Portrait One

(One of the things on my 32 Things Before 32 list is to take a self-portrait once per month. Here's August.) 

I see a lot of things when I look at this photograph. I hate to admit how many pictures I took before I landed on one that was decent, at least in my mind.  I'm usually the girl behind the camera not the one in front of the camera. I feel a lot of things looking at this photograph. I had a baby a mere seven weeks ago and I can see the extra weight on my frame and in my face. My pants are a few sizes larger than I would like them to be. I wear a lot of tunics right now. In the past, I have always shied away from being in photographs when I don't feel the best in my own skin. I don't feel the best in my own skin lately. Postpartum skin is always an adventure and a process.  Healing from a c-section has been something I would like to not have to experience ever again. I'm ravenously hungry pretty much all of the time when I am breastfeeding and never feel fully satisfied. 

Sure, I have some weight to lose. Sure, my eyes look tired because I have a seven week old and a toddler to care for. Sure, there are some things I would change. 

But, you know what else I see? I see a woman that carried two children for 9 months each in this body. I have fed and nurtured two children with this body. I see a woman that is trying her best to parent two children well and to give them the very best life that we can in our home. I see a woman that is strong and capable. I see of woman that has dreams and aspirations, goals and hopes. I see a woman that is in a season that has never before been experienced. A new challenge, a new hope. 

"From the very beginning, we grow and mature because problems propel us towards solutions. Hunger drives us to attain what we do not have; discomforts push us through frustrations. So our babies grow strong, creative, and smart-- because they persevere. In the same way, our adult minds and bodies do not thrive through comfort, but challenge. Life throws a million curveballs demanding brave responses. By walking though the darkness, taking every despairing step until we reach the land of dawn-- this is how we learn to love goodness, to sacrifice for beauty, and to cultivate enough hope for the next time. Even if next time the valley is darker and longer than before."  

Catherine McNiel   Long Days of Small Things

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