as opposed to after the fact.​ I did not see myself as I wrote, but I prayed to find beauty in the body God gave me through every word.

It was soul-shattering.​

My plea for acceptance ​echoed against the lies repeating inside :: don’t let anyone near, don’t let anyone touch, don’t let anyone love.

It was the proverbial ice-pick for the glacier of hurt I kept inside.

Perhaps it’s fitting these words were thrown on a page in faith a little over a year ago. I’ve grown a lot these past few months – understanding and accepting and fighting for the personality and skin and space my body possesses.

(Please finish reading this post by Elora Nicole over HERE. And don’t forget to pre-order Emily’s new book, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy, HERE.)


i love my hips (and other ways women are beautiful)

i’m used to apologizing for them.

“i’m sorry about my wide Dow hips,” i said as my friend slid into the sled beside me, both of us with babies on our knees and toddlers between our legs, children left and right and me voicing contempt for the body that bore them.

and then i corrected myself even as the snowmobile started and we moved down the track of snow. “i mean, i’m sorry about my beautiful birthing hips,” i said, and my friend laughed.

and it’s a start. i’m beginning to speak in love about myself. it’s not perfect, but i’m not either, and God is and he is making new everything about me, spirit and body, even as i get older. because i’ve invited him in. i’ve invited him into my heart, and into my eyes. i’ve invited him into my soul and into my mouth.

because becoming a new creation is actually pretty literal. it doesn’t mean feeling new. no, it means becoming new. it means God taking our old natural instincts and replacing them. it means him breathing spirit and life into our vision and our speaking and our thinking.

oswald chambers puts it this way:

“Our Lord never patches up our natural virtues, He remakes the whole man on the inside. The life God plants in us develops its own virtues, not the virtues of Adam but of Jesus Christ. Watch how God will wither up your confidence in natural virtues after sanctification, and in any power you have, until you learn to draw your life from the reservoir of the resurrection life of Jesus.”

i have a lot of days where i barely look into the mirror because i’m so busy looking into the faces of my children. i don’t have time to look at my reflection, and yet my children always think i’m beautiful. “do you see the way kasher looks at you?” trent says. “with the utmost adoration.”

and my boys see me at my physical worst: at my sweats and bathrobe, messy hair and sleep-worn eyes worst. they smell my coffee breath and my unwashed body and they snuggle closer. they keep their hands on my shoulder even as they play because they don’t want to lose contact with me.

our depth of relationships, with ourselves, with our children, and with our creator, define our beauty, because relationships are eternal. they give us meaning and value and worth. the world wants us to think that appearance defines beauty because it can profit from that philosophy. it can’t profit from something intangible, like love. only we can.

so i’m trying to speak kindly about my beautiful Dow hips, to stop apologizing for my existence. because this body gave birth to two boys, and it gives birth to marriage every day, and it bears spiritual life too.

i love my hips. i love my lips. i love my life. not because of who i am but because of who lives in me. and he is beautiful.

When I look in the mirror (Guest Post by Treat Me To A Feast)

Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
Mark 5:19 (NIV)

I look at myself in the mirror lately; I don’t look differently. God has always been good; that will never change. That I see His Hand in the workings of my life is unmistakable. I know He’s had His Hands on me. I look at myself in the mirror lately, and I know that everything has changed. I never ever had a testimony as powerful as the one he has given me in the past two weeks. I never thought He’d give me such a reason to praise His name and proclaim His Power and Majesty, but now I’ve got my own reason to go and tell.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t tried to live a life that quietly proclaims the Gospel, His Sovereignty over me, including my willing surrender. It is simply the act of living my life recently that drove me and my faith into a new and deeper place. I am not afraid. I don’t have time or energy to be afraid. I am faithfully fearless, and furthermore, I like it here. I did not know I’d ever be here, but that is the way of God. He knew I’d take this journey before I ever made a step. I didn’t have to seek Him in my scary place; He was already there when I arrived.

Mark 5 recounts Jesus’ casting out of legions of demons. That is not my story. Mine is a quieter tale, one where all that I’d heard and all that I’d learned about Christ came together for me just when I needed it most. Whitney Houston recorded a song written and produced by the team of Diane Warren and David Foster on her seventh and last studio album called “I didn’t know my own strength.” Though the strength was never mine, I understand the message.

I didn’t know my own strength
And I crashed down and I tumbled, but I did not crumble
I got through all the pain
I didn’t know my own strength
Survived my darkest hour, my faith kept me alive
I picked myself back up, hold my head up high
I was not built to break
I didn’t know my own strength

“My faith kept me alive…” Of course it always had, does, but I didn’t recognize this place because I’d never been here before. So, welcome to the new, stronger, tougher, fiercer me. She’s a warrior, but of the peaceful praying variety. I don’t think there’s much that can scare me now, because I have seen that my God is so much bigger than anything I face. Really. I saw it. Now I’m going to tell. I’ve got my own testimony, and it’s pretty simple. It doesn’t matter what you’re facing, you don’t face it by yourself; you never have. Despite crashing down and tumbling, even when you fall, you are not alone. He did not build us to break. Through Him, we are made strong. Because of this we know God is good.

When life gets particularly rough,
there is comfort in that
in an imperfect world,,
a perfect God loves us,
and abides with us,
through all things

(Post by Treat Me To a Feast)

~Chasing Silhouettes now only $10 at; also available at, and Barnes and Noble.

I’m speaking at MentorCONNECT’s teleconference for mothers in June: Eventbrite - A Recovering "Mom in the Mirror": A MentorCONNECT Teleconference with Dr. Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga

How to feel good about your body

Suggestions from Mary Pipher on how to feel good about your body, as taken from her book, Hunger Pains-The Modern Woman’s Tragic Quest for Thinness:

1. When you look in a mirror, make sure to notice and remind yourself of what you like about your appearance. This may take some time and practice.
2. When you find yourself being critical of your appearance in the mirror, force yourself to turn away. Say firmly, “Body, you are mine. I like you.”
3. Break the habit of comparing yourself to others in terms of appearance.
4. Don’t criticize or comment on other women’s appearances.
5. Learn to dress comfortably rather than “fashionably.”
6. When you meet others, focus on something besides your appearance. Strive to be interesting, nurturing, witty, a good listener, and empathic.
7. Pay attention to the way media depictions of women influence your self-image, and stay away from media that makes you feel badly about your body and appearance.
8. Compliment girls and women for other things besides their physical appearance.
9. Learn to value yourself for other things besides your appearance. Keep track of your accomplishments and successes and remind yourself of them often.
10. Develop other interests besides your appearance. Focus on skills or activities that have nothing to do with your appearance.

Praying your weekend, friends, is full of wholeness, confidence and joy. Love, e.