The Masterpiece that is Me (and You) by Julie Arduini

One thing I look forward to when summer starts is the thought of new books. Whether poolside, at a beach, ocean, or inside under a fan, I love tackling a recent release or even my TBR (to-be-read) pile. This year one title caught me eye and I jumped at the chance to order it.

The book? Breaking Free from Body Shame: Dare to Reclaim What God Has Named Good by Jess Connolly. Her work has inspired and challenged me in the past so I knew her latest would be a game-changer for her readers. My hope was that would include me.

I’m only a few pages in and am struck by the truth she presented right out of the gate.

Carrying around shame about our bodies is a spiritual issue.

Sure, I know Psalm 139 and that I’m wonderfully made. You probably know it, too. But when being twenty turns to forty and then where I’m at, fifty-one, it’s harder to reconcile. I knew about pregnancy weight gain and the battle once babies are born. What I didn’t know was menopause gain. The epic drop in metabolism. Then there’s the topical—Covid weight increase.

To add another layer to my rolls, I learned I have acid reflux issues that were traced to a large hiatal hernia. Medicine has helped, but when I feel sub-par, my ribs feel beaten. I can’t lift anything over 20 pounds without feeling pressure in my abdomen. Next up is scope number two to see what’s going on and what else will we do.

It’s hard not to step on the scale and judge everything about me based on the number in the display. That’s what the true defeated one, the devil, wants me to do. I hate that I fall for it, but I do. Reading that the body shame issue is a spiritual one made sense.

Jess Connolly reminded me with her first chapter that God makes good things and I am one of them. Although the picture we create in our minds about Him is all order— and as Steven Furtick shared in a sermon—our image of Jesus is this sappy, hippy Jesus, the truth is Christ’s grace is “wild and messy.”

Changing the shame mindset will take time. For one, Jess encourages readers to stop stuffing the toxic thoughts and tell the enemy your “body is holy and it matters.” Proclaim that your body is a good one and that “you can live free from shame.”

If you struggle with body shame, your scars are stories and lessons. Ladies, if you have birthed children and focus on the weight, the truth is your body was part of a miracle. Don’t despise that.

This is just the beginning of what I’m learning. We are masterpieces, not crumpled pieces of paper living near a trash can while God keeps trying.

If you’d like to read Breaking Free from Body Shame, click on the image below:

***I wanted to let you know I have a giveaway going on. Pure Flix has an awesome summer in mind for families with their Family Camp. Read my post, leave a comment there, and you could win a six-month Pure Flix subscription. Check it out HERE. ***

About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the new contemporary romance series SURRENDERING HEARTS (Anchored Hearts, Repairing Hearts, +four more.) Her other romance series is SURRENDERING TIME (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged.) She also co-wrote a YA series with her daughter, SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ (You’re Beautiful, You’re Amazing, You’re Brilliant.) Her stand-alone romances include MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. Julie maintains a blog at and participates in the team blog Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at
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