Look in the mirror.
What do you see?
And what does that have to do with being a mom?
Maybe someone who should have nurtured you used words that hurt you instead. Words like:
Did you know that we don’t form our sense of identity on upon reality, but upon how we believe others perceive us?
When that person fills a big place in your life — a grandparent or parent, spouse, or guardian — their words take up a lot of space in who you think you are.
In Week #2 we’ll talk about four truths and why they are important to us as moms.
Today we’ll address two of them.
Truth #1: The past is only a small part of who you are.
I’m more than the first 17 years of my life.
I love roller coasters. I love going to Farmer’s Markets. Music makes me happy. There’s nothing sweeter than a baby’s smile. I love to read, and usually have four or five books open all around the house. I’m pretty salty at the Phase 10 card game.
I’m a Bible teacher. A friend. A wife. A mom. A grandma.
You get the picture. If my only identity when I look in the mirror is my past, then I might not see the value I bring to my child as her mama.
I might also fail to see the value in her.
Or, overcompensate and indulge in order to make her feel special, and fail to teach her that she’s multi-layered, too — smart, kind, others-centered.
You are more than your past.
Truth #2: God knows the real you.
My entry into the world was as a baby born to a mama who was sexually assaulted by her estranged husband.
Not a great beginning, right?
No pink balloons. No cute announcements. Just a brave young woman walking down the street clutching her 3-year-old’s hands and a swollen belly, praying she’d make it to the Naval hospital in time.
I was born an hour later in the hallway.
But Heaven rejoiced the day I was born. Not in the way I was conceived, but definitely over Suzie.
He was there the when I was a tiny cell in my mother’s womb. He knew my abilities. He knew my talents. He knew I would have a gentle heart, and that I’d laugh until I cried (even if no one else gets the joke). He knew that I would one day stand in front of crowds and talk about Him.
He knew me –Suzie.
He knows you as well.
When you redefine your image from someone’s words to God’s, you stop trying to be something you are not.
You are not stupid.
You are not lazy.
You are not unwanted.
Today, will you consider assuming the rightful image who you are and whose you are?
Will you drop labels that were never yours to embrace, and understand that your life is of value to God?
Why is this important as a mom?
Because familiar patterns try to creep in. Your child is not a label. He or she isn’t how well they do their chores. Your words carry weight.
Your child’s brain won’t fully develop until she’s in her early twenties. Your son, just a bit later. That child is a work-in-progress and you’ve been given the privilege of shaping him or her. They are going to be messy. There are going to be those days.
It’s hard work. Frustrating, even. And wonderful,too.
When you see yourself as God sees you, it allows you to see your child the same way, bringing grace and compassion and justice into your role as mom.
So, take a look in the mirror.
Who do you see?
Tell her whose she is, and that she’s not a label. . . not anymore.
Read Chapter Two in The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future.
Q: Describe one word/label that you have worn for way too long.
Q: Name four positive things about yourself that have nothing to do with your past.
Q: Name four positive things about your child. (If more than one child, do this individually.)
Q: Do you ever use labels with your own child? If so, keep a journal all week and every time you use a label, write it down. (It helps you become aware of it.) Each time, share with your child at least two positive things you see in her or him.
Q: Write a prayer in your journal thanking God for your fearfully and wonderfully made child.