Sharing some thoughts that have been churning...
Dear 17 year old Sarah:
First of all, no matter how many times you say you'd never want twins, you will have twins and they will light up your world and you will be more than fine. Also, you will get your wish: your first born is a boy. As much as you love these little people- and trust me, that's a whole, WHOLE lot- there will be sacrifice. Your priorities will change. Your heart will change. Your body will change.
Not to worry, this note is one of encouragement.
As a mama of 3under3, your body will be stretched, worn, cut, pulled, torn, bitten... Your 17 year old self might easily look in the mirror or worse, look down at your 27 year old self in absolute horror of what you see. In fact, you might wonder how you could ever allow this to happen. Mostly, you would probably wonder (as your husband so sheepishly (& innocently) will ask after your 1st baby),
"Will it ever go back?"
Proudly (and with a slight chuckle) I would tell you,
"Nope, not ever."
(at least not without surgery)
Consider them battle wounds. Battle wounds are not the kind of scars you hide. They are the kind you show off proudly. They are the ones you want everyone to know the story behind. (unlike the story you'll want never repeated about the car you will purchase and quickly wreck in a couple of years...) In order to receive them, you endured a long labor, a sea of emotions, months and months of uncomfortable living, surgery &
very. real. sacrifice.
Fortunately, sacrifice is not with out reward. You are fulfilling a God given purpose. God created your body to carry those little people. Not only to carry them but to support them, nourish them, grow them. Walk in this body with joy.
Much of my words today are being written in faith because pretty much every morning (or at least every shower) I have to remind 27 year old Sarah of these truths. Our world would tell you that to be beautiful, you must be thin and not only thin but seamless. They would tell you not to let your children define you but they go a step further and tell you, in fear, to possibly not even bother with having those children because all they do is cramp your style. Steal your identity. Ruin your life. In faith and truth, I can tell you, those are lies. Don't believe them.
As a woman, wife & mama:
You are building something beautiful.
Your opportunity is unique.
Your calling is admirable.
Never, never forget that you are doing a great work and must not come down. Not every moment will feel worth all those scars. Not every moment will even feel worth getting out of bed. Every day, mundane, ins & outs, necessary time. It is the time that builds your moments into days, weeks and years. Many, many moments will leave you questioning your sanity, your parenting skills, your abilities. You will even count down the minutes to bed time for your littles... and that's OKAY!
In between all those crazy times, you will find these special moments. Snipits of time when you look around at the mess surrounding you and can appreciate what occurred to make the mess. The moments when you contemplate the miracle that each and every one of your babies are. There will be moments when your love for them makes your heart feel as though it may burst. Moments that make all the rest of your time complete.
So I tell you, appreciate who you are right now- at 17. Who you are and what you are doing is building who you will become. God has a plan for your life and it is good. When you are 27 and you look in the mirror, you don't have to look in horror.
Love the pudge.
Love the lose skin.
Love the stretch marks.
So, are you ready to embrace the camera?
here's the nitty gritty:
1. take a picture with you and your kids/spouse/family member/friend/whatever.
2. blog about that picture and include a link to our blog, or grab our button.
3. link your blog post up on the link tool here (@ the anderson crew).
4. visit the other embracers...give each other lots of compliments about how good we look with our greasy hair and
sweatpants velour jogging suits on. cause yah, we need a little boost when it's been days since our last shower.
5. have fun!