that one picture


I put this picture in my bright green happy bathroom because it makes me massively happy. 

This Jessi. She was five and a half years younger than she is today. She had a new baby Elias. She'll look back on these days as some of the sweetest in her whole life. They weren't sustainable - they were before real pain or real hurt or real shock or real inadequacy plagued her. She kind of still thought she could takeover the world and do all the things. But she also had no clue what all the things would come with. She'd just brought home a new baby and in her innocent confidence - she was ready to do it again. 

This Jessi was on a weekend trip with family. To a plantation, in the rain, and she couldn't have been happier. And I put it in the happy green bathroom because it proves a point to five years older Jessi. 

I remember that day like it was yesterday. Being so thrilled to spend time with my family. Soaking up the new days of motherhood. Glad to have bangs. Excited about the future. 

You know what I don't remember? 
I don't remember caring a lick that I was twenty pounds heavier than when I'd stared down at two pink lines a year earlier. I felt feminine. I felt loved. I felt beautiful. 

One of the curses of being a lady who has struggled with weight/body image/identity issues for years and years is that I can tell you what I weighed on almost any day of my life. Show me a picture, I'll tell you a number. And the gross temptation is to use it as a ruler against each and every day. Do I weigh more or less than that Jessi? Am I more or less happy than her? What did she eat then? How often did she exercise? I know on this day that I was twenty pounds past the starting point and that it only went up, up, up from there. Until it starting going down, down, down. 

Until June 14th 2012, when the numbers joyously started going up again after I stared down at two more pink lines. 

And now as I sit in my quiet minutes, I look at her and just bust into a smile. 
There's a lot, lot, lot she didn't know about the world. 
There's a lot, lot, lot she didn't know about the future. 
But she celebrated regardless. 
She smiled  despite the way her cheeks puffed out. 
She knew that beauty was in Christ alone. 

And I'm learning from her. 
I'm loving her. 
I'm smiling back at her.