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When I look in the mirror, I don’t always like what I see. I try to. But the truth is that the dark circles, crow’s feet, un-styled (let’s be honest, unwashed) hair, and piercing red stretch marks stare back at me and remind me of all my imperfections. I frown into my reflection and refresh my resolve to lose the baby weight, take more showers, rub on the cocoa butter, and look overall better for my husband. I walk away feeling a little heavier, but the busyness of the day and the to-do list quickly distract me.
I’m going to assume that 99.7% of Mommas experience a similar daily routine. While we wouldn’t trade the blessings of this season for ANYTHING, it does take a toll on our bodies and our self-image.
But here’s the thing. There’s another reflection in that mirror: My daughter’s.
She is nearby… watching intently as I examine the figure God gave me. She is looking for her own face in the mirror and joyfully smiling back at herself. She pans her eyes back and forth from her smiling face to my frowning one. And I would be a fool to think she doesn’t pick up on my disappointment in myself.
I’ve been learning that one of the hardest, and most wonderful, aspects of Motherhood is how it holds me accountable. All of a sudden, there is someone watching, listening, and modeling my behavior, my attitude, and my faith. It’s a huge responsibility and I don’t take it lightly.
I’m called to look at the world and listen to the world from a whole new perspective. I’m paying close attention to many things I never noticed before she was placed in my arms for the very first time. I’m becoming aware of what I need to introduce my baby girl to, and what I need to protect her from… including myself.
It’s no revelation that being a momma comes with many sacrifices. We give up sleep, personal space, meals, our bodies, our time, and so much more. Surrendering the bat that we use to beat ourselves up will be just as important unless we want to train our children to use the same weapon on themselves.
Momma, it will be one of the hardest things you will ever do, but you need to find the beauty in your reflection. You need to see wisdom, hope, and a future. And if you can’t, it’s time to choose to heal and change. You don’t just randomly feel that way about yourself— something caused it and you need to get to the bottom of it. I’ve used a number of resources to help with this over the past 5 years and they are all linked on my Recommended Resources page. If you know you will need professional help, you can’t do better than the ministry Restoring Relationships. I would recommend it to absolutely everyone. I am so here for you to pray and encourage you.
Listen, if you won’t do it for yourself or your husband, do it for your babies. They deserve a powerful leader and a positive role model in you. God has called you to reflect His image before them. And by the way— you ARE beautiful. Your lenses are just clouded and deep down you know this is the truth.
Choose life. Choose healing. It will be the most rewarding thing you ever do.
I smile back at my sweet daughter in the mirror and I say, “Lorelai! Do you know you are beautiful– just like Mommy?! God made us each different and special– and He thinks we are both His masterpiece!”
Lord, when I come before your throne, may I have represented you well before the members of my own household. Especially my children. I ask you to heal the parts of my heart that are broken. Help me to let you in to the areas I have kept back from you. Please forgive me for devaluing who you made me to be and give me the grace to forgive others. Help me to honor you, to model your ways, and to live in your truth every day. In Jesus’ name! Amen.