Monday, February 23, 2015

Long Ponytails and Girl Talk

I had my first "body image" talk with Summer this morning.  Unbeknownst to me, when she requested a high ponytail this morning, she had an image in her head of a beautiful Mexican girl she played with last week whose ponytail was thick and long.  Within a few minutes, my sweet little girl rounded the corner where I was doing dishes and, holding back the tears, said, "My ponytail isn't long enough." 

Immediately I sensed that her comment was the tip of an iceberg of thoughts and feelings, and I knew that this was a moment for a heart-to-heart Mommy-daughter chat.  As I dried off my hands and pulled her into my lap, I could feel the tears inside me welling up that "this" was starting at age 4 - the insecurity and comparing that we as women fight against literally everyday. 

We talked about how as girls "prettying ourselves" can be so much fun - shopping for cute clothes, accessorizing, and doing our hair and nails.  However, this fun can become an issue when we start comparing ourselves to others, thinking less of ourselves, and especially when/if we make judgmental or rude comments (even if it is just in our heads) about others to make ourselves feel better.

We talked specifically about how when God created Summer he made her exactly how he wanted to make her and when we talk badly about ourselves it is talking badly about God's beautiful artwork.

I started listing my favorite features about her, and got a smile out of her :).  Then, we talked about how being beautiful on the inside is way more important, and talked about the beautiful things I see going on inside of her.

We prayed together - we prayed for Mommy, Summer, and Larkyn - to have our confidence come from who we are in Christ - not from how we look on the outside.

I also shared with her one of my favorite verses on the topic, (as she noted by all the scribbles, underlining and star by it in my Bible!),

1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

When I think of Max Lucado's children's book, You are Special, I picture us as Eli's little wooden creations whose only importance is because of their Maker.  Looking in from the outside, it is easy to see how silly it is to be concerned over external things such as a "ponytail that isn't long enough", yet I know I do this sort of thinking everyday, in my own way, about my own issues.  We, especially as girls, need to step outside ourselves and see ourselves how God sees us, and realize how completely insignificant and shallow our appearance is in the light of eternity.  (Easier said than done!)

I love the lyrics to Jamie Grace's song "Every Bit Of Lovely"
You’re lovely, every bit of lovely
Don’t you know that you're God’s original work of art, yes you are
So don’t ever let them tell you that you’re less than wonderful
Cause you’re a one and only
You’re every little bit, every little bit of lovely 

I know its an uphill battle that she will continue to fight for the rest of her life, but I COMMIT to fighting this one as a mother-daughter team through consistent prayer.

God, please give us the perspective to see ourselves as you do and the strength to act in accordance with that truth.


Kristin Bjorklund said...

This is so real. You're such a good mom. Love you all!!!!!

The O'Connor Family said...

Perfect Kel! Gonna bookmark this one! :)

The Baum Family said...

Love it Kel! ❤️

Jill said...

My heart aches for what Summer and Larkyn will encounter from culture on this topic. But, I rejoice knowing you, as her mom, are speaking God's Truth into them. We all need to be reminded of these truths. Bless you as you mother your girls.

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