Dear Blessing and Gift,
Today you are 2 and 4 years old without a care in the world or a hint of modesty. In fact, bathtime is usually preceeded by 15 minutes of total nudity and running amock.
But one day in the (hopefully far) future, you will start to notice. Notice your body. Noticing other girls bodies in school or in magazines. And you will compare.
And I know this will be hard for you to understand right now but please…don’t. Your body is a gift. A vessel to carry you through this life. Take care of it. Nuture it. Protect it. Appreciate it. But do not be deceived into thinking that YOU are your body.
“You do not have a soul, you ARE a soul. You have a body.” – C.S. Lewis
The world will tell you that what you look like is the most important thing about you, but that is a lie. Don’t be so distracted by physical attributes in yourself or in others that you miss out on seeing the beautiful heart inside. A Beautiful Soul.
Be healthy. Eat real food. Stay Active. And your body will thank you by looking its best. But don’t ever compare your best to anyone else’s. Physical health takes many different shapes and sizes. But true health is a balance of spiritual, emotional AND physical well-being.
I can promise you that as a young girl and woman your body will go through seasons of looking different. You may not like your body everyday, but you should always honor it. Never talk negatively about your body or you will start to believe those things are true about your inner self. Respect it as prized possession and appreciate what it is capable of.
“God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” 1 Cor 16:20
I’ve been where you are, and I’ve gone where you will go, and finally I am at peace with my body. It has been through many seasons, but the most unhealthy I have ever been was when I was body building. (I know-What?!) I was the picture of physical fitness but I was spiritually bankrupt and emotionally stagnant. And to top it off I had some pretty destructive physical habits. So you can’t judge a book by its cover either way. You never know what anyone is struggling with.
I have finally learned the balance of spiritual, emotional and physical health. Somehow they are all tied together. I love the way I feel when I lift weights, I love the satisfaction of a long run outside. Your body will give you what you give to it…GIVE IT LOVE. I have grown to appreciate what my body can do instead of what it looks like in the mirror. (CrossFit is my latest obsession and guess what? There are no mirrors in CrossFit gyms. I love that! It doesn’t matter!) As my favorite blogger (and friend) Swim Bike Mom so eloquently says, “I’d rather my daughter see me sweating, working and hideous more than anything else. I want her to know that “pretty” is a nice thing–but “strong” and “confident” are the things that makes women survivors in this world.”
The absolute coolest thing my body had been able to do is give birth to you. To me, it was the ultimate expression of just how fearfully and wonderfully we are made. My body may look a bit different than before I was pregnant. My belly button looks like a half-innie-half-outie-crooked-smile. And that’s ok. Its a perfect little reminder of something amazing that my body accomplished (three times!). So I eat well and sweat and encourage this skin and flesh and bone to carry me on this journey, because I don’t want my body to give out when I have more spiritually and emotionally to give the planet. To give you.
So dear ones, if you are still shopping for bras in the junior section in your mid thirties (there is a strong genetic probability of this) Just remember what momma told you. Your body is beautiful because its yours-because its healthy and strong. You may not always like the way it looks, but you can love the way it feels. Be proud of every curve (or lack therof) and one day when you are (much)older God will bring the perfect person into your life who will love and respect your body too- if you love and respect it first! (Trust me on this one).
You are not your body. You are you. A beautiful you.
All my love,
“Man looketh on the outer appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7