That ugly little outie.

I hate my bellybutton. It just makes me sick if I have to look at it. I herniated it during my pregnancy with Caleb (basically it popped out and never went back in).

My OB told me that when I was done having kids I should get it stitched up to prevent anything making it worse in the future.

Yeah, I haven’t done that yet. I’m finally back to a good exercise plan and that would knock me out for weeks. And surgery? Scarier than giving birth.

But my disdain for my belly button has not been a post part issue. No, it’s been as long as I can possible remember.

As a tiny little girl, I looked down at my “outie” and thought it was gross and ugly compared to everyone else cute little “innies”.

Even though it was rarely seen, I was so self conscious about it.

I hated it.

Before I got married I was so afraid that my future husband would think my belly button was ugly (I know…if you’ve had babies this sound like the least of your worries…but remember this was pre-kids!).

The other night I was bathing the kids and I noticed for the first time that each of their belly buttons were completely different. Eli has this adorable innie, Caleb is kind of a sweet little “middle of the road” and Amayah had probably the cutest belly button I had ever seen.

I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. I knew I had seen it somewhere before.

As I was telling her she had the most adorable little belly button it hit me! She has MY belly button!

I was so shocked. She has a little outie and it was honestly one of the cutest, prettiest little things.

I started yelling at Andrew “did you know she has MY BELLYBUTTON?? HOW HAVE I NOT NOTICED THIS! AND IT’S CUTE! IT’S ACTUALLY REALLY REALLY CUTE!”.

He seemed a little confused by my enthusiasm.

But guys, it was this crazy moment of seeing something that I thought was ugly on me, as beautiful on her.

And that means that if it was beautiful on her, than even if my thoughts told me otherwise, then it was beautiful on me too.

 

Our uniqueness is not ugly. All it takes is seeing our similarity in someone else to recognize it’s beauty.

I think God is saying to us tonight, it’s just like Him. Our belly button is just like his. We are a lovely, adorable, wonderful reflection of who he is.

And THAT is not ugly.Amayah and mom

So God created human beings  in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27 (NLT)

Four Years Ago Today

I love my “on this day” app for Facebook. This whole week has been flooded with memories from the past 8 years of getting ready for an awesome youth retreat that I’ve had a the privilege for by involved in for thirteen years.

So many of my posts are encouraging people to pray for retreat, excitement for the weekend to arrive and good reports of healing and miracles during the event.

Then there was one post from this day four years ago that really pulled on my heart.

I’m having my first major time when I realize I can’t just do whatever I want now since I’m a mom. It’s happened before, but never to the same extent as since Youth Retreat prep and now the retreat itself is going to begin. It’s a new season for us. Thankfully we’ll still be involved, it just definitely looks way different than in all the years past. Caleb’s so worth it though!

I threw the “Caleb’s so worth it” part in at the end to not sound like a bad mom, and I did believe it, but I remember how deep my pain really was.

This weekend was so monumental for my spiritual growth in high school and when I then got to be involved in putting it on it was like a dream come true to have the chance to give this experience to other kids.

And when it looked like I couldn’t do it anymore, my heart was broken. Motherhood was such a beautiful gift, except when it took away something I was deeply passionate about.

Well, that was four years ago, and today my emotions were definitely engaged because this year I have the deep priviledge and incredible honour of being the evening speakers for the retreat alongside my husband.

So in the midst of my nervousness for this weekend, and great sense of awe that we are actually speaking at this event that was so instrumental in my life…I am encourage today by the unfailing promises of the Lord.

I remember my pastor praying over me after I had Caleb and saying “the Lord put fire in your bones, he’s not done with you.”

It felt different in that season four years ago, and yes, it was so worth it. But he has been faithful to fulfill the desires deep in my heart that he has placed there.

I pray for you today, that where you feel your dreams are broken, or laying dormant, that you would be faithful to keep walking with Jesus. Do not give up. Don’t think about giving up. Not ever. BECAUSE at the time right time, these things will come to pass and you will reap a harvest for the Kingdom of God!

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Galatians 6:9

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Last year around youth retreat! No more newborn 😦