I had the immense privilege of hosting Beth Learn at our MOPS group in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, yesterday. It was a rather frantic morning, with mamas trying to get their little ones packed up and to the church amid some light snowfall. But Beth and her lovely daughter Petra took the whole thing in stride and just knit right in. (Including trying to comfort my almost four year old son when he managed to break a glass jar on the floor of the church foyer.)
Beth gave a great talk about how we are wonderfully made, but for some of us childbirth has broken parts of us. Yet, we are made to heal. Women used to heal naturally but our lives and culture, especially in the Western world have so changed that healing doesn’t happen as easily or automatically as it used to.
She was down to earth, talking real world problems and properly named body parts with quite a bit of humor but no self-consciousness or shame. She was kept busy both before and after her talk, checking bellies, dispensing samples of Tummy Cream, and giving hope and encouragement. (Seriously, she didn’t even sit down to eat so she could see as many ladies as possible).
There were so many inspiring things that she said, but a few stuck out to me.
We are not meant to be a burnt offering, but a living sacrifice.
We may have to sacrifice our bodies for our children but that doesn’t mean we aren’t meant to heal and build them back up again. It is a lie that me must remain broken.
Our husbands are our partners in this healing journey.
We think we need to keep our body problems and issues a secret from, but they are made to handle it. (As Beth put it, if her husband can gut deer, he can handle monthly periods and childbirth). We also need to help raise our little boys to know about the needs and requirements of girls’ and women’s bodies. (Obviously in age appropriate times and ways). Some day they will be holding hands in delivery rooms and we want them to be ready.
I was so honored to meet Beth Learn in person, and hearing her speak has only increased my passion for her message of hope. It’s not about being skinny or bikini ready, ladies. It’s about honoring our bodies and helping them to be strong and ready for our lives.
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