I always disliked that game…I never felt brave enough to do the things I was dared to do. And the truth was usually about who I liked or who I didn’t like, and I always felt so bad that I would hurt someone’s feelings. But for the sake of this post I’m going to play a little truth or dare with myself and my writing.

Truth: I’m not really cool. I don’t know what’s trendy anymore. I don’t keep up with the Kardashians and don’t care to. I think the most beautiful women are women who have wrinkles around their eyes from laughing. I want the kind of friends who will pluck my chin when I’m in a coma and sit and read books to me. 

Dare: I am daring myself to be better at saying No. Because I’ve noticed this past week I’ve been absolutely exhausted. And more sad, and I know I’ve been stretched too thin. So, the answer is no. 

Truth:  I didn’t realize that Babies were wearing those little amber colored necklaces for teething, I just thought everybody was raising hipster babies.

Dare: It is still very hard for me on hard weeks to not start to get anxious that I’m going to return to this time last year, when I was terrified and couldn’t bear the thought of the day to day. I’m getting better, but I still need to ask for prayer. A lot. 

Truth: I like sweats. And it takes me less than 5 minutes to get in them when I get home. I just love them. In fact sometimes I find myself day dreaming about sweats. And work out clothes. 

Dare: I time myself when I’m cleaning. And make lists that I mark off. Little dares to keep me going. Because on days when it’s overcast, I just want to sleep, and I need a little motivation. My fit bit helps -and not thinking and just doing does too. 

Truth: But I never feel like I’m caught up. Ever. I dream of going on vacation and not worrying about money.

Dare: I’m daring myself to be okay with that. 

Truth: Today I got mad. I got mad at Cancer and how it takes such good people. I got mad at infertility and how people that are meant to be parents have to feel that emptiness. I got mad at loss- and grief, and how my friend had to feel the empty and lonely of widowhood today, and there was no freaking thing I could say that would make it better. I got mad at people who hurt others, and who hurt children.  And I said the words “it’s NOT fair!” And I said them over and over. And I wanted to cry, and wondered why the most unfair things happen…

Dare: And I dared myself to pray. Because I was mad and I didn’t want to. Because I didn’t want to give Him my anger, but I did, and I still don’t think it’s fair…but I know He is good. And I thought of our stories, and how our real will influence and change someone else’s life. How it may bring hope to the broken, and how it brings us together. I thought about how a life can truly change another- and how amazing it must be to leave our real imprinted in someone else’s hope. 

Truth: I love Tattoo’s. I got my first one when I was 18. It’s now faded and surrounded by stretch marks. But it’s still a butterfly. I have loved butterflies my whole life, and even with its faded colors and stretchy skin it is still a part of me. I think of how often I have allowed the past to shape how I view myself, instead of looking at myself- and truly seeing myself. Looking at every inch and memory, and moment and finding that though I’m not there yet- I am doing my best to love my skin the way I love and cherish those around me. 

Dare: In fact I’m daring myself to love my body. To love my imperfections and sags, to cherish myself- the way I love my family.and my friends. The way I fold my children into my arms and lean into my husband. The way I will jump into my car for a friend just to give her a hug. Or stop everything to pray for someone. I am daring myself to not fall into the place of comparisons and inadequacies- but loving the parts right in front of me. 

Truth: I see beauty in so many things. In laughter and kindness. In recovery and hope. I even see beauty in dust and cobwebs.  But I don’t always see beauty in myself. I fear pictures of myself. But I have the kind of friends who show up and always carry tweezers, who love my laugh lines and hug me even if I sag. 

Dare: So…in the spirit of Dare here is my first tattoo…real. Me.  Imprinted, permanent. And you know what…I love it. I love my stretch marks around it. And tonight in my sweats, snuggled with my kids, I see beauty in my real body. 

Truth: it only took my 36 years but I’m getting there.