Beauty is a funny thing. We have these ideas of it. What it is. What defines it. What it SHOULD be. Yet as we become adults, beauty is so mis-construed – you’re never really told that despite your imperfections, you still can be beautiful. You still ARE a work of art.

I’ve always struggled with body image and even more so after I had my son. Your body changes in such drastic ways after you have a child. It’s never really the same. You get little marks in places you don’t want them. Wrinkles start to show on your face. And dark circles around your eyes are even more noticeable due to lack of sleep. I’ve learned that ‘child bearing hips’ isn’t a joke! šŸ™‚ And I’m a little rounder, where I’d like to be a little flatter.

But if I’m being honest here, I wouldn’t change ANY of it. Becoming a mother has been the greatest joy of my life and I can’t begin to imagine what my life would be like without my son Eli. He makes me laugh louder, smile often, and really, EMBRACE the beauty and simplicity of this amazing life.

My life. My story, wouldn’t be the same without him. I wouldn’t be the same without him …

I’m not gonna’ lie – there are moments when I look in the mirror and walk away feeling defeated. I don’t see what others see – what my son sees – my husband … I see my worst critic – ME.

The world will always tell you that you need to fit in this size or that size to be ‘beautiful’. But when it comes right down to it, true beauty comes from something you can’t put on your face, or put on to ‘suck it in’ … it comes from being who you are, and never losing sight of that. Being YOU IS beautiful. Because there is no one else like you. You are YOU for a reason – God doesn’t make mistakes.

Beauty on the outside doesn’t match what’s on the inside … because the outside is a mere reflection of the heart … and that has always been, and always will be TRUE beauty.

And … while sharing these photographs of myself, in the rawest form, are a little difficult, it’s an act of embracing the person I am today, and the person I’m striving to become … scars and all. The scars are what tell MY story. They are a part of me – and my life wouldn’t be the same without them.

Don’t ever be afraid to TELL your story. It’s your own – and it’s most likely remarkable! And you never know – you just might change someone’s life because of it. Scars and all.