like mama, like daughter

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8:00 AM
As I wrote recently about seeing beauty in yourself, it made me think about a Women of Faith conference event I attended several years ago. Sheila Walsh spoke of witnessing her mom speaking badly of herself. She put herself down and was not happy with her own appearance and yet would compliment Sheila. The impact it made on her as a child seeing her mom so unhappy with her appearance was immense. I cannot recall all the details of it but the message is clear.

Putting yourself down in front of your child takes away from her seeing the beauty in herself, as she looks up to you for guidance.

Life happens in the moments, the little ones that you just about miss, with two little eyes watching you closely. The things you say and do become ingrained in to their memory and a part of who they are: the way you pronounce words, the way you comb your hair, the way you eat your food and the silly way you move your hands when you talk. All of your mannerisms, for better or worse, get compiled in these little people. Your own disciples. 

With my affinity for singing, bath time commemorates with my own version of the chorus from "I Feel Pretty," with Penny in my arms, gazing at ourselves in the mirror. I know, cheesy. It is one of those things that just happened and now simply cannot be missed, her in my arms and all, even though she is more than half my height. The fact that her baby bath was on the bathroom sink, with her mirror right there probably had something to do with it.

I think it is in these moments that children feel loved and know that they are valued. As a mama it is crucial to instill worth on your child, especially in a society that degrades women and is forced to compare themselves to fake, photoshoped ladies. The power of words play an important role. What you do not say may have more impact than what you. No mama wants to hear how her daughter cannot stand her shoulders or her hips are too big. It was God who blessed her with the practically webbed toe and strategically placed mole when he knit her together so carefully, so be sure to remind her.

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.  Song of Solomon 4:7

God says you are beautiful. Your daughter is beautiful. The lady next to you on the bus is beautiful. The woman across the coffee shop counter is beautiful. And the one in the cubical next to you. Perhaps God wants you to tell one of his daughters how beautiful she is today. 

I pray that if you are a mama or not, that you would build up those around you. That you would instill a positive message of beauty on others. That you would not give in to putting yourself down as others around you may so easily do. I pray that you would stand your ground and hold tight to the beauty God has lavished on you. That you would build others up and reveal to them the beauty in themselves.

Here's to making sure she knows how beautiful she is and how God made her flawless. To more compliments and less put downs.
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