This morning was like most weekday mornings, in that we were all moving in different directions trying to get us all out the door by 7:40 am. The difference today was that while I helped Sophie get dressed and I was down by her feet helping her step into her pants, she asked a haunting question, “Am I skinny, Mama?”
I looked up at her sweet, beautiful face and at that instant I was quiet, as I knew the next words that came out of my mouth had to be right. This was an opportunity for a teachable moment that could quite possibly shape the way she feels about self-image for the rest of her life.
“Well baby, what do you think it means to be skinny?” She did a half shrug and said, “Not chubby.” My heart was breaking seeing my little first grader, getting ready for a day at school and already concerned about body image!
“I want you to know that you don’t need to worry about whether or not you are skinny or chubby. That doesn’t make you who you are. In the Bible, God says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The person that you are in your heart is all that really matters, do you understand?” She smiled and nodded. I know that this is just the beginning of her curiosity regarding body image, but I am hoping to plant positive roots within her heart to preserve the image she has of herself.
I can’t say I am completely free of the negativity surrounding our society either. I realize that most of us are our own worst critics. For me while I clean the house my inner voice is going a mile a minute. At times it’s very productive. I may go over my to-do list for the day or think about the ingredients I need for a new recipe I’m trying for dinner. But unfortunately my private conversations with myself can also go sour very quickly.
Just the other day I was vacuuming as self-deprecation took hold of me for a whole hoist of issues. My inner rambling went on and on like a broken record of all of my failure, but then something changed. I slowed down and God was there, telling me otherwise. Over and over in my mind I heard this, ‘You are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are fearfully and wonderfully made…’
I recognized this verse from the Bible, but I had to find it and read more to see where it was that it came from. I have no doubt that it was God’s voice speaking to me. I wasn’t hearing, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, like the verse is written in the Bible, I was being told, ‘You are fearfully and wonderfully made.’ I have no doubt now that God had given me a teachable moment earlier this week in preparation for my daughter today.
Psalm 139:14 – I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.