Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Love Yourself

"Jesus would love for us to see ourselves as a package deal of unique qualities."
Parenting a 3 year old is good for the soul folks. I tell you. Especially if you are also parenting tween/teens. 3 year old people tell you that you are fabulous. That you are pretty. That you are loved. They are genuinely excited to see you. You know, even at 1 AM.
Each morning when I dress the Peanut she runs to the full length mirror in my master bath and proclaims "I look AWESOME."
How many of us wake up and look in the mirror and proclaim we look awesome? That we are awesome?
In the wake of the self-esteem generation, we spend a lot of time praising our kids for the values we think are important. For being hard workers. For putting forth effort. For having good character. Praising actions. I'm hoping that helps them internalize them. I'm hoping that helps them weather bumpy times. I don't just tell them I think they are beautiful (you have a great smile when you are helping out a friend) - I tell them why. I don't just tell them I think they are smart - I point out specifics (you pushed through and read that whole chapter even though it was hard).
Because the thing is. It's hard to love YOURSELF.
It's interesting to me - at 3 years old, you think you are fabulous. At 12 and 14, I'm finding there is some realistic balancing - beginning to notice strengths versus weaknesses, their unique quirks or traits. In my 20s and 30s, I was so hard on myself. And in your 40's - I think I may be returning to my 3 year old self. Slowly. VERY slowly. Beware, at the rate I'm going, by my 70s I'm going to be the old lady with no filter 
As mom people, I think we are naturally our own toughest critics. We lay in bed at night replaying those moments, those conversations when we should have said or done something different. We are occasionally bit by the green eyed monster and rethink our pony tail and yoga pants. We alternate dusting off and hiding the bathroom scale.
39 And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
See that verse ASSUMES you love YOURSELF.
I think many of us are out there trying to love others but we've neglected the very core of that verse. Love YOURSELF.
Having a poor self image HINDERS what He has planned for us.
Mama Warriors as you wake this morning, and muddle through your cup of caffeine, I encourage you to love YOURSELF. Acknowledge that you are perfectly and wonderfully made. You are not defined by the number on the scale, the bad hair day moments, the fashion challenges. You are defined by HIM. IN HIM. Our focus has to be following Him. And to hold His commandments, we have to begin by loving ourselves. Just as we tell our kids how awesome they are, we have to embrace our own awesomeness.
The children sing "Jesus loves the little children" - that's all of them. You too. Me too. We should walk around embracing the idea that we are worthy of love. Just the way we are. And think of how much more you can love others when you begin with a full well?

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