Beauty

As a mother of a beautiful  daughter it is my  responsibility to speak truth  to her and to help nurture  and build her self-esteem.  This means I in turn also  have to build my own self- esteem and be sure to not  speak any negative things  about myself in front of my  daughter. I refuse to ever  look in a mirror and call  myself fat— even on the days  when I feel like a whale. Why?  Because I don’t want my  daughter to overhear that  and think that her worth and beauty are ever defined by  her outward appearance. The  outside world will soon  enough tell her otherwise,  but by the time that happens  I hope that our work inside  the home will have a firm  foundation that will not be  easily shaken by the things  and people of this world.

My child dresses herself (and  usually doesn’t match) and  sometimes refuses to brush  her hair because she likes  messy hair. Yes, I let her  leave the house looking like  a hot mess. The reason? One  day soon enough she won’t  leave the house because her  clothes won’t be what the “ cool kids” are wearing and  one day she will refuse to  leave the house with messy  hair and that will be the  start of “bad hair days.”  I  look forward to those days. I  look forward to them because  they will be teachable  moments. They will be moments  I can use to remind her of who she  really is and where her  beauty and worth come from.

I am sitting here writing  this after I received a text message from a dear friend that read, “It’s always a good  start to my day when my mom  calls me fat.” When did it  ever become okay for us to  tell our children they are  fat!?!?! It is absolutely  unacceptable. We are suppose  to be a safe place for our  children to land. A place  they come to for truth and  reassurance. A place to be  reminded that what the world  has to say about us and our  bodies doesn’t matter. I am  blown away. I am enraged. I  think about my friend who by  the way is the most beautiful  person I have ever known and  is not overweight by any  means, but mostly I think  about my daughter. I think  about my daughter because I  can’t imagine being a mother  who speaks those words or any  hurtful words that tear my  child down. Our words have a profound effect on our children.

We have a little conversation that happens anytime we are going to play with our friends whether they are new friends or old friends. I adopted this from my dear friend because I love the simple reminder that it teaches our children.The conversation goes like this:

Me: Okay love, look at my eyeballs (so I know that she is listening)– what is the most important thing?

Emma: That we love each other mommy!

Me: And how do we do that honey?

Emma: We use kind hands and kind words.

I love the simplicity of the conversation, but mostly I love that it teaches my daughter to be mindful with her words and her hands because they have just as much impact in a persons life as mine and my husbands words have on her. It also teaches my daughter the importance of being kind and loving to herself. We’ve all heard the saying, “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” If my daughter can learn that if she wants to be treated kindly and loved well she has to treat others that same way, oh what a difference that will make.

She is a beautiful soul and her love for life is contagious. She radiates beauty inside and out and I am quick to remind her of that daily.

I have had several important people in my life who have been torn down and belittled by the most important people in their lives– their parents. And the problem is not just with our daughters but with our sons as well. Their self confidence and self love are just as important as our daughters. And I for one refuse to ever belittle or tear down my children. They are perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t want them any other way. I will love my children regardless of what they look like, who they become and the choices they make. I will be one to remind them of their beauty and worth and where that truly comes from, because after all they are fearfully and wonderfully made.

So let’s start loving one another and using kind words to build our children up so that they in turn can be individuals who use their words to build others up. Let’s learn to love ourselves and let that self love radiate onto others. And for those of you with kiddos whether they be itty bitty or full grown– start speaking kindly to them. Let your voice echo truth when others try to drown them in the lies.

Spirit Lead Me

It all started when a dear friend asked me to mentor a young girl she knows. I responded with, “yes of course let’s get it set up!” and then she left and I sat there thinking, “what the hell did I just agree too? I can’t mentor anyone.” In that moment I knew it was time to take that up with God. He was so gracious and gentle. He reminded me that it wasn’t about me and that yes apart from Him I am inadequate, I would fail and I would have nothing to offer. He gives me all those things and more. He reminded me that this is His plan and His purpose and He has a bigger story to tell then I’ve got. I get to be a piece of that story though and oh what a gift that is. I get to help Him write it. So I reached back out to my friend and told her that we needed to get something set up.

Then there was a woman in my life that God had been telling me to reach out too. I pushed that aside and said, “No thanks God, I don’t do that!” He of course had to prove to me that once again it’s not about me and that He is the one in charge. So He offered an opportunity for me to reach out and set up a time to have coffee with this woman. Now I am a woman who loves coffee, some may say I border on addiction.. I love the taste, the smell, I love that it awakens me, but mostly I love that it makes for perfect conversation. This woman and I sat down and had a cup of coffee and got to know each other a little better and it was the best cup of coffee I have ever had. Not for the taste, or the smell– but for the conversation it provided and the way it left me feeling afterwards. I walked away feeling inspired. It was the most humbling and rewarding cup of coffee. The reason? It wasn’t about me!

When we step aside and give God the chance to show up we inherit the riches He has in store for us.

So I will choose to step aside and let God do His thing and I will go where He leads me. It will be scary as hell and I am terrified. It will be hard and probably painful at times, but it will be worth it all. I will choose to reach out even when I am scared and I will choose to answer the call. I will show up and be present even when I don’t want to be. Because it’s not about me. It’s all about God. If it wasn’t for the women who stepped up in my life and answered the call I wouldn’t be the woman I am today! I couldn’t imagine my life had they not.