Saturday, August 31, 2013

The eyes of my 7 year old

It all started when she walked into my closet the other day. “Mom why do you put that black stuff on your eyes?”
‘To make my eyelashes show up better I guess’
“Why? What’s wrong with them how they are?”
Right to the heart. By my 7 year old.  I tried to recover quickly, to say that nothing is really wrong with my eyelashes how they are, how makeup just enhances what God has given you. All the while feeling kind of sick about my empty answer to my curious and onlooking daughter.
Then, every day since, she has come out and asked to put blush on her cheeks and lip gloss on. No God. Has it started? Have I contributed?
How do I walk this fine line of self-confidence and esteem that starts now?
I have read tons of great articles lately on our bodies as moms and how it starts with me. Because the truth is, stretch marks from my 9 pound daughter, hips that have turned out from two births: my body is not like it used to be, and that’s ok. That is what it is supposed to be. It tells the story of the journey He has called me to.  I do not want to pass on my feelings about my changing body to my daughter. I don’t want her to think twice about what her legs look like or if her stomach rolls over her pants. Sure I want her to make healthy choices and exercise her body so that she is strong and healthy, but not driven by disgust at what she sees in the mirror. This starts with me: the way I talk about myself and others, what I look at, what I focus on, my identity in Christ.
This is just the beginning of an ongoing discussion. One I feel inept to lead or contribute to.
But I do want her to know: Your body is a shell, a vessel that carries the qualities God has tucked in our hearts. God loves beauty and God is creative, that is why he made your bluish green eyes and lashes turn heavenward, your muscular legs and your little cute nose, your sandy blonde hair and your cute belly button. It all tells a story that points to him and the depth he goes to create the intricacies of our body that should point us to his greatness.
God doesn’t make ugly. So tuck that away for the day someone calls you ugly. Because it is impossible for a Good Creator to make something ugly. He is perfect. He built you as a masterpiece. And my sweet girl, please remember this before you mutter these words to another girl. Our words have power, power to plant a lie in her heart that will deepen her insecurities and disbelief in a God who makes beautiful creations.
Modesty is mysterious and beautiful. It is not frumpy and drudgery. God gave you this beautiful body. He made it with his delight at the forefront and for it to be cherished as his dwelling and for your future husband. We have a part in protecting boys' eyes and hearts by the way we dress. This will get complicated as you get older but we will have to choose this together. It may cause a distance to grow between us and I pray it does not, but I hope you will see the value in modesty, not only for others, but to honor God and yourself. I struggled with this as a girl. I gave pieces of my heart away to find validation in men that can only be found in him. I struggled to see that I am more than how I fit in or how cute were my clothes. I struggled to see that not showing things is actually far more beautiful than putting on display the secretness of what God gave us.

This is a life struggle. Your identity, your value, your beauty, your body. To see this as a gift is a choice. You must choose to root your beauty in Him, to anchor your value to his righteousness, to bind up your thoughts about yourself to what he speaks over you. I speak this to you as I shout this to myself.
I pray you hear this from God as he sings it over his precious creation, you.
Jeremiah 31:20 msg (italics mine)
“Oh Reese is my dear, dear daughter,my child in whom I take pleasure!
Every time I mention her name,
My heart bursts with longing for her!
Everything in me cries out for her.
Soft and tenderly I wait for her. God’s Decree.


  1. Thanks for this encouraging post. Raising girls is simply no joke, and I pray that God will equip me for the task ahead. You are right - it starts with us.

  2. so so beautiful. saving. re-reading. sharing. thank you.