Every morning I grudgedly wake up and head straight for the coffee. Which means I go to the couch and wait for my awesome husband to bring me a strong cup. I bypass the mirror pretty much the whole morning due to the fact that I already know what the reflection will be. Frizzy hair, pale freckly skin and depending on what my baby decided to sleep the night before, I usually have some sort of bags under my eyes. Lord help us if I ever had to get out of the car while dropping off my older two at school. It's usually after the gym that I even begin to address the reflection in the mirror. On most days I am doing good with a shower... even better days actually consist of bronzer and a curling iron.
Despite the reflection I see or the amount of time I have put into my appearance on that day, it usually never fails that I hear a "You're boooootiful mommy" come my way. Sometimes it's when we are sitting together at the lunch table pondering our goldfish and sandwich and other days it's early in the morning before I have even finished my first cup of coffee.
I remember my older daughters doing this too when they were that age. The age when double chins and chocolate chip cheeks don't matter. The age when you can wear pink dresses with holes and still feel beautiful because it's a dress. The age when you see BEAUTY for what it really is. The inside.
Today, as the "you're boooootiful, mommy" words came out of her mouth I recognized my response. The same response that I always give and never really thought about it until today.
"No, You are beautiful."
And then we smile and giggle and sometimes go back and forth saying it. Today, for the first time I thought about my response.
Why do I respond with a "no"?
I am pretty sure that I have struggled with recieving compliments my whole life. I am also certain that it wasn't until the last few years that I realized that this inability to receive also affected my spiritual life. If I can't receive from people in the natural, how in the world will I ever begin to receive from my Heavenly Father in the supernatural.
So today... I switched my response. I said, "Thank you."
I watched her eyes light up and we giggled. And then I followed with a "you're beautiful, River" in which she replied, "thank you, mommy."
I want to teach my daughters how to feel beautiful despite what they may see in the reflection. I want them to sustain the beauty they feel right now, double chins and all, for the rest of their life and in order for me to do that I must teach them how to receive through my own example, so that they will receive the Father's love and encouragement. Even if it is as simple as learning how to receive a compliment.
My daughter's heart was to encourage me with simple, yet powerful words and now I am going to teach her how to receive that same encouragement back. The kind that speaks to her heart much greater than an image in the mirror. The same encouragement the Lord bestows on every one of us when He calls us
His Beautiful Daughters.
I want to nurture my daughter's heart with words of love and affirmation, but more importantly I want to teach them how to open their hearts and receive from the One that created us in every detail and Who will complete the work He began in us and through us. When we learn to receive from the Father's heart as daughter's of the King, no reflection in the mirror can hinder the beauty we feel from within.