“Mommy, it looks like there is a baby in your tummy. Mommy, your booty is soooo big. Mommy, when you walk your booty goes like this (hand motion for jiggle)!”
These were my 4-year-old daughter, Willow’s comments to me while I was getting dressed one morning. Don’t you just love kid’s honesty? They call it like they see it, literally.
I immediately had several options on how to respond. I could:
- Start sobbing
- Justify my belly because I ate a big breakfast, and as for that“jiggly” booty; well, you gotta shake what yo’ momma gave ya, right?
- Laugh it off since she is only four.
I went with the third option, but if this conversation had happened a few years ago, you would have probably found me in a corner crying.
I consider myself a physically healthy person, but it took me a long time to become healthy in the way I see myself. Go stand in front of a mirror. What do you see?
I am pretty sure that most of you will say that although you see some good things in that reflection,the majority of your focus will be on your weaknesses. Do you immediately see your stretch marks or wrinkles,your cellulite or big tummy?
For me, it didn’t matter if I was 9 months pregnant feeling like the baby was literally about to fall out, or if I was skinny and toned. I always seemed to focus on my imperfections. It was like the Fun House mirrors they have at the State Fair; you know, the ones that distort your reflection? They make you look short and wide or tall and thin? We all know which reflection we would rather see!
That distorted view was how I used to see myself. My husband would tell me that I looked good, but I always responded with “thanks, but I need to work on…”. I was my worst critic.
Then God did something in my heart a few years ago that completely changed the way I see myself. I saw a video of a woman who went out on the streets and asked other women to describe their body in one word. Here are some of their answers:
- very average
- several of them even said disgusting
At the end of the video she asked one question,“How am I going to teach my daughter to love her body if her Mom can’t do the same?”
That question changed everything for me. I want my daughter to love her body and see her beauty, inside and out. I have to model that for her. I never look at Willow and see her imperfections; she is absolutely beautiful in every way. The Bible says that we are made in God’s image, and if that is true then we are all beautiful, because He IS beauty.
1 Peter 3:3-4 says,“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
I can honestly say the most beautiful people I know are the ones that truly exemplify the heart of God, because your heart shines through to the outside. The Scripture doesn’t say that it is wrong to wear jewelry, makeup, or fix your hair,but it says that true beauty comes from the heart. Incorruptible beauty is a gentle and quiet spirit and is precious in the sight of God. It is a beauty that lasts forever.
I asked my kid’s to give me one word that describes what makes me beautiful to them. Grady said “kindness” and Willow said “precious”.Then I asked them the same question to describe Willow and they said “funny-ness” (that is in a 7-year-old’s vocabulary) and“cuteness”. I wasn’t sure what they would say, but I really thought their word would describe a physical attribute. Instead, they saw the heart shining through and THAT was beauty to them.
If a seven and four year old can get it, I think it’s time that the rest of us understand this truth too.
Real beauty comes from the inside; it shines brighter and makes more of a lasting impact in others lives than any physical attribute we possess. Focusing on the condition of our heart and allowing that beauty to shine;THAT is what true beauty is.
So when I see my imperfections now it is so much easier to look past them and focus more on the condition and beauty of my heart. It allows me to have a healthy view of myself and I can find joy in the reflection I see in the mirror.
If your mirror could speak to you today,what would it say?
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