When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't see much beauty there. I've spent my whole life that way. There are a few times in my life--so few that I can count them on one hand--that I have liked the way my reflection looks.
The world has told me that I am soft where I should be sculpted and round where I should be flat and too big where I should be small. And I listened to the world. I listened when the world told me that I was ugly. And to comfort myself from the hurt feelings that those words produced, I just did more harm to my body with food.
This body of mine, that I loathe most days, has created, carried, and birthed two of the most beautiful girls I have ever laid eyes on. I know I am a bit biased...but you have to admit they are pretty adorable.
And they must..they need to know they are beautiful. They need to know that it isn't about what size clothes they wear or if they have frizzy hair or what body shape they have.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. - Ephesians 2:10
I struggle in so many ways as a parent. To learn how to teach my children to love God, watch how I speak so that they also speak in kindness, curb my anger so that they will not react in anger but in love...I could go on and on. But today I watch my girls as they watch me. As Kara mimics every word I say and every action I do. When I am frustrated with her tantrams I can see that she is expressing her frustration how I do--with anger.
And I don't want that. And more than anything I want her opinion of beauty to be different. I want her to look at herself, her body, her mind, her attitude and see that what God has created is beautiful.
Is God's masterpiece.
I will not put myself down in front of my girls anymore. Today I will learn to love my body. And when you love something you don't talk down to it or say bad things about it or treat it badly. Yes, I love this belly that carried two healthy baby girls to term, these arms that rock them to sleep, my eyes that watch them growing up so fast, this crazy hair that she is starting to get.
I have been on a journey over the last two years to become more healthy. I was motivated by some health issues that stemmed from an inactive lifestyle and unhealthy diet. I initially started so I would lose weight. But I'm learning that weight I need to lose is the weight of sin. Over-indulgence of the flesh. And what I can gain from that loss is a more rich life, not fulfilled by food but fulfilled by Christ.
I'm not perfect and I fall backwards ALL. THE. TIME.
But today I will succeed. And tomorrow, who knows. But I stand on the grace of God and his promises that he will always have my back.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience - Colossians 3:12
You are holy and beloved.
Be cloaked in compassion, kindness, humility, meekness (being gentle) and patience.
Now, how beautiful would that make you???