"The Right Kind of Damages"


"There are really two separate points I would like to make here. First of all, 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 the way that God designed it to be used. Those are the right kind of damages."

"So realize that your body is a testimony to the world of God's design. Carry the extra weight joyfully until you can lose it joyfully. Carry the scars joyfully as you carry the fruit of them. Do not resent the damages that your children left on your body. Just like a guitar mellows and sounds better with age and scratches, so your body can more fully praise God having been used for His purposes. So don't resent it, enjoy it"-Rachel Jankovic, Loving the Little Years (Chapter 12)

I bought the book "Loving the Little Years" on a particularly rough day. I wanted the title to be my attitude towards this stage of my life. I expected a spiritual exercise, but what I got was practical. honest advice from a mom currently raising 5 kids. (Hey Mommas, go buy it. Its GOOD.) At first, I wasn't sure how to feel-I didn't get the spiritual fix-all. But as I kept reading, my heart has been changing. I read those few phrases above several weeks ago in a chapter titled "Me Time" and they keep getting at my heart. Every time I get critical of myself. Every time I wince at pictures taken. Every time I get frustrated at what is now vs. what was then. I keep going back to this.

I tried my wedding dress on this weekend. And it didn't fit. At first, I was bummed. This has been  a goal of mine that I've maintained for the past couple years. Always. fit. into. that. thing. Ben was there, he witnessed the scene. And after several jokes about the perks of this new body (a gracious husband, indeed), it turned into a much more serious conversation. He called me out. A few big realities were discovered for me. Firstly: I needed to let go of the idea that worth of any kind is dependent on a zipper's longitude. Second: when given the option, I choose the past 2 1/2 years of this blessed life I've been given over what "might have been" in order for me to be able to claim my pride of smaller hips and upper body. Hands down. 

At first I was tempted to tell myself "Brittany, you're making excuses." But I'm not. I've reached fitness goals since baby. I've met running-mile goals, I've made it back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Yet, reaching these numbers weren't as satisfying as I hoped. Possibly because those numbers still can't reconcile the fact that this is not the same body. At all. 

 My rib cage has expanded considerably. I carried E high all throughout and now-I'm changed. And after the past 7 months of going back and forth on the issue. I've embraced the reality that Rachel Jankovic wrote about. 

These "damages" are the right kind. I want them.

I am convinced we must keep these tools in good working order. God has given us them, and that carries a certain amount of respect and appreciation we must have for them. That means I'm pro-fitness and for being good stewards of our fleshly exterior. But at the end of the day, its just a tool. I keep telling myself: "Let it be used."  I am learning to gauge much of my self-perception on how I'm using this flesh to fulfill the purposes God has for it. This shift is bringing buckets of peace to this heart. This body can handle what God has made it for. 

While you may be tasting all sorts of success in your physical fitness pursuits ( Huzzah!), perhaps you're not. Or perhaps extensive focus on that area of your life is reserved for the 'not now list.' Regardless, may we choose joy and find peace. May we continue to put our flesh in its proper place and let the standard of our 18-year-old-selves (or in my case my 20 year old-bride-self) die. May I continue to praise God for the evidence that the flesh I've been given is being used well and has witnessed many a celebration. Lord knows its been a wild, incredible ride.

I hope you embrace your ne'ked self a wee-bit more, regardless if you've birthed babies or not. Joyfully. 

As always, thanks for reading.


  1. very well written Brittany. I love it when I jump on your blog, and suddenly I feel a little bit better- or maybe a lot bit better.
    Thanks Again!

  2. :) I'm glad. You especially are using that bod the way God intended. :D Be on the lookout for your post, it should be up in the next few weeks. Missing you guys.

  3. Love this post, Brittany. What a great reminder for me in the middle of week 34. It's hard not to fixate on whether or not I will fit into my skinny jeans again, or how I will look in a swimsuit come summer. I don't want to care about these things... but I do, I really do.

    I'm definitely going to add Jankovic's book to my reading list.

    1. I feel you. Whether you fit or not, there are all sorts of perks to your post pregnancy. I'm working on discovering them now. :) so excited to meet lebabe.

  4. First, I am so glad you stopped by my blog! I'm really looking forward to getting to know you through your posts!

    Secondly, this was a refreshing post.
    "Or perhaps extensive focus on that area of your life is reserved for the 'not now list.'"
    This is definitely me right now. Right now, I eat for energy because I am working a lot and still have a little who isn't sleeping. I know this is a very short phase of my life--there will be time to focus on me again soon. For now, I am proud of what I have accomplished and the beautiful little girl my slightly stretched out body carried.

    I hope you stop by and say hi often!