row of raised army stars with stars and stripes
Photo by Brett Sayles on

As I was doing my yoga this morning, I looked down in gratitude for my changing body. As I reached my stomach, I was reminded of my badges of honor, my stretch marks. I could choose to look at them as imperfections on my body, but instead I like to see them as they really are. These are my stripes and I earned them. They are the symbol of my highest achievement, my son. His name is Karson and he’s the most incredible, important person in my life. He’s the kind of man a man would want to be. I’ve never been more proud of anything ever. He’s come into his own now, he’s a man not a boy-which has been hard for me as his Mom. I’ll always be his Mom but he doesn’t need me like he did and that’s ok- that’s how it was designed.

And much like he was born and healed by my stripes, we were all healed by His stripes- no, not Karson’s but Jesus’s. His stripes are a symbol of his love for us. A symbol of what he was willing to do for us. He took on the sin of the world just so we would know true love and forgiveness from the Father. When I think of this kind of pain and sacrifice its overwhelming. Any mother out there knows just what it takes to earn our stripes, but let’s not forget about His.

grayscale photo of the crucifix
Photos: Left courtesy of Brianne Roberts; Right courtesy of Alem Sanchez
Brianne Roberts
Brianne Roberts

Happiness is a gift we can give ourselves every day. It’s not always easy but it can be learned. Don’t wait to start living your happiest life.