Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Do It Till You Bleed

Hey Mama,

I see you there, you are so tired. She's your first, and you are trying so hard to keep up with life. You have no idea what kind of exhaustion you are actually experiencing....you are too busy keeping on to notice. It won't be until years later you look at that first Christmas photo and think - "Crap! I looked bad."

It is your second Sunday after having her, and you don't have a teacher to teach so what do you do? You stick her in a sling and carry on, teaching your little heart out. You think you are doing the right thing, that you are honoring God and pouring into those kids, and maybe you are right. But don't do it. Stop. Sit in the back of the sanctuary holding your baby. Let your body and your mind and your spirit rest. Someone else will do it. They'll have to. And if they don't? Then someone will jump on it for next week. The world won't end. Take care of your girl. Take care of yourself.

Stop working so hard. Sleep more. Play more. Laugh more. Write more. And go back to the gym. For the love of all things good and holy go back to the gym.

Remember when you first started working out? For real? You weren't encouraged to be active growing up; sometimes you were down right discouraged. You believed the lie that you weren't strong. That you couldn't be athletic. That's wrong. You are stronger than you realize. Don't forget that.

Think back to the time when you decided to change. When you spent your mornings going up and down on that step. And the evenings were spent at the gym. Don't think about the time involved. Just think about how you felt. You were powerful. You were in control of your body. You were YOU.

Life is going to get hard. And this will seem so unimportant. But it's not. Taking care of you is the most important thing you can do as a momma. Those girls need a healthy, happy, confident mom. Give them one.

It's not about a number on a scale or a tag on a dress. It never was. It's about the way you used to walk across a room, confident with a sway to your hips that is just a memory now. Find it.

Go back. It is inconvenient but do it anyway. Someday you'll thank me.


Hey Mama, I see you there. You just moved to a new state. To a busy city. You are alone, just your little family of four. You are home all day with a 19 month old and a newborn. You are exhausted. And you try to scribble in that journal of yours. But there never feels like enough quiet time to get your thoughts in order. You scratch them out and then hide them. 

You burned your old journals because you had this idea that if you wrote out words that hinted to doubts, or questions, or depression that they would have some strange spiritual hold over you. That's crap. You are just working it out, one word at a time. 

Don't let them silence your voice. You were given it by your Creator and He doesn't want you silent. Don't believe the lies. Say the things that you think about. Sing out the things that beat in your chest. Shout the things that break your heart. 

Whatever you do keep sharing. It's what you were made to do. Someday you will look back and wonder why you waited so long. So just do it now.


Hey Mama, I see you there. Three beautiful little girls. You are so happy. But so tired. And now you realize, part of the reason why you are tired is that your body just can't keep up. And you won't let anyone take pictures of you anymore. And you don't like looking in the mirror. And there aren't any camouflaging techniques that are going to make you look better. You're just a hot mess. And you aren't trying to beat yourself up. It's just where we are. 

But one day. One day things are going to change. You decide you are worth it. You want to feel alive again. You want to feel strong. You want to be in control of your body. You want to dance around like Beyonce and feel good doing it.


And you are doing it. You get your tired body on that treadmill and you go until you want to cry or puke or both. And you tell yourself you are gonna kill it. Each and every time. It might not be someone else's best, but it's gonna be your best. And you will try new things and you are going to stop feeling ashamed. 

And you are going to start writing. You are going to write until you bleed. And you tell yourself you are going to kill it. Each and every time. It might not be someone else's best, but it's gonna be your best. And you will try new things and you are going to stop feeling ashamed.

You, dear one, are worth it. 

These choices? This is your silent rebellion. It's you saying that you control the direction of your life. And since God gave you a body, you will make it strong. And since God gave you a voice, you are going to scream it out. 
Every minute you take for yourself isn't selfish. Don't believe it for a minute. You are doing the things you were made to do. And your girls and your husband want you to do this. They need you to do this. 

So go on, rebel, do it. Do it till you bleed.


  1. ::standing clap::

    This is so beautiful and true and full of gumption. I love it so much.

  2. i have no words for the flood of happy tears rolling down my cheeks right now. you are a joy, and a strength, and good. thank you for being brave and reflecting those things back into us. your words heal, and i hold my bandaged hands up to heaven in a movement of thanksgiving for what you've done, what you're doing, and what you have yet to accomplish.

    thank you, mama. thank you.

  3. Beautiful. How I wish I had read something like this when I was raising 3 kids under 4. Powerful, true. Thank you, thank you.

  4. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

  5. Oh, that bursts my heart right open. So grateful. Thank you.

  6. Thank you for reading!

  7. I'm crying. That. was. beautiful! Thank you.

  8. so i was catching up on my imperfect prose from last week, and saw you comment on her post, and wondered "is that the same brenna as my story sessions course?" and (as you well know ;) it is! and i have just been drinking in your words here. you are pouring out life and it is reaching straight into this mama of 2's soul. thank you

  9. Recently, we caught the end of The Biggest Loser, where one of the eliminated participants is visited months later. She had said she wanted to the "Damn, girl." The one you pass and say, "Day-Um, girl!" And she was. She did not look like Jillian, but she looked like her, and she rocked it. Rocked. It.

    After my longest runs, I usually put on my "UR stronger than you think" tshirt. It says that, right on it. Because it's true. I don't look like Jillian. And the shirt stretches over parts of me, and that's just fine, because I'm a "damn, girl," too.

    Get it, girlfriend. We are learning together.

  10. Thank you, Catherine, for reading. It means a lot.

  11. Thanks, Jamie!! It's me....I don't think there are too many other Brenna's out there (although enough I can't get my twitter handle ;)

  12. I hear your voice at the gym.....you're whispering in my ear when I'm doing planks :) Thanks for encouraging us all!