I’m excited to share these 10 affirmations for flourishing as a Mother-To-Be written by Active Duty Military Woman, Marissa Day. These are eternal truths for military women in uniform and out alike.
Flourishing as a Mother-To-Be
by Marissa Day
Physically, anyone can see I’m six months into motherhood. Which means all sorts of changes—most of which I have found myself typing into the Google machine. For example:
“How big should my bump be right now?”
“Am I putting on too much weight?”
“What is up with this gas!?”
But while these changes have brought a new awareness to my body and its functioning, God has been working with me on some other, less apparent, realizations.
As a military officer, I must abide by set guidelines governing how much I should weigh based on how tall I am. But really for any woman in modernity, there are societal perceptions about how our bodies should look and how much we should weigh, a fun-house mirror of ever-shifting rules dependent on the situation and the people around us.
God blessed me with a tall, athletic figure that looks “good” in an Army uniform—a blessing I realize now I’ve always relied on for some instant credibility in new job situations. But as I pulled the maternity ASU-Bs from their shipping box, I shuddered at the black smock that unflatteringly arches over the stretchy pants and pleated white shirt, imagining with horror how I would now be perceived.
Lies the World Tells Us
I have sat with many friends as they wrestled with being strong and fit, but perhaps not “looking” the way we are led to believe we should look, and now I find myself struggling emotionally to accept this new body. For example, at a recent gym session, I started crying when I caught a glimpse of where my nice flat stomach used to be now replaced by the rounder version of myself. I’m trying to lean into this idea of the amazing power of a woman’s body (I mean, I was at the gym), but I keep hearing these imagined voices of judgment:
“She’s not as committed to her job now that she’s pregnant.”
“She’s not Soldierly enough now that she can’t take the practice ACFT.”
And especially earlier in my pregnancy when my belly looked more “food-baby” than actual baby:
“Hmm, she’s put on a lot of weight, she must be lazy.”
The lie I’m really hearing is that perhaps I’m suddenly not good enough as a person based on the changing of my body. See how I’ve ascribed eternal, soul-touching things to physical perceptions? But God is showing me that He created us to be so much more than numbers and waistlines. It took the sacrifice of my societally-approved body for the higher calling of motherhood for me to realize that.
And I know it’s a temporary season. So many women excel at being pregnant and beautiful and then bounce right back into as good of, or better, shape than they were previously. They’ll max those PT tests, up their reps in the gym, and slay those skinny jeans, all while balancing an adorable toddler on one hip.
Avoid the Traps
But I’m not going to fall into that comparison trap either. I’m going to focus on all the neglected and beautiful parts of me (emotional and relational too) that this hyper-focus on body image has distracted me from.
So, the truth I’ve learned, that maybe another mother-to-be out there needs to hear, is that I am so much more than my body. And God and I get to work together to define what makes me truly beautiful.
Below are the ten affirmations I’ve discovered for myself as I work on redefining what makes me beautiful. By writing them down I’m able to refocus on what matters to God instead of what matters to man.
10 Affirmations for Flourishing as a Mother-To-Be
- I am the feet that take cookies to a new neighbor.
- I am the voice that prays with a friend on the phone.
- I am the hands that hold my spouse tight.
- I am the ears that listen to anxieties without judgment.
- I am the eyes that look for the good in others and to heaven when I’m in need.
- I am the laughter that finds joy with my friends.
- I am the faithfulness that cares for five silly fur-babies every day.
- I am the heart of a teacher, inspired and excited by the discoveries of my students.
- I am the courage that sits down to write a dream that has been hiding a long time.
- I am the soul that was created by The Creator who loves us so much that He sent His only son to live a perfect life and die for us—for me.
I am all these things, by the grace of God who is walking beside me. I encourage you and every other mother-to-be to make a list as well (and ten is a start, not a limit)!
And I pray that through this re-focus, my journey into motherhood is not just one of physical results, but one of character growth and trust in my Savior. The mother I want to be is the one who flourishes in the knowledge that her God has given her the capacity to be beautiful in eternal matters, regardless of her waistline.
Father God, thank you for this body you’ve given me that is literally growing a miracle. But thank you for all the other parts of me, spiritual, emotional, and relational you created as part of my unique character, too. Help me rest in the knowledge that You love me, just as I am, just as you made me to be, in the midst of every moment. Help me be the mother you’ve called me to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Scriptures for a Mother-To-Be to Hide in Her Heart
Romans 12: 1-2
1 Timothy 4:8
Psalm 139: 13-14
For more on Flourishing in all the stages of Parenting, visit our Resources Page.
Marissa is an Army officer, English teacher, writer,
speaker, and women’s Bible study leader. Wherever
there are women in community seeking God—she
wants to be there! Most recently, she’s a new mom-to-
be and author to her first Christian children’s book
entitled Love Makes Us Brave (pending publication).
Her passion is finding the intersection between
modeling and teaching God’s grace to the littlest
among us. This was sparked from her feeling
completely unprepared to be a Christian mom because
she’s still learning to be a Christian. If she could give
one message to Christian women and moms it would be
that wherever they are in their spiritual journey, they
are valuable beyond measure to a God who loves
them—just as He created them. Marissa currently lives
in West Point, NY with her husband, precious
daughter-to-be, three dogs, and two cats.
Author Website: www.marissamichelle.com
Disclaimer: The personal opinions I express on this website are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer, the US Army or the United States Military Academy.