My Life For Yours: A Mother’s Pondering About Her Body

My life for yours…

“I see my body as an instrument rather than an ornament.”  Alanis Morissette

No, quoting Alanis Morissette doesn’t mean I’m encouraging you to make her your new role model (although, I admit, there was time in my life where she was my favorite musician :-p) but I was impressed by this quote, a rare and wise reflection from a pop celebrity, referring to her pregnancy.

Motherhood intrigues me on many levels.  But I especially love that it is one of the most tangible ways a woman can  “present her body a living sacrifice”.

And it’s this reason I’m baffled by the repulsion many Christian women feel toward pregnancy, childbirth and even motherhood.

“Our bodies are tools, not treasures.  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.  Motherhood uses your body in the way that God designed it to be used.  Those are the right kind of damages…We are not to treat our bodies like museum pieces. They were not given to us to preserve, they were given to us to use.  So use it cheerfully, and maintain it cheerfully.  You want to fix your body up in order to be able to use it some more. We should not be trying to fix it up to put it back on the shelf out of harm’s way or to try to make ourselves look like nothing every happened.  Your body is a tool.  Use it.”  -Rachel Jankovic, Loving the Little Years

These last days of my pregnancy are hard.  My heart rate, as it soars to supply enough of my blood to the baby, limits my activity.  My back feels the strain of the 35 + pounds tugging in the opposite direction.  I can’t walk right.  I sleep less.  It’s difficult to turn over in bed.  I’m plagued by excruciating round ligament pains that put me on the floor at times.

“So why do it when you don’t have to?”  I’ve been asked before.  Because to me this “suffering” is so insignificant in light of the privilege of being able to give some of me for another.  Another life.  Another person.  Another soul.

“Therefore we do not lose heart…. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”  2 Corinthians 4:16

And it is my prayer that every mother reading would have her heart encouraged by this reality.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

“I’m not doing that again.  I’ve got my body back and I’m keeping it”, said the lady at the yard sale getting rid of all her baby stuff.

But is it really ours to “keep”?  I mean, should that be the basis of our view of bringing life into the world?  Our view of this body given to us for Kingdom work?  The same principle applies to any Kingdom work. It’s looking at ourselves–who we are, what we do, how we spend our time–and seeing the instrument that we are to be in the hand of God, however He uses us.

This body is not OURS.  We are not our own.  Our lives are His and if that comes with suffering, sacrifice or hardship–it’s all irrelevant.  And it isn’t limited to a bodily offering…our time, energy, ambitions–it’s all His.

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not implying that only motherhood provides the opportunity to be a living sacrifice.  I’m simply writing to mothers, as a mother, in this season, about one aspect of our immense privilege.  See it for what it is. Praise God that He has given you this opportunity–“My life for yours”.

“One of the greatest testimonies Christian women can have in our world today is the testimony of joyfully giving your body [life] to another….My very kind and wise husband once left a note for me on Easter morning after the birth of one of our children:  ‘To my wife, before she even goes near the closet on Easter morning…’ he encouraged me to realize that there was no more fitting way to celebrate Easter than in a body that has been undone on behalf of another.”  -Rachel Jankovic

“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”
— Mother Teresa


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75 Responses to “My Life For Yours: A Mother’s Pondering About Her Body”

  1. Christie P says:

    Thanks for that! I’m about 4 months along with #4 and contemplating what the 3rd trimester will be like with 3 others to care for. So It’s nice to read this perspective… 🙂

  2. Anna says:

    Beautiful post, Kelly!

  3. Becky says:

    I have so often been asked why I continue to choose to bare children when I suffer so terribly from hyperemesis, and it wreaks such havoc on my body. Not able to express exactly why, I generally just shrug and answer weakly, “I just love children…” But this! THIS is it. This is what I’ve never been able to fully express.

  4. Kim says:

    I am a Mother of 8 and am now 45 years old. I love motherhood and feel it is a privilege and honor to be able to bear children.
    I hope I am able to have another baby before “my time” has passed.
    Thank you for saying so eloquently exactly how I feel.

    • Beth West says:

      Hi Kim, I’m a mom of 8 and almost 45. I too wonder if there will be any more little ones before my time of child bearing is past.

    • Nancy says:

      Kim,

      I am a mother of 8, also. I will be 43 in June. Last year we had a little baby girl who was born with a special condition called HPE. She lived 49 days. There is a lot of fear coming out of that. My husband isn’t so willing anymore. All I know is that God knows if/when we will have any more children. I am so thankful to be a mom of so many! 🙂

      Nancy

  5. J says:

    One reason to “get your body back” is to be healthy enough to care for the children you have borne.

  6. Jen C says:

    I kind of get sad when I read messages like this. I am more than willing to have more children. Many, many more. But our youngest is three and I am still not pregnant. I have lot four babies, three second trimester and people do wonder why I would risk it again but when I see my five sons I know it is so very worth it. I am 36 (37 in july) so I know that my time might have run out but I would love more babies.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Jen,

      May I share with you a beautiful truth I heard this year at the Baby Conference regarding miscarriage…

      Losing a baby is not a “loss” in the Kingdom’s economy, though it is a great loss to us. You still are an instrument, willing to suffer even more than a woman who carries to term, for the sake of bringing an immortal soul into Heaven. Though you will not get to meet them this side of Heaven, they exist! And you made it possible through your willingness to be that instrument, no matter the outcome.

      That encouraged me…perhaps it will you too.

      • Heather says:

        Kelly,
        Thanks for sharing that with Jen. That encourages me a lot too. I have had 2 miscarriages most likely due to a blood clotting issue. I eagerly await more pregnancies, but always a nagging trepidation comes along with it knowing that miscarriage may happen again. It is always wonderful to remember that in Christ there is always hope and the obedience and sacrifice is ALWAYS worth it if done for Him.

    • Margaret says:

      (((Jen C)))
      My youngest is nearly 4. I’m younger than you, but with losses and not getting pregnant month after month, I am not taking fertility for granted anymore. 🙁

      Regardless of how many we have, the point is–we have made ourselves open to being “vessels”. You and I have fewer children, but our openness is no less precious to God than Kelly’s or anyone else’s. As someone who always wanted hordes of children, it was very hard to let go and trust him when I realized that I wasn’t going to get what I wanted, but that’s the other side of the coin when we talk about relying on him to build our families.

  7. As the mom of 10, I have more than a small assortment of “battle scars” so to speak! One night, a few years ago, my husband put his arm over me in the bed and began to rub my stomach. I immediately cringed and told him to please not touch my stomach. He asked why and I told him I hated how flabby it was.
    He said to me,”Don’t ever let me hear you talk about it like that again. That is your crown. That is the proof that we have babies in there sleeping, children that we love. Don’t ever talk down about that.”
    Wow. He gave me a very different perspective. I try to remember that and also to encourage other women with it. It truly is your crown!!

    • Margaret says:

      That is *so* sweet.

      My husband calls those things “medals of honor”. 😀

    • Tracy says:

      After the birth/death of our 7th child, my husband and I got away for a few days. I asked him if my “Mommy body” bothered him (it did me!), and he looked me in the eye and said, “I love your mommy body ~ I gave it to you!” 🙂 A real man loves the body that bears his children.

      There are more than the physical scars that are left from childbearing, there are the emotional scars as well…dealing with losses and trauma from surgeries to deliver our precious children, but it is ALL WORTH IT! I was thinking this morning how terribly sad it is how much of the church views children and child bearing. Does God ever say anything negative about children? I can’t recall anything. Why don’t we have His heart on this matter?

      May we joyfully embrace each blessing He sends our way, no matter how long He allows us to keep them, or what condition we get them in.

      Thank you for your post, Kelly.

    • Lady Dorothy says:

      This is the most loving thing I have heard in a long time. Just beautiful.

  8. Katie Grace says:

    Wow, how I needed this at this moment. I was sitting here in the quiet, having given birth to my 3rd miracle this past Thursday night. We had some complications, mainly that his head was swollen to 18 cm in circumfrence, and he could not pass through my birth canal. So- c-section. I must say, having had 2 children without surgery, this is a far worse recovery! I am amazed at how broken and sore I feel. I haven’t been able to do much of anything but sit, walk, and hold my new one. My body feels like it was scrambled and then put back together again!

    Would I do it all again? Without a doubt! Nothing I will ever do with this “body” of mine will ever come close to the miracle of having a child. So, I’ll feel a little better each day, learn to accept all the help that has been poured on me, and thank God that I am a woman!

    • Erin says:

      It will get better! I was also shocked at how much more difficult it is to recover from a C-section but eventually you will be pain free.

    • Congratulations, Katie Grace!

      • Caroline Cordle says:

        I had an emergency c-section with number 5 – I came away wondering why on EARTH someone would CHOOSE that route thinking it’s easier than natural childbirth!!! It was a real learning time for me, as I had to throw myself on the Lord, with 5 under 7 to care for. But, I learnt a lot from the experience, and wouldn’t change it at all. rest, and take any help that is offered! Enjoy extra cuddling with the baby – my Dh told me I was allowed to eat, sleep and cuddle baby. He would let me get up, eat breakfast – and then he would send me back to bed for the rest of the morning! lol He did that for the first 2 weeks, and it really helped my recovery. x

  9. Mrs. Santos says:

    I love that “Our bodies are tools, not treasures.” Just when I was starting to privately lament all the wrinkles and rolls etc. Thank you. I have been inspired!

  10. Love this so much. I must share with a precious friend who just gave birth Saturday to her 5th child. She will be encouraged!!

  11. Jenny Ervin says:

    This is something that has been on my heart lately. I am 8mos pg with #7 (11th counting miscarriages) and this has been by far my hardest pregnancy. My body feels very worn out and old at 38. Some would think I made a “mistake” but how can giving myself for the next generation be a mistake? This precious baby is so worth every moment and every ache and pain. “Behold the handmaiden of the Lord” Thank you for your encouragement.

  12. Beth West says:

    This was such a lovely post. It provided needed encouragement, not just to bear children, but to bear with the children I’ve born 🙂

  13. Amy says:

    This article was a blessing, and would speak to the hearts of so many of the women whom I serve.

    I am a midwife. Recently, one of our mama’s lived out “My life for yours” in a VERY literal sense. This is a testimony shared by her husband. Jessica’s unshakeable faith in her God was a light to all around her, she was a blessing to all.

  14. Victoria says:

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for posting this. How timely for me. 🙂 I am in the last weeks of my fourth pregnancy and what a fantastic reminder of what lies ahead. This pregnancy has been tougher than the last three and it’s been a little more difficult to find joy in the journey. Thank you for the reminder that my job is not to be a Barbie, but to be a woman–to be, to the HILT, a real woman for both my husband and my children.
    Bless you!

  15. Mrs W says:

    I’m pregnant with #4 and I do tend to agree with you, however, it’s really hard when on one hand we are told to use our bodies for that, and then we are also told by other women that we need to get our figures back for our husbands because it’s “not fair” that he has to put up with a curvier, chunkier woman if he married a skinny one.

    • Victoria says:

      If I may, I’ve recently been encouraged on both points of view. I think there is room for both encouragements in a woman’s life. Look at the journey your body is taking as you carry the 4th child into the world and be excited that God can do something so amazing. At the same time, look at the options for health and a cheerful attitude that are at your disposal–even while pregnant–and take advantage of them. Being beautiful for our husbands does not include the “preservation of 18” that was discussed in the blog. Being beautiful for him means making yourself attractive specifically to him, making yourself the kind of woman he LOVES to make his queen. It’s not about becoming someone you’re not or dying your hair blond. It’s about encouraging those things in yourself that you know he likes–such as having a cute skirt on one day just because he likes it or welcoming him home from work with a smile and a snack because you know his day was rough. Little things like that, when done with an attitude of “hey, there you are!” rather than “hey, pay attention to ME!” go a long way. It helps him see you as his place of rest, you know?
      All that to say, looking svelte is not the goal. Being healthy and changing our attitudes IS the goal. Smiles do wonders, even for the chubbiest of faces. 😉

  16. Candace says:

    I am 2 weeks away from my due date with #5 and I feel your pain. This is by far the hardest pregnancy yet. We get so bogged down with complaints and “wishing this was over” that we forget what a blessing it is to be pregnant. Thanks for the reminder, I really needed to hear that today.

  17. Very encouraging post! I’m excited for you that soon you can hold that precious baby and smell the sweetness of new life as you think of all the things that baby will do for God and His glory! The comparison to the resurrection is so powerful. Bless you!

  18. Gabe says:

    Wonderful post, thank you!

    I’m pregnant with #7, and just getting out of the first trimester. I’ve had many wonder why on earth I would put myself through that over and over again (my “morning” sickness is so bad that despite careful diet etc. I have had to be medicated for it for most of my pregnancies). My reply is always that while it is hard, it is a small price to pay for a new life!

  19. Tiffany says:

    I was thinking about the same thing this morning. I am 16 weeks pregnant and promised myself I would enjoy this pregnancy much more this time around for 2 main reasons: 1) I have a 16 month old boy so I know how much joy and blessing children bring. 2) I had a miscarriage in October and once you suffer through something like that it puts a whole new perspective on life. Thank you for sharing this and encouraging us all!

  20. Charity says:

    I am expecting our fourth blessing in a few weeks and this was just the perfect thing for me to read today. Thank you so much for this Kelly.

  21. Lauren says:

    Oh thank you so much for this post! I am 12 weeks pregnant with our 3rd baby and struggling with horrible morning sickness. I have just been struggling so much keeping up with our 21/2 year old and 1 year old while being sick and not really being able to eat anything. And oh my! The mountain of laundry I have is quite daunting not to mention all of my other housework! This was such a blessing from the Lord to read today and I am so grateful. Thank you!

  22. Pam says:

    I believe being pregnant is pretty much the only time we can assist God with a miracle. My days are past, and my babies are now grown men…I ever admire the pregnant woman, and try to always encourage them in their journey, especially in our “family hostile” environment in the Western world. Enjoy each moment ladies.

  23. Amy says:

    I have been debating about commenting since I read this earlier today, and I’ve decided to come back to put my thoughts out there. Reading this makes me feel both happy and sad. I’m happy to hear someone actually feel grateful for the discomfort of pregnancy. So often groups of ladies get together and they only talk about how difficult it is to be pregnant, wanting it to be over, blaming bodily imperfections on prior pregnancies, etc. Seeing you and other commenters delight in your pregnancies is so much better!

    I would also thank you for this sentence: “I’m not implying that only motherhood provides the opportunity to be a living sacrifice.” Sometimes I feel like pregnancy and motherhood are the ONLY way for women to be used by God. Unfortunately, therein lies my sadness. I have never been pregnant, and I am unlikely to experience a pregnancy. It hurts my heart like you wouldn’t believe when pregnancy is the most talked about topic between my friends. I think they forget that it’s something I haven’t experienced. I am a mother through adoption. (And, let me say for the record, that that’s not the “easy” way to become a mother.) Because I have only one child, and she looks amazingly like her father and I, people often assume that we wouldn’t welcome another child into our family. Nothing could be further from the truth. Had we not come face first with infertility, I have no doubt that we would have had a houseful of children! It’s what we thought would happen when we married. I’m actually at a pretty healthy place with my barrenness right now, and I certainly trust that God knows what He is doing. It just makes me sad when women don’t seem to appreciate the miracle of life that God has given them. I mean, really, my body doesn’t look like it did when I was 18 either!!!

    Thank you for letting me share as someone who hasn’t actually been there!

    • Word Warrior says:

      Amy,

      I’m glad you commented. I’m so sorry for your pain. Though I don’t know how it feels, having several friends who suffer from infertility, I can only imagine the emptiness, and yet I believe He longs to fill you.

      And though I’ve been accused many times of believing/teaching that “it’s all about having more children”, that is not AT ALL what I believe. It’s all about the sovereignty of God and a heart that seeks Him. It’s receiving from His hand life as He gives it, or barrenness as He allows it. By saying that I don’t dare presume that’s an easy thing! I just want to be clear that the number of children a woman has or being given none at all is completely irrelevant in terms of being useful for the Lord. A heart turned to Him…that is all He requires.

      May you find peace in this difficult sovereignty.

      • Amy says:

        Thanks for your understanding. I certainly don’t mean to sound as if I live in constant pain; it really is that there are just many reminders that I am not like other women. (Which I know is silly…there really is no “like other women”! Each of us has our own burdens to bear.)

        You are so right about trusting in the sovereignty of God and abiding in what His will is for our lives. The truths I’ve learned about God, the peace He has brought, the prayers of faithful friends, the breaking down of my own will to conform to His, the strength formed in my marriage from shared suffering…these are all things that I may not have known except for my journey of infertility. There are attributes of God that I now know more fully than I did before, and I will always be grateful for that.

        I have read enough of your blog to know that you don’t subscribe to the have as many children as you can theory. I didn’t mean to imply that; it’s just that…I struggle with how to say it without saying something that I don’t mean… there is sometimes a “glorification” of motherhood amongst my Christian friends, as in you’re not really a woman until you have experienced pregnancy and childbirth. I don’t know if that’s exactly it or not because it’s a little hard to put my finger on. I know that’s not what you’re saying here either, but it does seem to be common in my experience. I also know it’s goofy of me to think that way, because I am a mom, and I do understand the awesomeness of the responsibility entrusted to me. I guess it comes down to the fact that God is God, and He has plans for each of our lives even when we don’t always understand what He is doing!

        Although we probably don’t have identical beliefs on everything, I have much respect for you and your commitment to bringing truth to women. More of us need to bring our friends back to Scripture when we are giving advice and counsel. I wonder if you would ever consider addressing infertility. I know it might seem strange from a mother of many, but it is such a reality for so many people that I cannot be the only one who reads who deals with it.

        God bless you as you get ready to welcome another precious child into your family!

  24. Lauren says:

    I love this post! I’m printing it out and keeping it handy.
    A young lady my mother worked with told her that she was going to be ‘done’ after this, her first pregnancy, because she was ‘just not enjoying it’ like she thought she would. I just wanted to cry.

  25. Michelle says:

    I loved this too! I’m “only” expecting our 4th child (5th pregnancy) and at age 36, this is the hardest pregnancy I’ve experienced yet. I’m thrilled to be able to have another child (children are 10,8, and 6), but I honestly can’t imagine doing this again. I even laughingly told my husband that I’m happy to have more, but we have to adopt! I’m so thankful that my children ARE older and able to help, because I don’t know how I’d do it with little ones this time around. I feel like a “wimp”. It has been so encouraging to be reminded that this poor, weak, worn-out body is NOT an ornament, but a tool. 🙂

  26. Amy says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’m in the early stages of my fifth pregnancy (our first post-reversal) and while we are praising God for blessing us with another child, I am suffering through another pregnancy with hyperemesis gravidarum and had to start taking medication last week to control the vomiting. We have family who can’t understand why I would want to go through this again, and I was SO encouraged by this post!

  27. Linda says:

    This is a very encouraging post and I know so many mothers need to be reminded. When I was just a few weeks from delivering our last child (#6) I popped over at camp to see my husband and was invited to sit in on a session that the women from a college were having that afternoon. I grabbed pen and paper, so excited for what I thought was going to be the opportunity to be fed. It was not a lecture though, but a workshop on using your gifts to worship— one group was singing (songs I didn’t know), one group was drawing (not my talent) and another group was dancing in worship. Me and my big belly just sat down to be quiet. “Okay, God, I’m all yours. If I can’t participate with any of these groups, just teach me what you have planned.” And so I sat. I was blessed by the music. Near the end of the hour I felt a smile coming on at a humorous thought— that I couldn’t have danced it I had wanted. My hips come undone the last trimester and I was so front heavy… I was the epitome of waddle. And it was in that moment I heard God. He reminded me of Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Linda, He said, this baby is your reasonable service… your act of worship. Oh, the tears, the joy, the gratefulness I felt. To understand, you need to realize that we had decided to stop having babies after our 5th daughter because of my health. God specifically showed us this was not His will, but that He wanted us to trust Him. And we know obedience is not always easy. It is not always fun… it is just obedience. And that is what the Lord expects.

    Surely the sacrifice He asks of each person is different, but if this the act of worship He asks of me, what a blessed sacrifice it is.

    Saying a prayer for you in your last weeks.

  28. Nancy says:

    Thank you for encouraging mothers to thank God for our precious blessings. So few in this world recognize the gift that a child is. I have had 8 children. Our littlest, Kara Faith, lived 49 days last year and we also have 4 we didn’t get to meet this side of heaven. Would I do it over again? You bet I would.

  29. Mrs. S says:

    Thanks for this post. I am nine months pregnant with my 3rd and getting worn down too. I was pursposly focusing on today how wonderful it was that God would use my body to create another human! I am so excited to see who He has made!

  30. Jennifer says:

    That is a very cool quote from Alanis. But the other quote gets a little weird: dinged and dinted? I will preserve my body as much as I can, with exercise and good food, and I’ll do this for better health, for long-term comfort and ability, for my husband and for a longer life with my family and God’s work.

    • Terri says:

      Have you had children? Because I’ve had 9 and believe me, dinged and dented is pretty darn accurate. I exercise (am running another half-marathon in May), eat healthy, and generally take good care of my health and my family BUT carrying children and subsequent childbirth WILL ding and dent. I laugh with some of my friends when we say the Lord gave us stretch marks so we would not wear bikinis anymore! And my children say the back of my legs look like road maps!! haha! I thought the wording was so true, dinged and dented for the glory of God!!

      • Jennifer says:

        Well, I hope you can get in bikinis again. I just see no reason to aspire for dings and dints, and the phrase “for the glory of God” can be overused; I’ll never forget the sweetly doltish man who wrote an article saying to pregnant women, “Waddle for the glory of God!” Oh, shush up; not even pregnant, and that line makes me cranky. He’d better be careful, because if I WAS pregnant, I might sit on him.

        • Lori says:

          Jennifer, as one who has no children, perhaps you’d be willing to sit this one out? The point of the posting is that we should try to maintain a healthful body, don’t try to keep it museum quality. Procreating does damage to a woman’s figure, often or usually irrevocable (w/out surgery or unnatu…ral amounts of exercise). My little joke was not meant to be provocative, but since you did “bite,” I’ll elaborate. Pregnancy causes ligaments to stretch, so even if a woman does lose her baby weight, her hips will be forever expanded since those bones are held together by ligaments which are not elastic. She will have extra skin in many cases which also adds to her pants size, and stretch marks (which she may feel are a visual detraction, however private). Her muscles may even detach from their proper places, making a certain figure unattainlble no matter what exercise she does.

          We are not aspiring to dents and dings as you put it. They come w/ the territory – of living in general, but procreating has its own special set. And while I do prefer that people not comment on my waddling when I’m pregnant, the fact is that even though I might not gain much weight, I do at some point in the pregnancy waddle. It’s because I have a human sitting front and center on/in my hips and it throws my center of gravity off, as well as forcing me to favor my lower back some (wich contributes to my waddling). So I don’t pretend I don’t waddle, when I do. So writing that it’s for the glory of God is not a bit doltish. It’s kind.

          • Lori says:

            Ha. As you can see I’ve had part of this conversation before online. (“My little joke…”) The other person also has never given birth. 😉

            • Jennifer says:

              “Jennifer, as one who has no children, perhaps you’d be willing to sit this one out?”

              But I am one striving to be fit and healthy.

              “My little joke was not meant to be provocative, but since you did “bite,” I’ll elaborate”

              Um, what joke? I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re referring to there or in your last remark about having the conversation elsewhere online.

              “So writing that it’s for the glory of God is not a bit doltish”

              Oh yes it is. Waddling is for women to worry about, not for men to patronizingly comment on. “Waddle for the glory of God?” That’s about the worst-phrased piece of would-be encouragement to women I’ve ever seen.

              • Lori says:

                I have two comments above, the second one in which I explain that “little joke” bit. And a lot of us are working to be fit, thank you.

                • Jennifer says:

                  “As you can see I’ve had part of this conversation before online. (“My little joke…”)”

                  Ohh, I saw this comment before but I didn’t get it. I get it now.
                  “And a lot of us are working to be fit, thank you.”

                  I believe you, and I’m glad. Kelly looks great, so she obviously is. It just sometimes alarms me, the idea of losing control of my body. All my female relatives look great after childbirth and I’d rather emulate them than what the “ah, just take the dings and dints” message seemed to be saying.

        • Margaret says:

          Jennifer–it’s not an “aspiration”. For most of us, it’s a reality.

          That’s *why* it’s a sacrifice. Barring a lucky few, most of us are permanently, visibly, physically changed by childbearing. Even getting back to pre-pregnancy weight, many women find that their body shape is very different from what it was previously.

          • Jennifer says:

            I know changes are a reality, but so is the possibility of still having a great body. Of course, nine kids are not in my body’s future, so that much change or damage won’t be a concern.

            • Jennifer says:

              Well, PROBABLY not in my future.

            • Margaret says:

              Nobody’s saying you can’t have a “great body”.

              The point is, there is greatness and beauty in the imperfections that come with having children (and with age, I might add, even if you don’t have 9 kids). Because they are the result of beautiful, great work. Rather than holding up the plasticized Hollywood elite as our standard of beauty or getting mad at stretch marks and extra skin, we need to change our perspective on what true beauty is.

  31. Jennifer says:

    Oh and Kelly, I’m sorry for your pain! I’ll pray for you.

  32. jen in AL says:

    beautifully said!!!! So needed to read that today! In the precious trenches with you sweet mama! Can’t wait to meet our bundles of joy! love and blessings, jen in al

  33. courtney says:

    I love love love this post. Thank you!!!!

    I would love to use it as a guest post on my blog. Please let me know if this would be okay.

  34. I never click on links, but this is the second link this morning that I feel the Lord led me to that encouraged me so greatly.

    Before my husband and I came to the Lord, we had two children, and I vowed to NEVER get pregnant again, hating what it did to my body, and the imposed selflessness. He had a vasectomy. Our marriage and family disintegrated. Which caused us to find the Lord, and rebuild our marriage His way, which led to a reversal of my husband’s surgery and now expecting our fourth baby since.

    I had been struggling with this pregnancy and not as joyful as before because of doubts I let get to me–because of what the world thinks. I had a year of serious illness, chemotherapy, surgery. My doctors were against me ever getting pregnant again. My family was against it. Not to mention, I am 41.

    But reminding me that my body is a Living Sacrifice–I want to smack myself in the head. That’s the name of my blog. Silly me. Thank you for this gentle correction. I am so refreshed and encouraged.

  35. Kanika says:

    Thank you for your post. I’m less than 8 weeks away from my due date and my body is feeling it. I would do it all over again to be apart of the miracle of God’s creation. God bless you.

  36. Sue says:

    I find it interesting to be led to this post….maybe it was the Lord’s leading.IDK. But in all honesty I’m finding it hard to be encouraged. I’m 7 weeks with my 6th child. I wanted this pregnancy, but it is SOOOO hard being sick. I’m hoping the excitement comes but right now I feel lousy, feel guilty for not being able to be the wife and mother I need to be. I can’t do all the important things and usual things I do for my kids and husband. I don’t see how this glorifies God. I just feel lazy and miserable.Everything is falling apart around me. I feel lonely and isolated and feel like I can’t share this news with family and friends because of their disapproval.I don’t need their negativity I already have enough of my own.

    • WordWarrior says:

      Sue,

      I want to encourage you in your difficult journey. Pregnancy CAN be hard. Life, motherhood, being a wife–at times I feel overwhelmed too and I think that is perfectly normal, provided we don’t stay there 😉 May I suggest that early pregnancy hormones do not help with these feelings. I would also encourage you to make sure you are getting the best nutrition possible with your sickness–perhaps try juicing (carrots and apples), especially if you have a hard time with the vitamins.

      It always helps me just to try to regain emotional perspective. That the physical things “falling apart” will still be there if I can keep my focus on relationships in my home. Try meditating on a passage of Scripture that speaks to you…going outside and just sitting on a blanket talking with your children/husband…I’m just throwing things out that have helped me, hoping they will help you. Remember that you are doing a HUGE job. The pregnancy is hard, but you are “growing a human” (that’s my mantra in these days as I am 2 weeks out from delivery and suffering from extreme anemia). And not only a human, but an immortal soul, entrusted to you to raise up for the Kingdom. Press on, dear one.

      Here’s another article I’ve written I thought might encourage you…
      http://www.generationcedar.com/main/2008/07/motherhood-and-sufferingis-it-sign.html

  37. […] you are Woman #3 may I encourage you and thank you for your service.  As Kelly over at Generation Cedar quoted a few days […]

  38. […] 1.) My Life For Yours: A Mother’s Pondering About Her Body […]

  39. Daja says:

    BOY! Have we been thinking along the same lines lately! The day after you posted this, I posted this:

    I AM A WOMAN
    http://gombojavfamily.blogspot.com/2011/02/im-glad-im-woman.html

    I wrote it as a response to someone blogging about how they were in the gym two weeks postpartum getting their pre-baby-body back. EEK! I didn’t read your post until just now! Thinkin’ along the same lines! I’m going to link to this on FB! 🙂

  40. […] My Life For Yours: A Mother’s Pondering About Her Body @ Generation Cedar {Beautifully put.  We have become living sacrifices…why should we focus on the changes as negative, rather than rejoice in the privilege of bringing forth life?} […]

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