I’ve scorned my lop-sided boobies for most of my life. My mom said they’d even out once I had kids…which never happened. Hormone shifts just don’t come pre-packaged with adoption. But yesterday, a childhood friend lost both of her boobies, and today I’m aware of them on every woman I pass and catch the reflection of my own curves in the store window. I found putting my bra on this morning to be an awe-filled privilege, and admittedly, I’ve cupped my chest more than once today and whispered a soft, “Thank You.” Thank you for these lop-sided boobies.

Looking at pictures from this past weekend, I’m less than happy with my new haircut. It’s too triangular. I think I look like a blonde cocker spaniel. Made a mental note to myself to get that fixed ASAP. Then I remembered helping a friend shave her whole head of hair off before the chemo took it first. I’m not sure why she asked me…we weren’t really that close. But it was one of the holiest moments I’ve ever had in my life. For some reason, I have a thick head of hair that makes most hairstylists marvel, but as I brushed and pulled it into a quick ponytail before exercise class today, I felt whiney self-absorbed, and petty. What a gift it is to have hair at all… every single strand that’s stuck to my scalp is a blessing. “Thank You.” Thank you for my cocker spaniel hair.

Something shifted in my body a few years ago that no one has been able to pinpoint, but I gained 50 lbs in 3 months. I’d been thin all my life…how did this happen?! I didn’t change my eating habits. I didn’t go on some mad nutella binge. But the weight showed up, and has refused to leave. I’m active and I’ve tried every exercise program known to man. I’ve counted calories, given up soda and fast food, detoxed, juice fasted, gone gluten free and semi-vegetarian, and every combination you can think of…even my doctors are stumped. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. The skinny girl I’ve seen for most of my life is now wrapped thickly in the body of my German grandmother. My under-chin has even fallen and it can’t get up. I’m not an over-eater, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at me. I begrudge having my picture taken now…because the way I look on the outside isn’t the way I feel on the inside. And then I think about sitting next to my friend who was fighting a hard, brave battle…reduced to skin pulled tight over skeleton. She didn’t much like having her picture taken either…and I know for a fact that she didn’t look on the outside like she felt on the inside. Were that today, I’d joke with her about gladly giving her some of my excess, and we’d laugh till we cried. “Thank You.” Thank you for my unexpected mom body.

So the next time I’m wallowing around on my exercise mat in a class filled with matchstick thin Millenials, I will embrace these extra pounds and call them mine…and remember the wonderful meals spent with my family and friends. I will put on my bra with gratitude and thank God for being a girl. I will laugh at this bad haircut and be mindful that the next haircut is nothing short of a gift.

All of the wrinkles and lumps and flaws are meant to serve as reminders that life comes with things that are just completely out of our control. And these things that command our attention and cause us to fret don’t matter a hill of beans at the end of the day.

So I will breathe deeply and say YES to having my picture taken more often…lop-sided boobies, cocker spaniel hair, double chin and all…because it means that I am alive and well and surrounded by the beautiful places and people I love. And THAT, my friends, is priceless treasure.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

– Psalm 139: 13-18

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