Today, His "think on this Heidi" moment was in this Dove Real Beauty video about women and self image.
I wrote an entire recap of the video, but then decided you are going to have to watch it instead. If you can't find three minutes, then come back when you can.
I work with an amazing group of ladies whose goal is to help empower women in vulnerable countries. I am also raising one, soon to be two, gorgeous daughters and two sons. I teach young children, including my own and my nieces, to be disciples of God and love themselves wholly.
The fact of the matter is, I suck at telling myself the same.
I grew up the scrawny kid. I was always shorter than the other girls. I did not hit 5 feet tall until I was a junior in high school (I am 5'7" now) and I didn't have boobs until...well until I was nursing our babies! The only thing differentiating me from the boys was my long hair.
I have also been an athlete my entire life, and unfortunately I have battled eating disorders and body image issues since I can remember. Despite it all, I had a mother who always told my sister and I we were beautiful and that good things come in small packages (mind you, my younger sis was taller than me and had a rack). My Dad told all three of us, daily, how beautiful we were. I never had a reason to doubt who I was or how I was made. Satan told me otherwise.
When I gave birth to my daughter, I looked at her and swore I would do everything in my power for her not to grow up thinking like me.
I am incredibly conscience of the way I critique myself in front of my children. I mean seriously, kids retain everything!! I do not hide anything from them, including my so-called flaws and imperfections. I laugh at things they innocently point out to me. I definitely do not step on a scale in front of them. Behind the bathroom door and in the company of my husband, I can tear myself apart like you would not believe.
We, as mothers, teach our children that they are perfect in God's image. So, why do we show them otherwise by telling and showing them that God created them perfect the way they are...but not us, Mommy has this wrong and that wrong and this wrinkle and on and on. The more I think about it, I am not as good at secret self bashing as I think I am. It is not just in me, it is everywhere and their brain sponges are just soaking it up.
Why is it that as women, we are never good enough, pretty enough, enough like "those other women"? Why do we constantly need reassurance from our husbands and friends? Satan has been everywhere since the beginning of time. We see his works in all areas of life, but this my friends is an epidemic!
This blog tends to be a venting ground for me and it also helps keep me accountable for things in my life that need to be changed. Maybe you are relating to these thoughts as well. I am not saying all this to make you feel guilty. A wise woman once told me, "There is a fine line between feeling guilty and feeling convicted." Today, my friends,
I am convicted.
Our children look at everything and see beauty. They never know anything is not beautiful until we tell them. Who are your children around that might influence this? Maybe it is you? Who and what are you critiquing in the company of spongelike minds? This issue is not isolated in our daughters. My husband tells me every day how gorgeous he thinks I am. You know what I noticed in my 12 years with his family? His Dad does the same thing to his Mom. More times than not, our sons will love their future wives in the same way our husbands love us. Likewise, our daughters are much more likely to be able to take a compliment and/or like what they see in the mirror if we are showing them how.
I look at my mother, grandmothers and mother-in-law and see gorgeous women. I can not find even one of their flaws they now feel comfortable pointing out to me as an adult. I am confident this is because nobody ever told me different. It is about time we did the same with ourselves.
If I go to live with our Lord, as an old woman with freckles and wrinkles then I will thank him for the awesome sun and all the laughter that I had. If I still have a little extra soft skin around my middle, I will thank him for the two rather large children that I was able to grow inside of me. If my hair is still a dirty blonde color, I will thank him for the gorgeous red hair that was given to our daughter. And, hey, if I still have no chest by then, I will thank him for the rockin' strapless dresses I wore without worrying about falling out of them or the lack of back pain I don't have!
I am positive that, like in the video, my husbands sketch, my sisters sketch, even my best friends sketch of me, would not look like the rendition that came from my mind. I can also know that I am blessed to have a family and friends that "love me like Jesus does" (thank you Eric Church). It is about time, I loved me like he does as well. How about you?
This ad has been next to my treadmill for over 10 years, I thought this was a perfect place to share it.