I recently found myself with a rare opportunity to shower without an audience, or at least without someone talking to me (or crying) through the locked and barricaded door. I was so excited I was nearly giddy. Such moments are few and far between with four kids, three of which are homeschooled, one of which is 5 years old and my constant companion. It feels like they want absolutely nothing to do with me unless I am on the phone or naked. The second I take my shirt off suddenly I am the most interesting person on the planet. You would think all the awkward moments of them walking in on me half-dressed would deter them. Apparently not.
I started the water and happened upon a clean towel (miracle number two!) I relished in the blissful 10 minutes of quiet, hot, soapy vacation, I even get both legs shaved. Wow, it was really turning out be my day! As I wrapped my drippy curls up in a towel I started to feel a little guilty about the fact that I hadn’t worked out before my shower, knowing full well that clean hair, plus deodorant just lowered my chances of working out that day to about -1.4%. Now that will make 4 days in a row without exercise….So, much for that winning streak, I was on last week.
As I struggle to get my faded yoga pants onto my still damp legs I see it. My Lord! My legs are so white they are almost blue! I add self-tanner to my mental Target list. I look up and see my reflection and instantly notice my not so slim tummy, stretched from birthing babies. I see the scar from baby 4 and I attempt to tuck in the edges that spill over my favorite pants. I sigh in disappointment and regret my breakfast choice and lack of self-control when it comes to coffee creamer. My eyes move up to my chest, my chin, then my face as I continue to pick apart every inch of myself. My overbite, lines, and puffiness around my eyes, thinning eyebrows, frizzy hair.
And then a quiet tap on the door interrupts my dissection.
I throw on my shirt and answer “yes, who is it”?
On the other side was a weepy teen. My 13-yr-old, Audrey. She was crying about her hair. She was on the awkward side of growing out her bangs and “it was taking so long”! She wanted to look nice for an outing with friends and she asked for my help. I give her a hug and tell her that everything will be ok. I immediately start to tell her how lovely she is and dismiss her worries about her bangs. And she is lovely, there is no denying it. I know I am her mother, but she really is stunning. The fact that she would worry about her bangs is insane. You could shave her head and she would still be gorgeous. I brush and smooth her hair and gently help her pin her bangs. I assure her that she is beautiful and her hair is gorgeous. Nobody notices the things she worries about, we all adore her and we all want to be like her. I start listing her beautiful qualities, inside and out. It is easy to do. The list is long and true. As I finish her off with a blast of Aqua Net I turn her shoulders to face the mirror and tell her to look at how beautiful she is.
And a small voice speaks to me… and so are you.
I pause.. and I question what I just heard. It wasn’t me saying that to myself. I don’t say that. I began to recall the things I said to my reflection that morning. I am horrified. I would never speak to anyone that way. Especially someone I loved. Can you imagine if sweet Audrey had come to the door for my help and I had gasped at her? If I had started picking her apart from head to toe? NEVER! And if anyone else did that to her, hold me back!! I see no flaw in her. I only see her loveliness.
But there I was. Insulting the daughter of the Most High. Never once in that self-dialog did I compliment myself or the one who made me. The creator of all things good created me. He made me just as I am. He thought me up, an original, like no other. He blessed me with my dad’s blue eyes, and with natural blonde curls. He adorned me with long legs and curves made especially for my husband, who also adores me. He gave me babies that I was able to carry fully to their birth when I know many who have never had the privilege. He gave me the ability to feed them with my body when some are never able. How can I talk so badly about her?
God also gave me my health and the ability to walk and run and lift heavy things and put them down. I am thankful I can do those things, and I enjoy them for the most part. I don’t want to take them for granted. But, they do not determine my worth. The outward perfection I seek is what the world says is perfect. God has made me flawless on the inside. The father of lies will tell me what is wrong with me. I won’t give power to those things any longer. I will confess with my mouth and agree with what the Lord says about me. I am His daughter, I am chosen, I am His pride and joy. I will see what He sees.
I am beautiful.
Enter His Rest, Stacey