I am racing through the house, trying to clean (and hide when possible) the mess that resulted from a week long birthday celebration for my nine year old daughter.
Remember the times when we were so excited about our birthdays that we wanted the celebration to drag out as long as possible? Oh to be young again.
In the midst of my cleaning, I grab a pile of birthday cards so elegantly crafted by the shaky hands of 7 & 8 Year olds. Some store bought with precious words of friendship written carefully in large block print. Others, handmade on computer paper, carefully cut edges and bright florescent colors declaring BFF’s and forever friendships.
But my absolute favorite was this one:
And I love the handwritten note from her friends echoing the cards sentiment:
“Happy birthday. Have the spotlight and shine!!!”
As young girls, we begin this life of ours confident in whom God made us to be. We have the spotlight and we are not afraid to shine. We wear a polka dotted skirt with a striped top because it is sparkly and the skirt twirls when we turn. We sing at the top of our lungs regardless of how good (or bad) we sound because the song is fun and makes us smile. We wear purple boots with green shorts and cowboy hats with our fanciest dress because we like it. Pure and simple!
But, gradually, the world comes calling and it’s voice screams in our ears of all that is wrong with us. And our eyes are slowly opened to the criticism the world so freely offers up. Our confidence shifts as we hear the world tell us that we need to be taller (or shorter), skinnier (or more shapely), lighter skinned (or darker). On and on it goes until we are a fragile mess, cracking under the pressure.
And the light that shone so bright flickers just a bit. And if we are not careful, that light can be snuffed out and replaced with dark critical thoughts that last long in to adulthood. We know because we use to be those girls.
So how do we continue to shine in the spotlight when so many of us struggle with our image? How do we teach our girls (and boys) to stand tall with all their flaws and blemishes when we ourselves are hunched over with our own insecurities?
It is not without struggle, as we crawl out from under unrealistic expectations we, and the world, place on ourselves and our children.
But the struggle is worth the strength we find, when we recognize who we are in Christ. Who God made us to be.
We look through an hourglass that is blurry and skewed when our eyes are focused on the temporary. And these bodies of ours are temporary.
It is only when we look UP do we see clearly our purpose and eternal value. We look UP and see how He sees us….His children, created intentionally in His image, for His purposes.
Luke 12: 6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Dear Lord, I pray that you will help us see ourselves through Your eyes. And I ask that you will equip us to teach our children how to view themselves in light of Your love for them.
In Jesus name, Amen!!!