Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Can I See the Baby?"

That was the question I got last night from my four-year old. I lifted up my shirt just enough to reveal my still-flat(ish) tummy. "No! I want to SEE the baby! When is he coming out?!?" It's gonna be a while, sweetie. About seven months.

Then he and big brother notice the funny texture of the skin in this area. Yes, my "family of stretch marks." "Why is it like that?" they ask. That's just what often happens when God grows a baby, and then another baby, and then another baby in a mommy's tummy.

Today, my six-and-a-half-year-old asked to see my baby again. That surprised me because he knows the baby is not visible and that it will be a long time yet. "Okay," I said as I humbly lifted my shirt again. He gently touched the sagging, pathetic skin and said, "I like that God gave you skin like this here." I just smiled.

Yeah, I have got to admit that even though I occasionally dream about a tummy tuck, I am glad that the Lord marked my body with visible reminders of the sacrifice it takes to be a mom. Our bodies are the first great sacrifice we make - but only the first of many sacrifices. As a mom you give and give and give of yourself - your time, your emotions, your heart, and your body. And in return, we receive an even bigger blessing - the joy of watching our children grow and, I pray, become what God intends them to become.

So wear those marks with pride and joy!


Ginger said...

That is soooo sweet!! That makes those stretch marks worth it!

Anonymous said...

I love your website, however I would like to comment on your article referring to stretch marks as "God's Reminder" to Mothers. I disagree with your reference to these scars as something women should live with in order to "honor" our role as Mothers. Here's a different Christian perspective: I teach my children like you that our bodies are "God's temples". This means we are in charge of our "temples" caring for and respecting them. If you were scarred in a fire or a child you knew was born with a deformity would you judge this as "Gods gift of a reminder?" God gives us the gift of medical miracles.. He encourages us to cherish our souls and our bodies. This means allowing yourself to work with the medical blessing that he created is simply a statement of self respect to many. In fact this show of "self respect" is a gift that many mothers choose simply as an example to their children of the miracle of God's love for us. This in fact is the same love that empowers us to love others. In short I thought it important to comment that a "tummy tuck" is not a sin. It is a gift.. a gift that millions of women allow them selves, mending some lifestyle altering scarring. I choose to wear my smile with pride! And take pride in the real reminders of my daily sacrifices.. my three little miracles!

Jenne said...

Dear Anonymous -
Thanks for your honest comment. I can see right away that there is one thing that we agree on: tummy tucks are not sinful. No need to be drawing lines in the sand where no lines need be drawn. This is one of those grey areas that I believe the Lord convicts our hearts about on a person-by-person basis. And it is up to each of us as individuals to listen and obey His voice.

I have a friend who, at age two, was stricken with a horrible disease that took her legs. She is a double amputee, and the skin on her arms is uneven and deformed still today, as it was the site for skin graft transplants. I look at her body - mangled as it is - as a powerful reminder that her life was spared - that the Lord spared her for a purpose in this life. I look at her with great respect because of - and despite - the way her body looks. Would it be ok for her to get prosthetics, or take advantage of some new plastic surgery to repair the skin on her arms? Of course.

But yes, I do think that the Lord marks our bodies with visible reminders of His faithfulness. Would I get a tummy tuck if finances allowed? Yeah, maybe so. Is it automatically the wrong thing to do, just because it has some element of vanity attached to it? I don't think so (then we would have to call into question all the daily beautifying routines we take part in). Is there a better way that money could be spent, like to save hundreds of kids from poverty in Africa? Of course. There is always a better way that ALL our descretionary money can be spent.

God looks at the condition of the heart and cares about how that heart obeys. I could be marked on every square inch of my body with evidence of the sacrifice of childbearing, but the truth of the matter is that it is not sacrifice God desires, but our heart.