It has been a very long time since I sat down to write my thoughts here. There is a reason for that, but today is not the time to even try to share those whys. Today, I simply want every woman I can reach to hear me say this ~
You are beautiful!
The importance of these words came this morning as I drove my 8 year old daughter to her Tuesday classes. As we were driving, she had a lot to say! This is not unusual for her. After all, she is a little girl with lots of words to use daily. But this morning her topics of choice went from, “Mom, isn’t it so cool that the stories in the bible really happened?!” to “Mom, someday when I talk to Jesus I am going to ask him, ‘Ok, so what really happened to the dinosaurs?!’ ” to her sharing how very excited she was to see her friend Morgan at school!
Then she was quiet.
Honestly, I was enjoying the fleeting moment of quiet, when she simply says, “Mommy, I love you.”
“I love you too, baby girl.”
This is not uncommon to hear from her. My daughter has a love language that finds it extremely necessary to express and receive words of affirmation. She needs to be told “I love you”, and told often. So, it comes very natural to her to tell others how she feels about them, too.
But what came next, after another minute of silence, was one that made me tear up. As we are pulling up to her school, she said this…
“Mommy, you are so beautiful.”
I couldn’t respond. I had suddenly gained a lump in my throat. I parked the car and got out. As I opened the door to let her out of the back seat, I could only look at her and say, “Thank you sweet pea. Thank you so much.”
As I was driving away after dropping her off, I began to cry.
Oh, if she only knew. If she only knew the level that I truly believed everything opposite of that most days. I don’t feel beautiful. I don’t feel useful. I don’t feel worthy.
I am not yet at a place where I can put into words why I feel so very defeated so much of the time, however, I do have these words that I believe someone else out there needs to hear as badly as I did.
God used my little girl to speak Truth into my life. The kind that was much more needed than I even knew.
So, the only words I have right now are for you.
That woman that looks in the mirror and only sees wrinkles, which are really beautiful moments created one at a time. Those that were gained possibly by being stretched from laughter or added by a much needed lazy afternoon in the sun at the beach with those she loves most.
That woman that won’t look at herself in the mirror before a shower because of the extra weight and stretch marks that are proof positive that the Lord did a great work in your miraculous body by bearing children.
That woman that sees a reflection of swollen, red eyes from tears and calloused knees from praying for those very same stretch marks and baby weight, yet tenderly carries the gifts of faith and hope in a way most will never experience. She has strong, grace-filled arms that are ready to receive the fullness a child brings, whether that be through birth, adoption, marriage or maybe for now to simply be bent into one more beautiful, faithful prayer.
That woman that woefully looks at the gray hairs peeking through all over her head and sighs, feeling like time is passing her by, when really every one of these (no matter the color) are numbered and known by the Lord in a reminder that he creates every wondrous part of us.
That woman that feels like she is not accomplishing Kingdom good by “just doing another load of laundry and washing another dirty dish” even though she is carrying the precious load of serving her husband while caring for and training up the next generation of believers through her example.
That woman who has crossed into a stage of her life where she sees her reflection in the mirror and wonders who in the world the woman is staring back. Where did the other me go…the one with big dreams and big plans to change the world for God?
She is staring right back at you.
This same woman is the one that IS changing the world ~
one pb&j sandwich,
one kissed and bandaged knee,
one load of laundry,
one prepared meal,
one paid bill,
one doctor’s appointment,
one encouraging word,
one unseen (but definitely not unheard) prayer at a time!
You are important.
You are needed.
You are seen.
It is one of those days where I needed a little preaching to myself, and just figured maybe, just maybe, there is someone else out there just like me that could use a little Truth in their life!
I am not writing this seeking any compliments or affirmation. I was blessed to have received that from my little girl this morning! I am writing this because I know without a shadow of a doubt someone else really needed to hear this today, too!
Ladies, it is time to rest in this Truth:
You are beautiful.
But don’t just stop there! Tell the women in your life these life-giving words! Share this with your mommas, your sisters, your daughters, and your friends. The world is so quick to tear us down with lies, it’s about time we choose to put each other back together, one simple (yet profound) word at a time.
For me, I will end this where I began – with my daughter. I love you Emma Hope. You are one of the most beautiful people I know. Thank you for loving your mommy so well…