• Dana L. Butler


I’ve put off writing this blog post for ages. Even now as I sit down to try and wrangle some thoughts into words, I click over to Facebook, respond to emails, do anything to keep myself busy.

But. Here I sit, and I don’t think I really know where to start. This isn’t a topic I’d ever dreamed of tackling here in this space… until the last several months.

Natalie Goldberg says if a topic doesn’t show up in your writing, it’s a topic you’re neglecting or avoiding examining in your life. And on this issue, for me, that couldn’t be more true.

It’s a Sunday evening on the early end of June. I’ve just returned from a girls’ trip out of town with a friend, and I’m worn out.

I can’t remember if I had a headache, or if my shoulders were just stiff from the long drive home. Regardless, Stan’s offered to massage my back and neck, and I’ve wholeheartedly accepted the offer.

I’ve always struggled to accept the fact that he finds me beautiful.

When there are areas of your body that you don’t find lovely, you can’t fully accept someone else’s embrace of your body.

Holy crap. Am I really writing these words?

I’m not qualified to say this stuff. Others have addressed this issue so much more eloquently and thoroughly than I’m able to.

Yet there’s this theme that God keeps weaving into my day-in, day-out, beautifully grueling life: it’s my own beauty.

I was praying for you and this image came to mind. You were standing in front of the mirror, and God was delighted, because you were discovering and enjoying your own beauty.

Stan says this to me a solid year ago, and little do I know how this aspect of God’s heart toward me is going to work its way down to my core. How it’s going to change me from the inside out.

I’ve been working out lately. For the last few months, actually. As many evenings per week as I can manage — usually 4 to 6. The kids go to bed, and Stan is typically working on something computer-ish.

I shut myself away in our bedroom and still my heart and mind before God, begin by doing a few stretches, and work my way through some floor exercise routine or another.

These windows of quiet have become precious to me. Opportunities to commune with God that nourish my soul as much as they strengthen my body.

But there’s something different about my workouts these days than times when I’ve consistently exercised in the past, and it’s not just that they’re also times to connect with God.

There’s this thing that’s happening inside me: I’m starting to love my body. Learning to work out from a heart of reconciled peace with my current place in my journey. Peace with my current pant size (which, by the way is considerably larger than it was 8 months ago). Peace with my strength level. Peace with the things I like about my appearance, and peace with the parts of me that’ve been harder to accept.

Ugh. My brain is too tired to write this. 🙁

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