We’re embarking on a year-long journey to dig deep into the twelve areas of life we women struggle with and care about the absolute most. And we’re starting out with “style” during the month of February. That means fashion, beauty, hair, etc. Don’t let this topic sound fluffy next to the topic of loving your body. Loving your body (as it is, right now in this very second) has everything to do with your fashion, beauty, and hair routines.
Do you ever feel guilty or weird about investing so much time and energy into “style” – be it fashion, beauty, hair, makeup, whatever. I’ve started realizing over the last few months how silly those feelings are – and how important these things are to me. Top of my “style” priorities lately are 1) culling my closet, and 2) developing a great skin-care routine, and 3) taking better care of my body so that I can improve my stress levels, health, etc. But, for us all, a key struggle area is loving our bodies and feeling comfortable in our skin.
When I first sat down to write this post, I started thinking about my post-babies body. I wrote a few lines and started to remember my hoping-for-babies / pre-babies body. What a sweet, tender memory. My body was thinner, toner, and less marked then. But it was bruised from shots, aching with want, and painfully tense with hope. The extra softness I carry reminds me that God has written new-found (often hard-to-dig-up) patience on the walls of my heart — in the form of soft words, sweet hugs, and gentle conversations with my kids. The marks on my stomach remind me of the way God marked through the “plan” I had for my life, my journey into motherhood, and rewrote an even more beautiful story. Beautiful in a way I would have never described as beautiful beforehand. And the new muscles in my arms – rather than in my abs where I’d love to have them – remind me not just of the healthy children I lift everyday but of the strength He gave me while I trudged through the hardest season of my life.
Ooof. Saying those things “out loud” makes me rethink what kinds of clothes I want in my closet (why waste so much time thumbing through clothes that don’t make me feel great), what I’m really trying to “fix” with my makeup (I’m almost 34! Laugh lines are INEVITABLE!), and how much guilt (huh?) I give myself for never, ever wearing my hair down during the week. I kinda decided to toss all those dumb feelings out the window a few months ago. Are you hoping for that day that you can fit into *those jeans again*? Boo. Give those jeans away. Buy a pair of jeans that fit you. That fit your pre or post-baby(ies) body. If you’re like me and you just want to be comfortable and polished, invest in some high-quality (Target’s are great) tees that don’t hug you in all the wrong places. Purge your closet of these crazy things. I did this a few weeks ago and – two years into being a mom of three – I was floored at how many articles of clothing I was hanging onto just in case. I give that a big eye-roll emoji at this point. I want to feel great in my clothes, not be reminded all day of that number on the scale the morning I got married. I want to feel confident in my choices, not overwhelmed by the sheer volume of clothes in my closet. And God’s written a new story on my heart about these “superficial” (not at all) topics the last few months. If I feel my best when my makeup is done, my hair’s up in a messy bun, and I’m wearing my favorite skinny jeans with my favorite tee and my favorite simple jewelry, then that’s me. That’s what you’re going to get. And, don’t you dare apologize for taking time out of your day to get a manicure or take care of yourself. If a gel manicure (my absolute favorite gel color) makes you feel a little more pulled together and makes you hold your head a little higher, get it girl. No one can make self-care a priority but you. Embrace yourself. Take care of yourself. And your well will be filled even more for the people you love.