I stepped out of the shower this morning and accidentally stepped onto the bathroom scales. I wish i hadn’t. Then i accidentally took a long hard look at myself in the full length mirror. I wish i hadn’t. Uggghhh! After 3 kids, things are just not quite what they used to be – by a long shot.
Then i found these old photos of myself. This is me in my early 20’s before i started having babies:
I was a babe. A total babe. I WAS THIN.
I don’t look like that any more. Now i look like this:
Well, perhaps that is a slight exaggeration – but that is how i feel most of the time. I have put on a stone with each child and try as i might, the stress and the exhaustion just keep getting in the way of the healthy eating and the exercise. Not that my husband minds at all – he says the wobbly bits are the best bits!
While i was staring at my full length reflection I thought about 3 things:
1. “I am turning 35 this year.”
2. “Perhaps i should get one of those mirrors you find at the fairground that make you look really tall and skinny? (Then my head and my feet will be enormous but the bit in the middle will be tiny! – Great idea!)
3. “This is my body.”
Then my perception of myself changed. Hidden within the finger-thick tiger stripes on my big fat belly i found a certain dignity. Those stripes are there because my husband and i created 3 new lives and they grew in my belly. They are a permanent reminder of the 3 most precious things in my life, and of the humbling fact that God asked me to take part in creation along side Him. Then another thought struck me:
There is no pregnancy in Heaven.
Angels do not have the ability to reproduce. And in Matthew 22:30 Jesus tells us that the humans in Heaven do not marry – which would rule out the chance of pregnancy: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” – Matthew 22:30 It seems that God has reserved creating new life for this world alone. What an honour…
And this is what you get:
Each one a miracle. I have used my body well. I have taken part in creation. My stripes are that of a tiger! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!
I am able to say joyfully to my Husband: “This is my body – which has been given up for you.”
I am able to say joyfully to my children: “This is my body – which has been given up for you.”
And I am able to say joyfully to Jesus: “This is my body – which has been given up for You.”
Funnily enough Jesus says something very similar to me every time I encounter Him at Mass…