Thursday, June 6, 2013

Be Good to YOU

Four generations: from left - my mother, me holding my grandson,
my daughter, and her mother-in-law,
Have you ever noticed that we women sometimes beat ourselves up? We are quick to take on the mantel of guilt, and we are often harder on ourselves than anybody else.  My mother (who at 75 is a paragon of wisdom in my eyes) frequently reminds me to "Be good to Glenni."

Mothers have a genuine responsibility to respect themselves because of the example we are setting for our children, particularly our daughters. Australian author Kasey Edwards poignantly discusses this reality in a letter she has written to her mother in the book Dear Mum. Take a minute to read her post, then come back....

My Beautiful Mommy

My mom with her two girls!
Like Kasey, I remember thinking that my mother was absolutely the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Actually I still think that! But when I was a child, I thought she encompassed all the glamour of a movie star. I wanted to look just like her. Fortunately for me, she never complained about her appearance; however, she did spend well over an hour each morning making herself beautiful. I assumed that in order to be beautiful, I would have to do the same. She worked in an industry that placed a high value on physical appearance, so she dieted and worked hard to stay thin. I remember as a teenager going through a "chubby period" before I thinned out and feeling just horrible about myself.

My body type, like hers, is NOT naturally stick thin. After baby #4, I never did manage to get all the baby weight off, and each year it seems a couple of extra unwanted pounds creep on. At 75 and 53, the two of us continue to encourage and help each other in our battle against the bulge. But neither of us places our self-worth on how we look.

You ARE a Beautiful Mommy!

I want my daughter's inner beauty to shine through!
As a mother you have a tremendous impact on how your daughter views herself. You have the opportunity to teach her by example that beauty comes from within. But if you simply give lip-service to that concept, she will see right through your hypocrisy! Do you truly believe that you are "fearfully and wonderfully made"? (Psalm 139:14) Or do you act as if the Creator made a mistake when He created you the way He did?

Do you make it a priority to practice forgiveness? To be kind to others? To speak words of encouragement and peace? Or do you assert your right to hold onto grievances and to let those around you know how upset you are with a perceived wrong? It is so true that children learn what they live. A little girl who grows up with a mother who is a truly beautiful person with emulate those qualities. A little boy who grows up with that same mother will look for those qualities in his spouse.

So take a few minutes today...and tomorrow...and the next think about how YOU can be good to YOU!

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