Welcome to Imperfect Prose on Thursdays, where we celebrate redemption! Please link up your posts below. 

A year ago, Trent and I both received a dream, on the same day, of another child joining our family. A girl, to be exact.

Around the same time, last year, I received three book contracts–one of which was for a book which would help mothers learn to love themselvesall while taking care of four little boys ages four and under.

A lot has changed within a year.

Joey and Jin are now thriving with their mother.

We are thriving, once again, with our two little boys.

And that dream of having another child join our family? It’s growing within my womb, as we speak. And that dream’s due date is January 12th. 🙂

We don’t know yet if it is a girl. All we know is, we’re in love with the mystery that is forming arms and legs and heartbeat and lungs.

And the day before I found out I had conceived (we’d been trying for a couple of months), I heard the Lord tell me to stop drinking because I was pregnant, and that this child was going to have the gifts of prophecy and music.

The next day I took the test, and it was positive.

Another dream that’s come true is Mom in the Mirrora book that helps mothers learn to love themselves, and even though I’m not very far along in this pregnancy, I’m already scared of gaining weight.

I know I’m not alone. Every woman that I’ve talked to has some fear or angst over the way her body changes as she grows older. Even more so if she gives birth to a child, because it’s a sacrifice that every part of our body makes.

It’s not wrong to love ourselves, friends. That’s what these weeks of The Love Dare have been all about. After all, Christ loves us. We are his beautiful creations. And everything HE does within us is beautiful.

So will you help me celebrate these beautiful dreams, come to life? Can we pretend that you’re attending my baby shower, and that we’re gathered in my living room, lifting glasses of (non-alcoholic) wine to toast the miracles that only God can do?

The visions he can give us, and the way that only he can grow them within and through us?

And, if you haven’t already, will you consider purchasing a copy of Mom in the Mirror either for yourself or for a friend, and/or sharing the book trailer/writing a review on Amazon, as a shower-gift to me? 🙂

I would be so grateful.

Friends, it’s such an honor to lift glasses with you.

Thank you, for being you. For seeing me through the hard times, and for loving me in spite.

Always, e.

Mom in the Mirror is now available in both Kindle and hard-cover copy HERE, at 30 % off. It’s also NOW IN BOOKSTORES at Barnes and Noble and wherever books and e-books are sold.

Endorsements/Reviews for Mom in the Mirror

Mom in the Mirror is for the woman who sits in secrecy struggling with her self- worth, fearful of her body image, and in desperate need of support, guidance, and a way out of that judging, lonely, scared place. It is a good thing when brave women write the truth and share it with all. The words of Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga free us from our cages of fear, self-doubt, and body loathing. Please let the wise words of this book become a place of refuge for you and your loved ones.

— Leanne Spencer, M.A., Med, licensed professional counselor/supervisor, Living Free Counseling

Take the years of professional experience by Dena Cabrera combined with the personal journey of Emily Wierenga, add the hearts of two women who passionately want to help others with eating disorders and finally top it off with the heartbeat of a mother and you end up with Mom in the Mirror—a practical, passionate and professional book that will help mothers everywhere.

— W. Travis Stewart, licensed professional counsellor at McCallum Place, founder of Hungry for Hope, Christian Conference for Eating and Body Image Issues

If you are a woman who’s ever struggled to be comfortable in your own skin (who hasn’t?), pregnancy can create a whole host of issues. Take heart! Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga lead us through turbulent places of our soul with a beautifully written book that is both warm and wise. Mom in the Mirror is written with enough honesty to be relatable and enough hope to be inspiring. If you are a mom or mom-to-be who’s looking for help in making peace with your body and your soul, Mom in the Mirror is for you.

— Nicole Unice, Christian counselor, speaker and author of She’s Got Issues

If you look at your body and shake your head, or deliver unkind words to your reflection when you glimpse it in a department store window, or if you know exactly how much weight you’ve gained or lost since yesterday – and you know that number every day, or if you categorize food as only “good” or “bad,” or if you look at other people and judge them based on their body type, or if you run for miles because you refuse to buy a bigger dress size, or if you never sit cross-legged or lean forward in a swimsuit, this book was written for you. Written with sensitivity, and from personal experience, Mom in the Mirror has untangled all those silly knots in my head that used to make me think my body wasn’t good enough.

— Deidra Riggs, writer and founder of JumpingTandem, managing editor for TheHighCalling.org, contributing writer for (in) courage

As I read through Mom in the Mirror I felt like I was holding a priceless treasure in my hands. How I wished that I had come across it years ago as I was navigating my own journey through the challenging seasons of motherhood, marriage, and learning to love myself. I have personally learned so much through the wisdom and insight that is written upon each page of this magnificent book.
I am so delighted that it will serve as a resource to empower and equip others to understand the complexities of being a woman and the challenges we face as we deal with our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. Every chapter invites the reader to reflect on her own thoughts and perceptions and gives valuable tools to move forward with confident resolve.
What a fantastic tool for the masses. It is SO needed in our world today.

— Helen Burns, founder and executive director of Mercy Ministries Canada, author of The Miracle in a Mother’s Hug

Mom in the Mirror is a timely, inspirational and validating narrative of the stages of life, as well as of the often crazy making ups and downs of the courageous journey called motherhood!
As a mother of twins and a singleton, and psychologist working with women and girls struggling with eating disorders, I find this a welcome and empowering resource for any mom looking for similar experiences, answers and guidance in the areas of eating struggles and weight concerns that may accompany the everyday challenges associated with mothering.
Authors Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga combine their authentic experiences and struggles in raising children while providing enlightening leads with factual information, reflective questions that raise consciousness and provide comfort, along with tools for living to incorporate into a mother’s life.

— Deborah Russo, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist, Remuda’s Education Outreach Department

In a world where nothing seems real, Emily Wierenga and Dena Cabrera have finally—finally–given us an authentic and powerful look at the emotions and issues attached to childbirth. Written from personal experiences, this book isn’t your typical self-help book, but rather feels like a much-needed conversation with a very good friend. Whether we know it or not, Mom in the Mirror is the book we’ve all been waiting for, and moms of all ages will benefit from the important truths inside.

— Courtney Walsh, author of A Sweethaven Summer, Scrapbooking Your Faith

This book is so well written that I just didn’t want to put it down.
Moms everywhere will relate to the body image issues addressed in this comprehensive book, from pre-pregnancy through the childrearing years. With honesty and transparency, the authors weave together personal stories, well researched information, and practical advice. You will be touched—heart, mind, and soul—by Dena Cabrera’s professional wisdom and Emily Wierenga’s graceful prose, as they help you make peace with your body. Mom in the Mirror is powerful and life changing.

— Ann Capper, RD, CDN, nutrition editor for FINDINGbalance, author; Big Thighs, Tight Jeans

If you’ve given birth, your body has, necessarily, changed. Some of those changes were temporary; others, to your dismay or delight, are permanent. If you’re like a lot of women, a naughty little voice in your head hisses that your body—before, during or after pregnancy—isn’t quite acceptable the way it is. Though the lie seems believable enough, what you most need is to hear the voice of truth. In Mom in the Mirror, Dr. Dena Cabrera and the wise Emily Wierenga share words of life. Make it your post-pregnancy body-image authority!

— Margot Starbuck, author of Unsqueezed: Springing Free From Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights & Stilettos

Mom in the Mirror offers an important contribution to the field of parenting and, in particular, to the mother’s role in preventing the development of an eating disorder in her children. Through healing her own eating and body image issues, the mother becomes the most influential role model for self-acceptance and the importance of removing self-judgment.

— Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, CEDRD, nutrition therapist, private practice, co-author of Intuitive Eating

Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga offer a beautiful tribute to motherhood, and an explanation of the complicated body image and self-image issues that naturally come along with it. The guidance provided shows moms how they can truly learn to love and accept themselves, and then pass this legacy of self-love onto their daughters.

— Maria Rago, Ph.D., author of Shut up, Skinny Bitches: The Common Sense Guide to Following Your Hunger and Your Heart

Mom in the Mirror is an exquisite account of motherhood that includes not only the experience of two women who overcame their own battles with food but also easy-to-follow clinical wisdom. I’m not a mom, but I sure feel better prepared to be one someday!

— Jenni Schaefer, author of Goodbye Ed, Hello Me and Life without Ed

A candid discussion of women’s poor body image and encouragement to celebrate all that these miraculous bodies do for us!

— Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC, president at Eating Disorder Hope

Mom in the Mirror has been a long time coming. Like a literary mentor, this book is chock-full of useful information, tips, ideas and inspiration that can benefit ANY woman and any mother, whether she is in recovery from an eating disorder or just wants to feel better about her body, herself and her life.

— Shannon Cutts, author of “Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back” and founder of MentorCONNECT

A must read for any expectant parent! And for those new moms who have had eating disorders, this will be a well-worn daily companion. The tools and reflections shared will aid in creating realistic expectations for new moms. I’m impressed with the vast wisdom in this book and believe it will give much peace to anxious moms everywhere.

— Becky Henry, Hope Network, LLC

Excellent! Timely! As the little girls of the 70s, 80s and 90s enter into motherhood far too many find themselves paralyzed by fears of raising their children with the same body image insecurities and food issues they have experienced. Mom in the Mirror offers rich insight and highly practical application for mothers desiring to raise this next generation to love their body. In a culture steeped in disordered eating and body image, this resource is invaluable.

— Megan Osborne, Ph.D, Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor, author; Shaped With Love and Tummy Talk

Dena Cabrera and Emily T. Wierenga present all of the challenges and blessings of motherhood in an honest and hopeful way. Both their stories and their expertise lend them the ability to make the women who read their words laugh out loud and sigh in recognition of common struggles. This is a book by women, for women, and maybe even men, who want a glimpse of understanding of how to transform body issues during motherhood into blessings.

— Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008, community relations specialist for Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center

Publisher’s Weekly: In this self-help book for Christian woman who struggle with body image, authors Cabrera, PsyD, and Wierenga (Chasing Silhouettes, etc.) [back cover] offer the unique team of a licensed clinician and an author who has personally battled anorexia, respectively. Though each chapter ends with a list of thoughts for reflection and tools for change, [149, e.g.] the preceding chapter has typically consisted of less specific healing terminology, positive quotations, and personal stories. Women who agree with the authors’ spiritual assessments may benefit from this book’s been-there, encouraging tone. (May)

Booklist Review:  The coauthors—a former anorexic who is a mother of four and a clinical psychologist who specializes in eating disorders—tackle body image, especially during and after pregnancy. They aggregate some sensible existing pregnancy information, such as the Mayo Clinic’s advice to trade white bread and pasta for whole grains and to eat sliced fruit instead of a cookie. But they refer most frequently to God, which may turn off less-religious readers. Cabrera and Wierenga write that they want to help women “improve their relationships with their bodies, their families and their Creator.” Religion plays a big role in the stories of first-name-only real people, such as Jillian, a mother of seven whose husband was addicted to Internet porn. She believes she suffered from eating disorders as a result of his fixation on airbrushed perfection. Then she found God and a new perspective on her body. “To all husbands, I think, the most beautiful wife is a naked wife,” she says. “Not a thin wife. Not a chiseled wife. Not an airbrush. But one who lets him love her . . . sag, stretch marks, and all.”

every thursday, we gather together to celebrate redemption. here are the details:  

1. link up a post (old or new) that relates to redemption.
2. put the ‘imperfect prose’ button at the bottom of your post, so others can find their way back here 

(here’s the button code:
http://www.emilywierenga.com/” target=”_blank”>https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-3s5KmhxpIYU/T4Inziu4R4I/AAAAAAAAENk/LTq221viFVc/s144/imperfectprose.jpg
” alt=”” border=”0″ />)

3. read other’s prose, and encourage them!

 so won’t you join us, as we “walk each other home”? (ram dass) 

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**Today, my friend Sarah Bessey is giving away a free copy of Mom in the Mirror at her blog, HERE.**

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